CDT Editors’ Picks: The Best of 2017

As comes to a close, editors have looked back at coverage of China over the past year and selected links that highlight some of the most important stories posted on or elsewhere. Happy New Year from the team!

CDT Editors’ Picks for 2017:

Sandra Fu, CDT Chinese Senior Editor:

Sophie Beach, CDT English Executive Editor:

  • Jeremy Brown: How the Party Handles Accidents – In an interview with CDT’s Samuel Wade, Simon Fraser University’s Jeremy Brown puts the recent spate of accidents in a broader historical context by looking at the patterns of government response from the Mao era until today. The interview provides a useful frame of reference when reading news reports about the too frequent industrial accidents and natural disasters in China. “Instead of being transparent, or treating accident victims compassionately, the impulse is to cover it up, and target them for surveillance and crackdowns. Because that’s what you do to a protest, right?” Brown asks.
  • The Passion of Liu Xiaobo by Perry Link in the New York Review of Books – Link offers an eloquent and personal commemoration of Nobel Peace Prize laureate , who died in July of liver cancer while serving an 11-year-sentence. Link asks: “Two hundred years from now, who will recall the names of the tyrants who sent Mandela, Havel, and Suu Kyi to jail? Will the glint of Liu Xiaobo’s incisive intellect be remembered, or the cardboard mediocrity of Xi’s?”

Samuel Wade, CDT English Deputy Editor:

Josh Rudolph, CDT English Translations Editor:

  • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Four Big Critiques from CDT. 2017 saw the long anticipated official consolidation of Xi Jinping’s power with the addition of his name and ideological contributions to Party doctrine enshrined in the CCP charter. Months prior to that addition, CDT translated prefaces to Chinese Academy of Social Sciences collections. The introductions represent the spirit of Xi Jinping’s drive to reinforce ideological orthodoxy throughout the Party, and combat the undesirable ideological trends that have been a top priority of Xi’s tenure.
  • Global concerns over Beijing’s well-funded campaigns swelled in 2017, leading to the coining of the term “sharp power” to describe innovations in international influence techniques being co-led by China. In September, New Zealand-based scholar Anne Marie-Brady published the Wilson Center policy report “Magic Weapons: China’s political influence activities under Xi Jinping”. The report uses New Zealand as a case study, and provides a thorough description of how the United Front Work Department—a domestic and foreign lobbying organization that reports directly to the CCP Central Committee—has been substantially expanded under Xi Jinping.

Xiao Qiang, CDT Founder and Editor-in-chief:

CDT Chinese editors have also picked their ten top stories from the year. Look for an English translation of their list on CDT in the next few days.