Sinica Week: The Chairman

Hu Jintao

This is the Sinica Week, a summary of the most important China stories from the last seven days along with recommendations from guests on Sinica, a weekly podcast about current affairs in China, hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Danwei’s Jeremy Goldkorn. This week’s show is The Chairman and it’s mostly about Hu Jintao. Guests were Beijing based correspondent for The Economist Gady Epstein, and Kerry Brown, who has just moved from Chatam House to become Director of the China Studies Centre and professor of Chinese politics at the University of Sydney and is the author of Hu Jintao: China’s Silent Ruler

The main topic of discussion is Hu Jintao and Kerry Brown’s book, but before that, the guests did a brief review of the China stories of the week, summarized below:

Gu Kailai’s trial begins and ends in record time with the verdict to be announced at a later date. Gu Kailai — or Bogu Kailai as the government now likes to call her — did not dispute the murder charges, possibly hoping to escape the death sentence by being cooperative. In addition to her trial, four police officers will be prosecuted separately as aiding and abetting ‘Bogu’ cover up the murder she is accused of.
BloombergChina readies verdict after Bo’s wife doesn’t dispute murder
The Daily TelegraphNeil Heywood trial official text

Hurdler Liu Xiang dropping out of his first heat due to injury was the main
Olympic story when we recorded the podcast (there more on China and the Olynpics in last week’s Sinica). Reactions to Liu Xiang’s performance varied from tears and concern to groans of disappointment with a sprinkling of obscenities.
BBCChina mourns hurdler Liu Xiang’s Olympic exit
BloombergChina compassion for Liu prevails after Olympic hurdler tumbles
Beijing Cream (warning: obscenities galore): Liu Xiang Trips On First Hurdle, Hops Around On One Leg After Race, CCTV Commentator Weeps Into Microphone

PLA and Party
The New York Times published an interesting piece on the Chinese military’s relations with the Party and how it’s developed over time. The report says that the Chinese military is unhappy with the division of power and recounts the tale of a dramatic drunken outburst from a general at a holiday banquet, in front of Hu Jintao.
The New York Times:Party Bristles at Military’s Push for More Sway in China

Typhoon Haikiu
“I keep wanting to call it Haiku” – Jeremy
The Washington PostCoastal China battered by high winds and flooding as Typhoon Haikui lands
The China DailyTyphoon forces widespread evacuation

Mao Mausoleum UNESCO World Heritage Site bid
Shanghaiist: UNESCO world heritage status for the Great Helmsman’s Mao-soleum?
China Ryhming: How Mao Ended up in Tiananmen Square…Looking Like a Lincoln Memorial


Gady Epstein: Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore
“It’s a great historical tale that also gets at who owns a place, and who owns the history of a place, which I think can be relevant for China today.”

Kerry Brown: China in Ten Words by Yu Hua

Jeremy Goldkorn: The China Story
“Not chinastory dot org, THEchinastory dot org. The other one leads to yoga hippie site.”

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