In China, LGBTQ Spaces Are Declining

Highlights from this week include the closure of an LGBTQ advocacy group in Beijing, a redoubling of nationalistic rhetoric by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the disappearance of objectionable books from Hong Kong libraries.

This Monday, the Beijing LGBT Center, a 2008-founded advocacy group, abruptly announced its demise. The center started It is still unknown whether the Beijing LGBT Center was forced to close by the police or the city government, or if doing so would have put the safety of its employees and the groups it served. The center had experienced escalating pressure in recent years, much like other civil society organizations in China. In the words of Darius Longarino, a senior fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, "You get forced into a stress position, and you believe you can hold it for a while, but eventually you collapse."

LGBTQ spaces in China have come under pressure over the past ten years as a result of actions ranging from targeted police harassment to denied event licenses. Homosexuality was outlawed in 2017 by the China Netcasting Services Association, a state-approved business organizationHowever, despite the fact that there is still a lot of prejudice against the LGBTQ population in China, society there is becoming more accepting. The LGBTQ community was able to fight back against state-sponsored discrimination because to that mentality change. An attempt to restrict LGBTQ content on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, was successfully thwarted in 2018 due to internet backlash.

Although this was formally a COVID-19 containment strategy, city authorities have frequently banned LGBTQ gatherings over the past three years, including the yearly Shanghai Pride. Government agencies have promoted conversion treatment, and discriminatory practices have become more prevalent, particularly at colleges.

The growing persecution is partly a result of homophobia and retrograde gender politics, but it also reflects the general animosity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under Xi toward any group that is organized outside of the partyHowever, it's difficult to consider the Sullivan-Wang conversations as a breakthrough in light of recent pronouncements from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, charged last week that the United States was developing "genetically engineered weapons" to target particular populations, such as "Asian Chinese." (That unfounded assertion has been made repeatedly in works by Chinese military thinkers for at least 20 years.) In recent days, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has charged Washington of everything from regime change to economic pressure.

According to reports, the United States has postponed a number of diplomatic initiatives this year, including the imposition of sanctions and the publication of the FBI report on China's spy balloon. China, meantime, intensifies its

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