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 ‘Opinion’ Category

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

Commentary: Why the Chinese Communist Party Has Still Survived

Posted by Author on July 2, 2011


By Cao Changqing, political commentator-

An entire generation in China has grown up since the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. While a democratic upsurge is shaking the Middle East and North Africa today, China remains frozen under the iron grip of a totalitarian rule.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has not only failed to make any political changes, but it is now repressing dissidents more severely. Under these circumstances, whether a revolution to overthrow the oppressive authoritarian regime is possible in the near future in China is not clear. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, News, Opinion, Politics, Social, Technology, World | 1 Comment »

Can Votes Replace Bombs in China?

Posted by Author on June 28, 2011


By Heng He –

On May 26, Qian Mingqi, a man whose house had been demolished without compensation in Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province, set three explosions, all targeting local government buildings, according to the police report.

The last words posted on his microblog were, “I, Qian Mingqi, have suffered this injustice for 10 years. Finally, I will take action to make equality and justice happen.”

According to the official death toll, he and two others were killed. The unofficial death toll is 18. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, News, Opinion, People, Social, World | Comments Off on Can Votes Replace Bombs in 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

Do Not Politicize a Church that is Focused Only on Matters of Faith- Beijing Shouwang house churches’s Response to Global Times’ Commentary

Posted by Author on April 28, 2011


Translated by China Aid Association-

Do Not Politicize a Church that is Focused Only on Matters of Faith

The Global Times newspaper (hereafter, the Times) on April 26 ran a commentary with the headline “Some Churches Should Avoid Becoming Politicized” (hereafter, the text), in which it comments on the recent events in Beijing related to Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship, and just as the title says, it was a well-intentioned reminder to Shouwang. This is the only formal Chinese reporting we have seen in the domestic media of Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship. Therefore, it is necessary that we, as the party involved, provide some clarifications and explanations regarding some of the issues raised in this commentary, so that readers can have a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of this incident. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, China, Christianity, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Media, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, World | Comments Off on Do Not Politicize a Church that is Focused Only on Matters of Faith- Beijing Shouwang house churches’s Response to Global Times’ Commentary

Silencing the People Is More Dangerous than Damming a River

Posted by Author on April 4, 2011


Human Rights in China (HRIC) urges the Chinese authorities to stop the crackdown on all those in China exercising fundamental rights protected by international and Chinese domestic law. The detention of Ai Weiwei (艾未未) is the most recent example of the Chinese government’s total disregard for the rule of law and its own respectability in the international community.

In recent months, the world has seen the Chinese authorities dramatically step up the detention and arrest of individuals who speak out about corruption, voice their support for victims of injustices, and peacefully appeal for political reform – perhaps out of fear that the uprisings against repressive regimes in the Middle East would spread to China. The authorities have even publically assaulted foreign journalists, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs went as far as telling foreign journalists that they “cannot use the law as a shield.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Artists, Beijing, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Silencing the People Is More Dangerous than Damming a River

Riverdance Producer John McColgan: Shen Yun’s ‘Standard of the performers was terrific’

Posted by Author on March 27, 2011


DUBLIN—“The dance is very elegant and very athletic, very skilled … it’s a pleasure to watch,” said Mr. John McColgan, who attended the final of three Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company performances at The Convention Centre in Dublin on Sunday, March 27.

Mr. McColgan is a founding director of Tyrone Productions, an independent television production company, and chairman of Today FM radio station. He is perhaps best known for his key role in the evolution of Riverdance. In recognition of his services to the arts and entertainment industry, Mr. McColgan received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the National University of Ireland in 2003. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Europe, Event, News, Opinion, People, review, Shen Yun show, shows, World | Comments Off on Riverdance Producer John McColgan: Shen Yun’s ‘Standard of the performers was terrific’

Why Hong Kong Officials Go to Beijing for Training

Posted by Author on March 24, 2011


The Phoenix Weekly (issue 5, 2011) reported that the Beijing National Administration Training Centre for Hong Kong and Macau civil servants will be opened during the first half of the year. It cost 200 million yuan ($A30.4 million) to build this training centre, which is fully supported and sponsored by the central government of the PRC.

A statement by the Civil Service Bureau of Hong Kong indicates that the Hong Kong government will send more officers for training to Beijing.

