China Chemical Plant Exploded On the Same Day State-run Newspaper Claimed It’s Safe


BEIJING, China – An explosion Tuesday at a Chinese plant that produces the toxic chemical paraxylene has added fuel to a growing movement opposing such plants, on the same day that a state-run newspaper prominently urged the public to accept the industry as safe. 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

Chinese Peasants Petitioners Attacked and Beaten by Security Personnel and Hired Thugs


Chinese security personnel and hired thugs attacked and beat a group of peasant petitioners in Fuzhou, capital of China’s southeastern province of Fujian, on Monday, witnesses said.

About 300 peasants from Gulou, Jingan, and other districts of Fuzhou had gathered outside the Provincial Office of Letters and Visits to voice complaints about forced relocations and land-grabs, but were violently dispersed, the witnesses said.

“More than 10 villagers have been beaten up. Two of them fell on the ground,” said Lin Xuguang, a peasant from Liuqiao village in Jingan district. Continue reading

Worst-ever dust storm from China hits Taiwan


Taiwan News, Staff Writer, Mar. 22, 2010-

The worst-ever
dust storms from China forced air quality in Northern Taiwan sharply down yesterday, the Environmental Protection Administration said.

A total of 24 observation stations across the island recorded more than 1,000 micrograms of dust per cubic meter and a further ten showed values at damaging levels, according to the EPA. Skies turned a yellowish grey as there was no rain to wash away the dust, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The worst levels of pollution were recorded on the island of Matsu close to the coast of China’s Fujian Province, in Keelung on the North Coast and in several Taipei City districts, EPA official Chu Yu-chi said. Matsu airport was closed all day due to poor visibility, reports said.

Doctors advised people to limit outside activities to the barest minimum, and to wear masks or even goggles when riding a motorcycle. Patients suffering from breathing problems even before the storm should wait a few days until after it had left before resuming normal outside activities, reports said.

The number of patients recording breathing problems increased by 20 percent to 30 percent because of irritation by the dust, reports said. People wearing contact lenses felt irritation of the eyes, according to media reports quoting physicians…….(more details from Taiwan News)

Trial of Three Rights Activists Marred by Irregularities (South China)


Chinese Human Rights Defenders, November 11, 2009 –

A Fuzhou court tried three human rights activists—Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), Wu Huaying (吴华英), and You Jingyou (游精佑)—for “making false accusations” this afternoon in Fujian Province.  Officials allowed only two family members of each defendant to attend the trial, and supporters barred from entering the courthouse scuffled with police outside.  Journalists were reportedly taken away by officials to prevent them from reporting on the trial.

Being denied an open trial is the latest in a long list of rights abuses suffered by the three during their detention.  Both Fan and Wu were mistreated when they were first taken into custody.  Wu, a woman in her 40s, was handcuffed to a chair in an uncomfortable position during an interrogation which lasted 30 hours. Fan, a 48 year-old woman, has been seriously ill in detention and denied a hearing regarding her application for release on bail for medical treatment. Lawyers for Fan, Wu, and You have encountered obstacles in trying to visit their clients at the detention center, and at least one lawyer has been threatened by judicial authorities that his license to practice law may be suspended if he did not withdraw from the case.

While uniformed officers blocked the entrance to the Mawei District Courthouse and patrolled the surrounding area, the courtroom was filled with plainclothes police or government officials; among those barred from attending the trial were individuals who were intimately involved in the case and provided testimony to police during their investigation.  Other than the six family members, the only other presence in the courthouse not aligned with the government were the six lawyers defending the activists.  Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), Li Fangping (李方平) and Jin Guanghong (金光鸿), from Beijing, and Lin Hongnan (林洪楠), Jiang Yunfu (姜运福), and one other lawyer whose name is not currently available, from Fujian Province, entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of their clients and presented a defense which included statements made by the defendants themselves. …… (more details from Chinese Human Rights Defenders)

Fujian Parents Protest New Lead Poisoning Outbreak


NTDTV via youtube,Sep. 18, 2009-

Another outbreak of lead poisoning has been reported in China— this time in an industrial district of Fujian Province.

Radio Free Asia reports that since last Friday, parents in Jiaoyang County have gathered at a local battery factory. They say pollution from the Shanghang Huaqiang Battery Company is giving their kids lead poisoning.

China: 3 Rights Activists Arrested for Posting Articles Alleging Official Misconduct


Chinese Human Rights Defenders, August 4, 2009-

CHRD has learned that three veteran human rights activists from Fujian — Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), Wu Huaying (吴华英) and You Jingyou (游精佑, known online as He Suoge [赫索格]) — have been formally arrested for “making false charges” (诬告陷害). It is believed that the three are being detained for posting articles online alleging official misconduct and attempts to cover up criminal acts surrounding the death of Yan Xiaoling (严晓玲), a young woman from Minqing County, Fujian Province.

The veteran activists were originally charged with libel, which carries a maximum sentence of three years. If convicted of making false charges, they could face up to ten years in prison.  Fellow activists believe that the charges against the three were changed only for the purpose of punishing them more severely.

The arrest warrants for the three activists, who were originally detained between June 26 and July 5, were issued on July 31. They are now being held in Fuzhou City No.2 Detention Center. A total of eight activists and netizens were taken into custody for their roles in investigating Yan’s death and posting these articles, but only Fan,    Wu, and You are still detained and have been formally charged.

CHRD also learned that both Fan and Wu were mistreated when they were first taken into custody. Fan was not allowed to use the restroom and as a result had to defecate on herself. Fan is also ill with serious kidney and heart diseases. Wu was handcuffed to a chair in an uncomfortable position and restrained, unable to move, for an interrogation which lasted 30 hours. …… (more details from Chinese Human Rights Defenders)

(Video) Dead Pigs Floating in River Ignored in South China


NTDTV, Via Youtube, May 1, 2009-

While the whole world is in a panic over the threat of swine flu, hundreds of dead pigs are floating in a town river in Fujian Province, China. The stench, along with the possibility of a swine flu epidemic, is unnerving nearby residents. But local authorities are taking no action.

