Special Report:China migrant unrest exposes generation faultline

(Reuters) – In a backstreet pool hall in southern China’s factory belt, young migrant workers gather around the tables, their eyes flitting between the worn green baize and the anti-riot police patrolling the grimy alleys.

The police search cars at roadblocks just outside in Dadun, an urban village in the city of Zengcheng, where sweatshops make so many millions of blue jeans that the city promotes itself as the “jeans capital of the world”.

“Are you a plainclothes policeman?”, one spiky haired migrant sitting on a moped outside the pool hall jokingly asks a visitor. Continue reading

Frustrated Chinese take justice into own hands

By Pascale Trouillaud (AFP)- BEIJING — A deadly triple bomb attack in China carried out last week by a jobless man angry over a land dispute illustrates the crushing desperation of many Chinese who feel their rights are being trampled.

Car bombs and Molotov cocktails have been used by citizens who opt for vigilante justice in the Communist-ruled country, where the justice system has created mounting frustrations that could provoke more violence.

Experts say that despite the introduction of some reforms to address charges the system is unresponsive and lacks transparency, the public perception is that those changes are woefully inadequate, and rule of law is not guaranteed. Continue reading

Bombings in China rattle officials’ nerves

Reporting from Beijing (LA Times)— A farmer who said his house had been demolished set off three bombs at government buildings in the eastern Chinese city of Fuzhou on Thursday, killing himself and one other person and putting nerves on edge at a time when authorities are increasingly anxious about social unrest.

The bomber was identified as Qian Mingqi, an unemployed 52-year-old. The other person killed was not immediately identified. Six people were injured.

Bombings of this magnitude are relatively rare in China. Officials’ nervousness was evident from a ham-handed attempt to keep the incident out of the news. Angry reporters in Fuzhou complained that police confiscated their notebooks and cellphones and deleted photographs from cameras. An early report posted on the official New China News Agency site that described the attack as retaliation against local government was later removed. Continue reading

Catching Scent of Revolution, China Moves to Snip Jasmine Flower

DAXING, China — Do not be lulled by its intoxicating fragrance or the dainty, starlike blossoms whose whiteness suggests innocence and purity. Jasmine, a stalwart of Chinese tea and the subject of a celebrated folk song often heard while on hold with provincial bureaucrats, is not what it seems.

Since Tunisian revolutionaries this year anointed their successful revolt against the country’s dictatorial president the “Jasmine Revolution,” this flowering cousin of the olive tree has been branded a nefarious change-agent by the skittish men who keep the Chinese Communist Party in power. Continue reading

South China Officials Abducte Infants to Sell to Foreigners for Adoption

Members of a family planning office in the southern Chinese province of Hunan abducted several infants in recent years and profited by putting them up for adoption, according to a report from a China-based online media group.

Caijing.com said in an article Monday that officials in Longhui county’s Gaoping township had seized some 10 newborns between 2002 and 2005, selling them to a local welfare orphanage in Shaoyang city. Continue reading

Golf course boom points to China corruption

In most countries, a proliferation of world-class golf courses would be regarded as an obvious and inevitable by-product of rapid growth and soaring living standards.

In China, courses such as the 36-hole Qinghe Bay Country Sports Club, located within view of the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, do indeed reflect surging private fortunes.

But facilities such as this have also become a potent symbol of the hypocrisy and corruption inherent in Communist party rule. Continue reading

Propaganda and cover-up: Chinese State Media Says AIDS-Like Disease is in the Head

For the last week the Chinese media has been abuzz with talk of an unknown, highly contagious AIDS-like disease, termed “HIV-negative AIDS,” that has allegedly been spreading in China for several years and infecting thousands. Now official media have stepped in to put the matter to rest: there is no such disease, and people claiming to be sick from it need psychological help.

In a widely circulated statement, Chinese Health Ministry spokesperson Deng Haihua announced on April 4 that “HIV-negative AIDS” is just “AIDS-phobia.” On April 11 he elaborated, saying that “there is no so-called phrase ‘HIV-negative AIDS’, and there is no such ‘HIV-negative AIDS’ virus.” Continue reading

Southeastern China: Riot Police in Land Clash

Authorities in the southeastern province of Fujian have deployed hundreds of riot police to disperse protesters defending their farmland from being taken away by the government, residents and officials said on Friday.

