Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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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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Archive for the ‘Guangzhou’ Category

Chinese magazine president and editor punished for citing historian

Posted by Author on August 20, 2011


New York, August 19, 2011 (CPJ)–The demotion of a magazine president and suspension of an editor for an interview deemed critical of a Communist Party legend are the latest punitive steps taken by authorities against mainstream journalists in China, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Chen Zhong, president of the Guangzhou-based biweekly Nanfeng Chuang (Window on the South), was removed from his post, though not dismissed, and editor Zhao Lingmin was suspended during an internal meeting on Monday, international news reports said. These measures were related to Zhao’s July 25 interview with Taiwanese historian Tang Chi-hua, according to a letter the editor wrote to his colleagues that was published online by the Hong Kong University-based China Media Project. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Human Rights, Journalist, Magazine, Media, News, People, Politics, SE China, World | Comments Off on Chinese magazine president and editor punished for citing historian

Chinese Lawyer Zhu Yubiao Imprisoned for Defending Falun Gong

Posted by Author on July 29, 2011


On July 13, the Chinese regime sentenced a Guangzhou based lawyer, Zhu Yubiao, to two years in prison for defending members of Falun Gong—a spiritual practice the regime has been persecuting since 1999. He was charged with so-called “sabotaging law enforcement.”

Zhu was arrested last August. Authorities ransacked his home and allegedly found Falun Gong books and CD-ROMs. He was formally charged in September and secretly put on trial in May this year.

This isn’t the first time Zhu has found himself on the wrong side of the Chinese regime for defending Falun Gong. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese Lawyer Zhu Yubiao Imprisoned for Defending Falun Gong

Riot in south China after officials beat to death a disabled fruit vendor

Posted by Author on July 27, 2011


(Reuters) – Angry residents in a southern Chinese city went on the rampage after officials apparently beat to death a disabled fruit vendor, a state media said on Wednesday, in the latest incident of social unrest in the world’s second-largest economy.

The China Daily said that thousands of people gathered on the streets of Anshun in Guizhou province on Tuesday afternoon, throwing stones at police and overturning a government vehicle.

The riot was sparked after urban management officers — a quasi-police force that enforces laws against begging and other petty offences — were suspected of beating the vendor to death, the newspaper said. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, City resident, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Incident, News, People, Protest, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Riot in south China after officials beat to death a disabled fruit vendor

Leave Your Name When Buying a Knife Before Asia Games in China Guangzhou

Posted by Author on September 18, 2010


By Lin Hsin-Yi, Epoch Times Staff, Sep. 18, 2010 –

Two months out from the 2010 Asia Games in Guangzhou, the capital of the Guangdong Province in south China, the city’s Public Security Bureau has laid down a new law which citizens say is as irksome as it will be ineffectual: that is, everyone who buys knives or similar instruments from now until the end of the Games will have to provide at least six pieces of personal information.

Like during other mass events organized by the authorities, before November 12 when the Games begin there will be frequent inspection points around the city with often onerous demands on passers-through, the prohibition of balloons, kites, sky lanterns and carrier pigeons, and a regime of stiff fines for incompliants.

The Guangzhou police announced the measures on August 21, titled “Notice to Enforce Safe Knife Management in Guangzhou.” It goes for cleavers, large fruit knives, craft knives, files, and ceramic knives; only approved vendors can sell them, and buyers need to yield their name, address, ID number, types of knives, number purchased, and intended use. The policy has currently been put into effect in a few districts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Event, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, Politics, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Leave Your Name When Buying a Knife Before Asia Games in China Guangzhou

Thousand protesters gather in south China city to protect Cantonese language

Posted by Author on July 25, 2010


Tania Branigan, The Guardian, July 25, 2010 –

A Chinese “culture war” has spilled onto the streets of a southern city as hundreds of inhabitants held an unusual mass rally to defend their local language.

Proposals for Guangdong’s main television company to broadcast primarily in Mandarin – China’s official language – have angered citizens in the province, who fear that Cantonese is being sidelined.

Some worry that Cantonese, which is also spoken in some other parts of the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, is on its way to extinction. According to the official People’s Daily newspaper, it is the first language for half of the 14 million residents of the provincial capital Guangzhou, while the other half speak mainly Mandarin.

Up to a thousand protesters gathered in the centre of Guangzhou shouting slogans, before police dispersed them peacefully. A witness said most were in their twenties, although some were middle-aged.

The controversy broke out when the local committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – a political advisory body – urged authorities to ensure that Mandarin, which is spoken across the country, is used on Guangzhou TV’s main shows. It said the move would promote unity and help tourists and athletes who will arrive in the city for the Asian Games this November.

Although the network has said it will continue to broadcast in both languages, residents fear that Cantonese is being squeezed out and could ultimately be dropped completely. They argue there are already plenty of Mandarin channels for people to watch and say that a decline in the use of the language will also erode the area’s cultural heritage.

In a poll on the committee’s own website, 80% of the 30,000 respondents said Guangzhou TV stations should broadcast in Cantonese…….(more details from The Guardian)

Posted in China, Event, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Thousand protesters gather in south China city to protect Cantonese language

China auto parts plant halts production due to strike from Monday

Posted by Author on June 22, 2010


June 22 (Reuters) – Japan’s Denso Corp (6902.T), a car parts maker affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), said on Tuesday its joint venture plant in Guangzhou, China has halted production since Monday morning due to a labour strike.

