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Violet Law

Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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About Violet
Violet Law is a tri-lingual American journalist currently based in Hong Kong and southern China. She has filed for The Associated Press, The Economist, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, etc.
English Chinese (Mandarin)
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China's LGBT community increasingly assertive despite crackdown

05 Apr 2023  |  USA TODAY
The article discusses the growing assertiveness of the LGBT community in China, highlighting several legal cases where individuals have stood up against discrimination and conversion therapy. Peng Yanhui, founder of LGBT Rights Advocacy, won a lawsuit in 2014 against clinics offering a 'cure' for homosexuality. Since then, there have been more cases where gays and lesbians have sought legal redress, including a gay husband who was compensated for wrongful confinement and a transgender man who was unlawfully fired. Despite the lack of laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation, some have used existing laws to challenge unfair treatment. Human Rights Watch has called for a ban on conversion therapy. LGBT communities have been growing online and through organizations like PFLAG China. The article also touches on the challenges posed by new government rules aimed at censoring online content related to homosexuality.

The ‘Nolympians’ giving the IOC a run for its money

06 Aug 2021  |  aljazeera.com
Anti-Olympics activists, known as 'NOlympians', have been voicing their concerns about the Olympic Games, citing issues such as cost overruns, sexism, and the risk of COVID-19 spread. The movement has grown from localized opposition to a global coalition, with activists from past and future host cities joining forces. Critics argue that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prioritizes corporate interests over human costs, leading to negative impacts on local communities. Despite the IOC's attempts at reform through its Agenda 2020, skepticism remains about its ability to enact genuine change. The selection of Brisbane as the host for the 2032 Games, announced just before the Tokyo Olympics, has been met with continued opposition from the NOlympics movement.

‘Obey the Party’: The CCP steps out of the shadows in Hong Kong

29 Jun 2021  |  aljazeera.com
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is becoming more overt in Hong Kong, demanding allegiance and recognition of China's achievements under its rule. The CCP's centenary is marked by public displays of loyalty, despite Hong Kong's history as a refuge from Communist rule. The CCP has been influential in Hong Kong since colonial times, but its presence has grown since the 1997 handover. Recent actions, such as the imposition of the National Security Law and changes to electoral rules, show Beijing's increasing control over Hong Kong's political landscape. The emergence of the Bauhinia Party, suspected to be a CCP front, and the presence of an estimated 400,000 party members in Hong Kong, indicate a direct role for the party in the city's governance.

‘Weaponised’ COVID restrictions stifle Hong Kong’s freedom

03 Apr 2021  |  www.aljazeera.com
Hong Kong's government has implemented stringent COVID-19 measures, including mandatory testing and contact tracing, which critics argue are being used to suppress political dissent and freedoms. The national security law and health regulations have significantly impacted the city's freedoms, with teachers and protesters facing strict controls. The government's actions, influenced by pressure from Beijing, have led to widespread criticism and a sense of impending authoritarian rule.

Taiwan targets truth not justice as it investigates darker times

26 May 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Taiwan's Transitional Justice Commission, established in 2018, aims to uncover the truth about human rights abuses during the island's nearly 40 years of martial law. Despite challenges, including resistance from the Kuomintang (KMT), the commission has exonerated about 6,000 victims and continues to investigate historical atrocities. The commission's work highlights Taiwan's commitment to facing its past, contrasting with China's approach to historical events like the Tiananmen Square massacre. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been instrumental in empowering the commission, while the KMT has shown some willingness to acknowledge past wrongs. The process underscores the importance of truth in Taiwan's ongoing democratization.

Coronavirus is disproportionately killing African Americans

10 Apr 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
The coronavirus pandemic in the United States has highlighted significant racial disparities, with African Americans disproportionately affected and dying at higher rates than other racial groups. Data from cities like Chicago, Louisiana, and Michigan reveal that African Americans, who suffer from higher rates of underlying health conditions and face economic and healthcare access challenges, are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Experts emphasize the need for improved racial tracking and addressing the pandemic as a public health issue rather than just a medical problem. Officials, including Chicago's mayor and the US President, have acknowledged the disparities and called for action to support affected communities.

