Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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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 ‘Africa’ Category

Libyans Expose China’s Media Lies

Posted by Author on March 29, 2011


The Chinese government has denounced the Western-led military action against the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with it』s state-run media plying the line that Libyan citizens are opposing Western intervention.

However, Libyan protestors later flashed a banner in Chinese that read: “Muammar Gaddafi is a liar.”

After the Western air strike in Libya, China』s attitude changed from 『acceptance』 to 『in favor of Gaddafi』, and accused the West of interfering with other countries』 internal affairs, causing civilian deaths. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Africa, China, Media, News, Politics, World, Xinhua | Comments Off on Libyans Expose China’s Media Lies

China won’t take the Egypt route

Posted by Author on February 15, 2011


Despite Beijing’s efforts to prevent it, there is not a thoughtful person in China who has not been asking these past few days how their country compares with Egypt.

The parallels include fast economic growth accompanied by widening inequalities, systematic corruption and a crisis of injustice.

The distinction that matters, which makes a Chinese people’s uprising a practical impossibility, is that the Chinese Communist Party is a more professional and well-resourced dictatorship. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Africa, China, News, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China won’t take the Egypt route

Build a wall- China’s response to the unrest in Egypt

Posted by Author on February 3, 2011


The Economist, Feb 3rd 2011, BEIJING-

THE Chinese Communist Party’s Publicity Department (or Propaganda Department, a closer rendering of the Chinese) is adept at controlling news from abroad that might inflame sentiment at home. As communism collapsed in Eastern Europe 20 years ago, it kept all but the barest news out of the domestic media, jammed foreign broadcasts and ordered vigilance over fax machines.

In response to the unrest in Egypt, the department has apparently instructed the Chinese media to use only dispatches sent by the official news agency, Xinhua, and either to bury news of events there or play up aspects that show the costs of turmoil. Reporting the travails of stranded Chinese tourists, or the government’s noble attempts to rescue them, is fine, but sympathy with the protesters is taboo. The department’s instructions to the media are, as usual, a secret, but their effect is clear. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Africa, censorship, China, Internet, News, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Build a wall- China’s response to the unrest in Egypt

Fearful of revolution, China blocks news of Egypt protests including the word “Egypt”

Posted by Author on January 31, 2011


CHINA’S powerful propaganda department is trying to block non-official news about the bloody riots shaking Egypt.

The Government has stopped the use of the country’s name across a popular Twitter-like blogging site and restricting the reporting of events there.

Authorities have blocked the Chinese characters for Egypt on Sina.com’s Weibo site, used by more than 50 million of China’s 400 million netizens.

The Egyptian news has been played down in the Chinese media, being relegated to the second page of the country’s major website and portals. Newspapers all carry the state-run Xinhua version of the story. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Africa, censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, Media, News, Politics, Social, Technology, World | Comments Off on Fearful of revolution, China blocks news of Egypt protests including the word “Egypt”

Plenty of reasons to be concerned about China

Posted by Author on December 3, 2010


Barry Ferguson, via Sydney Morning Herald, December 3, 2010-

We need to be aware of the broad sweep of history in the evolution of our foreign investment policy, writes Barry Ferguson.

IN THE past 18 months, concerns have been expressed about China’s increasing interest in Australia. These concerns have resulted from China’s growing involvement in our natural resources, purchases of residential real estate by Chinese nationals in a heated local market, and ultimately from Australia’s growing dependence on the Chinese economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Africa, Australia, China, Economy, Investment, News, World | Comments Off on Plenty of reasons to be concerned about China

China Exports prison labor on overseas projects in the developing world

Posted by Author on August 16, 2010


By Brahma Chellaney, from New Delhi — Globe and Mail Update –

hina has devised a novel strategy to relieve pressure on its overcrowded prisons: Use convicts as labourers on overseas projects in the developing world. The practice has exposed another facet of China’s egregious human-rights record, which, when it comes to the overseas operations of Chinese companies, includes the government’s failure to enforce its own regulations.

Not only is China the world’s leading executioner – it puts to death three times as many people every year as the rest of the world combined – it also has one of the largest prison populations: 1.57 million inmates in 2009, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King’s College, London.

The forced dispatch of prisoners to work on overseas infrastructure projects raises new issues regarding China’s human-rights record. It also adds a new element – the dumping of convicts – to its trade and investment policy, which has been much criticized for dumping goods.

Thousands of Chinese convicts, for example, have been pressed into service on projects undertaken by state-run Chinese companies in Sri Lanka, a strategically important country for Beijing as it seeks to enhance its regional position in the Indian Ocean. After providing Sri Lanka’s government with weapons systems that helped end the country’s decades-long civil war, China has been rewarded with port-building, railroad and other infrastructure projects.

Chinese convicts also have been sent to the Maldives, where the Chinese government is building 4,000 houses on several different islands as a government-to-government “gift” to win influence. So far, however, China has failed to persuade the country’s President to lease it one of the 700 uninhabited Maldivian islands for use as a small base for the Chinese navy.

Chinese companies’ operating practice for overseas projects is to keep the number of local workers to a bare minimum and to bring in much of the work force from China, including convicts “freed” on parole for project-related overseas work. Convict labourers, like the rest of the Chinese work force on such projects, are housed near the project site. That way, if any convict worker escaped, he would be easy to find in an alien setting.

In theory, such practices run counter to regulations promulgated by the Chinese commerce ministry in August of 2006, in response to a backlash against Chinese businesses in Zambia after the death of 51 Zambian workers in an explosion at a Chinese-owned copper mine. These regulations called for “localization,” including hiring local workers, respecting local customs and adhering to safety norms. In October of 2006, the State Council – China’s cabinet – issued nine directives ordering that Chinese overseas businesses “pay attention to environmental protection,” “support local community and people’s livelihood cause” and “preserve China’s good image and its good corporate reputation.”

But Chinese regulations are sometimes promulgated simply to blunt external criticism, and thus are seldom enforced (except when a case attracts international attention). In 2003, for example, China enacted a law on environmental-impact assessments that was followed in 2008 by “provisional measures” to permit public participation in such assessments. Yet, Chinese leaders remain more zealous about promoting exports and economic growth than in protecting the country’s air and water…….(more details from The Globe and Mail: Exporting convicts stains China’s reputation)

Posted in Africa, Asia, Business, China, Economy, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Leak of nuclear plant in southern China: Officials are criticized for cover up

Posted by Author on June 15, 2010


Radio Free Asia, 2010-06-15 –

HONG KONG— The Daya Bay nuclear power plant in southern China had a “very small leakage” from a fuel rod that has been contained, Hong Kong’s leading electricity supplier, CLP Holdings Ltd., said in a statement, but activists say the firm should have revealed the incident sooner.

A “small increase” in radioactive substances was detected in cooling water at the plant’s Unit 2 on May 23, CLP said in a statement. “The reactor cooling water is sealed in completely and isolated from the external environment, thus causing no impact to the public.”

Operations at the power plant were unaffected and a task force of nuclear experts had been formed to investigate the situation, CLP said.

Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station is located about 50 kms (30 miles) from the center of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Security Bureau also said a fuel rod at the Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station experienced a “very small leakage” that increased radioactivity levels slightly in the nuclear reactor’s cooling water on May 23, said in a statement.

