Hidden Gems of Beijing: The Ming Tombs

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The Ming Tombs are often overshadowed on the Beijing tourist trail by the nearby Great Wall, one of the world’s greatest wonders. In the past, en route to the Great Wall, I’ve quickly visited the publicly open parts of the 13 tombs of Ming Dynasty emperors buried in an arc-shaped valley at the foot of the Jundu Mountains, about 40 km north of the Forbidden City.

The second Ming emperor, the Yongle Emperor Zhu Di, decided to build royal tombs in his northern capital of Beijing in 1420 rather than the southern capital, Nanjing, chosen by his predecessor because of its distance from the Mongolian frontier. The tombs themselves have been ransacked and emptied of valuables, starting in 1644 when the rebel army of Li Zicheng’s ransacked and burned many of the tombs as he advanced toward Beijing, where the last Ming emperor committed suicide shortly thereafter. But the glorious structures remain.

Today, there are three public museum sites among the 13 tomb locations. It’s a massive, sprawling complex that stretches over 40 square kilometers. I feel sorry for the tourists who never get to visit the tombs because of the even-more-famous sights to see in Greater Beijing.

Off the beaten path of tourist Beijing, the tombs have their own fascinating history that touches the contradictions of modern (and ancient) China. After the Yongle Emperor built the Forbidden City in Beijing in 1420, he decreed that a burial site be found to house the remains of future Ming emperors. Four years later, his was the first of 13 mausoleums built in a verdant valley beneath the Jundu Mountains, not far from the Great Wall.

The place has been ransacked repeatedly in the six centuries that have followed, most notably during the revolution that preceded the fall of the Ming Dynasty and the Cultural Revolution that followed the rise of Mao Zedong. Its tombs have been raided for political and pecuniary purposes. But its Sacred Way, sometimes known as the Spirit Way or the Avenue of the Animals, remains as a reminder of the permanence of Chinese history, despite its periodic revision.

A final contradiction: A photo of Mao admiring one of the spirit elephants is posted on the Sacred Way, but Red Guards a few years later seized the remains of Emperor Wanli from the Dingling tomb, posthumously “denounced” him and burned his remains, along with his Empress.


Hidden Gems of Beijing: The Ancient Observatory

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The astronomical observatory in longest continuous use in the world is …

No, it’s not England’s world-famous Greenwich Observatory, creator of “Greenwich Mean Time.” It is the Ming Dynasty’s observatory in central Beijing. Near the southeastern corner of the old City Wall, the Beijing Ancient Observatory, originally built in 1442, is 233 years older than Greenwich.

The eight sets of astronomical instruments on the observatory’s roof have had a distinguished scientific past. Their design was strongly influenced by the Renaissance in Europe but they have some distinctive Chinese elements such as dragons and lions. The observatory’s treasures were pillaged in the 1900 war by marauding foreign troops retaliating for the lengthy siege of diplomats and Chinese Christians in the nearby Legation Quarter by Boxer cultists and the Qing military. Germany, defeated in the First World War, was the first nation to return the stolen treasure.

Today, the observatory is a small gem for in-the-know Beijingers (and a very few international tourists). There are interesting historical displays in the Ziwei Palace and some fascinating astronomical devices.


Hidden Gems of Beijing: The Old City Wall

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The Great Wall of China is Beijing’s most famous wall. But there’s another not-as-great wall in Beijing that is more relevant to the capital city’s history and culture. The “Inner City Wall” was built in 1419 early in the Ming Dynasty and formed a highly fortified rectangle that stretched for about 40 km around the Forbidden City and the “inner city” of Beijing.

Well into the 20th century, camel caravans would approach the city gates from the Silk Road, and horses (animal and then iron) would approach from the port of Tianjin. Moats surrounded the defensive fortifications, and a series of watchtowers provided housing for the soldiers.

Several of the gates were heavily damaged by troops from eight foreign nations during the 1900 “Boxer rebellion,” but the walled city remained, in its decaying grandeur, until a combination of the Cultural Revolution and the coming of the Beijing subway resulted in the almost-complete destruction of the ancient wall.