Coronavirus origin: Few leads, many theories in hunt for source

08 Apr 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
The origin of the coronavirus pandemic has sparked a blame game between China and the United States, leading to various theories. Initially, it was assumed the virus came from a wet market in Wuhan, but scrutiny has since shifted to public-health laboratories in the city. Experiments with bat viruses at these labs have raised biosafety concerns, although there is no definitive evidence of an accidental leak. Research on bat viruses in China increased after the SARS epidemic, with the Wuhan Institute of Virology building Asia's largest virus bank. Despite the WHO dismissing lab accident speculation as fake news, some scientists consider it a possibility. The Wuhan Institute of Virology's BSL-4 lab, established with foreign expertise, has been a focus, but no worldwide body oversees such facilities. The Wuhan CDC lab also collected bat viruses, and a paper suggested the virus could have originated from there. The search for an intermediary host is complicated by the destruction and disinfection of the market where the outbreak was first identified. A paper in Nature suggested pangolins as a possible intermediary host. Meanwhile, US and Chinese officials have escalated their rhetoric, with President Trump labeling it a 'Chinese virus' and a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman suggesting US military officials brought the infection to Wuhan.

‘Message is clear’: China jails Hong Kong publisher Gui Minhai

28 Feb 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong publisher, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by China for 'providing intelligence overseas.' His case has been a focal point of diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Stockholm, as Gui is a Swedish national. The sentencing follows a history of suppression of Hong Kong's publishing industry, particularly targeting books critical of China's leadership. Gui's case has raised concerns about China's respect for Hong Kong's judicial independence and has had a chilling effect on the publishing industry, with the broader context of the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, new virus rekindles old animosities towards China

12 Feb 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
The coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong has exacerbated existing tensions between the territory and mainland China, with residents criticizing the Hong Kong government's handling of the epidemic and calling for border closures. The virus has intensified anti-mainland sentiment, rooted in long-standing issues such as immigration and economic impact from mainland tourists. The article highlights the complex interplay between public health concerns and political unrest, with some viewing the outbreak as further evidence of mainland interference in Hong Kong's affairs.

Hospital workers step up strike after Hong Kong virus death

04 Feb 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Public health workers in Hong Kong intensified their strike, demanding a complete border closure with mainland China following the first coronavirus death in the territory. Over 7,000 hospital employees joined the strike amid concerns over the virus's spread and dissatisfaction with the government's response. The fatality rate in Hong Kong is currently higher than in mainland China. The Hong Kong government has closed most border crossings but faces public pressure for a total shutdown. The strike has garnered support from the public and anti-government protesters. Health officials warn the next two weeks are critical for containing the virus locally, while memories of the 2003 SARS epidemic remain vivid.

Hong Kong medical workers strike to demand total border closure

03 Feb 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Over 3,000 members of a hospital workers' union in Hong Kong began a week-long strike to pressure the government to seal the border with mainland China amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Despite Hong Kong's relatively low number of confirmed cases, there is heightened alarm due to close ties with the mainland. The government's response, including decisions on quarantine camp locations and mask supply management, has been met with public dissatisfaction and perceived incompetence. The strike follows seven months of anti-government protests in the city, and additional healthcare workers have pledged to join the strike.

Taiwan’s female politicians forge path to equality

01 Feb 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Taiwan has made significant strides in gender equality in politics, with women now holding 42% of the seats in the Legislative Yuan, the highest in Asia. This progress is attributed to a long history of gender quotas and advocacy from women's rights groups like the Awakening Foundation. Prominent female politicians such as President Tsai Ing-wen and legislator Kao Chia-yu exemplify the success of these efforts. Despite this progress, challenges such as sexism persist, particularly for first-time female candidates. The article highlights the importance of gender quotas in promoting female political participation and the need for continued efforts to combat sexism.

Tsai faces choppy China waters after Taiwan election landslide

12 Jan 2020  |  www.aljazeera.com
Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected as Taiwan's president with a record 57% of the vote, securing a majority for her Democratic Progressive Party in the legislature. Her victory is seen as a rejection of Beijing's 'one country, two systems' model, especially in light of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Tsai's re-election poses challenges in cross-strait relations, with Beijing viewing her win as a threat. The solidarity between Taiwan and Hong Kong is expected to intensify, complicating Tsai's balancing act between supporting Hong Kong protesters and managing relations with China.

