Hong Kong Isn’t the Only Protest Chinese Leaders Are Worried About

Christina Larson, Dexter Roberts, Bruce...
Businessweek
Hong Kong’s democracy movement could jeopardize one of China’s main goals: weiwen, or maintenance of stability. For more than a decade the government has been defusing labor unrest.

What China Promised Hong Kong

Chris Patten
Washington Post
The peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong, with their umbrellas and trash bags, will not be swept off the streets like garbage or bullied into submission by tear gas and pepper spray.

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...

Hong Kong Celebrities Largely Mum on Protests Gripping City

Violet Law
Los Angeles Times
Hong Kong celebrities are known for their omnipresence and outspokenness, but the city's galaxy of stars and starlets has been almost entirely out of sight during the pro-democracy sit-ins. 

In Hong Kong Protests, Both Sides Are Wondering How This Will End

William Wan
Washington Post
As many thousands of Hong Kong residents kept up their occupation of the streets Wednesday night, leaders on both sides began strategizing with an eye toward the endgame.

China Issues Warning Over Hong Kong ‘Illegal’ Protests

Carrie Gracie
BBC
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, visiting Washington, also warned that the matter was an "internal affair" for China.

Full Text of the Chinese Communist Party’s Message to Hong Kong

Nikhil Sonnad
Quartz
"Cherish Positive Growth: Defend Hong Kong’s Prosperity and Stability," People’s Daily, October 1, 2014, translated by Quartz.

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...

Conversation

10.01.14

Is This the End of Hong Kong As We Know It?

Nicholas Bequelin, Sebastian Veg & more
Over the past week, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people have occupied the streets of their semi-autonomous city to advocate for the democratic elections slated to launch in 2017. The pro-democracy protestors have blocked major roads in the...

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...

Police Unleash Tear Gas in Hong Kong Protests

ALAN WONG and CHRIS BUCKLEY
New York Times
In a significant escalation of their efforts to suppress protests calling for democracy, the authorities in Hong Kong unleashed tear gas and mobilized riot police with long-barreled guns Sunday to disperse crowds that have besieged the city...

At least 34 injured as police and protesters clash in Hong Kong

Ivan Watson, Elizabeth Joseph, Anjali...
CNN
But as Sunday became early Monday, it appeared many of the protesters were set to continue to jam streets of the business district. The sometimes violent demonstrations follow a week of student-led boycotts and protests against what many...

Hong Kong Democracy Protesters Enter Government Complex

BBC
Students and activists have been protesting against a decision by Beijing to rule out fully democratic elections in Hong Kong in 2017.

Hong Kong Students Lead Democracy Fight With Class Boycott

Chris Buckley and Alan Wong
New York Times
Thousands of Hong Kong university students abandoned classes on Monday to rally against Chinese government limits on voting rights, a bellwether demonstration of the city’s appetite for turning smoldering discontent.

Hong Kong Tycoons Descend on Beijing for Xi Meeting

Joyce Ng and Jeffie Lam
South China Morning Post
Tung Chee-hwa leads 70-strong delegation to Beijing; members come out strongly against Occupy Central, saying don't harm Hong Kong

Books

09.11.14

Powerful Patriots

Jessica Chen Weiss
Why has the Chinese government sometimes allowed and sometimes repressed nationalist, anti-foreign protests? What have been the international consequences of these choices? Anti-American demonstrations were permitted in 1999 but repressed in 2001 during two crises in U.S.-China relations. Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed. To explain this variation in China's response to nationalist mobilization, Powerful Patriots argues that Chinese and other authoritarian leaders weigh both diplomatic and domestic incentives to allow and repress nationalist protests. Autocrats may not face electoral constraints, but anti-foreign protests provide an alternative mechanism by which authoritarian leaders can reveal their vulnerability to public pressure. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and increases the domestic cost of diplomatic concessions. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility and signaling a willingness to spend domestic political capital for the sake of international cooperation. To illustrate the logic, the book traces the effect of domestic and diplomatic factors in China's management of nationalist protest in the post-Mao era (1978-2012) and the consequences for China's foreign relations.—Oxford University Press {chop}

Conversation

09.02.14

Hong Kong—Now What?

