Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

  • China Organ Harvesting Report, in 19 languages

  • Torture methods used by China police

  • Censorship

  • Massive protests & riots in China

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  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    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 ‘UK’ 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 »

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 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

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,, 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

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

China adds to confusion over missing rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng

Posted by Author on March 16, 2010

DPA Via, Mar. 16, 2010-

Beijing – China on Tuesday said it had sentenced a leading rights lawyer to three years in prison but it was apparently referring to a sentence passed in 2006, adding to the confusion since the lawyer disappeared 13 months ago. “What I can tell you now is that Gao Zhisheng was sentenced to three years imprisonment suspended for five years for inciting and subverting state power,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

Qin declined to elaborate on his statement or say if he was announcing a new sentence against Gao, referring questions to “judicial authorities.”

China had tried to silence Gao by passing a three-year suspended prison sentence for subversion at a closed trial in December 2006.

Gao, 44, who was nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize, was detained by police again in February 2009, and relatives and supporters said they have not seen him since then.

Qin’s comment is the latest in a series of vague and sometimes bizarre statements on Gao’s whereabouts by Chinese officials.

Last month, a Chinese embassy official in Washington told the US-based Dui Hua Foundation that Gao was “working” in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far western region of Xinjiang, and “has been in contact with his wife and relatives in China.”

Gao’s wife, Geng He, who lives in exile in the United States, later denied that she had any recent contact with Gao.

His brother, Gao Zhiyi, was told by a Beijing police officer who detained the lawyer that he “got lost and went missing while out on a walk” on September 25, US-based China Aid and other groups reported in January.

Asked about that report in mid-January, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Gao was “where he should be” but declined to elaborate.

In another statement when asked about Gao’s whereabouts in February, Ma said, “I don’t know where he is. China has 1.3 billion people.”

Gao’s last contact with his brother was a telephone call in early September, when he was only able to say, “I’m OK,” before the line went dead, China Aid said.

Geng and the couple’s two children made a dramatic escape from close police surveillance and arrived in the United States in January 2009 after travelling overland from China to Thailand.

Gao is a self-taught lawyer who built a reputation as a stout defender of people who suffered injustices at the hands of Chinese government officials and the police.

The government closed his Beijing-based Shengzhi law firm in 2005 after he called via the internet for an end to the persecution of members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement who were sent to a re-education camp.

Posted in Beijing, China, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, NW China, People, Politics, Social, UK, World, Xinjiang | Comments Off on China adds to confusion over missing rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng

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

Posted by Author on March 13, 2010

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”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(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

Posted in Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Europe, Event, Germany, Music, News, Opinion, People, review, Shen Yun show, shows, UK, Video, World | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Author on February 25, 2010

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

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

Posted in Asia, Canada, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Europe, Event, Germany, Japan, Life, Music, News, Shen Yun show, shows, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, USA, Video, World | 1 Comment »

Video highlight (2): Shen Yun show 2010

Posted by Author on February 5, 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:

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

More Shen Yun videos

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)

Posted in all Hot Topic, Asia, Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Europe, Event, Germany, Hong kong, Japan, Life, Music, New Zealand, News, Shen Yun show, shows, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, USA, Video, World | 1 Comment »

Video highlight (1): Shen Yun show 2010

Posted by Author on February 5, 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:


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

More Shen Yun videos

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

Posted in Asia, Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Europe, Event, Germany, Hong kong, Japan, Life, Music, News, Shen Yun show, shows, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, USA, Video, World | Comments Off on Video highlight (1): Shen Yun show 2010

MI5: China sets up “honeytraps” bugging and burgling western business executives

Posted by Author on January 31, 2010

The Times, Jan 31, 2010-

THE security service MI5 has accused China of bugging and burgling UK business executives and setting up “honeytraps” in a bid to blackmail them into betraying sensitive commercial secrets.

A leaked MI5 document says that undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security have also approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with the offer of “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.

The gifts — cameras and memory sticks — have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers.

MI5 says the Chinese government “represents one of the most significant espionage threats to the UK” because of its use of these methods, as well as widespread electronic hacking.

Written by MI5’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the 14-page “restricted” report describes how China has attacked UK defence, energy, communications and manufacturing companies in a concerted hacking campaign.

It claims China has also gone much further, targeting the computer networks and email accounts of public relations companies and international law firms. “Any UK company might be at risk if it holds information which would benefit the Chinese,” the report says.

The explicit nature of the MI5 warning is likely to strain diplomatic ties between London and Beijing. Relations between the two countries were damaged last month after China’s decision to execute a mentally ill British man for alleged drug trafficking.

Earlier this month the United States demanded that China investigate a sophisticated hacking attack on Google and a further 30 American companies from Chinese soil.

