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First Reactions: Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize, 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

First Reactions: Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Here in California, we woke up early this morning to the news that Liu Xiaobo had indeed been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. There’s been an outpouring of coverage in the hours since Liu’s win was announced, which will surely continue in the days to come; at the moment, “Liu Xiaobo” and “Nobel Peace Prize” are also in Twitter’s top-ten trending topics worldwide. We’ve been combing through news stories and tweets and put together this quick list of readings:


Jean-Philippe Béja On Liu Xiaobo, 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Jean-Philippe Béja On Liu Xiaobo

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

In only a few hours, word will come from Oslo and the world will know whether or not this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner is Chinese activist and author Liu Xiaobo, currently serving an eleven-year prison sentence for “subverting state authority.”Speculation about Liu’s odds has been running at a fever pitch this week, so much so that Irish bookmaker Paddy Power made an early payout to those who had put money on Liu by Tuesday. Authorities in Beijing, however, have made it clear that this is one international prize that China doesn’t want to win.


China’S Population Destiny: The Looming Crisis, Wang Feng 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

China’S Population Destiny: The Looming Crisis, Wang Feng

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Observers of China’s rise, when assessing the implications for global peace and prosperity, have largely focused their attention on the country’s economy, on its energy and resource needs, on the environmental consequences of its rapid expansion, and on the nation’s military buildup and strategic ambitions. Yet, underlying all these dazzling changes and monumental concerns is a driving force that has been seriously underappreciated: China’s changing demography.


California Dreamin’ At China’S World’S Fair, Jeffrey Wasserstrom 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

California Dreamin’ At China’S World’S Fair, Jeffrey Wasserstrom

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Shanghai can be a surreal place to visit in ordinary times. This is due to the juxtaposition of buildings, modes of transportation, and lifestyles that seem to belong to not just different decades but different centuries. And this aspect of the city was heightened for me last summer by the presence of the 2010 World Expo.


Links, Links, And More Links, 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Links, Links, And More Links

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

• The Economic Observer has started a new column that provides a roundup of the commentary and op-ed pieces contained in each week’s newspaper and also a few of the opinion pieces that appear on the EO‘s website. The most recent column can be found here. The EO has also begun providing abstracts of its monthly Book Review; check out September’s lineup here.


New Readings On Mega-Events And Matteo Ricci, 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

New Readings On Mega-Events And Matteo Ricci

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Two of the scholarly publications on our radar have new China-related content online:


Gao Xingjian, Wolfgang Kubin, And The Nobel Prize Debate Ten Years On, Sebastian Veg 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Gao Xingjian, Wolfgang Kubin, And The Nobel Prize Debate Ten Years On, Sebastian Veg

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Chinese literature and its significance or insignificance is a continued subject of heated debate in China. From May Fourth, when anti-traditionalist thinkers called on literature to assume a pioneering role in transforming subjects into citizens, to its use as propaganda during World War Two and on both sides of the Strait after 1949, it was seen as a crucial vector of political ideas. During the “Enlightenment” of the 1980s, literature was again called upon to play a central – though politically very different – role in helping society come to terms with the officially still taboo traumas of the Cultural Revolution. However ...


Coming Distractions: Chinese Whiskers, Maura Elizabeth Cunningham 2010 National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

Coming Distractions: Chinese Whiskers, Maura Elizabeth Cunningham

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Pallavi Aiyar’s 2008 memoir, Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China, details the six years she spent living in Beijing, first teaching English and then becoming a reporter for The Hindu. Now stationed in Brussels with the Business Standard, Aiyar’s articles tend to focus on topics such as Belgium’s cultural conflicts and theuneven parallels drawn between India and China. For this reason, I was quite surprised to learn that Aiyar’s second book, to be released by Harper Collins India in early 2011, is a story of Beijing narrated by two cats: Tofu and Soyabean, the protagonists ...


Planning To Write A China Book? Just Say No, Jonathan Watts 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Planning To Write A China Book? Just Say No, Jonathan Watts

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

We wrote to Jonathan Watts to ask him to write a commentary on the book tour he’s been on to promote When a Billion Chinese Jump, which included a stop at UC Irvine, but he said he was too busy being whisked from champagne receptions to meetings with Hollywood directors seeking to buy the film rights to the book to craft something suitable. Watts was, however, good enough to offer us permission to run (in slightly trimmed-down form) a piece he wrote—with tongue firmly in cheek—for a 2009 issue of the newsletter of the Beijing Foreign Correspondents ...


Shanghai Mourns Victims Of High-Rise Fire, 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Shanghai Mourns Victims Of High-Rise Fire

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Thousands of Shanghai residents gathered on Sunday to mourn the victims of last week’s fire at Jiaozhou Road. Adam Minter has a thoughtful post on the mourning procession (as well as links for further reading) at Shanghai Scrap; Marta Cooper’s blog . . . in Shanghai has photos from the assembly. At the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report, watch a short video about Sunday’s gathering. On Twitter, users have been marking their thoughts on the fire and its aftermath with the hashtag #jiaozhoulu.


