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


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. Continue reading

Two German Business Chiefs Criticize China


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

Shen Yun Show Schedule in April 2010 (Asia, Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand)


From Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Website -

Tainan, Taiwan
Apr 1 – 4
Aarhus, Denmark
Apr 2 – 3
Regina, SK, Canada
Apr 3
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Apr 5
Stockholm, Sweden
Apr 5 – 6
Changhua County, Taiwan
Apr 6 – 8
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Apr 7 – 8
Linköping, Sweden
Apr 8
Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
Apr 10 – 13
Oslo, Norway
Apr 10 – 11
Chicago, IL, United States
Apr 10 – 11
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Apr 14
Dresden, Germany
Apr 14 – 15
Taichung, Taiwan
Apr 16 – 18
Vienna/Wien, Austria
Apr 17
Denver, CO, United States
Apr 17 – 18
Brno, Czech Republic
Apr 19 – 21
Omaha, NE, United States
Apr 20
Yunlin County, Taiwan
Apr 21 – 23
Milwaukee, WI, United States
Apr 23 – 24
Paris, France
Apr 24 – 25
Taipei County, Taiwan
Apr 25 – 27
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Apr 27 – 28
Auckland, New Zealand
Apr 30 – May 2
Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
Apr 30 – May 11

Above: video of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ show in Europe in 2009. Video length: 11’21″

Related:
- (video) Shen Yun in North America 2009 (1)-  USA: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience
- (video) Shen Yun in North America 2009 (2) – Canada: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience
- (video)  Shen Yun in Asia 2009 (1)- Korea, Japan: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience
- (video)  Shen Yun in Asia 2009 (2)- Taiwan: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience

(video) Shen Yun in Europe 2009: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience


In 2010 from March to April, Shen Yun will be performing in following cities/countries in Europe: (schedule)

Amsterdam / Holland; Bruges / Belgium; Frankfurt, Dresden / Germany; Lausanne / Switzerland; Lyon, Paris / France; Bregenz, Vienna, Wien /Austria; Dublin / Ireland; Aarhus / Denmark; Stockholm,Linköping/ Sweden; Oslo/ Norway;Brno / Czech Republic; Cardiff / United Kingdom

Here’s a review video of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ show in Europe in 2009. Video length: 11’21″

Related:
- (video) Shen Yun in North America 2009 (1)-  USA: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience
- (video) Shen Yun in North America 2009 (2) – Canada: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience
- (video)  Shen Yun in Asia 2009 (1)- Korea, Japan: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience
- (video)  Shen Yun in Asia 2009 (2)- Taiwan: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience

Events around the world in March 2010: Shen Yun Performing Arts Show (Video)


Shen Yun, the state of arts classical Chinese dance and music show is traveling in about 100 cities around the world and will go to USA, Canada, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and many European cities in March 2010. Here’s a  brief schedule:

Daegu, Korea
Feb 25 – Mar 1
Saitama, Japan
Mar 4
Tokyo, Japan
Mar 5 – 7
Amsterdam, Holland
Mar 5 – 7
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Mar 6
Louisville, KY, USA
Mar 7
Yokohama, Japan
Mar 9
Indianapolis, IN, USA
Mar 9 – 10
Bruges, Belgium
Mar 9 – 10
Hiroshima, Japan
Mar 12
Frankfurt, Germany
Mar 12 – 14
Kansas City, KS, USA
Mar 13 – 14
Fukuoka, Japan
Mar 15
Ogden, UT, USA
Mar 16 – 18
Nishinomiya, Japan
Mar 17
Lausanne, Switzerland
Mar 18
Taipei, Taiwan
Mar 19 – 25
Portland, OR, USA
Mar 20 – 21
Lyon, France
Mar 20 – 21
Seattle, WA, USA
Mar 23 – 24
Bregenz, Austria
Mar 23 – 24
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mar 25 – 28
Chiayi, Taiwan
Mar 27 – 28
Dublin, Ireland
Mar 28
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Mar 30 – 31
Calgary, AB, Canada
Mar 30 – Apr 1

For details please check Shen Yun Performing Arts’ official website.

Following is a highligh HD video for Shen Yun 2010 show

Related:
- Schedule: Shen Yun World-wide Show in February, 2010- Asia & USA

Video highlight (2): Shen Yun show 2010


Shen Yun, a show that has been called by professionals as “State of the arts”, “mind-blowing”, ”first class”, “the best”, “the top”,  “perfection”,  “out of the world” and “beyond all-beyond”, now is traveling in about 20 countries, 100 cities around the world.

Show schedules can be found from official website: http://shenyunperformingarts.org/

Shen Yun show featuring:
- strong expressive technique of classical Chinese dance
- stunning costumes
- 3D digital backdrops
- live orchestra

More Shen Yun videos

http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/multimedia/video

Related:
- Video highlight (1): Shen Yun show 2010
- Review (video): Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Chinese Dance and Music Show
- Collection of Shen Yun 2010 Show Promotion Videos (HD)

Video highlight (1): Shen Yun show 2010


Shen Yun, a classical Chinese dance and music show that has been called by professionals as “State of the arts”, “mind-blowing”, “first class”, “the best”, “the top”,  “perfection”,  “out of the world” and “beyond all-beyond”, now is traveling in about 20 countries, 100 cities around the world.

