Ellen Bork Articles


China Grows Ever More Repressive

10:29 AM, Jul 17, 2015

Even in the context of China’s steadily deteriorating human rights situation, the developments of the last few weeks have been remarkable. 

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The Bravery of Chen Guangcheng

A review of his new autobiography.
3:21 PM, Apr 23, 2015

Growing up blind and poor in rural China, Chen Guangcheng had few prospects. Yet before he turned 40, Chen was one of China’s most famous human rights activists, known around the world after he became the subject of a dramatic standoff between the American and Chinese governments.

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Sri Lanka Should Resist Beijing's Overtures

3:09 PM, Apr 07, 2015

In January, Sri Lanka’s voters kicked out President Mahinda Rajapaksa for being corrupt, repressive, and too close to China. The country’s new government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, promptly drew attention and not a little admiration for halting a Chinese-led 

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Hong Kong Protest Shifts, but World Democracies Ignore

9:31 AM, Oct 28, 2014

On Sunday, the leaders of Hong Kong’s democracy protests abruptly scrapped a poll of protester sentiment they had announced just days earlier. The idea of the poll had been to get protesters’ reactions to two bones thrown to them by the Hong Kong government in televised talks held on October 21.   

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Hong Kong Democracy Protesters to Meet With Government Officials

10:44 AM, Oct 20, 2014

Representatives of the student led democracy protests in Hong Kong are due to enter into a dialogue with the Hong Kong government on Tuesday.  The prospects for success are not good.  The two sides are far apart, with the government saying it will not even discuss the protesters’ chief demand – the democratic election of the chief execut

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Hunkering Down

Who stands with Hong Kong’s democrats?
Oct 20, 2014

Hong Kong
On the evening of Saturday, October 4, enormous crowds gathered in downtown Hong Kong at the main site of the democracy protests that have dominated the affairs of this city of 7.2 million for weeks. They filled an eight-lane thoroughfare in the center of the Admiralty business district, spilling out around the adjacent government office complex. Banners hanging from overpasses demanded democracy and denounced the deeply unpopular, Beijing-appointed chief executive, CY Leung. 

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Support Hong Kong

Oct 13, 2014

Hong Kong

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One China, One System

Sep 15, 2014

Beijing has dealt another setback to democracy in Hong Kong. On Sunday, August 31, China’s central government dashed hopes that the chief executive, the top official responsible for the city of 7.2 million people, would be democratically elected in 2017. Rather than open nominations to anyone, including pro-democracy candidates, Li Fei, an official of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, announced that candidates for the top job will need the support of at least 600 members of a 1,200-person committee composed largely of pro-Beijing businesspeople and other allies.

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What Would Hillary Do?

Sep 08, 2014

Despite the attention paid to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy as lacking an “organizing principle,” there wasn’t much new in her interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. Mostly the exchange covered issues on which her differences with the president are well known, such as arming the Syrian opposition and supporting Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

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Democracy in Russia

Under Putin, there’s less and less of it.
Sep 01, 2014

At this writing, it seems that the hundreds of trucks sent by Moscow with supplies for the residents of Eastern Ukraine will be delivered without further incident. For over a week, the long convoy wended its way toward the Ukrainian border, carrying with it the prospect for a spike in tensions between Moscow and Kiev. Concerns over the trucks’ contents—were they humanitarian supplies, or was the convoy a Trojan Horse, filled with weapons and munitions?—have been resolved.

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In China, an Irrational Indictment

1:40 PM, Aug 01, 2014

On July 30, Chinese communist authorities indicted Ilham Tohti, a Uighur intellectual, on charges of separatism, a charge that could carry the death penalty.

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Free Elections for Hong Kong

Jul 21, 2014

Over half a million people filled the streets of Hong Kong on July 1, marching for democracy on the anniversary of the British colony’s handover to Chinese Communist rule in 1997. On June 29, an unofficial referendum organized by democracy activists concluded with 800,000 votes cast—more than one-tenth of Hong Kong’s population. The overwhelming majority supported a democratic election for Hong Kong’s next chief executive. 

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China Targets Moderate Democracy Activist

7:15 AM, Jul 02, 2014

In a 2007 article in THE WEEKLY STANDARD, “Let a Hundred Flowers Be Crushed,” the Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, told of being followed by security agents every year around the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 massacre of democracy protesters. Pu responded by ushering the agents to a conference room at his law firm and screening The Lives of Others, the 2006 Oscar winning film about an East German Stasi agent who protects the playwright he is spyin

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Stand Up for Hong Kong

1:25 PM, Apr 15, 2014

At the beginning of this month, two prominent Hong Kong democracy advocates visited Washington to seek America’s support.

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Europe to Turn on China?

2:46 PM, Mar 25, 2014

General Secretary Xi Jinping of China is in Lyon, France today, the second stop on a European swing, his first trip there since taking over the leadership of China’s Communist party.  He has already visited Amsterdam, where he met with President Obama. After France, including a visit to Paris, Mr. Xi will continue on to Germany and Belgium.

