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ppgj

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China jails five journalists for taking bribes - China - World - The Times of India

China jails five journalists for taking bribes
Saibal Dasgupta , TNN 5 December 2009, 06:33pm IST

BEIJING: A Beijing reporter has been sent to jail for13 years while four other journalists in central China’s Shanxi province have been awarded jail sentences for nine to 12 months. All of them have been charged with taking bribes.

The decisions come soon after another court verdict giving three years jail sentence to Chen Daojun, a freelance journalist who reported on a people’s demonstration against the establishment of a chemical plant in Sichuan. He was accused of "inciting subversion of state power."

Jail sentences are not uncommon for journalists tackling controversial issues like mine disasters and people’s demonstrations in China. In its recent report, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers cited large scale imprisonment of journalists in China as one of the challenges faced by the journalism profession worldwide.

The Beijing reporter, Guo Huaimian, worked for the prestigious newspaper, Chinese People's Political and Consultative Conference Daily, which is run by one of the houses of the Chinese parliament. He has been given three years jail sentence and asked to pay a fine of 13,000 yuan.

Official sources said Guo received 400,000 yuan by a medical doctor Zhang Puyi, who wanted to be transferred from a county-level city hospital in Jilin province to the provincial capital Changchun. He did not deliver on his promise until he was arrested on March 2. He had resigned from his newspaper one month before the arrest, official sources said.

In Shanxi, four journalists and an alleged impersonator have been sent to jail for taking bribes from a mine owner, who wanted them to suppress news of the death of a workers due to suffocation.

The official media did not mention what happened to the mine owner while reporting details of the jail sentences awarded to the four journalists and a “so-called reporter” in Shanxi province in central China.

The journalists have also been banned from perusing the profession for life, the official media said without naming the newspapers for which they worked.

The General Administration of Press and Publications, which controls the licenses of journalists, banned them from employment in journalism for life. They are Zhang Xiangdong, Xiang Zhihao, Zhang Changnian and Zhao Xiuqing.

Another person who falsely claimed to represent the Legal Daily, a Chinese newspaper, got one year in jail over "blackmailing". The coal mine owner did not report the death of a worker but paid bribes to journalists to hush up the case, official sources said.
 

nitesh

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China Shakes the World: A Titan's ... - Google Books

Friendship. It means different things to different people. One kind describes the diplomatic relations between states. Another deals with the feelings between individuals. The first kind of riendship is hard work; it must be structured and scripted down to the smallest detail. The second is spontaneous, haphazard, and voluntary. But in China the boundaries between the two have been blurred by dint of a strenuous, state-sponsored drive to nur- ture "friendship' between Chinese and foreign individuals as an important instrument of foreign policy. Such efforts are called wai-shi, or "foreign affairs/7 the goal of which is to try to manage the way China is seen by the outside world, not only by foreign governments but also by the public. The head of the waishi system in government is China's top leader, and virtually every government agency, municipal authority, and state enterprise has an office designated to deal with foreign affairs. Friendship is not something the Communist Party is willing to leave to chance.
In the late 1980s foreigners who exhibited friendship would be given privileges. This often involved the deployment of China's most powerful chimera: its population. The foreigner would be either charmed by the adulation of crowds or seduced by the ex-
clusivity of a one-in-a-billion reception. Examples of the former variant in this genre included the "spontaneous" crowd of tens of thousands that hailed Craig Barrett, the then CEO of Intel, in the southwestern city of Chengdu. They surrounded him in the
streets chanting "Ying-te-er, Ying-te-er" ("Intel, Intel"), until Barrett, by his own admission, began to feel like Elvis Presley.
:D: Later, In- tel approved the chip-packaging-plant investment that Chengdu had been angling for. Edgar Bronfman, who was then chairman of Seagram, had a similar experience in a remote village by the Yangtze River in 1998. His beverage company had promised to invest in a $55 million orange orchard that would help transform the local economy After he debarked from a cruise ship that had taken him downriver, he saw thousands of peasant farm-ers thronging the hillsides, clogging the streets, and waving from rooftops. The feelings engendered in Bronfman were so strong that when Seagram was later bought by Vivendi, a media com-pany, he insisted that the orange orchard be kept as a special unit, even though it was about as far from the core business as can be imagined.

