A city government said Monday that six more civilians died and five “terrorist” suspects were killed by police in one of China’s most troubled ethnic regions, raising the death toll from weekend violence to 18.
Xinijang region in China’s far west has been on edge since nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between Uighurs and Han Chinese in 2009 in Urumqi, the regional capital.
Xinhua did not give a reason for the latest violence, but Xinjiang has been beset by ethnic conflict and a sometimes-violent separatist movement by Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group that sees Xinjiang as its homeland. Many Uighurs say they have been marginalized as more majority Han Chinese move into the region. Continue reading
According to a report in the Caixin Weekly magazine, population control officials in the Chinese province of Hunan have seized at least 16 babies born in violation of the one-child policy, sent them to state-run orphanages, and then sold them abroad for adoption.
“Before 1997, they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for breaching the one-child policy, but after 2000 they began to confiscate our children,” the magazine quoted villager Yuan Chaoren as saying.
- China province probes sale of “illegal children” (calgaryherald.com)
Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.
In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.
Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.
What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.
In February China launched a campaign against dissent that has resulted in the detention of those criticizing the Chinese government without giving the accused a trial.
Chinese blogger Fang Hong was detained on April 24 and sentenced to serve one year in a Chongqing re-education labor camp for using a blog to mock the chief of Chongqing’s Communist party, Bo Xilai, despite his removal of the blog post following the orders of web censors.
Hong’s blog arose from Chongqing’s prosecution of a lawyer, Mr. Li, who defended a man being prosecuted for perjury. Mr. Li was himself charged after his former client testified that he had encouraged him to make false torture allegations. However, many believe that Mr. Li was framed by the government for opposing the campaign of Bo Xilai. Mr. Li was convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
- Is China going back to the ‘era of name-calling’? (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- China Imprisons Blogger for Mocking Communist Chief (onebluestocking.wordpress.com)
“There is no consensus”, stated the Brazilian foreign minister, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, speaking about the European proposal for the UN’s resolution to condemn the Syrian regime for the violent repression of demonstrations. The diplomat stated that “it is unclear whether Lebanon, the only Arab country on the Security Council, would support it or not. ”
European countries of the UN executive body (France, Britain, Germany and Portugal) supported by the United States have submitted a draft resolution to the 15-member Council to condemn the government of Bashar Assad. However, both China and Russia have veto power. Both of them and Brazil have expressed their misgivings.
The 15 countries were due to reconvene on Wednesday to address the issue, although the vote could take several days. At present the highest international security body is composed, in addition to the above countries, also by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gabon, Nigeria, Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa.
Just in case there is precendent for them and friends, don’t you think?
“We are going to rescue them and help them with their rights,” said a civil affairs official in Xinjiang province.
Chinese media reports said 11 workers were sold to the factory to work without pay.
The state-run Global Times reported that a man named Zeng Lingquan was held and accused of selling the workers to the Jiaersi Green Construction Material Chemical Factory. The report did not say if anyone from the factory had been arrested.
I repeat: they were sold to work without pay. Does that mean there is market in China of people that are sold to work without pay (=as slaves)?
Second question: if true, why anyone from the factory has been arrested? Who bought them?
BBC reports that this situation could have lasted for several years.
Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Portuguese Minister of Finance, when asked about Chinese Govt buying Portuguese bonds. Does he know about Mao?
Thanks he didn’t add: “and in Human Rights“.
This year, the lovers of freedom have enjoyed the selection made by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The image of the kind China they tried to paint during the Beijing Olympics is now far away. Today the real China is portrayed to the world for not releasing Liu and for preventively arrestng the relatives, friends and associates of the awarded dissident. The economic fate of China has changed thanks to free market forces. But that doesn’t mean at all that the Chinese leadership will allow a real political reform. At this time of global financial crisis, we can not forget that many governments have ignored their own volition and the deplorable human rights situation in the last Communist empire, thinking more than anything that China buys their debt and that that money can pay for their own domestic financial excesses. But in a fit of human decency, the Free World will celebrate Liu’s Award.
A Chinese proverb says: “One generation plants the trees, but another is enjoying the shade.” People like Liu Xiaobo are planting the trees. It may take more or less time, but future generations will definitely enjoy the shade.
… (China) has invested heavily in the strength and technical sophistication of its missiles. The Pentagon has described China’s programme as “the most active land-based ballistic- and cruise-missile programme in the world”.
Missiles are good value. Compared with a fully equipped aircraft-carrier, which might cost $15 billion-20 billion, a missile costs about $1m. And missiles can be potent. The chart shows how, in terms of numbers, China has concentrated on short- and medium-range missiles. This puts Taiwan within easy range of a devastating cruise- and ballistic-missile attack. Military analysts fear that the Second Artillery could retarget the missiles, putting Japan at risk, as well as America’s Asian bases.
China also has a few intercontinental ballistic missiles, able to carry a nuclear payload. And American strategists are closely watching an experimental anti-ship ballistic missile with a manoeuvrable warhead, which could make it hard for American fleets to approach the Chinese shore. China recently hinted that it may be ready to cut the number of missiles targeting Taiwan. Whether this comes to anything will depend upon relations with the island—and they can be highly unpredictable.
Liu Xiaobo was imprisoned for 11 years due to his participation in the document called Chapter 08, in which several people supported democracy and the end to the “one-party”
… China and 18 other countries have decided not to be represented “for various reasons.” It noted that number has tripled from six weeks ago.
The countries joining China in its boycott include Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco and the Philippines.
The 58 countries who have embassies in Oslo were invited to attend.
China strongly objected to Liu’s win last October and levelled more criticism Tuesday, calling members of the Nobel committee “clowns” who are “interfering in China’s judicial affairs.”
The 54-year-old writer and academic was jailed in December 2009 to serve an 11-year term for subversion. He was detained just days before the publication of what has turned out to be an explosive political document, Charter 8, which he co-wrote.
Charter 08 calls for an end to one-party rule and the introduction of democratic reforms in China. It was signed, via the internet, by thousands of people, some of them Communist Party officials.
The 2010 Report on Religious Freedom in the World by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was released yesterday in Rome. It shows that the situation is serious in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia. In the Near East, Iraq represents an especially bad case where anti-Christian violence is taking on the form of systematic persecution, as the latest episodes indicate. In Egypt, despite the fact that it is a major tourist destination, there have been many acts of violence against the Christian minority in 2009-2010. Lebanon shows how difficult it is for foreign religious staff to enter the country. The situation of Christians in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is getting worse with episodes of explicit persecution.
In India, ethnic and religious violence is rising as well. The year 2009 clearly illustrated the problem. However, China is certainly among those nations where religious freedom is denied in all its facets. However, information about what happens in that nation remains limited and hard to obtain. The state is officially atheist and suppresses all form of religion through arrests and detention in concentration camps. The case of Mgr Julius Jia Zhiguo is one of the better known. The underground bishop of Zhengding (Hebei) was arrested by five police officers on 30 March 2009; he was eventually released 15 months later.
In Pakistan, the blasphemy law is used as weapon against religious minorities, especially Christians who are the victims of Muslim fundamentalism. In Afghanistan, the government is not able to ensure effective religious freedom. In Bangladesh, where Islam is also the state religion, several cases of discrimination and attacks against minorities have been recorded with security forces showing little interest in protecting them.
When I find the report in English I will post the link here. It’s necessary that these facts are reported and really known outside those countries.
This is an update on this story:
Two South Korean marines were killed and 17 others injured, as well as three civilians, after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow sea, 50 miles off the South’s northwest coast in an area close to a disputed sea border.The attack, which comes days after it emerged that North Korea was pressing ahead with its illegal nuclear programme, marks a serious further escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
A presidential statement said the shelling “constitutes a clear armed provocation.”
China, meanwhile has shown its real position with the statement:
“We hope the relevant parties do more to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, adding that China was still seeking information on the clash. “The situation needs to be verified,” he said.
