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China continues snubbing Norway in revenge over Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize


China is offering visa-free visits to Beijing for visitors from every European country except Norway, in what appears to be the latest in a string of punishments for the Nordic country since it gave a jailed Chinese dissident the Nobel peace prize in 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five … Continue reading

Hong Kong: Lawmakers shave heads in protest over China’s Liu Xia


Activists in Hong Kong launched a campaign in support of Liu Xia, the wife of a jailed Nobel peace laureate who has been held under house arrest since 2010. Supporters of Liu Xia and Liu Xiaobo gathered in a busy shopping district to shave their heads in public to show solidarity with the couple, as the family requested permission … Continue reading

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 17, 2017


South Korea proposed to talk to North Korea this week. Much of the timing relates to anniversaries and upcoming holidays. Pyongyang is still angry about twelve waitresses who moved South and wants them back first. Seoul says the waitresses moved to the South of their own will. The US’ answer is a siege, including efforts … Continue reading

What it means to be Chinese – nationalism and identity in Xi’s China


What does it mean to be Chinese? A strong tradition in premodern China held that it meant thinking, behaving, and living in a society in accord with heaven-sanctioned principles exemplifying the best way to be human. Other peoples could learn this Chineseness, and they could also become civilised, but they could never rival China in … Continue reading

Fears for Hong Kong democracy fighters: Do not give China an excuse to hurt you


The recent protests in Hong Kong raise fears of a repeat of the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989. I point out in my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements the paranoia that is the Chinese Communist Party‘s (CCP) Tiananmen Syndrome: Once Bitten by a Snake, One Is Scared All One’s Life at the Mere Sight of a Rope … Continue reading

Chinese school’s ridiculous claim of family relationship with US Nobel Prize winner


Soon after US Scientist Eric Betzig won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2014), Bangbu No. 1 Secondary School in Anhui Province, China celebrated the event and posted a conspicuous announcement of congratulation on its son-in-law winning the Nobel Prize. How can a school have a son-in-law? That is a bizarre question. How can a Chinese … Continue reading

China deserves Nobel Peace Prize for lifting its population out of poverty, Norway’s richest man says


Media censorship, journalist detention, and a host of other human-rights problems aside, China deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for lifting one-fifth of the world’s population out of poverty, said Norway’s richest man on Wednesday. Stein Erik Hagen, chairman of Norwegian conglomerate Orkla Asa, told Norwegian newspaper VG that China should qualify for the Nobel Peace … Continue reading

Norway’s shame: Shuns Dalai Lama, bows to China’s bullying


Norway’s ruling politicians may refuse to meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits Oslo next month to avoid angering China. The hesitation is part of an effort to ease tensions with the world’s second-largest economy that have festered since Norway’s Nobel committee awarded jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo the Peace Prize in 2010. “We … Continue reading

Persuading China’s communists to give up power is like trying to persuade a tiger to give you it’s skin


I once said that trying to persuade the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to give up its monopoly of state power is like trying to persuade a tiger to give you its skin. It is utterly impossible. In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements,” I said: “Due to its monopoly of power, the CCP is a huge … Continue reading

Chinese spies attending US universities, says expelled Peking University professor


A prominent Beijing scholar who recently fled to the United States has warned that China was sending “spies” to American universities, and urged US institutions to tread carefully on academic co-operation. Xia Yeliang is one of the original signatories of Charter 08, a petition for reform whose Nobel Prize-winning lead author Liu Xiaobo is in … Continue reading

China to be elected to UN Human Rights Council


China is almost certain to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council despite evidence of a worsening human rights record across the country. On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly will elect 17 new member states to the 47-member council, whose role is to “promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights … Continue reading

China rights scenario deteriorating says US


The United States got few answers to questions about detained activists during its annual rights dialogue with China, and believes the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. Uzra Zeya, Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, said she raised specific cases during … Continue reading

China says constitutional rule is an empty dream of “misguided intellectuals”


Chinese conservatives have come out to argue against the adoption of “constitutional rule”, a term increasingly used by liberals to demand the realisation of basic human rights guaranteed in the Chinese constitution. The nationalistic Global Times in an editorial on Wednesday called such demands “empty political slogans” made by “a group of misled intellectuals”. These … Continue reading

