BIG THINK censorship: Censors ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’

BIG THINK censorship Censors ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’ 1

Most ‘Style Guides’ in the US are still obsessed with purity of language, and advice: “…avoid foreign words. Write in English.”


BIG THINK censorship: Censors ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’

— With censorship, Big Think intimidates its contributors: Deletion, ban, termination may strike at any time

“If something is omitted from history, you have no way of knowing it is omitted.” –Howard Zinn

NEW YORK – An article on “Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times” was taken down by Jason Gots, a New Yorker, at Big Think in New York. Century-old language policies and US style guides that enforce racial ideas of purity of thought – Avoid foreign words. Write in English. – do not amount to “Cultural genocide”, thinks Jason Gots, a content editor at Big Think. Despite Big Think having syndicated and distributed the article under the tagline “language is power” earlier, for example on Facebook [1] and Twitter [2], Mr Gots decided that this article must not exist and its author punished:


Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times 5


Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times 2

Profile (author of 80 articles) removed:

Big Think Censors Bloggers

The article about censorship was subsequently censored; the account of the author, long-time contributor and cultural critic Thorsten J. Pattberg, PhD, immediately suspended. (No account means no access to the blog, effectively confiscating the remaining 79 articles). The author’s profile, too, was removed shortly after, again without notice or warning:

“…I did not have your email address nor any way of contacting you” claims Jason Gots, answering to an email inquiry. He’s either being dishonest or blind. The article in question was signed by an email address. The author’s website was linked in. There was a comment section, and so on:

"...I did not have your email address nor any way of contacting you" --said the censoring body. Really?! Dishonest...or blind.

“…I did not have your email address nor any way of contacting you” –said the censoring body. Really?! Dishonest…or blind.

Big Think is a corporation and “knowledge forum” that aims at disseminating “big ideas” that are “significant,” “relevant,” and “applicable to the way we think and act.” That censoring foreign words and cultures in the US flagship media is all of this, and more, Big Think’s Jason Gots believes is inconvenient and harmful to certain interest groups (The New York Times) and thus must be suppressed, removed, and disappear at once:

“You have no legal or civic “right” to be published on Big Think” Mr Gots justifies revisionism in his response email. Apparently, not even after having been published: Big Think can and will take down authors and pull off their work any time, without consent, and without notice.

What does the internet say about censorship

Here’s what the internet says about censorship: “Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups of institutions.” (Source:, last visited April 2015). In that spirit, let us say “No” to BIG BROTHER and “No” to censorship at BIG THINK.

Big Think's Jason Gots has a big idea: He will censor your ideas if he doesnt like them

Big Think’s Jason Gots has a big idea: He will censor your ideas if he doesn’t like them (or you)

Jason Gots’s “big idea” for Big Think: He will censor your ideas if he doesn’t like them (or you). The article ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’ has been re-uploaded here:

[1] The original @bigthink Facebook post entitled “Language is Power” of the now censored article on ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times':

Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times: Big Think posts on Facebook: "Language is Power". Article later censored, profile taken down

Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times: Big Think posts on Facebook: “Language is Power”. Article later censored, profile taken down

[2] Note: @bigthink unfortunately deleted the tweet and blocked your author from viewing its Twitter feed:

Censorship at BigThink - Deletiong blocking revisionism

Here’s a copy of the original tweet that’s now history:

Big Think Censorship and Revisionism: The original tweet of the now censored piece

Big Think Censorship and Revisionism: The original tweet of the now censored piece

Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times

Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times 1

“Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.” –George Orwell

What’s the point in learning Chinese if you’ll never be given the opportunity to use it, as most Western schools, universities, publishers, and evenThe New York Times practice Orwellian Rules of Writing in order to keep their China reports “Chinese-free” — meaning pure, clean, and unpolluted.

The New York Times, a US corporation dressed as global public service, is perhaps the most notorious offender to the world’s diversity of languages, foreign cultures, and non-Western people. All its writers and editors, letting alone outside contributors, are forced to “avoid foreign words” in their “submissions,” especially if it’s about foreign nations, their governments, and their (non-Western) people, wherever they can in order to keep the paper’s sovereignty over the definition of thought. (The NY Times must write from the position of highest authority, like the voice of an overlord and colonial master, which it cannot if the matter is discussed on foreign terms.)

