Forum: Borderlands and Cutting Edges


Patriotism and its Discontents

by Sebastian Veg

Anti-Mainland populist rhetoric had spread in Hong Kong throughout the spring of 2012, focussing on the ‘invasion’ of unruly mainland tourists on shopping sprees and pregnant mothers unlawfully giving birth in Hong Kong to obtain residency, squeezing local residents out of limited hospital beds.

Civility Across the Straits

by Mark Harrison

Taiwan and mainland China are currently experiencing a period of official conciliation. Economic relations continue to deepen: the 2013 Cross-Straits Agreement on Trade in Services (Liang’an fuwu maoyi xieyi 兩岸服務貿易協議), although controversial in Taiwan, is opening up new areas of exchange that include finance, telecommunications and entertainment. Ever-greater numbers of mainland tourists visit Taiwan, and senior officials from Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party are going to Beijing. The result is a change in the tone of the debate on each side about the relationship.

The Minorities: Civilised Yet?

by David Brophy

One hundred years since the fall of the Qing dynasty, which redefined the Inner Asian borderlands as integral parts of the Chinese nation, the Communist Party still struggles to resolve China’s ‘ethnic question’.

Hot Topics in 2012

A list of the ‘hottest’ or most popular expressions, terms or phrases in China in 2012 was compiled by the Internet companies Hudong Baike, Sohu Weibo, and a few other media organisations. Experts from these organisations chose a total of twenty phrases that went into an online poll page where readers could vote for any terms or expressions that they regarded as the most current or important. The poll closed on 25 December 2012, with 4,175 people having cast votes. The top ten words and phrases are listed below, beginning with the most popular.

Leading Science and Technology Stories

The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering published a list of the top ten science and technology news events of 2012. Below is the Xinhua News Agency’s version of the list, with stylistic modification.