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Human Rights & Social Issues

This category contains 480 posts

Dystopian Deeds: How China’s top-notch mass surveillance system threatens global freedoms


Every millimeter of Beijing is monitored by state-of-the-art surveillance cameras, according to the Beijing Public Safety Bureau. Facial recognition algorithms matched with images filed away in a secret database could see you in legal trouble for something you did near your front door. A semi-political post made in a private chat could lead to the loss … Continue reading

Claims China is forcibly harvesting organs of Uighur population


Human rights activists are collecting evidence that people are killed for their organs For decades, the Chinese Communist Party depended on executed prisoners to bolster its organ transplant trade. Then it emerged that government leaders were relying on persecuted minorities to boost their bank. But despite claims that all harvested body parts now stem strictly from … Continue reading

Cultural genocide? What China is doing in Tibet today


While much of the international community has focused on abuses against the Uighur Muslims in the Chinese province of Xingang, the human rights horrors against Buddhists in Tibet – a decades-long conflict — have dropped from the limelight. “Tibet is one of the worst human rights crises in the world today. More than 150 Tibetans have self-immolated … Continue reading

China is what Orwell feared


Northwest of Beijing’s Forbidden City, outside the Third Ring Road, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has spent seven decades building a campus of national laboratories. Near its center is the Institute of Automation, a sleek silvery-blue building surrounded by camera-studded poles. The institute is a basic research facility. Its computer scientists inquire into artificial intelligence’s … Continue reading

Trump is a bigot and a hypocrite, but he’s right to condemn China


Donald Trump taints everything he touches. If he supports a cause, he damages it. If he takes a stance, the instinct of most self-respecting liberals is to rush to the opposing side. So when Trump rails against China, a favourite bete noire, it can make a progressive pause. That’s especially true when the US president … Continue reading

President Trump has tools to pressure China. Will he use them?


Much of the focus on China in recent months has been over the coronavirus that originated there late last year. But that has hardly slowed Beijing’s assault on fundamental freedoms and human rights, from the brutal repression of the Uighurs to choking off Hong Kong’s limited autonomy. Congress has acted with admirable alacrity and unanimity … Continue reading

Hong Kong leader says opponents of security law are ‘enemy of the people’


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday urged opponents of Beijing’s plan to impose national security legislation in the financial hub to stop “smearing” the effort, saying those who did were “the enemy of the people.” Beijing last month announced a plan to introduce legislation in Hong Kong to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign … Continue reading

Taiwan Black Lives Matter protest gets indigenous twist


Hundreds packed into a park in central Taipei on Saturday for a Black Lives Matter protest, with a group of indigenous Taiwanese given prominent billing to draw attention to discrimination against the island’s original inhabitants. The rally, attended by more than 500 people, mostly foreigners, was peaceful with only a very light police presence. While … Continue reading

Two-husband strategy may be a remedy for China’s one-child policy, Shanghai professor says


Chinese authorities have been trying for three years to reverse the devastating imbalances of their one-child policy and coax couples to have more children. They’ve told couples that it’s their patriotic duty to have two babies. They’ve dangled tax breaks and housing subsidies. They’ve offered to make education cheaper and parental leave longer. They’ve tried … Continue reading

China faces an unemployment time bomb


Strip away the veneer of President Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” policy and you will find 600 million people earning just 1,000 yuan a month. Depending on the conversion rate, that works out at US$140, or $4.6 a day. It was hardly surprising then that Premier Li Keqiang would highlight the plight of this forgotten section … Continue reading

China approves restrictive national security laws for Hong Kong


China on Thursday approved a controversial national security law that would allow Beijing to wield expanded power over Hong Kong. The vote by the National People’s Congress was close to unanimous: 2,878 delegates voted in favor of the proposal while only one delegate dissented and six abstained. Pro-Democracy activists and other critics say the national … Continue reading

Chinese man abducted as toddler 32 years ago reunited with parents


A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father, aged just two and half. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday afternoon, in the western city … Continue reading

