Conversation

03.31.17

Is Hong Kong on Its Way to Becoming Just Another City in the P.R.C.?

Antony Dapiran, Suzanne Sataline & more
On March 26, the roughly 1,200-person Hong Kong Election Committee chose Carrie Lam as chief executive—Hong Kong’s fourth leader since the United Kingdom returned the territory to Chinese rule in 1997. Unpopular with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy...

Viewpoint

01.06.17

No, Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement Is Not Anti-Mainland

Sebastian Veg
In a November 29 essay, “The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement,” published in Foreign Policy, Taisu Zhang tries to make the case that Beijing’s hardline attitude toward Hong Kong is traceable to what he calls the “bigotry of...

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11.29.16

The Anti-Mainland Bigotry of Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement

Taisu Zhang
Given the political earthquake that occurred on November 8, the recent political and constitutional crisis in Hong Kong now seems comparatively diminished in significance. At the time, however, it was widely seen as—and continues to be—a major...

Hong Kong’s Rebellious Lawmaker Yau Wai-ching

Helier Cheung
BBC
The youngest woman elected to Hong Kong's parliament has been called many things, including: "radical", "goddess", "spy", "pretty" and "cancer cell"...

With It’s Latest Intervention in Hong Kong, Beijing Wins the Battle but is Losing the War

Gary Cheung
South China Morning Post
Cheung: the NPC should be sparing in the use of its power to interpret the Basic Law, or it risks further alienating the city’s young people

China Will Intervene in the Case of Hong Kong’s Pro-Independence Lawmakers

Kevin Lui
Time
Experts worry Beijing's move to interpret HK's Basic Law would damage the people’s trust in the rule of law and the independence of the courts...

Chaos Again at Hong Kong’s Legislature as Chinese Intervention Said to Loom Large

Kevin Lui
Time
Two separatist lawmakers attempt to take their oaths of office for a fourth time, as rumors of direct Chinese intervention fly

An Exiled Editor Traces the Roots of Democratic Thought in China

Luo Siling
New York Times
An interview with Hu Ping, editor of the pro-democracy journal "Beijing Spring," based in New York...

LegCo Drama Rages On

Jeffie Lam et al
South China Morning Post
LegCo president Andrew Leung adjourns meeting after B. Leung and Yau force way into chamber; protest organizer estimates 10,000 came to denounce the duo

Features

10.19.16

Why Newly Elected Hong Kong Legislators Cursed and Protested—At Their Own Swearing-In

There’s a bit of a nanny state in the city of Hong Kong. The government is quick to issue advice and admonitions about all matter of hazards—high ocean waves, food waste, incense burning during the annual grave-sweeping festival. One night in late...

Rebel Hong Kong Politicians Defy China at Chaotic Swearing-In Ceremony

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Pro-democracy politicians cross fingers and make protest signs and subversive references to Beijing’s authoritarian rulers

Hong Kong Protest Leaders Avoid Jail After Failed Court Bid

AFP
Channel NewsAsia
"Umbrella Revolution" leaders walk free from court...

China Warns Hong Kong Democracy Activists After Election

BBC
Many in Hong Kong are increasingly concerned about Beijing's interventions in its politics...

Viewpoint

08.18.16

Zhao Ziyang’s Legacy

David Shambaugh
It is difficult to say with any certainty how China would have evolved had Zhao Ziyang not been overthrown in 1989. The ostensible cause of his purge was his refusal to endorse martial law and authorize the use of force to suppress the Tiananmen...

Massive Security Operation Underway in Hong Kong as China's No. 3 Pays a Visit

Vice News
Zhang Dejiang began his visit by promising to listen to all sectors of society's views...

Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Soldiers' Win Seats in Local Elections

Donny Kwok and Clare Baldwin
Reuters
"The paratroopers are a new power, a challenge to the government and the central authorities in Beijing."...

Two Very Different Men Visit D.C.: China’s Leader And His Teenage Nemesis

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
Xi Jinping will get a state dinner and a 21-gun salute while Joshua Wong is in town to talk about Hong Kong’s fight for self-determination.

Thousands Protest on Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to China

Alan Wong
New York Times
As Hong Kong marks the 18th anniversary of its handover from Britain from China, thousands take to the street to rally for democracy.

With Beijing’s Voting Plan Dead, Hong Kong Looks Ahead

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
The rejection of a Beijing-backed plan to let the public elect Hong Kong’s top officials begs the question of what happens next.

