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The painting of Mao Tse-tung as a Renaissance saint was too risky for the Shanghai 2000 Biennial. The photo of a man eating a dead baby was too disturbing. The works, rejected by the Shanghai Art Museum's official contemporary art show, went on display at private galleries. That's when police raided a gallery and seized the exhibits. The two-month Biennial, with 67 artists from 15 countries, is China's bid to join the club of biannual art extravaganzas led by Venice and New York City.
September 20, 2012 | By Barbara Demick and Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - The last week's anti-Japan demonstrations in China have been a spectacular display of just how easily the ruling Communist Party can harness the power of protest. In the aftermath of nationwide protests, in which mobs trashed Japanese-owned businesses and set fire to Japanese model cars, critics are questioning the degree to which the Chinese government fanned the flames as part of its dispute with Japan over an island chain both nations claim. "It is obvious that this was planned," said Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist, who videotaped some of the protests.
Cyberspace has long been a seamless world, where data packets' only allegiance is to the imperative of quick transmission. A centrally administered addressing system has kept it so. Now, however, a tug of war rooted in nationalism is threatening to disrupt that system and snarl efforts to make the Internet a more universal medium. The struggle pits VeriSign Inc.--the U.S. company that keeps track of addresses with those well-known endings such as ".com" and ".org"--against China's government.
February 16, 2012 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
The Chinese Communist Party sent a pointed message to Christian Bale recently: You will not work in this town again. The movie star's attempt to visit a prominent Chinese dissident under house arrest ended in a televised scuffle with plainclothes police and a chiding from authorities in December. "If he wants to create news, I don't think that would be welcome in China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said of Bale, who had been in Beijing for the opening of his film "The Flowers of War. " The Bale dust-up was the latest collision between Hollywood heavyweights and autocratic China.
Three years in a Chinese-run prisoner-of-war camp in North Korea was all the convincing James Veneris needed. When the Korean War ended in 1953 and the young American was given the choice of going home or moving to the land of his captors, he didn't hesitate. He moved to China. "I loved their spirit, I loved their ideology and what they were trying to do," he said recently of the Communist Chinese, whose newly unified nation was struggling to survive past infancy.
June 15, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
China's government has stepped up pressure on a popular exercise and meditation group, warning members that they are banned from holding large gatherings that could upset social stability. The warning demonstrated the suspicion with which Communist Party leaders have viewed the Falun Gong group since thousands of its members surrounded the leadership's compound in Beijing in a silent protest April 25.
December 4, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Two dissidents arrested this week are suspected of endangering national security, China's government said in the clearest sign yet that it intends to block their campaign to form an opposition party. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao refused to say how Xu Wenli and Qin Yongmin endangered the state or to specify what laws they broke. Wang Youcai, a third activist in the campaign to set up the China Democracy Party, has been in custody for a month.
September 23, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Chinese authorities have detained two dissidents and placed a third under surveillance in a widening police sweep against members of a would-be opposition party, rights groups reported. Two of the dissidents--Xie Wanjun and Liu Lianjun--reported receiving encouraging signals from the government earlier this month about setting up the China Democracy Party. But last week, police began detaining people connected to the party.
August 10, 1997
India won independence in August 1947 after nearly two centuries as part of the British Empire--and a four-decade nationalist campaign led by Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi. With the adoption of its constitution in 1948, it became the world's largest democracy. The second most populous nation is a federal state with a parliamentary form of government, where 15 major languages, five key religions and countless castes contribute to an almost unmanageable diversity.
September 25, 1989 | MYRNA OLIVER, Times Staff Writer
One person was arrested outside a Chinatown restaurant Sunday during a demonstration protesting human rights violations in China. Inside, 600 people were attending a luncheon celebrating the 40th anniversary of China's Communist government. Although several protests have been staged by Chinese students and others in Los Angeles since troops crushed student-led, pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing in June, the rallies have generally been peaceful and without arrests.
