In the past three decades, China has risen to become an economic, political and military superpower. Many commentators predicted that as it reformed, and grew economically, China would liberalise politically. To some extent, until 2012, there were some signs of relaxation. A movement of human rights lawyers grew, civil society space increased, media freedom, particularly online, improved and freedom of religion or belief was, within strict limits, permitted. Severe human rights violations continued, but within certain limits there were signs of opening. Progress in human rights appears to have changed radically with the arrival of Xi Jinping.
This event will discuss the current state of human rights in China, and debate whether thirty years after the Tiananmen Square massacre the prospects for human rights development offers hope for progress or whether the prospect is for continued regression.
Speaker: Benedict Rogers
Benedict Rogers specialises in human rights in Asia. He works for the international human rights organisation CSW and is also co-founder and Chair of Hong Kong Watch. He is the author of six books, and a regular contributor to international media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, the Diplomat, The Catholic Herald, and The Huffington Post, and has appeared regularly on the BBC, CNN, Sky News and Al-Jazeera. He is the author of The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016. Benedict is a frequent speaker in universities, schools and conferences around the world. He has testified at hearings in the British Parliament, the US Congress, the European Parliament and the Japanese Parliament. He has a BA in History and Politics from Royal Holloway, University of London, and an MA in China Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).