Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

  • China Organ Harvesting Report, in 19 languages

  • Torture methods used by China police

  • Censorship

  • Massive protests & riots in China

  • Top 9 Posts (In 48 hours)

  • All Topics

  • Books to Read

    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
  • Did you know

    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.”
  • RSS Feeds for Category

    Organ Harvesting

    Human Rights

    Made in China







    Feed address for any specific category is Category address followed by 'Feed/'.

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 222 other followers

Archive for the ‘Chongqing’ Category

Police hound Chinese blogger who exposed 10 officials’ sex scandal

Posted by Author on January 28, 2013

BEIJING – After a late-night stand-off with police at the door of his home Sunday night, Chinese investigative blogger Zhu Rufeng spent all of Monday in an even longer stand-off with authorities at a Beijing police station.

Two months earlier, Zhu had released a graphic sex tape exposing a scandal in which officials in the city of Chongqing were filmed having sex with young women hired by a property developer to extort favorable contracts from the city. Eleven officials were fired. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogger, China, Chongqing, Official, People, Politics, SW China, World | Tagged: | Comments Off on Police hound Chinese blogger who exposed 10 officials’ sex scandal

10 Chinese Officials Fired in Sex Tape Scandal in Chongqing City

Posted by Author on January 28, 2013

Ten Chinese officials were fired from their posts in connection with a sex tape extortion scandal in the southwestern city of Chongqing, while police broke up a criminal ring that was behind the incidents, according to state-run media.

The ten officials allegedly appeared in the one or more of the videos, which were used by the ring to blackmail them into handing out profitable building contracts.

One official in Chongqing, Lei Zhengfu, a portly man whose face appeared in screenshots that have appeared across the Internet, lost his job following the emergence of the scandal last November. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Chongqing, corruption, Official, People, scandals, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on 10 Chinese Officials Fired in Sex Tape Scandal in Chongqing City

Bo Xilai Fired- Wang Lijun scandal and political struggle in China

Posted by Author on March 14, 2012

Bo Xilai is Party chief of Chongqing no longer, according to the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily. The public destruction of Bo’s career—coming on the heels of a press conference held by Premier Wen Jiabao where Bo was publicly rebuked—is a dramatic climax to a political power struggle that first burst into the open last month when Bo’s lieutenant sought refuge at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. The dissident news website Boxun reported Wang accused Bo of plotting a coup to overthrow the next presumptive head of the CCP.

A People’s Daily notice indicated that Bo’s forced retirement was first announced by Wen who, responding to a question from a Reuters journalist, said, “The current Chongqing City Committee and government needs to self-reflect, and earnestly learn lessons from the Wang Lijun incident.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bo Xilai, China, Chongqing, News, Official, People, Politics, scandals, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on Bo Xilai Fired- Wang Lijun scandal and political struggle in China

U.S. House Probes Chinese Police Chief Wang Lijun’s Defection

Posted by Author on February 15, 2012

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is investigating whether the U.S. government mishandled a request for asylum from a senior Chinese Communist Party official who was turned away from a U.S. consulate after spending a night at the diplomatic post in southern China.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, disclosed the staff investigation in a letter sent Friday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The probe followed a report in the Washington Free Beacon that the attempted defection of Chongqing Deputy Mayor Wang Lijun, a senior crime investigator, was mishandled last week, resulting in the loss of a potential inside source on China’s secretive communist leadership circle. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bo Xilai, China, Chongqing, News, Official, People, Police, Politics, SW China, World | Comments Off on U.S. House Probes Chinese Police Chief Wang Lijun’s Defection

Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun stepped down from office, exposing Bo Xilai’ corruption in the process

Posted by Author on February 5, 2012

Prior to 18th Session of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Wang Lijun, police chief and vice mayor of Chongqing City, known as“anti-gangland hero”was suddenly exempted from the important position of police chief in Public Security Bureau.

Overseas news disclosed that an investigation has been started on Wang Lijun, due to his corruption and abuse of torture. The outside world analyzed and pointed out that Wang Lijun, an important underling of the Party Secretary of Chongqing City – Bo Xilai – stepped down from his office.

This indicated that Bo Xilai’s official career could not be maintained.Wang Lijun himself is in a precarious situation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bo Xilai, China, Chongqing, News, Official, People, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun stepped down from office, exposing Bo Xilai’ corruption in the process

Anti-Mao Voices from the Grassroots in China

Posted by Author on May 2, 2011

The recent wave of Party-song-singing in Chongqing left an impression of a return of Culture Revolution, and it seems to last. Meanwhile, the national critique on Mao Zedong is spreading and becoming sharp.

82-year-old Beijing renowned scholar Mao Yushi published a 5000-word “Return Mao』s True Face” on Apr. 26 on, itemizing Mao』s sins such as chasing power and indulging prostitutes. Yushi said Mao would sooner or later face justice. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Chongqing, News, Politics, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on Anti-Mao Voices from the Grassroots in China

Chinese woman arrested for tweeting intention to march with a banner praising jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner

Posted by Author on October 26, 2010

Tania Branigan in Beijing and agencies,, Tuesday 26 –

Chinese police seized a woman from her house in the middle of the night after she tweeted her intention to demonstrate with a banner congratulating jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo on winning the Nobel peace prize, a friend said today.

The news comes amid a crackdown on Liu’s friends and supporters that has raised questions about who will collect his award next month.

