Forced Labor and Social Control in Xinjiang

Just as the Chinese government has announced that detainees at internment camps in Xinjiang have “graduated” – without offering any evidence or explanation – researcher Adrian Zenz has released a paper examining the use of forced labor in Xinjiang. As Zenz explains it, officials have released detainees into forced or involuntary labor camps, as part of a larger effort toward social control and under the guise of “poverty alleviation.” Zenz’s full paper is accessible from the Journal of Political Risk; he also wrote up a summary of his findings for...

I wish to offer you all warmth, to let you know that your hardships are not lost on all Chinese people, that many of my friends are empathizing with your suffering.

- anonymous internet user in a message to Hong Kong protesters

CDT Highlights

Latest

Translation: Netizens Voice Support for Hong Kong Protesters

What began six months ago in Hong Kong as a protest against a proposed (and now withdrawn) extradition bill has widened in scope to address collective concerns for the future of the relative freedoms and democracy enjoyed there. Amid the demonstrations, Beijing has been attempting to present a counternarrative against pro-democracy protesters to the domestic audience and to the world at large: that the movement is a foreign-backed assault on Chinese sovereignty by a violent and radical minority. However, events on the ground suggest otherwise: pro-democracy candidates experienced sharp...

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Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

Translation: Netizens Voice Support for Hong Kong Protesters

What began six months ago in Hong Kong as a protest against a proposed (and now withdrawn) extradition bill has widened in scope to address collective concerns for the future of the relative freedoms and democracy enjoyed there. Amid the demonstrations, Beijing has been attempting to present a counternarrative against pro-democracy protesters to the domestic audience and to the world at large: that the movement is a foreign-backed assault on Chinese sovereignty by a violent and radical minority. However, events on the ground suggest otherwise: pro-democracy candidates experienced sharp...

Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

China Defends Record on International Human Rights Day

On Tuesday, International Human Rights Day, spokesperson Hua Chunying mounted a familiar defense of China’s rights record at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ regular press conference: Q: It’s the Human Rights Day today. Certaincountry raises concerns over and criticize human rights in China. How do you respond? A: Relevant country has made irresponsible accusations about China’s human rights situation in disregard of basic facts. China is firmly opposed to that. The Chinese people have the best say in the human rights situation in China. This year marks the 70th...

Concerns Mount Over Adoption and Export of Biometric Surveillance

At The Financial Times on Friday, Yuan Yang and Madhumita Murgia offered an overview of facial recognition technology’s adoption in China, public reception, and widespread export: What do Uganda’s police force, a Mongolian prison and Zimbabwean airports have in common? All three are in the process of testing facial recognition systems and all three have used Chinese technology to do it. At least 52 governments are doing the same thing according to research by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. [… "Chinese] companies are particularly well-suited to provide [advanced...

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 Rewards Protest-free Macau With Financial Policy

Reuters reports that Xi Jinping is next week expected to announce a series of central policies aimed at diversifying the casino-reliant economy of Macau. This comes as six-month running pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are giving no signs of slowing soon. According to officials and executives quoted, the move can be seen as a reward for signaling devotion to the “one country, two systems” framework of governance, and also a means to avoid market disruption caused by the political situation in Hong Kong.  Farah Master and Keith Zhai report: […] “The financial industry...

Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

Concerns Mount Over Adoption and Export of Biometric Surveillance

At The Financial Times on Friday, Yuan Yang and Madhumita Murgia offered an overview of facial recognition technology’s adoption in China, public reception, and widespread export: What do Uganda’s police force, a Mongolian prison and Zimbabwean airports have in common? All three are in the process of testing facial recognition systems and all three have used Chinese technology to do it. At least 52 governments are doing the same thing according to research by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. [… "Chinese] companies are particularly well-suited to provide [advanced...

Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

Translation: “What’s the Point of Further Discussion?”

As Beijing and Washington continue ratcheting up their rhetoric while keeping their eyes open for an opportunity to restart stalled trade talks, last week Fox Business News host Trish Regan and CGTN anchor Liu Xin took a Twitter debate over the ongoing trade war to the air. The two anchors squared off for 15 minutes on prime-time television, garnering attention from Chinese state censors and achieving trending status on Weibo for a debate that some commentators saw as largely falling flat. The following essay, written as a reflection on the debate and censored in China, gives an example of...

Politics

Latest

Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

Human Rights

Latest

Uyghurs Speak Out About Camps at Risk of Death

Following months of reporting from news media and academic researchers on the extent and conditions of internment camps in Xinjiang, where up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims have been held for political indoctrination, forced labor, and forced cultural assimilation, the Chinese government has now declared that inmates have “graduated,” without providing any evidence. From Yanan Wang at AP: Shohrat Zakir, Xinjiang’s Uighur governor, made the remarks during a press briefing as part of a strident propaganda campaign launched following U.S. Congress’ approval last...

