The island shared by Russia and China, and other links

  • “Located near the city of Khabarovsk, at the confluence of the Ussuri and Amur rivers, Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island has long held strategic importance for Russia,” reports Ekaterina Vasyukova. Known as Heixiazi south of the border, the island has been shared between Russia and China since a 2004 agreement, dividing it roughly in half. Vasyukova says that while China has transformed its side of the island into a nature reserve that attracts more than 600,000 tourists every year, on the Russian side, “there are about 100 people trying to survive in ramshackle homes, and all development plans have failed to secure the necessary funding.”
  • “Jin Yong and Me” is the title of an essay by Hong Kong commentator Lee Yee (李怡 Lǐ Yí) translated by Geremie R. Barmé on Louis Cha aka Jīn Yōng 金庸, China’s beloved, recently deceased author of martial arts novels.
  • “Life, death of suicide chat groups” is an article from the Chinarrative newsletter on the rise of online suicide pact groups in China and the people trying to infiltrate them to stop their members from taking action.
  • China-Africa nerds: “SAIS-CARI Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis or by invitation to researchers, policy-makers, or journalists who wish to carry out research and write about an under-explored policy issue related to China-Africa engagement related. Proposals must be submitted by November 30, 2018.” Click through for details.
  • “How China drove out Mister Softee and why you need to know about it” is a post on China Law Blog that explains what went wrong for an American entrepreneur in Suzhou who seemed to be doing everything the right way but lost his business anyway. (China Law Blog is a good resource for practical China business advice.)
  • Co-productions between Chinese state entities and foreign film crews sometimes look neutral, but they are a more sophisticated type of propaganda. In Documenting China’s influence, media scholar David Bandurski looks at a slick documentary series called China: Time of Xi. It was a joint effort of the Discovery Channel and a propaganda organization under the central government.
  • A former editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily fell 19 floors to her death from the newspaper’s office building, reports Radio Free Asia. Suicide is suspected.
  • “The Financial Times has said that its Asia editor, Victor Mallet, has been barred from entering Hong Kong, weeks after the government refused to renew his work visa,” reports Hong Kong Free Press.