Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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  • Torture methods used by China police

  • Censorship

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  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

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

Western Intelligence Agencies Ban China Lenovo Computers Over Hacking Issues

Posted by Author on July 31, 2013


Britain’s intelligence agencies, including MI6 and MI5, have allegedly banned the use of computers manufactured by Chinese company Lenovo due to concerns that the machines come hardwired with a vulnerability to hacking. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Europe, Made in China, News, Politics, products, Technology, UK, World | Comments Off on Western Intelligence Agencies Ban China Lenovo Computers Over Hacking Issues

Snubbed by Cameron, Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Accuses UK of Kowtowing to China

Posted by Author on May 21, 2013


  • Chen Guangcheng is in UK to receive award for exposing ‘gendercide’
  • But request to meet with the Prime Minister has been snubbed
  • Human rights campaigner says David Cameron is kowtowing to Beijing

A blind anti-abortion activist forced to flee China after suffering years of torture and persecution has accused the British government of running scared from Beijing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Rights, People, Politics, UK, World | 1 Comment »

WTO confirms China illegally imposed anti-dumping duties on scanners from the EU

Posted by Author on February 27, 2013


A World Trade Organization panel found that China’s anti-dumping duties on X-ray security scanners from the EU were in breach of WTO anti-dumping rules. WTO rules say that anti-dumping duties can only be imposed under strict conditions to address cases in which exports sold below fair value cause damage to the domestic industry of the importing country, so-called “injurious dumping”. The panel agreed with the EU that these conditions were not met by China in this case. The panel concluded that China also failed to respect due process and transparency requirements and called on China to bring its measures in line with WTO rules. The report marks a clear victory for the EU. If it is not appealed within 60 days, China will be expected to remove its duties on EU imports of X-ray security scanners. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Business, China, Europe | Comments Off on WTO confirms China illegally imposed anti-dumping duties on scanners from the EU

BBC “strongly condemned” China’s “deliberate” Blocking of Shortwave Service Broadcasts

Posted by Author on February 26, 2013


The BBC has “strongly condemned” the “deliberate and co-ordinated” jamming of the BBC World Service by authorities in China.

On Monday the corporation issued a statement after receiving reports that its shortwave frequencies were being blocked in China. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Communication, Human Rights, Media, Politics, Press freedom, radio, Technology, UK, World | Comments Off on BBC “strongly condemned” China’s “deliberate” Blocking of Shortwave Service Broadcasts

China’s Forced Organ Harvesting is “a crime against humanity”- EP Hearing

Posted by Author on January 30, 2013


[Leonidas Donskis, EP Human Rights Subcommittee Member]:
“People who are behind this are criminals. This is a crime against humanity.”

At this hearing (Religious Persecution by China: A Horror Story)—held at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 29—doctors, politicians and human rights defenders discussed how prisoners of conscience in China are persecuted, tortured, and in some cases, killed for their organs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in all Hot Topic, China, Crime against humanity, Europe, Human Rights, Law, Organ harvesting, World | Comments Off on China’s Forced Organ Harvesting is “a crime against humanity”- EP Hearing

China’s Bo Xilai Wife ‘has confessed’ to killing the British Businessman Neil Heywood

Posted by Author on June 22, 2012


Investigators have said that the wife of the disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has confessed to killing the British businessman Neil Heywood, according to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

Gu Kailai was detained because she was “highly suspected” of killing Heywood following a row over an unspecified financial conflict, according to official reports. A family employee, Zhang Xiaojun, is also being held.

It would be extremely rare for such a high-profile and politically well-connected figurenot to be tried after being publicly named as a suspect in such a serious crime. Experts on the Chinese legal system have assumed since the announcement of Gu’s detention that she will go to trial and be convicted. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bo Xilai, China, Europe, Law, News, Official, People, Politics, scandals, Social, UK, World | Comments Off on China’s Bo Xilai Wife ‘has confessed’ to killing the British Businessman Neil Heywood

The Darker Hu(e) of China’s investment

Posted by Author on June 19, 2012


The visit by President Hu brings economic prosperity, cultural cooperation, environmental agreements and … suppression

As Danish business interests walked away from last week’s visit by China’s president, Hu Jintao, with lucrative contracts, critics were accusing the government of bending over backwards to ensure that the visit was not disrupted by protestors.

