Friday, May 15, 2009

China - the Sleeping Giant Starts to Awaken! (Part 2)

China forces woman into abortion at EIGHT months for breaching one-child policy
By Peter Simpson
22nd October 2010
An eight-months pregnant woman was dragged from her home and forced to have an abortion because she had broken China’s one-child-per-family law.
Twelve government officials entered Xiao Aiying’s house where they hit and kicked her in the stomach, before taking her kicking and screaming to hospital.
Xiao Aiying allowed cameras to film her in the hospital. The bruise on her arm is from the alleged beating she received before offficials injected her baby. She may require surgery to remove pieces of placenta still in her uterus
There, the 36-year-old was restrained as doctors injected her with a drug to kill the unborn baby.
Her husband Luo Yanquan, a construction worker, yesterday described the moment officials burst into his family home.
‘They held her hands behind her back and pushed her head against the wall and kicked her in the stomach,’ he said. ‘I don’t know if they were trying to give her a miscarriage.
Construction worker Luo Yanquan told Al Jazeera how excited his ten-year-old daughter was for her new sibling, only to have the baby lethally injected when his wife was eight months pregnant
‘Our ten-year-old daughter has been excited about having a little brother or sister but I don’t know how I can explain to her what has happened.’
He recalled how a month before the child was due to be born officials told the couple they weren’t allowed to have another baby because they already have a daughter.
His wife, who was filmed in hospital with large bruises on her arms and her dead child still inside her, said: ‘I have had this baby, feeling it moving around and around my belly. Can you imagine how I feel now.’
Her harrowing experience in Siming, near the city of Xiamen, south-west China, on October 10, comes a month after the government in Beijing said there would be no relaxation in strict family planning laws.
Most Chinese families are allowed only one child to reduce the 1.3 billion-plus population and cut unsustainable demand on resources.
The policy leads to an estimated 13 million abortions every year, with many of those ordered by local authorities. Infanticide is also widespread in many rural areas.
Those who violate the one child law can be fined up to £25,000.
The incident took place in Siming on China's east coast
But two decades of economic boom mean many middle class parents now earn enough to pay the fine to expand their family.
For those without cash and connections like the Luos, gruesome summary justice is meted out.
Forced abortions are banned under Chinese law, but this doesn’t prohibit or define late-term abortions.
An official with the Siming district family planning commission said the procedure on Mrs Luo was undertaken voluntarily and that Mr Luo had approved it - a claim he denies.
The couple fear official retribution after making their ordeal public on a blog.
Ordinary Chinese have expressed disgust at the Luos’ ordeal, labelling the family planning officials ‘cruel’ and ‘inhuman’.
Nobel peace prize goes to Liu Xiaobo
China's best-known dissident, who is serving 11 years in prison, is probably unaware he has won prize
Tania Branigan in Beijing, Friday 8 October 2010
Liu Xiaobo, China's best-known dissident, has won the Nobel Peace Prize Link to this video
China's best-known dissident today won the prestigious Nobel peace prize from the prison cell where he is serving 11 years for incitement to subvert state power.
The Norwegian Nobel committee praised Liu Xiaobo for his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The ... committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace."
As the news was announced, transmission of both BBC news and CNN television channels was interrupted in China.
Liu was detained at his Beijing home in December 2008 after co-authoring Charter 08, a call for democratic reforms in China.
The decision will infuriate the Chinese government. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said last week that awarding Liu the prize would contradict the aims of the award. The director of Norway's Nobel institute said a senior Chinese official had warned that Sino-Norwegian relations would be damaged if Liu won.
Today, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said China should expect to be put under greater scrutiny as it becomes more powerful: "We have to speak when others cannot speak. As China is rising, we should have the right to criticise ... We want to advance those forces that want China to become more democratic."
Czech playwright and former president Václav Havel and Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu were among those who had supported Liu for his "unflinching and peaceful advocacy for reform".
Liu was first jailed for his role in the Tiananmen Square student reform movement. He also served three years in a labour camp in the 90s.
"There was never a question for him of abandoning the struggle, although he was very critical about the [1989 student] movement," said Jean-Philippe Béja, of the Paris-based Centre for International Studies and Research, who first met Liu in the early 90s.
"He is a person who wants to live in truth."
It is highly unlikely that the 54-year-old author and former academic knows he has won. His lawyer told him his name had been put forward, but it is thought he knows little about the nomination because he is not permitted to talk about current affairs with visitors to his prison in Jinzhou, Liaoning province. He is allowed to see his relatives for an hour each month. His wife, Liu Xia, had said she believed he was unlikely to win the prize, but that she thought the attention he gained had won him better conditions in prison.
Several Chinese dissidents took the bold step of signing a letter supporting his nomination.
In an article backing him for the prize, the philosopher Xu Youyu wrote: "His activities in 1989 can be seen as formative in the entirety of his following writings and other works, characterised by an unwavering bravery and refusal to back down in the face of danger and suppression, by the pursuit and defence of human rights, humanism, peace and other universal values and, finally, adherence to the practice of rational dialogue, compromise and non-violence."
Falun Gong Practitioners Killed Within Days After Detention in China
The Epoch Times
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Recently, reports have been coming out of China about Falun Gong practitioners who have been tortured or beaten to death just days after being abducted by authorities. NTD news reporter spoke to Levi Browde, Executive Director of Falun Dafa Information Center, about these recent cases.
“15% of the total death cases that we’ve received and verified were cases where the person died within 2 months of being put into custody. Often it’s within days, occasionally within hours. So clearly the moment they are taken into custody they are being faced with very brutal conditions for that kind of thing to happen,” said Levi Browde.
These are practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong. In 1999 the Chinese communist regime launched a nationwide crackdown on Falun Gong. At that time Falun Gong practitioners in China were believed to number between 70 and 100 million. Reports of detention and torture quickly emerged from China. Today, more than 3,000 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the regime's persecution.
Amnesty International said in their 2010 report that the Chinese authorities' campaign against Falun Gong had “intensified”. Over the past month, confirmed cases have emerged of Falun Gong practitioners being killed just days after police took them into custody. The Falun Dafa Information Center, a non-profit organization that researches the persecution of Falun Gong in China, reported on the case of Zeng Huaguo, a businessman from Hunan Province.
Levi Browde continued, “A man, 57 years old, who was being harassed by the police in China because of his practice of Falun Gong. They had ransacked his home, taken all his Falun Gong books, and all the materials from his home. He had actually gone back to the police and asked to have them returned to him. He was taken into custody and days later he was dead.”
According to the report, Mr Zeng’s family was offered the equivalent of U.S. $38,000 to keep quiet about his death.
