Summary of “America’s Elite Universities Are Censoring Themselves on China”

Several people I interviewed for this story mentioned an oft-cited 2002 New York Review of Books article by Perry Link, a noted China scholar at the University of California, Riverside, who hasn’t been able to enter mainland China since 1995.
There’s a much larger volume of research and discussion about China to be self-censored and a much larger loss-to research, to cultural capital, and to a school’s bottom line-if a university’s access to China is restricted.
The second trend is that China has grown more repressive on issues of freedom of speech, both domestically and globally.
In 2016, Xi Jinping said China must “Build colleges into strongholds that adhere to Party leadership,” and that higher education “Must adhere to correct political orientation.” According to the Australian China expert John Fitzgerald, Beijing has “Begun to export the style of internationalist academic policing it routinely practices at home.” In recent years, as Millward put it in a December 2017 blog post on Medium, “The sensitive subjects have become more sensitive.” This is a “Disorienting” change, said Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian of modern China at the University of California, Irvine.
The third and arguably most important reason is that American universities are increasingly financially dependent on China.
“With Chinese studies, there is growing interest and no new money.” So some universities have turned to China’s Confucius Institutes for funding and programming.
Since the organization’s founding in 2004, it has established more than 100 Confucius Institutes in the United States, the most in the world, and, according to the organization, it currently has 29 in the United Kingdom, which hosts the second largest number perhaps because of Beijing’s desire to shape perceptions of China in the world’s two leading English-language-speaking countries.
“We avoid sensitive things like Taiwan and Falun Gong,” said Yin Xiuli, the director of the Confucius Institute at New Jersey City University, referring to the outspoken spiritual group banned in China.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Movie madness: Why Chinese cinemas are empty but full”

Chinese film critic and industry observer Raymond Zhou has been digging into the darker side of film financing in his country.
If these publicly available figures appear to show that a film is doing well, people will buy shares in the companies which paid for the movie.
So a film might be on in the cinema and one of the companies which paid for it might buy out entire late night screenings.
You might wonder, if box office manipulation has been a broad problem within the Chinese film industry, if it’s still worthwhile financially.
“They can manipulate the number of screenings in their own cinemas. Often times the third party ticketing apps also have their hands in the promotion of the films so they can push a film that they have an interest in; that they have invested in themselves.”
In effect, a company – or connected companies – can distribute the film, have ownership of the theatres and then maybe also involve those selling the tickets.
Some films are also suspected of being used as a method of getting around China’s laws designed to restrict capital flight.
There still seems to be no move to break up the vested interests in Chinese movie making, which many analysts believe will continue to pump out poor quality fare as long as there is money to be made – irrespective of how many actually people go to see the film.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Mass Internment Camps Have No Clear End in Sight – Foreign Policy”

Hundreds of thousands of minority men and women, mostly Uighurs but also others, have disappeared into these compounds in the last year, usually with no notice to family members and no charges of illegal activity.
It is not surprising that the most common officially cited purpose for the internment camps is to purify people’s thoughts, “Eliminating extremism” and instilling a love for the party.
A recorded announcement leaked this month from Xinjiang’s Communist Party Youth League, designed to calm rampant fears about the re-education camps, explained that camps “Treat and cleanse the virus from their brains.” The names used for camps have varied widely, both for the same camp over time and from one camp to the next, but most have included the word “Transformation”-for example, “Concentrated education transformation center.”
The handful of people released from the camps and able to share their stories describe a variety of indoctrination techniques aimed to instill love for the Communist Party of China and its leader, Xi Jinping.
In January, an instructor at a daytime re-education course told his students that they would be sent to the internment camps if they could not memorize both the oath of allegiance to the Communist Party and the national anthem in Chinese within three days, according to village police who spoke to Radio Free Asia.
Across the world, Uighurs with expiring passports or visas are currently weighing whether to claim asylum in foreign lands and never see their families again, or to face near-certain internment upon their return to Xinjiang.
At the upper end of the Zenz estimate, Xinjiang’s re-education camp population exceeds the peak daily inmate numbers of Nazi concentration camps, is several times the number of the Japanese citizens interned by the United States during World War II, and amounts to about half the capacity of the Soviet gulag system, which held around 2 million people.
Barring a complete abandonment of the camp system, the most moderate plausible outcome is that at some point authorities dramatically reduce the number of internees, maintaining recalcitrant inmates in the camps, and preserving the capacity to return huge numbers to extrajudicial internment.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Great Chinese Art Heist”

Strange how it keeps happening, how the greatest works of Chinese art keep getting brazenly stolen from museums around the world.
Is it a conspiracy? Vengeance for treasures plundered years ago? We sent Alex W. Palmer to investigate the trail of theft and the stunning rumor: Is the Chinese government behind one of the boldest art-crime waves in history?

