Evil’s First Soft Touches: Uyghur “Re-Education” in China

ANGELA LU details China’s massive internment of Uyghurs in “re-education camps,” as well as the international response and China’s subsequent tactical revisions. Since April 2017, as many as 1 million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim ethnic minority groups have been indefinitely detained in an ever-expanding secretive network of extrajudicial re-education camps across Xinjiang province. China’s rulers have long held a deep suspicion of Xinjiang’s ethnic … Continue reading Evil’s First Soft Touches: Uyghur “Re-Education” in China

Blockchain: Rising Tide or Binding Fetters for the Next China?

SHARON LI analyzes the Chinese government’s extensive use and potential abuse of blockchain technology in the context of Beijing’s opposition towards cryptocurrency. As the mayhem around bitcoin has begun to die down in the United States, the record-keeping technology behind it—blockchain—still surges forward. In China, this is no exception. The most basic definition of blockchain calls it a “distributed, decentralized, public ledger”; in other words, … Continue reading Blockchain: Rising Tide or Binding Fetters for the Next China?

Shadow of Cultural Revolution: Review of《故园的背影》

ZHEYAN NI reviews the gripping generational memoir《故园的背影》(Retreating Figures in the Garden of the Past) published in 2018. Guyuan de Beiying 《故园的背影》(Retreating Figures in the Garden of the Past) consists of a series of memoirs written by Chinese students enrolled at Hunan Normal University in the early 1980s who later moved abroad to study and work in the United States. These stories vividly portray the authors’ memories … Continue reading Shadow of Cultural Revolution: Review of《故园的背影》

Eye Spy: Chinese Surveillance and the Dawn of Digital Authoritarianism

SHARON LI does a deep dive into China’s surveillance development and its domestic and global implications. As China races towards establishing itself as the world’s leading technology superpower, new developments in advanced technology have seen large-scale integration on the state level, particularly within the expanding presence of the country’s surveillance state. In previous decades, surveillance has largely been limited to vast sets of video footage … Continue reading Eye Spy: Chinese Surveillance and the Dawn of Digital Authoritarianism

No IP Theft, No Problem: China’s Cutting-Edge Grid Technology

JEFFREY FU chronicles China’s grid technology development in response to doubts about China’s capacity for government-driven domestic innovation. U.S. President Donald Trump frequently alleges that China engages in state-sponsored intellectual property theft. To strengthen his accusations, he draws on the age-old narrative that China lacks the capacity for domestic innovation due to a combination of ineffective government policy and a culture of “rule-bound rote learners.” … Continue reading No IP Theft, No Problem: China’s Cutting-Edge Grid Technology

China’s Gamble of the Century: Five Years into the Belt and Road Initiative

QI HANG CHEN analyzes the Belt and Road Initiative five years after its announcement to gauge the early economic, environmental, and strategic returns. Introduction The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR), is China’s most ambitious infrastructure development project. It is also the largest overseas investment plan by any single country, dwarfing the Marshall Plan in comparison. It will have … Continue reading China’s Gamble of the Century: Five Years into the Belt and Road Initiative

Destroyers and Islands: The South China Sea and China’s New Strategy Abroad

JEFFREY FU revisits the South China Sea dispute to explore how the interplay of international law, economic power, and territorial ambition may be transforming China’s strategy. On September 30, 2018, a Chinese Luyang-class destroyer cut across the bow of an American destroyer, the USS Decatur, coming within 45 yards of collision before the Decatur maneuvered to avoid catastrophe. Such brazen disregard for maritime safety and American … Continue reading Destroyers and Islands: The South China Sea and China’s New Strategy Abroad

Enlightened Despot? Hybrid Legacy of Mao and Deng

ZHEYAN NI delves into Xi Jinping’s past to explain the present. In 1994, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s closest political aide and political strategist Wang Huning wrote in his diary, “Deng Xiaoping is practical and flexible while Mao Zedong is ambitious and idealistic.” Xi Jinping is trying to become both: a practical idealist leader of China. The highest figure of power in China always has a dual … Continue reading Enlightened Despot? Hybrid Legacy of Mao and Deng

The Chinese Investment Paradox

ALEX HERKERT contrasts the Chinese government’s control of overseas investment in the entertainment sector and the technology sector. Over the past decades, the inception and direction of Chinese outbound investment has become a topic of great significance with global ramifications. Total Chinese investment in the U.S. has grown from less than $2.5 billion between 1978 and 1999 to more than $178 billion from 2005 to the … Continue reading The Chinese Investment Paradox

All the World’s Stage

JASMINE GAN introduces the November 2018 International Theme, “Through the Looking Glass: China’s International Image.”  The English name “China” is thought to come from the Sanskrit word चीन cina, deriving from the transliteration of the Chinese 秦 Qin (pronounced “Chin”): the first dynasty of imperial China dating around 200 BC. Significantly, the Qin dynasty was the first to conquer the seven warring states to form … Continue reading All the World’s Stage