His wife Liu Xia, who is under house arrest, has invited more than 140 dissidents, activists and celebrities to accept the prize because she fears she will be unable to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogger, China, Chongqing, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, SW China, World | Comments Off on Chinese woman arrested for tweeting intention to march with a banner praising jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner

Open Letters by Chinese lawyers and scholars asking investigate the use of torture in the “hitting the black” campaign in Chongqing

Posted by Author on September 8, 2010

By Zhong Yuan, Epoch Times Staff, Sep.7, 2010 –

Two open letters signed by a group of Chinese lawyers, scholars, writers and journalists were sent to the Chinese Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in late August, urging an investigation into the use of torture in the “hitting the black” campaign in Chongqing. The letters stated that although on the surface the purpose of the “hitting the black” campaign is to crack down on gangsters, in essence it is a campaign driven by political motives.

The “hitting the black” campaign was launched in June 2009 by Bo Xilai, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief for Chongqing, one of four provincial-level municipalities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin are the others). The regime’s state-run media describes the “black” in “hitting the black” as either gangsters or corrupt Party officials.

This official view has come in for criticism. Because the organizers of a taxi driver protest and the lawyers of some political cases were among those arrested, the “hitting the black” campaign is widely regarded as a political campaign launched to boost Bo’s career.

Call for Investigation Into Torture

The letters refer to the February 2010 cases of Gong Gangmo and Fan Qihang. Gong Gangmo was sentenced to life in prison. Fan Qihang was sentenced to death and his sentence is currently under review by the Supreme People’s Court.

On Aug. 23, the lawyer Li Fangping, who signed the open letters, told the Chinese-language version of BBC News online that, according to a video published online by Fan’s lawyer Zhu Mingyong, Fan was “forced to confess through extremely severe torture.”

The video shows Fan Qihang dressed in a red prison uniform sitting behind bars describing how he was tortured during the criminal investigation. In the video, Fan said that he was hung up by handcuffs in a tiptoed position, and was deprived of sleep for over ten days. No longer able to endure the torture, Fan attempted to commit suicide twice by hitting his head on the wall and by biting off the tip of his tongue. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Chongqing, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, SW China, Torture, World | Comments Off on Open Letters by Chinese lawyers and scholars asking investigate the use of torture in the “hitting the black” campaign in Chongqing

China’s Three Gorges Dam Causes Quakes, Landslides and Cracks

Posted by Author on May 31, 2010

Michael Sheridan and Richard Jones, The Times, May 30, 2010 –

The Three Gorges dam
was so vast and sweeping a vision that nothing could stand in its way. Not the old cities of the Yangtze valley, storehouses of human toil and treasure for more than a thousand years. Not the lush, low-lying farmlands, nor the villages, nor even the pagodas and temples that graced the riverbanks.

The cries of dissenting scientists and the lamentations of more than a million Chinese people forced to leave their ancestral lands counted for nothing.

When the waters rose to 570ft last year, drowning all these things, it marked a triumph for the engineers at the top of the Chinese Communist party.

But in the past six months a sinister trail of events has unfolded from the dam all the way up the 410-mile reservoir to the metropolis of Chongqing.

It began with strange, small-scale earthquakes recorded by official monitoring stations and reported by the Chinese media.

Mysterious cracks split roads and sundered schoolhouses and apartments in newly built towns and villages on the bluffs looking down on the river.

The local government now says that 300,000 people will have to move out in addition to the 1.4m evicted to make way for the dam.

More than 50,000 residents have already been relocated owing to seismic problems that were not foreseen when the dam was built, according to the state news agency, Xinhua.

As the boats sail by, landslides can be seen from the river — some small, some big — staining the waters of the Yangtze with minerals and sediment.

Big pleasure cruisers, tramp steamers and shoals of sampans plough through waters that switch from hue to hue as their chemical composition changes.

In Badong county, midway through the Three Gorges, celebrated in Chinese painting and poetry, the citizens are troubled by a sense of foreboding.

The local government hastily moved out of a prestigious new block after experts warned that it was unsafe.

But ordinary folk and even schoolchildren have been left to fend for themselves. More than 3,000 children attend school every day in a building dating back to 1943 that officials know to be at risk of collapse. Nothing has been done to move them, supposedly because of a lack of funds.

The playground is riddled with cracks. One ominous jagged line runs down the side of the classrooms.

“The government agrees that our whole school must move,” said a worried teacher, who asked not to be named, “but so far it’s just talk.”

In a telling example of China’s glaring class differences, a group of unemployed workers live in housing provided by the state that is visibly cracking at the seams.

“What kind of dogshit government moves itself out and moves us into somewhere like this?” one of them complained.

“My house is like a fishing pond whenever it rains,” said Grandma Wang, 72. “I don’t mind for myself because I am old, but I care for my granddaughter, who is 10 and has to live in here.”

Badong is one of many places where the land and the water have interacted in ways that only a few scientists predicted before the dam was built. Their objections were overruled by the party.

But last week even the state media acknowledged that the Three Gorges area faced a “grim” situation. Officials have counted 97 significant landslides this year alone. These are linked to the worrying increase in seismic activity. ….. (more details from The Times)

Posted in China, Chongqing, dam, disaster, Environment, Life, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, Three Gorges, World | 1 Comment »

24 Chinese Activists’ Letter Slams Communist Party Using “oppressive measures against justice in order to protect its dictatorship”

Posted by Author on February 16, 2010

Chinese activists want colleagues released during the Year of the Tiger.