Shen Yun Show schedules can be found from official website: http://shenyunperformingarts.org/

 

Shen Yun show featuring:
- strong expressive technique of classical Chinese dance
- stunning costumes
- 3D digital backdrops
- live orchestra

More Shen Yun videos

http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/multimedia/video

Related:
- Video highlight (2): Shen Yun show 2010
- Collection of Shen Yun 2010 Show Promotion Videos (HD)
- Review (video): Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Chinese Dance and Music Show
- Shen Yun Review, by Senior Manager for the Grammy Awards, Feb 5, 2010

Berlin Twitter Wall website blocked by China just days after its launch


Reporters Without Borders, 3 November 2009 -

Reporters Without Borders deplores the fact that the Chinese authorities blocked the Berlin Twitter Wall website (www.berlintwitterwall.com) just days after its launch on 20 October and urges the government to allow its citizens to access this special Twitter site, which is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The site allows people to express their comments about the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 and their related hopes and wishes. The initiative has had a great response, including in China, where nearly 2,000 Internet users had left a message on the virtual wall – most of them demanding an end to censorship in China – before access was blocked.

“Chinese Internet users must not be prevented from accessing the Berlin Twitter Wall,” said Reporters Without Borders, which supports this interactive campaign. “Initiatives like these are important platforms for the promotion of freedom of speech as well as for critical voices and protest.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Just a few weeks ago, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Chinese representatives argued in favour of the promotion of cultural exchange. Yet many foreign news outlets and social-networking sites remain inaccessible to Chinese users.”

The Berlin Twitter Wall website was launched by Kulturprojekte Berlin as part of the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall. By using the hashtag #fotw (fall of the wall), Twitter account holders can post comments wall that appear automatically on the berlintwitterwall.com site.

- Reporters Without Borders

China’s Export of Censorship (1)


by Christopher Walker and Sarah Cook, Far Eastern Economic Review, October 12, 2009-

The Chinese government’s effort to prevent dissident authors from taking part in the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, an international showcase for freedom of expression, has offered Germany a close-up view of China’s intolerance of dissent.

In September, two Chinese writers, journalist Dai Qing and poet Bei Ling, had their invitations to the fair revoked by German event organizers after China’s organizing committee complained. The Chinese delegation threatened a boycott over invitations to the writers for a September symposium promoting the Frankfurt Book Fair, which begins on October 14. China is the “guest of honor” at this year’s fair. In the face of this pressure, the event’s organizers withdrew the invitations. The writers’ participation was ultimately enabled when the German PEN club of independent writers invited the two Chinese dissidents.

While Beijing’s coercive behavior caught many Germans off guard, it should not have come as a surprise; the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) censorship ambitions are neither new, nor limited to Germany. In fact, this action is just the latest example of an ongoing pattern of interference, cooptation and intimidation beyond China’s borders used to muzzle voices critical of the Chinese government.

Two days after the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair, a film festival in Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung, will begin. It, too, has come under pressure to censor. In this instance the issue is a planned screening of “The 10 Conditions of Love,” a documentary about exiled Uighur rights activist Rebiya Kadeer. Chinese authorities assert Kadeer has terrorist links, unsubstantiated claims not accepted by most Western countries or independent analysts. Despite pressure to shelve the film—linked to fears that the city’s growing industry servicing mainland tourists could be hurt—the Kaohsiung Film Archive and the organizing committee of the 2009 Kaohsiung Film Festival announced on September 27 that it would go ahead with the screening. A similar series of events unfolded at the Melbourne Film Festival this summer.

In September, Uighur activist Dolkun Isa, who holds German citizenship, was denied entry into South Korea, to take part in a conference on democracy. China is South Korea’s largest trading partner. Isa, who fled China in 1997 and obtained asylum in Germany, was held at the Seoul airport without explanation for two days after being denied entry to South Korea.

The Chinese authorities have developed an elaborate arsenal of censorship, including an extensive domestic apparatus of information control. Less appreciated and understood are the methods of interference and intimidation employed to muzzle critical voices abroad. Some of the modern authoritarian techniques the Chinese authorities use for this purpose beyond its borders are detailed in a study, “Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians,” recently released by Freedom House, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia.

Economic coercion is a principal line of attack in the transnational suppression of issues deemed sensitive by China’s rulers. The coercion is applied directly and indirectly.

Instances of direct economic coercion and censorship typically occur when an event has already been planned or already begun. Pressure is then applied by Chinese government representatives on the organizers or local authorities to suppress certain activities or appearances deemed undesirable by the CCP. In such instances, explicit or implicit threats of boycotts, trade sanctions, or withdrawal of Chinese government funding have been used to force the hand of those in charge. The CCP’s Frankfurt Book Fair gambit fits this model, given the financial implications of the Chinese government’s $15 million investment in the event. (next >>)

Divine Performing Arts European Tour Opens in Frankfurt Germany


By Maria Zheng, Epoch Times Staff, Feb 21, 2009 -

FRANKFURT, Germany— The large auditorium of Frankfurt’s Jahrhunderthalle (Century Hall) gives the feeling of stepping out-of-doors. The Jahrhunderthalle, with its distinct white dome, was the venue for the opening show by the New York-based Divine Performance Arts (DPA) 2009 World Tour, playing in Frankfurt Feb. 21 to 22.

Before the curtain opened, a long line of people waited to get tickets. More than 80 percent of the seats had already been sold, beginning months before opening night, and Sunday’s show is almost sold out. One could feel the excitement as theatergoers waited to buy last-minute tickets or to enter the hall.