The leak was “completely quarantined and, therefore, had no impact on the public,” the bureau said.
Chairman of Hong Kong’s Safety Advisory Committee Raymond Ho Chung Tai said in an interview Tuesday that the danger to the public is negligible.

“This is only a minor incident. If we report such a minor incident, it will only trigger public panic,” he said.

But party opposition members and experts were not as dismissive.

Cover up?

Albert Lai, vice chairman of Hong Kong’s Civic Party who has closely watched the development of the Daya Bay nuclear plant for more than a decade, urged the government and CLP to explain why the public was not informed about the incident until it was first reported by the media.

“[The members of the Hong Kong Safety Committee] should play a surveillance role and report to the Hong Kong government. If they are reporting their findings to the government, why didn’t the government report them to the public?” Lai questioned.

“This incident happened two weeks ago and obviously someone tried to cover it up.”

Members of the Hong Kong Democratic Party said they will pursue the matter with the government, while members of the pro-China Democratic People’s Party protested Tuesday in front of CLP headquarters on Hong Kong Island to express their anger over the cover-up.

Wan Sek Luen Laurie, managing director of Enviro-Chem Engineering Laboratory Co. Ltd, and member of the Daya Nuclear Power Station Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee, said CLP is misleading the public.

He said the statement the company issued that “the level of radioactivity has stabilized over the last two weeks since [the event], without material change” indicates that the fuel rod is still leaking.

“Neutrons cannot be totally sealed. It can go through walls and even the earth. It is the question of the degree of enrichment…Of course, some concrete walls can absorb radiation, but some of are leaking [to the surrounding air] already,” Wan Sek Luen Laurie said.

“It can be said that some of the workers in the plant have been exposed to different levels of radiation. The fuel, when it makes contact with air, becomes uranium hydride, which can detonate in room temperature. It is very dangerous.”

Kok Wai Cheah, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University said that though the fuel rod may only release a very small amount of radiation, the plant should follow international operating procedures by shutting down and replacing the rod.

“The crack [in the fuel rod] may be very small. But if the crack grows larger, the level of radiation will be higher. That means radiation within the reinforced concrete structure will also be higher. If anyone makes contact with it, their health will be in serious danger,” Kok Wai Cheah said.

Cheah warned that if the leaking radiation makes contact with the third external layer of concrete containment, it will endanger the lives of the public.

Citizens uninformed

Local citizens appear to be uninformed of the potential hazards to their health.

A resident in O-lang village near Daya Bay said people there knew very little about the leakage.

“We can sometimes find information online. Otherwise, we know nothing about the incident,” the resident said.

The International Atomic Developmental Authority said in an email that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has seen media accounts reporting the detection of radioactivity in the cooling water at Daya Bay nuclear power plant’s Unit 2 reactor.

But the IAEA said it had received no official notification of the incident, nor did it expect to if the incident was as minor as news reports suggested.

The Daya Bay plant opened in 1994 to wide criticism because of its proximity to Hong Kong’s city center. More than 1 million people signed a petition opposing the plant during its construction.

Radio Free Asia

Posted in Africa, China, Guangdong, Health, Hong kong, Life, News, Nuclear, Official, People, Politics, SE China, Shenzhen, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Assets remain frozen in graft case linked to the son of China’s President Hu: Namibian court

Posted by Author on July 24, 2009


AFP, July 24, 2009-

WINDHOEK — A Namibian court said Friday it will decide in two weeks whether to release the frozen assets of three suspects in a graft probe involving a firm linked to the son of China’s President Hu Jintao.

The court said bank accounts and other assets of two Namibians and a Chinese national will remain frozen pending a decision on August 7.

The three were arrested last week in Namibia as part of a probe into bribery allegations involving Nuctech, a company headed until last year by Hu’s 38-year-old son, Hu Haifeng.

During the hearing Friday, the defence for Nuctech representative Yang Fan and Nambians Teckla Lameck and Jerobeam Mokaxwa argued that the state had no evidence of corruption.

“There is no proof because people are simply interpreting contracts between Nuctech and the accused,” defence lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett told the court.

The three were arrested after the southern African state’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) discovered that a 12.8 million US dollar down payment on 13 scanners had been diverted to a firm called Teko Trading.

Teko was acting as local agents for Nuctech, Gauntlett told the court in which the accused were not present.

They have been locked up since their arrest. Their bail request Wednesday was delayed to next week, after their lawyer requested more time to prepare for Friday’s hearing.

Nuctech has a Namibian government contract to supply security scanning equipment in a 55.3 million US dollar deal, paid for with a Chinese loan granted when President Hu Jintao visited the country in 2007.

Hu’s eldest son was the president of Nuctech until last year, when he was promoted to party secretary of Tsinghua Holdings, which controls Nuctech and over 20 other companies.

Between March and April, the 12.8 million dollar down payment was diverted to a firm called Teko Trading, equally owned by Lameck and Mokaxwa, investigators say.

All three accused later drew large sums from the Teko account, with Yang taking 16.8 million Namibia dollars (2.1 million US dollars), most of which he paid into an investment fund, investigators said.

Lameck and Mokaxwa allegedly spent large sums on expensive vehicles, farms and houses, according to investigators.

The graft case is one of two scandals linked to Chinese firms to rock Namibia this month, with local media linking the suspension this week of the country’s defence force chief to possible kickbacks from a Chinese supplier.

China’s Internet censors blocked news on the Nuctech case on Thursday, as state-run media ignored the sensitive issue which could prove embarrassing to Hu, who has publicly urged the Communist Party to rid itself of corruption.

The US-based China Digital Times, which monitors Web developments in China, said propaganda officials had issued an order banning various Internet searches related to the Nuctech case.

Xiao Qiang, who heads China Digital Times, said it was an “iron-clad” rule that negative information on top leaders and their families be kept from the public, but that such efforts often fuelled interest and the news leaked out.

“Censorship backfires on the censors much more in the Internet age,” he said in an email to AFP.

China Digital Times and media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said it appeared the Nuctech Internet censorship had been in place for a few days.

China’s mainstream media is more tightly controlled by the government, and newspapers as well as television news have also made no mention of the Nuctech case in recent days.

AFP

Posted in Africa, Business, China, Company, Economy, News, Official, People, Trade, World | 1 Comment »

Tibetans blame China for S.Africa visa denial

Posted by Author on March 23, 2009


AFP, Mar. 22, 2009-

DHARAMSHALA, India (AFP) — The India-based Tibetan government-in-exile confirmed Monday that South Africa has denied the Dalai Lama a visa, blaming “intense pressure” from China.

A spokesman for the spiritual leader said he was “very disappointed” by the decision.

The Dalai Lama had planned to join other Nobel peace laureates at a conference to discuss ways of using football to fight racism and xenophobia ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“It is true that South Africa, under intense pressure from the Chinese authorities, have denied a visa to the Dalai Lama,” spokesman Thubten Samphel told AFP.

“Since his holiness says he will not inconvenience any government, we at the Tibetan administration will not issue any strong response. But we are certainly very disappointed,” Samphel said.

South Africa’s Sunday Independent newspaper quoted China’s minister counsellor at the embassy in Pretoria, Dai Bing, as saying that his government had urged South Africa to deny the visit or risk bilateral relations.

Dai told the paper it was an “inopportune time” for the Dalai Lama to visit, coming just after the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against China’s rule of Tibet, which led to the Dalai Lama’s exile.

According to the paper, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk may now reconsider their participation in the conference.

