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The Final Sheathing of La Cuarta Espada

Abimael Guzmán liked to present himself as a studious man who dedicated himself, body and soul, to learning and teaching Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, a doctrine that he held aloft as insurmountable truth. In this sense, he was more of a prophet, or messiah, than a scientist. He was someone who felt that he was called, due to […]

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative Slowing Down?

Over seven years since China launched its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a widely held view from the outside is that this endeavour has now slowed down. Such an assessment is typically supported by evidence that China’s overseas financing has been in decline even before the COVID-19 pandemic. An influential article published in the […]

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Inciting Subversion by Association: 120 Days in Detention

On 16 February 2020, just a few hours after her partner Xu Zhiyong, a leading Chinese human rights lawyer, was detained, women’s rights and labour activist Li Qiaochu went missing. China’s state security bodies would hold her incommunicado for four months under the system known as ‘residential surveillance at a designated location’ on suspicion of […]

Fear in the Classroom

How Hong Kong’s National Security Law Suppresses Academic and Intellectual Freedom

On 30 June 2020, the Hong Kong Government announced that the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) would come into effect before the public had even laid eyes on its content. Since the law is broad and, some argue, purposely vague, it grants the Hong Kong and Chinese governments extrajudicial authority to criminalise dissenting voices […]

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China’s Second-generation Ethnic Policies Are Already Here

What China’s History of Paper Genocide Can Tell Us about the Future of Its ‘Minority Nationalities’

In early June this year, officials in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) released a new policy that would drastically undermine the use of the Mongolian language in schools, effectively replacing it as a language of instruction with Chinese (Baioud 2020). In response to this unwelcome imposition, petitions began circulating, calling for the repeal of […]

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What about Whataboutism?

Viral Loads and Hyperactive Immune Responses in the China Debate

‘If people actually cared about slavery they would be holding demonstrations out the front of their local Chinese Embassy demanding that the Falun Gong and Uyghurs be set free.’ Tweet by an Australian journalist, 15 June 2020   ‘Forget about #StandWithHK. It’s time to stand with #Minneapolis.’ Tweet by a Chinese journalist, 29 May 2020 […]

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Trade Union Reform in China: An Assessment

When Xi Jinping formally launched China’s trade union reform initiative in November 2015, it was not exactly headline news (Workers’ Daily 2017). The announcement, couched in typically impenetrable Party-speak, appeared to be just another vaguely-worded commitment to the reform process. However, what China’s trade unions do and, just as importantly, do not do can have […]

The Epidemiology of Sinophobia

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), numerous reports have described a rise in Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism around the world, with occurrences being reported in Australia (Young 2020), France (BBC 2020), Canada (Miller 2020), and many other countries (Rich 2020). This racism started online. Commentators zoomed in on single incidents—like a video of […]

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Service for Influence? The Chinese Communist Party’s Negotiated Access to Private Enterprises

Among the many praises for the documentary American Factory, the filmmakers’ non-judgmental way of storytelling  is  a  major  point.  Their   determination not to villainise any individual  indeed  conveys a commendable commitment to humanity—in an age of polarisation when people are  used  to pointing  fingers  at others,  this  film is refreshing. This was supposedly also why […]

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