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27 December 2010

Three New Books Related to JMSC Published

Three books that are related to the JMSC have been published this month.

The Great Game of Political Reform: Wen Jiaobao’s Seven Speeches on Political Reform

The first, The Great Game of Political Reform: Wen Jiabao’s Seven Speeches on Political Reform, was compiled by the director of the China Media Project (CMP), Qian Gang.

The book is a collection of essays and other writing done in 2010 on the subject of political reform in China. The subject matter for the book was chosen as a result of seven speeches on political reform given by Chinese Premier, Wen Jiaobao (温家宝), between August 20 and September 30, 2010.

Contributors include Yanhuang Chunqiu editor Du Daozheng (杜导正), New Century editor-in-chief Hu Shuli (胡舒立), Beijing Film Academy professor Cui Weiping (崔伟平), blogger and former foreign ministry official Yang Hengjun (杨恒均), Yazhou Zhoukan editor-in-chief Qiu Liben (邱立本), writer Yu Jie (余杰), Southern Weekend columnist Xiao Shu (笑蜀), as well as drafters (or “writer’s groups”), who are often anonymous and who offer defences against pro-reform arguments in People’s Daily, Seeking Truth and other publications.

David Bandurski, a research associate at the CMP wrote on the project’s website, “One of the biggest overarching China stories of 2010 has to be the enigmatic tug-of-war over the issue of political reform, a debate that has been visible at times in China’s media and has shifted at other times to overseas media……the voices on political reform inside China, and within the broader Chinese community globally, were rich and varied.”

“The book is an essential read for anyone interested in the current and future climate of political reform in China, or in how this sensitive issue has been addressed by media inside China,” Bandurski added.

Changing Media, Changing China

The second book is called Changing Media, Changing China edited by Susan Shirk. Shirk is a professor at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego and an expert on Chinese politics. She was also Deputy Assistant Secretary of State during the Clinton administration.

China Media Project director, Qian Gang, and research associate, David Bandurski, were asked to contribute a chapter to the book. They we wrote an overview of changes in China’s press, and how the factors of commercialisation, journalistic professionalism, the internet and other new media are working together to open up interesting new spaces for expression in the country.

“This book is valuable because it offers a broad but expert view on changes in China’s media and the impact they are having in China today,” said David Bandurski. “The book covers many and varied aspects of the media, including television, the internet, newspapers, business journalism and the influence the media has had on China’s court system.”

The third book is Humanities Now: Perspectives across Cultures by Leo Lee Ou-fan. Lee is Emeritus Professor of Chinese Studies at Harvard University and a cultural critic who looks specifically at China. He came to give a series of six eponymous lectures at HKU in 2009; they focused on strategic moments in history in which art forms across cultures appear to illuminate each other. By exploring works of modern artists and thinkers from both East and West, Lee aimed to recover the ethical significance of the humanities for today.

The lectures were in Chinese and were co-organised by HKU’s School of Humanities and the JMSC’s Project for Public Culture.

The lectures and the writing of the book, which is published by Oxford University Press and also in Chinese, were sponsored by the the JMSC’s Project for Public Culture, the Azalea (1972) Endowment Fund, the HKU Culture and Humanities Fund and Muse Magazine. Podcasts of the six lectures can be heard and/or viewed at: http://jmsc.hku.hk/leolee/.