The One Thing to Read About China: Sinocism/Bill Bishop

Last week we did a post, What to Read to Stay Up on China, with the following introduction:

Our China lawyers are constantly asked what to read to stay up on China and our responses truly vary.

A couple of our lawyers read almost exclusively Chinese language media and social media, believing anything else is at least somewhat filtered. Another of our lawyers insists everyone should start their day reading the South China Morning Post, the Economist, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, many of which require a subscription, but some of which do not, especially if you do not read all that much of them. One of our international trade lawyers (a true policy wonk) seems to read just about everything.

In other words, we didn’t really have a great answer. Until now.

A client sent me a list of SupChina “sources” and asked me what I think of it. I think it is fantastic and not just because our blog is on there and not just because I (and just about everyone else think SupChina and its Sinica podcast are fantastic). SupChina says it reads 150+ sites a day to help determine what it should write and it lists the following as its “top seven” English language sites for their ability “to sift through the noise to present a clear, coherent, concise picture of a complex China.”

The post then listed around 40 of the sites recommended by SupChina. We listed only around 40 of the 150+ sites set out by SupChina because we did not think it fair to essentially copy SupChina’s post in its entirety and we wanted to force people to go to the SupChina site to read the rest of it. But to be clear that was what we were doing, we explicitly mentioned that “SupChina also lists out its recommended Twitter Accounts, China Podcasts, China Newsletters, State and Mainstream Chinese Media, Chinese Video Reporting, Chinese Social Media, and Media from Around the World.”

We then concluded that post by asking people to let us know of anything that “should be removed either because it no longer exists or just isn’t that good,” along with “anything that belongs on this list that is not on it.” We got two suggestions regarding missed sites and both were for Sinocism. I also got an email from a friend who doubles as a China expert, which essentially said as follows:

Dan, “What’s up with your not listing Sinocism? Is there some bad blood between you and Bill [Bill Bishop writes Sinocism]? If so, that’s too bad and something that you ought to try to remedy. If you want me to help with that, just let me know.”

Guess what people? I can unequivocally state that Bill and I have never had even a small kerfuffle as between us and I count myself as a huge huge fan and an avid reader of whatever he writes. There is absolutely no bad blood between Bill and me, unless it is entirely one way and directed at me and I don’t know about it. In fact, I consider Bill’s China newsletter, Sinocism, to be the seminal daily China briefing and Bill’s Twitter page may be the best Twitter (or any other) page for consistently high level discussions about China, not just by Bill but by those who comment there. When I read a controversial or confusing article on China and I want intelligent analysis on it, I will often see if Bill has posted on it on his Twitter page and if he has, then read about what people are saying about it.

So no bad blood, just a bunch of readers (and friends) who did not read a post carefully enough.

Case solved? Any other questions?