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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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2,000 Former Soldiers Rioted in 3 China Cities Over Poor Living Conditions

Posted by Author on September 13, 2007

Reuters, Via Toronto Star, Canada, Sep 12, 2007 –

BEIJING–About 2,000 former soldiers rioted in three Chinese cities last week over poor conditions in railway vocational schools where they were retraining, a rights group said.

Nearly 1,000 smashed equipment and set fires in their school in Baotou in Inner Mongolia and clashed with hundreds of police. At least 20 people were injured and five were arrested, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said yesterday.

Similar riots occurred in Baoji, in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, and Wuhan, capital of Hubei province in central China, on the same day, Sept. 3, the centre said in a faxed statement.

“Food in the schools is bad and expensive. The dormitories have no electrical outlets and the students need to pay to recharge their cellphones,” it said.

An official at the Baoji school refused to confirm details, saying only that “everything has returned to normal.

“It was not a big deal, and things like that happen on campus a lot. But it was exaggerated by some people,” he said. “I do not want to say anything more about it, because it would not be good for our school’s reputation.”

The Wuhan school would not comment. Phones at the Baotou school were disconnected.

An official at the Railway Ministry declined to comment.

The simultaneous incidents, in which school property was smashed or set on fire, were organized by some of the former soldiers, the centre said.

The rioters were among 6,000 discharged troops the ministry recruited in July to be trained at 12 railway vocational schools across the country, it said.

Troops discharged from the People’s Liberation Army used to be offered good posts in the government or the police, but reforms in recent years have meant most of them have been left on their own after being demobilized, fuelling discontent.

It is rare in China for co-ordinated protests to hit several cities simultaneously, demonstrating the power of cellphones and the Internet, the Hong Kong-based group added.

– Report from Toronto Star: 2,000 retired soldiers riot over poor living conditions

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