Two members of the audience had won their tickets through a raffle by the Rheinischen Zeitung (the Rhenish Newspaper). They had also read in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt General Newspaper, also known as F.A.Z.) about interference by the Chinese Consulate, which had tried to block DPA from performing in Frankfurt. For information about the interference see Theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/12369/

Undeterred by the Chinese Consulate’s attempted interference, the two looked forward to the show with high anticipation: “We searched the Internet about the performance and were delighted about what we read. The descriptions are so great and the costumes so dazzling that nothing could stop us from seeing that show,” one of them said.

Another theatergoer, standing in the long line at the box office and holding a flyer about the DPA show, said, “I want to see the actual performance on stage because of the description [in the flyer]. I want to personally experience what I have read. And I’m so glad that there are so many people in the audience despite the depression.”

- The Epochtimes

53 China intellectuals’ open letter on the disputes of Deutsche Welle’s China Section


53 Chinese intellectuals, via The Epochtimes, Nov. 10, 2008-

To Deutsche Welle
To The German Bundestag,
To the National Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany
To the Sinologists and China Experts in Europe

Dear Madams and Sirs,

We, the undersigned, have observed that 49 European Sinologists, China experts and other significant individuals published an open letter dismissing the head of Deutsche Welle’s China Section (e.g. summarized in a report at online web of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party, http://world.people.com.cn/GB/14549/8155375.html). Since the subject of that letter is related to the debates on China’s past and current situations, we, Chinese civilians, particularly the intellectuals residing in China, have felt that it is our duty to make our positions known about the relevant issues raised by that letter.

1) We consider that the decision Deutsche Welle (DW) has made on a former head of its China Section is an internal administrative matter, and so it is not suitable for the outsiders to interfere with it as most of them lack the comprehensive knowledge of the relevant circumstances. We respect DW’s decision, and even more appreciate its proclaimation “to uphold the values of freedom, democracy and human rights to which DW has adhered.” We expect that DW can continue to abide by this pledge.

2) We oppose the irresponsible speeches on China’s human rights situations made by the former head of DW’s China Section. For instance, she claimed, “The Communist Party of China has made a greater contribution to the practice of Article Three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights than any of other political forces in the world.” She also quoted an appraisal by the Beijing correspondent of Zeit as “Getting 400 million Chinese people to shake off the shackles of poverty over last 30 years is one of the greatest improvements in human rights in the recent years.” We hold that these appraisals were based solely on China’s governmental propaganda with no foundation of factual statistics that could be verified by any independent journalists or scholars. In other words, this journalist simply took this propaganda and printed it as if it were her own opinion, clearly lacking the professional integrity her profession requires. However, we also maintain that such speeches, although absurd, are still within the scope of freedom of speech, and appreciate that neither DW nor another institution has done anything to deprive anyone from his or her right to that freedom. Therefore, the belief that “[we] must firmly strike back to protect them” in that letter by the 49 individuals listed above was obviously exaggerated and misleading.

3) That letter considered, “this discussion as a part of the debate of how to judge China’s current development and rise.” This is correct. We expect that such a debate raised in that letter may have a chance to be freely discussed inside China without being suppressed. We further wish that the cosigners of that letter will make some efforts through their reputation and influence to promote such a free discussion in China as well.

However, we are most disappointed that we have seen that this letter has only complained about the removal of someone from leadership of DW’s China section. Those who had received “Cooperative Partnership” with Chinese authorities have not appealed for Chinese people who are persecuted for their speech in China. But do those who talked about issues the Chinese government approves of need protection, while others who criticized the regime be denied protection? Is the latter’s freedom of speech insignificant?

Just a few examples are presented here.

It has been almost 20 years since the June 4th Massacre in 1989. Discussions on this topic have so far been forbidden in speeches given in China. For the 49 co-signers, do you consider it necessary to have a cosigned letter to call for the protection of those who want to breach this forbidden area? We have found that there is a cosigner (Reimund Seidelmann, Universität Gießen) engaged in the study of international politics who has been noted as an Honorary Professor at China’s People University (CPU) in Beijing. We would like to ask him whether or not he has heard of Professor Ding Zilin, another of the cosigners of this letter, at the same university. Her son was innocently killed during the Massacre. On behalf of Tiananmen Mothers (mothers of those died at the June 4th Massacre), she has painfully struggled for justice for nearly 20 years, but her right to freedom of expression within China has been completely deprived. In China, her voice has been intentionally silenced, her book has been prohibited from publication or circulation, and even her personal freedom has been deprived. Should Prof. Seidelmann be reminded of Professor Ding when he’s honored by the CPU administration? Will he do anything to protect her when her civil rights are violated by injustice? Is he ready to strike against Chinese government’s violation of her rights?

Another cosigner of this letter is Mr. Bao Tong who should be familiar to the China experts. Please ask him whether he has any freedom of expression in China. Is his name able to appear on any of domestic media in China? After seven years in prison, he has supposedly resumed his citizenship for more than 10 years but his personal freedom has still been illegally deprived, not to mention his freedom of speech. Have the 49 co-signers ever thought to protect him, or to strike against Chinese authorities’ violation of Mr. Bao’s civil rights?

There is also Mr. Shi Tao, a journalist and poet serving a 10-year sentence.  At least those who have a “Cooperative Partnership” with Chinese authorities should know that this is one of the many cases of how a western entity such as Yahoo! trades information on a Chinese citizen with the government. It is one of the terrible results of China’s “cooperative partnerships”—a deal that seeks profit while destroying ethics. Have you thought to cosign a petition for his freedom of expression, or to strike against such evil phenomena in the name of “cooperative partnership?”