Electing the Chief Executive: Hong Kong’s Political Reform Voted Down

South China Morning Post
Hong Kong's 2017 Chief Executive election proposal  promises "one man, one vote."...

Media

06.05.15

Hong Kong’s Long-Standing Unity on Tiananmen Is Unraveling

June 4, a day that changed mainland China forever, has become a cross that the city of Hong Kong bears. Each year, thousands of the city’s residents gather on an often steamy night and share anxious memories of 1989, when tanks rolled by bloodied...

Features

04.02.15

Frank Talk About Hong Kong’s Future from Margaret Ng

Margaret Ng, Ira Belkin & more
Following is the transcript of a recent ChinaFile Breakfast with Margaret Ng, the former Hong Kong legislator in discussion with Ira Belkin of New York University Law School and Orville Schell, ChinaFile Publisher and Arthur Ross Director of the...

Hong Kong Delegates to China’s Parliament Seek Mainland Security Laws to Counter Protests

Claire Baldwin
Reuters
The last time Hong Kong tried to pass national security legislation was in 2003.

Media

12.18.14

Hong Kong, the Resilient City

David Wertime
The tents have folded. After 75 days of camping on the street, braving police crackdowns, occasional civilian attacks, and the city’s (admittedly mild) winter chill, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have cleared out. As promised, police moved in...

Media

10.24.14

Hong Kong Documentary Explores the Roots of Dissent

La Frances Hui
To many observers, Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement”—thousands of students and other citizens in the streets demanding to choose their own political leaders—seemed to unfurl, fully formed, out of nowhere. Residents of the former colony were supposed...

Media

10.23.14

Kenny G: The Newest ‘Foreign Force’ in Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong extend into their fourth week with no resolution in sight, pro-Beijing voices have increasingly accused “foreign forces” of wielding influence over Hong Kong protests and intervening in Chinese internal affairs...

Viewpoint

10.21.14

‘We Can Only Trust Each Other and Keep the Road’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Snip. Snip. Snip. The officer’s face shows concentration as he cuts one yellow ribbon after another along a metal fence on Queensway in the Central district of Hong Kong. Next to him, other policemen have just finished dismantling the barricades...

Viewpoint

10.08.14

‘We Do Not Want to Be Persuaded’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Over the past week, it has been hard to make sense of the threats and ultimatums the Hong Kong protesters have faced. On Sunday, the South China Morning Post splashed on its front page that Hong Kong had “hours to avoid tragedy.” University deans...

Media

10.03.14

Under Different Umbrellas

Zhang Xiaoran
“Dozens of mainlanders were taken away by the police because they openly supported Occupy Central and at least ten of them have been detained…They are in Jiangxi, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, etc,” Hong Kong-based blogger and...

Viewpoint

10.01.14

‘The City Feels New’

Ilaria Maria Sala
Down on the streets occupied by the striking students, the city feels new: roads normally accessible only on wheels look like familiar strangers when suddenly you can walk down them. Big, immovable concrete partitions still separate the lanes, and...

Media

10.01.14

Media Portrays Hong Kong Protests as Either Inspiring or Dangerous

Rachel Lu
The second and third days of mass protests to demand broader democracy in Hong Kong ended with none of the violence and confrontation seen on September 28. Thousands of protesters continued to gather on the streets of the city’s busiest shopping and...

Viewpoint

09.29.14

The Day that China Came to Hong Kong

Mark L. Clifford
Hong Kong’s massive protests should have surprised no one. A bitter debate over political reform split the city. Beijing’s high-handed diktats deepened the anger. Before the protests, the question was whether or not the vast majority of this city of...

Viewpoint

09.29.14

‘Against My Fear, I See That You Hope’

Denise Y. Ho
A week ago today I sat together with you outside the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s library, a teacher among other teachers, a university member beside students, 13,000 strong. The weeks before had felt quiet: at the three previous all-student...

Taking Aim at Hong Kong

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
A surge of emotion washed through me on Sunday night as I watched tens of thousands of protesters fill the streets of Hong Kong on television. It was the same feeling I had in Beijing on the nights leading up to the killings in Tiananmen Square on...

Hong Kong Rising: An Interview with Albert Ho

Perry Link & Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
The former British colony of Hong Kong reverted to China on July 1, 1997, and on every July 1 since then Hong Kong citizens have marched in the streets asking for democracy. The demonstrations on this year’s anniversary, however, were on a much...