December 13, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Falling home values. Debt-strapped borrowers. Real estate woes dogging the economy. It's old news in the United States, but now the air has started to leak from another great housing bubble — in China. Home prices nationwide declined in November for the third straight month, according to an index of values in 100 major cities compiled by the China Index Academy, an independent real estate firm. Average prices in the Shanghai area are down about 40% from their peak in mid-2009, to about $176,000 for a 1,000-square-foot home.
April 7, 2010 | By Mark Magnier and Anshul Rana
The world is in a cyber arms race and needs to take steps to reverse it, said the authors of a report released Tuesday that detailed the extensive theft by Chinese hackers of Indian national security information, 1,500 e-mails from the Dalai Lama's office and other sensitive information. Canadian and U.S. researchers at the University of Toronto monitored the hacking of a "shadow" spy network over eight months, tracking it to computer servers based in China and to individuals in the city of Chengdu in central China.
March 26, 2010
A Net fight Re "Google pulls plug on China search engine," March 23 Google's decision to pull out of mainland China demonstrates that corporations can flex as much political muscle as nations when they have the right leadership. Google stands to lose a significant amount of revenue, but the Chinese government stands to lose far more as the country's young people grow increasingly dissatisfied with their leaders' hard-line tactics. It's a remarkable moment in history when a technology giant can take a leadership role in coercing an oppressive regime to change.
February 3, 2009 | Mark Magnier
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, was hospitalized here Monday after complaining of discomfort in his arm, aides said. He was released a few hours later after a series of tests. The 73-year-old leader was diagnosed with a pinched nerve caused by a slipped disc, said Tenzin Taklha, an aide, who added, "The doctors said it was nothing serious."
November 28, 2005 | From Times Wire Services
Running water returned to this northeast city of 3.8 million people Sunday, ending a five-day shutdown blamed on a chemical spill that embarrassed the Chinese government and highlighted the nation's mounting environmental problems. City officials announced that the level of toxic materials in the Songhua River had fallen to within safety standards as a 50-mile slick of benzene and other poisonous chemicals moved downstream.
July 20, 2005 | Ronald Brownstein, Times Staff Writer
The proposed buyout of Unocal Corp. by China's CNOOC Ltd. is dramatizing the complex challenge of devising the rules for a capitalist competition with a communist nation. Much of the congressional opposition to the attempted acquisition has swirled around questions of whether the links between CNOOC and the Chinese government provide it unfair advantages and whether the company is acting as a commercial competitor or an arm of the Chinese state in pursuing the deal.
A gaunt young man in a green sweat shirt put a pinch of brown powder on a piece of foil from a cigarette package, held a burning match below it and, as a thin wisp of smoke rose, drew it into his lungs. "I've tried to give up, seven or eight times," he said to a foreigner who had been allowed to enter this modern-day opium den only after overcoming suspicions that he was an American narcotics agent. "I can't help myself. It's my environment. All my friends smoke."
Leaving or being left behind is a way of life here in the capital of China's human smuggling trade. But for Chinese seeking escape to the West, the price--and the risks--are growing. An estimated 100,000 Chinese are smuggled to the West each year. The traffic intensified during the last decade, driving up the price of passage as much as fourfold. Some coastal towns here in Fujian province annually lose one out of 10 residents. The outflow has the Chinese government cracking the whip.
December 6, 2003 | Jean Merl, Times Staff Writer
As a teacher of Chinese language courses at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, Peter Ye said he constantly gets this question from parents and students: When will there be an Advanced Placement course and exam for high school students interested in earning college credit -- and a likely boost to their admission prospects -- in Chinese? On Friday, he had an answer.
The old house with its spacious courtyard and pointy rooftop used to be the nicest in town. Three centuries of wear and tear have turned it into a dilapidated shanty, like all the other houses in this dying river village. Yet its stature has never diminished in the eyes of the Wen family. Twelve generations of Wen children were born there, raised there, married there and expected to die there. The house is the family. The family is the house. But not for much longer. The deluge is coming.
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