Blue chip Danish companies including Carlsberg, Novozymes and Arla negotiated business deals during the three-day visit to the tune of 18 billion kroner that could help hoist Denmark from a recessive economy, but the cost of those contracts, protestors claim, was their freedom of speech. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Business, China, Europe, Human Rights, Incident, Politics, Protest, World | Comments Off on The Darker Hu(e) of China’s investment

China accounts for 85% of fake goods seized in EU

Posted by Author on July 14, 2011


BRUSSELS — European customs intercepted one billion euros worth of counterfeit goods last year, with 85 percent of the fakes originating from China, the European Commission said Thursday.

The figures highlighted the rise of Chinese counterfeit goods, which had accounted for 64 percent of the fake articles seized in the 27-nation European Union in 2009.

China is by far the biggest exporter of such goods in a list that includes India, the source of counterfeit drugs, and Hong Kong, which supplies counterfeit memory cards, as well as Turkey and Thailand. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Counterfeit, Economy, Europe, Made in China, News, products, World | Comments Off on China accounts for 85% of fake goods seized in EU

Iceland says sorry to Falun Gong for siding with China

Posted by Author on May 30, 2011


Governments don’t often apologize. Iceland made an exception recently though, when Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson said he was sorry for the way that Falun Gong practitioners were treated when they tried to visit the country in 2002.

At that time authorities issued a ban against practitioners of the spiritual discipline from entering the country, to coincide with the state visit of then leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Jiang Zemin.

Icelandic authorities then distributed a blacklist obtained from Chinese regime intelligence services, and carried out harassment and interrogations against Falun Gong practitioners on the island in an attempt to prevent protests. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Europe, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on Iceland says sorry to Falun Gong for siding with China

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

Posted by Author on March 27, 2011


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

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

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

State-sponsored Cyber-spies from China penetrate UK Foreign Office computers

Posted by Author on February 4, 2011


Richard Norton-Taylor and Julian Borger in Munich, guardian.co.uk, Friday 4 February 2011-

China has penetrated the Foreign Office’s internal communications in the most audacious example yet of the growing threat posed by state-sponsored cyber-attacks, it emerged tonight.

William Hague told a security conference in Munich that the FO repelled the attack last month from “a hostile state intelligence agency”. Although the foreign secretary did not name the country behind the attacks, intelligence sources familiar with the incidents made it clear he was referring to China. The sources did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, hacking, Internet, News, People, Politics, Social, spy, Technology, UK, World | Comments Off on State-sponsored Cyber-spies from China penetrate UK Foreign Office computers

Germany reports ‘sharp rise’ in cyberattacks, many originating in China

Posted by Author on December 27, 2010


AFP, Dec.27, 2010 –

BERLIN — Germany detected a sharp rise in cyberattacks in 2010, many originating in China, and plans to set up a special centre next year to deal with the danger, the government said on Monday.

“There has been a sharp rise in so-called electronic attacks on the networks of German government and local authorities,” interior ministry spokesman Stefan Paris told a regular government briefing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, cyber attack, Europe, Germany, Internet, News, Politics, Technology, World | Comments Off on Germany reports ‘sharp rise’ in cyberattacks, many originating in China

Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo was a tribute to all free speech activists

Posted by Author on December 10, 2010


Reporters Without Borders regards today’s Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo, which it attended, as an historic celebration of the paramount importance of freedom of expression. Awarded to jailed Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo, the prize was a tribute to all free speech activists, like the Nobel Peace Prizes that went to Russia’s Andrei Sakharov and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Europe, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo was a tribute to all free speech activists

In spite of Chinese regime’s threat, France says EU nations to attend Nobel peace award

Posted by Author on November 9, 2010


By Nick Vinocur, Reuters, Nov 9, 2010 –

(Reuters) – European countries are planning to attend a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honoring dissident Liu Xiaobo, France said on Tuesday, rebuffing calls from  China for its trade partners to boycott the event.

China reacted angrily when the imprisoned Liu was awarded the prize last month, calling it an “obscenity” that would not change the country’s political system. Liu’s wife and a score of other dissidents have since been put under house arrest.

China’s vice foreign minister and its key negotiator for the Group of 20 meetings told journalists last week that any European government officials who attended the December ceremony for Liu would “have to bear the consequences.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Europe, Human Rights, People, Photo, Politics, World | Comments Off on In spite of Chinese regime’s threat, France says EU nations to attend Nobel peace award

Chinese reporter tells story of ‘EU censorship’ during China-EU summit

Posted by Author on October 12, 2010


ANDREW RETTMAN AND ANDREW WILLIS, The EUobserver.com, 11.10.2010 –

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – One of the reporters temporarily excluded from the China-EU summit last week has talked to EUobserver about his “surprise” at facing Chinese-style censorship in the bosom of the European Union.