Today, few remnants of the old city wall remain (unlike the restored walls of Xi’an and Nanjing). But there is a mile-long stretch from the Southeastern Watchtower near the former Dongbian Gate to the Chongwen Gate that has been preserved as Beijing Ming City Wall Relics Park. The park was created in the early years of the 21st century when the ramshackle residences, with no heating, running water or plumbing, that abutted it were bulldozed and replaced by flowering trees, grass and hiking paths. (The ancient trees from the Ming era remain.) A small museum on the ramparts contains historical photos, an art exhibit and a few relics. You can walk atop a short section of the original ramparts then continue your stroll at street level. Ancient history, hidden in plain sight.


You’re invited: Here’s why (and how) you should apply to join the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua

Are you interested in becoming an expert on the world’s fastest-growing economy?

Do you want to study Asia Pacific business development and report that to the world?

Do you want to have an amazing educational and personal experience in a dynamic country?

Do you want to learn how to share your stories with audiences via print, audio, video and digital media?

Please join us in the Global Business Journalism master’s degree program at Tsinghua University in China!

Here are instructions for application for the 2019-2020 academic year. Applications will be accepted after November 1, 2018.

1. Introduction

With China playing a key role in the global economy, there is a soaring demand for trained professionals who can understand the exciting, complicated development of the world’s fastest-growing economy and can explain it clearly and in depth to audiences in China and around the world.

Tsinghua University’s Master of Arts degree in Global Business Journalism is designed to meet that growing need. The program offers international students the opportunity to master the fine points of business, finance and economics in China. All courses are taught in English – the international language of business – by internationally renowned scholars and accomplished journalists with extensive global experience. The program’s facilities rival those of other leading journalism schools worldwide. The news lab has the largest number of Bloomberg terminals sponsored by the company of any college in the world.

Business journalism is one of the fastest growing areas of employment opportunities in the industry today. News audiences are eager to learn about the world of business, while media departments expect PR professionals to understand and analyze the complexities of business issues. Tsinghua’s Master of Global Business Journalism Program is designed to offer you the opportunity to meet these growing needs. We welcome you to join us!

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The first English-language graduate business journalism program on the Chinese mainland, created in partnership with the International Center for Journalists, it has sent more than 200 graduates to news outlets in China and globally over its first decade.

Launched in 2007, GBJ has already been recognized by students and recruiters alike as a world-class program. Academe, the world’s leading journal on higher education, has featured a series of articles on the program. The student body is culturally and professionally diverse. The full-time program spans two years of intense, fast-paced, rewarding study. Those who complete it successfully emerge with valuable connections, a rich array of opportunities and the business and journalism skills to capitalize on them. It is a two-year experience that will last a lifetime.

The program aims to bring business journalism in China in line with top international reporting standards. The Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication has a long history of cooperation with major international media and financial-information organizations, and visiting scholars have come from outlets such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Business Week, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Washington Post and CNN.

GBJ offers an array of specialized courses that are at the forefront of global business journalism. Students can learn about international accounting standards, multimedia journalism, data mining, complex financial derivatives, journalism ethics, advanced feature writing techniques and the management of media organizations – knowledge that is transferable to other economies and other professions. At the same time, they gain a deeper knowledge of the Chinese language and economy.

The GBJ program benefits from other academic resources on the Tsinghua campus, including its prestigious School of Economics and Management, the Schwarzman Scholars Program, as well as many Chinese and global media and technology companies in Beijing. Internships, field trips and recruiter visits are integral parts of the program.

GBJ students have opportunities to attend conferences on new media, economic development, global economics and other business topics. They benefit from meetings and discussions with guest speakers, including top editors and reporters from leading Chinese and Western news outlets and international business executives. The GBJ has a growing network of smart, sophisticated reporters, editors and public relations professionals who can enhance the world’s understanding of economic and corporate developments in China and globally.

