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    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
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    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
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    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

Japan: Buddhist Temple Refuses To Host China Olympic Torch, Event Starting Venue Forced To Change

Posted by Author on April 19, 2008


AFP, Apr. 18, 2008-Zenkoji Temple, Japan

TOKYO (AFP) — Monks at an ancient Japanese Buddhist temple on Friday pulled out of hosting a ceremony for the protest-marred Olympic torch relay because of China’s crackdown in Tibet.

Organisers of the Japanese leg of the global tour have been forced to change the starting point after Zenkoji Temple said it would no longer welcome the torch, which has been dogged by protests since it was lit in Greece last month.

(Photo: Zenkoji Temple, Japan/ AFP)

“Tibetan religious leaders stood up but (China) is cracking down on them,” Shinsho Wakaomi, a senior official at the temple, told a press conference in the city of Nagano, host of the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the temple’s decision was “unfortunate because it is something for everyone to enjoy.

“I want the (relay) organisers to make sure there will be few problems,” he added.

The temple, which rang bells for the opening ceremonies for the 1998 Nagano Games as well as for the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics, had “fondly accepted” an invitation last year to host the ceremony on April 26, another temple official told AFP.

“But the situation has changed,” the official said. “Monks here are very concerned” about what happened in Tibet.

Zenkoji, which was built in the seventh century and draws six million visitors every year, said it had received many phone calls urging it not to host the ceremony.

Local government official Kunihiko Shinohara said he was “shocked” by the temple’s move.

But he added: “We respect the decision by Zenkoji and will change the starting venue.”

Japan, which has said it opposes letting China send guards to protect the Olympic flame when it arrives, has already cancelled a public celebration linked to the relay due to security concerns.

The government indicated that it would not get involved in the relay route, saying it was an issue for the Nagano authorities and the International Olympic Committee.

“It is not a matter in which the government would intervene,” top government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura told reporters.

The torch, whose journey before the Beijing Games in August has turned into a public relations headache for China’s leaders, arrived in Thailand on Friday from India, where many protesters were arrested.

A crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet has put the spotlight on China’s heavily criticised record on human rights and triggered demonstrations at many of the torch’s stops, notably London and Paris.

The three corporate sponsors of the Japanese leg — the local arms of Coca-Cola, Lenovo and Samsung — said Friday they would not send advertising vehicles to accompany the relay although they denied any link to Tibet.

Coca-Cola had intended to send a sales promotion car with its red corporate logo but has now abandoned the plan, a company spokesman said.

“We were told that the motorcade will be very long due to security reasons, which will reduce the effectiveness of our promotion activity,” he said, adding that the decision was “nothing to do” with Tibet.

Lenovo said its decision not to mobilise a promotion vehicle was made in March “due to budgetary reasons.”

Tibetan exiles in India say more than 150 Tibetans have been killed in China’s crackdown on the protests against its rule of the Himalayan region. Beijing says Tibetan “rioters” have killed 20 people.

The temple’s decision to refuse the Olympic flame came during a visit to Japan by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who on Thursday rebuffed Japanese pressure over Tibet, reiterating that Beijing sees it as an internal matter.

Original report from AFP: Japanese temple refuses to host Olympic torch

Posted in all Hot Topic, Asia, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Buddhism, China, Event, Human Rights, Japan, News, People, Politics, Religious, Social, Sports, Tibetan, World | 1 Comment »

(photos) Commercialized China Shaolin Temple Criticized by Chinese

Posted by Author on February 6, 2008


Epoch Times Staff, Jan 28, 2008-

Shaolin temple -1

In recent years, Shaolin monks from China have gained an international reputation for their physical endurance and feats of kung fu skill. Shaolin monk troupes have toured the world, and Shaolin temples have become a common destination for foreign travelers, with some staying for extended periods.

(photo above: Shaolin monks and Ms. Travel International)

But while the temple’s fancy tricks have won many a heart abroad, Buddhist circles in China are less than impressed, with almost 95Shaolin temple per cent of participants in an online survey saying monks should not immerse themselves in worldly ways.Many believe the Shaolin have abandoned their monastic traditions of leaving the world and severing worldly desires and pursuits, and have become a tourist recreation center obsessed with money and reputation.

On January 9, a post by a user calling him/herself a group of monastic monks comparedShaolin temple (3) the Shaolin temple to the Dabei temple in Shanxi.

The posting received a massive response, with more than a million hits within 8 days and more than 7000 responses. More than 70,000 users took part in a survey titled “Do you think today’s monks should assimilate into the ways of today’s society?” with 95 per cent of users voting “monks should cultivate their hearts in a peaceful and clean environment, they shouldn’t enthusiastically immerse themselves in the world.”

( photo above: Abbot Mr Shi Yongxin and his fans)

shaolin temple -5

Users assailed the commercialisation of the Shaolin temple as well as the actions of its abbot, Mr Shi Yongxin, criticizing Mr Shi’s celebrity status on international television and his own brand of noodles, to the many young female travellers who stay a few nights at the temple. More contentious was the 100,000 renminbi (AU$15,277) which literally went up in smoke in the temple’s most expensive giant incense stick.

(photo above: 100,000 renminbi (AU$15,277) literally went up in smoke in the form of giant incense sticks for publicity purposes/ from Internet)

The first discussions began with a message posted by user yuanlejushi in Septembershaolin temple -6 2007. “The actions and intentions of Shaolin Temple, under the guidance of Abbot Shi Yongxin, would make any true believer of Buddhism feel ashamed,” the user said.

“The Shaolin temple is the founding place of Zen Buddhism, and it has a profound influence on Zen believers in China and even around the world. But today the temple doesn’t promote the Buddha Law, it doesn’t spread the Law to benefit the masses, but rather abuses the prestige that has been established over 1000 years by great monks, to wantonly amass wealth. If it’s not a circus, then what is it?”

