Archive for April 12th, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hu Jia: Request for Medical Parole rejected

UndertheJacaranda writes that Zeng Jinyan‘s appeal of April 8 to release her husband Hu Jia on medical parole has been formally rejected. Mr Hu had been in prison hospital since March 30, and has now been moved back to prison, reports the Guardian.

A prison hospital director reportedly told Mr Hu’s mother today (Monday) that Hu had a “blood tumor” on his liver and that his health didn’t meet the conditions of medical parole.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Bookish*) Experience

Occasionally during the past decade, I’ve thought about reading Gordon G. Chang‘s The Coming Collapse of China.  A suggestion that China was headed for the scrapheap of history **) is certainly, umm, thought-provoking. I know how skeptical a number of Chinese intellectuals themselves view their country (even if not that skeptical) – for it’s authoritarianism (or totalitarianism), it’s corruption, and (oh, the irony) its incapability of reform, or for an alleged absence of any specifically Chinese ideology as a tie that would bind, even if the economy got into serious trouble.

I’m sure I’ve bought one or another book in the meantime, since 2001, but not too many. Books have usually come as birthday  or christmas presents in recent years, and I’ve only read half of them, or less. As far as Gordon Chang is concerned, his interviews and the reviews of his book left the impression with me that wishful thinking of his own, rather than solid research, was at work. Of course, I may be wrong – but I may never get to read it anyway.

A few days ago, I overheard an interview on Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service with a certain Thomas Weyrauch. He’s apparently no renowned sinologist, but an expert on China-related issues.

OK – everyone is a China expert, especially JR (that’s me), but the interview made me curious enough – it contained some of the information to be found here (in German only). It is either information that is rightfully rather unknown because it isn’t true or too relevant, or I’m hopelessly indoctrinated by the CCP’s history books and Edgar Snow.

Given that it was a topic on Taiwan’s foreign radio in itself is noteworthy. Until two years ago, the radio station seemed to mainly reflect the views of the country’s green camp. In the 1980s, it was as Chinese Republican as can be – “The Voice of Free China”. It now  seems to revert to a more KMT kind of position again. While Weyrauch and many pan-greens may share a strong dislike for the People’s Republic of China, they will still be very much at odds when it comes to the term Republic of China on Taiwan.  Wherever you look, the question about what Taiwan actually is or should be appears to be a fairly dogmatic issue. Maybe switching perspectives every ten years or so is Radio Taiwan’s own way of reflecting the country’s political diversity.

Anyway, when buying a book, I’m doing it the old-fashioned way (unless it is no longer available at retail) – I go to a book store. Last week, I asked there for the book that had caught my attention, China’s unbeachtete Republik (China’s unnoticed Republic). It’s apparently only available in German, and it might take a week to arrive. I have no idea if its case is convincing, and it’s fairly expensive.

But I felt in the mood for something exotic. With luck, I can collect it later this week.


Update: Gang then, Dynasty now, May 12, 2010


*) The bookishness so far has been that delivery may take up to a week. After all, to bank on the internet instead spells instantaneous availability of information.

**) To be honest, this isn’t necessarily Gordon Chang’s actual finding – it’s how the Washington Monthly summed it down in a review nine years ago.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Searchword Combination of the Month

(March 2010, that is):

how to patriotism when studying overseas

I’m confident that you will find a variety of vivid and accurate instructions on this blog.


Patriotic Road for Students abroad: From Protest to Dialog, Aug 15, 2009

%d bloggers like this: