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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
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    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
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    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 ‘products’ Category

‘Israeli oranges’ faked in China

Posted by Author on April 27, 2009


By Andre Vornic, BBC News, Apr. 26, 2009-

A twist has emerged in the story of Israeli citrus fruit reportedly sold in Iran in defiance of a ban on commercial dealings between the two enemy states.

It has now been revealed the fruit, a type of orange-grapefruit hybrid marketed as Jaffa Sweetie, were not Israeli in the first place.

The Sweeties were brought to Iran from China, where faking the origin of goods is a common practice.

The discovery of apparent Israeli origin caused a stir in Iran.

Outrage followed, distribution centres stocking the fruit were sealed and accusations were traded.

Such is the infamy of dealing with Israel that an Iranian official went so far as to accuse the opposition of a “citrus plot”.

However, Tal Amit, the general manager of Israel’s Citrus Marketing Board, told the BBC the fruit had not originated in his country.

Prestigious fruit

“First of all, it’s a bit annoying that somebody is using our brand name and registered trademark without our permission,” he said.

“Apart from this, I would like very much the Iranian people to eat Israeli fruit straight from the origin and not via China.

“But the politics is not allowing us to do any commercial relations with Tehran at the moment while back 30 to 40 years ago, Tehran was a superb market for our fruit.”

The genuine Israeli Sweetie is primarily exported to the Far East’s richest markets, Japan and South Korea.

That could explain the prestige of the fruit in the eyes of Chinese exporters and the temptation to counterfeit it.

It is not the first time, however, that citrus fruit have found themselves at the heart of an international political row.

Back in the 1980s, as the most visible of South Africa’s consumer exports, oranges became the key target of anti-Apartheid boycott campaigns.

BBC News

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Economy, Life, News, Politics, products, World | Comments Off on ‘Israeli oranges’ faked in China

Report: Prison-like High-Tech Sweatshop in China Producing for HP, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft and IBM

Posted by Author on February 19, 2009


NEW YORK, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Charles Kernaghan and the National Labor Committee (NLC) are releasing a 60-page report, High Tech Misery in China, documenting the grueling hours, low wages and draconian disciplinary measures at the Meitai factory in southern China. The 2,000 mostly-young women workers produce keyboards and other equipment for Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft and IBM. Along with worker interviews, photographs of primitive factory and dorm conditions and extensive internal company documents were smuggled out of the factory.

Full report: http://www.nlcnet.org/article.php?id=613

  • Workers sit on hard wooden stools as 500 computer keyboards an hour move down the assembly line, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with just two days off a month. The workers have 1.1 seconds to snap on each key, an operation repeated 3,250 times an hour, 35,750 a day, 250,250 a week and over one million times a month. The pace is relentless.
  • Workers are paid 1/50th of a cent for each operation they complete.
  • Workers cannot talk, listen to music or even lift their heads to look around. They must “periodically trim their nails,” or be fined.
  • Workers needing to use the bathroom must learn to hold it until there is a break. Security guards spy on the workers, who are prohibited from putting their hands in their pockets and are searched when they leave the factory.
  • All overtime is mandatory and workers are at the factory up to 87 hours a week, while earning a take-home wage of just 41 cents an hour. Workers are being cheated of up to 19 percent of the wages due them.
  • Ten to twelve workers share each overcrowded dorm room, sleeping on metal bunk beds and draping old sheets over their cubicles for privacy. Workers bathe using small plastic buckets and must walk down several flights of stairs to fetch hot water.
  • Workers are locked in the factory compound four days a week and prohibited from even taking a walk.
  • For breakfast the workers receive a thin rice gruel. On Fridays they receive a small chicken leg and foot to symbolize “their improving life.”
  • Workers are instructed to “love the company like your home”…”continuously striving for perfection” …and to spy on and “actively monitor each other.”
  • China provides large subsidies to its exporters. In 2008, the U.S. trade deficit with China in advanced technology products is expected to reach $74 billion. There are 1.4 million electronic assembly jobs left in the U.S. — paying $12.72 to $14.41 an hour — which may be lost due to China’s low wages and repression of worker rights.
Young women cue up in the factory cafeteria

Young women cue up in the factory cafeteria

One Metai worker summed up the general feeling in the factory: “I feel like I am serving a prison sentence…The factory is forever pressing down on our heads and will not tolerate even the tiniest mistake. When working, we work continuously. When we eat, we have to eat with lightning speed… The security guards are like policemen watching over prisoners. We’re really livestock and shouldn’t be called workers.”

Charles Kernaghan, director of the NLC commented, “God help us if the labor-management relations being developed in China become the new low standard for the rest of the world. The $200 personal computer and $22.99 keyboard may seem like a great bargain. But they come at a terrible cost. The low wages and lack of worker rights protections in China are leading the race to the bottom in the global sweatshop economy, where there are no winners.”

Website: http://www.nlcnet.org/
Website: http://www.nlcnet.org/article.php?id=613/

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, employment, Human Rights, Law, Life, Made in China, Microsoft, News, People, products, Slave labour, Social, Technology, USA, Women, Worker, World | 6 Comments »

China milk scandal firm bankrupt

Posted by Author on February 12, 2009


BBC News, 12 February 2009 –

A Chinese food group at the centre of a contaminated milk scandal which killed six babies has been declared bankrupt with debts of $160m (£113m).

Sanlu, which had been one of China’s most trusted brands, was the first of 22 firms found to have sold the milk.

More than 300,000 children were made ill by the milk, to which melamine had been added to boost protein readings.

The chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, Tian Wenhua, has already been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Other Sanlu executives received sentences of five to 15 years. Two other men were sentenced to death.

But anger among the Chinese population was not only directed at Sanlu. As the scale of the deadly scam became known, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao gave a rare public apology for failing to prevent the crisis.

Chinese product safety regulators have now announced they are investigating whether a unit of the French Danone group also used the toxic chemical.

