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.
China’s new environmental protection law is not enough without robust implementation mechanisms, accountability regimes and institutional arrangements. This report for the science journal Nature identifies four gaps that will cause challenges for the new law.
Declaring “war on pollution” is just the first step, writes Elizabeth Economy in this terrific piece for ChinaFile on the need for Beijing to invest more in the fundamentals of environmental protection: the enforcement of regulations and the necessary human and financial resources to those on the front-line of clawing back blue skies and clean water for China.
As China continues its crackdown on reform-minded scholars and civil liberties, the wife of yet another detained member of the respected Beijing-based think tank, Transition Institute, has spoken out in an open letter circulated online. Reaching out to her husband, Huang Kaiping, in the only way she now can, Zhou Qinghui recounts in vivid voice their first meeting, as fifth graders, up until the current day’s events, cast in shadow by the question mark of an uncertain future under a repressive regime.
A US-based colleague of detained Chinese activist, Guo Yushan, reflects on Guo’s formal arrest earlier this month.
Two days before the country’s new environmental law took effect, six polluting companies in east China’s Jiangsu Province were walloped with the most costly penalties ever imposed by a Chinese court. Is […]
Chinese environmentalists explain why the incentives that work in favour of pollution, rather than its prevention, will remain, despite new legal powers. Radio Free Asia reports.