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

Stand up, for today you can force China through a tunnel of shame

Posted by Author on April 6, 2008


Simon Jenkins, The Times, UK, April 6, 2008-

Today’s London publicity stunt for the Chinese regime should be ignored by the public and any reputable athlete or politician, unless to register a fierce protest. The four-month “journey of harmony” of the Olympic torch (or many cloned torches) through 21 nations is an exercise in political laundering. It is appalling that the prime minister is to “greet” his torch in Downing Street.

This tour has nothing to do with sport. It has been staged by the Chinese government, not the International Olympic Committee, with “celebrity runners” in each country approved by the commercial sponsors, Coca-Cola, Lenovo and Samsung. In Britain those conned into joining include Tim Henman, Sir Trevor McDonald, Vanessa-Mae, the Sugababes, Ken Livingstone and Gordon Brown. It shows how craven Britain has become to its membership of the so-called Olympic family and its Chinese parents.

The idea of carrying a lit torch from the Temple of Hera in Greece was invented by Hitler in 1936 to suggest a link between the German people and fellow Aryans in southern Europe. It was revived as a political act by Sydney in 2000 with a regional tour symbolising Australia’s links with the Pacific rim of Asia. Athens staged a world tour in 2004 in honour of the Games returning to their original home.

Nothing has equalled the present shenanigans. China’s ruling politburo knows that these Games carry heavy political baggage. Everything is image. The regime wants value for money from its $30 billion and that would never accrue from a mere fortnight’s track and field events.

That is why today’s London run, which began in Athens last month, will return to China by touching down in Lhasa, Tibet. There it will meet a torch from the summit of Everest. The centrality of Lhasa to the tour is to emphasise that Everest is in China by virtue of being in Tibet. It is not the protesting Tibetans who are polluting sport with politics, but their Chinese overlords.

Participants in today’s display are thus endorsing an event the climax of which is to celebrate a dictator’s conquest of a neighbour. When Saddam Hussein did that to Kuwait, Britain went to war. The least Britain owes the Tibetans is not to add to their humiliation. Playing sport is one thing, political cheerleading is another.

I normally dislike boycotts, embargoes and sendings to Coventry. They tend to hurt the wrong people and only boost the self-importance of those at whom they are directed. That particularly applies in areas such as sport, where non-political contact between young people in conflict-ridden parts of the world should be promoted rather than suppressed.

For that reason it is right, as the Dalai Lama has said, for athletes to participate in the Beijing Olympics, as in Hitler’s in 1936 and Moscow’s in 1980. But the athletes and their political and media hangers-on should recognise that the Games have never been politics-free, not since their revival in 1896. The ambition of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, their promoter, was emphatically political, hoping that big nations would “fight each other at the Games” instead of rushing into wars of national prestige.

Since then a self-perpetuating mafia, the IOC, has relentlessly hyped the Games as festivals of national prestige to push their cost way beyond that of any other world championship and beyond the hopes of any poor city or nation.

It demands permanent stadiums, villages and massive security, most of it useless for any lasting purpose. The world is littered with vacant and derelict Olympics venues. London has caved in to the same pressure and is building unnecessary sites for athletics, swimming and cycling, as well as London facilities for horse riding and shooting that could have been staged in the home counties at Hickstead and Bisley.

The IOC knows that only by investing the Games in flatulent pretension can it hope for rich governments to keep it in the style to which it has become accustomed. Nothing but dictatorship could have drained Beijing of the $30 billion that its Games are costing. After Britain’s experience of IOC lifestyle requirements – such as “Zil lanes” in Mile End Road for its personal limousines – it may have to rely on other dictatorships in future.

The pretension is embodied in the torch, a 20th century invention, called “a symbol of peace, justice and brotherhood” that is “bringing people together on its journey of harmony”. Its “mother flame” is being transported about the world in a specially adapted Air China jet, with 10 “flame attendants”, like Greek acolytes. The torch requires its own motorcade and a nightly hotel room where it must be surrounded by unsleeping guards.

No sport does itself credit by associating with antics reminiscent of the crazed millionaire in Dr No. Yet even London has capitulated to this nonsense, with the British Museum, Downing Street, Canary Wharf and the Docklands Light Railway all cashing in. Taxpayers must spend £1m on eight hours of police overtime culminating in the lighting of an “Olympic cauldron” at the Millennium Dome. If this were not the Olympics it would be total nutcase country, with the Witches of the Sabbath and the Flat Earth Society demanding equal time…… (more details from The times Online)

Posted in all Hot Topic, Beijing Olympics, China, Europe, Human Rights, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Sports, Tibetan, UK, World | 1 Comment »

A Chilling Message China Sends Out

Posted by Author on April 4, 2008


John Gittings, via The Guardian, UK, April 3, 2008-

What is the message sent by Beijing in sentencing the human rights activist Hu Jia to three and a half years in jail? A decision of this magnitude and its timing, just as the Olympic flame has started its journey around the world, doesn’t happen by accident.

Hu Jia has been harassed for the past two years, whisked away from home by security police, stopped from flying abroad, kept under house arrest with plainclothes thugs lurking outside, while his wife, pregnant until their daughter was born last November, was followed and threatened. After he was formally arrested at the end of December, the authorities waited until March 14 (the fourth day of the Tibetan protests) to announce that his trial would start on March 18. That was the final day of the National People’s Congress which is supposed to display politics as normal in China.

Hu’s persecution began when he was campaigning solely on environmental and social issues. He first became active in Friends of Nature and campaigned to protect the Tibetan antelope from being hunted for its fur. (I met him early on at a small demonstration to protest against building plans on Nanjing’s Purple Mountain.) He then became deeply involved in efforts to help the victims of the commercial blood scandal in Henan province when donors and their families were infected with HIV.

It is a mark of Hu’s determined character that the effect was not to silence him but to broaden his critique. The joint manifesto (pdf) which he published last September with fellow activist Teng Biao is a remarkable document which ranges from the way that houses have been destroyed without proper compensation for the Olympics to the torture of Falun Gong followers in jail – and it deals with repression in Tibet too.

The Chinese government could still have handled this by continuing to keep Hu under house arrest and preventing any outside contact with him – the way that dozens of other dissidents will be dealt with during the Olympics. So why the high-profile trial and conviction at such a sensitive time?

The charitable view is that the state security apparatus is semi-autonomous and cannot be easily restrained. This alibi has been used in the past – for instance during Clinton’s visit to China in 1998 – to distance the top leadership from nastiness.

It is much more likely that the decision to jail Hu was taken deliberately by the politburo standing committee, or a sub-committee under party and state leader Hu Jintao, to send a clear message to the world.

This might be expressed as follows: “China will say no to foreign critics and interference. We are the ruling party, we will not be shaken and will stifle protest with full dictatorial power when our rule is threatened. That for us is still the lesson of Tiananmen Square whatever you may think. We also be as tough as we like in Tibet – and by the way you now depend on us for global economic and financial stability. So just shut up.”

Beijing has spoken: how will we respond? And how much longer can Gordon Brown carry on insisting that he will go to Beijing for the Olympics, and when he gets there just lie back and think of two-way trade?

– Original from John Gittings’ Comment: A chilling message

Related:
Outspoken Beijing Rights Activist Hu Jia Jailed Ahead of China Olympics

Posted in Activist, Beijing Olympics, China, Commentary, Europe, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Sports, UK, World | Comments Off on A Chilling Message China Sends Out

‘people are being killed for their organs’ while China ‘hosting an event to promote peace’

Posted by Author on February 17, 2008


European politicians are expressing their concern about China’s appalling human-rights record ahead of the Beijing Olympics

From blog of Will Buckley, The Guardian, February 17, 2008-

On 1 January this year Torsten Trey, chief executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, sent a letter to, among others, Steven Spielberg and George W Bush. He wrote: ‘It is reasonable to say that in China organs are removed from executed prisoners as well as from living, non-consenting donors, in particular from practitioners of the peaceful meditation movement Falun Gong. As medical doctors, we are extremely concerned about these practices.’

On Tuesday, at a meeting in London, European Parliament vice-president Edward McMillan-Scott expanded on those concerns. ‘They are hosting a sporting event intended to promote peace and at the same time people are being killed for their organs,’ said Trey. ‘It is outrageous. Once you are a prisoner of conscience you are outlawed and lose any rights. You are just a body mass.’

Later that evening Spielberg resigned as artistic director for the Beijing Olympics. There was no connection between the two events – Spielberg, after all, cited China’s failure to put pressure on Sudan to ease the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, not transplant trading, as the reason for his decision – other than that the staging of the Olympics in Beijing means that China will be examined more closely and more critically than ever before.

There are plenty of areas of concern. Also speaking on Tuesday was Annie Yang. ‘On 1 March 2005, without any legal procedure, I was arrested at home and sentenced to two years in a Chinese labour camp,’ she said. This was for being a practitioner of Falun Gong, an organisation that is part Taoist, part Buddhist, and that flourished in the wake of communism before being banned as ‘an evil cult’ in 1999.

In an effort to make Yang renounce her beliefs, she was forced to survive on 500ml of water a day and half a slice of Chinese bread. She was also tortured. ‘They made you sit with your knees closed, your feet closed, your back very straight and your hands on your knees for 20 hours without closing your eyes. No one dared look at me. Only this one woman waved at me and she has now been tortured to death.’

Yang, an antiques dealer, recanted and four months later was asked by the authorities if she wanted to be a spy in London. She declined the offer.

Anne Holmes, from the Free Tibet campaign, said that ‘silence is the cost of doing business in China’. Silence, in particular, about what is happening in Tibet. ‘There are some monks who must be protected and others who are invisible,’ she said, comparing the country to Burma. China’s influence is so great over Tibet and around the world, she says, that ‘Belgium no longer welcomes the Dalai Lama’.

China, in contrast, welcomes transplant tourists – it is alleged that 40,000 unexplained operations have been conducted in recent years. Also present on Tuesday was Professor Tom Treasure, a noted heart-transplant surgeon, who wrote an essay last year for the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine entitled ‘The Falun Gong, organ transplantation, the holocaust and ourselves’. In this he noted that waiting times for such operations in China were a mere one to two weeks and the cost under a tenth of what is charged in the United States. He also drew attention to the fact that, on being incarcerated, members of Falun Gong are blood-tested. This is unlikely to be for their own good, but is most helpful if you are looking for a blood-group match for organ donation.

As McMillan-Scott pointed out: ‘What makes it even more ghoulish is that the Falun Gong are regarded as good quarry because they neither smoke nor drink.’ Transplanting the organs of executed criminals is one thing, but using the organs of the living one hoped belonged in science fiction.

McMillan-Scott has long campaigned against human-rights abuses in China. He last visited the country in May 2006 and ‘all the reformists I had contact with have been arrested, and at least three of them tortured’. Last August he talked from the same meeting room in which we were sitting to eco-dissident Hu Jia in Beijing by live phone link. On 29 January Hu Jia was convicted of subversion.

‘There are 1.3 billion Chinese, most of whom are desperately unhappy living under a corrupt, arbitrary and paranoid regime which is dangerous to them,’ he says. ‘It is a terror state.’ Particularly if you are a practitioner of Falun Gong. ‘They have been subjected to systematic repression,’ says McMillan-Scott. ‘Falun Gong are to the Chinese what the Jews were to the Nazis. And that’s an understatement.’

Perhaps. One way in which they are being treated worse is that they are prohibited from competing in the Games. Hitler, in contrast, allowed one half-Jewish fencer to represent Germany and excluded the rest. Helene Mayer won silver in the individual foil.

Comparisons with Berlin have seen Beijing labelled the Genocide Games. This term is somewhat melodramatic, although it does remind one of Chairman Mao’s massacre of 70 million of his citizens during the Cultural Revolution. It is a reminder that worse things happen behind closed doors than partially open ones and, grim and nasty as life is in China, it may be less grim and nasty than it was. In part, this is because of the Olympic Games. Playing host means you are open to scrutiny and Tibet, Darfur and transplant tourism are subjects up for discussion.

Limited aims may be achievable and last year the number of transplants decreased considerably following the passage of the Human Organ Transportation Act.

There is, however, only limited leverage that can be exerted because the total boycott the admirable McMillan-Scott demands is just not going to happen. This is because the Olympic Games, like US vice-president Dick Cheney, are more about commerce than politics. The defining modern Games, after all, came in 1996 when they shared a home with Coca-Cola. Once the sponsors take over, they become indelibly corporate. Spielberg and a few others excepted, the capitalist West will flock to Beijing to do what it always does – shift product.

– Original from Will Buckley’s blog at The Guardian

Posted in all Hot Topic, Beijing Olympics, China, Crime against humanity, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Falun Gong, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, Opinion, Organ harvesting, People, politician, Politics, Report, Social, Sports, Tibetan, UK, World | Comments Off on ‘people are being killed for their organs’ while China ‘hosting an event to promote peace’

British Olympian Hits Out At China Amid Gagging Row

Posted by Author on February 13, 2008


AFP, Feb. 11, 2008-

LONDON (AFP) — A British Olympian called on China to do more to end the ongoing conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region on Tuesday, amid a row over attempts by the British Olympic Association to gag its athletes.

Richard Vaughan, a quarter-finalist in badminton at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and currently ranked 30th in the world, said in a statement released Tuesday that it was “very difficult to keep a polite silence about a conflict that continues to cost so many lives.”

His comments came just days after the BOA backed down over its plan to prevent the country’s competitors from commenting on “politically sensitive issues” surrounding the Games in Beijing this summer.

More than 200,000 people have died from war, famine and disease, and upwards of two million have fled their homes in Darfur since ethic minority rebels began fighting against Sudan’s Arab-dominated regime in 2003.

China — Sudan’s biggest foreign trade partner which has also invested more than 400 million dollars (275 million euros) in Darfur alone — has drawn criticism from the West because of claims it was not using its influence to pressure the Khartoum government to do more to end the conflict.

“While many nations have tried to isolate Sudan by breaking economic ties, China has significantly backed the government of Sudan with trade particularly in oil,” Vaughan said in the statement released by campaigning group Crisis Action.

“It has major influence in Sudan and could help to end the suffering of millions of people affected by the conflict in the Darfur region … In the spirit of the Games, I would ask China as all nations to help Darfur, so that athletes can compete safe in the knowledge that everything is being done to stop the conflict.”

Vaughan, who is expected to be a member of Britain’s team at the Beijing Games, added that he appreciated “it’s a difficult position” for the BOA.

Crisis Action said a letter would be delivered to Chinese embassies around the world calling for action on the crisis in Darfur that has been signed by Vaughan, along with seven Nobel Peace prize winners and several other politicians and celebrities.

Beijing Olympic organisers said Monday they backed a ban on political protests by athletes attending the August 8-24 Summer Games, with organising committee spokesman Sun Weide saying all athletes were expected to follow the Olympic Charter, which outlaws political acts……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Athlete, Beijing Olympics, China, Europe, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Social, Sports, UK, World | 1 Comment »

70 Years Later, Why Do We Still Suck Up To Dictators Like Nazi: China Olympics and British Athletes

Posted by Author on February 12, 2008


By DAVID MELLOR, The Daily Mail, UK, Feb 9, 2008-

The British Olympic Association’s squalid attempt to suppress legitimate criticism of the Chinese regime by British athletes – revealed in today’s Mail on Sunday – is a timely wake-up call for all of us who thought sucking up to dictators was something we had left behind in the Thirties.

Perhaps Simon Clegg, the BOA chief executive who has been so vociferous in support of his wretched piece of paper, which could have been drafted by Neville Chamberlain, should pause and consider what effect kow-towing to totalitarian governments had in the run-up to the Second World War: none on the dictators, lasting shame on the appeasers.

On May 14, 1938, in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, the English football team were blackguarded by the Foreign Office and the Football Association into giving the “Heil Hitler” Nazi salute before a friendly game with Germany. It was a piece of contemptible cringing rendered even more pathetic and futile because Hitler, who hated sport, didn’t bother to turn up.

In a picture from a German archive never before published in Britain, the England football team give Nazi salutes in Berlin in 1938

(photo: National disgrace: In a picture from a German archive never before published in Britain, the England football team give Nazi salutes in Berlin in 1938/ by the Daily Mail)

But that picture of impressionable footballers obeying orders from mutton-headed apparatchiks went round the world and became a lasting source of shame to this country. This was, after all, just weeks after Hitler had annexed Austria and came at a time when plans for the Final Solution were well advanced.

Was Hitler made more reasonable by that salute, or by the willingness of the world to offer him a massive propaganda boost two years earlier at the Berlin Olympics by turning up without a squeak of protest? Of course not, which leads to some interesting parallels with today.

In 1936, persecution of the Jews was stopped briefly, dissidents were rounded up and kept out of the way and Nazi Germany put on its best face for the Games.

And that is exactly what the Chinese are doing today. They are desperately trying to clean up Beijing and banishing dissidents – men such as 34-year-old Hi Jia, a brave campaigner for human rights who is under house arrest to ensure he doesn’t rock the boat.

And the Chinese government, rattled by the possibility of public criticism from Olympians, has been applying crude pressure to the international community to keep quiet.

“If at each Olympics people stood up and used politics to attack the host nation, where does that leave the Olympic spirit?” argued the official newspaper, The People’s Daily, last month.

This idea that to criticise totalitarianism is a breach of the Olympic spirit is as wretched a perversion of logic as even the Nazis ever attempted. But, pathetic or not, Simon Clegg seems to see it as something we shouldn’t do.

The Chinese have no right to a free ride this summer. And it isn’t just because China isn’t a democracy or that basic human rights and fundamental freedoms are denied to its citizens.

China is a menace to the civilised world for many other reasons, ranging from its support for renegade regimes such as the government of Sudan, who used Chinese weaponry to commit the Darfur massacres, to its shameless emergence as the number one polluter.

The Chinese deserve as much criticism over their contributions to global warming as over their suppression of human rights.

At the rate of more than one a week, dirty coal and lignite-fired power stations are coming on stream. Over the next 20 years, they will create as much pollution as the rest of the world has since the birth of the industrial revolution.

This is a shocking statistic worthy of condemnation anywhere and everywhere. If British athletes feel strongly about that, why shouldn’t they speak out?

Let’s take the interesting case of Zara Phillips. The Prince of Wales has made it clear in a letter to the Free Tibet campaign that he will not allow himself to be used as a propaganda pawn by the Chinese, and will not attend the Games.

If Ms Phillips were to indicate her support for her uncle’s principled stand, will Clegg really carry out his threat and send her home? If so, he might even snatch the Berk of the Year award from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Clegg claims that all he is doing is imposing the principles contained in the Olympic Charter on individual athletes. Well he would, wouldn’t he?

But he’s wrong, not least because no other major country seeks to do the same. They are content to allow their athletes as free people to make up their own minds about what they say or do. Why isn’t that good enough for the motherland of free speech?

It begs a very interesting question. Is Clegg on a frolic of his own or has he been put up to it by the Government? Is appeasement alive and well and answering to the name of Gordon Brown?

Brown, after all, has recently been in China, making ludicrous remarks about the importance of our relationship with the Chinese – and earning the opprobrium of organisations dedicated to freedom for failing to hold the Chinese to account for their appalling human-rights record.

Is this notoriously intolerant man the real reason why Clegg is ready to make a fool of himself? Brown, after all, holds the purse strings for the 2012 Olympics.

Has he told Clegg and the BOA that unless their people toe the line in China, there will be trouble over the cash? I wouldn’t put it past him, would you?

The Brown line on China – that only the trading relationship matters – is patent nonsense. Our exports to China are barely one-fifth of theirs to us, a gap that will widen as industrialisation in China gathers pace.

