As One High-level Official Disappears, Nobody is Safe from Repression

In the last quarter of 2018, China’s human rights record continued to deteriorate. October began with the disappearance of a high-level official—Meng Hongwei, then President of Interpol and Deputy Minister of Public Security in China, who was reported missing after travelling from France to China on 5 October. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has […]

Jasic Crackdown Widens

In early November 2018, more than a dozen students and recent college graduates who had expressed their support for the Jasic mobilisation were detained. Staff of a social work organisation in Shenzhen and two employees of a district-level ACFTU branch in the same city were also caught up in the crackdown. Those who were detained […]

Hong Kong under Siege

The political situation in Hong Kong is increasingly tense, as the former British colony’s special status under the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement appears to be faltering. The inauguration of a high speed railway connecting Hong Kong to Guangzhou on 23 September and a new bridge that links Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau on […]

Fare Thee Well Private Economy?

As China celebrates the 40th anniversary of the launch of economic reforms in December 2018, concerns grow about the Chinese government’s commitment to further liberalise the economy. Despite their economic contributions over the last four decades, private firms in China find themselves embroiled in an ever-challenging situation, plagued by slower economic growth, tighter credit lines, […]

China’s Human Rights Record in Xinjiang under International Scrutiny

In November 2018, China’s human rights record was scrutinised by the United Nations Human Rights Council. In a process known as a ‘universal periodic review’ (UPR), the nation in question must demonstrate its ability to follow previous United Nations (UN) recommendations and answer questions posed by other states, NGOs, and other institutions. On 6 November, […]

The Chinese Trade Union Holds Its National Congress

Between 22 and 26 October 2018, the AllChina Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) convened its Seventeenth National Congress. In delivering his Report on the Economic Situation in front of the convened unionists, Premier Li Keqiang re-emphasised the role of the ACFTU as a ‘transmission belt’ between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese workers. Politburo […]

#MeToo Lands in China

In spite of almost immediate censorship from the Chinese government, China’s nascent #MeToo movement has refused to be stifled. During the summer of 2018, the movement—predominantly led by student activists—resonated across university campuses in China. Online, the #MeToo hashtag has since collected over 4.5 million hits on Weibo, with activists sidestepping online censors through the […]

Xinjiang Garners Global Attention

Since October 2017, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has been marked by intensified surveillance of Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority. According to scholar Rian Thum, an ‘entire culture is being criminalised’, as reports have emerged that up to one million Uyghurs have been detained in political reeducation camps. Prominent Uyghur figures, such as Professor Rahile […]

Jasic Strike Paves the Way for Yet Another Crackdown on Labour NGOs

On 24 July, a group of workers at Shenzhen Jasic Technology, were beaten up by security guards and arrested by police while protesting against their illegal dismissal. Back in May they had reported the company to the local authorities for illegally manipulating work schedules, using a punitive system of fines, underpaying social insurance and housing […]

Vaccine Scandal Rocks China

Consumer scandals continue to engulf China. News broke out in late July that Changsheng Biotechnology Co. and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. had respectively manufactured more than 250,000 and 400,000 substandard infant vaccines, an unknown number of which may have been administered to Chinese toddlers. This revelation sparked outrage across Chinese society. Social media […]

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