New on the site this month: Qin Hui, "Looking at China from South Africa" Part One. Those of you who enjoyed Qin's "Dilemmas of Twentieth-First Century Globalization" might remember remarks Qin made comparing apartheid South Africa to China in terms of their respective "economic miracles." These remarks drew on extensive research Qin has done on the subject, and which he published online in 2010. The text is quite long--60 pages or so in Chinese when downloaded from the Internet--and we will publish an integral translation over the course of the summer, in serial form (5 or 6 installments). Enjoy!
For those interested in the general topic of Chinese intellectuals, let me plug Sebastian Veg's excellent volume, Minjian: The Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals, just out on Columbia University Press.
New on the site, Li Sipan, "Why Don't Mainland Chinese Liberals Support Women's Rights? This text, recommended to us by Qian Yongxiang, editor of the Taiwanese journal Sixiang, is part of our effort to broaden the scope of our project to include more than the loudest voices. Li, a journalist and feminist activist offers a nuanced critique of Chinese liberalism's failure to engage with feminist concerns.
For those looking for more in the same vein, we would like to endorse Lisa's Rofel's brilliant edited translation of a series of Dai Jinhua's recent essays, entitled After the Post-Cold War: The Future of Chinese History.
Our modest contribution to the celebration of the May Fourth movement's hundredth birthday is a translation of a People's Daily editorial on the subject by an establishment intellectual: Zheng Shiqu, “Encourage the Broad Masses of Youth to Work Tirelessly for National Rejuvenation”. As the title suggests, the editorial is not critical.
Thanks to Bill Bishop's Sinocism for the reference to Zheng. If you're not reading Sinocism, you should be!
New on the site: Chen Ming, "The Road to Confucian Civil Religion," a 2010 interview with one of China's best-known Mainland New Confucians. Although less than ten years old, Chen's arguments here are very different from his more recent denunications of both liberalism and socialism, and Chen imagines a Confucian civil religion that could heal China's ethnic tensions and coexist with liberal democracy. For more on the contemporary history of the Mainland New Confucians, see Stephen Angle, ed., “The Adolescence of Mainland New Confucianism,” Contemporary Chinese Thought, vol. 49 (2018), which contains translations of texts by Chen and others.
New on the site : Hu Lianhe and Hu An’gang, “How the Nationalities Question is Handled Outside of China.” This text is somewhat different from our usual fare, which we see as “deep dives” into some of the best work of China’s establishment intellectuals. Hu Lianhe and Hu An’gang are establishment intellectuals, but their text is closer to an op-ed or a policy proposal than a closely reasoned scholarly argument. We translate and publish it here because of its connection to contemporary events in China: the confinement of as many as 1.5 million Uighurs in “re-education centers” in China’s far northwest. The text says nothing about such centers, but is surely a part of official (and intellectual) efforts to rethink policy on the nationalities question, and as such is a piece of a tragic puzzle many of us are trying to understand.
We are happy to publish a new article by Qin Hui, "The Battle of Tariffs and Systems in the “North-South” Relationship in the Antebellum United States," which if all goes well will be part of a new Qin Hui book to appear in the coming months. Enjoy!
New on the site: Cai Xia, "Advancing Constitutional Democracy Should Be the Mission of the Chinese Communist Party." The wrinkle here is that Cai was a professor (now retired) at the Central Party School, and develops her arguments out of the tradition of Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought. Enjoy.
Happy Year of the Pig!
Just added to the site, another piece by liberal sociologist Guo Yuhua: "The Shadow of 'Chinese Civilization.'" This is a 2013 interview with the website Gongshiwang to publicize the publication of her book The Narrative of Those Who Suffer: The History of Ji Village and Those Who Suffer. Double irony--the book was published in Hong Kong due to its critical stance, and Gongshiwang was closed down by authorities in October 2016. Thus it would seem that Guo can still speak, but has a hard time being heard.
In a couple of weeks, another essay by Qin Hui.
Happy New Year!
Our first addition to the site this year is a slight departure from what we've published to date. Tsinghua sociologist Guo Yuhua is an important public intellectual and contributor to discussions of the China Dream, but her "Original Intentions Start with the People" is a blog post critical of Beijing municipal authorities, which was quickly taken down by authorities. This text thus stands of an example of what can no longer be said publically in China. The text also signals our intention to begin to address the gender gap in the visible world of Chinese public intellectuals. Enjoy!
New on the site, Wang Shaoguang, "Traditional Moral Politics and Contemporary Concepts of Governance," an interview with the journalist Ma Ya conducted in September 2012. The text provides a good overview of the Wang's work over the past few years defending Chinese democracy from the point of view of the New Left.
About this site
This web site is devoted to the subject of intellectual life in contemporary China, and more particularly to the writings of establishment intellectuals. What you will find here are essentially translations of Chinese texts that we consider important, together with discussions of related issues and a number of reference tools that can help those interested to navigate the project.
This materials on this website are open-access and are published under a Creative Commons 3.0 Unported licence. We encourage the widespread circulation of these materials. All content may be used and copied, provided that you credit the Reading and Writing the China Dream Project and provide a link to readingthechinadream.com.