Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘City resident’ Category

City resident

China: Shanghai Rights Lawyer Receives Death Threats From Police

Posted by Author on October 7, 2007


Breaking News, SOH Radio NetworkLawyer Zheng Enchong

On September 29, Enchong Zheng (A Chinese Lawyer, photo at right) was released at 6pm after being taken by the Public Security Bureau in Shanghai Zhabei District. He said that the national security bureau threatened him with death if he accepts interviews from the outside world and publishes an open letter.

Zheng expressed today that those police are totally lawless, they dare not expose the ruling party. With their words and deeds they only reveal that they are the violent tools of Chinese Communist Party, and that they are fragile and incompetent.

According to an interview with an Epoch Times reporter, Lawyer Enchong Zheng described the process of his summons on the 29th. He said: that day at 3pm, the Shanghai Zhabei District Public Security offical Chaoyang Chen and other police officers came to his home, and they again used the so-called tax smuggling allegation to summon him. This is his fourth summoning since August 24.

Petitioners from Shanghai said, even the CCP repeatedly strengthened their suppression on Enchong Zheng, and prevented the petitioners from meeting with him; they even used a relocation company to imprison 38 petitioners from Shanghai in a suburb, then they were returned home from the petitioning in Beijing. The authorities had even sent in hit men that questioned and captured petitioners on the streets. All this was to stop the petitioners from providing the violation information of the relocation to lawyer Zheng.

However on the evening of the 29th, three Shanghai petitioners WeiGuo Hu, Shi Ling and Huikai Chen broke through all layers of the blockade, and they arrived at Zheng’s home for a visit.

They told the reporter that lawyer Zheng strives for a lot of rights for the relocation case, the suppression by the CCP on the lawyer is invalid; and lawyer Zheng is highly respected by the people.

Zheng said, “they announced my actions as treason and traitorous; the minion of hostile foreign forces. The Public Security Bureau can raise my issue any time.”

“A man with the surname Shi from the public security bureau threatened me. He said that if I accept interviews from the media, I will be summoned every time I got an interview. He further threatened me by saying if I continue to send open letters to Hu Jintao, he will kill me.”

The man with surname Shi of the Public security bureau declared, “We have many people and tactics, we will see if you can persist on being against us. Your mother’s (Note: she is 94 year old) condition is relatively stable now, and are you prepared to die before her.”

During interrogation, the lawyer Enchong Zheng had asked three times to go to the toilet, but was denied every time.

According to the analysis of the outside world, Enchong Zheng and the petitioners recently published a number of open letters that were sent to Hu Jintao before the 17th CCP National Congress; exposing the corruption and repression on the relocation households, offering conclusive evidence. The Public security bureau do not care about the pressure from China’s public or those abroad; they strengthen their suppression on lawyer Zheng.

Regarding this, Enchong Zheng stressed that he does not fear this, and he will, as always, continue to expose their evil acts.

The above program is brought to you by Yulian, reported by Chris Thomas and Eng Truong for Breaking News on SOH Radio Network.

Posted in China, City resident, East China, Forced Evictions, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Petitioner, Politics, shanghai, Social, Speech, World, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on China: Shanghai Rights Lawyer Receives Death Threats From Police

China: 8 Beijing Agents Abducts Dissident In Broad Daylight as Olympics Approach

Posted by Author on September 16, 2007


By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, Sep 15, 2007-

Participating in a casual gathering with human rights activists, Zhang Wenhe was abducted on the street by Chinese national security agents in Beijing earlier this week. Witnesses called the incident “a gang abduction” as Zhang was accosted by a group of eight agents.

Chinese human right activists have observed that with the approach of both the 17th National Congress of the Central Party Committee and Olympic Games, Beijing has steadily ramped up its watch on dissidents. Zhang’s abduction in broad daylight, they say, is yet more proof of the CCP’s continued violation of human rights. These activists urge the international community and the International Olympic Committee to pay close attention to China’s worsening human rights situation. “Human rights and democracy but no bloody Fascist Olympics,” the group of activists declared in unison.

Zhang was released around 6 p.m. on September 12. He explained that the gathering for which he was arrested was merely a celebration of China’s Mid-Autumn Festival and a chance to bid farewell to a friend who would soon travel abroad. “But it was not allowed by the authorities,” he said. National security agents not only abducted Zhang by force, claiming he organized an “illegal assembly,” but also verbally insulted him. According to Zhang, agents threatened him, saying that if he got involved in any human rights activities, “he would be sent to a mental hospital or sent to prison and tortured by prisoners.”

Zhang believes that his arrest was part of a large-scale effort in Beijing to stop human rights activists and political dissidents and suppress their agenda.

“We will not flinch nor waver. We will keep going. We will tell more people to stand up for their rights. We want democracy and human rights, not bloody Fascist Olympics,” Zhang declared.

One of Zhang’s fellow activists, Qi Zhiyong, said that before his arrest, he and Zhang were simply waiting for the arrival of other group members. Suddenly, a car stopped in front of them and about eight agents jumped out. They grabbed Zhang by the neck and arms and forcefully dragged him into the car.

“The authorities are in a state of extreme nervousness—they are on the verge of a mental breakdown,” said fellow activist Hu Jia. “[Agents] became panicked simply at the sight of people gathering for a meal. I don’t know what they are so afraid of!”

According to Hu, after September 7, Beijing authorities have increased the number of national security agents monitoring him to fourteen, including six staff members from Tongzhou County National Security Office and eight from the city’s General National Security Team. The night before, Hu said one of the agents climbed to the 4th floor and slept outside his door.

Another fellow activist, Liu Fenggang, explained that Beijing democratic activists, human rights activists, and religious groups have long been treated unfairly. He mentioned that since his release from detention in February, police have harassed, monitored and limited his freedom, and were often found right outside his door.

Liu calls on the international society to take measures to stop the tyranny of the Chinese Communist regime and condemn its behavior. “Especially prior to the Olympic games, the international community should make a greater effort to stop the CCP’s evil deeds,” he commented

Hu repeated the mantra of his fellow political dissidents, “No human rights, no Olympics. We strive for democracy and human rights. We refuse Bloody Harvest Games.”

– Original report from the Epochtimes: Beijing Agents Abducts Citizens as Olympics Approach

Posted in Beijing, China, City resident, Dissident, Human Rights, Law, Life, People, Social | 2 Comments »

Rights Advocates: Real China Before The Beijing Olympics- A Garden In Concentration Camp

Posted by Author on September 14, 2007


Breaking News, SOH Radio Network

Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao and human rights activist Hu Jia published an article together, it describes the real China which is now full of injustice, tears, imprisonment, torture and blood. It also gives evidence as to whether or not the human rights status in China has improved.

In the article, it says 1.25 million people had to move out from their homes by force due to construction projects for the Olympic stadiums. There are also incidents of forced-demolition of people’s property in Beijing, Shen Yang, Shanghai, and Qin Huang Dao, where other stadiums are constructed for the Olympic Games.

The government stops, detains and forcefully sends back the appealers with the excuse of building up good images for the cities.

It also detains the human rights activists, dissidents and writers who are not afraid to tell the truth.

The government also suppresses the freedom of belief.

Hu Jia said, the Beijing authorities think the human rights activists and their voices are the biggest threat to them before the Olympic Games. They’re trying to give the appearance of a harmonious society, so human rights advocates Gao Zhisheng and Chen Guangchen become their typical targets, as the authority wants to “kill one to warn a hundred”.

Hu said:”it is so despicable. For the outside world, it appears to be a harmonious, peaceful, democratic, and free country; in fact, it has designed a big plot to cheat the whole world. It just likes a garden in a concentration camp. They only show people the garden, but behind the flowers and trees, there is brutal suppression and violent treatments towards the Chinese people. That is the real situation.”

Hu also said that the government has made some progress on their suppression, in the next 300 days, the voice of human rights protecters will be restricted, as the most firm-willed and active advocates have been arrested.

However, the constant suppression will lead to another extreme. He said: “They may push so hard on the people that they will start to rebel. The people have to let others hear their voices. If the Chinese government wants everyone to close their mouths, be completely quiet, or create some kind of harmonious society, it is absolutely impossible.”

The last sentence in the article is “Without human dignity and rights, there will be no real Olympic Games.”

– Original report from The SOH: The Real China before the Olympic Games

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, City resident, Forced Evictions, housing, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Land Seizure, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, Sports, World | 1 Comment »

China: 77-year-old Woman Christian Near Death After Torture in Jail

Posted by Author on August 31, 2007


By Luo Ya, Epoch Times Staff, Aug 30, 2007-Shuang Shuying and her husband, Hua Zaichen. (The Epoch Times)

Shuang Shuying, a 77-year-old Beijing resident, was sentenced to two years in prison this February for defending human rights and insisting on practicing her religion.

Already in poor health, Shuang endured severe torture whilst incarcerated, causing her weight to plummet from roughly 110 pounds down to just 73 pounds.

Shuang has also lost her vision while serving her sentence, leaving her unable to recognize her visiting son. She was left to rely on her limited hearing to communicate.

( Photo: Shuang Shuying and her husband, Hua Zaichen. /The Epoch Times)

Family grief

Shuang’s father, Shuang Deli was executed for being an anti-revolutionary in 1949 when the Chinese communist regime took power and confiscated the family’s property. The family was made to witness his death. Before the family was able to claim the body, they had to pay for the bullet.

History seemed to repeat itself following Shuang’s first marriage, as her husband was sentenced to 20 years in a labor camp for being an anti-revolutionary.

To extricate her from the poverty brought about by having her assets taken and family members imprisoned, Shuang married a man named Hua Zaichen. The couple had two boys and one girl.

In 1957, Hua was also sent to a labor camp and imprisoned for 20 years. Shuang was forced to raise the children without a father.

During the Cultural Revolution, officials demanded that she divorce her imprisoned husband, but Shuang refused. For her disobedience, Shuang was beaten while hanging naked from a pillar by local authorities and made to kneel on a triangular frame.

Became a Christian

Shuang’s son, Hua Huiqi, became a Christian in 1990. Because of his involvement with the church, he was often followed and beaten by police. Shuang worried about her son’s safety, so she accompanied him to his church.

Shuang began to learn about Christianity and was later baptized in 1992. Since then, Shuang turned her dwelling into a boarding house for fellow Christians who came to Beijing appealing for their rights. Her service attracted police surveillance and continued harassment.

House dismantled for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Because Shuang’s house was very close to Tiananmen Square, officials viewed at as a politically defiant dwelling.

When Beijing authorities won their bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, they dismantled Shuang’s home claiming that it hurt the “New Beijing, New Olympics”— the slogan chosen for the Games.

The family was transferred to another suburb and detained in a facility known as “Guanjiakeng.” The police supervised the family 24 hours a day, and frequently beat them.

Imprisoned for appeal

Shuang and her son were beaten by police at the Asian Games Village when they reported the forced demolition of their home before the Beijing People’s Representatives Conference. The complaint cost Shuang’s son six months secret imprisonment by the Beijing Security Bureau Chaoyang Branch.

Shuang and her husband were also detained when they demanded their rights and appealed for their son’s release on February 9. The couple was arrested and convicted for “purposely destroying public and private property.” They were sentenced to two years and fined 5000 yuan (US$662) on February 26.

Shuang was detained at both the Labor Camp of the Chongwen Branch of Beijing Public Security and the Beijing Women’s Prison. During her stay, she was injured both physically and mentally as she was not allowed to sleep until 12:00 p.m. every day even though she suffered from serious hypertension, diabetes, cataracts and neuralgia.

Her family members were not permitted to see or offer support of any kind, and were not approved for a visit until five and half months into her sentence.

Hua said that his mother was tortured nearly to death , and was now emaciated— her hands trembled, her face pale, her vision growing worse.

Beijing Games Would Soil Reputation of Olympics

Hua revealed that the Beijing authorities held his mother hostage. Hua said that when he was in prison, Meng Zhuang, the officer in charge of religious issues at Beijing’s Public Security Bureau, forced him to cooperate with police and forbid contact with his fellow church goers and boarders who were staying at his house appealing in Beijing. “Your mother will not be set free if you refused to co-operate with us,” threatened police.

On July 25 Hua was released. One week later, Meng Zhuang came to the house and forced Hua to cooperate with officers by spying, providing the vital contact information of the individuals staying at his home. Meng Zhuang enticed Hua by promising him that he could visit his mother in prison if he cooperated. “Your mother could be released anytime with just one word from our chief,” said Meng. When Hua refused, Meng threatened him again. “You will never see you mother again if you refuse to cooperate with authorities,” he said.

Hua accused police of holding his mother hostage to compel him to submit. “The police were worse then a gang of terrorists,” he exclaimed. “Even terrorists will free children and the elderly. Yet Chinese officers continue to hold an old woman hostage to coerce me.”

Hua said that his house was demolished to make way for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He said that it smeared the Olympic’s reputation to hold the games in a country without human rights. “It will forever remain a stain in the history of the Olympics,” he said, much like the Olympics hosted by Hitler in Germany.”

Note: subtitles added by Chinaview

– Original report from The Epochtimes : Seventy Seven Year-Old Near Death After Torture in Jail

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Christianity, City resident, Family, Freedom of Belief, housing, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Sports, Torture, World | Comments Off on China: 77-year-old Woman Christian Near Death After Torture in Jail

Chinese Still See Themselves As “slaves”

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007


By Richard Spencer, Telegraph, UK, 21/08/2007-

Beijing- China’s national anthem promises its people “will no longer be slaves”.

But a list of new slang expressions compiled by its Ministry of Education suggests the country’s economic reforms have simply multiplied the ways its people can fall into serfdom.

Among the most popular phrases used by the country’s growing middle class are an expanding variety of equivalents to the English “wage slave”.

The most common is “house slave”, meaning someone who struggles to pay off the mortgage. But there are also “car slaves” who, unlike lucky government cadres, have to pay all their own petrol, servicing, and road toll fees.

More specialised versions are “grave slaves” who have bought expensive funeral plots in advance, and “feast slaves” whose jobs mean their lives are an endless round of banquets, weddings, funerals, and other social events requiring the cash gifts, or “red envelopes” expected on such occasions.

Chinese is especially suited to slang and abbreviations, partly to make up for the impossibility of acronyms in a character-based language.

Its favourite clichés all take the form of four characters in a row, while talk is often littered with apparently meaningless phrases. Beijing University, or Beijing Daxue in Mandarin, is known to all simply as Bei Da, or North Big.

The ministry list, which also includes popular new names such as character versions of “Lucy” and “Jenny”, dwells on the influence of English, and points out the contrast to the days of the Cultural Revolution when patriotic names such as “Lianjun”, or Unite the Army, “Wei Dong”, Protect Mao Zedong, and “Aiguo”, Love the Country, were all the rage.

One popular new Chinglish phrase is “ding chong jia ting”, meaning double income couples with a pet instead of children.

Ding is used simply because it sounds like the western acronym Dink – double income no kids.

Judging by what the ministry took to be popular slang, however, the country has not moved on entirely from traditional political correctness.

It said Olympic slogans had already passed into common usage, as had “ba rong ba chi”, or eight honours, eight disgraces.

This list of virtues and vices, such as “Honour the Motherland, Do not Dishonour the Motherland”, was published to great fanfare by President Hu Jintao last year.