During his visit Brown claimed: “Tens of thousands of jobs in Britain for British workers can be created by closer co-operation between our two countries.”

Oh really? Will that many forklift-truck drivers be needed to unload Chinese goods at our ports and airports?

Far worse is the assumption that the Chinese can be allowed to dominate world trade without any attention being paid to the development of democracy or the improvement of civil rights.

No thought is being given to the negative impact an unreformed Chinese superpower will have on world stability unless economic improvements are matched by equally profound advances in democratic institutions.

And that problem goes far wider than Brown. The Americans are the worst culprits in encouraging Chinese manufacturing without insisting on anything in return. And that foolhardy desire to reward China for its many bad habits extends to the International Olympic Committee.

They gave the Games to Beijing despite that city being among the most badly polluted in the world. Will a British competitor be sent home for daring to complain about the smog?

Any intelligent athlete will have a lot to think about on that plane to Beijing. And if they choose to voice those thoughts, why shouldn’t they?

If Simon Clegg and the BOA don’t want to end up as despised as those who told our footballers to make Nazi salutes, he and his cronies should put those contracts where they belong. Down the nearest lavatory.

– Original report from Daily Mail: Shameful picture of England squad giving Nazi salute still haunts British sport. Why, 70 years later, do we still suck up to dictators?

Posted in Athlete, Beijing Olympics, China, Commentary, Europe, Human Rights, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Report, Social, Sports, UK, World | Comments Off on 70 Years Later, Why Do We Still Suck Up To Dictators Like Nazi: China Olympics and British Athletes

Olympics Are Not A Reason to Ignore Tyranny: British and China

Posted by Author on February 10, 2008


Daily Mail, UK, Feb. 10, 2008-

It would be simpler if the Olympic Games could always be held in free countries, where athletes can concentrate solely on winning medals without drugs or cheating.

The document the British Olympic Association requires our competitors to sign is controversial only because in China a pledge of good behaviour is viewed by the BOA as a promise to keep quiet about police state repression.

It is easy to see how the BOA got into this mess. The claim that the Olympics are “non-political” has always been part of the humbug of this movement. Nobody really believes it, but as long as everyone pretends to do so, this breathtaking and inspiring festival can take place almost anywhere.

Yet even the most sport-obsessed person must surely wonder whether we are paying too high a moral price for a few weeks of splendid spectacle.

Nobody can now deny that the Berlin Olympics of 1936 strengthened and polished the revolting Nazi regime, at home and abroad.

The England football team giving Nazi salutes in Berlin in 1938

(photo: Past shame — The England football team giving Nazi salutes in Berlin in 1938/ by Daily Mail)

More recently, Warsaw Pact nations used improper and cruel methods to prepare their athletes for Cold War Olympic contests, in the belief that victory in track and field would mean prestige for worldwide Communism.

The 1980 Moscow games encouraged Leonid Brezhnev’s Kremlin to think it could get away with its invasion of Afghanistan and cruel persecution of dissidents.

Meanwhile, the People’s Republic long ago introduced politics into the Games by pressuring the International Olympic Committee to prevent Taiwan from competing under its own flag or even its own name.

And it is clear that the Chinese Government hopes the Beijing Olympiad will help to establish the country not only as a new superpower but also as a modern and advanced nation.

Yet, while it has been only too happy to rebuild its capital and to commission an array of ultra-modern buildings intended to dazzle the world, it shows no sign of renovating its intolerant, censored single-party political system.

So any claim by China that the Olympics are non-political is absurd, dishonest and not to be taken seriously.

Because of this, British athletes who feel moved by their consciences to speak out about Tiananmen Square or Tibet should not feel bound by the BOA’s attempt to silence them.

SNOOPING IS STILL NASTY

Not so long ago it was the militant Left who quite rightly condemned apartheid South Africa for its obsession with classifying its people by race and colour. The same people, equally rightly, objected to the law poking its nose into the private lives of homosexuals, and got that nasty law repealed.

But now the same Left is in charge, it mirrors exactly the same obsessions.

Try to win a contract with the London Development Agency and you will be interrogated not only about the race of yourself and your staff but also about their sexual tastes. What if they don’t want to go public about it?

One of the best traditions of this country used to be minding your own business. It is time it was revived.

Original report from Daily Mail

Posted in Athlete, Beijing Olympics, China, Commentary, Europe, Human Rights, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, Sports, UK, World | 1 Comment »

British Athletes Face Olympic Ban For Criticising China

Posted by Author on February 10, 2008


By Ben Leapman, The Telegraph, UK, Feb. 10, 2008-

British athletes will be banned from competing in this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing if they criticise China’s totalitarian regime.

The gagging order has been imposed by the British Olympic Association. Competitors who break the rule will not travel to the games or, if they are already in China, will be put on the next plane home.

It means sportsmen and women will be unable to raise concerns about China’s human rights record or its occupation of Tibet.

Critics accused the BOA of bowing to political pressure and said that the move raised the spectre of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which passed off without protest and were hailed as a propaganda coup for the Nazi regime.

The reaction is in contrast to other countries, including the United States and Australia, where athletes will be free to speak out about China should they wish to do so. The Prince of Wales will not attend the Beijing games because of concerns over human rights.

Since the 1988 Olympics in Soeul, British competitors have been asked to sign contracts that include a pledge “not to comment on any politically sensitive issues”.

However, this year’s contracts will, for the first time, explicitly refer competitors to Section 51 of the International Olympic Committee charter, which “provides for no kind of demonstration, or political, religious or racial propaganda in the Olympic sites, venues or other areas”……. (more details from telegraph.co.uk)

Posted in Athlete, Beijing Olympics, China, Europe, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, UK, World | Comments Off on British Athletes Face Olympic Ban For Criticising China

Power of the Olympics Boycott– Stop the suffering in China and Zimbabwe

Posted by Author on January 20, 2008


by Edward McMillan-Scott, the Yorkshire Post, UK, 18 January 2008-

THE Government wants it both ways on sport boycotts. It is trying to ban Zimbabwe’s cricket team from a UK tour but wants to hang on to Zimbabwe – and other sympathetic African countries especially South Africa – for the 2012 London Olympics.

In a world clamouring for democracy and the universal value of human rights, Britain could give a lead by arguing for a switch of all future games to Athens, home of the Olympics and a 2004 spectacular (and saving us £10 billion in the process) – as well as saying no to Zimbabwe’s cricketers.

Unlike sanctions, boycotts work and yes, sport, politics and religion are inevitably mixed.

“The situation in Zimbabwe is obviously deeply concerning. I think that bilateral cricket tours at the moment don’t send the right message about our concern”, foreign secretary David Miliband said the other week.

But in a House of Lords debate on human rights in China, in which Moscow Olympics silver medallist Lord Moynihan referred to my Beijing boycott campaign, government spokesman Lord Malloch-Brown sidestepped the issue, although every speaker referred to China’s ghastly record, of an order of magnitude greater than Zimbabwe’s.

The Mugabe regime has “cleared” nearly 100,000 homes, allowed mass hunger, destitution of the economy and is guilty of scores of deaths.

When ITV broadcast a series of horrifying reports from Zimbabwe last autumn, the government began all sorts of back-stairs deals, some through sports bodies, to put off the cricket tour.

The truth is that sport is now a high-profile commercial activity with an unprecedented impact on the public.

So much so that Pope Benedict recently gave football his blessing and said: “Soccer should increasingly become a tool for the teaching of life’s ethical and spiritual values”.

In 2001, making his pitch for the 2008 Olympics, bid spokesman Liu Jingmin argued that: “By allowing Beijing to host the games you will help the development of human rights”.

Even though article one of the Olympic Charter insists on “universal fundamental ethical principles” the crackdown by Beijing on dissidents and religions has continued with increased severity.

Last month, the European Parliament unanimously expressed “serious concern” and invited the IOC to make its own assessment of China’s compliance with its pledges. Maybe sponsors VISA, Coca Cola and Kodak could ask the questions.

On December 27, Hu Jia, an environmental activist who has publicised Beijing’s appalling air quality and the demolition of hundreds of thousands of homes to make way for the Olympics, was taken from his home by 20 policemen.

Another noted dissident, Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng – sometimes called China’s Lech Walesa – has disappeared in similar circumstances after an open letter criticising Olympic corruption. I had been in regular contact with both.

Gao is best known for his report on the regime’s vast brutality against the Falun Gong “Buddha school” spiritual movement.

Harry Wu, an exiled dissident, runs a US research foundation which estimates that there are about 1,100 penal camps in China’s Laogai system with an estimated 6.8 million inmates, most detained without trial.

The UN’s torture specialist, Austrian jurist Manfred Nowak, says the majority are Falun Gong practitioners, being “re-educated” or tortured to recant. Survivors have told me of SS tactics.

At least 3,000 have died under torture since the crackdown on Falun Gong’s 70 million practitioners began in 1999 – for no other reason than its popularity as a health-promoting activity.

They are probably the reason why China is switching this month from executions by a shot in the head to lethal injections, as I am told this preserves prisoners’ bodies better as a quarry for the army’s lucrative organ transplant industry.

Would the 1936 Berlin Olympics have taken place if the world had known about the Nazi’s camps?

US Supreme Court judge Felix Frankfurter said of Jan Karski’s reports about the SS camps: “I did not say that this young man was lying. I said that I was unable to believe what he told me. There is a difference.”

It is time for the civilised world to wake up to what is really happening in the hidden China, a terror state like no other, which has killed some 80 million of its own people since 1949. Nor should we ignore China’s role in Sudan’s genocide or her support for other vile African regimes – like Zimbabwe.

An Olympic boycott was imposed against South Africa by the IOC itself in 1964 because of apartheid; it worked. In 1980, the US and 60 other countries boycotted the Moscow Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; within three years the USSR was crumbling.

Those who argue against boycotts say that “being there” matters more: I disagree, it just gives comfort to tyrants.