Oh, sure. It needs to be verified. The attacked needs to do more to contribute to peace and stability the in the area. Yeah, I’m sure that if China would be the attacked, Chinese Govt would also say that they do need to do more for peace and stability.
Russia has also Warned “against military escalation in the area“.
What assholes. What they should do is press North Korea against producing that “military escalation“, as it was the one who attacked. And it was not the first time.
Iran was defeated today in its bid for a seat on the board of a new United Nations body to promote women’s rights after what an Iranian envoy called a “politically motivated” campaign by the U.S.
The UN’s 54-member Economic and Social Council elected 41 members to the board of the agency, to be known as UN Women, which officially begins its work Jan. 1. The UN General Assembly voted in July to create the agency by merging four existing bodies.
“These policies by the U.S. to put pressure on others to not vote for Iran is very sad for the UN,” Eshagh Al Habib, Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said in an interview. “It is a very politically motivated position. It is not constructive.” Al Habib said Iran was “progressing very fast in the field” of women’s rights.
The U.S. and rights groups including London-based Amnesty International and New York-based Human Rights Watch opposed Iran’s candidacy for one of the 10 board seats designated for Asian nations. There were only 10 candidates, which would have virtually guaranteed Iran’s election, until East Timor sought a seat this week.
East Timor, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Pakistan were elected to the Asian board seats.
Good news. Although some of those elected countries are not beacons of the protection of Human Rights either… 😥
“A pregnant woman in south China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country’s one-child limit, her husband said Thursday.
Construction worker Luo Yanquan said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on Oct. 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.
Family planning officials told the couple they weren’t allowed to have the child because they already have a 9-year-old daughter, Luo said.
For the last 30 years, China has limited most urban couples to just one child in a bid to curb population growth and conserve its limited resources. China has the world’s largest population, with more than 1.3 billion people. Couples that flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.
The case is an extreme example of the coercive measures Chinese officials sometimes use to comply with the strict family planning regulations. Though illegal, police and judicial authorities often look the other way when forced abortion cases are reported and the heavily censored state media shy away from such news.
But in recent years, victims have begun to speak out about their ordeals with the help of the Internet and text messaging. Aiding them are social campaigners and lawyers who have documented cases of forced late-term abortions. Similar abuses have been reported in Hebei and Shandong provinces and in the Guangxi region. “
I know this is not the main subject of this blog, but this is so monstrous that I have at least to mention it.
“‘Strike-2010’ Sino-Thai joint anti-terrorism drill came to an end in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Oct. 19. In this joint drill, which focused on urban anti-terrorism for the first time, both parties conducted an in-depth exchange with each other on how to deal with urban terrorist activities so as to lay a solid foundation for urban anti-terrorism cooperation between the two countries in the future.
“Urban terrorist activities are a public hazard to international community!” said Tao Guang, head of the Chinese Guidance Team of this joint drill. Nowadays, cities have become “hotspot” sites for terrorists to produce terrorist activities. They endeavor to produce various types of terrorist attacks in important cities, so as to reach their political, economic and other purposes.
As pointed out by Tao Guang, urban terrorist attacks are usually launched during important events, such as during the Munich Olympics Games in 1972 when a terrorist organization hijacked and killed 9 Israeli athletes. “
This is magnificent, but are they going to consider fundamented accusations of terrorism funding by Chinese institutions when they are told about them? Or are they going to consider them only when they are directed only at China?
Imprisoned Chinese democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize — an award that drew furious condemnation from the authoritarian government and calls from world leaders including President Barack Obama for Liu’s quick release.
Chinese state media blacked out the news and Chinese government censors blocked Nobel Prize reports, which highlighted Liu’s calls for peaceful political change, from Internet websites. China declared the decision would harm its relations with Norway and promptly summoned Oslo’s ambassador to Beijing to make a formal protest.
…The Nobel committee praised Liu’s pacifist approach, ignoring threats by Chinese diplomats even before the announcement that such a decision would result in strained ties with Norway. Liu has been an ardent advocate of peaceful, gradual political change.
The Nobel committee cited Liu’s participation in the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989 and the Charter 08 document he recently co-authored, which called for greater freedom in China and an end to the Communist Party’s political dominance.
