National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

The Luo Changping affair isn’t just a simple detention. The procuratorate has already filed a case, and jail time is a possibility. What this ‘powerful country’ fears most is people who dare to speak.”

- Tweet from @lunanweiyi about former journalist Luo Changping's recent arrest for "defaming heroes and martyrs"

CDT Highlights

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Netizen Voices: Ou Jinzhong—Murder Suspect, Good Samaritan, “Outlaw of the Marsh”—Wins Sympathy on Weibo

A manhunt for a murder suspect in Fujian ended on October 18 with the alleged killer’s death—to the dismay of many on the Chinese internet, where he had turned into an unlikely folk hero of sorts. Ou Jinzhong, 51, was accused of killing two neighbors and injuring three others on Sunday, October 10 over a long-running dispute about the construction of Ou’s new home. He then escaped to a mountain cave, where he hid for eight days. The local government promised a reward of 20,000 yuan for hints leading to his capture and 50,000 yuan for his corpse, a move some saw as a ghoulish invitation to...

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Five-year Prison Terms for Hong Kong Students Deepen Fears of Retroactive Use of National Security Law

On Tuesday, five former students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) were each sentenced to almost five years in prison for their involvement in protests against the National Security Law in November 2019. One of the former students remained courageously defiant even in the face of the particularly harsh sentences, which she interpreted as simply a means to suppress dissent. While the charges were not levied on violations of the National Security Law itself, recent judicial rulings point to an increasingly retroactive application of the law and a harsher use of existing ones....

National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

Netizen Voices: Ou Jinzhong—Murder Suspect, Good Samaritan, “Outlaw of the Marsh”—Wins Sympathy on Weibo

A manhunt for a murder suspect in Fujian ended on October 18 with the alleged killer’s death—to the dismay of many on the Chinese internet, where he had turned into an unlikely folk hero of sorts. Ou Jinzhong, 51, was accused of killing two neighbors and injuring three others on Sunday, October 10 over a long-running dispute about the construction of Ou’s new home. He then escaped to a mountain cave, where he hid for eight days. The local government promised a reward of 20,000 yuan for hints leading to his capture and 50,000 yuan for his corpse, a move some saw as a ghoulish invitation to...

Caixin Removed From Cyberspace Administration of China’s “Whitelist”

One of China’s premier investigative reporting outlets, Caixin, has been removed from the Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) latest media “whitelist.” The whitelist governs how news is shared across the Chinese internet: news sites may only republish articles from outlets on the whitelist. Earlier in October, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published a draft regulation barring non-public, i.e. private, capital from investing in news media—a rule that, if adopted, could potentially eliminate all non-state media outlets. These latest moves indicate an even more...

National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

Caixin Removed From Cyberspace Administration of China’s “Whitelist”

One of China’s premier investigative reporting outlets, Caixin, has been removed from the Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) latest media “whitelist.” The whitelist governs how news is shared across the Chinese internet: news sites may only republish articles from outlets on the whitelist. Earlier in October, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published a draft regulation barring non-public, i.e. private, capital from investing in news media—a rule that, if adopted, could potentially eliminate all non-state media outlets. These latest moves indicate an even more...

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...

Billions in International Pension Funds Support Abuses in China; Hong Kongers Flee With Their Own Pensions

A report by the NGO Hong Kong Watch reveals that numerous major international pension funds have been heavily invested in Chinese companies connected to serious human rights issues. Some of these pension holders, such as members of the UK parliament, are gradually confronting their complicity in financing these abuses and calling for change. While money from international pension funds continues to flow into China despite allegations of human rights abuses, money from Hong Kong’s own pension funds have flown out in recent months, as a result of similar issues.  Hong Kong Watch’s report...

NBA Star Enes Kanter Speaks Out on Tibet and Xinjiang, and is Promptly Censored in China

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter made shockwaves this week when he called out “brutal dictator” Chinese President Xi Jinping for human-rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang. His forceful denouncement led to the censorship of his name and the Celtics’ team name from the Chinese internet. It also forced the NBA back into the spotlight, placing the league in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between defending players’ right to free speech and appeasing a lucrative Chinese market. After meeting Tibetans at a community center in New York, Kanter released a nearly three-minute-long...

Caught in Crossfire, LinkedIn to Cut Back China Presence

American networking site LinkedIn will cease its current service in China after “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.” In lieu of its current social networking site, the company will establish a simpler job board without the existing functions for sharing and discussing posts or articles. LinkedIn’s withdrawal from China is the denouement of an era, leaving no major American social media companies still operating in China. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Signal, Clubhouse, and more are all effectively banned. The...

National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

Evergrande Protestors Become Target of Stability Maintenance

Evergrande offices across China have been beset by protesting retail investors and homeowners concerned that the real estate giant is on the verge of bankruptcy. The company is facing a liquidity crisis and may default on its debts. At Reuters, David Kirton reported on the protests at Evergrande’s Shenzhen headquarters: Around midday, more than 60 uniformed security personnel formed a wall in front of the main entrances to the glistening tower in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, where protesters shouted at company representatives. “A company as big as yours, how much money has been...