– AFP

Posted in Africa, China, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on Tibetans blame China for S.Africa visa denial

Nigerian satellite made in China failed

Posted by Author on November 15, 2008


AFP, Nov. 13, 2008-

ABUJA (AFP) — A Nigerian satellite heralded at its launch last year as being at the vanguard of an African communications’ revolution has had to be shut down due to technical problems, officials said Wednesday.

The satellite — which was launched to provide phone, broadband Internet and broadcasting services to rural Africa — was switched off on Monday for analysis, they said, dismissing media speculation it was lost in outer space.

“NigComSat-1 is not missing, but rather powered down at about 10:00 am (0900 GMT) Monday… when we observed abnormal battery discharge in a non-eclipse situation,” Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited said in a statement.

“The satellite was put into an emergency mode operation in order to effect mitigation and repairs,” the statement added.

The 257-million-dollar (205-million-euro) Chinese-built satellite was launched into space from China in May 2007.

It was expected to boost Nigeria’s communications’ revolution and further the drive to make Internet technology accessible to the remote rural villages of the continent.

NIGCOMSAT-1 is also used for intelligence and security surveillance and for other sectors such as the oil and gas industry.

With an expected life span of 15 years, it is designed to operate in Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia. Nigeria also launched a weather satellite in 2003 with Russian assistance.

AFP

Posted in Africa, China, News, Technology, World | Comments Off on Nigerian satellite made in China failed

How China has created a new slave empire in Africa (3)

Posted by Author on October 15, 2008


By PETER HITCHENS, Daily Mail, UK, 28th September 2008- (Cont’d)

Recently, a government minister, Alice Simago, was shown weeping on TV after she saw at first hand the working conditions at a Chinese-owned coal mine in the Southern Province.

When I contacted her, she declined to speak to me about this – possibly because criticism of the Chinese is not welcome among most of the Zambian elite.

Denis Lukwesa, deputy general secretary of the Zambian Mineworkers’ Union, also backed up Sata’s view, saying: ‘They just don’t understand about safety. They are more interested in profit.’

As for their general treatment of African workers, Lukwesa says he knows of cases where Chinese supervisors have kicked Zambians. He summed up their attitude like this: ‘They are harsh to Zambians, and they don’t get on well with them.’

Sata warns against the enormous loans and offers of help with transport, schools and health care with which Peking now sweetens its attempts to buy up Africa’s mineral reserves.

‘China’s deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is, in my opinion, corruption,’ he says, comparing this with Western loans which require strong measures against corruption.

Everyone in Africa knows China’s Congo deal – worth almost £5billion in loans, roads, railways, hospitals and schools – was offered after Western experts demanded tougher anti-corruption measures in return for more aid.

Sata knows the Chinese are unpopular in his country. Zambians use a mocking word – ‘choncholi’ – to describe the way the Chinese speak. Zambian businessmen gossip about the way the Chinese live in separate compounds, where – they claim – dogs are kept for food.

There are persistent rumours, which cropped up in almost every conversation I had in Zambia, that many of the imported Chinese workforce are convicted criminals whom China wants to offload in Africa. I was unable to confirm this but, given China’s enormous gulag and the harshness of life for many migrant workers, it is certainly not impossible.

Sata warns that ‘sticks and stones’ may one day fly if China does not treat Zambians better. He now promises a completely new approach: ‘I used to sweep up at your Victoria Station, and I never got any complaints about my work. I want to sweep my country even cleaner than I swept your stations.’

Some Africa experts tend to portray Sata as a troublemaker. His detractors whisper that he is a mouthpiece for Taiwan, which used to be recognised by many African states but which faces almost total isolation thanks to Peking’s new Africa policy.

But his claims were confirmed by a senior worker in Chambishi, scene of the 2005 explosion. This man, whom I will call Thomas, is serious, experienced and responsible. His verdict on the Chinese is devastating.

He recalls the aftermath of the blast, when he had the ghastly task of collecting together what remained of the men who died: ‘Zambia, a country of 11million people, went into official mourning for this disaster.

‘A Chinese supervisor said to me in broken English, “In China, 5,000 people die, and there is nothing. In Zambia, 50 people die and everyone is weeping.” To them, 50 people are nothing.’

This sort of thing creates resentment. Earlier this year African workers at the new Chinese smelter at Chambishi rioted over low wages and what they thought were unsafe working conditions.

When Chinese President Hu Jintao came to Zambia in 2006, he had to cancel a visit to the Copper Belt for fear of hostile demonstrations. Thomas says: ‘The people who advised Hu Jintao not to come were right.’

He suspects Chinese arrogance and brutality towards Africans is not racial bigotry, but a fear of being seen to be weak. ‘They are trying to prove they are not inferior to the West. They are trying too hard.

‘If they ask you to do something and you don’t do it, they think you’re not doing it because they aren’t white. People put up with the kicks and blows because they need work to survive.’

Many in Africa also accuse the Chinese of unconcealed corruption. This is specially obvious in the ‘Democratic Republic of the Congo’, currently listed as the most corrupt nation on Earth.

A North-American businessman who runs a copper smelting business in Katanga Province told me how his firm tried to obey safety laws.

They are constantly targeted by official safety inspectors because they refuse to bribe them. Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises nearby get away with huge breaches of the law – because they paid bribes.

‘We never pay,’ he said, ‘because once you pay you become their bitch; you will pay for ever and ever.’

Another businessman shrugged over the way he is forced to wait weeks to get his products out of the country, while the Chinese have no such problems.

‘I’m not sure the Chinese even know there are customs regulations,’ he said. ‘They don’t fill in the forms, they just pay. I try to be philosophical about it, but it is not easy.’

Unlike orderly Zambia, Congo is a place of chaos, obvious privation, tyranny dressed up as democracy for public-relations purposes, and fear.

This is Katanga, the mineral-rich slice of land fought over furiously in the early Sixties in post-colonial Africa’s first civil war. Brooding over its capital, Lubumbashi, is a 400ft black hill: the accumulated slag and waste of 80 years of copper mining and smelting.

Now, thanks to a crazy rise in the price of copper and cobalt, the looming, sinister mound is being quarried – by Western business, by the Chinese and by bands of Congolese who grub and scramble around it searching for scraps of copper or traces of cobalt, smashing lumps of slag with great hammers as they hunt for any way of paying for that night’s supper.

As dusk falls and the shadows lengthen, the scene looks like the blasted land of Mordor in Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings: a pre-medieval prospect of hopeless, condemned toil in pits surrounded by stony desolation.

Behind them tower the leaning ruins of colossal abandoned factories: monuments to the wars and chaos that have repeatedly passed this way.

There is something strange and unsettling about industrial scenes in Africa, pithead winding gear and gaunt chimneys rising out of tawny grasslands dotted with anthills and banana palms. It looks as if someone has made a grave mistake.

And there is a lesson for colonial pride and ambition in the streets of Lubumbashi – 80 years ago an orderly Art Deco city full of French influence and supervised by crisply starched gendarmes, now a genial but volatile chaos of scruffy, bribe-hunting traffic cops where it is not wise to venture out at night.

The once-graceful Belgian buildings, gradually crumbling under thick layers of paint, long ago lost their original purpose.

Outsiders come and go in Africa, some greedy, some idealistic, some halfway between. Time after time, they fail or are defeated, leaving behind scars, slag-heaps, ruins and graveyards, disillusion and disappointment.