Lixin Yang, who has full press accreditation in the EU institutions in Brussels, was first denied entry when he and three colleagues arrived at the metal detectors at the summit venue, the EU Council’s Justus Lipsius building, at 2pm local time last Wednesday (6 October). He works for the government-critical media The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television, which have links to the repressed Falun Gong movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese reporter tells story of ‘EU censorship’ during China-EU summit

Awarded Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Important for China’s Future, Says Vice-President of the European Parliament

Posted by Author on August 14, 2010


By James Burke/Epoch Times Staff, Aug. 13, 2010 –

A Vice-President of the European Parliament has said that missing Chinese human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng must play a role in the future of a free China.

“Gao Zhisheng must be part of the future of a reformed and democratic China,” said Edward McMillan-Scott, a Vice-President of the European Parliament and Founder of the EU’s democracy and human rights initiative.

“[Mr. Gao’s] devotion to the cause of justice and a fair legal system brought him into national prominence as a lawyer,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott after learning that the respected Chinese lawyer had been honoured with the International Human Rights Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association on Friday August 6.

The annual award is given to lawyers well-known for taking on human rights cases and who have in turn, suffered persecution because of their efforts.

“This award is one of many which make Gao indispensable for China’s future,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott.

Since April this year there has been no word of Mr. Gao’s whereabouts or his wellbeing, and it is believed he is being secretly held by the Chinese police.

A dedicated Christian, Mr. Gao was self-educated and would go on to be described by Chinese officials as one of China’s ten best lawyers. He was well known for his work in assisting China’s poor and marginalized, but he met the wrath of Chinese state security once he began defending the rights of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

In December 2004, Mr. Gao sent the first of three open letters to Chinese Communist Party leaders — President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao — which described his investigation into the state’s persecution of Falun Gong. His next two letters would include descriptions of extreme methods of torture used by Chinese police during their attempts to force practitioners to denounce their faith.

“His criticism of the repellent and corrupt Beijing regime in his open letters gave him a wider audience as a statesman,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott.

“His examination of the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and his trenchant criticisms of the regime which set them in train mark him out as a true prophet,” he said.

“His captors should learn from recent European and world history: democracy and human rights will triumph.”

For his letters, the Chinese state shut down Mr. Gao’s law firm and took away his license to practice. Mr. Gao and his family also faced continued harassment and intimidation from security agents. In August 2006, he was taken by secret police and later convicted of “subversion.” A subsequent jail sentence was suspended and he was placed under house arrest and monitored.

In the lead up to the 2008 Olympics he wrote an open letter to the US Congress stating that China’s human rights situation was worsening. Subsequently he was taken into police custody for several months and tortured to the point where he considered suicide. After being released he revealed via a statement what he had experienced in custody, despite being warned by police that if he did so he would be killed. His family fled China in January 2009 and a month after this, Mr. Gao was again abducted by police and went missing for more than a year.

In April this year, Mr. Gao resurfaced and gave several restricted media interviews and it was believed he was being closely monitored by police. At the end of that month he was reported missing again, he is now thought to be in police custody.

In 2007 the English translation of Mr. Gao’s memoir “A China More Just” was published. In 2007, 2008, and 2010, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. McMillan-Scott has been a long time campaigner for reform and democracy in China and was in contact with Mr. Gao before he disappeared. According to his website, in May 2006, Mr. McMillan-Scott visited Beijing on a fact finding mission and all the Chinese with whom he had contact with were arrested, imprisoned and in some cases tortured.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Freedom of Speech, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Awarded Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Important for China’s Future, Says Vice-President of the European Parliament

Harvard tops Chinese university rankings for eighth year

Posted by Author on August 14, 2010


AFP, Aug. 13, 2010 –

SHANGHAI
— Harvard topped a ranking of world universities published Friday by a Shanghai college for the eighth year running — a list dominated by US institutions and sharply criticised in Europe.

The University of California at Berkeley was second, followed by Stanford, according to the list of 500 institutions compiled by Jiaotong University’s Centre for World-Class Universities, available at http://www.arwu.org.