— As Chinese worldwide welcomed the Year of the Tiger, a group of activists in southwest China has called on the ruling Communist Party to free prisoners of conscience in their region and to open up debate on political change.

The activists also called for the release of Tan Zuoren, jailed recently after he launched a personal investigation into allegations of shoddy construction of the region’s schools following the deaths of thousands of children during the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

“The government has made little effort to change in the past year,” wrote the Sichuan and Chongqing-based activists in an open letter to China’s leaders released online during the Lunar New Year holiday.

“It continues to use oppressive measures against justice in order to protect its dictatorship,” the activists wrote, in particular with regard to the 11-year jail term handed to Liu Xiaobo, who helped draft Charter 08, a document calling for sweeping political change in China.

‘Product of a dream’

In Chongqing and Sichuan, the authorities had handed down jail terms to rights activists Tan Zuoren, Huang Qi, and Zhang Qi, and detained a number of others less formally, the letter said.

It also cited a heavy prison sentence for former Nanjing Normal University professor Guo Quan, who had claimed to set up a new political party.

“Charter 08 was the product of the dream of a constitutional government,” the letter said.

“There has been a huge increase in the number of meetings to discuss this in the past year, and yet the government has stepped up pressure on such activities to the boiling point.”

The letter was signed by 24 activists from southwest China, including freelance writer Zhang Xianchi, Chengdu-based online writer Ran Yunfei and activist Chen Yunfei, and Leshan-based freelance writer Mo Zhixu.

Chongqing-based democracy activists Deng Huanwu, He Bing, Bai Heping, and Deyang-based Li Yu also signed……. (Radio Free Asia)

Posted in Activist, Chengdu, China, Chongqing, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on 24 Chinese Activists’ Letter Slams Communist Party Using “oppressive measures against justice in order to protect its dictatorship”

China: Obama Leaves, Activists Tried

Posted by Author on November 20, 2009

Radio Free Asia, 2009-11-20 –

HONG KONG— Hard on the heels of a state visit to China by U.S. President Barack Obama, authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have begun the trial of a former 1989 student leader and will shortly sentence an activist who tried to help victims of last year’s devastating earthquake.

Authorities in Sichuan’s Shehong county began the trial of U.S. resident and former leader of China’s 1989 student movement Zhou Yongjun for “economic fraud” after he tried to visit his ailing father in 2008, just one day after Obama ended his three-day trip.

“This case definitely exists,” Zhou’s lawyer Chen Zerui said.

“But there is no evidence whatsoever to show that Zhou Yongjun is directly connected to it.”

Zhou was a student at the Chinese University for Political Science and Law at the time of the student protests and ensuing military crackdown on June 4, 1989, in which hundreds died.

He was among a group of students who knelt in front of the Great Hall of the People on April 22 to present a list of demands to China’s leaders after the death of moderate premier Hu Yaobang.

Lawyer appointed

Chen, assistant to top Beijing-based lawyer Mo Shaoping, was retained only in late August after Zhou’s family tried to hire Mo to defend him in May.

He said he had already called into question some of the evidence presented by police.

“I have asked for a suitable agency to review the evidence based on handwriting,” he said, adding that he had also found holes in the legal procedures used to bring the case against Zhou.

Zhou’s relatives, who attended the trial, said he didn’t look himself.

“He seemed in low spirits and his voice was very faint,” said a brother-in-law surnamed Ye. “We wondered if he was sick.”

“It has been such heartache for our family. Zhou disappeared for about a year, and we were all very worried. His parents are old, and they are extremely distressed,” Ye said.

Cyber-dissident tried

Meanwhile, a court in the provincial capital Chengdu said it would announce its decision in the trial of cyber-dissident Huang Qi for “possession of state secrets.”

“I received a phone call and a fax… from the court,” said rights lawyer Mo, who is acting on Huang’s behalf.

“They said the sentencing would be open and that relatives could attend.”

Mo added that there had been no opportunity for Huang, 46, to defend himself throughout the trial, which was held at Chengdu’s Wuhou district People’s Court.

“There was no opportunity for either Huang Qi or his lawyer to say anything throughout the trial,” Mo said, adding that a typical sentence for the charge of “possessing state secrets” was three years’ imprisonment.

“They just read out a statement. I didn’t send a lawyer over to save the fees. If he is found guilty, we will appeal.”

Huang’s wife Zeng Li said she has had no direct communication from the court regarding her husband’s case.

“I am very worried now. If they send him to jail, Huang Qi won’t be able to get medical treatment in prison,” she said.

“He is in very poor health.”

Held after quake

Huang was detained by the Sichuan authorities on June 10, 2008 after he tried to help parents of children who died in the May 12 earthquake to investigate allegations of shoddy construction following the collapse of school buildings across the quake-hit region in which thousands of schoolchildren died.

He was formally arrested on July 18, 2008.

Zhou, who is a permanent resident of the United States with two children, was detained in the wake of the June 4 crackdown and released in 1991 following international political pressure for the release of student leaders.

He arrived in the United States in 1992, and was granted permanent residency.

Zhou’s case highlights the situation of dozens of Chinese political activists who have been allowed to leave China and seek asylum in the United States, but are now unable to get permission to return to visit relatives.