We have come a long way from Cecil Rhodes to Bob Geldof, but we still have not brought much happiness with us, and even Nelson Mandela’s vaunted ‘Rainbow Nation’ in South Africa is careering rapidly towards banana republic status.

Now a new great power, China, is scrambling for wealth, power and influence in this sad continent, without a single illusion or pretence.

Perhaps, after two centuries of humbug, this method will work where all other interventions have failed.

But after seeing the bitter, violent desperation unleashed in the mines of Likasi, I find it hard to believe any good will come of it. (END)

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3

– from Daily Mail, UK

Posted in Africa, Business, China, corruption, Economy, Energy, Health, Human Rights, Investment, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on How China has created a new slave empire in Africa (3)

How China has created a new slave empire in Africa (2)

Posted by Author on October 14, 2008


By PETER HITCHENS, Daily Mail, UK, 28th September 2008-

(Cont’d)

The Mail on Sunday team was reported to the authorities in Zambia’s Copper Belt by Chinese managers who had seen us taking photographs of a graveyard at Chambishi where 54 victims of a disaster in a Chinese-run explosives factory are buried. Within an hour, local ‘security’ officials were buzzing round us trying to find out what we were up to.

This is why I have some time for the Zambian opposition politician Michael Sata, known as ‘King Cobra’ because of his fearless combative nature (but also, say his opponents, because he is so slippery).

Sata has challenged China’s plans to invest in Zambia, and is publicly suspicious of them. At elections two years ago, the Chinese were widely believed to have privately threatened to pull out of the country if he won, and to have helped the government parties win.

Peking regards Zambia as a great prize, alongside its other favoured nations of Sudan (oil), Angola (oil) and Congo (metals).

It has cancelled Zambia’s debts, eased Zambian exports to China, established a ‘special economic zone’ in the Copper Belt, offered to build a sports stadium, schools, a hospital and an anti-malaria centre as well as providing scholarships and dispatching experts to help with agriculture. Zambia-China trade is growing rapidly, mainly in the form of copper.

All this has aroused the suspicions of Mr Sata, a populist politician famous for his blunt, combative manner and his harsh, biting attacks on opponents, and who was once a porter who swept the platforms at Victoria Station in London.

Now the leader of the Patriotic Front, with a respectable chance of winning a presidential election set for the end of October, Sata says: ‘The Chinese are not here as investors, they are here as invaders.

‘They bring Chinese to come and push wheelbarrows, they bring Chinese bricklayers, they bring Chinese carpenters, Chinese plumbers. We have plenty of those in Zambia.’

This is true. In Lusaka and in the Copper Belt, poor and lowly Chinese workers, in broad-brimmed straw hats from another era, are a common sight at mines and on building sites, as are better-dressed Chinese supervisors and technicians.

There are Chinese restaurants and Chinese clinics and Chinese housing compounds – and a growing number of Chinese flags flapping over factories and smelters.

‘We don’t need to import labourers from China,’ Sata says. ‘We need to import people with skills we don’t have in Zambia. The Chinese are not going to train our people in how to push wheelbarrows.’

He meets me in the garden of his not specially grand house in the old-established and verdant Rhodes Park section of Lusaka. It is guarded by uniformed security men, its walls protected by barbed wire and broken glass.

‘Wherever our Chinese “brothers” are they don’t care about the local workers,’ he complains, alleging that Chinese companies have lax safety procedures and treat their African workers like dirt.

In language which seems exaggerated, but which will later turn out to be at least partly true, he claims: ‘They employ people in slave conditions.’

He also accuses Chinese overseers of frequently beating up Zambians. His claim is given force by a story in that morning’s Lusaka newspapers about how a Zambian building worker in Ndola, in the Copper Belt, was allegedly beaten unconscious by four Chinese co-workers angry that he had gone to sleep on the job.

I later checked this account with the victim’s relatives in an Ndola shanty town and found it to be true……. (to be cont’d)

Part-1 part-2 part-3

– from Daily Mail, UK

Posted in Africa, Business, China, corruption, Economy, Health, Human Rights, Investment, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | 1 Comment »

How China has created a new slave empire in Africa (1)

Posted by Author on October 14, 2008


By PETER HITCHENS, Daily Mail, UK, 28th September 2008-

I think I am probably going to die any minute now. An inflamed, deceived mob of about 50 desperate men are crowding round the car, some trying to turn it over, others beating at it with large rocks, all yelling insults and curses.

They have just started to smash the windows. Next, they will pull us out and, well, let’s not think about that …

I am trying not to meet their eyes, but they are staring at me and my companions with rage and hatred such as I haven’t seen in a human face before. Those companions, Barbara Jones and Richard van Ryneveld, are – like me – quite helpless in the back seats.

If we get out, we will certainly be beaten to death. If we stay where we are, we will probably be beaten to death.

Our two African companions have – crazily in our view – got out of the car to try to reason with the crowd. It is clear to us that you might as well preach non-violence to a tornado.

At last, after what must have been about 40 seconds but that felt like half an hour, one of the pair saw sense, leapt back into the car and reversed wildly down the rocky, dusty path – leaving his friend behind.

By the grace of God we did not slither into the ditch, roll over or burst a tyre. Through the dust we churned up as we fled, we could see our would-be killers running with appalling speed to catch up. There was just time to make a crazy two-point turn which allowed us to go forwards and so out-distance them.

We had pretty much abandoned our other guide to whatever his fate might be (this was surprisingly easy to justify to myself at the time) when we saw that he had broken free and was running with Olympic swiftness, just ahead of pursuers half hidden by the dust.

We flung open a rear door so he could scramble in and, engine grinding, we veered off, bouncing painfully over the ruts and rocks.

We feared there would be another barricade to stop our escape, and it would all begin again. But there wasn’t, and we eventually realised we had got away, even the man whose idiocy nearly got us killed.

He told us it was us they wanted, not him, or he would never have escaped. We ought to be dead. We are not. It is an interesting feeling, not wholly unpleasant.

Why did they want to kill us? What was the reason for their fury? They thought that if I reported on their way of life they might lose their livings.

Livings? Dyings, more likely.

These poor, hopeless, angry people exist by grubbing for scraps of cobalt and copper ore in the filth and dust of abandoned copper mines in Congo, sinking perilous 80ft shafts by hand, washing their finds in cholera-infected streams full of human filth, then pushing enormous two-hundredweight loads uphill on ancient bicycles to the nearby town of Likasi where middlemen buy them to sell on, mainly to Chinese businessmen hungry for these vital metals.

To see them, as they plod miserably past, is to be reminded of pictures of unemployed miners in Thirties Britain, stumbling home in the drizzle with sacks of coal scraps gleaned from spoil heaps.

Except that here the unsparing heat makes the labour five times as hard, and the conditions of work and life are worse by far than any known in England since the 18th Century.

Many perish as their primitive mines collapse on them, or are horribly injured without hope of medical treatment. Many are little more than children. On a good day they may earn $3, which just supports a meagre existence in diseased, malarial slums.

We had been earlier to this awful pit, which looked like a penal colony in an ancient slave empire.

Defeated, bowed figures toiled endlessly in dozens of hand-dug pits. Their faces, when visible, were blank and without hope.

We had been turned away by a fat, corrupt policeman who pretended our papers weren’t in order, but who was really taking instructions from a dead-eyed, one-eared gangmaster who sat next to him.

