Books

04.21.17

A New Deal for China’s Workers?

Cynthia Estlund
China’s labor landscape is changing, and it is transforming the global economy in ways that we cannot afford to ignore. Once-silent workers have found their voice, organizing momentous protests, such as the 2010 Honda strikes, and demanding a better deal. China’s leaders have responded not only with repression but with reforms. Are China’s workers on the verge of a breakthrough in industrial relations and labor law reminiscent of the American New Deal?In A New Deal for China’s Workers? Cynthia Estlund views this changing landscape through the comparative lens of America’s twentieth-century experience with industrial unrest. China’s leaders hope to replicate the widely shared prosperity, political legitimacy, and stability that flowed from America’s New Deal, but they are irrevocably opposed to the independent trade unions and mass mobilization that were central to bringing it about. Estlund argues that the specter of an independent labor movement, seen as an existential threat to China’s one-party regime, is both driving and constraining every facet of its response to restless workers.China’s leaders draw on an increasingly sophisticated toolkit in their effort to contain worker activism. The result is a surprising mix of repression and concession, confrontation and cooptation, flaws and functionality, rigidity and pragmatism. If China’s laborers achieve a New Deal, it will be a New Deal with Chinese characteristics, very unlike what workers in the West achieved in the last century. Estlund’s sharp observations and crisp comparative analysis make China’s labor unrest and reform legible to Western readers. —Harvard University Press{chop}

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
Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che mysteriously disappeared in China on March 19. Ten days later, Beijing, having ignored the Taiwan government’s frantic appeals for information through prescribed channels, finally admitted that Lee has...

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.

China Police Confirm Detention of Human Rights Lawyer Jiang Tianyong

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
The activist’s family are still waiting to hear from him despite officials saying he was released more than two weeks ago

China Plans to Teach Developing Countries and the UN About Protecting Human Rights

Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
Like many of Beijing’s edicts, it is being criticized as a blatant piece of propaganda

China Rights Lawyer Xia Lin Jailed for 12 Years

BBC
Ai Weiwei's lawyer sentenced for 'fraud'...

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...

Chinese Activist Zhai Yasmin Found Guilty of Subversion

BBC
Hundreds are detained since last year as a part of a crackdown on ‘legal activism’.....

Incendiary Memoir by Chinese Rights Lawyer Reaches Bookshelves Abroad

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
An account of government critique, life in prison, and life under surveillance....

This Man Was Sectioned For Being Gay. Now He’s Fighting Back

Hannah Beech
Time
Man files suit for homophobic maltreatment within a mental institution....

Viewpoint

02.25.16

A Looming Crisis for China’s Legal System

Jerome A. Cohen
In China, politics continues to control law. The current leadership has rejected many of the universal legal values that China accepted—at least in principle—under communist rule in some earlier eras. Today, for example, to talk freely about...

U.N. Rights Official Urges China to Release Detained Lawyers

Nick Cumming-Bruce
New York Times
The UN’s top human rights official called on China to immediately release a group of lawyers, expressing concern over a “very worrying pattern.”

Viewpoint

12.30.15

No, Pu Zhiqiang’s Release Is Not A Victory

Hu Yong
Pu Zhiqiang is a well-known Chinese human rights lawyer and outspoken intellectual who has taken on many precedent-setting cases defending freedom and protecting civil liberties. But his outstanding contributions in the judicial realm and his...

The Hard Reality Behind China’s Soft Power

Hannah Beech
Time
Even as China burnishes its image overseas, the Communist Party conducts brutal suppression of civil liberties at home.

China Faces Sharp Questioning by U.N. Panel on Torture

NICK CUMMING-BRUCE
New York Times
“China has made further progress in its legal development and human rights protection.”

Lawyer's Rights in China

Amnesty International
China’s criminal justice system is still heavily reliant on forced confessions obtained through torture and ill-treatment.

Rights Lawyers in China Routinely Face Abuse, Report Says

JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ
New York Times
Legal activists and those suspected of crimes in China are routinely abused and mistreated at the hands of law enforcement officials.

How A 16-Year-Old Found Himself Caught Up in China’s Latest Crackdown

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
He is not a lawyer, or a dissident. He is a 16-year-old with a bowl-cut fringe.

Caixin Media

10.06.15

Authorities Should Do More to Protect China’s Lawyers

A Communist Party group led by General Secretary Xi Jinping that was established to spearhead reform efforts finished a document on September 15 addressing the plight of lawyers. A day later, top judicial authorities, including the Supreme People...

China Dissident's Wife Rejects Invite to State Department

MATTHEW PENNINGTON
Associated Press
The United States has warned that the toughest crackdown in years on Chinese activists threatens to cloud the high-profile visit by Xi.

Leading China Lawyer Says He Was Tortured

Isolda Morillo and Didi Tang
Associated Press
In his first interview in five years, leading Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng said he was tortured with an electric baton to his face and spent three years in solitary confinement during his latest period of detention since 2010.

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...

China: Inventing a Crime

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
In late January, Chinese authorities announced that they are considering formal charges against Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who has been in detention since last May. Pu’s friends fear that even a life sentence is...

Viewpoint

01.16.15

The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers

Frances Eve
As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending...

Viewpoint

01.15.15

Chinese Lawyers to Chinese Lawmakers: Let Us Defend Our Clients

Joshua Rosenzweig
Legal Opinion on Article 35 of the Ninth (Draft) Amendment to the Criminal Law: "We are a group of legal professionals who care about the rights of lawyers and reform of the judicial system and who have taken note of the draft for the Ninth...

China in 2014 Through the Eyes of a Human Rights Advocate

Yaxue Cao from China Change
This time last year, volunteers and I were busy writing and translating articles to prepare for the New Citizens Movement trials. Many Chinese voices were speaking out forcefully against these trials: law professors, rights lawyers, liberal...

China’s Unstoppable Lawyers: An Interview with Teng Biao

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Teng Biao is one of China’s best-known civil-rights lawyers, and a prominent member of the weiquan, or “rights defenders,” movement, a loosely knit coalition of Chinese lawyers and activists who tackle cases related to the environment, religious...

Media

06.24.14

The President China Never Had

David Wertime
An activist lawyer heroically risks everything for his beliefs. Although he fails, his brave stand against authoritarianism wins him lasting admiration and changes the fate of his East Asian nation forever. The plot may sound seditious in mainland...

Media

10.11.13

How Social Media Complicates the Role of China’s Rights Lawyers

Xia Junfeng was once unknown, but his 2009 arrest for the murder of security officers—who, he alleged, had savagely beaten him—made him a symbolic figure in a national debate about human rights and reform in China. Yet many wonder whether this...