The rankings are focused almost entirely on a university’s achievements in scientific research, and do not cover the humanities — prompting concerns that they do not accurately reflect an institution’s overall performance.

Jiaotong uses criteria such as the number of Nobel prizes and Fields medals won by staff and alumni, the number of highly cited researchers on staff, and the number of articles by faculty published in Nature and Science magazines.

The rankings have come in for sharp criticism, notably in Europe, where officials say the criteria are biased against European schools.

The list was the first global ranking of universities when it made its debut in 2003. It was intended to benchmark the performance of Chinese universities, amid efforts by Beijing to create a set of world-class research institutions.

The highest-ranked non-US institutions this year were Britain’s Cambridge and Oxford universities, in fifth and 10th places respectively…….(More details from AFP)

Posted in China, Education, Europe, News, Social, USA, World | Comments Off on Harvard tops Chinese university rankings for eighth year

Chinese Organ Harvesting Witness Faces Deportation back to China

Posted by Author on August 3, 2010


By Matthew Robertson, Epoch Times Staff, Aug. 3, 2010 –

A former member of the Chinese security forces, with highly sensitive information on the state’s practice of organ harvesting from prisoners, is currently stuck in an immigration limbo in Switzerland and faces deportation to China.

While Swiss authorities seek to apply the European Union’s recondite and stiff laws on asylum seekers, advocates say the witness has valuable information and should be granted asylum and an audience with the United Nations.

From 1993-1998, Nijat Abudureyimu, himself a Uyghur, was stationed in the prison of Liuwandao in the Northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang. His job was to lead prisoners from their cells to their execution.

But often they weren’t normal executions. Police would shoot the prisoner in the head in such a way as not to kill them, so that organs harvested from the body would be in the best condition.

Mr. Abudureyimu’s story of his time in Chinese labor camps has not yet been released in full. Over the last week, however, he has been granting interviews to European media in an effort to secure his stay in Switzerland, and allow him to testify to the U.N. on what he witnessed in China.

“After a while, I told my boss that I wanted to return to the police but he refused because I had seen too much. I stayed five years until 1998,” he said in an interview with Le Matin. “I saw many scenes of torture … an electrical appliance on women’s genitals, deeply thrust into the vagina, the electric shocks, the scream.”

Complicating the matter is the Swiss authorities’ unbending application of the EU’s Dublin Regulation, which says that the EU country of entry bears the legal burden for assessing the asylum seeker’s claim. In Mr. Abudureyimu’s case, that country is Italy. But with hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants, and the suspected presence of Chinese operatives waiting for him, he has refused to go back.

The Swiss government’s obligation to allow him to remain expired on July 27, and given his refusal to return voluntarily, they have reached a standoff.

Advocates say the rigid application of the Dublin Regulation on the case is odd since a large number of Chinese refugee applications are otherwise processed by the Swiss government.

Fleeing from China

Mr. Abudureyimu’s odyssey began in China. After quitting his job as an executioner’s assistant in Xinjiang, he retreated into a world of vodka and nightmares. In late 2006, while drunk, he corrected a doctor on the price of a kidney. “I said too much. Shortly after, a friend of the police told me I was finished, I had to leave the country immediately,” he told Swiss daily newspaper Le Matin.

He spent three months with his brother in Dubai in 2007. Persistent questioning from a Chinese police officer suggested his cover had been blown, so he decided to move to Norway. Passing through Rome for a night in September 2008, he received a visitor visa on the way to Oslo.

His application for refugee status was rejected in Norway and he was threatened by a Chinese man at a Norwegian camp for asylum seekers. Around the same time he received news that his father in Xinjiang had died under mysterious circumstances.

Deported from Norway back to Italy, he submitted another application for asylum. While it was being processed he spent some months in Italian camps for asylum seekers; in Sicily he was photographed by a Chinese man on his cell phone, and again feeling endangered decided to make another break for it.

The Federal Office for Migration in Switzerland is aware of Mr. Abudureyimu’s circumstances, but does not evince much concern for his welfare.

Alard du Bois-Reymond, director of the office, defended the official stance to Swiss media. “Experience shows that Italy doesn’t answer if Switzerland asks for taking back a refugee. If he does not get asylum in Switzerland, he may be sent back to China.”

This is troubling to researchers and human rights advocates, who are puzzled by the Swiss state’s unwillingness to extend themselves in Mr. Abuduremiyu’s case.