By the time we returned with more official permits, the gangmasters had readied the ambush.

The diggers feared – and their evil, sinister bosses had worked hard on that fear – that if people like me publicised their filthy way of life, then the mine might be closed and the $3 a day might be taken away.

I can give you no better explanation in miniature of the wicked thing that I believe is now happening in Africa.

Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual slavery as China seeks to buy up all the metals, minerals and oil she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines – the basic raw materials of modern life.

It is crude rapacity, but to Africans and many of their leaders it is better than the alternative, which is slow starvation.

It is my view – and not just because I was so nearly killed – that China’s cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise.

China offers both rulers and the ruled in Africa the simple, squalid advantages of shameless exploitation.

For the governments, there are gargantuan loans, promises of new roads, railways, hospitals and schools – in return for giving Peking a free and tax-free run at Africa’s rich resources of oil, minerals and metals.

For the people, there are these wretched leavings, which, miserable as they are, must be better than the near-starvation they otherwise face.

Persuasive academics advised me before I set off on this journey that China’s scramble for Africa had much to be said for it. They pointed out China needs African markets for its goods, and has an interest in real economic advance in that broken continent.

For once, they argued, a foreign intervention in Africa might work precisely because it is so cynical and self-interested. They said Western aid, with all its conditions, did little to create real advances in Africa, laughing as they declared: ‘The only country that ever got rich through donations is the Vatican.’

Why get so het up about African corruption anyway? Is it really so much worse than corruption in Russia or India?

Is it really our business to try to act as missionaries of purity? Isn’t what we call ‘corruption’ another name for what Africans view as looking after their families?

And what about China herself? Despite the country’s convulsive growth and new wealth, it still suffers gravely from poverty and backwardness, as I have seen for myself in its dingy sweatshops, the primitive electricity-free villages of Canton, the dark and squalid mining city of Datong and the cave-dwelling settlements that still rely on wells for their water.

After the murderous disaster of Mao, and the long chaos that went before, China longs above all for stable prosperity. And, as one genial and open-minded Chinese businessman said to me in Congo as we sat over a beer in the decayed colonial majesty of Lubumbashi’s Belgian-built Park Hotel: ‘Africa is China’s last hope.’

I find this argument quite appealing, in theory. Britain’s own adventures in Africa were not specially benevolent, although many decent men did what they could to enforce fairness and justice amid the bigotry and exploitation.

It is noticeable that in much former British territory we have left behind plenty of good things and habits that are absent in the lands once ruled by rival empires.

Even so, with Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda on our conscience, who are we to lecture others?

I chose to look at China’s intervention in two countries, Zambia and the ‘Democratic Republic of the Congo’, because they lie side by side; because one was once British and the other Belgian.

Also, in Zambia’s imperfect but functioning democracy, there is actual opposition to the Chinese presence, while in the despotic Congo, opposition to President Joseph Kabila is unwise, to put it mildly.

Congo is barely a state at all, and still hosts plenty of fighting not all that far from here.

Statues and images of Joseph’s murdered father Laurent are everywhere in an obvious attempt to create a cult of personality on which stability may one day be based. Portraits of Joseph himself scowl from every wall.

I have decided not to name most of the people who spoke to me, even though some of them gave me permission to do so, because I am not sure they know just how much of a risk they may be running by criticising the Chinese in Africa.

I know from personal experience with Chinese authority that Peking regards anything short of deep respect as insulting, and it does not forget a slight.

I also know that this over-sensitive vigilance is present in Africa…….(to be cont’d)

Part-1 part-2 part-3

– From Daily Mail, UK

Posted in Africa, Business, China, corruption, Economy, Health, Human Rights, Investment, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | 1 Comment »

U.S. Olympic TV Broadcaster NBC Urged To Examine China’s Human Rights Record

Posted by Author on August 8, 2008


By BENJAMIN SARLIN, Staff Reporter, The New York Sun,  U.S. August 7, 2008-

Elected officials and activists are challenging NBC to take a critical look at China’s human rights record as the TV network broadcasts the Olympic Games from Beijing this month.

The major American television networks have not give adequate coverage to China’s role in the ongoing violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, Council Member Eric Gioia said yesterday, noting that China sells weapons to the Sudanese government and is the country’s largest purchaser of oil.

“NBC does not stand alone in not publicizing the crisis in Darfur, but NBC does have a unique opportunity to highlight China’s role,” Mr. Gioia, a likely candidate for public advocate, said at a press conference at the United Nations. “That is why during the Olympic coverage this should be something they are talking about.”

The International Criminal Court moved recently to indict President al-Bashir of Sudan on war crimes charges.

Last month, protesters disrupted a taping of NBC’s “Today” show to protest the network’s handling of China and Darfur. Asked on Monday about the network’s planned coverage during the Olympics, the show’s producer, Jim Bell, told the Los Angeles Times that NBC is planning to “deal with the issues as they come” during the games and address questions being raised about the country’s human rights record.

City officials have publicly condemned China’s human rights record on several issues ahead of the Beijing Games. Mr. Gioia wrote a resolution last year in the City Council calling on corporate sponsors of the Olympics, such as NBC, to drop their support for the games. Council Member Simcha Felder in March called for a boycott of the games over Sudan, and Council Member Tony Avella introduced a separate resolution earlier this year calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the games from Beijing in response to China’s treatment of Tibet.

As the Olympics approach, China also has drawn criticism for restricting Western reporters’ access to the Internet and for revoking a visa yesterday for a former Olympic speed skater who planned to attend the games, Joey Cheek. Mr. Cheek co-founded Team Darfur, a group of athletes that have called attention to China’s links to Sudan. Another member of the group, former Olympic swimmer Kendra Zanotto, has also been barred from attending the games.

The White House press secretary, Dana Perino, told reporters yesterday that the Bush administration was “disturbed” by Mr. Cheek’s treatment. President Bush reportedly is set to deliver a speech today in Thailand rebuking China for its policies on religious freedom and human rights.

– The New York Sun: NBC Urged To Examine China’s Record

Posted in Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Human Rights, Media, News, Politics, Social, Speech, Sports, TV / film, USA, World | 1 Comment »

China Refused Entry of U.S. Olympic Gold Medallist Joey Cheek

Posted by Author on August 7, 2008


Owen Slot in Beijing, Times Online, UK, August 6, 2008-

Joey Cheek, an American Olympic gold medallist who has been leading a campaign to stop China from trading arms with the Sudan, has been refused entry to the Beijing Games.

Cheek, who won gold in the men’s 500 metre speed skating event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, has recruited nearly 400 Olympians and former Olympians worldwide to his cause, called Team Darfur, and was refused a visa at the Chinese embassy in Washington yesterday.

“Despite the fact that I’ve always spoken positively of the Olympic ideal, and never called for a boycott or asked an athlete to break an IOC rule, my visa was revoked less than 24 hours before my scheduled departure,” Cheek said. “The denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.”

Cheek’s organisation knows it has been pushing the human rights situation in Darfur hard into the public eye. Concern that their stance may count against them is reflected in the fact that, of the 72 Team Darfur athletes who will be competing here in Beijing, 17 have declined to be named publicly.

A statement received Wednesday morning by fax from the spokesman’s office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said: “Visa is a sovereign affair of one country, according to Chinese laws and regulations, and based on other host countries’ practice on previous Olympics and other large scale events, China has made appropriate arrangements for foreign entry visas during the Olympic Games . . .”

