Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

  • China Organ Harvesting Report, in 19 languages

  • Torture methods used by China police

  • Censorship

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  • Books to Read

    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
  • Did you know

    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

America’s China Mistake,on Military

Posted by Author on June 2, 2013


By Gordon G. Chang and James A. Lyons Jr-

This spring, China’s navy accepted the Pentagon’s invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific — RIMPAC — naval exercise to be held off Hawaii. This will be the first time China takes part in the biennial event. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Asia, China, Commentary, military, Politics, USA, World | Comments Off on America’s China Mistake,on Military

New book, “Bowing to Beijing”, will change forever the way you think about China- Reviewed by Tony Blankley

Posted by Author on November 21, 2011


A just-released book, “Bowing to Beijing” by Brett M. Decker and William C. Triplett II, will change forever the way you think about China – even if, like me, you already have the deepest worries about the Chinese threat. As I opened the book, I was expecting to find many useful examples of Chinese military and industrial efforts to get the better of the United States and the West.

Indeed, there are 100 pages of examples of the most remorseless Chinese successes at stealing the military and industrial secrets of the West and converting them into a growing menace – soon to be a leviathan – bent on domination and defeat of America. The authors itemize the sheer unprecedented magnitude of this effort. But the opening chapters deal with human rights abuses, and my first thought as I started reading was that I wanted to get right to the military and industrial examples.

But the authors were right to lead with 50 pages itemizing in grisly detail Chinese human rights abuses – for the profound reason that after reading those first 50 pages, the reader will be impassioned to resist Chinese domination not only on behalf of American interests, but for the sake of humanity. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Commentary, Economy, News, Opinion, Social | Comments Off on New book, “Bowing to Beijing”, will change forever the way you think about China- Reviewed by Tony Blankley

China will implode if it doesn’t change its authoritarian ways

Posted by Author on July 31, 2011


Will Hutton, The Observer –

‘If nobody can be safe, do we want this speed? Can we live in apartments that do not fall down? Can the roads we drive on in our cities not collapse? Can we travel in safe trains? And if there is a major accident can we not be in a hurry to bury the trains? Can we afford the people a basic sense of security?”

When a news anchor on China’s state TV feels he can say that on a broadcaster which has become the world gold standard for censorship and propaganda, you know that something profound is afoot. But it is not just the crash last weekend outside Wenzhou, involving two high speed trains that cost 39 lives and some 190 injured, that has appalled the country. It has been the Communist party’s attempt once again to try to close down the whole affair that has aroused passionate protest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Commentary, News, Opinion, Politics, SE China, Social, World | Comments Off on China will implode if it doesn’t change its authoritarian ways

Red Ghost Over China

Posted by Author on May 31, 2011


Despite a huge police presence, protests continue in China’s Inner Mongolia’s provincial capital of Hohhot as ethnic Mongolians vent their anger with Party cadres over environmental problems and other issues. The unrest parallels similar incidents in Tibet in March 2008 and Xinjiang in July 2009, but the phenomenon is hardly limited to minority areas. A Tsinghua University sociologist estimated that across China there were 180,000 large-scale protests last year.

Violence is also on the rise. Last Thursday, a farmer in Jiangxi province detonated three bombs outside government buildings, killing himself and three others. Qian Mingqi left behind Internet postings saying he was angry his home had been illegally seized and demolished by the government—an all-too common complaint throughout China. He had been petitioning the government for redress since 2002. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Commentary, News, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Red Ghost Over China

A founding document for a new China

Posted by Author on May 12, 2011


by Michael Gerson-

Over the past five Sundays, more than 100 members of the Shouwang Church in Beijing have been detained to prevent them from meeting. It is a confrontation between state and conscience with broad implications for the future of China.

A member of the church, speaking to me anonymously, described the congregation as mainly “intellectuals and professionals.” What began as a Bible study group for university students has grown to 1,000 worshipers — the Chinese equivalent of a mega-church. “The Christians are very serious Christians,” she told me. “They are not political at all. They respect the government, love the country, respect authority. But they want to follow God, to engage in normal Christian practice.” And they find such practice impossible in China’s state-sponsored churches, which were initially designed to keep religion a government-controlled monopoly. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, China, Christianity, Commentary, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Law, Opinion, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, World | Comments Off on A founding document for a new China

Shortsighted US-China Policy Betrays Americans and Chinese

Posted by Author on May 4, 2011


By Michael Young (Chinese-American writer based in Washington, D.C. )-

Two decades ago, the communist empire collapsed in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In the past few months, two dictatorships have been overthrown in the Middle East, and several others appear to be tottering.

In this worldwide movement toward freedom, the Chinese regime, at once both the largest communist state on the planet and the most brutal dictatorship, has been an extraordinary exception.

Not only did the Chinese regime survive the 1989 democracy movement, but it has so thrived that many Western countries today equally fear its rise as much as its collapse. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Commentary, Human Rights, News, Opinion, People, politician, Politics, Social, USA, World | Comments Off on Shortsighted US-China Policy Betrays Americans and Chinese

WSJ: China’s Hooligan Government

Posted by Author on February 19, 2011


Chairman Mao said that power grows out of the barrel of the gun, and Chinese authorities have never shied away from using violence against anyone who has stepped out of line. But this wet work was usually sanctioned by quasi-legal procedures and carried out far from the public eye—for instance in the country’s vast system of labor camps.

In recent years, however, thugs acting on behalf of various levels of government have begun openly attacking Chinese who dare to complain, as well as local and foreign journalists who record those grievances. This portends a breakdown in public respect for the state’s authority that will be self-defeating for the central government. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Commentary, East China, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Shandong, Social, World | Comments Off on WSJ: China’s Hooligan Government

Lie Beneath Chinese Premier’s ‘Reform’ Remarks: Political Struggle

Posted by Author on September 1, 2010


By Quincy Yu, Epoch Times Staff, Sep 1, 201o –

In a recent speech China’s Premier Wen Jiabao made unusual comments about “pushing forward political reform.” His remarks may indicate that there is an intense power struggle inside the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), between the reformers and the conservatives, before the Party’s 18th Congress in 2012. His remarks also raise the question of how genuine political reform is possible under the CCP’s autocratic rule.