China has occasionally attempted sexual entrapment to target senior British political figures. Two years ago an aide to Gordon Brown had his BlackBerry phone stolen after being picked up by a Chinese woman who had approached him in a Shanghai hotel disco.

The report says the practice has now extended to commercial espionage. It says Chinese agents are trying to cultivate “long-term relationships” with the employees of key British companies: “An undercover intelligence officer may try to develop a friendship or business relationship, often using lavish hospitality and flattery.

“Chinese intelligence services have also been known to exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships and illegal activities to pressurise individuals to co-operate with them.”

The warning to British businessmen adds: “Hotel rooms in major Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, which are frequented by foreigners, are likely to be bugged … hotel rooms have been searched while the occupants are out of the room.”

It warns that British executives are being targeted in China and in other countries. “During conferences or visits to Chinese companies you may be given gifts such as USB devices or cameras. There have been cases where these ‘gifts’ have contained Trojan devices and other types of malware.”

China has repeatedly denied spying on Britain and the West. Its London embassy did not comment.

In 2007 Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5, had written privately to 300 chief executives of banks and other businesses warning them that their IT systems were under attack from “Chinese state organisations”.

There have been unconfirmed reports that China has tried to hack into computers belonging to the Foreign Office, nine other Whitehall departments and parliament.

Last year a report by Whitehall’s joint intelligence committee said China may be capable of shutting down critical services such as power, food and water supplies. But the latest document is the most comprehensive and explicit warning to be issued by the UK authorities on the new threat. Entitled The Threat from Chinese Espionage, it was circulated to hundreds of City and business leaders last year.

The growing threat from China has led Evans to complain that his agency is being forced to divert manpower and resources away from the fight against Al-Qaeda. His lobbying helped to prompt the Cabinet Office to set up the Office of Cyber Security, which will be launched in March.

The Times

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Economy, Europe, News, People, Politics, UK, World | Comments Off on MI5: China sets up “honeytraps” bugging and burgling western business executives

We need new powers to rein in China: Edward McMillan-Scott

Posted by Author on January 3, 2010

Edward McMillan-Scott, The Independent, UK, Sunday, 3 January 2010 –

The new year must see an end to ruthless regimes using human pawns in international relations. After the barbaric execution of Akmal Shaikh, the first execution of a European by China since 1951, the EU’s new role in foreign relations, which begins this week, must be shaped by a commitment to its values.

The argument against standing up to China is that we cannot afford to offend such a growing superpower, to jeopardise trade relations. But trade and politics have always been separate, and always will be.

The European experience with the monolithic Soviet Union during the Communist years was to name and shame its worst offences, and to do so with mounting intensity. This strategy worked and should now be applied to China. The “sophisticated” argument that China doesn’t respond to Western anger carries no weight. Last week’s indignant response from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman following Western condemnation of the execution laid bare China’s sensitivity to criticism. Our response should not be to shy away from voicing further criticism but to capitalise on that sensitivity and use it to apply pressure for change. Europe must ensure that its political priorities are heard as loudly in Beijing as at home.

The prominent Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng cautioned in The New York Times last week: “We Chinese are intimately acquainted with this authoritarian arrogance.” He spent 15 years in various Chinese prisons for putting up a wall poster, but was released after pressure from Washington. We must seize the chance to create a more consistent, coherent and effective foreign policy, one that sets out to co-ordinate a common European stance towards a changing China, the world’s largest country and still a terror state.

On New Year’s Day, the dragon spread its wings further with the launch of a new free trade zone spanning more than 1.9 billion people. Europe’s foreign ministers, in a long-awaited new policy on the projection of democracy and human rights worldwide, declared in November that “human rights and democracy are inextricably linked”. Until now, the EU’s external priorities were listed separately: democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. Now brought together, these conditions alone should govern future relations with China.

The death penalty has been abolished in all EU member states. The European Parliament condemns capital punishment everywhere and especially as a method of control by one-party states that act as judge, jury and killer. China executes more people than any other country, with about 1,718 executions in 2008, far surpassing the 346 in Iran, 102 in Saudi Arabia, and 37 in the US, according to Amnesty International. More than 100 prisoners died under torture in China last year, too, but because they were members of Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement, they were classed as non-persons.

China must cease persecuting those such as Liu Xiaobo, whose only crime is in arguing for democracy. His sentencing on Christmas Day to 11 years in jail by a Beijing court was designed to bury the news. Liu Xiaobo was one of more than 300 Chinese intellectuals and dissidents to author a bold call for constitutional reform on 10 December 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN’s Universal. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, Politics, Speech, Trade, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Outrage As China Executes British Man

Posted by Author on December 30, 2009

JOHN GARNAUT HERALD CORRESPONDENT, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, December 30, 2009-

BEIJING: The Chinese leadership has disregarded international opinion and allowed the execution of a British man with a reported history of mental illness.

Yesterday’s execution of Akmal Shaikh – the first death sentence carried out against a European in China in 50 years – follows the harsh sentence given to a democracy activist, Liu Xiaobo, on Christmas Day despite top-level advocacy from the United States and other Western nations.

”It’s one thing to turn your back on world opinion and put a man in prison, but another thing to execute somebody,” said Joshua Rosenzweig, head of research at the Dui Hua Foundation in Hong Kong.

Shortly after noon yesterday Beijing time, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, confirmed that Shaikh had been put to death.

”I condemn the execution of Akmal Shaikh in the strongest terms, and am appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted,” Mr Brown said.

He had personally pleaded with the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, and Premier, Wen Jiabao, to exercise leniency.

Shaikh’s family issued a statement saying they were saddened by China’s refusal to listen to their appeals. They said his execution ”was carried out … despite repeated requests for clemency and a proper appraisal of Akmal’s mental state”. Chinese authorities refused to investigate his mental health, his family said.

”China executes more people than all the other countries in the world combined,” said Mr Rosenzweig. He said the number of executions carried out this year was believed to be about 5000.

But in recent months China has shown a new willingness to ignore international opinion in pursuing its domestic and foreign policy objectives.

It dramatically upgraded ties with pariah states North Korea and Sudan, it rolled out an ice-cold welcome mat to the US President, Barack Obama, in his inaugural visit and, according to some Western observers, it systematically scuttled the prospects of reaching a more aggressive international agreement in Copenhagen to combat climate change.

In July the Australian iron ore executive Stern Hu became the most senior corporate leader to be arrested in China for stealing state secrets, before his charges were downgraded following an international outcry.

Some political observers in Beijing and overseas say a leadership succession battle can help explain how China has lurched towards old-style conservatism in the past 18 months……. (more details from Sydney Morning Herald)

Posted in China, Law, News, People, Politics, UK, World | Comments Off on Outrage As China Executes British Man

London Mayor’s deputy: I HAD SEX WITH A CHINESE SPY, during the Beijing Olympics

Posted by Author on November 29, 2009

By Kate Mansey, The Mirror, UK, Nov. 29, 2009-

Boris Johnson’s deputy was lured into a classic honeytrap by a beautiful Chinese agent in scenes which could have come straight out of a spy novel.

Ian Clement went up to his Beijing hotel room for sex with the secret service siren… but was drugged and came round hours later to find his room had been ransacked.

The London Mayor’s No 2 discovered the woman had rifled through confidential documents and downloaded details about how the capital is run from his BlackBerry smartphone.

Clement hid the shameful episode from his boss but today he comes clean, admitting: “I fell for the oldest trick in the book.”

The £127,000-a-year politician walked into the trap during the Beijing Olympics last year, when he was on a Government mission to build contacts with potential investors for the 2012 London Games.

Clement, who had a partner back in Britain at the time, said: “Before I went out I had to be briefed by MI6. They told me about honeytraps and warned me that the Chinese secret service often use women to entice men to bed to get information. I didn’t think for one minute that I would fall for it.”

The 44-year-old Tory met the girl at an official party on the opening night of the Olympics. He was accompanying Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell to China and was sitiing just a few rows from then US President George Bush.

Clement confessed: “I know I’m no George Clooney, so when lots of attractive women are being particularly friendly it’s not normal.

“At the party a pretty Chinese woman came up to me, gave me her card and asked me to go for a drink. I thought nothing of it but when I got back to my hotel, she was in the reception.”

After two glasses of wine, Clement invited the girl to his room. He woke to see all his documents strewn around – and the girl disappearing.

Clement said: “I wasn’t thinking straight. I was thinking like a heterosexual bloke who is an 11-hour flight from home. I knew I shouldn’t be doing it but by then I was drunk.

“The next thing I knew I was waking up and she was dressed and leaving the hotel room. My wallet was open. She had plainly gone through it but I knew she wasn’t a simple thief because nothing was missing. I think we had sex but in truth I can’t remember. She must have drugged my drink.

“While I was in Beijing I was making planning decisions from my BlackBerry. We’re talking major, major decisions.

“They wanted to know which businesses I was courting. I think she was looking to see my plans, who I was meeting and how the new Conservative administration was working in London.”

Clement kept the squalid encounter secret from Boris Johnson. He said: “I didn’t call the office in London to tell them. I have never had a conversation with Boris about this. It wasn’t a breach of British security on a national level.

“What she had learned from me was economic information about how London is run – it wasn’t something that would put the people of the UK at risk so that was why I kept it to myself.

“But it’s right to stand up and say, ‘I’m sorry, I messed up.'”

