November 13 — While national television media in China were under orders not to report on the Qin Zhongfei (秦中飞) case in Chongqing, in which a government employee was jailed for writing and transmitting by mobile phone a poem satirizing local leaders in the municipality’s Pengshui County, coverage of the case did appear from China’s central Xinhua News Agency. In a November 13 feature story Liaowang, an official magazine published by Xinhua, criticized the actions of local officials in Chongqing in dealing harshly with Qin Zhongfei, and called their suppression of the right to free expression a “huge step back in an age of democracy and rule of law”.
November 12 – Chinese writer Tie Ning was appointed chairman of the China Writer’s Association (CWA), an official organization that nominally represents the interests of professional writers but which some have said serves as a tool of ideological control. Following in the footsteps of writers Mao Dun and Ba Jin, Tie Ning is the first female chairman of the organization, a post that has been empty since Ba Jin’s death just over one year ago. She is also the first chairman under the age of 50. Tie Ning’s appointment comes as China’s world of arts and letters stands at what some say is an important crossroads, with the role of the writer in society in question. In its extreme, uneasiness about the state of Chinese letters has led to cries of the “death” of Chinese literature, a question writer Ye Kuangzheng (叶匡政) addressed in a recent online essay.
November 18 — China Central Television’s annual advertising auction concluded in Beijing, with the state-run network drawing in 6.8 billion yuan (US$833 million) in ad revenues, up 15.7 percent over last year. This year’s “big king”, or successful bidder from the most-coveted spot just before the daily national nightly newscast, was Proctor & Gamble, which paid 420 million yuan (US$51 million). [Chinese coverage at].

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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