Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

[S]uppression can ferment the next counterattack. The hangman’s noose is not tightened all at once. If there is no way to broaden the boundaries of public discourse, we can at least resist a bit when they tighten the rope. And then, resist a bit more.

- Writer Mimiyana

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Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon: Digital Disobedience

The following term comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness. CDT is expanding its China Digital Space (CDS) wiki beyond the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon to include short biographies of public intellectuals, cartoonists, human rights activists, and other people pushing for change in China. CDS is a work in progress.  wǎngmín bù fúcóng 网民不服从 Online...

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Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon: Digital Disobedience

The following term comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness. CDT is expanding its China Digital Space (CDS) wiki beyond the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon to include short biographies of public intellectuals, cartoonists, human rights activists, and other people pushing for change in China. CDS is a work in progress.  wǎngmín bù fúcóng 网民不服从 Online...

Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

U.S. Mulls Responses to Journalist Expulsions

The New York Times’ Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes report responses under consideration by the Trump administration to the expulsion of 13 American journalists from China, which were announced last week together with new registration requirements for some American media organizations. These, together with more recently apparent measures against U.S. news organizations’ Chinese staff, were the latest salvo in a sharply escalating exchange of blows between Washington and Beijing. Some American intelligence officials have pushed for years to expel employees of Chinese media...

From Narrative Consent to Narrative Warfare: China’s COVID-19 Messaging

From Narrative Consent to Narrative Warfare: China’s COVID-19 Messaging By Lukas Mejia and Marine Ragnet An official press release by the Chinese embassy in France recently stated that Chinese methods for containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the mainland were seen by French health officials as an “interesting source of inspiration.” “It was the ‘dictatorship’ from which the world first sought help, and not the American flagship of democracy,” the release further read. This language predicates a narrative war currently being waged at the forefront of the epidemic and attempts...

Q&A: Leta Hong Fincher on China’s Resilient Feminists

A former journalist, Leta Hong Fincher was the first American to receive a PhD in Sociology from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her research there led to her first book, “Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China,” which examined rising gender inequalities in China today through the lens of economics, marriage, and the real estate market. Her widely acclaimed second book, “Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China,” examines the rise of a new feminist movement in China and profiles several of the key participants, including the...

China Joins in Global Hacking Spike Amid Pandemic

Last week, U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye published a report on "one of the broadest campaigns by a Chinese cyber espionage actor we have observed in recent years," identifying its alleged perpetrator "APT41" as "one of the most prolific threats that FireEye currently tracks." From Christopher Glyer, Dan Perez, Sarah Jones, and Steve Miller: […] Between January 20 and March 11, FireEye observed APT41 attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in Citrix NetScaler/ADC, Cisco routers, and Zoho ManageEngine Desktop Central at over 75 FireEye customers. Countries we’ve seen...

Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

China Joins in Global Hacking Spike Amid Pandemic

Last week, U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye published a report on "one of the broadest campaigns by a Chinese cyber espionage actor we have observed in recent years," identifying its alleged perpetrator "APT41" as "one of the most prolific threats that FireEye currently tracks." From Christopher Glyer, Dan Perez, Sarah Jones, and Steve Miller: […] Between January 20 and March 11, FireEye observed APT41 attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in Citrix NetScaler/ADC, Cisco routers, and Zoho ManageEngine Desktop Central at over 75 FireEye customers. Countries we’ve seen...

Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

U.S. Lawmakers, Fair Labor Association Condemn Forced Labor of Uyghurs

Following widespread reports of forced labor by Uyghurs in Xinjiang and other parts of China, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers submitted a bill to restrict imports from Xinjiang. Austin Ramzy of The New York Times reports: With Xinjiang producing much of China’s cotton and textiles, the legislation could affect companies as diverse as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Patagonia, which are named in the draft bill. While the bill’s prospects are uncertain, industry groups are already under pressure to police their Xinjiang imports. This week several released a statement calling worker...

Politics

Latest

Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

Human Rights

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Hong Kong Bookseller Gui Minhai Sentenced to 10 Years

Swedish citizen Gui Minhai is one of the five booksellers and publishers associated with Hong Kong’s Mighty Current Media and Causeway Bay bookstore who were detained from abroad in 2015 to reappear in custody in China. The episode heightened concerns about Beijing’s willingness to target foreign nationals and conduct cross-border detentions to dissuade criticism. Gui’s location was unknown until he appeared on CCTV in January 2016 making a forced confession. The other four detained publishers have since been released and returned to Hong Kong, with one relocating to Taiwan. Gui was...

Society

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Skepticism Remains Over Official COVID-19 Count as Wuhan Ends Lockdown

After punishing the first healthcare workers who voiced concerns about a mysterious new virus now known as the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 in December, authorities in Wuhan, Hubei province continued to act as if all was well for weeks before officially acknowledging the threat. As the outbreak became endemic in the region and country, authorities cracked down on unauthorized information, detained critical voices, and silenced a massive online call for free speech from scared and frustrated citizens. On January 23, Wuhan authorities announced the lockdown of the city, a move...