Clement lost his job a year later when he was found to have fiddled his expenses. He resigned as Deputy Mayor in June after it was revealed he claimed £156 on meals for his girlfriend.

He had been putting personal expenses on a credit card and paying it back, but tried to claim a date was a meeting with Tory officials.

Clement was convicted and ordered to do community service painting public toilets – and is still wearing a curfew tag. He said: “I’m not bitter. The only person I’m angry with is myself.”

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Europe, News, People, politician, Politics, spy, UK, World | Comments Off on London Mayor’s deputy: I HAD SEX WITH A CHINESE SPY, during the Beijing Olympics

Senior UK Army officer loses BlackBerry mobile phone in China

Posted by Author on July 10, 2009

By Aislinn Simpson, The Telegraph, UK, 10 Jul 2009-

Major General Gerry Berragan, 51, was reportedly pickpocketed as he travelled by train and immediately notified the Ministry of Defence in London of the theft.

The BlackBerry phone and personal organiser is capable of storing and sending thousands of emails and could have revealed military secrets.

The security breach was considered so serious that the new Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth is said to have been informed and ordered an investigation.

Married father-of-two Maj Gen Berragan, who is Director General of Army Recruiting and Training and has served in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Kosovo, is understood to be the highest ranking officer ever to have been involved in such a security breach.

The loss is the latest to afflict the MoD since it was revealed that 700 of the department’s laptops were lost in the past five years.

“Maj Gen Berragan will have had access and briefing papers on a myriad of secret defence subjects,” a security source told the Sun newspaper.

But despite concerns about China overtaking Russia in spying on the West and its military secrets, a senior MoD source told the Sun the BlackBerry theft was not thought to be suspicious.

“We do not think Maj General Berragan was targeted by Chinese agents. He was in civilian clothes and we think it was opportunistic pickpocketing,” the source was quoted as saying.

The MoD said in a statement that no sensitive information had been compromised. “We are fully investigating this incident,” the spokesman added.

The Telegraph (UK)

Posted in China, Europe, News, Official, People, Politics, UK, World | 2 Comments »

Think-tank Report: Confucius Institutes at UK universities a tool of China propaganda

Posted by Author on March 30, 2009

Multi-million pound donations from foreign governments have corrupted British universities and threatened academic impartiality, according to a new report.

By Ben Leach, the Telegraph, UK, 28 Mar 2009-

Universities are accused of a lack of transparency, with foreign donors, including regimes accused of human rights abuses, allowed to give money anonymously.

At least 10 universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted donations totalling hundreds of millions of pounds.

The report, to be published by the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a think-tank, looks at the funding of Arabic, Islamic and Chinese study centres at academic institutions across the UK.

It alleges that some allow the principal donor “significant oversight” over their running, leading to the censorship of teachers and students.

Examples highlighted in the report include:

* The barring of a painting by a Saudi artist from an exhibition at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), in London, last year.

Abdulnasser Gharem wanted to show a work depicting a cracked bridge with “Al-Siraat” (“the path”) scrawled across it, but the curators chose an alternative work by the artist instead.

SOAS said the decision was taken “to avoid causing unnecessary offence” to Muslims.

* The stifling of a discussion at the Saudi-funded Oxford University Middle East Centre (MEC).

When one academic questioned a Saudi participant about terrorist funding at a conference last year, Dr Eugene Rogan, director of the MEC, asked the academic to restrain his language and to “bear in mind what is appropriate to say in the venue where you might be going beyond what would be comfortable for everyone to hear”.

* The revelation that Chinese study centres, known as Confucius Institutes, hosted at several UK universities have members of the Chinese government sitting on their advisory board.

According to the study, the institutes’ curriculum and teaching standard are set in China with their host universities required to accept “operational guidance” from Beijing.

The report argues that the institutes are a “tool for Chinese propaganda” espousing a one-dimensional view of the country, in particular its relationship with Tibet.

Last year Cambridge and Edinburgh universities were jointly given £16 million to establish an Islamic studies centre. The donor, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, is allowed to pick appointees on the management committees at both centres.

The report also argues that foreign donors are viewing British universitites as diplomatic tools and “cultural arms of their government abroad”.

In 2001, the Oxford University MEC received a £1 million grant from the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives, based in Saudi Arabia and named after the nation’s founder.

In 1999, SOAS reportedly received £180,000 from the Islamic Centre of England, an organisation with close links to the Iranian government.

SOAS later hosted an event in tribute to the way Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s former leader, “modernised” Islamic thought.

Robin Simcox, a research fellow at CSC and author of the report, said there was “a real problem” in UK universities that needed to be addressed.

He said: “Universities across the UK are taking huge amounts of cash from regimes with appalling records on human rights. This clearly needs to be addressed. The country’s finest universities are in bed with some of the world’s worst human rights abusers.