But some would say that the latter is now mostly used ironically, as in “What became of the ba rong ba chi?”, when some new scandal involving Communist Party officials is revealed.

Particularly curious is the ministry’s claim that youngsters refer to homosexuals as “duan bei”, or Brokebacks, after the Oscar-winning film Brokeback Mountain.

Maybe it is just being optimistic. The Chinese government has always been reluctant to discuss the most common slang term for gay men, a usage which has dramatically altered the way party officials talk about each other.

That term is “tongzhi”, which used to be translated as “comrade”.

– Original report from Telegraph: Chinese still see themselves as slaves

Posted in Beijing, China, City resident, Culture, Economy, housing, income, language, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese Still See Themselves As “slaves”

China Launches Complete Surveillance System in Southern City

Posted by Author on August 16, 2007


Richard Spencer, Beijing Correspondent, Telegraph, UK, 16/08/2007-

China has launched an ambitious “Big Brother” surveillance programme using everything from closed circuit television systems that can recognise faces to identity card computer chips to monitor its population.

A high-tech security company has been awarded a contract for the first phase of a scheme to encode computer chips for the residence permits all Chinese citizens must carry, starting in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

The government will use the chips to control the whereabouts of its hundreds of millions of migrant workers. But they will also store data on the number of their children under the one-child policy, education records and ultimately medical and credit histories.

The company is already setting up television systems throughout the city armed with “intelligent surveillance” software that can recognise faces.

Police hope eventually to combine the two systems to provide complete surveillance.

Shenzhen is being used as a testing ground for part of an all-encompassing security system known as the Golden Shield Project. This also includes computer and mobile phone monitoring through the so-called “Great Firewall” of internet censorship.

Shenzhen is the most developed city in China, having been turned from a village 30 years ago into a pioneer of the country’s “special economic development zones”.

It now has a population of more than 12 million – almost twice as many as Hong Kong, on whose border it lies and which it was set up to imitate.

Per head it is the richest city in China but it suffers from widespread crime and prostitution. Virtually all its population has migrated from elsewhere, a major social issue in China, where residence permits assigned at birth dictate where you can live.

The closed circuit television system and residence card chips will be provided by China Public Security Technology, run by Chinese entrepreneurs but registered in Florida.

More than 20,000 new cameras will be installed, according to the New York Times. They will be integrated with 180,000 already set up.

Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, was the first to test the new system when he passed through immigration at the Shenzhen port on his return from a visit to Hong Kong.

But the extent of Golden Shield has alarmed human rights groups, who say it extends control over all aspects of people’s lives to authorities subject to little or no accountability.

Some of the data the authorities intend to retain on the new identity cards includes the owner’s police record; employment history; landlord’s telephone number; educational record; medical insurance status and ethnicity.

While Britain is known around the world for its surveillance culture due to the soaring numbers of CCTV cameras, human rights activists said the scale and sophistication of the Shenzhen project dwarfed the UK.

“I don’t think they are remotely comparable, and even in Britain it is quite controversial,” said Dinah PoKempner of Human Rights Watch.

The US has announced that it is to expand the use of spy satellites for domestic surveillance, turning its “eyes in sky” inward to combat terrorism and eventually for law enforcement.

– Original report from telegraph.co.uk : China’s ‘Big Brother surveillance’ to dwarf UK

Posted in China, City resident, Guangdong, Law, Life, News, People, SE China, Shenzhen, Social, Technology, World | Comments Off on China Launches Complete Surveillance System in Southern City

China: 1000 Police and Government Workers Demolish Civilian Dwelling (photos)

Posted by Author on August 14, 2007


By Gu Qing’er, Epoch Times Staff, Aug 13, 2007-police and workers

At 6:40 am. on August 9, 2007, the Zhuantang Town Government in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, sent out about one thousand armed police, city officials and police to demolish Ms. Ye Jindi’s four-story house located at No. 27-2, Dazhuqiao Village while she, her husband and child were at the hospital.

Ms. Ye Jindi’s younger sister told the reporter, “About one thousand people including armed police and government officials setpolice and workers (2) up ladders and jumped over the fence. They tore down the gate and the front door with iron hammers and removed the property inside. As soon as they got into the yard, they drove in a backhoe to tear down the house. The City of Hangzhou has never in the past sent so many police to demolish a civilian’s house.”

During the interview, the reporter could hear the backhoe making loud noises tearing down the house.police

The authorities tried to stop people from taking pictures and videotaping. They blocked the traffic to Ms. Ye’s house and drove out all the bystanders.

At 5.30 pm when Ms. Ye Jindi returned from the hospital, she broke down and cried as soon as she saw her house had been demolished. She went into a state of shock and had to be taken to the hospital for emergencypolice (2) treatment.

A citizen in Hangzhou city by the surname of Zhou said, “This area is a famous resort. The authorities destroy established farmlands and sell them to developers at low prices to build villas. A villa here could cost anywhere from 20 million yuan (US $2.5 million.).”

Zhou said the officials colluded with developers. The government monopolises theworkers resources for a few privileged people and they only look after each other’s interest. Through administrative power, the government is able to take farmers’ properties – their only means of a basic survival. Now the government has taken away Ms. Ye’s only house as well.

In 2003, the Zhuantang Town government used the excuse to convert the land for constructing a major road. They then applied for approval to build expensive villas alongpolice and workers (3) the road. To maximize profit, the authorities forged the official announcement and levied a lot of lands from farmers.

The local residents were very angry with the illegal land requisition. Under pressure of public opinion and media, on July 28, 2004, the law executive branch of the Zhejiang Domestic Land Resource ordered a stop to the road contruction project and promised to look into the case. Nothing has been done as ofMoving company yet.

The reporter called the Director of the Law Executive Bureau of the Zhejiang Domestic Land Resource and inquired about the incident. The Director said to the reporter, “You can come over to our office, we will have detailed information for you. As far as I know, the demolition is legal.” The Head and Deputy Head of Zhuantang Town, Wu Xiangqian and Wang Guangen, refused to take calls from the reporter.

house demolished


house demolished (2)

owner crying

– Original report from the Epochtimes: Hangzhou Police, Government Workers to Demolish Civilian Dwelling

Note:

All photos are from  Chinese version of this report by the Epochtimes, video of demolishing is also available on the same webpage.

 

Posted in China, City resident, corruption, East China, Economy, Forced Evictions, Hangzhou, housing, Land Seizure, Law, Life, News, People, Photo, Social, World, Zhejiang | 1 Comment »

Income Gap, Inequality Rising In China : ADB

Posted by Author on August 8, 2007


AFP via Yahoo News, August 8, 2007-

BEIJING (AFP) – Inequality in China is worsening as the rich are getting richer much faster than the poor, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday, despite government efforts to narrow the gap.

China has become one of the seven most unequal countries in Asia, with the level being close to that in Latin American economies, according to the bank’s report, ‘Key Indicators 2007 Inequality in Asia’ launched in Beijing.

“The poor have benefited less from growth than the rich,” said the ADB’s chief economist Ifzal Ali, warning that sharp inequality may lead to a decline in social cohesion.

Juzhong Zhuang, assistant chief economist of the bank, said that corruption, made possible by government officials’ privileged access to resources and information, was one of the key reasons for widening inequality in China.

“The government has quite a big role in allocating resources (and) some individuals and companies are manipulators of certain resources or sectors, or they have special contacts or exclusive information,” he said.

Hoping to curb rising social unrest, China has made narrowing the wealth gap a key target in its development plan running to 2010, with policies such as subsidies and low-interest loans being directed to farmers and the poor.

But Ali said that huge differences remain in terms of access to public services such as health care and education.

