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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 ‘politician’ Category

Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (3)- by Representative LYNN WOOLSEY

Posted by Author on March 30, 2010

From the The Falun Dafa Information Center

[The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 605 on March 16, 2010 (news). The voting was preceded by a 13-minute-long floor debate during which Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the resolution’s author and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs spoke, as did Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), all in support of the declaration. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who could not attend the debate in person, submitted statements for the record. Below is the Congressional members’ full remarks.]


“First of all, I would like to thank the two women who are here bringing this resolution to the House floor. It’s so very important. I rise today in support of H. Res. 605, a resolution recognizing the continuing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

In 2002, Mr. Speaker, I authored a resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the Chinese Government’s oppression of Falun Gong in the United States and in the People’s Republic of China. Sadly, 8 years later, the persecution continues. People are being sent to jail, to work camps and are assaulted for their practice of Falun Gong. China has claimed that the Falun Gong practitioners are “disturbing social order” and have labeled the practice an evil cult.

International media reports have found that over 100 Falun Gong followers have died in the custody of the Chinese Government. All people, even those in China, have the internationally recognized freedoms of association and religion. The Chinese Government must put a stop to this inhumane persecution. I urge my colleagues, stand up for human rights and vote “yes” on this resolution, H. Res. 605.”

– From The Falun Dafa Information Center

The complete text of U.S. House resolution 605: calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners in China
Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (1)- by Representative Diane Watson
Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (2)- by Representative ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (video)

Posted in China, Commentary, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, News, People, politician, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, Torture, USA, World | Comments Off on Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (3)- by Representative LYNN WOOLSEY

Senator recommends Shen Yun to all Canadians

Posted by Author on March 28, 2010

VANCOUVER, Canada— Sen. Mobina Jaffer, deputy chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, recommends Shen Yun to all Canadians.

“Don’t miss it,” she said. “It’s an art form that we all should enjoy. I have enjoyed this for three years and I’m looking forward to coming with more of my family members next year.”

This year she brought eight family members to see the unique cultural show, held March 27 at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. Founded in 2004, Shen Yun has experienced exponential growth, and will tour up to 100 cities during its 2010 World Tour.

This year, New York-based Shen Yun expanded from two to three companies which are currently touring on three continents, each accompanied by a full 40-member orchestra comprised of Western and Eastern instruments.

“It boggles the mind, it’s hard to imagine that this can be repeated [in Vancouver] three times more,” said the senator, adding that she is glad to have been able to see the show in previous years.

“The world needs more of this,” she said.

Each year, Shen Yun presents an entirely new program. Five thousand years of traditional Chinese culture allows for endless artistic interpretation, according to the company’s promotional materials.

“This year is done differently. Now, the women’s dances were just so gracious and the men did such an amazing job,” said Ms. Jaffer.

Her husband came last year and “just loved it,” she said “and so did he,” referring to her grandson who was with her, as well as her children.

Shen Yun has a mission of restoring traditional Chinese culture, nearly lost after the advent of Communist rule which sought to destroy ancient China’s divinely-inspired culture.

Ms. Jaffer thanked Shen Yun for coming to Vancouver. “I think this is a beautiful art form and I congratulate the people who are reviving it, because I think the world would be poor without it,” she said.

“It’s just beautiful—it is such a beautiful show. I wish more people could see it.”

Ms. Jaffer’s record of achievement is extensive. Her appointment to the Senate in 2001 represented many changes on Parliament Hill. She became the first Muslim to sit in the Canadian Senate, is the first African-born senator, and the first senator of South-Asian descent……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Canada, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, People, politician, Shen Yun show, shows, World | Comments Off on Senator recommends Shen Yun to all Canadians

Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (1)- by Representative Diane Watson

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010

From the The Falun Dafa Information Center

[The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 605 on March 16, 2010 (news). The voting was preceded by a 13-minute-long floor debate during which Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the resolution’s author and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs spoke, as did Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), all in support of the declaration. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who could not attend the debate in person, submitted statements for the record. Below is the Congressional members’ full remarks.]


“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution…This resolution recognizes the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China on the 11th anniversary of the government crackdown on the spiritual movement. I would like to thank my friend, the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, for introducing this legislation and for her dedication to this issue.

Since 1999, the Chinese government has undertaken a harsh campaign of suppression against the Falun Gong movement, banning its presence in China and banning it as an “illegal cult.” According to the 2009 annual report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Chinese authorities “conducted propaganda campaigns that deride Falun Gong, carried out strict surveillance of practitioners, detained and imprisoned large numbers of practitioners, and subjected some who refused to disavow Falun Gong to torture and other abuses in reeducation through labor facilities.” According to the State Department’s latest human rights report on China, the Falun Gong’s core leadership was “singled out for particularly harsh treatment,” and simply believing in the discipline–without publicly practicing any of its tenets–was enough for practitioners to be punished or imprisoned.

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement combining meditation and breathing exercises, with a doctrine loosely rooted in Buddhist and Daoist teachings. The Chinese government banned the group’s existence and its practices in 1999, after thousands of practitioners gathered in Beijing to protest the government’s restrictions on the group’s activities. Chinese authorities are obsessed with eradicating the group because they believe it could pose a challenge to one-party rule and has the potential to generate social unrest and instability.

This resolution calls upon the Chinese government to immediately end its decade-long campaign to prosecute, intimidate, and imprison Falun Gong practitioners solely because of their personal beliefs. It also calls on China to release those practitioners being held in prisons and labor camps throughout the country. Finally, this resolution expresses sympathy to Falun Gong followers and their family members for the suffering that has been inflicted on them at the hands of the Chinese government.

I strongly support this resolution, and urge my colleagues to do the same.”

– From The Falun Dafa Information Center

The complete text of U.S. House resolution 605: calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners in China
U.S. House Resolution Calls for End to Falun Gong Persecution in China
US House presses China on Falun Gong

Posted in China, Commentary, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, Opinion, People, politician, Politics, Religion, Social, Torture, USA, World | Comments Off on Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (1)- by Representative Diane Watson

Taiwan Interior Minister Says The Shen Yun Show Is Remarkable

Posted by Author on March 20, 2010

TAIPEI, Taiwan— On the evening of March 19, Interior Minister Jiang Yi Hua attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company’s 2010 premiere in Taiwan, together with his wife Mrs. Li Shu-Zhe. As they happily walked out of the performing hall, Dr. Jiang said, “The entire show was wonderful.”

Dr. Jiang, who is known as the most handsome and gentle minister in the cabinet, and his wife were noticed by many other audience members as they entered the hall. Legislator Luo Shu-lei was among the celebrities who greeted them at the entrance.

Minister Jiang looked quite serious when he arrived due to his tight schedule during the daytime, however, he felt very pleasant after viewing the spiritual enjoyment of the artistic performance with 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. He commended happily, “This is indeed a very superb performance.”

As to the content of the program, Mr. Jiang added: “The themes are very positive and it [Shen Yun] is especially suitable for the young generation nowadays to watch.” He also emphasized that it was great to get so many outstanding overseas Chinese artists together to perform on stage. “In the past, I had no idea about their background. After knowing that all of them are Chinese who have grown up overseas, I think they are really remarkable,” he said.

When learning that there would be 43 Shen Yun shows performed in nine major cities in Taiwan, the Minister immediately expressed that it should be recommended to more people in Taiwan, so that they would be able to appreciate this artistic feast. He continued, “This is a promotional show for arts and culture. Welcome the general public to see the show.”

