Not authoritarian rule but solid support from China’s citizens allowed its government to beat the Covid-19 and effectively deal with the coronavirus crisis, argues Singapore-based journalist Ian Johnson, in the New York Review of Books. He uses the Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, to show the government did not silence critics but did win majority support by its people, helped by indeed heavily manipulated media in China.
This month the provisory agreement for cooperating on the nomination of bishops between the Vatican and the Chinese government is up for renewable. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, explains why the deal was for the Roman-Catholic church an “understandable gamble,” according to the NCR.
Journalist and academic Ian Johnson reviews a documentary of artist Ai Weiwei with hidden footage of the coronavirus crisis in Wuhan for Plataformamedia. “The public needs to understand that this film is about China,” Weiwei said in a telephone interview with Ian Johnson. “Yes, it is about the coronavirus lockdown, but it is an effort to reflect what ordinary Chinese have experienced.”
A large number of foreign journalists, mostly Americans, got kicked out of China earlier this year, including long-term veteran Ian Johnson. In-depth journalism is now hurt, he tells the Deutsche Welle, as most media organizations have only one or two correspondents in China, who cannot do more than scratch the surface.
Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao interviews author and journalist Yuan Ling after he got into quarantine in his home province Shaanxi. “The virus has already had a deeper impact on the people than even the  Sichuan earthquake [that killed 69,000],” Yuan Ling tells Ian Johnson on the phone, for the New York Review of Books.
The national fight against the coronavirus has also triggered off help in temples, churches and mosques, writes author Ian Johnson of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao in the New York Times, but not all help has been appreciated. Religious groups have been donating large amounts of money, a feature hard to imagine even ten years ago, he writes.
Beijing-based Journalist Ian Johnson describes the governmental corona-action in Beijing and explains why it has more to do with lack of trust in the government than health, in the New York Times. “Considering the underlying distrust, it’s hard for the government to say what many epidemiologists are saying: This outbreak is serious but not catastrophic.”
Foreign media mostly focus on China’s crackdown on religion, but it’s approach has become much more nuanced, says journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at the New York Times. Two truly global religions, Islam and Christianity, cause China’s leadership most trouble.
Pulitzer-price winning journalist Ian Johnson describes the decline of Hong Kong, in all possible ways – not only economically, as China rose, for the NY Review of Books. “Hong Kong failed to install visionary leaders who might have helped Hong Kong retain its place among the handful of truly key global cities,” he writes.