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China’s new commercial media is complicating the Party’s good news narrative about Africa

Written by Xiaoling Zhang.

Since the Chinese government started introducing economic reforms in the early 1980s the Chinese media has experienced widespread decentralisation and commercialisation. It has become huge, dynamic and at times contradictory.

Although all media outlets are under the control of the Communist Party-led state, the market economy has given rise to an unprecedented proliferation of media outlets. This has, to some extent, undermined the party media system. While some papers such as the People’s Daily still operate purely as state mouthpieces, commercial media outlets are guided by commercial imperatives as well as political duties. Continue reading “China’s new commercial media is complicating the Party’s good news narrative about Africa”

A new law in China is threatening the work of international NGOs

Written by Andreas Fulda.

A controversial new law regulating the activities of foreign non-profit organisations (NPOs) in China came into effect on January 1. Under the Overseas NGO Law, foreign NPOs will have to meet very stringent registration and reporting guidelines, which raises concerns about China’s lack of progress towards good governance and the rule of law.

Critics have taken issue with the fact that the law brings foreign NPOs and their operations under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. This leads to an over-politicisation of the civil society sector in China. Chinese officials seem to consider foreign NPOs and their Chinese partners as potentially undermining the authority of the Chinese Communist Party. Continue reading “A new law in China is threatening the work of international NGOs”

The Chinese Super League: A Footballing Vanity Project on Steroids

Written by David Prentice.

Founded in 2004, the Chinese Super League consists of 16 teams; Guizhou Zhicheng, Liaoning F.C., Jiangsu Suning, Beijing Guo’an, and Guangzhou R&F make up just five of these clubs of which little is known outside the Middle Kingdom. Whilst they are hardly well known, established footballing names, the Chinese Super League (CSL) is perhaps currently the richest footballing league in the world. A recent explosion of spending power reaching mind-numbing proportions is putting the CSL firmly on the map, and big name players more than ever are starting to turn their attention to Chinese cash. Continue reading “The Chinese Super League: A Footballing Vanity Project on Steroids”

China’s soft power strategy can’t keep up with its fearsome reputation

Written by Tom Harper.

China is eagerly trying to win hearts and minds in politically and economically crucial states, especially those with abundant natural resources. In foreign policy terms, this is a push for what’s widely known as “soft power” – the ability to win other states over to specific goals without the use of force. Continue reading “China’s soft power strategy can’t keep up with its fearsome reputation”

Trump’s Unlikely Ally: The Chinese Dissident

Written by Edward White.

This March, Donald J. Trump, then standing to become the Republican presidential nominee, drew the ire of three prominent Chinese dissidents after referring to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre as a “riot,” and praising the “strength” shown by the Chinese government in suppressing the protests.

“Trump’s callous dismissal of the tragedy, and his apparent esteem for Beijing’s butchers, left us speechless, in pain and in tears,” wrote Yang Jianli (楊建利), Fang Zheng (方政) and Zhou Fengsuo (周鋒鎖) in a Washington Post op-ed. Continue reading “Trump’s Unlikely Ally: The Chinese Dissident”

Parsing the Significance of the Tsai-Trump Call

Written by Courtney Donovan Smith.

The news that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)  – breaking over 40 years of precedent of no direct contact – exploded across the internet here in Taiwan and around the world with seemingly everyone having something to say about it. The international news media went into a tizzy speculating on China’s reaction, frequently repeating the standard Chinese propaganda line on Taiwan in the process (an excellent analysis here).  Many on the American left are already hand-wringing at this 10-minute conversation, calling it “risky” and “provocative.” in spite of praising Obama for breaking previous diplomatic precedent in Cuba.  Some supporters of Taiwan, however, are ecstatic, calling the call a “major breakthrough” in U.S.-Taiwan relations, but others openly questioned Trump’s abilities: “More likely is that he doesn’t fully understand cross-Strait relations, and is completely, bumblingly, unaware of what he’s just done.” So what does this portend for U.S.-Taiwan-China relations under the Trump administration? Continue reading “Parsing the Significance of the Tsai-Trump Call”

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