On 12 October, the Universities Service Centre for China Studies (USC) and the Centre for China Studies (CCS) co-organised a webinar entitled “Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public”, delivered by Prof. Junyan Jiang from Columbia University. A popular view of non-democratic regimes is that they draw followers mainly from those with an illiberal, authoritarian mindset. Prof. Jiang challenged this view by arguing that there exists a different class of autocracies that rules with a relatively enlightened base. Leveraging multiple nationally representative surveys from China over the past decade, he substantiated this claim by estimating and comparing the ideological preferences of Chinese Communist Party members with those of ordinary citizens. His findings cautioned against the simplistic, dichotomous characterisation of political regimes and underscored an important tension between modernisation and democratisation in developing societies. The talk attracted around 50 participants; many insightful comments and questions were raised during the discussion sessions.
On 19 November, USC and CCS co-organised the webinar entitled “‘Molihua’ [茉莉花] as Cultural Text: What Can Music Bring to Chinese Studies”, delivered by Prof. Frederick Lau from the Department of Music at CUHK. ‘Molihua’ is a folk song known throughout China and in the world. Prof. Lau discussed several important moments in this folk song’s existence and described how ‘Molihua’ was received, recontextualised, resignified, and capitalised upon, both inside and outside China. Using ‘Molihua’ as a text and case study, he suggested that music and sonic articulation are important tools for understanding the sentiments and the ever-changing modes of circulation of Chinese music.
Reflections on the Covid-19 Pandemic: “Plot Twist” and Institutional Comparison
USC and the Department of Government and Public Administration, CUHK, co-organised a webinar entitled “Reflections on the Covid-19 Pandemic: ‘Plot Twist’ and Institutional Comparison” on 7 December 2020. The speaker was Prof. Qin Hui, Visiting Professor of the Department of Government and Public Administration.
Covid-19 Resource Initiative
The COVID-19 epidemic, which began at the end of 2019, swept across the world within a few months, triggering a major public health crisis and has had a huge impact on medical systems, economic development and even social stability around the world. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, experts and scholars in different fields have stepped up research on the impact of this plague on human society. In the past six months, USC has purchased hundreds of health materials, including health yearbooks, health statistical yearbooks, CDC statistical yearbooks, health gazetteers, hospital gazetteers, epidemic prevention station gazetteers, as well as different health survey reports. These new materials have already been catalogued and put on shelves. In addition, the centre has extensively collected and downloaded information about the COVID-19 from the official websites of various Chinese central ministries and commissions as well as provincial and numerous municipal health departments. The data are archived on the centre’s server for easy access.