Team Darfur was started following the Turin Olympics where Cheek won an Olympic gold and spoke out afterwards about how he was intending to give his $40,000 medal bonus to Darfur charities.

According to international experts, some 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million been driven from their homes since rebels took up arms against the government five years ago. China is a major investor in Sudan’s oil industry and is its largest weapons supplier.

– Original: Joey Cheek, gold medallist and Sudan protester, refused entry to China

Posted in Athlete, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Sports, USA, World | 3 Comments »

First evidence: China Militarily Helps Sudan’s Government in Darfur- BBC News

Posted by Author on July 14, 2008


By Hilary Andersson, BBC News, Darfur-

The BBC has found the first evidence that China is currently helping Sudan’s government militarily in Darfur.

The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005.

The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.

China’s government has declined to comment on the BBC’s findings, which contravene a UN arms embargo on Darfur.

The embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, in which the UN estimates that about 300,000 people have died.

More than two million people are also believed to have fled their villages in Darfur, destroyed by pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia.

Panorama traced the first lorry by travelling deep into the remote deserts of West Darfur.

They found a Chinese Dong Feng army lorry in the hands of one of Darfur’s rebel groups.

The BBC established through independent eyewitness testimony that the rebels had captured it from Sudanese government forces in December.

The rebels filmed a second lorry with the BBC’s camera. Both vehicles had been carrying anti-aircraft guns, one a Chinese gun.

Markings showed that they were from a batch of 212 Dong Feng army lorries that the UN had traced as having arrived in Sudan after the arms embargo was put in place.

The lorries came straight from the factory in China to Sudan and were consigned to Sudan’s defence ministry. The guns were mounted after the lorries were imported from China.

The UN started looking for these lorries in Darfur three years ago, suspecting they had been sent there, but never found them.

“We had no specific access to Sudanese government army stores, we were not allowed to take down factory codes or model numbers or registrations etc to verify these kinds of things,” said EJ Hogendoorn, a member of the UN panel of experts that was involved in trying to locate the lorries.

Culpability

China has chosen not to respond to the BBC’s findings. Its public position is that it abides by all UN arms embargoes.

China has said in the past that it told Sudan’s government not to use Chinese military equipment in Darfur.

Sudan’s government, however, has told the UN that it will send military equipment wherever it likes within its sovereign territory.

An international lawyer, Clare da Silva, says China’s point that it has taken measures in line with the arms embargo’s requirements to stop its weapons from going to Darfur is meaningless.

“It is an empty measure to take the assurances from a partner who clearly has no intention of abiding by the resolution,” she said.

Ms da Silva said the BBC’s evidence put China in violation of the arms embargo.

The UN panel of experts on Darfur has said it wants to examine the BBC’s evidence.

Homes scorched

The BBC found witnesses who said they saw the first Dong Feng which the BBC tracked down being used with its anti-aircraft gun in an attack in a town called Sirba, in West Darfur, in December.

“When it is shooting or firing there is nowhere for you to move and the sound is just like the sound of the rain. Then ‘Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!'” said Hamaad Abakar Adballa, a witness in the Chadian refugee town of Birak.

The lorry’s powerful anti-aircraft gun fired straight into civilian houses. The gun carries high calibre shells that explode on impact, spreading hot shards of metal and causing terrible wounds

Witnesses saw one hut take a direct hit from the gun:

“An intense wave of heat instantly sent all the huts around up in flames,” one witness, Risique Bahar, said. “There was a lot of screaming.”

In the attack on Sirba one woman was burnt to death, another horribly injured.

Genocide accusation

Sudan’s government has been accused by the United States of genocide against Darfur’s black Africans.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) say war crimes by Sudan’s Arab-dominated government have included summary executions, rape and torture……. (more details from BBC News: China ‘is fuelling war in Darfur’)

BBC Video: China ‘fuelling war in Darfur’

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Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

Posted by Author on May 12, 2008


By Aaron Pan, Bloomberg.com, May 11, 2008-

May 11 (Bloomberg) — Africans living in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are being forced to leave the country because of new visa policies, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified spokesman for the community.

Nearly half of the 10,000 Africans in the city have already been forced to leave because their visa-renewal applications have been denied and at least 100 people are stranded in Macau without enough money to return home, the newspaper reported.

African nationals in the city have been running small businesses on flexible, six-month “F” visas and are now being given only tourist visas of up to 15 days, the Morning Post said.

The General Committee of African People in Guangzhou has sent a letter to 10 African embassies in Beijing asking them to press the Chinese government on the issue, the newspaper added.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said May 7 that visa checks have been tightened ahead of the Olympic Games to ensure “greater security.”

– Original report from Bloomberg: Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules, Post Reports

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, Businessman, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Nearly 5,000 Africans Forced to Leave China on New Visa Rules for Olympics

Brought in by arm ship, China troops are seen on the streets of Zimbabwean city

Posted by Author on April 20, 2008


By Ian Evans in Cape Town, The Independent, UK, Saturday, 19 April 2008-

Chinese troops have been seen on the streets of Zimbabwe’s third largest city, Mutare, according to local witnesses. They were seen patrolling with Zimbabwean soldiers before and during Tuesday’s ill-fated general strike called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Earlier, 10 Chinese soldiers armed with pistols checked in at the city’s Holiday Inn along with 70 Zimbabwean troops.

One eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: “We’ve never seen Chinese soldiers in full regalia on our streets before. The entire delegation took 80 rooms from the hotel, 10 for the Chinese and 70 for Zimbabwean soldiers.”

Officially, the Chinese were visiting strategic locations such as border posts, key companies and state institutions, he said. But it is unclear why they were patrolling at such a sensitive time. They were supposed to stay five days, but left after three to travel to Masvingo, in the south.

China’s support for President Mugabe’s regime has been highlighted by the arrival in South Africa of a ship carrying a large cache of weapons destined for Zimbabwe’s armed forces. Dock workers in Durban refused to unload it.

The 300,000-strong South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said it would be “grossly irresponsible” to touch the cargo of ammunition, grenades and mortar rounds on board the Chinese ship An Yue Jiang anchored outside the port.

A Satawu spokesman Randall Howard said: “Our members employed at Durban container terminal will not unload this cargo, neither will any of our members in the truck-driving sector move this cargo by road. South Africa cannot be seen to be facilitating the flow of weapons into Zimbabwe at a time where there is a political dispute and a volatile situation between Zanu-PF and the MDC.”

Three million rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades and more than 3,000 mortar rounds and mortar tubes are among the cargo on the Chinese ship, according to copies of the inventory published by a South African newspaper.

According to Beeld, the documentation for the shipment was completed on 1 April, three days after the presidential vote.

Zimbabwe and China have close military ties. Three years ago, Mr Mugabe signed extensive trade pacts with the Chinese as part of the “Look East” policy forced on him by his ostracising by Western governments over human rights abuses. The deal gave the Chinese mineral and trade concessions in exchange for economic help.

The shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague called on David Miliband to demand a cessation of arms shipments.

A South African government spokesman Themba Maseko said it would be difficult to stop the shipment.