Radio Free Asia

Posted in Activist, China, Chongqing, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on China: Obama Leaves, Activists Tried

Chongqing’s Mafias Expose Grave Woes in China’s Legal Apparatus

Posted by Author on November 5, 2009

Willy Lam, China Brief, James Town Foundation, November 4, 2009 –

The ongoing campaign against triads, or Chinese-style mafias, in the west-China metropolis of Chongqing is the largest such operation since 1949. Yet what renders this so-called “anti-triad tornado” (fanhei fengbao) so disturbing is not simply that close to 3,000 big-time criminals have been nabbed by authorities, the Chongqing disaster has laid bare the full extent of the collusion between organized crime on the one hand, and senior officers in the police and judiciary on the other. Even more shocking is the fact that what the local media calls “dark and evil forces” have become so entrenched and prevalent in this megacity of 34 million people that it required a directive from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo Standing Committee—the highest level decision-making body in the state—before sufficient law-enforcement resources could be mobilized to combat the well-heeled—and well-connected—syndicates (Guangzhou Daily [Guangzhou], October 30; The Associated Press, October 21; Apple Daily [Hong Kong] August 14).

The scale of Chongqing’s triad operations can be gleaned from the fact that 1.7 billion yuan ($250 million) of ill-gotten gains have so far been uncovered from 24 crime bosses. According to the official China News Service, triads have infiltrated business sectors including finance, transport, construction and engineering, entertainment, restaurants and retailing. More than 200 mid-to-high-ranking officials in the Chongqing police and judicial departments are under investigation for sheltering or otherwise abetting the felons (People’s Daily, October 24; Ming Pao [Hong Kong] October 25). These bad apples include the former head of the Chongqing Judicial Bureau Wen Qiang and the former deputy-head of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, Peng Changjian. Wen, who is also a former police chief, has admitted to taking bribes and gifts totaling nearly 100 million yuan ($14.6 million). The corrupt cadre even threatened interrogators that he would spill the beans on a number of more senior officials if he were given the death sentence. “If you sentence me to death,” he reportedly said. “I’ll reveal everything—then everybody will die together!” (Chongqing Evening News, October 25; Global Times [Beijing], October 20).

While Wen might have been bluffing, there is now no denying that the triads have been operating in Chongqing for more than two decades—and that they had, for reasons that are coming to light, been tolerated by the municipality’s top party and government leaders. Most of the 24 triad chieftains started their careers in Chongqing, and they have been expanding their empires in the metropolis since the early 1990s. These billionaire thugs include Li Qiang, a well-known business tycoon in transportation and real estate who had been repeatedly appointed a delegate to the Chongqing People’s Congress. Another criminal, Xie Caiping, had run underground casinos—a few of them in five-star downtown hotels—in Chongqing for years (Chongqing Evening News, October 24; China News Service, October 31). Since Chongqing gained the status of a muncipilatiy (with the same “administrative ranking” as Beijing and Shanghai) in 1997, its party secretaries have included such luminaries as He Guoqiang (now member of the Politburo Standing Committee in charge of fighting corruption) and Wang Yang (Politburo member and Party Secretary of Guangdong). Current party secretary Bo Xilai, who is also a Politburo member, has been in charge of Chongqing for two years. It is well-nigh impossible that He, Wang and Bo had not been knowledgeable about the triad problems in Chongqing (Apple Daily, October 27; Chongqing Evening News, October 27). The officials’ complicit attitude begs the question, why did the authorities wait until early summer before taking action? …… (more from James Town Foundation)

Posted in Bo Xilai, China, Chongqing, News, Official, People, Politics, SW China, World | 1 Comment »

China: Veteran Dies After Mililtary Hospital Refuses Treatment, Thousands Protest

Posted by Author on May 16, 2009

By Zhang Liming, Radio Free Asia, Via The Epochtimes, May 16, 2009 –

Thousands of people joined the protest of the Mililtary Hospital in Chongqing

Thousands of people joined the protest of the Mililtary Hospital in Chongqing

The Liberation Army No. 324 Hospital in Chongqing city, Sichuan, was accused of not treating a local resident because of  a payment issue , which resulted in the death of a 23-year-old veteran. The veteran participated in the rescue work after the Wenchuan Earthquake last year. The veteran’s family protested outside of the hospital on May 13 holding his picture and slogans. Thousands of people joined the protest in the afternoon of May 13.  The crowds caused traffic chaos around the hospital.

A Chongqing resident named Li said that the protesters were not happy

Thousands of people protest the Mililtary Hospital

Thousands of people protest the Mililtary Hospital

with the way the hospital treated the victim. The hospital refused to help the victim because he did not have any cash at the time. The victim died as a result. The crowds did not leave until 8 p.m. after armed riot police arrived. It was claimed that some protesters were injured during the conflict with the police.

Li said that many Liberation Army Hospitals have opened to the public and are not different from other general hospitals. Veterans also need to pay to see a doctor. According to Li, many hospitals charge before they perform emergency service.

