Frontline World

CHINA - Shanghai Nights, June 2004

Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "Shanghai Nights"

Bright Lights, Big City

Read excerpts from Candy

China's Economy, Shanghai, Youth Culture

Arts, Culture, New Generation, Weblogs




Links and Resources

• General Background
• Arts and Culture
• The New Generation
• Media Resources
• Weblogs and Other Resources

General Background

City of Shanghai
The official Web site for the city of Shanghai features information about the Shanghai government, city agencies, commerce and investment. It also contains statistics about the city's 20 million residents and lists of rules and regulations.

Lonely Planet: Shanghai
This is the online version of Lonely Planet's guide to Shanghai, providing advice for travelers. The guide includes city history, events, attractions and advice for getting around. It also contains suggestions for further reading.

The Standard
The Standard provides extensive coverage of business news in Hong Kong and mainland China. The site also has a searchable archive.

Eastday is the online edition of Shanghai Daily, the official Chinese paper based in Shanghai.

Chinese Government Homepage is a gateway site for the Chinese government. It contains news, statistics, and special sections dedicated to Taiwan and Tibet. It also has links to official news sites and information for foreign investors.

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Arts and Culture

"China's Censors Drop the Curtain on The Vagina Monologues"
Government officials canceled the Chinese opening of the Vagina Monologues, which had been scheduled for February 2004, as reported by Joseph Kahn for The New York Times. And in January, Chinese censors halted plans to broadcast episodes of the American television show Friends because of the program's heavy use of sexual innuendo.

Graffiti Art
Graffiti artists have claimed China's largest national monument: the Great Wall. Like many Western influences, graffiti has entered mainstream Chinese youth culture, appearing in advertisements, logos and popular design. As reports, graffiti also has Chinese roots, used by government informants and protesters alike. (Note: Although the option is provided, download of Chinese characters is not required to view the site.)

"Birth of a Beijing Music Scene"
This report, produced by FRONTLINE in February 2003, profiles Cui Jian, "the father of Chinese rock." American music producer Matthew Corbin Clark traces the emergence of a musical counterculture in China during the 1980s. The feature includes samples by Chinese rock bands and the music video of Cui Jian's song "Flying."

Cui Jian Official Site
This is the official Web site of Chinese rock and roll star, Cui Jian. Cui Jian began his career in the 1980s, playing music influenced by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Talking Heads at local venues in Beijing. His love song "Nothing to My Name" became a theme for the Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989. (Note: Although the option is provided, download of Chinese characters is not required to view the site.)

Shi Yong
The homepage of photographer Shi Yong is an idiosyncratic fantasy world experienced through morphing cartoons. Yong, who labels himself "Shanghai's new image," explores his own psychological isolation through his "fantasies of a superangel." (Note: Although the option is provided, download of Chinese characters is not required to view the site.)

"Chinese Sex Museum Tries to Woo Tourists"
Based in Shanghai, China's first sex museum attracted media attention but not many visitors. In August, the museum's owner, a retired sociology professor who spent years studying the history of sex in China, decided to move the museum to Tongli, an hour from Shanghai. The museum, featured here in an article from, has 3,700 pieces spanning 5,000 years.

Asiadragons: Arts and Culture
This directory has an extensive list of Web sites dedicated to art and culture in China. Among the topics listed are literature, dance and fine arts. The page also has links to sites that include Chinese dictionaries, teaching resources and tools for reading Chinese on the Internet.

Cheney Urges More Freedom
Speaking to an audience of 500 university students in Shanghai, Vice President Dick Cheney argued for the Chinese government to increase political liberties. As the Washington Post reports, Cheney said that economic reforms alone will not satisfy Chinese citizens.

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The New Generation

"The New Radicals"
In this article from TimeAsia, journalist Hannah Beech looks at the linglei generation of disaffected youth in China. Beech describes how the "new radicals" have become an accepted counterculture movement as Chinese embrace Western influences. Among those profiled are a writer, a punk rocker and a computer hacker, all of whom are pursuing their own ideas of self-expression.