“The concept of foreign funding itself is not the problem. However, too often the donation is not for impartial academic research, but a public relations exercise aimed at altering perceptions of certain nations and subjects.”

Diana Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “All academic programmes in the UK, including Islamic Studies, are subject to the UK’s rigorous and independent quality assurance procedures, which ensure openness and high standards.”

An Oxford spokesman said: “The University categorically denies any allegations that funders influence or bias the methods, outcomes, or political stances taken in research and teaching at Oxford.”

The spokesman said that in the incident highlighted in the report, Dr Rogan only intervened “to stop one member of the audience directing a personal attack on another member of the audience”.

The Telegraph (UK): Foreign donors threaten academic freedom at UK universities

Posted in China, Culture, Economy, Europe, News, Official, People, Politics, UK, World | Comments Off on Think-tank Report: Confucius Institutes at UK universities a tool of China propaganda

Cambridge throws shoe at China Premier in Britain

Posted by Author on February 3, 2009

AFP, Jan. 2, 2009 –

CAMBRIDGE (AFP) — A protester Monday threw a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao as he was giving a speech at Britain’s Cambridge University, just missing him.

“This is a scandal” he shouted before security staff bundled him out of a concert hall at the university, where Wen was speaking on the last day of a five-nation tour of Europe.

The protester, a young Western-looking man in a T-shirt, added: “This dictator here, how can you listen to the lies he’s telling? You are not challenging him.”

“How can the university prostitute itself with this dictator?”, he added.

Echoing the incident in December when an Iraqi journalist hurled two shoes at US President George W. Bush in Baghdad, he threw the well-worn trainer from near the back of the auditorium.

It landed about a yard (metre) from the Chinese premier, but did not hit him.

Security officials went on to the stage and kicked it off and a Chinese official took it away under his jacket.

The protester also blew a whistle. As he was bundled out, he said: “Stand up and protest.” Audience members retorted: “Shame on you, shame on you.”

Wen said after the interruption: “This despicable behaviour cannot stand in the way of friendship between China and the UK.”

He received a round of applause from the audience, who were apparently mostly Chinese students.

The premier appeared unruffled by the incident and resumed his speech before taking questions.

Pro-Tibet protesters questioning China’s human rights record have demonstrated throughout Wen’s three-day visit to Britain.

Wen was to return home later Monday at the end of a trip that has also taken him to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and to Germany, the EU headquarters in Brussels and Spain.

– AFP: Cambridge throws shoe at Wen in Britain

Posted in China, Europe, Human Rights, Incident, News, Official, People, Politics, Protest, UK, Wen Jiabao, World | Comments Off on Cambridge throws shoe at China Premier in Britain

Beijing olympics designed to benefit a regime responsible for appalling abuse of human rights: Edward McMillan-Scott

Posted by Author on August 11, 2008

Edward McMillan-Scott, The Guardian, UK, Friday August 08 2008-

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics will inevitably be an occasion for admiring comment about the immense achievements – architectural, organisational and presentational – of the host nation. This, of course, is precisely what the Chinese authorities hoped for when they secured their Olympic bid seven years ago. It was intended as a statement of China’s modernity, its economic prowess and its rise to the top table of world power. Judging from the coverage so far, there are plenty of people willing to accept this image at face value. Yes, human rights groups have raised some awkward questions, but why should that spoil the party when so many world leaders will be on hand to give their blessing to the proceedings?

Despite the fact that I campaigned hard for a political boycott of the Beijing Olympics, I wish the athletes well and hope the competition passes without a repeat of the terrorist attack that happened earlier this week in Xinjiang province. What I don’t want is for those watching to be in any doubt about the nature of the regime these games have been designed to benefit. Beyond the mesmerising Bird’s Nest stadium is a country presided over by a terror state responsible for some truly appalling crimes against humanity. Even the stadium’s designer, Ai Weiwei, was moved to disown the games describing the human rights situation as “appalling”. The countless victims imprisoned, tortured and murdered by the Chinese state also deserve to be part of this Olympic story. They should not be too far from our thoughts as the gold medals are being handed out.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are in agreement that far from honouring their pledge to improve human rights as a result of hosting the Olympics, the Chinese authorities have used the games as an excuse to intensify domestic repression. Much of this abysmal record is widely known about. There is no freedom of expression and the authorities go to extraordinary lengths to control information and restrict access to the internet. Dissent is punished severely, with those considered a threat imprisoned without trial and often without any information about their location or condition. The death penalty is applied extensively and for relatively minor non-violent crimes like tax fraud. The use of torture is frequent according to Manfred Nowak, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, including beatings, electrocution and the removal of fingernails. The violent suppression of Tibetan rights and cultural identity is well documented. Moreover, some of these methods appear to be for export. BBC Panorama recently exposed China’s role in arming the Sudanese government in its genocidal campaign in Darfur.