Those experts on international relations and China issues should also know of Dr. Xu Zerong, an intellectual who was sentenced by Chinese authorities to 13 years in prison in violation of freedom of academic exchange. Do you not feel more concern to call jointly for the release of Dr. Xu who has been unjustly imprisoned for more than eight years?

In addition, you should also have known that China authorities have imprisoned tens of thousands for their speeches. Among them are many colleagues of journalists, human rights activists, writers and scholars, including Yang Tongyan (22 years and two sentences), Hada (15 years), Huang Jinqiu (12 years), Yang Zili and three others of the “Four Men of Beijing” (two of them sentenced to 8 years and two of them sentenced to 10 years), Zheng Yichun (7 years), Zhang Jianhong (6 years), Zhang Lin (5 years), Yang Maodong (5 years) , Lu Gengsong (4 years), Chen Shuqing (4 years), Qi Chonghuai (4 years), Du Daobin (3 years), Yan Zhengxue (3 years), Chen Daojun and Huang Qi (awaiting trial)…, and Hu Jia (3 and a half years) who has recently been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Will you also make a joint petition for their releases, to let them enjoy a little “human rights improvement” believed by some of you? The cases of discrimination against speeches like these are too numerous to mention. How may of the experts and authorities on China issues among you have cared for such cases and made “careful investigation” of them?

It is pretty good that that your letter advocated “careful investigation, analysis and report on the diversity and different aspects of contradictions in China’s development,” and “proclaimed to defend the professionalism, responsibility and objectivity of journalist and academic work.” This is excellent! We raise our hands in agreement. Therefore, we urge the experts and scholars who have received “cooperative partnership” with the Chinese governmental institutions, to walk among Chinese civilians, listen to the voices from various parties and then decide what to do for the protection of free speech. Hereby, we also call on these experts and scholars that, when you are developing your cooperative friendship with Chinese authorities and exchanging your views with Chinese colleagues, please do not forget to include the topic of “protecting freedom of speech” announced in your open letter into the agenda of your exchange programs.

Last but not the least, we call on all intellectuals of the world to uphold professional conscience, maintain intellectual independence and not bow to the political power nor be lured by fame and gain. Please take your own actions to uphold universal human values and contribute to the wellbeing all of mankind.

We hope that Deutsche Welle’s may publish this open letter of ours.

Many thanks.


Co-signers:

(53 Chinese citizens)

- Via The Epochtimes

German ‘Focus’ Program, China Xinhua Agency and Falun Gong


By Maria Zheng, Epoch Times Germany Staff, Sep 18, 2008 -

Many might remember an incident where Zhang Danhong, the Chinese editor of Deutsche Welle‘s CCP-friendly Chinese program, accused Focus program journalist Guenther Baehr of having a Falun Gong background. The critique arose from comments Ms. Zhang aired that were actually the words of Xinhua’s Berlin correspondent Shi Xiang, who said the “Focus program journalist has a Falun Gong background.” Xinhua published this on August 28, 2008, without availing themselves of the facts. How does one see this latest propaganda attempt? Focus officials have since filed a lawsuit against Xinhua.

Instead of abiding by accepted protocols of investigative journalism, Xinhua operates strictly along their own rules and logic, meaning everything that happens serves as a propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

On September 12, 2008 Focus editor-in-chief Helmut Markwort reiterated that their editor is in no way connected with Falun Gong, and the magazine took legal action against Xinhua. “The likely state-ordered smear against Focus through this so-called news agency is simply absurd,” he said.

Xinhua and Falun Gong

According to Waltraud Ng, Falun Gong spokesperson, “Xinhua is only too well aware that the CCP has thus fostered, encouraged and perpetuated hatred against the spiritual movement and continues its persecution against it. This has persisted since 1999, and it appears the regime had achieved its goal once again through the “Deutsche Welle” propaganda report, just as the regime had counted on the effects of a propaganda blitz following the Sichuan earthquake. The regime defamed Falun Gong saying, ‘The followers are happy this tragedy happened, and that the heavens want to make China disappear.’ According to additional propaganda, Falun Gong is supposed to have derailed offers of help for the victims. What the CCP does not mention are their [CCP] sanctioned, state-ordered ruthless personal acts and the brutal assault on Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing, New York.”

She continued, “Falun Gong comes from China and belongs to the traditional essence of cultivation [of mind and body]. The practice is neither against China, nor against the Chinese nation. But Falun Gong practitioners have shown the CCP their determination through nine years of peaceful protests of the persecution to insist on a proper cultivation environment. It is the CCP that had purposely twisted the meaning of ‘anti-CCP’ and ‘anti-China’ and created confusion in people’s minds.”

Xinhua’s Further Aims

The above event is not Xinhua’s only goal. According to the Falun Gong Information Center, Xinhua aims to create a credibility gap regarding Western media reliability and objectivity in people’s minds. Additionally, they want readers to get to the point “where they are unable to discern true reporting when it comes to information from people who have a Falun Gong background.” This was a veiled attempt to include information available from The Epoch Times.

Shi Xiang’s inflammatory Xinhua article included these comments, “A Cologne-based Falun Gong-controlled Epoch Times journalist writes daily e-mails to Deutsche Welle officials, stating that Zhang Danhong had compromised the ethics of the media, and that The Epoch Times had published an article on August 26, to have celebrated Zhang’s resignation.”

In actuality, The Epoch Times neither has a journalist based in cologne, nor had anyone written to Deutsche Welle regarding Zhang. An article as he describes does not exist.