BBC News

Posted in Businessman, China, Company, corruption, Economy, Food, Health, Law, News, products, Social, World | 1 Comment »

MALAYSIA Bans China chicken imports

Posted by Author on January 28, 2009


News Straits Times, 2009/01/28 –

MALAYSIA has banned the import of chicken from China due to the bird flu virus which has killed five people in the republic.

Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abd Aziz Jamaluddin said the ban, effective Jan 16, would only be lifted when the situation in China returned to normal.

“We don’t have to worry about a shortage of supply as all private sector companies in the country which import chicken from China have enough stock for three months,” he said here yesterday.

He added that the department had permanently frozen the import of chicken from Thailand since last year due to the virus.

“We cannot take chances as the breakout hit the country two years ago,” he said, referring to the outbreak, and spread, of the Avian flu virus in Paya Jaras Hilir, Sg Buloh.

China had reported a total of six cases of H5N1 virus this year, with the latest being the death of an 18-year-old youth in the South China province on Jan 26.

Other deaths included a 19-year-old teenager in Beijing on Jan 5, a 27-year-old woman in Shandong on Jan 17, a 16-year-old boy in Hunan on Jan 20 and a 31-year-old woman in Xinjiang on Jan 23……. (more details from News Straits Times)

Posted in Asia, China, Economy, Food, News, products, Trade | Comments Off on MALAYSIA Bans China chicken imports

Food products from China destroyed in Ireland

Posted by Author on January 28, 2009


PAUL GALLAGHER, The Irish Times, January 27, 2009 –

FOOD PRODUCTS
entering Ireland from China that contain the chemical melamine are now being destroyed at Dublin Port following recent powers given to health officials and customs officers.

The new European-wide emergency control legislation was introduced following the melamine-tainted infant formula food scandal uncovered in China last September.

Milk used to manufacture a wide range of products within China had been diluted fraudulently and melamine was added to restore the apparent protein content of the milk.

Melamine was subsequently found in many food products, forcing a wave of recalls in many countries around the world. It was part of a long list of food scandals to hit China and prompted the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to recall Chinese-made sweet products from a number of stores within Ireland, fearing they may contain melamine.

The legislation, which came into effect last October, now requires all food imports from China that contains milk/soya at any level (which can also include chocolate and biscuits) to be detained at Dublin Port and tested. Any product found to contain melamine at a concentration greater than 2.5mg/kg is then destroyed.

Raymond Ellard, a director with the FSAI, said: “The vast majority of products have been allowed to pass through, but a small number of melamine-contaminated products have been destroyed. The testing is an on-going safety measure and as many as 160 products have been tested so far.”

Melamine can cause kidney stones, leading to kidney failure, and infants are particularly vulnerable.

“At least six babies died and more than 290,000 were made ill in China after taking milk contaminated with melamine. Composite feed products are also covered under the new rules to ensure that non-compliant food products are not diverted for animal use. The import and sale of all infant formula food from China is also prohibited.

Last Thursday, a Chinese court condemned two men to death and handed a life term to another former dairy boss for their part in the contaminated milk scandal.

It was also reported on Sunday that Chinese quarantine authorities seized more than 23 tonnes of frozen Irish pork that was found to be contaminated with dioxin and ordered it be returned.

The pork was imported by a company in the city of Suzhou in October. Inspectors sealed the pork and ordered the company to send it back. China had banned the importation of Irish pork last month following the contamination scare.

The Irish Times

Posted in China, Economy, Food, Life, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, World | Comments Off on Food products from China destroyed in Ireland

India bans toy imports from China, gives no reason

Posted by Author on January 24, 2009


Reuters, Jan 23, 2009 –

NEW DELHI, Jan 23 (Reuters) – India on Friday banned imports of several types of toys from China for six months without saying why, a move that pleased local manufacturers but shocked importers.

A government statement issued late on Friday did not give details but industry officials said the order would ban imports of almost all toys from China.

The government said in a statement it had banned imports for six months with immediate effect in the public interest.

The Toy Association of India’s president, Raj Kumar, said the ban would severely hit imports of Chinese toys, but Indian authorities had likely taken the step in the interest of the economy.

“You see Chinese toys everywhere. The good, upper-end toys are made in India, but the cheap toys in the street and small shops were being dominated by them. They are bringing in toys without safety norms,” he said……. (more details from Reuters)

Posted in Asia, China, Economy, India, Made in China, News, products, Toy, World | 2 Comments »

Nortel’s China Syndrome

Posted by Author on January 13, 2009


Andy Greenberg, The  Forbes, 01.12.09 –

Concerns over Chinese cyber-spying may have stalled a deal with Huawei that Nortel needs.

Since the beginning of this decade, worries about Chinese cyber-spying have reverberated through the media, rocked the security industry and added billions to the U.S. government’s cybersecurity budget. Now, for Nortel Networks, those concerns may also have frozen a deal the struggling networking vendor badly needs.

Toronto-based Nortel, whose stock has lost 96% of its value last year, announced in September that it would sell its metro Ethernet business, an Internet-focused piece of the company that generates about $1.5 billion a year in revenue.

The most interested potential acquirer of that division of Nortel may be Huawei, which bid $400 million for Nortel’s offering in September, according to Avian Securities–a generous offer considering that the company’s current market capitalization, hammered by debt and missed earnings projections, languishes at less than half that value. More recent rumors suggest Israeli networking company Radware may be bidding as little as $50 million for the same division, according to the Israel news site Globes.

Huawei’s higher bid, however, came with a caveat: The Shenzhen, China-based networking giant has a murky history of cooperation with its homeland’s authoritarian regime. And concerns over Huawei’s government ties, according to some industry-watchers and security analysts, may have spooked Nortel’s customers that carry sensitive U.S. government data and scuttled the Chinese company’s offer.

