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Hong Kong: Lawmakers shave heads in protest over China’s Liu Xia


Activists in Hong Kong launched a campaign in support of Liu Xia, the wife of a jailed Nobel peace laureate who has been held under house arrest since 2010. Supporters of Liu Xia and Liu Xiaobo gathered in a busy shopping district to shave their heads in public to show solidarity with the couple, as the family requested permission … Continue reading

China continues snubbing Norway in revenge over Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize


China is offering visa-free visits to Beijing for visitors from every European country except Norway, in what appears to be the latest in a string of punishments for the Nordic country since it gave a jailed Chinese dissident the Nobel peace prize in 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five … Continue reading

China: Billionaire Liu Han sentenced to death for organised crime


Hubei’s Xianning City Intermediate People’s Court gave the death penalty to Sichuan tycoons Liu Han and Liu Wei and three of their accomplices for organised crimes. Liu was the leader of a mafia-style organisation, of which 36 members have been arrested. The court ascertained that Liu lead and participated in organised crimes and dozens of … Continue reading

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 17, 2017


South Korea proposed to talk to North Korea this week. Much of the timing relates to anniversaries and upcoming holidays. Pyongyang is still angry about twelve waitresses who moved South and wants them back first. Seoul says the waitresses moved to the South of their own will. The US’ answer is a siege, including efforts … Continue reading

Gong or Song from China’s Hong Kong?


Following the recent abduction of five Hong Kong publishers, alleged to have edited books disclosing “inconvenient truths” about the Chinese government, thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to protest and fight for their right to have Freedom of Expression, which had already been enshrined in the Fundamental Law of Hong Kong. … Continue reading

China warns Britain not to bring up human rights during Xi Jinping’s visit because he would be offended


China provided instructions to the British government ahead of President Xi Jinping‘s state visit to London Oct. 20-23, advising leaders to refrain from raising the issue of human rights. China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, pointed out that good relations hang in the balance, and that Xi’s visit is expected to “herald a golden era … Continue reading

Putting Hong Kong’s Chief Executive above legislature makes Hong Kong ungovernable


In its report “Beijing says Hong Kong top leader is above legislature, judiciary” today, Reuters quotes Zhang Xiaoming, Beijing’s chief liaison officer in Hong Kong, as saying “The dual responsibility of chief executive to the central government and Hong Kong has given him a special legal position which is above the executive, legislative and judicial … Continue reading

What it means to be Chinese – nationalism and identity in Xi’s China


What does it mean to be Chinese? A strong tradition in premodern China held that it meant thinking, behaving, and living in a society in accord with heaven-sanctioned principles exemplifying the best way to be human. Other peoples could learn this Chineseness, and they could also become civilised, but they could never rival China in … Continue reading

PLA expert says China will not be a military rival to US for at least 50 years


When a US expert predicted that China’s military will surpass the US by 2025, well-known Chinese military expert Major General Yin Zhuo said that China’s military strength will not be a rival to the US even 50 years from now, let alone 5 or 10 years. Why? The US will keep its huge navy to … Continue reading

Fears for Hong Kong democracy fighters: Do not give China an excuse to hurt you


The recent protests in Hong Kong raise fears of a repeat of the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989. I point out in my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements the paranoia that is the Chinese Communist Party‘s (CCP) Tiananmen Syndrome: Once Bitten by a Snake, One Is Scared All One’s Life at the Mere Sight of a Rope … Continue reading

Chinese school’s ridiculous claim of family relationship with US Nobel Prize winner


Soon after US Scientist Eric Betzig won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2014), Bangbu No. 1 Secondary School in Anhui Province, China celebrated the event and posted a conspicuous announcement of congratulation on its son-in-law winning the Nobel Prize. How can a school have a son-in-law? That is a bizarre question. How can a Chinese … Continue reading

China deserves Nobel Peace Prize for lifting its population out of poverty, Norway’s richest man says


Media censorship, journalist detention, and a host of other human-rights problems aside, China deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for lifting one-fifth of the world’s population out of poverty, said Norway’s richest man on Wednesday. Stein Erik Hagen, chairman of Norwegian conglomerate Orkla Asa, told Norwegian newspaper VG that China should qualify for the Nobel Peace … Continue reading