The protest, according to the Hong Kong based Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy, attracted over ten thousand people at one point. The crowd attempted to break into the hospital. The riot police confiscated the picture and slogans from the family. During the conflict, at least ten protesters were injured. The police took away the victim’s family members and their whereabouts were unknown at the time of this report……. (More from The Epochtimes)

Posted in China, Chongqing, City resident, Incident, Life, News, People, Photo, Protest, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on China: Veteran Dies After Mililtary Hospital Refuses Treatment, Thousands Protest

China soldier shot dead outside camp in Chongqing City

Posted by Author on March 22, 2009

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2009 –

Reporting from Beijing — A soldier on guard duty outside an army camp in central China was shot to death and another soldier wounded in a bold attack that Chinese authorities say is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.

The shooting Thursday night was especially shocking for Chinese officials because it took place in downtown Chongqing, a city of 5 million. After killing the soldier, identified in the official Chinese press as 18-year-old Han Junliang, the assailants also stole his submachine gun.

Chongqing residents said Friday that the city was under heavy security as police searched for the assailants. Roadblocks were set up around downtown.

“They are searching all over the city. They are inspecting cars, especially taxis. People are in a big panic,” said Chen Jun, a taxi driver interviewed by telephone. He said rumors had been circulating for days before the attack that suicide bombers had infiltrated the city.

Several newspapers reported that the attackers were Tibetan, which if true would be highly unusual. Chinese propaganda frequently depicts Tibetans as terrorists and authorities here are often quick to ascribe political motives to bombings and shootings that human rights advocates say were ordinary criminal acts.

Private ownership of guns in China is illegal, but authorities have acknowledged the increasing problem of heavily armed street gangs.

The last attacks of this type occurred in August before the start of the Beijing Olympics when assailants in far western China rammed a truck and threw grenades into a group of policemen jogging outside their station. That attack was blamed on ethnic Uighur separatists and took place in Xin- jiang province, where such violence is more common.

China has been on high alert in recent weeks because of a series of sensitive anniversaries. This month saw the 50th anniversary of the flight of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile — as well as the one-year anniversary of violent riots by Tibetans in various parts of China.

This year is also the 60th anniversary of the founding of Communist China and the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on student protests at Tiananmen Square.

The official newspaper of the People’s Armed Police reported Wednesday that a suitcase packed with explosives had been found at the railroad station in Lhasa, the Tibetan provincial capital.

Los Angeles Times

Posted in China, Chongqing, Incident, People, Photo, Politics, Social, South China, SW China, World | Comments Off on China soldier shot dead outside camp in Chongqing City

China: Landslide sends 50,000 cubic metres of mountain mass into Yangtze River

Posted by Author on November 27, 2008

by Chris Thomas, SOH Radio Network, on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 –

A massive landslide at the north shore of the Yangtze River in Chongqing city on Sunday has sent 50,000 cubic square metres of gravel into the river causing massive waves.

According to Chongqing Daily News reports, at around 4.40pm on Sunday, a mountain body situated in the city’s Wushan Prefecture, at the mouth of the Wu Gorge on the northshore of the Yangtze River collapsed, with massive amounts of gravel hurling into the river, sending up large amounts of dust which covered nearby regions also creating huge waves. The waves caused boats docked 2kms away from Wushan to shake strongly, and the Jian-San Hao ship next to a barge was pushed far away by the waves.

According to estimations by Wushan perfection Bureau of Land Management officials, the landslide mass was around 50,000 cubic metres. Boats were immediately banned on the segment of the river, and relevant teams have begun emergency traffic control for the water channels in the region, diverting boats to nearby safe areas. The ban was lifted a few hours later after officials found that the depth of the river was safe, and all traffic on the river has resumed.

Investigations are now underway by Wushan prefecture officials into the cause of the landslide.

The above news is brought to you by Yu Ming and hosted by Chris Thomas for Inside China Today on the SOH Radio Network.

Posted in China, Chongqing, Environment, News, River, SW China, transport, World, Yangtze river | Comments Off on China: Landslide sends 50,000 cubic metres of mountain mass into Yangtze River

Latest Unrest in Southwest China: Hundreds of Taxi Drivers Strike

Posted by Author on November 21, 2008

By Maureen Fan, Washington Post Foreign Service, USA, Thursday, November 20, 2008

BEIJING, Nov. 19 — Civil unrest stemming from economic concerns flared in southwestern China on Wednesday as several hundred taxi drivers in Chongqing went on strike over a government plan to put more cabs on their district’s roads. The protest took place two days after rioting erupted in the impoverished northwestern province of Gansu over declining incomes and property values.

“There is so much competition from unlicensed taxis,” said Yang Zhihua, a cabdriver in Chongqing, in Sichuan province. “We call on the government to punish them severely and leave us more space for business,” he added.

On Monday, about 2,000 people rioted in Gansu’s Wudu district over plans to move the Longnan city government offices, which had been damaged in the May 12 Sichuan earthquake, to a nearby county. Fearing the move would reduce property values and threaten their livelihoods, Wudu residents protested again Tuesday, clashing violently with police and looting government offices, the Gansu Daily reported.

In both provinces, officials attributed the unrest to local disagreements or land disputes rather than to the economic slowdown. But leaders have also expressed concern about factory closings, promising to compensate many of those who have lost their jobs in the downturn……. ( More from The Washington Post)

Posted in Business, China, Chongqing, Economy, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on Latest Unrest in Southwest China: Hundreds of Taxi Drivers Strike

China: Laid-off Workers From State-owned Enterprises Given 235 Yuan A Month to Live On

Posted by Author on July 30, 2008

China Labour Bulletin, Hong Kong, Jul 25, 2008-

At the turn of the century, the Chongqing municipal government embarked on an ambitious programme to restructure all its state-owned textile enterprises. Tens of thousands of workers were laid-off with the stated aim of improving efficiency. At the Chongqing No. 1 Cotton Mill, management pressured workers into signing “voluntary” redundancy agreements. Most refused and around 3,000 workers were laid off against their will.