The plant, Denso (Guangzhou Nansha) Co Ltd, has also halted supply of its fuel injection equipment and other products to Toyota, Honda Motor Co (7267.T) and other carmaker clients since Monday, Denso spokeswoman Yoko Suga said.

The management and workers of the joint venture are currently negotiating on the workers’ demand for higher wages and better benefits, she said. (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani)

Reuters

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Company, Event, Guangdong, Guangzhou, News, People, Protest, SE China, Social, Worker, World | Comments Off on China auto parts plant halts production due to strike from Monday

Taxi driver in southern China died while serving a short detention

Posted by Author on March 15, 2010


Radio Free Asia, 2010-03-15 –

HONG KONG— A taxi driver in southern China has died while serving a short detention as punishment for a traffic violation, according to the man’s wife.

Liu Zhengguo, a driver in the Conghua city suburb of Guangzhou, in south China’s Guangdong province, died as the result of a “brain tumor,” according to police who had overseen his custody.

But according to Liu’s wife, his body was covered with bruises that were inconsistent with the cause of death offered by authorities.

“My husband has never suffered from any illness before. Absolutely not,” she said.

“But now his body is full of wounds and black-and-blue marks. His head was swollen. The police are so cruel.”

Liu’s wife said she became suspicious as a result of an uncharacteristically considerate attitude shown by the police following his death.

“They paid for our food and lodging when we were called to Guangzhou. They prepaid the medical expenses for my husband, saying they had done it out of humanitarian concern,” she said.

“Nothing could be further than the truth. There was no earthquake in our home—why should we need their ‘humanitarian concern?’”

Liu’s wife said she felt certain that her husband had been beaten by his captors.

“The facts are clear. My husband was beaten to near-death by the police, but it took six days for him to die.”

Traffic violation

Liu Zhengguo was arrested March 5 after clashing with traffic control personnel over a traffic violation and was subsequently given a 10-day detention as punishment.

Last Thursday, while in police custody, Liu suddenly collapsed from dizziness.

By the time he was rushed to a hospital he was already in critical condition.

Liu died Sunday in the same police-managed hospital that announced his cause of death as the result of a brain tumor.

News of Liu’s death in detention prompted several hundred of his friends and colleagues to surround the Traffic Management Office in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, protesting police violence.

But local authorities refused to answer questions…….(more details from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Law, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Worker, World | Comments Off on Taxi driver in southern China died while serving a short detention

China Lawyer Detained For Teaching College Students About Online Censorship

Posted by Author on November 30, 2009


Radio Free asia, 2009-11-30 –

HONG KONG—A civil rights lawyer says he was detained by police in southern China for teaching a class to college students about online censorship and the use of a popular microblogging service.

Tang Jingling, a lawyer based in Guangdong’s provincial capital Guangzhou, said he was invited by a teacher surnamed Xu to the Guangzhou College of Vocational Technology on Nov. 27 to lecture students there on the Internet and its applications.

Instead, he said, he was interrupted by a member of the campus security force who was auditing the class, and was told to show his identification before being led away by police.

“When a teacher delivers a lecture, he should have all the rights over the content. But when I was in the classroom, a staff member from the school’s security division was sitting there, intimidating teachers,” Tang said.

“He even called the police to threaten the teachers and students. This was a joke and the biggest derision to academic freedom,” he said.

At the police station, Tang was questioned and barred from making phone calls.

Police threatened to keep him in custody for 24 hours.

News of Tang’s detention spread quickly on Twitter, enabling some netizens to immediately rush to the scene and call for his release.

Police allowed Tang Jingling to leave early Saturday, after three to four hours of questioning.

Twitter targeted

Tang admonished the authorities for shutting down his lecture, which included a talk on the use of the Twitter microblogging service.

“Twitter is just a tool to acquire knowledge and information, which can increase the skills of the students and ready them for tomorrow’s society. The way I was treated is really ridiculous,” he added.

Twitter has been censored several times by Chinese authorities following deadly ethnic riots in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region last July.

But China’s netizens say it is impossible for authorities to completely control Twitter due to the service’s inherently open characteristics and joke that “the day Twitter is shut down, pigs will climb trees.”

In fact, signs seem to indicate that an increasing number of China’s netizens are joining Twitter and using the service to pass on news.

Feng Zhenghu, a cyber-dissident who has been stranded in Tokyo’s Narita airport seeking the right to return to China, said that since registering as a user on the site on Nov. 13, he has received nearly 500 messages.

“In my inbox there are several hundred tweets, mostly from Chinese people expressing their concern and support,” Feng said.

Guangzhou-based cyber-activist Bei Feng said that Twitter is considered “a tool of subversion” by some Chinese security personnel.

“As far as I know, leading Chinese Web sites and forums were all cautioned not to discuss Twitter, which may now be monitored by special task forces,” Bei said.

“The Chinese authorities are always on high alert against Twitter, wanting to cut it off entirely,” he said…….(more detals from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Human Rights, Internet, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Student, Technology, World | Comments Off on China Lawyer Detained For Teaching College Students About Online Censorship

Six-Year-Old Chinese Girl Dreams of Being a Corrupt Official

Posted by Author on September 8, 2009


By Luo Ya, Epoch Times Staff Sep 7, 2009 –

A short video posted on NanDu.Net, a Chinese news website, featuring a six year old girl from Guangzhou City has become the talk of China. When asked about her ideal life, the first grader proudly announced that she dreamed of becoming “a corrupt official, as they have lots of property.” The video was soon being discussed throughout the major media and Internet forums.