(photo above: Shaolin temple’s security personnels )

Another user said: “Looking at Shi Yongxin’s consistent words and deeds, and his attitude of doing things, it looks like he runs an undercover Communist Party cell.”

The Shaolin temple was founded more than 1000 years ago by the founder of Zen Buddhism, Boddhidarma. In the past 20 years, with the emergence of a movie on the temple, it has become the number one tourist destination in Henan Province, and a pillar of Dengfeng city’s economy. According to Shaolin temple authorities, the temple was commercialized to fulfill the material and spiritual needs of believers from all faiths.

Comparisons were made to Dabei temple Shanxi, which users said was possibly theDabei monks -1 only temple left in China which has not established a “virtue box” to solicit money. The monks of Dabei temple work hard to remain self-sufficient, wear rags, never come into contact with money and only eat one meal per day.

(photos: The monks of Dabei temple work hard to remain self-sufficient) dabei monks -2

“What a moving comparison” said user Sam800 “I used to admire the Shaolin temple, because there are so many moving stories and admirable traditions. But I now deeply admire the monks of Dabei temple. Times have changed so much, but they still have held to their fundamental beliefs.

“I can feel the existence of a deep meaning in their lives, but on the other hand, the Shaolin temple has become nothing but an empty shell. The pursuit of fame and personal gain fill that place to the brim.”

– Original report from the Epochtimes: Which Temple Follows The Way

Posted in Buddhism, Central China, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Economy, Henan, Life, News, People, Photo, Religion, Religious, Social, Spiritual, tradition, World | 1 Comment »

China: Spiritual Awakening and Religion Commercialization

Posted by Author on January 14, 2008


by Dexter Roberts, the Business Week, January 10, 2008- On the first day of every lunar month, Buddhists crowd the Yonghe Temple to burn incense

In early December, Beijing’s in-crowd converged on the central business district for the opening of the Kunlun gallery. Sipping Veuve Clicquot and Mumm champagne, the real estate tycoons, stock market warriors, and Prada-clad celebrities gawked at Ming Dynasty Buddhist statuary and 15th century scroll paintings.

(photo above: On the first day of every lunar month, Buddhists crowd the Yonghe Temple to burn incense/ from Business Week)

Four Tibetan art works eventually fetched $3.4 million and, at a follow-up auction eight days later, 87 pieces of Buddhist art netted $10.4 million. For the gallery’s proprietor, a half-Tibetan, half-Chinese entrepreneur named Yi Xi Ping Cuo, 35, the brisk business was another testament to the popularity of Buddhism in China. “Every year there are millions more Buddhists,” says Yi. “Of course they want to put a Buddhist statue in their homes to make their hearts peaceful.”

Buddhism is booming—quite a paradox given the Communist Party’s official atheism and its troubled relationship with the Dalai Lama. The faith’s growing popularity reflects a yearning for meaning among China’s yuppies, who increasingly are attracted to Buddhism’s rejection of materialism and emphasis on the transitory nature of life. “They have a BMW and a house in the countryside,” says Lawrence Brahm, an American who runs three boutique hotels, including one in Tibet. “And they’re bored. They’re realizing there’s more to life than collecting toys.” Buddhism’s trendiness has spawned a surge in faith-related business: Flights to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, are booked solid, monasteries are building guesthouses, and Web sites offering free downloadable mantras are proliferating.

Buddhism arrived in China from India in the first century A.D. and flourished right up to the modern era. After the Communists seized power in 1949, they discouraged religion. But like Christianity, Buddhism never entirely disappeared. Some believers continued quietly to practice at altars set up in their homes. And not long after China embraced market forces in the late 1970s and ’80s, the faith reemerged in the countryside, with peasants visiting refurbished temples, where they burned incense and prayed.

Despite opening up, China remains wary of religious groups. Its relations with Rome, while improved in recent years, are hardly friendly. And some seven years ago the authorities crushed the Falun Gong, which the government deemed an unacceptable threat after 10,000 sect members showed up in Beijing to protest their official ostracism. But the government is comfortable with Buddhism. “Buddhists seldom mess with politics,” says Chan Koon Chung, a writer and Buddhist in Beijing. “So it’s more palatable to the government.” In a recent speech President Hu Jintao even suggested that religion, including Buddhism, could help to ease tensions between the haves and the have-nots.

In the past few years, the faith has been resonating with the white-collar class. As China clocks its fifth year of double-digit growth, working 12 hours a day and on weekends is de rigueur. Li Xinglu once typified the breed: hard-working, successful, unfulfilled. She ran an events-promotion firm and brought the likes of Ricky Martin, Boyz II Men, and the Dance Theater of Harlem to Beijing and Shanghai. She mixed with pop stars, diplomats, and entrepreneurs. But something was missing. “I was smoking, drinking, and spending all night in the clubs,” says Li, who is 39 and married to an American fund manager. “I spent a lot of time chasing happiness.”

A recurring dream about her grandmother’s death and conversations with a spiritually inclined colleague got her thinking. Before long, Li was on a plane bound for the northwestern city of Xining. After a 21-hour Jeep ride across the Tibetan plateau, she arrived at the Tse-Reh monastery. There Li met her teacher, a 19-year-old monk who set her on a new path. Today, Li has put her career on hold and focuses instead on charitable acts, including raising money for an orphanage for Tibetan children. She credits her conversion for halting a downward spiral. “I didn’t understand there was such a thing as a soul or spirit,” says Li.