Political reform has not been much discussed publicly by CCP officials since the 13th Congress in 1987; subsequent political reforms were all about “administrative system reform.” Wen’s speech this time, therefore, was quite unusual.

‘Socialist’ Democracy

On Aug. 21, Wen gave a speech in Shenzhen where he said “We need to promote not only economic reform, but also political reform. Without the safeguarding of political restructuring, the achievement through economic restructuring will be lost again, and it will be impossible to reach our goal of modernization.”

While in Tokyo on June 1, Wen made more specific points in an interview with Japan’s NHK Television: “Political restructuring should focus on four aspects: First, build socialist democracy and ensure people’s right to vote, to stay informed about, participate in, and oversee government affairs; second, improve the socialist legal system, govern the country according to law and build a country under the rule of law; third, achieve social equity and justice; and fourth, realize the all-round development of the people in a free environment.”

On the surface, Wen’s call for political ‘restructuring’ sounds as if a turn from totalitarianism to democracy is about to take place. However, according to observers, the premier’s comments are more likely the signal of a power struggle, as different factions vie for prominence and to define the agenda.

Conservatives vs. Reformers

According to Boxun, an overseas Chinese website focused on politics and human rights on the mainland, the conservatives, which mainly consist of “princelings”—children of the 1949 Maoist revolutionaries—hope that Xi Jinping and Bo Xilai will become the next Party chief and premiere at the 18th Party Congress.

Xi Jinping is a top-ranking member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China, and carries the title of “China’s Vice President.” His father, Xi Zhongxun, was Deputy Prime Minister from 1959 to 1962. Bo Xilai is Secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Chinese Communist Party Committee; his father, Bo Yibo, served as Minister of Finance from 1949 to 1953 and as vice premier in 1956, 1959, 1965 and 1979.

Reformers, on the other hand, hope to keep princelings out of the central power base and want those who rose up through the ranks of the Party’s Youth League to be the next top leaders. They advocate Li Keqiang becoming the next Chairman, Wang Qishan becoming premier, and Wang Huning to be chief of the Central Propaganda Department.

Power Struggle Apparent

Recently, Hong Kong’s Phoenix Weekly reported that Lieutenant General Liu Yazhou, a commander in the Chinese military and a member of the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, stated “without political reform China is doomed.”

Liu is the first senior active-duty military officer to make outspoken public remarks in support of Chinese political reform since 1989 without backlash from the regime. He is favored by Chinese leader Hu Jintao, who promoted Liu in December 2009 from Deputy Political Commissar of the Air Force to the Political Commissar of PLA University for National Defense.

Conservatives have never quite agreed with former leader Deng Xiaoping’s (1978 to 1992) ideology of “reform and opening-up.” In 2009 Zhang Deqin, a conservative, published an article titled “Six Suggestions for Premier Wen Jiabao,” accusing Wen of causing capitalism to have too great an influence on Chinese society. Zhang also said that Wen should face up to criticism for “causing more serious traitorous crimes.”

People’s Daily, the Party’s official mouthpiece, also published a full-page article in May, saying that China cannot engage in the separation of the three powers—executive, legislative and judicial. It said that for a long time, there has been “a very small number of people advocating the political system model of the separation of the three powers, vainly attempting to change the direction of China’s political system reform, or judicial system reform, even advocating changing China’s fundamental political system.”

The Mao Issue

A typical strategy of the CCP conservatives is to praise Mao and criticize Deng. They have already settled on Bo Xilai for the top job, and Bo has become the de facto leader of the leftists and princelings. His campaign of praising Mao and ostentatiously cracking down on organized crime in Chongqing, with the rallying help of the state propaganda apparatus, has been a winning strategy for gaining popularity.

On the other hand, the reformers try to seize opportunities to criticize Mao. A video by Beijing history professor Yuan Tengfei that exposed many of Mao’s crimes was spread widely on major Chinese websites beginning in February of this year. It only attracted the attention of official censors after Maoists began a counter attack in May. The Central Propaganda Department then asked the Internet Monitoring Department of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and the State Council Information Office (SCIO) to delete all related content. ……(more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in China, Commentary, Economy, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Lie Beneath Chinese Premier’s ‘Reform’ Remarks: Political Struggle

Editorial: Enduring Darkness and Radiating Light– Falun Gong Practitioners in 11 Years of Persecution

Posted by Author on July 20, 2010


By The Epoch Times Editorial Board, July 20, 2010 –

"Shaken" by Chen Xiaoping, the Gold Award-winning painting in the Second Chinese International Figure Painting Competition. (Provided by NTDTV)

Eleven years ago this week, Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), started an all-out persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. The years since have been extraordinary for Falun Gong practitioners, the people in China, and free nations around the world.

In the past 11 years, the world has witnessed the pain and suffering Falun Gong practitioners have gone through. The CCP, in addition to spreading outrageous lies, has tortured Falun Gong practitioners with means of torture used only in the darkest eras of humankind, such as the needle club, steel wire, copper whip, bramble whip, genital beating, rape, and the like.

A report by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture listed at least 40 types of torture used by the CCP against Falun Gong practitioners.

According to reports on Clearwisdom, a website run by Falun Gong practitioners, there have been at least 3,300 confirmed deaths of Falun Gong practitioners; over 100,000 have been sentenced to labor camps; thousands more have been sent to mental hospitals where the tortures may include nerve-damaging drugs.

Untold numbers of practitioners have been forced to attend brainwashing classes, and untold numbers have been beaten, made to stand for hours or days on end, and extorted by law- enforcement officials.