In 1987, President Reagan bluntly told the South Korean junta that, unless it brought in democracy, the US would boycott the 1988 Seoul Olympics: democracy was introduced.

It is time to stop the humbug in this globalising world: sports boycotts work. And it is time to stop the suffering in both China and Zimbabwe.

Edward McMillan-Scott is Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and Humber and is vice-president of the European Parliament and founder of the EU Democracy and Human Rights Initiative

– Original report from the Yorkshire Post: Edward McMillan-Scott: Power of the sports boycott

Posted in Beijing Olympics, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, Politics, Report, Social, Spiritual, Sports, UK, World | Comments Off on Power of the Olympics Boycott– Stop the suffering in China and Zimbabwe

UK MI5 Warns 300 Business Leaders of China State-sponsored Spying

Posted by Author on December 4, 2007


AFP, Dec. 1, 2007-

LONDON (AFP) — The head of Britain’s domestic security service has warned business leaders that China has been carrying out state-sponsored espionage against vital parts of the economy.

The director-general of MI5, Jonathan Evans, wrote to 300 chief executives and security heads at banks, accountancy and legal firms, warning them they were under attack from “Chinese state organisations” via the Internet, The Times said Saturday.

It is thought to be the first time London has directly accused Beijing of involvement in web-based espionage, the daily said.

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last weekend he is due to visit China in January next year. The Times said Evans’s warning, which it had seen, threatened to cast a diplomatic shadow over the trip.

In particular, Evans warns companies doing business in China to be on their guard against the Chinese Army, because they were using the Internet to steal sensitive commercial data.

The newspaper quoted a security expert as saying that among the techniques used by Chinese groups were “custom trojans” — software that hacks into a firm’s network and feeds back confidential information.

The MI5 letter, on which the Home Office (interior ministry) refused to comment, includes a list of so-called “signatures” that can be used to identify such trojans, plus Internet addresses used to launch them, it added.

– Original report from AFP : Spy chief warns of China web threat

Posted in Business, China, Computer, Economy, Europe, Internet, Law, News, Politics, Software, Spyware, Technology, UK, Virus, World | Comments Off on UK MI5 Warns 300 Business Leaders of China State-sponsored Spying

500,000 China-made Toys Recalled in UK and Ireland Over Date rape Drug

Posted by Author on November 10, 2007


David Pallister, The Guardian , Saturday November 10, 2007-

Half a million Chinese-made children’s toys were recalled across the UK and Ireland yesterday after concerns that they contain a chemical which converts to the so-called date rape drug GHB when eaten.

The UK distributor of Bindeez beads, Character Group, in Oldham, asked retailers and consumers to return the products after reports that at least six children in the US and Australia have been taken to hospital severely ill from swallowing the beads.

The firm, which has imported Bindeez for over a year, said there had been five known cases of children eating the beads in the UK with no ill effects, and the voluntary recall was precautionary.

Between 100,000 and 150,000 Bindeez kits, which consist of toy beads which can be arranged into patterns and join together when sprayed with water, have been distributed to major retailers.

Spain also recalled the toys yesterday, following the lead of the US and Australia. In the US, 4.2m of the kits, known there as Aqua Dots, were withdrawn after two children were taken to hospital. An 18-month-old baby was one of four children to fall ill after swallowing the beads in Australia. The symptoms of the drug are unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and occasionally death……. (more details from The Guardian : 500,000 Chinese-made toys recalled over date-rape drug link)

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Europe, Health, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, UK, World | Comments Off on 500,000 China-made Toys Recalled in UK and Ireland Over Date rape Drug

Global Human Rights Torch Relay for China to Arrive London on 25 October 2007

Posted by Author on October 24, 2007


Press release, CIPFGHRTR

This global event covers some 100 cities in 25 countries on 5 continents. It started on 9 August 2007 at Syntagma Square in Athens. After running through Berlin, Munich, Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Timisoara, Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Geneva, Lausanne, Paris, Vilnius, Riga, Brussels, Antwerp, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Dublin in 17 countries its last European stop will be London before it continues to Australia, South and North America ending in Asia in August 2008.

“The Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot co-exist in China!”

UK part of Global Human Rights Torch Relay is supported by:

Chris Hamilton, 100 metre sprinter, Ghefari Dulapandan olympic swimmer
Xu Jian, Human Rights lawyer in China
Ma Jian famous Chinese writer
Roger Helmer, MEP
John Bowis MEP for London
Liz Lynne MEP
and others.

UK NGOs:

All-China Alliance for Protecting Human Right Opposing Violence
Burmese Muslim Association
Federation for A Democratic China UK
Federation of Saying Good-bye to CCP (UK)
London Law School
The Burma Campaign UK
Tibet vigil

European NGOs:
International Society for Human Rights
Human Rights Without Frontiers
Society For Threatened Peoples
Federation For Democratic China
German Association for Culture and Human Rights
German Association for Art and Human Rights
Amnesty Dublin Central Group
Interfaith International
Human Rights Commission in Geneva
Federation for Democratic China
Support for Human Rights (Sweden)
Doctors Against Organ Harvesting
…… and others

Press Conference: 3 pm Thursday 25 October 2007
At: Music Room, Foreign Press Association, 11 Carlton House Terrace
Chair: Lord Avebury All Parliamentary Human Rights Committee
Speakers: Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP Vice president of European Parliament; Brian Colman, Chairman of GLA; Baroness Caroline Cox, Chair of European CIPFG; Lord Hylton; Dr Xu Yi, UCL; Tinch Minter, playwright; Lucy Jin, Federation for a Democratic China UK; Ghefari Dulapandan, olympic swimmer; Chris Hamilton, 100 metre sprinter,MyoThein,BurmaCampaignUK;KyawZwa, Burmese Muslim Association;Robert Evans,MEP;Annie Yang,torture victim.

Press Conference will be followed by a torch lighting ceremony at Trafalgar Square North Terrace at about 4pm where a programme of music and talk will be running from 3pm. Then the torch will run via Regent Street and Oxford Circle to Chinese Embassy in Portland Place by about 6pm. Runners will include MPs, MEPs, Olympic medallists, VIPs and Human Rights activists. There will be more speakers, a candle light vigil till 9pm at the Embassy and then the torch will depart for Australia.

Media contact: Zek Halu tel 020 8699 2066 mobile 07910 785 079 zekhalu@talktalk.net
On behalf of organizers of Human Rights Torch Relay in London

The International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Olympic Games in 2001 expecting the Chinese Communist regime to address its appalling human rights record. Instead the situation grows worse daily and Chinese government uses the Olympic Games to further arrest and persecute Christians, human rights activists such as Gao Zhisheng and Falun Gong practitioners, supports killing of monks and other peaceful Burmese, oppresses Tibetan people and sabotages efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch websites reveal a litany of human rights violations; with further restrictions on both foreign and domestic press, in spite of recent Chinese regime’s statements that state the media control has been lifted. China is expected to abide by human rights principles; yet it has shown no indication that it is willing to do so. Olympics in Beijing cannot go ahead while these atrocities are taking place. It would be a mockery of the Olympic spirit and of the Olympic Charter, which encourages, “the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with preservation of human dignity”.

For more information about the Relay: http://www.humanrightstorch.org & http://www.cipfg.org

Original report from HRTR website

Posted in all Hot Topic, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Europe, Event, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, News, Spiritual, Sports, UK, World | Comments Off on Global Human Rights Torch Relay for China to Arrive London on 25 October 2007

China’s terracotta warriors masked by Eco protestor in London

Posted by Author on October 18, 2007


AFP, Oct.16, 2007-
LONDON (AFP) — An environmental protestor put anti-pollution face masks on at least two of China’s terracotta warriors at an exhibition in London, to highlight China’s pollution record, a report said Monday.

Martin Wyness jumped over barriers to place the masks bearing the slogan “CO2 emission polluter” on the warriors, some 20 of whom have been on display at the British Museum since last month, the Evening Standard reported.

“I did it because I have got two children and I am very very concerned about the global inaction over climate change, particularly what is happening in China,” he told the paper, which printed pictures of the be-masked warriors.

The 49-year-old, who staged the protest during a visit to the museum with his daughters Ruby and Sophie, was dragged away by security guards.

“I saw the man climb over the barriers. He was totally calm and silent. None of the security staff had any idea what was going on,” witness Amelia Hanratty told the paper.

“They only found out when a member of the public alerted them. Two dashed over and frogmarched him away. He could have damaged the soldiers but he didn’t do anything to them except put on the masks.”

A Chinese official accompanying the warriors during the show is checking the statues, while Wyness has been banned from the British Museum for life.

– Original report from AFP: Eco protestor puts masks on China’s terracotta warriors

Posted in Activist, air, China, Chinese Culture, Environment, Life, News, NW China, People, pollution, Shaanxi, UK, World, Xi’an | Comments Off on China’s terracotta warriors masked by Eco protestor in London

Chinese Reformers Address Human Rights in EU Parliament Press Conference

Posted by Author on October 13, 2007


Epoch Times Staff, Oct 10, 2007-

BRUSSELS— On the occasion of the ‘European Day Against the Death Penalty’ a press conference was organized in the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Willy Fautré from Human Rights Without Frontiers and Thomas Mann, MEP and Chairman of the EP Tibet group.

During the conference a live phone connection was setup with Hu Jia and with Li Baiguang, a human rights lawyer, in mainland China.

A renowned human rights and democracy activist, Hu Jia was recently nominated for the Sacharov prize by the Green faction in the European Parliament.

Edward McMillan-Scott: what’s your attitude towards human rights and the Olympic Games?

Hu Jia: The Chinese people hoped the Olympics would be an opportunity for China to become mainstream and more like other countries, but now the situation is going to the opposite side. The Chinese Communist Party has arrested many people in the name of the Olympic Games.

Therefore more and more people are saying “We want human rights, not Olympic Games.” An example of this is the case of Li Heping, who was arrested because he spoke out for “Human rights instead of Olympics.”

EM-S: Can you make a statement about the persecution of Gao Zhisheng and his family?

