• Rapid socio-economic change in China has been accompanied by relaxation of some restrictions on basic rights, but the government remains an authoritarian one-party state. It places arbitrary curbs on expression, association, assembly, and religion; prohibits independent labor unions and human rights organizations; and maintains Party control over all judicial institutions. At the same time, citizens are increasingly prepared to challenge authorities over volatile livelihood issues, such as land seizures, forced evictions, environmental degradation, miscarriages of justice, abuse of power by corrupt cadres, discrimination, and economic inequality. Civil society groups and advocates continue to slowly expand their work despite their precarious status, while the government obstructs domestic and international scrutiny of its human rights record, insisting it is an attempt to destabilize the country.
  • Demonstrators set fire to trash cans, as they protest against a chemical plant project, on a street in Maoming, Guangdong province on April 1, 2014.

    The Chinese government should impartially investigate apparent excessive use of force by police against environmental protests in Maoming, Guangdong province, Human Rights Watch said today. A police crackdown against hundreds of Maoming residents demonstrating against a new petrochemical plant on March 30 and 31, 2014, resulted in dozens of casualties.


China and Tibet