Chang Ping

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Chang Ping
Native name
OccupationWriter and journalist
SubjectDemocracy, media censorship, the failures of government policy and Tibet
Notable awardsHuman Rights Press Awards

Chang Ping (simplified Chinese: 长平; traditional Chinese: 長平), whose real name is Zhang Ping, is a Chinese writer and journalist, one of China’s best-known commentators on contemporary affairs.[1] He won the Human Rights Press Awards in Hong Kong in 2014 [2] and the CJFE 2016 International Press Freedom Award in Canada[3] [4].

Chang Ping has a reputation for writing about politically sensitive topics, including democracy, media censorship, the failures of government policy and Tibet. His commentaries appear in Southern Weekend, Southern Metropolis Weekly in China, South China Morning Post,[5] Apple Daily in Hong Kong, Deutche Welle,[6][7] Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany[8] and New York Times in USA.[9]

Chang Ping has repeatedly been punished for tackling sensitive issues and was banned from writing columns and publishing books in China. He was removed as news director of Southern Weekend, then a daring weekly that had won readers across the country in 2001. He became deputy editor of Southern Metropolis Weekly, but was removed in 2008[10], due to a commentary that carried the headline “Tibet: Nationalist Sentiment and the Truth” enraged Chinese nationalists who supported a crackdown on what the government called separatist activities in Tibet. In 2010, he was finally fired by the newspaper, with an editor saying his work was“inappropriate.” But he said to New York Times, “I will keep writing, I won’t stop.”[11][12]

Chang Ping joined Hong Kong-based magazine, iSun Affairs, in 2011, as chief editor but was denied a visa and has not been allowed into the former British colony. Late in 2011, Chang Ping was invited to live in Germany at the former country home of the Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll, which has been converted into a refuge for persecuted writers.[13]

In March, 2016, Chang Ping's two younger brothers and a younger sister were allegedly “abducted by the Chinese police” after he wrote an article for Deutsche Welle related to a "public letter", which was posted online demanding that Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping's resign.[14][15]

Chang Ping was a guest professor at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, and a senior research fellow at the Southern Metropolis Communication Institute in Guangzhou. In a lecture at Fudan University in Shanghai he said, “We should transform into a civil society rather than wait for a virtuous leader.”[16]

On 15 November 2014, Chang Ping lectured at the 33rd anniversary of the PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer to highlight the fate of Tibetan writers imprisoned by Chinese authorities in Dharamsala, India, "Where’s our home? It lies in the words that we speak. How many words have been spoken? That shall determine our emotional connection to home."[17]

Chang Ping has been a longtime observer of the feminist movement and Chinese politics. He wrote a series of articles expressing his worry that "Chinese Dream" spelled a setback for women’s rights.[18][19]


  1. ^ "Is Democracy Chinese? An Interview with Journalist Chang Ping". Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  2. ^ "Winning Entries of the 18th Annual Human Rights Press Awards". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  3. ^ ""Exiled Chinese journalist continues his fight for free speech"". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  4. ^ ""'Speech Is Freedom Itself' – Chang Ping's Acceptance Speech for the CJFE 2016 International Press Freedom Award"". Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  5. ^ "Don't put too much hope in new style of Chinese leadership". Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  6. ^ "China's 'freedom' cage". Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  7. ^ "A Debate Over Tiananmen Finds Echoes in Germany's Fascist Past". Retrieved 2014-08-27.
  8. ^ "Die Unterdrückung geht weiter". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  9. ^ "Targeting Beyond China". Retrieved 2016-04-14.
  10. ^ ""The Fate of Press Freedom in China's Era of 'Reform and Opening up': An Interview With Chang Ping"". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  11. ^ "Chinese Journalist Who Defied the Censors and Wrote About Corruption Is Fired". Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  12. ^ "China tightens grip on press freedom". Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  13. ^ "Niemand weiß, ob China für Demokratie bereit ist" (in German). Retrieved 2014-09-27.
  14. ^ "Chinese Writer in Germany Says 3 Siblings Are Detained Over Xi Letter". Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  15. ^ "With Hong Kong booksellers silenced, China now goes after exiled dissidents". Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  16. ^ "Chinese Journalist Who Defied the Censors and Wrote About Corruption Is Fired". Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  17. ^ "TCHRD and PEN Tibetan honor imprisoned Tibetan writers: Event graced by Kirti Rinpoche and Chang Ping". Retrieved 2014-11-24.
  18. ^ "Xi's 'southern tour' speech shows why women's rights must advance". Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  19. ^ "The tragedy of Gu Kailai". Retrieved 2013-08-29.

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