The victims of Chinese state terror are numerous and include human rights defenders, lawyers, trade unionists, environmentalists, campaigners for regional autonomy and anyone who seeks to challenge state policy. One person I am particularly concerned about is Gao Zhisheng, a Nobel prize nominee sometimes referred to as “China’s conscience”. As one of his country’s top lawyers, he was targeted by the regime for speaking out about human rights abuses and has been in detention and subjected to torture since he wrote a critical open letter about the Olympics last year. It is essential that the UK and other countries across the world raise his case with the Chinese authorities as a matter of urgency.

One of the groups that Gao has been most prominent in defending has been the religious movement, Falun Gong. Members of this group have been on the receiving end of some of the most brutal abuse imaginable. Many foreign observers are easily frightened off by the Chinese government’s designation of it as an “evil cult”, but Falun Gong is a harmless Buddha-school set of spiritual exercises that is persecuted mainly because its popularity is deemed to pose a threat to the “guiding role” of the Chinese Communist party. A decade ago it had up to 100 million adherents.

Falun Gong supporters are routinely imprisoned for their beliefs and are believed by Manfred Nowak to make up the majority of prisoners subjected to torture. But they are also the principal victims of China’s most horrific crime against humanity – the harvesting of human organs from prisoners to supply the country’s burgeoning transplant business. With transplants running at more than 10,000 a year, and with a harvested heart fetching up to $160,000, this is a profitable enterprise for the People’s Liberation Army which organises it and pockets the proceeds.

Unfortunately the organs used are far from surplus to requirements. A report written last year by the former Canadian secretary of state, David Kilgour, and the human rights lawyer, David Matas, concluded: “there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.” Falun Gong prisoners are the only ones routinely subjected to urine and blood tests, with strong reason to believe that significant numbers of them are subsequently killed to order.

There is no sign that this appalling practice is about to stop, either. Earlier this year, the Chinese authorities announced that they were adopting a lethal injection as the means of capital punishment instead of a bullet through the head – the mouth was propped open to minimise damage, but it is still a messy way to kill. It is not hard to understand this change. In one province alone, 16 buses have been specially adapted to perform on-the-spot eviscerations.

This is the reality behind the facade of modernity presented by the Beijing Olympics. Although the political boycott of the opening ceremony will be nothing like as widespread as the seriousness of the human rights situation in China demands, it is not too late to register a protest against the terror state behind these games. I hope that Gordon Brown will reconsider his decision to attend the closing ceremony later this month. I also hope that those watching at home will take some time out from enjoying the sport to consider the enormous human suffering that is the reality of daily life for many Chinese people.

– Original: The reality behind China’s Olympic image of modernity, The Guardian

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Religious, Social, Sports, UK, World | 1 Comment »

British university sparks protest over apology to China for Dalai Lama degree

Posted by Author on July 12, 2008

By Aislinn Simpson, The Telegraph, UK, Jul 9, 2008-

A British university has sparked outrage after apologising to the Chinese for awarding Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama with an honorary degree.

The London Metropolitan University awarded the exiled leader with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in May “in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting peace globally as well as for his inspirational spiritual guidance and leadership”.

But after protests in the Chinese press, and suggestions on Chinese internet groups that prospective overseas students boycott the university, it apologised to China through its embassy for “any unhappiness caused”.

Pro-Tibet campaigners, who have accused the Chinese authorities of human rights abuses during a recent crackdown in Tibet, said the apparent climbdown was “highly regrettable”.

The university has around 434 students from China out of a total of 4,399 from outside the EU and a ten year old scholarship programme for Tibetan students from India, Nepal and Bhutan.

But after protests from the Chinese, the university’s vice-chancellor, Brian Roper, met Chinese embassy officials and “expressed regret for any unhappiness that had been caused to Chinese people by the…honorary doctorate to the Dalai Lama”. …… (more from The Telegraph)

Posted in China, Europe, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Tibetan, UK, World | Comments Off on British university sparks protest over apology to China for Dalai Lama degree

China blocks entry to UK rescuers

Posted by Author on May 18, 2008

BBC News, 17 May 2008-

A UK search and rescue team who flew to China after the earthquake have been denied visas and forced to return home without being able to help.

The International Rescue Corps team arrived in Hong Kong with specialist search equipment on Wednesday.

But for reasons that remain unclear, the 10-strong UK team and a Canadian group were blocked from entering China.

China has sent 50,000 troops to Sichuan province to search for survivors of the earthquake, which has killed 28,000.

‘Every possible route’

International Rescue Corps (IRC) team member Derek Jolly, 38, told the BBC News website that the team had initially been promised visas, “but when we arrived, suddenly the game had changed”.

