This is the Thinking China Digest, a weekly roundup of recent essays and articles published on the Chinese web, with links to translations on the Marco Polo Project.
After anti-Japanese demonstrations fired off around China, this week’s digest proposes to take a step back, and reflect on perceptions of Japan in China as manifested by three recently published articles. Yun Zhi’s travel narrative, written before the Diaoyu incident, gives us insight into Japanese culture and society as perceived by a Chinese visitor. Li Haipeng’s post explore the complexity of Japan and China’s interwoven history and interdependent relationship. Finally, Rose Luqiu Luwei’s more personal piece offers a meditation on preconceived ideas and historical change. Read more
Today, most newspapers in China feature the country’s slowing CPI growth rate on the front page. CPI (Consumer Price Index) is the primary measure of inflation in China, and the fact that it is slowing suggests China’s economy is in fact slowing down. The June CPI grew by only 2.2 % compared to the CPI for this period last year, which is the slowest rate China has seen in 29 months. The Chongqing Economic Times said this offers a perspective on China’s economy as a whole and the fact that the central bank suddenly cut interest rates last weekend suggests the slowdown in economic growth may be more serious than the government expected.
Meanwhile the Oriental Guardian decided to take a different direction and dedicated their front page to a large photo of a Michelangelo’s “David Apollo” statue (the less famous “David”) with a television set over his penis, pixilating the image. The headline reads “You can see it in a museum, but not on TV.” Read more