In Singapore, a search for a Chinese identity with a little less China


In Singapore, traditional coffee shops are known as kopitiam. The colloquial term is a combination of the word kopi, which means coffee in Malay, and tiam, which translates to shop in Hokkien. This is just one example of how a melding of cultures gave rise to new words, food dishes, as well as a unique … Continue reading

Coronavirus has unleashed a ‘tsunami of hate’ across world, says UN chief


United Nations chief António Guterres has said the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering”, and appealed for an all-out effort “to end hate speech globally.” The UN secretary-general said anti-foreigner sentiment has surged online and on the streets, and highlighted the spread of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Covid-19-related … Continue reading

The coronavirus is the monstrous product of the present nefarious global system


The whole world now is once again in a middle of an international humanitarian crisis whose extent and magnitude are utterly pervasive. This is brought about by a virus which is now pandemic and threatens the whole existence of humanity. The corona virus which started in Wuhan, China late last year, according to the World … Continue reading

World governments are condemning the arrest of Hong Kong protesters


Foreign governments criticized the arrest of 15 Hong Kong democracy activists in a police sweep on charges of organizing and participating in anti-government protests last year. The arrests on Saturday were the biggest crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement since the outbreak of mass protests last year. Major and often violent demonstrations broke out across … Continue reading

African nations, US decry racism against blacks in China


African officials are confronting China publicly and in private over racist mistreatment of Africans in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, and the U.S. says African-Americans have been targeted too. Some Africans in the commercial hub have reported being evicted or discriminated against amid coronavirus fears. And a U.S. Embassy security alert on Saturday said that … Continue reading

China reclassifies dogs as pets, not livestock, in post-coronavirus regulatory push


China has drawn up new guidelines to reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock, the agriculture ministry said, part of a response to the coronavirus outbreak that the Humane Society called a potential “game changer” in animal welfare. Though dog meat remains a delicacy in many regions, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a notice … Continue reading

Can China return to normalcy while keeping the coronavirus in check?


Life is almost back to normal in much of China. Shops, restaurants, bars, and offices are open for business. Manufacturing activity is picking up. Traffic once again jams the highways of major cities. Three-quarters of China’s workforce was back on the job as of 24 March, according to one company’s estimate. Wuhan, where the COVID-19 … Continue reading

China credibly accused of organ-harvesting atrocity


Last week, the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China issued its final report concluding that China engages in the systematic human-rights atrocity of killing political and other prisoners and harvesting their organs. (I wrote about the preliminary report here.) It is a horrific account about which woefully inadequate attention … Continue reading

China’s government is like something out of ‘1984’


The Chinese communist government increasingly poses an existential threat not just to its own 1.4 billion citizens but to the world at large. China is currently in a dangerously chaotic state. And why not, when a premodern authoritarian society leaps wildly into the brave new world of high-tech science in a single generation? The Chinese … Continue reading

More evidence of China’s horrific abuses in Xinjiang


“His wife wore veils.” “He has one more child than allowed by the family planning policy.” “He prayed after each meal.” These are some of the reasons people in Karakax County in Xinjiang, northwestern China, are being detained in “political education” camps. Nothing done was illegal, but in Chinese authorities’ eyes, living the life of … Continue reading

Virus storytellers challenge China’s official narrative


After nearly a week of roaming China’s epidemic-struck city, filming the dead and the sickened in overwhelmed hospitals, the strain of being hounded by both the new virus and the country’s dissent-quelling police started to tell. Chen Qiushi looked haggard and disheveled in his online posts, an almost unrecognizable shadow of the energetic young man … Continue reading

China bars Human Rights Watch director from entering Hong Kong


Hong Kong authorities barred the head of Human Rights Watch from entering the Chinese territory on Sunday, the advocacy group said. Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director, had planned to launch the organization’s annual world report in Hong Kong this week. The report’s focus is China’s efforts to “deliberately undermine the international human rights … Continue reading

China’s most populous province to loosen grip on internal migration


China’s southern province of Guangdong will relax the household registration system that restrains internal migration in all its cities except the powerhouses of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the provincial governor Ma Xingrui announced on Tuesday. The move is part of the provincial government’s effort to “accelerate the promotion of new urbanization” and improve county-level economies, Ma … Continue reading

