• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:29am

Civil Society

Harness the power of collective social action for Hong Kong

It was a pity that a recent forum in Hong Kong on social reform went largely unreported. The "star" of the show was Lord Wei, the youngest, and only British-born Chinese, member of Britain's House of Lords. He advised Prime Minister David Cameron on his "Big Society" project to tackle social problems, and attracted controversy when he accused some charities of competing too much with each other and being out of touch with the public and donors.

Friday, 19 April, 2013, 2:48am

Talking points

South Africa hosts the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban. It is the African nation's first time hosting the meeting of representatives of its fellow BRICS members, Brazil, Russia, India and China. 

26 Mar 2013 - 3:28am

Civility v patriotism in Hong Kong courts

I learned something new about Hong Kong this month: in this great city, in our law-abiding society, if you really must burn something, better that it be your neighbour's dog than the national flag.

28 Feb 2013 - 3:37am 2 comments

Civil society can help China modernise

While people tend to roll their eyes when they hear a new catchphrase being unveiled by the upper echelons of the Communist Party, it is worth thinking about what the "new modernisations" might mean for the growing role of civil society in China.

1 Dec 2012 - 2:41am

Don't pin reform hopes on Chinese leaders' youthful idealism

A New York Times article last week on China's incoming premier quoted one of his contemporaries as saying: "Like all of us back then, Li Keqiang was idealistic, open-minded, incisive and eager to see China change." The speaker was Wang Juntao, a pro- democracy activist once jailed by the government for his role in the Tiananmen protests, and who now lives in exile.

24 Nov 2012 - 3:03am 2 comments

Xi Jinping's public relations test

The months of speculation are mercifully over. Questions of whether there would be nine or seven are now resolved; who is in and who is out is settled. When the new Chinese Communist Party leadership walked before the world's press last week, there was a feeling of anticlimax. If Hu Jintao had wanted to create a process that ended up boring everyone into submission, it worked.

23 Nov 2012 - 1:51pm 1 comment

China authorities pushing happiness amid rising discontent

With dissatisfaction growing over corruption, inequality, food safety and numerous other social problems, mainland authorities are shifting their focus from economics to emotions.

Simply put, they want everyone to be happy.

5 Nov 2012 - 7:53am

In China or US, government must hear the people

Does China pick better leaders than the US? Well, probably - but that's missing the point. During this period of leadership transition for two of the world's most powerful nations, the London-based Intelligence Squared organised a debate in Hong Kong on the motion, "China picks better leaders than the West".

5 Nov 2012 - 2:32am

A more confident Chinese people tests Communist Party rule

Sometimes the books that a country's top leaders read can reveal a lot about what they are thinking. So one of the books recently read by some of the incoming members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party may come as a surprise: Alexis de Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the Revolution.

3 Nov 2012 - 2:50am 2 comments

Amid global gloom, cities can spark growth

This week, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding their Annual Meetings in Tokyo. The mood has already been set by the downgrading of growth forecasts.

13 Oct 2012 - 5:15am