Valuable Witness

Ethan Gutmann, an author and researcher who has been following the story of organ harvesting in China for several years, regards Mr. Abuduremiyu as an important witness.

Mr. Gutmann and his research partner Jaya Gibson (who works for The Epoch Times) first got Mr. Abuduremiyu to go on the record about what he had done and seen. Their efforts on his behalf led to a story in Le Temps that has set off a flurry of press attention in Switzerland.

“It is essential that when someone who worked on the inside of special Chinese police forces comes in out of the cold and gives an honest appraisal of what they are involved in that they are rewarded,” Mr. Gutmann said to The Epoch Times. “There are many, many more witnesses out there who want to speak, but they see what is happening to someone like Nijat, and they stay silent. The Swiss government should have Nijat testify before a government organization.”

Mr. Gutmann’s earlier “emotionally raw and extensive” interviews with Mr. Abuduremiyu will be released once an appropriate media partner is found.

“This is the tip of a very large iceberg. In my opinion Uyghurs were used as a testing ground for organ harvesting in the same way they were used as a testing ground for nuclear weapons in the 1960s. The flowering of the organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience did not occur in my opinion until the persecution of Falun Gong, in the years 2001 to the present. What this is suggesting is that in Xinjiang no controls were resident—the inhibitions were very low,” Mr. Gutmann said.

Testimony obtained from Uyghurs, including from Mr. Abuduremiyu, confirms earlier allegations from Falun Gong refugees of a massive prison camp in Xinjiang Province that holds hard-core criminals, and Uyghur and Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. “This could be the locus of major organ harvesting activity,” he said.

In Washington, the Uyghur Human Rights Project is also paying attention. “We kindly request the Swiss authorities to grant Nijat asylum as he will face severe persecution including execution if he is returned to China for any reason,” the group’s director, Alim Seytoff, wrote in an e-mail to The Epoch Times.

“We believe his statement that the Chinese authorities harvested organs from executed Uyghur prisoners is credible. … It is our hope that the international community, especially the U.N., could formally investigate China’s organ harvesting. … We hope Geneva will play a proactive role” he wrote.

Yves Brutsch, spokesman for asylum seekers at the Protestant Social Centre in Geneva, echoed many of the same sentiments. “He has important things to inform the international community; this is a special case.”

In an interview with the German language media “20 Minuten,” Mr. Brutsch noted that the Dublin Regulation allows Switzerland to treat the request themselves. “It is a question of political will.”

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Europe, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese Organ Harvesting Witness Faces Deportation back to China

EU report: 64% of fake goods are from China- a 10% increase

Posted by Author on July 22, 2010


BBC News, 22 July 2010 –

An EU report says 64% of fake or pirated goods seized in the 27-nation bloc last year came from China – a 10% increase on 2008.

Clothing was the biggest category of goods seized at 27%, while the amount of illegal CDs, DVDs and electrical goods seized showed a marked decline.

The economic downturn accounted for a fall in customs interventions.

Black market cigarettes, fake labels and counterfeit medicines were common contraband, the EU says.

There were significant quantities of contraband shampoos, toothpaste, toys, medicines or household appliances that could pose a health hazard, the European Commission report said on Thursday.

In all, customs officials intervened in more than 43,500 cases last year, seizing 118 million articles.

The commission said that in the past luxury goods were the most susceptible to intellectual property right (IPR) infringements, but “more and more items used by citizens in their daily lives are now affected”.

Cigarettes accounted for 19% of the products seized, other tobacco products 16%, labels 13% and medicines 10%.

More than 77% of all detained products were destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine the infringement.

Of the goods seized, 38% were flown into the EU and 34% entered the EU by post.

The main origin of contraband food and drink was Turkey, while for medicines it was the United Arab Emirates and for toys and games it was Egypt.

BBC News

Posted in Business, China, Counterfeit, Economy, Europe, Made in China, medicine, News, products, Social, Trade, World | Comments Off on EU report: 64% of fake goods are from China- a 10% increase

Two German Business Chiefs Criticize China

Posted by Author on July 20, 2010


By Andrew Willis, via The Business Week, July 19, 2010 –

Two of Germany’s leading industrialists publicly attacked China’s business environment during a meeting with the country’s premier, Wen Jiabao, over the weekend (17 July).

Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of giant chemical company BASF (BASFY), and Peter Löscher, chief executive of industrial conglomerate Siemens (SI), added their voices to a growing clamour of criticism against Chinese rules that are seen as disadvantaging foreign firms.