Human Rights

Latest

National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

Politics

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In Speech Commemorating Xinhai Revolution, Xi Says “Reunification” With Taiwan Inevitable

In a speech marking the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, Xi Jinping said peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan is inevitable and claimed Sun Yat-sen’s legacy as the Chinese Communist Party’s own. The Xinhai Revolution overthrew the Qing Dynasty and led to the establishment of China’s first democratic republic. October 10, the date of the Wuchang Uprising that sparked the revolution, is celebrated in Taiwan as National Day. Xi asserted that the Taiwan issue “arose out of the weakness and chaos of our nation, and it will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality.” Xi’s...

Society

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#MeToo Activist Huang Xueqin and Labor Activist Wang Jianbing Are Missing, Feared Detained

Friends of two Guangzhou-based activists who have been incommunicado since Sunday fear that they have been detained and may be facing prosecution. Prominent #MeToo activist Huang Xueqin (Sophia Huang) had been planning to leave Guangzhou for Shenzhen on September 19, and fly from Hong Kong to London the following day. She was due to begin a Master’s program at the University of Sussex as a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship. Her friend Wang Jianbing, a longtime advocate for workers with occupational diseases, was planning to see her off. As days passed without news of the two activists,...

China & the World

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Lithuania Urges Citizens to Ditch Chinese Smartphones Over Censorship, Data Security Concerns

This week, Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense urged its citizens to throw away popular Chinese 5G smartphones after it published a report slamming the devices for content censoring capabilities and improper data collection. The government audited three Chinese smartphone models—the Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G, Huawei P40 5G, and OnePlus 8T 5G—to assess potential cybersecurity issues, as Chinese phones have flooded the European market over the past year. The government criticism also comes at a time of seriously strained relations between China and Lithuania, touched off by a newly proposed Taiwan...

Law

Latest

National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

Information Revolution

Latest

From the Lexicon: Milk Tea Alliance

The Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon is named after an unassuming alpaca who galumphed past the censors in 2009 to become a Chinese internet sensation. In the long decade since, the Lexicon has tracked online resistance discourse in 365 entries and counting. From time to time, we will feature an entry from the Lexicon worth having at the ready. Today’s selection is not from behind the Great Firewall, but it is a vital element of Sinophone resistance discourse. Milk Tea Alliance | nǎi chá lián méng | 奶茶联盟 The Milk Tea Alliance is an online solidarity movement between pro-democracy supporters in...

Culture & the Arts

Latest

NBA Star Enes Kanter Speaks Out on Tibet and Xinjiang, and is Promptly Censored in China

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter made shockwaves this week when he called out “brutal dictator” Chinese President Xi Jinping for human-rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang. His forceful denouncement led to the censorship of his name and the Celtics’ team name from the Chinese internet. It also forced the NBA back into the spotlight, placing the league in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between defending players’ right to free speech and appeasing a lucrative Chinese market. After meeting Tibetans at a community center in New York, Kanter released a nearly three-minute-long...

The Great Divide

Latest

Evergrande Protestors Become Target of Stability Maintenance

Evergrande offices across China have been beset by protesting retail investors and homeowners concerned that the real estate giant is on the verge of bankruptcy. The company is facing a liquidity crisis and may default on its debts. At Reuters, David Kirton reported on the protests at Evergrande’s Shenzhen headquarters: Around midday, more than 60 uniformed security personnel formed a wall in front of the main entrances to the glistening tower in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, where protesters shouted at company representatives. “A company as big as yours, how much money has been...

Sci-Tech

Latest

Caught in Crossfire, LinkedIn to Cut Back China Presence

American networking site LinkedIn will cease its current service in China after “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.” In lieu of its current social networking site, the company will establish a simpler job board without the existing functions for sharing and discussing posts or articles. LinkedIn’s withdrawal from China is the denouement of an era, leaving no major American social media companies still operating in China. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Signal, Clubhouse, and more are all effectively banned. The...

Environment

Latest

Netizen Voices: Coal Costs, Climate Commitments and Competing Priorities Inform China’s Latest Power Outages

Power outages and blackouts across twenty Chinese provinces have forced factories to slow production and disrupted daily life for millions of residents. Power supply shortages are being driven by rising coal prices and increased demand for electricity; they also coincide with President Xi Jinping’s international and domestic climate commitments, which include reducing China’s reliance on coal. Among the worst-hit are Chinese factories in highly energy-intensive industries such as steel, concrete and aluminum; U.S. and European importers of those products; and ordinary citizens who have...

Hong Kong

Latest

National Security Law Threat Drives Amnesty International to Close Hong Kong Offices

On Monday, Amnesty International announced that it would leave Hong Kong by the end of the year, explaining that it is now “effectively impossible” for the NGO to continue operating under the National Security Law. Its departure from Hong Kong marks the exit of one of the most prominent international NGOs in the city, and is an ominous sign for what remains of the city’s civil society.  The Hong Kong branch of Amnesty International consists of two offices, both of which are scheduled for closure. Dan Strumpf from the Wall Street Journal described the scope of Amnesty International’s work in...

Taiwan

Latest

Taiwan Expands Soft Power through Language Learning Centers, Harvard’s Mandarin Program Decamps to Taipei

Language learning can be a bridge to mutual understanding between nations, but it is not immune from politics. In what the Chinese Foreign Ministry has interpreted as a political move, the Harvard Beijing Academy, a Mandarin summer study-abroad program, announced that it would terminate its partnership with the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) and relocate to Taipei by the summer of 2022. The Taiwanese government has also established a number of new overseas Mandarin language programs that are meant to compete with China’s Confucius Institutes in a bid for soft power. ...

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