Sometimes it is exclusivity rather than popular adulation that is employed. The foreigner can see the multitudes about him as he is ferried around town in a limo with a police escort but is kept separate from the hoi polloi, in the manner of a mandarin in a sedan chair. More rarefied gradations of exclusivity are re-served for people like Rupert Murdoch, the magnate who controls News Corporation. During the years he has been trying to crack
the China market, he has gained access to the inner sanctums of Communist power. He has had dinner with the most powerful men in the country inside Zhongnanhai, which is guarded just as fiercely as the old, imperial Forbidden City ever was. He has also
enjoyed the virtually unique privilege of addressing a lecture hall full of future leaders in the Central Party School. The theme of his speech — the efficacy of an open media — contrasted neatly with the fact that the school is strictly off-limits to both Chinese and
foreigners unless they have secured prior approval.
 

Martian

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China's vision is to give her citizenry an affluent lifestyle similar to the average American.

The American train network forms the transportation backbone of the U.S. economy. By allowing the efficient movement of large numbers of people and goods, the American train system deserves much of the credit for the U.S. economic boom of the last 150 years.

For many decades of those 150 years, the U.S. train network was the largest and fastest in the world. But times change....

BBC News - World's fastest train unveiled in China

[ÊÓƵ][¹ãÖÝ]Îä¹ã¸ßÌúÊÔÔËÐÐ ´´Ìú·×î¸ßËÙ ÎçÒ¹ÐÂÎÅ CCTV.com
 

nitesh

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some excerpts:

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Opinion | New stars in the east
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China as a one-party State is never given any credit by Indians for having, like us, a domestic constituency to placate. Most of China’s actions seen as intimidating by India are actually for the Chinese audience and other countries in Asia. What the Chinese fear most is social unrest; most dynasties were brought down not by invasions but by internal uprisings. Chinese admit to as many as 75,000 large and small social ‘disturbances’ each year, some of which require serious military interventions on the part of central and provincial authority. Tibet and Xinjiang are simmering with discontent and Xinjiang has seen the most violent riots in China in decades put down brutally. Some young Uighurs have indicated to the media that they will seek a better future by escaping to India, like the Tibetans.
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According to the Legatum Institute’s prosperity index, India is worsted by China in all economic fundamentals, but scores higher than China in social capital and community support, institutional maturity, governance, and personal freedom. In short, China gives better opportunity to business, India a better life to people. It is said that “the business of Asia is business”. China is attracted by the Hatoyama government’s idea of an East Asian community — the Asean 10 plus Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea — that would not only enhance trade, already at higher levels than the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union, but has security implications. But Hatoyama also mooted an idea of Asean plus Six with China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand, and China worries about such prospective groupings where democracies and multicultural entities like India would be in a majority, and where the Indian model might create an alternative pole of attraction for East Asia. China will not readily countenance a simultaneously rising India as potential competitor in Asia.
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China can provoke India at little diplomatic or military cost, and its low-level intrusions are to keep India off-balance; thus the stapled visas and objection to the village road at Demchok. Beijing’s aim is to shrink India’s strategic frontiers, to stop India breaking out as a potential Asian power, as a warning to others that India cannot be used as a ‘balancer’ against China, to caution the Tibetans not to look to India for succour, and to posit a ‘balkanization’ threat. Its all-weather friend, Pakistan, was first used as a blocking agent, but as that country descends into chaos, more direct methods are needed. China has unsuccessfully opposed the nuclear deal at the Nuclear Suppliers Group and a $60 million loan for Arunachal alias ‘Southern Tibet’ at the Asian Development Bank. It has suggested to the US that it could be the main custodian of Indian Ocean sea-lanes, and opposes expansion of the security council to thwart Japan and India.
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But China, like India, has no intention of letting tensions get out of control; both know that stray incidents, such as on the high seas off Somalia, could turn serious. Both know that unlike 1962, the invasion of India will be no cakewalk. The two countries cooperate on the World Trade Organisation, climate change and for increased influence in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. China is India’s biggest trade partner, and has recently offered India a consulate at Lhasa. India is not likely to respond to this offer. It lost bargaining leverage from the very start by giving up its diplomatic mission, three trade marts and managing the communications system in Tibet as “imperialist sequels”, accepting that there were “unequal treaties” in the past and agreeing to the five principles of peaceful coexistence in 1954 without linking any of these to a settlement of the border. Yet Nehru had been informed as early as 1951 about Chinese surveys for the road in Aksai Chin by our trade agent in Gartok.

