Hong Kong bookstores feel pressure of security law
Political books about Hong Kong’s democratic movement, gossip about Chinese leaders, and rumors about politics on the Chinese mainland were once readily available at newsstands and convenience stores across the city. But many books considered to be "sensitive" have disappeared from the shelves after Beijing imposed a national security law for Hong Kong in July 2020. The change is a worry for many in Hong Kong, including an independent bookstore owner who fears the new law could eventually have a serious impact on his business
China’s aggressive diplomacy may be backfiring
China’s diplomats are fighting an uphill battle to fend off intensifying criticism from Beijing’s critics of the country’s initial mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, some of the country’s most seasoned ambassadors have found themselves engaged in a war of words with their host countries.  But rather than adopting the traditional approach of managing tensions through diplomatic protocols, many of them have risen to the call of Chinese President Xi Jinping and displayed their “fighting spirit” – often at the expense of China’s global image, pundits say. Last week alone, at least seven Chinese ambassadors – to France, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and the Afri
Taiwanese voters share election hopes
In the days before Taiwan voters go to the polls on January 11, 2020, to select their next president, the South China Morning Post interviewed people on the self-ruled island to learn more about what they hope for and expect from their next political leaders.
Can China learn the lessons of a failed dynasty?
Are we finally seeing Pax Sinica 2.0, or is China engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy that will lead to its doom (again)? Back in 2013, I wrote that China proffered a valid voice that would help maintain and shape the international order in its current form.  My 2015 book China, State Sovereignty and International Legal Order argued that China’s assertions and exercise of sovereignty should not be taken automatically as signs of aggression, or acts beyond the remit of international law, that would threaten world peace.  In turn, international law would moderate and influence China’s state behavior, both within its territory and in its relations with other states. Since then, President Xi
British girl finds note from ‘Chinese prisoner’
A six-year-old British girl from south London in the UK found a Christmas card with a message allegedly from foreign prisoners in China. The sender of the message claimed that prisoners were being forced to work against their will in the Shanghai Qingpu prison. The holiday card, which is among those sold to raise money for charity, was bought from British supermarket chain Tesco. The retailer said it has halted production at a Chinese factory after the discovery and launched an investigation into Zheijiang Yunguang Printing, one of its suppliers located about 60 miles from the prison named in the message.
US lawmakers not swayed by China's Xinjiang policy defense
As Beijing steps up its defense of its mass internment measures targeting Muslims in China’s far west, one key target of its messaging campaign remains decidedly unconvinced: the US Congress. On Monday, representatives of the regional government in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region said that all “trainees” in what China calls vocational training centers have “graduated” and found stable employment. Foreign governments and international human rights watchdogs remain skeptical of China’s efforts to ward off accusations of a campaign to forcibly bring ethnic minority groups in the region into line. And Uygurs living overseas point to silence from their relatives in Xinjiang as proof they a
Beijing is struggling to recruit people to run Xinjiang
China’s Xinjiang autonomous region has attracted international attention for all the wrong reasons – police crackdowns and reports that local ethnic Uygur people are being held in internment camps.  What hasn’t gained much attention is the difficulty Beijing has drafting staff to execute its policies in the far northwest area. The measures targeting Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have triggered “widespread discontent among Han Chinese officials and citizens,” a source close to the central government told the South China Morning Post.  The source said Chinese President Xi Jinping was aware of the problem because he had been briefed by the country’s chief Xinjiang policy coordinator, Wan
‘I had to do something’: The overseas protesters who join Hong Kong’s demonstrations
Months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong have made headlines around the world. While images and stories have struck a chord with people overseas, some have been inspired to fly thousands of miles to Hong Kong to take part in demonstrations.  The South China Morning Post met two Americans who said they felt compelled to come to the city to participate in the movement as US lawmakers considered – and later passed – legislation aimed at ensuring the “sufficient autonomy” of Hong Kong from Beijing.
Ex-UK consulate worker Simon Cheng ‘tortured’ in China
Simon Cheng, a former trade officer at the British consulate in Hong Kong, said that he was tortured during his 15-day detention in Shenzhen, China. According to Cheng, he was interrogated for days, shackled, blindfolded, beaten and locked up alone. He said he was pressed for information about the pro-democracy protests and whether the UK has a hand in the Hong Kong’s civil unrest.
Hong Kong democracy bill clears hurdle as city fights ‘for their lives’
The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that could put diplomatic and economic pressure on the Hong Kong and Beijing governments over what American lawmakers said were human rights abuses.  While not yet law, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act could alter the relationships between Washington, Beijing and Hong Kong. What does the act do? The bill’s sponsor, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, said it would hold accountable officials for Hong Kong’s “eroding autonomy and human rights violations.” In practice, the act calls for sanctions against anyone deemed to have violated freedoms guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law, a constitutional document that underpins the city’s special statu