Beijing worries about Hong Kong officials being “out of control” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, China, News, Official, Opinion, Politics, World | Comments Off on Why Hong Kong Officials Go to Beijing for Training

Power of China’s Red Carpet Treatment- Gaining Influence Over Selected Visitors

Posted by Author on March 13, 2011


Sam Sullivan, former mayor of Vancouver, Canada, was equally moved and impressed during his time in China. “When I go to China, they treat me like an emperor. And we don’t have that tradition of that red-carpet thing, so it’s a little embarrassing for me in a way,” he said in an interview with The Vancouver Sun.

According to the report, Mr Sullivan recalled that on a trip to China as a city councillor, he discovered that almost every major Chinese official at every city hall had his own dining room and his own chef to welcome guests. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, News, Opinion, People, politician, Politics, World | Comments Off on Power of China’s Red Carpet Treatment- Gaining Influence Over Selected Visitors

Mideast protests a red flag to Chinese censors

Posted by Author on March 8, 2011


By Robert Mahoney/ CPJ Deputy Director –

Working to defend press freedom, I take it that I’ve hit the mark when I get censored. So I smiled today when I got an e-mail from a friend in China who said he was in the gym watching breakfast television when my face came up on CNN. I opened my mouth and the screen went blank. Chinese censors are nothing if not quick.

It’s not unusual for international channels like CNN and the BBC to go dark in China when those with their hand on the switch in some Orwellian master control room hear words like “Tibet,” “Falun Gong,” or “Tiananmen Square.” But now there’s a new square that really seems to have rattled the ruling Communist elite–Tahrir Square. The protests in Cairo and across the Middle East have touched a nerve in Beijing, where authorities, ever-mindful of the Tiananmen turmoil two decades ago, want to nip any dissent in the bud. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, News, Opinion, Politics, World | Comments Off on Mideast protests a red flag to Chinese censors

Chile Mine Rescue Shocks Chinese Public

Posted by Author on October 20, 2010


By Cao Changqing, Via The Epochtimes, Oct 19, 2010 –

The contrast between the recent Chilean mine rescue and the handling of mine accidents in China is enormous, and has provided the Chinese people with a revealing example of the differences between the two systems of government.

After the Chile mine collapse, when nobody knew whether there were any survivors, the Chilean government spared no efforts to try to reach the trapped miners. In China, no mining accident has ever been treated with such attention and patience; Chinese authorities will pronounce everyone dead if there are no signs of life shortly after an accident.

“Chilean miners were lifted from the shaft, while Chinese miners are sent to hell,” one netizen commented. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Health, Incident, Life, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Worker, World | Comments Off on Chile Mine Rescue Shocks Chinese Public

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

Containing China in new cold war

Posted by Author on August 22, 2010


By Paul Lin (林保華), The Taipei Times, Taiwan, Sunday, Aug 22, 2010 –

On Monday
, the US and South Korea held their second joint military exercise in a month. The scale of the drill outstripped that of the first drill, held late last month, by three times. Despite both Chinese and North Korean threats, the US and South Korean insistence on the drills was a response to North Korea’s alleged sinking of the South Korean Cheonan warship. It was also a reaction to China’s recent claim that the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea are part of its core interests.

North Korea denies responsibility for the sinking, and China pretends to remain neutral. However, the North launched its invasion of the South 60 years ago with Chinese and Soviet backing, but China covered up its support with lies and has never admitted or apologized for its backing. How, then, can we possibly believe China’s denial and profession of neutrality today?

The Korean War should not be forgotten because it was the first war in which the communist camp tried to expand their influence by force after World War II, and the free world successfully beat them back. It also marked the beginning of the Cold War era.

To block the communist expansion, NATO developed an integrated military structure in Europe and the East Asian region developed the “crescent-shaped” island chain defense line consisting of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. However, the two were unable to join up and form a single defense line against communism because China made every effort to co-opt India, Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). In 1955, China called the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, to form a third international force. Meanwhile, China and the Soviet Union were to various degrees inciting Middle Eastern countries against Western democracies.

After the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died in 1953, China and the Soviet Union started to fight for dominance of the international communist movement, and their discord could not be resolved during the 1960s. Later, the Soviet Union tried to use the chaos of the Cultural Revolution to tame the arrogant former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東).

This led to the Sino-US cooperation in the 1970s. Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s, partially because its national strength was consumed by the arms race against the US.

The Chinese Communist Party is extremely tricky. After the Cultural Revolution ended, it pretended to be an ally of the West.

