Essays
innovation

by Caroline Watson

3rd Dec 2014

Encouraging creativity and Innovation in China

“In my own time in China I have noticed that copycat products on the markets are not so much direct competitors to established brands, but provide a stepping stone towards the aspiration of one day being able to afford the genuine article. Once lower-income consumers have the money, they still want the authentic product rather than a copy, so there is still enormous value attached to authenticity and original creativity.”

Hong Kong judges

by Peng Chun

30th Oct 2014

Guaranteeing independence in the Hong Kong legal system

“In brief, the White Paper puts Hong Kong’s judges on an equal footing with the legislators and executives as “administrators” who are politically required to love the country and safeguard its sovereignty, security and development. To those with sensitive ears, this is deeply alarming. In its public response, the HK Bar Association was adamant in insisting that it is wrong to categorize Judges and judicial officers as “administrators” or to officially exhort them to carry out any political task.”

Yu Ying-shih

by Lik Hang Tsui

16th Oct 2014

Whither Sinology? Yu Ying-shih sums up a lifetime of research on China

“Despite his prominent role in Sinology and the fact he is admired by many Chinese students and scholars, Yu Ying-shih is often critical of the Chinese government, and has refused to visit mainland China because of the authoritarian rule of the CCP. He is known particularly for his research on the tradition of public intellectuals and their evolution in Chinese history; he himself also follows socio-political events closely and is an outspoken commentator and a supporter of the protesters who left China after the Tiananmen incident in 1989.

Indiachina

by Yuge Ma & Danielle Karanjeet J. de Feo-Giet

12th Sep 2014

Avoiding a simplistic comparison of China and India

“How are Xi and Modi likely to cope with slowing economic growth and widening inequality? How do they solve the problem of escalating energy demand and the deteriorating environment upon which the survival of billions of people rests? How do they find a balance between “traditional” values and fast-changing social sentiment? And how do they transform themselves from aid-receivers and “free-riders” into more constructive stakeholders in global governance?”

graduates

by Yuge Ma & Jiming Zhu

13th Aug 2014

Making the most of Chinese talent on the global stage

“Until now, China’s participation in global governance has mainly been through government agencies and various government-funded organizations. However, what is required is a variety of forms of participation to address various global problems of different scales. Non-state players, such as NGOs, think tanks, multinational corporations, sub-national organizations, multinational dialogues, cross-national associations and even influential individuals have emerged as important negotiators, lobbyists, educators, coordinators or even agenda-setters, policymakers, as well as agents of policy implementation and evaluation.”

The Hua Dan Team

by Caroline Watson

10th Jul 2014

Developing the potential of migrant workers in China

“Migrant workers are at the cusp of China’s great urbanization process, forging links between the traditions and expectations of the rural areas, and the dynamism and progress of the cities. Their circumstances mean that they are inherently creative, entrepreneurial, risk-taking and forward thinking: the migrant worker population is an opportunity, not a threat. China’s future health, prosperity and social stability depend on the potential of these people to transform the country.”

by Yuge Ma

4th Jul 2014

From China to Oxford via India

“So when I was 10 years old, my parents and I planned my ever first voyage alone. At the beginning of the summer holidays of 1997, my dad saw me off at the Beijing West railway station. I started on a train to Nanjing, and travelled to six cities in South China for 28 days on my own! From then on, during every holiday, when other kids were at home or in tutorial rooms to study, I travelled alone across my country, like a free bird. In 2001 – by which time I was 14 – I had travelled to all 31 provinces in Mainland China, including Xinjiang and Tibet.”

Chinese millennials

by Brendan O'Reilly

12th Jun 2014

Chinese millennials – a truly unique generation

“It is important to note that in Chinese media, the Chinese millennials are two distinct, though related, groups. One is the balinghou (八零后, “After 1980”) cohort, born in the years between 1980 and 1989. The other group is jiulinghou (九零后),encompassing all Chinese born in the 1990s. No matter if they were born in the 80s or the 90s, China’s millennials grew up in an environment that was almost unimaginably different from the world of their parents and grandparents.”

church demolition

by Ting Guo

30th May 2014

What is behind the church demolitions in Wenzhou?

“There is a danger of letting the Communist Party overwhelm every ideological event, as the central government’s power is assumed to be part of the local, and is reinforced or complicated by local forces which had already been shaping their own socio-political configurations. Therefore, the Western media’s dramatized analysis oversimplifies, if not overlooks, the relevance of the local-host power structure of governance whereby many social and cultural undertakings of Christianity have been fashioned and created.”

landgrab

by Peng Chun

31st Mar 2014

Centralisation and decentralisation – not a crossroads for China

“As China endeavours to modernize its “governance system” and “governance capability”, chances are that it falls into what Max Weber famously dubbed the “iron cage” of modernity: while being highly technically rational and efficient to achieve a given set of objectives, it loses sight of the profound truth that governance is more than managerial calculation and fine-tuning. Essentially it is political in the sense that the very objectives should be deliberated and debated by citizens and that the government serves as a platform for them do so as masters instead of subjects.”

A middle school student sits behind a pile of books and notes in Anxian

by Xu Zhao & Robert L Selman

10th Feb 2014

Combatting the effects of academic stress in Chinese schools

“Chinese media are replete with reports of the harmful impact of academic stress on adolescents’ physical and psychological health. Parents are described as slaving for their children’s education and children as enslaved by parents and teachers to take extra classes and do homework. Journalists in China plead with policy makers to save children from the tyranny of academic competition. Educators criticize the test-oriented education system as over-emphasizing rote-learning, smothering creativity, and favouring urban students.”

Confucius

by Peng Chun

8th Jan 2014

Xiaokang, Datong and the dangerous debate over China’s future

At the heart of the debate over where China is going lie two ancient concepts – Xiaokang and Datong. First explored by Confucius more than 2,000 years ago, these two concepts continue to dominate Chinese thinking about the nature of a perfect society.

disappearing-man2

by Weili Fan

4th Dec 2013

“Landmines” and other evils

“Through the gaping portal, Red Guards in olive green army uniforms carried armfuls of black books, feeding them into the flames licking the pavement in front of the church. I had never seen a black book, not to mention so many of them. The books we were reading, Chairman Mao’s teachings, all had a bright red cover. I felt there was something evil in the blackness of the books; maybe that was why they were being burned. How brave of the Red Guards to storm into this tomb-like colossal building, how smart of them to find those evil books!”

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