China

Here is a really superb paper on the 50 cent party, the Chinese Communist Party’s army of loyalist Internet trolls. The researchers scraped literally millions of below-the-line comments and Weibo posts, hired Chinese students to identify the 50-centers in random samples and classify the posts by subject, checked that the students, who worked independently, agreed…

Read More This is what the mandate of heaven looks like

Well, this is interesting, both on the Bo Xilai story and also on the general theme of the state of the art in contemporary authoritarianism. It looks like a major part of the case is about BXL’s electronic surveillance of Chongqing and specifically of top national-level Chinese officials: One political analyst with senior-level ties, citing…

Read More Canalising the marshes: tidying up the people

Something interesting (h/t Jamie) about the Chinese military. The strand I found worthwhile is this: As a result, for the past decade, a major theme pounded into the troops by the General Political Department is the persistent threat from outside forces (non-Party elements) to separate the military from politics, depoliticize the military and “nationalize” the…

Read More Peasants into…potential CCP members

Via Jamie Kenny, a must-read translation of a Chinese investigative report into the case of Wu Ying, a Chinese businesswoman who is in deep trouble with the law. What’s interesting here is that the report provides a deep view into some of the most important interfaces in the political economy of China – between the…

Read More This is not a mafia business. This relies on credit!

China’s neo-con blogging fever-swamp, via (of course) Jamie K. For instance, Gao Yi, a well-known music critic, tweeted: “Compared with a war, US$7 billion is much more worthwhile. Right now, we lack the off-shore staging capacity for a mid-intensity war. A well-known music critic? Now that’s special. You don’t get detailed comment on the Royal…

Read More as for the Mahler, I think it could do with a helipad

Swinging off a discussion at Jamie Kenny’s of climate deniers, I wonder what Jamie thinks about Steve Levine’s thesis here that China’s emerging culture of mass protest, the famous Mass-Group Incidents or MGIs, may have major and positive consequences for Chinese energy policy and therefore for the world. It’s surely time we started calling the…

Read More MGIs for cleaner skies, and Power Tool of the Week