Many large and small sacks containing dead pigs are floating among the lotus plants and have blocked a river at the junction of Shouqi, Huangdun and Xingqiao Villages in Fuqing City, Fujian Province. Residents say some of the stinking sacks have sunk to the river bottom. According to residents, local authorities are ignoring the pigs. “Who cares, there are more over on that side. Over on that side of the bridge if you go and see, there are around 100 more sacks than what you see here.” The female resident has seen a car carrying sacks of both small and large pigs. The sacks were thrown directly from the bridge into the river. Residents of Shouqi Village say the dead pigs have been piling up for half a month. Residents say that even a local TV news report on the pigs did not alert local authorities.

- NTDTV via Youtube

Twelve die in China elevator accident


AFP, Via The Age, Australia, October 30, 2008-

Twelve people were killed when the elevator they were riding in plunged to the ground at a construction site in southeast China, state press reported.

The accident occurred on Thursday at the construction site of a residential building in Xiapu county, Fujian province, Xinhua news agency said.

The 12 victims were found dead at the site of the accident, which occurred about 6.40am (local time).

An investigation has been launched, it added.

China has a dismal work safety record, with thousands of people dying every year in mines, factories and on construction sites.

On Tuesday, 11 construction workers were killed and 12 injured in southwest China’s Chongqing city when a crane container carrying them at a building site plunged to the ground.

- The Age

Thousands Clash With Police in S. China Over Chemical Factory Plan


By Edward Cody, Washington Post Foreign Service, Tuesday, March 4, 2008-

BEIJING, March 3 — Violent protests erupted in several southern Chinese fishing towns after residents heard that a chemical factory rejected as environmentally dangerous by the nearby city of Xiamen would be built in their area instead, witnesses and other residents said Monday.

The protesters, who began their uprising peacefully Thursday, clashed repeatedly with baton-wielding police Friday and Saturday in several towns on the Gulei Peninsula, about 50 miles southwest of Xiamen on the Taiwan Strait, they said. A dozen people were injured and carried away for treatment in local hospitals, and about 15 were arrested, according to demonstrators and their family members.

“I have never seen anything like that before,” said a 19-year-old secondary school student who watched one of the clashes unfold. “As soon as I saw all the injured people, I left,” he added, identifying himself only as Chen.

The protests continued Sunday and Monday but without violence, local residents said by telephone. By Monday, the local government sent officials circulating through the area with loudspeakers to deny the reports that the chemical factory was about to be built near their balmy seaside communities.

“The program has not been decided on yet,” Huang Xiaowen of the Dongshan County Propaganda Department added in a telephone interview. “This cannot be decided by our county. It is the central government’s duty to decide on this.”

Construction of the $1.4 billion factory, planned by Tenglong Aromatic PX (Xiamen), began last year on a 300-acre tract on Haicang, an industrial and residential island just off Xiamen. But work was halted in June after a massive cellphone message campaign by environmentalists who invoked the city’s reputation for sweet air and beautiful surroundings.

Their alarms generated several days of demonstrations in Xiamen streets that were widely reported in China and eventually caught the eye of officials in Beijing. Since then, the entire project has been suspended pending an environmental review by the central government under Premier Wen Jiabao.

The halt was hailed by protesters in Xiamen and elsewhere as a rare victory of public opinion over Communist Party bureaucrats for whom economic development normally is the top priority.

Huang Xueqiong, a 30-year-old Dongshan County businesswoman, said people in towns along the peninsula had heard rumors the factory was coming to their area but had not paid much attention. Then local environmental activists started handing out fliers door-to-door, she said, and public concern swelled. Real estate prices began to drop, and people began talking about danger to their children, she said.

Protesters gathered Thursday morning and staged a sit-in to block traffic on a main Dongshan County road. The protest had attracted about 10,000 people by nightfall, she added. At that point, county propaganda officials appeared on local television to assure the public that a chemical factory would not pose a danger and would boost the local economy.

“This really made people angry,” she said.

The protests resumed Friday morning with an approximately equal number of demonstrators. Police were dispatched to keep order. A young woman who was part of the protest got into a shouting match with a local official, who ended up slapping her in the face, according to residents quoting witnesses.

Enraged, the protesters moved their demonstration to a local police station, demanding an apology. A half-dozen police cars and motorcycles were pummeled with stones, the residents said.

As the protest continued Saturday, a woman fainted and rumors quickly spread that she had died, residents said. Protesters returned to the police compound and lobbed stones at the buildings, smashing windows and damaging more cars. People’s Armed Police officers, swinging batons, struggled to contain the outburst, they said.

Huang, the propaganda official, said calm had returned to the area by Monday evening. He called the report of a woman dying untrue and sought to play down the scope of the protests, adding that if the plant did come to the area it would bring large economic benefits.

“It is not strange that people protested to protect their interests,” he added. “They have a right to express their demands and desires.”

- Original report from Washington Post

Google Earth Pictures: Polluted Water in China Discharged into Rivers


Ri Zhao City

Above: Ri Zhao City, Shandong Province, east China

Suzhou City, Zhejiang Province, South East China

Above: Suzhou City, Zhejiang Province, South East China

Wu Xi City

Above: Wu Xi City, Jiang Su province, south China

Tian Jin City

Above: Tian Jin City, east China

Wei Fang City, Shandong province

Above: Wu Fang City, Shandong Province, east China

Xia Men City

Above: Xia Men City, Fu Jian Province, southeast China

He Fei City

Above: He Fei City, An hui province, east China

(All photos are from the Epochtimes’ website)

China School Teaches Once-banned “Feng Shui”


Reuters, Tue Jan 8, 2008-

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese art of feng shui, a form of geomancy once banned by the Chinese Communist Party as a superstition, has now found its way on to the school curriculum in China, a newspaper said on Tuesday.

A high school in Xiamen, in the rich southeastern province of Fujian, had started a course in feng shui, long practised by Chinese communities outside China, “for the first time”, the Beijing News said.

