Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

北京簋街 汉族餐饮店与藏族摊贩群殴 Ai Weiwei films Beijing street brawl [Youtube/Al Jazeera]

China is difficult to govern. Intercultural misunderstandings as such perhaps do not get as much light of day as they should. It highlights the income divide, one perhaps stratified by ethnicity or failure to subscribe to the dominant narrative.

– – –

Ai Weiwei films Beijing street brawl
Video shows fight between Tibetan vendors and Han workers in China’s capital.
Source – Youtube, published May 12, 2013

Text below from Reuters – May, 13, 2013

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei posted a dramatic video on Sunday showing a violent brawl in the streets of Beijing.
Ai wrote on Twitter that the fight broke out after Han Chinese restaurant owners destroyed a stall run by Tibetan street vendors. Witnesses later told Reuters that security workers refused to allow the vendors to set up shop outside the restaurant.
There are a reported 10,000 Tibetans living in Beijing, and Han Chinese make up 92 percent of China’s population.

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Al Jazeera, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Government & Policy, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, People, Social, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Youtube

草泥马style by Ai Weiwei [Youtube]

In China today, the problem ultimately, culturally, for people that are involved in the arts – whether it’s music or filmmaking – is that if you do anything that is truly radical that is making people uncomfortable, then there are so many points when the system will intervene. Evan Osnos on CNN GPS

At a time Fareed Zakaria and Evan Osnos are dicussing why Why China can’t do Gangnam Style (CNN GPS, October 25, 2012), fancy a Chinese dissident artist joining in the simulacra dance with an dance assault on central authority? The subversive Ai Weiwei interprets the Gangnam Style dance if you have 4 min 15 seconds to spare. Remixed as Cao Ni Ma style 草泥马, this play on Chinese tonality prompts a negotiated reading depending on your cultural lens- grass mud horse or fornicate with your mother (literally… up yours) style.

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Internet, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Stephen Chan: China appreciates African aspirations in a way the West does not [IQ2 debates]

Intelligence Squared, London: Debating China’s interests, behaviour and role in Africa.

Certainly worth an hour of time to hear two sides slug out in an exchange of rhetoric, numbers, case studies, some revealing of the deep impact mainstream media has in shaping ideologies, not grounded in cross-referenced information nor primary research.

Here is a clip of Stephen Chan, OBE is a member of the Chinese diaspora and Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, questioning the trapdoor of colonial thinking.

On a side note – I disagree with the motion’s description, though possibly provocative by design – We all know that the Chinese are the neo-colonialists of Africa. (see rest of it below), as this is one of the most clumsy, self-assertive statements possible one can make in critical thinking.

For more – check out this review of the debate by Hidden Harmonies.

– – –

Stephen Chan: China appreciates African aspirations in a way the West does not – IQ2 debates

If you look on the world map, Europe and America are far more important to the Chinese future, than Africa is. Africa is important as it will help fuel the Chinese coming of age. But it is not the absolute key end result of Chinese global foreign policy. But what is going on, is a global contest of who is going to be in control of global capitalism ten, twenty years in the future…. Stephen Chan

Stephen Chan was speaking against the motion “Beware of the dragon: Africa should not look to China” at this IQ2 debate at Cadogan Hall in London on 28th November 2011.

Event info:

We all know that the Chinese are the neo-colonialists of Africa. They’ve plundered the continent of its natural resources, tossing aside any concern for human rights and doing deals with some of the world’s most unsavoury regimes. The relentless pursuit of growth is China’s only spur.

But is this picture really fair? In Angola, for example, China’s low-interest loans have been tied to a scheme that has ensured that roads, schools and other infrastructure has been built. China has an impressive track record of lifting its own millions out of poverty and can do the same for Africa. And is the West’s record in Africa as glowing as we like to think? After decades of pouring aid into Africa, how much have we actually achieved in terms of reducing poverty, corruption and war? So which way should Africa look for salvation — to the West, to China, or perhaps to its own people? Come to the debate and decide for yourself. Source – IQ2/Youtube, 2012

Filed under: Africa, Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Economics, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , , ,

Ai: China is ethically bankrupt [Yomiuri Shimbun]

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun talks to dissident artist Ai Weiwei in his home in Beijing where he is reportedly under close surveillance. Officially prohibited from using the web (I am subscribed to his Twitter account where he seems to be publishing regularly) and meeting the press (this interview may suggest otherwise), this interview suggests that Ai Weiwei still has an active voice in asserting the ethical bankruptcy of what he deems a dictatorship.

Critical of the ‘desperation’ of the Chinese state media’s “Learn from Lei Feng” propaganda campaign, he alleges it as a “patriotic drive to unite people’s thoughts and integrate people’s wills in the Internet age” (more China Daily coverage on the Lei Feng campaign here).

“The authorities now suspect I am trying to subvert the state. I’m simply appealing to the dignity of life, whose value is limitless. I can’t understand why the government is so afraid of one artist’s free thought.” Ai Weiwei

In a manner of speaking Ai’s contributions to the spectrum of Chinese-ness and cultural capital is certainly food for thought.