China’s glass ceiling


“It’s over for America,” a Chinese academic told me in late 2008, two days after Goldman Sachs turned itself into a commercial bank in order to fend off possible collapse. “From here on, it’s all downhill.” Sitting in Beijing as American capitalism seemed to be hanging by a thread, it was easy to believe that … Continue reading

China’s coercive economic diplomacy


Chinese willingness to use economic leverage to settle international disputes in its favour is a worrisome trend. When the 10 member nations of ASEAN failed to reach agreement on the wording of a joint communiqué for the first time in 45 years, most pundits blamed this year’s ASEAN chair, Cambodia, for failing to forge a … Continue reading

Report from Poland: Shanghai for 72 hours without a visa from January 1


As reported by Want China Times and the portal turystyka.rp.pl, Shanghai authorities have decided to follow in the footsteps of Beijing from January 1, and release transit passengers from 45 countries – including Poland – from the visa requirement for short stays in the city. This is very important information for people who go to … Continue reading

China’s leadership transition feared by foreign businesses


The country’s new leaders, whose identities will be formally revealed on or around November 15, look likely to be a fairly conservative group when it comes to economic and political reform. That shouldn’t harm China’s giant import and export markets, but it augurs badly for foreign companies, particularly in the banking and media sectors, who … Continue reading

Chinese women’s rights activist sent to labour camp again


Reuters reports from Beijing: “A Chinese woman who has campaigned against the strict one-child policy has been sent to labor camp for one and a half years, the third time she has been detained for criticizing the government, her husband said on Tuesday. “Mao Hengfeng, who lives in Shanghai, was seized in Beijing by a … Continue reading

“You’ll never be Chinese” by Mark Kitto


Death and taxes. You know how the saying goes. I’d like to add a third certainty: you’ll never become Chinese, no matter how hard you try, or want to, or think you ought to. I wanted to be Chinese, once. I don’t mean I wanted to wear a silk jacket and cotton slippers, or a … Continue reading

China to reform 1950s labour camp system, but won’t abolish


China’s system of imprisoning people in labour camps without trial is problematic, and the government is working on reforms, a senior judicial official said on Tuesday. Jiang Wei, the head of a government committee on judicial reform, said the government has found widespread agreement among legal scholars and lawmakers on the need to reform the … Continue reading

China’s use of economic stick is troubling


Countries must push back against Beijing’s troubling tendency to use China’s ports, natural resources and overall economic strength to force rivals to bring policies in line with its interests. When the 10 member nations of Asean failed to reach agreement on the wording of a joint communiqué for the first time in 45 years, most … Continue reading

Hong Kong: Paradise Lost


I visited Hong Kong in 2011.  After forty minutes of entry formalities at customs, I stepped into Hong Kong, a land of ridiculous housing price, luxury hotels and restaurants, fast walking people, and a touch of freedom that as a Chinese, I have never dreamed of. As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is … Continue reading

Blind dissident’s plight revives China’s human rights movement


China may have sown the seeds of its next human rights row with the United States even as it looks to end the current one over blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, with its treatment of him inspiring a band of lawyers to join his human-rights battle. The tough line over Chen, whose plea for U.S. protection … Continue reading

Prominent China dissident Hu Jia freed from jail


One of China’s most prominent dissidents, Hu Jia, was reunited with his family in the early hours of Sunday after serving three-and-a-half-years in jail on subversion charges, but he was not ready to speak in public, his wife said. Hu was convicted in 2008 for “inciting subversion of state power” for criticizing human rights restrictions … Continue reading

China’s Wen says Auschwitz visit “unforgettable, dark”


China‘s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Friday a visit to the Auschwitz death camp where Nazis gassed to death 1.5 million people had left an indelible impression, and reinforced the importance of learning the lessons of history. “This is an unforgettable, dark page in the history of humankind and cannot be forgotten,” Wen said … Continue reading

The Not-So-Great Firewall of China


Every news organisation needs a social media strategy. Even China’s government-controlled Xinhua News Agency now “tweets” news bulletins through Twitter-like microblogs called weibo — through which more than 300 million users share details of their daily lives, jokes, gossip, and news. Chinese companies running weibo services are required by the government to censor and monitor … Continue reading

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