“The persecution against Falun Gong has been so brutal and so basic in terms of torturing large numbers of people in a very systematic way, sending people to prison camps; that the crimes have been such that they have to hide this, they have to cover it up, they have to stamp it out, they have to keep going until they feel that Falun Gong is eradicated. Otherwise, the evidence there for what they have done, they have sort of backed themselves into a corner,” he added.
And that evidence is attracting international attention.
This year the U.S. Congress passed House Resolution 605, calling on the Chinese regime to end its persecution of Falun Gong.
But until that day comes, millions in China live in uncertainty, knowing that at any time they could be arrested simply for associating themselves with this traditional Chinese spiritual practice.
Ben Hedges, NTD News .
Millions of Chinese oppose mass vaccination plan
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The World Health Organization is at it again trying to push mass vaccinations, this time on the people of China. But its efforts to "eradicate measles" by vaccinating 100 million Chinese children have fueled widespread protest by Chinese citizens who not only distrust their own government's health recommendations, but also believe that the vaccines are dangerous.
According to the Boston Globe, the Chinese government recently announced a ten-day measles immunization drive that sparked an outcry from concerned citizens over the safety of the vaccines. According to reports, internet bulletin boards have been overflowing with chatter about the campaign, and countless text messages continue to be exchanged among citizenry about potential dangers from getting the vaccine.
The Chinese government has been working in overdrive to quell the public's concerns, but efforts have been futile. The totalitarian government already has a poor reputation for lying to and deceiving its citizens over things like the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak back in 2003, and the milk contamination fiasco that sickened roughly 300,000 babies and killed at least six a couple years ago.
"The lack of trust toward our food and health products was not formed in one day," explains a piece in the Global Times. "Repairing the damage and building credibility will take a very long time. The public health departments need to take immediate action on all fronts."
But adjusting rhetoric and designing new public relations campaigns will hardly pull the wool over the eyes of the millions of Chinese who know good and well what their government is up to.
Back in March, four children were killed and dozens injured from vaccines for encephalitis, hepatitis B and several other diseases. The Chinese health ministry denied that the illnesses and deaths were related to the vaccines while simultaneously admitting that they were improperly stored.
Finding a Wholesome Refuge in China
"Casual sex is a concept that literally does not exist here."
by David Richards
March 2, 2010
I left University last summer to a bleak future. I was living in a war zone; the elite were systematically dismantling the economy. People around me were lost in entertainment reducing conversation to 'twitter-ing.' Chemtrails laced the sky of my hometown in the UK.
Living in a war zone isn't what hurt; it was that no one else could see it.
So I decided to move to China. I didn't choose one of the futuristic metropolis, rather a city in the North known for it's freezing winters appealed to me because it is '20 years behind the South.' Perhaps there I could find a chance for reflection.
What hit me upon arrival was the incredible vibrancy here. People sing in the streets; men play board games on corners, children run in roads. In Britain it felt like a blanket had been put over the country, stifling and suffocating the population.
As I settled in, my brain unwound. I slowly realized that British people are under the most sophisticated and complete form of psychological terrorism waged in history. An informational atom bomb is dropped every day, dizzying us with mindless trivia, sensationalism and political farce. We are ordered how to act and think down to the smallest detail, manufacturing all-consuming feelings of paranoia and worthlessness. When securely locked into this state of paralysis, our society is easily altered around us.
Communist China in Comparison
This is why China is a far less controlled country than Britain; the Chinese consume a weaker quality and quantity of propaganda everyday. They are controlled by force, we by psychology. They get a boot to the face, we exist in a restless, surrealistic dream. Which is most cruel?
The Chinese are grounded by their family. The men and women perform the traditional parental roles that every child innately desires, with wider family living close by and creating a strong web of support. In a land known for destructive social upheavals, having a strong family is necessary for survival.
Unlike the UK, the people here are not obsessed with sex. There is constant social interaction, a level of connectedness that reduces it to a small part of life. Many of my students are older than me but mentioning sex to them would be terribly embarrassing. Saying 'kiss' would entice nervous laughs, even from the boys.
One teacher from the US went clubbing expecting a one-night stand as a birthright. Drunk and blaring, 'the white monkey is king,' he was shocked to realize that his come-ons were terrifying girls. Casual sex is a concept that literally does not exist here.
Media Promotes Wholesome Values; Porn Illegal
Girls are not programmed to be promiscuous, instead they're told; you are beautiful at 20, less at 30 and not when you're 40. So fall in love with a man who will take care of you for life; it is imperative for a happy future. Playing sexual games with boys is simply reckless. When their body clock runs down in their 30's, single English women will slowly realize that they've been conned and have a potentially grim future for the next 50 years (if they don't die of liver failure much sooner). Chinese girls are in a stable family.
Young fathers in parks seem content pushing their kid on a swing. They gain social approval by providing a good future for their family rather than heavy drinking and notches on the bedpost.
The culture industry promotes family values. MTV China airs songs about respecting your mother, being kind to your friends and romance. Tellingly, the only place where traditional gender roles are undermined are on comedy programs, where sketches of dominating wives bullying their husbands induce howls of laughter from the audience.
Porn is illegal. Many of the foreigners are outraged, but I tell them creating sexual deviancy in the minds of men breaks up families. Legalizing pornography would mean social chaos in a country of 1.3 billion people fighting to make ends meet.
Young people are not taught to ignore family and embrace their true 'uninhibited free will', rather it is understood that the folly of youth is potentially reckless and guidance is needed from elders with a lifetime of experience. This is enforced with violent expressions of love. Children are rarely beaten in England. It often comes with the absence of any human touch.
The youth even have a healthier social life among themselves than in Britain. They meet as couples or small groups and have long drawn out conversations over tea or dinner. In England you have to be drunk and babbling like an idiot to get your social fix.
However, there are signs that the social fabric is beginning to tear. An elderly man complained to me that the younger generations are becoming dismissive of their parents and some are refusing to support them in old age. I asked why and he told me that both parents work long hours and are tired so they increasingly view TV as the perfect babysitter. He saw a truth long forgotten in the west; TV makes us strangers.
Many of the youth are addicted to their computers and are entering deeper and deeper recesses of escapism. The only thing that grounds them is strong family interaction, without which they would be living in a total fantasy world like the friends I left behind.
You know dark side of Chinese life. I have spoken of what makes life here more functional than the West. China is the model state of the NWO and is planned to be the driving economic and military force in the world. For this to work, the culture creators sell functionality. To aid our destruction, we in the West are seduced with commodity deviance.
So from this strange arctic city, where I have been exiled by stealth, I can now see clearly what is happening at home; a devastating cultural war. Do I feel angry at the treatment of my people? I can't say deep down that I do. They are not my people. I have no people. The social engineers destroyed any glue that would have bound us together. They have made nomads of us all.
China upholds sentence of man who demanded reform
By Cara Anna
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 11, 2010
BEIJING -- A Chinese court on Thursday upheld the unprecedented 11-year sentence of a prominent academic who called for political reform - the latest in a rash of harsh punishments for activists that underscore Beijing's refusal to brook any dissent.