For ‘the braves’ there is no turning back in battle for Hong Kong

26 Dec 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
In Hong Kong, a group known as 'the braves' has emerged within the anti-government protests, willing to use extreme tactics to fight for democracy. These individuals, often young, have become more radicalized due to the perceived failure of peaceful protests and the government's initial refusal to withdraw a controversial bill. Despite the physical and legal risks, they continue to resist, supported by the broader middle-class through resources and non-violent backing. The movement has seen some success, with opposition candidates, including protesters, winning in district council elections. However, the future of the movement remains uncertain as it evolves into a more guerrilla-style resistance.

China: Hong Kong clashes over rally in support of Uighur Muslim minority

23 Dec 2019  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Two individuals were arrested in Hong Kong during a protest in support of China's Uighur minority. The demonstration saw clashes with police, who used pepper spray on the crowd as they attempted to burn the Chinese flag. The unrest in Hong Kong has been ongoing for six months, initially triggered by proposed legislation that threatened freedoms established by the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. The protest aligns with broader human rights movements against the treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, where millions are reported to be held in camps.

Giant rally marks six months of Hong Kong’s democracy protests

08 Dec 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Hong Kong to mark six months of anti-government demonstrations, demanding greater democracy and an independent inquiry into police brutality. Despite the extradition bill's withdrawal, public anger persists, fueled by the government's refusal to meet other demands. The peaceful march, approved by police, ended with petrol bombs thrown at the High Court and Court of Final Appeal. The movement seeks international support, buoyed by the US's Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act. Observers suggest international pressure on China may be an effective strategy.

Record number to vote in pivotal Hong Kong district election

23 Nov 2019  |  aljazeera.com
In the upcoming district council elections in Hong Kong, a record number of voters are expected to participate, with a significant increase in young voters. The elections come amid ongoing protests and political tension, with candidates like Janelle Leung and Tommy Cheung, inspired by the anti-government demonstrations, seeking to influence government outside of protests. The campaign has seen assaults and arrests of pro-democracy candidates, and the absence of Joshua Wong, who was barred from running. The results could impact the selection of the chief executive, with district councillors holding 10 percent of the vote. The pro-establishment camp, which won nearly 200 seats in the last election, faces a challenge from independent and pan-democratic candidates. The outcome remains unpredictable, with local issues also playing a significant role in the campaigns.

Hong Kong crisis escalates as protester shot by police

11 Nov 2019  |  Al Jazeera
Hong Kong police shot and wounded at least one protester during a live broadcasted confrontation, intensifying the crisis following the death of a university student. Public anger has escalated due to the government's refusal to meet protesters' demands, including an independent inquiry into police brutality and universal suffrage. The use of live rounds marks the third instance in five weeks, with Amnesty International criticizing the police's actions. Chief Executive Carrie Lam stated that the government will not yield to the protesters' demands, while the public continues to call for police accountability and the fulfillment of their five core demands.

Hong Kong politicians force Lam to suspend policy speech

16 Oct 2019  |  Al Jazeera
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam was forced to suspend her annual policy address to the Legislative Council due to heckling from pro-democracy politicians. The session was adjourned by LegCo president Andrew Leung. Lam's pre-recorded speech focused on economic measures but did not concede to protester demands. The protests, which began over a controversial extradition bill, have expanded to include broader democratic reforms. Despite the bill's withdrawal, public anger persists, fueled by the government's refusal to meet five key demands, including an independent inquiry into police brutality and an amnesty for protesters. The political unrest underscores deep divisions within Hong Kong, and economic relief measures are unlikely to quell the protests.

Hong Kong protesters rally against ban on wearing masks

04 Oct 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong have demonstrated against a new ban on wearing masks, introduced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam using the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, which bypassed the independent legislature. The ban aims to deter violent clashes between police and demonstrators. Critics, including legal experts and commentators, have denounced the ban as a threat to Hong Kong's rule of law and fear it may lead to more violence. The High Court is reviewing a challenge to the ban, which carries penalties of a year in prison and a fine for violators.

