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China presents one of the most difficult foreign policy challenges for Germany’s relatively new chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Yet judging by his comments at this year’s Munich Security Conference, which took place in February, he has yet to…
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.

Hong Kong's one-man election drives home Beijing's broken promises to the territory

After weeks of speculation, on April 8 the Chinese government unveiled its pick of Hong Kong’s next leader—John Lee, a former senior police official. Hong Kong used to be the only territory under Chinese sovereignty with semi-democratic elections.…
John Lee announces his manifesto during the 2022 chief executive electoral campaign in Hong Kong.

The upcoming U.S.-ASEAN special summit stands in jarring juxtaposition to last year’s “Summit for Democracy” — to which most ASEAN states didn’t merit an invitation.

The Biden administration on April 16 announced that the White House will host a special summit with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on May 12. Invitees include Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, an unrepentant and…
Flags of member countries fly at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 22, 2021.
Chinese authorities executed Akhmal Shaikh​, a United Kingdom citizen, without giving him access to UK diplomats or doctors, in December 2009. The following year, Chinese officials indicated to the Philippines that, if its diplomats stayed away…
The Supreme Court of New Zealand in downtown Wellington, November 28, 2017.

Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia Should Ensure Access to Legal Gender Recognition

Transgender people, whose assigned gender at birth does not match their gender identity, face a grim reality in much of the Middle East and North Africa region, including daunting obstacles to legal gender recognition. To get a better sense of…
The transgender pride flag.

How Environmental Policy Became a Tool of State Control

The climate crisis is a human rights crisis on a colossal scale, and to help mitigate it, the world needs the Chinese government to take urgent action. But is Beijing capable of reducing environmental harm without committing further human rights…
The Palace Museum shrouded in a thick haze of air pollution in Beijing, China, November 5, 2021.

Under Beijing’s control, the densely populated city is struggling to respond to a new COVID-19 wave.

After evading major COVID-19 spikes for nearly two years, Hong Kong – one of the world’s most densely populated cities – is experiencing a frightening wave, with one of the world’s worst COVID death rates. It is apparent that the city’s pandemic…
Healthcare workers walk along the makeshift Covid-19 isolation facilities in the San Tin area of Hong Kong, March 11, 2022. 
A notable achievement since Tunisia’s adoption of Law No. 58 on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 2017 is that it has broken the taboo on speaking about domestic violence. Yet, while spousal violence has received significant attention, it…
A woman walking on the street in Zarziss, Tunisia.
On February 12, a young man was taking part in a seemingly routine protest by the Aliansi Rakyat Petani (Alliance of People’s Farmers) about five kilometers from his home in Tada village in Central Sulawesi. Farmers and other local residents had been…
Residents in Kasimbar, who are members of the Alliance of People's Farmers, demonstrating against a gold-mining operation of PT Trio Kencana in Parigi Moutong Regency, Central Sulawesi on February 12, 2022.

Where is the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report detailing human rights violations against Uyghurs?

The honor of carrying the Olympic flame and lighting the cauldron at the Games’ opening ceremonies is typically reserved for people hosts wish to hold up as embodiments of excellence. But the Chinese government and the organizers of the 2022 Winter…
China Olympics screenshot
In the run up to the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on February 4, 2022, Human Rights Watch has released five videos that cover what's at stake for human rights as the Chinese government seeks to use the games to "sportswash" its abysmal human…
Badiucao illustration of athlete with tape across her mouth

A ChinaFile Conversation

In 2008, when China first hosted the Olympics, the event was often described as a “coming out party” for the country. It was an awkward fit for a country nearing 60 which had been “opening up” for the past three decades. Besides, Beijing was hosting…
Olympic workers in protective gear walk through the Beijing Capital International Airport to assist passengers ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, January 31, 2022. 
In December 2021, I had the chance to talk with a bright 14-year-old girl named Maria Tunbonat, a fifth-grader in a state school in Tarakan, North Kalimantan. Her father, Ayub, also joined the video call as we spoke about her school and her…

Xi Jinping’s tenure has been marked by harsh crackdowns on human rights activism.

“I refuse to accept the idea that the state’s authority can’t be opposed, challenged, or interrogated. In the face of power, I would always be at a disadvantage, I knew, but I was a born contrarian, and there’s no other way for me to live except by…
On October 28, Egypt’s Interior Ministry released a slick, heavily produced video showcasing a new state-of-the-art prison mega-complex. The Wadi El Natrun Correctional and Rehabilitation Center complex is supposed to replace 12 prisons that currently…
A satellite photograph of Scorpion Prison taken in September 2016. Inmates suffer abuses in secret and are denied most access to the outside world. Satellite imagery
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