Huawei, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, has good reason to want a chunk of Nortel’s business. It’s likely most interested in Nortel’s market share in fiberoptic equipment–8.5% of the world market according to Synergy Research, behind only Alcatel-Lucent (nyse: ALU – news – people ) and Huawei itself. Nortel’s 100-gigabyte-per-second fiberoptic switches are also significantly faster than the 40-GB-per-second switches that Huawei currently offers.

The Chinese company has long been searching for an opportunity to expand to North America. It tried a joint venture with Nortel in 2005. And though that deal was scrapped in 2006, it means the two companies may have closer ties than other potential bidders.

In an informal poll of 44 fiberoptics and Ethernet industry executives at the Carrier Ethernet World Congress last September, the telecom trade blog Light Reading found that 18 respondents named Huawei as the most likely buyer for Nortel’s metro Ethernet business, far more than other candidates like Cisco Systems (nasdaq: CSCO – news – people ) or Ericsson (nasdaq: ERIC – news – people ). The second most popular response in the poll was “no one.”

But a deal between Huawei and Nortel would have raised security hackles: The company sells telecom equipment to major Internet carriers like Verizon  (nyse: VZ –  news  –  people ), AT&T  (nyse: T –  news  –  people ), Sprint  (nyse: S –  news  –  people ) and Qwest, which in turn carry data for practically every government agency from the National Security Agency to the Pentagon. And given Huawei’s history, a tieup with the company would raise the specter of a hidden back door in a router or switch, siphoning that data to foreign spies.

A January 2007 report for the U.S. Air Force written by the RAND research group highlighted the military background of Huawei chief executive Ren Zhengfei: Before he founded Huawei in 1988, Ren was an engineering director for the Chinese military’s telecom research department. Today, “Huawei maintains deep ties with the Chinese military, which serves a multifaceted role as an important customer, as well as Huawei’s political patron and research and development partner,” according to the report.

A month later, the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation issued its own report, citing Huawei as a security threat and arguing that “if a PLA protégé firm acquired an American firm that provided computer network equipment, software and services to the U.S. government, the possibilities for cyber-espionage would be virtually unlimited.”…… (more details from The Forbes)

Posted in Business, Canada, China, Communication, Company, Economy, Internet, Law, Made in China, military, News, Politics, products, Technology, World | Comments Off on Nortel’s China Syndrome

Taiwan legislator warns of China spyware in military hardware

Posted by Author on January 13, 2009


Taiwan News, Staff Writer, 2009-01-13 –

The military could be leaking secrets if using computers made in China, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

The Ministry of National Defense recently bought notebook computers from China which could compromise state secrets if they had been infected by viruses and spy software programs, said Lawrence Kao, a legislator for the Democratic Progressive Party.

The army headquarters had recently awarded bids for 51 computers to a supplier who did not buy the notebooks from Taiwanese manufacturers, but from suppliers in China, Kao said. At a news conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, he also accused the supplier of contracting out repair work to China.

Chinese intelligence services could plant software programs inside the computers which could then be used to collect military secrets from their Taiwanese users, Kao said.

The DPP lawmaker accused the military of being too lax about supervising its key suppliers and the sources of its equipment. It was high time for the ministry to review its procurement procedures and the origin of the products it was using, Kao said.

There has been concern for some time that in the event of a cross-straits conflict, China would not try for the long-feared tactic of a costly all-out invasion of the island, but would instead wage electronic warfare to try and paralyze the Taiwanese military’s communications and information systems.

eTaiwan News

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Company, Computer, Economy, Law, military, News, Politics, products, Software, Spyware, Taiwan, Technology, World | Comments Off on Taiwan legislator warns of China spyware in military hardware

China says 296,000 children fell ill from tainted milk

Posted by Author on January 12, 2009


AFP, Jan 11, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — China said Monday that a total of 296,000 children had fallen ill from consuming dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, up 2,000 from the previous official count.

The health ministry also told reporters at a briefing that a total of 52,898 babies had been treated in hospital for kidney problems caused by the toxic ingredient. Of these, 52,582 had been discharged.

The health ministry announced in early December a figure of 294,000 babies sickened by melamine, a chemical normally used to make plastic.

Earlier ministry data also showed six deaths had been linked to melamine.

The figure was released as the nation awaited the verdicts in the first cases against officials from Sanlu Group, the company at the heart of the baby formula scandal.

The discovery that melamine was mixed into baby milk, in a bid to make it look richer in protein, shocked consumers both in China and abroad, dealing another blow to the reputation of the nation’s products.

AFP

Posted in Children, China, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, People, products, Tainted Products, World | Comments Off on China says 296,000 children fell ill from tainted milk

Hamas Rockets Made in China

Posted by Author on January 9, 2009


By Ofir Kaminkovski, Epoch Times Staff, Jan 1, 2009 –

TEL AVIV,  Israel—The Israel-based Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports that the rockets fired by the Hamas are contraband from mainland China. Hamas is a terrorist organization that took control on the Gaza strip by force in 2007.

“It was revealed that the rockets were contraband from China. The experts who liquidated the rockets saw that it was made in China,” said Hagai Huberman, an Israeli Military Correspondent to the Makor Rishon newspaper, to New Tang Dynasty Television.

Chinese communist authorities have been accused of selling weapons to Hamas before. In 2006 a Paris-based intelligence newsletter reported that Chinese Ministry of State Security official, Gong Xiaosheng, worked with Hamas militants.

In a separate case in August this year, a group of Israeli terror victims alleged that the Bank of China assisted terrorist attacks by allowing the transfer of money to Hamas. According to their lawyer Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, Chinese authorities were informed about it but did nothing to stop it.

– The Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, China, Made in China, military, News, Politics, products, Technology, World | Comments Off on Hamas Rockets Made in China

China cracks down on milk scandal victims

Posted by Author on January 2, 2009


By Kathrin Hille in Beijing, The Financial Times, January 2 2009 –

China moved on Friday to silence parents of victims of its tainted milk scandal, underscoring Beijing’s determination to quell unauthorised action in response to social and economic problems.