It means that 95% of the world’s (non-US) population is effectively censored and/or their cultures and words omitted. Not all words are created equal, of course. Americans can call the Chinese whatever they want. But, still, what an attitude this is. It amounts to saying to our friends the Chinese (but also the Russians, Iranians, Germans, Indians, etc.): “You may express your ideas, but only by using OUR dictionary. You must use OUR vocabularies — forged in OUR culture, pleasant to OUR eyes!”

RELATED Language Imperialism – ‘Democracy’ in China [The Japan Times]

Even if it’s bordering on cultural and intellectual property theft: “You must translate foreign ideas and concepts into convenient English words and categories that a Westerner could have said and thought up independently from you. We don’t want to hold a candle to non-Western thinkers and inventors you see.”

Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times

Image (above): Most ‘Style Guides’ in the US are still obsessed with purity of language, and advice: “…avoid foreign words. Write in English.”

As any philosopher, politician, historian, or social-scientist (letting alone linguist) will attest to you: Language is power. Stripping billions of people off their cultural key terminologies so that your publication looks pure and thoroughbred isn’t just some journalist’s cruel joke. It is a form of cultural genocide. The New York Times may think New York as a worldly place. It is not. It is full of Americans.

This dead-serious form of language imperialism is of course an age-old and time-tested strategy: “It is knowledge only if we know it” — meaning that unless (and until) a Westerner also said it, and named it, and took credit for its discovery, as far as our media channels and academics are concerned, your foreign ideas, concepts, and categories remain “fair game.” (This discrimination against foreign words, I claim, is worse than racism.)

RELATED Knowledge is a Polyglot [Big Think]

Anyway, here’s a taste of blatant NY Times language imperialism (see this link). It is in the form of a China op-ed (already his second) by China professor Daniel A. Bell who in order to get published in The New York Times prostrates himself not only to “Teaching Western Values,” but also more so to “Teaching China the correct English terms” for all their Chinese thoughts on cultural and ideological matters.

I am all for the inclusion of foreign cultures, not their omission in our media. Foreign names, brands, and inventions must be allowed [and will be allowed some day, I’m sure of it] to show and to compete in US publications. Today, most foreign words are still banned. And almost 7 billion people whose languages are not English are silenced.

Image credit: Stuart Monk/

Thorsten J. Pattberg, Ph.D., is a German writer and cultural critic. He is the author of The East-West Dichotomy. You may contact him here: pattberg’at’

Note: This article about censorship at The New York Times had been posted on New York’s BIG THINK on April 20th, 2015, and was censored a day later:

Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times 2

‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’ might just have hit a nerve.

Daniel A Bell did it again: A “Chinese-free” China report in the NY Times (Teaching Western Values)

“Your students, Professor Bell, are all secretly reading Dr. Pattberg‘s essays on the liberalization of Chinese terminologies.”

Daniel A. Bell, a professor of “political theory” (which really is the theory of power relations) at China’s Tsinghua University, is NOT helping correct scholarship, I claim, by prostrating himself before The New York Times‘s ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing’, and by (repeatedly) submitting China op-eds that are virtually, I mean linguistically and culturally, “Chinese-free”.

The leading China professor didn’t even manage to write ruxue. The NY Times is a political instrument and Western tool in driving Western values (including Western names and definitions for everything) into the brains of its dear readers. Audiences will always rely on the correct names -names that they won’t get from US media.

Readers certainly won’t get the correct Chinese names from the highbrow The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, the CNN, etc.. Those US corporations dressed as global public services are all dinosaurs. They believe in the purity of language like the colonialists believed in the purity of race. You don’t believe it? The idea that Western educated readers may encounter original Chinese concepts or categories that they may have to look up in the dictionary (or, God forbids, to study in depth) scares and shames those NY Times editors. They, as a matter of style and elitism, have to write from the position of the highest authority. Like the voice of overlords or colonial masters. Instinctively, they don’t like to be taught or lectured on foreign cultures. Daniel A. Bell is an “expert” on China. In the US media he is not allowed to write Chinese words. Chinese terms are certainly taboo in The New York Times.

