Viewpoint

09.15.17

There Is Only One China, And There Is Only One Taiwan

Richard Bernstein
One of Beijing’s least favorite people is Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who won a landslide election victory 18 months ago on a platform calling for more separation from China—a coded way of rejecting one of the mainland’s most sacred principles...

Viewpoint

08.28.17

China Is Risking the Lives of Political Prisoners by Denying Them Medical Care

Frances Eve
Dissident activist Chen Xi entered Xingyi Prison in Guangxi in January 2012 to serve a 10-year sentence. The previous month, he had been convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” for writing articles about human rights and democracy. This...

When the Law Meets the Party

Ian Johnson
Like an army defeated but undestroyed, China’s decades-long human rights movement keeps reassembling its lines after each disastrous loss, miraculously fielding new forces in the battle against an illiberal state. Each time, foot soldiers and...

The Lonely Struggle of Lee Ching-yu

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
On March 19, a human rights activist from Taiwan named Lee Ming-che disappeared in mainland China, and his wife back in Taipei, Lee Ching-yu, became a member of one of the least desirable clubs in the world: the spouses of people who for political...

Viewpoint

08.14.17

China is Forcing Uighurs Abroad to Return Home. Why Aren’t More Countries Refusing to Help?

Jessica Batke
The campaign began quietly. Students studying abroad were told to return home. Many did, and their classmates didn’t hear from them afterwards. For those who needed extra incentive to get moving, police detained their families back home. Finally,...

Viewpoint

08.03.17

China’s ‘New Achievements’ in Legal Reform Exist More in Policy than in Practice

Stanley Lubman
It is no coincidence that two days after Liu Xiaobo’s death, Xinhua published an article praising China’s “new achievements in judicial protection of human rights.” The judicial reforms the article mentions have not yet been fully implemented and...

Chinese Police Detain ‘Female Jesus Cult’ Members

BBC
Police in China have detained 18 suspected members of a banned religious cult, state news agency Xinhua said. The group is notorious for some of its members beating a woman to death in a McDonald's restaurant in 2014 after she refused to give...

Books

06.28.17

No Wall Too High

Erling Hoh
“It was impossible. All of China was a prison in those days.”Mao Zedong’s labor reform camps, known as the laogai, were notoriously brutal. Modeled on the Soviet Gulag, they subjected their inmates to backbreaking labor, malnutrition, and vindictive wardens. They were thought to be impossible to escape—but one man did.Xu Hongci was a bright young student at the Shanghai No. 1 Medical College, spending his days studying to be a professor and going to the movies with his girlfriend. He was also an idealistic and loyal member of the Communist Party and was generally liked and well respected. But when Mao delivered his famous February 1957 speech inviting “a hundred schools of thought [to] contend,” an earnest Xu Hongci responded by posting a criticism of the Party—a near-fatal misstep. He soon found himself a victim of the Anti-Rightist Campaign, condemned to spend the next 14 years in the laogai.Xu Hongci became one of the roughly 550,000 Chinese unjustly imprisoned after the spring of 1957, and despite the horrific conditions and terrible odds, he was determined to escape. He failed three times before finally succeeding, in 1972, in what was an amazing and arduous triumph.Originally published in Hong Kong, Xu Hongci’s remarkable memoir recounts his life from childhood through his final prison break. After discovering his story in a Hong Kong library, the journalist Erling Hoh tracked down the original manuscript and compiled this condensed translation, which includes background on this turbulent period, an epilogue that follows Xu Hongci up to his death, and Xu Hongci’s own drawings and maps. Both a historical narrative and an exhilarating prison-break thriller, No Wall Too High tells the unique story of a man who insisted on freedom—even under the most treacherous circumstances. —Farrar, Straus and Giroux{chop}

China Detains Chairman of Anbang, Which Sought Ties With Jared Kushner

Michael Forsythe, Alexandra Stevenson
New York Times
Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, was taken away on Friday in Beijing, according to Caijing, a respected newsmagazine. In a statement early Wednesday morning in China, the company said that Mr. Wu was “for personal reasons no...
06.06.17

Possible Foreign NGO Law-Related Detentions: What We Know, and What We Don’t

Jessica Batke
Three labor activists affiliated with the New York-based China Labor Watch (CLW) were detained in China last week. Reports suggest that they were detained for investigating labor practices at factories in Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces. This comes...

On Tiananmen Square Anniversary, Detentions in China and Candlelight Vigil in Hong Kong

Washington Post
Police detained at least 11 Chinese activists after a pair of small events to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, according to human rights groups and activists.