The basic premise of feng shui (wind water) is that one’s environment influences life, giving profound importance to the position of furniture in a room, for instance, or the direction a building faces.

Highly paid feng shui masters are routinely called in by architects in Hong Kong before a building is planned.

The practice was banned as a superstition after China’s Communists took power in 1949, but it has since seen a revival.

“Traditional feng shui culture has its good features as well as its bad ones,” Xiong Yongliang, a teacher in the school who wrote a textbook for the course, was quoted as saying. He did not elaborate.

The newspaper also said students taking this course found feng shui “interesting and practical”.

In May, newspapers reported that some Chinese Communist officials turned to feng shui masters for advice to ward off “evil spirits” from competitors and get a better chance of promotion amid a nationwide job reshuffle.

One senior official in eastern Zhejiang province moved his ancestors’ tombs thousands of miles to the foot of the famed Tian Shan mountain in the northwestern region of Xinjiang in an attempt to improve his career prospects.

- Original report from Reuters

Workers’ deaths cast shadow over political celebrations in Beijing


China Labour Bulletin (CLB), Oct.23, 2007-

At least 54 workers died in two separate incidents at unlicensed factories at the weekend following the conclusion of China’s17th Communist Party Congress in Beijing. The two incidents, both reported in the official media, are a stark reminder that all the political celebration and ceremony of the last week should not distract attention away from the serious hazards Chinese workers face everyday.

In the first incident on Sunday morning, an explosion at an unlicensed fireworks workshop in southwestern China killed 16 people and injured 15. The explosion destroyed the factory and three neighbouring houses in a remote rural area of Chongqing, the Beijing News reported.

The Xinhua news agency cited sources saying the death toll may rise as rescue work continued, and that the “severely wounded” included two children.

Later on Sunday evening, at least 37 people were killed when a fire swept through an unlicensed shoe factory in Putian, Fujian province. 56 workers were in the building when the blaze at the Feida workshop broke out, and the 19 survivors were all in a critical condition after being treated for smoke inhalation, the China News Service said.

The workshop had been illegally established in a residential area of Putian. Part of the ground floor was used as a warehouse, the workshops were on the second and third floors, and the workers’ dining room and dormitories were upstairs.

As CLB has demonstrated in our child labour report, it is very common in China for small-scale factories to be set up in residential areas. In a suburb of Shijiazhuang, for example, clothing manufacturers typically rent two storey houses, using the ground floor as a workshop and the top floor as a dormitory for a few dozen predominately young women workers from the countryside.

In order to avoid detection by labour bureau officials, workers are often locked in the factory all day, working up to 15-hour shifts each day. And even when labour officials do fine factory owners for operating illegally or contravening health and safety regulations, the living and working conditions of the employees rarely improve.

Xinhua reported that the Feida factory owner Chen Zongfei, had ignored two orders in May and September to improve safety standards, and was now in police custody.

According to government statistics, there were 3,599 accidents in the industrial, commercial and trade sectors in the first half of 2007, leading to 3,946 deaths.

- Original report from China Labour Bulletin

New York’s Chinese Flood Clinton’s Coffers With Cash


By Peter Nicholas and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times, Via Seattle Times, U.S, October 20, 2007-

NEW YORK — Something remarkable happened at 44 Henry St., a grimy Chinatown tenement with peeling walls. It also happened nearby at an apartment building with trash bins clustered by the front door.

And again not far away, at 88 E. Broadway beneath the Manhattan bridge, where vendors chatter in Mandarin and Fujianese as they hawk rubber sandals and bargain-basement clothes.

All three locations, along with scores of others in some of the poorest Chinese neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been swept by an extraordinary impulse to shower money on one particular presidential candidate: Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated homes seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton’s campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for gritty urban poverty yielded $380,000. When Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., ran for president in 2004, he received $24,000 from Chinatown.

At this point in the presidential campaign cycle, Clinton has raised more money than any candidate in history. Those dishwashers, waiters and street-stall hawkers are part of the reason. And Clinton’s success in gathering money from Chinatown’s least-affluent residents stems from a two-prong strategy: mutually beneficial alliances with powerful groups and appeals to the hopes and dreams of people consigned to the margins.

Clinton has enlisted the aid of Chinese neighborhood associations, especially those representing recent immigrants from Fujian province. The organizations, at least one of which is a descendant of Chinatown criminal enterprises that engaged in gambling and human trafficking, exert enormous influence over immigrants. The associations help them with everything from protection against crime to obtaining green cards.

Many of Clinton’s Chinatown donors said they had contributed because leaders in neighborhood associations told them to. In some cases, donors said they felt pressure to give.

The other piece of the strategy involves holding out hope that, if Clinton becomes president, she will move to reunite families and help those in the country illegally move toward citizenship. As New York’s junior senator, Clinton has expressed support for immigrants and greater family reunification.

As with other campaigns looking for dollars in unpromising places, the Clinton operation also has accepted what it later conceded were improper donations. At least one reported donor denies making a contribution. Another admitted to lacking the legal-resident status required for giving campaign money.

Clinton aides said they were concerned about some of the Chinatown contributions.

“We have hundreds of thousands of donors. We are proud to have support from across New York and the country from many different communities,” campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said. “In this instance, our own compliance process flagged a number of questionable donations and took the appropriate steps to be sure they were legally given. In cases where we couldn’t confirm that, the money was returned.”

The Los Angeles Times examined more than 150 donors who provided checks to Clinton after fundraising events geared to the Chinese community. One-third of those donors could not be found using property, telephone or business records. Most have not registered to vote, according to public records.

And several dozen were described in financial reports as holding jobs that normally would make it difficult to donate amounts ranging from $500 to the legal maximum of $2,300 per election.

Of 74 residents of New York’s Chinatown, Flushing, the Bronx or Brooklyn called or visited, only 24 could be reached for comment.

Many said they gave to Clinton because they were instructed to do so by local association leaders. Some said they wanted help on immigration concerns. And several spoke of the pride they felt by being associated with a powerful figure such as Clinton.