Zhao Lianhai, the organiser of a network of parents whose children fell ill after consuming baby formula tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, was detained as his group prepared to lobby the government for continued free testing and treatment for their children and other victims.

The crackdown came after the health ministry said the scandal and the business of compensation was ‘in principle over’. Last week, a court declared the bankruptcy of Sanlu, one of the dairy companies at the heart of the scandal. Sanlu’s former chief executive and some other accused officials are on trial for alleged breaches of the law.

Mr Zhao said he was being held by police at Tuanhe Farm conference centre, a compound outside of Beijing where police formerly held people who were to be sent to labour camps. “There are more than 20 police watching me here, and they are not letting me go,” Mr Zhao said when contacted by the FT on his cellphone. “I protest this illegal treatment.”

The parents’ network, which according to Mr Zhao has several thousand members, distributed its demands to the media on Friday, but 19 other parents who had come from several provinces to the capital for the occasion said they were helpless now that their organiser had been detained.

Several of the parents said that while their children had been tested for kidney diseases without charges, they had paid for part or all of the treatment themselves. “It is difficult to understand for us why [Mr] Zhao has been put away, because we are not seeking confrontation,” said Zhang Li, a mother from Fujian. “We believe in the government’s will and ability to deal with our problems, we just want to talk.”

The incident mirrors the treatment of parents whose children died in schools that collapsed during the Sichuan earthquake last year. While the government pledged to help them and improve school construction quality, it quickly cracked down on attempts by the parents to organise themselves and demand compensation or investigations into the causes of the school collapses.

The Financial Times

Posted in China, Company, Law, News, People, Politics, products, Social, Tainted Products, World | Comments Off on China cracks down on milk scandal victims

In China, tainted milk trial kept under wraps

Posted by Author on January 1, 2009


By Barbara Demick, January 1, 2009 –

Reporting from Shijiazhuang, China — Inside a courthouse cordoned off by yellow tape and a phalanx of police, the alleged perpetrators of China’s tainted-milk scandal are being brought to trial here. But the sensational consumer safety case has been shrouded in so much secrecy that it is hard to say whether justice is in fact being done.

On Wednesday, the most significant defendant, Tian Wenhua, chairwoman of the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, admitted that her company had delayed for months reporting that its infant formula contained the additive melamine, which causes kidney stones. Tainted formula killed at least six babies and sickened about 300,000 others.

China has made a big show of the trial, releasing courtroom video of the defendants being paraded before the judges in yellow-and-black prison garb. But the public has seen only snippets and images, and all but a few carefully screened journalists from government-owned news media have been excluded.

Parents and their lawyers, many of whom traveled from across the country in hopes of seeing the trial, are also personae non gratae at the well- secured courthouse here in Shijiazhuang, about 190 miles south of Beijing.

“There is no transparency in the process. They are behaving like there is something to hide,” said Teng Biao, a Beijing lawyer who has been trying to bring a lawsuit on behalf of 111 parents. “They are completely excluding the victims.”

The case is turning into a showdown between the Chinese government’s opaque legal system and a consumer culture that increasingly clamors for information and accountability.

Parents whose babies were sickened by the melamine have set up their own websites (one is called jieshibaobao.com, which translates to “rockbabies.com”) and trade text messages about the latest developments.

Although they have been barred from the courthouse, privately owned Chinese news outlets have stationed dozens of reporters behind the police lines, trying to interview people as they come and go.

“This is a case that the whole country is watching, actually all the world,” said Zhang Chen, senior editor for an online news service and one of the journalists in the scrum Tuesday.

Courts throughout China have refused to hear the parents’ lawsuits, and lawyers who have tried to file them have been threatened with disbarment, lawyer Teng said.

In its haste to wrap up the case before the end of the year — which under the traditional Chinese lunar calendar falls Jan. 25 — the government is pressing parents to accept a $160-million settlement from a consortium of dairies that was announced this week.

“It is not that I want vengeance. I don’t care about people getting the death penalty. I only want what is right for the children,” said Li Yanfang, 28, one of the mothers who was refused entry to the courthouse here.

Li complained that the government is forcing an inadequate and confusing settlement on the parents.

She was called to a municipal office here in Shijiazhuang, where she lives, and asked to sign a letter by which she would forfeit her right to further claims in return for $300 and free treatment for kidney problems until her 17-month-old daughter turns 18.

She wasn’t permitted to take the letter with her or make a photocopy, although she insisted on copying the letter by hand. When she was about to leave the municipal office, an official told her she would have to sign another letter acknowledging that she was forgoing the money.

Li refused to sign anything.

“We’re not going to sign away our rights for so little money,” said Li, who works in the insurance industry, along with her husband. “But other families in the countryside who aren’t in as good a situation as we are will feel that they need to take the money and keep quiet.”

Three babies in Li’s apartment compound have the same kidney problems as a result of drinking Sanlu’s baby formula, which was heavily marketed as a quality local brand. The company is headquartered in downtown Shijiazhuang in a huge factory with giant lettering on top of its roof reading, “Manufacture Quality Dairy Serve the People.”

Without an opportunity to hear the testimony, it is impossible to know much of what has been said at the proceedings here. For example, the daughter of Tian Wenhua, the Sanlu chairwoman, has alleged that officials in Shijiazhuang and surrounding Hebei province were part of a coverup.

“We used to receive frequent visitors from the Health Ministry. These people would eat and drink and take ‘red envelopes,’ ” Wu Qing wrote on a blog published in September, referring to the envelopes traditionally used in China to give cash. “They extorted us and didn’t inspect the product. Shouldn’t the government take responsibility?”

China’s top product quality supervisor resigned in September after the milk scandal broke, as did several Shijiazhuang officials, including the city’s Communist Party secretary. But no government officials or executives of other dairy firms implicated have been arrested in the case.

Among the 17 people who have gone on trial are other Sanlu employees and various small-town businessmen who sold melamine under the name of “protein powder” to dairy farmers. The official press has reported that some could face the death penalty.

