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

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

“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?

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

“Brothers”: Here’s Newsweek’s Book Review Repackaged for Chinese Eyes

Isaac Stone Fish's review of Yu Hua's Brothers (兄弟) has only been online for a few days at Newsweek, but it has already been translated for readers in China by Cankao Xiaoxi (参考消息). Cankao Xiaoxi, a Chinese-language digest of world news, is on virtually every newsstand in China by 7:30 am. To show you how … Continue reading “Brothers”: Here’s Newsweek’s Book Review Repackaged for Chinese Eyes

Tibet Travel Piece Revamped for Chinese Eyes

Newly accessible from Beijing via a luxury train ride, Lhasa and a few other sites in Tibet are the subject of a travel review just published in the New York Times. Author Joshua Kurlantzick will no doubt be touched to see an extract of "Tibet, Now" appear almost simultaneously in Chinese in the December 12 … Continue reading Tibet Travel Piece Revamped for Chinese Eyes

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