He said the team, which is voluntary and funded by donations, had “gone down every possible diplomatic and political route” with no success.

“What was disappointing for us was the Chinese government sent out a kit list with their initial request for help, saying this is what we need,” said Mr Jolly.

“We then sent them a message through the consulate saying we have pretty much everything on the list.”

The team brought with them specialist equipment including carbon dioxide probes and sonic equipment for listening to people in voids in buildings.

Mr Jolly said he could not be certain of the reason why the team was denied entry, but suggested a possible reason was a lack of infrastructure at the earthquake zone for foreign rescue teams……. (more details from BBC News)

Posted in China, disaster, earthquake, News, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, SW China, UK, World | 2 Comments »

London: The 30 Blue-clad Olympic Torch Guards Are China Paramilitary Police

Posted by Author on April 10, 2008

Jane Macartney in Beijing and Richard Ford, The Times, UK, April 9, 2008-Chinese guards in blue

The guards protecting the Olympic flame had paramilitary training and were chosen by Beijing for their toughness and fitness (photo from The Times)

China’s blue-clad flame attendants, whose aggressive methods of safeguarding the Olympic torch have provoked international outcry, are paramilitary police from a force spun off from the country’s army.

The squad of 30 young men from the police academy that turns out the cream of the paramilitary security force has the job at home of ensuring riot control, domestic stability and the protection of diplomats.

Questions are now being asked as to who authorised their presence as the torch was carried through London. The Conservatives demanded clarification from the Government last night.

The guards’ task for the torch relay is to ensure the flame is never extinguished – although it was put out three times in Paris – and now increasingly to prevent protesters demonstrating against Chinese rule in Tibet from interfering with it.

But the aggression with which the guards have been pursuing their brief has provoked anger, not least in London where they were seen wrestling protesters to the ground and were described as “thugs” by Lord Coe.

The Olympic medallist and organiser of the 2012 Games was overheard saying that the officials had pushed him around as the torch made its way through the capital on Sunday. He added that other countries on the route should “get rid of those guys”.

“They tried to punch me out of the way three times. They are horrible. They did not speak English . . . I think they were thugs.”

His comments came after Konnie Huq, the former Blue Peter presenter, who was one of the torchbearers on Sunday, described how she had seen the officials in “skirmishes” with the police.

Ms Huq, who was carrying the torch when a pro-Tibet activist tried to snatch the flame, said of the guards: “They were very robotic, full-on . . . They were barking orders like ‘run’ and ‘stop’ and I was like, ‘Who are these people?’.”

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, wrote yesterday to Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, seeking clarification of the role of the Chinese officials. Mr Davis asked: “Who in the British Government authorised their presence and what checks were made as to their background?”

He added: “They appear to have some role in providing security and were seen manhandling protesters. They even accompanied the torch into Downing Street and were highly visible in the picture with the Prime Minister.”

The security men entered Britain on visitors’ visas but the Home Office would not reveal whether they had disclosed on the application form for whom they worked.

Less than a year ago these mysterious “men in blue” were elite students from China’s Armed Police Academy and were selected amid great fanfare to form the grandly titled Sacred Flame Protection Unit.

In China, tens of thousands of their paramilitary colleagues have been deployed across Tibetan areas to restore order during riots, even opening fire when the antiChinese demonstrations have threatened to run out of control again.

It is a long way from those heady days last August when the squad was founded. Zhao Si, their leader, said then: “These men, chosen from around the country, are each tall and large and are eminently talented and powerful.” Online reports said that the shortest of them was 6ft 3in.

Mr Zhao said: “Their outstanding physical quality is not in the slightest inferior to that of specialised athletes.” Their training has involved running 40 to 50 kilometres (25 to 31 miles) a day to ensure the squad is fit enough to keep pace with a relay of torchbearers in cities around the world.

They have also undergone training in local customs and languages of the countries in which they would be deployed. This has included learning some English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

A total of 30 men have been assigned to follow the torch overseas. Another 40 will be on duty to trail the Olympic flame around China until it reaches Beijing on August 6, just two days before the start of the Games.

In reports published before the young men became the focus of international attention, Chinese media emphasised their ability to ensure that the flame would stay alight. “They received firstly technical training in how to light the first torch of each session of the relay and save the flame in the lantern at the end of each relay in a more efficient and safe way.”

Yang Zhaoke, director of the Beijing organising committee torch centre, told The Times: “We chose young and vigorous men. They can’t be beansprouts because they have to show good endurance. We can’t change people once they are overseas. They have to be able to run from start to finish.”

Some train in such martial arts as taekwondo or tijiquan in their spare time, he said, but added: “Their job is not to fight but to shelter and protect. They are not there to beat people and they have no right to enforce the law. Only the British police have that right in London, for example.”