The then Prime Minister Zhu Rongji promised laid-off workers they would be retrained and given at least three new job offers over the next three years. However, workers laid off from the Chongqing No. 1 Cotton Mill claimed they never received training or job offers and that they’d had to rely on a monthly living allowance of just 235 yuan, which, despite soaring food prices, had never increased.

The laid-off workers repeatedly petitioned the municipal and provincial governments, and filed lawsuits in the courts. However, their petitions were unsuccessful and their lawsuits were not accepted.

In February 2008, CLB Director Han Dongfang talked to two workers, Mr. Zhang and Mr. Pan, laid off from the Chongqing No. 1 Cotton Mill in 2003, as well as a former supervisor at the mill, Mr. Wang.

Pan, who was 59 years old at the time of the interview, had worked for 38 years. He claimed that formally retired workers in Chongqing would normally get at least 1,500 yuan per month in retirement benefits. “This subsidy is very unfair,” he said. “We’ve worked for decades, yet our monthly living allowance has never gone up.”

“When workers in government departments get laid off, they continue to get their salary until retirement. But we were not treated like this by our bosses. They did not care; they dumped us on the scrapheap, giving us a pitiful subsidy of 200 yuan to 300 yuan per month.”

Zhang had worked for 34 years when he was laid off in 2003. He claimed that if he had been formally retired, he would get about 1,300 per month.

Despite the mass lay-offs between 2000 and 2003, Wang, the former supervisor, said economic efficiency at the mill did not improve. Indeed, he said: “The more they laid off workers the worse it got, until the company finally went bankrupt in July 2006.”

Selling off state assets

Pan said the factory bosses were not interested in improving efficiency, but simply in lining their own pockets. The company’s assets were sold off to private businesses with no accounting made public, and with none of the proceeds going to the laid-off workers, as required by law.

Prior to being laid off, Pan and a group of co-workers appealed to management to keep their jobs or at least be given a better severance package, but they were met with indifference: “They didn’t care. They told us we could either quit or we could get castrated.”

After being laid off in 2003, Zhang, Pan and their colleagues applied for numerous different jobs, but were always unsuccessful, being told they were too old.

Zhang and hundreds of colleagues repeatedly petitioned the municipal and provincial governments. Zhang and his older colleagues demanded decent retirement benefits, while their younger colleagues sought re-employment. “We said it was not legal, it was unfair. But they didn’t solve our problems.”

Petitions and lawsuits

During the course of their petitions, some of the workers’ leaders were detained. They were sentenced to 15 days administrative detention, but were released after just one day when the workers protested. “We wouldn’t take it lying down. We sought out the government. One, two hundred of us rose up and appealed. Then they released our representatives.”

Despite their intense petitioning, the laid-off workers have still not seen a rise in their living allowance. “Prices have gone up,” Zhang said. “The government doesn’t care. We need to rely on relatives and friends to make ends meet.”

Zhang said pork prices had risen by 100 percent and oil prices had increased by nearly 80 percent over the last two years. “I have a child at university. Tuition and living expenses there come to 15,000 a year,” he said.

Zhang had already incurred debts of 20,000 yuan, and even though he would be eligible for a pension the following year at the age of 60, he had not been able to keep up with his pension contributions and was thus disqualified from receiving a full pension.

Zhang said he and his colleagues refused to give up and had now broadened their campaign to include other factories: “We have to fight for our rights. If we don’t fight for what is lawfully ours, the government won’t simply give it to us. It’s not just our factory anymore. Now, we’re liaising with several textile mills. If everyone is united and cooperates, then we can finally gain our lawful rights.”

Zhang vowed that he would fight for the rights of laid-off workers in Chongqing until the day he died: “The government wants to grind us down. But so long as breath lasts, we laid-off workers won’t give up. We already have nothing, so what is there to fear?”

Zhang said that the workers had tried on several occasions to hire a lawyer to fight on their behalf. Many lawyers were not willing to confront government officials, while the one lawyer who did take on their case saw the lawsuit rejected by the court. Eventually Zhang accepted Han Dongfang’s offer of pro bono legal assistance and the case has now been taken up as part of China Labour Bulletin’s Labour Rights Litigation Project.

Original report from China Labour Bulletin

Posted in China, Chongqing, Economy, income, Law, Life, News, People, Social, SW China, Worker, World | Comments Off on China: Laid-off Workers From State-owned Enterprises Given 235 Yuan A Month to Live On

Suspected Rape and Murder of School Girl Cause 20,000 To Protest in Southwest China

Posted by Author on April 19, 2008

Epoch Times Staff, Apr 17, 2008-Around 20,000 people from Yubei District, Chongqing City were standing in front of the local Public Security Bureau

A senior attending Pine Bridge High School in Chongqing City is believed to have been raped and murdered by a school teacher while she was studying at the school over the holiday break. The school deliberately concealed details of the case and hired three men to assault the girl’s family, arousing public indignation.