Because of the CCP’s information blockade, only a fraction of the abuses suffered in the ongoing persecution are known.

Moral Test Faced By All

The CCP has used its enormous political, economic, and diplomatic resources against Falun Gong, forcing everyone inside and outside of China to choose whether to side with the persecution or to oppose it. The persecution stands opposed to modern civilization, and so its continued existence only highlights the persecutors’ cruelty as well as the moral dilemma that our era faces.

The contest between good and evil always determines the course of civilization. For instance, by the end of World War II, freedom had prevailed over fascism. Civilization has been built on a set of universal moral principles, and when such principles are destroyed, civilization will cease to exist. The sharp decline in morality visible in China today is precisely due to the CCP’s destruction of traditional morality.

When the CCP persecutes a group that believes in truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, it actually attacks the most fundamental standards of human morality. If the CCP were allowed to have its way, our moral heritage and our civilization would collapse.

The CCP’s attempt to persecute Falun Gong and the efforts to stop this persecution are a battle between good and evil. To keep silent in the face of the persecution is to stand idly by while the foundation of civilization is under attack. That this persecution has been allowed to last 11 years is an enormous shame for our age. The sustained persecution tries our conscience.

Starting 11 years ago, China slipped into a period of extreme darkness: Peasants have had their land expropriated; workers have been forced to retire early; people have seen their homes forcibly confiscated and torn down; underground Christians have endured harsh suppression; dissidents and human rights defenders have been jailed. Ordinary Chinese have experienced indescribable ordeals.

Turning Back the Darkness

On May 9, 2009, 6,000 Taiwanese practitioners in golden and white costumes formed an image of "Zhuan Falun," the book that guides practitioners in their cultivation. (The Epoch Times)

During the unprecedented, dark pressure of the past 11 years, Falun Gong practitioners’ behavior has surprised everyone. From the beginning to the end, they have remained peaceful and calm, a most remarkable characteristic. The practitioners’ peacefulness goes from the inside out, penetrates all around them, and reveals to those who wish to see it a path that might have otherwise been regarded as inconceivable.

Eleven years ago, Falun Gong was practiced in 30 countries. Since then, Falun Gong has been calmly and peacefully spreading and is now practiced in 114 countries. Today, Falun Gong can be found in most areas in Asia, North America, South America, and Europe, and in some African countries. Falun Gong books have been translated into over 40 languages.

Inside China, the unyielding spirit of Falun Gong practitioners has inadvertently reversed the dangerous trend of the moral collapse of the entire society.

In the most difficult of situations, Falun Gong practitioners have forged ahead and in doing so have revived the Chinese people’s upright spirit and morality, which was on the brink of extinction. As a result, the Chinese have found a way out of a fearsome impasse. People are starting to see hope and brightness at the end of the tunnel. In all of history, this is unprecedented.

In the shadow of the Berlin Wall that separated the free West from the communist East, President John F. Kennedy said, “Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.”

When Jiang Zemin wantonly twisted the law to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, the CCP officials at all levels began employing the same method to suppress other groups. That was the origin of China’s darkness and corruption we are witnessing today.

We are very fortunate to see how Falun Gong practitioners have responded to the persecution. They have manifested amazing will power, resisted the persecution unyieldingly and constantly, and told the truth to people compassionately, peacefully, and rationally.

Everything done by the practitioners has been done not been merely to protect their own rights, but to protect the legal rights of everyone. Evil can never prevail over good. Their spirit has become the great asset as well as the glory of our time because they have lightened the dark land with the light of their own lives.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Commentary, Crime against humanity, Falun Gong, Human Rights, July 20, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Special day, Torture, World | Comments Off on Editorial: Enduring Darkness and Radiating Light– Falun Gong Practitioners in 11 Years of Persecution

‘I just think it’s absolutely spellbinding’, Says New Jersey Artist After Shen Yun Show

Posted by Author on June 22, 2010


NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey— Putting on the first of two shows at the State Theatre today, June 20, Shen Yun Performing Arts continues to enlighten audiences with its wonderful display of China’s ancient culture. Sarita Cook is an artist from England originally, and has just written and illustrated her first children’s story.

Ms. Cook exclaimed, “I thought the show was absolutely, just magnificent”. She added, ” I was prepared for the beauty and the talent, and the way of dancing, but it was just stunning.”

The New York-based performers showcase China’s 5,000-year-old culture through the artistic media of classical Chinese dance and music. Beautifully costumed energetic and graceful dances are accompanied by the Shen Yun Orchestra in a unique union of Chinese and Western instruments, with solo performances by virtuosos in opera singing and the erhu.

Ms. Cook knows a lot about China, and collects Chinese art and old manuscripts. She is also a Buddhist, and has been influenced by traditional Chinese art ever since she took a course in London. “The culture fascinates me, the country fascinates me,” she said.

The artist was touched by the show for many reasons, commenting, “Artistically, it spoke to me; visually, it spoke to me.”

Two of the dances in the performance depict the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China by the communist regime. Falun Gong is a peaceful meditation practice based upon a set of exercises and living by the principles of truth, compassion and tolerance.

Ms. Cook thinks there needs to be more publicity about what is currently happening in communist China and feels that people can learn a lot from Shen Yun. She explained, “I just think it’s absolutely spellbinding and people should go and see it. And I think we really need to spread what is happening in China-it’s not a free country.”

For Ms. Cook, the most memorable aspect of the show was about human rights and moral values. She had been unaware of the persecution of Falun Gong and was moved by the courage of the Shen Yun performers. She feels their work is essential and America can learn a lot from these upright values.

