Activist Ai Weiwei, who had to leave China because of his dissent with the government policies, told CNN-News18 in an exclusive interview (above) that the country will be in a fragile position next year. He said that nationalism was very recent in China, adding that it will not benefit the country, but will only hurt its image on the global front.
“China is in quite a fragile condition for 2021 because of the China Dream, they want to be the dominant labour market for producing cheap products; for which they need more independent relations with many nations,” the activist said.
China’s economy depends on European imports; trade between the two entities exceeds over one billion Euros per day, note Jianli Yang and Aaron Rhodes. In this situation, Europe has a historic opportunity, and a responsibility to the moral principles upon which it was founded. The EU should use its immense soft power to help China stop persecuting religious, ethnic and political minorities, and start working with the international community to protect global public health, they write for ForefEuropa.
As human rights advocates, we are appealing to European Union member states to condition trade relations with China on specific improvements in China’s human rights practices, and on transparency as regards the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, they add.
Does China’s ability to defeat Covid-19 prove its system of governance is a better model than liberal democracy? Zhang Weiwei and Timothy Garton Ash address the issue in the Munk Debates.
Learning from the first cold war means understanding how this time is different, Garton Ash writes for The Guardian. Just as the Soviet Union was a mix of Leninist politics and Russian history, so China blends Xi’s Leninism with Chinese culture and tradition. Francis Fukuyama argues that China was “the first world civilisation to create a modern state” and that for centuries “Chinese regimes were centralised, bureaucratic and merit-based”.
- At CNN, James Griffiths analyzes the proposed changes and its potential impact on rule of law and human rights in Hong Kong..
- At The New York Times, Chris Buckley, Keith Bradsher, and Elaine Yu further report on the new law and reaction to it from democracy advocates in Hong Kong…
- While the government only released a summary of the draft, some have called for a release of the full text to clarify lingering questions about the legislation’s reach. Anna Fifield, Gerry Shih, and Shibani Mahtani report for the Washington Post….
- Legal scholar Jerome Cohen has listed the “information withheld” from the summary draft:
- Jeremy Daum at China Law Translate similarly gives an overview of the parts of the law that remain obscured:
- Beijing’s assurances have done little to quell foreign NGOs and human rights groups’ fears that the law will threaten their activities and fundraising in Hong Kong while putting their staff at risk, Laura Westbrook reports for the South China Morning Post…RTWT