Norway’s shame: Shuns Dalai Lama, bows to China’s bullying


Norway’s ruling politicians may refuse to meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits Oslo next month to avoid angering China. The hesitation is part of an effort to ease tensions with the world’s second-largest economy that have festered since Norway’s Nobel committee awarded jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo the Peace Prize in 2010. “We … Continue reading

Persuading China’s communists to give up power is like trying to persuade a tiger to give you it’s skin


I once said that trying to persuade the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to give up its monopoly of state power is like trying to persuade a tiger to give you its skin. It is utterly impossible. In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements,” I said: “Due to its monopoly of power, the CCP is a huge … Continue reading

Chinese spies attending US universities, says expelled Peking University professor


A prominent Beijing scholar who recently fled to the United States has warned that China was sending “spies” to American universities, and urged US institutions to tread carefully on academic co-operation. Xia Yeliang is one of the original signatories of Charter 08, a petition for reform whose Nobel Prize-winning lead author Liu Xiaobo is in … Continue reading

China steps up appeal to West in Japan propaganda battle


Reuters says in its report today that China is stepping up its propaganda against Japan in the West. The following is the full text of its report: China took reporters on Thursday on an unusual trip to a camp which housed Western prisoners of the Japanese in World War Two, a further sign of Beijing … Continue reading

China to be elected to UN Human Rights Council


China is almost certain to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council despite evidence of a worsening human rights record across the country. On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly will elect 17 new member states to the 47-member council, whose role is to “promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights … Continue reading

China rights scenario deteriorating says US


The United States got few answers to questions about detained activists during its annual rights dialogue with China, and believes the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. Uzra Zeya, Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, said she raised specific cases during … Continue reading

China says constitutional rule is an empty dream of “misguided intellectuals”


Chinese conservatives have come out to argue against the adoption of “constitutional rule”, a term increasingly used by liberals to demand the realisation of basic human rights guaranteed in the Chinese constitution. The nationalistic Global Times in an editorial on Wednesday called such demands “empty political slogans” made by “a group of misled intellectuals”. These … Continue reading

China’s glass ceiling


“It’s over for America,” a Chinese academic told me in late 2008, two days after Goldman Sachs turned itself into a commercial bank in order to fend off possible collapse. “From here on, it’s all downhill.” Sitting in Beijing as American capitalism seemed to be hanging by a thread, it was easy to believe that … Continue reading

China’s live broadcast of executions for crimes allegedly committed abroad


One of Asia’s most notorious drug kingpins has reportedly been executed in China for the massacre of 13 Chinese sailors – with his last moments being broadcast live on national television. He was captured in Laos and extradited to China, even though the crimes he is alleged to have committed happened in Thailand. There were … Continue reading

China’s coercive economic diplomacy


Chinese willingness to use economic leverage to settle international disputes in its favour is a worrisome trend. When the 10 member nations of ASEAN failed to reach agreement on the wording of a joint communiqué for the first time in 45 years, most pundits blamed this year’s ASEAN chair, Cambodia, for failing to forge a … Continue reading

Report from Poland: Shanghai for 72 hours without a visa from January 1


As reported by Want China Times and the portal turystyka.rp.pl, Shanghai authorities have decided to follow in the footsteps of Beijing from January 1, and release transit passengers from 45 countries – including Poland – from the visa requirement for short stays in the city. This is very important information for people who go to … Continue reading

China’s leadership transition feared by foreign businesses


The country’s new leaders, whose identities will be formally revealed on or around November 15, look likely to be a fairly conservative group when it comes to economic and political reform. That shouldn’t harm China’s giant import and export markets, but it augurs badly for foreign companies, particularly in the banking and media sectors, who … Continue reading

Chinese women’s rights activist sent to labour camp again


Reuters reports from Beijing: “A Chinese woman who has campaigned against the strict one-child policy has been sent to labor camp for one and a half years, the third time she has been detained for criticizing the government, her husband said on Tuesday. “Mao Hengfeng, who lives in Shanghai, was seized in Beijing by a … Continue reading