The paper’s owners and editors, like most Western publications, require all NY Times ‘submissions’ to be written in clean and plain English. So as to keep their China articles (and your supply of information about non-Western people) in “beautiful” – meaning pure and unpolluted – English language. Only problem -it’s incorrect and dishonest. As the late historian Horward Zinn once remarked: If something is omitted from history, you have no way of knowing it is omitted. By omitting the correct Chinese terms in his China article to the NY Times, I claim, Daniel A Bell is doing a disservice to World History.

I know that Daniel A. Bell uses the correct Chinese terms all the time when among colleagues and students; therefore I suspect that Prof. Bell feels intimidated and coerced by the NY Times (and, by extension, the US establishment). It is, from a political perspective, not wise for writers in America to hold a candle to its ideological enemies. But scholars, I claim, must be able to do that. So why did Prof. Bell fail in that respect?

The NY Times is on a mission to convert all meaningful China analysis into Western categories and talk about China solely on Western terms. Rather than standing by what he has learned during all his professional life (the correct Chinese terms), Prof. Bell decided to let China, his colleagues, and his students down. (No wonder so few Americans are willing to study a foreign language – foreign words won’t see their way into print anyways -pure English diction is required.)

Daniel A Bell submits to NY Times Orwellian Rules of Writing , Teaching ‘Western Values’ in China

Daniel A Bell submits, yet again, to NY Times Orwellian Rules of Writing in: Teaching ‘Western Values’ in China {Watch when he did it before]

Professor Bell has learned the Chinese culture and language all his adult life but doesn’t have the courage and integrity to use it when he sees a NY Times editor. What a lost opportunity. He could have made a real difference in the world. The US highbrow media censors 95% of the world’s population, based on their “not correct” foreign vocabularies.

Prof. Bell repeatedly had the opportunity to inform the educated American public, yet he blew it possibly for fear of being rejected in print. The reckless translation of foreign key terminologies is an old language trick that European imperialists used for over 300 years to steal the cultural intellectual property of the conquered. The Germans even had a word for it: Deutungshoheit – meaning having the sovereignty over the definition of thought.

RELATED: Language hegemony – It’s shengren, stupid [China Daily]

This is the 21st Century. Historians can now easily reconstruct what had been lost due to reckless Western colonialism (and discrimination against foreign words). Tianxia, junzi, shengren -anyone? Enlighten, professors and journalists. This is China. The Chinese (just like other non-Western cultures) have thousands of original concepts and ideas that Westerners never heard of because our agenda-driven media and our old-fashioned publishers choose to suppress and withhold foreign key terminologies. To keep you ignorant and in the dark.

China has a perfect and legitimate reason for rejecting ‘Western values’ in its classroom; and it is the same reason America rejected ‘German values’ or ‘Japanese values’ or ‘Asian values': It all can be done on its own terms. Close your eyes America, and what you see is what you are entitled to.

We are one humanity, but seven billion people. It is not all about the USA or the West. (To be frank, even Europe can’t take US hubris any more.) The Asians for 3000 years have been formidable originators and thinkers, and have given names to all their ideas and inventions. America may claim to have liberated the races. It claims to have liberated the cultures. But it’s still a long way from here to liberate the words.

Why I liked Loser Laowai in China

From: Youtube – Loser Laowai, A black man’s experience in the Middle Kingdom

From: Youtube – Loser Laowai, A black man’s experience in the Middle Kingdom

SHANGHAI – Having experienced intense drama and roadblock myself in Shanghai for two years back in the 2000s, your author should know about 1/5 of where Randy Flagg, the writer and producer of the Youtube biopic ‘Loser Laowai in China’, is coming from. But in terms of positively surreal “crazy shit” that this man witnessed during his last ten years in China, I, sir, concede defeat.

