China and Africa
Posted by Joel Martinsen on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM
The Oriental Post, Botswana's first Chinese-language newspaper, was launched with great fanfare at the end of May at a ceremony that included performances of opera and magic and the presence of Miss Botswana.
The launch was reported by the local press, China's foreign ministry, and the People's Daily, which has a content partnership with the newspaper.
Last week, France 24's The Observers ran a story on the new paper under the headline "Africa's first Chinese newspaper":
The Oriental Post is not a daily newspaper. The Chinese title 非洲华侨周报 means "Africa Overseas Chinese Weekly," and according to a report filed by the Chinese embassy in Botswana and carried on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the paper is published once a week:
Nor is The Oriental Post Africa's first Chinese-language newspaper.
A commenter to a post on the Blood and Treasure blog (where the news first came to Danwei's attention) points to a story from 2005 about the launch of a Chinese-language paper in Lagos, Nigeria:
Writing about the launch of The Oriental Post for Mmegi, Mpho Tlale made a more limited claim:
China Express (华侨新闻报) has been publishing out of Johannesburg, South Africa (SADC member) since 1994.
However, that paper is published in traditional characters and lacks the ties to the People's Daily that connects The Oriental Post to mainland China, so perhaps "first of its kind" still applies in this case.
The Observers article, which does not mention the PD partnership, has the only online photo of the cover of the new newspaper, so despite its inaccuracies it's still worth checking out.
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.