As the Ministry of the Interior is in charge of many important government functions, including police, household affairs, social welfare, fire-fighting services, etc., it has long been dubbed as the most important ministry in Taiwan. Dr. Jiang was recruited into the cabinet as Interior Minister from academic circles in the wake of a major flooding disaster last year. Since then, he has been in the media spotlight in Taiwan.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Life, Music, News, Opinion, People, politician, review, Shen Yun show, shows, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Taiwan Interior Minister Says The Shen Yun Show Is Remarkable

Chinese businesswoman’s PRIVATE records: Former australia minister received money to increase political and business influence

Posted by Author on February 3, 2010

RICHARD BAKER, PHILIP DORLING AND NICK MCKENZIE, The Age, Via Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, Feb. 3, 2010 –

PRIVATE records
of a Chinese-Australian businesswoman close to former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon indicate he received substantial payments as part of a campaign to cultivate him as an agent of political and business influence.

The confidential papers of businesswoman Helen Liu contradict claims last year by Mr Fitzgibbon — and his father, former Labor MP Eric Fitzgibbon — that they had no financial or business relationship with Ms Liu.

Mr Fitzgibbon resigned from Cabinet last June after it was revealed his brother, NIB Health Funds chief Mark Fitzgibbon, had used his office to lobby for defence health contracts.

The minister’s political standing had already been weakened by his failure to disclose that he had accepted two first-class flights to China bankrolled by Ms Liu, a wealthy entrepreneur with high-level political and military contacts in Beijing. He was also renting his Canberra residence from the Liu family.

The documents obtained by The Age show Ms Liu recorded her 1997-98 payment of 850,000 Chinese yuan — approximately $150,000 at the then current values — to Joel Fitzgibbon under the heading “money paid including expenses and gifts”.

The same document shows Ms Liu recorded the establishment of a joint venture with the Fitzgibbon family, including reference to “Eric (Fitzgibbon) as agent. Regular visits to China. $3 million for start up”.

In a letter to a senior Bank of China executive, Ms Liu wrote that Joel Fitzgibbon would become a cabinet minister when federal Labor won power, adding: “The money we pay him is worthwhile.”

The Age can also reveal that the office of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard was told in April last year by lawyers for a former business associate of Ms Liu that Mr Fitzgibbon may have had more extensive dealings with the businesswoman than acknowledged.

In response to the latest disclosures, Mr Fitzgibbon said he had already declared all he was required to about his relationship with Ms Liu, who returned to China late last year where she remains. Last night she would not comment.

Mr Fitzgibbon said: “I totally reject the suggestion that I have received any money from Helen Liu beyond campaign donations which were appropriately declared as required.”

He would not comment on his father’s dealings with Ms Liu.

However, Eric Fitzgibbon — who last year denied any commercial ties to Ms Liu — has this week disclosed that he has worked for the businesswoman by helping sell apartments in her property development in Qingdao, in China’s Shandong province.

The former MP, who does not speak Chinese, said he was not paid in cash, but had his accommodation, travel and other expenses covered.

Eric Fitzgibbon told The Age this week: “They were building a hotel, a major development in a part of China. They asked me if I would like to give them a hand for the selling of the units. I appreciated the opportunity.”

The 135 pages of personal and business records obtained by The Age after a 10-month investigation include a list prepared by Ms Liu recording “money paid” for unstated purposes to 22 individuals, including Joel Fitzgibbon, variously connected with her property interests in Sydney and Qingdao.

The list, apparently written in late 1998 or early 1999, includes senior Bank of China executives and high-level Chinese Communist Party and government officials.

In another note Ms Liu refers to a planned private meeting with Joel Fitzgibbon to discuss “Family expenses support 20k.”

The note also mentions Ms Liu’s intention to call on then NSW premier Bob Carr, stating: “visit Premier Bob C’s home”. At that time, a NSW government department was a tenant in one of Ms Liu’s Sydney buildings.

The note then refers to a visit to the home of a senior Bank of China executive, saying, “Give 50k cash as a gift” followed by a proposal to engage the man’s wife as a consultant.

Mr Fitzgibbon was first embroiled in controversy in March last year when The Age revealed Defence Department officials had undertaken an unauthorised clandestine investigation of his 16-year relationship with Ms Liu.

Mr Fitzgibbon then called Ms Liu a “close personal friend”. Eric Fitzgibbon said at the time: “We might have had dinner a few times together, but there have been no big cheques in the mail or anything like that.”

The NSW Labor Party declared political donations by Ms Liu’s companies, including two donations totalling $40,000 to Joel Fitzgibbon’s 1996 and 1998 election campaigns.

The MP’s parliamentary declarations do not record any benefit from or financial relationship with Ms Liu other than his trips to China in 2002 and 2005, which were retrospectively added after the scandal erupted in March last year.

Ms Liu’s papers include a letter to a close business associate in which she says Mr Fitzgibbon had boosted her business and political standing and that she was “willing to give him money”.

In a letter to the general manager of the Bank of China in Sydney, Ms Liu also noted that Mr Fitzgibbon was “very concerned” with legal action between herself and her former business partner, Humphrey Xu, and that the MP had given her “great help”.

The Age has had Chinese language documents included among Ms Liu’s correspondence translated by a nationally accredited translating firm.

In April last year, former Labor leader Mark Latham, Mr Fitzgibbon’s former close friend, wrote in The Australian Financial Review that in regard to the relationship between Ms Liu and the Fitzgibbons he had “never encountered MPs so engaged, politically and financially, with a business benefactor” and “the full list of largesse received by the Fitzgibbon family is yet to be made public”.

Sydney Morning Herald

Posted in Australia, Business, Businessman, China, News, People, politician, Politics, Women, World | Comments Off on Chinese businesswoman’s PRIVATE records: Former australia minister received money to increase political and business influence

10 Forbidden Stories of 2009 in China (8)- Media control of Obama’s visit to China

Posted by Author on January 21, 2010

Epoch Times Staff, updated: Jan 7, 2010 – (cont’d)

<< previous

Media control of Obama’s visit to China

When President Obama went to China, his appearances, and domestic reportage on them, were carefully stage-managed by CCP propaganda officials.

The most notable instance was the town hall meeting with students in Shanghai. As the White House’s centerpiece for the trip, it was supposed to be broadcast live on the largest state-owned national stations—a channel for Obama to reach the Chinese people directly.

At the last minute, however, Chinese authorities restricted it to Shanghai Television, a local station with limited reach. Commentary on major Web sites was censored and toned down.
Later in the trip an exclusive interview with Southern Weekend, an influential publication in Guangdong Province, was also intercepted by propaganda officials and half of it pulled from the print edition. The editors left a blank half-page with the cryptic message: “It’s not that everyone can become a big shot. But reading this, everyone can understand China.” (to be cont’d)

Original report from The Epochtimes

Posted in Beijing, censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Media, News, People, politician, Politics, World | Comments Off on 10 Forbidden Stories of 2009 in China (8)- Media control of Obama’s visit to China

Argentine President Cancels China Trip

Posted by Author on January 20, 2010

Inside Costarica, Jan. 20, 2010-

BUENOS AIRES – Skeptical of leaving the country for 10 days, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner postponed her Asian trip on Tuesday, calling it “too long especially when the country’s Vice President does not fulfill the role that has been assigned to him.”

She went on to say that Vice President Julio Cobos cannot serve his role and be a “dissident.”

Cobos and Fernández de Kirchner have been at odds most recently over her desire to force Central Bank President Martin Redrado to step down. But the vice president urged her to “reconsider the situation” and go to China, promising that he would not sign any decrees in her absence without consent.

The January 25-28 trip would have been the first state visit to China since taking office in 2007. Her agenda was scheduled to have included meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. Numerous cooperation agreements were to have been signed.

Bilateral relations grew tense last month after an Argentine judge had requested that Interpol issue an arrest warrant for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin over treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. With concerns mounting about Argentina’s debt, neither side would discuss whether China was prepared to provide any aid or grant loans.

Posted in China, News, People, politician, Politics, World | Comments Off on Argentine President Cancels China Trip

Clinton fundraiser could cause cracks in Obama’s China policy

Posted by Author on January 17, 2010

By William C. Triplett II, Via The Washington Times-

Last year, convicted businessman James Riady donated $20,000 to Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative. At about the same time, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department granted him a multi-entry U.S. visa, something that seems to have been prohibited by the terms of his early 2001 plea agreement with the Department of Justice. Riady used the 2009 visa to travel widely around the United States, apparently without supervision by or even notice to Justice.

Shaking the Riady tree in the late 1990s produced an amazing number of agents of the Chinese government – more that 20 people who would eventually plead guilty to illegal campaign contributions to Bill Clinton and Al Gore and serious violations of American national security. In 1999, the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for disclosing “the corporate sale of American technology to China, with U.S. government approval despite national security risks.”

One would think that given the pounding the Clintons took a decade ago for their odious connections to the Chinese government – especially their ties to Chinese military intelligence revealed by this newspaper and others – that would make them shy away from anything that would bring those issues to the attention of a new generation of voters. However the Riady $20,000 Clinton contribution and visa events seem to part of a larger pattern suggesting that the Clintons are ready to return to Beijing connections, no matter the possible risk to the Obama administration.

First, last February, Secretary of State Clinton gave a speech setting out the priorities of United States policy towards the People’s Republic of China (PRC). To the surprise of many, she listed human rights issues at the bottom – not quite seventh in a field of six but that was the impression. Given the never-elected Chinese Communist Party’s constant legitimacy struggles with the Chinese people, that must have led to broad smiles in Beijing. On Christmas Day, Beijing responded to Mrs. Clinton’s signal by sentencing China’s leading pro-democracy advocate to the Chinese gulag for many years.

Second, although Sen. Barack Obama seemed to be a strong supporter of Tibet, President Obama has not been. This goes far beyond his decision not to meet with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, as other presidents have done. Looking around for the source of that advice, the Washington rumor mill points the finger at Mrs. Clinton’s State Department.

Third, Mrs. Clinton has turned on the formidable Clinton fundraising machine to raise more than $50 million for the U.S. pavilion at the Shanghai Expo next summer. Mr. Obama’s Chicago team could have raised this amount of money without breaking a sweat. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, a close Obama adviser, was previously secretary of commerce and having him lead the fundraising would have been seen positively by the American business community. Considering other issues that the Obama administration has with American business, the president wouldn’t want to pass up this opportunity. But the Clintons pre-empted him to the point of leaking their fundraising to the New York Times for a Page 1 story on Sunday.

Fourth, there is the legal, political and social rehabilitation of James Riady.

It is possible, though doubtful, that these four events are separate acts of coincidence. What is definite is that they amount to subtle acts of separation by the Clintons from Mr. Obama and his closest advisers at the White House. For example, the White House, not the State Department, is engaged in trade conflicts with China, but the Clintons become the friend of U.S.-China trade through the publicity over the Shanghai pavilion.

As another example, neither U.S. business nor the bulk of China-watching academics could be considered advocates of human rights or democracy in China. By taking their position, the Clintons gain support from them. The big loser is President Obama, who is already under fire for not supporting the pro-democracy movement in Iran.

The Clintons’ rehabilitation of James Riady is something of a mystery. Although the former president raises a lot of money for his Global Initiative, there is no way Riady’s $20,000 would not have been red-flagged for his personal attention. Since the contribution was the entrance fee for Riady to attend the Initiative’s annual dinner, the Clintons had to have known that Riady was heading to the United States. Riady’s prohibition from entering the U.S. was one of those last acts of the Clinton administration that outraged Republicans. The Clintons’ motivation for helping him out can only be speculation.

Of all the Clinton machinations regarding Beijing, the most dangerous to Mr. Obama is the Riady visa. As far as is known, Mr. Obama was not touched by the Clinton-era fundraising scandals. But through the Riady doorway passes an entire “Star Wars” cantina scene of criminals and spies. His people had better close that doorway immediately and order Riady’s visa cancelled.

William C. Triplett, II is the co-author of “Year of the Rat” (Regnery, 2000).

The Washington Times, Jan 08, 2010

Posted in Business, China, Law, News, People, politician, Politics, USA, World | Comments Off on Clinton fundraiser could cause cracks in Obama’s China policy

London Mayor’s deputy: I HAD SEX WITH A CHINESE SPY, during the Beijing Olympics

Posted by Author on November 29, 2009

By Kate Mansey, The Mirror, UK, Nov. 29, 2009-

Boris Johnson’s deputy was lured into a classic honeytrap by a beautiful Chinese agent in scenes which could have come straight out of a spy novel.

Ian Clement went up to his Beijing hotel room for sex with the secret service siren… but was drugged and came round hours later to find his room had been ransacked.

The London Mayor’s No 2 discovered the woman had rifled through confidential documents and downloaded details about how the capital is run from his BlackBerry smartphone.

Clement hid the shameful episode from his boss but today he comes clean, admitting: “I fell for the oldest trick in the book.”

The £127,000-a-year politician walked into the trap during the Beijing Olympics last year, when he was on a Government mission to build contacts with potential investors for the 2012 London Games.

Clement, who had a partner back in Britain at the time, said: “Before I went out I had to be briefed by MI6. They told me about honeytraps and warned me that the Chinese secret service often use women to entice men to bed to get information. I didn’t think for one minute that I would fall for it.”

The 44-year-old Tory met the girl at an official party on the opening night of the Olympics. He was accompanying Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell to China and was sitiing just a few rows from then US President George Bush.

Clement confessed: “I know I’m no George Clooney, so when lots of attractive women are being particularly friendly it’s not normal.

“At the party a pretty Chinese woman came up to me, gave me her card and asked me to go for a drink. I thought nothing of it but when I got back to my hotel, she was in the reception.”

After two glasses of wine, Clement invited the girl to his room. He woke to see all his documents strewn around – and the girl disappearing.

Clement said: “I wasn’t thinking straight. I was thinking like a heterosexual bloke who is an 11-hour flight from home. I knew I shouldn’t be doing it but by then I was drunk.

“The next thing I knew I was waking up and she was dressed and leaving the hotel room. My wallet was open. She had plainly gone through it but I knew she wasn’t a simple thief because nothing was missing. I think we had sex but in truth I can’t remember. She must have drugged my drink.

“While I was in Beijing I was making planning decisions from my BlackBerry. We’re talking major, major decisions.

“They wanted to know which businesses I was courting. I think she was looking to see my plans, who I was meeting and how the new Conservative administration was working in London.”

Clement kept the squalid encounter secret from Boris Johnson. He said: “I didn’t call the office in London to tell them. I have never had a conversation with Boris about this. It wasn’t a breach of British security on a national level.

“What she had learned from me was economic information about how London is run – it wasn’t something that would put the people of the UK at risk so that was why I kept it to myself.

“But it’s right to stand up and say, ‘I’m sorry, I messed up.'”