The ruling - the third legal defeat this week for veteran Chinese activists - drew a rare public rebuke from the U.S. ambassador, who said Liu Xiaobo should be released immediately.
Liu's hearing at Beijing's high court took less than 10 minutes, and the activist was not given a chance to speak. "I'm innocent!" he called out before being taken away.
While social and economic reforms have generally led to greater personal freedom for many Chinese citizens, the government's intolerance of political dissent has hardened. Dissidents are routinely arrested or detained and the lawyers who defend them are harassed.
"It's interesting to observe the government's attempt to bury all the embarrassing news just before Chinese New Year," which starts Saturday, said Nicholas Bequelin, an Asia researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch. "Even the government doesn't seem confident in the legitimacy of these cases."
The United States and the European Union responded swiftly to Liu's failed appeal with statements condemning China's treatment of the academic, who has been found guilty of inciting to subvert state power. China routinely uses the vaguely worded charge to jail people it considers troublemakers.
"Persecution of individuals for the peaceful expression of political views is inconsistent with internationally recognized norms of human rights," U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman said in an e-mailed statement. It was the first statement issued under his name since taking his post in August.
"We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately," Hunstman said. Simon Sharpe, a spokesman for the European Union delegation in China, also called for Liu's immediate release.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Liu's case was handled according to law and brushed off Huntsman's call for Liu's release.
"There are no dissidents in China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu added in response to a reporter who asked whether China's treatment of dissidents might negatively affect its image overseas.
It was bad week for activists: On Tuesday, the Chengdu Intermediate Court in Sichuan province sentenced writer and activist Tan Zuoren to five years on the same charge as Liu after he investigated the deaths of thousands of children in a massive earthquake in 2008. The court said he was being punished for commemorating the Tiananmen Square movement and criticizing the government's crackdown on it.
The same court on Monday upheld a three-year prison sentence for another earthquake activist, Huang Qi. Huang was convicted of illegally possessing state secrets, another ill-defined charge often used by communist leaders to clamp down on dissent and imprison activists.
A former university professor, Liu is among China's most prominent political activists. He spent 20 months in jail for joining the 1989 student-led protests in Tiananmen Square, which ended when the government called in the military - killing hundreds, perhaps thousands of demonstrators.
At the end of 2008, he co-authored a document calling for stronger civil rights and an end to Communist Party political dominance. Some 10,000 people have signed it in the past year, though a news blackout and Internet censorship have left most Chinese unaware that it exists.
The official Xinhua News Agency, a government mouthpiece, said in a report on Liu's case Thursday that the 56-year-old writer was convicted because he had gone beyond the limits of free speech allowed by China's constitution.
It quoted a Chinese legal expert as saying Liu "had spread anti-government rumors and slanders, and had organized and persuaded other people to join activities aimed at overturning the current government."
"His conduct was dangerous to the country," Xinhua quoted Gao Mingxuan, president of the International Association of Penal Law China Branch, as saying.
Liu's 11-year prison sentence is the harshest penalty given for inciting subversion since the crime was introduced in 1997, said a San Francisco-based human rights group, the Dui Hua Foundation.
"I'd say he was quite emotional," his lawyer, Shang Baojun, told reporters after the hearing. Shang said Liu's legal options have been exhausted.
Liu's wife was given 20 minutes with her husband and allowed to hug him after the court proceedings.
"So thin!" Liu Xia said of her husband. "I just wanted to be able to hold him. It might be 11 years before I can hold him again."
Human Rights Watch: ‘Compulsory Drug Detention Centers’ in China
Gary Feuerberg
Epoch Times Staff
Jan 19, 2010
A new report from Human Rights Watch finds a troubling new development in the way the China regime handles its estimated 5 million opium users. Despite the 2008 Anti-Drug Law calling for enlightened rehabilitation measures, drug users typically don’t receive therapy of any kind and instead are sentenced to what Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls “compulsory drug detention centers.”
These centers function like Reeducation Through Labor (RTL) camps: compulsory work camps, which they replaced. Those caught in the system are “routinely beaten,” forced to work up to 18 hours a day without pay, and denied basic health care—features that were common under the RTL system.
The 37-page report, “Where Darkness Knows No Limits,” paints a picture of hopelessness for those trapped in a life of addiction, denial of treatment and basic health care, police harassment, and community stigmatization. A common complaint of the subjects in the study was that the police are often violent to drug users. One example among many given was an IDU (injection drug user) who said he was “ambushed” by several plainclothes police, who beat him and put handcuffs on him.
“The police said that if I did not give them 3,000 RMB [US$440], they would put me in detox [drug detention centers]. They brought me to my house and told me if I didn’t get the money they would keep beating me.” The man said police waited outside his house while he got the money they demanded from his relatives.
Even though illicit drug users are now called “patients” and are in “rehabilitation” centers, these detention facilities do not provide health-based drug dependency treatment or mental health counseling. The minimum sentences have increased from six-to-twelve months to two-to-three years. In addition, police have expanded powers of detainment and can compel urine tests without evidence of illicit drug use.
“Although the Anti-Drug Law frequently refers to ‘drug treatment’ for drug users, multiple sources told Human Rights Watch that treatment is not provided; rather than extending the period of treatment, the Anti-Drug Law merely extends the period of confinement,” says the report.
HRW’s research draws principally on the statements made by 33 current or former illicit drug users, residing in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, who have experienced firsthand the impact of the 2008 Anti-Drug Law. The report also had access to 25 individuals working for nongovernmental organizations, which are monitoring the rights and health of drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS.
These two provinces are in the southern part of China and share a border between them with Yunnan to the west of Guangxi. Yunnan borders Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and both provinces border Vietnam. For purposes of this study, these provinces in terms of geography, ethnic composition, and drug issues, are not representative of China.
Yunnan is located at the apex of the “Golden Triangle,” an opium-rich region where the Laos, Thailand and Burma borders converge. The province has a long history of narcotics use, says the report.
2008 Anti-Drug Law Made Conditions Worse
The 2008 Anti-Drug Law, on paper at least, appears to be written based on the principles of sound rehabilitation. It calls for a three stage approach to treatment: physical detoxification, mental rehabilitation and social integration. The law states that “No managerial persons of the…centers for drug rehabilitation may inflict corporeal punishment on, or maltreat or humiliate the persons receiving treatment for drug addiction.”
Yet in practice, the lofty sounding rhetoric is not being observed. The law does not provide guidelines to ensure that the nonviolent treatment is practiced. “There is no attempt to address the common practice of detainees inflicting violence on other detainees at the behest of the guards,” says the report. The interviewees described a system whereby the guards avoid being charged for beating someone to death by instigating other detainees to do it.