Not long ago, young upwardly mobile Chinese flew to places such as Thailand for the sun, sea, and sand. Now, like Li, many are heading to Buddhist retreats at home. Temples are being refurbished for the tourist hordes. Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai is now one of China’s top Buddhist destinations. The 126-year-old monastery runs its own 44-room hotel (double occupancy: $134) and sells lucky amulets, DVDs of monks reciting mantras, and other spiritual paraphernalia. (Monks hoping to maximize profits are even attending MBA programs that offer temple-management classes.)

WELCOME RESPITE

In November, the chamber of commerce in coastal Xiamen sponsored the second annual Buddhist Items & Crafts fair. More than 40,000 entrepreneurs descended on the vast Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center and loaded up on statuary, prayer beads, incense burners, and other goods. “This is a huge commercial opportunity,” says Xuan Fang, who teaches religious studies at the People’s University in Beijing. “A string of prayer beads that may be worth no more than one yuan could sell for dozens of yuan in a temple.”

Some traditionalists fret that Buddhism is becoming too trendy. Exhibit A: pop diva Faye Wong, a convert whose videos sometimes feature Buddhist images. And some monasteries focus as much on attracting tourists as practicing the faith. “Commercialization,” says professor Xuan, “is one of the most dangerous trends of Chinese Buddhism.” Still, for stressed-out yuppies, Buddhism is a respite from the rat race. “Society brings so many headaches,” says Nikki Xi, a convert who works for a Web ad agency. “I’m more relaxed. [Buddhism] makes the whole work process smoother.”

Roberts is BusinessWeek’s Asia News Editor and China bureau chief.

– Original report from BusinessWeek: China’s Spiritual Awakening

Posted in Beijing, Buddhism, Businessman, China, City resident, Economy, Life, News, People, Religion, Social, Spiritual, World | 2 Comments »

China Dilemma Over Burma Protests

Posted by Author on September 26, 2007


By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Beijing, 25 September 2007-

China, which has become one of Burma’s main supporters over recent years, has remained largely silent about the current protests.

Beijing is traditionally reluctant to speak publicly about the internal affairs of other countries.

But, despite this, there are signs that Chinese politicians are anxious to help stabilise the political situation in Burma.

They perhaps do not want to tarnish China’s image ahead of next year’s Beijing Olympics by appearing to support any military crackdown in Burma.

Officially, China is playing down its ability to influence events in Burma.

“China always adopts a policy of non-interference,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a regular press briefing.

“As Myanmar’s (Burma’s) neighbour, China hopes to see stability and economic development in Myanmar,” she added.

“The stability of Myanmar serves the interest of Myanmar itself and the interests of the international community.”

But China’s ties with the military junta ruling Burma go deep, and include expanding trade links, the sale of military hardware and diplomatic support.

Energy corridor

“In the last decade or two, with the improving economic situation in China and the increasing isolation of Burma, China has become increasingly important to the regime,” said a spokesman for the Asian Human Rights Commission, based in Hong Kong.

The relationship between Burma and China is mainly based on trade. Burma, which has very little industry itself, imports manufactured goods from China.

“If you walk around the streets in Burma, particularly in the north, the overwhelming majority of manufactured goods are Chinese made,” said the commission spokesman, who regularly visits Burma.

That trade is reflected in official Chinese figures, which show that exports from China to Burma were up by 50% in the first seven months of this year. They were worth $964m (£479m).

Burma mainly exports raw materials, such as timber and gems, to China.

According to research published a few days ago by EarthRights International, 26 Chinese multinational firms were involved in 62 major projects in Burma over the last decade.

These include the construction of oil and gas pipelines stretching 2,380km (1,479 miles) from Burma’s Arakan coast to China’s Yunnan Province.

The rights group, based in the United States and South East Asia, says this is to help China import oil and gas from the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Official Chinese figures say total imports from Burma amounted to just $146m in the first seven months of this year.

But others doubt the accuracy of these figures. Rights group Global Witness estimated timber exports to China alone were worth $350m in 2005 – most of it illegally exported.

China also sells Burma military hardware, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.

And Beijing used its veto in the United Nations’ Security Council in January to block criticism of Burma’s military junta……. (more details from BBC News: Chinese dilemma over Burma protests)

Posted in Asia, Buddhism, Business, China, Economy, Energy, Human Rights, Incident, News, People, Politics, Protest, Religion, Religious, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Video: Part 6, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party

Posted by Author on September 12, 2007


This is the 6th of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, by The Epoch Times, Dec 09, 2004, Video by NTDTV

On How the Chinese Communist Party Destroyed Traditional Culture

Foreword

Culture is the soul of a nation. This spiritual factor is as important to mankind as physical factors such as race and land.

Cultural developments define the history of a nation’s civilization. The complete destruction of a national culture leads to the end of the nation. Ancient nations who had created glorious civilizations were considered to have vanished when their cultures disappeared, even though people of their races may have survived.

China is the only country in the world whose ancient civilization has been passed down continuously for over 5,000 years. Destruction of its traditional culture is an unforgivable crime.

The Chinese culture, believed to be passed down by God, started with such myths as Pangu’s creation of heaven and the earth [1], Nüwa’s creation of humanity [2], Shennong’s identification of hundreds of medicinal herbs [3], and Cangjie’s invention of Chinese characters [4].

“Man follows the earth, the earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Tao, and the Tao follows what is natural.” [5] The Taoist wisdom of unity of heaven and humanity has coursed through the veins of Chinese culture.

“Great learning promotes the cultivation of virtue.”[6] Confucius opened a school to teach students more than 2,000 years ago and imparted to society the Confucian ideals represented by the five cardinal virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness.

In the first century, Shakyamuni’s Buddhism traveled east to China with its emphasis on compassion and salvation for all beings. The Chinese culture became more wide-ranging and profound.

Thereafter, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism became complementary beliefs in Chinese society, bringing the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) to the peak of its glory and prosperity, as is known to all under heaven.