India has learned some lessons from the past. It has taken a pragmatic and unemotional view of the relationship, kept calm while asserting its claim line in Ladakh and Arunachal, and does not conceal the dispute behind diplomatic courtesies. It has muffled any war hysteria and the converse — a 1950s-like complacency when it was thought “inconceivable” that China would attack us. It proved helpful to India that Obama postponed his meeting with the Dalai Lama till after Manmohan Singh’s visit. India is making preparations to enhance defence preparedness and to achieve greater strategic balance by more strenuous efforts at cooperation with nations bordering China. Following Oliver Cromwell’s dictum, we should trust in god, but keep our powder dry.
 

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The long road to justice

Land rights and eviction are a problem in China today. Most Chinese have to quietly accept their fate. But Shanghai resident Ma Yalian fought the law. And what began as a fight to save her home led her to take on a far bigger battle.

MA YALIAN faced threats to her life, suffered beatings, and spent months in detention centres. But slowly, her voice began to be heard.


DEFIANT: File photo of a house owner defying `development'. The house was eventually demolished. PHOTO: AFP


It all began, as so many stories do, with a knock on the door. On the morning of August 4, 1998, Ma Yalian found three officials from a local real estate firm outside her Shanghai home. Demolition papers in hand, they uttered the words Chinese home-owners dread to hear: her three-story family home in downtown Shanghai was to be torn down to make way for an urban redevelopment project. Then came the second blow. She would be relocated to a cramped, dingy apartment in Shanghai's outskirts, and given little compensation. “Fight the order at your own risk,” the men warned.

In many ways, Ma Yalian's story is hardly unusual. Every year, tens of thousands of Chinese lose their homes to influential real estate companies. Evicted residents are routinely forced out of their houses with little or no compensation, and often have little recourse to justice. Every year, there are an estimated 90,000 “mass incidents” — official speak for protests — reported across China. The majority of them involve land rights issues. Most residents have to quietly accept their fate, intimidated by the influential real estate mafia and befuddled by opaque laws.

But Ma Yalian fought the law. A decade-long struggle took her across every level of China's judicial system, from a local district court in Shanghai to the Supreme People's Court in Beijing, the highest court in the land. She faced threats to her life, suffered beatings, and spent months in detention centres. But slowly, her voice began to be heard. Her struggle grew far beyond the immediacy of her case, beyond compensation amounts and questions of relocation. She took on a much larger battle: reforming her country's judicial system.

Inherent tensions

The People's Republic of China's judicial system has, since its founding in 1949, always functioned with inherent tensions. The Constitution guarantees human rights, the rule of law and an independent judiciary, as in any liberal democracy. But, given the nature of China's one-party political system, the courts have always functioned within limits firmly set by the ruling Communist Party.

Over the past three decades, after Deng Xiaoping launched his economic “reform and opening up”, China has had to open up its legal system too. Particularly after China's accession into the World Trade Organisation in 2001, Beijing has had to professionalise its courts to make them more transparent. The last decade has seen a slew of significant judicial reforms. Chinese enjoy more legal rights now than they have ever before in the country's history. However, there are limits to reform. Despite progressive changes in Central laws, their enforcement by local governments remains arbitrary at best.

