• Li Jianhong and Duoduo
    Break the Besieged Fortress

    For Chinese activists government restrictions on their rights to move and travel are clear: once you’re in, you can’t get out, and once you’re out you can’t get in. Tienchi Martin-Liao highlights the cases of Li Jianhong and others who have tried to break through the “besieged fortress”.

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  • Xu Zhiyong and Hu Jia Supporters
    Offshore Leaks Trigger Wave of Fear

    A new International Consortium of Investigative Journalists report lists over 21,000 people in China and Hong Kong – among them military and political leaders – with secret offshore holdings. Did China imprison activists and dissidents writers to divert attention from the corruption scandal?

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  • Song Binbin and Mao
    Also Sprach the Puppet

    In this week’s column, Tienchi Martin-Liao questions the motives and sincerity of Song Binbin, a scholar and former Red Guard, who has recently officially apologized for her involvement in the attack and death of her school’s principal in 1966, at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

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  • Xi Jinping and Sinzo Abe
    Two Ceremonial Acts, One Bad Omen

    As history looms large, tensions flare up between China and Japan. Tienchi Martin-Liao looks at the now infamous events of December 26, 2013: China’s celebration of Mao Zedong’s 120th birthday and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni shrine, a World War II memorial.

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  • Liu Xia (drawing)
    “In the beginning was the Word”

    Independent Chinese PEN Center president, Tienchi Martin-Liao, reflects on the five-year anniversary of imprisonment of dissident writer and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, his wife’s prolonged, Kafkaesque house arrest, the calls for solidarity from Chinese human rights activists, and the power of words.

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  • Chen Yongzhou
    A Mud Battle Fought in A Quagmire

    In China, according to Tienchi Martin-Liao, journalists face two major problems: censorship from officials who issue instructions on how and whether or not to report a story, and corruption in the form of “red envelopes” (bribes), which have become many journalists’ main source of income.

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  • Ye Fu and Friends
    Rice-Delivery-Party

    On the rise and fall (for now) of the popular Butcher Shop, an innovative philanthropic e-commerce project that provides financial aid to families of political prisoners. The venture is organized by Rice-Delivery-Party, a writer/activist collective led by the author and blogger Ye Fu.

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