Efforts should be taken to prevent legal, political and economic institutions from being captured by the few so that social tensions could be reduced, he said.

“If we can ensure an even playing field and the starting gate is the same for all, (the) possibility of upward mobility for people will take a lot off the frustration that is now … associated with the growth process,” said Ali.

“This upward mobility, the prospects for it, would in my view alleviate some of the acute problems of social tensions that we now witness in different parts of Asia.”

– Report from Yahoo News : Inequality rising in China despite efforts to narrow income gap: ADB

Posted in Asia, China, City resident, corruption, Economy, Family, income, Life, News, People, Rural, Social, World | Comments Off on Income Gap, Inequality Rising In China : ADB

China: Hundreds Sitting Protests Beijing Olympics Forced Relocation Lasted for 12 Days

Posted by Author on August 1, 2007


By Gu Qing’er, Epoch Times Staff, Jul 30, 2007-Beijing Residents Appeal Against Olympics Forced Relocations

As Beijing Olympics approaches, distraught residents appeal against forced relocations without compensation

BEIJING—As of July 27, in the heart of the 2008 Olympics site, residents of Datun village, Chaoyang district, Beijing, have maintained a sitting appeal in front of Beijing Huahui Real Estate for twelve consecutive days. They are urging authorities to solve their problems and to respect their property rights and compensations after they were forcibly evicted to make way for the Olympics. Yet in 12 days not one communist cadre has come out to meet with them.

The appeal was triggered by the local regime’s plan for a new construction of a golf course and apartments in Olympics Project. The construction has evicted nearly 1,000 families to make way.

Mr Xiao from Datun village told The Epoch Times the appeal has been running for 12 consecutive days. Everyone comes to this appeal voluntarily and on average, 300 to 400 people take part in the appeal everyday. At peak times, over 700 people participated in the appeal.

The local regime has sent many police vehicles and security teams to keep an eye on the appeal. On July 25 local police stations and neighborhood committees held meetings, and they were ordered to persuade people to give up their appeal. A threatening broadcast message was posted on the appeal site stating, “Hanging banners is disturbing social order and whoever refuses to give up the appeal will be arrested.”

Another resident surnamed Xu told The Epoch Times because of the hot weather, some residents at the appeal site suffered from heat stroke, although there was no loud protesting or conflicts. People started hanging banners on July 25, but very soon afterwards, police and security officials came to seize the banners.

Insiders alleged that the land acquisition involves a conspiracy between the real estate developer and government officials. Beijing Municipal Leaders had visited the appeal site covertly a few days ago and instructed Chaoyangs’ District governor to settle the appeal in three days, or otherwise he would be dismissed automatically.

An appellant named Mr. Li, a retired cadre, told The Epoch Times that according to regulation with a government requisition, they should pay the villagers land compensation and relocation compensation, but the villagers have received none. Moreover, the real estate developer started the forced demolition without proper documentation.

Mr. Li said, “They did not compensate us according to the official regulation, and some of the compensation monies were embezzled by the real estate developer; those regime officials definitely knew that, but nobody cares and without land, we don’t know what we can do.”

According to local residents, the local regime acquired the land under the guise of building a park that was required by the Olympics Project, but in reality, the developer is building a golf course and high-rise apartments now.

Many residents filed lawsuits against the developer, and according to Mr. Li, “Some residents’ cases have been accepted by the court, and some have not, but the chance for us to win is very slim.”

Mr. Li also said that previously, local residents had gone to the central government to appeal, but all had been arrested on the way.

He also said, “Holding the Olympics in Beijing is wasting manpower and money, the country is still poor. The Olympics could only put powder on the false face of the regime. The communist regime stole the land from the villagers by cheating; now it will cheat the foreigners.”

A Mr. Xu said, “Because of the previous long time appeal, many residents have been labeled as ‘stubborn households,’ and the local regime charges them arbitrarily. They have even lost their basic human rights. They are followed when going out, their telephones are monitored, and they have no freedom in any respect of everyday living. Although people had been cheated by the communist regime before, the forgiving nature of the Chinese people expected the regime to improve its care for the people slowly, yet after this last fraud they were all very disappointed.”

A prominent Beijing democratic activist once commented, “The Beijing Olympics has become a way for the government to exploit people’s interest by any legal means. During the 2008 Olympics project, the communist regime’s rights are getting bigger and bigger, but people’s rights are shrinking. The Olympics have brought the vested interested group satisfaction on both material and status.”

– Original report from the Epoch Times : Beijing Residents Appeal Against Olympics Forced Relocations

Posted in Asia, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, City resident, Economy, Family, Forced Evictions, housing, Incident, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Protest, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on China: Hundreds Sitting Protests Beijing Olympics Forced Relocation Lasted for 12 Days

China Arrests Activist Over Chemical Plant Protest

Posted by Author on July 20, 2007


Reuters, 19 Jul 2007-

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

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

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

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

Zhang said other protesters may also been detained.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xiamen police declined to comment when reached by telephone.

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

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

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

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

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

original report from Reuters

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

China: Lawyer and 100 Displaced Residents Demand Public Trial for Property Tycoon

Posted by Author on July 18, 2007


press release, Human Rights in China (HRIC) , July 17, 2007-

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that more than 100 displaced Shanghai residents, along with rights defense lawyer Zheng Enchong, have signed a petition demanding a public trial for Shanghai property tycoon Zhou Zhengyi (known in Hong Kong as Chau Ching-ngai), and for an opportunity for residents to testify at Zhou’s trial.

Sources in China told HRIC that Zhou will go on trial later this month at the Shanghai Municipal Higher People’s Court on charges of bribery and forging tax invoices, but that the court has not yet released any further details regarding the trial. Most of the signatories to the letter, sent on July 5 to Teng Yilong, President of the Shanghai Municipal Higher People’s Court, are former residents of the redeveloped Dongbakuai neighborhood, and are demanding an in-depth investigation into Zhou’s alleged connections with corrupt Shanghai officials. (The full text of the letter is appended to the Chinese version of this press release.)

Zhou Zhengyi’s defense counsel reportedly include prominent lawyer Tao Wuping, Zhai Jian and the chairman of Shanghai Bar Association, Lü Hongbing.

The court has not yet responded to the petition letter or to media requests to attend the trial. Displaced residents continue to monitor the electronic notice board at the court entrance for further news of the trial.

In 2004, Zhou Zhengyi, former president of Shanghai-based property firm Nongkai Development Group, was sentenced to three years in prison for various crimes, including accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. He was released in May 2006 upon completion of his prison term (which included time served pre-trial), but soon after that, a corruption scandal erupted in Shanghai, resulting in the dismissal of Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu and a raft of other officials in September 2006.

Zhou Zhengyi was detained again on new allegations and formally arrested on January 21, 2007.

According to information released by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Procuratorate, Zhou is currently being held at the Shanghai No. 1 Detention Center for suspected involvement in embezzlement of the Shanghai Social Security Fund. In late December 2006, Huang Jian, director of the detention center where Zhou was previously held, was detained on allegations of taking bribes from Zhou Zhengyi’s family members. Tang Haigen, Zhou Zhengyi’s brother-in-law, was also investigated by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Procuratorate on December 29, 2006 for suspected misappropriation of company funds.

Former Dongbaikuai residents claim that Zhou Zhengyi conspired with Shanghai’s Jing’an District Government officials to illicitly obtain rights to develop 170,000 square meters of land that eventually became part of the 630,000-square-meter Shanghai Jing’an International Community Project, which involved a total investment of 5 billion yuan.

Sources told HRIC that Zhou Zhengyi’s partner in this project was Chen Liangjun, younger brother of former Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu. The developers reportedly paid nothing for the rights to develop Jing’an District Areas 56, 57 and 58 in the Dongbaikuai neighborhood under the terms of their contract with the district government.