By late Sept. 2, the video had already received 14,000 hits, but was soon blocked and later deleted by the website. NanDu.Net had set up a poll for viewers to vote on how they felt about the video; the majority said it “accurately reflected the reality of Chinese society.”

”This six-year-old girl can see the nature of our society,” said Guangzhou attorney Liu Shihui in an interview with The Epoch Times. “I very much admired her vision. She got right to the point. Unfortunately, it also shows how poisoned the next generation of the country has become. These little souls have been led astray; this is awful.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Children, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, People, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on Six-Year-Old Chinese Girl Dreams of Being a Corrupt Official

China: 5 TV Station Staff Suspended for Failing to Censor Politically Sensitive Information

Posted by Author on June 26, 2009


Epoch Times Staff,  Jun 25, 2009  –

Five staff members from Guangzhou Cable TV (GCTV) have been suspended for a “political mistake.” They apparently failed on several occasions to censor scenes related to the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the Falun Gong spiritual practice.

Programs from Hong Kong relayed to Guangdong Province normally have between 5-15 seconds delay for monitoring purposes. When Hong Kong TV broadcasts sensitive political information, local stations need to censor it immediately and replace it with other footage.

A Radio Free Asia report on Asia TV (ATV), broadcast a trailer announcing a “Special Series: The 20th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre” at 7:00 p.m. on May 22, which included the iconic scene of the student blocking the tank. The GCTV failed to censor the scenes at once, and an estimated one million TV viewers in Guangzhou City viewed it. On June 4, when ATV broadcast a special program on religion, including content relating to Falun Gong, GCTV again failed to censor it in time.

In addition, according to the China Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, when GCTV relayed the news at 6:30 on June 5, it failed to censor the scenes of Hong Kong people commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre on the night of June 4. After an investigation by the Guangzhou Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department, 2 editors and 3 assistant editors of the GCTV were suspended from their duties, while more employees, including executives of the TV station, may also be reprimanded.

GCTV belongs to Guangzhou TV. One of their previous hiccoughs was when former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, delivered a governmental work report to the National People’s Congress in March 2001. The subtitles introduced him as a “former Falun Gong practitioner.” All editors and the TV executives involved were punished.

In previous years, many provincial TV station programs covering 10 provinces in China had clips inserted of Jiang Zemin’s crimes related to the persecution of Falun Gong, including the countless lawsuits filed against Jiang. Audiences in China said that the program also revealed Jiang’s cover up of the SARS epidemic. The regime’s mouthpiece Xinhua, criticized the inserted broadcast but dared not disclose the nature of the content to the mainland Chinese.

Epoch Times

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Human Rights, Incident, Media, News, Politics, SE China, Speech, TV / film, World | Comments Off on China: 5 TV Station Staff Suspended for Failing to Censor Politically Sensitive Information

AIDS in China Heading Out of Control: Chinese Expert

Posted by Author on November 29, 2008


Nanfang Daily, via The China Scope, by LLD, Nov. 25, 2008-

A medical expert in Guangzhou warned on Nov 24 that AIDS in China has entered a stage of being uncontrollable.

An 18-year-old college freshman was recently diagnosed with AIDS in a Guangzhou hospital. According to the doctor, the male student was infected through sexual intercourse.

In China, transmission of the deadly disease through sexual activities has dwarfed every other channel of contagion, according to Cai Weiping, an AIDS expert from Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital, in a media interview.

While the liberal attitude toward sex among the younger generation is one of the major reasons for the disease being out of control, migrant workers and the elderly are also vulnerable populations. Although the government has started the AIDS education, the sex workers at the bottom of  society are usually not targeted. Cai said that due to their extremely low income, they cannot afford the cost of condoms.

The China Scope

Posted in AIDS, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Health, Life, News, People, SE China, Social, Student, World | Comments Off on AIDS in China Heading Out of Control: Chinese Expert

China Hires 100,000 People Patroling Guangzhou City, Target Foreigners

Posted by Author on August 5, 2008


The Epoch Times, Aug 3, 2008-

GUANGZHOU—China initiated a special action called the “Peaceful Olympics on July 28 in the capital city of Guangdong Province, China. Over 100,000 people are patrolling and guarding main routes and entrances all over Guangzhou. At the top of the list to be searched and interrogated are foreigners.

According to the Yangcheng Evening News in Guangzhou, Tianhe District Police have gathered around 1,000 police officers to carry out registrations and search all rentals and accommodated sauna centers. Those who are found are recorded and matched in the system.

The report said police authority and the Comprehensive Treatment Office of Guangzhou recruited over 100,000 people, who wear red sleeve bands and carry whistles, to help police patrol the region and control society.

Authorities initiated an action, code named “Moat,” which setup 21 all-day checkpoints in five layers on the city’s major routes and entrances to check or block people, vehicles, and materials from entering. “Moat” also uses video monitoring systems and has thirteen major posts to watch the city and maintain comprehensive control over the city.

In addition, Guangzhou police launched a “three-illegal” (illegal immigration, illegal residency, and illegal employment) investigation of foreigners. They plan to take legal action against foreigners who do not carry a passport, did not register for accommodation, or those of the “three no’s” (no regular or permanent address, no income, or no related recipient.)

