South China

Human Rights, Political Control Hit PRC Soft Power

According to a yearly survey published by the consultancy Portland and the University of Southern California, China now ranks 27th in the world for soft power, falling two places since last year. China has made soft power a key policy objective, devoting between $10bn and $12bn a year to improving i...

Liberal Think-tank Unirule Evicted From Beijing Offices

On Tuesday, one of China’s last remaining liberal think-tanks, Unirule, was evicted from its Beijing offices. The leasing company even went as far as to weld the office doors shut, temporarily imprisoning the employees in an act that serves as a fitting metaphor for the increasing restrictions...

Convenience vs Privacy: China’s BAT Dilemma

Although its internet penetration rate is just 55%, China has three times as many smartphone users, and eleven times as many mobile payment users as the United States. It is almost guaranteed that on each of these 717 million smartphone users’ phones is an app owned or created by the big thre...

Liu Xia Leaves China After Years of House Arrest: Reactions

Liu Xia left Beijing for Berlin on Tuesday morning, ending the years of extralegal house arrest that followed her husband Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize award in 2010. She is said to be physically frail but in good spirits, in contrast with her reported despair earlier this year. She may atten...

Calls for Attention to Chinese Repression, Freedom for Liu Xia

At The Nation, Rian Thum and Jeffrey Wasserstrom write that people in the West "should pay more attention to Beijing’s repressive actions" such as its treatment of the late Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, its construction of re-education camps in Xinjiang, its eros...

China to Increase Military Role in Africa

China launched its first overseas military base in 2017 with the establishment of a strategic naval outpost in Djibouti. The country’s emergent military presence in Africa comes amid growing economic and diplomatic ties in the region through heavy infrastructure investment and peacekeeping ac...