China Change, October 2, 2020

For the first time, China Change has made a brief promotional video to appeal for support from Chinese-Americans who have immigrated from mainland China . Of equal importance is to breach a topic from which this vast community has chosen to stay away, intentionally or otherwise. It’s about time. — The Editors

I am Yaxue Cao, founder and editor of Over the last seven years, China Change has specialized in reporting, translation, and interviews concerning individuals, incidents, and viewpoints related to Chinese civil society and rule of law. In these areas we have been the only English-language, original-content website.

I have lived in the United States for nearly thirty years. In some sense, the fate of my homeland has little bearing on my life in the U.S. It was by some chance encounters in 2011 and 2012 that I felt, for the first time, that the freedoms I enjoyed in the U.S. are idle assets, and I needed to put to good use.

Since the Reform and Opening up, China’s national image and the Chinese people’s living standards have undergone massive transformations, but China remains a country without rule of law, where freedom of speech and civil rights are extremely limited. In recent years the trend has only worsened.

Our work over the past years has given me a deeper understanding of China. Out of the reform-driven 1980s came the 1990s, in which society at large and all groups in it were energized. NGOs appeared, market-oriented media outlets flourished. The rights defense movement was afoot, and the internet created space for online speech. The society demanded for political reform, and lawyers fought in court for human rights and against abuses. To bring about a society more reasonable and more just, the Chinese people have been struggling and making untold sacrifices.

As an ordinary Chinese-American, to be able to take part and make my contribution, however small it may be, to change China, is a great honor.

At the beginning of the 1990s, when I arrived in the U.S. to do my graduate studies on Anglo-American literature, I was the sole Chinese in my English department. Other students from China constantly told me that I wouldn’t be able to find a job after graduation. They were not wrong. I was a reporter for some years; I wrote short stories and did translation work; but it was only after I founded China Change that I felt I had found my true vocation. Thank you.

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