Beyond what it reveals about campaign fundraising, Chinatown’s newfound role in the 2008 election cycle marks another chapter in the centuries-old American saga of marginalized ethnic groups and newly arrived immigrants turning to politics to improve their lot.

Like many who traveled this path, most of the Chinese reported as contributing to Clinton’s campaign have never voted. Many speak little or no English. Some seem to lead such ephemeral lives that neighbors say they have never heard of them.

“This is a new game,” said Peter Kwong, a professor at Hunter College in New York who studies Chinatown communities. Historically, Kwong said, “voting in Chinatown is so weak” that politicians did not go out of their way to court residents. “Today it is all about money,” he said.

The effort is especially pronounced among groups in the Fujianese community. More than a decade ago, Fujianese cultural associations ran gambling operations and, more ominously, at least one was home to a gang that trafficked in illegal Fujianese immigrants.

While Konrad Motyka of the FBI’s New York field office is wary of the havoc wreaked in the past by Fujianese organized crime, he said: “I welcome signs that the community is participating in politics.”

Campaign officials note that Clinton has sponsored legislation aimed at family reunification; the proposals failed. And immigration measures being discussed in Congress would assign a lower priority to family reunification, which tends to bring in poor people, and give preference to immigrants with more-lucrative job skills.

A key figure helping to secure Asian support for Clinton is a woman named Chung Seto, who came to this country as a child from Canton province and has supported Bill and Hillary Clinton since the 1990s. She called Fujianese support for Hillary Clinton the beginning of civic engagement for an immigrant group long on the periphery.

She said she stationed translators at the entrance of one event to try to screen out improper contributions.

Qun Wu, 37, a waiter in a Chinese restaurant in Flushing, saw a reference to a Clinton fundraiser in a Chinese-language newspaper. He took a day off from work to go. Although he makes only $500 a week, he considers his $1,000 donation money well-spent. He got his picture taken with Clinton, hung it prominently in his house and had color reprints made and sent to family in China.

“Every day I go home and see it,” he said. “I see my picture with Hillary and I feel encouraged. It’s a great honor.”

- Original report on
Seattle Times

Thousands Protest Steel Factory’s Beating 2 Workers To Deaths in South China


By Xing Fei, Epoch Time Staff, Oct 07, 2007-

When workers from the Fuxin Steel Ltd. in Tongling, China demanded the owner fulfill his promise for housing that they had already contributed to, they were met with a hired gang that fiercely beat the workers with blunt weapons. The incident killed two and left 14 others severely injured. The assault ignited the rage of thousands of factory workers and they marched in downtown Tongling in protest. A large number of police were deployed to keep the situation under control.

Local authorities are actively censoring information on this matter; postings on online forums have been quickly deleted. When The Epoch Times contacted a local newspaper by phone, they explained that they had received complaints from workers on the day of the beating, but authorities had prevented the publication of this information. An online forum moderator said that he received an order to delete any posting related to the incident.

Workers Beaten to Death, Thousands Take to the Streets

Unidentified eyewitnesses have provided The Epoch Times with details:

“The factory owner hired about 200 thugs from out of town,” explained one man who refused to give his name. “They were all wearing helmets and sunglasses. Rumor has it that these thugs all have gangster backgrounds. They were carrying shovels, rakes, steel pipes, and hammers. They were beating workers like mad. Two workers died and 14 were taken to hospital for emergency treatment.”

“Around noon on [September] 26th, dozens of workers went to the factory to demand a resolution to the housing issue,” said Wong, a worker at the factory. “When they were about 150 feet from the factory doors, 200 armed men came out of nowhere and started beating anyone in sight. They were even hitting women and old people. Cops were standing about 30 feet away, but they just stood and watched. Two workers were beaten to death, and many more were injured.”

“The rest of workers were enraged when they heard about this,” Wong continued. “The anger and frustration that had been building over time just exploded. On September 27, everyone marched down Changjian [a major street in Tongling] heading toward downtown, and people were carrying banners and yelling things like, ‘Hand over the killers! Lives lost will be repaid with their lives! We want our co-workers back!’ ‘Return our co-workers! Blood for blood!’ and ‘Killers must be punished!’ Major intersections were blocked by the protest, and bystanders were giving their support to the protesting workers. Protesters began to leave the area only after the authorities came and said that the issue would be resolved.”

But to date, nothing has been done to address the workers complaints. “It hasn’t been resolved yet,” Wong said. “There will probably be more to this story to come.”

Failure to Fulfill Housing Commitment, Joint Extortion

The Epoch Times contacted Tongling People’s Hospital, and one doctor confirmed that the facility had admitted more than a dozen injured factory workers on the day of the incident, and added that severely injured individuals were placed in the ICU. However, the Tongling Police Department has denied such a confrontation had ever taken place. No one answered calls at both the steel factory or the city government.

A factory worker named Du explained that Tongling Fuxin Steel Ltd. was established in 1970, the then state owned facility. In 2005, the Tongling city government sold it to a private enterprise in Fujian province.

“Workers lost all their benefits and job security after the factory was sold,” said Du. “The remaining benefits were whittled away by the owner and the government through what they call ‘reform.’ Their ‘reform’ means working together to take our money.”

“Back then the factory charged everyone a 50,000 yuan (US$6,500) housing fee and promised to improve the housing situation,” Du continued. “Since that time nothing has been done to change things. This beating is apparently a collaboration between the factory owner, the government, and gangsters. I don’t see this being resolved.”

Authorities Silence Media

Insiders told The Epoch Times that the factory definitely has some kind of connection to the local government, because after the incident, the local government worked very hard to cover it up. They were able to silence the media and shut down online forums.

The Epoch Timess contacted a local newspaper by phone, and was directly told that they had received complaints from the workers on the day of the beating, but the local newspaper supervisor was preventing the news from being released.

“The web forums didn’t let anyone post anything,” said Wong. “Every time you post something it gets deleted in less than 10 minutes, so you can see how much effort they are putting into this. A web forum administrator said he had orders to prevent this topic from appearing. Anything related to it is to be deleted at once.”

