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– Observing Recent Events, Especially the Death of Lei Yang By Wu Qiang, June 13, 2016   As public contention surrounding the death of Lei Yang’s continues to grow, something new is developing in China’s political scene: the middle class is speaking out and asserting its own demands, even as the rights defense movement continues to suffer a sustained crackdown.     Four recent deaths in China sparked widespread public attention. The first, on April 12, was the that of Wei Zexi (魏泽西), a university student in Shaanxi Province, who perished from a rare form of cancer after following recommendations for a hospital from China’s largest search engine, Baidu. It turned out that the facility was part of the so-called “Putian network,” a clique of […]


By Mo Zhixu, published: October 4, 2015 “[T]he existence of a relatively free, relaxed, and anonymous Internet for the regime is ‘the root of all evil.’”   August 5 was the last day that opinions were solicited by the government for its new Internet Security Law, meaning that in the near future the legislation will be formally unveiled. In draft form, many of its clauses have already attracted scrutiny: for example, the draft stresses that Internet sovereignty is the extension of state sovereignty into cyberspace; it also takes as its objective “protecting the sovereignty of cyberspace and national security,” granting almost unlimited powers to the administrative organs in charge of the Internet. Many think that the Chinese government is setting up a “national Intranet.” The […]


By Wu Qiang, published: February 22, 2014   (The Chinese original was published a year ago.) It was unusually cold at the beginning of 2013. All of China was enveloped in smog that would not dissipate. Finally, from north to south, people eagerly began to discuss the problems of pollution and climate change. Weibo and blogs were flooded daily with this topic, and the traditional media followed up with in-depth reports. Even academics, detached most of the time from real world issues, crossed the boundaries of academic fields to make appeals one after another, calling for the improvement of the environment with political system reform as the starting point. While winter lingered and it was almost impossible to breathe, it seemed as if the spring of […]


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