Clement lost his job a year later when he was found to have fiddled his expenses. He resigned as Deputy Mayor in June after it was revealed he claimed £156 on meals for his girlfriend.

He had been putting personal expenses on a credit card and paying it back, but tried to claim a date was a meeting with Tory officials.

Clement was convicted and ordered to do community service painting public toilets – and is still wearing a curfew tag. He said: “I’m not bitter. The only person I’m angry with is myself.”

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Europe, News, People, politician, Politics, spy, UK, World | Comments Off on London Mayor’s deputy: I HAD SEX WITH A CHINESE SPY, during the Beijing Olympics

10 questions for Barack Obama to put to China’s Hu Jintao

Posted by Author on November 12, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, Nov. 12, 2009-

Reporters Without Borders calls on US President Barack Obama to put 10 questions about freedom of expression to his counterpart, Hu Jintao, during his visit to China. “If President Obama asks these questions and gets answers and undertakings from the Chinese leader, the cause of free expression and press freedom will have progressed,” the organisation said.

Why are the websites of the US companies Twitter and Facebook blocked by the Chinese authorities?

Why do the Chinese authorities jam the programmes that are broadcast in Mandarin, Tibetan and Uyghur by the US-funded stations Radio Free Asia and Voice of America?

Is he going to pardon the hundreds of imprisoned journalists, intellectuals and bloggers, including Liu Xiaobo, Hu Jia, Shi Tao and Qi Chonghuai, who did nothing but express their opinions peacefully?

Why are foreign journalists, including American journalists, unable to visit Tibet without a permit?

Why is the Tibetan filmmaker Dhondhup Wangchen being tried on a charge of subversion when all he did was film interviews with Tibetans?

Why are international news agencies, including US news agencies, unable to sell their services directly to Chinese news media?

Why does the Propaganda Department routinely censor international news reports, including some aspects of the growing dispute with Iran over its nuclear programme?

Why do the Chinese security forces prevent journalists from freely doing investigative reporting in the area along the border with North Korea?

Why have the communication services (including Internet and telephone services) of the inhabitants of Xinjiang been blocked or kept under close surveillance for nearly four months?

Why are investigative journalists, especially those trying to cover business and corruption cases, still being harassed by the police and Propaganda department, a problem that led to the recent joint resignation of many of the editors and reporters employed by the leading magazine Caijing?

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Activist, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, News, People, politician, Politics, World | Comments Off on 10 questions for Barack Obama to put to China’s Hu Jintao

China, N. Korea Re-affirm Friendship Relations

Posted by Author on October 5, 2009

AFP, Oct. 5, 2009-

BEIJING — China and North Korea vowed Monday to bolster a bilateral relationship that is vital to the isolated North, in a sign they had patched up any discord over Pyongyang’s nuclear programmes.

During a North Korea trip by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the longtime allies issued a joint statement congratulating each other on 60 years of diplomatic ties and pledging continued friendship, China’s foreign ministry said.

China fought for the North in the 1950-53 Korean War and relations were once said to be “as close as lips and teeth”. Beijing remains Pyongyang’s sole major ally and leading trade partner and energy supplier.

But a rare strain in ties emerged this year after North Korea pulled out of China-hosted six-nation talks on dismantling the North’s nuclear programmes.

China later backed tougher United Nations sanctions after North Korea conducted its second nuclear test in May.

“History has proven that developing China-North Korea relations in is line with the fundamental interests and common aspirations of the two peoples and conducive to safeguarding regional peace and stability,” said a statement on the Chinese foreign ministry website which quoted President Hu Jintao and Wen.

“We are willing to work together with North Korea to… constantly push forward friendly and cooperative relations,” it said.

In the same statement, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was quoted calling the bilateral relationship “a common treasure”.

“Consolidating and developing this friendship is the consistent position of our party and government,” it said.

“We believe that with the joint efforts of our two parties, governments and peoples, friendly and cooperative North Korea-China relations will be constantly consolidated and developed.”

North Korea’s acts of nuclear brinkmanship in recent years have put its ally China in an increasingly awkward position.

However, trade between the two has kept growing, hitting a record 2.79 billion dollars in 2008, up 41 percent from the year before, according to Chinese figures. Chinese exports made up two billion dollars of that.

Analysts say Beijing helps keep Pyongyang afloat out of fear that a North Korean collapse could send a wave of refugees flooding into China.


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(photos) US Congress members support Falun Gong at Washington D.C. Rally

Posted by Author on July 18, 2009

Photos by The Epochtimes, July 17, 2009-

Rally to end the persecution  of Falun Gong, Washington D.C, July 16, 2009 (By the Epochtimes)

Rally to end the persecution of Falun Gong, Washington D.C, July 16, 2009 (By the Epochtimes)

Congress woman Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congress woman Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Christopher Smith speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Christopher Smith speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Dana Rohrabacher speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Dana Rohrabacher speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Roscoe Bartlett speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Roscoe Bartlett speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congress woman Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congress woman Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Lincoln Diaz-Balart speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Lincoln Diaz-Balart speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. William Clay speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. William Clay speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Gus Bilirakis speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Gus Bilirakis speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Anh Joseph Cao speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Congressman Mr. Anh Joseph Cao speaking at the rally (by the Epochtimes)

Posted in China, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, July 20, News, People, Photo, politician, Rally, Religion, Special day, USA, World | Comments Off on (photos) US Congress members support Falun Gong at Washington D.C. Rally

55 US Assembly Members Urge Obama to Denounce China’s Persecution of Falun Gong

Posted by Author on June 24, 2009

By Stephanie Lam, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 24, 2009 –

As the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong nears the 10-year mark, two New York state politicians have taken action. New York State Assembly Members Phil Boyle and Vanessa Gibson each wrote a letter to President Obama on June 18 urging him to denounce the persecution and demand that the CCP put an end to it.

Boyle and Gibson described Falun Gong as a tranquil and peaceful practice guided by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, numbering 70-100 million practitioners before the CCP started its persecution on July 20, 1999. Over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners are known to have been persecuted to death in the past decade.

Boyle wrote that Falun Gong practitioners experience “Torture, malnutrition, exhaustion, neglect in detention, and even organ harvesting in hospitals,” and that the actual number of people who died from the persecution might be over 10,000.

The two assembly members are especially concerned because the CCP has extended the persecution of Falun Gong into the United States. He reported that “Pro-communist mobs have berated, threatened, and physically attacked Falun Gong practitioners in New York City. New York City police officers have had to arrest several members of an anti-Falun Gong mob for attacks against practitioners, with charges ranging from assault to resisting arrest.”

Boyle and Gibson praised President Obama for his efforts in protecting human rights internationally, and asked that he continue this by supporting Falun Gong. Within five days’ time, Boyle’s letter was co-signed by 53 other members of the New York State Assembly.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, News, People, politician, Politics, Religion, USA, World | Comments Off on 55 US Assembly Members Urge Obama to Denounce China’s Persecution of Falun Gong

Hong Kong carries the flame for Tiananmen Massacre

Posted by Author on June 6, 2009

By Paul Lin 林保華, The Taipei Times, Taiwan, Saturday, Jun 06, 2009-

Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. For 20 years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has created a mass of lies about what happened and has used China’s economic development to cover up its murderous acts.

Self-styled anti-communist President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said he has been deeply moved by the CCP’s progress. In stark contrast, the people of Hong Kong have been staging a protest on the Sunday before June 4 each year; this year they also held a candlelight vigil on June 4, which was attended by tens of thousands of people in Victoria Park.