Further, HRW said that there is nothing in place that sets forth a standard regimen on drug dependency and psychological counseling. The new law provides for the police—“officials of the security agencies”—rather than medical professionals to make key decisions on determining the severity of drug addiction and whether to confine an individual to a compulsory drug detention center.
Another weakness in the new law is the lack clarity on how “community-based” treatment is defined and implemented. HRW found a document from China’s National Narcotics Control Commission that defines the period of community treatment as no more than three years. If community treatment becomes part of the health regimen, it would add up to three years beyond the two to three years in the compulsory treatment centers.
So, while the Anti-Drug Law abolished the hated RTL system for drug users, it extended the minimum sentence to two years, with a possible addition of three more years. Human Rights Watch said that they heard from numerous sources that the “conditions in drug detention centers are identical to RTL centers,” and that the only change was in the name.
Denial of Treatment May Constitute Torture
The conditions in the compulsory drug detention centers are “inhumane” and “threatening to [the] health” of the detainees, according to former detainees and NGO workers. One former detainee said, “In our local drug detention center there is no medication to help you [with withdraw], but you have to pay for it and no one has that money. So it’s like there’s no medication at all.” Another told HRW: “There is nothing to help quitting drugs, not even methadone which we can take on the outside.”
HRW could not verify the frequency of deaths while in custody or within a few weeks after release, but was uniformly told by former detainees that this is the fear when someone goes into a compulsory drug detention center. They know he or she may never come out alive.
The goal isn’t therapeutic. “The point of being put in a drug center is not to quit drugs, it is to work. There is no medicine to take when you get in…They don’t put us there to get healthy, they put us there to work,” said a detainee.
Even people with HIV/AIDS and TB have almost no access to health care in the drug detention centers. One former detainee told HRW that he worries for his friends because now sentences are at least two years long, and they go without good AIDS treatment, if any treatment inside. He told them, “They are HIV positive, they don’t have good nutrition, and they die.”
The denial of treatment to drug users who have to forego their freedom in drug detention centers violates both Chinese law and international law. UN Special Rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak observed that withdrawal can be severely painful “if not alleviated by appropriate medical treatment, and the potential for abuse of withdrawal symptoms, in particular in custody situations, is evident.”
Withholding adequate health or medical treatment may constitute or contribute to “inhuman or degrading treatment,” under the Convention against Torture, says the report.
Police Harassment and Discrimination
Current and former drug users face discrimination in the community, and this makes it difficult for them to fund employment. The problem is aggravated by the state’s official discrimination, where it requires drug history be linked to one’s national identity card. Anytime the person needs to use his identity card—applying for a job, checking in a hotel, accessing methadone treatment or other harm reduction services—he can be subjected to a urine test.
The report describes a former IDU checking into a hotel. He was awakened in the middle of the night by the police, who broke into his room, handcuffed him, and took him to the police station to take a urine test.
“Every former detainee interviewed reported that discrimination makes it almost impossible to find employment, either because ‘drug user’ is linked to the national identity card or because other members of the community reveal the person’s identity as a former drug user,” says the report.

China begins monitoring billions of text messages as censorship increases
China has started scanning text messages in the latest move in the country’s increasing censorship
By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai and Peter Foster in Beijing
Published: 15 Jan 2010
Customers of China’s two largest mobile phone networks, China Mobile and China Unicom, have had their texting service blocked after sending risqué messages, the state media claims.
The disclosure comes as the country is embroiled in a dispute with Google. On Tuesday the internet giant said it could quit China because of concerns over censorship. The Global Times, a government-run newspaper, said: “Everyone seems to be under watch.”
Last year, the government pledged to suppress pornography on the internet and now appears to have extended its campaign to mobile phones.
China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile phone company, said it was complying with demands from the police to report “illegal” text messages that included pornography, violence, fraud, suggestions of terrorism, instigations to crime and gambling. It said a mobile phone would be blocked if a message breached any of its filters.
It has more than 508 million customers and its network handles 1.7 billion text messages a day.
Even civil servants have expressed reservations about communications censorship. “We have a lot of private things in our mobile phones,” one, named only as Mr Cao, told the Global Times. “If they monitor the messages, a lot of private things would be leaked.”
The Southern Metropolis newspaper said a man from the southern city of Dongguan recently had his phone blocked. China Mobile’s customer service told him their computers had detected lewd words in his messages and that he would have to take his identity card to the police to reactivate the phone. He also had to furnish a letter guaranteeing that he would no longer spread inappropriate messages.
Some of China’s most prominent human rights activists claimed yesterday that their Google email accounts had been hacked.
Microsoft said yesterday it had no plans to pull out of China, dashing hopes that the software giant would support its rival Google.
Google cited Chinese attacks on its network as the final straw since setting up its operations in 2006.
However, Steven Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, whose search engine Bing could benefit if Google surrendered its 30 per cent share of the Chinese market, questioned the significance of the attacks, which were detected last month.
“I don’t think there was anything unusual,” Mr Ballmer said. “We’re attacked every day from all parts of the world and I think everybody else is too.”
The White House has supported Google, demanding an “explanation” for the hacking.
Lawrence Summers, a senior economic adviser to the White House, said: “The principles that Google is trying to uphold are not just important in a moral or rights framework, but are also of considerable economic importance.”
China has so far shown no signs of giving ground over Google’s demand to operate uncensored.
Corrupt China officials pocket 50 billion: media
Jan 10, 2010
Thousands of officials have fled China over the past 30 years with some 50 billion dollars in public funds, state media said Monday, as the government scrambles to stem the tide of corruption.
As many as 4,000 officials have disappeared, using criminal gangs, mainly in the United States and Australia, to launder their ill-gotten gains, buy real estate and set up false identities, the Global Times said.
A joint task force involving 15 Chinese ministries has been set up to choke off graft in government ranks, the paper said.
In 2009, authorities investigated 103 cases involving the outbound travel of more than 300 officials, the paper said, citing a party official tasked with disciplinary issues.
In one case, the disappearance to France in 2008 of Yang Xianghong, a top Communist Party official in Wenzhou city, led to the arrest of his wife, who was charged with trying to launder 20 million yuan (2.9 million dollars), it said.
The paper did not detail how the 50 billion dollars were funneled overseas, or how the officials were linking up with criminal gangs abroad.
Chinese President Hu Jintao has for years made fighting official corruption a priority, saying that the scourge is a matter of life and death for the ruling Communist Party.
In recent years, China has sought to negotiate more extradition treaties with Western nations to help it repatriate and punish officials fleeing overseas with public funds.
Six-Year-Old Chinese Girl Dreams of Being a Corrupt Official
By Luo Ya
Epoch Times Staff Sep 7, 2009
A short video posted on NanDu.Net, a Chinese news website, featuring a six year old girl from Guangzhou City has become the talk of China. When asked about her ideal life, the first grader proudly announced that she dreamed of becoming “a corrupt official, as they have lots of property.” The video was soon being discussed throughout the major media and Internet forums.