“Many government officials are being paid off by the factory owner,” Wong continued. “That’s why they are covering this up. No one at the provincial level dares to interfere with this either. But even though they can censor the internet, they can’t stop people from talking. This news is spreading fast through word of mouth. They can’t cover this up completely.”

- Original report from the Epochtimes: Thousands Protest Factory Beating Deaths in China

China: Name List of 11 Corrupt Officials At Provincial Level Since 2002


Chinascope Magazine, USA, 09/06/2007-

On September 1, the website of Procuratorial Daily (检察日报) published a short list of officials at the provincial level who have been found to be corrupt since the 16th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held in 2002. [1]

1. Liu Fangren, former Secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Party Committee, former Chair of the Standing Committee of the Guizhou People’s Congress,

Alleged Crimes: Individually or collectively accepting 6,770,000 Yuan
of illegal money Sentence or Decision: life imprisonment, forfeiture of ill-gotten money, confiscation of all personal property

2. Gao Yan, former General Manager of the State Power Corp. Of China

Alleged Crimes: economic crime
Sentence or Decision: Expelled from the CCP and official duties

3. Wang Huaizhong, former Vice Governor of Anhui Province

Alleged Crimes: Accepting a bribe of 5,170,000 Yuan; no legitimate sources for personal assets of 4,800,000 Yuan
Sentence or Decision: Death penalty with deprivation of political rights for life and confiscation of all personal property

4. Han Guizhi, former Chair of the Political Consultative Conference of Heilongjiang Province

Alleged Crimes: Accepting 7,020,000 Yuan in illegal money Sentence or Decision: Death penalty with a two-year reprieve, deprivation of political rights for life and confiscation of all personal property

5. Wang Zhaoyao, former Chair of the Political Consultative Conference of Anhui Province

Alleged Crimes: Accepting illegal money and items with a total value of 7,040,000 Yuan; no legitimate sources for personal assets of 6,500,000 Yuan
Sentence or Decision: Death penalty with a two-year reprieve, deprivation of political rights for life and confiscation of all personal property

6. Wang Youjie, former Vice Chair of Political Consultative Conference of Henan Province

Alleged Crimes: Accepting illegal money and items with a total value of 6,340,000 Yuan; no legitimate sources for personal assets of 8,900,000 Yuan
Sentence or Decision: Death penalty with a two-year reprieve, deprivation of political rights for life and confiscation of all personal property

7. Jing Fusheng, former member of the Fujian Provincial Party Committee, former Director of the Provincial Propaganda Department

Alleged Crimes: Accepting multi-millions of Yuan in illegal money; a corrupt life style
Sentence or Decision: Expelled from the CCP and official duties, transferred to the judicial authority for investigation into the alleged crimes

8. Du Shicheng, former Secretary of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee, former Secretary of the Qingdao Municipal Party Committee

Alleged Crimes: Individually or collectively, along with his mistress, accepting illegal money and items with a value of 1,000,000 Yuan; a corrupt life style
Sentence or Decision: Expelled from the CCP and official duties, transferred to the judicial authority for investigation to the alleged crimes

9. Liu Zhihua, former Vice Mayor of Beijing

Alleged Crimes: Accepting multi-millions of Yuan in bribes; having a mistress and using his power to contract construction projects for his mistress as a way to reap huge illegal profits
Sentence or Decision: Expelled from the CCP and official duties, transferred to the judicial authority for investigation into the alleged crimes

10. Qiu Xiaohua, former Director of the National Bureau of Statistics

Alleged Crimes: Accepting cash gifts from illegal business owners, a corrupt life style, and bigamy
Sentence or Decision: Expelled from the CCP and official duties, transferred to the judicial authority for investigation to the alleged crimes

11. Zheng Xiaoyu, former Director of the State Food and Drug Administration

Alleged Crimes: Accepting illegal money and items with a total value of 6,490,000 Yuan; negligence at work
Sentence or Decision: Death penalty with deprivation of political rights for life and confiscation of all personal property

- Original report from ChinaScope.org : Officials at the Provincial Level Found To Be Corrupt Since the 16th National Congress of Chinese Communist Party

55 Kinds of Famous Toxic Food in China


ChinaScope, 08/25/2007-

It was reported and widely reprinted in Chinese official websites and Blogs that there are 55 kinds of toxic food in China, ranging from daily rice, flour, vegetables, meat and eggs, fruits to famous seasonings and gradients, formulations, etc. [1, 2] Vegetables with very toxic residual pesticide were labeled as “harmless” vegetables and widely sold.

A. Rice, Flour and manufactured food (4)

1. Highly Carcinogen rice (old rice, rice for peasant workers) and manufactured food made of such rice. Eating this kind of rice will lead to nausea, vomiting, and cancer in the long-run.
2. Bleached flour: contains excessive amount of oxidized benzoformyl, causing fatigue, dizzy, amenesia, more dreams and neuroasthenia
3. Black-hearted moon cake – moon cakes with fertilizers
4. Dumplings made with unwanted meat and unwashed cabbages in Xinda Food Factory, Town of Panzhuang, Ninghe County, Tianjin City[3]

B. Meat and eggs (9)

1. Taicang Meat Floss made of meat from dead pig and mother pig, mixed with large amount of pea powder and bleached with hydrogen peroxide, and added with additives, food colors to make the meat floss looking good
2. Chicken/duck meat, pork and milk with large amount of chloramphenicol, oxytetracycline
3. Muscle-type pork feed with Clenbuterol
4. Convenience food with brine or smoked meat from sick-dead animals;
5. Mule meat posing as Pingyao Beef
6. Jinhua Ham submerged in Dichlorvos
7. Toxic sausage in Taixin city, Jiangsu province
8. Toxic “peasants” food in Wenzhou, Fujian province
9. Red yold eggs from hens feed with CAROPHYLL®Red