Sunday’s demonstration saw the biggest turnout since 1992, which means that it was the largest since handover. But there was more to the protest than the 20th anniversary of the massacre: Recent actions of the CCP and the Hong Kong government also set off anti-CCP feelings among Hong Kong residents.

First, the CCP has been trying to establish a second power base in Hong Kong to intervene directly in government affairs because it is unsatisfied with the administration’s insistence that “Hong Kong people rule Hong Kong.”

Second, on the eve of Tiananmen Square Massacre memorial services, Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) — under pressure from Beijing — tried to use China’s economic development to gloss over the murderous acts of the CCP, claiming that this represented the opinion of the people of Hong Kong. Tsang immediately apologized, but his comments caused an uproar.

Third, early last month, Hong Kong University Students’ Union chairman Ayo Chan (陳一諤) said at a forum on the Tiananmen Square Massacre that China should rehabilitate the June 4 movement. But he added that the suppression could have been avoided if students had dispersed before the crackdown. Chan also described Beijing’s bloody actions as being “slightly problematic” and said Beijing should not be blamed. As a result, students at the university organized a referendum to recall Chan.

Fourth, during the live talk show City Forum on Radio Television Hong Kong late last month, Stanley Lui (呂智偉), the convener of the Hong Kong Youth Development Network, said the early part of the student movement was patriotic. But he said that when Lee Cheuk-yan (李卓人), vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, brought donations from Hong Kong to Beijing, the movement changed in character. This reference to support for China’s democratic movement in Hong Kong as a “cash transfer” incensed Hong Kong’s democrats.

As many as 61.2 percent of Hong Kongers now think that the Tiananmen student movement should be rehabilitated, an increase of 12 percentage points compared with last year and the highest figure since 1997.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China and the pro-democracy camp consist of moderates and radicals, with the moderates being the mainstream. Although the factions quarrel and pro-China media and politicians take the opportunity to discredit them, they unite at crucial times to stop pro-China lawmakers from changing legislative procedures. They also stage joint protests, because they know who the common enemy is.

The people of Hong Kong are pragmatic and do nothing that strays too far from their goals. Their support for China’s democracy movement is a sincere contribution; they avoid attacking one another in order to make best use of limited resources. They stand up when the values they believe in are in crisis. They did so six years ago when China forced through its National Security Law, and they are doing so now as the truth of the Tiananmen Square Massacre struggles to be heard.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

The Taipei Times

Posted in Asia, Beijing, China, Hong kong, Human Rights, June 4, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, Special day, Tiananmen, World | Comments Off on Hong Kong carries the flame for Tiananmen Massacre

Calls for parliamentary democracy in China

Posted by Author on May 23, 2009

Mark Colvin, ABC News, Austrilia, 22 May , 2009-

MARK COLVIN: Exactly 20 years ago, Beijing’s central space, Tien An Men Square was still full of protesting students.

On the 19th May, the Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang had come to the square to plead with them to end their hunger strike.

The next day, military law was declared. On June the 4th the troops went in and what the West remembers as the Tien An Men massacre began.

By then, Zhao Ziyang, the only member of the ruling elite to talk to the students face to face, was under house arrest and had become a non-person.

This is how he remembers what the Chinese authorities prefer to call the June the 4th incident.

ZHAO ZIYANG (translated): On the night of June the 3rd while sitting in the courtyard with my family I heard intense gunfire. A tragedy to shock the world had not been averted and was happening after all.

I prepared the above-written material three years after the June the fourth tragedy. Many years have now passed since this tragedy. Of the activists involved in this incident, except for the few who escaped abroad, most were arrested, sentenced and repeatedly interrogated.

MARK COLVIN: The world was never meant to hear Zhao Ziyang’s voice again. But now, four years after his death comes the publication of his memoirs.

They were compiled from 30 cassette tapes, smuggled out of the country and now published as ‘Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang’.

Its publisher and co-translator is Bao Pu, son of a senior aide to Zhao.

He told me on the line from Hong Kong that Zhao Ziyang knew when he spoke to the students in the Square that his career was already over.

BAO PU: When he came out to talk to them he was already disposed from his position and knowing that after trying to prevent the final showdown of violence; and he actually failed to prevent that happening and that was you know his final moment appearing in public.

MARK COLVIN: And the reason why that was his final moment was because he had made the mistake of actually leaving the country in a crisis and that left his enemies in charge.

BAO PU: In this particular memoir he mentions many of his regrets and mistakes. Leaving the country at that moment is not one of them. At the moment that he left there was no reason for him, no obvious reason that he shouldn’t.

: But if he’d stayed, wouldn’t he have been able to keep the ear of Dung Xiaoping? Wouldn’t he have been able to have controlled things better?

BAO PU: Yes it’s possible but you have to say that it’s only speculation – maybe better – and we can’t be sure because history cannot be undone and repeat itself.

MARK COLVIN: So what were the forces ranged against him?

BAO PU: Tien An Men incidents to the Chinese leaders were merely a continuation of their struggle, their debate over economic reform. The new insight on this Tien An Men incident is that as soon as the student protest began, the Chinese leaders were already lined up on two sides.

On one side the favour harsh treatment, on the other are against the harsher treatment.

MARK COLVIN: In the background of all this was the fact that Zhao Ziyang didn’t just want economic reform he wanted political reform. Let’s just have a listen to what he says in the memoir about that.

(translated): Of course it is possible that in the future a more advanced political system than the parliamentary democracy will emerge, but that is a matter for the future. At present, there is no other.

Based on this we can say that if a country wishes to modernise, not only should it implement a market economy, it must also adopt a parliamentary democracy as its political system……. (More  details from ABC News)

Posted in Beijing, books, China, Communist Party, history, June 4, military, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, Special day, World | Comments Off on Calls for parliamentary democracy in China

US Senators Call on China to Release Rights Attorney Gao Zhisheng

Posted by Author on May 16, 2009

Christian Newswire, May 16, 2009-

MEDIA ADVISORY, May 16 /Christian Newswire/ — On May 14, the 99th day since Chinese Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng’s kidnapping by government officials, four U.S. Senators issued a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao calling for the Chinese government to release Gao. The four signatories are: Senators Bryon Dorgan (D-ND and Chairman of the Congressional – Executive Commission on China), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sam Brownback (R-KS).

The following is the full text of the Senators’ letter to President Hu Jintao:

Dear President Hu:

We are writing to express our deep concern over the disappearance of prominent lawyer and human rights advocate, Gao Zhisheng. Tomorrow will mark the 100th day in which Mr. Gao has not been seen or heard from. We fear that Mr. Gao’s life may be in grave danger, given Mr. Gao’s past treatment at the hands of public security officers (and others working under their direction).

Mr. Gao, voted “one of China’s top ten lawyers” in 2001 by a Chinese Ministry of Justice publication, has represented numerous civil society figures, religious leaders and writers. In September 2007, Mr. Gao sent an open letter to the U.S. Congress alleging widespread human rights abuses in China. Afterwards, public security officers abducted him and held him for over 50 days, during which time he was repeatedly tortured. He was told that he would be killed if he told anyone about what happened. Mr. Gao was last seen on February 4, 2009 at a relative’s home, where more than 10 public security officers and others forcibly removed him from bed, and whisked him away to an unknown location. Mr. Gao’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Mr. Gao’s disappearance appears to be a violation of both Chinese and international law. We urge your government to inform the concerned public of his whereabouts, to guarantee Mr. Gao’s right to be free from arbitrary detention, and to secure his release.


