Author Archives: editor

Tienchi Martin-Liao: Yu Jie and the Leviathan State


Author Yu Jie. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Chinese writer-in-exile Yu Jie attempts to reconcile his past life in China and his present life in the United States.

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Ma Jian Introduces Madeleine Thien: Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Monday 18th July 2016 7pm – 8pm 107 Charing Cross Road Literary Event, Chargeable Event
Madeleine Thien’s third novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, is an epic, resonant novel about the far-reaching effects of China’s revolutionary history. Spanning the decades since 1949, it tells the story of two inter-linked musical families, from the Shanghai Conservatory in the early years of Mao’s ascent to the tumult of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations, as a vibrant cast of characters deal with the Cultural Revolution’s impact on their artistic selves, personal relationships and national identity.
The daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada, Madeleine Thien is uniquely placed to tell this story, and has crafted a novel that deals with epic themes on an intimate scale, flawlessly weaving a Chinese philosophy and sensibility with Western narrative traditions.
At this exclusive event, the acclaimed author of Beijing Coma and Red Dust Ma Jian introduces us to Madeleine and her work. Joined by his wife and translator Flora Drew, Ma Jian and Madeleine will discuss Do Not Say We Have Nothing and the real-world events that it draws upon.
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one China’s most important cultural commentators in conversation with a striking and important voice in Canadian literature. Their discussion will be followed by a Q&A with the audience and a book signing.
Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road
Tickets: FREE. Simply book below.
Please note, no physical tickets will be issued, the email confirmation you receive is proof of your booking.
We are unable to issue refunds to customers unable to attend the event without at least 24 hours’ notice. To request a refund of your ticket purchase or purchases, email [email protected] with your details and request

Tienchi Martin-Liao: Horsetrading With Abduction


From left to right: Chang Ping, Tienchi Martin-Liao, writer Ye Fu, and a friend, in Amsterdam in 2012. Image courtesy of the author.


China stretches out its hand to control the international media over the authorities’ abduction of a journalist’s family.

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German president slams communism in provocative speech to Shanghai students on his China visit

Joachim Gauck in ShanghaiGermany’s president has condemned the illegitimacy of Communist rule in East Germany and lauded the benefits of human rights in a provocative speech to Shanghai university students on Wednesday. Continue reading

Journalist Says China May Expel Her for Article on Uighurs

reprinted from Deutsche Welle

China effectively expels French journalist Ursula Gauthier

Officials have refused to renew Beijing-based journalist Ursula Gauthier’s press visa unless she apologizes for a story. Gauthier wrote criticially on China’s “anti-terror” operations against Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims.0,,18942243_303,00

“They confirmed that if I did not make a public apology on all the points that had ‘hurt the Chinese people’… my press card would not be renewed and I would have to leave on December 31,” Gauthier told news agency AFP. Gauthier cannot apply for a visa unless her press card is renewed.

“If I had actually written what they accuse me of, I deserve to be put in prison, not expelled,” the reporter said. The attitude of Chinese officials was “a pretext to intimidate foreign correspondents in China, particularly on issues concerning minorities,” she said, adding that she would “not deviate” from her story.

Gauthier is based in Beijing and works for the news magazine “L’Obs,” formerly known as Le Nouvel Observateur. Her essay, published on November 18, was called “After the attacks [in Paris], Chinese solidarity is not without ulterior motives.” The report discussed Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang, where most of China’s ethnic Uighur Muslim minority lives. The story also triggered abusive comments from social media users in China and was condemned by the state-run Global Times and China Daily.

‘Campaign of intimidation’

Chinese officials said the report justified violence against the government. “The article criticized China’s counterterrorism efforts and denigrated and slandered Chinese policies. It provoked the strong indignation of the Chinese public,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said earlier this month.

Meanwhile, efforts by French officials, including Paris’ envoy to China, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, have produced no results. The foreign correspondents’ club in Beijing said it was “deeply concerned with the attempts of intimidation.”

Press organization Reporters Without Borders also denounced the incident, calling it “media lynching” and “campaign of defamation and intimidation” against Gauthier.

Before Gauthier, Melissa Chan, who works for television channel Al Jazeera, was expelled in 2012.

Ai Weiwei: Courage on Trial in China

Reprinted from the New York Times 

BERLIN — In April 2011, I was kidnapped by the Chinese undercover police at a Beijing airport and detained at a secret location for 81 days. After my release, the government charged me with tax evasion, even though most of the questions during my confinement centered on my political activities. They demanded that I pay back taxes and a fine totaling $2.4 million, and when I asked why the shakedown, one official replied, “If we don’t penalize you, you won’t give us any peace.” Continue reading