Hu: The persecution of Gao and his family is severe. The police officers follow Gao’s wife when she leaves the home.

EM-S: The 17th CCP Party Congress as well as the EU-China human rights dialogue will start October 15th. What are your comments on these events?

Hu: The Olympic Games have become a cover for human rights violations. The number of arrests has also peaked because of the 17th ccp party congress. These evil deeds should be condemned in the human rights dialogue.

Li Baiguang stressed “The Olympic Games are a peaceful and friendly gathering of humankind, not an opportunity to violate the human rights of the Chinese people.”

Different speakers highlighted the persecution several groups in China suffer today, less then 10 months before the Olympic Games. Willy Fautré, Director of the Brussels-based NGO, Human Rights Without Frontiers, said, “Heads of states and democratically-elected politicians should not accept any invitation from the Chinese authorities to the Beijing Olympics, while people in China are still being tortured. The world should focus on the real China, in which hundreds of thousands are being repressed because of their religious faith or belief.”

Edward McMillan-Scott released a letter at the press conference he wrote last week to the president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, in which he stated that he contacted the Secretariat of the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the cases of Gao Zhisheng, Li Heping and the thousands Falun Gong practitioners killed since the CCP’s persecution started in 1999.

The ICC has suggested that an official from the European Parliament should prepare a dossier for submission under the Genocide Convention.

– Original report from the Epochtimes: Chinese Reformers Address European Parliament Press Conference

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Sports, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Venturing Into Unreported China, BBC Reporter Detained

Posted by Author on September 10, 2007


BBC News, 7 September 2007-Shengyou incident

China has pledged more freedoms for reporters ahead of next year’s Olympics, but when the BBC’s Dan Griffiths travelled to the countryside to investigate reports of unrest he was detained and questioned.

(photo: The 2005 clash was caught on video and widely disseminated / BBC News)

The village of Shengyou is a three hour drive south of Beijing, deep in the countryside surrounded by fields of maize.

A traditional landscape found across this vast nation – but everything is not as it seems.

My taxi driver tells me that the police have set up checkpoints round the village. He refuses to go any further – so I go the rest of the way on foot.

I walk down a narrow lane with broad poplar trees on either side. A small tractor chugs by, the driver stares at me – foreigners are rarely seen around here.

Round a bend in the road, I see two white vans. Several policemen are standing beside them. They look as out of place in rural China as I do.

The questions come thick and fast. What am I doing? Where have I come from? Who is my contact in the village?

Over the course of the next few hours they will ask me this last question again and again. From nowhere a black car pulls up and I am ushered inside.

Battle of Shengyou

Two years ago there was a riot in Shengyou. In the early hours of a November morning a gang of more than 100 men entered the village.

They were wearing camouflage gear and construction helmets, some armed with hunting rifles, clubs and shovels.

What happened next was filmed by a local resident and smuggled out to the international media.

The video showed a series of bloody clashes between the villagers and the attackers. Gunshots could be heard above the shouting and screaming.

When the fighting finally stopped, six people lay dead, more than 50 were injured.

With the dramatic footage circulating, the authorities moved quickly.

State media said the Shengyou residents had been resisting the takeover of their property by an electricity company which wanted to build a power plant.

It emerged that there had been a similar clash earlier in the year, which had gone unreported. Several local officials were sacked and the villagers won their claim to stay on the land.

But now the police are back in Shengyou.

‘Welcome to Dingzhou’

I am in the backseat of the black car on the way to the nearby town of Dingzhou.

Next to me is one of the men from the checkpoint. He is not wearing a police uniform and refuses to give me his name or show me any ID.

The questions keep on coming – how do I know about Shengyou? Why was I on foot?

I tell him that my taxi driver was too scared to go near the village. He laughs. At one point he reaches over and tries to grab my mobile phone.

I ask some questions of my own – why are they detaining me? What is going on in Shengyou? He says nothing.

At the town’s government headquarters, an official shakes my hand. “You are welcome to Dingzhou,” he says, pretending that I am an honoured guest.

We sit around a large oval table. I am on one side, officials are on the other. Several refuse to give me their names. They want to see my journalist’s identity card. And again the questions.

New regulations issued this year were supposed to give foreign journalists much greater freedom to travel around the country.

They were also supposed to mean less harassment from local officials – a common problem in the past and one that has not gone away.

I tell them I heard reports about problems in the village and had come down to look around.

People living near Shengyou say that armed police were sent into the village two weeks ago.

That was after residents dug up the bodies of those who had died in the violence in November 2005. They wanted to protest at the lack of official compensation for the families of those who were killed or injured then.

What is happening in Shengyou is not unique. It is another reminder of growing social tensions in rural China.

The government has admitted that there were tens of thousands of rural protests last year. Many are about land grabs like the one attempted in Shengyou, others about corruption or the growing gap between rich and poor.

The authorities in Beijing say they want to do something about these problems – but often officials at the local level ignore these edicts.

Heading homebeijing

The interview is over. Officials say they will escort me back to the highway.

I meet up with my driver, who has been waiting for me. Three officials also get in the car. They sit either side of me on the back seat. Another in the front.

(photo: This is the China the government wants to portray / BBC)

As we drive out of town a black car comes alongside. The driver says we must pull over. This game of cat and mouse continues up the highway to Beijing. Finally I tell my driver to ignore them and head home.

“Have you been to Beijing before?” I ask the officials. They laugh nervously.

Then I see blue and red flashing lights. The police will not say why they have stopped us, nor will they say when we can go. We wait at the side of the road.

Up ahead there is a big neon sign lit up in green – “One World, One Dream”. It is the official slogan of the Beijing Olympics.

“Is this how you will treat journalists when China hosts the Olympics?” I ask one of them. “Oh, everything will be different then,” he says.

Then another car pulls up, with representatives from the local office of China’s foreign ministry. I know my colleagues in Beijing have been pressing the foreign ministry to take action.

“There has been a terrible mistake, we are so sorry.” They insist that we must go out for dinner with the officials from Dingzhou, then we can go back to Beijing.

It is a strange experience sitting round the same table with the men who detained me.

It is not until the next day that my driver discovers that while we were eating, someone tampered with our car by removing several of the bolts that attach the wheels to the chassis.

It is nearly midnight by the time we arrive back in Beijing. We drive down the wide, brightly-lit boulevards, past the new office blocks.

This is the China that Beijing wants the world to see. But in Shengyou there is another China – a world that goes unreported by the country’s state-run media.

China’s president, Hu Jintao, has promised to build what he calls a “harmonious society”, but three hours south of Beijing no-one in power seems to be listening.

Original report from BBC News: Venturing Into Unreported China

Posted in Beijing, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Incident, Journalist, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Protest, Riot, Social, UK, World | 1 Comment »

China Hackers Have Been Attacking UK Government Departments for 4 Years

Posted by Author on September 5, 2007


Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, Wednesday September 5, 2007-

Chinese hackers, some believed to be from the People’s Liberation Army, have been attacking the computer networks of British government departments, the Guardian has learned.

The attackers have hit the network at the Foreign Office as well as those in other key departments, according to Whitehall officials.

The Ministry of Defence declined yesterday to say whether it had been hit. An incident last year that shut down part of the House of Commons computer system, initially believed to be by an individual, was discovered to be the work of an organised Chinese hacking group, officials said.

Security and defence officials are coy about what they know of specific attacks. However, they say several Whitehall departments have fallen victim to China’s cyberwarriors. One expert described it as a “constant ongoing problem”.

The disclosures came after reports that the Chinese military had hacked into a Pentagon military computer network in June. The Financial Times said American officials called it the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department.

Defence department officials confirmed that there had been a “detected penetration” of elements of the email system used by the network serving the office of Robert Gates, the US defence secretary. US officials were reported to have said that an investigation had discovered that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was responsible.

The US gave the codename “Titan Rain” to the growing number of Chinese attacks, notably directed at the Pentagon but also hitting other US government departments, over the past few years.

The latest attack caused some minor administrative disruptions, but there had been no adverse impact on operations, an official said.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is reported to have raised the issue of Chinese attacks on her government’s computers during a visit to Beijing. Officials here declined to say whether the British government had raised the issue with the Chinese authorities.

Alex Neill, China expert and head of the Asia Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute, Rusi, said cyber attacks by the Chinese had been going on for at least four years. He described the reported attack on the Pentagon as the “most flagrant and brazen to date”.

He said such attacks reflected a new doctrine of the PLA described as “pressure point warfare” – the attacking of specific nodes to leave the adversary paralysed.

The incidents should be seen against the background of the forthcoming 17th Chinese Communist party congress, which could determine the next generation of leaders, and the PLA keen to flex its muscles, Mr Neill suggested.

The attacks on the Pentagon’s computer system were described by Dr Sandra Bell, head of Rusi’s homeland security department, as “very much a wake-up call”. She added: “The Chinese see no difference between asymmetric warfare and conventional warfare”.

Analysts have argued over the seriousness of the attacks, and China has officially denied responsibility. However, the latest attack was said by officials and analysts yesterday to be the most serious discovered so far.

Responsibility for advising government departments on how to protect their networks rests with MI5, GCHQ, and the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure in the Cabinet Office.

– Original report from The Guardian : Titan Rain – how Chinese hackers targeted Whitehall

Posted in China, Computer, Europe, Hacker, Internet, Law, military, News, Politics, Social, Technology, UK, website, World | Comments Off on China Hackers Have Been Attacking UK Government Departments for 4 Years

China-made Weapons Used by Taleban to Attack UK and U.S

Posted by Author on September 5, 2007


By Paul Danahar, BBC Asia bureau chief, Beijing, 3 September 2007-

Britain has privately complained to Beijing that Chinese-made weapons are being used by the Taleban to attack British troops in Afghanistan.

The BBC has been told that on several occasions Chinese arms have been recovered after attacks on British and American troops by Afghan insurgents.

The authorities in Beijing have promised to carry out an investigation.