C. Vegetables and fruits (10)

1. Vegetables with excessive residual pesticide- “harmless” vegetables in Zhangbei county, Hebei province with highly-toxic residual pesticide, such as omethoate and methamidophos. These vegetables were labeled “harmless” and claimed to have never been sprayed with pesticides. These pesticides were used because they are cheap and strong, making good-looking vegetables that sales very well. The peasants told the journalists that they never eat these vegetables. [4]
2. Potatoes smoked by sulfur
3. Sichuan kimchi preserved by prohibited industry salt
4. Toxic leeks sprayed by “3911″ pesticide, these leeks are thicker, wider, longer and with deeper color
5. “Fresh” shoot preserved by sulfur and industry salt
6. Sinister bean sprouts that were raised using growth hormone, rootless agent, bleached by Na2S2O4 [5]
7. Toxic longans bleached and smoked with sulfur
8. Strawberry and monkey hunting peach (Actinidia) that are fast-matured by growth hormone
9. Dried fruits with large amount of bacteria (100 times higher than national standard)
10. Preserved red dates with formaldehyde

D. Non-staple food, waterishlogged food, seasonings and gradients, formulations (24)

1. Toxic seeds (watermelon, pumpkin, sunflower) processed with mineral oils
2. Smelly Tofu processed by pig excrement
3. Yuba processed by chemical and carcinogens, such as industry gelatin, basic orange (chrysoidine), Rongalite (Sodium Formaldehyde Sulfoxylate)
4. Sweet potato starch noodles processed by rongalite and food colors
5. Longkou vermicelli contains rongalite;
6. Degenerated soy milk
7. Toxic milk powder in Anhui province
8. Rice noodles contains carbolic acid
9. Sanyuan “Quanjia (all good)” Lactobacillus in Shanghai with numerous streptomyces
10. Tremella, red peppers and Pericarpium Zanthoxyli
11. Black fungus (Auricularia auricular) stained with black ink
12. Green teas stained with green color
14. Various waterishlogged foods contains formaldehyde
15. Liquor mixed with industry alcohol
16. “Wine” made of Saccharin and food color
17. Hogwash fat took out from drainages
18. The famous chongqing Hot-pot Seasoning using paraffin as the coagulant
19. Red chili oil soup stock that that are leftovers from thousands of people
20. Toxic lard in Hunan province
21. Extra low price chicken extract
22. Toxic soy sauce processed with hair water
23. Shanxi “Very Old Vinegar” added with industry acetic acid
24. Fruit juice made nearby bathrooms with sorbic acid, potassium sorbate

E. Others (4)

1. “health chopsticks” submerged in sulfur
2. Low quality drinking fountains
3. Unqualified disposable medical devices
4. Numerous counterfeit and fake medicines

Notes:
[1]-[5] please check the original report from ChinaScope.org

China Suffers Severe Drought and Floods in July


By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, Aug 11, 2007-

Recent climate anomalies in China has caused ceaseless droughts in some areas and continuous floods in other places. Experts have pointed out that the global greenhouse effect and other human factors were the main reasons for the disasters.

Continuous droughts and high temperatures have been afflicting many areas including Hunan, Jiangxi, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Zhejiang, Xinjiang, Fujian provinces and Shanghai City, with Jiangxi and Hunan being the hardest hit. The drought in the mid-eastern part of Inner Mongolia has lasted a long time, and the situation keeps worsening.

According to the latest official figures, this year 23 million acres of cultivated area suffered from the droughts, which is 2.7 million acres higher than average. The droughts affected 21.7 million acres of crops, among which 7.8 million acres are severely affected, and 1.4 million acres completely withered. The drought has also caused a fresh water shortage for 5.88 million people and 4.7 million cattle.

Since this summer, heavy rainfalls have caused floods in many parts of China, especially in Chongqing City as well as Sichuan, Guizhou, Xinjiang, Guangxi and Hubei provinces. So far the flood has killed nearly 700 people, affected 120 million, and caused US$7 billion economic losses.

Jiangxi is experiencing the worst drought in 50 years, with 1.06 million people facing a drinking water shortage, and 1.3 million acres of crops affected by the drought. The drought is still worsening, and is spreading quickly from the middle to the rest of the province.

According to latest figures, from April 1 to July 30 this year, the average rainfalls in Jiangxi is 594 mm, 32 percent below that in the same period of past years, and 20 percent blow that in the same period of 2003.

In Hunan Province the drought has continued for four weeks, which omens a dry autumn. Several million people are facing a drinking water crisis. Rainfall is down by 25 percent compared to previous years, leaving half of the two million water reservoir facilities empty.

According to the Hunan Meteorological Bureau’s forecast, the temperate will reach up to 40° C (104° F) in most of August.

Since June, high temperatures and low rainfall have affected the northeast Heilongjiang and some other areas in the province. The provincial Sanjiang Plain area is afflicted by a summer drought, which has not occurred in that area for many years. Some areas experienced over 40 continuous rainless days. A lot of farmlands are covered with a 30-centimeter (11.8 inches) deep layer of dry soil.

In Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian Province, high temperature as lasted for 31 days by July 30, the longest period since the city’s first official weather record was made in 1880. In many other parts of Fujian, hot weather has also lasted for 26 to 35 days.

In Zhejiang the continuous hot weather has lead to water shortages in many places and the situation is becoming more serious.

Recently Shanghai has suffered continuous hot days with temperature as high as 39° C (102° F) or even higher.

According to a meteorological department report, Shanghai’s temperature peeked at 39.6° C (103° F) on July 29. The last time Shanghai had the same temperature was on July 25, 2003, and it broke a 63 years’ record.

So far nearly 700 people have died as a result of the flood, lightning and mudslides across China. The flood has affected up to 120 million people with economic losses amounting to $7 billion.

Chongqing City recently was hit by the heaviest rainfalls in the century. Millions of people were affected and nearly 100 were killed or missing. The losses reached 2.978 billion yuan ($0.39 billion).

Guangxi Province was also hit by continuous torrential rainfalls, resulting in mountain torrents and river flooding which affected 8.3 million people and caused a direct economic loss of 9.84 million yuan ($1.3 million).