The riot police, using tear gas and electric batons, clashed with the protesters in Xindian township near Fujian’s provincial capital, Fuzhou, on Thursday. Some protests persisted on Friday, local sources said.

“It was pretty scary yesterday,” said a protester, Zhang Yueming, adding that he was among those beaten by police during the protest. Continue reading

Riverdance Producer John McColgan: Shen Yun’s ‘Standard of the performers was terrific’

DUBLIN—“The dance is very elegant and very athletic, very skilled … it’s a pleasure to watch,” said Mr. John McColgan, who attended the final of three Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company performances at The Convention Centre in Dublin on Sunday, March 27.

Mr. McColgan is a founding director of Tyrone Productions, an independent television production company, and chairman of Today FM radio station. He is perhaps best known for his key role in the evolution of Riverdance. In recognition of his services to the arts and entertainment industry, Mr. McColgan received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the National University of Ireland in 2003. Continue reading

China Hit By Pork Scandal – pigs in several farms test positive for a banned drug

Authorities in central China detained three officials and launched a probe into hundreds of pig farms on Friday after animals there tested positive for a banned chemical that can be dangerous to humans.

The latest food safety scandal in China emerged as the official Xinhua news agency said it had found that 52 out of about 1,500 pigs in nine farms in Henan province had tested positive for clenbuterol, a drug used by farmers to bulk up livestock.

The report prompted supermarkets to pull from the shelves Shineway brand meat products belonging to the country’s largest meat processor, Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co. Continue reading

Ages of Chinese skaters in question

CHINA is facing new questions about the ages of some of its athletes after discrepancies were found in the birthdates of nine figure skaters.

According to a list of birthdates published on the Chinese Skating Association’s website and found by The Associated Press, the skaters violated the sport’s age limits by competing when they were either too young or too old.

The birthdates on the federation’s websites differ from those listed on the athletes’ International Skating Union biographies. Continue reading

China’s Social Media Used to Find Missing Children

In China, social media such as microblogs and instant messaging services, are tightly controlled, to prevent the spread of information the government does not like. But some Chinese are learning to use social media to reunite families.

In an emotional scene, Peng Gaofeng is reunited with his son, who was abducted three years ago, when he was just three.

Child abduction is a big problem in China with thousands of children disappearing each year. The government seems powerless to help distraught parents. Continue reading

China to spur rice output as drought shrivels wheat

By Dan Martin (AFP) , Feb 9, 2011-

BEIJING — China called Wednesday for higher rice output to offset damage to its wheat crop in the drought-stricken north and pledged $1 billion in spending to battle a problem the UN warned could be “very serious”.

The drought affecting large swathes of northern China is the worst in six decades in many areas and has left key grain-growing regions with no real rainfall in more than three months.

At a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, the government decided to allocate funds to pay rice-growers higher prices for their grain in a bid to spur production, said a statement by the State Council, or Cabinet. Continue reading

China sees big jump in divorce rate- 14.5% increase from 2009

AFP, Feb. 07, 2011-

BEIJING — The number of people who divorced in China shot up in 2010 — a trend on the rise in the world’s most populous nation as men and women earn better money and become more independent.

A total of 1.96 million couples applied for divorce last year, a 14.5% increase from 2009, according to figures published on the website of the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

A previous state media report had erroneously said 1.2 million couples tied the knot in 2010, while the ministry figures put the number at 12.1 million. Continue reading

China’s tycoon hands out cash in a controversial trip in five times wealthier Taiwan

HSINCHU, Taiwan — China’s most famous philanthropist began distributing cash in Taiwan on Thursday, the first day of a controversial trip that has sparked criticism and protests from anti-China groups.

Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune recycling construction materials, handed Tw$7 million ($241,000) to charity groups in Hsinchu county in the island’s north, amid accusations he was promoting reunification with China.

“I don’t know anything about propaganda for Chinese reunification. I only know about charity and environmental work. I just want to do good,” 42-year-old Chen told AFP. Continue reading

Chinese Regime Fails to Stop South Korean Shen Yun Shows, Court ruling overturns cancellation in Busan

BUSAN, South Korea— After a last minute court ruling by a judge in Busan, efforts by the Chinese regime to stop Shen Yun Performing Arts from playing in South Korea have come up empty.