In the 1980s, former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) ordered the party to keep a low profile, and in the 1990s, then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s (江澤民) US policy of “increasing trust, reducing trouble, promoting cooperation and demoting confrontation” duped Western democracies into offering Beijing economic assistance.

In the 21st century, especially after financial crisis struck in 2008, the true face of the “Chinese empire,” described by China expert John Tkacik, then started to gradually show.

For example, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) was overbearing and arrogant toward US President Barack Obama at an international conference, saying that the Chinese army would lay down the rules for the US. Eventually, the US Department of State and the Pentagon gradually synchronized their views on the issue.

China’s toughness did not scare the US, but it did frightened its neighbors, and South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and India clearly hoped the US would stay in Asia. Even communist Vietnam hopes so.

As a result of China’s domestic crackdown on Muslims, Middle Eastern countries have also distanced themselves from China. Mongolia, which shares its southern border with China, has become a democracy. Former Soviet countries are also transforming into democracies and they are increasingly cautious about China. Russia no longer sells advanced weapons to China and the operations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have ground to a halt.

China is no longer contained by a crescent-shaped defense line, but it is now completely surrounded. The only exceptions are Myanmar and Iran, which adopt a firm anti-US stance. However, the domestic situation in both those countries is relatively unstable. Today, a new cold war between China and the US has replaced the old one between the US and the Soviet Union.

China is not unaware of the current international situation and that is why Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) adviser Zheng Bijian (鄭必堅) has reshaped China’s “peaceful rise” into “peaceful development.”

However, Jiang and Hu, who both tried to curry favor with the Chinese military to bolster their power, have spoiled it with luxury and pleasure. In terms of economic development, totalitarian rule is causing social tensions to increase steadily. The question is, will the multinational corporations will stand by the totalitarian rulers for their own economic benefits once China descends into turmoil?

Although Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) was notorious for cooperating with the Russians and suppressing provincial autonomy, he said in a famous remark that the global trend toward freedom and democracy was going forward with great strength. Those who follow the trend will survive; those who do not will perish.

Which side should President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) take? From a long-term perspective, Taiwan’s path is twisted, but our future remains bright.

Paul Lin is a political ­commentator based in Taipei.

The Taipei Times

Posted in Asia, China, military, News, Opinion, Politics, South Korea, Taiwan, USA, World | 2 Comments »

Hollywood PR Company President comments on Shen Yun: ‘The whole production is absolutely amazing!’

Posted by Author on July 12, 2010


By Lance Jackson, Epoch Times Staff, July 9, 2010 –

Ron Scott, president of Hollywood PR. (The Epoch Times)

Ron Scott, president of Hollywood PR. (The Epoch Times)


LOS ANGELES
Shen Yun Performing Arts’ opening night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion swept the audience back through 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture, through classical Chinese dance, a live orchestra, ancient myths, and modern technology.

In the audience was Ron Scott, president of Hollywood PR, who attended with some friends.

“Oh, it’s amazing—it gave me chills. It was heartwarming. It’s so much talent!” he said after the show. “I had no idea it would be such an enormous production.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this before—I go to a lot of theater. … The whole production is absolutely amazing!”

“The culture is so beautiful … I’ve never seen any traditional Chinese dance performances, so it was definitely something new for me and very inspiring,” said Mr. Scott.

“It definitely leaves with something good to take home. … It’s very unique.”

“I love the dedication,” he added. “The work this must have been, what [the dancers] had to go through to do the show, I can’t imagine the discipline. And the big screen, the set, just to project that. I’ve never seen that either.”

As well as showcasing classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun performers include singers and solo musicians. Audiences frequently comment on powerful emotion conveyed by the two-stringed Chinese erhu, and Mr. Scott agreed.

“I really enjoyed the two-stringed instrument. … I felt so sad the curtain was going [down] on her last bow. No, stay, I want to clap longer! … You could really feel the emotion behind it.”…… (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Artists, Arts, China, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, Opinion, People, performing arts, review, Shen Yun show, shows, USA, World | 1 Comment »

Disappearance of China’s Top Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Demands Action

Posted by Author on July 6, 2010


Editorials, The Washington Post, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 –

A MAN DISAPPEARS. He is subjected to excruciating torture — his body broken until he is scarcely recognizable — and threatened with death unless he disavows his beliefs and embraces the Party. It sounds like something out of the writing of George Orwell. But this is the story of Gao Zhisheng, a prominent Chinese lawyer whose case has drawn international attention, and who has now vanished for a second time.

