Author: Xinlu Liang

Xinlu Liang is a journalist and reporter for the South China Morning Post, covering local news from China and breaking news from Asia.

China’s recent military reforms and corruption crackdown have highlighted the Communist Party’s commitment to building a strong military. The party emphasized the importance of integrating efforts into war preparation and strengthening leadership in the new era. The latest reforms include rectification of the mind, personnel appointments, and organizational practices. The goal is to promote discipline and responsibility among military personnel, enhancing China’s military capability. The changes come after the dismissal of two former defence ministers for alleged corruption. President Xi Jinping emphasized the need for loyal and clean military leadership, free from corrupt elements. China’s ongoing fight against corruption in…

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A new law in China set to take effect next May aims to protect women’s land rights in rural areas. While experts are pleased with the progress, they have concerns about potential manipulation by rural authorities due to some ambiguity in the law. Rural land in China is collectively owned and divided among families, with land use rights leased for 15 years. Under the 1984 Household Responsibility System, women were excluded from land ownership. The new law addresses this issue by protecting women’s rights and eliminating previous conditions for membership evaluation. The law also introduces procedural safeguards to help women…

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Health checks required for public servants have been criticized for excluding individuals with certain medical conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT), despite these conditions not significantly impacting job performance. These standards, established in 2004 and revised in 2016, have also been adopted by various industries, leading to broad employment discrimination that legal and medical experts believe requires urgent review. The prevalence of HT has increased in recent years, affecting about 1% of the population. Despite being manageable with routine medication, individuals like Liang, a medical student with HT, have faced disqualification from jobs due to these health standards. Legal experts…

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Hu Youping, a Chinese woman who sacrificed her life to stop a knife attack on a Japanese school bus, has been recognized as a “righteous and courageous role model” by her local government in Suzhou. The city’s leadership presented a certificate of “selfless heroism” to her family and honored three civilians who helped detain the suspect. Hu’s actions have inspired admiration from both Chinese and Japanese citizens, leading Suzhou to establish the “[Hu] Youping Selfless Hero Fund” to commemorate her bravery. Despite some extreme nationalist views online, efforts are being made to promote peace and unity. Hu’s courageous act saved…

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The proposed draft amendment in China that initially included vague and contentious language regarding actions that could attract detention has been revised following feedback from legal scholars and citizens. The clause, which previously included phrases like “harmful to the spirit of the Chinese nation”, has been altered to focus on promoting or glorifying aggressive behavior. This move has been praised by experts as a positive step towards clarity in laws and enforcement. Amid concerns of potential abuse and extreme nationalism, the revision aims to prevent ambiguity and ensure that personal freedoms are not compromised by government enforcement. By eliminating vague…

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In a shocking turn of events, a senior Chinese propaganda official, Zhang Jianchun, has come under investigation by the country’s top anti-corruption agency. The 59-year-old deputy head of the Central Publicity Department is facing scrutiny for suspected serious disciplinary and legal violations, a common way to refer to corruption and political misconduct. This investigation comes at a critical time for the Chinese Communist Party, as they are gearing up for their much-anticipated third plenum, where they reveal their economic strategy for the next decade. Zhang’s case is particularly noteworthy as it is rare for high-ranking members of the publicity department…

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The Newly Released Guidelines on Personal Data Management in China: What You Need to Know China has recently released draft guidelines on personal data management, aiming to provide a reference for organizations processing sensitive information. These guidelines are part of China’s broader initiative to develop its digital economy while addressing national security concerns related to data leaks, cyberattacks, and data manipulation. The guidelines define sensitive personal information and list eight categories, including biometrics, financial accounts, and more. Companies must obtain specific consent for accessing this data, and platforms collecting information illegally can face penalties. The aim is to create a…

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A senior health official in Guizhou, China, is under investigation for corruption in the medical sector. Yang Hui, the party chief of the Guizhou provincial health commission, faces allegations of violating laws and discipline. Last August, Beijing initiated a campaign against corruption in healthcare, targeting fund misuse, bribery, and unethical practices. Over 300 hospital leaders have been investigated for various offenses. In Guizhou, several senior officials have faced disciplinary actions for corruption. Yang’s case emerged shortly after a study tour and her advocacy for traditional Chinese medicine services. Yang, with a career in healthcare, rose to vice-ministerial level as the…

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Proposed changes to the Public Security Administration Punishment Law aim to clear the records of individuals under 18, expunging minor infractions like cheating on exams and releasing sky lanterns. However, experts argue that the changes should extend to all adults to prevent job, marriage, or business opportunities from being hindered by minor violations. The Chinese government is currently reviewing the law with suggestions for more comprehensive changes to address the impact of legal infractions on individuals’ futures, according to Professor Luo Xiang. Experts highlight the need for specific, transparent criteria for recording legal infractions and propose a time-limit for retaining…

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This report highlights the alarming state of Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China that faces numerous threats, ranging from illegal fishing and low dykes obstructing water systems to pollution and habitat destruction. The lack of enforcement of fishing bans and the presence of illegal structures like low dykes have adversely impacted the lake’s ecosystem, endangering species like the Yangtze finless porpoise and Siberian cranes. Additionally, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has led to water quality degradation, posing further risks to aquatic life. Similarly, Dongting Lake in central Hunan province is facing challenges from illegal sand mining and…

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