Canadian Winery Owners Arrested, Put on Trial in China for Customs Valuation Dispute

Huffington Post
The daughter of two Canadian winery owners being held by Chinese authorities over an alleged customs valuation dispute says the case should serve as a warning for other Canadians hoping to do business in China.

Activists Investigating Ivanka Trump’s China Shoe Factory Detained or Missing

Guardian
A labor activist working undercover investigating abuses at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes has been detained by police and two others are missing, raising concerns the company’s ties to the U.S. president’s family may have led to...

Viewpoint

04.20.17

A Taiwanese Man’s Detention in Guangdong Threatens a Key Pillar of Cross-Straits Relations

Jerome A. Cohen & Yu-Jie Chen
Update: On March 26, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office announced that Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che had been formally arrested on charges of “subverting state power.” Jerome Cohen has added a new comment to this essay. To skip to that...

China Says It Has Detained Rights Activist from Taiwan

Chris Buckley and Chris Horton
New York Times
The detention adds to signs of an intensified clampdown on outsiders working with China’s beleaguered rights lawyers and groups.

The People in Retreat

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Ai Xiaoming is one of China’s leading documentary filmmakers and political activists. Since 2004, she has made more than two dozen films, many of them long, gritty documentaries that detail citizen activism or uncover whitewashed historical events...

Viewpoint

09.01.16

How to Deal With China’s Human Rights Abuses

Sophie Richardson
When world leaders touch down in early September in the city of Hangzhou for this year’s G20 leaders’ summit, which China will they see? The one of glossy skylines, enviable growth statistics, and perfectly choreographed diplomatic exchanges? Or the...

China Violated Rights of Detained American, U.N. Panel Says

Edward Wong
New York Times
The panel has called for her immediate release.

Hong Kong Leader Vows Action After Bookseller Recounts Ordeal in China

Laurence Witherington and Joanne Chiu
Wall Street Journal
The incidents have raised concerns that Chinese authorities violated the “one country, two systems” formula.

China Lets Rights Lawyer Flee to U.S. After Release

Edward Wong
New York Times
Professor detained last summer has joined family after being released from surveillance.

China Disappearances Highlight Ruling Party Detention System

Bloomberg
Caixin magazine reported that Guo Guangchang, the billionaire chairman of Fosun International Ltd. couldn’t be contacted.

Three Labour Rights Leaders Detained In China As Worker Unrest Grows

Neil Connor
Telegraph
Activist detentions follow a growth in discontent among workers affected by China's stalling economy...

At U.N., China Uses Intimidation Tactics to Silence Its Critics

Sui-Lee Wee and Stephanie Nebehay
Reuters
“When I was hiding in the mountains, the Chinese government announced a cash reward of 200,000 yuan (about $31,000) for whoever finds me.”

China Says Investigating U.S. Woman Suspected of Spying

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
An American woman suspected of spying is being investigated.

China Defends Xi Visit to U.N. Forum Despite Activists' Detention

BEN BLANCHARD AND MEGHA RAJAGOPALAN
Reuters
President Xi's attendance at a U.N. women's summit, brushing off concern about its detention of women activists in March...

UN Rights Chief Airs Worry About Lawyers Detained in China

JAMEY KEATEN
Associated Press
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern about the detention and interrogation of more than 100 lawyers in China.

China Uses ‘Picking Quarrels’ Charge to Cast a Wider Net Online

Edward Wong
New York Times
Artists, essayists, lawyers, bloggers and others deemed to be online troublemakers have been hauled into police stations and investigated or imprisoned for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge that was once confined to physical...

China Targeting Rights Lawyers in a Crackdown

Andrew Jacobs and Chris Buckley
New York Times
Beijing is mounting a broad crackdown on human rights lawyers, contending that they have exploited contentious cases to enrich themselves and attack the party.

Conversation

07.14.15

China’s ‘Rule by Law’ Takes an Ugly Turn

Nancy Tang, Eva Pils & more
Yet another crackdown has begun under Chinese President Xi Jinping. This time, the target is so-called “rights lawyers,” loosely defined as those who defend unpopular or dissident clients, or bring cases against the state that rest on claims of...

Reports

07.14.15

Lawyers and Activists Detained or Questioned by Police Since 9 July 2015

Amnesty International
Amnesty International has compiled this list of Lawyers and Activists in China who have been detained or questioned by police since July 9, 2015. The list was collated based on various sources. Amnesty International attempted to confirm all...