By late Sept. 2, the video had already received 14,000 hits, but was soon blocked and later deleted by the website. NanDu.Net had set up a poll for viewers to vote on how they felt about the video; the majority said it “accurately reflected the reality of Chinese society.”
”This six-year-old girl can see the nature of our society,” said Guangzhou attorney Liu Shihui in an interview with The Epoch Times. “I very much admired her vision. She got right to the point. Unfortunately, it also shows how poisoned the next generation of the country has become. These little souls have been led astray; this is awful.”
An anonymous writer from Guangzhou doesn’t believe that the video is that unusual for China nowadays. He believes that the little girl's parents probably have shown envy towards China’s corrupt officials.
“There is a popular saying nowadays: 'being a corrupt official is equal to winning the lottery,’ said the writer. “As a Chinese Governmental official you can have anything you want. Your privilege knows no limits.”
He also mentioned that most officials don't even need to touch money. Instead, they simply accept houses or vehicles, which is even easier.
“Ordinary people can tolerate these corrupt officials much more than they used to. Now, if you mention to someone how much an official was bribed, this person won’t be shocked at all. This kind of thing has become perfectly normal,” he explained.
“Corruption in China … everyone knows this happens, but no one talks about it,” said one video viewer. “This kid is extraordinary. She’s so young but she already understands the situation.”
“Super! She's that young, and already understands how the world works. She will be someone when she grows up,” said another viewer commenting on the video.
“She’s right! Being a corrupt official is a good life. I want to be one too. Low risk, high profit. Who wouldn’t want that life?” another viewer said.
“Isn't this how our country really is? Everybody hates and curses these corrupt officials, yet they all want to be just like him,” remarked one viewer.
“This is so sad! Our morality has fallen so low, and our society is on the brink of collapse. Just look at how severely it has impacted the mental health of the children,” another viewer replied.
“It's so nice to be a corrupt official. You can have a car, house, money, enjoy high social status, and all the right connections. You can have more women … you may even have someone give birth to a son for you when you're 60 years old,” mentioned one viewer.
Chinese Web sites close amid tightening controls
By Alexa Olesen, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
BEIJING, China (AP) -- Two more Web sites dedicated to social networking went offline in China on Tuesday amid tightening controls that have blocked Facebook, Twitter and other popular sites that offered many Chinese a rare taste of free expression.
China's crackdown on social networking sites began in March, when Chinese Web users found they could no longer visit YouTube shortly after video appeared on the site purporting to show Chinese security officials mistreating Tibetans.
The blockages continued through the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and the recent ethnic riots in Xinjiang, with homegrown and overseas micro-blogging and photo-sharing sites among those targeted.
Though cutting off access to sites can often be traced to a specific trigger — such as the June 4 Tiananmen anniversary — experts say the fact the sites are not coming back online shows the harsh measures are part of a long-term strategy to pare back the power of the Internet and silence some voices finding expression here.
"I am especially pessimistic about this fall and next spring," said Wen Yunchao, a well-known Chinese blogger based in Guangzhou in south China. "I expect they will be more and more restrictive because they have yet to come up with a good way to manage the Internet. They are aware that it has this great power and they are afraid of it."
Digu and Zuosa, two Chinese Web sites that offer micro-blogging services similar to Twitter, were both shut down for maintenance Tuesday, according to notices posted on their homepages. A Digu spokeswoman who would only give her surname, Zhang, said the site was offline so it could be moved to a new server. She said it would be down for at least a week.
"It's a sensitive period, so we are not in a rush to re-open it," Zhang said, adding that some Digu users had recently tried to post politically sensitive material to the site and that the company was having to censor such content. She wouldn't give any specific examples.
Zuosa employees did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment about the site's closure.
Wen, the blogger from Guangzhou, said having two sites close on the same day indicates pressure from authorities for them to shut down. He said the timing of the closures was probably related to the 10-year anniversary on Wednesday of the banning of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
"Maybe the Chinese government is concerned that the Falun Gong will use the occasion to spread some rumors or organize some kind of event via the Internet," he said.
Also Tuesday, the technology channels of the popular Sina and Netease Web portals were shut for about six hours, apparently because they had posted news about a corruption probe without clearance from state censors.
China has the world's largest population of Internet users, more than 298 million, and the world's most extensive system of Web monitoring and censorship.
But despite those controls, the Internet's role as a platform for sharing unofficial news and opinions has expanded rapidly and complaints that are articulated online have begun to have powerful influence in the real world.
A waitress who was accused of fatally stabbing a party official to fend off his demands for sex became a folk hero after a flood of supportive postings appeared online. Last month, a court convicted the 21-year-old woman, Deng Yujiao, but spared her punishment in an apparent effort to mollify the public.
While the government claims the main targets of its Web censorship are pornography, online gambling, and other sites deemed harmful to society, critics say that often acts as cover for detecting and blocking sensitive political content.
The video site YouTube has been blocked in China since March — apparently because it contained video depicting harsh treatment of Tibetans by Chinese security forces. Twitter and the photo-sharing Flickr service were made inaccessible in June, just ahead of the 20th Tiananmen crackdown anniversary.
Facebook and Fanfou, a Chinese site similar to Twitter, were cut off after deadly ethnic riots erupted in China's far western region of Xinjiang earlier this month.
The technology channels of China's leading Web portals, Sina and Netease, could not be opened for several hours after both sites posted news about a Namibian probe into corruption allegations against Nuctech, a Beijing company that makes scanning equipment. The articles were deleted and the channels were online again by late Tuesday.
Xiao Qiang, director of the Berkeley China Internet Project at the University of California-Berkeley, said the closure of a whole channel is unusual.
"These two channels have a lot of readers ... so their being shut down is a very big thing, more than shutting down a blog or something like that," said Xiao. "My guess is ... their chief editors are being punished."
Family Church Pastor Sentenced to One Year of Forced Labor
Reports indicate increased suppression and persecution of family churches throughout China
By Cheng Yu-WenVoice of America
Jul 5, 2009
A Henan Province family church pastor and his wife were charged with “illegal religious gathering” and sentenced to one year in a labor camp. It is believed that the approach of China’s 60th National Day is the cause of the increasing suppression and persecution of family churches all over China.
Pastor Dou Shaowen and his wife Feng Lu of Pan Se Church in Zhengzhou City were arrested on June 14 during a church gathering. The authorities sealed off the church and disallowed any further gatherings. Feng Lu told Voice of America that the police sentenced both she and her husband to a year of labor reeducation. She was allowed to go home and serve her sentence outside of the labor camp because of her 12 year-old daughter. She is required to report to the police frequently.
