ZGBriefs on Contemporary Society
Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Mao Era? (June 16, 2015, China File)
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on May 21, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: Does Xi Jinping Represent a Return to the Politics of the Mao Era?” The evening convened the scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and Andrew Walder—the publication of whose new book on Mao Zedong was the occasion for the event—with diplomat Susan Shirk and Orville Schell, ChinaFile’s publisher and the Arthur Ross Director for the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society.
Ancient Chinese Community Celebrates Its Jewish Roots, and Passover (April 6, 2015, Sinosphere)
In a hotel dining room festooned with purple garlands for a coming wedding, Chinese of Jewish descent in the central city of Kaifeng came together on Friday night for a Seder, the traditional Passover meal over which the Exodus story is recounted. Just two days before Qingming, the “tomb-sweeping” festival when Chinese traditionally pay their respects at family graves, they had gathered to recall ancestors even more ancient and a world away.
How a Rock Musician from China Brought Uyghur Food to Boston (March 20, 2015, Munchies)
Payzulla Polat doesn’t want to talk about politics. And who can blame him? If his homeland of Xinjiang—a massive frontier province in northwest China—is ever in the news, it’s for terrorist attacks and human rights violations. He prefers to talk about music and food. The 33-year-old Boston resident is the owner of Uyghur Kitchen, the only Uyghur food truck in America.
Hot Pot or Pizza: Chinese Students in the U.S. Aim to Bridge the Cultural Divide (March 18, 2015, China Real Time)
“My ‘Foreign’ Roommate: Muge & Katherine,” is an 11-minute video produced by Ms. Miao and a few other Wisconsin students showing an imaginary but realistic first week in the life of two roommates, one Chinese and one American. The video comes at the right time as the number of Chinese students studying at U.S. universities is increasing. Last year, according to a report from the Institute of International Education, 274,000 Chinese students studied at U.S. colleges, an increase of about 75 percent in the last three years.
Why Has This Environmental Documentary Gone Viral on China’s Internet? (March 3, 2015, China File)
In a country where media is tightly controlled, it is surprising, if not unprecedented, to see the unimpeded release of a self-funded investigative documentary about one of the most sensitive topics challenging China’s growth, especially when the film is critical of more than a few government agencies and is circulating so widely just ahead of the annual convening of China’s main legislative body. Following below are contributor reactions to what has been described at China’s “Inconvenient Truth.”