Hong Kong in Turmoil

Born and bred in Hong Kong, I normally pay a visit a couple of times every year to see relations and friends. The last visit, during July 2019, was to a city in turmoil. Many Hong Kongers had been taking to the streets weekend after weekend, and then daily, for well over a month. It […]

Governing Hong Kong like Any Other Chinese City

On 21 July, Hong Kong had a hair-raising night. In Central, where the city’s business district is located, riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of protesters gathered for the anti-extradition bill march organised by the Civil Human Rights Front, a coalition of pro-democracy activists. At around 11pm at the Yuen Long […]

Painting in Grey and Permeating Gaps: Changing the Space for Chinese NGOs

‘Speak this clearly: the development goal for Chinese society is a Marxist social community; it is not a Western civil society of state-society opposition.’ This comes from a recent article originally published on the public WeChat account of a central academy (CPPCC Daily 2019). The academy is charged with training people from the ‘democratic parties’, […]

Xi Jinping’s Succession: What Did the West Get Wrong?

What would happen if Xi Jinping suddenly died, killed by assassination or incurable illness? Would such an unexpected departure of the paramount leader paralyse the government and release the suppressed chaotic energy in the upper echelons of the Party leadership, with all those vying for such an opportunity racing to fill the power vacuum and […]

The Legacy of May Fourth in China, a Century Later

In March, graduate students at Peking University (Beida) were given a survey on ‘the conditions of the development of university students’ (Park 2019). One of the questions addressed the one-hundredth anniversary of the first student demonstration in Chinese history, when students marched in the streets of Beijing to protest the terms of the Versailles Treaty. […]

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). […]

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