She said that she talked to her husband last Wednesday. He described the situation at the labor camp to her. He said it was exhausting in there. It is difficult to sleep, and they work long hours. The work starts at 6 a.m., and they must wake up at 5. They work for 18 hours—until midnight. With 40 people in the cell, it’s very difficult to sleep well. Feng Lu also said there were five other church members arrested on June 14. The authorities detained them for 15 days and then released them, extracting from each a fine of 800 to 900 RMB (approximately US$ 125). The reason for the arrest, according to the authorities, was that the Pan Se Church had conducted a gathering in an illegal place.
Chang Mingshuan, the leader of the Chinese family churches, explained that after the June 4th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Chinese authorities had turned their attention to the family churches and had arrested and persecuted their members in places such as Jiangsu, Sichuan, and Henan. He believes that this is connected to the upcoming National Day.
This reporter also made phone inquiries at the police department of Zhengzhou City regarding this case. He was told that they were unaware of the pastor’s arrest or the closing down of the church.
China's Porn Filter Blocks Falun Gong Sites
Web filter software China plans to distribute nationwide blocks content related to the Falun Gong spiritual movement, despite claims that it targets only porn
Owen Fletcher, IDG News Service
Friday, June 12, 2009,166562/printable.html
Internet filtering software that China plans to distribute nationwide blocks content related to a spiritual movement banned in China, despite government claims that the software targets only porn.
The program automatically closes a browser window when it detects Chinese words related to Falun Gong, according to a keyword blacklist decrypted and posted online Thursday in a report by researchers at the University of Michigan.
Falun Gong, a meditation practice, was banned in China as a cult ten years ago after mass gatherings by followers in Beijing stoked government fear.
China this month ordered PC makers to include the porn filtering software, called Green Dam Youth Escort, either pre-installed or on a CD-ROM with all new computers sold in the country from July 1.
The move has raised concern among PC makers and rights groups that the program could be used to block other Web sites as well, but China has insisted the software targets only "harmful" information like porn and violent content. A Chinese Internet official called filtering porn the "only purpose" of the program, according to the state-run China Daily.
Visiting Chinese sites dedicated to Falung Gong with the filter active confirmed the program's response. A pop-up message notifies the user that the information is "harmful" and closes the window. It does the same thing when it detects a small number of political keywords revealed in the University of Michigan report, including "evil Jiang Zemin," a negative reference to China's former president.
Bryan Zhang, manager of Jinhui Computer System Engineering, the program's main developer, said he did not know its keyword blacklist included non-pornographic terms. Jinhui developed the program's image filtering tool, which blocks Web sites when it detects pornographic pictures. Dazheng Human Language Technology, which contributed the program's language filter, declined to comment.
The security of the program could also be an issue. A specially crafted Web address could overrun the buffer the program uses to process URLs, redirect users to malicious sites and take over their computers, according to the U.S. researchers. That control could be used to drag computers into a botnet, steal personal information or send spam, the report said.
The researchers took less than 12 hours to uncover the flaw and other "serious security vulnerabilities due to programming errors," the report said. While those flaws could be easily patched, extensive rewriting would be needed to remove all of the program's problems, it said.
The software can be turned on or off by users with the parental control password, but uninstalling it does not remove all log files of user activity, according to the report.
Jinhui's Web site became inaccessible this week after foreign industry executives and Chinese Internet users protested the move to distribute the software.
China is also working to place the software on all computers in Chinese schools.
China to require software on PCs to block sites
Jun 8, 2009
By Lucy Hornby and Kelvin Soh
BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - The Chinese government has required that personal computer makers bundle software that filters Internet content from July 1, raising concerns over cyber-security as well as Internet freedoms.
The free "Green Dam-Youth Escort" software, developed by Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co, can effectively filter "unhealthy words and images," according to a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology document seen by Reuters.
Foreign computer makers are now caught between maintaining access to their fastest-growing major market, and concerns the mandatory software will make their products vulnerable to security breaches as well as potential malfunctions.
The requirement to pre-install the software is "in order to consolidate the achievements of the online campaign against pornography, combine punishment and prevention, protect the healthy growth of young people, and promote the Internet's healthy and orderly development," the ministry said.
Many aspects of the software are still unknown, but computer industry sources worry it could open a channel for industrial espionage as well as blocking content Beijing dislikes.
China already has a system to block websites deemed objectionable. Internet police monitor sites, blogs and other online venues for pornographic or politically sensitive content.
"Summer vacation is coming up, and many Chinese parents worry about what their children will see on the Internet. That's the purpose of the software," Jinhui founder Bryan Zhang said.
"Even if you wanted to use it for, say, political content, you couldn't, because it's image distinction software that tracks pornographic images," Zhang told Reuters.
PC makers must report to the ministry the number of computer units sold and software packages installed on a monthly basis in 2009, and yearly starting in February 2010, the circular says.
"Using the software is not compulsory. You can shut it down or take it out if you want to. With a password, you can turn it off at any time," Zhang said.
"It's an optional tool to prevent access to pornography, just like anti-pornography software in the United States."
An industry official, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation against his company, said foreign technicians testing the software had been unable to uninstall it.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news on Monday.
China is one of the world's fastest-growing PC markets, with research firm Gartner forecasting total PC shipments will climb by about 3 percent this year to more than 42 million units.
The Chinese market is dominated by homegrown brands such as Lenovo and Founder, although global brands such as HP, Dell and Acer also have a significant market share.
Acer said it was not aware of the new requirement, while rival Taiwanese maker Asustek said it was but had not yet been officially informed by the Chinese government.
"Along with the rest of the industry ... we are studying it and working with relevant government and other parties to seek clarifications," said Dell spokeswoman Faith Brewitt.
Jinhui last year won a tender to supply filtering software to the ministry, according to government procurement information.
Since then, the ministry has subsidized the company to make the software available for free downloads, said Zhang. It previously sold for 368 yuan ($54) a package.
The software will remain free for a year, and after that consumers will have to pay to continue using it, Zhang said.
It has already been bundled in over 50 million locally made PCs offered rural dwellers as part of China's economic stimulus package, according to a promotional website (
It said the software is being used by 2,279 schools across China and had been downloaded 3.27 million times by end-March.
The U.S. embassy in Beijing said it was concerned.
"We would view any attempt to restrict the free flow of information with great concern and as incompatible with China's aspirations to build a modern, information-based economy and society," an embassy spokesman said.
Compliance could leave computer manufacturers open to charges they abetted censorship and violation of privacy.
The software has a "black list" of sites with pornographic or violent content it blocks, said a customer service representative affiliated with a website offering the software for downloading.
The software also has a "white list" of permitted websites. Users can add or delete websites from the white list. While the white list is publicized, the black list is not.
Savvy Internet users in China currently stay one step ahead of censors by using virtual private networks or proxy servers to access sites outside China, and spread information domestically by quickly reposting expunged content or using oblique language.
