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...

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...

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...

China’s Growing Human Rights Movement Can Claim Many Accomplishments

Teng Biao
Washington Post
Since Xi Jinping became president of China, there has been a sustained crackdown on advocates of democracy and civil society. A couple hundred Chinese citizens have been arrested and tried or await trial. Lawyer and activist Xu Zhiyong&...

Why is the Chinese Communist Party so Afraid of Legal Activist Xu Zhiyong?

Yiyi Lu
Foreign Policy
Some fear that Xu and his fellow activists in the New Citizens Movement had formed an “anti-CCP clique”. 

Who is Xu Zhiyong?

Malcolm Moore
Telegraph
Four people whose lives were change by Xu Zhiyong describe how he helped them. 

Jailed Dissident’s Wife: ‘I Don’t Want You to Give Up’

Wall Street Journal
A public letter from the wife of Xu Zhiyong shows the emotional burden imposed on the family members of jailed dissidents.

Chinese Court Places Heavy Sentence on Prominent Activist

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The most closely watched trial of a Chinese dissident in years calls attention to CCP clamp down on dissent. 

China: Reverse Judgment in Show Trial of Xu Zhiyong

Human Rights Watch
The harsh conviction and four-year sentence of Xu Zhiyong is a pretext to chill popular protests against corruption. 

A Dream Deferred

Phelim Kine
Foreign Policy
The challenge the ICIJ expose poses to Xi's reputation as an anti-corruption crusader, is a vindication of Xu's advocacy. ...

Features

01.26.14

For Freedom, Justice, and Love

from China Change
Following is legal activist Xu Zhiyong’s closing statement at the end of his trial in Beijing on January 22, 2014. According to his lawyer, Xu was only able to read “about ten minutes of it before the presiding judge stopped him, saying it was...

China Cannot Relax War on Corruption

Financial Times
(Editorial) “We should not dismiss the way Mr. Xi is trying to deal with the problem.”

China Mobilizes Cyber-cops After Leak on Elite Overseas Wealth

Benjamin Carlson
Global Post
(Op-ed) “surprising behavior from a government that says it really wants transparency to flush out corruption.”

Chinese Prosecutors File Charges Against Leading Activist Xu Zhiyong

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Four days after the U.S. government expressed concern about his imprisonment, Chinese prosecutors have filed charges in court against leading activist Xu Zhiyong, founder of the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of activists seeking to promote...

In China, Can Plutocrats Have Political Opinions?

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
China’s men and women who have made it to the top of society by being unrelentingly determined are advised by the government to relent when it comes to calling for the rule of law, adherence to the constitution, or an end to abuses of power.&...

The Confessions of a Reactionary

Teng Biao
China Change
When Xu Zhiyong and I received the “Ten People in Rule of Law in 2003” award at CCTV, neither of us, nor the two sponsors of the event would have thought that, in a few years, the two of us would become “the enemies of the state.”...

Citizens Movement Leader Xu Zhiyong Arrested

Associated Press
Xu is one of the founders of a loose network of campaigners known as the New Citizens Movement, who, among other things, have called for people to get together on the last Saturday of each month for dinner to discuss China’s constitution and other...

Conversation

08.28.13

Beijing, Why So Tense?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
Andrew Nathan:I think of the Chinese leaders as holding a plant spritzer and dousing sparks that are jumping up all around them.  Mao made the famous remark, “A single spark can start a prairie fire.”  The leaders have seen that...

China Orders Ban on New Government Buildings

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The ban is the latest in a series of initiatives by President Xi Jinping to discourage corruption and foster frugality at a time of broad popular resentment against high-living bureaucrats. 

Conversation

07.18.13

Xu Zhiyong Arrested: How Serious Can Beijing Be About Political Reform?

Donald Clarke, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Donald Clarke:When I heard that Xu Zhiyong had just been detained, my first thought was, “Again?” This seems to be something the authorities do every time they get nervous, a kind of political Alka Seltzer to settle an upset constitution. I searched...

Tibet Is Burning

Xu Zhiyong
New York Times
Over the last three years, close to 100 Tibetan monks and laypeople have set themselves on fire; 30 people did so between Nov. 4 and Dec. 3. The Chinese government is seeking to halt this wave of self-immolations by detaining...

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...