One Party-One Mouthpiece for the Nation

According to Reporters without Borders, everything and everything revolves around and from Xinhua, the Chinese regime-controlled media, and Xinhua is the premier, state-owned/sanctioned propaganda agency in the world. The agency’s editor’s post is at ministerial level. Almost one third of the news about China when searching Google is Xinhua-created.

The media has been under the control of the CCP since 1949. Though a limited media liberalization regarding economic issues is evident, Xinhua remains the only Party organ in China. Handpicked journalists who are subjected to ongoing indoctrination produce all reports for the media, mirroring the official stance on everything. These individuals also produce “internal reference reports,” slated exclusively for the nation’s ruling elite.

Following heavy criticism for Xinhua’s lack of transparency and the abysmal handling of reporting the SARS epidemic in 2003, the news organ had published certain news items that showed the regime to a disadvantage. But, we presume this was merely a token gesture to the international community, because such reports were never published in Chinese in mainland China.

- Original: The Epochtimes

German Chancellor Will Not Attend Opening of China Beijing Olympics


Ian Traynor in Brussels and Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian, Saturday March 29 2008-

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.

As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.

The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games’ opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate Gordon Brown’s determination to attend the Olympics.

Donald Tusk, Poland’s prime minister, became the first EU head of government to announce a boycott on Thursday and he was promptly joined by President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who had previously promised to travel to Beijing.

“The presence of politicians at the inauguration of the Olympics seems inappropriate,” Tusk said. “I do not intend to take part.”

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, confirmed that Merkel was staying away. He added that neither he nor Wolfgang Schäuble, the interior minister responsible for sport, would attend the opening ceremony.

Hans-Gert Pöttering, the politician from Merkel’s Christian Democratic party who chairs the European parliament, encouraged talk of an Olympic boycott this week and invited the Dalai Lama to address the chamber in Strasbourg, while another senior German Christian Democrat, Ruprecht Polenz, said a boycott should remain on the table.

“I cannot imagine German politicians attending the opening or closing ceremonies [if the Tibetan crackdown continued],” he said. Merkel enraged the Chinese leadership a few months ago by receiving the Dalai Lama in Berlin for private talks……. (more details from The Guardian)

Chinese Splendor Ends Big 15-show in New York, Heading to Asia and Europe


By John Nania, Epoch Times New York Staff, Feb 10, 2008-15-show conclusion of Chinese Splendor in New York

NEW YORK—The full house at Radio City Music Hall gave a standing ovation to the Chinese New Year Splendor on Saturday, Feb. 9.

It was a fitting conclusion to a 15-show run over 11 days that presented, through dance and music, traditional Chinese culture to a diverse and appreciative audience.

(photo: 15-show Conclusion of Chinese Splendor in Radio City Music Hall, New York/ by Epochtimes)

Jerry Ames, a choreographer and tap dancing master, gave his assessment of the performance aspects of the show. “The talent is very, very lovely, and the music and the setting is just gorgeous,” he said.

“With the color schemes and the way the costumes blend with the setting is very impressive. It’s very elegant, very successful,” Mr. Ames continued. “We’re very impressed, it’s just beautiful … We’re very happy to be here.”

The show, as the hosts mentioned, presents traditional Chinese culture as it cannot be seen elsewhere— especially inside China, where the Chinese communist regime has actively suppressed or destroyed the artifacts and the conduct of traditional culture during its rule.

“Culture is meant to promote peace and harmony with our neighbors. This harmony includes truth, compassion, and tolerance,” said Daniel Lee, a real estate investor with Speed Investment Group in New York City.

Lee was referring to the principles of Falun Gong, the traditional Chinese meditation practice that was portrayed in a couple of the dance pieces. The Chinese communist regime has persecuted Falun Gong practitioners since 1999.

An article critical of the show and of Falun Gong appeared in the well-known New York Times on February 6. The article was mentioned by many audience members who were interviewed.

In a common reaction, Mr. O’Meara said, “We read the article in the [New York] Times yesterday saying the Chinese government didn’t want people to come to this show. We’re rebels.”

Some gave more pointed responses to the article, such as banker Ron Sablosky.

“It certainly did not dissuade us from coming, and I don’t think it should dissuade anyone, because it really is highly unfair. And it might even be construed as unethical.”

Attendance at the shows after the article ran was not diminished by the critical review. If anything, attendance was boosted according to NTDTV, the show’s producers.

Penny Cohn, an account executive and building manager, had read the New York Times article and noted, “In fact, it piqued my curiosity.”

“And not only that, it had a lot of space, too. I was quite intrigued with the amount of space it was given, I have to confess that.”

The two pieces that depict the persecution of Falun Gong, “The Risen Lotus Flower” and “The Power of Awareness” were mentioned by many audience members as their favorites.

Amerigo Fabbri, Dean of Pierson College and professor of modernist literature at Yale University, talked about “The Risen Lotus Flower.”

“You have the three women in prison and how one of them gives her life for the other two, these are great, great elements of the culture that are certainly conveyed by the show,” he said.

On his overall impression, Fabbri said, “The show is spectacular, I mean amazing. They’re doing a great job bringing together the history of Chinese culture. The sound effects, the visual effects, the special effects, the singing, and the dancing is just amazing.”

Audiences outside North America will soon be treated to this unique window on traditional Chinese culture through dance and music, including the telling of stories both ancient and modern. Two companies, Divine Performing Arts of New York and Divine Performing Arts on Tour, combined to present the big Radio City production. The companies will take different routes, as one goes to Asia and Oceania, while the other goes to Europe.