"Mian Mian: 'Enfant Terrible'"
In this interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Mian Mian discusses her appeal to women, having a baby, and how her life has changed since her party days in Shenzhen. "I think that people are always growing up and maturing," says Mian. "Drugs aren't attractive to me anymore because I have so many other things to do with my life now. Drugs are really boring."

"Banned in Beijing"
In his review of Candy, published in the International Herald Tribune, Jonathan Napack traces Mian Mian's journey, from her early difficulties through her present success. The article describes how Mian's prestige rose after Candy -- a book in which Mian reflects on her years in Shenzhen and her recovery, in a mental ward, from heroin addiction -- was banned by the Chinese government in 2000.

"I Love Shanghai"
Mian Mian writes about her feelings for her hometown, Shanghai, in Asiaweek. Among her observations: "The Shanghainese are lost, dizzy and confused -- especially the young people." Mian discusses progress and change in a city that caters to self-indulgence.

Shanghai Sex Culture
Bradley Winterton, contributing reporter to the Taipei Times, comments on Opening Up, James Ferrar's sociological study of club culture in Shanghai. In his study, Ferrar examines how market reforms in China have encouraged new sexual attitudes. The book's subtitle, "Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai," suggests that Shanghaiese are indeed opening up to a variety of Western influences. (Note: Although the option is provided, download of Chinese characters is not required to view the site.)

"Premarital Sex 'Usual' in China"
A study by the Chinese government found that a majority of Chinese are having sex before they marry, signaling that attitudes toward sex have changed dramatically since the 1970s and 1980s. As the BBC reports, roughly two-thirds of people in most regions had lost their virginity before they applied to get married.

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Media Resources

Xinhua Online
This is the site for the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua. In addition to domestic news, the agency covers global events, entertainment and sports. The site has more than 4,500 updates a day in seven languages: Chinese, Arabic, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. (Note: Although the option is provided, download of Chinese characters is not required to view the site.)

BBC News Country Profile: China
The BBC gathers information on a wide variety of topics related to China. This site has links to official and unofficial news organizations and information about key historical events.

Guardian Special Report: China
The Guardian online organizes news on China by subject. Categories range from Tiananmen Square to the Great Wall to China's one-child policy.

China News Agency
This site pools news about China from online sources around the world. It also has special sections on Shanghai and other major cities.

KQED Public Radio: Pacific Time
Hosted by Nguyen Qui Duc, Pacific Time reports weekly on cultural trends between Asia and North America. The program's Web site archives previous broadcasts and contains links to related stories.

Internet Filtering
This study, conducted in 2002 by Harvard law school's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, examines the Chinese government's practice of blocking access to Internet sites. The authors tracked 19,032 sites that were blocked in China, yet accessible in the United States. Among those filtered at least some of the time were Amnesty International and MTV's Taiwanese site. The study includes a complete list of blocked URLs as well as links to related projects.

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Weblogs and Other Resources

China Newsman
This blog, started by a disgruntled Chinese journalist, posts stories deemed un-publishable by the Chinese government and is currently popular among Chinese journalists. Note: Access to this site is frequently blocked by Chinese censors.

BlogChina, one of the earliest blogs in China, focuses on news for the information technology industry, but also has postings on culture and current affairs (in Chinese). (Note: Although the option is provided, download of Chinese characters is not required to view the site.)

Living in China
This is a broad-based weblog that networks with other blogs as well. The site contains news, photos and dialogue on a wide variety of topics, including art and culture, living, and blogging.

China Digital News
China Digital News is a joint project by the graduate school of journalism and the school of information management and systems at the University of California at Berkeley. The weblog has postings from news sites around the world as well as message boards and links to other sources. Categories include business, culture, media, law and technology.

The Internet in Asia
This weblog, published by the Singapore Internet Research Centre at Nanyang Technological University, looks at the impact on Asia of the Internet and other media technologies.

Roving Reporter: Ron Gluckman
American freelance journalist Ron Gluckman, who has been reporting in Asia for more than a dozen years, created a Web site for his expansive collection of articles. Topics span arts, culture and other aspects of Chinese society.

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