There have been a hell of a lot of opinions put forward about modern China – from the Blairite vision of a superpower of economic liberalism with lots of CCTV, integrated fully in the system, to cold-warrior visions of a monolithic neo-USSR, anarchist hopes of a convergence of mass-group incidents into revolution, tankie fantasies of…Read More 10 years of the Jamie Doctrine: not a symposium of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House
So, the Huawei oversight report is out and it’s apparently terribly scary. If you’re interested in the content rather than the mood-music there’s a good key points summary here, and if you’re the kind of person who reads this blog, the report itself is here. The point I would like to make, though, is that…Read More If we could only get the same oversight of Facebook we have of Huawei UK
Any discussion of Huawei relating to the Chinese “National Intelligence Law” has to start out from the recognition that all states, always, have tried to weaponize telecommunications systems and have taken considerable legal powers over people and property involved, even where they didn’t create the assets and organizations themselves. Take a look at Section 94,…Read More Enough with the bad faith about Huawei.
Back at the end of 2007, as we dived into the trough of the Great Recession or Great Financial Crisis or Second Great Depression or what you will, a crucial decision was taken. Verizon Wireless, then still a Vodafone division, chose LTE for its new mobile network, and put one of the most important women…Read More Ten Years of 4G: Trump, Snowden, Huawei, and Brexit
So James Palmer of @BeijingPalmer fame recommended me Feng Jicai’s Ten Years of Madness as a good book on the Cultural Revolution. It’s all that. The best biog of Feng I’ve found is this French one, much better than the frankly thin Wikipedia coverage. He is a product of the old-school scholar gentry, a significant…Read More Boooks: Ten Years of Madness
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
I have recently been reading a lot of books. Ironically, this was in part because I left a Kindle on a plane and had to get the app instead – having the books so temptingly close caused very rapid consumption. Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai by Robert Bickers, is the personal history…Read More The personal history of a Lancashire fascist
This new piece in The National from Jamie Kenny is genuinely fascinating but sadly paywalled. One of the most interesting phenomena of the Arab Spring was the role of football fans in the front line, firms like the Ultras White Knights, who had copied British terrace subculture in loving detail and then weaponised it as…Read More Gerremonside, Shijazhuang!
Remember that thumbsucker I did on the Great Firewall? Well, here’s some data, via this post (thanks, Jamie). It seems that Fang Binxing, China’s Chief Bellhead, boss of the Beijing University of Post & Telecoms, and king of the great firewall, really is in trouble due to his special relationship with Bo Xilai. He briefly…Read More not at all defanged
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