Into a legal maze

Ma's story illustrates what happens when a Chinese citizen openly challenges this system's arbitrariness, and the often alarming gap between the theory and practice of law in China. Ma first took her case, in the face of threats to her life and after a brutal assault by thugs hired by the local mafia, to the Nanshi District People's Court, a lowest level court. Without a second glance, the court threw out her case.

China has a unique redressal system, a legacy from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Citizens can appeal the verdicts of provincial courts — notorious for their willingness to bend Central laws for local interests — by petitioning the Central government. The petition system has in recent years come under strong criticism from lawyers and rights activists, who say it has grown into yet another mechanism which facilitates the silencing of dissenting voices.

In March, 2000, Ma travelled to Beijing, petition in hand, to appeal the verdict. Her trip didn't last long. Before she reached the national petition office, she was intercepted by Shanghai police officials, who locked her up at a shourong qiansong prison — a detention system solely created to prevent petitioners from having their voices heard in Beijing. She was released after two days, with a stern warning and a promise: return to Shanghai, and the case would be heard.

It wasn't. Over the next two years, Ma would make at least half a dozen trips to Beijing. On each occasion, she was, along with other petitioners, detained by officials. On one Beijing visit, Ma managed to secure a meeting with a well-intentioned Supreme Court judge, who she said was alarmed by the facts of her case. He presented her with a court order calling on the Shanghai court to hear her case. But when she returned home, again, the court refused. In September, 2001, she was arrested in Shanghai on criminal charges for “illegal petitioning activities” — ironically, a right guaranteed to her under the law.

Challenging the law

When I met Ma in Shanghai, almost a full decade after her battle first began, I was struck by two things: her willingness to tell her story, despite the many threats she continues to face, and her unyielding faith in the law, even after her many failed trips to Beijing and repeated detentions. She said she decided, early on, that the only way she could challenge the legal system was from within. So, at every opportunity she got, she began studying it. She wrote a series of widely-read articles in online journals, criticising the petitioning system and calling for judicial reforms. Slowly, her voice began to be heard in the legal community. Unfortunately for her, it was also heard by the authorities. Following the publishing of her articles, she was sentenced to 18 months of “Re-education through Labour” in February, 2004, on the more serious charge of stirring social unrest.

“I had no access to legal counsel, and even my family couldn't visit me,” Ma said. “I wanted books on law, but they were all confiscated. I was deprived of all basic rights even prisoners are supposed to have in jail. And I had committed no crime.” She said suffered regular beatings, and on occasions had to be taken to a prison hospital in Tilanqiao, Shanghai, for treatment. After her release, her family hired Guo Guoting, a well-known human rights lawyer, to represent her. Under pressure from the government, he eventually went into exile in Canada. Her case remains unresolved. She says she will continue to appeal.

The road to Reform

Lawyers in Shanghai and Beijing who were familiar with Ma's case made the rather ironic point that in China, it has always taken extreme cases, like Ma's, to bring about changes to the system. A case often cited is the death of Sun Zhigang, a 27-year-old graduate student who died in custody in a Guangzhou detention centre, held for not carrying the right identification papers. Widespread public indignation led to a landmark reform of detention laws.

Ma's case, along with a few similar cases from the 1990s, has resulted in small but significant changes. In 2003, following protests from lawyers, Beijing abolished the controversial shourong system. In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, governments have vastly improved compensation payments. In January, 2008, China passed a new property law, aimed at reducing its seeming arbitrariness.

Detentions of petitioners are now no longer as widespread, though they still do take place.
In a report released last month, Human Rights Watch documented cases of dozens of petitioners who have, since 2003, been locked up in extra-judicial centres which have replaced the shourong jails. China's Foreign Ministry has denied the existence of these “black jails”. But the testimonies in the HRW report closely echo Ma's own story, and underscore the limits of the law's reach in China. Ma spent several months in one of these prisons between 2004 and 2006, locked up in the basements of nondescript government-run hotels in Shanghai suburbs.

