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  • A Great Shift Unseen Over the Last Forty Years

    Xiang Songzuo, December 28, 2018 On Dec. 16, Prof. Xiang Songzuo (向松祚) of Renmin University School of Finance and former chief economist of China Agriculture Bank, gave a 25-minute speech during a CEO class at Renmin Business School that was apparently applauded by the audience but immediately censored over the Chinese internet. Singling out 2018 as the year when China comes to a large shift unprecedented over the past 40 years, the speech can be seen as a landscape survey of Chinese economy, and obliquely, also of politics. Just as Tsinghua law professor Xu Zhangrun’s (许章润) broadside “Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes”, which was superbly translated and widely talked about among China watchers, Prof. Xiang’s speech is another rare burst of Chinese intellectuals’ discontent with the […]


  • China’s Official GDP Growth Rate Does Not Agree With Reality

    Xiang Songzuo, October 23, 2019 Xiang Songzuo (向松祚) is an economist, and a professor of the School of Finance and Finance of Renmin University of China. His speech in December 2018, A Great Shift Unseen Over the Last Forty Years, translated by China Change, was widely disseminated. This short, recent commentary below was immediately censored on Weibo and WeChat.  — The Editors According to official data, China’s GDP growth rate in the third quarter fell to 6 percent, and will likely fall below that in the fourth. Next year, it is sure to enter the era of 5 percent. If you look at corporate profits, fiscal revenue and other indicators, things don’t add up and the official GDP growth rate is clearly inflated. In the […]


  • Bid Farewell to Reform and Opening Up –– On China’s Perilous Situation and Its Future Options

    Zhang Xuezhong, translated by Andrea Worden, January 7, 2019 Last week, Dr. Zhang Xuezhong (张雪忠), a law professor at East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai, posted an article on WeChat titled “Bid Farewell to Reform and Opening Up –– On China’s Perilous Situation and Its Future Options” (《告别改革开放 –– 论当今中国的危局和前路》). The following is an excerpt from the article in which he dismisses the notion that Deng Xiaoping’s time was a better time, a time, many believe, the current leader Xi Jinping has digressed from and should return to. We should point out that, in 2013, Dr. Zhang was stripped of his teaching position at the university by the university’s communist party committee for his writings on constitutionalism, and he now works in […]


  • The Chinese Communist Party Should Fade Into History Peacefully, Avoiding Violence and Minimizing Social Unrest

    Zheng Yefu, January 25, 2019 “Now it’s time to lay it bare: You can’t fool the Party into starting this journey, nor can you allow the calls for political reform that lack a clear final goal to numb the minds of the people.”  I. Why Hasn’t Political Reform Happened? In the late 1970s, China undertook a reform; the main elements were the restoration of the household production system in rural China [that allowed individual families to take control of their farming], opening up the private economy, and allowing farmers to go into the cities to find work. In the early 1990s, seeing that it was likely that this reform would run aground, Deng Xiaoping once again pushed a reform agenda, which was known as “reform of […]


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    Xiang Songzuo, December 28, 2018 On Dec. 16, Prof. Xiang Songzuo (向松祚) of Renmin University School of Finance and former chief economist of China Agriculture Bank, gave a 25-minute speech during a CEO class at Renmin Business School that was apparently applauded by the audience but immediately censored over the Chinese internet. Singling out 2018 as the year when China comes to a large shift unprecedented over the past 40 years, the speech can be seen as a landscape survey of Chinese economy, and obliquely, also of politics. Just as Tsinghua law professor Xu Zhangrun’s (许章润) broadside “Imminent Fears, Immediate Hopes”, which was superbly translated and widely talked about among China watchers, Prof. Xiang’s speech is another rare burst of Chinese intellectuals’ discontent with the […]


  • Weather the Dark Storm, Persevere for Rule of Law in China — A 2019 New Year’s Message From the China Human Rights Lawyers Group

    The China Human Rights Lawyers Group, January 1, 2019             2018, the year of Wuxu (戊戌), is slipping into history. Over the past 120 years, Wuxu has always been an eventful year. In 1898, four years after China had lost the First Sino-Japanese War, the Hundred Days’ Reform failed, and six of its chief advocates, among them Tan Sitong (谭嗣同), paid the price in blood at their public beheading. In 1958, another year of Wuxu, the Great Leap Forward and the people’s communes was to bring on the world’s greatest famine that would result in tens of millions of deaths.  Indeed, China in the year 2018 bears little resemblance to the China of 1958 and 1898. Four decades of economic reform have seen China’s GDP […]


  • Child Beggars, Kidnapping, and Living with Dead Hearts

    When I first visited China in 2006, my parents and I did a whirlwind tour of the major sites in a few weeks before I began my summer course at Beijing Language Culture University. I remember one sweltering morning in Suzhou, we were approached by two child beggars, they were caked in mud and wearing torn clothing. Without a moment of hesitation my mother reached into her purse, and dropped a few coins into their cup. For a moment we felt we had fulfilled our Christian duty, and could feel less guilty knowing that at least for today these children would eat. Our satisfaction didn’t last long, as the children dutifully scampered back to their parent who was lounging in the shade of a tree. […]


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