“You’ll never be Chinese” by Mark Kitto


Death and taxes. You know how the saying goes. I’d like to add a third certainty: you’ll never become Chinese, no matter how hard you try, or want to, or think you ought to. I wanted to be Chinese, once. I don’t mean I wanted to wear a silk jacket and cotton slippers, or a … Continue reading

China to reform 1950s labour camp system, but won’t abolish


China’s system of imprisoning people in labour camps without trial is problematic, and the government is working on reforms, a senior judicial official said on Tuesday. Jiang Wei, the head of a government committee on judicial reform, said the government has found widespread agreement among legal scholars and lawmakers on the need to reform the … Continue reading

China: Internal circular on Bo Xilai’s crimes signals imminent trial


Ming Pao says that there was an internal circular giving more details of Bo’s case, including that Bo’s wife Gu Kailai had taken bribes worth more than 20 million yuan (US$3.14 million), while Bo himself had directly taken bribes worth approximately 6 million yuan (US$942,000). A source who has access to the circular revealed to … Continue reading

China’s use of economic stick is troubling


Countries must push back against Beijing’s troubling tendency to use China’s ports, natural resources and overall economic strength to force rivals to bring policies in line with its interests. When the 10 member nations of Asean failed to reach agreement on the wording of a joint communiqué for the first time in 45 years, most … Continue reading

Hong Kong: Paradise Lost


I visited Hong Kong in 2011.  After forty minutes of entry formalities at customs, I stepped into Hong Kong, a land of ridiculous housing price, luxury hotels and restaurants, fast walking people, and a touch of freedom that as a Chinese, I have never dreamed of. As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is … Continue reading

Ai Weiwei barred from Chinese court in tax case


The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was denied his day in court on Wednesday after dozens of police officers barricaded first his home in Beijing and then the court house itself. Mr Ai, 54, claims that Beijing’s tax bureau breached Chinese law when it fined him 15 million yuan (£1.5 million) in unpaid back taxes and … Continue reading

China’s anti-corruption measures clamp down on ‘naked’ officials trying to escape


The Communist Party of China‘s (CPC) disciplinary body last week announced its latest victory in the fight against corruption, declaring that efforts to tighten the net on “naked” officials – or those who remain in the country while their spouses and children live abroad – had yielded success. “A number of officials who have attempted … Continue reading

Blind dissident’s plight revives China’s human rights movement


China may have sown the seeds of its next human rights row with the United States even as it looks to end the current one over blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, with its treatment of him inspiring a band of lawyers to join his human-rights battle. The tough line over Chen, whose plea for U.S. protection … Continue reading

Prominent China dissident Hu Jia freed from jail


One of China’s most prominent dissidents, Hu Jia, was reunited with his family in the early hours of Sunday after serving three-and-a-half-years in jail on subversion charges, but he was not ready to speak in public, his wife said. Hu was convicted in 2008 for “inciting subversion of state power” for criticizing human rights restrictions … Continue reading

China’s Wen says Auschwitz visit “unforgettable, dark”


China‘s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Friday a visit to the Auschwitz death camp where Nazis gassed to death 1.5 million people had left an indelible impression, and reinforced the importance of learning the lessons of history. “This is an unforgettable, dark page in the history of humankind and cannot be forgotten,” Wen said … Continue reading

Airlines can ban disabled from flights


More than half of the mainland’s 24 airlines have rules saying staff may refuse to allow disabled passengers on board if they might offend other passengers or make them uncomfortable, a recent study found. Twenty-two airlines also have rules that allow them to reject those who have not given advance notification of their disability, and … Continue reading

The Not-So-Great Firewall of China


Every news organisation needs a social media strategy. Even China’s government-controlled Xinhua News Agency now “tweets” news bulletins through Twitter-like microblogs called weibo — through which more than 300 million users share details of their daily lives, jokes, gossip, and news. Chinese companies running weibo services are required by the government to censor and monitor … Continue reading

China casts doubt on reaching long-term trade deal with U.S. under Trump


Chinese officials are casting doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade deal with the U.S. even as the two sides get close to signing a “phase one” agreement. In private conversations with visitors to Beijing and other interlocutors in recent weeks, Chinese officials have warned they won’t budge on the thorniest issues, according to people … Continue reading

Foreign citizens banned from leaving China so they can be used for political leverage


