China : Xinjiang :: India : Kashmir

Kashmir and Xinjiang share a border. Or, more precisely, the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir that is now divided between India, Pakistan, and China (and officially known as Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh; Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan; Aksai Chin, respectively) shares a border with eastern Turkestan and Tibet—currently officially called Xinjiang and Xizang. In […]

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Chinese Diaspora Activism and the Future of International Solidarity

Yasmin is an international student residing in a southern US city. A queer activist back in China, she participates in the graduate union campaign in her university and is also a community organiser. She is among a group in the Chinese diaspora who are involved in country-of-residence social movements, a reality that tends to be […]

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Nationality / 民族

Modern China has inherited not only a large territory but also many ethnic groups from the Manchu Qing Empire it overthrew in 1912. How to ‘stretch the short, tight, skin of the nation over the gigantic body of the empire’ has been a question confronting both the successive governments of the Republic of China and […]

From Unorganised Street Protests to Organising Unions: The Birth of a New Trade Union Movement in Hong Kong

The Birth of a New Trade Union Movement in Hong Kong

For several months in 2019, the world’s news media was front-paging the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement almost on a daily basis. However, towards the end of the year, with the street violence subsiding and the fierce battles at two universities ending in the defeat of the students and their supporters, the international media seemed […]

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Leninists in a Chinese Factory: Reflections on the Jasic Labour Organising Strategy

This summer marks the second anniversary of the failed unionisation drive at the Shenzhen Jasic Technology factory, an episode in China’s recent history of labour activism that has drawn massive attention from China observers, leftist circles, and media pundits around the world. Compared with other influential instances of contentious labour action in recent years, the […]

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Counterterrorism or Cultural Genocide? Theory and Normativity in Knowledge Production About China’s ‘Xinjiang Strategy’

‘Wake up! There is something for us to learn here. What they’re saying applies to us, even if it was not meant for us.’          Friedrich Nietzsche, Anti-Education (1872)   Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has embarked on a rapid and intense securitisation of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This has included mass […]

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The End of Sweatshops? Robotisation and the Making of New Skilled Workers in China

In the past few years, the Chinese labour market has experienced a transition from surplus to shortage of labour, which has led to increased wages for ordinary workers. In such a context, since 2015 the Chinese authorities have pursued a policy of industrial upgrading based on the robotisation of the manufacturing sector. This essay explores the impact of such rapid-employ, large-scale robotisation on labour relations in Chinese factories.

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The Coal Transition in Datong

An Ethnographic Perspective

The city of Datong, Shanxi province, has long been known as the ‘coal capital’ of China. Through an ethnographic approach based on long-term observation and in-depth interviews conducted over several years, this essay examines how the restructuring of the local coal industry in the reform era has impacted the living and working conditions of the miners in the area.

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