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.
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.
Thousands of Haitians continue to live in tent camps five years on after a deadly earthquake brought an already struggling nation to its knees. This update by Jacob Kushner for the GlobalPost gets at the core of the country’s ongoing struggle for stability despite donor aid in the billions: as long as Haiti remains without property rights, the rule of law and a constitutional government, chaos will hobble recovery.
Chinese citizens and industry are both willing to do their part to help turnaround the country’s water crisis, according to a new survey, but they don’t see how without a mechanism that allows the government, industry and end users to work together. Could that missing mechanism be market discipline, rule of law and citizen empowerment?
Twenty days after the first letter to her husband, detained legal activist and scholar, Guo Yushan, Pan Haixia posted another exquisitely written follow-up letter to him online. In the time in between, Pan writes she is determined to honour Guo’s zest for life by not isolating herself: “I don’t want you to criticize me for indulging in self-pity” and “it would be unreasonable for me to act half-dead” when loved ones have been so supportive. Pan’s mood has become increasingly reflective, drawing on wisdom gained in moments past, as she finds herself embracing the philosophy that, “we little people all have an ultimate freedom that no one can take away: the freedom to choose the attitude with which we face our destinies.” She remains hopeful Guo will return home.
Pan Haixia, lawyer and the wife of economic scholar and influential think tank founder, Guo Yushan, posted a letter online that she wrote to her husband after he was taken from their suburban Beijing home by police officers on October 9, at around 2 a.m., on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” — a pretext used to silence China’s growing community of rights activists. Conflicted by the danger Guo’s activism brought to their doorstep, Pan’s heartrending words to Guo, to whom she wasn’t able to say ‘goodbye’, powerfully relate the torment activists and their families endure as targets of political persecution in China.
Read in full Patricia Adams’ closing address to the International Symposium on China’s Environmental Crisis: Is There a Way Out? A resounding “Yes!” says Ms. Adams. “Give power to the people”.
The September 2014 issue of the monthly current affairs magazine, Africa in Fact, offers a dramatic snapshot of the all-embracing and, at times, astonishing ways in which the cancer of corruption impacts societies, diverting resources from much-needed public services, ranging from health care to national defence, into private pockets.
(June 3, 2013) News that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for China’s tallest dam was approved last month by the Ministry of Environmental Protection is a signal that developers and politicians in China understand well the green-washing power of EIAs to move forward destructive projects.
(September 11, 2012) The dispute between Japan and China over Japan’s decision to purchase a number of islands in the East China Sea, also claimed by China and Taiwan, has provoked spirited public protest in China this summer. But territorial disputes with Japan aren’t the only issue driving China’s summer of protest. Large, organized and, at times, violent demonstrations often sparked by environmental concerns – recently the wastewater drainage pipeline from the Japanese-owned Oji Paper plant – have become more frequent as citizens discover strength in numbers as a way to unleash long, pent-up anger at authorities. Japan’s highly regarded Asahi Shimbun newspaper turned to Probe International Fellow and correspondent, Dai Qing, to understand China’s recent wave of anti-Japanese protest and learned that Chinese officials would rather their people march against Japan than take to the streets to demand democracy, human rights and freedom. This interview also explores Dai’s own history as a champion for the environment and human rights in China, her stance against the construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam and ongoing restrictions of her activities by Chinese security: even a surprise party in celebration of her 70th birthday could not go ahead as planned by friends. Dai Qing reflects on such foolishness: “It is truly a waste of money to monitor such a patriot as me,” she insists.
(July 20, 2012) Lakes in large number, once a plentiful distinction for the province of Hubei, are vanishing after years of “growth” without rule of law.
(December 8, 2011) The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada held an online conversation on the question: is there a “best way” for Canada to promote human rights in Asia? Patricia Adams of Probe International says that there is: by “getting its own house in order and ensuring that Canada does not aid and abet abuses abroad.”
(July 4, 2011) Probe International’s Patricia Adams joined a Business News Network (BNN) panel to discuss the dangers of corporations wishing to do business in China given its poor human rights record.
(May 27, 2011) Bill Gates’ version of foreign aid should look to Microsoft’s original recipe for success to empower Africa.
(September 14, 2010) The Chinese government continues to muzzle anyone who exposes abuses in relocation programs, writes Brady Yauch.