China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

Redefining Hong Kong SAR: The Mainland Security Crackdown Arrives

Written by Daniel Garrett. Within the last few weeks, the political situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has deteriorated precipitously as China’s central and local regimes began implementing the outlines of a mainland-style security crackdown against the city’s pro-democracy movement and escalated its United Front campaign against Occupy Central with Love and …

Being a good cadre

Written by Kerry Brown. One of the seminal texts during the period of struggle before the Communist Party of China (CPC) came to power in 1949 was Liu Shaoqi’s `How to be a Good Communist’, issued in 1939. Liu, despite being a native of the same area of China as his near contemporary Mao Zedong, …

Hong Kong’s Fundamentalists

Written by Jennifer Eagleton. Fundamentalist groups rigidly stick to core beliefs and maintain the “integrity” of their sacred text and practices to the exclusion of all others. Compromise is an anathema and ultimate domination of their dogma is their aim. After the 1997 handover, two unassailable fundamentalist “doctrines” seem to have appeared in Hong Kong: …

Princelings, preferences and power

Written by Kerry Brown. Do Chinese leaders have to believe anything? After all, unlike their western counterparts, they don’t have to engage in battles over ideas and approaches during an election campaign, nor are they rudely exposed to forensic intellectual examination in the way that politicians in the US, Europe or other democracies are when …

Controlling space and controlling memory

Written by Jackie Sheehan. In the first few years after the 1989 citizens’ movement, we used to try to predict when the next such outbreak would occur in China. Even then, there was little likelihood that any anniversary gathering on the Square would find the political space to develop in the way that 1989 did. …

The Tiananmen generation

Written by Niv Horesh. Historically, perhaps the saddest thing about 20th-century student movements was that, while they could seriously unnerve colonial powers or topple unpopular regimes, they did not always effectively groom a future national leadership. Such leadership seems, by and large, to grow out of debate clubs or student-union machinations, not out of street …

Democracy spring, 1989

Written by Jean-Pierre Cabestan. I arrived in Beijing on 15 May 1989, the same day as Gorbachev. Waiting for my luggage, I could see on the airport TV screens the Soviet president cum Party general secretary making his first speech to the Chinese public. I was part of a delegation of French jurists invited by …