This weekly column offers a digest of the latest pieces from the Chinese blogosphere published on our website and most recently completed translations of new Chinese writing.
New texts published
City spirit, empty words – Zhang Ming
Chinese cities are launching a new wave of urban sloganeering, led by Beijing’s ‘spirit of the city’ campaign – Zhang Ming gives a critical opinion on the practice. This text has already been translated, and is already available in English!
Paper media is in a tough situation indeed – Zhu Xuedong
To what extent will the shift to digital affect Chinese paper media? All industries have a life cycle, and without innovation, paper media may not survive the growth of the internet. If you’re interested in this debate, you might wish to read our recently completed translation of ‘Traditional paper media shouldn’t let itself collapse‘.
How does the value of pluralism, promoted by the internet, affect the current status quo between ideologies and factions in contemporary China? A reflection on freedom, nationalism and the New Left, as informed by technology.
The Spirit of Shenzhen – Lan Ran
A writer’s look at China’s youngest mega-city. Shenzhen emerged out of nothing 30 years ago, but now counts over eight million people, and ranks among the country’s top five cities. How can you define Shenzhen’s spiritual qualities? With a particular look at bookstores and people’s contemplative habits, this piece will help you better understand this Southern metropolis
If you like this piece, or plan travel in Guangdong, you may be interested in looking at ‘Guangzhou, desert for others, paradise for us‘.
Songs from the camp – Zhou Zhixing
What would life in a Chinese army camp be like, and what memories would flow years after? Discover the personal experience of a Chinese soldier, and the songs they sing down at the camp!
In ‘Reflections on the Social Security Issue’, public intellectual Su Shi offers a few suggestions for improving the Chinese social security system, and in passing, underlines some dangers of the status quo – including that it encourages crime.
‘The death and birth of online literature‘ is a reply to an article announcing ‘the death of online literature‘ (available in translation) – Jianhan Qiushui argues that, actually internet literature is getting ahead, because stories circulate across media (TV and film, books and games), and the internet is the key channel to access these. Here is the original piece