The Divine Performing Arts international touring companies land next in Germany and Japan.

For information on all upcoming shows, please visit: www.DivinePerformingArts.org

- Original report from the Epochtimes

Germany says China state is behind cyber spying


By Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, Mon Oct 22, 2007-

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Chinese state is behind almost daily Internet espionage attacks on German companies and government bodies, a top German intelligence official said on Monday.

“In our view, state Chinese interests stand behind these digital attacks,” said Hans Elmar Remberg, vice president of the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the country’s domestic intelligence agency.

“Supporting this view is the intensity, structure and scope of the attacks, and above all the targets, which include (German) authorities and companies,” he told a conference on industrial espionage in Berlin.

In August German media reported that computer hackers believed to be linked to the Chinese army had infected German government ministries with spying programs. Beijing denied the allegation and said all “hacking” behavior was prohibited.

“Some people call this the Chinese cyber war,” Remberg said, adding that a new concept for protection against such cyber attacks was needed.

He added it was important to differentiate between legitimate attempts to gather information on competitors by Chinese companies and state-led industrial espionage.

Driving China’s interest in industrial and government secrets is its desire to become a top global economic power, he said. To catch up with the West, China needed “a massive transfer of high technology”.

“Across the world the People’s Republic of China is intensively gathering political, military, corporate-strategic and scientific information in order to bridge their technological gaps as quickly as possible,” Remberg said.

The attacks often rely on “Trojan horse” email programs or the hacking of Web sites, he said.

“ASTONISHING INTENSITY”

The attacks on German ministries and authorities had an “astonishing intensity” and the perpetrators appeared unconcerned that the attacks were being discovered.

“Every one or two days new attacks are detected,” he said.

China is also using classic espionage methods.

“The diplomatic representative offices and Chinese media agencies in Germany enable the hidden deployment of intelligence agents,” Remberg said.

Firms in joint ventures with Chinese firms were also at risk, he added……. ( more details from Reuters: Germany says Chinese state is behind cyber spying)

Merkel Defies China, Meets Dalai Lama


DPA, via Bangkok Post, Thailand, Sep. 23, 2007-

Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel met the Dalai Lama for a “private exchange of views” in the chancellery in Berlin Sunday, shrugging off objections from Beijing and warnings that German- Chinese relations could be damaged.

Following the hour-long meeting, Merkel said through her official spokesman that she was honoured to have met the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Merkel had pledged to support the Tibetan leader in “his efforts to maintain Tibet’s cultural identity and his peaceful efforts for religious and cultural autonomy,” spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.

The Dalai Lama praised Merkel for maintaining “an old friendship.”

While the meeting was the first with a serving chancellor, Merkel had met the Dalai Lama as an opposition politician.

Hundreds of supporters were on hand to see the Buddhist leader arrive at the chancellery.

Ahead of the meeting, which was widely publicized in Germany, where the Dalai Lama enjoys strong backing, German analysts predicted there would be an effect on relations with China.

Eberhard Sandschneider of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) queried Merkel’s judgement in insisting on the meeting.

“The effects on political, and particularly economic, relations will be noticeable,” Sandschneider told commercial news broadcaster n-tv.

“Some things will become more difficult. That is clear,” the professor at Berlin’s Free University said.

The political aspect of the meeting would be felt in China, Sandschneider said, suggesting that speculation that Merkel had gone against the advice of her foreign policy experts might be correct.

Merkel, herself a pastor’s daughter, said she saw the meeting as a “private exchange of views” and the latest in a series of meetings with global religious leaders.

The Chinese government last week condemned the meeting in strong terms and called in the German ambassador in Beijing to inform him of its displeasure.

The Chinese also cancelled at the last minute a discussion on the rule of law that was due to have been held in Munich from Sunday to Tuesday, citing “technical reasons.”

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries and senior Chinese government officials were to have attended.

A spate of attacks on Merkel by Chinese internet users indicated a definite change of mood in Beijing, observers there said.

Previous German chancellors have carefully avoided meeting the Tibetan leader, who has lived in exile in India since 1959, for fear of angering Beijing.

But Merkel has instructed her spokesmen to make clear that she supports the Dalai Lama’s call for cultural and religious autonomy for the huge mountainous region in China’s far west.

- Original report from BangkokPost.com

Human Rights Torch Relay Arrives in Munich Heading to China


By Huang Qin and Wen Jing, Epoch Times Munich Staff, Aug 28, 2007-

“The Chinese communist regime is attempting to use economic benefits to persuade Western governments to abandon their values and ignore continuing human rights abuses in China. “- open letter to Dr. Angela Merkel

Munich (1)

On the morning of August 25 at 11:00 a.m., the Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR) that was lit in Athens and then passed through Berlin, arrived in Munich’s Olympic Park.

Mr. Volker, a member of the German branch of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) received the torch from seven-year-old Chen Fadu. A crowd people from all over Germany watched the Human Rights Torch Relay as it passed through the city of Munich and arrived at Marienplatz Square where the city hall is located.

This event was organized by CIPFG, the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM), the Union of Victim Associations of Communist Tyranny (UOKG) and the Library Association to Commemorate the Victims of Communist Tyranny, along with the Federation for Democratic China, the Germany Students Union and the Inner Mongolia People’s Party.