ChingChing Rick class 2018

2. Program Courses 

Basic Courses

Mass Communications and Society in Contemporary China

Chinese Language

Intercultural Communication

Media Research Methods

Workshop for Academic Training and Ethics

Core Courses

Business News Writing and Editing

Multimedia Business Reporting

Economics and Accounting Basics for Journalists

Business News Data Mining and Analysis

Elective Courses

Corporate Communication

Opinion and News Commentary

Hot Topics in the Global Economy

Basic News Writing

Advanced News Writing: Enterprise Journalism

Feature Writing

Corporate Strategies, Case Studies of Chinese and Global Companies

Personal Finance Reporting

Media Management

Workshop on Film and TV Production

Theory and Practice of Public Diplomacy

Data Journalism

Public Relations: An Introduction

Public Speaking

Other Requirements

Professional Seminar for Master’s Candidates in Global Business Journalism

Literature Review and Thesis Proposal

Academic Activities

Internship

GBJ at Bloomberg

3. Qualification Requirements for Applicants

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in related fields and a certificate proving English proficiency.

4. Application Documents

1) The completed Foreigner’s Application Form for Admission to Graduate Programs of Tsinghua University with a 2-inch recent photo, signed by the applicant;

2) Statement of Purpose and resume;

3) The original or the notarial degree certificate or proof of education at an academic institution (you need to submit an original or notarial degree certificate after it was awarded) and an academic transcript. The degree certificate and academic transcript must be officially sealed.

4) Two academic recommendation letters from scholars of associate professorship or higher. They must show referee’s phone number and email address on the letter.

5) For non-English speaking students, please provide English level certificates. e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.

6) A copy of your passport page with personal information (personal and ordinary passport);

7) The completed Application Form for Tsinghua University Scholarship (if applicable, original);

8) A non-refundable application fee of RMB800.

The certificates provided should be the original documents in Chinese or in English, otherwise notarial translations in Chinese or English are required. None of the above application documents will be returned.

5. Application Procedure

Step 1: Online Application

Complete Online Application on the Application for Graduate Admission website at http://gradadmission.tsinghua.edu.cn

Step 2: Documents Submission

Submit the application documents listed above to the address indicated below by post mail or in person.

Step 3:Application Fee Payment 

There are two ways to pay application fee:

1 . Pay online using a credit card;

After your online application form is verified or the materials are received by Tsinghua University, the staff will make you the online payment draft, and at the same time, an email will be automatically sent out to remind you to pay the application fee via the online application system.

2 . Pay in cash at the Foreign Student Affairs Office (Room 120, Zijing Building 22) on the campus of Tsinghua University.

6. Application Deadline

March 20, 2019

Both the Online Application and a complete set of Application documents should be completed and the package should be received by March 20, 2019.

7. Tuition and Scholarship

Tuition:Program tuition fee for the year 2018-19 is RMB39000/year.

Accidental Injury and Hospitalization Insurance: RMB 600/year for 2018-19.

Please visit Tsinghua International Students and Scholars Center for more details about scholarships: https://is.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/isscen/index.html

8. Program Website

For more information about the program, please visit the GBJ website at:

http://gbj.tsjc.tsinghua.edu.cn/

Follow us on:

Facebook: https: //www.facebook.com/GlobalBusinessJournalism/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GBJprogram

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gbj-global-business-journalism-tsinghua-清华-11133657/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gbjprogram/

Read more about the program:

International Center for Journalists website: https://www.icfj.org/our-work/tsinghua-global-business-journalism-program-gbj

Rick Dunham Blog: https://rickdunhamblog.com/category/global-business-journalism/

10.Contact Information:

Ms. Ma Chengcheng (Sarah Ma)

The GBJ Office Room 302, Omnicom Building,

School of Journalism and Communication

Tsinghua University,

Beijing 100084, P. R. China

Tel: +86 10 6279 6842

Fax: +86 10 6277 1410

E-mail: tsjcws@tsinghua.edu.cn


Come join us! Global Business Journalism students offer tips on navigating the Tsinghua application process


Come join us!

Global Business Journalism Program student journalist Botlhe Dikobe of Botswana produced this engaging video to celebrate the completion of her first semester in the Global Business Journalism Program. It has tips from current students on how to apply for our English-language master’s program at Tsinghua University, and what’s in store for you if you’re accepted.

Remember, our program is a partnership between the International Center for Journalists, the pre-eminent journalism training organization in the world, Bloomberg News, the most respected source of business news and data, and Tsinghua University, China’s top university.