Meanwhile, authorities in Guangzhou have also assigned police officers as security specialists who are to conduct surveillance of local. They are to thoroughly check companies that handle weapons, explosives, and poisons to prevent any incidents.

Police authorities also increased security checks of subway passengers, carry-on bags to block any flammables, explosives, or poisons from entering the subway.

Authorities added patrols on key traffic routes, around the Pearl River, and the subway system. Armed patrols will appear in crowded areas in downtown Guangzhou and surrounding areas.

Police authorities claim that they will heavily crack down on crimes and reward anyone who provides tips and said they will amply reward those who can offer clues on “Olympic-related crimes,” once verified.

Police indicate that the “Peaceful Olympics” are designed to ensure that large scale events run smoothly such as the Olympic Scientific Conference to be held in Guangzhou this August.

However, some claim that the increase in security is just another way for China to exercise more control over the populous.

– Original: 100,000 People Patrol Guangzhou, Target Foreigners

Posted in Beijing Olympics, China, City resident, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on China Hires 100,000 People Patroling Guangzhou City, Target Foreigners

Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

Posted by Author on May 12, 2008


By Aaron Pan, Bloomberg.com, May 11, 2008-

May 11 (Bloomberg) — Africans living in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are being forced to leave the country because of new visa policies, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified spokesman for the community.

Nearly half of the 10,000 Africans in the city have already been forced to leave because their visa-renewal applications have been denied and at least 100 people are stranded in Macau without enough money to return home, the newspaper reported.

African nationals in the city have been running small businesses on flexible, six-month “F” visas and are now being given only tourist visas of up to 15 days, the Morning Post said.

The General Committee of African People in Guangzhou has sent a letter to 10 African embassies in Beijing asking them to press the Chinese government on the issue, the newspaper added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said May 7 that visa checks have been tightened ahead of the Olympic Games to ensure “greater security.”

– Original report from Bloomberg: Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules, Post Reports

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, Businessman, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

China Journalists Protest the Dismissal of Newspaper Deputy Editor over Tibet Comments

Posted by Author on May 6, 2008


Reporters Without Borders, 6 May 2008-

China journalists protest the dismissal of newspaper deputy editor over Tibet comments

Media personalities and journalists on Nanfang Dushi Bao have protested at the dismissal of Chang Ping, deputy editor of the paper. A petition in support of his reinstatement is being circulated, on the initiative of Cheng Yizhong, the former editor of the Guangzhou daily. This proves that freedom of expression is still being trampled on in China”, said Cheng Yizhong, who was himself sanctioned and arrested in 2004. Journalist, Zan Aizong, demanded “fair treatment” for his colleague.

06.05 – Deputy editor removed because of editorial about Tibet

The deputy editor of the daily Nanfang Dushi Bao, Chang Ping, announced today that he has been removed from his post because of his editorials about Tibet, especially two entitled “Universal Values” and “How to find the truth about Lhasa”, that contrasts with the government’s propaganda, according to the web site Boxun. He has been the target of a smear campaign on the Internet and in other newspapers for daring to say that events in Tibet show that the government has not solved the problem of minorities.

“We deplore this unfair removal of a well-known member of the liberal press,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Once again, only the voice of propaganda is permitted in China with the aim of getting the world to believe that all Chinese support repression in Tibet.”

Chang is known for writing serious, independent editorials, in which he often denounces press freedom violations by officials. In 2006, for example, he criticised a government bill on crisis management that envisaged additional restrictions on the press.

He used to be deputy editor of the famous weekly Nanfang Zhoumo and deputy editor of Waitan Huabao. He was removed from the Nanfang Zhoumo deputy editor position in 2001 after publishing two investigative reports that had a lot of impact.

– Original report from Reporters Without Borders: Figures within Chinese media speak out against sacking of Chang Ping

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Human Rights, Journalist, Lasa, Law, Media, News, Newspaper, People, Politics, SE China, Social, SW China, Tibet, World, Xizang | Comments Off on China Journalists Protest the Dismissal of Newspaper Deputy Editor over Tibet Comments

China Reports New Bird Flu Outbreak in Guangzhou City

Posted by Author on March 17, 2008


Reuters, Mar. 16, 2008-

BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) – China has reported a bird flu outbreak at a poultry market in the southern city of Guangzhou, state media said on Sunday, prompting neighbouring Hong Kong to suspend live poultry imports from the region.

The outbreak, which was first noticed on March 13 at a poultry market in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, killed 108 birds and triggered the culling of another 518, Xinhua news agency said, citing the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The outbreak has been effectively controlled,” Xinhua said.

It occurred as authorities in Hong Kong, which borders Guangdong to the south, closed kindergartens and primary schools for two weeks to contain a seasonal flu outbreak.

A top Chinese doctor last week said the H5N1 bird flu virus was mutating, and urged vigilance at a time when seasonal human influenza is at a peak.

Experts fear seasonal flu could get mixed up with a deadly novel strain, such as H5N1, and trigger a pandemic killing millions.

Health authorities in Hong Kong said on Sunday they would ban live poultry imports from the infected area.

“Upon confirmation of the case, the government will … (suspend) the import of live birds, live poultry and poultry products from the zone of 13 kilometres (8 miles) radius from the infected area for 21 days,” a spokesman from Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau said.

Although there have been only 372 known human infections worldwide since 2003, the virus’s mortality rate is worryingly high. At least 235 people have died from the virus, according to World Health Organisation data.

Of 30 human bird flu cases in China, 20 have died, including three this year.

With the world’s biggest poultry population and millions of backyard birds, China is considered crucial in the fight against the disease. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Beijing and Alison Leung in Hong Kong; Editing by Charles Dick)

– Original report from Reuters: China reports new bird flu outbreak

Posted in Asia, Bird flu, Business, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Health, News, SE China, World | 1 Comment »

Detained China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Hunger Strike For Nearly 80 Days

Posted by Author on March 1, 2008


Reporters Without Borders, 27 February 2008-

Reporters Without Borders is extremely worried about the health of detained cyber-dissident and human rights lawyer Yang Maodong, who has been on hunger strike in Meizhou prison (in the province of Guangdong) for the past 11 weeks. Better known by the online pseudonym of Guo Feixiong, Yang stopped eating on 13 December.

“This is the second hunger strike that Yang has undertaken in a year and this time he has not eaten for almost 80 days,” the press freedom organisation said. “Every day he is given injections that supply a quarter of his daily energy needs and he is continuing to drink liquids, but his state of health is alarming. We urge the authorities to let him be examined by a doctor at once and we reiterate our call for his release.”

His wife, Zhang Qing, today told Reporters Without Borders about the “physical mistreatment, including electric shocks” to which he has been subjected since his arrest a year and a half ago and the “traces of torture, five or six scars.” She said she is now staging a 24-hour hunger strike each week in solidarity with her husband and to “denounce the state’s inhuman and legally inadmissible behaviour” towards him.

The authorities are treating Yang with increased harshness and Yang was denied access to the prison when she went to visit him on 22 January. She was able to see him in the courtyard from outside the prison. As soon as he saw her, the guards surrounding him put a hood over his head. Zhang said he seemed to be “very weak” and “seriously handicapped by the poor state of his pelvis.”

A writer and human rights activist, Yang, 41, was arrested for “disturbing the peace” after organising a rally in the village of Taishi on 13 September 2006. The authorities claimed that he “personally led demonstrations by villagers with the aim of overthrowing the local officials.”

He was sentenced in November 2007 to five years in prison and a fine of 40,000 yuan (4,000 euros). In order to begin collecting this sum, the authorities froze the couple’s bank account on 18 December and withdrew 7,260 yuan.

– Original report from Reporters Without Borders: Detained cyber-dissident has been on hunger strike for nearly 80 days

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Guo Feixiong, Health, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Life, News, People, Politics, SE China, Taishi village, Torture, World | Comments Off on Detained China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Hunger Strike For Nearly 80 Days

Woman Dies of Bird Flu In South China: Third Case This Year

Posted by Author on February 26, 2008


AFP, Feb. 25, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — A 44-year-old woman in southern China who tested positive for bird flu died on Monday, health officials said, in what is likely the country’s third reported death from the virus this year.

The migrant worker, surnamed Zhang, died after developing a fever and a cough following contact with dead poultry in Guangdong, the province’s health department said, although authorities in Beijing did not immediately comment.

In the financial hub of Hong Kong, which borders Guangdong, officials reacted by increasing tests of poultry coming over the border, although there was no ban on imports as occurred in similar cases previously.

The Guangdong health department said Zhang died in hospital after developing a fever, cough and inflammation of the lungs on February 16.

“We undertook tests on the patient and found that … a test for the bird flu virus (H5N1) was positive,” the department said in a statement.

“It was determined that before her illness she had had contact with dead poultry,” the statement added, without saying specifically that the suspect fowl had H5N1.

The department said that no-one else who had come into close contact with the victim had shown any symptoms of the virus……. (more details from AFP: Woman dies in southern China, tested positive for bird flu)

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Health, News, SE China, Women, World | Comments Off on Woman Dies of Bird Flu In South China: Third Case This Year

“Comrades”, “I am here to comfort you”, China’s Prime Minister Said to Snowbound Millions

Posted by Author on February 1, 2008


By Quentin Sommerville, BBC News, 30 January 2008, Shanghai-

As China continues to endure the worst winter storms in five decades, some roads and airports are beginning to reopen.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has been visiting hundreds of thousands of stranded passengers.

He addressed crowds first at Changsha railway station in Hunan province, then at Guangzhou station in Guangdong.

He promised to get travellers, many of them migrant workers, home for the all-important spring festival holiday.

It is rare for a Chinese politician, especially the prime minister, to apologise so directly to the people.

“Comrades, I’m Wen Jiabao,” he began. “I am here to comfort you. You have suffered a lot and I feel your pain.

“The south of the country has suffered from the most serious heavy snow in the past several decades. I totally understand how eager you want to go back home. I can tell you that we are trying our best to restore the power supply.”

‘It’s a joke!’

Mr Wen’s comments were also directed to China’s provincial leaders.

Squabbling over resources has meant that as many as 17 of China’s 31 provinces have been experiencing power-outages, while others are running short of food.

In Beijing, the Politburo met and ordered provincial officials to make fighting the effects of the terrible weather conditions their number one priority.

Over 300,000 paramilitary police, and almost 200,000 People’s Liberation Army troops, have now been deployed in an effort to get the country moving again.

But for some, the government is not doing enough.

One comment on the popular website tianya.cn said: “Emergency plan? It’s a joke!”

The posting continued: “The snow alone can destroy China. The government won’t take care of you even if you are freezing.”

‘Helpless’

Another poster complained: “After many years of fast development, how can we face such a miserable situation? It’s corruption that makes our infrastructure so vulnerable. The Chinese government should wake up.”