David Schlesinger, Mei Fong & more
David Schlesinger:Hong Kong’s tragedy is that its political consciousness began to awaken precisely at the time when its leverage with China was at its lowest ebb.Where once China needed Hong Kong as an entrepôt, legal center, financial center,...

Hong Kong’s Democracy Dilemma

Margaret Ng
New York Times
In a huge rally on Sunday in Hong Kong, democratic groups already were declaring a new era of civil disobedience.

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...

Pro-Democracy Activism Not in Hong Kong’s Interest, China Warns

Zoe Li
CNN
As potentially hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens prepare to take to the streets in a now-annual display of public disapproval of Beijing’s interference in the city’s affairs, voices in China’s state-run press are warning that the protests...

Books

06.25.14

Tiananmen Exiles

Rowena Xiaoqing He
In the spring of 1989, millions of citizens across China took to the streets in a nationwide uprising against government corruption and authoritarian rule. What began with widespread hope for political reform ended with the People's Liberation Army firing on unarmed citizens in the capital city of Beijing, and those leaders who survived the crackdown became wanted criminals overnight. Among the witnesses to this unprecedented popular movement was Rowena Xiaoqing He, who would later join former student leaders and other exiles in North America, where she has worked tirelessly for over a decade to keep the memory of the Tiananmen Movement alive. This moving oral history interweaves He's own experiences with the accounts of three student leaders exiled from China. Here, in their own words, they describe their childhoods during Mao's Cultural Revolution, their political activism, the bitter disappointments of 1989, and the profound contradictions and challenges they face as exiles. Variously labeled as heroes, victims, and traitors in the years after Tiananmen, these individuals tell difficult stories of thwarted ideals and disconnection that nonetheless embody the hope for a freer China and a more just world. —Palgrave Macmillan {chop}

Books

06.18.14

The People’s Republic of Amnesia

Louisa Lim
On June 4, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing untold hundreds of people. A quarter-century later, this defining event remains buried in China's modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. In The People's Republic of Amnesia, NPR correspondent Louisa Lim charts how the events of June 4th changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4th by rewriting its own history.{node, 5555}Lim reveals new details about those fateful days, including how one of the country's most senior politicians lost a family member to an army bullet, as well as the inside story of the young soldiers sent to clear Tiananmen Square. She also introduces us to individuals whose lives were transformed by the events of Tiananmen Square, such as a founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, whose son was shot by martial law troops; and one of the most important government officials in the country, who post-Tiananmen became one of its most prominent dissidents. And she examines how June 4th shaped China's national identity, fostering a generation of young nationalists, who know little and care less about 1989. For the first time, Lim uncovers the details of a brutal crackdown in a second Chinese city that until now has been a near-perfect case study in the state's ability to rewrite history, excising the most painful episodes. By tracking down eyewitnesses, discovering U.S. diplomatic cables, and combing through official Chinese records, Lim offers the first account of a story that has remained untold for a quarter of a century. The People's Republic of Amnesia is an original, powerfully gripping, and ultimately unforgettable book about a national tragedy and an unhealed wound. —Oxford University Press {chop}

Video

06.02.14

Cairo in Chinese

Alison Klayman
When Shen Yitong left her home in China to study French at Cairo University in 2008, she didn’t know that she would come to think of Egypt as a second home, or that she would see revolution come upon the country so suddenly. Her parents came from...

Excerpts

05.28.14

‘Staying’—An Excerpt from ‘People’s Republic of Amnesia’

Louisa Lim
Zhang Ming has become used to his appearance startling small children. Skeletally thin, with cheeks sunk deep into his face, he walked gingerly across the cream-colored hotel lobby as if his limbs were made of glass. On his forehead were two large,...

Protestors Torch Factories in Southern Vietnam as China Protests Escalate

Euan McKirdy
CNN
Properties in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) I & II in Binh Duong were targeted by thousands of protesters demonstrating over China's deployment of an oil rig in disputed waters.

Seeking More From Chinese Films

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The China Film Directors’ Guild said it would not award a top prize for film or director of the year because Chinese films need to meet “a higher standard,” said director Feng Xiaogang. 

