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— An Interview with Dr. Teng Biao, part 2 of 2 Published: April 13, 2014   Continued from Part One: YC: I remember at the beginning of your essay The Confessions of a Reactionary, you mentioned that the three PhDs were given an award on CCTV. In other words, you were recognized as young and excellent members of society. When did you and Xu Zhiyong become troublemakers in the eyes of the government? TB: There wasn’t a clear-cut  moment or event, but rather, a buildup of a series of events. For example, the government was very displeased with our protest against the shutdown of the Yi-ta-hu-tu BBS. This was 2004. Between 2005-2006, as I told you earlier, we were involved in a long series of […]


—- An Interview with Dr. Teng Biao, Part 1 of 2 published: April 10, 2014 When Dr. Teng Biao visited Washington, DC in February, 2014, I sat down with him and we talked about his long-time friend Dr. Xu Zhiyong, and we discussed the evolution of Gongmeng over the last decade, to which the New Citizens Movement is the latest link. We publish this interview on the day (April 11, Beijing time) when Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld a guilty verdict against Xu Zhiyong.  – Yaxue Cao YC: Dr. Xu Zhiyong was arrested in July, 2013, and on January 22, 2014, he was sentenced to four years in prison in the trial of first instance for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” […]


By Xu Zhiyong China’s rights movement through the work of Gong Meng.    1 April 25, 2003, as SARS emptied out the streets in Beijing, I sat in front of my computer reading about the Sun Zhigang (孙志刚) coverage, tears quietly welling up in my eyes. Over the second half of 2002, I had started to investigate the laws concerning custody and repatriation (of migrant populations), and knew what Sun had gone through. Following Sun’s tragedy, Yu Jiang (俞江), Teng Biao (滕彪) and I proposed a constitutional review of the case. We mailed our recommendation on May 14 because, on the 13th, the propaganda department of the government banned further “hype” about Sun’s case. Headlines like “Three PhDs Request Constitutional Review” gave the media new fodder, and our […]


  Citizen (公民), formerly known as Gong Meng or Open Constitution Initiative, and founded by some of China’s preeminent rights lawyers, is a NGO based in Beijing that provides legal assistance to the disempowered and promotes the New Cititzens’ Movement. Read the original here.  From what we know and have learned, we believe that Yuan Dong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing and the seven others who demanded public disclosure of officials’ personal wealth are innocent. In recent days, however, the Chinese authorities have announced the formal arrest of the ten one after another. With astonishment, we state: 1. The Personal Expressions of the Ten Citizens Do Not Constitute a Criminal Offense On March 31, 2013, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng, Ma Xinli, Hou Xin and two others […]


By Xu Zhiyong, published: March 11, 2013     To the regular readers of this blog, Dr. Xu Zhiyong (许志永) is no stranger. He’s one of the founders of Gong Meng (公盟), or Open Constitution Initiative, a Beijing-based NGO dedicated to providing legal assistance to the disempowered and to developing civil society. As hundreds of others, Dr. Xu has recently been placed under house arrest because he is deemed a threat to stability and therefore must be locked up to ensure serene meetings of both the NPC and CPPCC, now in session in Beijing. During his confinement last week, he wrote a long letter, his second one, to Xi Jinping (original here, the first was written during the 18th Party’s congress last November). With his approval, […]


By Xu Zhiyong Today and tomorrow, we bring to you two articles about the case of a young man called Song Ze. He was a volunteer at Dr. Xu Zhiyong’s Open Constitution Initiative, an NGO dedicated to providing legal aid to disempowered people in China. We at SRIC are in no position to fully report the many cases such as Song Ze’s, but what we can do, and are trying to do here, is to illustrate a case well enough so that it sheds light and provides insight. On China’s black jails which this article explains very well, you may also want to watch Melissa Chan’s report that allegedly got her expelled from China. Hannah is the translator of the following piece by Dr. Xu. […]


By Xu Zhiyong Dr. Xu Zhiyong is a lecturer of law at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and one of the founders of Open Constitution Initiative (公盟) that offers legal assistance to petitioners and rights defenders, and has been repeatedly harassed, shut down and persecuted. In 2010 it changed its name to simply “Citizen”. Just weeks ago in May 29, Dr. Xu posted a blog post titled China’s New Civil Movement to renew his call for a “new civic movement are a free China with democracy and the rule of law, a civil society of justice and happiness, and a new national spirit of freedom, fairness and love.” The post has since been deleted by the authorities, and he himself was taken away by […]


By Yaxue Cao, published: June 1, 2012   When I last visited China in 2004, I did what a visiting overseas Chinese typically does: spending time with family and friends, sightseeing, and enjoying the food. In Beijing I felt like a time traveler arriving at a future time from a quiet, immobile past. I hardly recognized the city at all. When my brother drove me from Beijing to Shanxi on sparkling highways that stretched down the endless great middle plain and then through the mountains of Taihang (太行山), tunnel after tunnel, I had to remind myself that these were the same mountains I used to gaze at from the train and observe a rock or a hut basking in the lazy afternoon light. In my […]


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