Pornography is easily accessed on the Chinese Internet.
(Additional reporting by Chris Buckley and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Jerry Norton)
To Shut Off Tiananmen Talk, China Disrupts SitesBy MICHAEL WINES and ANDREW JACOBS
Published: June 2, 2009
BEIJING — China’s government censors have begun to block access to the Internet services Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail and Microsoft’s, broadening an already extraordinary effort to shield its citizens from any hint of Thursday’s 20th anniversary of the military crackdown that ended the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.
People in China who tried to gain access to the blocked Web sites on Tuesday instead encountered an error message saying the sites’ servers had unexpectedly dropped the Internet connection — a standard indicator that access has been blocked.
Weeks earlier, censors blocked Chinese users from viewing all videos on YouTube, and in recent days some television viewers have reported that BBC World News reports related to the Tiananmen anniversary were being selectively blacked out of broadcast programs.
Government censorship of political material on Internet bulletin boards and Web sites is common in China, but this is the first time Twitter has been blocked. Some well-known political activists, unable to post comments on Chinese blogs or chat sites, had switched to Twitter in recent months as an uncensored outlet for their views.
A number of foreign-based sites that have hosted Chinese bloggers, including and the Chinese-language version of, have also been blocked in recent weeks.
The South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper based in Hong Kong that has frequently featured articles on Tiananmen and other sensitive issues, has also seen its distribution on the Chinese mainland curbed in advance of the anniversary on Thursday. And some Beijing readers of last weekend’s edition of The International Herald Tribune discovered that an inside page of the newspaper with an article on the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan religious leader, was missing.
The anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, in which army troops killed hundreds of student demonstrators, workers and ordinary citizens, is one of a series of politically sensitive dates this year that have provoked sweeping security measures by Chinese officials.
In recent days, the government has detained a number of political dissidents seen as threats to public order during the anniversary period, including one who had released an open letter complaining about economic hardship visited on former Tiananmen demonstrators who were jailed after the crackdown.
The dissident, Wu Gaoxing, was seized Saturday at his home in Taizhou, a coastal city south of Shanghai, according to the New York advocacy group Human Rights in China. Mr. Wu was among five men, all once jailed for their roles in the Tiananmen movement, who released a letter last weekend charging that former prisoners have been singled out for economic hardship long after their prison terms ended.
Human Rights in China said Mr. Wu was taken away and his computer confiscated about an hour after the letter, addressed to President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders, became public.
Mr. Wu, a writer and former educator, was taken into custody in 1989 and imprisoned for two years after he joined protests in his home province of Zhejiang against the military crackdown on Tiananmen demonstrators. “In this society that claims to be harmonious, we have become ‘citizens of the three have-nots waiting to die’: we have no regular jobs, no pensions, and no health insurance; if we get sick, we can only wait to die, and all this just because 20 years ago we were sentenced for political reasons,” the letter says.
The men, among them a former Communist Party member and a factory worker, said they had been denied pensions, health care and regular employment since taking part in local rallies that were inspired by the protests in Beijing. One of the signers, Mao Guoliang, said he had been fired from 17 schools since he served a four-year term for “counterrevolutionary activities.”
Hong Kong Holds Mass Vigil on Tiananmen Anniversary
By Lin Yi, Epoch Times Staff
HONG KONG—An estimated 150,000 people held a vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2009, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The ceremony, hosted by Hong Kong Alliance In Support Of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, had a record turnout compared to the first anniversary held in 1990. The participants in the ceremony consisted mostly of young people. However, there were also many mainland Chinese and foreign tourists. Many people had already arrived at Victoria Park before 6 p.m., and the large crowd started pouring in after dark. Six football fields were packed with people before 8 p.m. The organizers had to open extra areas, including grass areas and basketball fields, to accommodate more people, which delayed the ceremony for about 30 minutes. The vigil began with a recorded speech of former regime leader, Zhao Ziyang. The chairman of the Alliance, Mr. Szeto Wah, then led a group of young people born on 1989 to present flowers, followed by igniting the democracy torch and announcing the names of some victims of the Massacre. The crowd also observed one minutes silence to pay tribute to the Tiananmen victims and listened to a recorded speech made by a Tiananmen mother, Ms. Ding Zilin. Mr. Xiong Yan who was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989, praised Hong Kong as the pride of the entire world and China, “Tonight, amidst this sea of candle lights and in our suffering hearts, we again share a common dream–a common dream that in the near future the totalitarian Chinese Communist regime will eventually be removed from the stage of history.”
Vice chairman of the Alliance, Mr. Lee Cheuk-Yan and two standing committee chairs jointly read the declaration stating that “June 4, 1989, was the darkest day in modern Chinese history. Deng, Li, Yang (former Party leader Deng Xiaoping, former Premier Li Peng, and former President Yang Shangkun) collectively ordered the army to crack down on Tiananmen Square and shoot harmless citizens and students, and mobilize tanks to crush people who were fleeing.“ “The world was shocked by the June 4th Tiananmen Square Massacre. Chinese all over the world mourned for the victims. June 4 became a national memorial day and people will not forget it.” The organizers announced that a record number of people, about 150,000, had attended the vigil, topping the 100,000 people for the 1st anniversary in 1990. One of the participants was Mr. Lu who had not participated in this event for years. He told The Epoch Times that he came out to remind the Chinese regime the mistake they had made before. “In fact, the Chinese regime is even more corrupt compared to 20 years ago. They are corrupt collectively. This regime does not know how to examine itself for mistakes and to make corrections accordingly.” He added, “The thing is, they make huge profit from the area they are in charge of by engaging in all sorts of illegal activities, including arson and murder. However, those appellants who went to Beijing—over 100,000 of them based on a conservative estimate–the government simply turned a blind eye to them. How can you put up with a government that is so corrupt?”The vigil concluded at around 10 p.m. with people singing songs and holding candles.
On Pelosi’s Arrival Thousands Protest Chinese Regime
Qiao Qi, By Epoch Times Staff
25 May 2009
BEIJING—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Shanghai on May 24. On the morning of May 25, 2,000 Chinese took to the streets of Beijing protesting against the communist regime and urging Pelosi to pay attention to human rights in China. About a dozen were arrested by Chinese police.
Protesters shouted slogans such as “Bring down corrupt officials,” “Restore human rights,” and “Long live democracy.” They distributed flyers or held their appeal letters in their hands. Some protesters shouted, “Work as one heart,” “Welcome Pelosi: SOS—please pay attention to China’s human rights.” Eye-catching giant banners stretched across the streets. The protest lasted for about two hours.
Ms. Li Li, a protester from Shanxi Province, says that she had planned to welcome Pelosi at the South Station (a train and bus depot) at around 9:30AM on May 25, but she had not expected the area to be filled with police, with over a dozen police cars there when she arrived.
