David Bandurski

David is co-director of the China Media Project, and editor of the project’s website. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin), a book of reportage about urbanisation and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press). His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, Index on Censorship, the South China Morning Post and others. He received a Human Rights Press Award in 2007 for an explanatory feature about China’s Internet censorship guidelines. David is a producer of Chinese independent films through his Hong Kong production company, Lantern Films. He has a Master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Mr. Bandurski is an honorary lecturer at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Unwelcome Comparisons

Austria’s new chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, made a visit to Germany this week, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussing issues such as refugee distribution in Europe. On Twitter, Kurz said the meetings had been productive. “On the way back to # Vienna after good appointments in #Berlin,” he wrote. “Looking forward to working with our neighbor #Germany on bilateral concerns, but especially on European issues!” But one Chinese reader of international affairs was struck not so much by the substance of the meetings as by how Mr. Kurz had apparently left Germany, based on the photograph accompanying the...

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On Weibo, Deleting the Past

In China, even issues in the remote past can be seen as having an immense potential impact on the politics of the present. Therefore, discussion of such events as the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre are highly restricted in the media and online. We had a glimpse of this recently with the censorship controversy involving the blocking in China of certain peer-reviewed articles appearing in academic journals published by Cambridge University Press. As documented by China Digital Times, most of the articles blocked from the Journal of Asian Studies had to do with either the Cultural Revolution...

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Xi Gets Research Centers to Match His Thought

According to a report this week from China’s official Xinhua News Agency, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party has approved the creation of 10 special research centers devoted to “Xi Jinping Thought,” the top leader’s brand new “banner term,” or core political ideas and legacy, introduced at the 19th Party Congress back in October. Xi’s full banner phrase is the rather less catchy “Xi Jinping’s new era thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想). But in much state media coverage, including coverage announcing the new research centers, this banner has been shortened to “Xi Jinping Thought.” As...

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China’s Cyber Struggle Rages On

At last month’s 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping demonstrated that he is at present the untouchable core of political power in China, like a great big spider sitting at the center of the Party’s vast web. He has but to pluck at his fibers and his message will slavishly reverberate. In CCP parlance, that message is referred to as the “spirit.” The “spirit of Xi Jinping’s important speeches,” for example. Or, more recently, the “spirit of the 19th National Congress.” If we look at how the “spirit” is being delivered and studied and enforced...

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Xi’s Cyber Control Star Faces Investigation

In a terse announcement posted to its website late today, China’s top anti-corruption watchdog confirmed that the country’s headline-grabbing former internet czar, Lu Wei (鲁炜), is now under investigation. Lu, who served as the first head of the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China directly under President Xi Jinping’s central working group on cybersecurity, was known from 2013 to his surprise exit in June 2016 as the architect of a bold and even aggressive strategy to reign in what the Chinese Communist Party saw as the destabilizing force of the internet. It was widely rumored that Lu personally directed the 2013...

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