“Life, It’S Been Said, Is One Big Book…”: One Hundred Years Of Qian Zhongshu, Christopher Rea 2010 University of British Columbia

“Life, It’S Been Said, Is One Big Book…”: One Hundred Years Of Qian Zhongshu, Christopher Rea

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Headlines about China have been looking the same for some time now. “The China story” always seems to be political: labor riots and their suppression; sabre-rattling over Taiwan and cultural erasure in Tibet; catastrophic earthquakes and official ineptitude; internet censorship and jailed dissidents (the latest being Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo). Even ostensibly good news, such as the Chinese government’s investment in wind power, becomes yet another story about how China is going to eat our lunch.


China By The Numbers: The Chinese Professor And The Red Emperor, Charles W. Hayford 2010 Northwestern University

China By The Numbers: The Chinese Professor And The Red Emperor, Charles W. Hayford

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Remember those jailbirds who know all of each others’ jokes? They don’t tell the whole joke, just shout out the number from the jokebook. Our public discourse on China has something of the same quality. Instead of shouting out a number, however, somebody “shouts out” a word or an image which evokes a whole China story. These stories can be persuasive, poetic, or insightful, but when we only “shout out” the number, then we don’t have the chance to examine the whole story. Painful facts or challenges to venerable beliefs can be papered over when the story is ...


On Michael Jackson In Mongolia, Hanging Out At Shanghai’S World’S Fair, And Other Topics: A Quick Q & A With Marketplace’S Rob Schmitz, Jeffrey Wasserstrom 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

On Michael Jackson In Mongolia, Hanging Out At Shanghai’S World’S Fair, And Other Topics: A Quick Q & A With Marketplace’S Rob Schmitz, Jeffrey Wasserstrom

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Over the summer, there was a changing of the guard in the Shanghai office ofMarketplace, an American radio program that has consistently carried smart reports about China. Scott Tong moved from the PRC back to the US (where he continues to work for the show) and former Peace Corps volunteer Rob Schmitztook his place. I had the pleasure of meeting them both in Shanghai in July andran a post with the former in early August, in which he reflected on his time covering the China beat. Now, as a sequel to that post, comes a quick q and a with ...


What I Read On My Summer Vacation (Iv), Ron Javers 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

What I Read On My Summer Vacation (Iv), Ron Javers

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

I was booked to give a China talk in August, high season in the Hamptons, as part of the summer series at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton.


Book Review: Shanghai World Expo Guide 2010, Adam D. Frank 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Book Review: Shanghai World Expo Guide 2010, Adam D. Frank

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

On first blush, one would think that reviewing Nick Land’s Shanghai World Expo Guidebook 2010 would be an exercise akin to reviewing a movie poster for Avatar—a kind of 2-D portrait of a 3-D experience.


Bill And Warren’S Excellent (Chinese) Adventure, Caroline Reeves 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Bill And Warren’S Excellent (Chinese) Adventure, Caroline Reeves

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are throwing a charity banquet in Beijing. On September 29th, the two American tycoons will host a dinner for China’s wealthiest magnates to convince them to give their monies away to charity. This event has caused a stir in the Chinese world. Everyone from movie stars to industry moguls is involved. Doonesbury is talking about it. Some billionaires have publicly declined to dine with the dynamic duo, wondering aloud if the event was planned to publicly part them from their new fortunes. Their response has called into question China’s “charitable impulse” and given ...


A Bitter Pill For Prime Minister Kan, James Farrer 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

A Bitter Pill For Prime Minister Kan, James Farrer

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

It was a bitter pill for the Democratic Party of Japan, no matter how they swallowed it. By releasing a Chinese fishing boat captain detained by Japan without a trial, Prime Minster Kan Naoto was clearly bowing under Chinese pressure. The captain had been arrested by the Japanese coast guard for allegedly ramming his boat into Japanese coast guard vessels while in territorial waters claimed both by China and Japan. The Japanese government appeared to buckle and released the captain to China on Saturday. According to an unnamed official in the prime minister’s office quoted in the Asahi Shinbun ...


Anhui’S Barefoot Aids Doctors, Annie Ye Ren 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Anhui’S Barefoot Aids Doctors, Annie Ye Ren

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

For the past four years, I have periodically worked with a Chinese grassroots HIV/AIDS non-governmental organization (NGO) that serves children in Fuyang Prefecture, Anhui Province. The Fuyang AIDS Orphan Salvation Association (AOS)gives aid directly to local communities, addressing local needs that are often overlooked or underfunded by large-scale government projects.


What I Read On My Summer Vacation (Part Iii), Jeffrey Wasserstrom 2010 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

What I Read On My Summer Vacation (Part Iii), Jeffrey Wasserstrom

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

I’ll get to books I actually read over the summer (or in one case, am part of the way through as I write), as opposed to simply ones I dipped into, learned about, wrote about, or thought about, in a minute. First, though, I want to mention briefly a trio of book-related summertime activities of mine that don’t quite fit into the format of this series.


In Case You Missed It: An Introduction To Chinese Philosophy, Miri Kim 2010 University of California, Irvine

In Case You Missed It: An Introduction To Chinese Philosophy, Miri Kim

The China Beat Blog Archive 2008-2012

In this well written and organized book, Karyn L. Lai lays out the founding personalities, texts, and interventions in the early history of Chinese philosophy. What could easily have been a tortuous path through centuries’ worth of extant materials and a plenitude of voices devoted to their understanding is, rather, a brisk and focused guided tour that covers major developments in Chinese philosophy without eschewing its lesser known – but still important – aspects. An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy does exactly what it promises to do: provide a clear introduction, neither too truncated nor too bogged down in detail, that is accessible ...


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