On April 7, 2008, around 20,000 people gathered at the Lianglu Town industrial park, and the Sanzhi Road and airport area in the city’s Yubei District. They held banners that read, “Severely punish the murderer” and “The high school girl died unjustly.” The protest obstructed traffic for two hours.

(Photos at right: A crowd of nearly 20,000 people from the Yubei District in Chongqing City were standing in front of the local Public Security Bureau, obstructing traffic for two hours. / Photo by a net surfer from mainland China)

According to local media reports, Pine Bridge High School senior Qin Li had decided to stay at school toA crowd of nearly 20,000 people from the Yubei District in Chongqing City were standing in front of the local Public Security Bureau study for the upcoming college entrance exam during the Chingming holiday break. As Zhonglan Shen, Qin Li’s mother, recalled, Qin called on the evening of April 3, the day before she was killed and told her of her plans to study at the school.

Around 7 p.m. on April 4, Zhonglan was working on a farm when she received a call from her daughter’s school saying that Qin Li had suddenly become ill. Zhonglan rushed to the school as soon as she could. Qin’s father and brother, who were working in the Zhucheng district, were also notified and promptly made their way to Pine Bridge High School.

When Qin’s family got to the school late that night the school staff leader and an officer from the Longxi police station informed them that Qin had committed suicide by hanging herself in her dorm room around 4p.m. that day.

Meanwhile, a completely different story of Qin’s death spread rapidly over the Internet. An eyewitness described what he saw of the incident on a popular Chinese BBS, Tianya Club.

The source said the girl was raped by a school teacher (other sources claimed it was the son of the school principal), and was strangled with a belt after she said she would appeal.

The murderer then created the illusion that Qin had committed suicide by hanging her in her dorm room. The school notified the deceased family two days after the incident occurred and deliberately concealed the truth. Qin’s parents requested a forensic analysis, which revealed signs of a struggle and rape before Qin’s death.

When the forensic evidence was revealed, the school teacher and principal offered the family 50,000 yuan to drop the case, but the family refused. Instead, Qin’s family requested that authorities severely punish the murderer. Local government, however, sided with the teacher and covered up for the school, refusing to investigate the case.

Sources on Tianya BBS said the school requested a cremation of the girl’s body, which Qin’s parents refused. The school then hired three men to beat up the parents in the street. The assailants continued to beat Qin’s father even after the mother had been beaten unconscious and sent to the hospital. The father told onlookers the story of his daughter’s murder while he was being beaten. Bystanders quickly grew angry about the news.

Sources said that the local police arrived on the scene as the angered onlookers aimed to retaliate against the assailants. Instead of helping the father, the police formed two lines to help the gangsters escape the scene. Just then, news surfaced that the Qin’s mother died in the hospital, further angering the local onlookers. They started a protest to demand severe punishment for the perpetrators of Qin’s death.

Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau brought nearly 1,000 riot police from other districts to beat and arrest protesters. The crowd was then forced to withdraw.

Attempting to refute the so-called rumors of the details behind Qin’s death, the local Yubei television station reported that Qin had committed suicide and failed to provide any motive or reason for it. It also reported that the mob that protested on behalf of the family to demand justice had ulterior motives and deliberately created disorder.

Although the mysterious death of Qin Li and the resulting demonstrations of tens of thousands people did not seem to interest Chongqing authorities, news of the incident spread rapidly on several Chinese websites. Internet users denounced and condemned the authorities and appealed to severely punish the assailants. The users generally lamented about the darkness of their society, and some even appealed for the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party.

Original report from The Epochtimes: Suspected Rape and Murder of Chongqing Girl Cause Tens of Thousands To Protest

Posted in China, Chongqing, Education, Law, Life, News, People, Sexual assault, Social, Student, SW China, World | 1 Comment »

Two Top Chinese Officials Sentenced to Death for Graft in One Day

Posted by Author on January 18, 2008

AFP, Jan. 15, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — Two death sentences for corrupt senior officials were announced in China on Tuesday as President Hu Jintao lamented the difficulty of fighting graft, state press said.

“We must deeply recognise the complexity, long-term nature and difficulties in the anti-corruption struggle,” Chinese television quoted Hu as saying at a high-level meeting on honest government.

He vowed to continue to fight a scourge that has become a top political issue.

Hu has described corruption as one of the major threats to the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party and called for repeated crackdowns, but graft continues be a major problem nationwide.

His comments came as the Legal Evening News reported that Xu Zhiyuan, 55, a top Communist Party official in Beijing’s Fangshan district, was sentenced to death Tuesday by a court for the January 2006 murder of his mistress.

The victim, identified only by her surname Chen, was 20 years younger than Xu and once worked for him in the Fangshan government, it said.

But Xu, tiring of the relationship, paid his driver 100,000 yuan (13,700 dollars) to strangle Chen and incinerate her body, it said.

The driver was also sentenced to death Tuesday. Xu was also convicted of accepting 600,000 yuan in bribes.

Also Tuesday, the Chongqing Evening News reported that Wang Zheng, a former top official in the southwestern Chongqing region, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for accepting over 2.23 million yuan in bribes.

Wang, the former vice head of Chongqing’s prosperous Yuzhong district, was sentenced on December 31. His two-year reprieve means the punishment is likely to be commuted to life in prison.

The bribery-related trial of his wife, Luo Jinghong, also a top city official, began on Monday, the paper said.