The show in Busan had been cancelled due to pressure from Chinese consular officials, in spite of the show’s hosts, the South Korean Falun Dafa Association, having a valid contract for the theater.

But after a court ruling delivered seven hours before showtime on Jan. 19, the first of three shows in Busan went ahead as planned. These are the debut shows in a tour that also visits Daegu and Goyang in South Korea, and cities in Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. Continue reading

Shen Yun’s Ten Performing Arts Show Run At New York Lincoln Center Ends With a Sold-Out House and Standing Ovation

NEW YORK—It was difficult finding tickets for the closing performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at the Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Jan. 16. The performing arts company, which is now continuing on its tour, was well received, with a standing ovation and two curtain calls from the sold-out house.

“I was very proud to participate in the audience and to stand up and shout ‘encore!’” said author Judith Difonzo.

“I thought the performances were beautiful, I thought the colors were beautiful, I thought the dances were gorgeous. I was enthralled. I would come back again,” she said. Continue reading

Chinese prison-made goods enter Canada: report

An Alberta company has been importing products made at a Chinese prison camp, according to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Laogai Research Foundation.

Canada bans the importation of any goods made by prison labour, but the foundation, which raises public awareness about the Laogai — China’s extensive system of forced-labour prison camps — indicates prison-made goods are turning up in Canada. Continue reading

Rice noodles prompt latest China food scare

BEIJING — Large amounts of rice noodles made with rotten grain and potentially carcinogenic additives are being sold in south China, state press said Friday, in the country’s latest food safety scare.

Up to 50 factories in south China’s Dongguan city near Hong Kong are producing about 500,000 kilogrammes (1.1 million pounds) of tainted rice noodles a day using stale and mouldy grain, the Beijing Youth Daily said. Continue reading

Mentally Disabled Forced into Slave Labor at Party-Backed ‘Rescue’ Center in China

By Sophia Fang & Gisela Sommer, Epoch Times Staff, Dec. 24, 2010 -

Local Communist Party officials in Sichuan Province are behind an institution that kidnaps mentally handicapped and homeless people and forces them into slave labor, according to an investigative journalist from Hong Kong.

The inmates were hired out as laborers as far away as Xinjiang Province. To turn them into “good workers” they were beaten and shocked with electric batons and kept in subhuman living conditions, reports say. Continue reading

Chinese Communist Party propagandists organized a photo exhibition at the United Nations on Human Rights Day

By Matthew Robertson, Epoch Times Staff, Dec. 12, 2010 -

On the same day that imprisoned Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia, Chinese Communist Party propagandists organized a photo exhibition at the United Nations, extolling the progress of human rights in China.

Under the headline “Experience China” photographs at the exhibit, held at the U.N.’s European Headquarters in Geneva, on Dec. 10—coinciding with International Human Rights Day—depicted minority groups like Uyghurs and Tibetans smiling in traditional garb, while didactic photo captions explained their gratitude for religious and ethnic freedom under communist rule. Continue reading

85% of urban Chinese cannot afford to buy a home as inflation accelerates

By Malcolm Moore, in Shanghai, via telegraph.co.uk, Dec. 11, 2010 -

China’s property bubble has grown so huge that 85pc of Chinese living in cities can no longer afford to buy a home, according to an influential Chinese government think tank.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said in its annual Economic Blue Paper that a typical Chinese property now costs 8.8 years of average earnings. Continue reading

China’s AIDS epidemic caused by rural blood-selling, two of the country’s top leaders should be held to account, says retired senior health official

Radio Free Asia, Dec. 1, 2010 -

China’s AIDS epidemic has been largely fueled by rural blood-selling in poverty-stricken areas, and two of the country’s leaders should be held to account, according to a retired senior health official.

Chen Bingzhong, 78, a former head of the China Health Education Research Institute, published an open letter to President Hu Jintao online ahead of World AIDS Day calling for disciplinary action against propaganda czar Li Changchun and vice-premier Li Keqiang. Continue reading