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
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    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 ‘Xiamen’ Category

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

Posted by Author on March 6, 2008

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

Posted in Business, China, Environment, Fujian, Health, Incident, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, Social, South China, World, Xiamen | Comments Off on Thousands Clash With Police in S. China Over Chemical Factory Plan

Google Earth Pictures: Polluted Water in China Discharged into Rivers

Posted by Author on January 12, 2008

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)

Posted in Anhui, China, East China, Environment, Fujian, Health, Hefei, Life, News, pollution, River, Shandong, South China, waste, water, World, Xiamen | Comments Off on Google Earth Pictures: Polluted Water in China Discharged into Rivers

China School Teaches Once-banned “Feng Shui”

Posted by Author on January 10, 2008

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

Posted in China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Fujian, News, Politics, Social, World, Xiamen | Comments Off on China School Teaches Once-banned “Feng Shui”

Thousands of China Ex-Military Cadre Appeal Against Corruption

Posted by Author on July 21, 2007

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

Posted in Beijing, China, corruption, Fujian, Incident, Law, News, People, Politics, Protest, SE China, Social, Speech, Xiamen | Comments Off on Thousands of China Ex-Military Cadre Appeal Against Corruption

China Arrests Activist Over Chemical Plant Protest

Posted by Author on July 20, 2007

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

Posted in Activist, China, City resident, East China, Environment, Fujian, Health, Law, medical, News, People, Politics, pollution, Protest, SE China, Social, Speech, Xiamen | Comments Off on China Arrests Activist Over Chemical Plant Protest

10,000 Residents Protest Chemical Plant in East China

Posted by Author on June 4, 2007

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

Posted in China, City resident, Company, Economy, Environment, Fujian, Health, Human Rights, Incident, Life, medical, News, People, Politics, pollution, Protest, SE China, Social, Xiamen | 1 Comment »

1 Million Text Messages Protest Blocks China Chemical Plant

Posted by Author on May 31, 2007

BBC News, Wednesday, 30 May 2007-

Residents of the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen have blocked construction of a chemical plant with a text message campaign, media reports say.

Opponents of the plant said they circulated nearly one million mobile phone messages to organise opposition, Xinhua news agency said.

Authorities in Xiamen have halted the construction of the plant to make paraxylene, a chemical in polyester.

Protesters said the plant posed health and environmental risks.

Potential carcinogen

The $1.4bn (£700,000) plant was already under construction 7km (4.3 miles) from Xiamen’s city centre, a distance that protesters said put the city’s 1.5 million residents and the environment at risk from pollution.

Paraxylene is a petrochemical that goes into the making of polyesters and fabrics.

It is potentially carcinogenic.

The text messages urged people to join a protest rally planned for Friday, Chinese media said.

“When this massive toxic chemical product goes into production, that will mean an atomic bomb has been released all over Xiamen island,” said one version of the text cited by the Southern Metropolitan Daily.

The project’s reversal highlights public fears in China over industrial pollution after years of breakneck economic growth.

China’s cities, countryside, waterways and coastlines are among the most polluted in the world.

The central government in Beijing has promised to clean up pollution, but local authorities are often keen to authorise projects that will bring in local revenue.

original from BBC News

Posted in China, City resident, Economy, Environment, Fujian, Health, Incident, medical, News, People, pollution, Protest, SE China, Social, Technology, Xiamen | 1 Comment »

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