Byron L. Dorgan
Christopher J. Dodd
Sam Brownback
Russell D. Feingold

View a copy of the Senators’ original letter to President Hu Jintao.

Visit to advocate for Gao Zhisheng’s release: sign the petition; view the video; send e-mails to Chinese officials and find out more information about Gao Zhisheng.

Christian Newswire

Posted in Beijing, China, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, politician, Politics, Speech, USA, World | Comments Off on US Senators Call on China to Release Rights Attorney Gao Zhisheng

Secret Tiananmen Square memoirs of China’s Former Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, to be published

Posted by Author on May 15, 2009

Jane Macartney in Beijing , The Times, UK, May 15, 2009-

As Chinese students marched to demand democracy and an end to corruption, party elders were summoned to the home of the country’s paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping.

The wizened veteran listened to moderates, including the general secretary of the Communist Party, Zhao Ziyang, urging dialogue with the students, whose protests were seen as the greatest threat to date for the party.

Then, without even calling a vote of the most powerful body in China, the Politburo Standing Committee gathered there, Deng summarily imposed martial law. The army was called in and the student protests would be brutally crushed by tanks and troops in Tiananmen Square.

Now, on the 20th anniversary of the bloody suppression of the protesters, Zhao’s memoirs — painstakingly reconstructed from hours of tape recordings smuggled out by supporters — provide a unique glimpse of the deep divisions within the Chinese leadership. The first memoirs made public by such a highly placed party official will enrage today’s leaders because of his assertion that Western-style democracy is essential if China is to avoid future bloodbaths.

The record made by Zhao — who resigned, was purged and held under house arrest for almost 16 years — is to be published this month as Prisoner of the State: the Secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang. So sensitive is the document that its existence was kept a closely guarded secret until days before publication.

Speculation had been rife during his house arrest and after his death in 2005 as to whether the man with the most intimate knowledge of the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to the Tiananmen Square crackdown on June 3-4, 1989, had provided his own account of the dramatic days.

In the book, Zhao describes the secret meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee. “At that moment I was extremely upset. I told myself that no matter what, I refused to become the General Secretary who mobilised the military to crack down on the students,” he wrote. “On the night of June 3rd I heard intense gunfire. A tragedy to shock the world had not been averted.”

Troops backed by tanks entered Beijing to end weeks of student demonstrations. Zhao’s account confirms the bitter power struggle behind the scenes as the students occupied Tiananmen Square, and the deep rivalries between reformists and hardliners, as well as the crucial role played by Deng in the decision to use force.

The memoirs project was so secret that Zhao’s top aide, Bao Tong, who was jailed for seven years after the protests, told The Times that he learnt of their existence only after Zhao’s death. “I knew he wanted to write something. I knew he would want to leave some record of his work but it was extremely difficult because he was under constant surveillance,” he said. Mr Bao said that there was no doubt about the authenticity of the memoirs. “This is an extremely valuable document for China and for the West,” he said. Zhao left the memoirs on 30 one-hour tapes that he recorded in about 2000. Mr Bao said that it had been impossible for the disgraced party chief to make the recordings before 1999, but after that he had found a way to bypass those watching and listening to him.

The recordings include conversations in which he answers questions as well as sections that are apparently dictated from a now-vanished text. The tapes took Zhao about two years to make and he then found a way to pass them clandestinely to trusted friends. The materials were gathered together after his death, but much of the process remains a secret to protect those involved.

Mr Bao said that to protect Zhao’s family, they had been unaware of the memoirs. “If the authorities want to pursue someone for political or legal responsibility for these memoirs then I will bear everything,” he said.

The memoirs were translated and edited by Mr Bao’s son and daughter-in-law, Bao Pu and Renee Chiang, and the US journalist Adi Ignatius. He told The Times: “Zhao did this all secretly but he knew what he was doing: getting the final word on what really happened 20 years ago.”

Times Online

Posted in Beijing, China, history, Human Rights, Incident, Killing, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, Tiananmen, World | Comments Off on Secret Tiananmen Square memoirs of China’s Former Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, to be published

China Uses Prominent Americans to Influence U.S. Policies: Congressional Testimony

Posted by Author on May 15, 2009

Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, May 14, 2009 –

Chinese influence

China’s communist government has used its relationships with prominent Americans to further a propaganda effort aimed at influencing U.S. policies and softening economic sanctions, according to recent congressional testimony.

Those whose names, words or friendships have been invoked by China to influence the debate over sanctions include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former President George H.W. Bush, said Anne-Marie Brady, an associate professor of political and social sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Ms. Brady testified before the U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission April 30 that it is long-standing Chinese policy to exploit foreigners for global propaganda work.

“Historically, foreigners have been extremely useful in producing a wide range of propaganda materials, ranging from books, films and poetry, to public and private lobbying,” she said.

In 1989, Chinese President Jiang Zemin ordered foreign diplomats to step up influence operations after the Tiananmen massacre by gaining support from “prominent foreigners friendly to China,” she said. The goal was to influence Western governments into dropping sanctions imposed on China after the military crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

“Henry Kissinger and George Bush senior are commonly cited as being particularly helpful to blunt the effects of sanctions in this period,” Ms. Brady said.

“The foreign friends the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] has come to value most in the post-1989 period are prominent foreign figures that can bring commercial and political advantages to China and the Chinese oligarchy. Public agreement on China’s political positions is not required, though it might help business along a little.”

Ms. Brady did not provide further details on how figures like Mr. Bush or Mr. Kissinger are used in the propaganda efforts. But a U.S. defense official said the Chinese government invests vast resources in seeking out prominent Americans whose views coincide with many aspects of Chinese foreign policy. The Chinese can provide preferential business treatment and access to senior Chinese leaders as a way to enhance the standing of these former officials.

China’s government also limits criticism of China by blocking visits to the country by perceived opponents of China.

Asked about China’s efforts to block or remove U.S. sanctions, Larry Wortzel, co-chairman of the commission, said the Tiananmen-related sanctions remain important for U.S. national security because of growing Chinese military capabilities. “If the U.S. lifted sanctions, it would open the floodgates for European arms sales to China,” Mr. Wortzel said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Kissinger said the former secretary of state was traveling and could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Mr. Bush could not be reached.

Chinese Embassy spokeswoman Wei Xin did not address the points raised at the hearing in an e-mail response.

“China has solemnly stated on many occasions that China never does anything undermining the interest of others and China advocates cooperation between countries on the basis of fairness, justice, equality and mutual benefit,” Ms. Wei said.

Ross Terrill, a historian at the Harvard University Fairbank Center for Asian Studies, testified that China is using money to try to manipulate foreign opinions of China.

“A symbiosis occurs between Americans who benefit from business or other success with China and American institutions,” he said. “Money may appear from a businessman with excellent connections in China and it is hard for a think tank, needing funds for its research on China, to decline it. But the money may bring with it major Chinese ideological input into the program of the U.S. think tank.”

Ms. Brady also said China is working to plant Chinese propaganda in Western news media. “China’s propagandists try to get foreign newspapers to do China’s propaganda work; this is called ‘borrowing foreign newspapers,’ ” she said.

Beijing announced early this year that it will invest $6.6 billion in its media organs to increase news coverage. Xinhua, the official news agency that U.S. officials say is frequently used as cover for Chinese intelligence personnel, is increasing its foreign bureaus from 100 to 186. China also is setting up a new satellite television station to beam Chinese propaganda around the world. “As such this new initiative could well have a significant impact in strengthening China’s soft power internationally,” Ms. Brady said.