This appears to be the first time Britain has asked China how its arms are ending up with the Taleban.

Boasting

At a meeting held recently at the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing, a British official expressed the UK’s growing concern about the incidents.

When asked about the latest British concerns, the Chinese foreign ministry referred back to a statement made by their spokesman Qin Gang in July who said China’s arms exports were carried out “in strict accordance with our law and our international obligations”.

For their part, the Taleban have recently begun boasting that they have now got hold of much more sophisticated weaponry although they refused to say from where.

Afghan officials have also privately confirmed to the BBC that sophisticated Chinese weapons are now in the hands of the Taleban.

They said these included Chinese-made surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, landmines, rocket-propelled grenades and components for roadside bombs.

A senior Afghan official told the BBC: “Chinese HN-5 anti-aircraft missiles are with the Taleban, we know this… and we are worried where do the Taleban get them, some of these weapons have been made recently in Chinese factories.”

Another Afghan official who deals with counter-terrorism said: “Serial numbers and other information from most of the Chinese weapons have been removed in most cases and it’s almost impossible for us to find out where they come from but we have shared our concerns with the Chinese and the Americans also.”

Worried

The Afghan government considers China to be a friend, and a much less meddlesome ally than the other big player in its neighbourhood, India.

But, the counter-terrorism official added, “China is worried about the presence of the US in the region”. ……

more details from BBC News: Taleban ‘getting Chinese weapons’

Posted in Afghanistan, Asia, Business, China, Economy, Europe, Made in China, military, News, Politics, products, Technology, Trade, UK, USA, World | Comments Off on China-made Weapons Used by Taleban to Attack UK and U.S

UK Playwright Tinch Minter: No Stamp of Approval

Posted by Author on August 22, 2007


Ms. Tinch Minter, UK playwright, Via the Epochtimes, Aug 18, 2007-Ms. Tinch Minter

This is a statement from Ms. Tinch Minter, UK playwright, of supporting the Human Rights Torch Relay and boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Business is booming in China. It is now throwing open its doors to the world after long years of closure. The international community is just as eager to include China in the family of nations, to offer encouragement through business deals, and opportunities to sell us its shoes, clothes, computers, televisions in greater and greater numbers.

While China may show the rest of the world a new more open face, its body remains a Communist dictatorship whose main objective is to keep itself in power whatever this means to its people. We are shown evidence of this new wealth in its vast skyscrapers and sprawling new towns. But factories in all too many cities create a perpetual smog and attendant health problems. How can a state which does not have the health of its own people at heart be a safe player on the world stage?

As more openings are made with the West, increasing numbers of Chinese citizens are making contact with Western ideas. How will they deal with freedom of speech, of thought? Some Chinese students arriving in England recently showed how totally the government line is still stamped on its citizens’ minds as they reiterated the national double-think: on the one hand they claimed the Tiananmen Square event never happened, on the other hand that if anybody was killed there they deserved it.

Make no mistake, China is not in safe hands. With over 600 coal fired power stations underway, China is threatening the future of the rest of the world in its race for super-powerdom. This is the country which upholds stability at any cost – and therefore ruthlessly stamps out anything it perceives as struggle. It has consistently moulded the truth to fit its ideology and is bitterly determined to hold onto the power grabbed through violence. China has tightened the screws on freedom of thought, ignoring appeals for human rights as the State perpetrates violence against its own people, torturing and even executing those it deems dissident.

The 6-10 Office is a massive nationwide organisation, using vast amounts of GNP, with branches in every village, city, school, government agency and so on, and with one sole purpose: to intimidate, crush, torture even kill all those who practise the meditation and exercise routine of Falun Gong and live their lives guided by truth, compassion and forbearance. To those of us brought up in countries which inherited democratic ideas and Judaeo-Christian ethics, truth, compassion and tolerance could be considered as essential planks underpinning civilised human society. Just as they underpin the spirit of the Olympic Games with their desire to promote international understanding through sporting competition.

And so we may ask: How can a meditation and exercise routine, combined with a commitment to three benign principles, threaten any government? How do Falun Gong practitioners deserve political persecution? A state committed to atheism does not have to punish those who follow other ideas. But in China, choosing truth, compassion and tolerance as guides to life is tantamount to dissent, and dissent against the CCP is being against China; and being against China, in the Leaders’ mindset, deserves any punishment they choose. For of course these principles run counter to everything the Chinese Communist Party stands for. A Party which gains power through violence and struggle, then sets about systematically destroying any inconvenient events of its past is bound to be uncomfortable with citizens living by those three high moral principles.

For China this new wealth comes in handy for restocking vast arsenals of torture equipment, and building ever more labour camps. 6-10 Officers are set quotas of political dissidents to brainwash week by week, with a range of torture equipment to use. A quick jab with an electronic prod – sold for use on cattle – sends powerful shock waves through its victim. There is an endless flow of detainees to whip, shackle and prod. And there are even more humiliating options: to dispense with all equipment and force your charges to squat all day long with their hands clasped behind their backs, staring motionless at the floor and bawling Communist gibberish: this torture induces a loss of proprioception, even making standing impossible. This is 6-10 Office reeducation through physical pain as detainees shout themselves back into conformity through the demoralising reiteration of senseless slogans.

6-10 officers may blithely torture their charges to death knowing there will be no reprisal and that all fatalities will be recorded as suicide. There is no due process of law for practitioners, the proper legal procedures are simply by-passed. Once you are arrested you are immediately on the conveyor belt of detention centre, labour camp, brainwashing, torture.

We happily buy the New Life and New World products flooding the West. But these products are all made by slave labour of people illegally detained. And they range from hand-knitted sweaters to single use chopsticks. Yes, the cynicism of the names takes some beating, for the New Life and New World producers face nothing new except further torture until they denounce Falun Gong. It is said that 6-10 Officers deprive political prisoners of sleep until their product passes the most stringent quality control.

In Nazi Germany Dr Mengele and his gang tortured many thousands for the longterm purpose of purifying and perfecting Aryan stock. But China has refined even his torture methods, in a gross and original manner. In years to come the world will be truly horrified by what is known now to a few. In China today the State rewards its wealthy, politically correct members with longer, healthier lives by stealing organs from Falun Gong detainees. A cruel harvest indeed.

The 6-10 Office is acting as nurse, surgeon and organ salesman providing those who have succeeded in the present regime with new lungs, kidneys and hearts, meanwhile labeling Falun Gong as an evil cult. This smokescreen serves to make people fearful, after 24 hour television programmes denouncing practitioners have outlawed Falun Gong in the public mind. So the government has demonised one group, and given itself a free hand to blame all of society’s ills on that group.

Where have we heard that before? And is there not a further similarity with Nazi Germany when Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games as a world platform to promote his ideology? Are we not in danger of celebrating the Olympic Games next year with just as vicious a host country?

But there is hope: one unexpected response to this repression, is that millions of people have become emboldened into leaving the Chinese Communist Party over the last few years. But why do people agree to join it in the first place? If you are faced with pressure from work mates to join the Party you would be forced into a most uncomfortable position. To refuse would make your future very dim and leave you open to suspicion.

For one of the questions on the application form reveals the government’s profound paranoia; are you or any member of your family Falun Gong practitioners. The same goes for passport applications. If you are a practitioner your commitment to truth forces you to answer honestly. Who would wish to condemn family members to detention without trial? To answer yes condemns your own family members to almost immediate detention; to answer no, submits the whole family to an anguished wait for the inevitable.

We must support the Chinese people in their struggle to change their government – by telling them the truth about the Party, about their Leaders, and their history of bloodshed, persecution and torture. Do not be fooled by the apparent openness, do not be seduced by the new prosperity. Every citizen remains a potential dissident under the present regime – which exists to show who is boss and to show that this boss will tolerate no thought processes but its own.

It is urgent that we redouble our efforts to make both China and the rest of the world a safer place, to release the 1.4 billion Chinese from their murderous Leaders and prevent the Olympic Games being smeared with the ordure of contact.

How can we trade with a country which has an annual execution toll of about 10,000 petty criminals? How can we visit, compete and celebrate together in a country where a terror regime of torture continues? How can any visitor be comfortable in a host country which does not uphold the basic tenets of human rights? How can democratic countries stamp their approval on China by sending their athletes to compete in the Olympic Games?

Tinch Minter

Original report from The Epochtimes, both English and the Chinese translation

Posted in 610 office, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Communist Party, Crime against humanity, Economy, Environment, Europe, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Labor camp, Law, News, People, Politics, pollution, Religion, Report, Social, Speech, Sports, Torture, UK, World, writer | Comments Off on UK Playwright Tinch Minter: No Stamp of Approval

Vice-President of EU and Chinese activist call for original Olympic spirit restored

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007


News Release, by Edward Mr McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the EuropeanEdward McMillan-Scott Parliament and leading European human rights and democracy champion, Via Human Rights Torch Rely Website, 16 August 2007

A senior Conservative MEP, who is urging European governments to debate a boycott of the Beijing Olympics for humanitarian reasons, has hit back at comments by British Olympic chief Simon Clegg who criticised his campaign as “absolutely extraordinary”.

Mr Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber) – a Vice-President of the European Parliament and leading European human rights and democracy champion – last week presented a letter to Gordon Brown and has set up a website www.boycottbeijing.eu, which has so far received 80 per cent support.

To highlight the situation in China, McMillan-Scott invited a leading human rights campaigner to break new ground by contributing to a London press conference from an anonymous telephone in Beijing. Mr Hu Jia – who had been arrested for speaking to Time magazine last year – spoke through an interpreter in Hong Kong for over 40 minutes.

He said: “The abuse of human rights now is worse than 2001 when China was awarded the Olympics. These games have been kidnapped by the authorities – they do not belong to the Chinese people. The Chinese Communist Party is using the Olympics to violate citizens’ human rights through a crackdown on dissidents and environmental degradation. This goes against everything that the Olympic spirit stands for.”

