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Karl Marx and China's Big Chill 2.0

This statue of Karl Marx (L) and Friedrich Engels graces Shanghai's Fuxing Park. (Hennie Schaper/Flickr)
Policy

As China embarks on another internet crackdown in the name of maintaining stability, Jeffrey Wasserstrom calls into question the predictive powers of Karl Marx.

Top Tweets: Twitter Users React to Censorship Announcement

Policy

Twitter announced on Thursday that it will reserve the right to "reactively withhold" tweets on a country-to-country basis. "As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," declared the official Twitter blog.

Mind Your Text Messages, Say Pakistani Officials

A Pakistani mobile seller shows phones to a customer at a Lahore electronics market in 2010. As of late 2011, Pakistan is estimated to have 100 million cell phone users. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
Lifestyle

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) are planning to impose a ban on a list of words considered obscene or offensive.

The Guardian story Butt out! Pakistan Telecom Watchdog drafts rude text message ban mentions words like "strap-in", "beat your meat", "crotch rot". "love pistol", "pocket pool" and "quickie" from the banned list to illustrate some examples. 

Video: Chinese Author Murong Xuecun Talks Government (and Self) Censorship

Chinese author Murong Xuecun speaks during the Chindia Dialogues at Asia Society in New York on Sunday, November 6, 2011. (Elsa Ruiz)
Arts

Before he was featured on the front page of the New York Times, the 37-year-old novelist spoke at Asia Society in New York. Click the headline to read and watch.

Google Reader Redesign Unpopular in China

(Mike Licht/Flickr)
Lifestyle

Earlier this week Google unveiled the newest version of Google Reader, its long-neglected RSS service. Though most of the changes are cosmetic — Google has embraced a gray, minimalist aesthetic of late — the removal of Reader's social functions has led to a fair amount of grumbling among the service's users.

In China, Staying a Step Ahead of the Censors

An image from Pi San's
Arts

A New York Times story profiles two activists who use gags, puns, and other tricks to defy China's notorious Internet controls.

China Unable to Keep Handle on Ai Weiwei's Twitter

Ai Weiwei's Twitter page shows him to be back in political action.
Arts

Chinese dissident artist has broken his government-mandated Twitter silence to speak out against the detainment of his friends.

Online Artists React to China Train Crash

A Chinese artist's depiction of the high speed rail as the grim reaper.
Arts

By now you've no doubt heard of last Saturday's tragic accident involving two bullet trains in China's Zhejiang province. Official government reports say the crash killed at least 39 people and injured hundreds more, and some believe the actual death toll is much higher.

Mark Twain, William Shakespeare and Jiang Zemin

An elderly man looks at portraits of former Chinese communist leaders (L to R) Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and current president Hu Jintao in Ditan Park in Beijing on June 28, 2011. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

As my friends know, it doesn’t take much to make me think of Mark Twain. And even people I’ve never met who have followed my writings on China know about my obsession with Twain, since I’ve managed to bring him into discussions of a wide range of China-related topics, from Shanghai history (he never went there but has a San Francisco-bound fictional character set sail from that treaty port) to the Boxers (with whose cause he expressed sympathy in 1900). So, it’s no surprise that, when rumors about Jiang Zemin’s death flew and then were squashed earlier this week, I found myself thinking of Twain.

In China, a Return to a 'Fearful Climate' for Artists

Graffiti is displayed on a wall asking for the release of famed mainland Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, in Hong Kong on April 19, 2011. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)
Arts

Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu writes about freedom of expression in China for CNN.com.