Two related themes, however, thread their way through all the novels of Mr. Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel literature prize Thursday. These themes are a fascination with the human craving for freedom (be it political, social or creative) and the liberation conferred by art and imagination. Indeed, storytelling itself remains a central concern in the author’s work, in both his taste for willfully complicated narratives and his philosophical preoccupation with the ways in which subjectivity acts as a distorting prism for our apprehension of the world.
These two men really deserve the Prize.
Doctors in southern China are working around the clock to fulfil a government goal to sterilise — by force if necessary — almost 10,000 men and women who have violated birth control policies. Family planning authorities are so determined to stop couples from producing more children than the regulations allow that they are detaining the relatives of those who resist.
About 1,300 people are being held in cramped conditions in towns across Puning county, in Guangdong Province, as officials try to put pressure on couples who have illegal children to come forward for sterilisation.
The 20-day campaign, which was launched on April 7, aims to complete 9,559 sterilisations in Puning, which, with a population of 2.24 million, is the most populous county in the province.
…In Puning county couples with illegal children and their relatives who apply for permits to build a house are rejected. Illegal children are refused residency registration, a penalty that denies them access to healthcare and education.
Authorities have discovered, however, that those methods have less success than rounding up relatives.
One official said that an investigation would be launched to establish whether authorities in Puning had exceeded their remit.
…The county is under criticism from Guangdong authorities, who want to slow a population growth that is reflecting badly on the entire province. One reason for Puning’s large population is that families in the mainly rural region often have up to three or four children.
Many of those with extra children have left to find factory jobs along the more developed coast, taking advantage of being away from local government surveillance to give birth outside the quotas.
Rules in Puning, as throughout rural China, allow farmers to have a second child if the first is a daughter. After that couples must stop. By the morning of April 12 Puning officials said that they had achieved, in a mere five days, about half of their sterilisation goal after their “education” persuaded people to comply.
China has supplanted the US as Brazil’s biggest trading partner, a boom repeated across the region. Once almost invisible in Latin America, China has seen its trade here rise from $10bn a year in 2000 to well over $100bn today. Latin officials are rolling out the red carpet to Chinese delegations and hopping on planes not only to Beijing but also Guangzhou, Nanking and Shanghai.
Unlike the Russians, who grab attention by sending warships to visit anti-US leaders, such as Venezuela‘s Hugo Chávez, but struggle to deliver economic deals, the Chinese are all business. They are importing soy from Argentina, copper from Chile, iron ore from Brazil and zinc from Peru, and export clothes, cars and electronic equipment across the region.
The trade helped Latin America to weather the global economic crisis, but there is concern about a “neo-colonial” pattern in which the region’s commodities are sucked abroad while industry loses out to cheap imports aided by China’s undervalued currency. When Argentina accused China of dumping goods, Beijing bared its teeth and banned Argentine soya oil, citing safety concerns.
Just yesterday, Chávez announced more investments from China:
President Hugo Chavez has announced an agreement with China that would have the Asian economic giant devote $20 billion to financing long-term development projects in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan president says the financing would go toward industrial and infrastructure projects, among other development plans.
He spoke Saturday during a televised appearance attended by China’s natural resources minister.
Chavez is providing few other details about the investments.
This change is related with the lack of Human Rights’ requirements China imposes.
According to the rights organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), present at the Re:publica digital media conference in Berlin, about 120 bloggers and online reporters are currently in jail because of their work.
More than half of them are imprisoned in China, one of the countries most criticized for its rigid online censorship. Last month, RSF welcomed Google’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese language search engine and to move its operations to Hong Kong.
“Companies who obey the demands of oppressive regimes are accomplices to censorship,” said Lucie Morillon, the head of Reporters Without Borders’ new media desk. “They are helping to silence basically those people who want to express dissident views. They are helping regimes to stay in place.”