How Taiwan’s elections remind the world – and Hong Kong – that Chinese culture and democracy can co-exist


When the islanders on the windswept Taiwanese archipelago of Matsu go to the polls this Saturday, Lii Wen, the enthusiastic young candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, knows he has little chance of winning a seat. But he still considers his electoral race a victory. Matsu’s 13,000-strong population will make their free choice between … Continue reading

Carrie Lam vows to work with Chinese envoy, bring Hong Kong back on the ‘right path’


Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she would work closely with Beijing’s top official in the Asian financial hub to get it back on “the right path” after more than six months of pro-democracy protests. The appointment of a new head of the Chinese government’s most important office in Hong Kong, Luo … Continue reading

Police accuse Hong Kong protesters of inciting minors to commit crimes


Hong Kong police on Monday accused activists in the long-running pro-democracy movement of inciting minors to commit crimes. The claim Monday comes two days before a planned New Year’s Day march that is expected to attract tens of thousands of participants. Chief police spokesman Kwok Ka-chuen told reporters that the force was in close contact … Continue reading

Hong Kong protesters tell mainland Chinese traders to leave


Police fought with protesters who marched through a Hong Kong shopping mall Saturday demanding mainland Chinese traders leave the territory in a fresh weekend of anti-government tension. The protest in Sheung Shui, near Hong Kong’s boundary with the mainland, was part of efforts to pressure the government by disrupting economic activity. About 100 protesters marched … Continue reading

The 235 days that rattled China and shook the world


They were 235 days that shook the world, rattled China’s regime and refuted the most pernicious wishful thinking since the appeasement of dictators collapsed eight decades ago. Nothing more momentous happened in 2019 than Hong Kong’s heroic insurrection. It began with the April 3 introduction by Beijing’s Hong Kong satraps of an extradition bill that … Continue reading

For China’s underground churches, this was no easy Christmas


Li Chengju glared at her prison interrogator as he pressed her to renounce her Christian church and condemn her pastor. Her captor warned she would not be so lucky as the pastor, who was locked in secret detention but at least might get a day in court. “Look at you. You sweep the floors at … Continue reading

Hong Kong protesters rally in support of Uighurs


Hong Kong riot police pepper sprayed protesters to disperse crowds in the heart of the city’s financial district on Sunday after a largely peaceful rally in support of China‘s ethnic Uighurs turned chaotic. Dozens of police marched across a public square overlooking Hong Kong‘s harbor to face off with protesters who hurled glass bottles and … Continue reading

How murder, kidnappings and miscalculation set off Hong Kong’s revolt


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says the plan that ignited the revolt in her city was born of a straightforward quest for justice. While on a trip to Taiwan, a Hong Kong man strangled his Hong Kong girlfriend, then returned home and confessed. The city lacked an extradition pact with Taiwan, and Lam argued the … Continue reading

China must answer for Xinjiang cultural genocide in court


International law is a vital part of fighting for the Uighur people. The substantial leaks to the New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists of internal policy documents of the Chinese Communist Party regarding the crackdown on the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s western region of Xinjiang dramatically shift the … Continue reading

629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China


Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who were sold as brides to Chinese men and taken to China. The list, obtained by The Associated Press, was compiled by Pakistani investigators determined to break up trafficking networks exploiting the country’s poor and vulnerable. The list gives the most … Continue reading

US House approves bill that calls for sanctioning Chinese officials over Muslim detainment camps


The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China’s crackdown on its Muslim minority, demanding sanctions on senior Chinese officials and export bans. The Uighur Act of 2019 is a stronger version of a bill that angered Beijing when it passed … Continue reading

Zhu Hailun: The man who was key in China’s detention of 1 million Uighur Muslims


After bloody race riots rocked China’s far west a decade ago, the ruling Communist Party turned to a rare figure in their ranks to restore order: a Han Chinese official fluent in Uighur, the language of the local Turkic Muslim minority. Now, newly revealed, confidential documents show that the official, Zhu Hailun, played a key … Continue reading

In defence of the student protesters: Carrie Lam’s stupid mask ban, the repudiation of the Hong Kong court and the continuous necessity of the people’s struggle