A source at Scotland Yard said: “They were here because they came as a part of the package. We made it quite clear that they had no executive powers in Britain.

“They were here to maintain the flame. Their responsibility is to look after the flame and to make sure nothing happens to it. They are there to protect the flame.”

– Original report from The Times:
Unmasked:Chinese guardians of Olympic torch

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Europe, Event, military, News, People, Police, Politics, Social, Sports, UK, World | 2 Comments »

Thousands Protest as China Olympic Flame Carried Through London

Posted by Author on April 7, 2008

Paul Lewis and Paul Kelso, The Guardian, UK, Monday April 7 2008-

Campaigners complained of heavy-handed police tactics during the Olympic torch relay yesterday as officers were seen pulling down Tibetan flags, barging bystanders away from the route, threatening arrest under anti-terrorist legislation and telling protesters to remove “Free Tibet” T-shirts.

From the outset the flame was flanked by a mobile protective “ring” of specialist Metropolitan police officers and a dozen Chinese security officials. They were trailed by a team of police cyclists who occasionally used their bicycles to fend off protesters, and a convoy of security, sports stars and VIPs.

Demonstrators said the heavy-handed tactics violated their right to protest. “They said I was not allowed to wear my T-shirt,” said Yonten Ngama, at Wembley Stadium. “It says ‘No torch in Tibet, China Stop the Killing and Talk to the Dalai Lama’, but they said I had to take it off.”

Metropolitan Police Commander Jo Kaye denied that excessive force had been used. “The Met has clearly stated in the build-up to this event that we will facilitate lawful protest, however we will not tolerate continued attempts to breach the safety, security and safe passage of the torch and its bearers,” he said.

He added: “Our job was to make sure the torchbearers got through safely, and they did.”

Around 2,000 Metropolitan police, including airborne, mounted and river units, were mobilised at an estimated cost of about £1m, but at points along the route they seemed overstretched.

Several of the torchbearers were forced to stop as security personnel pushed away swooping protesters, and one demonstrator grabbed hold of the torch while it was being carried by television presenter Konnie Huq. He was quickly wrestled to the ground. “While I was running with the torch, from out of nowhere a guy ran out and tried to wrestle the torch from me,” Huq told Sky News. “It was quite a short skirmish. But the flame stayed alight and we carried on.”

Two activists were arrested after trying to put out the torch with fire extinguishers. Martin Wyness and Ashley Darby described the relay as a propaganda campaign by China to cover its “appalling human rights record”, adding: “Like many people in the UK we feel China has no right parading the Olympic torch through London.”

As the relay hit trouble, the organisers made several changes of plan. The Chinese ambassador’s route was diverted through Chinatown because of protesters near the British Museum, where she had been expected to receive it.

There was also an embarrassing incident at Downing Street when Chinese security officials appeared at a photoshoot, blocking television coverage of prime minister Gordon Brown standing beside the flame.

On two occasions when the flame was supposed to be carried on foot – at Bloomsbury Square and Fleet Street – it was instead placed inside a red bus, apparently to shield it from demonstrators breaking police lines.

After the torch made its first crossing of the river, protesters broke away and began running alongside the flame, attempting to break through lines of officers. The security strategy involved keeping protesters apart from groups waving Chinese flags. Campaigners objected to being coralled into designated “protest areas” and scuffles broke out.

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell played down suggestions the games had been tainted by the response to the protests. “This has not been damaging to London. It is always important for perception not to overtake fact,” she said.

“There are very particular reasons to do with the tension between China and Tibet and the sense of outrage among many people in this country about China’s human rights record, that have given rise to the incidents that we have seen today.”

Matt Whitticase from the organisation Free Tibet said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many people turned out despite the terrible weather to show their solidarity with the people of Tibet and their plight, and to expose as propaganda China’s claim that the torch relay is a journey of harmony.”

Chinese students had been instructed not to intervene in any protests or engage in shouting matches with pro-Tibetan groups, although that directive was not heeded at all times.

Wiping blood from his chin, Xiao Zhang, a 25-year-old Chinese student, said he had been attacked after he and his friends had chanted “liars” at pro-Tibetan campaigners. “They grabbed my flag, my Chinese flag, and put it on the ground. I don’t know who hit me.”

His friend Hawk, 26, said: “The pro-Tibetan protesters kept shouting, so we shouted back. When you want to give an opinion, what should you do? Stay quiet? Of course not – in this country I am free to say what I want.”

Asked if he could do the same in his native China, he replied: “Here is Britain – there is China. The point is they’re different.”

Original report from The Guardian

Posted in Activist, Beijing Olympics, China, Event, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Social, Sports, Tibetan, UK, World | 3 Comments »

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