“These criminal suspects may have committed serious crimes, but they are not the only ones,” lawyer Teng said. “The higher government officials abused their power and should be prosecuted as well.”

Los Angeles Times

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, Food, Health, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, products, Social, Tainted Products, World | Comments Off on In China, tainted milk trial kept under wraps

US arrests 2 for exporting sensitive technology to China

Posted by Author on January 1, 2009


AFP, Dec. 31, 2008-

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Two men were arrested in California and charged with illegally exporting to China thermal-imaging cameras, a national security controlled item, the Justice Department (DOJ) said Wednesday.

The US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles said Sam Ching Sheng Lee, 63, and his nephew Charles Yu Hsu Lee, 31, were charged under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and face up to 25 years in federal prison if convicted.

Charles Lee is a native of China and Ching Lee is a native of Taiwan, the DOJ said in a statement.

The two men are suspected of exporting thermal-imaging cameras to China from 2002-2007, without a license and in circumvention of export laws, through MBA, an import/export business located in Hacienda Heights, California,

“Thermal-imaging cameras are controlled for export to China by the Department of Commerce for national security and regional stability reasons because of their use in a wide variety of military and civilian applications,” DOJ said.

US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell recently accused China of aggressive spying for sensitive US military technology.

AFP

Posted in Business, China, Law, News, Overseas Chinese, People, Politics, products, Technology, USA, World | 1 Comment »

Review: China in 2008– the CCP started to lose its stranglehold (2)

Posted by Author on December 29, 2008


The Diplomat, Australia, 24-Dec-2008 –

Government insider turned dissident writer Jennifer Zeng asks whether 2008 will be remembered as the year the CCP started to lose its stranglehold over China

(Cont’d)

Pollution, corruption, food adulteration

The Paralympics had barely drawn to a close when news of the poisoned milk powder broke. If the Sanlu Group had not been partly owned by New Zealand’s Fonterra and launched an investigation, thousands more babies might be dying from the results of melamine poisoning. The authorities had known there was a problem since December 2007, but it was all hushed up because of the Olympics.

Food and water contamination is a massive problem in China. Zhou Qing, award-winning author of What Kind of God – A Survey of the Current Safety of China’s Food, warned years ago that food security could ultimately spark the collapse of the CCP, and there are increasing signs that the people are less accepting of the situation. Certainly the statistics make sobering reading.

Over 40 per cent of drinking water in rural China falls short of government standards, animal feed is almost universally tainted with melamine, excessive pesticides and chemical fertilisers are used to boost yields, and harmful antibiotics are widely administered to control disease in seafood and livestock. Talcum powder is routinely added to flour and rice is chemically whitened. And yet, miraculously, the CCP is still able to ensure access to the best-quality organically grown produce for party officials.

Throughout 2008, the CCP has used the global financial crisis to reinforce the superiority of the country’s social system. In reality, though, China is far from immune. Its stock market has plunged by nearly two-thirds in the 11 months to September and the economy remains sluggish, with large numbers of factories going bankrupt as international demand for Chinese-made consumer goods slides. According to the State Planning and Development Commission, nearly 70,000 small- to medium-sized companies went out of business in the first half of 2008.

It is these factors and their associated social repercussions that most threaten the CCP’s monopoly on political power. As well as the poor and hungry, beneficiaries of Party patronage, who had grown extremely rich in previous years, are known to be unhappy that their worth has been cut by 50 per cent of late.

Meanwhile corruption, rampant throughout the financial markets, has reached epidemic levels among government officials, and people have finally had enough. In August, 28-year-old Yang Jia allegedly broke into the Zhabei Branch of Shanghai’s Bureau of Public Security, where 2700 police officers were working, and stabbed six policemen to death and wounded four more.

In any normal society, this would be horrific news. Yet 90 per cent of bloggers and Internet users in China showed sympathy and support for Yang after rumours spread that he had been badly treated by police in the past. At his second trial in October, in a display of public dissatisfaction with the regime, more than 1000 supporters gathered outside the court to support Yang. One man held a huge banner that read, The knight-errant will endure forever. Many others shouted, ‘Overthrow the fascist government! Overthrow the Chinese Communist Party! Yang Jia is a hero!’ A small group was even bold enough to wear T-shirts displaying Yang Jia’s photo. The protests were to no avail, however, as Yang was executed in November.

It is a measure of the level of anger at social injustice and the bias of the judicial system that so many people, including ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium designer Ai Weiwei, should publicly support a suspected cop-killer. And the prevailing mood of dissatisfaction is growing. Riots are now a daily occurrence, including in June when an attempted police cover-up over the assault and death of a teenage girl triggered large-scale violence in Guizhou Province. Up to 100,000 are reported to have participated in the riot, with 160 office buildings and 40 cars torched. (to be cont’d)

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The Diplomat

Posted in Business, China, Commentary, corruption, Economy, Environment, Made in China, News, Opinion, pollution, products, Social, Tainted Products, World | Comments Off on Review: China in 2008– the CCP started to lose its stranglehold (2)

China’s toy juggernaut goes off the rails

Posted by Author on December 20, 2008


Peter Goodspeed, The National Post, Canada,  December 19, 2008 –

Workers smash an office during a protest at Kaida toy factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province in November in a protest over lay-offs and pay. There were protests in three  provinces amid increasing factory closures and government concern about unrest. (REUTERS/Stringer )

Photo: Workers smash an office during a protest at Kaida toy factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province in November in a protest over lay-offs and pay. There were protests in three provinces amid increasing factory closures and government concern about unrest. (REUTERS/Stringer )

There’s trouble in Toyland this Christmas. China’s workshops have been hit by the growing worldwide recession and more than half of all its toy exporters – 3,631 companies – have been forced out of business.

As China celebrates the 30th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s initial economic reforms and its “opening up to the outside world,” the country’s leaders find themselves struggling with the worst deceleration of economic growth in a generation.

