‘Let’s play’: Beijing hints at payback for US curbs on Chinese state media
China has suggested that it will retaliate against the United States for reducing the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work in the US offices of major Chinese state-owned media organizations. Hua Chunying, the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department, on Tuesday condemned the Trump administration’s restrictions on five Chinese state-run media outlets that will result in the effective expulsion of dozens of Chinese journalists from the US. “Now the US kicked off the game, let’s play,” she said in a tweet. The US said on Monday it will put a “personnel cap” on five organizations the Trump administration considers propaganda arms of the Chinese government. The restri
Why Xi Jinping wants everyone to know he ate on the train
Chinese President Xi Jinping is the kind of president who does not mind eating his dinner on the train and who shuns luxurious accommodation, according to the latest state media reports designed to portray him as a thrifty and frugal leader. The report by state news agency Xinhua published on Monday depicted him as a man who would spend his birthday working and personally intervened to ensure that meals in honor were not too extravagant. The report was also intended to reinforce the message to officials that staying down to earth was “no trivial matter” but was key to fulfilling the party’s “original mission” in what one analyst described as a Mao Zedong-style effort to show he was on the si
How Chinese state media downplayed Hong Kong election results
The Chinese government has tried to brush aside a historic election win by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp by downplaying the results in news reports and preventing internet users from talking about it.  Pro-Beijing politicians suffered a bitter defeat in Sunday’s district council elections, losing most of the seats they previously held to rivals who campaigned on their support for the monthslong anti-government protests. About 57% of the voters backed pro-democracy candidates, most of whom openly support protesters’ demands, which include an investigation into police conduct and democratic reforms.  The stunning win by the pro-democracy camp has made international headlines. It is seen as
Universities are the front line of China's rivalry with the West
Someday, perhaps soon, Xi Jinping and Donald Trump will sign an agreement resolving the US-China trade war. But the trade dispute has exposed more fundamental cleavages between China and the community of democratic nations. The most important clashes between China and the West concern not soybean exports nor the protection of patents, but free expression and open inquiry. Nowhere are those clashes taking place more vigorously than on university campuses. Consider the case of Nathan Law, the Hong Kong student who became a leader in the city’s 2014 “umbrella movement.”  Law was jailed for his activism and barred from legislative politics, but was accepted into a graduate program at Yale Unive