Mr. Gao’s story is astonishing. With only a middle-school education, he taught himself law and went on to rank among China’s top lawyers, becoming a dedicated advocate for justice and the rule of law. His writings earned international attention, from “A China More Just,” a book detailing his struggles, to his impassioned open letters denouncing China’s human rights failures. He took on sensitive cases most other lawyers avoided, even asserting the rights of detained Falun Gong members to judicial review. As a result of his activism, he has been kidnapped, tortured and disappeared. Last year, he vanished for more than a year, emerging this March under tight scrutiny from authorities, forced to abandon his human rights efforts and seeming broken. In April, he vanished again.

And he is one of the few “disappeared” Chinese known to the public. More than 400,000 prisoners are said to be languishing in the “black jails,” labor camps and detention centers of China. In the year following Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s disastrous remarks that human rights must not “interfere” with U.S.-China relations, the Chinese government’s crackdown on those who strive to build the rule of law has only broadened. Citizens blog, tweet and engage in discourse — until their comments are censored, their opinions removed and they are arrested.

Increased international attention may bring back Mr. Gao. But this will not solve the problem.

President Obama has just invited Chinese President Hu Jintao for a state visit. He must allow human rights — and Mr. Gao — to interfere. For years, Chinese lawyers like Mr. Gao have struggled to build the rule of law, case by case. The United States must support democratic processes and the authority of the legal system. A China in which the law is respected, where citizens have a say in their government and can count upon it to protect their rights, rather than depending upon the whim of Communist Party leaders, would be a great leap forward for individuals and businesses alike.

The Washington Post

Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Disappearance of China’s Top Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Demands Action

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 »

Thailand Turmoil Resonates in China

Posted by Author on May 20, 2010


Andrew Browne, via The Wall Street Journal –

Television images of bloody class warfare engulfing downtown Bangkok must make for uncomfortable viewing in Zhongnanhai, Beijing’s leadership compound.

Chinese society is no less polarized between rich and poor than Thailand’s. In Beijing, as in Bangkok, the elites flaunt their newly acquired wealth with flashy cars and designer fashions, and stark social inequalities have stoked public anger against power and privilege.

When a rich and well-connected young Thai man deliberately rammed his Mercedes into a crowd of Bangkok bus commuters a few years ago, killing one woman, simmering social tensions burst into the open. A similar tragedy in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, when a wealthy drag car racer knocked over and killed a young man from humble origins, became a parable for social injustice in China.

According to World Bank calculations, the rich-poor gap as measured by the so-called Gini Index is about the same in both countries, making them among the most unequal societies on earth.

The frustrations that drive Thailand’s Red Shirt protesters, mainly poor farmers and urban workers backed by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, also resonate in China.

What must be shocking to China’s leaders is the way the social order in Thailand seems to be so quickly unraveling in the face of challenges that they recognize all too well.

Modern Chinese history has been tumultuous, filled with civil war, colonial invasion, revolution and social upheaval.

By contrast, Thailand has enjoyed relative peace and tranquility. It avoided European colonial rule, and found stability by clinging to tradition. The monarchy has been a strong unifying force, along with Buddhism. Thai society is hierarchical, a pyramid whose apex is the royal family and an inner circle around the court.

The urban elite in Bangkok once counted on rural Thais to know their place in a traditional society. No longer.

So could China go the same way as Thailand? That’s certainly the nightmare that keeps Chinese leaders awake at night, although the Chinese state is unlikely to fracture so easily.

Even though the percentage of the Chinese population living in poverty is much higher than in Thailand, rural Chinese have largely benefited from economic growth. That’s been a big factor underpinning social stability in China. Like Thaksin when he was in power, President Hu Jintao has been wooing the rural populations with a program of expanded healthcare coverage and fiscal giveaways.

Of course, in China the Communist Party brooks no political challenge.
As Chinese leaders survey the color revolutions in countries of the former Soviet Union, and now the Red Shirt rebellion in Thailand, the lesson they take away is that nothing must be allowed to compromise the Party’s monopoly on power. In response to challenges great or small, the Party must clamp down hard.

Still, a series of violent events in China over the past several weeks suggest that social tensions could yet play out in shocking and unpredictable ways. A number of school attacks that have left more than 20 adults and children dead have led even Premier Wen Jiabao to publicly fret about the hidden dangers of an increasingly divided society.

