How will people remember the Wuhan lockdown, two years ago at the start of the global coronavirus crisis, asks CFR-scholar Ian Johnson in a debate at the NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge on the book “The Wuhan Lockdown”, by Yang Guobin. How successful has the state been in suppressing the knowledge of this hiccup in communist rule in Wuhan, Ian Johnson asks the author.
Giant demographic changes in Africa have defined most of China’s strategic vision, says Howard French, author of China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa, at a discussion at the National Bureau of Asian Research on the report by Nadège Rolland“A New Great Game? Situating Africa in China’s Strategic Thinking.”
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.
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.”
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are increasingly behaving like biased activists when it comes to China, says business analyst Shaun Rein at the state-owned CGTN. “I’m a big believer that they should have critics of China quoted, but then they should also have supporters of China quoted,” he argues.
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.
Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, interviewed extensively Jiang Xue, a 45-year old Chinese writer, for the NY Review of books. She worked for Chinese Business View and Southern Weekend, two papers who suffered from heavy censorship. Jiang Xue is a devout Buddhist and tells in this section on her current life.