Mr Hambrecht said foreign companies are frequently forced to transfer business and technological “know-how” to Chinese companies in exchange for market access.

“That does not exactly correspond to our views of a partnership,” he told Mr Wen at the roundtable discussion in the northwestern Chinese city of Xian, according to German journalists who attended the meeting.

The strong statements are particularly noteworthy due to their public nature and delivery during a meeting also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in China as part of a four-day state visit.

Mr Löscher voiced widespread complaints about draft Chinese public procurement rules which are intended to support “indigenous innovation,” a policy foreign companies fear could shut them out of lucrative government contracts.

The Siemens boss also called on China to remove investment restrictions in certain sectors, reported German daily Handelsblatt. At present, foreign companies can be required to form joint ventures with Chinese companies when setting up shop in China, as exemplified by the Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive company.

Mr Wen reportedly responded to the criticism by telling Mr Hambrecht to calm down, insisting that China remained committed to opening its economy. “Currently there is an allegation that China’s investment environment is worsening. I think it is untrue,” Mr Wen said.

But the comments from two of Europe’s leading industrialists come on top of a recent survey by the EU’s chamber of commerce in China which showed that foreign executives hold an increasingly gloomy outlook regarding China’s regulatory setup.

The increasing fears of discrimination led the EU chamber’s president Jacques de Boisseson to suggest firms may even consider pulling out of China altogether.

“Nobody should take for granted that European companies will continue investing whatever the business environment,” said Mr De Boisseson.

The Business Week

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Why other countries, such as China, pay for our politicians to visit (3)

Posted by Author on July 7, 2010


Brian Stewart, CBC News, Canada, Wednesday, July 7, 2010 –

Part 1 Part 2

Boondoggle phobia

This spreading phenomenon makes intelligence services nervous precisely because it’s so apparently out in the open. All the big political parties play the game and remarkably few admit that our security might be involved.

Still, I sense some MPs, perhaps most, feel uneasy about these trips.

As Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae described the phenomenon in a recent interview with The National Post: “Why do so many MPs go to Taiwan? Very simply: the government of Taiwan encourages people to come and finances the trip.

“Why do so few MP’s go to the Congo? Nobody’s going to pay them to go to the Congo. And it really is a problem.”

In fact much of the problem is that our MPs hunger after these trips because there is simply no real parliamentary budget for foreign travel anymore.

That is our insane system right now. In the 21st century, no budget to travel. Even MPs who need the expertise in foreign affairs have to wheel and deal to get on these junkets, like impoverished roadside hitchhikers.

We created this mess over the years by going into our usual moralizing routine whenever we would read of MPs and their travelling”boondoggles.”

Well some were and some weren’t, but at least they were Canadian boondoggles.

Now MPs are so afraid to use taxpayer dollars to study the world, they prefer the dole of other countries.

For a developed nation like Canada this is in equal parts shabby and shortsighted.

The solution is pretty simple: Parliament should first discourage, perhaps ban, all such free trips.

Then it should vote an annual and substantial budget to send MPs on serious study tours about issues that count. Let a committee work all this out in public.

Few problems of international security are ever easy to fix. This one is.

If we do nothing, those ugly suspicions of influence, and of shadowy favours given and received, will inevitably creep still further into our political system. (END)

Part 1 Part 2

– from CBC News

Related:
We need to get real about spies– China’s interference in Canada
The Seduction of China’s Red Carpet
Canadian Spy Master Criticized by Alleged China Front Organization

Posted in Australia, Canada, China, Entertainment, Europe, Life, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, travel, World | 1 Comment »

Why other countries, such as China, pay for our politicians to visit (2)

Posted by Author on July 7, 2010


Brian Stewart, CBC News, Canada, Wednesday, July 7, 2010 –

<< previous

Another country’s dole

“Sponsors wouldn’t pay for travel without an expectation of getting something back,” says Errol Mendes, a constitutional law professor at the University of Ottawa.

What these sponsors want, above all, is influence on our politics, trade relations and international positions. For our politicians to proclaim otherwise, as some do, carries naiveté into the realm of fantasy.

China is a relentlessly generous host and deserves special mention because the federal government and CSIS have both publicly acknowledged that it is the most aggressive nation spying on us by a substantial margin.

The Conservatives have long vowed to crack down on Chinese espionage, although much of that talk was before the recent thaw in business relations.