Is it because I am white and Mr Flagg is black? Not so much. This is China, and it’s more complicated than that. There is Anglo-Saxon white, there is German white, there is Jewish white, there is Italian white (why folks consider the romance cultures full-fledged white is a mystery to some); and there’s African-American black ( being “American” is advantageous to all colors, so I am told), there is Algerian black, Congo black, and there’s even (his own words, not mine) “Brazilian caramel.” There are so many colors here. But in China we are all ‘laowais’ -outsiders. Other than that: We triumph or fail as individuals. All newcomers should know this: Shanghai gives all of us a run for our money. If you (and with “you” I mean you and me and everyone) fail to contribute to this beast of a city (with a population greater than that of Australia), Shanghai will beat you down and leave you there thrashed in the gutters. Since we all know somebody who got crushed or temporarily knocked-out, most of us will root with ‘Loser Laowai’ easily.

Randy Flagg (a pen name) says he lived in New York and moved to China in 2002. Multi-talented, street-wise, steeled with an American literature degree, and spirited with entrepreneurial zest, he moved to the Pearl River megalopolis in 2005. According to his video channel he quickly found employment as an English teacher. Disillusioned, he quit that profession: “The teacher [in China] is considered a dancing bear, and to pile even more on top I am black. I don’t need to explain, right?”.

In January 2015 he turned to Youtube. A somewhat bold choice in China where the US video platform is blocked for everybody-knows-why. Access requires VPN software that can penetrate China’s internet firewall. Nevertheless, Mr Flagg saw a niche. And his viewers are rewarding him with clicks and subscriptions. He covers both, the bad and the not-so-bad in China (Watch: 10 Reasons why he chooses NOT to live in the USA), and gradually draws attention from all strata of the (expat -if you’re white, otherwise:) immigrant community, such as or

Drinking, smoking, and philosophizing (and quite articulated at philosophizing), he commentates on threesomes, spirituality, corruption and modern colonialism, to race relations, blasians (black Asians), white privilege, job hunting, and family (he is married to a Chinese woman, and they have a beautiful 4-years old daughter [she sometimes feat. in his videos]). His output is interspersed with a few quite remarkable motivational speeches for everyone who has occasionally felt let down by mighty China and requires the proverbial hug or ego-boost.

Just recently celebrating his 411th subscriber on his channel with what looks like rum putaojiu (grapefruit liquor) and Zhongnanhai cigarettes, ‘The Microgiant’ blog picked up the story and echoed Mr Flagg’s future ambitions: “Every black person coming to Asia should see it”. I’ll top that and say, indeed, every foreign person coming to Asia should check him out. He is entertaining, charismatic, offers great advise (he’s a walking China survival guide, really), and, as his moniker ‘Loser’ suggests, does all that with a hefty dose of self-deprecation and humor – a winning formula in Youtube’s growing vlogger scene.

The show isn’t without ‘beginner’s controversy’, though. In his show’s prologue, Randy’s character ‘Loser Laowai’ confesses that he “probably is an alcoholic -24/7.” Sometimes he uses slang (“the b’ and the n’ words), or occasional rants. In one vlog he accidentally threatened to kill somebody (in ‘War with IODA Orchad Music Group’); obviously highly unmanageable given the demographic distance but still irritating to listen to (given that he is otherwise such a good sport). While long-established Youtube channels can get away with verbally anything, special scrutiny is –often unfairly so- always given to the up-and-comers who still have to explore the rules of the game and test their boundaries.

Loser Laowai films people in Shanghai's metro / Youtube

Loser Laowai films people in Shanghai’s metro / Youtube

That said, ‘Lost Laowai’ is quite a piece of art. He films congested airport urinals. Ugh. He posts exploitative angles on commuters in the metro (girls, preferably). That entertains. He claims that if you’re a Western guy and come to China, you will have ten times more sex. That entertains some more. In other videos he recycles headlines from the gutter press: Some students had sex in public? Some mistress busted her sugar-daddy? Loser Laowai will give it some serious thoughts. With 140+ videos already (last checked: April 2015), the show certainly has the potential to enrich the diverse local culture of Shanghai, and hopefully beyond that (word has already reached Beijing, the capital). And, one day, who knows it may even become recognized as something historically and aesthetically significant.

