Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Another sign of the times in China

China's president seems to have decided that China has done enough of the opening up needed to gain respect of the West. Now, economic power can earn that.

China Is Said to Force Closing of Women’s Legal Aid Center
Guo Jianmei, founder
of the Women's
Legal Service
The Chinese authorities have ordered a leading women’s legal aid center in Beijing to shut down operations… another sign of a continuing crackdown on civil society.

The center was highly symbolic for having been born of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, a moment when China, struggling to be accepted internationally after the 1989 military suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, loosened controls on civil society activities…

“It looks like they are trying to crush all people with any influence,” said a longtime women’s rights campaigner who requested anonymity while discussing a politically sensitive matter. “As far as well-known people go today, it’s ‘kill one and scare 100’ to make sure no one else tries to do anything. Controls on thought and speech are intensifying. The repression of lawyers and NGOs is growing.”…

The closing of the center signifies a tightening of the restrictions on civil society because its work helping women in domestic violence, child custody, land rights and employment disputes had long been tolerated by the government…

“The Chinese government is increasingly hostile of civil society actors who are doing work that was tolerated in the past,” especially groups with links to international organizations, she said.

The All-China Women’s Federation, the Communist Party body that represents women’s interests in China, could not be reached for comment.

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