Friday, January 27, 2012

Chinese History Roundup

Roberta Smith, "History Unfolding on a Hand Scroll," New York Times, January 26, 2012

The painter Fu Baoshi was born in China in 1904, seven years before the Chinese Revolution brought 2,100 years of dynastic rule to an end. He died in 1965, months before China’s Communist regime unleashed the Cultural Revolution, which aggressively persecuted the country’s writers, artists and other intelligentsia, sometimes unto death.>>>

"A nation of city slickers.
A first in Chinese history: city-dwellers outnumber the rural population,"
The Economist, January 21, 2012

FOR a nation whose culture and society have been shaped over millennia by its rice-, millet- and wheat-farming traditions, and whose ruling Communist Party rose to power in 1949 by mobilising a put-upon peasantry and encircling the cities, China has just passed a remarkable milestone. By the end of 2011, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than half of China’s 1.35 billion people were living in cities.>>>

Sergey Radchenko, "China's iron grip on past impairs future on world stage," Sydney Morning Herald, January 4, 2012

With China stumping assertively on the world stage, one might think Beijing would be open, even gracious, about the country's past. To the contrary, history remains a sensitive subject, drawing relentless attention from authorities anxious to keep all skeletons safely in closets.>>>

Bethan Jinkinson, "The story behind Chinese war epic The Flowers of War," BBC, January 24, 2012

The film, directed by Zhang Yimou and starring English actor Christian Bale, opened in China on 16 December.

Since then it has been shown on thousands of screens across the country, taking $93m (£60m) gross in its first five weeks, according to entertainment research group EntGroup Consulting.

It was also the highest-grossing Chinese film of 2011.>>>

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