Blog Archives

How atheistic is China? – Ian Johnson

Polling Chinese about religion is a field where western researchers fast get lost in translation, journalist Ian Johnson argues in The New York Times, looking at a Win/Gallup poll. Last year Johnson forced the Pew Research Centre to retract their conclusions on atheism in China. Why is it so hard to get a poll on religion in China right?

Beijing government to move: at last? – Ian Johnson

The Beijing municipal government now seems serious about leaving the old city center and move to the suburbs, a very old plan. For the New York Times journalist Ian Johnson dives into the history of the plans. Most reactions are mildly positive.

Xi Jinping´s draw for Willy Wo-lap Lam – Ian Johnson

Willy Wo-Lap Lam has been analyzing five of China´s recent leaders, and now published his book on Xi Jinping. Journalist Ian Johnson interviews him and ask him why China´s new president is different from his predecessors for the New York Times.

Hu Jie, famous filmmaker, never shown in China – Ian Johnson

Journalist Ian Johnson interviews for the New York Review of Book one of the famous Chinese documentary filmmakers, Hu Jie, whose films have never been shown in China itself, covering subjects like Mao, the Cultural Revolution and the Great Famine. A life of dealing with tough issues.

Ian Johnson to visit Berlin

Journalist Ian Johnson will be in Berlin from half June to half September, and is available to share his insights on civil society, culture and religion. He is a Beijing-based writer for the New York Review of Books, and his stories also appear in the New York Times and ChinaFile.

The greening of China – Ian Johnson

Slowly, very slowly, some good news about China´s environment is coming in. Journalist Ian Johnson talked for the New York Times with Mark Clifford, author of The Greening of Asia, about the changes in the world´s largest coal consuming country.

Book censorship challenged in court – Ian Johnson

Books need a book number to get published and sold in China, although every store would have a little counter of banned or not approved books. But censorship rules have become stricter enforced over the years and when an autobiography of Li Rui, a retired party official, got confiscated at an airport, his daughter decided to take the case to court, writes journalist Ian Johnson in the New York Times.

Why dissidents matter less in China – Ian Johnson on Peter Hessler

Journalist Ian Johnson describes his friend and colleague Peter Hessler for The New York Review of Books, and analyses his often controversial take on China. For example his take on dissidents in China. ” Hessler’s four books have sold 385,000 copies in the US, a figure that easily makes him the most influential popular writer on China in decades.”

Why Beijing should not get the Olympic Wintergames – Ian Johnson

Beijing has only Almaty, Kazakhstan left as a competitor for the Olympic Wintergames in 2022. But many academics and environmentalists describe an upcoming disaster for the region, writes author Ian Johnson in the New York Times.

Smog debate shows government takes pollution serious – Ian Johnson

Finally the government takes pollution serious, long after its citizens noted the dangers, concludes journalist Ian Johnson in ChinaFile, after a smog documentary was taken off the internet. But censors acted after 100 million Chinese watched the much-praised movie, that sparked off an unprecedented debate.