Zheng Yefu: “For Whom is the Country Being Defended?”

Retired Peking University sociology professor Zheng Yefu is known for his outspoken political views. In a recent essay that went viral on Chinese social media, Zheng argues that the Party’s attempts to protect and privilege political and economic elites through “social stability maintenance” is itself contributing to the demise of the nation’s social cohesion and wellbeing. As proof, Zheng cited the trend of the children of the elite increasingly choosing to settle abroad. The essay has been archived at CDT Chinese, and is translated below: China’s current and varied...

The world beyond China’s borders is an increasingly important target of the Party’s public opinion work.

- Uyghur Human Rights Project

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Zheng Yefu: “For Whom is the Country Being Defended?”

Retired Peking University sociology professor Zheng Yefu is known for his outspoken political views. In a recent essay that went viral on Chinese social media, Zheng argues that the Party’s attempts to protect and privilege political and economic elites through “social stability maintenance” is itself contributing to the demise of the nation’s social cohesion and wellbeing. As proof, Zheng cited the trend of the children of the elite increasingly choosing to settle abroad. The essay has been archived at CDT Chinese, and is translated below: China’s current and varied...

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Chinese Researchers Arrested in U.S. as Beijing Hits Back for Consulate Closure

On Wednesday, the Trump administration issued a surprise order for the Chinese consulate in Houston to “cease all operations and events” by Friday afternoon. The move added to festering diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing over issues including rights abuses in Xinjiang, tit-for-tat policies aimed at restricting press access, and Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong. While the U.S. government didn’t initially provide clarity on the immediate reasons for the order beyond vague espionage allegations, news reports cited a relevant FBI...

Lu Yuyu’s “Incorrect Memory,” Part 5

In 2016, citizen journalist Lu Yuyu and his girlfriend at the time Li Tingyu were formally arrested after having been detained for over a month. The two had been chronicling “mass incidents” across China on the “Not News” (非新聞) blog and @wickedonnaa Twitter account since 2013. Reporters Without Borders awarded the detained Lu and Li a Press Freedom Prize in 2016. While Li was reportedly tried in secret and released in April 2017, Lu was sentenced to four years in prison that August for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a catch-all charge frequently used to prosecute activists. Last...

Zheng Yefu: “For Whom is the Country Being Defended?”

Retired Peking University sociology professor Zheng Yefu is known for his outspoken political views. In a recent essay that went viral on Chinese social media, Zheng argues that the Party’s attempts to protect and privilege political and economic elites through “social stability maintenance” is itself contributing to the demise of the nation’s social cohesion and wellbeing. As proof, Zheng cited the trend of the children of the elite increasingly choosing to settle abroad. The essay has been archived at CDT Chinese, and is translated below: China’s current and varied...

Zheng Yefu: “For Whom is the Country Being Defended?”

Retired Peking University sociology professor Zheng Yefu is known for his outspoken political views. In a recent essay that went viral on Chinese social media, Zheng argues that the Party’s attempts to protect and privilege political and economic elites through “social stability maintenance” is itself contributing to the demise of the nation’s social cohesion and wellbeing. As proof, Zheng cited the trend of the children of the elite increasingly choosing to settle abroad. The essay has been archived at CDT Chinese, and is translated below: China’s current and varied...

Hong Kong Election Delayed After Disqualifications, Arrests, Professor’s Firing

Hong Kong’s government announced on Friday that September’s Legislative Council elections would be postponed for one year, confirming earlier reports and signals from establishment figures. The move was ostensibly based on the deterioration of the pandemic situation in Hong Kong, which Chief Executive Carrie Lam said earlier this week is “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly.” Critics argue, however, that the delay is intended primarily to avert a repeat of the...

Russia and China Join Forces to Amplify Disinformation and Propaganda

In recent months, China has come under fire from the European Commission, among others, for promoting disinformation about the origins and spread of the coronavirus. The campaign appears to mark a shift in Beijing’s tactics, as the government and its representatives have become more aggressive in pushing disinformation and conspiracy theories globally, a strategy more commonly associated with the Russian government. Indeed, new reports appear to demonstrate that the Chinese and Russian governments at times join forces to amplify and support each other’s disinformation campaigns....

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...

Minitrue: Shandong Village Relocations, Exam Score Theft

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. Notice: From June 28 onward, all reports on village planning and construction must use the standard wording “building a beautiful and livable countryside,” and must no longer use phrases like “village consolidation.” When propagating reports employing the concept of “rural community,” don’t touch on the spheres of village autonomy or rural administration. In...

Zheng Yefu: “For Whom is the Country Being Defended?”

Retired Peking University sociology professor Zheng Yefu is known for his outspoken political views. In a recent essay that went viral on Chinese social media, Zheng argues that the Party’s attempts to protect and privilege political and economic elites through “social stability maintenance” is itself contributing to the demise of the nation’s social cohesion and wellbeing. As proof, Zheng cited the trend of the children of the elite increasingly choosing to settle abroad. The essay has been archived at CDT Chinese, and is translated below: China’s current and varied...

India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

Hong Kong Election Delayed After Disqualifications, Arrests, Professor’s Firing

Hong Kong’s government announced on Friday that September’s Legislative Council elections would be postponed for one year, confirming earlier reports and signals from establishment figures. The move was ostensibly based on the deterioration of the pandemic situation in Hong Kong, which Chief Executive Carrie Lam said earlier this week is “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly.” Critics argue, however, that the delay is intended primarily to avert a repeat of the...

