35 Years After a Massacre: How the World Remembers
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
2w ago
Thirty-five ago this week – on the night of June 3 into the early morning hours of June 4, 1989 – the Chinese government did the unthinkable: it opened fire on its own people, killing hundreds if not thousands of unarmed civilians in the Beijing streets surrounding Tiananmen Square. That violent crackdown marked the end of the months-long, student-led, peaceful protests in the Square, protests that sought to bring reform to China. While the world marks the anniversary, on mainland China, it’s as if the event never happened. Thirty-five years of censorship of the Tiananmen protests and massacr ..read more
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Book Review – Red Memory: The Afterlives of China’s Cultural Revolution
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
2w ago
Netflix’s Three Body Problem opens with the worst of China’s past. As the camera pans over a group of fanatical youths, chanting and saluting with Mao Zedong’s little red book, it eventually settles on an old man atop the stage. Bloodied and on his knees, his arms are pulled behind him, held taught by angry Red Guards. A tall, paper dunce cap sits atop his balding head. Around his neck, hanging from a sharp metal wire, is a placard that labels him a reactionary. As the Red Guards yell at him, we find out why: this physics professor had the gall to teach the theory of relativity, an idea that ..read more
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Bucking the system: China’s underground historians
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
1M ago
Author Ian Johnson In his new book Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future, veteran China reporter and author Ian Johnson introduces us to a cast of idealistic, charming and courageous characters who are trying to document China’s true history, in particular the stories of those who suffered under the Chinese Communist Party (“CCP”). By countering the government-imposed, white-washed history, they go to the heart of the CCP’s legitimacy. The CCP calls them historical nihilists; Johnson just calls them underground historians. “China’s underground historians consci ..read more
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Short Take: Why are Chinese migrants crossing the Mexican border?
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
4M ago
Short Take is a periodic series where China Law & Policy briefly analyzes a current China-related issue and give our take. We aim for 500 words or less (around a 4-minute read). Last week, New York Times’ reporter, Li Yuan, appeared on The Daily in a fascinating podcast that retold the story Gao Zhibian, a Chinese migrant who entered the United States by taking the perilous trek across Central America’s Darien Gap and up through Mexico, eventually crossing the Texas border. What caught my attention was the numbers Yuan reported. In 2023, 24,000 Chinese citizens took this path. That number ..read more
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恭喜发财! Happy Year of the Wood Dragon!
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
4M ago
On February 10, we say goodbye to the introspective, more pensive rabbit and greet the most prized of all the Chinese zodiac signs, the dragon. But not just any ordinary dragon; 2024 ushers in the year of the wood dragon. Buckle up because it is going to be a wild ride! In addition to being associated with a zodiac animal, each year is also associated with one of the five elements (earth, wood, water, fire, metal). This year’s element is wood. While the dragon is an auspicious sign, it is also a volatile one, offering fast-paced opportunities that could yield tremendous successes or abysmal f ..read more
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China’s Living Dead: The assault on the Uyghurs continues
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
4M ago
Originally published in Commonweal Gulbahar Haitiwaji hoped it would be the last time she would have to betray a family member. She had already denounced her own daughter, her husband, and Uyghur activist leader Rebiya Kadeer the month before. That video-recorded “confession” had secured her release from the Chinese prison camps, where she had been detained for more than two years. But Gulbahar was not actually free. Instead she was sitting in a plush room in a house adjacent to the prison camp, ordered by the Chinese police who lived with her to call her family in France. She had not spoken ..read more
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The Human Toll of a Cold War: “Agents of Subversion” and “Lost in the Cold War”
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
5M ago
Few Americans know the story of John “Jack” Downey, the United States’ longest-held prisoner of war who served over 20 years in a Chinese prison. But given the current broken relationship between the U.S. and China, it’s important to understand Downey’s ordeal and the human toll of the last Cold War. Fortunately, two new, thought-provoking books, Lost in the Cold War: The Story of Jack Downey, America’s Longest-Held POW, written by John T. Downey with explanations by China political scientist Thomas Christensen and a moving epilogue by Downey’s son, John Lee Downey, and Agents of Subversion ..read more
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Was it really Kissinger who changed US-China policy?
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
6M ago
With Henry Kissinger’s death last month at the age of 100, obituaries around the globe have wrestled with his controversial legacy. Some label him a diplomatic genius, others a war criminal. But regardless, each one credits Kissinger with re-setting U.S.-China relations with his secret trip to China in July 1971 while serving as President Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser.  Six months later, Nixon would make his historic visit to Beijing, meet Chairman Mao and essentially end the Cold War between China and the U.S. “Engineered the United States’ opening to China,” The New York Ti ..read more
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Want to Reset China-US Relations? Bring Back Fulbright China
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
7M ago
Restoring the Fulbright Program could be a gateway to alleviating tensions and closing the China expertise gap. by Colleen O’Connor & Elizabeth M. Lynch Originally published in The Diplomat The recent meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in California was heralded as an initial attempt to thaw relations. As part of that broader effort, both sides expressed interest in expanding educational exchanges. China’s announced goal of hosting 50,000 U.S. students in the next five years looks wildl ..read more
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Book Review: Josh Chin and Liza Lin’s Surveillance State
China Law & Policy
by Elizabeth M. Lynch
11M ago
Originally published in Commonweal Every so often, I witness a scene in my neighborhood that’s all too common in New York City. A single car is double-parked on a narrow side street in front of a large apartment building. A blocked, frustrated driver—say, of a school bus full of frenetic children, or a delivery van on a tight schedule—angrily lays on the horn, sometimes for a full minute or more. Sometimes the guilty party sheepishly emerges to move their vehicle. But just as often they don’t. If this were not Queens but Hangzhou, a city near China’s eastern coast, there would be no need for ..read more
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