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The best of CDT longform translation.




Encounters with the State

Hong Kong

June Fourth

Past and Present

Resistance Discourse

Rich and Poor




Ai Weiwei 艾未未

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei creates monumental artwork from tiny, individualized pieces, each telling the story of the artist or owner. He is best known for Sunflower Seeds, a sea of hand-painted porcelain seeds, and Remembering, an installation of 9,000 backpacks in homage to the schoolchildren killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He also helped design the Bird's Nest Stadium, though Ai came to regret his contribution. Ai was put in police custody for 81 days in 2011 after calls for a "jasmine revolution" in China, and spent the next four years deprived of his passport.

Deserter 逃兵

Deserter is an anonymous blogger.

Han Han 韩寒

Writer and race car driver Han Han may be the world's most popular blogger.

He Xiaoxin 和小欣

He Xiaoxin is a photojournalist in Beijing.

Hung Huang 洪晃

"China's Oprah Winfrey" is a fashion entrepreneur and outspoken microblogger. She is the publisher of iLook and founder of Brand New China.

Jiang Xue 江雪

Jiang Xue is a reporter for the Hong Kong-based Asia Weekly (亞洲週刊).


Karer is a blogger.

Li Chengpeng 李承鹏

A sports commentator turned social critic, Li Chengpeng is the author of several books, including "The Whole World Knows" (全世界人民都知道). In 2013, when he was instructed not to speak at a book signing, Li wore a face mask in silent protest. He had a strong following on social media until his Weibo account and Sina blog were purged in 2014.

Li Jingrui 李静睿

Li Jingrui is a columnist for Dajia and author of the novel "Small Town Girl" (小镇的姑娘).

Li Meiling 李媚玲

Li Meiling is a senior editor for the online news site Jiemian.

Li Xuewen 黎学文

Li Xuewen lives in Beijing.

Li Zhi 李志

Li Zhi is a folk rocker from Nanjing known for being politically outspoken early in his career.

Luo Yonghao 罗永浩

Luo Yonghao is an English teacher turned tech entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the smartphone company Smartisan.

Shang Baojun 尚宝军

Shang Baojun is an attorney at the Beijing Mo Shaoping Law Firm. He represented rights defense lawyer Pu Zhiqiang in 2015.

Tang Danhong 唐丹鸿

Tang Danhong is a poet and filmmaker from Chengdu, Sichuan. She currently lives in Israel. She blogs at Moments of Samsara and tweets @DanHongTang.

Tang Xiaozhao 唐小昭

Blogging under the name Persian Xiaozhao, Tang is one of the signatories of Charter 08, a proposal for democratic reform in China inspired by the dissident Czech petition Charter 77.

Wang Jianguo 王建国

Wang Jianguo is an economics professor at Peking University.

Wang Yiqiao

Wang Yiqiao is a PhD candidate in constitutional law at Indiana University. He blogs under the penname Sanjin (三斤).

Xu Zhiyong 许志永

Xu Zhiyong is one of China's most important rights defense lawyers. He is a co-founder of the Open Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng). After he was sentenced to four years in prison for "disturbing public order," he told the court that its judgment "wiped out the Chinese legal system’s last shred of dignity," according to his lawyer Zhang Qingfang.

Yu Jianrong 于建嵘

Yu Jianrong is a rural sociologist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is known for advocating liberal reforms and harnessing social media for social good.