I personally would love to see ‘Loser Laowai’ cooperating with other China channels such as Serpentza (China, How it is) or ChinaUncensored, etc. Or having guest laowais on the show. In any case, if all goes well, it should be only a matter of time until Loser Laowai is picked up by some journalists and the media.

Most importantly, Mr Flagg comes across as an honest and pleasant person to be with. Despite many obstacles, addictions, and struggles in his life, he celebrates every small victory with his loyal followers and chooses a positive attitude toward the challenges of life in China. It’s very inspirational stuff. Enough said about it, because he can say it better: Embrace yourself for Loser Laowai in China. (Or follow him on his blog here.)

Dreams of De-Westernization – Pattberg on Key Concepts in Chinese Thought

Pattberg: "For men and women of letters, racism seems but a trifle compared to the ongoing prejudices against foreign words."

“For men and women of letters, racism seems but a trifle compared to the ongoing prejudices against foreign words.”

“We cannot act as if China didn’t matter, as if the East-Asians for the last 3000 years invented nothing worth of naming and branding. The liberation of Chinese culture – its words and concepts – has only just begun.”

Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德) explains Xi Jinping’s Dreams of De-Westernization, the Zhongguo Meng (“Chinese dream”), the marketplace for Chinese words, the competition for terminologies, and in particular the liberalization of Chinese key concepts in global writings.

Despite understandable anxiety and resistance from Western politicians, professors, and journalists, and attempts by Western publishers, news desks, and editorials to keep the English language “pure” and “unpolluted,” the Chinese people (just everyone else) must stand up and assert themselves, their names, brands and ideas.


Pattberg: Beijing the “Center of a Linguistic Revolution” (Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture)

BEIJING – A revolution is underway in China, and it is unstoppable. While The New York Times, The Economist, BBC, CNN, and all Western media and scholarship still practice Orwellian rules of writing and avoid Chinese words in their China reports, a new generation of writers, scholars, and artists are not having any of it:

Whether it is shengren or junzi, baijiu or baozi, dama or taizidang –Chinese words are fashionable. There are tens of thousands of “untranslatable” Chinese key concepts out there that deserve their proper place in world history. The usual suspects like kungfu, qi, and wushu aren’t just enough for young writers. They want more.

In the past, when black people were not allowed to ride public buses in the United States, and when Asian words were shunned and censored in all writings, Western men (and few women) of letters had to improvise and “invent” translations for foreign ideas. Hence ruxue became “Confucianism”, following the Western understanding of religion: locate a messiah figure (Kong Zi) and add –ism.

Today, this form of reckless language segregation and intellectual property theft is crumbling. If we can liberate the races, we can also free their cultures. We must protect their names, words, and concepts.

China is not alone. In Japan, Shinzo Abe is promoting ‘Cool Japan’, boosting Japanese culture from genki to kawaii. Likewise, India’s Narendra Modi is supporting a revival of Hindu/Sanskrit terms around the globe.

Now Xi Jinping has discovered the secret to China’s soft power: It is Zhongguo Meng, not “Chinese Dream”. We in Beijing are at the center of this small but significant change of how people will write in the future. We are entering the post-translational society.

Thorsten J. Pattberg (PhD) is a German philosopher and cultural critic, and the author of The East-West Dichotomy and many other works on East-West relations. He can be reached at pattberg’at’

Further reading:

  1. 《怎么翻译中华文明的核心词》
  2. 《官方出品 中国传统词汇英语翻译权威版本发布》
  3. Knowledge is a Polyglot: The Future of Global Language, Big Think,

Western media is full of shit

Western media is full of shit

The idea that only soldiers fought wars must be rigorously refuted. Scholarship, in fact, the history of the world, is not a string of truths, but the chronicle of survivors. Scholars and journalists are believed to be a benign force of the good. They are not. They are full of shit.

Watch the video HERE (or click on the image above).