Photo Gallery

04.09.14

Sunflower Protestors Open Up

Chien-min Chung
On March 18 some 200 Taiwanese, mostly college students, stormed the offices of Taiwan’s legislature, beginning a protest over a proposed trade agreement between the self-governed island and mainland China, which considers it a “renegade province.”...

Media

04.02.14

The Future of Democracy in Hong Kong

Veteran Hong Kong political leaders Anson Chan and Martin Lee describe some of the core values—such as freedom of the press—that they seek to maintain as Beijing asserts greater control over the territory seventeen years after Britain handed it back...

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.

White House Responds to Jimmy Kimmel’s China Controversy

Ted Johnson
Variety
A joke concerning the killing of Chinese people to avoid paying down U.S. debt was said live on ABC.  

It’s O.K. to Protest in China, Just Don’t March

Shankar Vedantam
NPR
King has just completed two studies that peer into the Chinese censorship machine — including a field experiment within China that was conducted with extraordinary secrecy. The studies refute popular intuitions about what Chinese censors are after...

Bo Xilai Supporters Demonstrate in Shandong on Eve of Trial

Reuters
About 10 people held up signs outside the courthouse in the eastern city of Jinan in Shandong province, where Bo is set to appear in public on Thursday for the first time in 17 months to face charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power.&...

Viewpoint

07.11.13

China at the Tipping Point?

Carl Minzner
What will be the future of China’s authoritarian political system?Many predicted that China’s rapid development over the past several decades would inevitably lead to gradual liberalization. Economic growth was expected to generate a cascade of...

Rare Protest in Vietnam Raises Call to Curb China

Associated Press
An anti-China march in the Vietnamese capital on Sunday showed the domestic pressure the government faces when dealing with Beijing’s muscular approach to territorial claims in the South China Sea. 

Conversation

06.04.13

How Would Facing Its Past Change China’s Future?

David Wertime, Isabel Hilton & more
David Wertime:The memory of the 1989 massacre of protesters at Tiananmen Square remains neither alive nor dead, neither reckoned nor obliterated. Instead, it hangs spectre-like in the background, a muted but latently powerful symbol of resistance...

The Pollution Crisis and Environmental Activism in China: A Q&A with Ralph Litzinger

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Dissent
The last year has seen a dramatic uptick in press coverage of Chinese environmental issues. There have also been a number of books published on the subject, with more due out soon. So this seemed a good moment to get in touch with my friend&nbsp...

Chinese Protesters Oppose Petrochemical Plant in Kunming

Rob Schmitz
Marketplace
Today, hundreds of protesters shut down traffic in the Chinese city of Kunming to dramatize their opposition to a proposed petrochemical plant. It's the latest in a series of 'not in my backyard' or NIMBY protests in...

China’s First Lady Serenaded Tiananmen Troops

Associated Press
A photo of China’s new first lady Peng Liyuan in younger days, singing to martial-law troops following the 1989 bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, flickered across Chinese cyberspace...

Media

03.01.13

No Closer to the Chinese Dream?

Timothy Garton Ash
2013 began dramatically in China with a standoff between journalists and state propaganda authorities over a drastically rewritten New Year’s editorial at the Southern Weekly newspaper.In the first week of the New Year, the editors of Southern...

Sinica Podcast

01.11.13

The Southern Drama

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Mere months after China’s handling of the Eighteenth Party Congress suggested the country would undergo a peaceful leadership transition, the issue of freedom of the press surged to attention this week after a censored editorial in Southern Weekly (...

Media

01.08.13

Online and Off, Social Media Users Go to War for Freedom of Press in China

When Mr. Tuo Zhen, the propaganda chief of Guangdong province, rewrote and replaced the New Year’s editorial of the Southern Weekend newspaper without the consent of its editors, he probably did not think it would make much of a splash. Indeed, Mr...

Environment

01.02.13

China’s New “Middle Class” Environmental Protests

from chinadialogue
China’s urban residents (or the new “middle class”) protest on the streets only very rarely. Discontent is expressed almost exclusively online, via angry typing. But this has changed over the last five years—protests have come offline and on to the...