Although the Chinese nation has experienced invasion and attack many times in history, the Chinese culture has shown great endurance and stamina, and its essence has been continuously passed down.

The unity of heaven and humanity represents our ancestors’ cosmology. It is common sense that kindness will be rewarded and evil will be punished. It is an elementary virtue not to do to others what one does not want done to oneself. Loyalty, filial piety, dignity, and justice have set the social standards, and Confucius’ five cardinal virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness have laid the foundation for social and personal morality.

With these principles, the Chinese culture embodied honesty, kindness, harmony, and tolerance. Common Chinese people’s death memorials show reverence to “heaven, earth, monarch, parents and teacher.” This is a cultural expression of the deep-rooted Chinese traditions, which include worship of god (heaven and earth), loyalty to the country (monarch), values of family (parents), and respect for teachers.

The traditional Chinese culture sought harmony between man and the universe, and emphasized an individual’s ethics and morality. It was based on the faiths of the cultivation practices of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, and provided the Chinese people with tolerance, social progress, a safeguard for human morality, and righteous belief.

Unlike law, which prescribes hard rules, culture works as a soft constraint. The law enforces punishment after a crime has been committed, while culture, by nurturing morality, prevents crimes from happening in the first place. A society’s morality is often embodied in its culture.

In Chinese history, traditional culture reached its peak during the prosperous Tang Dynasty, coinciding with the height of the Chinese nation’s power. Science was also advanced and enjoyed a unique reputation among all nations. Scholars from Europe, the Middle East, and Japan came to study in Chang’an, the capital of the Tang Dynasty. Countries bordering China took China as their suzerain state. “Tens of thousands of countries came to pay tribute to China, even though they might have to be translated multiple times and clear successive customs.” [7]

After the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), China was often occupied by minority groups. This happened during the Sui (581-618AD), Tang (618-907AD), Yuan (1271-1361AD) and Qing (1644-1911AD) dynasties and in some other times when ethnic minorities established their own regimes. Nevertheless, almost all these ethnic groups were assimilated to the Chinese ways. This shows the great integrative power of traditional Chinese culture. As Confucius said, “(Thus) if the people from afar are not compliant, bring them around by cultivating (our) culture and virtue.” [8]

Since attaining power in 1949, the CCP has devoted the nation’s resources to destroying China’s traditional culture. This ill intention did not come from the CCP’s zeal for industrialization, nor from simple foolishness in worshipping Western civilization. Rather, it came from the CCP’s inherent ideological opposition to traditional Chinese culture. Thus, the CCP’s destruction of Chinese culture has been planned, well organized, and systematic, supported by the state’s use of violence. Since its establishment, the CCP has never stopped “revolutionizing” Chinese culture in the attempt to destroy its spirit completely.

Even more despicable than the CCP’s destruction of traditional culture is its intentional misuse and underhanded modification of traditional culture. The CCP has highlighted the vile parts from China’s history, things that occurred whenever people diverged from traditional values, such as internal strife for power within the royal family, the use of tactics and conspiracy, and the exercise of dictatorship and despotism.

It has used these historical examples to help create the CCP’s own set of moral standards, ways of thinking, and system of discourse. In doing so, the CCP has given the false impression that the “Party culture” is actually a continuation of traditional Chinese culture. The CCP has even taken advantage of the aversion some people have for the “Party culture” to incite further abandonment of the authentic Chinese tradition.

The CCP’s destruction of traditional culture has brought disastrous consequences to China. Not only have people lost their moral bearings, they have also been forcibly indoctrinated with the CCP’s evil theories.

******************I. Why Did the CCP Want to Sabotage Traditional Culture?

The Long Tradition of Chinese Culture—Based on Faith and Venerating Virtue

The authentic culture of the Chinese nation started about 5,000 years ago with the legendary Emperor Huang, who is deemed to be the earliest ancestor of the Chinese civilization. In fact, Emperor Huang was also credited with founding Taoism—which was also called the Huang-Lao (Lao Zi) school of thought. The profound influence of Taoism on Confucianism can be seen in such Confucian sayings as “Aspire to the Tao, align with virtue, abide by benevolence, and immerse yourself in the arts” and “If one hears the Tao in the morning, one can die without regret in the evening.” [9] The Book of Changes (I Ching), a record of heaven and earth, yin and yang, cosmic changes, social rise and decline, and the laws of human life, was regarded as “Number one among all Chinese classics” by Confucians. The prophetic power of the book has far surpassed what modern science can conceive. In addition to Taoism and Confucianism, Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, has had a subtle yet profound influence on Chinese intellectuals.

Confucianism is the part of the traditional Chinese culture that focused on “entering the mundane world.” It emphasized family-based ethics, in which filial piety played an extremely important role, teaching that “all kindness starts with filial piety.” Confucius advocated “benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and faithfulness,” but also said, “Aren’t filial piety and brotherly love the roots of benevolence?”

Family-based ethics can be naturally extended to guide social morality. Filial piety can be extended to subordinates’ loyalty to the monarch. It is said that, “It is seldom that a person with filial piety and brotherly love will be inclined to offend those above.”[10] Brotherly love is the relationship among brothers, and can be further extended to righteousness and justice among friends. Confucians teach that in a family, a father should be kind, a son filial, an older brother friendly, and a younger brother respectful. Here, fatherly kindness can be further extended to benevolence of the monarch toward his subordinates. As long as the traditions of a family can be maintained, social morality can naturally be sustained. “Cultivate oneself, regulate one’s family, rightly govern one’s state and make the whole kingdom tranquil and happy.” [11]

Buddhism and Taoism are the parts of Chinese culture that focused on “leaving the mundane world.” The influence of Buddhism and Taoism can be found to penetrate all aspects of ordinary people’s lives. Practices that are deeply rooted in Taoism include Chinese medicine, qigong, geomancy (Feng Shui), and divination. These practices, as well as the Buddhist conceptions of a heavenly kingdom and hell, the karmic reward of good and the retribution of evil, have, together with Confucian ethics, formed the core of traditional Chinese culture.