Minitrue: Shandong Village Relocations, Exam Score Theft

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. Notice: From June 28 onward, all reports on village planning and construction must use the standard wording “building a beautiful and livable countryside,” and must no longer use phrases like “village consolidation.” When propagating reports employing the concept of “rural community,” don’t touch on the spheres of village autonomy or rural administration. In...

Politics

Latest

Zheng Yefu: “For Whom is the Country Being Defended?”

Retired Peking University sociology professor Zheng Yefu is known for his outspoken political views. In a recent essay that went viral on Chinese social media, Zheng argues that the Party’s attempts to protect and privilege political and economic elites through “social stability maintenance” is itself contributing to the demise of the nation’s social cohesion and wellbeing. As proof, Zheng cited the trend of the children of the elite increasingly choosing to settle abroad. The essay has been archived at CDT Chinese, and is translated below: China’s current and varied...

Human Rights

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Chill Descends on Hong Kong as National Security Legislation Passes

On Tuesday, the National People’s Congress passed and Xi Jinping signed a national security law for Hong Kong, posing the most direct threat yet to the city’s semi-autonomous status, which had been guaranteed until 2047 under the Basic Law. Under the new law, mainland officials have authority to operate within Hong Kong to supervise crimes including secession and subversion, both of which have been used within China to crack down on dissenting views. The maximum penalty for such offenses in Hong Kong is now life imprisonment. As news of the law’s passage was reported, the...

Society

Latest

Photo Essay: Chinese for Black Lives

Mengyu Dong is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Washington D.C. She is currently documenting the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, focusing on the participation of a group of young Chinese and Asian protesters who are voicing their support for racial justice. For CDT, she has put together several of her photos of “Chinese for Black Lives” protesters, together with her interviews with the participants. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram. All photos below are taken by Mengyu Dong. Chinese-Americans and Chinese nationals, the younger generation in...

China & the World

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Release of Details on Hong Kong Security Law Raises More Questions

On Saturday, the National People’s Congress released a summary of proposed controversial national security legislation for Hong Kong. Among other things, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Law on the Preservation of National Security will assert that Beijing “has basic responsibility for matters of national security and for the constitutional responsibility of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to preserve national security.” At CNN, James Griffiths analyzes the proposed changes and its potential impact on rule of law and human rights in Hong Kong: When...

Law

Latest

Hong Kong Election Delayed After Disqualifications, Arrests, Professor’s Firing

Hong Kong’s government announced on Friday that September’s Legislative Council elections would be postponed for one year, confirming earlier reports and signals from establishment figures. The move was ostensibly based on the deterioration of the pandemic situation in Hong Kong, which Chief Executive Carrie Lam said earlier this week is “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly.” Critics argue, however, that the delay is intended primarily to avert a repeat of the...

Information Revolution

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China Censors Academic Research, Spreads Disinformation About COVID

Since the novel coronavirus first erupted in Wuhan in December and then spread around the world, the Chinese government has worked hard to control the narrative, by punishing doctors and others who first shared information about it, issuing propaganda directives, and spreading disinformation globally about the virus’s origins. Now that the pandemic has slowed significantly in China and is surging dramatically throughout the world, especially Europe and the U.S., the Chinese government is focusing on rewriting the history of the virus. In particular, new restrictions on academic...

Culture & the Arts

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CDT Censorship Digest, May 2020: Say “No” to Totalitarian Absurdity

In 2020, CDT Chinese editors launched the CDT Censorship Digest series. The series will collect and quote from news and online speech that was censored by Chinese authorities during the previous month, as well as summarize efforts to preserve and strengthen freedom of speech in Chinese society. When relevant to CDT English readers, we will translate the Chinese series in part or in full. CDT has translated an excerpt from the full CDT Chinese digest for May, adapted to include links to English coverage when available: CDT Chinese | Chinese Censorship Digest, May 2020: Say “No” to...

The Great Divide

Latest

Minitrue: Shandong Village Relocations, Exam Score Theft

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. Notice: From June 28 onward, all reports on village planning and construction must use the standard wording “building a beautiful and livable countryside,” and must no longer use phrases like “village consolidation.” When propagating reports employing the concept of “rural community,” don’t touch on the spheres of village autonomy or rural administration. In...

Sci-Tech

Latest

India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

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

Hong Kong Election Delayed After Disqualifications, Arrests, Professor’s Firing

Hong Kong’s government announced on Friday that September’s Legislative Council elections would be postponed for one year, confirming earlier reports and signals from establishment figures. The move was ostensibly based on the deterioration of the pandemic situation in Hong Kong, which Chief Executive Carrie Lam said earlier this week is “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak, which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly.” Critics argue, however, that the delay is intended primarily to avert a repeat of the...

Taiwan

Latest

Hong Kongers Hold Tiananmen Vigil, Defying Police Ban

On Thursday, around 10,000 Hong Kongers defied a police letter of objection blocking the traditional public vigil for the June 4 crackdown. Others held public or private commemorations elsewhere. The effective ban came ahead of planned national security legislation seen as a lethal threat to the territory’s treasured autonomy from mainland China, which many fear would criminalize future commemorations. Thursday also brought the passage of another law against irreverence for the Chinese national anthem. From Natasha Khan at The Wall Street Journal: Thousands flooded into Victoria Park,...

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