Hong Kong’s liberal media are under pressure

hong kongs liberal media are under pressure

Jun 19th 2021 HONG KONG Editor’s note (June 23rd 2021): Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy tabloid, confirmed that it would publish its last issue on June 24th. SINCE CHINA imposed a national-security law on Hong Kong a year ago, restrictions on the city’s media have sharply escalated. The latest clampdown came on June 17th when police arrested Ryan Law (pictured), the chief editor of Apple Daily, an outspoken pro-democracy newspaper. Also seized were the tabloid’s publisher and three other bosses associated with it. They have been accused of violating…

China and America are borrowing each other’s weapons

china and america are borrowing each others weapons

Jun 17th 2021 HONG KONG AMERICAN AND Chinese officials often talk of expanding the array of weapons they have to confront one another. China studies its opponent’s moves and responds in kind. America is learning from its adversary, too. On June 12th the White House said that America and members of the G7 would launch a scheme to help finance infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, in poor countries. The plan, dubbed Build Back Better World (B3W), is an explicit counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a programme…

China’s climate sincerity is being put to the test

chinas climate sincerity is being put to the test

Jun 17th 2021 TO HEAR CHINA’S Communist Party tell it, the nifty thing about autocracy is that it lets rulers plan for the long term. Apologists for one-party rule hail China’s leaders as enlightened technocrats who think in centuries, while decadent Western democracies struggle to see beyond the next election cycle. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the <audio> element. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android. By the autocrats’ logic, China should excel at tackling climate change. For it faces stark long-term risks. As…

The anti-graft unit of China’s Communist Party has grown in power

the anti graft unit of chinas communist party has grown in power

Jun 12th 2021 AT MIDNIGHT ON June 1st Shi Zhaoqing, a local boss in China’s new anti-graft super-ministry, was working late on a case in the central city of Qianjiang. It was coming to a head; his team was exhausted. But before leaving the office he told the duty officers that investigators had to play by the rules, according to an admiring official account. “We must use the correct procedures to collect evidence and handle the case in a civilised manner,” he said. Listen to this story Your browser does…

China says it will be a “museum power” by 2035

china says it will be a museum power by 2035

Jun 10th 2021 CHINA HAS big plans for the year 2035, if somewhat lacking in clarity. It will “basically achieve socialist modernisation” by then, whatever that means. Its army will be modernised, too. Late in 2020 it also said it would become a cultural and sporting power (isn’t it both already?), and an “education power” to boot. Last month it declared a new goal: to become a “museum power”. It even gave some detail. Between ten and 15 of its museums, it said, would become “world-class”. Listen to this story…

Foreigners rush inside the Great Wall

foreigners rush inside the great wall

Jun 10th 2021 EARLY LAST year, as covid-19 brought China to a near-halt for several weeks, multinational corporations caught a glimpse of a different kind of globalisation: one without a dynamic Chinese economy at its heart. Panic ensued. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the <audio> element. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android. Foreign businesses confessed that they had grown too dependent on China as the easiest and best place to make and sell their wares, whether for export or in domestic markets. The…

Uyghur groups want to take China to the International Criminal Court

uyghur groups want to take china to the international criminal court

Jun 10th 2021 WHEN SALIH HUDAYAR visited Tajikistan in 2014, he remembers there being “thousands” of fellow Uyghurs in Dushanbe, the capital. Many of them came from the same city as him, Artush, in western Xinjiang. But since then the number of Uyghurs in the country has dwindled. Mr Hudayar is now an American citizen and the head of a group called the East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE), founded in Washington in 2004, claiming to represent the interests of Uyghurs in Xinjiang (or East Turkistan, as some Uyghurs call…

Hong Kongers try their best to remember Tiananmen Square

hong kongers try their best to remember tiananmen square

Jun 4th 2021 HONG KONG FOR SEVEN weeks in 1989, China was convulsed by pro-democracy demonstrations that ended with the army’s killing of hundreds, if not thousands, of protesters in Beijing on June 3rd and 4th. In Hong Kong, then a British colony and a city that had long been considered politically apathetic, people watched on in horror. More than 1m people in Hong Kong attended each of three enormous rallies held in solidarity with the protesters in mainland China. Some travelled north, smuggling resources into Tiananmen Square in Beijing,…

China will soon open a new stretch of rail across Tibet

china will soon open a new stretch of rail across tibet

Jun 3rd 2021 AS BIRTHDAY PRESENTS go, a 435km railway line that is expected to open this month in Tibet will be among the most lavish. To seekers of high-altitude thrills, it is one that will be cherished. The 37bn-yuan ($5.7bn) track extends from the region’s capital Lhasa eastward to the city of Nyingchi, which is Tibetan for “Throne of the Sun”. It is the region’s first electrified railway; its trains will be Tibet’s fastest. Officials call it a gift for the Communist Party’s 100th birthday, which will be officially…

A new children’s film about Zhou Enlai reveals a lot about China today

a new childrens film about zhou enlai reveals a lot about china today

Jun 3rd 2021 COUNTRIES HAVE to make revealing choices as they craft patriotic messages for children. To put it kindly, young minds are tiny treasure-houses that deserve to be stocked with only a nation’s most precious beliefs. To be more blunt, small children are easily distracted, so are best taught only a few important things. Listen to this story Your browser does not support the <audio> element. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS or Android. It is therefore worth studying what China’s propaganda chiefs have in store for youngsters…

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