The beliefs of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism offered the Chinese people a very stable moral system, unchangeable “so long as heaven remains.” [12] This ethical system offered the basis for sustainability, peace, and harmony in society.

Morality belongs to the spiritual realm; thus, it is often conceptual. Culture expresses such an abstract moral system in language that can be commonly understood.

Take the “Four Chinese Classics,” the four most renowned novels in Chinese culture, as examples. The Journey to the West [13] is a mythical tale. A Dream of Red Mansions [14] starts with a dialog between a spirited stone and the Deity of Infinite Space and the Tao of Boundless Time at the Baseless Cliff of the Great Waste Mountain—this dialog provides clues for the human drama that unfolds in the novel. Outlaws of the Marsh [15] opens with a tale of how premier Hong, in charge of military affairs, accidentally set free 108 demons. This legend explains the origin of the “108 outlaw militants of prowess.” Three Kingdoms [16] begins with a heavenly warning of a disaster, and ends with the inescapable conclusion of God’s will: “The world’s affairs rush on like an endless stream; a heaven-told fate, infinite in reach, dooms all.” Other well-known stories, such as The Romance of the Eastern Zhou [17] and The Complete Story of Yue Fei [18], all begin with similar legends.

These novelists’ use of myths was not a coincidence, but a reflection of a basic philosophy of Chinese intellectuals toward nature and humanity. These novels have had a profound influence on the Chinese mind. When speaking of “righteousness,” people think of Guan Yu (160-219 AD) of the Three Kingdoms rather than the concept itself—how his righteousness to his friends transcended the clouds and reached heaven; how his unmovable loyalty to his superior and sworn-brother Liu Bei gained him respect even from his enemies; how his bravery in battle prevailed in the most dire of situations, his final defeat in a battle near the Town of Mai; and, finally, his conference as a deity with his son. When speaking of “loyalty,” Chinese people naturally think of Yue Fei (1103-1141 AD), a Song Dynasty general who served his country with unreserved integrity and loyalty, and Zhuge Liang (181-234 AD), prime minister of the Shu State during the Three Kingdoms period, who “gave his all until his heart stopped beating.”

Traditional Chinese culture’s eulogy of loyalty and righteousness has been fully elaborated in these authors’ colorful stories. The abstract moral principles they espouse have been made specific and embodied in cultural expressions.

Taoism emphasizes truthfulness. Buddhism emphasizes compassion, and Confucianism values loyalty, tolerance, benevolence and righteousness. “While their forms differ, their purposes are the same…they all inspire people to return to kindness.” [19] These are the most valuable aspects of traditional Chinese culture based upon the beliefs in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.

Traditional Chinese culture is filled with concepts and principles such as heaven, the Tao, God, Buddha, fate, predestination, benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, faithfulness, honesty, shame, loyalty, filial piety, dignity, and so on. Many Chinese may be illiterate, but they are still familiar with traditional plays and operas. These cultural forms have been important ways for ordinary people to learn traditional morals. Therefore, the CCP’s destruction of traditional Chinese culture is a direct attack against Chinese morality and undermines the basis for peace and harmony in society.

The Evil Communist Theory Opposes Traditional Culture

The “philosophy” of the Communist Party completely contradicts the authentic traditional Chinese culture. Traditional culture respects the mandate of heaven, as Confucius once said, “Life and death are predestined, and wealth and rank are determined by heaven.” [20] Both Buddhism and Taoism are forms of theism, and believe in the reincarnation cycle of life and death, and the karmic causality of good and evil. The Communist Party, on the contrary, not only believes in atheism, but also runs wild in defying the Tao and assaulting heavenly principles. Confucianism values family, but the Communist Manifesto clearly promulgates abolition of the family. Traditional culture differentiates the Chinese from the foreign, but the Communist Manifesto advocates the end of nationality. Confucian culture promotes kindness to others, but the Communist Party encourages class struggle. Confucians encourage loyalty to the monarch and love for the nation. The Communist Manifesto promotes the elimination of nations.

To gain and maintain power in China, the Communist Party first had to plant its immoral thoughts on Chinese soil. Mao Zedong claimed, “If we want to overthrow an authority, we must first make propaganda, and do work in the area of ideology.”[21] The CCP realized that the violent communist theory, which is sustained with arms, is the refuse of Western thoughts and could not stand up to China’s profound 5,000-year cultural history. “In for a penny, in for a pound.” The CCP then completely destroyed traditional Chinese culture, so that Marxism and Leninism could take China’s political stage.

Traditional Culture Is an Obstacle to the CCP’s Dictatorship

( …… more details from  the Nine Commentaries)

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Prime Minister of UK Urged To Boycott 2008 China Olympics

Posted by Author on August 10, 2007


Press Association, Via The Guardian, UK, August 9, 2007-

Gordon Brown has been urged to start a Europe-wide debate on whether athletes should boycott the Beijing Olympics in response to human rights abuses.

Senior Tory MEP Edward McMillan-Scott claimed there was evidence of “persecution and genocide” in China and said EU countries should consider pulling out of the Games.

Mr McMillan-Scott, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and a vice-president of the European Parliament, raised the issue of a human rights boycott following a visit to China in 2006.

He said: “There is continuing evidence of persecution, and even genocide, in China.

“The civilised world must seriously consider shunning China – and using the Beijing Olympics to send the clear message that such abuses of human rights are not acceptable.

