Category Archives: Ma Jian

Ma Jian: A Son of Cultural Revolution

Fifty years ago this month, Mao Zedong launched China’s Cultural Revolution – a decade of chaos, persecution, and violence, carried out in the name of ideology and in the interest of expanding Mao’s personal power. Yet, instead of reflecting on that episode’s destructive legacy, the Chinese government is limiting all discussion of it, and Chinese citizens, focused on the wealth brought by three decades of market-oriented reforms, have been content to go along. But at a time when President Xi Jinping is carrying out ruthless purges and creating his own cult of personality, burying the past is not cost-free. Continue reading

Ma Jian: The howls of China’s prisoners will haunt this royal welcome for Xi Jinping

The Chinese president’s state visit coincides with the biggest crackdown on his country’s civil society in years. This fawning insults the people of both countries
Chinese flags fly side by side with union flags on the Mall ahead of Xi Jinping’s state visit. Photograph: Lauren Hurley/PA

Eighteen years ago, I stood at dawn in the driving rain and watched with dread as the tanks and trucks of China’s People’s Liberation Army rolled into Hong Kong, reclaiming sovereignty over the British colony. It was clear at once that Hong Kong’s fledgling democracy was doomed. To escape Big Brother’s gaze and retain the freedom to think and write, I moved to London. Continue reading

Ma Lan:They knocked my teeth out.


I became a member.

Two Poems by Ma Lan translated from Chinese by Charles A. Laughlin.

Read original in Chinese

Writing a Love Poem for a Tooth

by Ma Lan Continue reading

Ma Jian: Tiananmen Square 25 years on: ‘Every person in the crowd was a victim of the massacre’

In June 1989, the novelist Ma Jian was among the million freedom protesters who gathered in Tiananmen Square. The brutal response shocked the world and crushed the Democracy Movement. But, he says, its spirit and aspirations live on
The Guardian, Sunday 1 June 2014 12.59 EDT Continue reading

ICPC’s Road of A Decade: Harmony Within Differences

By Ma Jian

This year, Independent Chinese PEN Centre is 10 years old. It has developed from 30+ members to nearly 300, from a baby starting its steps to the one going to the world, having experienced all the ups and downs of growth. Today, I will only talk about my personal experience at ICPC Board as I may be the only founding member there. Continue reading