Hong Kong prepares for protests as Beijing parades military might

01 Oct 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
As Beijing celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China with a large military parade, Hong Kong braced for protests. Major shopping centers closed, and the city saw a significant reduction in mainland Chinese tourists. Despite a police ban, thousands of protesters marched, demanding the end of Communist rule and greater democratic freedoms. The protests, ongoing for 16 weeks, were initially triggered by a proposed extradition bill and have since evolved into a broader movement for democracy. The Hong Kong government has faced criticism for its handling of the protests, and there is growing resentment towards Beijing's increasing interference in the territory.

Hong Kong protesters mark 5th anniversary of Umbrella Movement

28 Sep 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Tens of thousands gathered in Hong Kong to mark the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, a significant pro-democracy protest. Despite the original movement's failure to secure concessions from Beijing, the spirit of resistance has grown stronger, fueled by recent anti-government protests. Key demands include full democracy, an independent inquiry into police actions, and amnesty for arrested protesters. The movement has evolved to include a broader spectrum of society, with widespread public support against police brutality. Prominent figures like Benny Tai and Joshua Wong continue to inspire and seek international attention for their cause.

Hong Kong protesters mark 5th anniversary of Umbrella Movement

28 Sep 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Tens of thousands gathered in Hong Kong to mark the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, a significant pro-democracy protest. Despite the original movement's failure to secure concessions from Beijing, the spirit of resistance has grown, fueled by recent anti-government protests. Protesters demand full democracy, an independent inquiry into police actions, amnesty for charged demonstrators, and the retraction of riot charges. The movement has evolved to include a broader spectrum of society, with widespread public support against police brutality. Key figures like Benny Tai and Joshua Wong emphasize the importance of international awareness and continued perseverance.

Hong Kong protesters clash with riot police

16 Sep 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong engaged in street battles with riot police on the 15th weekend of mass protests. The protests, demanding greater autonomy from Beijing, saw tens of thousands marching and clashing with police, who used water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Protesters set fire to a government vehicle and a metro station, and rallied outside the British consulate urging the UK to ensure China honors the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The UK has called on China to abide by the declaration, while China has dismissed it as a non-binding historical document. The protests, initially sparked by an extradition bill, have expanded to demands for full democracy and an inquiry into police brutality.

Hong Kong: Demonstrators boo Chinese anthem at football qualifier

11 Sep 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
In Hong Kong's first home game of the World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign against Iran, demonstrators protested by booing China's national anthem and turning their backs during its play. The protests, which have entered their fourth month, began over a now-scrapped extradition bill and have evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement with demands including full democracy and an independent inquiry into police brutality. The Hong Kong Football Association has faced fines from FIFA for previous anthem booing incidents. A national anthem law, which could impose prison sentences for public insults to the anthem, is pending in Hong Kong's Legislative Council, raising concerns about freedom of speech and the

Looking to future, school students join Hong Kong protests

02 Sep 2019  |  aljazeera.com
Over 1,000 secondary students in Hong Kong joined a rally for democracy as the school year began, amidst heavy rain. They expressed the urgency of fighting for their freedoms now to avoid future regret. The protest movement, which started against an extradition bill, has expanded to broader anti-government and pro-democracy demands, including full universal suffrage. Students have a history of activism, notably against 'patriotic education' in 2012 and for universal suffrage in 2014's Umbrella Movement. The Liberal Studies curriculum, which fosters critical thinking, faces criticism from pro-Beijing figures. Despite hopes that protests would subside with the school year's start, students remain determined to apply pressure on the government.

Hong Kong police arrest prominent activists ahead of mass rally

30 Aug 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Hong Kong police arrested several pro-democracy activists, including Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow of the Demosisto Party, ahead of a planned mass rally. The arrests are seen as an attempt to quell ongoing protests against Beijing's control and the controversial extradition bill. Despite the crackdown, activists vow to continue their fight for democracy and the right to elect the government's top leader, as stipulated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The government denies timing the arrests to coincide with the rally, which marks the fifth anniversary of Beijing's rejection of universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Over 850 people have been arrested in connection with the protests, and there is concern that Beijing may deploy security forces to suppress upcoming demonstrations.

