America’s outdated view of China

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When the human rights lawyer Chen Guang­cheng escaped ­extra-legal house arrest and beatings and found his way to the U.S. Embassy last month, he became an instant hero on the Chinese Internet. How had he escaped? How could a single blind man tear such a hole in the government’s pervasive (read more…)

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Chinese Don’t Trust Beijing With Chen’s Safety: The public wants the U.S. to watch over activists, and is disappointed when Washington fails.

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The Chinese Internet calls him “China’s blind spiderman.” The web buzz about the blind human-rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who somehow escaped house arrest in Shandong province and fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing, was sky-high last week as news of his escape got out. How, people ask, did he (read more…)

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Rule of law? Not in China. Legal reform hasn’t helped activists such as Chen Guangcheng.

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The “deal” for Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng to leave China for legal study in the United States is not without pitfalls, but other outcomes could be worse. Even if Chinese authorities honor the promises apparently made to U.S. officials to let him travel, they have conceded little on human rights.

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New Complications In U.S.-China Relations

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Diane and guests explore political intrigue in China, in light of ongoing internal power struggles and the recent escape of a dissident. We take a look at new complications in U.S. –China relations ahead of high-level talks in Beijing.

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On Fang Lizhi (1936–2012)

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Fang Lizhi, a distinguished professor of astrophysics, luminary in the struggle for human rights in contemporary China, and frequent contributor to The New York Review, died suddenly on the morning of April 6. At age seventy-six he had not yet retired, and was preparing to leave home to teach a (read more…)

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Vaclav Havel, the Conscience of Humanity

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News of the passing on December 18, 2011, of Vaclav Havel, the distinguished playwright and moving force behind “Charter 77,” brought shock and pain to Chinese citizens who three years earlier had signed Charter 08, a manifesto calling for democracy and human rights.

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Can US show same ‘moral leadership’ as Liu Xiaobo?

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Liu Xiaobo’s 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was for the first time in history awarded to a Chinese living inside China, or more precisely, in a jail cell in the northeastern province of Jilin. One year later, the writer and celebrated dissident remains in prison without regular family visits.

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Why We Need More Pressure on the Chinese Government, Not Less

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When human rights organizations press international actors to exert greater pressure on the Chinese government, we are often told that quiet diplomacy might be better. After all, the Chinese government has a thin skin, and pushing topics so publicly might result in the opposite of the intended effect.

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Standing Up for Democracy: Human Rights Defenders and China

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After the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts, China is now one of the few remaining countries ruled by dictatorship or, in this case, by a single party that has monopolized power for more than 60 years. Many Chinese people draw inspiration and encouragement from the Arab Spring.

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The Widening Net

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In China, the most extensive crackdown against pro-democracy and human rights activists in more than a decade continues with no end in sight.

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In China, Activists Watch and Cheer

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Since late December, Chinese pro-democracy and human-rights activists have watched, cheered and agonized over the events unfolding in the Arab world. There has been a surge of online traffic, with Chinese activists sharing links to blog posts, photos and YouTube videos in order to show solidarity with protesters in the (read more…)

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Women’s birthright

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On International Women’s Day, Wang Songlian calls for an end to the abuses of reproductive health rights under China’s one-child policy

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