– – –

Ai: China is ethically bankrupt
Takanori Kato
Source – Yomiuri Shimbun, published March 4, 2012

BEIJING–Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has criticized the Chinese government, accusing rulers of “manipulating the public for their own interests” and criticized Beijing’s patriotic education during peacetime as “sinful.”

In an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday at his home in Beijing, where he is being kept under strict surveillance by Chinese authorities, the human rights activist said his country is “pursuing a one-sided pragmatism without freedom of speech and thought, and is in a desperate state in which it has become ethically bankrupt.”

As a pro-democracy activist, Ai has continued speaking out under the single-party regime of the Chinese Communist Party. His efforts to expose the regime have made him especially popular among young people. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Yomiuri Shimbun

China orders artist Ai Weiwei to pay $2.4 mln for “tax evasion” [Reuters]

‘Tax evasion’: argued here  to mean updated muzzler to handle internal dissent.

The dissident artist with a wide international appeal has often crossed the line of what the ruling party can tolerate when it comes to direct criticism. Ai Weiwei comes to the fore again after being released in June; reminding the world about the 15 million yuan fine slapped on him as he is set a 15 day deadline.

Apparently being told by authorities not to speak to foreign media, post messages on Twitter or leave Beijing for a year after his release, he’s already done two out of three on a regular basis.

“It appears that the government is set to destroy him, if not economically then at least by setting up the stage to later arrest him for failing to pay back taxes,” Songlian Wang, research coordinator for Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

– – –

China orders artist Ai Weiwei to pay $2.4 mln for “tax evasion”
By Sui-Lee Wee | BEIJING
Source – Reuters, published November 1 2011

(Reuters) – China has ordered dissident artist Ai Weiwei to pay 15 million yuan (1.4 million pounds) in back taxes and fines allegedly due from the company he works for, Ai said on Tuesday, a case supporters said was part of Beijing’s efforts to muzzle government critics.

The 54-year-old artist, famous for his work on the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium in Beijing, was detained without charge for two months this year in a move that drew criticism from Western governments. He was released in late June.

Ai told Reuters he received the notice from the tax authorities that described his title as the “actual controller” for Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., which has helped produce Ai’s internationally renowned art and designs. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, Influence, Media, People, Politics, Population, Reform, Reuters, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Dissident Chinese Artist Tweets Criticism for First Time Since Release [New York Times]

Ai Weiwei returns!

– – –

Dissident Chinese Artist Tweets Criticism for First Time Since Release
By RICK GLADSTONE
Source – New York Times, published August 9, 2011

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and dissident, broke his silence on political topics on Tuesday for the first time since he was released from a prison in China nearly two months ago, describing in Twitter postings the treatment of business colleagues who had been detained with him and expressing support for two other incarcerated dissidents.

Mr. Ai, 54, formerly an outspoken critic of Chinese political and social restrictions, was arrested in April, held for three months by state security officials and later charged with tax evasion arising from his Shanghai art studio business. He was released after Chinese authorities said he had confessed and had been a model prisoner, but he was ordered not to leave Beijing without permission for a year. His tax evasion case is pending.

At the time he was freed, Mr. Ai told reporters in Beijing that he could not talk about his case or anything else and asked to be left in peace. It was not immediately clear why he resumed speaking out now. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Education, Influence, International Relations, Media, New York Times, Politics, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China orders muzzled artist to pay $1.8m in taxes and fines [The Age]

From the BBC – China artist Ai Weiwei ‘to challenge tax bill and fine’ June 29, 2011

From Reuters – China demands Ai Weiwei pay $1.85 million in taxes, fines, June 28, 2011

– – –

China orders muzzled artist to pay $1.8m in taxes and fines
AFP
Source – The Age, published June 30, 2011

BEIJING: Chinese authorities have ordered the artist Ai Weiwei to pay more than $1.8 million in back taxes and fines, a close friend said, just days after his release on bail.

On Tuesday, Liu Xiaoyuan said the Beijing tax office had sent Ai – who came home last week after nearly three months in detention – a notice telling him to pay back 4.9 million yuan ($718,000) in taxes and another 7.3 million yuan in fines. That would amount to more than 12 million yuan.

Police have accused Ai of tax evasion and the government said he was freed because of his ”good attitude” in admitting to the charges against him, his willingness to repay taxes and on medical grounds. He has diabetes. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Education, Human Rights, Media, People, Politics, Population, Reform, Social, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Ai [Weiwei] is out [Economist]

China’s cultural capital turning on itself? 80 days and he’s out. What a story that has gained much media traction worldwide. Ai Weiwei’s freedom seems to have been returned to him. Perhaps the proof in the pudding is to see the artwork he churns out after this experience – how much of Ai Weiwei’s mind can be ‘reformed’ by the authorities? Looking at his track record, it looks unlikely.. In any case here’s an interesting and comprehensive site documenting the case of Ai WeiweiThe Guardian reports here.  – Ai Weiwei released from detention with the tagline – China’s best known artist, looking thinner after 81 days in detention, says ‘I’m fine … I’m on bail. Please understand‘ (Guardian, June 22, 2011)