Normally at this time of year, China’s millions of factory workers journey back to their villages and families – instead they are taking shelter far from home, in the freezing cold.

Outside Hangzhou railway station, temporary shelters have been constructed.

Li Yulian, a migrant worker, is still hopeful of getting home.

“I feel helpless. There is nothing I can do with the weather like this. When I reach there, I hope I can find a bus to bring me home,” she said.

Many workers, like Wei Haisheng, are growing frustrated.

“I cannot get a ticket and I am not able to go home. So I am feeling frustrated and my family back home is also getting worried about the situation,” he said.

Even the considerable efforts of the Chinese state may not be enough to get them home; the country’s weather service reports that for some central provinces, the worst is still to come.

In some areas, airports, roads and railway lines have begun to reopen, although many provinces are still experiencing power and food shortages.

But despite the promise of their prime minster, many hundreds of thousands are stranded in railway stations and will not make it home for China’s most important national holiday.

– Original report from BBC News: Misery of China’s snowbound millions

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China: 500,000 Passengers Stranded By Snowstorms in Guangzhou Train Station

Posted by Author on January 29, 2008


By WILLIAN FOREMAN, scotsman.com, UK, Jan 28, 2008-

MORE than 500,000 travellers found themselves stranded in and around a Chinese city’s train station yesterday, as blizzards and ice storms created a transport crisis ahead of the country’s New Year celebrations.

The travellers, most of them migrant workers, were stuck in Guangzhou after heavy snowfalls to the north cut off parts of the busy line that starts in the city and ends in Beijing.

Officials were scrambling to prevent riots and find temporary shelter in schools and convention centres for the crowd, which has swollen each day as more workers tried to return to their home towns for the Chinese New Year.

The holiday, which begins on 7 February, is as important in China as Christmas is in the West. For many migrants, it is the only chance to visit their families, and they stay away for weeks.

At Guangzhou’s main station yesterday, a massive outdoor plaza was packed with people pulling luggage or lifting it over their heads. The crowd eventually spilled out on to a major road in front of the station, and it had to be blocked off to create more space for the travellers.

The workers created small camps with their suitcases, bundles and plastic bags full of snacks. They littered the ground with chicken bones, sunflower seed shells and cigarette butts as they patiently waited for their trains.

Radio announcements told people not to go to the station, which will not sell tickets again until 7 February. State-run newspapers ran headlines urging the migrants to seek ticket refunds and stay put for the holiday.

Li Moming, 48, a construction worker, spent the night on the street, enduring a bone-chilling drizzle. The train that was to take him to his home village in central Henan province – 20 hours away – was cancelled. He said his next move might be to scrap his travel plans and spend the holiday in his dormitory room at his work. “I thought about taking a bus, but the highways are shut down, too. Oh well, what can you do?” said a jovial Mr Li, dressed in a mud-splattered brown pinstripe suit for his ill-fated return journey home……. (more details from scotsman.com)

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China: Man Commits Suicide in Guangzhou City Due to Inflation

Posted by Author on January 25, 2008


By Huang Yiqing, Epoch Times Staff, Jan 24, 2008-
A man in Guangzhou city in China has committed suicide because of inflation. A man jumped to his death from the roof of an eight story building. Witness, Mr. Xiao, said that before he jumped, the man shouted, “The price is rising too quickly. I cannot bear it!”The New Express reported that on Jan. 22 a man stood for a very long time on the roof of an eight story building in Wuyang New Town, Guangzhou city, while many people gathered and watched curiously.

A dweller of the building called the police hotline. The firemen arrived and began the rescue. While they were inflating the air bed, the man suddenly jumped and died on the spot.

A witness on the scene said that the man was about 1.6 meters in height and wore very thin clothes although the day was cold.

Since last year, consumer product prices in mainland China, such as grains, oil, and meat have skyrocketed. Rising prices have led to increased daily expenditures with a matching decline in the quality of living. This has placed much financial pressure on low-income groups.

The situation is most serious in Guangdong province. According to a report in Hong Kong’s Ming Pao News, the price of lean pork in Guangzhou City is three times higher than it was a year ago.

People have also been affected by the recent rise in the price of cooking oil, as well as the price of melon seeds and candies purchased for the coming Chinese New Year.

Although the Guangdong provincial government is pushing several policies to repress the quick inflation and has declared that consumer product prices will not rise higher that 4 percent in 2008, the price of grains, cooking oil, meat, eggs, aquatic products, vegetables, and canned natural gas continues to rise.

Original report from The Epochtimes

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China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Beaten in Prison, Staging Hunger Strike in Prison

Posted by Author on January 7, 2008


Radio Free Asia, 2007.12.28-

HONG KONG— Prominent Chinese civil rights lawyer Guo Feixiong has been beaten in prison and is now on the fifteenthday of a hunger strike, his wife and sister have said.

“He was beaten Dec. 18, the fifth day after he entered the prison in Meizhou. A fellow prisoner beat him while more than 200 other prisoners looked on,” Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing, told RFA’s Mandarin service after visiting with Guo for 40 minutes on Dec. 28. She was accompanied by his older sister, Yang Maoping.

“He told me he was beaten for a long time. The prisoner stopped beating him only when the onlookers began to boo and shush to express their displeasure. In the process of the beating, he fell from the stairs, about two meters,” Zhang said.