“I think the show should travel to as many [places] and have as much advertising as it possibly can so people can be awakened because that’s really what the American culture needs,” she concluded.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Arts, China, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Commentary, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, World | Comments Off on ‘I just think it’s absolutely spellbinding’, Says New Jersey Artist After Shen Yun Show

Foxconn symbolizes China economy’s wider structural problems and industrial unrest (2)

Posted by Author on June 2, 2010


By Craig Stephen, The Market Watch, May 31, 2010 –

<< Previous

(China’s wider problems)

While Shenzhen was set up as China’s first Special Economic Zone thirty years ago, media reports describe Foxconn’s operations there as operating something like an independent kingdom with officialdom rarely regulating it. Given that the company reportedly provides more than 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) in taxes annually to the city’s coffers, it’s understandable if there is a hands-off approach.

Arguably Foxconn symbolizes wider structural problems in China’s economy: It’s unbalanced and overly focused on exports and investment spending, and lacks domestic-led consumption.

At the root of weak consumption is low wages. According to a survey released by the All China Federation of Trade Unionists (ACFTU) last week, almost one-quarter of Chinese employees had not seen a salary rise in the past five years. The workers at Foxconn got a base monthly salary of 950 yuan, which is in line with the minimum wage set by Guangdong government — although a 20% pay rise was announced on Friday.

The low level of wages is also borne out by looking at the make-up of China’s gross domestic product, where the share of company profits is rising and wages shrinking.

According to the ACFTU the proportion of China’s GDP that goes towards wages and salaries has continued to shrink since 1983, having dropped from 65.5% in 1983 to 36.7% in 2005. Meanwhile the proportion of returns on capital in GDP had risen by 20% in the 27 years through 2005.

This may be good news for equity investors in the short run, but it hardly looks like a sustainable model of development.

The Foxconn controversy also came in a week when workers in Honda’s (HMC 30.40, +0.36, +1.21%) (JP:7267 2,764, -6.00, -0.22%) four mainland factories were shut after parts makers went on strike seeking a pay rise, paralyzing the Japanese auto maker’s production.

The risk is that Foxconn is just the tip of the iceberg, and China could be entering a new phase of industrial unrest. Other imbalances in China’s economy, such as feel-bad rising prices of food and housing, are exacerbating tensions.

We should acknowledge not all factories are bad stories. Huawei, China’s largest telecom equipment vendor, is also based in Shenzhen, and is held up as model operator with its impressive, campus-like facilities. Making modern telecom equipment is more sophisticated than assembling mobile phones, of course.

The mainland authorities, manufacturing companies and international brands face a difficult challenge to quell labor unrest and better share the spoils of China’s growth.

Dealing with the cause — better pay and conditions — looks to be a better start than simply asking workers not to jump. (END)

The Market Watch

Related:
Foxconn symbolizes China economy’s wider structural problems and industrial unrest (1)

Posted in Business, China, Commentary, Company, Economy, GDP, Investment, News, Opinion, Politics, products, Social, Trade, World | 1 Comment »

Foxconn symbolizes China economy’s wider structural problems and industrial unrest (1)

Posted by Author on June 2, 2010


By Craig Stephen, The Market Watch, May 31, 2010 –

HONG KONG (MarketWatch)When employees are asked to sign a pledge not to kill themselves (later retracted) and safety nets outside dormitories are erected to prevent suicide jumpers, something is badly wrong.

And this is not a Second World War concentration camp we’re talking about — rather, it’s a factory making some of the coolest brand-name gadgets in the twenty-first century.

The spate of suicides at Foxconn’s  (HK:2038 5.77, -0.08, -1.37%) mammoth industrial complex in Shenzhen, China has everyone looking to attribute blame, from the Taiwanese owner Hon Hai Precision Industry (HNHPF 8.39, -0.11, -1.26%) to the global brands such as Dell (DELL 13.11, +0.02, +0.15%) , Apple (AAPL 261.80, +0.97, +0.37%) and Nokia (NOK 10.10, +0.08, +0.80%) , which outsource their assembly there.

There is plenty of shame to go round. All have gone along with China’s economic model proscribed by the one-party state and the apparent productivity miracle. Economists generally like to describe the unbalanced growth or structural imbalances in China’s economy. Could it be much worse, and is the world’s factory workshop rotten at its core?

When I first visited Shenzhen a good sixteen years ago it was grey and drab with a few cars on the streets. Begging children clamped themselves to my legs to stop me walking.

Today, its population has soared to 17 million and its downtown roads are packed with cars and sport utility vehicles, while its hotels and shopping malls can match anything in Hong Kong.

But if you are a migrant factory worker living in a cramped dormitory, you are likely to have missed this progress. Migrants are locked out from enjoying health, education and housing benefits available to Shenzhen residents.

Foxconn stands out as the largest factory complex, with over 300,000 living and working in a city within a city. I doubt Mercer ranked this destination on its global quality of life index.

China’s wider problems

The dozen worker suicides this year have become a public relations nightmare not just for Foxconn and its clients, but also for the mainland government which sets the rules. Beijing would much rather see the spectacle of its glitzy Shanghai expo in the headlines instead of the international media focusing on the ugly underbelly of its economy.

When former Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping opened up socialist China to capitalism, he tried to juggle the contradictions with a new path, famously saying, “Poverty is not socialism. To be rich is glorious.” He also added: “Let some people get rich first.”

Eighteen years after Deng’s famous South China inspection tour, if he were alive today, he would surely recognize something has gone wrong. (to be cont’d)

Marketwatch.com

Posted in Business, China, Commentary, Company, Economy, GDP, Investment, News, Opinion, Politics, products, Trade, World | 1 Comment »

Shocking Documentary (must watch): Buried– Earth Quake, From 1976 Tangshan to 2008 Sichuan Wenchuan in China (video)

Posted by Author on May 16, 2010


Buried, a Documentary (With English and Chinese caption) produced by Wang Libo, won the prize in Chinese Documentary Exchange Week in 2009.

Director’s Statement: The 1976 Tangshan Earthquake left a lot of open questions. Before the earthquake, seismological personnel in Tangshan and quake experts in Beijing had already warned of an imminent quake. But in the end, more than 240,000 people had to pay with their lives, causing a shocking tragedy of massive proportions. Why did this happen? In the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake about 100,000 people were killed. Faced with terrible quakes, the human race repeats tragedy time and time again. It is terrible that people can only offer money and bland tears after the disaster – when better preparation could have saved lives. A nation has to courageously face its own weakness to remain hopeful.