“The debate must take place – whether the countries of the European Union are present at the Beijing Olympics or whether they stay away.”

Mr McMillan-Scott added: “I believe that everyone has the right to practise a religion of their choice without persecution, imprisonment or torture.

“Christians, Buddhists – especially in Tibet – and Muslims are all persecuted.

“Human rights should be endorsed by the Olympic movement, and it is time for the European Union to enter the debate.”

Mr McMillan-Scott is to deliver a letter to Mr Brown calling for him to initiate a debate among European leaders.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2007, All Rights Reserved.

– Report from The Guardian : Brown urged to boycott Olympics

Posted in Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Buddhism, China, Christianity, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Sports, Tibetan, World | 2 Comments »

Falun Gong Is Just a Reminder of The Oppressive Regime of China

Posted by Author on August 1, 2007


by Brian Coleman, News Statesman, UK, 31 July 2007-

A recent Saturday morning, a short, colourful and dignified procession set off from outside the Chinese embassy in Portland Place. It was composed of practitioners and supporters of the Falun Gong movement, a slightly bizarre quasi-religious organisation that believes in meditation and bits of various Eastern religions.

To me, as a mainstream Christian, it may be slightly odd but it is entirely harmless and believes in peace and goodwill and the general well-being of mankind. However, to the Communist Chinese regime it is a major threat to their very survival and needs to be ruthlessly put down in a manner worthy of Hitler’s approach to the “Jewish question”.

Why? Because as with all totalitarian regimes the Chinese cannot tolerate any organisation they cannot control, hence their approach to the Roman Catholic Church over recent decades. However, Falun Gong does not have the Pope to defend it, and the wholesale persecution of Falun Gong has gone largely unreported in the West. Members have suffered spells in Labour Camps, murder and a particularly brutal Chinese practise; the forced removal of organs for transplant.

Falun Gong worshippers are not unique in this respect: Buddhist monks, Tibetan Nationalists and political deviants of all kinds continue to suffer.

Despite the rise of modern cities, China trails only Burma as the most repressive Asian regime. (…… more details from Newstatesman.com)

Brian Colema, Conservative London Assembly member. More articles available from his homepage.

Posted in Buddhism, China, Commentary, Communist Party, Europe, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Report, Social, Tibetan, World | Comments Off on Falun Gong Is Just a Reminder of The Oppressive Regime of China

(photos) Modern Life of Monk and Nun in China

Posted by Author on July 22, 2007


Secretchina.com (in Chinese)-

Monk and Nun’s life changed in modern China.

Didn’t Sakyamuni expect in 2,000 years ago about what would happen in today’s China ?

Monk (1) - driving car

Car Driving

monk (2) - play game

Game Playing

monk (3) - using computer

Computer Using
monk (4) - watch football game

Watch soccer play for fun

monk (5) - happy

So do nuns

All photos are from SecretChina.com

Posted in Buddhism, China, Economy, Entertainment, Life, News, People, Photo, Religion, Religious, Social, travel | 3 Comments »

China Demolishes Buddha Statue At Oldest Tibetan Monastery

Posted by Author on June 17, 2007


International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), June 14th, 2007-

The Chinese authorities have issued a rare statement acknowledging the ‘removal’ of a giant gold and copper plated statue of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) donated by Chinese Buddhists to Samye monastery in Tibet and demolished by Chinese People’s Armed Police in mid-May. There has been a trend towards the tightening of control over religion in Tibet, and this demolition is an example of the aggressive enforcement of wide-ranging new regulatory measures introduced in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in January 2007, and in China in 2005.

The 30-feet high statue at Samye, Tibet’s oldest monastery, was apparently funded by two Chinese devotees from Guangzhou in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. There is an increasing interest in Tibetan Buddhism among Chinese people, with many now following Tibetan Buddhist teachers and going on pilgrimage in Tibet. Local Tibetan devotees were frightened to disclose information about the incident after People’s Armed Police troops were deployed around the monastic compound during the demolition process in Lhoka prefecture (Chinese: Shannan), the TAR.

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, said: “This divisive and sacrilegious act by an atheist state has caused deep anguish among Tibetans in the region. It is particularly sad that the authorities destroyed the statue of a Buddhist leader who is revered by both Tibetans and Chinese. The Buddha Dharma has the potential to bring more Tibetan and Chinese people together, and so the demolition of the Guru Rinpoche statue at Samye is nothing less than an act of splittism.”

New regulatory measures adopted in China from March 1, 2005, outlaw construction of “large-size outdoor religious statues” by individuals or organizations “other than religious bodies, monasteries, temples, mosques and churches.” (Article 24). Article 13 of the new religious measures adopted by the TAR from January states that “Organisations and individuals not belonging to religious organizations or places of religious activity may not erect or construct large-scale outdoor religious statues or mani lhakhang [prayer wheel temple].”

Images on ICT’s website at taken by a photographer who wishes to remain anonymous show the statue nearing completion in February before its demolition three months later. The official Chinese report, issued on June 9 by the Democratic Management Committee of Samye monastery and published by the China Tibet Information Center, said that the construction of the statue “disobeyed the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of Cultural Relics and the Notice of Illegally Building Open Statue of Buddha….Samye Monastery then self moved the open-air statue forwardly [sic]” (the full statement is at: http://info.tibet.cn/en/news/tin/t20070609_250524.htm).

Guru Rinpoche (‘precious master’), or Padmasambhava, is accredited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century, and with laying the foundation for Samye monastery. Worship of Padmasambhava is of particular spiritual and historical significance to Tibetans, who believe that worshipping him can remove obstacles to the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as preservation of Tibet’s unique Buddhist culture. Samye monastery, in Dranang county, is recognized as the first monastery in Tibet, the place where monks were ordained and trained for the first time.