Also joining in the protest was Ms. Zhao Chunhong, a long-term protester from Hebei Province, who says she has desperately appealed for her rights for over two-years. With the help of another protester, Ms. Li Suzhen, Zhao unfurled a banner that says: “Welcome Pelosi: SOS – please pay attention to China’s human rights” and shouted slogans.
The Chinese police tried to take the banner from Zhao. Zhao, who is eight months pregnant, was dragged to the ground, and her legs were injured and her arms twisted. Several elderly women were knocked to the ground also.
The Chinese police manhandled the protesters and injured many people. Elderly people in their 70’s were pushed to the ground by hired thugs.
According to Mr. Zhou Guangfu from Chongqing, there were more than 2,000 protesters.
“This is the capital city of China and we are welcoming foreign dignitaries. It is wrong for the police to treat protesters like this,” Zhou said.
Zhou saw the police arrest about a dozen people, including a foreign reporter. He says that the police allegedly released them because they received an order from the top that they must not arrest any more people.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Chairman Liu Yungeng of the Shanghai City People's Congress. (Qilai Shen/Getty Images)
Mr. Chen Fengqiang, a protester from Zhuhai, said that the protesters organized this welcoming activity spontaneously because Pelosi had repeatedly criticized China’s human rights violations in public. Chen added that this activity was successful despite the suppression and monitoring by police and the anger of the protestors.
Pelosi will visit Beijing and Shanghai during this visit, but has refused to reveal whether she would bring up human rights during the meetings. Before her visit, Pelosi revealed that she planned to discuss climate change, energy, and the economy.
China says rich nations must cut emissions by 40 pct
May 21, 2009
China confirmed Thursday that it will demand rich nations cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 in upcoming global climate change negotiations.
In a position paper published for negotiations to be held in Copenhagen in December, China -- one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases that cause global warming -- did not commit to any legally binding reductions.
"Developed countries shall undertake to reduce their GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in aggregate by at least 40 percent below their 1990 level by 2020," said the paper, posted on China's planning agency's website.
"Developed countries shall take responsibility for their historical cumulative emissions and current high per capita emissions to change their unsustainable way of life and to substantially reduce their emissions."
The call for a 40-percent cut by rich countries has previously been mentioned in state media, but Thursday's document spells out the demand as official Chinese government policy.
The December negotiations are aimed at hammering out a new climate change pact to replace the Kyoto protocol that expires in 2012.
The European Union has said it would slash emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with the 1990 level and raise the target to 30 percent if others set similarly ambitious targets.
State press reports earlier said China was prepared to commit to improved energy efficiency as its contribution to the talks, but such targets were not set out in the position paper.
The energy-guzzling nation pledged four-percent annual cuts in the amount of energy used per unit of gross domestic product from 2006-2010, but so far those targets have been missed.
Developed nations must also ramp up funding for clean energy technology to developing nations, the position paper said.
As a developing nation China under Kyoto did not accept cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, which are blamed for global warming, higher sea levels and other potentially disastrous changes in the climate.
"Fully aware of the seriousness and urgency of climate change and with a deep sense of responsibility for the long-term development of mankind, China is firmly committed to sustainable development," the position paper said.
"In the face of international financial crisis, China remains determined to take unrelenting efforts to address climate change."
Beijing Lawyers Beaten for Defending Falun GongBy Charlotte Cuthbertson, Epoch Times Staff
May 14, 2009
Two lawyers who were beaten, bruised, and interrogated for investigating the sudden death of a Falun Gong practitioner have captured the attention of the grassroots legal system in China. Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu, both lawyers in Beijing, were forcibly taken from the home of the dead practitioner's family on May 13.
Lawyers throughout China are openly expressing their outrage at the beatings, many sending statements of support to the lawyers. All stated their disdain for the legal system in China, saying the beating goes against the PRC's constitution.
Photo: Jiang Xiqing, pictured with his wife before his death. Two Beijing lawyers were beaten Wednesday for investigating the sudden death of Jiang Xiqing.
“I am shocked and furious about this incident,” said Li Xiong Bing, a lawyer speaking out for the beaten lawyers. “I feel these officials are stamping on our legal system, stamping on the lawyers rights. This is a very bad situation. I think the two lawyers should take legal action against this.”
Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu went to the home of killed Falun Gong practitioner Jiang Xiqing to discuss his sudden death with family members. Mr. Jiang, 66, a retired tax bureau employee, had been arrested twice—the last being shortly before the Beijing Olympic Games began. He was taken to the Xishanping Forced Labor Camp. When Mr. Jiang's family visited him on Jan. 27 this year, his health seemed fine. A day later, on Jan. 28, labor camp officials called his family to notify them that Mr. Jiang had died. When his children were finally allowed to see him approximately seven hours later, they found that his upper lip, chest, belly, and legs were still warm, despite the body having been kept in a freezer. They tried to do artificial respiration, but more than 20 guards dragged them out of the funeral home.
Labor camp officials first said Mr. Jiang died due to illness, then later gave the reason as sunburn, even though it was winter. The family observed bruises on the body, a cut on the lip, and mud on his shoes. The family suspects beating as the true cause of death.
“There's something behind the death of this practitioner that is not right,” said Beijing lawyer, Jiang Tian Yong. “These two lawyers [Mr. Zhang and Mr. Li] are standing up for the practitioner who was killed in a labor camp—this is a very normal thing for a lawyer to do, so why are police taking such a heavy hand?”
“The police are openly challenging the legal system,” he said. Two hours after the two lawyers entered the family home, police burst into the house, demanding to see identification. After presenting their cards, the lawyers were prevented from leaving the house, for no apparent reason. Not long after, 20 plain-clothed police arrived. They pushed the lawyers to the ground, stood on them, and handcuffed them. Taken to police station, the lawyers were separated. Zhang Kai was hung up by his handcuffs in an iron cage. He was slapped on the face and his laptop was searched. Li Chunfu's ear was cut after being slapped in the face by police. Both men suffered bleeding, swollen, and bruised wrists. A lawyer for 10 years, Li Fang Ping, said he has never heard of an incident such as this one. “The police are becoming more mafia-like. I highly condemn this kind of behavior, this kind of thing needs to be stopped,” he said.
The China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group strongly protests the beatings of the two lawyers, in a statement on their Web site. They are demanding that the Chinese regime immediately investigate and punish the public security officers according to its laws. “We also call on the international legal community to write letters to the Chinese government to express concerns about the beatings of mainland lawyers when they carry out their professional duties,” the statement said.
More than 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died due to mistreatment by authorities, since being persecuted from 1999, according to the Falun Dafa Info Center. Hundreds of thousands are detained in jails, prisons, mental hospitals, and labor camps, and many human rights organizations suspect the death toll is much, much higher.
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