An editorial in the Economic Observer also reflected a growing sense of angst. “Thailand is facing a similar challenge to many Asian countries today: how to bridge the rift between urban and rural, upper and lower levels, the elite and grass-roots,” it said.

The Wall Street Journal

Posted in Asia, China, military, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Why the China Arranged Kim Jong-Il’s High-Profile Visit

Posted by Author on May 17, 2010


By Li Tianxiao, Epoch Times Staff, May 14, 2010 –

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il, along with his 17-car luxury motorcade, made his fifth visit to China from May 3 to May 7. Kim kept a high profile on this unofficial trip, even as his country faces a grave economic crisis.

Kim was seen staying at the five-star Furama Hotel in the city of Dalian where the presidential suite runs more than US$2,100 a night—equivalent to his country’s per capita GDP.

His motorcade, cited as the longest in the last 10 years, required five minutes to enter the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse where foreign dignitaries often stay. He also received a warm 5-hour welcome from senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders at the Great Hall of the People.

However, his visit was not welcomed by Chinese bloggers. “Driving Kim Jong Il out of China” blogs were so popular on the Internet that the Central Propaganda Department put out an order to shut them down.

Kim’s visit happened shortly after President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea was invited to the “Korea-China Summit Talks” and the Shanghai World Expo Opening Ceremony. South Korea was very unhappy that the CCP had concealed Kim’s visit from them and had deliberately provided such a high level of hospitality for Kim. South Korea called the Chinese ambassador to express disappointment and regret—a rare happening. The CCP has once again demonstrated its close relationship with its communist neighbor in an occurrence reminiscent of a similar event in 2008.

Why Such a Warm Welcome?

The CCP’s strong support for Kim and North Korea is neither simple hospitality nor a push for Kim Jong Il to reform, as speculated by the outside world. Instead, Kim is just the CCP’s barking dog. Then why did the CCP call in Kim so prominently this time?

First, the CCP wanted to force South Korea and the international community to discourage possible strong sanctions against North Korea after revealing the cause of the March 26 sinking of a South Korean navy corvette, the Cheonan, in South Korean waters.

Obviously, both Lee and Kim came for the ship-sinking incident. Lee had demanded that China admit North Korea was involved in torpedoing the ship and that China cooperate with the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions against North Korea. So, the CCP called in Kim to comfort him, hoping the high-profile reception would deter the sanctions.

North Korea is actually “the only direct suspect” in the ship-sinking incident. President Lee said at the “Military Commanders Conference” on May 4 that the sinking of the Cheonan was not a simple accident. Chosun Ilbo, a prominent South Korean newspaper, thought Lee’s speech implied North Korea’s involvement.

Once the truth is released, Lee will have no other choice but to impose sanctions against North Korea. General Burwell Bell, the former United States Forces Korean Commander, called for strict blockade measures if North Korean involvement is proven. Of course, South Korea will also ask the U.N. and the international community to take action together. Lee knows clearly that the CCP supports North Korea. He would like to get permission from the CCP before taking any action. This was the purpose of Lee’s visit.

CCP’s Dilemma

The CCP is now on the horns of a dilemma. If it agrees to the sanctions, North Korea’s strength would be undermined, weakening its bargaining power to use North Korea to negotiate with the United States. If it does not agree, it would fear becoming the common target. Thus, the best option for the CCP is to use the high-profile reception for Kim to force South Korea to halt or reduce sanctions.

Second, the CCP needs to reward Kim. Some experts think that Kim Jong-Il regards the Cheonan incident as an opportunity to visit China to ask for urgent financial aid. In reality, the incident did help the CCP escape the embarrassment of Google’s withdrawal and show the West the cards that the CCP holds. Moreover, North Korea is suffering from monetary reform failure, the plight of an unprecedented food crisis, and even a shortage of rations.

Besides China’s promised US$1 billion-plus investment in North Korea in February, it is said that the CCP will also provide 100,000 tons of food, worth US$60 million. This indicates that Kim deserves these rewards for what he has done, and Beijing has given him the rewards as promised. The two parties were able to collaborate with each other well, and Kim, therefore, paid China a visit.

Furthermore, the CCP wants to use Kim’s visit to tell the world that North Korea is still under Kim’s control, and that the CCP is now and will be firmly in control of him and, therefore, North Korea.