British consulate employee in Hong Kong freed by China

24 Aug 2019  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Simon Cheng Man-kit, a 28-year-old employee at the British consulate in Hong Kong, was released after being detained in mainland China. He had been missing since August 8 following a business trip to Shenzhen. Beijing accused him of soliciting prostitution, a charge his family claims is fabricated. His release was announced by the Luohu public security bureau in Shenzhen after he 'confessed to his illegal acts'. The incident occurred amidst weeks of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, leading to increased border controls.

Alibaba halts Hong Kong listing

21 Aug 2019  |  thetimes.co.uk
Alibaba has postponed its secondary listing in Hong Kong, initially planned to raise about $15 billion, due to the ongoing political unrest in the territory. The decision comes amid a backdrop of protests and police action, with the possibility of revisiting the listing in October if conditions improve. Alibaba, valued at $460 billion and co-founded by Jack Ma, is diversifying its funding and investor base amidst the US-China trade war.

Hong Kong police under fire over violent response to protests

30 Jul 2019  |  aljazeera.com
Hong Kong police are facing criticism for their violent response to recent protests against a controversial extradition bill. Former police inspector Kenneth Yeung expressed shock at the force's tactics, which included clubbing protesters and firing rubber-coated bullets. The police's actions have led to a breakdown in public trust, exacerbated by accusations of brutality and collusion with gangs. The force's militarization is questioned, and there is a lack of civilian oversight and political accountability. Despite calls for an independent inquiry, authorities have rejected the idea, and Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has shown support for the police. The police, once known as 'Asia's Finest,' are now seen as a 'bankrupt brand' by some, including Yeung.

When walls talk: Hong Kong protesters bring grievances to suburbs

24 Jul 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
In Hong Kong's summer of dissent, the 'Lennon Walls' covered with sticky notes have become a symbol of resistance. These walls, filled with messages and illustrations, are a direct form of democracy and a continuation of a tradition dating back to the 1978 and 1989 protests in China. The first Lennon Wall in Hong Kong appeared during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, and with the recent extradition protests, over 80 such walls have emerged across the city. Despite incidents of vandalism and violence, the walls represent a collective expression of grievances and a historical chapter of people power.

‘Nothing to lose’: The Hong Kong protesters taking on China

11 Jul 2019  |  www.aljazeera.com
Hong Kong protesters, including Lam Hing Lun and Fee Chan, are challenging the government and Beijing's influence, driven by a desire for democracy and justice. The protests, initially against an extradition bill, have evolved into a broader movement. Despite fears of military intervention, the protesters find strength in solidarity and historical lessons. The movement draws inspiration from global political struggles and emphasizes the urgency of their cause, given Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status ending in 2047. The article highlights the generational divide and the protesters' determination to fight for their homeland's future.

‘Nothing to lose’: The Hong Kong protesters taking on China

11 Jul 2019  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, which began as opposition to a controversial extradition bill but have evolved into a broader movement for democratic freedoms and accountability from the city's leaders and Beijing. The protesters, including Lam Hing Lun and his girlfriend Fee Chan, are determined to continue their struggle despite the risks, drawing inspiration from past movements and international struggles for freedom. The protests have shifted tactics from prolonged sit-ins to more dynamic, guerrilla-style actions to paralyze government operations. The demonstrators, mainly from the younger generation, are aware of the potential consequences of challenging China's authoritarian regime but are motivated by the desire to defend their homeland and secure a better future for the next generation. The article highlights the protesters' resolve to play the 'long game' in their fight for freedom and justice.


Marine parks are opening up all over China, giving rise to surging demand for exotic sea creatures such as killer whales.