HRIC supports the calls of the displaced residents for a public trial for Zhou Zhengyi to allow for greater transparency to ensure that justice is done in this important case. HRIC has consistently reported on the rights defense efforts of displaced Shanghai residents, and the continued harassment of lawyer Zheng Enchong following his release from prison in 2006.

The intense redevelopment of Shanghai has contributed to violations of the property and personal rights of displaced residents accompanied by reports of official corruption at all levels of the Shanghai government. With a new leadership in place following last year’s corruption scandal, the Shanghai authorities have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the rights of Shanghai residents in accordance with property rights protections recently introduced into Chinese law and the Chinese Constitution. The new trial of Zhou Zhengyi also gives local authorities an opportunity to show their resolve in exposing and eliminating all vestiges of corruption within the system.

– original report from HRIC: Zheng Enchong and 100 Displaced Residents Demand Public Trial for Zhou Zhengyi 

Posted in China, City resident, corruption, East China, Economy, Family, Forced Evictions, housing, Human Rights, Land Seizure, Law, Lawyer, Life, News, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, Zheng Enchong | Comments Off on China: Lawyer and 100 Displaced Residents Demand Public Trial for Property Tycoon

China No. 1 Blogger Arrested Over Stock Investment Messaging Services

Posted by Author on July 14, 2007


By Geoff Dyer in Shanghai, The Financial Times, UK, July 12 2007-

China’s proliferation of unregulated investment advice companies and private “hedge funds” could be under threat after the arrest of a blogger whose online stock tips made his site one of the country’s most popular.

Wang Xiujie, 35, was arrested in the north-eastern city of Changchun after an investigation into his unauthorised investment consulting business, Xinhua news agency reported. No charges have yet been filed.

The popularity of Mr Wang’s blog turned him into one of the phenomena of China’s recent stock market frenzy, in which millions of new investors opened share trading accounts. His blog is one of many unlicensed investment advice and fund management operations to have sprung up over the past 18 months and which have begun to attract the attention of regulators.

Mr Wang set up his stock-tip site in 2005 under the name Daitou Dage 777 – which means “senior big brother” and is the name of a famous kung fu character. The site claims to have received more than 33m hits and local media in May branded it China’s most popular blog, eclipsing that of a popular actress.

Mr Wang, who claims to have been a stockbroker in the 1990s, also used personal messaging services to deliver share tips. Chinese media reports have said he made Rmb10m ($1.3m) for his investment advice.

As part of the explosion in informal investment companies, many investment “studios” have sprung up to offer stock tips for a fee to new investors. Meanwhile, hundreds of private investment funds – referred to as hedge funds in China – have been established to trade clients’ money.

Some of these unlicensed funds are run by professional investors, others by relative newcomers investing their friends’ and families’ savings. By some estimates, private funds now have $50bn under management – roughly a third of the formal sector.

Government officials have been debating for months which of these activities to clamp down on and which to allow.

Neither the China Securities and Regulatory Commission, the stock market regulator, nor Jilin province police would comment on Mr Wang’s arrest.

Lawyers said it was unclear whether his detention was part of a broader regulatory move against informal investment companies.

Song Yixin, a partner at Wenda law firm in Shanghai, said the case “could be viewed as a benchmark in the industry, with the government using it as a warning to other unlicensed activities”.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

– original report: Chinese blogger held over stock tips

Posted in Asia, Blog, Blogger, Changchun, China, City resident, Economy, Internet, Investment, Jilin, Law, Life, NE China, News, People, Social, Stock, World | 2 Comments »

Historic Hong Kong Lawsuit Filed Against High-ranking China Officials

Posted by Author on July 6, 2007


By Christine Moon-Counts, Special to The Epoch Times, Jul 04, 2007-

Hong Kong permanent residents Mr. Chu O Ming and Ms. Fu Xueying made history last Thursday when they filed a civil action in the High Court of Hong Kong SAR against three high-ranking Chinese communist officials for torture, illegal imprisonment, and persecuting Falun Gong.

This is the first time that high officials of the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) have been sued in Hong Kong, the area outside Mainland China housing the largest Chinese population, and which is within the jurisdiction of the P.R.C.

Theresa Chu, an international human rights attorney and Asia Director for Human Rights Law Foundation, believes this lawsuit is critical: “whether Hong Kong truly wants to uphold human rights and the rule of law and whether its courts truly want to maintain independence will be further tested and confirmed with this lawsuit against Jiang.”

Defendant Jiang Zemin is the former Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and initiated and directed the campaign to eradicate Falun Gong since 1999, using the resources of the Party.

Defendant Li Lanqing is the former Premier of the P.R.C. who implemented and micromanaged the persecution.

Defendant Luo Gan is a Standing Committee Member of the CCP Politburo and personally inspected the labor camps across China to ensure that all levels of government implemented Jiang’s directive to destroy Falun Gong practitioners.

Mr. Chu, an entrepreneur from China now residing in Hong Kong, was arrested and imprisoned for five years after a secret trial in 2000 for filing a lawsuit with the Supreme People’s Court against then head of state Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan. While in custody, Chu says he was shocked with an electric baton and tortured severely. His appeals to the prison chief and the P.R.C. went unanswered.

In 2003, Ms. Fu was arrested without charge and sentenced secretly to three years in Shenzhen Detention Center and the Women’s Prison of Guangdong Province for distributing VCDs exposing the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. While imprisoned, Fu says she was beaten, tortured, and forced to attend brainwashing sessions. To this day she suffers from a skin disease and cannot sit for extended periods of time.

She hopes her lawsuit will bring positive changes: “In order to put an end to the crimes against humanity, in order to safeguard our right to live, and our dignity as human beings, I sincerely hope … every peace-loving individual will participate in this effort, for our own benefit and for the benefit of the … world we live in.”

Owning to the agreement that Hong Kong would be governed according to the principle of “one country, two systems,” local Falun Gong practitioners can engage in lawful activities, which include taking legal action in accordance with the law, something unavailable on the Mainland.

Mr. Chu and Ms. Fu have applied for a writ and leave. The court issued the writ of summons on June 28, which allows the plaintiffs to directly serve process on the three defendants should they travel to Hong Kong. Should the court issue the leave, it would allow the Hong Kong court to send legal documents to Chinese courts to deliver to the three defendants outside of Hong Kong by means of international judicial assistance.

Since 2002, 18 lawsuits have been initiated against these three defendants in 17 countries and territories, making this, as Teresa Chu puts it, “arguably the largest series of international human rights cases in the 21st century.”

– original report from the Epochtimes: Historic Hong Kong Lawsuit Filed Against CCP Officials

Posted in Asia, China, City resident, Falun Gong, Hong kong, Human Rights, Jiang Zemin, Law, Li Lanqing, Luo Gan, News, Official, People, Religious, Social, Torture, World | Comments Off on Historic Hong Kong Lawsuit Filed Against High-ranking China Officials

Too sensitive to publish: 750,000 a year killed by pollution in China

Posted by Author on July 3, 2007


By Richard McGregor in Beijing, Financial Times, UK, July 2 2007-

Beijing engineered the removal of nearly a third of a World Bank report on pollution in China because of concerns that findings on premature deaths could provoke “social unrest”.

The report, produced in co-operation with Chinese government ministries over several years, found about 750,000 people die prematurely in China each year, mainly from air pollution in large cities.

China’s State Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and health ministry asked the World Bank to cut the calculations of premature deaths from the report when a draft was finished last year, according to Bank advisers and Chinese officials.

Advisers to the research team said ministries told them this information, including a detailed map showing which parts of the country suffered the most deaths, was too sensitive.

