Closing the China Channel4 min read

After four thrilling years, our run has come to an end

Ed: Please note this site is no longer active, but is archived here in full. – Alec Ash

In September 2017 we launched the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel, “for the sinophile and the sinocurious,” to fill in the white space of China coverage. Since then we have published nearly 600 essays, reviews, dispatches, podcasts and more on Chinese society, politics, culture and history, from a range of experts and trusted voices. We’ve been amazed at the success of the site, in terms of audience (20k+ monthly unique readers) and contributions (from hundreds of China experts, including Yu Hua, Julia Lovell and Geremie Barmé) over the years.

Yet all good things come to an end. After almost four years of generous support from grants and donors, we were unable to secure sustainable funding for the future. Already, limits on funds had brought our posting down from four or five posts a week to two or three. The coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn makes funding for nonprofit media particularly tricky at this moment in history, which we fully understand. And so it’s time to close the gates.

This site will be archived for posterity, and we encourage you to explore the archive. Our team of editors (principally myself as managing editor) will no longer be accepting new articles, our email address will shutter, and our social media and newsletter will no longer be active. We have already closed our Patreon translation campaign, and donors there will have no further charges to their account, having funded an abundance of translations over the years.

We want to extend a special note of thanks to all our financial supporters over the years: the Henry Luce Foundation; the UCI Long US-China Institute; the Cheng Shewo Foundation; Stephen O. Lesser; the Thomas and Carolyn Langfitt Family Foundation; Bill Bishop; and our donors on Patreon. Our special thanks also go to Tom Lutz, Albert Litewka and Boris Dralyuk at LARB; to Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Eileen Chow for being so instrumental in the founding and continuation of the site; and to all our editors and assistants over the years, including Anne Henochowicz, Nick Stember, Olivia Humphrey, Lev Nachman and Brian Spivey.

As we go gentle into that good night, below are a selection of 20 favourite posts over the years, including a variety of the special categories and columns we have run. Thank you for reading us, it has been great fun to edit this site over the years, and we wish you 万事如意 for the decade ahead. – Alec Ash

Four Fates in a Changing China
An exclusive essay by Yu Hua, translated by Allan H. Barr
Xi Jinping, Philospher King
The philosophical basis of China’s “New Era” – Sam Crane (audio version)
Redeeming Empress Gi
A Korean woman who once ruled China – Joan MacDonald
The Sincere Indignation of Simon Leys
Josh Freedman on the life of the iconoclastic sinologist (audio version)
Missing Lei Feng
My life with Mao’s good soldier – Andrea Worden (audio version)
The Shanghai Mind
Arthur Ransome and the Origin of the Shanghai Mind – Paul French (audio version)
A Maoist Education
Geremie Barmé on listening to Chinese radio during the Cultural Revolution
Serve the People, Discipline the Party
Jonathan Chatwin visits a new museum dedicated to Party Discipline in Wuhan (audio version)
May the 4th Spirit Be With You
The enduring, eroded legacy of youth protest in China – Alec Ash
They Shut Down the City
A dispatch from quarantined Wuhan – Xiaoyu Lu, trans. Allen Young (audio version)
The Chinese Doctor Who Beat the Plague
An epidemic averted in early 20th century Manchuria – Jeremiah Jenne (from our ‘Hidden History’ column)
Nine Million People You’ve Never Heard Of
Stevan Harrell introduces the Yi of southwest China (from our ‘Borderlands’ column)
Who Are the Peranakan Chinese?
Deep roots and many routes – Rebecca Choong Wilkins (from our ‘Diaspora’ column)
Nine Tones of Hell
How to be toneful in Cantonese – Rosalyn Shih (a ‘Chinese Corner’ post)
Beijing in Black and White
Hutong life, framed – photography by Siok Siok Tan (a favorite among our photo essays)
Neither Boxers Nor a Rebellion
Barbarians at the Gate talks to Jeffrey Wasserstrom (one of our syndicated podcasts)
Tarim, My Uyghur Friend
An interned intellectual in Xinjiang – Tang Danhong, trans. Anne Henochowicz  (a reader-funded translation)
An urban fable by Han Song – trans. Nick Stember (and the ‘story club’ discussion of it)
Julia Lovell on Translating China
A conversation with the historian and translator (one of our many Q&As)
20 Best China Books
Essential reading for your China library, in four categories (one of our occasional listicles)

Header: ‘Biographies of Lian Pou and Lin Xiangru’, by Song dynasty calligrapher Huang Tingjian (our original image of the week)