Newsweek via Cankao Xiaoxi: The Tibetans Have Never Had it So Good

In the run-up to Obama’s White House meeting with the Dalai Lama, Isaac Stone Fish (Newsweek’s Beijing correspondent) penned an interesting piece that argues that China’s rule has indeed brought indisputable benefits to the Tibetans. It’s all part of a grand “bargain”: It’s true that, so far, all the money has failed to buy Tibetan … Continue reading Newsweek via Cankao Xiaoxi: The Tibetans Have Never Had it So Good

Xinjiang according to Cankao Xiaoxi

What’s more convincing to the masses than propaganda out of Beijing? Discreetly massaged copy from the New York Times, evidently. The New York Times‘ Howard W. French recently visited Korla, discovering that despite the oil boom in this “sleepy oasis” in Xinjiang, “not everyone is enjoying the benefits of the town’s new wealth.” And just … Continue reading Xinjiang according to Cankao Xiaoxi

NYT on Revival of “The White-Haired Girl”: Chinese Version Deletes Madame Mao & Erstwhile Starring Role of Mrs. Xi Jinping

Back in October 2014 when Xi Jinping delivered his closed-door speech to a gathering of the nation’s artists and scribes in Beijing — essentially a souped-up, 21st-century rendition of Mao Zedong’s infamous pronouncements at the 1942 Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art — many wondered just what it signified. It took one year, but the speech … Continue reading NYT on Revival of “The White-Haired Girl”: Chinese Version Deletes Madame Mao & Erstwhile Starring Role of Mrs. Xi Jinping

Matrilineal Mosuo Cultural Decline: Allure of Modernization, Impact of Tourism and Conveniently Customized History

In the 1950s, many of China’s policies towards its ethnic minorities were inspired by those of the Soviet Union. In the northeast near the Sino-Russian border, for instance, the Oroqen (鄂伦春) found their animistic faith banned and their shamans forced to burn their sacred attire and renounce their “spirit dances” (Last Shaman). Many peoples like … Continue reading Matrilineal Mosuo Cultural Decline: Allure of Modernization, Impact of Tourism and Conveniently Customized History

China’s Online Courses for the World: Tweaking International Media Coverage for Chinese Eyes

  On Oct 21, the New York Times ran an interesting article entitled China Turns to Online Courses, and Mao, in Pursuit of Soft Power.  Sure enough, Xinhua’s Cankao Xiaoxi picked it up and translated it for the masses just two days later, with an enhanced title that focuses on capturing foreign eyeballs (中文原文): 中国借网络课程吸引外国受众 … Continue reading China’s Online Courses for the World: Tweaking International Media Coverage for Chinese Eyes

Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Laureate: China Media’s Initial Reactions

Oct 20 Update Booming Sales of Alexievich’s Works: State Media Attributes them to China’s “Nobel Complex” Oct 12 Update Man Asian Literary Prize winner Bi Feiyu praises Alexievich and her brand of non-fiction in an interview with Yangzi Evening News: 毕飞宇:今年的诺奖不是一个冷门 . But he does not cite any current practitioners of oral history or investigative journalism … Continue reading Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Laureate: China Media’s Initial Reactions

The Fine Art of Selective News Translation

In Lost in Translation, veteran journalist Nailene Chou Wiest comments on how airbrushing foreign news articles in the name of China boosterism prevents serious discussion of real issues: Translators in China are not neutral message conveyors but active censor-oriented rewriting hacks. Their job requires the sensitivity of knowing the parameter. Foreign news is not used as a … Continue reading The Fine Art of Selective News Translation

“Mosuo Culture Bonfire Parties”: Hamming it up for the Tourists, Attendance Required

Canada’s Globe and Mail recently ran a piece on the impact of modernity and tourism on the Mosuo (摩梭族), a matriarchal tribe that resides around Yunnan’s Luguhu Lake (泸沽湖). In China, a Matriarchy under Threat has now been translated, edited and published as 《云南摩梭人遭遇现代化挑战》in the August 17, 2011 edition of Cankao Xiaoxi (参考消息). Cankao is a respected … Continue reading “Mosuo Culture Bonfire Parties”: Hamming it up for the Tourists, Attendance Required

Hakka and Minnan “tulou”: Former Residents Emigrate, Opt for Indoor Plumbing

The New York Times has just published Monuments to Clan Life Are Losing their Appeal, a marvelous look at the state of tulou (土楼) built by Hakka and Minnan in Fujian. These communal structures, usually but not always round, housed dozens of families from the same clan: Yongding, China—The gargantuan buildings are so iconic that … Continue reading Hakka and Minnan “tulou”: Former Residents Emigrate, Opt for Indoor Plumbing

“Chinese Book Publishing Industry Liberalizes”: But Where are Pederasty, Passion and the Dalai Lama?

It’s always good fun to observe how the Chinese media exercises censorship even as it seeks to use the foreign press to trumpet the PRC’s modernity and openness. An article in today’s Cankao Xiaoxi (参考消息), China’s Book Publishing Industry Gradually Liberalizes (中国图书产业逐渐变的开放), is a marvelous case in point. It is an edited translation of an … Continue reading “Chinese Book Publishing Industry Liberalizes”: But Where are Pederasty, Passion and the Dalai Lama?