“The World Bank was told that it could not publish this information. It was too sensitive and could cause social unrest,” one adviser to the study told the Financial Times.

Sixteen of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China, according to previous World Bank research.

Guo Xiaomin, a retired Sepa official who co-ordinated the Chinese research team, said some material was omitted from the pollution report because of concerns that the methodology was unreliable. But he also said such information on premature deaths “could cause misunderstanding”.

“We did not announce these figures. We did not want to make this report too thick,” he said in an interview.

The pared-down report, “Cost of Pollution in China”, has yet to be officially launched but a version, which can be downloaded from the internet was released at a conference in Beijing in March.

Missing from this report are the research project’s findings that high air-pollution levels in Chinese cities is leading to the premature deaths of 350,000-400,000 people each year. A further 300,000 people die prematurely each year from exposure to poor air indoors, according to advisers, but little discussion of this issue survived in the report because it was outside the ambit of the Chinese ministries which sponsored the research.

Another 60,000-odd premature deaths were attributable to poor-quality water, largely in the countryside, from severe diarrhoea, and stomach, liver and bladder cancers.

The mortality information was “reluctantly” excised by the World Bank from the published report, according to advisers to the research project.

Sepa and the health ministry declined to comment. The World Bank said that the findings of the report were still being discussed with the government.

A spokesperson said: “The conference version of the report did not include some of the issues still under discussion.” She said the findings of the report were due to be released as a series of papers soon.

– original report from Financial Times: 750,000 a year killed by Chinese pollution

Posted in air, Asia, censorship, China, City resident, Environment, Health, Life, News, People, Politics, pollution, Report, Rural, Social, Speech, water, World | 1 Comment »

Mass Protest, Police Clash in Northwest China City Chongqing

Posted by Author on July 2, 2007


Reuters, 02 Jul 2007-

BEIJING, July 2 (Reuters) – Clashes with riot police broke out in southwestern China last week after thousands of protesters besieged a government office, a human rights centre and a witness said on Monday.

Friday’s incident in Chongqing city’s Youyang county was sparked when relatives of a school student who had been stabbed to death by a schoolmate claimed they were beaten by police as they protested in front of the school.

The angry crowd then moved to the township government office, holding a banner saying “Murder in the School”, a witness who was working at a hotel next to the office told Reuters.

“More and more people gathered around the county government, and the whole street was jammed for hours,” she said by telephone.

The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said the number of protesters was as much as 10,000.

But the witness said she was not sure how many people were actually protesting, as many were simply onlookers who sympathised with the victim’s family.

Some in the crowd recognised an occupant of a government car as the deputy head of the county, demanded that he get out of the vehicle and then smashed its windows, the witness said.

Dozens of police carrying riot shields were sent to the scene and had water-bottles thrown at them, she said.

The human rights centre said that up to 200 police were involved, about 10 people were injured and several were detained.

A Youyang township government official confirmed the death of the middle-school student, but declined to give more details.

The local police, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

A widening gap between rich and poor, corruption and official abuses of power have fuelled demonstrations and riots across the the country and are often sparked by seemingly minor issues.

Last month, hundreds of Chinese students clashed with police and overturned and burnt their car after street inspectors beat up a female student.

– original report from Reuters: Mass protest, police clash reported in Chinese city

Related:
China: Thousands villagers smashed police cars in protest for student murder, AFP, Mon Jul 2, 2007

Posted in Asia, Children, China, Chongqing, City resident, Family, Incident, Law, Life, News, People, Protest, Riot, Social, Student, SW China | Comments Off on Mass Protest, Police Clash in Northwest China City Chongqing

China: Thousands villagers smashed police cars in protest for student murder

Posted by Author on July 2, 2007


AFP via Yahoo News, Mon Jul 2, 2007-

BEIJING (AFP) – Thousands of villagers in southwest China smashed cars and fought with police in a protest over a murdered student, an official and a rights group said Monday.

The clashes occurred on Thursday last week in the sprawling Chongqing municipality, they said, adding to the seemingly fast-growing number of riots and protests from marginalised members of society throughout China.

The latest riot flared after the parents of the murdered boy were taken into custody for protesting his killing the previous day at the middle school he attended, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.

After the parents were brought in by local police, relatives and other parents marched on the Youyang county government offices, where the crowds grew to as large as 10,000 people, the group said in a statement.

Authorities called in up to 200 riot police to disperse the crowd, and the protests ended on Thursday night, it said.

A Yougang county government spokesman confirmed there were violent protests and that some rioters had been arrested, but gave a more toned-down version of events.

“There were only several thousand people at the gates of the county government, after a while a small group of bad people started to destroy things, destroyed police cars,” a Youyang county spokesman told AFP by phone.

“Some people have been arrested, but I don’t know how many.”

Tempers had flared after the parents of the boy, who was stabbed in a dispute with other students, accused the school of not sending their son to the hospital fast enough, leading to his death.

A report in the government-run Youyang Daily newspaper, said the parents had been arrested but only taken into government offices to discuss how the case should be handled.

According to the latest figures from the ministry of public security, 87,000 protests, officially termed “mass incidents,” were reported across China in 2005, up 6.6 percent on 2004 and 50 percent on 2003. (- AFP)

– original report from Yahoo News: Thousands clash with Chinese police over murdered boy

Posted in Asia, Children, China, Chongqing, City resident, corruption, Family, Incident, Law, News, People, Protest, Riot, Social, Student, SW China | Comments Off on China: Thousands villagers smashed police cars in protest for student murder

Hong Kong: 68,000 People Parade For Democracy and Press Freedom

Posted by Author on July 1, 2007


Radio Free Asia, 2007.06.30-

HONG KONG—Hong Kong marked its 10th anniversary Sunday since the handover to Chinese rule amid fears the territory’s traditional freedoms may be eroded—and amid calls for universal suffrage.

Tens of thousands of people marched following official celebrations marking the end of British rule, calling for full universal suffrage and direct election of the chief executive, currently hand-picked by Beijing.

“Since the Hong Kong handover, Hong Kong still has a half-baked democracy,” Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the protest’s organisers, told reporters.

Demonstrators carried banners that read, “We want democracy,” and “One person, one vote” marched to the government’s headquarters.

68,000 people had taken part in

Hong Kong’s former deputy leader Anson Chan and Cardinal Joseph Zen, the head of the Catholic church in the territory, were among the high-profile figures present at the protest.

Organisers said 68,000 people had taken part, 10,000 more than in 2006, while police said they had counted 20,000 so far.

The anniversary rally, which has become something of a popular tradition, drew half a million people onto the streets in its first year in 2003, in protest at an anti-subversion law that Beijing wanted the territory’s legislature to pass.

The following year saw almost twice the number of protesters after Beijing’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, intervened to rule out direct elections of all 60 lawmakers and the chief executive, who is currently hand-picked by China’s Communist Party.

President Hu arrives

Lee said he hoped Chinese President Hu Jintao, who arrived Friday for the handover celebrations, would listen to their aspirations.

Hong Kong media are diverse and still flourishing, subject to none of the internal controls imposed on mainland media. But they have proven unwilling to report anything that makes China look bad, commentators said.

Media self-censors

A former chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, Mak Yin-ting, quoted a recent survey of media professionals in the territory.

“Sixty percent of Hong Kong journalists believed that press freedom has decreased in the 10 years since the handover as a result of self-censorship,” he told RFA’s Mandarin service.

“This self-censorship is of negative news about China, or that which the journalists themselves believe the Chinese government regards as sensitive,” he said.

“Thirty percent of them admitted to having censored themselves at some point, and 40 percent of them said they knew that their colleagues and their superiors had done so too.”

“That is a very high proportion,” Mak said, adding that around half of the top media bosses in Hong Kong had close political ties with mainland China, making them more likely to be friendly to Beijing.