Hong Kong, Taiwan hold mass vigils on anniversary of Tiananmen massacre

05 Jun 2019  |  timesofisrael.com
Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre with a vigil at Victoria Park, drawing tens of thousands. A replica of the 'Goddess of Democracy' was featured, symbolizing the ongoing fight for democracy. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China organized the event, while a generational divide exists on how to memorialize the crackdown. In Taiwan, hundreds gathered in Taipei, with Vice President speaking. President Tsai Ing-wen emphasized Taiwan's commitment to democracy in contrast to China's authoritarian regime. The article also touches on the proposed extradition law amendments in Hong Kong, which have sparked protests and international concern.

Hong Kong activists mark 30-year anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre

04 Jun 2019  |  pbs.org
Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, emphasizing the importance of human rights and the threat to civil liberties in the semi-autonomous region. Tens of thousands gathered for a vigil in Victoria Park, featuring a replica of the 'Goddess of Democracy.' The event highlighted generational divides in memorializing the crackdown and concerns over proposed extradition law amendments. Meanwhile, Taiwan marked the anniversary with a gathering in Taipei, and President Tsai Ing-wen reaffirmed her commitment to democracy in contrast to China's authoritarian regime.

Hong Kong activists hold Tiananmen Square candlelight vigil

04 Jun 2019  |  www.independent.ie
Hong Kong remains the only area under Beijing's control where significant public commemorations of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and memorials for its victims are held. This is due to the region's unique freedoms, a legacy from its time under British colonial rule which concluded in 1997.

Hong Kong activists hold Tiananmen candlelight vigil

04 Jun 2019  |  NZ Herald
Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong held a candlelight vigil to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, highlighting ongoing concerns about human rights under Chinese rule. Tens of thousands participated, including notable figures like Stanley Lui and Jay Jiang. The event featured a replica of the 'Goddess of Democracy' statue and a minute of silence for the victims. The vigil underscores a generational divide in how the crackdown is remembered, with younger Hong Kongers seeking independence from China. The article also touches on recent protests against legal amendments that could erode Hong Kong's autonomy.

China judge blasts Trump as ‘enemy of the rule of law’

13 Feb 2017  |  South China Morning Post
A senior judge from China's Supreme People’s Court, He Fan, has criticized Donald Trump as an enemy of the rule of law, referencing Trump's attacks on US Federal Judge James Robart. Robart had suspended Trump's executive order banning entry from seven majority Muslim countries. He Fan, known for advocating court transparency and jury trial reform in China, also highlighted the lack of public outcry against violence towards judges, mourning the recent fatal stabbing of a retired judge in Guangxi. Meanwhile, Zhou Qiang, head of the Supreme People’s Court, has instructed judges to resist Western ideas of judicial independence, aligning with the Chinese Communist Party's rule by law under Chinese socialism.

What has Donald Trump been saying about the one-China policy since his election victory?

10 Feb 2017  |  South China Morning Post
Donald Trump reaffirmed the one-China policy during a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking a shift from his previous questioning of the policy since his election. The one-China policy, recognizing Taiwan as part of China, underpins Sino-US relations. Trump's comments and actions from December 2016 to January 2017, including interactions with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and statements on potential negotiations, are reviewed.

Chinese homeless man reunited with family after decade on streets

09 Feb 2017  |  South China Morning Post
Wang Rong, a homeless man from Hunan province, was reunited with his family after ten years on the streets. He was found in Dongguan, Guangdong province, by volunteers from a Shenzhen non-profit organization. Using a special computer system, they contacted his brother in Xupu county, Hunan. Wang's mother, Zhang Huanying, traveled 15 hours by train to meet him. Wang recognized his mother by a scar on her hand, triggering childhood memories. Family difficulties had led Wang to leave home as a teenager, and he had been living on the streets since breaking up with his girlfriend in 2006. His family had not heard from him since 2008 until the reunion.

Leading Chinese comedian arrested with loaded gun and crack in New York

21 Jan 2017  |  South China Morning Post
Chinese comedian Zhou Libo was arrested in New York for possession of drugs and a loaded gun. He was stopped while driving for using his mobile phone, leading to the discovery of a pistol and crack cocaine. Passenger Tang Shuang, an MIT researcher, was also arrested. Both were released on bail and await trial. Zhou, who gained fame through television shows and married businesswoman Hu Jie, claimed the gun was legal and did not admit to drug possession. The Chinese consulate is closely monitoring the case.

