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Is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a Responsible Investor?

When the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was first announced by China in 2013, a flurry of speculation erupted around which countries would join and how closely the new institution would follow the path trodden by traditional multilateral development banks such as the World Bank. Human rights advocates and environmentalists were particularly concerned that the […]

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The Third Road: Where Will Xi Jinping Go in 2022?

Earlier this year, two veteran analysts of Chinese politics, Richard McGregor and Jude Blanchette (2021), published a comprehensive report, laying out four possible scenarios for the next leadership succession in China’s new era. In two of these scenarios, Xi Jinping is out of the picture as the result of either a coup or ‘unexpected death […]

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The Chinese Trade Union to the Rescue: A Real Solution to Platform Workers’ Woes?

During a conversation we had a few years ago, an international trade unionist shared with me an anecdote from a recent encounter with a Chinese trade union. A delegation of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) had travelled overseas and met with his organisation as part of semi-regular exchanges. This was at a time […]

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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 […]

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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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