Western media is full of shit

…but you can always count on Western scholarship trailing not far behind. China in particular has been the target of ‘Western values’ propaganda and misinformation for centuries, with no end in sight. The NY Times, Economist magazine, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg all practice ‘Orwellian rules of writing’ and suppress non-Western words, ideas, and concepts. Thorsten Pattberg is the author of ‘The rising cult of China experts’ and ‘Free Asian Pacific from Western hold’.


I stumbled into a nest so-called ‘China Experts’ coincidentally while studying the history of Confucianism (the correct name is ‘ru’ or ‘ruxue’). I discovered that most Western accounts were of ruxue are deliberately fake or outright distortions. Those Western philosophers, missionaries, scholars, and journalists never wanted to understand. It was always about life and death of cultures, “us versus them”. The idea that only soldiers fought wars must be rigorously refuted. Scholarship, in fact, the history of the world, is not a string of truths, but the chronicle of survivors. Scholars and journalists are believed to be a benign force of the good. They are not. They are full of shit.

Today, the US media (which is mirrored in its satellite states) promotes a cult of ‘Western values’ and employs ‘press soldiers’ in strategic places all over the world with the profitable mission to distort, defame, and destabilize foreign nations, their governments, and their people. Back in the West, Eastern thought and cultures are censored. This is possible because of brutal segregation of thought and cultures, for example by rampant language imperialism. All Western journalists, especially those at the NYT, WSJ, Economist, Bloomberg etc., practice ‘Orwellian rules of writing’ and are obliged to write pure and clean English, and to avoid foreign words.

There is, in my view, nothing that those foreign nations, governments, and their people can do about those Western methods; although, of course, most are still trying to please. The reality is, it never was about what they did or do; their mere presence (or “existence”) as non-Western nations, governments, and people was (and always will be) the single most important factor for why they were patronized, coerced, and –if need be- viciously attacked. If Asia should ever recover from those brutal Western attacks, most Western scholars must fear for their legacy when it is found they were a bunch of racists and imperialists who were constantly making up realities. It’s like the ultimate revelation that the Western version of history was complete forgery. That’s why those so-called ‘China Experts’, be they professors or journalists, are up in their arms to prevent China from rising. They know very well that if new elites rise, the old ones may get punished and pushed out of business.

This atmosphere of Western fear and negativity gets worse by the year, because this ‘Cult of China Experts’, empowered by the US media monopoly, now reigns supremely from Beijing over Shanghai to Hong Kong. Voices for moderation, neutrality, and calls for humanity are largely marginalized and censored in the West. But what we can humbly do is to record these unruly times so that following generations of investigators might get a better picture of how this branch of Western ‘press soldiery’ was able to drag us all into darkness, silenced its critics, caused misery and distrust, and profited immensely from their militant methods and reckless ambitions.

The rising cult of China experts:

Free Asia-Pacific from Western hold:

About the author:

Noam Chomsky and George Yancy drop the bomb on US racism (Commentary)

Noam Chomsky and George Yance drop bomb on US racism

Noam Chomsky and George Yance drop bomb on US racism

Well said, sirs. But it’s in the NY Times (!). You must publish this outside the US (in China, Germany, France or Japan for example) in order to show your activism. No one can help the American people from inside the system; it is too tight and too dangerous. The NY Times is the one flagship paper that enabled it all: US imperialism, terror, and racism for over a century and a half. It still brutally censors 95% of the rest of the world, and practices Orwellian rules of writing in order to keep its language pure and clean of foreign pollution. If the (politically connected) editors allow critics such as Noam Chomsky and George Yancy, that’s because they don’t take you two “beneficiaries” of the system very serious. Did you sell more books after the show? Good for you. Even the most authoritarian rulers tolerated a form of self-criticism from time to time. And invented the court jesters.

