Sinicising Islam in China: The Story of a Mosque

Laohuasi (清真老华寺) is a Sufi mosque in Linxia, a city in China’s Gansu Province. Standing on a raised platform the length and breadth of a football field, it has four floors and two large prayer halls that can accommodate more than 6,000 worshippers. A colour image of it in a book titled Chinese Islamic Architectural […]

The Individuals in the Numbers: Reproductive Autonomy in the Shadow of Population Planning in China and India

It was never quite her decision. ‘I wasn’t ready to be a mother, but it was impossible not to,’ Hui (a pseudonym) said during our interview in 2016, not long after China’s decades-long One-Child Policy ended. Her husband had made it clear to her that the ‘DINK’ (Double Income, No Kids) life—which Hui had long […]

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Fare Thee Well Beijing LGBT Centre

The closure of the Beijing LGBT Centre (北京同志中心) on 15 May 2023, only three months after its fifteenth anniversary, caused shock and heartbreak among the Chinese queer community both within China and abroad. One of the largest and longest-running LGBTQ non-profit organisations in the country, the centre had operated as a physical gathering space, a […]

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Setting Knowledge Free: Towards an Ethical Open Access

There is widespread agreement that academia has a publishing problem. After decades of large commercial publishers like Springer Nature and Elsevier extracting higher profits than the major tech companies while simultaneously keeping publicly financed research behind expensive paywalls (Buranyi 2017), in recent years universities and funders have attempted to renegotiate publishing agreements to ensure that […]

Lying Flat: Profiling the Tangping Attitude

In October 2021 at a forum organised by the US–Asia Institute, China’s Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, updated his American audience about the situation in his country. China remained isolated from the world after closing its borders in March 2020 following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic: I know that due to COVID-19, […]

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The Great Entrenchment: An Unofficial Synopsis of ‘Twentieth Party Congress Spirit’

Act One The Theme: Study Me! Be Loyal and Struggle! In the opening of his 72-page report to the Twentieth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping (2022b) proclaimed that the theme of the congress would be ‘comprehensively implementing Xi Jinping Thought’. The theme also included ‘carrying forth Great Party-Founding Spirit’ (伟大建党精神), […]

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Wulumuqi Road

It was the middle section of a north–south road in the prewar French Concession and was originally named Route Magy (Maiqi Road, 麦琪路) for Alfred Magy, a French officer in World War I. Lined on both sides with dense rows of French plane trees (法国梧桐树), it ran through a neighbourhood of villas, consulates, and Shanghai-modern […]

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