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The Diplomat is a current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific, with news and analysis on politics, security, business, technology and life across the region.

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The Economist News Feed China

China
The Economist online
  • China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions

    CHINA’S urbanisation is a marvel. The population of its cities has quintupled over the past 40 years, reaching 813m. By 2030 roughly one in five of the world’s city-dwellers will be Chinese. But this mushrooming is not without its flaws. Rules restricting migrants’ access to public services mean that some 250m people living in cities are second-class citizens (see chart), who could in theory be sent back to their home districts. That, in turn, has crimped the growth of China’s cities, which would otherwise be even bigger.

    Restraining pell-mell urbanisation may sound like a good thing, but it worries the government’s...Continue reading

  • A lengthy jail term sends a message to Hong Kong’s rebellious youth

    A philosopher given time to think

    IN 1967 Mao’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution washed into Hong Kong, stirring anti-colonial riots and bombings. The territory’s British rulers decided to restore order by imposing tougher legislation aimed at preventing crowds from assembling. A new Public Order Ordinance required permission for a public gathering of three or more people. If an illegal assembly resulted in a breach of the peace, each participant could be convicted of rioting.

    That sweeping law has been used by the post-colonial government to deter further outbreaks of unrest such as occurred in 2014 when pro-democracy protesters occupied busy streets for weeks, and in 2016 when rioting broke out following officials’ efforts to clear away food stalls selling traditional snacks (the violence was joined by young people who were enraged by the deployment of large numbers of police). On June 11th a well-known activist, Edward Leung, was jailed under the Public Order...Continue reading

  • China is spending billions on its foreign-language media

    ON THE 26th floor of an iconic glass skyscraper, nicknamed the “Trousers”, in Beijing’s main business district, half a dozen casually dressed 20-somethings gather in a rainbow-coloured lounge, chatting away on ergonomic chairs. The office has the vibe of a hip tech startup. In fact, it is the headquarters of the country’s foreign-language television service, which rebranded itself in 2016 as China Global Television Network (CGTN). The young staff are Chinese who have studied abroad and are proficient in one of the network’s five languages—English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. CGTN is at the forefront of China’s increasingly vigorous and lavishly funded efforts to spread its message abroad. Xi Jinping, the president, has told the station to “tell China stories well”.

    CGTN—a consolidation of the foreign-language operations of CCTV, the state broadcaster—is secretive about its budget but open about its ambitions to compete with global broadcasters such as CNN and the BBC. In...Continue reading

  • Will-writing is becoming more popular in China

    IN THE past few decades China’s rapid economic growth has enabled many of its people to amass fortunes, big and small. The country is home to nearly 400 billionaires, second only to America. But with the population now ageing, a growing proportion of China’s citizens are grappling with a related problem: what should be done with this dosh after they die?

    China has no tradition of writing wills. Scholars have found only a smattering of examples of ones made during the country’s 2,000 years of dynastic rule. After the Communists seized power in 1949, wills became redundant. The wealthy fled or had their assets confiscated. Under Mao, private property was banned. It was only in the 1980s that the Communist Party gave its approval for people to get rich.

    Will-writing is now coming into vogue. Last year notary offices in Guangzhou, a southern city, handled over 24,000 wills, up 20% from 2016. The numbers have been rising at a similar rate in Shanghai. According to the Ministry of Justice...Continue reading

  • Taboos make it hard to discuss mortality in China

    WHEN Li Songtang was 17, officials overseeing Mao’s chaotic Cultural Revolution sent him from Beijing to Inner Mongolia, a northern province where he became a “barefoot doctor”—a medical worker with rudimentary training. His patients included an academic whom the government had expelled in disgrace from the capital, and who had become terminally ill. The patient grew sicker and increasingly troubled by his political black mark. Unable to console him, Mr Li eventually lied that he had persuaded authorities to wipe the slate clean. The patient grabbed his arm with relief and gratitude, recalls Mr Li. “I can still feel it today.”

    Mr Li’s experience of caring for the dying man eventually resulted in the hospice he runs in a three-storey building in Beijing’s outskirts. The facility is home to about 300 people, most of them elderly and with late-stage cancer (a patient there is pictured with a nurse). On a weekend the bright corridors are busy with volunteers who have come to chat with...Continue reading

Human Rights First News Feed

Blogs
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Amnesty

Amnesty Blogs
A list of the latest entries from Amnesty Blogs
  • Kenya on the road to justice?
    For most of us (unless you're David Cameron, Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown), the last UK general election was nothing short of a soap-operatic, emotion-fuelled dramatic spectacle. Never before had I overheard so many people on the number 149 bus in north London chattering about a Hung Parliament. Yes, we may have been in the midst of some sort of constitutional crisis at that point, but we knew th
  • On the eve of the Iran's pariamentary elections silcencing journalists is on top of menue!
    In recent weeks, detention of journalists has increased to an alarming scale. Customaririly, the Islamic regime would open up the atmosphere, leaving windows open for poeple to express themselves creating a false image of freedom of expression in order to attract more voters to the ballot boxes. Shortly after every election these windows would shut down and suppression and censorship would roam
  • USA: Children, Life Without Parole, and the Case of Christi Cheramie
    In the USA children can be sentenced to life without parole, despite an almost universal legal and moral consensus that this sentence should never be imposed on someone under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which has been ratified by all states except the USA and Somalia) provides in Article 37 that: ‘States Pa
  • News is the news
    It's been quite a year for navel gazing in the British press. Leveson is on the rolling news, on the morning news, the evening news, the front page, pages 2- 36 and all over the comment section. This is news-news, hacks on hacks, editors on editors, the judgement of the judgemental. It's been an interesting year to be in the media. The invisible scribes have learnt that they are mortal, fa
  • “Spreading corruption on earth” can only mean one thing in Iran….
    Can a judge really say with a straight face that a person has been charged with ‘spreading corruption on earth'? I mean, really? Apparently so, it would seem. In Iran at least. And anyone in Iran who is unfortunate enough to have this heavy charge levelled against him finds himself faced with a death sentence in Iran. Such is the case for Saeed Malekpour. Amnesty has campaigned fo
  • Chinese Democracy Activist Li Tie Jailed for Ten Years for “Subversion”
    Yet Another Heavy Sentence as Government Escalates Crackdown on Dissent (Chinese Human Rights Defenders, January 18, 2012) – Today, on the heels of recent harsh sentences of democracy and human rights activists, Chinese authorities sent another dissident, Li Tie (李铁), to prison for 10 years for “subversion of state power.” Li's sentence, issued
  • 'It's all about the use of torture ...'
    … as zingy catchphrases go, it's … er, different. But this is how Kate Allen opened her Channel 4 News interview last night talking about the Abu Qatada case (which I blogged on yesterday). The controversy over the presence in the UK of Abu Qatada is, in the end, an argument about how seriously you take the international ban on torture (including a ban on sending people somewhere where the

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