September 2017

Another Paradise Lost to China's Ambition

  • Mon, 09/18/2017 - 15:42

The tale of the Silk Road is one of intrigue, war and cities lost. But within this complex and quixotic tableau, it is the story of China's Tarim Basin that best echoes the age-old warning: History is doomed to repeat itself.

Like-Minded” Dictatorships and the United Nations

  • Mon, 09/18/2017 - 15:20

The United Nations General Assembly is about to open, with the traditional lead-off speech by the president of Brazil followed by the president of the United States. The speeches and activities this year will, as usual, be a mix of the interesting and the dull, the consequential and the useless, the honest and the hypocritical.


  • Fri, 09/15/2017 - 16:43

PEN America interviews the leaders of different PEN centers from the global network to offer a window into the literary accomplishments and free expression challenges of their respective countries. This month we spoke with Kaiser Abdurusul from the PEN Uyghur Center.

 Authorities tear down a cross from a Protestant church in Dingqiao township in the city of Hangzhou, eastern China's Zhejiang province, Dec. 19, 2014.  Photo courtesy of China Aid

China Tightens Controls on Religious Activity, Targets Ethnic Groups

  • Fri, 09/15/2017 - 16:31

Strict new rules directly link alleged threats to state security with religious activity, making believers vulnerable, campaign groups say.

Security Officials Targeted in Call for U.S. Sanctions

  • Fri, 09/15/2017 - 16:30

On December 23, outgoing U.S. president Barack Obama signed the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act into law, allowing U.S. authorities to impose financial and travel restrictions on foreign individuals implicated in human rights violations.

Uyghurs arrive at the Id Kah Mosque for morning prayer on Eid al-Fitr in the old town of Kashgar in Xinjiang in June. Beijing says restrictions and a heavy police presence in the region seek to control the spread of Islamic extremism and separatist movements. Photo: AFP

China’s new campaign to instil official historical narrative in Xinjiang

  • Thu, 09/14/2017 - 15:52

Officials at high-level meeting told to address ‘several historical issues’ regarding the restive region through propaganda and training

A man rides an electric scooter in Shanghai on Thursday past a poster promoting next month’s 19th National Congress of China’s Communist Party. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China’s thought police are giving a master class in censorship

  • Thu, 09/14/2017 - 15:45

China is gearing up for one of the most important meetings on its political calendar. Next month thousands of delegates from around the country will convene in Beijing for the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. The meeting will culminate in the announcement of the new members of the country’s most important decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee

Ilham Tohti

Rights groups ask China to stop detaining its critics

  • Wed, 09/13/2017 - 17:21

Human rights activists called on China on Wednesday to stop detaining lawyers and critics, voicing concern for their health and fate in custody after the death of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo attracted international attention in July.

Chinese PLA soldiers attend a grand rally to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 1 August 2017. Photo: AFP

Ethnicity factors strongly in PLA promotions

  • Tue, 09/12/2017 - 17:27

While sweeping military change is on the cards at China's upcoming Communist Party Congress, few expect ethnic minority officers from unstable regions to make top brass

New Regulations Confirm the Chinese Government’s Conflation of Religious Belief and Disloyalty to the State

  • Tue, 09/12/2017 - 17:24

China’s State Council has introduced new regulations that further criminalize religious practice and belief. The 2017 Religious Affairs Regulations (RAR) target faith communities with strict measures mandating loyalty to China and punishing individuals whose behavior falls outside a state-definition of religious behavior.