Original report from The Independent (UK): Chinese troops are on the streets of Zimbabwean city, witnesses say

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The Only Winner In Beijing Olympics Will Be Tyranny

Posted by Author on February 18, 2008


Nick Cohen, The Observer,UK, Sunday February 17 2008-

At the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics, spectators will watch as athletes from the worst regimes on the planet parade by. Whether they are from dictatorships of the left or right, secular or theocratic, they will have one thing in common: the hosts of the games that, according to the mission statement, are striving ‘for a bright future for mankind’ will support their oppressors.

The flag of Sudan will flutter. China supplied the weapons that massacred so many in Darfur. As further sweeteners, it added interest-free loans for a new presidential palace and vetoes of mild condemnations of genocide from the United Nations. In return, China got most of Sudan’s oil.

The Burmese athletes will wave to the crowd and look as if they are representing an independent country. In truth, Burma is little more than a Chinese satellite. In return for the weapons to suppress democrats and vetoes at the UN Security Council, the junta sells it gas at discounted rates far below what its wretched citizens have to pay.

There will be no Tibetan contingent, of course. Chinese immigrants are obliterating the identity of the occupied country, which will soon be nothing more than a memory. Athletes from half-starved Zimbabwe, whose senile despot props himself up with the Zimmer frame of Chinese aid, will be there, however. As will teams from the Iranian mullahocracy, grateful recipients of Chinese missiles and the prison state of North Korea, for whom China is the sole reliable ally.

With Steven Spielberg citing China’s complicity in the Sudan atrocities as his reason for withdrawing as the Olympics’ artistic adviser, comparisons with the 20th century will soon be flowing. Will Beijing be like the 1936 Berlin Olympics Hitler used to celebrate Nazism? Or the 1980 Moscow games the Americans boycotted in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? I suspect the past won’t be a guide because the ideological struggles of the 20th century are over. China’s communists are communists in name only. They are not helping dictators because they are comrades who share their ideology. They have no ideology beyond national self-interest and a well-warranted desire to stop the outsiders insisting on standards in Africa or Asia they do not intend to abide by.

Human Rights Watch points out that if, say, Sudan were to turn into a peaceful state with a constitutional government, the Chinese would not care as long as the oil still flowed. China’s post-communists are like mafiosi. It is not personal, just business. They are happy to do deals with anyone, as Henry Kissinger recognised when he set himself up to be PR man for so many of the corporations that went on to benefit from the Communist party’s repression of free trade unions.

Campaign groups and governments that want to promote the spread of democracy have been far slower to understand that the emerging power of the 21st century will be every tyrant’s first customer and banker of last resort and adjust their tactics accordingly.

Their failure may be because it is far from clear what fresh tactics are on offer. Take the supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi campaigning for a democratic Burma. Their demonstrations outside Chinese embassies have had no effect. They persuaded Gordon Brown to raise Burma in meetings with the Chinese leadership, but again the Prime Minister was unlikely to have made an impression. Their other successes look equally fragile. The European Union has imposed sanctions, but Western energy companies ask with justice why they should be told not to compete for gas contracts the Chinese will snap up.

More seriously, they are running into a problem familiar to anyone who campaigned against 20th-century dictatorships: where to find allies. If you are protesting about an aspect of American policy – Guantánamo Bay or attitudes to global warming – this isn’t an issue. You can ally with and be informed by American activists, journalists, lawyers and opposition politicians. The resources of the civic society of a free country are at your disposal and you can use them to shift American opinion. A subject of the Chinese Communist party who helps foreign critics put pressure on Beijing risks imprisonment, and none but the bravest do.

David Miliband showed he understood the dilemmas of the new century when he gave a lecture in honour of Suu Kyi in Oxford last week. He described how the great wave of democratisation, which began with the fall of Franco’s dictatorship in the Seventies, moved through South America, the Soviet empire, South Africa and the tyrannies of East Asia, was petering out.

The Foreign Secretary was undiplomatic enough to continue that the economic success of China had proved that history was not over and he was right. Its combination of communist suppression with market economics is being seen as a viable alternative to liberal freedoms, notably by Putin and his cronies, but also by anti-democratic forces across Asia.

The only justification for the Beijing games is that they will allow connoisseurs of the grotesque to inspect this ghoulish hybrid of the worst of capitalism and the worst of socialism close up. The march of China’s bloodstained allies round the stadium will merely be the beginning. The International Olympic Committee and all the national sports bureaucracies will follow up by instructing athletes not to say a word out of place.

The free-market CEOs of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Electric and all the other sponsors who have made money out of China will join the communists in insisting that outsiders have no right to criticise. Any Chinese dissident who hasn’t been picked up before the world’s journalists arrive will face terrifying punishments if he speaks to them.

I know sportsmen and women are exasperated by demands to boycott events they have dreamed of winning for years. Why should they suffer when no business or government is prepared to turn its back on the vast Chinese market? For all that, they still should not go. The hypocrisy of the 2008 Olympics will make all but the most hard-hearted athletes retch. They will not look back on it not as a high point of their careers, but a nadir.

– Original report from The Observer: The only winner in Beijing will be tyranny

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Oscar-winning Director Steven Spielberg Boycotts China 2008 Olympics

Posted by Author on February 13, 2008


By Bob Tourtellotte and Paul Eckert, Reuters, Tue Feb 12, 2008-

LOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Oscar-winning film director Steven Spielberg withdrew on Tuesday as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing over China’s policy on the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.

“I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual,” Spielberg said in a statement issued on a day when Nobel Peace laureates sent a letter to China’s president urging a change in policies toward its ally Sudan.

“At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur,” he added.

China is a leading oil customer and supplier of weapons to Sudan and is accused by critics of providing diplomatic cover for Khartoum as it stonewalls international efforts to send peacekeepers into Darfur.

In April, Spielberg wrote a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao adding his voice to the chorus of people who have protested China’s involvement with the Sudanese government over the crisis in Darfur. At that time, Spielberg had asked to meet with Hu, but the president failed to respond.

In his statement on Tuesday, Spielberg said Sudan’s government shouldered the bulk of responsibility for “these ongoing crimes” in Darfur but said China “should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering there.”

Earlier on Tuesday, nine Nobel Peace Prize laureates — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Jody Williams — sent a letter to Hu urging China to uphold Olympic ideals by pressing Sudan to stop atrocities in Darfur……. (more details from Reuters: Steven Spielberg quits as adviser to Olympics over Darfur)

Posted in Africa, Artists, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Oscar-winning Director Steven Spielberg Boycotts China 2008 Olympics

Group of Nobel Laureates Press China Over Darfur

Posted by Author on February 12, 2008


By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent, Reuters, Tue Feb 12, 2008-

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates sent a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urging the Beijing Games host to uphold Olympic ideals by pressing its ally Sudan to stop atrocities in Darfur.

“As the primary economic, military and political partner of the Government of Sudan, and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China has both the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to a just peace in Darfur,” said the letter.

“Ongoing failure to rise to this responsibility amounts, in our view, to support for a government that continues to carry out atrocities against its own people,” said the letter, released on a day of events by the Save Darfur Coalition.

The letter was signed by Nobel Peace laureates Bishop Carlos Belo, Shirin Ebadi, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Betty Williams and Jody Williams. Other signatories included politicians, Olympic medallists and entertainers.

U.S. actress Mia Farrow, who has spearheaded the coalition’s global campaign to press China to change its policies in Sudan, gathered a crowd outside the Chinese mission to the United Nations in New York as she tried to deliver the letter.