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Will Happen When China Dominates the Web”

Chinese President Xi Jinping has outlined his plans to turn China into a “Cyber-superpower.” Already, more people in China have access to the Internet than in any other country, but Xi has grander plans.
Through domestic regulations, technological innovation, and foreign policy, China aims to build an “Impregnable” cyberdefense system, give itself a. greater voice in Internet governance, foster more world-class companies, and lead the globe in advanced technologies.
Foreign companies worry that an expansive interpretation of the requirements for inspections of equipment and storing data within China will raise costs and could allow the Chinese government to steal their intellectual property.
MADE IN CHINA. Chinese policymakers believe that to be truly secure, China must achieve technological self-sufficiency.
More students graduate with science and engineering degrees in China than anywhere else in the world, and in 2018, China overtook the United States in terms of the total number of scientific publications.
In 2015, China issued guidelines that aim to get Chinese firms to produce 70 percent of the microchips used by Chinese industry by 2025.
The government has subsidized domestic and foreign companies that move their operations to China and encouraged domestic consumers to buy from only Chinese suppliers.
At an artificial intelligence summit last year, Eric Schmidt, the former chair of Google, said of the Chinese, “By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. And by 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI.” China is racing to harness artificial intelligence for military uses, including autonomous drone swarms, software that can defend itself against cyberattacks, and programs that mine social media to predict political movements.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Ikea quietly tweaks its design around the world”

It’s a strategy Ikea has used to expand from its origins in Sweden, now reaching 30 markets in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia: keep the general idea and most of the products the same, with small tweaks to help ease people into the Ikea view of the world.
The way Indian families use their space also impacted the number of product options: Because impromptu family gatherings are common, Ikea offers a greater number of stools and folding chairs in the India store.
Chinese Ikea showrooms get their very own balconies.
In southern China, these balcony displays show them being used to dry clothes, while in northern Chinese Ikea stores, the displays show the balcony as another place for food storage-both according to the custom in the area.
Before opening its store in South Korea in 2014, Ikea conducted 900 interviews and visits-and ended up designing a “Super single” sized bed specifically for Koreans that is optimized for small bedrooms but offers a little more space than your average single.
The Times reports that Ikea adjusted the heights of countertops in its Indian showroom because Indian women tend to be shorter.
Even the cutlery they’re selling is slightly different: Because many Indian people prefer to use spoons over knives, Ikea decided not to sell the packets of children’s cutlery it sells in other countries that include knives.
In the company’s Chinese stores, Ikea stocks far more rice cookers and chopsticks than it would in other countries.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘No Cambodia left’: how Chinese money is changing Sihanoukville”

“Everything has changed in Sihanoukville in just two years,” says Dy, who is learning Chinese to try to integrate better with the city’s new community.
“Before it was really quiet here, but not any more with all the Chinese construction. I am worried that it’s very destructive to the environment, all this building and what will happen when all the construction is finished and thousands more people come? There will be no Cambodia left in Sihanoukville.”
The majority of the 100-plus factories in the zone are run by Chinese companies, and a further 200 mainly Chinese companies – producing consumer goods and garments – will be part of its ongoing expansion.
Hemming clothes outside his sewing shop in the shadow of a new Chinese casino, Seng Lim Huon says Chinese investment is widening the divide between rich and poor.
Chinese residents and visitors buy from Chinese businesses and visit Chinese restaurants and hotels, ensuring the trickle-down effect is minimal.
I think the Chinese government and the Chinese embassy accepts there is rising anti-China rhetoric in Cambodia.
“Chinese products are very expensive, it is not good for us, and the Chinese buy only Chinese goods so we are very separate,” says Srey Mach, 43, shredding morning glory outside her shop while the sound of construction thunders all around.
The speed at which money is pouring in has also left local authorities in Sihanoukville with little time and resources to create regulation to manage either the dark underbelly of the Chinese casinos – sophisticated financial crime and money laundering – or the growing local discontentment.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Xinjiang Province: A Surveillance State Unlike Any the World Has Ever Seen”