Finally, the CCP wants Kim to further surrender in front of the “China Model” by showing him around the port areas of Dalian. The CCP also tried to deceive the West that it is trying to convince Kim to to take the right path and, therefore, covered up its intent to use Kim to stir up troubles in the international community.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, China, News, Official, Opinion, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on Why the China Arranged Kim Jong-Il’s High-Profile Visit

102-years-old Ohio Centenarian says Shen Yun “develops your soul more than anything else”

Posted by Author on May 15, 2010


Toledo, OHIO— Ms. Olga Boone, who will be 102-years-old this September, was in the audience at the Stranahan Theater on May 14 to experience Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“Every child should see this. This is life from the beginning to the end, and there is no end when you’ve got things like this to see and watch, you know. It’s fantastic! I think this is the thing that develops your soul more than anything else,” she said.

Toledo is a moderate-size river city at the edge of Lake Erie in the Great Lakes Region with a very active port. It is also known for its diverse architecture, which rivals Chicago.

The Toledo centenarian was inspired by the entire performance: “Love, love is responsible for this. It’s just so inspirational. You never see really old, old people out here like this. It took a lot to be here. It’s just so inspirational, and I am going to keep on going, keep on going,” Ms. Boone said.

Shen Yun is a celebration of China’s traditional arts. The elements for storytelling are a combination of beautiful traditional and ethnic dances, original orchestral music, gorgeous costumes, and state-of-the art interactive backdrops.

Having been a dancer all of her life, Ms. Boone said, “The people with certain talents … is a gift of God to all of us, and this show is so beautiful. It shows men and women at their best. They just keeping going on and doing wonderful things.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun is comprised of three dance companies and three orchestras, which will perform in over 100 cities in more than 20 countries during the 2010 world tour.

The next stop on the USA tour is Newark, New Jersey for three performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, May 22-23. ( The Epochtimes)

Related:
(video) Shen Yun in North America 2009 (1)-  USA: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience

Posted in Arts, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, Opinion, People, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, Spiritual, USA, World | Comments Off on 102-years-old Ohio Centenarian says Shen Yun “develops your soul more than anything else”

Shen Yun “magnificent, just magnificent”, Sydney business owner was very impressed

Posted by Author on May 14, 2010


SYDNEY— Anne Wilson, a financial planner who owns her own company based in the Whitsunday Islands, had travelled all the way from North Queensland to see Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company on Thursday, May 13, at the Big Top Theatre at Sydney’s Luna Park.

“Magnificent, just magnificent, it’s just beautiful, thoroughly enjoyed it,” she said.

Ms. WIlson loved the classical Chinese dance.

“Oh they just seemed to float, they just … they danced so beautifully and so lightly,” she said adding, “It just makes you feel beautiful inside when you watch them.”

She was very impressed with the dance Fairies of the Clouds.

“The fans, when they danced with the fans, I thought that was beautiful.”

A description from the Shen Yun program describes the dance, ‘Celestial fairies paint a picture of transcendent beauty. With the sky as their home, they soar gently through the heavens, eternally pure and carefree.’

Ms. Wilson described Shen Yun as “elegant and gorgeous.”

A Shen Yun show brings to audiences a unique experience, with stunning animated digital backdrops custom designed to match a given dance’s costumes, story line, lighting and dancing.

Ms. Wilson was moved by the combination saying, “Oh the colour was just … it’s so soft, the colours are so soft, but they are so vibrant, and they just float. All the costumes are just very elegant— exceptionally elegant.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts has tavelled, to Australia, with the Shen Yun New York Orchestra this year for the first time.

Unique in the world the orchestra brings together classical Western instruments as a base, while also adding Chinese musical flair through a variety of Chinese instruments. Each piece is composed to fit perfectly with each dance.

“Oh wonderful, wonderful and the different instruments are so different to what we have too,” she said.

Ms. WIlson was not at a loss for words to describe her experience after watching Shen Yun.

“[Shen Yun]just makes you feel beautiful, makes you feel wonderful that there is a different culture so different to ours, but just so elegant. Just beautiful, elegant, wonderful dancing.”

She continued, “Australians are getting more into other cultures, we are getting more multicultural with our people in our country that we have to learn about other cultures.” (The Epochtimes)

Related:
(video) Shen Yun in Australia, New Zealand 2009: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience

Posted in Arts, Australia, Chinese Culture, Chinese dance, Chinese music, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Life, Music, News, Opinion, People, performing arts, Shen Yun show, shows, World | 2 Comments »