Migrant children in China: Identity and Stigma

Written by Mingchao Zhou. Established in the 1950s, the hukou system still controls and regulates the settlement of rural migrants in cities. Children of people who have migrated to cities are targeted by specific school policies and subject to categorization and segregation in specific schools. In order to understand how this school segregation is implemented …

Same-sex marriage and the HIV Epidemic in China

Written by Stephen Pan. Shortly after the United States Supreme Court decision to legalise same-sex marriage in all fifty states, Chinese netizens began renewing calls for similar privileges in the People’s Republic of China, where marriage has only been permitted between persons of the opposite sex. Though legalized same-sex marriage in China appears unlikely in …

Identities of Migrant worker: From Nongmin Gong (农民工) to Xin Shimin (新市民)

Written by Wei Wang. People’s identity is very much reflected on and constructed by how they are named by others. Internal migrant workers in China have experienced huge differences in terms of how they have been perceived and named during the last thirty years. During this time, economic development and rapid urbanisation in China has …

Exhibiting Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement: An end or a beginning?

Written by Denise Y. Ho.  May 17th in Hong Kong marked the opening of a two-week ‘Umbrella Festival’, named after the Umbrella Movement, a pro-democracy sit-in protest that lasted from September to December 2014. The Umbrella Movement was one of the largest political demonstrations the city — once a British colony, now a Chinese “special administrative …

Unrest in the Southwest: The fight to join the high-speed rail network

Written by Adam Cathcart and Li Wankun. Due to the outbreak of social disobedience and subsequent violent confrontation with police, the spotlight has shone this week on Linshui, a small city in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Since 16 May, tens of thousands of residents from Linshui have gathered to demand that a proposed high-speed railway linking Dazhou and …

Why a village land protest spells trouble for China’s government

Written by Samantha Hoffman and Jonathan Sullivan. When Hong Kong students launched their “Umbrella Revolution” in 2014, the comforting narrative of youngsters striving for democracy combined with the aesthetic of tents beneath the skyscrapers captivated the world’s media. The scene in gritty Tianmu, a village outside the northern industrial city of Tianjin, couldn’t be more …

How the state contains labour movements in China

Written by Chen Feng. In the past two decades, China has witnessed a recurring wave of labour protests, as the country’s economy grows in a remarkable pace. From a historical perspective, labour turbulence in China appears to be nothing unusual; it is an inevitable response to capitalist industrialization that is inherently conflict ridden. As Marx …

Why do individual Chinese participate in environmental governance?

Written by Lei Xie. China, like many parts of the world, has seen intensifying environmental degradation put traditional state-led governance under increasing strain, even as it is prompting new forms of governance that cross over state and non-state boundaries. The recent documentary film directed by Chai Jing represents an eye-catching challenge from an individual citizen. …

Social Media Activism: All the Rage in China

Written by Zixue Tai. Social media activism has taken root in China in recent years. In its numerous manifestations, it has has redefined the contours of China’s grassroots activism and collective action. Through its invasive presence in China’s cyber world, the formula usually works as follows: a certain individual with an axe to grind vents …

Whither China’s New Worker Militancy?

Written by Manfred Elfstrom. Chinese labour unrest is rising dramatically. Annual mediated, arbitrated and litigated disputes increased more than ten-fold between the mid-1990s and the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently found that employment-related grievances accounted for the largest number of “mass incidents” involving 1,000 …