Lucie Morillon, head of the New Media desk at Reporters Without Borders talks about internet censorship at Re:publica conference Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Reporters Without Borders’ Lucie Morillon, says many companies help state censorsMorillon hopes that other major international players follow Google’s lead, especially Yahoo, which has a history of collaborating with the Chinese authorities. In 2005 it handed over information that resulted in the imprisonment of a Chinese activist for 10 years.
In recent weeks more allegations against Yahoo have surfaced. Morillon said the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China reported “13 cases of foreign reporters whose accounts have been hacked.”
…In 2009, more than 60 countries experienced some form of internet censorship, according to Reporters without Borders. In March, RSF published a list of 12 so-called “enemies of the Internet,” which are countries that seriously violate their citizens’ free speech online.
Apart from China and Iran, the list also includes Saudi Arabia, Burma, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Cuba and Egypt, who use a range of measures from Internet filtering and blocking Web sites, to imprisoning bloggers and journalists.
With 70 million people writing over 700,000 blogs, Iran has a strong Internet presence. Twenty-seven-year-old Farnaz Seifi, was one of the first Iranian women to start her own blog seven years ago. She worked for many years as a women’s rights activist and journalist in reformist newspapers, which were shut down. Seifi now lives in the Netherlands.
“Iranian cyber army” hacked Twitter last year
Seifi has noticed the Iranian government’s increasingly sophisticated range of strategies to suppress freedom of speech, including using blogs.
“Three years ago suddenly we had this huge wave of Muslim bloggers, very religious ones, very loyal to the Islamic Republic. And they are working for spreading the propaganda of the Islamic Republic regime,” she said. “So it shows that the government of Iran thought, ‘If we want to control them, we need to be active in what we are doing as well and spreading our own propaganda’.”
Shen Peilan, a seasoned campaigner against government corruption, has not been seen since she was seized on March 24, the same day officials from the Bureau of Letters and Petitions raided her home twice. On their first attempt, they were deterred by police who were summoned by Shen’s family. However, officials succeeded in abducting her in a later raid after the police had gone.
Shen was still recovering from an earlier abduction on March 7, when she was held without a warrant and interrogated by officers from the same bureau for nine days. When church friends reported her missing, lawyers and activists managed to track her down at a hotel in Songjiang and police intervened to free her. Shen had been travelling to Beijing to protest against her house being demolished by local officials earlier this year. Chinese local government officials do not have the power to make arrests unless sanctioned by a higher authority. (Sources: ChinaAid, Release International).
Sonia’s family fears the Muslim man, Ali Raza, will force her to convert to Islam and marry him. Sonia’s brother, Johnson Parvaiz, stated, “Ali Raza came to our home and told Sonia that I had asked for her, and she went out of the house with him. They had parked a vehicle outside and left, and afterwards we never heard from her.” After two days, Johnson was able to reach his sister on her cell phone but she told him not to call her, that she was very happy and that they should not try to find her. “It was obvious from her voice that she had been forced to say that,” Johnson said. Police have delayed registering a case on behalf of Sonia’s family because, in what appears to be an attempt to delay police action, Ali’s family has filed a complaint that he was abducted by the same accomplices who allegedly helped him kidnap Sonia. (Source: Compass Direct)
On March 16, The People’s High Court of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region rejected an appeal from Alimujiang Yimiti (37), a Uyghur house church leader.
Alimujiang was sentenced in October 2009 to 15 years’ imprisonment for “providing state secrets to overseas organizations” (click here for more information).
One of his lawyers, Li Dunyong, believes Alimujiang’s Muslim background is a large issue in the case. Another of his lawyers, Li Baiguang, reported, “We are fairly sure that there are a lot of factors which are totally outside the law that have influenced the investigation of this case. This is very clear from the procedures that were followed within the courts and from the final decision.” (Source: Radio Free Asia) Here is an interview with his wife among others about his situation.
In November 2009, the two were conditionally released from the notorious Evin Prison (click here for more information). Although they have been receiving medical treatment for the past five months, they remain weak and suffer from various illnesses. Yet, despite their frailties, they were determined to be faithful to the Lord and speak the truth in court whatever the consequence or personal cost. At last report, the outcome of their hearing was unknown. (Source: Elam Ministries).