“The colonists at once created the Great Seal of the Colony, which depicts an Indian holding a spear pointing downward in a sign of peace, with a scroll coming from his mouth pleading with the colonists to “Come over and help us.” This may have been the first case of “humanitarian intervention” — and, curiously, it turned out like so many others.” –Noam Chomsky

Read full article: Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism

When journalists ARE the story: Angela Köckritz

Angela Kockritz becomes her own story - Extreme journalism

Angela Kockritz IS the story about HER taking on China – Journalism extreme; Source: ZAPP / NDR / ARD “Es war ein Riesenschock”

Great show China Uncensored (hosted by Chris Chappell) on the the case of Angela Köckritz: Satire and sarcasm is nice. However, I am not so sure about Angela Köckritz. We only have what she herself wrote and said in interviews. Therein, she admits that she and Zhang Miao participated in anti-Government demonstrations in Hong Kong, that Zhang Miao turned into a full-blown activist, and that Köckritz even foresaw the trouble Zhang would get herself into when heading back to Beijing.

Köckritz also knew that her cover would blew if Zhang was investigated or stopped by any local police really, because her Chinese friend was not even properly registered as media assistant of DIE ZEIT in China. Köckritz confesses in her own writing that Zhang was never legally employed by DIE ZEIT in order to save money and insurance (you don’t want to pay Chinese people the same as you pay white Western expats, it’s the simple truth), and she never was registered as assistant to DIE ZEIT in China precisely because Angela Köckritz and her employer wanted to break the laws and regulations. You know, see what happens.

Mind you, even the The New York Times or Bloomberg have to register their Chinese assistants. As to Köckritz, it is difficult to categorize her activities in China in hindsight, and unbiased. The reason for that is mainly the history of Western colonialism and imperialism. Let me explain that briefly: Technically, there cannot exist white Western “spies” or “terrorists”; if they are white and Western they call each other “journalists” and “activists”.

What is more, ‘foreign agent’ is not a job description. They have no agent business cards. Even agents have proper jobs as journalists or cultural attachés in China. But they also have good working relations with their governments, and their activities are often (intentionally or not) a contribution to distort and disrupt a foreign government, or to intimidate its officials, say, by participating in anti-government demonstrations, so they are doing the work of foreign agents or disrupters or provocateurs after all.

Having said all that, German media doesn’t get to decide whether certain individuals are spies or not -a foreign government decides that. In this case China. Köckritz admits that she worked with German diplomats. Diplomats even brought her to the airport, and out of the country. We know today that the story that she “had to flee China” overnight was probably entirely fabricated. There was no arrest warrant, and her visa allowed for re-entry. Once the media bullshit is over, Köckritz will probably be back in Beijing (if she can overcome the shame).

At least she is brutally honest (which I think is healthy) that she and DIE ZEIT have political support, work hand in hand with politics, including the foreign ministry, to solve the Zhang Miao issue. She admits she and her employer and the diplomats tried to intimidate the local police to solve the Zhang Miao case outside the law, bypassing the formal ways, effectively threatening police work with the power of a full-blown Western anti-China campaign if the officers don’t comply.

The Germans precisely abuse their political connections, influence, and corrupt ways they otherwise accuse the Chinese elites of. The Chinese officials were not impressed and adviced the Germans, as paraphrased here in a Global Times article, to get “a competent lawyer” for Zhang Miao and proceed the legal way, instead of instigating a trial by media. What a thing to say to a group of white Western people. Don’t the Asians know that they’ll get a whipping for displeasing their Western colonial masters?

The entire story, I claim, tells more about German hypocrisy, white entitlement, institutionalized racism, and Western privilege in China than it tells about Chinese laws. In other words, a clear line between journalism and politics has clearly ceased to exist in this particular German case. And if a media fabricates a story in which that media itself IS the story, we should all run for cover.

裴德思:为什么中国梦的翻译是“Zhongguo Meng”,而不是“Chinese Dream”?

Zhongguo Meng or Chinese Dream历史是这样告诉我们的:(大多数)强大的国家对其他国家的影响也包括语言在内。所以,不要去翻译汉语的关键术语!功夫、武术、圣人、君子以及中国梦都是如此。为什么?因为一旦将汉语概念翻译成英语,就失掉了汉语的思维方式。

除非欧洲的课堂里也在教授中国梦,中国文化才真的得到解放。否则,西方读者看到“Chinese Dream”这两个词的时候,脑海里总是有美国梦做参考。斯洛文尼亚哲学家斯拉沃热·齐泽克曾经说过:“千万不要做不属于自己的梦。”