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About Li Datong

Li Datong is a Chinese journalist and former editor of Bingdian (Freezing Point), a weekly supplement of the China Youth Daily newspaper. In 2006 he was the recipient of a Lettre Ulysses award for reportage on his experience at Bingdian:

“As a professional journalist, I am completely incapable of understanding or accepting the suspension of ‘Freezing Point’ … To those who made this decision, what do the readers count for? What does the prestige of a large mainstream newspaper count for? What do the laws of the country and the party constitution count for? What does the reform and the opening up of China count for? They see this public instrument as their own property, thinking they can dispose of it as they please.”


Articles by Li Datong

This week’s editors


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The root of slave labour in China

The lesson of the Shanxi scandal is the need to reform the way China is governed, says Li Datong.

China’s learning: a potent anniversary

The pressures and power-structures surrounding China’s education system reinforce social amnesia and increase the temptations of corruption, says Li Datong.

China's veteran voices of reform

Who has the right in China to speak about reform? The answer is revealing about China’s current political mood, says Li Datong.

An end to exclusivity

A move towards greater public access to state information is another step to constitutional government in China, writes Li Datong.

'Public opinion' and China's Japan policy

Only when speech is free and information is truthful will Chinese public opinion on foreign-policy matters be genuine, argues Li Datong.

What China's new property law means

In providing the same level of protection for private and state-owned assets, the country has taken a huge step towards fundamental fairness, says Li Datong. Without such a move, other rights are baseless.

Chinese political reform: official discourse, real meaning

China's top-down "correction" discourse avoids facing the key source of conflict in the country: its shortage of public assets, writes Li Datong.

Will China follow Vietnam's lead?

Beijing needs to find a new system for choosing the country's leadership. Look south, advises Li Datong.

Hong Kong's example

A competitive election in Hong Kong follows years of open politics in Taiwan. Who says the Chinese are not ready for democracy?

China: a 'great nation'?

The true ingredients of national greatness are very far from those imagined by the official Chinese mind, says Li Datong.

The story of Freezing Point

In 2003 the German literary magazine Lettre International launched a new literary prize, the "Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage" to recognise and honour a valuable but underrated form. In its first year, the prize was won by the Russian writer Anna Politovskaya for Chechnya: Russia's dishonour. In 2004, the Chinese writers Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao carried the prize for their seminal work, A Survey of Chinese Peasants, and last year it was British journalist Alexandra Fuller's book Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier.

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