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One year after the Covid-19 virus was first identified in Wuhan, China has gone from being the world’s epicenter of the pandemic to one of the countries with the lowest reported infection rates. But alongside this transformation is the Chinese…
An employee manually inspects syringes of the SARS CoV-2 vaccine for Covid-19 in Beijing on September 24, 2020.
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China's Official Covid Rates Are Down. But Has That Come at the Cost of Human Rights?

I imagine January has been a relatively good month for Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Covid-19 pandemic appears to be largely under control in his country, and China's is the only major economy in the world expected to report growth for…
Chinese paramilitary police wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand guard near the portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, January 9, 2021. 
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A ChinaFile Conversation

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations agency charged with guiding the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, has become a battleground for two sparring superpowers. On April 14, 2020, President Trump announced that he…
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. 
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Government Response Hinged on Invasive New Surveillance Methods

“I thought the days when humans are ruled by machines and algorithms won’t happen for at least another 50 years. [But] this coronavirus epidemic has suddenly brought it on early,” a blogger on the popular Chinese forum Zhihu wrote. The blogger was…
A security guard monitors people through his augmented reality eyewear equipped with an infrared temperature detector in Hangzhou, China, March 24, 2020.
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In February 2020, the foreign ministers of the Holy See and China met in their highest-level official encounter in decades. Their agenda included the September 2018 provisional agreement that allows…
Pope Francis meets a group of faithful from China at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, April 18, 2018.
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China's censorship has silenced people's voices and rights. When the WHO cheers for its response, we should ask: At what and whose expenses?

In recent interviews, Dr. Bruce Aylward, the leader of the World Health Organization team that visited China, lavishly praised the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. “I think the key learning from China is speed…
A man wearing a protective face mask passes groceries through the barricades blocked a residential area in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, February 23, 2020.
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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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On the surface, it seems that many people from China living in Canada do not shy away from voicing their political opinions. This month, at McMaster University, a Chinese student group issued a statement condemning a Uyghur activist’s speech at the…
China: One Belt, One Road, Lots of Obligations PHOTO
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China won’t be able to solve its environmental crisis until it respects the human rights of its citizens. The crisis is severe, as the recent reports from Harbin, a city of 11 million people in northeastern China, indicate. Harbin was shut down by air…
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For Abigail Chombo in Zimbabwe, World Environment Day will pass like any other; a day with no safe water to drink, a day where the bush substitutes for a toilet. It's as unlikely that Su Xia, a father of two in China, will notice that it's World…
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Study Conducted on Detainees in Compulsory Drug Centers

In the Report "A memory retrieval-extinction procedure to prevent drug craving and relapse" (13 April, p. 241), Y.-X. Xue et al. describe experiments conducted on rats and drug users in Beijing, China. Although the authors state that the study…
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Around the world, millions of people are locked up because of drug use. Some languish in prisons, some in compulsory drug detention centers. Few have access to effective, evidence-based treatment for drug dependency if they need it. The problem is not…
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Another village was poisoned last month. More than 300 people, including 99 children, were diagnosed with acute lead poisoning in Zhejiang province. Unfortunately, entire villages being poisoned by lead from battery factories or lead smelters is not…
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The National Human Rights Action Plan wraps up after two years, but confessions extracted by torture are still accepted in Chinese courts

China's first National Human Rights Action Plan committed the Chinese government to end the practice of "extortion of confessions by torture" and put police and security forces on notice that "it is strictly forbidden to extort confessions by torture." In…
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In September, Premier Wen Jiabao attended a UN Aids sponsored summit on HIV/Aids. "We cannot turn a deaf ear to the call of life," he said, while announcing a China-Africa strategic partnership on health and development. Today, on World Aids…
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China has made some strides in the fight against AIDS. But the government should be held to account for stifling the work and voices of Chinese AIDS activists and nongovernmental organizations. The man who may be China's most prominent defender of the…
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"[H]e started to whip me on my back with twisted electrical wire," said Kakada, recalling his detention in a so-called "youth rehabilitation center" in Cambodia. "I was in such pain. Sometimes I cry alone, after the beating, because it was so painful. I…