Chinese Activist Describes How International Feminists Can Help in China

Chinese feminist activist Li Maizi (Li Tingting) recounts how international support helped during her 37-day detention for planning an anti-sexual harassment campaign, and how she's tried to leverage her newfound influence to aid feminist causes in other countries. (4 min. 22 sec.)

When Chinese activist Li Maizi was arrested in 2015 along with four fellow feminists for planning an anti-sexual harassment campaign, she was taken aback by the "wave" of support they received from the international community. She partially credits pressure from abroad in the form of protests and petitions for prompting their eventual release. "The international support was very important," she said. "I think we need to keep solidarity with other women's organizations."

At a discussion on feminist and LGBT activism in China held at Asia Society in New York on Thursday with fellow activist Di Wang and journalist Barbara Demick, Li said that, in many ways, it's becoming harder for groups outside of China to aid in the country's feminist and LGBT movements. New charity and NGO laws will make it more difficult to get money and support from abroad; but that doesn't mean Chinese and foreign groups can't support one another and exchange notes on effective campaigns. "We learn from each other," Li said. "So this is a healthy system."

In the above video clip, Li discusses other cases of international support for Chinese feminist and LGBT causes, and how Chinese feminists sprang into action to support American counterparts during the recent Stanford rape case. Watch the full program ChinaFile Presents: Feminist and LGBT Activism in China in the below video. 

ChinaFile Presents: Feminist and LGBT Activism in China, with Li Maizi, Di Wang, and Barbara Demick. (1 hr. 18 min.)

About the Author

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Eric Fish was a Content Producer at Asia Society New York and is author of the book China's Millennials: The Want Generation.