Top stories of the week: 11/13-11/20
- Ai Weiwei speaks out on his detention, appeared online for Newsweek and covers both the artist’s arrest and his ongoing campaign to pay a 2 million dollar tax bill. Ai’s description of his arrest is troubling, as well as Beijing’s attempts to silence him of which he said, “If you play a chess game, and play two or three moves, they throw the board away.” Shortly after paying part of the tax bill, the gov’t brought charges of pornography against him.
- Chinese executioner says job not complicated, appeared this week in Reuters. It gives a glimpse into one of China’s best kept state secrets: how many people are executed each year? It’s a little grisly, but it’s important to keep a focus on these issues.
- In innovation race, China is not yet a rival, study says, from the New York Times highlights the reasons why even though China is increasing its number of patents each year it still isn’t innovative.
- In China, car brands evoke an unexpected set of stereotypes, also from the New York Times, looks at some of the associations made with new car owners. Such as BMW drivers are young and brash, while Audi’s are the official car of corruption.
- Much ado about Manchu, from People’s Daily details the decline of the language, and shows what little is being done to protect it. In the next 100 years I expect there will be many articles like this about disappearing languages in China and the rest of the world.
- On the frontlines of China’s real estate bubble, from Chengdu Living looks at the effects of the rapid appreciation of property values, and the kind of poor construction it leads to.
- Assignment China, is a documentary available online with interviews from foreign correspondents who arrived in China in the late 1970’s. The footage is amazing and gives a very interesting view of China at that time. Not necessarily new, but I enjoyed it.
Thanks for the playlist, Tom. The Assignment China doc is quite interesting and occasionally comical, beginning with Ted Koppel’s “dark side of the moon” comment. He seems to think that because big American media wasn’t there, no one was. I suppose inter-network rivalry or perhaps pride was one of the most important reasons for the media black hole. A quick trip to the library confirms that plenty could have been known for those willing to take of the ideological blinkers.
Thanks for the love tom