Chinese subway passengers brave stares to travel in their undies

13 Jan 2017  |  South China Morning Post
In Hangzhou, 10 men participated in the 'Global No Pants Subway Ride' event by riding the metro without trousers, which took place on January 8 in most cities. This event, which aims to bring 'chaos and joy' to everyday life, had previously seen participants in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai in China. Wu Ting, office manager of the Hangzhou Subway Group, noted that the men likely planned their brief journey on the shortest line during off-peak hours. Wu humorously remarked that on Line One, they would have gone unnoticed due to the crowd.

Explosion in Shanghai flat leaves one person injured

12 Jan 2017  |  South China Morning Post
An explosion occurred in a residential building in Shanghai's Yangpu district, injuring one person. The incident happened on Wednesday night near Fudan University and is believed to have been caused by a natural gas leak. The second and third floors' facade collapsed, and the area was cordoned off by police. Residents were evacuated and provided shelter in a nearby hotel. The injured resident was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Jared Kushner: the powerful son-in-law of Donald Trump and his ties with Chinese businesses

12 Jan 2017  |  South China Morning Post
Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President-elect Donald Trump, has been named senior policy advisor, raising concerns about nepotism and conflicts of interest due to his extensive business dealings with Chinese investors. Kushner's interactions with Anbang Insurance Group's chairman Wu Xiaohui and other Chinese investors have drawn media scrutiny. His real estate ventures, including the Trump Bay Street project, have received significant funding from Chinese sources. Kushner's appointment and ongoing business activities highlight potential overlaps between his private interests and public responsibilities.

Beijing’s balmy weekend temperatures offer cold comfort to outdoor skaters

01 Jan 2017  |  South China Morning Post
Beijing's unusually warm temperatures have led to the closure of all six major outdoor skating rinks for safety reasons, as the ice is not thick enough for skating. This is the first time in twelve years that the popular Shichahai Lake rink has been closed over the new year weekend.

Chinese man uses fake gun in mahjong parlour robbery

01 Jan 2017  |  South China Morning Post
A man in Zhengjiang, Jiangsu province, China, robbed a mahjong parlour with a fake gun and an electrical baton, taking 10,000 yuan to escape debt from a loan shark. The police apprehended him at his home, where they found the fake gun. Zhu admitted to the robbery, explaining his actions were driven by desperation to avoid repaying a 300,000 yuan loan he could not settle after his borrower defaulted.

Chinese corporate hackers accused of attacking US law firms

28 Dec 2016  |  South China Morning Post
Three Chinese citizens, Iat Hong, Chin Hung, and Bo Zheng, were charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission with fraudulently trading on information obtained from hacking into New York City law firms. They made almost US$3 million in illicit profits by trading on insider information about mergers and acquisitions. Hong was arrested in Hong Kong, and extradition proceedings are scheduled. The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong is assisting with the investigation, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has announced a 13-count indictment against the three individuals.

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducts first live-fire drill as Beijing shows off military might

16 Dec 2016  |  South China Morning Post
China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, participated in its inaugural live-fire drill, launching missiles that successfully hit their targets. The exercise, broadcast by China Central Television, included air interception, sea assault, and anti-air and anti-missile exercises with J-15 carrier-borne fighters. The Liaoning, commissioned in 2012 and declared combat-ready after four years of sea trials, still uses its original Russian-designed propulsion system. China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, which refitted the Liaoning, is also constructing China's first domestically made aircraft carrier, the larger Type 001A vessel. The drill signifies China's emergence as a military power.

Hong Kong's Localists: A Look at the City's New Political Force

28 Apr 2016  |  Los Angeles Times
The article discusses the rise of 'localists' in Hong Kong, a group of activists who oppose Beijing's influence and advocate for the prioritization of local concerns over the mandates of the Communist Chinese Party. These localists have become a significant social and political force, recently impacting elections and resisting police crackdowns. They range from preservationists to pro-democracy agitators and include a new political party, Youngspiration. The localists' goals vary, but many support the rule of law, civil liberties, and self-determination, with some pushing for full independence. The movement has gained momentum since the failure of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. Beijing has labeled militant localists as separatists, creating tension within the 'one country, two systems' framework that governs Hong Kong's autonomy until 2047.