While the authorities in Xinjiang keep close tabs on foreign reporters, their vigilance is nothing compared to their persecution of the Uighur population.
Nowhere in the world, not even in North Korea, is the population monitored as strictly as it is in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, an area that is four times the size of Germany and shares borders with eight countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
With the Uighurs protesting, Beijing has tightened its grip and turned Xinjiang into a security state that is extreme even by China’s standards, being a police state itself.
The data is then collated by an “Integrated joint operations platform” that also stores further data on the populace – from consumer habits to banking activity, health status and indeed the DNA profile of every single inhabitant of Xinjiang.
Censorship in Xinjiang is the strictest in China and its authorities the most inscrutable.
With its ultra-modern skyline, the capital of Xinjiang is home to a population of some 3.5 million, 75 percent of which are Han Chinese.
There have been fewer major attacks since, but rumors abound among the Han Chinese that serious incidents frequently occur in the south of Xinjiang but go unreported.
In a bid to see calm return to the region, Beijing brought in hardliner Chen Quanguo, party boss in Tibet, and put him in charge in Xinjiang.

The orginal article.

Summary of “After making his owner rich, this border collie gets to live in a $500,000 pet mansion in Beijing”

An abandoned warehouse once stood where Sylar’s new mansion sprawls.
“Before I had Sylar, I had nothing to live for,” said owner Zhou Tianxiao, 31, scratching his dog’s ears.
Five decades after Chairman Mao’s Red Guards were known to kill pet dogs – a “Bourgeois” accessory the communist leader sought to quash during his purge of Western values – China’s youths are increasingly lavishing money on animals.
Theories abound as to why affluent Chinese seem so devoted to their pets; poorer folks in urban centers tend to be priced out, because licensing dogs can cost hundreds of dollars.
One command sent the dog between Zhou’s legs, a paw on each foot, so they could stroll together.
The spotlight on Sylar encouraged Zhou to open a dog food and toy store on Taobao, the Chinese e-commerce giant that allows users to peddle goods online.
The body art alone didn’t feel adequate, so Zhou wondered: What does a dog really want?
They opened Sylar’s mansion to the public in May. Dogs can take a “Medicinal bath” in the spa for 175 yuan or a “Soothing oil” massage for 400.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies”

The open, experimental, cosmopolitan work and business culture of Silicon Valley in particular has encouraged a newer, “Softer,” “Nontraditional” type of espionage, said former intelligence officials-efforts that mostly target trade secrets and technology.
“Some of the activities Rusnano USA was involved in were not only related to the acquisition of technology, but also inserting people into venture capital groups, in developing those relationships in Silicon Valley that allowed them to get their tentacles into everything,” one former intelligence official told me.
U.S. officials watched as Chinese intelligence officers filmed Tibetan monks on their march across the Golden Gate Bridge, and known Chinese spies surveilled a pro-Tibet rally downtown featuring Desmond Tutu and Richard Gere.
During a number of attacks, two former intelligence officials told me, Chinese intelligence immediately sought the files of U.S. companies’ legal counsel or other legal documentation, to access Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants or National Security Letters previously issued to these institutions.
While China and Russia demand the lion’s share of counterintelligence resources in the Bay Area, a number of friendly intelligence services are also active in Silicon Valley, said former intelligence officials.
According to one former intelligence official, Israel has “a culture that facilitates and encourages acquisition of targeted companies”-in other words, it will use information it has gathered locally to cajole or incentivize private Israeli firms to purchase specific start-ups or other Silicon Valley-based tech companies.
Silicon Valley firms continue to downplay, or outright conceal, the extent to which the theft of trade secrets and other acts of economic espionage occur, said multiple former officials.
As one former U.S. intelligence official put it, spies are pulled toward the Bay Area “Like moths to the light.” And the region will help define the struggle for global preeminence-especially between the United States and China-for decades to come.

The orginal article.