Two young Americans, Victor and Cynthia Liu, are “trapped” in China, increasingly desperate and despondent because Chinese authorities have blocked them from leaving for more than a year. “They are trapped. They are alone. They are desperate to come home,” David Pressman, the siblings’ New York-based attorney, told USA TODAY. “They are literally breaking down.” … Continue reading

Here are the advanced weapons we might see at China’s military parade


China will showcase some domestically produced, advanced military equipment at an upcoming parade, authorities announced Thursday. The parade, to be held Oct. 1 in the capital Beijing, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China following the communist victory of nationalist forces in 1949. According to Chinese state news … Continue reading

Can China recover from its disastrous one-child policy?


Families are now being urged to have at least two children, but it may be too late to convince parents to embrace the change. For Xu Meiru, 38, the thought of having a second child is exhausting. Her days typically begin at 5am, don’t end until 11pm, and are filled with shuttling her nine-year-old son … Continue reading

Taiwan’s leader uses term “Republic of China” to mainland China’s leader Xi Jinping, despite threats by China to invade Taiwan if they ever use that name


The following is based on a translation from Chinese media: Taiwan’s United Daily News says in its report on the meeting between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s KMT leader Eric Chu today that Zhu mentioned the “Republic of China” in the face of Xi Jinping. There is a strict understanding that Taiwan … Continue reading

Is China’s new ‘internet plus’ ambition all about new smartphones?


China’s ‘internet plus’ strategy, announced in early March, promised to integrate mobile Internet, cloud computing and big data for manufacturing and promote the development of e-commerce, industrial networks and internet banking. But how would this ambitious plan to transform the country into a digital economy work in practice? Already more than 630 million Chinese use … Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping to establish his powerbase through leadership reshuffle


Jiang Zemin, the core of the third generation of CCP leadership, has chosen Xi Jinping as his successor as the core of the CCP Dynasty, with a core like an emperor (see the section “Signs of Jiang Zemin’s Intention to Have Xi Jinping Succeed Him as the Core” in Chapter 16 of my book Tiananmen’s … Continue reading

Former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin returns to Beijing in challenge to President Xi Jinping


I have pointed out in my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements (Expanded 2nd Edition) that there are three black boxes in China: The CCP Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the group of powerful elders who control China behind the scene and the secret police. I described how Xi Jinping obtained the powerful elders’ support for his cyclone … Continue reading

China’s frenzied attacks on Christmas as a ‘foreign intrusion’


There may be no exact translation for “humbug” in Chinese, but in recent days, as popular fervour for the trappings of Western-style Christmas enveloped this officially atheist nation, the defenders of traditional Chinese culture have fought back with Scrooge-like zeal. On Wednesday, university students in the central province of Hunan held an anti-Christmas pageant with … Continue reading

The Thugs of Mainland China


Last Friday, as the Occupy Central protests convulsed Hong Kong, James Bang, a twenty-eight-year-old digital-strategy consultant, found himself holding down the front line in the district of Mong Kok, his arms linked with other young protesters as they fended off surging groups of attackers. The assailants shoved the protesters, spat in their faces, and shouted, … Continue reading

China’s Dangerous Game


China‘s intensifying efforts to redraw maritime borders have its neighbours, and the U.S., fearing war. But does the aggression reflect a government growing in power – or one facing a crisis of legitimacy? In the tranquil harbours that dot the coastline of Palawan, a sword-shaped island in the western Philippines, the ferry boats are crowded … Continue reading

China: Conservatives ideological attack to bring down President Xi Jinping


Ideology is always important in Chinese politics, especially in a power struggle. Now, Xi Jinping has offended many powerful officials with his anti-corruption and mass-line campaigns, and his mentor Jiang Zeming is 88 years old. Conservatives believe that they now have the golden opportunity to disrupt once for all Xi’s thorough economic reform. Like their … Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping unable to rule if unaware of conservative faction’s strength


Some analysts are nervous when they hear Chinese President Xi Jinping upholding Mao Zedong Thought. Will Xi resume Mao’s policies of class struggle and constant revolution, they wonder. Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao tried to omit Mao Zedong Thought, but enabled Bo Xilai to rally a vast number of conservatives around to fight against the reformists … Continue reading

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