In Rehab with Weiwei

As critic-on-tap of the Chinese party-state Ai Weiwei was an irritant. Detained in 2011 on nebulous charges related to tax evasion (which he took pains to publicise) he was an inconvenience. Now globe-trotting once more, but this time as a Xi Jinping-era ‘new socialist man’, Weiwei is an object lesson. In the following essay, Christian … more

Carl Schmitt in China

The ideas of Carl Schmitt (1888-1985), a man known as ‘the crown jurist of the Third Reich’, have enjoyed enormous currency among mainland Chinese scholars since the 2000s. The role of prominent academics such as Liu Xiaofeng 刘小枫, Gan Yang 甘阳 and Wang Shaoguang 王绍光 in promoting Schmitt’s ideas, and the fact that his theories on the … more

Hong Kong: China’s Other

It is over a year since a mass political protest movement broke out in Hong Kong and, for a time, overwhelmed the business and government centres of that Special Administrative Region of China. As repression of the movement and its legacies continues in fits and starts, two scholars, Li Zhiyu and Mark McConaghy, reflect on … more

Welcome, Comrade Ambassador!

Comrade Ambassador: Whitlam’s China Envoy, the memoir of Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, was launched at the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) by the Centre’s new director, Benjamin Penny, on 18 September 2015. The launch featured a musical prologue (Ben, aware that Steve, a JS Bach … more

Parading the People’s Republic

In light of the 3 September 2015 mega military parade held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing both to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945 and to acclaim the achievements of Xi Jinping, China’s Chairman of Everything (for the Chinese media logorrhea related to the parade, see The China Story … more

A Year without Pierre

Today, 11 August 2015, marks the first year since the passing of Pierre Ryckmans, known to most of his readers by the nom de plume, Simon Leys. Pierre Ryckmans was a mentor and inspiration to many students of China, in particular those he taught at The Australian National University from 1970 to 1987. A prolific author … more

China’s growth prospects: ‘Sinophoria’ or despair?

Jane Golley is an economist and Associate Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) at the Australian National University (ANU). Her research has covered a wide range of Chinese transition and development issues, and is currently focused on rural-urban inequalities in education and provincial population dynamics and economic growth. This article … more

In a Field of Red Ruins: Yang Zhichao’s Chinese Bible

The following essay is the text of a speech made by Geremie R Barmé, Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, at the opening of Yang Zhichao: Chinese Bible, 楊志超《中國聖經》(2009), an installation curated by Claire Roberts for the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF Project 26), Paddington, Sydney, 16 May 2015. — The Editors … more