Chinese Feminist Wants to be the Country’s First Openly Lesbian Lawyer

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Li Tingting is determined that police harrassment will not stop her.

Young, Idealistic, and Caught Up in a Wave of Detentions

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Well educated and deeply committed to helping their fellow Chinese, Liu Jianshu and Zhao Sile are the kind of idealistic young people who pepper the story of China’s transformation over the past century as it searches for a modern identity.

Five Held in China Food Scandal Probe, Including Head of Shanghai Husi Food

BRENDA GOH AND PAUL CARSTEN
Reuters
The five detained include the head of the company—Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC—and the firm’s quality manager, the police said in an online statement. It gave no other details.

Viewpoint

06.13.14

Arrested Chinese Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Speaks from Prison

“They bring me in for questioning practically every day. Sometimes the sessions last as long as ten hours. My legs are getting swollen, probably from sitting on a bench without moving for so long.” He said of these grueling interrogation sessions, “...

China: Detained to Death

Renee Xia & Perry Link from New York Review of Books
On May 3, fifteen Beijing citizens—scholars, journalists, and rights lawyers—gathered informally at the home of Professor Hao Jian of the Beijing Film Academy to reflect on the 25th anniversary of the 1989 June Fourth massacre in Beijing. Two days...

Conversation

02.13.14

Are Ethnic Tensions on the Rise in China?

Enze Han, James Palmer & more
On December 31, President Xi Jinping appeared on CCTV and extended his “New Year’s wishes to Chinese of all ethnic groups.” On January 15, Beijing officials detained Ilham Tohti, a leading Uighur economist and subsequently accused him of “separtist...

Newspaper Publishes Front-Page Call for Journalist’s Release

Oiwan Lam
Global Voices
A Guangzhou-based newspaper, the New Express, published a front-page editorial statement urging the Security Bureau of Hunan Province to release their investigative reporter Chen Yongzhou who was arrested for criminal...

Media

10.23.13

How to Say “Truthiness” in Chinese

“Official rumors” is more than just an oxymoron. The phrase—pronounced guanyao—has become a useful weapon in Chinese Internet users’ linguistic guerrilla warfare against government censorship. That battle has intensified during a government-led...

China Holds Two Bloggers As It Expands Crackdown on Rumors

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
Police in China have arrested an influential blogger and are holding a cartoonist in a widening crackdown on online “rumor-mongering”, friends and a lawyer for one of them said on Thursday October 17. 

Chinese Official Yu Qiyi ‘Drowned by Investigators’

BBC
Yu Qiyi, who was a Communist Party member of Wenzhou Industry Investment Group, died during the shuanggui process, an internal disciplinary procedure where officials are asked to confess wrongdoings. 

Activist’s List of Chinese Political Arrests

Patrick Boehler
South China Morning Post
Wen Yunchao, who has been monitoring arrests and convictions in this year in China from New York City, insists his records show a growing trend of repression under Xi Jinping.  

Media

09.04.13

China’s Crackdown on Social Media: Who Is in Danger?

There is a Chinese proverb that says one must kill a chicken to scare the monkeys, which means to punish someone in order to make an example out of them. That is what many believe happened last Sunday when outspoken investor and Internet celebrity...

Brief Thoughts on Ai Weiwei’s Music Video “Dumbass”

Siweiluozi
Siweiluozi’s Blog
Those who like Ai’s brand of (increasingly) political performance art will probably like it, while those who tend to see his facility with the foreign media as his primary talent are unlikely to change their views upon listening to this latest...

Viewpoint

11.14.12

The Future of Legal Reform

Carl Minzner
Carl Minzner, Professor of Law at Fordham University, talks here about the ways China’s legal reforms have ebbed and flowed, speeding up in the early 2000s, but then slowing down again after legal activists began to take the government at its word,...

Xu Zhiyong (许志永): An Account of My Recent Disappearance

Xu Zhiyong
Seeing Red in China
Dr. Xu Zhiyong is a lecturer of law at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and one of the founders of Open Constitution Initiative (公盟) that offers legal assistance to petitioners and rights defenders, and has been repeatedly...

Reports

10.01.09

“We Are Afraid to Even Look for Them”: Enforced Disappearances in the Wake of Xinjiang’s Protests

Human Rights Watch
In the aftermath of the July 2009 protests in Xinjiang province, which according to the Chinese government killed at least 197 people, Chinese security forces detained hundreds of people on suspicion of participating in the unrest. Dozens of these...