|Haikou Intermediate People's Court in Haikou, Hainan Province, People's Republic of China. Image credit: Anna Frodesiak / CCO|
In China, trials for crimes of endangering state security (ESS) are capable of generating intense, international media scrutiny while also being woefully opaque. In the face of severe degradations in judicial transparency, increasingly scant data—the latest from 2020—suggests that ESS trials have surged in recent years.
In Part I, Dui Hua looked at available statistics for ESS trials, focusing on Tibet—where ESS cases rose sharply in 2020—and Xinjiang, which accounted for the largest percentage of ESS trials of any Chinese region through the mid-2010s. This entry considers the rates of additional trials categorized as “other” in China Statistical Yearbooks (中国统计年鉴): dereliction of military duty, criminal offenses prior to 1997, and ESS trials in Han-majority provinces and Guangdong.
“Other” Trials: ESS, Dereliction of Military Duty, and Cases Before 1997
|Source: China Statistical Yearbooks|
|*(a) = (b) + (c) + (d); Sources: China Statistical Yearbooks & Records of People’s Courts Historical Judicial Statistics: 1949-2016|
|Media attention for recent ESS cases on Twitter (left to right): Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Huang Xueqin; PEN America calls for the release of Yang Hengjun; Canada’s Prime Minister hails the release of Michaels Kovrig and Spavor. Image credits: RSF in English Twitter account; PEN America Twitter account; Justin Trudeau Twitter account|