Citizens and Pollution in China: Between Citizen-science, Rational Resistance and “Resigned Activism”

Written by Anna Lora-Wainwright. China’s pollution—whether it is Beijing’s airpocalypse, “cancer villages”, controversial PX plants, recent explosions in Tianjin or a plethora of other accidents and routine contamination—rarely avoids public scrutiny. The Environmental Justice Atlas, with which I am involved in covering Chinese cases, has made considerable headway in mapping instances of environmental injustice globally. …

Youth Will be Served

Written by Paul R. Katz. The 2016 Taiwan elections may bear witness to a story bigger than DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s impending victory, and perhaps the DPP’s winning control over the Legislative Yuan (which would mark the first time since 1949 a non-KMT party will have taken charge of Taiwan’s lawmaking process). KMT candidate …

Creating a civil justice system with Chinese characteristics

Written by Kristie Thomas. Recent amendments to China’s civil procedure law (CPL) have highlighted key tensions in the wider legal system. Detailed analysis of these changes has revealed questions including those related to the continuing role of informal dispute resolution such as mediation; the balance between justice and efficiency; and the formal role of the …

China’s hukou urbanisation

Written by Monika Chansoria. The rising urban-rural divide has become a serious socio-political challenge for the Chinese government. In an attempt to confront this mounting problem, the Chinese leadership has focused on an “urbanisation campaign” to boosting domestic demand whilst also creating jobs. With the challenge of having to cater for nearly 260 million migrant …

China’s New Urbanisation Plan

Written by Zhou Zhihua. In recent decades, in tandem with socio-economic development, urbanisation at the global level has increased from 29% in 1950 to 52% in 2010. China similarly experienced dramatic urbanisation growth, from 18% in 1978 to 54% in 2013. However, this massive urbanisation wave has been criticized for its over-reliance on physical construction …

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 …

Prolonged Calm: The Propaganda of Positive Thinking

Written by David Volodzko. In the Autumn of 1934 the Red Army began its Long March retreat to escape the grip of the Kuomintang. The bedraggled survivors arrived a year later in the town of Yan’an where they recouped under the command of Mao Zedong. By the time they took power and established the PRC …

The Future of Civil Society under Xi Jinping

Written by Jessica C. Teets. When the film Under the Dome (穹顶之下), a documentary concerning air pollution, was released online on 28 February 2015, it was viewed 150 million times over a few days.  Although it illustrated the Chinese government&#

Challenges of Taming Nationalism in Northeast Asia

Written by Gi-Wook Shin. In a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in May 2013, South Korean President Park Geun-hye contended, “Asia suffers from what I call ‘the Asian paradox,’ the disconnect between growing economic interdependence on the one hand, and backward political, security cooperation on the other.” This is, she noted, …

Crass electoral politics and the role of a militant civil society

Written by J. Michael Cole. Merely 48 hours to go before Taiwanese across the nation cast their votes in the nine-in-one local elections. With regulations barring the release of polling data ten days prior to the election, one can only now speculate about how each party, along with independent candidates, will fare on Nov. 29. What …