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Published Articles

US-China tensions expected to escalate further after Donald Trump promises action over Hong Kong

SCMP Photo Reuters China-Tensions by Sarah Zheng

  • Relations between the two sides are likely to carry on worsening after the US President said he would end the city’s preferential status after Beijing ‘smothered its freedom’
  • Observers predict spiral of retaliation will continue and question whether trade negotiations will be able to carry on

South China Morning Post (SCMP)
30 May 2020 09:02 PM

by Sarah Zheng (with quotes from Dr. David Zweig)

China and the US have little room to defuse tensions after Washington announced it would end Hong Kong’s special status, observers believe.

On Friday […]

What lies behind Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong? Fear, not arrogance

Photo for SCMP by Simon Song

  • China’s leaders are facing challenges on multiple fronts – from the economy to global criticism of their handling of Covid-19
  • Beijing believes that another summer of protests in Hong Kong and what it perceives as hostile US activities in the city cannot be tolerated

South China Morning Post (SCMP)
30 May 2020 06:30 AM

by Dr David Zweig

Many people believe that Beijing’s decision this week to introduce […]




The Thousand Talents Program (TTP) was created by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2008 to overcome the brain drain of Chinese talent that has seen many of the best Chinese scholars and researchers take up residency in Canada, the United Kingdom, and particularly the United States.

The goal of Li Yuanchao, a reformist former CCP Politburo member who created the […]

Beijing is getting tough on the democracy movement, but at what cost to Hong Kong?

Illustration by Craig Stephens for SCMP

  • Beijing has recognised that, under the current conditions, it can’t keep Hong Kong’s opposition forces under control
  • Something has to give, and that something is China’s promise to grant Hong Kong civil liberties and universal suffrage
South China Morning Post (SCMP)
1 May 2020 06:15 AM

by Dr David Zweig

It’s not […]

‘The Best are yet to Come:’ State Programs,Domestic Resistance and Reverse Migration of High-level Talent to China

| Journal of Contemporary China
David Zweig, Kang Siqin & Wang Huiyao

ABSTRACT: Reverse migration has mitigated the brain drain for many Asian countries. But can developing countries actually bring back their best overseas talent? How can this studymeasure the quality of that talent? And, if the best are not returning, why not? Is the ‘institutional culture’ within the scientific and academic institutions the […]

Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Forces Score Landslide Win

Hong Kong Election Supporters of pro-democracy candidate Angus Wong celebrate after he won in district council elections in Hong Kong, early Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Vote counting was underway in Hong Kong early Monday after a massive turnout in district council elections seen as a barometer of public support for pro-democracy protests that have rocked the semi-autonomous Chinese territory for more than five months. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement and Beijing’s Fear of Foreign Influence

| Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
David Zweig is the Director, Center on China’s Transnational Relations and Chair Professor, Division of Social Science, at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Under “one country, two systems,” the legal framework under Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, called the Basic Law, for managing Hong Kong’s reversion to Chinese sovereignty, the city was to maintain “a […]

If the protest violence continues in Hong Kong, the only winners are Beijing and one-party rule

Copyright Craig Stephens Illustration Craig Stephens for the SCMP

David Zweig is Professor Emeritus, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Director of Transnational China Consulting Limited

  • The violence in Hong Kong benefits Beijing and its narrative that one-party rule is the basis of prosperity. Beijing’s curtailing of Hong Kong’s most important institutions has helped foment the current crisis, but violence […]

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Agrarian Radicalism in China, 1968-1981

David Zweig
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989

SYNOPSIS: During and after the Cultural Revolution, radical leaders in the Chinese Communist Party tried […]


Zweig, David; 陈志敏


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Book Chapters

海歸還是海待? 海外回國留學生的就業問題研究

China Scholarship Development Report

Zweig, David Stephen
Han, Donglin

中国留学人才发展报告, 2009 / 王辉耀编; 苗丹国, 程希副编. 北京市 : 机械工业出版社, 2009, p.279-294



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Book Reviews

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