Sri Lanka’s new government is reviewing all investment projects signed by the previous administration. Chinese companies, awarded the majority of those deals, are at the center of the storm. Sri Lanka’s new finance minister, Ravi Karunanayake, says Chinese firms “used the opportunity of a corrupt regime to crowd out other companies”. CNNMoney and Business Insider report.
Blind human rights activist, and self-taught lawyer, Chen Guangcheng, gives an extraordinary interview here with the British broadcaster Matthew Bannister, detailing his very dramatic escape from China to the U.S., as well as his difficult childhood as part of a misunderstood and mistreated disabled community, where he first began speaking out to demand change.
A Chinese court has agreed to hear a lawsuit filed by an environmental NGO seeking $US4.8-million in damages from an industrial polluter in Shandong province — thought to be the first public interest litigation for air pollution under China’s new environmental law. ChinaFile reports.
Lawyer Xi Xiangdong: Record of a meeting with He Zhengjun of the Transition Institute, detained on suspicion of “operating an illegal business”
This record of a meeting between He Zhengjun, a member of the Beijing-based independent think-tank Transition Institute, and his lawyer, Xi Xiangdong, earlier this year, details the roadblocks thrown up by prison authorities in disregard of the regulations that should permit a lawyer access to his client within a certain time frame.
More than fifty days have passed since detained legal activist and scholar, Guo Yushan, was taken from his Beijing home. His wife, Pan Haixia, posts her third letter to him online in his absence.
Is the ultimate dome preventing China’s skies from clearing a political one?
This in-depth, must-read looks at a spike in intolerance for activism in China, which, under President Xi Jinping, has culminated in a massive setback for the country’s human rights activists, faced with the most severe crackdown since the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. China Digital Times explores what happened and why the government is so threatened by the emergence of independent civic groups and both domestic and foreign NGOs.
A smog documentary that went viral in China over the weekend and riveted the nation with its TED Talks meets Al Gore blend of compelling data and engaging instruction, managed to both survive China’s censors and get “the chop”.
To some, the availability of big data in China signals a shift toward democracy. But technocrats within the government also see it as a way to create a more efficient form of authoritarianism. Aeon Magazine reports.
Low water levels and stranded boats on the upper Mekong River — although, nothing new for a February in recent years — are once again stirring concerns over China’s dam-building program to the north. What is new is the apparent readiness of Chinese authorities to give an account of their actions to rectify the situation. The Lowy Interpreter reports.
Has President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign accelerated China’s economic slowdown? Some say officials are “engaged in a test of will” with Xi, delaying decisions that would promote growth to avoid risks and to punish Xi for taking “away their cheese without offering anything in return.” The Washington Post reports.
China’s ban on virtual private networks (VPN) prompts this ChinaFile conversation between global experts on the potential outfall from Beijing’s latest pullback on citizens’ online access. According to award-winning journalist George Chen: “These days, the government is keen to regulate everything it hates and promote everything it likes with new legislation or renewed enforcement. That’s what the rule of law Chinese-style is all about.”
Xiao Shu in this piece comparing the 2001 incarceration of fellow Chinese journalist, Yang Zili, and his colleagues today from the Transition Institute, explores the deeper psychological cause driving the country’s “stability-obsessed regime”: a paranoia so institutionalized that it drives state power compulsively. A must read.
After three months of ‘enforced disappearance’, Huang Kaiping, has been returned to his home in Beijing. Front Line Defenders reports.
The brutal treatment of champions of freedom is a stark reminder that market reforms are not enough to serve as the foundation of a free society. Atlas Network reports.