From July 27 to 31, heavy rains hit Sanmenxia City of Henan Province, the south part of Shanxi Province, middle southern parts of Shannxi Province. Serious rainstorms and landslides have occurred in many areas. According to preliminary statistics, 57 people were killed and 43 were missing as of August 10.

- Original report from the Epochtimes

China Human Traffickers Used Malta As Base in Europe


by Karl Schembri, Malta Today, 05 August 2007-

Malta has served as a logistical base and launching pad for at least two Chinese underground gangs, illegally trafficking hundreds of co-nationals to Sicily by powerboats on trips that have proved fatal in stormy seas.

The evidence emerges in the wake of the arrest of five Chinese traffickers in Italy, one in Spain, and the naming of two wanted suspects currently serving sentences in the Maltese prison after being found guilty in other cases of human trafficking.

Early last Friday, Italian police arrested five Chinese traffickers in the investigation called ‘Operazione Marco Polo’ that has involved the cooperation of Malta’s police since the fatal landing of Chinese immigrants in Sicily two years ago.

In the early hours of 24 March 2005, nine Chinese irregular immigrants drowned after being forcibly thrown into the cold sea some 15 miles off the Ragusa coast from a speedboat loaded with 15 immigrants, which had left Malta at around 1am. Three of the bodies were never found.

Last Friday’s arrested suspects were wanted by Interpol for at least 11 landings in which they carried 200 immigrants, including several who died on the shores of Sicily.

They were involved in the arrival of hundreds of Chinese from the regions of Zhejiang and Fujian through normal student visas issued by the Maltese embassy in Beijing between 2004 and 2005. Once here, the “students” would enrol in English language classes, but Malta was only a stepping stone into Europe for them as they would disappear after a few days, some of them forever.

The suspects arrested in Rome, Palermo, Catania, Avellino, Rovigo and Barcelona are directly connected to other fatal trips including that of 29 November 2004, when a Chinese woman in her 20s was found dead on a beach in Siracusa. Her trousers dirtied with sand, she was hit on her head a few hours before she was found, according to the autopsy.

A week later, the body of another woman was found drifting 40km off Siracusa. According to the inquiring magistrates, she was probably killed on the same day as the previous victim and carried away by the currents.

On 8 December 2004, the corpse of another woman in her twenties with a broken neck and a maimed face was found in Vizzini, Catania.

Also in December, another two Chinese nationals were found dead on the shores of Donnalucata, Ragusa.

One of the gang leaders masterminding the clandestine China-Malta-Italy route is Mulian Jiang, 37, who was arrested in Spain from where he operated a chain of around 15 restaurants.

According to police investigators, Jiang was responsible for the organisation and the arrival of Chinese nationals to Malta – a logistical base for the entire operations that was exposed in the March 2005 tragedy, fuelling an acerbic diplomatic dispute as Italy accused Malta of turning a blind eye to the trafficking of Asian immigrants.

The incident had also led to a clean sweep at the Maltese embassy in Beijing amid Opposition charges that one of the Maltese diplomats posted there was favouring a tourism agency specialising in language student travel by granting visas irregularly to its clients.

Although a police investigation ordered by Foreign Minister Michael Frendo found “no irregularities or criminal intent”, Ambassador Saviour Gauci, Consul Joe Pirotta and Jonathan Galea were removed from their China assignment as, according to the Foreign Office, visa administrative procedures “could have been followed more strictly”.

“What we did was to examine the administrative procedures adopted by the embassy, which were not strictly adhered to,” Frendo had said. “In the circumstances the credibility of the embassy has been irreversibly prejudiced.”

Denying accusations of “lack of cooperation” with Italy, Malta extradited two suspects accused in the March 2005 case; Carmelo Borg, 28, of St Paul’s Bay and Chinese national Wei Wang, 31. They are charged of conspiring with a Maltese criminal organisation and ferrying the illegal immigrants on that ill-fated journey.

In their testimony, the six Chinese survivors confirmed that the suspects took a total of 15 Chinese people on the speedboat. They were forced to jump out of the boat in the middle of the night into the cold sea.

They testified that they were forced to jump after being beaten on the head with oars. Those who did not know how to swim never reached the shore and drowned.

Another Chinese man resident in Malta, Lin Yi, 24, who is also wanted by the Italian authorities on this case, is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence and was fined Lm10,000 by a Maltese court after admitting to human trafficking and forging a stamp on his passport.

Survivors’ accounts and autopsies on the corpses of several Chinese immigrants found on Sicilian shores shed a light on the Chinese and Maltese traffickers’ ruthlessness and blatant disregard towards human life.

Armed with firearms, they forced immigrants to jump off their boats miles away from the Sicilian shores to avert the Italians’ surveillance. Those who disobeyed were brutally beaten with pistols or rifle butts, some even to death: “an example” to all those still on board of the fate that awaits protestors.

The other persons to end behind bars last week are Baizhen Jiang, 52; Yinkai Jian, 39; Jianyn Xu, 34; Wenhui Chen, 32 and Jiantong Zhang, 34.

Another seven international arrest warrants have been issued through Interpol.

Charlot Zahra contributed to this report.

- Original report from MaltaToday.com.mt

Related:
-Italian Police Disrupt Chinese Human Trafficking Ring, 5 Arrested in 5 Cities

Thousands of China Ex-Military Cadre Appeal Against Corruption


64 Tianwang (in Chinese), via the the Epochtimes, Jul 20, 2007-

China—In the afternoon of July 16, thousands of petitioners gathered together to appeal corruption in Beijing, most of them were transferred to the Majialou Escort Center in a remote suburb of Beijing.

Tianwang had a telephone interview with one petitioner, Liu Xueli who told Tianwang that at 3:00 p.m., more than 1,000 people arrived at National People’s Congress Appeals Office, to begin their appeal. Many were taxi drivers from Xiamen, Fujian Province.

Later that day, thousands of petitioners had been sent onto the Majialou Appellants Escort Center. Most of them were ex-military cadre, wearing their uniforms and medals, and shouting slogans such as “We are determined to support people against corruption.”

According to Liu, there were policemen along the road from East of Tiananmen Square to Xinhua Gate. So many people gathering to openly appeal is very unusual. Majialou was crowded with people.

