China Has Thousands of Navalnys, Hidden From the Public

After watching “Navalny,” the documentary about the Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, a Chinese businesswoman messaged me, “Ren Zhiqiang is China’s Navalny.” She was talking about the retired real estate tycoon who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for criticizing China’s leader, Xi Jinping. After Mr. Navalny’s tragic death this month, a young dissident living in Berlin posted on X, “Teacher Li is closest to the Chinese version of Navalny.” He was referring to the rebel influencer known as Teacher Li, who used social media to share information…

Émigrés Are Creating an Alternative China, One Bookstore at a Time

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in central Tokyo, 50 or so Chinese people packed into a gray, nondescript office that doubles as a bookstore. They came for a seminar about Qiu Jin, a Chinese feminist poet and revolutionary who was beheaded more than a century ago for conspiring to overthrow the Qing dynasty. Like them, Ms. Qiu had lived as an immigrant in Japan. The lecture’s title, “Rebuilding China in Tokyo,” said as much about the aspirations of the people in the room as it did about Ms. Qiu’s life.…

Shih Ming-teh, Defiant Activist for a Democratic Taiwan, Dies at 83

Shih Ming-teh, a lifelong campaigner for democracy in Taiwan who spent over two decades in prison for his cause and later started a protest movement against a president from his former party, died on Jan. 15, his 83rd birthday, in Taipei, the island’s capital. The cause was complications of an operation to remove a liver tumor, said his wife, Chia-chiun Chen Shih. Mr. Shih helped lead a pro-democracy protest in 1979 that was brutally broken up by the police and that is now viewed as a turning point in Taiwan’s…

Taiwan’s Democracy Draws Envy and Tears for Visiting Chinese

At the Taipei train station, a Chinese human rights activist named Cuicui watched with envy as six young Taiwanese politicians campaigned for the city’s legislative seats. A decade ago, they had been involved in parallel democratic protest movements — she in China, and the politicians on the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait. “We came of age as activists around the same time. Now they’re running as legislators while my peers and I are in exile,” said Cuicui, who fled China for Southeast Asia last year over security concerns. Cuicui…

Hong Kong Activist Flees to Britain, Citing Police Pressure

A political activist in Hong Kong previously imprisoned under its sweeping national security law said he had fled to Britain and would apply for asylum there, becoming the second high-profile dissident this month to announce going into exile from the territory. The activist, Tony Chung, revealed on Thursday that he had arrived in Britain, and, in several social media posts, said that he had decided to leave Hong Kong after enduring oppressive restrictions, pressure to act as informant and severe stress after his release from prison in June. Mr. Chung,…

Jiang Ping, the ‘Conscience of China’s Legal World,’ Dies at 92

Jiang Ping, a legal scholar who helped lay the foundation for China’s civil code, and whose experiences with political persecution shaped his relentless advocacy for individual rights in the face of state power, died on Dec. 19 in Beijing. He was 92. His death, in a hospital, was confirmed by the China University of Political Science and Law, where he had served as president and was a longtime professor. Often called “the conscience of China’s legal world,” Mr. Jiang established himself in the 1980s as a highly regarded teacher and…

Agnes Chow, a Hong Kong Activist, Not Likely to Return from Canada

Agnes Chow, a prominent pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong who was arrested as part of a sweeping crackdown, said that she has fled to Canada and planned to skip bail, in a bold challenge to the authorities. Ms. Chow had been arrested in 2020, along with several other dissidents, including the newspaper mogul Jimmy Lai, after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong to curb dissent. The authorities were investigating Ms. Chow on suspicion of collusion with external elements, a vaguely defined political crime that carries a maximum…

China to Its People: Spies Are Everywhere, Help Us Catch Them

Beijing sees forces bent on weakening it everywhere: embedded in multinational companies, infiltrating social media, circling naïve students. And it wants its people to see them, too. Chinese universities require faculty to take courses on protecting state secrets, even in departments like veterinary medicine. A kindergarten in the eastern city of Tianjin organized a meeting to teach staffers how to “understand and use” China’s anti-espionage law. China’s Ministry of State Security, a usually covert department that oversees the secret police and intelligence services, has even opened its first social media…

How a U.S. Tech Mogul Used Nonprofits to Sow Chinese Propaganda

The protest in London’s bustling Chinatown brought together a variety of activist groups to oppose a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. So it was peculiar when a street brawl broke out among mostly ethnic Chinese demonstrators. Witnesses said the fight, in November 2021, started when men aligned with the event’s organizers, including a group called No Cold War, attacked activists supporting the democracy movement in Hong Kong. On the surface, No Cold War is a loose collective run mostly by American and British activists who say the West’s rhetoric against…

Yan Mingfu, Who Tried to Defuse the Tiananmen Powder Keg, Dies at 91

Yan Mingfu, the son of a Chinese Communist Party spy who became Mao Zedong’s interpreter and a negotiator who sought to defuse the standoff between the party and student protesters occupying Tiananmen Square in 1989, died on Monday in Beijing. He was 91. His daughter, Yan Lan, confirmed the death in a statement in the Chinese magazine Caixin. She did not specify a cause, but Mr. Yan had endured a succession of illnesses in old age. “Dad passed away peacefully, putting a full stop on a life filled with tumult…