Jessica Batke is a ChinaFile Senior Editor. She researches China’s domestic political and social affairs, and served as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research Analyst for nearly eight years prior to joining ChinaFile. In 2016, she was a Visiting Academic Fellow at MERICS in Berlin. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Pitzer College and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.

Last Updated: April 19, 2021
05.31.22

Visually Understanding the Data on Foreign NGO Representative Offices and Temporary Activities

Jessica Batke
The China NGO Project has created the following visualizations based on data available on the Ministry of Public Security website, as well as on our own research. To analyze foreign NGO representative offices, we looked at organizations’ countries/...

Viewpoint

02.28.22

In Xinjiang’s Tech Incubators, Innovation Is Inseparable from Repression

Jessica Batke
Innovation and its benefits to society in Xinjiang have come to encompass both the use of big data to enhance cross-border trade and the use of big data to monitor people inside their own homes. Official documents promoting innovation in Xinjiang...

Features

01.31.22

A Vast Network of ‘New Era Civilization Practice Centers’ Is Beijing’s Latest Bid to Reclaim Hearts and Minds

Jessica Batke
New Era Civilization Practice Centers are designed to deliver a mix of social services and political indoctrination, to draw China’s citizens ever nearer to the Party by giving them tangible reminders of the Party’s largesse and molding them into...

Features

10.15.21

ChinaFile Presents: In the Camps—China’s High-Tech Penal Colony

Darren Byler, Susan Jakes & more
Darren Byler joined ChinaFile’s Susan Jakes and Jessica Batke to discuss his new book, In the Camps: China’s High-Tech Penal Colony. Evidence has mounted in recent years that China’s government has incarcerated more than one million Uyghurs and...

Features

12.20.20

Message Control

Jessica Batke & Mareike Ohlberg
Li Wenliang’s death had only been announced a few hours earlier, but Warming High-Tech was already on the case. The company had been monitoring online mentions of the COVID-whistleblower’s name in the several days since police had detained and...

Features

10.30.20

State of Surveillance

Jessica Batke & Mareike Ohlberg
Across China, in its most crowded cities and tiniest hamlets, government officials are on an unprecedented surveillance shopping spree. The coordination of the resulting millions of cameras and other snooping technology spread across the country...

Viewpoint

03.18.20

‘This Is Not Forensic Genetics Anymore. This Is Surveillance.’

Jessica Batke
Yves Moreau, a professor specializing in human clinical genomics, had been emailing with Promega since 2016, warning its communications department first about how Promega’s products might be used in a proposed DNA databasing project in Kuwait, and...

Features

02.19.20

American Company Sold DNA Analysis Equipment to Security Officials in Xinjiang, Documents Show

Jessica Batke & Mareike Ohlberg
In 2015, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau announced it planned to purchase equipment from the U.S.-based biotechnology company Promega for the purpose of analyzing DNA and adding it to a national database,...
01.03.20

‘The New Normal’ for Foreign NGOs in 2020

Jessica Batke
The China NGO Project has, since its inception, been heavily focused on Chinese government-provided data as a means to understand the environment for foreign NGOs there. However, taking stock of the three years that the Foreign NGO Law has been in...
05.20.19

What Would Amending Hong Kong’s Law on Extradition Mean for International Non-Profits?

Amanda Bogan & Jessica Batke
Hong Kong legislators are currently engaged in a fierce struggle over the proposed passing of a bill that would expand Hong Kong's policy to allow for extradition, on a case-by-case basis, to countries with which the territory does not have...

Viewpoint

03.15.19

Is This the Last Dalai Lama?

Jessica Batke
This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet. His departure exposed the rift between the Tibetan faithful and the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.), one which has not closed in the six decades since—and which threatens...

Features

01.08.19

Where Did the One Million Figure for Detentions in Xinjiang’s Camps Come From?

Jessica Batke
As journalists and scholars have reported in recent months on the campaign of religious and cultural repression and incarceration taking place in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, a central question has emerged: How many people has China’s government...