Guo Feixiong, the professional name of Yang Maodong, is serving a five-year sentence for conducting illegal business activities, after publishing a book about a political scandal and helping villagers lead a campaign to oust local officials accused of corruption.

He was arrested in September 2006 and sent to Shenyang on Jan. 20, 2007. He was transferred back to Guangzhou on March 30, tried on July 9, sentenced Nov. 14, and transferred Dec. 13 from a detention center in Guangzhou to serve his term at the remote Meizhou Prison of Guangdong Province.

Labor but no reading in prison

“He looked much worse today than when I saw him Dec. 12—he’s been on a hunger strike since Dec. 13, for 15 days. He told me they have been force-feeding him and that his daily intake is about one-quarter of a normal person’s daily intake. He looked very thin, very pale. He said his hunger strike would last 100 days,” his wife said.

Zhang said her husband was told he would have to work eight hours a day in prison, sewing clothing, in addition to training in the evening. “He’s a man. What does he know about sewing?” she said.

“He has an irregular heartbeat. The air quality in the workroom is very bad. And it is very noisy. This constitutes a form of physical abuse. So he asked not to engage in labor. Then they drew a line in front of his cell door and told him not to cross the line and not to speak with any of the other more than 200 inmates. I infer from this that he is in solitary confinement,” she said.

Guo is also barred from reading, Zhang said. “That’s why he is on a hunger strike for 100 days—to protest all these things—the deprivation of his basic rights. They also threatened to send him to a mental hospital. In the past they carried out their threat to send him to Shenyang, where he was tortured. That’s why we take this threat very seriously. He said he is facing an extremely grave situation. He said this is just like what happened to him in Shenyang… He called for the outside world to campaign on his behalf. He said this was the first time that he ever issued such a plea.”(…… more details from Radio Free Asia)

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China: End Child Labor in State Schools

Posted by Author on December 5, 2007


‘Work and Study’ Programs Put Hundreds of Thousands of Children at Risk

Human Rights Watch, December 3, 2007-

(New York, December 3, 2007) – The Chinese government should abolish the use of income-generating child labor schemes in middle and junior high schools because of their chronic abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Many programs interfere with children’s education, lack basic health and safety guarantees, and involve long hours and dangerous work.

“China claims that it is fighting child labor, and repeatedly cites its legal prohibition against the practice as proof,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “But the government actively violates its own prohibitions by running large programs through the school system that use child labor, lack sufficient health and safety guarantees, and exploit loopholes in domestic labor laws.”

Under “Work and Study” programs regulated by the Ministry of Education, schools in impoverished areas are encouraged to set up income-generating activities to make up for budgetary shortfalls. According to official statistical material from the Ministry of Education seen by Human Rights Watch, more than 400,000 middle and junior high schools, which are for children ages 12 to 16, nationwide are running agricultural and manufacturing schemes. In 2004, proceeds from Work and Study programs generated over 10 billion yuan (US$1.25 billion), the statistics show.

Chinese law prohibits the use of child of labor under age 16 but stipulates that children may be employed under special circumstances, such as in sports or in the arts, or if their “occupational training” and “educational labor” does not adversely affect their personal health and safety. Regulations that govern Work and Study programs in middle and junior high schools prohibit hazardous work and stress that “education must come first,” but fail to provide a clear definition of the acceptable kind, intensity, and overall time duration of this special category of work.

The majority of schools limit these schemes to seasonal agricultural work (such as growing and harvesting crops), improving school facilities, or producing small handicrafts over summer breaks, either independently or through contract with outside employers.

But overly vague Work and Study regulations and poor supervision have led to widespread abuse of the system by schools and employers alike. Children as young as 12 have been employed in heavy agricultural and hazardous construction work. Others have been dispatched to local factories for weeks or months of “summer employment.” Some schools have turned into full-fledged workshops to produce local handiwork or foodstuff while relegating teaching to a few hours a week.

In recent years, numerous cases of children working in abusive conditions under the guise of Work and Study programs have been documented, with problems ranging from long working hours, dangerous working conditions, low salaries, and a range of health and safety hazards.

In July 2007, more than 100 middle and junior high school children were found in a factory making cardboard boxes in Panyu district, near Guangzhou. They worked eight-hour days in different shifts, the first starting at 8 a.m. and the last finishing at 11 p.m. The children were housed in the factory’s dormitory and paid 2.4 yuan per hour (US$0.30).

In June 2007, 500 children from a middle school in the western province of Sichuan were discovered working 14-hour shifts in a factory in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Their school had contracted them to the company for summer employment. The children complained of poor living conditions, including crowded dormitories and insufficient food, and an array of work-induced health problems. Children were fined for production mistakes.

And in August 2006, local media reported that local school authorities in Maoming Municipality, Guangdong province, had arranged for 200 schoolchildren from poor families to work over the summer in factories in the neighboring manufacturing centers of Dongguan and Shenzhen. The children were working 11-hour days, with no rest on the weekend. Many complained of health problems, such as flu-like syndromes, persistent headaches, and fevers. A 16-year-old girl reportedly died as a result of untreated encephalitis. She had been complaining of high fever for three days but was not allowed to rest.

Budgetary pressures at the local level may account for worsening practices, with local government often slashing education and health budgets when revenues decline. Chinese law mandates that the state provide all children with nine years of free and compulsory education, but in practice most schools, especially in poor areas, cannot function without collecting tuition fees. The Ministry of Education says the Work and Study system is designed to generate revenue that enables schools from poverty-stricken areas to operate, and to subsidize children from poor families who cannot afford school-related fees. Local education departments at the prefectural or district level routinely fix revenue targets that must be met by individual schools, even though doing so is banned by the central government. In recent years, increasing budgetary pressures on schools have contributed to their “out-contracting” of students to employers looking for a cheap and easily manipulated workforce.