25 Years Later, Lessons From Tiananmen Square Crackdown

Melinda Liu
National Geographic
A quarter century after democracy protests ended in bloodshed, Chinese still clamor for clean government and courts.

As China Booms, So Does Popular Unrest

Bruce Kennedy
CBS News
In the quarter-century since the crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, China's economy has thrived and presented the world with an historic milestone. But at what cost to its people?...

Stuart Franklin: How I Photographed Tiananmen Square and 'Tank Man'

Mee-Lai Stone
Guardian
The Magnum photographer tells his story of the 1989 protests, from peaceful demonstration to bloody crackdown, the iconic 'tank man' – and how hamburgers gave him his big break...

Media

01.23.14

Carpe Coin: Crowdfunding Could Change Chinese Politics

Crowdfunding, which allows web users to contribute small sums of money to fund collective projects like concerts and films, is taking off in China—and just how far it will go is more than a business question. By allowing netizens to vote with their...

Features

11.08.13

Document 9: A ChinaFile Translation

This weekend, China’s leaders gather in Beijing for meetings widely expected to determine the shape of China’s economy, as well as the nation’s progress, over the next decade. What exactly the outcome of this Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party...

Media

09.18.13

For Chinese, Violence in the Middle East Sparks Debate on Democracy, Stability

Recent months have been rocky for the Middle East: harsh crackdowns on protesters in Egypt and a Rashomon-like scenario in which the Syrian government and the rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons, just to name a few. The region’s...

Sinica Podcast

07.12.13

Ripples from the Egyptian Revolution

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In Egypt in 2011, what was by all accounts a free and fair democratic election resulted in the victory of Mohammed Morsi, a controversial figure whose brief rule ended last week after being overthrown by the Egyptian military. With Western media...

Sinica Podcast

07.05.13

Myanmar’s Uncertain Glasnost

Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Buddhist terrorists, military juntas, resource clashes, and pro-Western democracy movements? If China has lulled you into thinking that Southeast Asia is predictable and boring, join us for this week’s discussion of Myanmar, the former client state...

Viewpoint

05.13.13

Maoism: The Most Severe Threat to China

Ouyang Bin
Ma Licheng (马立诚) is a former Senior Editorials Editor at People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s most important mouthpiece, and the author of eleven books. In 2003, when Japan’s then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to the Yasukuni Shrine...

The Hong Kong Gesture

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
On September 5, in an astonishing victory for liberty in Hong Kong and an equally unexpected defeat for Beijing and its hand-picked chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, the Hong Kong government withdrew a proposed new law against subversion and treason...

Inside the Whale

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
Ian Buruma is a powerful storyteller and much of his story about Chinese rebels is very sad. This sadness persists throughout his long journey, starting in the United States, where he met most of the well-known dissident Chinese exiles, and ending...

Democratic Vistas?

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
In August 1980 Deng Xiaoping laid down the Communist Party’s view of democracy. It continues to cripple China and is used both inside the country and by its apologists abroad to avoid the issue of repression. Deng said: Democracy without...

China: The Defining Moment

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
The evolution of the People’s Republic of China since its founding in 1949 has been tumultuous and bloody, and marked by the suffering of millions. It has been anything but peaceful. Yet it is precisely the prospect of “peaceful evolution,” which in...

Vengeance in China

Merle Goldman from New York Review of Books
While China’s leaders try to assure the outside world and themselves that “everything is back to normal,” the national problems that existed before the June 4 crackdown have become much worse. China’s students and intellectuals were already...

China Witness, 1989

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
In response to: China’s Spring from the June 29, 1989 issueTo the Editors:The absolute cynicism displayed by the current Chinese leadership as they present their version of this spring’s events in Beijing and other cities offers a special challenge...

The Chinese Intellectuals and the Revolt

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
The Beijing revolt of 1989 has caught the world’s attention, but the malaise that led to the emergency is broader and deeper than any of its conspicuous slogans can suggest. For foreigners like myself who live in Beijing, it was already clear nine...

China’s Despair and China’s Hope

Fang Lizhi from New York Review of Books
Nineteen eighty-nine is the Year of the Snake in China. It is not clear whether this snake will bring any great temptations. But this much is predictable: the year will stimulate Chinese into deeper reflection upon the past and a more incisive look...