Tag Archives: Politics

What the “grass mud horse” means and doesn’t mean

Warning: This post contains vulgarity in an academic context. Those with weak constitutions are advised to stop reading and visit this wholesome site instead. The New York Times has an interesting story about Chinese Internet users putting a stick in … Continue reading

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5/12, 9/11 and three minutes on Monday afternoon

On Monday, May 12th, Imagethief was on the 27th floor of the Kerry Center for a meeting at 2:28PM. We all spent a couple of spooky minutes at the window watching Kerry and Fortune Plaza sway alarmingly, not knowing that … Continue reading

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Tibet and the trouble with unassailable national myths

Outside of Young Frankenstein there isn’t really any such thing as a “good time” for rioting, but this might be an especially bad time for China to have a bout of punishing ethnic unrest. It hasn’t really been a banner … Continue reading

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Was the China corruption website collapse story “newsiness”?

The greatest contribution that comedian Stephen Colbert has made to modern society is the concept of “truthiness”. Reading from the Wikipedia definition, truthiness is: …a satirical term to describe things that a person claims to know intuitively or “from the … Continue reading

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Why the Yilishen ant-farming scandal was the perfect China story

Imagethief recently found himself huddled in a wintry hutong courtyard in conversation with two longtime Beijing-based foreign correspondents. During this discussion we came to the conclusion that the recent Yilishen ant-farming scandal is more or less the perfect China story. … Continue reading

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Notorious MDA: The Singapore government raps

From time to time someone will ask me why I left Singapore for China. This is a fair question. I lived there for nearly a decade, Mrs. Imagethief is Singaporean, and I have great affection for the place. Usually I … Continue reading

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The up is red

Imagethief was enrocketed to read on Friday that China’s taikonauts –whom I prefer to call “astronauts” because “taikonauts” sounds like they should be exploring my sugar bowl– are considering starting a Communist Party cell in outer space: “If China has … Continue reading

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Bullet in the head: Marquee executions and public communication

As has been widely reported, the Chinese government has got round to making an official example of Zheng Xiaoyu, the disgraced former head of the State Food and Drug Administration who became the poster-boy for China’s rippling food and drug … Continue reading

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China’s food crisis PR strategy: Blame everyone else

A few weeks into China’s rippling food quality crisis a PR strategy is coming into view. It’s a classic one: blame everyone else. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to be all that effective because of two things. First, China does actually … Continue reading

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I say “tomato”, you say “massacre”, let’s call the whole thing off

It is a truism of public relations and communication that he who controls the language with which an issue is defined controls the debate. If you can attach your terminology to a situation, you have leverage over public opinion. Don’t … Continue reading

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