On Thursday, the ruling Communist Party threw itself a big party. At a triumphant ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Hu Jintao invoked Mr. Deng and emphasized the party’s unwavering focus on economic development. “Only development makes sense,” said Mr. Hu, quoting Mr. Deng.

The boom, which over three decades transformed an isolated and impoverished communist backwater into one of the world’s greatest economic success stories, is suddenly threatening to go bust.

An adviser to China’s cabinet yesterday revealed that 670,000 small firms closed this year. And about 6.7 million jobs vanished, many in the export hub of Guangdong, pushing unemployment well above the official figure of 8.3 million.

Meanwhile, September’s international credit crisis and the most devastating global financial turmoil in a century have combined to slash growth by almost half.

Construction projects are being suspended; consumer confidence is declining; car sales have crashed; property prices have plummeted; China’s stock markets have lost nearly 67% of their value; and the country is bracing for a harsh winter of more factory closures and mass layoffs.

Yin Weimin, China’s Social Security Minister, has described the unemployment situation as “critical” and said the impact of the world economic crisis is still unfolding.

He warns the economic slump will be felt hardest in the first quarter of 2009.

“The global economic crisis is picking up speed and spreading from developed to developing countries and the effects are becoming more and more pronounced here,” Mr. Yin declared in a recent speech. “Our economy is facing a serious challenge.”

Already, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries has said up to a quarter of the nearly 70,000 Hong Kong-owned factories in southern China could close in a worst-case scenario.

Across the border in Guangdong province, a region that has been transformed in 30 years from marshland and low-lying rice paddies into the world’s largest light-industrial zone, officials are predicting 9,000 of the 45,000 factories in Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen will close in the next three months.

That could see 2.7 million workers lose their jobs as overseas demand for consumer goods and clothes fades.

The government of Chongqing in Sichuan says as many as 180,000 migrant workers employed in coastal special economic zones may soon return home to look for work.

The World Bank recently predicted China’s growth may slow to 7.5% next year, the lowest since 1990 and the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Yesterday, the Royal Bank of Scotland and IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn were predicting China’s gross domestic product growth next year would be about five per cent.

Bank experts still predict China’s economy will grow by 9.4% this year, but that is down from nearly 12% in 2007.

Chinese economists insist their country’s economy needs to grow by at least 8% a year simply to provide jobs for the 24 million people who enter the workforce every year.

But while all the economic indicators predict gloom, China’s leaders fear chaos. Violent strikes and protests are soaring as the threat of rising joblessness raises the spectre of social instability.

Last month, hundreds of workers rioted at a toy factory in Dongguan, 80 kilometres north of Hong Kong, in a dispute over severance payments……. (more details from The National Post)

Posted in Business, China, Commentary, Company, Economy, employment, Guangdong, Life, News, Opinion, People, SE China, Social, Toy, Worker, World | 1 Comment »

EU bans China soy products for infants and children, industrial chemical found

Posted by Author on December 4, 2008


Reuters via The Guardian, UK, Wednesday, December 3 2008 –

BRUSSELS, Dec 3 (Reuters) – European Union regulators have banned imports of Chinese soy-based food products for infants and young children after an industrial chemical was found in Chinese soybean meal, the EU executive said on Wednesday.

The chemical, melamine, is used in pesticides and plastics. Some months ago, it was the focus of a scandal over milk products that saw several thousands of children fall ill.

Rich in nitrogen, melamine is fairly cheap and can be added to substandard or watered-down milk to fool quality checks, which often use nitrogen to measure protein levels in milk. “Competent authorities in the (EU) member states will have to test all other feed and food containing soya and soya products originating from China before allowing imports,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Only feed and food containing under 2.5 milligrams of melamine per kilogram will be allowed into EU markets. The ban is expected to come into force by the end of this week.

All Chinese consignments of baking powder, or ammonium bicarbonate, will also be tested at EU points of entry after high levels of melamine were found, the statement added.

Last year, the EU imported around 68,000 tonnes of various soy products or products containing soy for a total value of some 34 million euros ($43 million). The imports include soybeans, soybean flour and meal, soya sauce and protein concentrates as well as textured protein substances. The EU has already banned imports of milk and milk products from China, as well as all products originating from China for infants and young children that contain any proportion of milk.

Although the EU does not import milk or milk products from China, the Commission is concerned that composite food products that enter EU markets might contain, or be made from, such items — like biscuits and confectionery, especially chocolate.

EU countries are also obliged to test processed food from China that contains powdered milk.

– The Guardian: EU bans China infant food containing soy products

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Europe, Food, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, World | Comments Off on EU bans China soy products for infants and children, industrial chemical found

China reports huge increase in children sickened by tainted milk– 294,000

Posted by Author on December 2, 2008


AFP, Dec. 2, 2008 –

BEIJING (AFP) — China has dramatically raised the tally of children sickened by dairy products laced with the industrial chemical melamine to 294,000, more than five times the original figure.

In a late-night statement on Monday, the health ministry also said six babies may have died from consuming poisoned milk, up from a previous confirmed death toll of three.

The updated figures showed the problem over contaminated milk in China this year was much greater than the government had acknowledged for months, after it said in late September that just 53,000 babies had fallen ill.

Melamine is a chemical normally used to make plastics, but it emerged in September that it had been routinely mixed into watered-down Chinese milk and dairy products to give the impression of higher protein content.

Melamine can cause kidney stones if taken in excessive levels, and babies who were fed tainted milk powder suffered the worst because they consumed so much of the chemical.

The ministry said the 294,000 children who fell ill had suffered from urinary tract problems and that 51,900 of them had been admitted to hospital for treatment.

A total of 861 children remained in hospital, with 154 of them in a serious condition, according to the ministry.

The central government previously said three babies had died of kidney failure from consuming tainted milk powder, while a regional government also reported one death.

A health ministry spokeswoman confirmed to AFP on Tuesday that the six potential deaths included the three confirmed earlier.

