Politics

Politics

The world’s second-biggest party
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 91.9 million: How many people that were members of the Chinese Communist Party at the end of 2019. The ruling party of China, also known as CCP, has continued to grow 99 years after its founding in 1921, adding 1.3 million people to its ranks last year. Only India’s 180-million-strong Bharatiya Janata Party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, has more members. Today, about one in 15 people in China are CCP members, and they come from all walks of life. They can be factory workers, farmers, entrepreneurs and elite politicians. Notable party members include Jack Ma
Trump is making life really difficult for Chinese students in US
When US President Donald Trump suspended foreign work visa programs through the end of the year, he rattled a wide swathe of the Chinese community in America, with many regarding the move as a harbinger of more drastic measures to come. Trump’s executive order last month doesn’t affect people currently living in the United States – but those with visas worry they will one day be deprived of their legal status. And Chinese students in the country – nearly 370,000 – face new uncertainty about their academics and future employment. They were right to worry. A new measure announced by the US government on Monday – potentially expelling international students if their schools, which are trying to
‘Greatest long-term threat’: FBI director puts full-court press on Beijing
China is seeking to become the world’s only superpower by usurping the United States with a government-directed “campaign of theft and malign influence,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a wide-ranging attack on Beijing’s behavior on the world stage delivered at the conservative think tank Hudson Institute, Wray said that the counter-intelligence and economic espionage threat from China represented the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality.” China’s “generational fight” to usurp the US was playing out in fields ranging from local politics to industries including aviation, agriculture, robotics and healt
Pick a side: Hong Kong national security law poses dilemma for foreign firms
Foreign companies operating in Hong Kong are facing a delicate decision as they digest the details of the city’s controversial new national security law: abide by the rules or support US sanctions against China for imposing the legislation. Company insiders and diplomatic sources said it was too early to assess the impact of the law on business in the financial hub. But its vague language and broad provisions have stoked fears and may result in “huge insecurity” for foreign firms – particularly a clause stating any person or organization that imposes sanctions could be punished. They said the legislation could be a wake-up call for businesses to re-evaluate their engagement with China, and i
Did China miscalculate the rise of India?
While China’s attention was fixed on a new Cold War with the United States, tensions on its troubled Himalayan border with India erupted last month in the deadliest clash in over 50 years. The fatal skirmish rubbed salt into an old wound that has refused to heal since the 1962 border war, and raised questions about China’s strategic calculations about the rise of India. It also prompted fears about armed conflicts, and worries that the nuclear powers may find themselves in a deadly manifestation of the Thucydides Trap. The much-debated concept, which was coined by Harvard professor Graham Allison in reference to the possibility of military confrontations when a rising power threatens a domin
Global reach of Hong Kong security law ‘extraordinary and chilling’
The national security law that Beijing has imposed on Hong Kong has raised concerns among legal experts that it could apply everywhere. The controversial legislation came into force late on the night of June 30, after it was unanimously passed by Beijing’s top legislative body and signed into law by President Xi Jinping. The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security, with a maximum penalty of life in prison. Legal experts said Article 38 of the law, which covers even offenses by people outside the city who are not Hong Kong residents, creates a “chilling” overreach.  They said the coverage goes furth
The passport that allows 3 million Hongkongers to move to the UK
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. The British government is offering a path to UK citizenship to holders of a colonial-era passport in Hong Kong, after Beijing enacted a sweeping national security law in the city.  The national security law, which comes with harsh punishments for what are deemed to be secessionist speech and acts, has led to widespread fear and prompted some to look for a way out of Hong Kong.  Some Hongkongers born in the British colonial era are now counting on a special passport, the British National (Overseas), to emigrate.  What is a BN(O) passport? The BN(O) documen
Thousands protest China’s security law for Hong Kong
Thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Wednesday to protest a sweeping new security law that critics said could undermine the city’s political and legal autonomy.  Beijing imposed the law on Hong Kong on Tuesday night, which gives the Chinese authorities expansive powers to crack down on actions deemed as endangering national security.  Opposition politicians fear Beijing would use it as a tool to muzzle dissent in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago under a “one country, two systems” framework that gives it a wide range of civil liberties unavailable elsewhere in China. In the first test of the law, the Hong Kong police force said it arrested a man f
Washington’s mood darkens as China tightens its grip on Hong Kong
Washington expressed strong displeasure on Tuesday over the passage of the Hong Kong national security law as US lawmakers debated what leverage they have to effectively apply pressure on Beijing. “The United States will not stand idly by while China swallows Hong Kong into its authoritarian maw,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States will continue to stand with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and respond to Beijing’s attacks on freedoms of speech, the press, and assembly, as well as the rule of law.” China’s top legislative body on Tuesday enacted the security law before its provisions had been seen by the Hong Kong government or the public. Crimi
Inkstone Explains: India and China’s deadliest border clash in decades
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. 14,000 feet above sea level, a Himalayan border clash between the Chinese and Indian militaries using only sticks and rocks left 20 Indian soldiers dead and 76 injured in June 2020, Indian officials said. Beijing has not detailed the casualties suffered by the Chinese side. It was the most violent clash between the two countries in decades, fueling nationalist anger in both India and China. Both governments have said they want to cool tensions.  The conflict has its roots in a century-old border dispute between the two nuclear powers, which turned bloody