Before the relay started, an open letter from the relay organizers to Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, who visited China on August 26, was read to the crowd. The letter says, “The Chinese communist regime is attempting to use economic benefits to persuade Western governments to abandon their values and ignore continuing human rights abuses in China. The Olympic Games has become their tool of persuasion. The Chinese regime now continue their cruel acts of human rights abuse behind the shield of the five rings symbolic of the Olympic Games. The communist authorities have not kept their promise of improving the human rights situation in China. Subsequent to Beijing winning the bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, the human rights situation in China has in many aspects worsened rather than improved.”

“As for people like us living in Western society, we cannot remain completely unmoved by what is happening today in China. A crime of great magnitude is now happening in China—live organ harvesting from innocent people for profit is now occurring in the country. At every moment, our Chinese friends are in danger: their organs such as liver, kidney or heart may be harvested by force at any time.”

Mr. Thierach, Director of the Munich International Society for Human Rights, said in the relay, that when the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing, they were hoping that they would see human rights improvements in China. But people have lost their hope, when now six years after being awarded the games, human rights conditions there have gotten only worse. Many people now believe that the 2008 Olympic Games should not be held in China.

Twin sisters Lisa and Sonia, 14 years old and from Munich, received a pamphlet regarding the Human Rights Torch Relay arrival in Munich. They decided to take part in the relay. They said, “We are here today to run for the improvement of human rights in China and to call attention to the continuing persecution of Falun Gong.”

Mr. Broehl also received a Human Rights Torch Relay pamphlet recently. He decided to attend the relay in Munich. One year ago, he had received a Falun Gong pamphlet describing live organ harvesting for profit. “When I heard that this event was about calling for improving human rights conditions in China, I thought that I should do something,” said Mr. Broehl.

The organizers said that the Human Rights Torch Relay will make its way to over 100 cities in 30 countries across five continents in the year ahead. The purpose of the Human Rights Torch Relay is to call the world’s attention to the fact of the continuing abuse of human rights in China.

- Original report from the epochtimes

China Said Will Cooperate With Germany To Resolve the “PC hacked” Matter


John Blau, IDG News Service, via Computer World, 28 Aug 2007 -

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao described reports of Chinese hackers breaking into German computers as a matter of “grave concern” and said Monday that his country will cooperate with Germany to resolve the matter.

Jiabao’s comments, made during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing, were prompted by a report published two days earlier in the German news magazine Der Spiegel claiming that Chinese hackers had been able to infect German government computers with spyware.

Merkel said that for Chinese relations with industrialized countries to move ahead, everyone needs to “respect a set of game rules” and “protect intellectual property rights.”

Security experts from Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and Federal Data Protection Office discovered Trojan horse programs in computers used in several government ministries, including the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Economics and the Research and Development Ministry, as well as Merkel’s office, the report in Der Spiegel said.

Although the first Trojan horse software was detected in May, there are continued attempts to sneak spyware into government computers via the Internet, according to Spiegel.

Security experts monitoring data traffic were able to stop the transmission of a 160G-byte file from a German ministry to China, but no one would say if hackers succeeded in stealing other files, the magazine reported.

BSI and the Federal Data Protection Office declined to comment.

A spokesman at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, while declining to comment on the Spiegel story specifically, said that the federal government, in general, is aware of increased efforts to steal information from computers in the private and public sectors.

“We are making a huge effort to ensure that government systems remain protected from outside attacks,” the spokesman said. “So far, we’ve been able to avoid any damage.”

- Report from Computer World : German gov’t PCs hacked, China offers to investigate

Related:
- China hackers target German government computers: report

German Chancellor Discusses Human Rights With Journalists in China


Deutsche Welle, Germany, 28.08.2007-

On her second full day in China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel conferred with opposition journalists. She reminded Beijing that the West would like to see progress on freedom of the press and other human rights issues.

Merkel began Tuesday by meeting with representatives of the Chinese media — including four prominent figures critical of the government in Beijing. The meeting was a signal of Germany’s support for more press freedom in China.

Li Datong, the former publisher of a supplement to the China Youth Daily newspaper, was full of praise for Merkel.

“The meeting shows that the chancellor attaches great significance to democracy and freedom of speech in China,” Li told German news agency DPA.

Later, at a speech to China’s Academy of Social Sciences, Merkel underscored Western concerns about the status of civil liberties in China.

“From our perspective, the topic of human rights is of decisive importance,” Merkel said in her speech. “Basically this means nothing else than that the dignity of every individual human being cannot be compromised. I think we would do well to keep discussing this with one another.”

Increased scrutiny

Merkel reminded the Chinese government that, with the 2008 Summer Olympics fast approaching, the eyes of the world will be on Beijing.

“The world will be looking at China to a greater extent than it has in past years,” Merkel said. “And people will also be looking at how China presents itself in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Chinese critics of Beijing welcomed Merkel’s remarks.

“Unlike her predecessor Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel does not run and hide from this topic,” former university professor and dissident Liu Xiaobo told Deutsche Welle. “She tells it like it is. The pressure she’s put on the Chinese government has already had significant effect.”

Press freedom and piracy

Merkel also raised the issue of freedom of the press at a meeting with China’s Head of Parliament, Wu Bangguo.

DPA cited unnamed sources from the delegations at that meeting as saying that Merkel had called for China to guarantee freedom of the press by law.

But civil liberties weren’t the only contentious topic Merkel raised on Tuesday. At her speech before the Academy of Social Scienes, Merkel also criticized Chinese piracy of Western products and, in particular, automobiles.