The scandal became a global issue when news broke in September, with Chinese dairy products around the world recalled or banned after they were also found to be tainted with melamine……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Children, China, Economy, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, People, Politics, products, Social, Tainted Products, World | 1 Comment »

French farm finds 30 times higher level melamine in China-made soymeal

Posted by Author on November 29, 2008


The Canadian Press, 28 Nov 2008 –

NANTES, France — A French farm co-operative says that it imported 270 tonnes of melamine-contaminated soymeal from China.

Melamine is an industrial chemical that has been blamed for killing at least three babies and making 50,000 others ill in China through tainted infant formula.

Christophe Courrouce, spokesman for the Terrena co-operative, says tests conducted on the soymeal imported in October found levels of melamine up to 30 times the maximum level authorized by sanitary authorities.

He says the soymeal was used to produce feed for organic poultry, but that tests on animals revealed no contamination.

Terrena has withdrawn 800 tonnes of soymeal that came into contact with the contaminated pellets and suspended all soy imports from China.

– The Canadian Press: French farm co-operative imports melamine-contaminated Chinese soymeal

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, Europe, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, World | Comments Off on French farm finds 30 times higher level melamine in China-made soymeal

Singapore finds melamine in six new biscuit products made in China

Posted by Author on November 29, 2008


By Pearl Forss, Channel News Asia, Singapore, 27 November 2008 –

SINGAPORE: Six more biscuit products have been found to be contaminated with melamine after the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) completed its testing of all China milk products sold in Singapore.

The six products are Baby Looney Tunes Cream Filled Biscuits Assorted Family Pack, C & OK Vigour 888 Egg & Milk, Khong Guan Mini Burger Biscuit Bulk Pack, Liluo Fruit P.D. Almond Flavour, Potter Potato Chips Pizza and Tom & Jerry Cheese Balls. This brings the total number of affected China milk products to 22.

China has implemented new control measures for milk production and AVA will be sending three officers to China in early December to ensure the measures are implemented on the ground.

Dr Chua Sin Bin, CEO, AVA, said: “Our officers will go to Inner Mongolia, Tianjin and Beijing. These are the areas where the bulk of our milk products come from. They will look at the farms, the milk collecting centre and the milk processing farm.”

Importers will be required to produce a certification of product safety from the Chinese and Malaysian authorities before milk products from these countries are allowed into Singapore.

Even certified products from Malaysia and China will continue to be subjected to a mix of random testing as well as batch testing in the months ahead to ensure that they are safe for consumption.

AVA added that the ban on Julie’s and Khong Guan biscuits from Malaysia could be lifted next week.

– The Channel News Asia: Six new biscuit products contaminated with melamine

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Company, Economy, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, World | Comments Off on Singapore finds melamine in six new biscuit products made in China

New Zealand Fonterra losts all $200 million investment in China joint venture

Posted by Author on November 27, 2008


3 News, New Zealand, Wed, 26 Nov 2008 –

The Fonterra board openly concedes that it has had a difficult time and that San-Lu will going to go down in history as a bad investment for them.

When Fonterra’s top brass fronted before the country’s dairy farmers there was not a lot of good news to deliver.

Firstly, Fonterra is now admitting it has lost all of the $200 million of investment in the San-Lu joint venture.

“For this reason it is increasingly likely that we will have to write off the remaining $62 million of value in our San-Lu investment,” stated Fonterra’s Chairman Henry Van Der Heyden.

Fonterra had a 40 percent stake in San-Lu, which collapsed due to the contaminated milk-powered controversy.

Fonterra’s management says it is reviewing what went so badly wrong and concedes it had limited control.

Not only has that investment been written off, but there are warnings about the global recession. Farmers should not expect big milk payouts in the future.

“In an environment when a global recession will impact on our payout to [farmers] into the future we will continue to aggressively reduce costs,” explains Van Der Heyden.

It is a worrying signal as Fonterra is New Zealand’s biggest company and our biggest exporter.

Consequently, where Fonterra goes, so too does the New Zealand economy.

The company says it has a three year business plan and is confident of an eventual rebound.

Fonterra’s Chief Executive expects his income of just under $4 million a year will reduce and the chairman and directors have decided to turn down a proposal to increase their fees.

3 News

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, Food, Health, Investment, Life, Made in China, New Zealand, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, World | Comments Off on New Zealand Fonterra losts all $200 million investment in China joint venture

China consumers take aim at fakes– anti-fake website

Posted by Author on November 27, 2008


by Ophelia Lui,  ophelui@gmail.com, Via The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Asia, Hong Kong, Nov. 26, 2008-

Everybody knows about the fake Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbags and purses available in China. However, you may be surprised – and terrified – as you scroll down the webpage of the Chinese bulletin board 74ligui.com and learn about the evolving scope of fake and forged products currently available on the Chinese market. Fake products range from well-known apparel to snacks and drinks to cosmetics and mobile phones, regardless of whether they are western or local Chinese brands.

This story is not just about fakes; it is also about the growing involvement of various stakeholders in response to the emergence of such products, as noted in the establishment of the online platform 74ligui.com that seeks to educate consumers on how to differentiate real products from fake and forged ones.

