Freedom or despotism? – Autocratic governance and laissez-faire in Imperial China

China is ... a despotic state, whose principle is fear. Perhaps in the earliest dynasties, when the empire had not so large an extent, the government might have deviated a little from this spirit; but the case is otherwise at present. (Charles De Secondat Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws) During the Manchu dynasty ... [t]he … Continue reading Freedom or despotism? – Autocratic governance and laissez-faire in Imperial China

Pro-Beijing Taiwanese politicians seek rapprochement with China

On April 29 James Soong (宋楚瑜), a Taiwanese politician and chairman of the People First Party (親民黨), told China's state-run news agency Xinhua that he supports the 1992 consensus and the one-China policy. Soong travelled to Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China to hold talks with local politicians. Pro-independence demonstration in Taipei, Taiwan "[B]oth sides … Continue reading Pro-Beijing Taiwanese politicians seek rapprochement with China

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Abducted Hong Kong bookseller has fled to Taiwan to avoid extradition to China

In 2015 Lam Wing-kei (林榮基), the founder of Hong Kong-based bookstore "Causeway Bay Books," which published salacious books critical of the Chinese Communist leadership, went missing after he travelled to mainland China. Lam was accused of trying to overthrow the Chinese Communist government by mailing illegal books to the mainland. He was one of five … Continue reading Abducted Hong Kong bookseller has fled to Taiwan to avoid extradition to China

11-year-old girl sold as bride in China

An 11-year-old girl from China's Shandong province was abducted and sold as a bride for 6,000 Renminbi. According to media reports, in 2018 a couple from the city of Weihai, in China's Shandong province, reported to the police that their 11-year-old daughter had gone missing on August 28. For months law enforcement agencies looked for … Continue reading 11-year-old girl sold as bride in China

Foxconn founder Kuo T’ai-ming says he’s running for president after sea goddess Mazu came to him in a dream

Founder and chairman of tech giant Foxconn (鴻海) Kuo T'ai-ming (郭台銘) announced on April 17 that he will run for president in Taiwan's 2020 elections, citing a dream in which Taiwan's popular sea goddess Mazu urged him to do more for the Taiwanese people. In the morning of April 17 Kuo visited the Daoist Ts'u-hui … Continue reading Foxconn founder Kuo T’ai-ming says he’s running for president after sea goddess Mazu came to him in a dream

China’s national security more important than Hong Kong’s autonomy, says director of Beijing’s liaison office

Wang Zhimin (王志民), Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and a member of the Communist Party Central Committee, welcomed the guilty verdict of 9 democracy activists and claimed that China's national security supersedes Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy. Wang made the remarks … Continue reading China’s national security more important than Hong Kong’s autonomy, says director of Beijing’s liaison office

Former Chinese Communist propagandist Ran Xiang asks for Australia’s help to save her detained husband

Ran Xiang, a former Chinese Communist Party propagandist who called herself "chairman of the wumao party", has given in interview tearfully complaining about the detention of her husband Yang Hengjun and calling on the Australian government to help them. Yang Hengjun, a writer and former Chinese official with Australian citizenship, was arrested in January upon … Continue reading Former Chinese Communist propagandist Ran Xiang asks for Australia’s help to save her detained husband

Hong Kong museum dedicated to 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown vandalized

Hong Kong's June 4 Memorial Museum, which commemorates the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, was vandalized days before its scheduled re-opening. On April 7 at around 10 a.m. workers entered the museum, which is located in Hong Kong's busy district of Mong Kok, and found that the lock was missing, chairs, cardboards, power sockets, main switches … Continue reading Hong Kong museum dedicated to 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown vandalized

Chinese university professor denounced by students for ‘opposing the Party and violating the constitution’

A Chinese university professor has been reportedly denounced by student informants for "opposing the (Chinese Communist) Party and violating the constitution" (反党违宪) amid a growing crackdown on free speech on Chinese campuses. According to media reports, Lü Jia (吕嘉), associate professor at the School of Marxism of the prestigious Tsinghua University, in China's capital Beijing, … Continue reading Chinese university professor denounced by students for ‘opposing the Party and violating the constitution’

Chinese court sentences activists who sold liquor commemorating 1989 Tiananmen crackdown to three years in prison

Two Chinese activists who in 2016 sold liquor commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown have been given suspended jail sentences. Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court found Fu Hailu (符海陆) and Zhang Juanyong (张隽勇) guilty of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble" (寻衅滋事), a catch-all phrase used by the Chinese Communist regime to crack down on activists … Continue reading Chinese court sentences activists who sold liquor commemorating 1989 Tiananmen crackdown to three years in prison