Many ex-military cadre were in the large east courtyard of Majialou. Some looked like high ranking officials while others appeared to be servicemen. The smaller west courtyard was crowded with common people and farmers all there to appeal against corruption. At this moment, no one knows how the CCP Official in charge has dealt with this mass protest.

- Report from the epochtimes

China Arrests Activist Over Chemical Plant Protest


Reuters, 19 Jul 2007-

BEIJING, July 19 (Reuters) – China has arrested at least one activist for organising protests in a southeastern port city last month in which thousands of residents opposed construction of a chemical plant, two friends said on Thursday.

Liaising via cell phone text massages and the Internet, the protesters marched through downtown areas of Xiamen on June 1 and 2 to demand the government scrap plans to build the Taiwan-funded plant to make paraxylene, a compound used in polyester and fabrics.

Citing critics including government experts and advisers, they said the factory, next to a residential area, was a “timebomb” for public health and a grave threat to Xiamen’s seaside environment.

Police detined Li Yiqiang on June 3 and issued an arrest warrant to his family a month later on charges of illegal assembly and organising marches, Zhang Likun, a Beijing-based friend, told Reuters by telephone.

Zhang said other protesters may also been detained.

Li, 39, rose to prominence pressuring the government to assert its claim of sovereignty over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. The Japanese-controlled islands are claimed by China as Diaoyu and by Japan as Senkaku.

Li in past years has set sail for the islands on three separate occasions, said Zhang, a fellow Diaoyu activist.

Zhang said police had video footages of Li making speeches during the marches against the chemical plant.

Tong Zeng, another friend and fellow Diaoyu activist, said the charges against Li were unfair and argued that it was a public order offence at most.

“He had neither the intention nor the ability to organise such a huge protest,” Tong told Reuters. “I guess he was just a bit active during the march and his beard made him stand out.”

Both men learned about Li’s arrest through his sister, Li Yan, who could not be reached on Thursday.

Xiamen police declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Pollution alongside breakneck economic and industrial growth has become an increasingly inflammatory issue, galvanising normally apolitical urban residents into collective action.

Stand-offs — in some cases violent — between local governments eager to push big projects for growth and tax revenues and residents who want clean water, air or a quiet environment have been on the rise.

China’s constitution grants citizens the right to stage demonstrations, but police rarely approve protests, which are seen by the stability-obsessed Communist Party as sensitive.

The Xiamen city government has suspended construction of the factory to conduct further impact assessment, but it has also accused “hostile forces with ulterior motives” of masterminding the June marches.

Tong and Zhang insisted that the the protests were spontaneous acts. “When human lives are in danger, what’s the use of high GDP figures?” Zhang asked.

- original report from Reuters

10,000 Residents Protest Chemical Plant in East China


By Xin Fei, The Epoch Times, Jun 03, 2007-

CHINA—On June 1, 2007, over ten thousand people in Xiamen went to the streets toten thousand protest in Xiamen, China, Hune 1, 2007 protest the government’s attempt to build a paraxylene (1) chemical plant. According to a witness, the Xiamen government went from a tough to a passive and compromising attitude.

(photo: On June 1, 2007, over ten thousand residents in Xiamen City protest the government building a chemical plant. Photo provided by demonstrator- from the Epochtimes Website)

The government knew about the demonstration beforehand and threatened employees from schools and government institutes not to join in the activity. Local media also received a government notice not to report the activity. There were still over ten thousand citizens that showed up.

One of the participants said the demonstration started at 9 a.m. and lasted till 5 p.m. The demonstrators went to the City Hall, Train Station, the Bureau of Environmental Protection, and Xiamen University. Hundreds of people held banners and shouted in front of the Xiamen City Hall, “Protect Xiamen and Refuse Pollution,” “No PX!” (paraxylene). These people were surrounded by hundreds of armed officers.

Growing Crowd

More people joined the demonstration on the streets downtown. Passersby joined the demonstration, including those on buses or in taxis. Slogans and ribbons were handed out by the demonstrators as they shouted, “It’s everyone’s responsibility to love Xiamen,” “We want it to stop, no stalling.”

One of the participants said the number of demonstrators reached ten thousand by 10 a.m. Many employees inside office buildings came out and joined the demonstration. Citizens in cars honked their horns to show their support. Many passersby clapped their hands and give out free water to the demonstrators.

Crowd Defuses Police Violence
Stand-off with the armed police.
Around 11:30 a.m., police cars stopped the demonstrators. Several people were injured in the conflict. The crowed shouted “No violence!” The parade finally broke through the road block and moved on.

(Photo: Stand-off with the armed police. Photo provided by demonstrator- from the Epochtimes Website)

At noon time, the demonstrators gathered in front of the City Hall. There was a stand-off between the armed police and demonstrators.Stand-off with the police 2 The crowd shouted and wanted He Lifeng, Party Chief of the Xiamen City, to step down.

Later there was a press release from the City saying that an environment safety evaluation will take six months and wanting the citizens to express their voice through regular channels.

After 2 p.m., two thousand people continued toward the Xiamen University. Many of them were children in school uniforms. Many drivers passing by the parade honked to show support.

Government Threats

A student said several days before the demonstration, counselors at high schools talked to all the students asking them not to join the activity. Schools informed student organizations and clubs and forbade students to join the demonstration. A student from Xiamen University said the students received notice from the university that those who went to the demonstration would be expelled. Government employees, Communist Party members, and their family members would be revoked their communist party membership if they joined the walk.

Many passersby said the demonstrators were very rational, calm and didn’t leave much garbage. The demonstrators kept quiet as they walked by hospitals.

The center of the PX project is four miles away from downtown Xiamen and Gulang Island, a national resort, and 2.5 miles away from the Xiamen Foreign Language School and the Beijing Normal University Affiliated High School that has 5000 students. There are over 100,000 residents who live within a three-mile radius of the plant.

(1) Paraxylene (PX) is a colorless liquid that is highly toxic.

- original report from The Epoch Times