That said, Israel and Taiwan, both very active in the world of espionage, are well up there with China at least in terms of courting potential supporters with trips.

According to the federal ethics commissioner, the Canada-Israel Committee paid more than $160,000 to host 14 MPs on one-week trips to Israel in 2009.

The committee, at least, is openly registered in Ottawa as an Israeli lobby group and it is important to note that there is nothing illegal, corrupt or against the rules of Parliament in accepting such favours from any foreign nation.

The practice is just thoroughly “reprehensible,” as Senator Colin Kenny, the former chair of the Senate committee on national security and defence, puts it in a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen defending Richard Fadden.

“Fadden did Canadians a service,” Kenny argues, “by pointing out that too many Canadian politicians are effectively on other countries’ dole.”

‘China junket’

In fact, the issue of dubious foreign favours being lavished on our politicians is a scandal waiting to happen. Just look at what’s happened elsewhere.

Two years ago, the British media had a field day when it was revealed that former London mayor Ken Livingstone enjoyed an all-expense paid, $35,000 week-long trip to Beijing, including business class travel and $1,700 a night hotel room complete with, as one newspaper described it, “rainforest show and bath master to prepare the bath and fill it with heavily oils.”

A staunch defender of China’s human rights record over the years, Livingstone was the mayor who allowed tough-minded Chinese security officers to run alongside the Olympic flame as it passed through the city, a strong-arm role he later admitted was “a mistake.”

A far stormier scandal is currently raging in Australia over political freebies and foreign influence.

Last year the Australian government came under sustained fire when its defence minister disclosed he had received, while in opposition, two free trips to China paid for by a business concern with close ties to Beijing.

Now, it has been revealed that a quarter of Australian MPs have taken free overseas travel worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, paid for by foreign governments and lobby groups, with China the most popular destination……. (to be cont’d)

<< part 1 part 2 part 3

– from CBC News

Related:
We need to get real about spies– China’s interference in Canada
The Seduction of China’s Red Carpet
Canadian Spy Master Criticized by Alleged China Front Organization

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Why other countries, such as China, pay for our politicians to visit

Posted by Author on July 7, 2010


Brian Stewart, CBC News, Canada, Wednesday, July 7, 2010 –

I have no idea whether CSIS director Richard Fadden’s concerns about any growing foreign influence on Canadian politics are valid or not.

I do believe, however, that an extraordinary number of Canadian public officials are acting in ways that are inappropriate, risky and just plain dumb in accepting lavish favours from foreign nations with questionable motives.

Especially at a time when all Western intelligence services seem to agree that global espionage is now more prevalent than even during the Cold War.

Most cases are not as dramatic as the recent Russian spy scandal in the U.S., but spying nations are increasingly aggressive in trying to recruit local “agents of influence” to advance their own economic and political objectives.

In the process, there are many favours that foreign capitals bestow on our politicians in the hunt for some future advantage.

These can range from discrete political support in local ridings, funnelled through sympathetic associations or business leaders, to glamorous hospitality junkets.

The most obvious is the all-expenses paid fact-finding trip in which one is “treated like an emperor,” according to a recipient of one such China junket, former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan.

I doubt we have any clear notion how many of our elected officials revel in the hospitality of countries like China, Taiwan, Israel and a dozen others with powerful Canadian agendas.

As just the very tip of the iceberg, 53 MPs last year — many accompanied by spouses — accepted more than $432,000 in travel costs paid for by foreign governments or their lobby groups.

Heavily courted

Provincial and municipal figures are also heavily courted this way, a point made by the CSIS director in his controversial interviews with CBC.

Let’s be clear here: None of these trips are offered without the hope of influencing our politicians.

They are carefully planned, often by the host nation’s intelligence arm. The generous host always seeks long-term relationships and “understandings.”

We should also be clear that we’re not talking about the normal and proper diplomatic courtship on the cocktail circuits or routine state visits.

We are talking about free flights, hotel rooms, banquets and tours costing tens of thousands of dollars in many cases, which go well beyond what elected officials should be pocketing……. (to be cont’d)

-From  CBC News

Part 2 Part3

Related:
We need to get real about spies– China’s interference in Canada
The Seduction of China’s Red Carpet
Canadian Spy Master Criticized by Alleged China Front Organization

Posted in Australia, Canada, China, Europe, News, Official, People, politician, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Why other countries, such as China, pay for our politicians to visit