Society

Latest

HK Protesters Vow to Keep Pressing Following Pro-democracy Election Victory

At The New York Times, Keith Bradsher, Austin Ramzy, and Tiffany May report on the overwhelming victory for pro-democracy candidates in Sunday’s local district council elections in Hong Kong: It was a pointed rebuke of Beijing and its allies in Hong Kong, and the turnout — seven in 10 eligible voters — suggested that the public continues to back the democracy movement, even as the protests grow increasingly violent. Young Hong Kongers, a major force behind the demonstrations of the past six months, played a leading role in the voting surge. With three million voters casting ballots,...

China & the World

Latest

With Election on the Horizon, Taiwan Fights Back Against Beijing’s Influence

With the presidential election in Taiwan—a de facto independent nation that the CCP regards as a “renegade province”—just over a month away, there have been many recent reports of Beijing’s attempts to influence public opinion and election results in 2020. China has a history of successful election interference in Taiwan, and has steadily been courting Taipei’s few remaining allies to pledge to Beijing in recent years. At NPR, Emily Feng and Greg Dixon report that Beijing’s influence and ambitions are weighing heavy on Taiwanese voters’ minds: Voters are...

Law

Latest

Guangzhou Hosts Global Lawyers Forum Amid Ongoing “War on Law”

Guangzhou hosted 800 legal professionals from 57 countries at the Global Lawyers Forum this week. The event partly coincided with International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, which the E.U. delegation to China marked by highlighting "continuous arrests, detention and imprisonment of human rights defenders, lawyers and other citizens," and noting that "human rights lawyers Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Gao Zhisheng and Yu Wensheng have been convicted, detained, or forcibly disappeared." The "War on Law" that peaked with the 2015 Black Friday or 709 crackdown has...

Information Revolution

Latest

Netizen Voices: There Has Never Been Such Tyranny Throughout History and All of the Lands

On October 29th, the Shuangqiao branch office of Chengde City Public Security Bureau in Hebei Province released a “police announcement” on Weibo. The notice said that the bureau “cracked” a case involving a 15-year-old student who viewed information that was “anti-China” and “antagonistic towards China.” The boy was severely reprimanded by the police and authorities from his school. From the Shuangqiao Public Security Internet Spokesperson Weibo account: Police Announcement: Recently, the Shuangqiao Public Security Bureau cracked a case in which the...

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

Translation: “What’s the Point of Further Discussion?”

As Beijing and Washington continue ratcheting up their rhetoric while keeping their eyes open for an opportunity to restart stalled trade talks, last week Fox Business News host Trish Regan and CGTN anchor Liu Xin took a Twitter debate over the ongoing trade war to the air. The two anchors squared off for 15 minutes on prime-time television, garnering attention from Chinese state censors and achieving trending status on Weibo for a debate that some commentators saw as largely falling flat. The following essay, written as a reflection on the debate and censored in China, gives an example of...

Sci-Tech

Latest

Concerns Mount Over Adoption and Export of Biometric Surveillance

At The Financial Times on Friday, Yuan Yang and Madhumita Murgia offered an overview of facial recognition technology’s adoption in China, public reception, and widespread export: What do Uganda’s police force, a Mongolian prison and Zimbabwean airports have in common? All three are in the process of testing facial recognition systems and all three have used Chinese technology to do it. At least 52 governments are doing the same thing according to research by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. [… "Chinese] companies are particularly well-suited to provide [advanced...

Environment

Latest

Thousands in Wuhan Protest Against Waste Incineration

Zhuang Pinghui at Inkstone News reports that thousands of residents in Wuhan’s Yangluo subdistrict have taken to the streets to protest against the construction of a waste incineration plant near residential areas. The protests, which have been ongoing since the end of June, underscore the mounting discontent among residents over the local government’s waste management practices as well as the lack of public consultation and transparency surrounding the project. [Protesters] shouted slogans such as “Give the green mountains and clear waters back to us” and “Garbage burning plant...

Hong Kong

Latest

China Defends Record on International Human Rights Day

On Tuesday, International Human Rights Day, spokesperson Hua Chunying mounted a familiar defense of China’s rights record at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ regular press conference: Q: It’s the Human Rights Day today. Certaincountry raises concerns over and criticize human rights in China. How do you respond? A: Relevant country has made irresponsible accusations about China’s human rights situation in disregard of basic facts. China is firmly opposed to that. The Chinese people have the best say in the human rights situation in China. This year marks the 70th...

Taiwan

Latest

Chinese Diplomats Take Their “Fighting Spirit” to Twitter, with Mixed Results

As a new front in Xi Jinping’s propaganda war — an ongoing campaign to “tell China’s story to the world” — diplomats working globally have been urged to take a more aggressive tone in defending their government’s interests in public forums. The immediate result has been an upsurge in Twitter accounts speaking for government officials and state media, while Twitter and other global social media platforms remain censored inside China. John Ruwitch of Reuters reports: The government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, prodded officials at a foreign ministry...

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