Features

11.06.12

Fragments of Cai Yang’s Life

Chen Ming
The man suspected of smashing the skull of fifty-one-year-old Li Jianli, the owner of a Japanese automobile, has been arrested by police in Xi’an; he is twenty-one-year-old plasterer Cai Yang.Cai Yang came to Xi’an from his hometown of Nanyang [...

Reports

10.11.12

Standing Their Ground

Amnesty International
The forced eviction of people from their homes and farmland has become a routine occurrence in China and represents a gross violation of China’s international human rights obligations on an enormous scale. Despite international scrutiny and censure...

Protests Roiling, China’s Mainstream Media Showed an Alternate Reality

Sandra
It’s already entered the annals of China’s brief but rich Internet history: On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, posts showing massive anti-Japan protests in China went viral on September 15th and 16th. Out in the real world, protestors across dozens of...

Caixin Media

09.26.12

After Panjin Killing, Public Deserves to Know

There is growing public skepticism about the veracity of a government report detailing a demolition-related incident in Panjin, Liaoning province, during which a police officer killed a villager for allegedly threatening his life.Questions revolve...

What the Foxconn Riot Says About China

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Day by day, Chinese workers expect better conditions and greater guarantees that when companies go bust, the employees will not. And, yet, China permits no independent trade unions or free collective bargaining. Complaint and mediation procedures...

Still a Model? Revisiting the Rebel Village of Wukan

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
A little over a year ago, residents of the small southern Chinese fishing village of Wukan ransacked the offices of the local government in protest over a land grab by local officials. The death in police custody of one of the protest leaders a few...

Chinese Villagers Threaten Fresh Protests

Rahul Jacob and Zhou Ping
Financial Times
Zhang Jiancheng was a rebel with a cause. His detention with four other protesters in December sparked a stand-off in the southern Chinese village of Wukan, where 13,000 people faced down police in an 11-day siege.After the provincial...

Beijing's Dangerous Game

Perry Link
New York Review of Books
Many have ascribed the vehemence of the protests to deep-rooted anti-Japanese sentiment linked to injustices committed by Japan eighty years ago. But there is little evidence to support this. Rather the protests appear to have everything to do with...

Beijing both Encourages and Reins in Anti-Japanese Protests, Analysts Say

William Wan
Washington Post
As anger increases over a territorial dispute between China and Japan, Chinese authorities have been playing both sides of the issue by quietly encouraging recent anti-Japanese protests, then publicly reining them in.Experts point to signs that...

China Warns of ‘Further Actions’ as Anti-Japan Protests Resume

Ian Johnson and Thom Shanker
New York Times
China drove home its opposition to Japanese control of a contested group of islands on Tuesday, with angry protests in dozens of cities and a warning from its defense minister that “further actions” were possible.

Anti-Japan Protests in China Turn Violent, Cooler Heads Prevail Online

Jimmy
On Saturday protestors in dozens of Chinese cities took to the streets to voice their anger at the Japanese government’s nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands in Japanese) in the East China Sea as a flagrant violation of Chinese...

China’s Anti-Japan Riots Are State-Sponsored. Period.

Charlie Custer
ChinaGeeks
But anyone who has followed domestic protests in China for even a short period of time should be clear on the fact that if it wants to, the government has the means to totally shut these protests down. They may have sent in the tanks back in ’89,...

The Anti-Japanese Eruptions in China

James Fallows
Atlantic
Six years ago, in the first article I filed after moving to Shanghai, I listed the things that struck me as different, compared with my initial visits to China 20 years before. At the top of the list was the increased virulence of anti-Japanese...

Caixin Media

09.17.12

How a Protest in Beijing Stuck to the Script

On the afternoon of September 16, rows of policemen and security personnel in black T-shirts lined Beijing’s Liangmaqiao Road near the Japanese embassy during protests over the Diaoyu Islands controversy. Security guards were visible everywhere,...

Ming Pao: Rules for Anti-Japan Protests

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Numerous mainland cities are experiencing days-long Anti-Japan protests in defense of China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. Authorities have begun exerting increasingly strict control over the demonstrations. Police...

Caixin Media

09.14.12

Why War is Not a Possibility

There won’t be a war in East Asia.The United States has five military alliances in the western Pacific. Its allies are South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. And American battleships are busy patrolling the seas.Without a go-...