“If suddenly a car turns up that looks like a Smart but isn’t one, but rather a copy produced by not entirely legal means, then that’s not good,” Merkel said.

- Original report from  Deutsche Welle : Merkel Talks Human Rights, Meets Government Critics in China

German Politicians Want to be informed on China Trojan Attacks


Heise.de, Germany, 27.08.2007- 

German politicians request information on alleged Chinese attacks with Trojan programs on systems of the federal government.

In an interview with Spiegel Online, Ruprecht Polenz (CDU), chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, said: “If there is clear evidence that the Chinese state is responsible for these attacks, we cannot let the matter rest.”

According to a Spiegel report, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution assumes that experts of the Chinese army have conducted the online espionage attacks against the Federal Chancellery, the ministry of economics, the ministry of research and also the ministry of foreign affairs.

Rolf Mützenich, foreign expert of the SPD, requested Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) to address this issue during her current trip to China. Max Stadler, home affairs specialist of the FDP, requested the federal government to report to the Interior Committee of the German Bundestag: “We want to know whether the ministries use state-of-the-art technology when it comes to computer security”, he said in an interview with Passauer Neue Presse.

German business leaders have cautioned about fear-mongering. In an interview with Financial Times Deutschland, Jürgen Thumann, president of the “Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie” (BDI) said: “We must not blame China for everything”. And Jürgen Hambrecht, CEO of BASF and chairman of the “Asien-Pazifik-Ausschuss der Wirtschaft“, explained: “I am very worried about some public discussions; they do not reflect the reality.” Thumann and Hambrecht are accompanying the Chancellor on her trip to China.

The trade union of the police requested better equipment for their fight against cybercrime. “We lack experts and state-of-the-art technology. The offenders are far ahead”, Konrad Freiberg, chairman of the trade union, complained in an interview with Hanover-based Neue Presse.

- Original report from Heise.de

China hackers target German government computers: report


DPA, via EarthTimes.org-

Berlin – Chinese hackers have infiltrated German government computers with spy programmes, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. The report said the malicious programmes, called Trojans, were discovered when experts examined computers in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office complex and several government ministries.

Trojans pretend to be useful but actually install software that allows unauthorized remote access to a victim’s system.

The first Trojans were found several months ago, but attempts are still being made to sneak such programmes into government computers via the internet, Der Spiegel said on its website.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry declined to confirm the report.

He said that preventive measures had been introduced in government offices to guard against Trojan programmes. So far no damage had occurred, he added.

The magazine said German intelligence services suspect hackers in the Chinese army are behind the onslaught.

In addition to the Federal Chancellery, Trojans were also found in computers at the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Economics and the Research and Development Ministry, the report said.

The disclosure comes a day before Merkel leaves for Beijing on a six-day visit to China and Japan.

- Report from EarthTimes.org

Human Rights Torch Reaches Berlin, Calls for Boycott of 2008 Beijing Olympics


By Florian Godovits, Epoch Times Berlin Staff, Aug 21, 2007-Prof. Ines Geipel

BERLIN—Over two weeks in August 1936, Nazi Germany painted a rosy picture to the world of peace and prosperity during the Berlin Summer Olympics.

Outside the same Olympic Stadium, human rights activists last Saturday called for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as the Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR) made its first stop in Europe.

Set to pass through more than 35 countries and 100 cities, the global torch relay started last week in Athens, running under the banner: “No Olympic Games in China without human rights.” It was organised by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), an international coalition of individuals and organisations concerned about widespread human rights violations in China, according to the organisation’s website.

Former Olympian Ms Ines Geipel was a member of the East German (GDR)Prof. Ines Geipel cross-country team in the 1980s. She was the starting runner of the protest-relay and completed part of the track with 7 year old Fadu Chen, who lost her father due to the persecution of the meditation practice Falun Gong in China six years ago (photo right).

“Those who celebrate the Olympic Games in China next year without a change of the human rights situation should know they are doing so with murderers,” Ms Geipel said in front of a crowd of about one hundred people that had come to the handover of the torch.

Also carrying the torch were Andreas Krieger and his wife Ute Krieger-Krause, bothAndreas Krieger and Ute Krause former athletes and victims of a systematic doping campaign by the communist government of East Germany (GDR). The program saw unsuspecting athletes given large doses of anabolic steroids to boost their results, despite adverse health effects.

(photo: former athletes Andreas Krieger and his wife Ute Krieger-Krause)

Secret East German files recently revealed that as many as 10,000 athletes were involved in a state-sponsored attempt to build a country of 16 million into a sports power rivaling the United States and the Soviet Union.

Mr Krieger, a shot putter who won a gold medal in the 1986 European Athletics Championship, said that although the former Soviet-controlled GDR and today’s communist China were different systems, there would be similarities in the methods used to suppress and ideologise people.

“We can’t always shift off our responsibility; we have to make a statement today … Only discussions all the time … Meanwhile people are dying,” said Mr Kreiger.

“Never has compliance with the enemies of freedom been any use to freedom,” statedRainer Wagner Rainer Wagner, chairman of the Union of Victim Associations of Communist Tyranny (UOKG) in a speech at Berlin’s Olympic Square. “With deep sadness, we witness that western politics and business is sacrificing its ethical values for short-sighted financial gains and the illusion of fake communication.”

(photo right: Ms. Rainer Wagner, chairperson of UOKG spoke on ceremony)

The HRTR’s next stop will be Munich. It is expected to arrive in Australia at the end of October.

- Original report from the Epochtimes : Human Rights Torch Relay Reaches Berlin