“China hopes that these games will be its post-Tiananmen Square coming out party. But how can Beijing host the Olympic Games at home and underwrite genocide in Darfur?” she said, and stuffed the letter under the mission door after her knocks went unanswered.

In more than four years of conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes, according to estimates from international experts. Khartoum says 9,000 people have died.

“HIGHER CALLING OF HUMANITY”

The letter to Hu acknowledged Chinese support for a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the deployment of a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force to Darfur.

“However, we note with dismay that the Chinese government worked to weaken the resolution before it passed,” it said. The letter said China doubled its trade with Sudan in 2007 and continued its military relationship with the African country…….(more details from Reuters)

Posted in Africa, China, Darfur, Genocide, Human Rights, intellectual, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Group of Nobel Laureates Press China Over Darfur

Human Rights Torch Arrives in Africa

Posted by Author on February 8, 2008


By Zoe Ackah, Epoch Times Staff, Feb 07, 2008- Members of the Kumasi Metropolitian Assembly Hon. Thomas Sakyi (left), Thomas Mullen (centre), and member of Ghana's Society for the Aged Ebenezer Wilson hold the Human Rights Torch, February 5, 2008 at the Kumasi Centre for National Culture. (Zoe Ackah/The Epoch Times)

KUMASI, Ghana— The Human Rights Torch Relay touched down in Kumasi, Ghana last Tuesday.

Ghana is having a stellar year, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2007, currently heading the African Union, as well as hosting the African Cup of Nation’s which will wrap up February 10.

(photo: Members of the Kumasi Metropolitian Assembly Hon. Thomas Sakyi (left), Thomas Mullen (centre), and member of Ghana’s Society for the Aged Ebenezer Wilson hold the Human Rights Torch, February 5, 2008 at the Kumasi Centre for National Culture. /Zoe Ackah, The Epoch Times)

The Human Rights Torch Relay took place amidst the Cup of Nations festivities, hosted in part by the Kumasi Sports Village, a venue set up as part of the celebrations surrounding the CAN.

The message of the torch relay was broadcast loud and clear: “Se fahodie nni Beiging a Olimpic akansie ho nhia : The Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot coexist in China.”

The HRTR’s Ghana welcome was an all day event, beginning with a march through Adum that ended at the Kumasi’s Centre for National Culture. The march was attended by the King Faisal Football Club, who acted as the Ghanaian athletic torch ambassadors. The Centre for Youth Empowerment and the Christ Power Ministry members held banners and handed out flyers along the parade route.

The torch was received at the Centre for National Culture by Kumasi Metropolitian Assemblymen Hon. Thomas Sakyi and Hon. Thomas Mullen.

When asked about his experience lighting the torch as the representative for Kumasi, Hon. Thomas Sakyi commented, “I was very, very delighted. It was very significant in my lifetime and it will be history in my lifetime. It will be a pleasure for our community to know that an assemblyman from our area has lighted the torch. It will be in the history book, Genesis upon Genesis. That message there must reach the whole world.”

The keynote speech was given by Director of Amnesty International, Ghana, Michael Brigandi. “China is the country that is hosting the Olympic games, and at the same time China is a country which is violating human rights—killing a group of people known as Falun Gong and removing their organs for sale, just as how in Ghana here you can dismantle a car and sell the parts. That is done to human being is this country (China),” said Brigandi.

“…and we are here today … to let the people of China know that what is happening there is not secret. The people of the world, including Ghana, are all aware that the government there is killing people…that is why Amnesty International in conjunction with world renowned human right organizations, like the Human Rights Torch … is campaigning and gathering signatures for the Chinese government, to drive the message home, that China may stop violating the rights or their citizens”

Habib Ali, Director of the Centre for Youth Empowerment (CYE), an Islamic youth group, addressed the audience and the International Olympic Committee, “I am very greatful to be here on behalf of CYE to be part of the fight against the torture of the helpless Falun Gong practitioners, the Uighurs Muslim of Xingjiang in China, and other members of the human family whose rights are still been abused around the world.”

Ali added, “41,500 organs were probably taken from the unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at the very centre where the greatest world sporting event, the Olympics, shall be held this year. In another unfortunate development, the Chinese government is directing a crush down campaign against some 8 million Uighurs Muslims of Xingjiang in China under the shadow of the worldwide campaign against terrorism.

“Chinese policy and law enforcement are denying these Muslims their right of religion as required in Islam. Celebrating religious holidays, studying religious text or showing one’s religion through personal appearance at state institutions are strictly forbidden, even in schools.

“Intensive surveillance machinery is imposed on mosques, and schools are purged of

Ghana Premier League football team King Faisal, including their coach Steven George Polack (fourth from left) before commencing a five-on-five soccer match played during events to welcome the Global Human Rights Torch to Ghana. (Zoe Ackah/The Epoch Times)

religious teachers and students. Clerical duties and what version of the Qur’an should be recited are supervised by the government! This is telling us that the Chinese communist government is unwilling to follow the Olympic charter as it hosts the event.”

After the speeches, members of King Faisal football club and other members of the local sporting community played a mini-gala soccer match……. ( More details from the Epochtimes)

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Crime against humanity, Event, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Law, News, Rally, Social, Spiritual, Sports, World | Comments Off on Human Rights Torch Arrives in Africa

Rights Group Criticizes Corporate Sponsors of 2008 Beijing Olympics For Staying Silent on Darfur Killing

Posted by Author on November 30, 2007


By Alex Villarreal, VOA News, U.S, 28 November 2007-

Washington- Human rights advocates say China is not doing enough to address the crisis in Sudan’s troubled region of Darfur. One group is calling on corporate sponsors of the 2008 Olympic Games to push China to do more. But as VOA’s Alex Villarreal reports from Washington, their responses have also drawn criticism.

U.S.-based advocacy group Dream for Darfur says corporate sponsors of the Olympics in Beijing have failed to do their part to pressure China to ensure peace in Darfur.

The group issued a report card Monday grading the companies’ responses to the Darfur crisis after asking them to take a stand. Sixteen out of 19 sponsors failed or got Ds, including Microsoft, Panasonic and Visa. General Electric earned the highest grade, a C-plus.

Ellen Freudenheim conducted research for the project. Speaking to reporters via teleconference, she said the majority of Olympic sponsors are condoning the violence in Darfur by staying silent.

“If there’s a genocide and you’re involved with a government that’s actively enabling that genocide, you, too, are silently complicit if you don’t at least raise the issue,” she said.

Dream for Darfur graded the companies using a range of criteria, including whether they contacted China or the International Olympic Committee, donated aid to Darfur or appointed a point person on Darfur.

Several companies, including Visa and General Electric, sent response letters to the campaign saying they found it inappropriate to take action. They said the correct platform for the Darfur issue is at a United Nations and government level.

But American actress Mia Farrow, chair of Dream for Darfur’s advisory board, said businesses are responsible, too.

“This is blood money,” she said. “You know, I think they should step up and do the right thing. And they have a unique position here with the Olympic games, a unique point of leverage. And I think unless they use it to their utmost, then they will have failed in a profound, profound way. Then shame on them.” …… (more details from VOA News: Rights Group Criticizes China for Failure to Act on Darfur)

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, Business, China, Company, Darfur, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, Politics, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Rights Group Criticizes Corporate Sponsors of 2008 Beijing Olympics For Staying Silent on Darfur Killing