74ligui.com is said to be China’s first, and probably the largest, website specialising in distinguishing fake and forged products. The word ligui (李鬼) is in fact a colloquial term referring to a product whose packaging is intentionally made to resemble that of a big brand, thus misleading consumers into buying the forged good. The “trick” of ligui products usually involves a slightly altered brand name for which the Chinese characters look almost identical to those in famous brands. Here are several examples from the website that demonstrate the technique:

Example below is 雪碧, Sprite versus 雲碧, its forged product:

雪碧, Sprite versus 雲碧, its forged product (from CSR Asia)

雪碧, Sprite versus 雲碧, its forged product (from CSR Asia)

可口可樂 Coca Cola versus its forged product 可日可樂:

Coca Cola versus its forged product 可日可樂 (from CSR Asia)

Coca Cola versus its forged product 可日可樂 (from CSR Asia)

Long before the tainted milk scandal broke out, forged milk products were already well established. Here the well-known Yili 伊利brand (on top) has a copycat 伊俐, pronounced exactly the same (below):

Yili 伊利brand (on top) has a copycat 伊俐, pronounced exactly the same (below) (from CSR Asia)

Yili 伊利brand (on top) has a copycat 伊俐, pronounced exactly the same (below) (from CSR Asia)

More details from CSR Asia

Posted in China, Counterfeit, Economy, Food, Law, Life, Made in China, News, products, website, World | 2 Comments »

China Vet Exposes Toxins in Food Supply

Posted by Author on November 24, 2008


By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, Nov 23, 2008 –

Ms. Wang Haizhen, a vet from Hebei Animal Pharmaceutical Co., exposes corruption within the industry. (The Epoch Times)

Ms. Wang Haizhen, a vet from Hebei Animal Pharmaceutical Co., exposes corruption within the industry. (The Epoch Times)

Ms. Wang Haizhen, a veterinarian from the Hebei Province Animal Pharmaceutical Co, recently went public with information exposing corruption in China’s food industry.

According to her, as early as 2005, several toxic substances including melamine were detected in some animal feed, resulting in contaminated milk powder, eggs, and pork having entered the food market and harming consumers. She said after the Sanlu Company’s contaminated baby formula incident, many other companies in the area have still been using chemicals such as the known carcinogen iodized rhodium protein, which is more dangerous than melamine.

Wang’s husband was arrested a few years ago for contacting the authorities in regards to contaminated animal feed. When the Sanlu incident occurred, she made the decision to not only continue appealing for her husband’s release but also follow in his footsteps by appealing for the people.

Wrongfully Imprisoned

Gao Songlin, Wang’s husband, was a sales manager for the Feilong Company, a subsidiary of the Hebei Animal Pharmaceutical Co. In 2005, Gao discovered that certain banned substances were being used in the formulas for some animal feed the company had been producing.  Much of this feed was already distributed, which means counterfeit drugs and toxic feed additives had already entered the market and contaminated the animal husbandry in some areas. This later led to the subsequent emergence of contaminated milk powder, eggs, and pork.

Gao was shocked by all this. He made arrangements to speak with An Diajin, the head of the legal department of the company in an effort to have the toxic substances removed from the animal feed formula. Gao also reported it to the Ministry of Agriculture several times. A month after the seizure of the company, An Dianjin falsely accused Gao of embezzlement. What should have been a civil case turned into a criminal case without a criminal investigation. Gao was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison.

Wang said, “The accusations are entirely false!”

Wang remarked that authorities had long since been aware of the presence of toxic substances in animal feed and its harmful effects but did their best to keep it quiet. She said they failed to take any preventive measures, and in order to protect their own best interests, they retaliated against the whistleblower.

“When my husband said he would report it, the person from the Pharmaceutical Company said, ‘Go ahead! Many of our men are the authorities.”

Toxic Materials Still Being Used

According to Wang, Hebei is the largest manufacturing base in China. It contains several large animal pharmaceutical companies for food additives, animal feed and animal pharmaceuticals. The Feilong Animal Pharmaceutical Company is one of them.

Wang said, although the Feilong Company was closed, it quickly changed its name and went on with business. Its plant and employees never changed. Just like the Sanlu Company, it changed its name and went right on with business.

According to Wang, a lot of manufacturers are still using melamine even after the Sanlu Scandal was exposed. Besides melamine, they also add large doses of Rh proteins, Lipiodol, Clenbuterol, attractant agents, just to name a few, to get the effect of accelerating the growth rate of animals. But the chemicals and toxic materials they are adding can easily have carcinogenic effects. Some of these additives are more dangerous than melamine.

She reported that in Hebei alone, there are several hundred companies like this. Besides these, there are several thousand unregistered companies. There are many cases like these in other parts of the country.

According to Wang, people on the inside know all the dirty tricks. Therefore they are usually very careful when it comes to eating meat. Consuming meat containing these additives on a long-term basis can lead to serious health consequences. Higher cancer rates nowadays are directly associated with eating contaminated meat.

She said it’s a secret trick of the trade to avoid meat as much as possible……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Business, China, Company, corruption, Economy, Food, Health, Hebei, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, medicine, News, North China, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, Women, World | Comments Off on China Vet Exposes Toxins in Food Supply

Deaths uncounted in China’s tainted milk scandal

Posted by Author on November 18, 2008


By CHARLES HUTZLER, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, USA, Saturday, November 15, 2008-

LITI VILLAGE, China — Li Xiaokai died of kidney failure on the old wooden bed in the family farmhouse, just before dawn on a drizzly Sept. 10.

Her grandmother wrapped the 9-month-old in a wool blanket. Her father handed the body to village men for burial by a muddy creek. The doctors and family never knew why she got sick. A day later, state media reported that the type of infant formula she drank had been adulterated with an industrial chemical.

Yet the deaths of Xiaokai and at least four other babies are not included in China’s official death toll from its worst food safety scare in years. The Health Ministry’s count stands at only three deaths.

The stories of these uncounted babies suggest that China’s tainted milk scandal has exacted a higher human toll than the government has so far acknowledged. Without an official verdict on the deaths, families worry they will be unable to bring lawsuits and refused compensation.

So far, nobody is suggesting large numbers of deaths are being concealed. But so many months passed before the scandal was exposed that it’s likely more babies fell sick or died than official figures reflect.

Beijing’s apparent reluctance to admit a higher toll is reinforcing perceptions that the authoritarian government cares more about tamping down criticism than helping families. Lawyers, doctors and reporters have said privately that authorities pressured them to not play up the human cost or efforts to get compensation from the government or Sanlu, the formula maker……. (more details from The Washington Post)

Posted in censorship, Children, China, corruption, Food, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, People, Politics, products, Social, Tainted Products, World | 1 Comment »