In a separate case, Yu Guohua, vice mayor of Jilin city in northeast China, was ousted from the Communist Party and stripped of his post for “serious violations of discipline,” the Jilin Daily reported.

“Yu Guohua used his position to receive and solicit a large amount of bribes, illegally possessed firearms, held corrupt morals and maintained a mistress,” the paper said.

“His case is serious and its influence on the public is bad.”

Party discipline officials have sent the case for prosecution, it added.

Meanwhile, Cui Baohong, the former head of Heshun county in northern Shanxi province, was jailed for 20 years, the China Youth Daily said.

Cui was convicted by an intermediate court on Monday of extorting 2.45 million yuan, misappropriating 3.9 million yuan and accepting three million yuan in bribes, it said.

Heshun is one of China’s poorest counties, the paper said.

Cui had maintained four apartments in the provincial capital of Taiyuan, owned 18 cars, and possessed 4.11 million yuan in cash when arrested, it said.

– Original report from AFP: Top Chinese officials sentenced to death for graft: state media

Posted in Beijing, China, Chongqing, corruption, Economy, Law, Life, News, Official, People, Politics, Social, SW China, World | 3 Comments »

Millions bewildered and scared as world’s largest dam takes shape in China

Posted by Author on November 20, 2007

The Sydney Morning Herald, November 18, 2007-

China stands almost alone in wielding the wealth and will to conjure vast engineering efforts to alter the flow of rivers and the lives of millions. But many of its people are bewildered and frightened as the world’s largest dam takes shape, writes Chris Buckley

In a precarious apartment overlooking the Yangtze River, Xu Faxiu and her sick husband are holding out as the Government wrenches more than 1.4million people from their homes to make way for the vast Three Gorges Dam.

Whole towns and villages have been resettled to higher slopes or distant provinces as the water rises – an exodus that has brought protests of official corruption and inadequate compensation from displaced people, many of them poor farmers.

Before the waters peak at 175metres next year, Xu, 51, and her husband, Chen Kaishen, must abandon “old Badong”, a steep maze of rotting concrete blocks and half-demolished residences.

They are not ready to go. To stay, however, could mean death.

“This place could collapse, I know, but where do we go?” Xu says from her temporary home on the fifth floor of a largely abandoned apartment building.

She and her husband – rendered mute by two strokes – moved in when their old house, further down the slopes, was threatened as authorities began to lift the dam level.

“Everyone here will have to move out soon. I don’t know where we’ll go,” she says. “Complaining is useless. When you’re poor nobody listens.”

Xu and Chen’s story is a small drama illuminating the hardships and tensions the Three Gorges Dam has brought central China’s Hubei province – where Badong lies – and neighbouring Chongqing municipality.

The dam is an engineering feat of staggering proportions which seeks to tame the world’s third-longest river.

The 6300-kilometre Yangtze, which rises on the Tibetan plateau, flows through the towering Three Gorges to irrigate, and often flood, much of the country’s central and eastern plains……. ( more details from the The Sydney Morning Herald)

Posted in China, Chongqing, dam, Environment, housing, Life, News, People, River, Rural, Social, SW China, Three Gorges, World, Yangtze river | Comments Off on Millions bewildered and scared as world’s largest dam takes shape in China

Three Die In China Supermarket’s Cooking Oil Sale Stampede

Posted by Author on November 11, 2007

BBC News, Saturday, 10 November-

Three people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a stampede at a supermarket sale in China.

The stampede happened at a branch of the French chain Carrefour, in the city of Chongqing, state media said.

The shop was offering large discounts on cooking oil. A crowd that had been waiting hours for the store to open then burst through the doors.

Carrefour entered the Chinese market in 1995 and has since opened more than 100 supermarkets.

Prices soar

Queues at the store reportedly began at 0400 local time (2000 GMT Friday).

State media Xinhua said bargain-hunters were crushed underfoot in a sale to mark the 10th anniversary of the store’s opening in the south-western city.

Some of those trying to get in reportedly slipped and were trampled.

At least seven of the injured are in a serious condition, Xinhua said.

An investigation has been launched by local authorities.

Cooking oil prices have soared by more than a third in the past year.

In Chongqing, Carrefour was reportedly offering 20% off rapeseed oil.

Carrefour, which is the world’s second-biggest retailer, has been keen to expand in China as it booms and recently opened its 101st hypermarket in the country.

– Original report from BBC news: Three die in China sale stampede

Posted in Business, China, Chongqing, City resident, Economy, Food, Incident, Life, News, People, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on Three Die In China Supermarket’s Cooking Oil Sale Stampede

Workers’ deaths cast shadow over political celebrations in Beijing

Posted by Author on October 25, 2007

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

Posted in Business, China, Chongqing, Economy, Fujian, Incident, Law, Life, News, People, SE China, Social, SW China, Worker, World | Comments Off on Workers’ deaths cast shadow over political celebrations in Beijing

China Suffers Severe Drought and Floods in July

Posted by Author on August 14, 2007

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

Posted in Central China, China, Chongqing, Climate, East China, Environment, Fujian, Guangxi, Guizhou, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Life, NE China, North China, NW China, SE China, Shaanxi, shanghai, Shanxi, Sichuan, South China, SW China, Xinjiang, Zhejiang | Comments Off on China Suffers Severe Drought and Floods in July

%d bloggers like this: