State Repression in the Jasic Aftermath: From Punishment to Preemption

Although several months have passed since the Jasic struggle (Zhang 2019), in the aftermath of the mobilisation labour activism remains under assault in China. On 20 January, five activists involved in various labour NGOs in Shenzhen were unexpectedly arrested (Elmer 2019). They were picked up by Shenzhen police in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Changsha. Among them, […]

Intellectual Property, Artificial Intelligence, and Ethical Dilemmas: China and the New Frontiers of Academic Integrity

Recent media headlines in Australia and the United States have highlighted the threat of intellectual property (IP) theft by Chinese actors. This reporting has placed particular emphasis on Chinese hackers, as well as military technology or economically-competitive IP developed by Australian/US universities—either through local funds or sponsored by Chinese companies and government—before being transferred to […]

Where Is China’s Interpol Chief?

In March 2018, the Chinese government ostensibly strengthened its fight against corruption by consolidating anti-graft efforts in a new ‘super agency’, the National Supervisory Commission (国家监察委员会, NSC). The NSC is part of President Xi Jinping’s signature campaign against corruption, which he describes as a matter of ‘life and death for the Party’ (The Economist 2012). […]

The Chinese Panacea?

With Xi Jinping going on an official visit to Italy this Thursday and the Italian government considering the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), we felt that it was a fitting time to republish this open letter signed by 23 Italian scholars in the field of […]

Transnational Carceral Capitalism in Xinjiang and Beyond

On 22 January, the innocuously-named ‘Frontier Support Group’ (FSG) announced plans to open a ‘training centre’ in Xinjiang, where approximately one million people are currently being held in concentration camps (Shepherd 2019). This announcement highlights a vital and underexplored element in the story of Xinjiang’s camps—the role of private paramilitary companies and transnational circulations. Frontier […]

Rethinking the Cultural Politics of Globalisation: Where Do We Go from Here?

In the days following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) on 23 June 2016, the same questions appeared repeatedly in the newspaper headlines and media debates: ‘What now?’ ‘What do we do now?’ ‘Where do we go from here?’ These are the cries of people who suddenly find themselves in a confusing, uncertain […]

Turmoil at the Grassroots in China’s Cultural Revolution: A Half-Century Perspective

This is the text of the 77th George E. Morrison Lecture given by Jonathan Unger on 3 November 2016. The Lecture Series is sponsored by the China Institute and the Australian Centre on China in the World. Almost exactly half a century ago, starting in the middle of 1966, Mao Zedong unexpectedly launched the Cultural […]

Bracing for China’s Systemic Competition: A View from Germany

The attitude of the German business community vis-à-vis China is increasingly torn between short-term profits and long-term strategic interests. While China has been Germany’s largest trading partner since 2016, with commercial ties registering a total of 186.6 billion euros in 2017 (Nienaber 2018), a forthcoming strategy paper of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)—Germany’s most […]

The Jasic Mobilisation: A High Tide for the Chinese Labour Movement?

In July this year, 89 workers at the Shenzhen Jasic Technology Co. Ltd demanded the right to set up a workplace union. In the past decade there has been an explosion of strikes in Shenzhen, and this dispute is one of the many where workers have demanded better working conditions, owed wages, unpaid social insurance, […]

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