The film has been cut into 11 videos and posted on Youtube which you can find from following link:

http://www.youtube.com/user/syd1039#p/u/12/ssnaL35-CL0

Video 1: (With English and Chinese caption)

All 11 pieces of the video can be found from:

http://www.youtube.com/user/syd1039#p/u/12/ssnaL35-CL0

Posted in China, Commentary, disaster, earthquake, history, News, People, Politics, Science, Social, TV / film, Video, World | 4 Comments »

Documentary (video): Ways the Chinese Authorities used to Manipulate Overseas Chinese People to Serve Its Totalitarian Regime – (2)

Posted by Author on April 12, 2010


Originally “Red Shadow over the Free World – Part 2”, by NTD TV –

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Over the past 10 years, the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, has sent out numerous variety performance troupes to western countries. Their performance programs may differ, but they all have two common features – that is, directly or indirectly they all praise the CCP, and they are financed by the taxpayers’ money, regardless if they make profit or not. Recently, even the Cultural Revolution was dramatized, becoming a cultural classic on stage, and boldly performed in theatres in the United States. Without doubt, the costly propaganda did have brainwashing effects on the overseas Chinese. To keep up its daily propaganda, the CCP penetrates into overseas Chinese media in several ways – by providing financial support to them, directly getting people involved in their organizations with news articles, or after re-packaging, forwarding those programs to be shown on western TV networks.

In this episode of Zooming In, we will continue to explore how the Chinese authorities manipulate Chinese people to serve its totalitarian regime.

– Source: NTD TV

Related:
Documentary (video): Ways the Chinese Authorities used to Manipulate Overseas Chinese People to Serve Its Totalitarian Regime – (1)

Posted in China, Commentary, Communist Party, Law, News, Overseas Chinese, People, Politics, Social, spy, USA, Video, World | Comments Off on Documentary (video): Ways the Chinese Authorities used to Manipulate Overseas Chinese People to Serve Its Totalitarian Regime – (2)

Documentary (video): Ways the Chinese Authorities used to Manipulate Overseas Chinese People to Serve Its Totalitarian Regime – (1)

Posted by Author on April 11, 2010


Originally “Red Shadow over the Free World – Part 1”, by NTD TV –

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Chi Mak’s espionage case attracted quite a bit of media coverage. But his is not the only case. In the past few years, the FBI has arrested approximately 30 Chinese-born Americans who have been involved in stealing information about secret U.S. technology. Fox News Channel reported that there are more than 400 similar cases currently being investigated by the FBI. Spies are not just the technologically savvy—they include illegal immigrants, students studying abroad and employees of western governments. These are the most likely to be approached by Chinese authorities to act as ad hoc spies.

In this episode of Zooming In, we will take a look at some of the ways Chinese authorities manipulate Chinese people living abroad to serve its totalitarian regime.

– Source: NTD TV

Posted in China, Commentary, Communist Party, Law, News, Overseas Chinese, People, Politics, Social, spy, USA, Video, World | Comments Off on Documentary (video): Ways the Chinese Authorities used to Manipulate Overseas Chinese People to Serve Its Totalitarian Regime – (1)

Protecting our freedom of in Taiwan: EDITORIAL by The Taipei Times

Posted by Author on April 8, 2010


Thursday, The Taipei Times, Taiwan, Apr 08, 2010-

As growing numbers of Falun Gong practitioners flee persecution in China, they are coming to the attention of overseas Chinese. Protest activities where they hold up banners and arrange press conferences accusing China of persecution are spreading all over the world. Falun Gong activities are a common sight on the streets of Taipei, which is why it was surprising that police fined one of the movement’s adherents for distributing flyers in front of Taipei 101.

Interior designer Hsu Po-kun (許柏坤) challenged the fine, and, fortunately, the Taipei District Court decided he did not have to pay up. Had that not been the case, it would have been a dark smudge indeed on freedom of expression in Taiwan.

Hsu often goes to Taipei 101 to display protest signs aimed at Chinese tourists that accuse the Chinese government of violating human rights and suppressing Falun Gong. On Dec. 4, he was fined NT$300 for obstructing traffic. Hsu brought the case to the Taipei District Court, where Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) ruled that the police officer who charged him had interfered with Hsu’s freedom of speech and dismissed the fine. In the verdict, Lin also criticized China for restricting people’s freedom of speech and called on the Taiwanese government to protect human rights.

To break China’s blockade on news about Falun Gong and protest China’s treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, its adherents in Taiwan often display placards and banners at Taipei 101, a popular attraction for Chinese tour groups. In democratic Taiwan, this falls under the constitutionally protected freedom of speech, and must be respected. Police interference in these demonstrations is unacceptable.

China suppresses freedom of speech and persecutes Falun Gong members, which has sparked strong criticism from international human rights groups. If the impression is created that the authorities are handing out fines to Falun Gong members for engaging in legal and constitutionally protected protests, it would deal a serious blow to Taiwan’s democratic and human rights image. The government’s strongly pro-China policies and its constant and deliberate attempts to avoid upsetting China seem to be having an effect on the lower levels of law enforcement, which could result in attempts to restrict the Falun Gong demonstrations as law enforcers follow the cues of the central government’s attempts to please China. This is a good example of how the administrative system has degenerated.

No other democracy has banned or fined Falun Gong followers. Even when one member made her way into the White House to protest when Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) visited former US president George W. Bush, she was quietly removed from the scene, but no charges were filed.

If Hsu’s fine had been confirmed, Taiwan would have become the laughing stock of the democratic world. Just like Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama or the Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, Falun Gong practitioners are not violent. Their human rights must be protected, and as long as their protests are peaceful, their freedom of speech remains constitutionally protected.

