Morning Clicks

Writers are complex creatures, not saints or politicians

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 8:34am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 10:33am

Here's one of the more thoughtful responses seen online last night to the Swedish Academy's decision, guaranteed to be controversial, to award Mo Yan this year's Nobel Prize in Literature, from avant-garde novelist and poet Bei Cun:

Journalists and friends have messaged me asking for my view, as I've expressed both congratulations as well as opposition to the hand-copying [of Mao's speech]. What we must remember is that this is a literature award, and is limited to that profession. As I said several days ago, a writer's political position will not inevitably affect his or her professional ability, otherwise someone such as Heidegger would be difficult to understand. Writers aren't saints, maintaining a spiritual contradiction is allowed. I can only hope Mo Yan uses his influence to encourage people to act on conscience.

Pheonix Television managed to reach Mo Yan by telephone shortly after he was announced as the recipient, and here's some of what he said:

I think that all the comments online, both those in my support and the criticism, make sense in their own way. This is an age in which people are free to express themselves, when anyone can make known their view on any writer's work. So, critic or supporter, I'm very thankful for them all. In a way, it's like I've just been baptised. In the past, before the internet, a writer had no way of knowing what so many people though of his work. Now that this is possible, I've been able to see that there are in fact many people who like my writing, and many people who don't.


Morning Clicks
-- China’s latest snub undermines its leadership case At a time when the risks of global recession are increasing, retrenchment adds doubts about any potential leadership role. While Beijing might think its status as the world’s second largest economy makes it vital to any discussion, the reality is that the world continues to turn without it.

Fei Chang Dao
-- Chinese Websites Censor "Nobel Peace Prize" and "Liu Xiaobo" But Not "Nobel Literature Prize" and "Mo Yan" These screenshots were all taken on October 12, 2012, and show that both Baidu and Sina Weibo censor searches for "Nobel Peace Prize" (诺贝尔和平奖) and "Liu Xiaobo" (刘晓波) but not for "Nobel Literature Prize" (诺贝尔文学奖) and "Mo Yan" (莫言).
-- Reporting grants for China-Africa stories Wits Journalism is offering reporting grants to African journalists interested in unpacking the China-Africa relationship.

-- The Manchurian Network Don’t believe the U.S. government’s alarming claims that Chinese telecom firm Huawei is a danger to national security.

The Asahi Shimbun
-- Spooked by China, Japanese companies looking to Cambodia Violence and economic retaliation against Japanese companies in China are prompting them to look elsewhere, and Cambodia is one nation benefiting from their new investment interest.

The Guardian
-- Huawei's relationship with BT under investigation by MPs A spokesman for Huawei said of the intelligence and security committee's inquiry, for which the firm has not so far been asked to give evidence: "We have been operating in the UK since 2001 under UK scrutiny and procedures. We have regular contact with the government and welcome all discussions and questions."

The Yomiuri Shimbun
-- Prepare for prolonged pressure from China over Senkakus For years, China has made it a national policy to expand its territorial and maritime interests. Its goal for the time being is that Japan admit the existence of a territorial dispute over the islets and agree to sit at the negotiating table to discuss it. Beijing is expected to relentlessly apply pressure by various means until it extracts concessions from Japan.

-- The Next Leaders of the Unfree World As Beech writes, its rulers have always tried to project an image of seamless control and stability, or weiwen, which “is the government’s mantra these days, encompassing everything from security forces who beat up protesting grannies to secret prisons that house political dissidents to the armies of censors who scrub the media and Internet of wayward opinions.”

-- More transparency needed from Chinese tech vendors ZDNet Asia asked Cisco whether it would suffer any business repercussion in China and other markets friendly to China, as a result of the U.S. government report. To this, the spokespersons said: "This is not a China issue. This is a Huawei issue."

Media Roundup

-- Injured Japanese Car Owner in Xi’an Anti-Japan Protest Sues Police 
-- Chinese Philanthropist Replaces Damaged Japan-Made Cars 
-- Canada: A Fertile Field for Chinese Investment

China Daily
-- Foreign trade growth target 'will be missed' 
-- Delegations to Japan 'appropriate': FM 
-- Slowdown worsens in emerging markets as orders drop 
-- New dawn arises for cross-Straits ties 
-- Massive Canton Fair set to open on Oct 15 
-- Anti-Beijing radicals, don't use tragedy as political tool

China Internet Information Center
-- Bad rep for Chinese communities in Africa

Global Times
-- China cancels administrative approval requirement for foreigners' hunting in China 
-- China tops world in microblog user numbers: report 
-- Punishing criticisms outdated in today’s China 
-- Nobel Prize a win for mainstream values

People's Daily
-- China-Japan relations should not be kidnapped by right-wingers 
-- Chinese telecom firms hits back at US allegations

Sina English
-- Chinese patriot solo-sails into 8 km off Diaoyu Islands 
-- A billionaire's giveaway 
-- FM spokesman denounces Japan PM’s remark “gangster logic” 
-- More Chinese airlines cancel flights to Japan

-- Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan's works become pupular at Frankfurt Book Fair 
-- News Analysis: How did Mo Yan win China's first Nobel Prize in Literature? 
-- Foreign banks not yet allowed to open branches in Myanmar: official 
-- China's Huawei faces int'l barriers but should not be scared away