China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

Confucius doesn’t live here anymore

Written by Sam Crane. In today’s China, the philosopher Confucius is back. To mark his 2,565th birthday this September, the nation’s President, Xi Jinping, paid homage to the sage at an international conference convened for the occasion. “Confucianism,” Xi said, is key to “understanding the national characteristics of the Chinese as well as the historical roots …

Queer Activism in Contemporary Beijing

Written by William F. Schroeder. Having just been on a discussion panel called “Light Documentaries and Heavy Activism” (“轻纪录片与重行动主义”) at the 7th Beijing Queer Film Festival, I have questions of social movements, organization, and politics on my mind. Such questions take on a special significance as I watch protest actions in Hong Kong unfold from my …

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 …

Tiananmen, democracy and the CCP

Written by Edward Friedman. Leninist party dictatorships from 1989-1991 democratized in East and Central Europe as well as in Mongolia in Asia. The Soviet Union imploded in 1991. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union lost power. For the Chinese Communist Party, these events, as well as the PRC’s rise toward becoming a superpower and …

China’s porous (western) borders

Written by Alessandro Rippa. Over the last few weeks a number of events have drawn attention, once again, to the issue of illegal border crossing out of the People’s Republic of China. Some of these events were tragic, like the deadly clash between a group of Uyghurs and Vietnamese border guards, while others rather bizarre, like the …

Increasing Respect for Human Rights in China’s Criminal Justice System

Written by Tim Millar. On 1 January 2013 China’s New Criminal Procedure Law (New CPL) came into force. This major reform was years in the making; indeed discussions leading to it began as soon as the law was last revised in 1997. The New CPL introduced many positive changes to China’s criminal justice system. These include; …

Supporting inclusive theatre in China – Act 1

Written by Dave Carey. My journey to China began three years ago when on behalf of Chickenshed I attended a conference on EU-China Civil Society Dialogue on the Art of Social Entrepreneurship in Ningbo.[1] This conference bought together European and Chinese NGO’s who were working within the civil society. Chickenshed is an organisation that uses theatre …

Green private banks in communist China?

Written by Pieter Jansen. The new Chinese leaders have launched a plan this year for a pilot program to allow new banks to be established by private-sector companies. If the government is considering a privatization and accompanying deregulation of the banking sector, civil society organizations might have to play a bigger part in monitoring and assessing …