China does not subscribe to the internationally recognized values of human rights and freedom, and it therefore lacks the respect of the international community. The areas of freedom and human rights make up the most glaring differences between Taiwan and China, and this is the most fundamental reason why Taiwanese do not want to accept Chinese rule.

This incident is a very good lesson in human rights, democracy and freedom for Taiwan and clear evidence of the judiciary’s independence from the administrative branch. Even if administrative powers have sometimes been abused, the judiciary can still correct the mistakes of the executive branch and guarantee freedom and human rights in Taiwan.

The Taipei Times

Posted in Asia, China, Commentary, Falun Gong, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Religious, Social, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Protecting our freedom of in Taiwan: EDITORIAL by The Taipei Times

High House Price vs Affordability in China

Posted by Author on April 3, 2010


(excerpt) Chen Pokong, via secretchina.com –

……

Talking about forced relocation, it is closely associated with high house prices. At the time when China and the rest of the world were experiencing an economic crisis in 2009, house prices in China went against the trend and shot up. Based on official statistics, the average national growth of house prices was about 24 per cent. The real data is even higher. Just looking at Shenzhen City, in one year, house prices rose by 80 per cent. In Hainan Island in January this year, house prices rose by 40 per cent. The people exclaimed and remarked: “The price is changing every day.”

Owing to the high prices of real estate, 85 per cent of the Chinese people can’t afford buying their own house. The recent television series called Snail House 蜗居truly depicted the lives of grass roots-level people in contrast to the luxuries enjoyed by those influential and powerful officials. The TV series vividly showed the painful and heavy-burdened white collar stories in the cities of China and labelled the people as “house slaves”. It shocked and moved the hearts of tens of thousands of people. Sharp comments filled the Internet and newspapers. High-level Chinese authorities, however, gave orders to stop broadcasting this series because the show pinpointed the corruption of current officials and showed sympathy to the small, humble people in Chinese society. These real life stories in China were put into a TV series in a vivid and appropriate way. Against a background of high house prices, it showed the corruption of government officials and businessmen who worked hand in glove to make dirty deals, seeking money by deceit and by force. It showed the wide gap between the poor and the rich, where the helpless minorities struggle to keep their homes or homeland intact, while the rich and powerful easily get what they desire.

From forced relocation to high-priced housing, the Communist regime and its citizens are on opposing sides. Tensions build up and clashes keep happening. Once again, by indirect evidence, it is proven that the Chinese regime, which became wealthy and powerful by hoarding resources and relocating people by armed force, is losing its credibility. To judge whether a government is strong or weak is not determined by how much armed force they use. Rather, it lies in whether a government follows the will of the people and whether it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. (The Secret China)

Posted in China, Commentary, corruption, Family, housing, Life, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on High House Price vs Affordability in China

Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (5)- by Representative GUS BILIRAKIS

Posted by Author on April 3, 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.]

GUS BILIRAKIS (R-FL)

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 605, which condemns the Chinese government’s targeted, persistent and egregious persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. This resolution was introduced last year to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign to suppress the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Sadly, the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and anyone associated with them, including lawyers who try to defend their human rights, continues today.

Since 1999, 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been sentenced to prison, over 100,000 were sentenced to re-education through labor camps, and at least 3,000 died while in police custody. They have been sent to special high security psychiatric hospitals for the “criminally insane” against their will where torture has been widely reported. Lawyers trying to defend their rights have been harassed, beaten and attacked by police officers in order to intimidate them. One of China’s most prominent human rights advocates, Gao Zhiseng, who has defended the rights of many individuals attacked for their religious beliefs, was detained by police in February 2009 and his whereabouts are still unknown. The government continues to deny any involvement in his case.

The Government of China censors all media in China and actively opposes any information exposing its brutality and injustice. But the truth is clear to us today. This resolution is a testament to the millions of victims of the Chinese Communist Party that the Chinese government cannot hide the truth, and its victims will not be forgotten.

This resolution also stands as a statement of the U.S. Congress’s continued support for the inalienable right to freedom of religion and expression recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that applies to all people everywhere. To be taken seriously as a participant in the twenty-first century global economy, China must take the rights of their citizens seriously. Egregious injustices, such as those suffered by the Falun Gong practitioners and others targeted by the Chinese Communist Party, are unacceptable in a civilized world and must end today.”

– From The Falun Dafa Information Center

Related:
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)
Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (3)- by Representative LYNN WOOLSEY
Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (4)- by Representative CHRIS SMITH

Posted in China, Commentary, Crime against humanity, Falun Gong, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Speech, Torture, USA, World | Comments Off on Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (5)- by Representative GUS BILIRAKIS

The devil is in the details – long-term consequences of China’s investment in Taiwan

Posted by Author on April 2, 2010


EDITORIAL, The Taipei Times, Apr. 2, 2010-

As Taiwan and China engage in the second round of negotiations on a proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), it might be worthwhile to look at the long-term consequences of increasing Chinese investment in Taiwan.

Earlier this week, this paper referred to a recent report about possible People’s Republic of China (PRC) funding and involvement in the consortium of Hong Kong-based firms that has sought to acquire Nan Shan Financial Life Insurance Co. Earlier this month, financial regulators said they still had more than 40 unanswered questions about the application by one of the principal investors, China Strategic.

Nan Shan is the nation’s second-largest life insurer, with more than 4 million customers. If the Investment Commission approved the acquisition, this would be the largest takeover of a local financial group by foreign buyers in the nation’s history, which explains why regulators and the media have paid special attention to the case. However, Nan Shan is only one among many Taiwanese corporations from numerous sectors that are — or soon will be — coveted by Chinese and/or Hong Kong-based investors.