China & the World

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External Propaganda Casts Beijing as Leader in Global Coronavirus Fight

For nearly three months, Chinese authorities have relied on censorship and propaganda to control the domestic narrative about the COVID-19 novel epidemic. In an attempt to keep the populace calm, early cases in Wuhan were downplayed or ignored. After unsanctioned information shared by Wuhan healthcare providers was labeled “rumor,” those who shared it were punished, while their punishments were reported on CCTV to serve as a broader public warning. When one of those healthcare providers, Dr. Li Wenliang, died on February 7 after contracting the disease from a patient, censors’ best...

Law

Latest

Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Moved from Prison into New Isolation

Rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was released from prison in Shandong on Sunday, but is still being kept under closely guarded isolation. Authorities have presented this as a standard measure against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Wang’s family and supporters fear that it is a form of "non-release ‘release,’" a tactic used to contain politically disharmonious figures after the end of their formal sentences. The use of disease containment as a pretext for political control was previously suspected in cases like the detention of citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, and...

Information Revolution

Latest

Coronavirus Censorship and Spin Draw Public Backlash

Despite the lessons thought to have been learned after the 2002 SARS epidemic, Chinese authorities have been readily using censorship and propaganda amid the outbreak of COVID-19 novel coronavirus–which some see as a contributing factor to the severity of its spread and lethality. In an attempt to keep the public calm and dilute criticism, early cases in Wuhan were downplayed or ignored. Once an epidemic was underway the narrative was controlled with censorship directives. Unsanctioned medical information was labeled “rumor,” medical professionals who shared...

Culture & the Arts

Latest

Netizen Voices: “Cultural Fusion Should be Based on Mutual Consent”

Amid an ongoing crackdown on Uyghur culture in Xinjiang that has been called an effort to “re-engineer” the Uyghur identity and as a form of “cultural genocide,” state-run new media outlet The Paper (澎湃) this week tweeted a video report titled “Notes From Aiding the Border: Where is Green Tea Produced? Xinjiang Children Had no Answer.” The video showed how teachers from the Shanghai Hanweiyang Traditional Culture Promotion Center were teaching “traditional Chinese culture” to primary school students in Bachu County, Kashgar, Xinjiang: A #Shanghai teacher brings...

The Great Divide

Latest

U.S. Lawmakers, Fair Labor Association Condemn Forced Labor of Uyghurs

Following widespread reports of forced labor by Uyghurs in Xinjiang and other parts of China, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers submitted a bill to restrict imports from Xinjiang. Austin Ramzy of The New York Times reports: With Xinjiang producing much of China’s cotton and textiles, the legislation could affect companies as diverse as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Patagonia, which are named in the draft bill. While the bill’s prospects are uncertain, industry groups are already under pressure to police their Xinjiang imports. This week several released a statement calling worker...

Sci-Tech

Latest

China Joins in Global Hacking Spike Amid Pandemic

Last week, U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye published a report on "one of the broadest campaigns by a Chinese cyber espionage actor we have observed in recent years," identifying its alleged perpetrator "APT41" as "one of the most prolific threats that FireEye currently tracks." From Christopher Glyer, Dan Perez, Sarah Jones, and Steve Miller: […] Between January 20 and March 11, FireEye observed APT41 attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in Citrix NetScaler/ADC, Cisco routers, and Zoho ManageEngine Desktop Central at over 75 FireEye customers. Countries we’ve seen...

Environment

Latest

The Costs of the Belt and Road Initiative

Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, a trillion dollar-plus global trade and development program that was unveiled in 2013 and enshrined into the Party constitution in 2017, has attracted both international excitement and concern. While Beijing touts the plan as a “win-win” for global trade and cooperative economic growth that will usher in a new era of globalization, the massively ambitious initiative has also raised a host of concerns over its aim to expand Beijing’s global military and political influence, country-specific security issues, and looming debt traps that could arise from...

Hong Kong

Latest

U.S. Mulls Responses to Journalist Expulsions

The New York Times’ Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes report responses under consideration by the Trump administration to the expulsion of 13 American journalists from China, which were announced last week together with new registration requirements for some American media organizations. These, together with more recently apparent measures against U.S. news organizations’ Chinese staff, were the latest salvo in a sharply escalating exchange of blows between Washington and Beijing. Some American intelligence officials have pushed for years to expel employees of Chinese media...

Taiwan

Latest

Tsai Ing-wen Reelected in Taiwan in Historic Victory

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen was decisively reelected on Saturday in an election that had become a referendum on democratic freedoms and Taiwanese autonomy. Winning 57 percent of the vote against Kuomintang challenger Han Kuo-yu, Tsai, of the Democratic Progressive Party, had seen her popularity surge in recent months as voters contended with a coordinated disinformation and propaganda campaign from Beijing and concerns over encroaching Chinese government control in Hong Kong. Thank you, Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/SZVSOtJtT4 — 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) January 11, 2020 At The...

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