Hard labor, low pay, and hazardous work conditions are more prevalent in poor and remote rural areas. Schools, often with the encouragement of local education authorities, have sent children from poor areas in Sichuan, Hunan, Anhui, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Shaanxi to factories in the coastal regions for “summer employment.”

In remote areas such as Yunnan, Gansu, and Xinjiang, local employers have hired children for heavy agricultural work during the harvests. In December 2006, the Chinese media reported “severe violations” of Work and Study regulations in Minqin county, near Wuwei municipality (Gansu Province), including hazardous work conditions, unsafe transportation, and long working hours. In one incident, a middle school pupil died after falling from the truck used by the school to bring the children to the work fields. In April 2006, primary schoolchildren from Luoshan, Henan Province, were dispatched to a local tea farm to pick tea. A local teacher explained that it was the only way for the school to meet operating costs.

“Inequalities in China’s education system are out of control,” Richardson said. “Children from poor areas not only face vastly inferior resources, now they must also engage in heavy work to finance the schools they attend. The responsibility for adequately funding compulsory education should not fall on the shoulders of the children themselves.”

The State Council, China’s cabinet, has acknowledged the existence of severe defects in the Work and Study system in primary and middle schools. In 2006, prompted by an accident in which 131 children were poisoned after ingesting oil made from castor-oil seeds their school was making under contract from a local company, the central government issued a set of detailed instructions urging greater compliance with educational, health, and safety standards in Work and Study programs. “Labor that exceeds the bodily strength of children, involves toxic or dangerous material, or harms the development of the child are strictly prohibited,” the instructions said.

Other unauthorized practices detailed by the document include: the imposition of revenue targets by education departments on schools, and by schools on individual classes and schoolchildren; fining children who fall short of work quotas; children working overlong hours; and companies’ manipulation of the Work and Study label to employ underage workers.

Yet these new instructions have so-far failed to remove the potential for abuse. In 2006, authorities in the northwestern province of Xinjiang banned the employment of elementary and middle school children to pick cotton because it is excessively physically demanding. However, children were then redirected to other types of work that press reports describe as only marginally less taxing, such as picking beetroots, tomatoes, and other vegetables in state-run farms, and collecting recycling material. In summer 2007, factories in Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Fujian provinces were found using child labor under bogus Work and Study schemes, prompting domestic experts to urge the government to close this loophole in the legal prohibition of child labor.

Human Rights Watch said that little information about Work and Study schemes was publicly available, making it difficult to precisely assess the extent of unsafe forms of child labor in the education system. Most statistical information published by the government aggregates data for middle and junior high schools with figures for high school vocational training and student employment schemes for university students, which all fall under the same qingong jianxue (Work and Study) appellation. The results of a nationwide survey about middle and junior high school Work and Study programs conducted by the Ministry of Education from October 2006 to February 2007 have not been made public.

State censorship of the media has also contributed to the problem. The Ministry of Labor continues to classify statistics and details about child labor cases as “state secrets.” In September 2006, reporters from CCTV, China’s national TV network, documented the employment of children as young as 8 to harvest corn for a local employer. Children were shown carrying heavy loads and working in fields for the entire day. The broadcast sparked public outcry, but, rather than encouraging public debate of the problem, the story was instead removed from the CCTV’s website.

Human Rights Watch said the government should immediately stop programs that put children at risk, release all the information and data about these programs in view of reforming the labor laws, and publicly announce how it will phase out the system.

China is a party to the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182, which prohibit work that is hazardous or interferes with a child’s education.

“China’s own laws and international obligations recognize that children shouldn’t be working,” said Richardson. “But the government allows dangerous work by underage children if their schools organize it. This really raises doubts about China’s commitment to eliminating child labor.”

Original report from Human Rights Watch

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Pork Price Increases Lead to Fights, Open Fire in China

Posted by Author on November 23, 2007


By Wen Hua, Epoch Times Staff, Nov 16, 2007-

China’s recent dramatic price increases in food and other goods have led to violent confrontations in many cities. For many Chinese citizens, especially the retired elderly, the price increases are becoming more than what their paychecks can handle.

According to media in mainland China, on early morning of November 11, a mob of thirty-plus armed with knives and guns opened fire at the Kemu Langianhe pork market in Guangzhou City, Guangdong province. The group threatened and beat Deng, the manager of the pork marketing company.

Two shots were fired during the attack, and over ten people were beaten and injured with wooden and metal rods.

It is reported that the attack was organized by the marketing company preceding the current one to win back their business.

According to the newest data from China’s Department of Statistics, the price of metals has increased over ten percent since October 2007, while coal and gas have each increased by roughly five percent. The largest increase in 2007 has been seen in food, with an over eight percent increase.

During the past week, the price of pork across 36 major Chinese cities has increased by an average of over one percent, with the highest increase being nearly 19 percent in Changzi City of Shanxi Province. In addition, the pork price has doubled in Dalian City of Liaoning Province since last year.

While visiting Beijing’s poverty stricken populace earlier in November, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao admitted that stabilizing the economy has become one of China’s largest problems.

Original report from the Epochtimes

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