China Policy Institute Blog

Defending the rule of law against … lawyers

Written by Jackie Sheehan. After 2014 was declared the “worst year ever” for lawyers in China, Xi Jinping hasn’t rested on his laurels: since 10 July, an unprecedented round-up of up to 169 lawyers, law-firm staff and legal activists has shaken rights defenders across the country and at least temporarily silenced some of the last outspoken voices …

Li Yan reprieved – a step forward for victims of domestic violence in China?

Written by Jackie Sheehan. It is welcome news that Li Yan, despite being sentenced to death for a second time at her retrial in Sichuan last week for killing her abusive husband, has had the sentence suspended for two years, meaning that it will almost certainly be commuted to life imprisonment. However, as the Beijing …

China’s market in stolen babies dates back decades

Written by Jackie Sheehan. The figures in a recent BBC report on the abduction and selling of babies and children in China are shocking – even if it is happening in the world’s most populous country and has a seriously overstretched police force. The US State Department, which monitors what countries are doing to stop …

Escalating Land Protests in Yunnan

Written by Samantha Hoffman. On 14 October, ‘construction workers’ wearing auxiliary police uniforms and carrying riot shields entered Fuyou village, Jinning County, Yunnan province, to confront villagers in a dispute over land the local government seized to build the Jincheng Trans-Asia Industrial Logistics Centre. The incident turned violent, leaving two villagers and six construction workers …

On Ilham Tohti

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Can anyone produce a genuine, verified statement by Ilham Tohti supporting independence for Xinjiang or advocating violence by Uyghurs? The answer is no, because he has never done so. The guilty verdict against respected Uyghur economist and writer Ilham Tohti was a foregone conclusion, and holding the trial in Xinjiang when …

Speechless: The silencing of Gao Zhisheng is a warning to other lawyers and activists

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Gao Zhisheng left Shaya Prison in Xinjiang on 7 August 2014. He left prison; he is not free. During the additional year of deprivation of political rights which he must serve, he has no freedom of speech, association, assembly, procession or demonstration, as well as being unable to vote, stand for …

Redefining Hong Kong SAR

Written by Daniel Garrett. While undeniably the most extensive authoritarian and arguably violent crackdown by the SAR government since  the Handover, the local regime’s actions on July 2nd are best understood at this early point as a case of “killing a few chickens” to dissuade participation in OCLP and to dispel demands for civil nomination …

Xi trains his sights on the PLA

Written by Samantha Hoffman. On 31 March, state media reported that General Gu Junshan, former deputy director of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Logistics Department, had been charged with “suspicion of corruption, bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power”. This gives Gu the distinction of becoming the highest-ranking PLA official to be publicly charged in the …

Using Model Cases to Guide the Chinese Courts

Written by Susan Finder. One of the initiatives of the Supreme People’s Court (hereafter the Court) highlighted in its October 2013 judicial reform plan is “to expand fully the important role of leading cases and cases for reference”. Stanford Law School has a project devoted to translating and analyzing “leading cases”, which are cases so …

Xi Jinping’s Tiger Hunt

Written by Andrew Hall Wedeman. The Communist Party of China has been grappling with corruption almost from its birth. It has waged major anti-corruption campaigns repeatedly and routinely prosecutes substantial numbers of officials. Between 1997 and 2012 the Supreme People’s Procuratorate reported that it indicted 550,000 individuals on either corruption or dereliction of duty charges, …