Former legislative councillor and news professional Emily Lau Wai-hing agreed. “It’s very hard to say if there really is a lack of freedom in the media, but the problem of self-censorship is huge,” she said.

Individual politics

Meanwhile, the Taiwan authorities have expressed concern at the turning away of more than 40 Taiwan Falun Gong practitioners ahead of the anniversary.

The practitioners of the banned spiritual movement, which Beijing has branded an “evil cult” would normally be allowed to enter Hong Kong. But travel agents said their names appeared on a blacklist and they had been refused permission to land.

Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian, whose island Beijing also claims, cited a tightening of control over personal freedoms and democracy in the past decade of Chinese rule.

“Ten years have elapsed but everything enshrined by the Basic Law endorsed by [China’s] National People’s Congress turned out to be only lip service,” Chen said in a newsletter posted on the Web site of the Presidential Office.

Under the agreement that saw the return of Hong Kong in 1997, China promised to keep the territory’s freewheeling economy and freedoms unchanged for 50 years.

Chen, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, said China had failed to uphold its guarantee regarding Hong Kong.

“Rather, it has increasingly become more like China… Hong Kong looks like a caged bird and the cage is getting smaller,” he said.

Michael DeGolyer, professor of government and international studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, said the political system’s over-dependence on one individual has led to public fears about its stability, although people are broadly satisfied with their current leader.

A 10-year study he conducted for the Hong Kong Transition Project showed that public confidence in the territory’s future as part of China plummeted under its first post-handover leader, but it recovered when Donald Tsang took over as chief executive in 2005.

“It’s quite clear in Hong Kong that we had a systemic crisis in the last 10 years,” he said, referring to the events of 2003-04 when Hong Kong people took to the streets in an unprecedented protest that led to the resignation of then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.

“And when you ask yourself what has changed, the only thing is the chief executive. I think that’s one reason why there’s such demand for constitutional reform.”

President Hu arrived Friday for the celebrations. These include hundreds of government-sponsored events, including fireworks, the presentation of two pandas, and displays by People’s Liberation Army troops stationed in the territory.

– Original report by Radio free Asia : Hong Kong Marks Anniversary Amid Fears For Press Freedom

Posted in Asia, censorship, China, City resident, Event, Hong kong, Human Rights, Media, News, People, Politics, Protest, Social, Special day, Taiwan | Comments Off on Hong Kong: 68,000 People Parade For Democracy and Press Freedom

Hundreds of Chinese Veterans Beaten and Arrested for Appealing for Job

Posted by Author on June 28, 2007


By Gu Qing’er, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 25, 2007-Ms. Xie Shuqing

CHINA—In the morning of June 20, 2007, hundreds of unemployed veterans in Guangzhou City appealed in front of the provincial government building. The local police beat and arrested some of them.

Former Major Xie Shuqing (photo right), representative for the unemployed veterans, was intercepted by police before arriving at the appeal and seriously injured and hospitalized.

According to a veteran at the scene, there were about 400 veterans who appeared at the appeal. Five of them went into the appeals office while the rest waited outside. Soon the authority sent over a hundred police officers with six buses and shouted at them with a loud speaker, “It’s illegal to appeal and you must disperse.”

Among those appealing were women, seniors, and others who were disabled. Some wore their many service medals on their uniforms.

“Four or five officers pushed a female veteran into a car. There was blood on her hands and ankles from the struggle. Police locked appellants inside a gymnasium, took down their names and addresses, and informed their neighborhood committees to take them away,” said one veteran.

Another veteran said because most officials in Guangdong Province and Guangzhou City obtained their positions through bribery, they wouldn’t talk to the people.

Major Xie Beaten at Police Station

In the morning of the appeal, 53-year-old Xie Shuqing was about to leave home, when about 30 officers were already waiting in front of the home to arrest her. Xie said, “About ten of them wore uniforms, none of them showed their badges. They showed me a subpoena. I told them I had to go to an appeal, one officer said, ‘We are here to not let you appeal.’ I refused to go with them, then they twisted my hands to my back and pushed me into a car.” Xie was taken to the Chigang Street Police Station in Zhuhai District, Guangzhou City, and brutally beaten. Xie was an army major before she left the service.

Xie’s injuries were severe enough that she needed to be hospitalized. Her husband, also an unemployed former military official, is out of town and is also looking for a job. Now, only other veterans will care for her.

Appeal For Job

Li Hanjun, a veteran who hasn’t had a job for many years, said veterans in Guangzhou have appealed many times because the central government’s policies (to help veterans find a job) were not implemented. They appealed many times but the issue remains unresolved. One day before their appeal this time, the local neighborhood committee sent out two cars and eight people to monitor him at home. Another veteran was taken by the police and interrogated for eight hours.

A veteran said the Guangzhou City Public Safety Bureau sent out a warning message to them, “You will be all arrested if you appeal again.” The authority didn’t want appellants to come, so they blocked a major road on the morning of the appeal for an hour, causing a local traffic jam.

Veterans Have No Recourse

Recently, the Chinese Communist Party military announced a new regulation authorizing severe punishment for military organizations that participate in demonstrations or appeals.

orginal report from Epoch Times

Posted in China, City resident, employment, Guangdong, Incident, Law, News, People, Politics, Protest, SE China, Social, Speech | Comments Off on Hundreds of Chinese Veterans Beaten and Arrested for Appealing for Job

China’s Answer to Climate Change: Sweat Shops

Posted by Author on June 27, 2007


By Ben Quinn, telegraph.co.uk, UK, 27/06/2007-

After years of ignoring global warming, China’s communists are now literally rolling up their shirtsleeves with a new gusto to confront the challenge.

In a move that would put many of the west’s most hardline environmentalists to shame, the country’s cabinet has ordered that air conditioning units in most public buildings should be set no cooler than 26 degrees Celsius.

At one of the hottest times of the year the directive leaves temperatures inside many offices closer to those on the streets of another ‘workers paradise,’ Havana.

True to maoist style, Chinese leaders are striving to lead by example.

They have called on office workers to dress in light, casual clothing instead of heavy suits, so that air conditioners do not have to be used so heavily, while President Hu Jintao and a group of other high-profile figures were this week pictured at a conference wearing open-necked shirts rather than their normal jackets and ties.

The energy-slashing campaign comes at a time when Chinese cities have been struggling with record demand for electricity.

As temperatures soared to 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit) in the capital on Tuesday, air conditioning use lifted electricity consumption to 11.22 million kilowatts by late afternoon, the highest in history, said the government’s official Xinhua news agency.

Niu Jincang, a spokesman for Beijing Electric Power Co., said the maximum capacity for the city was 13 million kilowatts, and that the company was taking measures to ensure adequate supplies.

Tiananmen Square was meanwhile empty of its normal crowds this week as visitors sheltered in the shade.

Other parts of the country, including Shanghai, have already suffered from energy shortages this summer and officials have expressed concerns that supply may not be able to keep up with demand during the hot months.

Chinese leaders have set a goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent by 2010, but failed miserably in 2006, the first year of implementation.

A report earlier this month revealed that the world’s most populated country has now surpassed the US as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas.

With demand for energy leading to a surge in construction of coal-fired power stations, China’s production of CO2 was pushed to 6,200m tons of CO2 last year, compared with 5,800m tons from the US.

By comparison, the UK produced about 600m tons, according to research produced for the Dutch government.

original report from telegraph.co.uk

Posted in Asia, Beijing, China, City resident, Climate, Economy, Environment, Health, Life, News, People | 1 Comment »

Photos: 91-year-old “grandma peddler” on China street

Posted by Author on June 25, 2007


A story from Watching China (in Chinese) is worth to share with everybody:

91 years old grandma Miao Guiying, the oldest peddler in Jiao Zuo city, Henan province, central China, goes to the street selling grocery everyday.