In the immediate term, attempted investments are already proving problematic. Nan Shan is one example; China Mobile’s attempt to acquire part of Far EasTone Telecommunications Co is another. What hasn’t been explored, however, are the long-term consequences of those acquisitions, even if, in the eyes of financial regulators, the investments are legal. Deals that involve murky and ill-defined consortiums, such as the one for Nan Shan, are especially troublesome. The reason for this stems from the fact that cross-strait investment — and by extension an ECFA — are all based on vague assurances by Beijing that, in the short term, may actually be implemented.

But what happens five, 10 years down the road after those companies have been acquired? What would Taiwan do if, say, the Hong Kong investors involved in the Nan Shan bid were exposed as having been controlled and financed by the PRC, or if Chinese firms, or the government, suddenly took over those Hong Kong investors? It is difficult to imagine that Nan Shan, or Taiwanese authorities, would decide to annul the investment, and next thing you know, Nan Shan would be controlled by Chinese investors and the personal information of more than 4 million Taiwanese made available to Chinese authorities.

What we must bear in mind is that despite laws that limit the share that Chinese investors can own in the Taiwanese financial sector — which prompted Chinese firms to turn to Hong Kong as an investment springboard — it will be next to impossible to ensure that the shareholder structure of those investing firms does not change in China’s favor at some point. In other words, the Chinese government could be using legitimate Hong Kong investors as Trojan Horses — legitimate on paper, but used as a means to an end — to penetrate the Taiwanese market.

Ironically, it is Hong Kong that provides the clearest warning to Taiwanese. In the years prior to handover in 1997, Beijing made a number of vague promises that the rights and welfare of the people of Hong Kong would be preserved. As Hong Kong academic and former legislator Christine Loh (陸恭蕙) wrote recently in her history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Hong Kong, however, the devil is in the details. Little by little, the people in the special administrative region found that those vague promises foundered on the shores of the core interests of the CCP. Universal suffrage was delayed time and again. Harsh security laws were implemented. Certain liberties were curtailed — all in the name of Beijing’s core interests: stability and one-party rule.

If Taiwanese are not careful, it could happen here.

The Taipei Times

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Commentary, Economy, Investment, Life, News, Politics, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on The devil is in the details – long-term consequences of China’s investment in Taiwan

Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (4)- by Representative CHRIS SMITH

Posted by Author on April 1, 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.]

CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ)

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 605, defending the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners, savagely persecuted by the Chinese government, and thank my good friend Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN for introducing this resolution.

On the tenth anniversary of the Falun Gong’s inspiring silent protest at Zhongnanhai many people still do not understand the savagery of the Mao-style campaign which the Communist Party unleashed in 1999.

The story of a typical Falun Gong arrest is horrific: first the government beats them, later it tortures them, molesting and sometimes raping women, sends them to forced labor camps and then brainwashing classes, all the while a high-profile publicity campaign defames and humiliates them. And it has been documented that it has killed at least 3,000 of the Falun Gong.

Members of Falun Gong will not pretend to accept Marxism-Leninism, and so the government brands them an “evil cult.” They practice non-violence, and the government assaults them with cattle prods. Their hearts are remarkably serene, and so the government engages in psychiatric torture.

The Falun Gong are one of a wide array of religious faiths and spiritual groups in China, yet members of Falun Gong are the majority of all reported cases of torture and half of China’s labor camp population–well over one hundred thousand of them.

Many of the Falun Gong have fled to America, and the government has followed them here, cyber-attacking their American Web sites, installing agents in their midst, and raising crowds to harass and beat them, as happened last year in New York.

Mr. Speaker, one of the invaluable things about this resolution is that it officially documents this Chinese-government sponsored violence on American soil, exercised against American citizens.

We need to learn more about whether our government is doing everything it can to protect the Falun Gong here in America.

I was in China last July, trying to visit human rights activists in the run-up to the Olympics. I remember going into an Internet cafe and trying to look up Falun Gong. You know the story: nothing. Search engines had been doctored. I wonder, if I were not a U.S. Congressman, would that search have gotten me identified, tracked, and tortured? After all, even foreign journalists who ask about Falun Gong have been arrested, and some have been beaten.

And would U.S. companies have been involved in identifying me? Sadly, we know it for a well-documented fact, from a six-hour hearing I held in 2006, that some leading U.S. IT companies are involved in censoring the Chinese Internet and turn over personally identifying information to the Chinese Internet police, making it possible to track and imprison dissidents.

I mention this because many members of Falun Gong are great heroes of Internet freedom. Several members have come to my office and demonstrated how they help millions of Chinese men and women break the so-called “Great Firewall of China” with which the Chinese government tries to cut its citizens off from the global Internet.

Mr. Speaker, Falun Gong practitioners have been great witnesses of courage and peace. Again I thank Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN for introducing this resolution.”

– From The Falun Dafa Information Center

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

Posted in China, Commentary, Human Rights, Law, News, People, politician, Politics, Religious, Social, Speech, Torture, USA, World | 1 Comment »

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.]

LYNN WOOLSEY (D-CA)

“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

Related:
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

Canada can help imprisoned Chinese hero Gao Zhisheng

Posted by Author on March 27, 2010


By The Hon. David Kilgour on March 25, 2010, via The Metro Politain, Canada-

Members of Gao Zhisheng’s international legal team, on which I am privileged to work, have submitted a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, urging the UN to declare that the Chinese government’s detention of Gao violates international law. Our team hopes that the UN will decide accordingly, but also that the Harper government and opposition party leaders will speak out on behalf of this extraordinary human rights lawyer, who ‘was disappeared’ by the Chinese party-state over a year ago.

China’s rise is not happening in a vacuum. China depends on the rest of the world for the ingredients of its growing importance; it looks abroad for natural resources, export markets, and diplomatic legitimacy. Canada, as a significant trade partner and fellow member of the G-20, has an important role to play in shaping the path of Chinese ascension.

But that role must not be defined by trade alone. Prime Minister Harper recognized this after taking office in 2006. “I think Canadians want us to promote our trade relations worldwide,” he said. “But I don’t think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values.” And, in his first trip to China in December, he reiterated Canada’s commitment to being a “vocal advocate and an effective partner for human rights reform” in China.