Another specialist, Jacqueline Newmyer, president of the Long Term Strategy Group, told the commission hearing that Chinese foreign-directed information operations are part of a broader Chinese strategy involving Beijing’s development. …… (more details from The Washington Times report: Inside the Ring)

Posted in China, New Zealand, News, People, politician, Politics, USA, World | 1 Comment »

NZ Expert Tells US of China Overseas Propaganda

Posted by Author on May 14, 2009, New Zealand, 12/05/2009 –

A Canterbury expert on Chinese propaganda has made a rare appearance before a United States security commission.

Canterbury University associate professor Anne-Marie Brady travelled to Washington last month to appear before the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s hearing on China’s propaganda operations. The commission was established by the US Congress in 2000.

Brady was told she was the first person from outside North America to appear before the commission. She believed her invitation was due to her research into propaganda in China, enabled by a $634,000 Marsden Fund grant in 2005.

Brady said China had two propaganda machines, one directed at those in China and another focused on Chinese living overseas. Chinese in New Zealand were affected by this, as Chinese language media in New Zealand relied heavily on free content from Chinese media. “These papers are important, especially to new migrants to New Zealand,” she said. “It’s importing the propaganda line to Chinese-language discourse in New Zealand.”

The Chinese Government was well aware the Chinese diaspora could be a haven for liberal thinkers and therefore a threat to the regime, she said.

Propaganda focused on promoting nationalism and encouraged a perception that China was unfairly treated by Western media, Brady said.

“It’s de-politicising the message; encouraging people to make the connection with China their motherland, not worrying about political affiliations.”

She said the success of this propaganda campaign was shown in the global demonstrations of Chinese migrants against Western reporting of the Olympic torch relay and last year’s crackdown on the uprising in Tibet.

Protesters in New Zealand were sent T-shirts and promotional materials from Beijing.

Posted in Australia, China, Media, News, People, politician, Politics, USA, World | Comments Off on NZ Expert Tells US of China Overseas Propaganda

Former Party Leader’s Memorial Day Becomes China’s Taboo

Posted by Author on April 19, 2009

The Epoch Times,  Apr 16, 2009 –

Beijing was unusually quiet on April 15, a day that marks the 20th anniversary of former senior leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Hu Yaobang’s death. The official ceremony was banned and Tiananmen Square was also closed early. Hu’s remaining family held a private ceremony at his cemetery while the general public was seen in Beijing holding a tribute for him. Vigorous discussion was seen online to commemorate Hu as well.

The Memorial Becomes the CCP’s Political Taboo

Hu Yaobang, a reformist in the communist party, won people’s heart but was forced to resign in 1987 due to his weak response towards the 1986 student protest. Hu passed away on April 15 two years after his resignation. His death triggered the explosion of public anger. Large scale commemorative activities were initiated and gradually evolved into student demonstrations of anti-corruption. Finally, the series of activities ended with the military, and police opened fire upon the student protest at Tiananmen Square to suppress them. Since then, the day of April 15 has became a political taboo for the CCP. Years later, the regime did hold a memorial ceremony for Hu; however, it was done in 2005 on Hu’s birthday, November 18.

Hong Kong newspaper The Apple Daily reported that Beijing ordered no official memorial service from the government was to be conducted. Hu’s family, including his eldest son Hu Deping, went to Jiujang City, Jiangxi Province where Hu is buried, for a quiet ceremony which has taken place for the past 20 years.

Hu’s cemetery has also become a sensitive place in the past 20 years, a worker at the cemetery said. Despite that, each year many people, including central and local officials, have visited the cemetery to pay tribute on the anniversary of his death.

The report also quoted from an insider that Hu’s family has been disappointed by the current party leader Hu Jintao. He was absent during the 2005 memorial, the only high profile ceremony conducted by the regime. Hu Yaobang is known to have been the driving force behind Hu Jintao’s political success.

CCP Tightens Security and Censorship

Tiananmen Square closed at 6 p.m., much earlier than the regular closing time. Many more security in uniform and plain clothes policemen were present at the public gates and subway entrances. Random checks were more frequent on April 15. Meanwhile, activists have either been under supervision or detention. According to Agence France-Presse, 52-year-old human rights activist Qi Zhiyong, who was disabled during the June 4 massacre, was detained by Beijing police in the morning of April 15. Dissident writer Jiang Qishen also experienced increased scrutiny by his hometown police.

Many Web site postings were deleted, and yet many Web users still publicized their online memorials with numerous messages. In regard to the responses from both the regime and the public, Professor Du Guan, former Director of Research at the Central Party School and a member of the think tank during Hu Yaobang’s and Zhao Ziyang’s leadership, indicated that Hu’s anniversary has become ultra sensitive for the regime; his death directly led to the student democracy movement and the June 4 Massacre. He believes that if Hu’s historical position is confirmed by the regime, it means the CCP needs to readdress the Tiananmen Square Massacre. “This is something impossible for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” he said.

Professor Du stated that the CCP is very short-sighted. “The June 4th movement is the pioneer of Chinese democracy. The CCP should pay back for the June 4th massacre and Hu Yaobang’s death.”

– The Epochtimes: Former CCP Leader’s Memorial Day Becomes the Party’s Taboo

Posted in Beijing, China, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, Special day, World | Comments Off on Former Party Leader’s Memorial Day Becomes China’s Taboo

Australia Defence Minister Met China Generals With Businesswoman Liu on Trip

Posted by Author on April 1, 2009

Richard Baker, Philip Dorling and John Garnaut, The Age, Australia, March 31, 2009-

DEFENCE Minister Joel Fitzgibbon mixed with some of China’s most powerful military generals and Communist Party leaders on a 2002 trip to China paid for by wealthy businesswoman Helen Liu.

Cutting short Christmas celebrations with his wife and family, Mr Fitzgibbon attended a Chinese military art exhibition with Ms Liu in Beijing on Boxing Day 2002 with six three-star generals, 60 lower-ranking generals and 700 Chinese VIPs.

But late yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Fitzgibbon said he could not recall the reason for attending the Chinese military function, other than it was probably part of the “cultural experience” of the trip.

Mr Fitzgibbon’s spokesman said the function was “one of many” that the Labor MP was “wheeled into and wheeled out of” by Ms Liu. He said Mr Fitzgibbon could not recall Ms Liu’s connection with the event.

At the function, held to commemorate chairman Mao Zedong’s birthday, Mr Fitzgibbon circulated with Li Jing, commander of China’s naval air force, Zhou Kegu, deputy chief of the People’s Liberation Army political department, Li Jingsong, president of China’s military science academy, and Zhou Tienong, vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Ms Liu played a key role in the event and was photographed at the centre of four document-signing ceremonies, including one with the director of the Hunan province tourism bureau. Mr Fitzgibbon was presented as her guest of honour.

At the function Mr Fitzgibbon was presented with a large painting by artist Li Chengxiu, but the minister’s spokesman last night said he did not bring the artwork back to Australia with him. Mr Fitzgibbon did not declare the painting as a gift received in the Federal Parliament’s register of members of interests.

At the time, Mr Fitzgibbon was opposition resources and tourism spokesman. He became shadow defence minister in late 2006.

Despite Mr Fitzgibbon’s difficulty in recalling the details of the event, a translation of a report on the 2002 military art event on the website of the World Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations, refers to him being “so excited” by the occasion. Ms Liu is vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong-based association that boasts 10,000 members.