Even if Samye monastery had arranged for the construction of the Guru Rinpoche statue, the monastery would still have had to apply to higher Communist authorities for permission from the State Council (the State Administration of Religious Affairs), after the Lhoka prefecture and Religious Affairs Bureaus of the TAR regional governments had both granted permission. The scope of the new regulatory measures, as well as hostile statements against the Dalai Lama made by leaders in the TAR, indicate a stepped up commitment in recent months to strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s control over religion.

A Tibetan in the Samye area told the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy: “Tibetans in Lhoka, particularly in Dranang country, did not dare to challenge the officials openly but deep inside their heart, people fear and worry that the demolition of Guru Rinpoche’s statue and transportation of its rubble bear a resemblance to the dark era of the Cultural Revolution.” (TCHRD report, June 4).

Implementation of state religious policy has been particularly harsh in Tibet because of the close link between religion and Tibetan identity and nationalism. As the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism gain in popularity and influence worldwide – including among many Chinese – Beijing has entrenched its position on religion, introducing new measures in an attempt to curb the Dalai Lama’s authority and control religious practice.

For information on religious repression in Tibet today, see ICT’s report: The Communist Party as Living Buddha: The crisis facing Tibetan religion under Chinese control (April 2007), available for downloading at: http://savetibet.org/documents/document.php?id=226.

– original report from ICT: Demolition of giant Buddha statue at Tibetan monastery confirmed by China

Related:
Video: Why Does China Consulate Interfere With Chinese Culture Show

Posted in Buddhism, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Incident, News, Politics, Religion, Social, Tibet, Tibetan, World | 1 Comment »

Survey Finds 300 Million China Religious Believers

Posted by Author on February 8, 2007


BBC News, 7 February 2007-

The number of religious believers in China could be three times higher than official estimates, according to a survey reported by state media.

A poll of 4,500 people by Shanghai university professors found 31.4% of people above the age of 16 considered themselves as religious.

This suggests 300 million people nationwide could be religious, compared to the official figure of 100 million.

China is regularly criticised for cracking down on unauthorised worship.

Believers are only allowed to attend government-approved churches, mosques and temples.

Correspondents say the poll’s findings back up suspicions that religion has been enjoying a resurgence in China over the past 20 years, as Communist Party disapproval has eased.

But the party is still ready to deal harshly with any religious group it perceives to be a challenge to its authority – especially the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong, which was not mentioned in the reports.

Rapid change

The poll was carried out by professors at the East China Normal University in Shanghai.

Their methodology was not made clear in the state media reports, neither was it clear whether people are becoming religious, or becoming more prepared to say so.

But the official China Daily called their work the “country’s first major survey on religious beliefs”.

The survey found that Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Christianity and Islam are the country’s five major religions – China considers Catholicism as separate to Christianity, which covers Protestantism.

About 200 million believers “are Buddhists, Taoists or worshippers of legendary figures such as the Dragon King and God of Fortune”, the China Daily reported.

The survey also found a significant rise in Christianity – accounting for 12% of all believers, or 40 million, compared with the official figure of 16 million in 2005.

Professor Liu Zhongyu, who helped carry out the survey, attributed the rise in religious belief to growing freedoms in the country as well as the upheaval of rapid social and economic change.

He said the average age of religious believers had fallen, with two-thirds of those in the poll who considered themselves religious aged between 16 and 39.

“This is markedly different from the previous decade, when most religious believers were in their 40s or older,” he said in the Chinese-language Oriental Outlook magazine, which published the survey.

———-
original report from BBC News 

Posted in Buddhism, Catholicism, China, Christianity, East China, Falun Gong, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, shanghai, Social | Comments Off on Survey Finds 300 Million China Religious Believers

Background: China Buddhist Officials Persecute Activist Monk

Posted by Author on August 29, 2006


Human Rights in China (HRIC), August 23, 2006–

Sources say that Master Shengguan’s expulsion was prompted by an incident on June 4, 2006, when he ignored pressure and obstruction by Yichun’s Religious Affairs and United Front departments and joined with 1989 democracy activist Li Xiang to perform rituals of salvation for people killed in the official crackdown on June 4, 1989. Master Shengguan had already attracted controversy after taking over administration of the temple in February this year when he cleaned up corruption and put a stop to expropriation of assets and routine interference in the normal operations of the temple by local officials.

Chronology:

  • 1984: Master Shengguan, originally named Xu Zhiqiang, graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China.
  • 1988: Xu published works by dissident journalist Liu Binyan that were subsequently banned.
  • 1989: During the 1989 democracy movement, Xu organized protest marches in Xi’an and headed the Xi’an League for Advancement of Democracy. In June 1989 he went to Beijing to mourn those killed in the June 4th crackdown, and on November 17 he was arrested and imprisoned in the Shanxi Province Detention Center.
  • 1990: Following his release on September 1, 1990, Xu continued to promote democratic reform in China.
  • 2001: Xu was forced to leave his job at the Shanxi Travel Group because of official pressure from the Shanxi Provincial State Security Bureau.
  • 2002: In June, Xu took Buddhist orders and was ordained as a monk at Hubei’s Wuzu Temple in December 2002. However, he continued to oppose the authorities’ trampling of basic human rights.
  • 2004: In September, Master Shengguan acted as the public representative in a civil action on behalf of an imprisoned Falun Gong practitioner, Wu Yunrui, in which former Chinese President Jiang Zemin was accused of inhuman acts in the course of depriving people of their religious freedom.
  • 2005: In August, Master Shengguan became a lecturer in the history of world Buddhism at the Jiangxi Buddhist Institute
  • 2006: On January 20, Master Shengguan became executive director of the Huacheng Temple.
  • 2006: On August 19, local officials told Master Shengguan that he could choose to leave the temple voluntarily, or to be forcibly removed through official enforcement of laws and regulations.