A Kind-hearted girl, a netizen, with nickname “延续GIRL”, found the “grandma peddler” in the place close to the girl’s home, constantly goes to there to help her.

“延续GIRL” called for donations on Internet and set up a date, June. 17, 2007, Sunday, for everybody to go there to see grandma.

Hopefully this is the only “grandma peddler” in China.

Grandma peddler, miao Guiyig, henan, china - 2

Grandma peddler, miao Guiyig, henan, china

All photos from Watching China (in Chinese) website.

Posted in Asia, Central China, China, City resident, Economy, Henan, Life, News, People, Photo, Social, Women | 2 Comments »

China Rights Defender Detained For Overseas Media Report

Posted by Author on June 24, 2007


By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 23, 2007-

CHINA—Shandong human rights defender, Ma Shiping, was arrested by the local police for sending a newspaper report from the Chinese Epoch Times (ET) to Wang Zhonglin, the Party Chief of Tengzhou City Committee, Shandong Province. Local media worker Qi Chonghuai, was also harassed by the police for providing Ma’s contact to The Epoch Times .

The Chinese Epoch Times report was about the life of a soldier’s family member who was beaten by a government official in Shandong Province. “Ma Shiping is an upright person,” Qi Chonghuai, a correspondent of Legal System Morning Post (Fazhi Zaobao) in Shandong Province, told an ET reporter. “He’s a local warrior for exposing the corruption. Thus, all the officials and committee members of Tengzhou City are afraid of him,” Qi said.

Ma sent the report to the Party Chief, hoping the committee would solve the problem exposed in the Epoch Times report. Not long afterwards Ma went missing. Ma’s friends looked everywhere only to find he had been detained on June 16 and is now facing a jail sentence. Now the local people are trying very hard to rescue him and hope The Epoch Times will expose the news to the public since other Chinese national media will not be able to report it.

Ma’s friend told the ET reporter that Ma is a retired soldier. He has always defended disadvantaged groups against injustices so he is quite influential among the local people. Ma’s wife received a Criminal Detention Document on June 19 stating that Ma is at Tengzhou City Detention Center currently, and is going to be sentenced. All of his friends are worried about him. Some of his friends have been and continue to be harassed and are under surveillances from the city Public Security Bureau (PSB).

Qi told the ET reporter that two plainclothes criminal investigation policemen from Tengzhou City appeared in his office in Jinan City at 4:00 p.m. on June 19. They were rude and irrational. They demanded Qi come to the police office with them but Qi declined. So they called the local police office and asked them to summons Qi. The local police office could not do it because they did not have the document from Tengzhou City PSB.

In Qi’s office, the two policemen began their interrogation, by yelling, “Who provided the lead to The Epoch Times newspaper? How could The Epoch Times report the news? Who’s the reporter? What’s your relationship with Ma?”

Qi told them, “Ma is my friend. I provided the news story to The Epoch Times . And I’ll provide more to The Epoch Times tomorrow, including what you’ve done today.” They took his words down and threatened him, “You’ll be in trouble if you do so.” Qi said that they seemed to know clearly that The Epoch Times is an overseas medium. Qi told the ET reporter that his telephone, cell phone, and computer are now being monitored.

The ET reporter called Tengzhou City PSB several times on June 20 but was told to call the propaganda department, and when he did no one answered the phone. The reporter then called Tengzhou City Committee, and was told their leader was not available and he was in a meeting.

original report from the Epoch Times

Posted in Activist, Asia, China, City resident, East China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, Speech | Comments Off on China Rights Defender Detained For Overseas Media Report

China Internet Users Rage Against Great Firewall

Posted by Author on June 19, 2007


Reuters, Tue Jun 19-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Yang Zhou is no cyberdissident, but recent curbs on his Web surfing habits by China’s censors have him fomenting discontent about China’s “Great Firewall”.

Yang’s fury erupted a few days ago when he found he could not browse his friend’s holiday snaps on Flickr.com, due to access restrictions by censors after images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre were posted on the photo-sharing Web site.

“Once you’ve complained all you can to your friends, what more can you do? What else is there but anger and disillusionment?” Yang said after venting his anger with friends at a hot-pot restaurant in Beijing.

The blocking of Flickr is the latest casualty of China’s ongoing battle to control its sprawling Internet. Wikipedia, and a raft of other popular Web sites, discussion boards and blogs have already fallen victim to the country’s censors.

China employs a complex system of filters and an army of tens of thousands of human monitors to survey the country’s 140 million Internet users’ surfing habits and surgically clip sensitive content from in front of their eyes.

Its stability-obsessed government says the surveillance machinery, commonly known as the “Great Firewall”, is necessary to let Internet users enjoy a “healthy” online environment and build a “harmonious” society.

Yang just thinks it’s a pain.

“I just want to look at some photos! What’s wrong with that?” said the 24-year-old accountant, typical of millions of young urban-dwelling professionals who are increasingly aware of and fed up with state intrusions into their private life. ( …… more details from Reuters website )

Posted in Beijing, censorship, China, City resident, Human Rights, Internet, Internet User, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, Tiananmen, website | 1 Comment »

Hong Kong’s “One country, two systems” Was Inappropriate: Former UK PM

Posted by Author on June 19, 2007


By Li Zhenxiang, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 17, 2007-

HONG KONG—On June 10, 2007, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher spoke publicly for the first time concerning her views about Hong Kong’s return to China and suggested that the idea of “one country, two systems” was inappropriate.

Researcher Ong Yew-kim from the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who specializes in Chinese law, pointed out that Ms. Thatcher was speaking her mind and presented his claim that Hong Kong’s dislike of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and unwillingness to accept the idea of “one country, one system” was what triggered “one country, two systems.”

As the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty approaches, the now 81-year-old Thatcher expressed her regret and disappointment in failing to persuade the deceased CCP leader Deng Xiaoping to extend Britain’s lease on Hong Kong.

She expressed this during an interview with Hong Kong businessman David Tang. She also claimed that the implementation of the idea of “one country, two systems” is inappropriate amidst the current context.

Mr. Ong pointed out that Ms. Thatcher has the responsibility to declare her standing on this issue. He said, “She is British, and she hosted the Hong Kong negotiation. It was through that negotiation she handed Hong Kong back to China. In her mind, she believes it to be a setback and a failure. She is doubtful regarding the “one country, two systems” idea and feels it to be unsatisfactory. I think British people have the right and obligation to say so.”

Ong was once invited to be a draft committee member for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Basic Law), but he withdrew later as he was criticized of being politically sensitive.

He said that the majority of the Hong Kong people were refugees who had escaped from mainland China in 1949. They did not want to be ruled by the CCP.

It is not hard to see why they dislike the CCP. In the early 80’s, when the handover of Hong Kong was first mentioned, Hong Kong people generally resisted it, because “after 30 years, communist ruling hadn’t become better but had worsened.”

Ong pointed out that before 1997, many Hong Kong people left Hong Kong, because they did not want to be taken over by the CCP. “Many people were fearful at the time of the handover. If the CCP comes and takes back Hong Kong, will Hong Kong suffer the same suppression like Beijing and Shanghai? So they did not approve of the CCP then, and preferred not to return Hong Kong to China.”

Regarding the CCP’s frequent criticism of Hong Kong people being unpatriotic, Mr. Ong stressed that Hong Kong people love their country. It is the CCP they do not like.

– original report from the Epoch Times: Hong Kong’s Non-acceptance of Communist Party Triggers ‘One Country, Two Systems’

Posted in Asia, China, City resident, Communist Party, Europe, Hong kong, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, World | 2 Comments »