On Monday, while the police were trying to dislodge several hundred hard-core protesters who had occupied the Hong Kong Polytechnic University since last week, a Hong Kong Court “found that the government’s controversial mask ban is unconstitutional.” Said ruling indeed, delivered “a fresh legal blow to an administration that is struggling to contain increasingly violent … Continue reading

University of British Columbia latest worldwide to recall all exchange students from Hong Kong


The University of British Columbia (UBC) has cancelled its second term for exchange students in Hong Kong as it works to bring those students back home from the territory over safety concerns. Hong Kong’s universities have become the latest battleground between police and protesters who have been staging increasingly violent demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory … Continue reading

Reuters changes every paragraph, headline in article about Hong Kong protests


Reuters changed an article about the Hong Kong protests Monday, first highlighting allegations that police were threatening protesters with live bullets and later omitting any mention of that news. The original article was headlined “Hong Kong police threaten to use live bullets as standoff with protesters escalates,” according to an archived version. Published Nov. 17, … Continue reading

In solidarity to the brave Hong Kong people


I am writing as a humanist and member of the international community in order to bring to the attention of the global family of nations the cause and the struggle behind the said noble cause of the courageous people of Hong Kong. The world must come together and stand as one in rallying and embracing … Continue reading

Leaked documents reveal China’s mass incarceration of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang


Hundreds of internal Chinese government documents obtained by The New York Times reveals striking new details about the execution of the country’s mass detention of ethnic minorities over the past three years in the Xinjiang region. The rare leak of documents, described in the newspaper’s bombshell report as “one of the most significant leaks of … Continue reading

Chinese troops enter Hong Kong streets to “clean up” after protests


Chinese troops came out of the barracks in Hong Kong on Saturday —  not to quell protests but to help clean up. It was a move seen by many to try to normalise Chinese troops being on Hong Kong’s streets. It was a rare public appearance by the People’s Liberation Army on the streets of … Continue reading

China’s Holocaust of Children


Using the aggressively bland term “one-child policy” is a bit like saying that 1942 Germany had restrictions on Jews. You may never have thought much about how a huge nation enforces a limit of one baby per family, but the horrifying details of China’s Holocaust of children emerge in a powerful documentary told by a … Continue reading

A timeline of Hong Kong’s anti-government protests


Hong Kong police shot and wounded one protester on Monday as chaos erupted across the city a day after officers fired tear gas to break up demonstrations that are entering their sixth month. Following is a timeline of the key dates around a now-abandoned extradition bill and the protests it triggered: February 2019 – Hong … Continue reading

State-sanctioned organ harvesting in China


Having hepatitis C may very well have saved Jennifer Zeng’s life. In February 2000, she was arrested for being a Falun Gong practitioner and interrogated intensely about her medical history at a Labor Camp in China’s Da Xing County, she said. Zeng’s blood was drawn and she told them she had hepatitis C before she took … Continue reading

The Chinese threat to American speech


China’s assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation’s core values: the freedom of expression. The Communist state is becoming more and more aggressive in pressuring foreign … Continue reading

Hong Kong protests show no signs of slowing down


Hong Kong pro-democracy activists plan a rally on Monday evening after another weekend of unrest that saw protesters hurl petrol bombs and police reply with tear gas and rubber bullets, as violence in the Chinese-ruled city shows no signs of letting up. Activists said they planned to gather at Chater Garden in Admiralty district near … Continue reading

Xi Jinping warns that attempts to divide China will end with ‘crushed bodies and shattered bones’


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday said that any attempts to drive a wedge between China and its territories will “end in crushed bodies and shattered bones.” Xi made the remarks during a state visit to Nepal on Sunday. “Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies … Continue reading

China’s political correctness: one country, no arguments


The Communist Party has spent decades preparing the people to defend a united homeland. Hong Kong’s protests show it has paid off. Hong Kong’s protests have disrupted Yang Yang’s family life. Though the 29-year-old lives in mainland China, he was inspired by the demonstrations to write a song about freedom and upload it to the … Continue reading

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