China’s leadership is gathering this week in Beijing to prepare another five-year plan, and affirm president Xi Jinping for another five-year term. Journalist Ian Johnson looks for the New York Times at the new role China is playing in the world. “His China could become a model for digitally driven authoritarianism around the world.”
Category Archives: censorship
The decision by the Cambridge University Press to bow to Chinese censorship and block over 300 articles on its China site has shocked the academic world. Journalist Ian Johnson , author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, reports on the issue for the New York Times and tested from Beijing what he could no longer get.
The move by the Cambridge University Press to censor over 300 articles from its China website is most likely only the beginning of more government-led curtailing, says associate professor Victor Shih, author of Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation to Reuters. Shih himself had two article published at the site.
Author Zhang Lijia of Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China discusses Buddhism, freedom and fun as part of the background for her book with Radii China. “Without the inhibition of writing in my mother tongue, I can take an adventure in my adopted language” .
Can the Chinese censors funnel almost all internet traffic through government-approved VPN’s? Yes, says social media expert Matthew Brennan to the Beijinger. The often-heard assumption China cannot afford a fully controlled internet might be wrong, he says. Apple pulling the plug on VPN’s might only be the start.
Panic struck when media reported China would ban all VPN activity in February 2018, allowing to circumvent China’s internet censorship. That was a shock for many, and seems to have been confused with a business licensing system for VPN’s. Whatever is going to happen, innovation and startups need unfettered access to VPN, says innovation expert Andy Mok to Bloomberg.
Not registered gatherings of religious believers have been a major force in the growing search for religion in China, but – says author Ian Johnson of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao in the Atlantic – they have largely been condoned by the government, and Johnson does not believe that might change.
The internet in China has become the country’s public sphere, says China watcher Kaiser Kuo, former Baidu communication director, at the Paulson Institute. Despite blocked websites and government control, it is the place where netizens express their opinions and discuss.
Mark Zuckerberg caused quite some controversy when plans emerged to censor Facebook to facilitate a possible return for the company to China again. Whether you agree or disagree, the way China censors the internet is more than just blocking a few Western sites, and will not go away, says internet expert Kaiser Kuo in ChinaFile.
Many have been remembering in 2016 the anniversary of both start and finish of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), and many scholars used the moment to publish their views on this ground-shattering event in the country´s recent history. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of the upcoming book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao reviews some of the milestones in the troublesome academic research for ChinaFile.