I was looking at some awful late night programming by Channel 4, a regular pastime on Friday nights in my household. There was a film called Baywatch starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I didn’t expect to become fascinated by a Hollywood film version of a 1990s TV series that featured Fall of the Berlin Wall Swooner, David Hasselhoff, but the opening credits contained Chinese writing and mentioned Shanghai production companies etc… I didn’t watch the whole film, not even close, but I saw it through a very different lens when aware of Chinese involvement in the production. I will most likely watch it with a notebook or voice recorder at hand in the coming days.

Next, I sat at the home computer, and the first thing I did was google “China Hollywood”. The top result:

How China Is Taking Control of Hollywood

The intersection of the free market and Chinese censorship in Hollywood, and what that means for our culture.
I don’t pay all that much attention to current affairs or what is deemed as news these days. Still, I suppose after recently absorbing Frank Dikotter’s ‘Mao’s Great Famine’, and the audiobook I am currently listening to at work ‘Maoism’ by Julia Lovell; and a second-hand book I recently bought, ‘Wild Swan’ by Jung Chang have got me hooked on thinking about China.
I intend to compile a list of recent films that can be found on popular streaming websites that I have on/off subscriptions for. The only requirement needed for the film to make the list is that it has some sort of association with China in the story or production.

I am particularly interested in the Production Companies involved with Baywatch. So films on the list are mainly going to be associated with:

I don’t know what I expect to find, but it could be interesting.
Also, I am going to read a PEN Report and comb through the hundreds of its references. I don’t have a clue how long that’ll take or where the many endnotes will lead, but armed with an open mind and a notebook, I hope to eventually stumble upon something worth scribbling about:
Made in Hollywood Censored by Beijing (2021)
by PEN America
I might extend my interests to the Music Industry, The Big British and Irish (EU) Supermarkets, British and Irish (EU) Film and TV production, British and Irish (EU) Schools and Universities and Gossip columnists in British Newspapers etc…
I am hoping that this might lead to writing a series of long essays, that a very small handful of concerned citizens might enjoy reading, before 15th May 2027.
Alongside that,  I have taken an interest in another Professor-Hugo de Burgh.
My Professors of Interest List so far is as follows, in order of birth:
1.Richard Julius Herrnstein (May 20, 1930 – September 13, 1994)
2. Hugo de Burgh (born June 10, 1949)
3. David John Nutt (born 16 April 1951)
4. Jordan Bernt Peterson (born 12 June 1962)
Earlier on,  I started listening to one of Mr de Burgh’s lectures, and received a similar feeling of eye glaze syndrome and brain fog disorder that Peterson and Nutt have been known to infect me with on numerous occasions. Mr de Burgh’s  PowerPoint presentation contained some possibly useful information though, about various ‘western’ brands (Multi-media) that have a significant presence in several Chinese localities etc…
I am going to wrap this rough note by copying and pasting a few quotes:
‘Professor Hugo de Burgh, one of the founders of Kensington Wade prep school, is among a growing number of educators who feel there are advantages in making English schooling look more like China’s. His is the first fully bilingual Chinese and English school in Europe and is set to incorporate elements from Chinese schools, including the Shanghai “mastery” technique. “We should learn from other countries, of course”, he says. “One of the saddest things about this whole topic is that the Chinese have been coming here and learning from us for 30 years. ” ‘-Imogen West-Knights, Financial Times, 27th January 2017,—Why are schools in China looking west for lessons in creativity?
‘The brainchild of Professor Hugo de Burgh, a specialist in Chinese media, Kensington Wade has been years in the making — not least because of the challenge of finding property in west London.
It is named after Sir Thomas Wade, a 19th century British diplomat who produced one of the first English-Mandarin textbooks. Its inaugural class of 15 students arrived last month. Three were fluent Mandarin speakers while about half had no Mandarin. They were shepherded by parents from the US, South America, Russia, Europe and Great Britain.
“Highly intelligent business people who are either working with China or understand the importance of it, with high aspirations for their children,” is how Jo Wallace, Kensington Wade’s headteacher, describes them.
The school’s funding comes from a group of socially minded private investors, according to Prof de Burgh. The Chinese government has contributed nothing more than a few textbooks.’— Joshua Chaffin, 7th October 2017, Inside the UK’s first bilingual English and Chinese primary school: Kensington Wade tempts tiger parents with full immersion in Mandarin
At the bottom of this blog post I’ll share a link to a lecture by Hugo de Burgh.
First, to emphasize that I do not know whether Hugo de Burgh can be regarded as a wholly reliable source of information,  I will share this lengthy quote from an article: ‘China’s Communist Party and the tiger women now influencing the very heart of the establishment‘ by Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg for the Daily Mail  (11th July 2020)

‘How WE pay to train China propagandists 

It was officially launched by Sun Yusheng, then vice president of China’s state broadcaster CCTV, and Jeremy Paxman, sometimes described as Britain’s most respected journalist.
It has hosted three-week training courses for Chinese propaganda officials to expand and improve their global coverage. The courses are partly funded by British taxpayers through the Foreign Office.
Director de Burgh is an honorary fellow of the 48 Group Club, a board member of the Great Britain-China Centre, and a professor at Tsinghua University.
This last position is under the Chinese Ministry of Education’s 985 Program, which aims to bring international talent to China.
According to the CCP, the University of Westminster programme has been very successful. The head of development for the Central Office of External Propaganda wrote: ‘Chinese officials’ understanding of the functions of the media in Western countries, and their ability to respond to and interact with the media, has been enhanced by the briefings designed and executed by the China Media Centre.’
As part of the 2018 training course, the China Media Centre organised a roundtable on ‘China’s international relations and economic strategies: Perceptions of the UK and China’, with five senior officials from the Central Propaganda Department.
The centre has brought many Party officials to Britain to mingle with the media and political elite, including five seminars at 11 Downing Street.
Boris Johnson, whose first trip to China was joined by Hugo de Burgh, has participated in the centre’s courses and has declared he can think of no one better than de Burgh to teach us about China’s media.
Those arguing in favour of these courses maintain they will help bring about a more open media in China. In fact, the opposite is the case: they help the CCP fine-tune its propaganda.
The courses teach techniques used by Western journalists to extract answers, and how government officials can handle adversarial questions in press conferences.
With Chinese spokespeople regularly under fire for the Party’s concentration camps in Xinjiang, and other human rights violations, teaching them how to ‘handle’ questions seems to be more in the CCP’s interest than the British public’s.
While there are serious Chinese journalists who want to do proper reporting, the space for them has shrunk dramatically over the past six years, and they are not the ones sent on training courses abroad.
The participants instead come from the Party and those TV shows and newspapers notable for their compliance.’
Finally, a link via the Gresham College website, to the Hugo de Burgh lecture I mentioned:
‘Seeing China Through Its Media’
‘China’s media provide a window into the Chinese mind, as the country asserts itself in the world as a great power. What do Chinese people think is the purpose of life? What matters most to them? In what do they believe? How do officials and journalists explain their responsibilities? This lecture will use examples – from a report on Coronavirus to a popular soap about rural life – to explore these questions and compare them with Western beliefs. ‘ This event was on Tue, 01 Dec 2020
That’ll do.


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