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The Party Line

Dec 02, 2013

China’s Communist party leadership concluded an important agenda-setting meeting in Beijing on November 12. At this point much remains unclear about the decisions made at the Third Plenum of the 18th Communist Party Central Committee conclave, including changes to the One China policy, market reforms, and the abolition of the practice of Reeducation Through Labor. Independent media have no access to the proceedings, and even analysts able to read official party documents weren’t completely sure of what they meant.

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Defying China to Meet the Dalai Lama

1:55 PM, Sep 11, 2013

Today, President Dalia Grybauskaite welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, to Vilnius, Lithuania. Two years ago, her Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Ilves, also defied Beijing by meeting the Dalai Lama. Their gestures of principle and graciousness, made in the face of Chinese pressure, are very significant.

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Violations of Hong Kong's Autonomy

11:01 AM, Jun 28, 2013

Obama administration officials may be upset that China intervened to help NSA leaker Edward Snowden leave Hong Kong but they shouldn't be surprised.   Beijing has intervened before to get its way on matters that were meant to be the purview of Hong Kong's independent judicial system and to stymie the territory's democracy movement.

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Trouble in Burma

9:20 AM, Dec 07, 2012

Much reporting on Burma reflects the mistaken impression that things have changed dramatically and for good.  Yet last Saturday, three activists were arrested in connection with a rally outside the Chinese embassy in Rangoon against a Chinese-sponsored copper mine.

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Will Obama Push Reform in Burma?

3:35 PM, Nov 16, 2012

President Obama’s trip to Southeast Asia will take him to Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma. Relations with Thailand and Cambodia are relatively static, thanks to the former’s historic alliance with the U.S. and despite the latter’s terrible human rights record. Burma, on the other hand, is in the midst of change, with the beginnings of a potential transition to democracy.

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The Right Way to Engage Burma

Insist on democratic reforms.
Oct 01, 2012

A cartoon on the front page of the August 2 Independent, a weekly journal published in Burma’s capital, showed a rider approaching a fortress painted with the stars and stripes of the American flag.

“Please open the door,” the rider says.

“What is the password?” asks a voice from within the fortress.

“Democracy,” says the rider. 

“Is that permanent or temporary?” asks America.

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Democracy and the Asia Pivot

Jul 30, 2012

President Obama’s announcement last fall of a “pivot” to Asia has been greeted with skepticism. For one thing, there will be no appreciable increase in U.S. military assets in the region any time soon.

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Efforts Fail to Advance Human Rights With China—Again

11:16 AM, Jul 26, 2012

Low expectations for the 17th round of the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue, conducted on July 23 and 24 in Washington, were borne out by Assistant Secretary Michael Posner’s briefing yesterday.

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A Family, a Coffin, and Communist China

12:05 PM, May 02, 2012

Of the books I have read about China, The Corpse Walker, which I reviewed for THE WEEKLY STANDARD, is one of my favorites. Written by Liao Yiwu, The Corpse Walker contains stories about the strange mix of people Liao met while traveling around China and serving time in jail for writing and recording a poem commemorating the victims of the Tiananmen massacre.

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Tibetan Envoy Pushes for Change

4:02 PM, Apr 24, 2012

The Chinese Communist party’s preoccupation with its leadership transition, expected to be made final next fall when Xi Jinping becomes general secretary, should not dissuade the U.S. from making a “strong intervention at the highest level” regarding Tibet, according to Lodi Gyari, who spoke yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Good Move on Nepal

12:22 PM, Apr 06, 2012

Under secretary for political affairs Wendy Sherman’s visit to Nepal this week is a praiseworthy sign of American concern about affairs in that nation wedged between Tibet and India.

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Xi Whiz!

Feb 27, 2012

Obama administration officials touted the visit to the United States last week by Communist first secretary Xi Jinping as “relationship building.” Xi is widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as general secretary next fall and to run China for the next ten years. So he arrived to an agenda that included an Oval Office meeting, an elaborate Valentine’s Day lunch at the State Department, no pesky press conferences, and a 19-gun salute at the Pentagon, an unusual reception for a civilian foreign leader who is not defense minister.

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Biden Checks a Box

10:16 AM, Feb 10, 2012

Ron Paul’s Bad Record on China

11:52 AM, Jan 19, 2012

In a recent presidential debate, Congressman Ron Paul made a bizarre equivalence between a Chinese dissident taking refuge in America and Osama bin Laden hiding in Pakistan, as he was attempting to criticize American foreign and defense policies generally.

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China Takes Aim at Hong Kong Academics, cont.

5:22 PM, Jan 12, 2012

Andrew Higgins’s article in today’s Washington Post, “China denounces ‘Hong Konger trend,” follows on the Wall Street Journal Asia’s editorial about Beijing’s attacks on University of Hong Kong professor Robert Chung, whose polling of public opinion shows a marked increase in those identifying as Hong Kong citizens and a corresponding decrease in those expressing a Chinese identity.

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