Soft power is a relatively new term, but the underlying concept is ancient. Every major civilization has used culture to represent its core values and to convince others of its good intentions. India expressed its moral principles through Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions. The Romans built a legal system that gave common standards to its far-flung empire. Traditional China cultivated the values of morality, loyalty, and respect for others and fostered unity through a common written language. The United States has constructed its social and political system around the idea that all persons are created equal. The main...Read More
Category: News of the Week
Sep 23, 2016 | News of the Week |
Right Intentions; Wrong Execution? This past week, news broke out in China that a company in Henan province had announced a new policy banning its employees from buying Apple’s newly released iPhone 7. According to the official notice, which was issued on September 18th (the 85th anniversary of the Mukden Incident this year), if spotted with the latest iPhone, employees would kindly be asked to resign. In the notice, the company also encouraged staff members to support local goods and boycott foreign products. This decision has sparked controversy in China. Many netizens feel that it is an encroachment on...Read More
Sep 23, 2016 | News of the Week |
China’s Tiangong-1 Space Station to Crash into Earth in Late 2017 Tiangong-1, known in English as Heavenly Palace-1, is expected to fall back to Earth in late 2017 (The Guardian). This station, launched in 2011, served as one of many symbols of China’s rise on the world stage. It is currently unknown whether China has lost control of the station or not. Xinhua News reported on the story, glossing over whether or not the government has lost control of the station (NPR). This has caused many speculators, such as satellite tracker Thomas Dorman, to believe that China has indeed lost control; Dorman says that “China will wait until the last minute to let the world know it has a problem.” To continue gathering data, China has recently launched Tiangong-2 to replace Tiangong-1 (Space). (The Guardian, September 20th, 2016) (NPR, September 21st, 2016) (Space, September 15th, 2016) Ai Weiwei’s Lawyer Jailed for 12 Years Xia Lin, a human rights lawyer based out of China, has been sentenced to 12 years of jail time for fraudulently obtaining $700,000 to pay off debts (BBC). This move has been described as an attempt to oppress the human rights community in China. He, as well as his supporters, wife, and lawyers, was shocked at the verdict: “After he heard the verdict, Xia Lin said the case had been procedurally unfair and he was being...Read More
Sep 19, 2016 | News of the Week |
When I went to Shanghai in 2015, I was placed in one of the most innovative and bustling cities in the world. Business and opportunity were waiting at every corner: as a fashion capital of Asia, a world finance center, and the biggest city in China in terms of population, it painted a clear picture of China’s economic and political rise on the world stage. This sort of innovation attracted people from every corner of the earth, so I felt like I was in a melting pot of cultures contained by Han Chinese culture. This new wealth for the...Read More
Sep 16, 2016 | News of the Week |
Chinese Police Fight Running Battles with Villagers in Restive Wukan Chinese police fired rubber bullets at villagers and arrested 13 people on Tuesday (September 13th) in an overnight crackdown to suppress demonstrations in a southern fishing village, Wukan. Over the past five years, protests in this remote village in Guangdong province, have made headline news around the world. The village has emerged as a symbol of China’s rural democracy as residents staged demonstrations against illegal land seizures and corruption. After being arrested in June, the local court jailed Lin Zuluan, the village chief and one of the campaign leaders of Wukan, for more than three years and fined him 200,000 yuan for taking bribes, as he reportedly pled guilty to two corruption charges. Most Wukan villagers reject the court’s decision, which leads to more clashes and arrests. The Guardian, September 13th; South China Morning Post, September 14th Mother’s Killing of Children in Rural China Spurs Debate About Inequality On August 26th, a woman named Yang Gailan brought her four young children behind her small, mud-brick house in a northwestern rural China and hacked them to death with an ax before killing herself by drinking pesticide. Her husband also committed suicide in the same manner after learning what happened. The story was widely shared across social media, and has ignited concerns across China about the grim realities facing many rural...Read More
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SR: The Week’s China Reads
Every week, China Program’s Senior Advisor Dr. Robert A. Kapp compiles a reading list and provides commentary, for you to better understand China.
Robert A. Kapp is senior advisor to the China Program at the Carter Center. He has been principal of Robert A. Kapp and Associates, a business consulting firm, since 2004. From 1994 through 2004 he served as President of the United States-China Business Council…