City scope: Casting wide

28 Sep 2014  |  South China Morning Post
Fishermen in Fort Kochi use traditional Chinese fishing nets, a practice believed to have been introduced by Portuguese missionaries. The nets, which have dwindled in number, now attract more tourists than fish. Historical connections to Chinese trade and the Ming dynasty are explored, with local historians suggesting the nets were a missionary export rather than an imperial one. The article also touches on the cultural heritage and the uncertain future of this fishing method.

Intelligent design: a ceramic renaissance in Jiangxi

21 Sep 2013  |  South China Morning Post
The ceramics industry in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, is experiencing a renaissance driven by young potters who are revitalizing traditional techniques and infusing them with modern creativity. The Creative Market, founded by renowned ceramics artist Caroline Cheng, serves as a hub for these artists to showcase and sell their work. Despite challenges such as the proliferation of fake antiques, the industry remains vibrant, with artisans like Zhou Xionghao and Chen Yaxiong achieving success and maintaining high standards for their craft. The article highlights the historical significance of Jingdezhen's ceramics and the ongoing efforts to preserve and innovate within this cultural heritage.

The inclusion act

03 Jun 2012  |  South China Morning Post
John K.W. Tchen and Charles Lai, co-founders of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), have worked to preserve the often overlooked history of Chinese settlement in the United States. Their efforts began with collecting discarded items from Chinatown and evolved into a museum that showcases the Chinese-American experience, from the Gold Rush and railroad construction to the Chinese Exclusion Act and beyond. MOCA, now housed in a refurbished building designed by Maya Lin, serves as a bridge within the community and a reminder of the historical challenges and contributions of Chinese-Americans.

Variations on a theme park

01 Jan 2012  |  South China Morning Post
Mexin Industry's Foreigners' Street theme park in Chongqing, China, offers a unique blend of attractions and cultural elements, aiming to cater to diverse visitor preferences. Despite initial challenges, the park has become a profitable venture, contributing to the local real estate market's growth. The park's success is attributed to its innovative approach, combining tourism with real estate development. Plans are underway to expand this model internationally, with potential sites in Ethiopia and Los Angeles. The park symbolizes Chongqing's global outreach and serves as a local tourist destination.

Diaspora diaries

15 May 2011  |  South China Morning Post
Maria Yee, originally from Guangzhou, faced challenges during the Cultural Revolution and later emigrated to the United States in 1988. In Hong Kong, she overcame being seen as a burden by relatives and found work at a trading company. Yee married a Californian and moved to California, where she struggled with her identity. She eventually established a 350,000 sq ft factory in Guangzhou, producing Ming dynasty-style furniture with environmentally friendly processes. Her furniture line was the first to be internationally certified 'sustainable' in 2008, a testament to her commitment to preserving the natural environment of her youth.

Clause for concern

20 Mar 2011  |  South China Morning Post
Hong Kong hosts nearly 6,000 refugees, primarily from Africa and South Asia, awaiting screening by UNHCR and local officials. The government ceased its first asylum policy in 1998 and prohibited refugees from working in 2008. Hong Kong has not signed the UN Refugee Convention, leading to extended stays for refugees. A government spokeswoman did not comment on whether Hong Kong would honor the convention. Kelley Loper, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, notes a paranoia towards refugees, partly rooted in the historical influx of Vietnamese refugees, despite Hong Kong's own refugee-based society in the 1950s and 60s.

Long-distance call

07 Mar 2010  |  South China Morning Post
Don Kao has been running Project Reach, a New York-based youth organization that fosters confidence in teenagers, for 25 years. The organization, which began in 1971 to address Chinese youth-gang crime, has expanded under Kao's leadership to serve a diverse demographic. Kao, who began his activism in college, faced personal challenges, including coming out as gay to his immigrant parents and being diagnosed with HIV in 1992. Despite a grim prognosis, he has survived and thrived, using his life story to inspire the youth he works with to take control of their lives.

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