Please share this with your family and friends as we build our community and seek more great applicants for the 2018-19 academic year. The deadline for early admission applications is January 15. The final deadline is March 1. An earlier application improves your chances of receiving a scholarship.

For more information on the program: https://rickdunhamblog.com/2017/11/20/apply-now-for-the-global-business-journalism-program-tsinghua-university/

Video: Why the GBJ program is a great choice for a master’s program: https://rickdunhamblog.com/2017/01/18/video-why-the-global-business-journalism-program-at-tsinghua-is-a-great-choice-for-graduate-school/comment-page-1/#comment-2301

Meet GBJ’s students (video): https://rickdunhamblog.com/2018/01/08/meet-the-students-who-make-global-business-journalism-the-best-program-of-its-kind-in-the-world/

Apply here: http://gradadmission.tsinghua.edu.cn

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Meet the students who make Global Business Journalism the best program of its kind in the world

The Global Business Journalism master’s program at Tsinghua University is made up of a diverse group of students from around the world. Students from more than 60 nations have learned from GBJ’s experienced international journalists and eminent Chinese scholars over the past decade.

GBJ student Narantungalag Enkhtur, a former Bloomberg TV Mongolia reporter, produced a video that allows you to meet current students from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and America and hear them explain what that they are learning in this world-class program at China’s top university.

GBJ was created in 2007 by Tsinghua and the International Center for Journalists, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that is committed to journalism excellence and training around the world. Bloomberg News is the program’s chief sponsor.

The first round of applications for September 2018 admission is open until January 15, 2018. The second round of applications runs from January 16, 2018 to March 1, 2018. An earlier application improves your chances of receiving a scholarship.

For more information on the program: https://rickdunhamblog.com/2017/11/20/apply-now-for-the-global-business-journalism-program-tsinghua-university/

Apply here: http://gradadmission.tsinghua.edu.cn

GBJ nations of students Jirong


Video: Why the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua is a great choice for graduate school

The Global Business Journalism Program is the subject of a documentary film that highlights the program’s unique role in teaching advanced economics reporting skills to Chinese and international graduate students.

The GBJ program, the first graduate business journalism program taught in English on the Chinese mainland, features a rigorous curriculum taught by leading Chinese academics and prominent international journalists.

The five-minute mini-documentary was produced and directed by second-year GBJ student Simone Martin of Italy. It was based on a project he completed for a documentary news course. First-year GBJ student Sarah Taylor Talaat of the United States was the film’s narrator.

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2016 GBJ grads Anish Pandey and Jade Ladal

“In its first decade, the GBJ program has been recognized as one of the top international programs in China — and now, students from around the world, together with Chinese students, are learning advanced business writing, corporate strategies, economics, accounting, data mining, multimedia storytelling and other skills,” Talaat says in the documentary.

The film features interviews with current students and GBJ faculty. GBJ student Tendekai Finos from Zimbabwe called the program “an interesting opportunity to learn in China, as well to study in China, where the economy is growing rapidly.” Viktoria Fricova, a second-year student from Slovakia, said she first discovered the program when searching for a high-quality international graduate journalism program. “When I found it on the internet, I knew this was the option for me,” she told the documentarian.

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Professor Dunham and GBJ grads celebrate, June 2016

The Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication will use the documentary to reach out to potential students internationally, to further enhance its reputation in China, and to attract partners and supporters to the program, said GBJ Co-Director Rick Dunham.

“We’d like continue to expand, so that we can be the leaders in training Chinese journalists of the next generation, and become a destination spot for global journalism,” Professor Dunham says in the film.

Launched in 2007 in partnership with the International Center for Journalists and Bloomberg News, the GBJ program has trained more than 400 graduates, many of whom have become journalists at prominent news outlets from Bloomberg to People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency.

“We wish to welcome the world to join us,” GBJ Co-Director Dr. Hang Min says in the documentary. “We are setting the standard for business journalism education.”

>>> You can also watch the video on YouTube

>> For more information on the application process

>>> Here’s the GBJ website

>>> Here’s how you can begin the application process

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2016 graduation festivities