The Wall Street Journal offers an explanation for the release here –

The narrative in much of the West is that Ai Weiwei was detained because he was a critic of the Chinese government. International human rights organizations insist that this was one of those cases where the international community successfully stood up to Beijing, and that Ai’s freedom was due in direct measure to the force of global opinion. They point to museums and exhibitors who signed letters and staged exhibitions, and the continued complaints by officials interacting with their Chinese counterparts and raising Ai’s case as an irritant in relations with Beijing. (Why Ai Weiwei was let go, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011)

Perhaps not surprisingly, the China Daily’s report was only three paragraphs long, which I can sum up here –

BEIJING – The Beijing police department said Wednesday that Ai Weiwei has been released on bail because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from… The decision comes also in consideration of the fact that Ai has repeatedly said he is willing to pay the taxes he evaded, police said… The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., a company Ai controlled, was found to have evaded a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents, police said. (China Daily, June 22, 2011)

– – –

Ai is out
by J.M
Source – Economist Blogs, published June 23, 2011

Photo - Economist

AMID their most intense crackdown on dissent in several years, the Chinese authorities have given a rare hint of softening in the case of one prominent activist, Ai Weiwei. Late at night on June 22nd, looking a little thinner after nearly three months in detention, the bearded and still portly artist returned home. Mr Ai’s freedom, however, is unlikely to mean any let-up in China’s wider efforts to silence critics.

Officially, Mr Ai is “on bail”. China’s state-owned news agency, Xinhua, said in a three-sentence dispatch that he had been freed because of his “good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from” (he has diabetes and high blood pressure). Mr Ai had also “repeatedly” said he was willing to pay taxes he had allegedly evaded. Chinese police like to use accusations of economic crimes to lock up dissidents. Mr Ai himself has refused to give details of his detention or comment on the charges, saying he was “on probation” and could not talk. Promises of silence are often a condition of release.

It may not be a coincidence that China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, was due to start a tour of Hungary, Britain and Germany two days later. Mr Ai’s arrest had aroused widespread criticism from Western governments. China has occasionally released dissidents as a way of smoothing the way for important diplomatic exchanges. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Economist, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Bob Dylan denies China censored his choice of songs [BBC]

Can China really tell the emblem of world change, Bob Dylan what to do? Bob Dylan stands accused by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd for censoring his choice of songs “The idea that the raspy troubadour of ’60s freedom anthems would go to a dictatorship and not sing those anthems is a whole new kind of sellout,” – something the original anti-war and freedom hero has denied. In the piece written a month ago, she also criticized Dylan for not speaking up for artist Ai Weiwei (New York Times, April 9, 2011).

– – –

Bob Dylan denies China censored his choice of songs
Source – BBC, published May 14, 2011

Dylan’s set lists change from one show to the next. Photo – BBC

Singer Bob Dylan has hit back at suggestions that he gave in to censorship during a recent series of concerts in China.

The folk-rock legend, 69, agreed to give authorities set lists before performances in Shanghai and Beijing.

He was criticised in print and online for ignoring 1960s-era protest songs.

Writing on his website, Dylan has now insisted he knew nothing of any censorship and says he and his band played all the songs they intended to. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, BBC, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Mapping Feelings, Media, Music, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

UN chief silent on China arrests [AFP/The Age]

With the recent spate of disappearances in China, Ban Ki Moon, who recently failed to ‘raise the case of jailed Nobel Peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo when he met China’s President Hu Jintao in November‘ comes under flak for not making any motion this time. ‘The former South Korean foreign minister has, through his first term as UN secretary general, stressed the role of “quiet diplomacy” for some prickly cases.’ Quiet diplomacy in dealing with China seems to be raising quite a bit of noise – for more on the definition and application quiet diplomacy in conflict resolution, go here.

– – –

UN chief silent on China arrests
Pierre-Antoine Donnet
AFP
Source- The Age, published April 18, 2011

UN chief Ban Ki-moon came out all diplomatic and political guns blazing to defend protesters in the Arab world and civilians in Ivory Coast, but on a new wave of arrests in China: silence.

The former South Korean foreign minister has, through his first term as UN secretary general, stressed the role of “quiet diplomacy” for some prickly cases. But the disappearance of dozens of artists, intellectuals and dissidents in China in recent weeks comes as Ban prepares to announce whether he will seek another five years.

Even if there is no clear rival for the post, Ban knows that he must have the support of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — China, along with Britain, France, Russia and the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Jasmine Revolution, Media, Nationalism, People, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Follow me on Twitter

Archives

Calendar

March 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,575 other followers

East/West headlines of Rising China

East/West headlines of Rising China

About Wandering China

Click to find out more about this project

Support //WC

Support Wandering China now - buy a Tee Shirt!

Be a champ - Support Wandering China - buy a Tee Shirt!

The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
web stats

Flag Counter

free counters
Online Marketing
Add blog to our directory.