“Joel Fitzgibbon, an Australian member of Parliament, who was in Beijing especially to attend the ceremony, was so excited at the scale and the hot atmosphere of the opening ceremony,” the report stated.

Last week, Mr Fitzgibbon was reprimanded by acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard after failing to declare trips to China in 2002 and 2005 paid for by Ms Liu. Asked if Ms Liu had paid for any travel, Mr Fitzgibbon initially said they had only ever exchanged small gifts……. (more details from The Age)

Posted in Australia, Business, Businessman, China, Law, military, News, People, politician, Politics, spy, World | Comments Off on Australia Defence Minister Met China Generals With Businesswoman Liu on Trip

China’s iron-fisted PR

Posted by Author on March 31, 2009

Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor, The Australian, Australia, March 26, 2009-

KEVIN Rudd’s semi-secret meeting on Saturday with Li Changchun, the Chinese politburo member in charge of propaganda, media and ideology, is one of the most bizarre episodes of his prime ministership. It is almost certainly more stupid than sinister, but it does raise legitimate questions about Chinese influence in Australia. Li is ranked No.5 in China’s nine-member ruling politburo standing committee. Rudd welcomed Li and the accompanying Chinese media to the Lodge in Canberra but didn’t tell the Australian people about it.

Li’s visit was reported on Chinese television, but there is no guarantee that Australia’s small and very busy group of correspondents in China would have picked up the story, and its bizarre lack of visibility in Australia, if this paper’s Cameron Stewart had not reported it.

The day after Li’s visit Rudd went out of his way on TV to call for reform of the global financial system so that China gets more influence. I don’t believe that in any sinister way Rudd is doing the bidding of the Chinese Government, but nothing is more likely to reinforce such an interpretation than the weird behaviour regarding Li’s meeting.

Li’s visit should occasion a serious examination of the exercise of Chinese soft power in Australia. It can benefit from as much transparency and public scrutiny as possible.

Members of Li’s delegation, and presumably Li himself, as well as other Chinese officials, have been involved in an intensive round of lobbying and briefing in recent days. They seem to have three central messages for Australians. We must not support Tibet’s Dalai Lama. We must support the Chinalco bid for a large stake in Australian miner Rio Tinto. And we should know that Chinalco, though wholly owned by the Chinese Government, is an independent commercial entity run at more than arm’s length from the Chinese Government.

If you notice some tension between the second and third propositions, perhaps you are not alone. However, the chutzpah of the Chinese official position is remarkable.

Just as they are telling us Chinalco is not directly related to the Chinese Government, the former president of Chinalco, Xiao Yaqing, has been appointed to the Chinese cabinet. China’s belief that it can simply assert its position, no matter how obviously ridiculous, and Australians will ultimately accept it is disconcerting, to say the least.

The absolute and deafening silence of the Opposition, Barnaby Joyce excepted, on this or on any issue that demands a sense of values or of geo-strategic direction means the debate is not joined in our political process. This whole dynamic should be the subject of vigorous, freewheeling debate and searching media scrutiny.

In the end, the decision on Chinalco, though notionally Wayne Swan’s, will be Rudd’s alone. And it will be a key test of whether our somewhat Sinocentric Prime Minister is capable of saying no to the Chinese on something they really want.

The broader exercise of Chinese power in Australia should be a preoccupation of the media.

Chinalco is just one example, though it is instructive. Chinalco gave $250,000 to the Australia China Business Council to produce reports on the benefits of Chinese investment in Australia. It has signed up as a corporate sponsor of the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

More generally, the Chinese Government has sponsored the creation of four Confucius Institutes at Australian universities. Former Australian consul general in Hong Kong and University of Sydney visiting professor Jocelyn Chey has labelled the institutes as propaganda vehicles for the Chinese Communist Party. She certainly does not regard them as the equivalent of broad-ranging cultural organisations such as Germany’s Goethe Institutes or the Alliance Francaise. She argues that their presence at Australian universities is problematic.

Sponsoring think tanks and university organisations is, of course, perfectly normal. There do seem to be much more ruthless examples of Chinese power in Australia, however.

Last year there were quite serious assaults by pro-Beijing demonstrators against pro-Tibetan demonstrators in several Australian cities when the Olympic torch relay was held. The Chinese embassy helped organise the demonstrations. Would we accept that behaviour from any other embassy inAustralia?

When I asked the office of Foreign Minister Stephen Smith about this, a spokesperson said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not agree that the actions of the Chinese embassy in facilitating the attendance of Chinese students at the Olympic torch relay was a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Prior to the relay taking place, senior officials from DFAT called in the Chinese ambassador to discuss aspects of the relay. The ambassador was told that under no circumstances were the students or Chinese community to have a security role.”

Even that perplexing statement seems to accept that the Chinese ambassador has a legitimate political role in controlling the actions of the Chinese community and Chinese students. No foreign embassy in Australia should have any role agitating among any group within Australia at all.

These incidents have to be seen, too, in the light of the testimony of Chinese defector Chen Yonglin, formerly a Chinese consul in Sydney. When he defected in 2005, Chen alleged that Beijing had 1000 agents in Australia, mostly working on monitoring and controlling Chinese students here. The Chinese Government told us Chen was talking nonsense, but it was the Chinese Government that, by appointing Chen, had previously told us to take him seriously.

Certainly China has greatly increased conventional espionage directed at Australian military, political, commercial and industrial targets in recent years.

Because the Chinese Government runs such an integrated and ruthless global operation in pursuit of power, it is legitimate to consider all these things together, especially when the key doubt about Chinalco is whether it will act in an authentically commercial fashion. Rudd’s strange meeting with Li can only exacerbate those doubts.

The Australian

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Clinton Remarks Undermine Rights Reform in China

Posted by Author on February 21, 2009

Human Rights Watch-

(New York, February 20, 2009) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments en route to China that contentious issues such as human rights “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises,” send the wrong message to the Chinese government, Human Rights Watch said today. Secretary Clinton also suggested that on human rights issues it “might be better [for the US and China] to agree to disagree.”

Human Rights Watch stressed, as it did in a letter to the secretary last week, that progress in each of these key areas is inseparable from securing progress in human rights. Freedom for the press, whistleblowers, and critics is essential to preventing environmental damage and defective products that threaten China and the world; labor rights abuses and the lack of rule of law destabilize China’s economy which is part of a global economy; and unconditional aid to highly abusive governments destabilizes international peace and security.

“Secretary Clinton’s remarks point to a diplomatic strategy that has worked well for the Chinese government – segregating human rights issues into a dead-end ‘dialogue of the deaf,'” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “A new approach is needed, one in which the US engages China on the critical importance of human rights to a wide range of mutual security interests.”

In recent years, the Chinese government has made some progress on human rights issues, including enshrining in the Constitution the state’s responsibility to protect and promote human rights, the adoption of new labor protections, and the relaxing of restrictions on foreign journalists inside China. These and other gains were made partly as a result of sustained international pressure; conversely, some of the issues on which the Chinese government has refused to improve are ones rarely raised publicly by other governments, such as human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government in the name of suppressing terrorism.

“A successful strategy for the US doesn’t entail ‘agreeing to disagree,’ but rather convincing China it is in its own interest to protect dissent, peaceful protests, and the creation of a truly independent legal system,” said Richardson. “Most importantly, ordinary people, workers, intellectuals, and even government and party representatives in China will also appreciate hearing the United States raise human rights issues in ways that echo their own day-to-day concerns about rule of law and government accountability.”

Human Rights Watch

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