McMillan-Scott said: “Hu Jia put himself in real danger by speaking with me in public with such clarity, compassion and courage. I hope that this demonstrates to the Olympic industry what is really happening in China. Nobody should forget the first article of the Olympic Charter insists on respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”

Mr Jia is a close friend of the prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng who was arrested on August 15 2006, and convicted of subversion. When Mr McMillan-Scott visited China in May 2006 he was due to see Gao Zhisheng and Hu Jia but was warned by Western diplomats that a meeting would place them in danger.

In any event, two former prisoners of conscience who the MEP had already met had been arrested – Cao Dong and Niu Jinping. The latter appealed on behalf of his wife, who has been tortured in Beijing’s women’s prison since 2005 to renounce her religious beliefs.

Mr McMillan-Scott gave details of the current condition of the prisoners and those responsible for their treatment. Both are practitioners of Falun Gong, a mystical Buddhist movement of some 100 million people. More than 3,000 have been tortured to death since 1999.

The MEP said: “Sadly these are not isolated cases. I have met many survivors of torture from China’s numerous ‘re-education through labour’ camps. I do not understand how the Olympic industry can turn a blind eye to what is going on. We would not have participated in the Berlin Olympics if we had known about the concentration camps in 1936, but the situation in China today is far worse.

“Pledges of reform were made to the Olympic industry by the Beijing regime in 2001 and have manifestly been ignored. It is time the original Olympic spirit – and not the commercial festival the games have become – was restored, including its commitment to respecting universal fundamental ethical principles.”

CONTACT: Andrew Lambert (01325) 363436

News Release from Human Rights Torch Rely Website, approved by Mr. Edward Mr McMillan-Scott

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, Hong kong, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Labor camp, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Report, Spiritual, Sports, Torture, UK, World | Comments Off on Vice-President of EU and Chinese activist call for original Olympic spirit restored

UK: Dangerous levels of lead found in China-made toy jewellery

Posted by Author on August 19, 2007


BBC News, 18 August 2007-

Hamleys has removed from its shelves two child jewellery products found to contain dangerous levels of lead.

It said it had launched an inquiry into why the pendant and bracelet, imported from China, had not been detected in its quality assurance process.

The London toy store said it took safety “extremely seriously”, after the Sunday Times exposed the fault.

It comes days after US toy giant Mattel recalled 18m China-made products, some of them amid fears over lead levels.

‘Reviewing processes’

A Hamleys spokeswoman said: “Immediate action was obviously taken to remove these dangerous products from our shops as soon as we became aware of the problem.

“We would never ever knowingly sell toxic jewellery to customers and take the health and safety of our customers extremely seriously.

“We are urgently reviewing our quality assurance process.”

The Sunday Times found a £4.99 bracelet with heart shapes sold in Hamleys’ Regent Street shop contained more than 93% lead.

A P-shaped pendant, priced £7.99, was found to have 27% lead.

The recommended international safety limit is 0.06%, while the UK limit is 0.1%.

High levels of lead can cause brain damage and even kill.

International recall

Concerns over the safety of Chinese-made children’s toys were raised last week after Mattel recalled more than 18 million products worldwide.

Among them were Sarge die-cast toys, from the Pixar film Cars, which were recalled because their paint contains lead.

Mattel also recalled toys containing small magnets that can come loose, including Polly Pocket, Batman Magna, Doggie Daycare and One Piece playsets.

It was the second such recall in two weeks.

Although lead content of toys is strictly controlled in the UK, there are no regulations stipulating levels in children’s jewellery.

Tests by the newspaper also found high levels of lead in other children’s products sold at a number of other outlets.

– Original report from BBC News: Hamleys pulls toys over lead fear

Posted in Business, Children, China, Economy, Europe, Health, Law, Life, News, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Edward McMillan-Scott: We Should Shun Beijing Olympics in the Land of Genocide

Posted by Author on August 17, 2007


By Edward McMillan-Scott, via Yorkshire Post, UK, 13 August 2007-Edward McMillan-Scott

Edward McMillan-Scott (photo right) is a Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, a vice-president of the European Parliament and founded the EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Initiative.

The year-long countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics was celebrated by the Chinese regime with a firework display in Tiananmen Square – the focus of the June 1989 massacre of thousands of human rights activists. Massed dancers performed under the bland portrait of Mao Tse-tung, who murdered without qualms more than 70 million of his own people, 38 million through starvation.

Outside China, numerous reports were produced by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. Reporters without Borders said “despite the explicit undertakings it gave to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001, the Chinese government has done nothing to improve free expression or human rights in general…. Every year several thousand Chinese are executed in public, often in stadiums, by means of a bullet in the back of the neck or lethal injection”.

As I said following my visit to Beijing last year, when I met former prisoners of conscience, one of whom had shared a cell in one of China’s vast detention camps with Tiananmen activists, “the civilised world must shun China”.

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, has said he would not succumb to pressure from human rights groups or politicians over participation in what promises to be the most controversial Games since the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

However, this view that sport and politics don’t mix defies the Olympic Charter itself. Article 1 says it “seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”, surely the most universal of which is the UN Human Rights Charter.

It was the IOC itself which decided to exclude South Africa from the Games in 1964 as part of a world-wide campaign against apartheid. So I make no apology for urging our Prime Minister to begin a debate across the EU about a possible boycott of the Beijing Games. The EU’s foreign policy claims to be the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Gordon Brown, with the help of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and with all-party support at home, has shown a new foreign policy activism by making the genocide in Darfur his first priority. It is Chinese support for the murderous Sudanese government which has led Mia Farrow to call the Beijing Games the “Genocide Olympics”.

But there is still genocide inside China. Hundreds of thousands are in “administrative detention”. The world’s biggest country is becoming explosive, with tensions arising from huge distortions in wealth leading to corruption, a collapsing environment and universal repression of any dissent. A leaked official report said that some 90,000 impromptu demonstrations in rural areas took place within a recent 12-month period. These were primarily against expropriation of land and corrupt officialdom.

China’s economic boom is causing massive environmental degradation. The air in Beijing is appalling. Even Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, acknowledged that Beijing’s air pollution could force outdoor events to be abandoned.

The crackdown on religions is a brutal mistake from the regime’s standpoint, as it will lead, in my view, to its collapse. In any event, it is of fundamental importance in the coming period. Recently, Beijing has modified its policy by promoting a “patriotic” or authorised Buddhism.

This is possibly in recognition of the role of religions in bringing down the Soviet Union – Catholics in Poland and Protestants elsewhere across Eastern Europe who had simply had enough. Faith cannot be killed.

The Vatican has until now accepted the appointment of its senior clerics by the Communist Party of China but is becoming restive; several million Catholics secretly appoint their own bishops. Underground Anglican churches, too, abound. Muslims have been shot for “separatism” and those with passports have had them removed this year, to prevent them from making the Haj.

Patient and proud, Tibetans have suffered humiliation since Chinese troops occupied their lovely country in 1951. Beijing rules with a heavy hand, enforcing strict controls on religious activity. It routinely vilifies the 71-year-old Dalai Lama, and imprisoned his chosen successor, the “soul boy”. Beijing has recently sacked hundreds of Tibetan officials and replaced them with Han loyalists.

The Falun Gong movement, a spiritual Buddhist group, has had the worst treatment after it grew in only seven years of existence to 100 million adherents. Over 3,000 Falun Gong have been tortured to death since 1999 by a regime which demands that they recant.

Survivors have told me that they are the only prisoners who get a health check. Why? One had seen his friend’s cadaver in the prison hospital with holes where body parts had been removed. China’s booming organ transplant industry – run by the People’s Liberation Army – is harvesting Falun Gong prisoners’ vital organs to order. They sell at a premium as practitioners neither drink nor smoke.

The Genocide Convention refers to any acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Tragically, China today abounds in examples of continuing internal genocide. Let us give the regime until Christmas to put the past aside, or we must apply the Olympic spirit and shun their Games.

– Original report from YorkshirePost.co.uk : Edward McMillan-Scott: We should shun these Olympics in a land of genocide

Posted in Africa, all Hot Topic, Asia, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Catholicism, China, Darfur, Edward McMillan-Scott, Environment, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Human Rights, Journalist, Labor camp, Law, News, Organ harvesting, People, Politics, pollution, Religion, Religious, Report, Social, Speech, Sports, Tiananmen, Tibetan, UK, World | 6 Comments »

Prime Minister of UK Urged To Boycott 2008 China Olympics

Posted by Author on August 10, 2007


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Report from The Guardian : Brown urged to boycott Olympics

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

Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott: Support 24 Million Brave Chinese Quit the CCP

Posted by Author on July 25, 2007


Letter to Rally support 24 million Chinese quit the CCP, from Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice president of EU, on Jul. 20, 2007-Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott

First of all, I congratulate all of those who have today traveled from various parts of the world to Washington DC to show your support for this rally.

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong in China by the Chinese Communist regime. Up until now, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in
China have suffered terribly as a result of the regime’s brutal dictatorship, in addition to many Christians, Catholics, Tibetans and human rights defenders also. Sadly, the constant intimidation and harassment by public security personnel of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng is to name but one.

Having committed such horrible crimes and embodying an evil that can only be considered unpardonable, the Chinese Communist Party is destined to collapse. The West should support the defense of Chinese people’s rights and freedoms and turn its back on the economic illusion being peddled by the CCP.

I support the 24 million brave Chinese who have quit the CCP and its affiliates and encourage more to do the same. We in the West are with the Chinese people and support any actions that will end this communist regime in a peaceful way. The West welcomes a new China that is without communism. This is a China that the Chinese people both long for and deserve.

I wish the rally every success.

Edward McMillan-Scott

Original letter and Chinese translation available from The Epochtimes report

Related:
20% Member Resigned, Chinese Communist Party Collapsing , July 23rd, 2007
Photos: Parade Celebrates 24 Million Chinese Quit the Communist Party, July 20th, 2007

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Speech on Forum: A Closer Look into China

Posted by Author on December 10, 2006


by Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament, at New York Summit Forum “China’s Global Strategy and Inner Crisis,” organized by The Future China Forum , The SecretChina News, and co-organized by The Epoch Times, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, Sound-of-Hope Radio Network, New Tang Dynasty TV, and The Beijing Spring Magazine, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 10.

