Blog Archives

Why Rem Koolhaas is wrong on Beijing, Wu Liangyong – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson talked extensively to the famous Chinese architect Wu Liangyong, for the New York Times. His wide-ranging interview starts with a notorious debate among architects, where Wu explains why Rem Koolhaas was wrong on Beijing, and why president Xi Jinping supports Wu.

Liu Yu, on the political debate in China – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson interviewed democracy guru Liu Yu on her work and the political debate in China for the New York Review of Books. In this fragment they discuss how China´s internet users start to learn from those debates abroad, if they are interested, that is.

The return of Daoism in China – Ian Johnson

Religion is making a comeback in China. But the position of Daoism, the fifth of the larger religions in China, is rather unclear, as it is hard to trace than other religious, explains journalist Ian Johnson to PRI. What is the place of Daoism in today´s China? From a transcribed phone interview.

China´s successful battle against slums and urban unrest – Ian Johnson

Unlike many other large cities, China has been avoiding the establishment of large slums and related instability, argues author Jeremy Wallace in an interview with journalist Ian Johnson at the New York Times. The abolishment of the hukou system is not expected any time soon, since it serves the government well.

Facebook blocks famous Chinese writer – Ian Johnson

Facebook has suspended the account of the exiled Chinese author Liao Yiwu, writes journalist Ian Johnson in the New York Times. Not or the first time, the censorship of the internet giant hits the wrong person. Liao opposes the move: “I didn’t knuckle under the Communist Party, and I won’t knuckle under Facebook.”

Remembering the Cultural Revolution – Ian Johnson

Remembering the gruesome past of the Cultural Revolution has been a touchy issue, suppressed by the government, even though many at the current leadership have been victims themselves. Journalist Ian Johnson describes how things might be changing in the New York Review of Books.

The collateral damage of communist rule – Ian Johnson

Economist Arthur Kroeber argued last week that China´s leadership accepts that its authoritarian strength triggers off collateral damage: it will never become a leader in technology or soft power, including censorship. Journalist Ian Johnson disagrees in the ChinaFile, the people might not accept that trade-off.

On the rise of Tibetian Buddhism – Ian Johnson

Tibetian Buddhism has become popular in the West, but also among rich Han Chinese. Journalist Ian Johnson discusses with author John Osburn the reasons behind this popularity in a two-piece interview for the New York Times.

China´s Xinjiang policies, James Leibold – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson meets James Leibold, eminent researcher on China´s policies on ethnic minorities. After a dive into China´s historical take on Xinjiang, both dive into the current tense situation and recent violence. Ian Johnson asks questions for the New York Times.

Why Xi Jinping endorses an anti-American blogger – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson joins a radio debate at “On the Point” on the NPR on the blogger Zhou Xiaoping, who was last month endorsed by president Xi Jinping. Xi, or at least his speech writers, are trying to regain the ideological high-grounds, says Ian Johnson. They are looking for new moral values, and Zhou fits into this picture. His message ´proud to be Chinese´, comes with an anti-American slant. He is criticizing Western media when they report about China, tells Johnson, but also himself not really sticking to the facts when talking about the US.