Joining Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn on Sinica this week are special guests Gady Epstein from the Economist and Ed Wong from the New York Times, here to discuss what has been a surreal two weeks even by Chinese standards, bringing us the spectacle of a blind activist's refuge in the American Embassy in Beijing, the ensuing diplomatic negotiations for his release, and an upsurge of popular Chinese outrage over a maritime dispute with the Philippines. Our guests also chat about "Ferrari-gate" and address the persisting rumors that a tuxedo-clad princeling drove up to the US Ambassadorial residence in a red Ferrari.

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 said on
May 11, 2012

Topic - Ferrarigate

Details Are Refuted in Tale of Bo Guagua’s Red Ferrari /David Barboza and Ed Wong for The New York Times:

An Exclusive Statement from Bo Guagua to The Harvard Crimson:

Ousted Chinese Leader Is Said to Have Spied on Other Top Officials /Jonathan Ansfield and Ian Johnson for The New York Times:

Topic - The Chen Guangcheng Debacle

Behind Twists of Diplomacy in the Case of a Chinese Dissident /Steven Lee Myers and Mark Landler for The New York Times:

Chen Guangcheng breaks silence with phone call to The Washington Post /Keith Richburg:

Who Controls the Family? /Philip Pan for The Washington Post (2005):

Chinese to Prosecute Peasant Who Resisted One-Child Policy /Philip Pan for The Washington Post (2006):

Zeng Jinyan's initial tweet claiming that early media coverage of US-China Chen deal is wrong:!/zengjinyan/status/197659737779748864

Teng Biao's Twitter account:!/tengbiao

English transcript of Chen and Teng Biao's phone conversations by Shanghaiist (with link to original Chinese):

Activist Chen Guangcheng wants to leave China amid fears for family's safety after leaving embassy /AP, hosted at CBS:

Professor Jerome Cohen at NYU advises Chen on negotiations /NYU School of Law News (links to relevant media coverage):

Topic - Warm Wind Blowing or Just Hot Air?

China court, in rare move, to hear dissident artist's lawsuit /Reuters:

The emperor does know - How the system rewards repression, in the name of maintaining stability /Gady Epstein for The Economist:

Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul Of A New China by Philip P. Pan:

Jinbushe, Maoist nationalist site based in the US:



A Reporter's Odyssey in Unseen China by John F. Burns, who from 1984 to 1986 was The Times's bureau chief in Beijing (Published February 08, 1987)

The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1) by Robert Caro


American Tabloid by James Ellroy

Jeremy: and a Kindle


The Love Business by Evan Osnos (paywall)
 said on
May 18, 2012
I think what Kaiser was trying to argue is that Chen choose to go to the US embassy and seek help by the Obama administration "on his own volition", and therefore has a certain responsibility toward those who've agreed to -- and despite incredible difficulty, actually managed to -- help him -- a responsibility he failed at with his somewhat erratic changes of heart.
 said on
May 24, 2012
I find it amazing one blind activist saying he doesn't agree with his government turned the whole country upside down and caused a diplomatic crisis in a matter of days. Contrast that with how many Americans publicly write in print and on the web how much they hate their government (under their real identities) and it never gets any kind of reaction from anybody.
 said on
May 24, 2012
@vindalsace - All the more remarkable given that Chen has quite pointedly not criticized the national government. All of his problems have -- at least superficially -- been with local officials, whom he first ran afoul of by pointing out that they were acting in contravention of national law.

If you look at the video statement Chen released after his escape, it's wonderfully well-constructed in the way it draws a clear rhetorical line between the local authorities in Linyi and the national government. I wonder how much of what happened since then is due to his making that distinction.
Mark Lesson Studied