Posted: January 20, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, Censorship, China, Global | Tags: Beijing, Censorship in China, China, Chinese Civil War, Chinese language, Communist Party of China, Deng Xiaoping, Great Leap Forward, Hunan, Mao Zedong, Qing dynasty, Xi Jinping
Doing calligraphy, along with playing badminton, is a one of the few hobbies government officials in China admit to having
James T. Areddy and Lilian Lin report: Officials should put down their calligraphy brushes and stick to governing.
“The problem today, according to the editorial, comes when officials promote their squiggles as valuable works of art.”
A new warning to officials about their calligraphy is the latest anti-corruption guideline from the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
“Officials should put down their calligraphy brushes and stick to governing.”
Wang Qishan, the Politburo Standing Committee member who heads the party’s anti-graft commission, hit out at the traditional craft during a plenary meeting of the organization last week in Beijing, and the message was backed up by an editorial from the agency posted on Tuesday to its website.
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
Officials shouldn’t “grab meat from the plates of artists,” the editorial said.
Doing calligraphy, along with playing badminton, is a one of the few hobbies government officials in China tend to admit to having. State leaders often pen well-wishes in calligraphy when they drop into companies around the country, creating valuable mementos that tend to get displayed in prominent spots in the companies.
“As you have promised to make contribution to the party and to the country, why are you greedy for an unnecessary title for unjustified interests?”
Officials can be forgiven for thinking it’s OK to strive for recognition in calligraphy, an art form associated with erudition and wisdom. Chinese leaders from Qing dynasty emperor Qianlong to Mao Zedong have been celebrated for their ability to put brush to paper, though there is some debate as to whether the latter’s distinctive style deserved the praise the Communist Party has lavished upon it ever since.
The problem today, according to the editorial, comes when officials promote their squiggles as valuable works of art. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 23, 2013 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China | Tags: Chen, China, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Hunan, Shenzhen, Sina Weibo, Yongzhou
A woman reads the New Express newspaper that on October 23, 2013 carried a full-page editorial with headline “Please release our man”, in a library in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province. AFP / Getty
Emily Rauhala reports: New Express has a message for China’s censors: We may be small, but we have backbone. On Wednesday the Guangzhou-based newspaper published a front-page call for the release of its reporter Chen Yongzhou. Chen was detained by police in Hunan province while investigating a state-linked firm. The three-character headline, ‘Please Release Him’ was printed in a large, bold font above the fold. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post called it an “unprecedented” demand for press freedom. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 9, 2013 Filed under: China | Tags: China, Guangzhou, Hunan, Labor camp, Li Keqiang, Re-education through labor, Yunnan
China’s labour camps were set up in the 1950s
The last 100 inmates are to be released from labour camps in one of China’s biggest cities, Guangzhou, by the end of the year, state media report. The city stopped sending new prisoners to the controversial camps in March. The police can send suspects for re-education for up to four years without a trial. China’s leaders have said they intend to reform the nationwide system – but labour camps still operate across most of the country. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 20, 2013 Filed under: China | Tags: Beijing, China, Hu Jintao, Hunan, Mao Zedong, New York Times, Shanghai Normal University, Xi Jinping
Internal warnings show that President Xi Jinping fears that the Communist Party is vulnerable to public anger about corruption and challenges from liberals impatient for political change.
By CHRIS BUCKLEY
HONG KONG — Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society.
These seven perils were enumerated in a memo, referred to as Document No. 9, that bears the unmistakable imprimatur of Xi Jinping, China’s new top leader. The first was “Western constitutional democracy”; others included promoting “universal values” of human rights, Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation, ardently pro-market “neo-liberalism,” and “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.
Even as Mr. Xi has sought to prepare some reforms to expose China’s economy to stronger market forces, he has undertaken a “mass line” campaign to enforce party authority that goes beyond the party’s periodic calls for discipline. The internal warnings to cadres show that Mr. Xi’s confident public face has been accompanied by fears that the party is vulnerable to an economic slowdown, public anger about corruption and challenges from liberals impatient for political change.
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