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China Analysis Digest #73

A weekly curated list of new China-related analyses.

Date range: September 12-19, 2022

Sources scanned: 122

Publications: 181 (English), 47 (Chinese)

China Watching

China Neican

Reading the China Dream

Made in China Journal

"Public verdicts on the Chiangs remain divided. Polling shows that Chiang Ching-kuo is remembered as the Taiwanese president who contributed the most to Taiwan, while Chiang Kai-shek is remembered as having contributed the least (Luo 2019). The Nationalists have framed Chiang Ching-kuo as a benevolent dictator who relinquished power to allow for Taiwanese democracy. In reality, the KMT was under extreme pressure to allow the transition to democracy in the face of an ‘extra-party’ (黨外) movement...Many adherents of the KMT’s view of history still praise both Chiangs as anticommunist heroes who allowed for Taiwan’s current freedom from China, or as having provided the foundations for Taiwan’s economic prosperity...

...the DPP and KMT continue to contest the other’s view of history. Part of this is simply a reflection of the unsettled legacy of the authoritarian era, with the KMT downplaying incidents such as the ‘228 Massacre’, which, in February 1947, marked the start of the decades-long White Terror, and generally minimising the number of victims or suggesting that those targeted were primarily communist infiltrators or spies...

Opinion polls show the current generation of Taiwanese overwhelmingly identifies as Taiwanese and not Chinese (Feng 2022). Unlike their grandparents, young Taiwanese—sometimes termed the ‘natural independence’ (天然獨) generation—do not have direct experience of China. Educated after the advent of democratisation, they did not experience an education system that framed Taiwan as part of China. At the same time, they grew up observing the deterioration of freedoms in Hong Kong under Chinese rule and reports of the mass imprisonment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. It is also significant to remember that young Taiwanese are very conscious that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is ‘China’ and that Taiwan has never been part of the PRC."
"Dorothy J. Solinger: I argue [in my new book] that China’s imminent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO)...drove the Chinese rulers to order weaker enterprises across the country to dismiss tens of millions of less-qualified, but previously lifetime-secure, workers...[Chinese] leaders...thrusted the nation on to a specific path of ‘modernity’ that cast aside older workers who were over the age of 35 as of the mid 1990s, relegating many of them to a new status as the urban poor. These are people who had been deprived of secondary schooling (and beyond) during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), when most schools were shuttered, and who generally had been consigned to mastering just one simple, antiquated machine for all their working lives. This emerging urban poor class thus became the artefact of the enactment of official preferences for a new political economy in line with WTO membership. Accordingly, I contend that throughout the past quarter-century, the appearance of working-class hardship in the metropolises—and the manufacturing of an urban underclass—has not been accidental, but rather a result of the urban working class being deliberately discarded."

China Heritage

"On 9 September 2022, a day known as ‘Mao D-Day’ 去毛日 since it marks the anniversary of Mao Zedong’s demise in 1976, a communique announced new nationwide measures imposed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus...From 10 September to 31 October, a combination of emergency health regulations and social stability strategies neatly placed the nation under quasi-martial law in the five-week lead up to, during and through the days following the Communist Party’s Twentieth Party Congress...

強國 qiáng guó, an ancient term for ‘a strong state’, also means ‘to strengthen the state’. In contemporary parlance 強國 qiáng guó denotes a ‘great power’, as does 大國 dà guò, literally ‘a big state’. Given the self-censorship and ideological segregation of China’s party-state, the expression 牆國 qiáng guó, ‘the walled nation’ — a homophone for 強國 qiáng guó — enjoys considerable currency...

Hem It All In

They want to encircle the mountains and the rivers,
The heavens above and even the sun.
Encircle oxen and sheep, entrap the harvest and the granaries as well.
Besiege the cities and invest the towns, trap in bustling reality as well as forlorn despair.
They’ll do it all at the point of a gun.


They would lay siege to brightness and even the light, to the very stars and the moon as well.
Trap lions and surround wolves, contain the gentry and all their power.
They’ll isolate you and me too, along with the truth and the right to think freely.
They’ll do it all at the point of a gun.


They’ll blockade teaching and study too, along with our rebuttals and all our doubts.
They’ll lockdown black as well as white, clamp down on common sense and even evidence.
They’ll shut our mouths and force closed our eyes to contain our opposition and our resistance.
They’ll do it all while waving a flag.


Having entrapped the heavens and the earth itself, they’ll then hem in everything in all directions.
Our souls will be ensnared as will ourselves, entrapped too our pulsating veins and our living flesh.
They’ll isolate you and me and all, along with the truth and the right to think freely.
And they’ll do it all while waving a flag.


trans. G.R. Barmé"

China Media Project

Opinion Pages

Project Syndicate

"China learned from Russia’s post-1991 experience and pursued its economic liberalization with more care. But it ultimately could not avoid the political implications of pro-market policies and is now following Russia down the road to autocracy – continuing a century-long pattern of mirroring its neighbor’s historical trajectory."

Australian Financial Review



"the U.S. should stop wasting its time on restricting the export of older, less critical technologies. Instead, Washington should focus on pushing the technological frontier forward...Export controls alone do little to push forward human capital development in the United States, nor do they hamstring China’s access to international talent...

A better approach would be to maintain the “small yard, high fence” approach that commentators and experts have been touting for several years. Washington should focus on protecting only the most advanced dual-use technologies with airtight, multilateral controls, while allowing other forms of trade and commerce that benefit the U.S. tech ecosystem. As it stands, the Biden administration is set to carry forward U.S.-China decoupling on a larger scale than did Trump, with potentially deleterious effects on the innovative capacity of domestic chip producers."


"The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a long-awaited report Aug. 31 on Chinese government abuses in Xinjiang, conclud[ing] that “serious human rights violations have been committed [including]:

Widespread Arbitrary Imprisonment...
Severe Restrictions on Religious, Cultural, and Linguistic Expression...
Violations of Reproductive Rights...
Forced Labor Practices...

While the report and growing attention to the issue will put added pressure on the U.N. and its member-states to act, the likelihood of action by the [U.N. Human Rights Council] remains uncertain, since China is a member and has built significant political influence among the body in recent years."

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