Transcript of Mr. McMillan-Scott’s Speech on 11/10/06 NY Forum:

Thank you Sen, very much indeed, and thank you to the other introductory speakers. I was with Tony a few weeks ago in Australia, and I was delighted to meet John Nania yesterday in New York.

Perhaps I should explain my own position in relation to China and its future and religious freedom. I’m a Conservative member of the European Parliament, I was elected in 1984, and I set up in 1992 the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, which is a program aimed originally at transforming the ex-Soviet bloc. And in 1996, I was appointed by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee as the Rapporteur, that’s to say, the coordinator of an opinion, on EU-China relations.

At that time, the EU and China sought to establish a full relationship, which was primarily concerned with trade, but also looked at human rights, and established a human rights dialogue. I visited China on a number of occasions, and wrote a very critical report of the state of human rights in China, and the complete absence of political freedom. I was concerned, at that time, about rights, in particular religious beliefs. And so, that’s the personal background.

Only one other remark: My previous contact with China was absolutely zero. My uncle was killed by the Chinese in Korea, and he has no known grave, and for six months his family knew nothing of his fate. But that is entirely typical of the absence of concern about individuals that characterizes the Communist regime in China, which has been in existence since I was born in August 1949.

A few months ago earlier this year, the nature of relationships between civilized countries and China suffered something of a shock. We had all been aware, those of us who deal in human rights and democracy and religious freedom, of the crackdown by the Chinese regime of the Falun Gong practice in China dated from the 10th of July, 1999, and the very brutal repression, which the practitioners had suffered. But a new dimension began in March of this year, when reports of organ harvesting began to emerge here in the United States and elsewhere in the world. And since I am currently preparing a review of the programs on democracy and human rights I set up in 1992, I was very pleased to take the opportunity of a visit to Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: a fact-finding visit in May that Sen has referred to, since it offered me an opportunity first-hand to look into these allegations.

I arrived in Beijing in May, and immediately went with a Falun Gong practitioner who had helped arrange a meeting to a hotel nearby. And in that hotel, in a bedroom, I met two former prisoners of the regime.

Niu Jingping is in his 50s, and he was there with his 2-and-a-half year old daughter from his second marriage. He told me that his wife—his second wife—was in prison in Beijing; that she was also a Falun Gong practitioner; and was being tortured for her beliefs in order to encourage her to renounce her practice. He said that she was black and blue over the whole of her body as a result of repeated beatings, that she had become deaf as a result of this torture, and that visiting days were often advised to him after the visiting day had taken place. He told me that her treatment was very typical of Falun Gong practitioners who are detained in China and suffering political reeducation. I asked him whether he had heard of reports of organ harvesting, and he said he had not.

I then spoke to Cao Dong, a young man in his 30s, a former tour guide in Beijing. And he too had been married, his wife had been in prison as well. And he had been in prison in northern China, and his marriage had then broken up. He too had suffered very harsh treatment in prison, and had been forced to make tourist goods for export. But what was significant about this young man, was when I asked him about organ harvesting.

I don’t think I need to tell you in this audience what organ harvesting is, but just for the clarification, it is a widespread practice in China to execute prisoners and then to sell their organs for transplant—livers, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. What is new is the systematic use of Falun Gong practitioners as a resource, the body parts for organs.

I asked Cao Dong whether he was aware of such reports, and he told me that he, while he was in prison, had a good friend, his buddy, who disappeared in one evening in the prison in northern China; he’d been there for four years. And the next time he saw his friend, it was his body—his cadaver—with holes where apparently body parts had been removed. Now that is a direct report, you can say evidence if you like, of the removal of body parts from a prisoner, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner.

I later discovered that it is only Falun Gong practitioners, who while imprisoned in China, always have blood tests, urine tests, and blood pressure tests. And these tests are not done for their own health; they are done for another purpose. And that purpose we believe to be the use of their body parts for profits.

I regret to say that after that meeting, everybody present, apart from myself and my assistant, were arrested. Steve, the American who had helped arrange the meeting, was deported. Niu Jingping, the elder man, was held for a week and questioned, and then released with his daughter. Cao Dong, the younger man, remains in prison to this day. He has apparently been charged with a criminal offense—in China—of disseminating Falun Gong material.

During the course of this four-day visit to Beijing, I had been advised that I should meet a very distinguished individual in China today, Mr. Gao Zhisheng. Gao Zhisheng is a Christian, who is a self-taught lawyer, and he has represented many cases of people who he believes are victims of human rights abuses in China. These include people with property problems, and people who’ve had religious pressure, including Falun Gong practitioners. As a matter of fact, he knew of Niu Jingping, because they had been in telephone contact. However, I was advised by the EU ambassadors that to meet Gao Zhisheng would be harmful to Gao Zhisheng. And so, I decided I’d better not, since by that time I already knew that everybody had been arrested whom I’d already met.

I left China and went to Hong Kong. When I was in Hong Kong, I addressed a Forum like this. And a friend of my family, who happened to be passing by, saw my name on the billboard, and came in and said, “I admire what you’re doing!” He’s a journalist with Hong Kong Radio, an Englishman. He said, “A few months ago, a friend of mine needed a new liver. And he called the hospital in Shenzhen, and the hospital in China said, ‘Come right over. We can find you a liver. It’ll probably take about a week.'” In the U.K., the average time to get a new liver would be anything from eight months onwards. In China today, it’s a matter of eight days.

Many of you may know the two Canadians, David Kilgour and David Matas: David Kilgour, a former Minister, Secretary of State for Asian Affairs, a lawyer, and a human rights specialist; and David Matas, a distinguished human rights attorney. They began to collect the available evidence of organ harvesting earlier this year. In early summer, they produced a report, which brought together all the available evidence of organ harvesting. They established 18 methods of proof. And I traveled to Australia and New Zealand recently with David Kilgour. We met a number of politicians. In Australia, we were fortunate enough in securing the commitments from both the opposition and the government of an international inquiry into organ harvesting. This I look forward to seeing on the table.

After I left Beijing, I organized a telephone call with Gao Zhisheng. And this took place the week after I returned to the U.K. We spoke for more than an hour and a half. Gao Zhisheng said how he had been treated by the regime: His law office had been closed, he was under house arrest since February, and he said, “Down below in my apartment block, there are a number of policemen drinking beer. When I go out, they kick me. They abuse me. They treat me like a dog, but I’m used to this. I can put up with it.” He said, “I want you to tell the world, that when people come to Beijing, they should do like you have done. They should meet former prisoners and people who have been oppressed by the regime. It is only if people outside China stand up for those within that we will begin to defeat this tyranny.”

Mr. Chairman, it’s an honor to share a platform with Wei Jingsheng, one of the greatest exponents of human rights and freedom in China, who I have met before on a number of occasions. I pay tribute to his massive political courage and personal courage. I knew he’d understand how distressed I was, when, on August 15 (as it happened, my birthday), Gao Zhisheng was arrested. He was taken away to an unknown place; we now believe he’s in Beijing somewhere. He was later charged on September 29 with subversion. That is the current state of play.

Now, I have made a number of representations, primarily within the EU, about the fate of Cao Dong and Gao Zhisheng. I have tried to raise the nature of their detentions as typical of the hundreds of thousands of people in China today who are imprisoned for their beliefs, whether political or religious, who are being tortured, and whose human rights are completely ignored.

I’m here in New York as part of a delegation of the European Parliament to meet with figures of the United Nations. It’s part of the routine series of visits every year, in the context of the General Assembly of the United Nations. I believe strongly in forceful representation. I don’t believe that diplomacy can work with a country like China, or indeed a country like Egypt—there are many around the world. I was in Cuba last week, where similar tyranny applies.

But sometimes you need to take advantage of the meetings you have. And this morning, I met Kofi Annan, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations. I handed him the following letter. Now, I’m going to read it to you; it’s not very long:

*************************** Dear Mr. Annan,

I traveled, as rapporteur for the review of the EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Instrument, which I founded in 1992, to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan on 21–29 May 2006 on a fact-finding mission, in particular to investigate claims of organ harvesting.

On 21 May in Beijing I held a meeting with Mr. Cao Dong, a Falun Gong practitioner, who had been ‘administratively detained’ for his religious beliefs. He said he had seen his friend’s cadaver with holes where parts had apparently been removed. He had discharged his sentence and was guilty of no crime. Following this meeting, he was arrested.

I have recently learned that he is still being detained by the Chinese public authorities, has been transferred to Gansu province and is being held in the Public Security Bureau detention center charged with ‘producing Falun Gong material’ on September 29, 2006.

During my time in Beijing, I sought a meeting with the distinguished human rights attorney Mr. Gao Zhisheng, but was advised against this by several embassies on the grounds of his safety. Over the past years Gao Zhisheng has developed an international reputation for his courageous stand on religious freedom: he has represented Falun Gong practitioners, members of underground churches, and victims of forced evictions.

On 4 June, I spoke to him at some length on the telephone. On August 15, he was arrested, has been charged with ‘subversion’ by the regime and is being held in Beijing.

I would like to request your personal intervention with the Chinese authorities to call for the release of both of these men.

Yours Sincerely,

Edward McMillan-Scott ***************************

Now I hope, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Annan and I, in our discussion, had raised the question of human rights in China, and described China as a “difficult country.” That is the terminology in the European Union, that we define countries like Cuba, or China, or Burma. But it was a different terminology in the United Nations. For understandable reasons, China is a key player within the United Nations; it is known as a “complex environment.” And that phrase disguises the most massive and longstanding infringement of personal human rights in modern times—since 1949, the oppressive, brutal, arbitrary, and paranoid regime, which currently runs the largest country on Earth. (… read more)

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