Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 7:22 PM
The Global Times (环球时报), the People's Daily-affiliated tabloid that tends to get mentioned after the adjective "nationalistic," has launched an English-language edition. This momentous event made the cover of today's People's Daily.
There's a photo of a missile destroyer on the cover, but that's about as close as the Global Times (English) gets to the personality of its feisty older sibling. Compare the headline "Chinese call for stronger naval presence" with the Chinese edition's rather cockier "The world focuses on China's fleet review," over an identical photo.
Content-wise, the paper combines original feature reporting with news and opinion pieces translated from the Chinese-language press. According to today's lead editorial,
One aim of the newspaper goes unmentioned in the editorial. An ad for the English-language edition that ran in the Chinese-language Global Times today describes it in similar words, but adds an extra incentive for Chinese readers:
There's a similar full-page ad in The Beijing News. Today's bilingual stories are "ROK Web portals liable for defamatory posts" and "Chinese craze for English tattoos." A box on the front page helpfully instructs readers to consult pages 5 and 6 of the Chinese Global Times for the originals.
The launch was fairly low-key in downtown Beijing: we were unable to find the paper at any of the newsstands in the Jinbaojie area, and even the post office across from the Beijing Train Station was unaware that a new English newspaper was coming out today. Reportedly, newsstands in the university district were better supplied.
The sense that the newspaper is aiming for an audience of English-language learners is boosted by the Chinese-language ad for 快克, a brand of cold medicine, on the front page of the English edition.
And here's a curiosity: Global Times (English) is published under license number CN11-0272. That same number was used in recruitment and promotional posts last August by a company called Huashihua News (华视华报) in what looks to be some sort of advertising scam.
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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.