It is time to put these words into action. The Canadian government can begin by urging China to follow its own laws and release Gao Zhisheng or, at the very least,  notify him and his family of the charges he faces.

Gao  has been missing since Feb. 4, 2009, when security agents seized him from his ancestral home in Shaanxi province. More than one year later, he has yet to be charged with a crime. No-one has notified his family of the reasons and location of his detention- blatant violations of China’s own criminal procedure laws.

Last month, the Chinese Embassy in Washington claimed that Gao is working in Urumqi in China’s far West. But authorities have not provided any evidence of this (though a few patently doctored photos surfaced on the Internet); nor have they given any notice to his family. Canada should press China to verify Gao’s supposed location and well-being.

To those of us who know Gao and his work, his detention by Chinese authorities was inevitable. His work on behalf of those persecuted for their religious beliefs brought the wrath of the Chinese government upon him. He was convicted in 2006 of “subversion,” detained again in 2007 and horribly tortured. Gao’s current unconscionable detention is even more terrifying; China experts say that even as Beijing has stepped up its crackdown of political dissidents, its near-complete silence on Gao Zhisheng is chilling and unprecedented.

Over the past decade trade with China it rose by $35.8 billion, or 340 percent. It is no mystery why trade is at the top of the agenda with China. But this is not unique to Canada. China’s trade with nearly every country in the world is growing at exponential rates. And so far, nearly every country in the world has used trade as justification for dropping human rights from the agenda with China.

Canada can step into this void by speaking out about Gao Zhisheng. As the Speech from the Throne declared recently, “Our communities are built on the rule of law…Canadians want a justice system that delivers justice.” We should also promote justice and the rule of law in China. With the disappearance of Gao and the imprisonment of other leading rights lawyers, Chinese authorities are clearly targeting lawyers, one by one, as key agents of change within China. And so, as with Gao, the authorities are stripping  them of their licenses, shutting down their law firms, and imprisoning them.

It might already be too late for Gao Zhisheng. But if we have the courage to tell Beijing that its current culture of impunity cannot last, there may be hope for other rights lawyers, for the rule of law, and for justice to be delivered, in China as it is in Canada. All we need to ask is that China follow its own laws, and respect the rights guaranteed by its own Constitution. Is some amount of trade at stake? Perhaps. But so is the full measure of our conscience.

The Metro Politain

Posted in Canada, China, Commentary, David Kilgour, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Canada can help imprisoned Chinese hero Gao Zhisheng

Truth, justice and the Chinese government’s way of business

Posted by Author on March 27, 2010


Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor, The Australian, March 27, 2010 –

SINCE Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and his three Chinese colleagues were arrested last July, a weight of expectation has hung on their having their day in court to explain what on earth this is all about.

Courts are usually the places to clear up mysteries and bring murky deeds into the light, but the three-day trial this week in the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People’s Court only added to the speculation that has engulfed Hu, Ge Minqiang, Liu Caikui and Wang Yong.

There is now almost no way in which the accused can convincingly be viewed as either wholly innocent or wholly guilty. They will be sentenced on Monday, perhaps to serve five or so years each, and so will be in no position to give their side of the story until most of the world has lost interest.

Since the four were arrested, the more fervent backers of Beijing, especially in the business community, have been nudging and winking hard: “no smoke without fire”, and so on. These people will have felt vindicated by the guilty pleas.

Those pleas could be part of a deal to cut sentences, since 98 per cent of people charged in China are convicted. But they add to the questions to which we still have no convincing answers.

First, why, in a country where bribery and the stealing of commercial secrets are ubiquitous, were these four singled out? The tensions over Rio’s eventual rejection of the move for 19 per cent of the company by Chinese state-owned giant Chinalco framed the context, but that is all we know for sure.

Second, how is it that the four were the recipients rather than the givers of the bribes? What services did they provide? Who was the victim? If it was Rio Tinto, should the company not have been asked whether it wished them to be prosecuted?

And what about those who dispensed the bribes? The implication is that the four were offered money to give precedence to iron ore shipments in a tight supply situation. But we do not really know.

And what about the commercial secrets they were charged with stealing? One pleaded guilty, apparently, and three denied the charge. But since this part of the trial was in camera, again, no one really knows.

There is a supposition that it is about the tactics involved in the annual benchmark negotiations for the ore price, but outside China a company that learns about such negotiations by talking to people who work for its competitors or clients is perceived as smart rather than criminal. And that structure is giving way to more flexible price arrangements now anyway.

Though it appears that prominent Shanghai lawyer Duan “Charles” Qihua was appointed to defend Hu, despite not taking on many criminal cases, he did not appear in court.

Andrew Forrest, the billionaire chief executive of Fortescue, Australia’s third biggest ore producer, says he does not think Australia-China relations will be damaged by the trial. He is doubtless thinking of the damage in China. But in Australia the trial has educated people about how China’s highly political legal system works, shocking some. It also has served as a warning to Chinese-born managers – whatever their nationality – of foreign enterprises in China, that their ultimate loyalty is to the People’s Republic. The ruling Communist Party certainly needs the economic growth that Australian resources help to ensure. But the reality behind this is that key decisions are ultimately made for political reasons and that sometimes this requires that commercial commonsense is overridden.

It’s also unclear why the Rudd government has responded the way it has. We may know more about this after Monday’s verdicts when the government promises a “considered statement”.

Canberra’s position so far has been to respect China’s legal process, but what does this mean?

Trade Minister Simon Crean has said that key questions about the trial cannot be answered until we know “what the full evidence presented is and the basis of the findings”. The chances of this happening are slim indeed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Business, Businessman, China, Commentary, Company, East China, Law, News, Opinion, People, Politics, shanghai, Social, World | Comments Off on Truth, justice and the Chinese government’s way of business