Related:

Top Buddhist Officials Join in Persecution of Activist Monk, HRIC, August 23, 2006

Posted in Buddhism, China, Human Rights, Law, Official, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social | Comments Off on Background: China Buddhist Officials Persecute Activist Monk

Top Buddhist Officials Join in Persecution of Activist Monk

Posted by Author on August 27, 2006


HRIC, August 23, 2006– Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Master Shengguan, a Buddhist monk and former political activist also known as Xu Zhiqiang, has been ordered to leave Jiangxi Province after local authorities in Yichun City expelled him from the temple he administered on August 19. In addition, police intimidated and detained the temple’s Abbot, Master Jiequan. The moves follow increasing pressure against Master Shengguan and Abbot Jiequan after their performance of a religious ritual for people killed in the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, and their efforts to end corrupt official appropriation of temple assets and interference in temple affairs.

Sources in China told HRIC that on the evening of August 22, Yichun Municipal Religious Affairs Bureau Director Yang Xu, accompanied by dozens of police officers, forced the temple’s Abbot, 88-year-old Master Jiequan, to accompany them to the temple for an urgent meeting with Master Shengguan at the Huacheng  Temple. At the meeting, Yang Xu reportedly forced Abbot Jiequan to issue a formal written notice condemning Master Shengguan for improper relationships with three of the temple’s female volunteers. Attached to the notice was an additional notice from the chairman of the state Chinese Buddhist Association, Yicheng, stating that Master Shengguan was expelled not only from the temple, but also from Jiangxi Province. (This notice is attached to the Chinese version of this press release.)

When Abbot Jiequan refused to issue the notice, the police officers reportedly threatened him until he said to Master Shengguan, “The government wants you to go, Yicheng wants you to go. Since you have someplace else you can go to, maybe you’d better leave.” Master Shengguan replied that he would not go unless the Abbot personally ordered him to do so, at which point the Abbot reportedly said, “All right, if you’re not afraid, I’ll let it go.” The Abbot was then detained by police officers, who forced him out of the temple and into a police vehicle.

Sources say that later that afternoon, when the temple’s treasurer went to the bank to withdraw some money, he found that Master Shengguan’s personal bank account under his original name, Xu Zhiqiang, had been frozen by the Public Security Bureau.

Master Shengguan has refused to leave the Huacheng Temple in protest against the false accusations made against him. In addition, the three women alleged to be involved in an improper relationship with Master Shengguan have decided to initiate a civil action against the Yichun Religious Affairs Bureau and against the chairman of the Chinese Buddhist Association, Yicheng, for failing to protect the Buddhist adherents under their care, and for libeling innocent people without any formal investigation or even a shred of evidence.

HRIC deplores the Chinese authorities’ interference in the operations of the Huacheng Temple, and their undermining of freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by China’s Constitution. The Chinese Buddhist Association should move to protect the rights of the religious adherents under its care, rather than assisting in oppression against them. HRIC urges the Jiangxi authorities to put an end to the unlawful actions of the Yichun authorities, to ensure the personal safety of Master Shengguan and Abbot Jiequan, and to initiate a full-scale investigation of official corruption at the Huacheng Temple. (www.hrichina.org)

Related:

AI report 2006- China overview(4)

Posted in Buddhism, China, Official, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Speech | Comments Off on Top Buddhist Officials Join in Persecution of Activist Monk

Beijing Buddhist: 4-Year Sentence For Printing Scriptures

Posted by Author on August 11, 2006


By Xi Wang, Radio Free Asia/The Epoch Times–
Lei Dayong, a lay Buddhist from the Tongzhou district of Beijing, was sentenced in February to four years in prison for printing Buddhist scriptures.

According to Free China Forum, Lei owned a printing press and members of the local Buddhist community would often ask him to print copies of scriptures and various religious texts.

In China, temples are required to obtain a permit from the government before printing religious materials. These permits are not always granted and take a long time to come through. Lei began printing the several hundred thousand copies of Buddhist materials while preparing to apply for a permit for internal material printing.

On April 27, 2005, Tongzhou district police searched the warehouse of Lei’s printing house and seized 190,000 copies of various Buddhist religious texts.

In May 2005, Lei and his two employees were arrested and charged with illegal publication of religious materials. The arrests did not follow legal procedures, as the police did not have the proper paperwork from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication at the time of the arrest.

The courts in Beijing sentenced Lei Dayon to four years in prison for illegal business management. Warehouse worker, Yang, was sentenced to three years and Wang, the accountant, to two.

Lei’s attorney appealed the case to a higher court, but that court ruled to maintain the original verdict and sentencing.
Mr. Hu Jia, a Buddhist and an AIDS activist commented on the case, “He was sentenced on February 13. The Beijing News has already reported about it as a crime of illegal business management. Lei was printing Buddhist scriptures. As these scriptures are ancient, they do not have any so-called copyright problem. Moreover, they were to be distributed for free. ” Hu also pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party regime is adopting a policy to crack down on local Buddhist communities.

“The Buddhist Association of China is under the control of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Hu. “Setting up Party Committee inside the Buddhist Association and transforming Buddhism into a system of administration conforming to common customs and seeking material gains is absurd to many senior monks. For example, monks now earn wages and have different rankings and classifications, and are required to attend communist party sponsored activities.”

In a previous instance, a Christian Pastor, Cai Zhuohua, was sentenced to three years for printing unauthorized copies of the Christian Bible.

Related:
AI report 2006- China overview(4)

Posted in Activist, Buddhism, China, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Law, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social | Comments Off on Beijing Buddhist: 4-Year Sentence For Printing Scriptures