Political Chill in Beijing: Xi Turns Back the Clock on Women’s Rights in ChinaPosted: July 21, 2015 Filed under: Asia, China | Tags: Amnesty International, Beijing, BRIC, BRICS, Chen Guangcheng, China, Communist Party of China, Ilham Tohti, Li Heping, Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China, National People's Congress, President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, Xinhua News Agency Leave a comment
An emboldened Beijing clamps down on civil liberties
promote a host of social and political causes.
“Even though the so-called ‘Feminist Five’ were released from custody in April, they say they are still being treated as criminal suspects.”
“Just as President Xi Jinping prepares to attend a U.N. summit in New York in September to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark women’s conference, his administration has begun to clamp down on independent women’s groups for the first time since the NGO Forum.”
Tibetan activists set up stalls. Amnesty International, in China for the first time, rebuked the Chinese government over its human rights practices at a news conference. Then U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton, one of the celebrity attendees, made herself popular with the women by lecturing her Chinese hosts about free speech and assembly after they withheld visas for some of the delegates.
The event became a watershed moment for the Chinese women’s movement. Because foreign NGOs would be there, Chinese authorities had to allow local NGOs to set up and participate.
They never looked back—until now.
Ironically, just as President Xi Jinping prepares to attend a U.N. summit in New York in September to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark women’s conference, his administration has begun to clamp down on independent women’s groups for the first time since the NGO Forum.
The restrictions underscore just how far Mr. Xi is turning back the clock on civil liberties in China—all the way to the days of harsh political repression that followed the crushing of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations.
[Read the full story here, at WSJ]
They also reveal a transformation in the mind-set of the government, still fearful of organized political opposition but so confident in China’s elevated place in the world that it no longer feels much compulsion to make concessions to its international critics.
One of the first signs of trouble came when police detained a small group of activists on the eve of International Women’s Day in March for planning events to draw attention to sexual harassment on public transport.
Even though the so-called “Feminist Five” were released from custody in April, they say they are still being treated as criminal suspects…(read more)
Write to Andrew Browne at firstname.lastname@example.org
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