Flora Yan

20-year old graduating senior at the University of Washington in Seattle. China watcher. International affairs enthusiast. Rising policy analyst (East Asia) & investigative journalist. 

Confucius Institutes and the Corporate Sector: An Emerging Avenue for Chinese Communist Party Foreign Influence?

September 27 will mark 15 years since the opening of the first Confucius Institute in South Korea in 2004. Today, over 500 of these Chinese government-funded centers operate in more than 150 countries worldwide. Many of them plan to celebrate the occasion as part of the official Global Confucius Institute Day (Hanban, undated). After establishing themselves at universities, Confucius Institutes (CIs) have also begun to branch out beyond higher education. Confucius Classrooms, a network of over 1

How Hong Kong's pro-democracy human chain has redefined the Lion Rock Spirit

On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, officially known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It included a secret protocol that defined the territories of the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as parts of the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. In June 1940, during the Battle of France, under the auspices of the protocol, the Soviet Internal Troops occupied the three stat

One academic’s fight for the rights of Uighurs

‘After I testified in front of the Canadian House of Commons, the Chinese government might have put me in a different “category” on their blacklist,’ Darren Byler said with a smile on his face. ‘I possibly became an enemy of the state.’ Byler is a lecturer in the department of anthropology at the University of Washington. He’s an avid mountain climber, a Uighur poetry and literature enthusiast, and an advocate for Uighur rights in China. Since 2017, the People’s Republic has interned as many a

Turning China into an Orwellian state

Recently, The Economist published a short film titled “China: Facing Up to Hyper-Surveillance,” detailing how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses facial recognition technology to advance state control through the abuse of power over its own citizens. The CCP suppresses those who criticize the party and those of different faiths, in the name of “decreasing [the] number of criminal offenses.” In fact, the CCP’s means of imposing stricter control over the domestic population goes far beyond thi