A challenge

Public resentment over land rights, scholars say, remains the single biggest cause of social unrest in China. Every week, local newspapers are littered with stories of aggrieved residents protesting the loss of their homes. Just last month, in Chengdu, Sichuan province, a 47-year-old woman died setting herself ablaze atop her home, in a confrontation with local officials who were set to demolish her house. Her story received widespread national attention and public sympathy. Even the usually staid State-run China Daily newspaper warned in an editorial that the incident pointed to the increasing sensitivity with which land rights were viewed in China, and the urgent need for ensuring basic property rights.

This month, five law professors from Beijing's prestigious Peking University called on the National People's Congress, China's highest legislative body, to reform property laws and demolition procedures. They said current practices violated property rights guaranteed under the Constitution, and pointed to the often close ties between real estate developers and government officials. “Such twisted relations between urban development and personal property have resulted in many social conflicts,” warned Shen Kui, one of the five scholars.

In the past three decades, China has sought to professionalise and modernise its legal institutions. Indeed, Chinese enjoy more rights now than ever before in the country's history. But the evolution of China's judicial system now stands at a crucial crossroads. Nicholas Bequelin, a China scholar at Human Rights Watch, argues that we may have now come close to reaching a point where any further reforms will begin to erode the ruling Communist Party's power. The Party, now more than ever, faces an increasingly tricky tightrope walk. It has to balance its persistent need to ensure its unchallenged political control with satisfying a growing demand from its citizens — a demand for the rule of law.
 

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China jails senior Tibetan lama for 8 1/2 years

China jails senior Tibetan lama for 8 1/2 years

BEIJING: China has sentenced a respected Tibetan lama to 8 1/2 years in jail for illegal land occupation and ammunition possession, possibly the first senior Buddhist leader tried on serious charges linked to riots in 2008 in the Tibetan capital, a lawyer said on Thursday.

A court in southwestern Sichuan province bordering Tibet convicted Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, who headed a convent in Ganzi, a predominantly Tibetan prefecture in the province, Beijing-based attorney Jiang Tianyong said.

Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche is a Buddhist priest, or lama, and is highly respected. He was arrested May 18, 2008, just days after more than 80 nuns in Ganzi held a demonstration against an official campaign to impose "patriotic re-education" on their convents, in which they were required to denounce Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The International Campaign for Tibet, an activist group, has described Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche as a "deeply respected local figure known for his work in the community," including the building of a centre for the aged and two clinics in Ganzi prefecture, whose detention aroused deep resentment among local Tibetans.

China jails senior Tibetan lama for 8 1/2 years - China - World - The Times of India
 

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Thousands march in Hong Kong for democracy

Thousands march in Hong Kong for democracy

AFP 1 January 2010, 05:26pm IST

HONG KONG: Thousands of Hong Kong democracy campaigners took to the streets on the first day of the New Year Friday to call for universal

Chanting slogans and holding placards, protesters marched through the city centre to the Central Government Liaison Office - responsible for ties with Beijing - watched over by hundreds of police officers and attracting the attention of big crowds of bystanders.

Organisers said there were as many as 30,000 protesters, although the police gave an estimate of only 4,600 people.

More than 100 activists scuffled with the officers outside the Liaison Office around 1100 GMT, or four hours after the march started, as the rest of the procession dispersed peacefully.

"I don't want fake democracy. I want genuine universal suffrage," Lee Cheuk-yan, lawmaker and general secretary of the Confederation of Trade Unions, chanted through a loudspeaker.

The Hong Kong government last month unveiled a proposal to increase the sizes of both the legislature and the committee responsible for electing the city's chief executive.

But the plan fell short of the expectations of pro-democracy politicians, who have urged the government to introduce universal suffrage in 2012.

Beijing has indicated that the vote "may be implemented for the Chief Executive in 2017 and the Legislative Council in 2020".

"The large turnout today has sent the strongest signal to Beijing that we need a clear road map for universal suffrage," said Wong Yuk-man, another lawmaker and a leader of the League of Social Democrats.

Protesters also urged Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced by a Beijing court a week ago to 11 years in prison for subversion, prompting strong condemnation from the international community, including the United States, the European Union and Canada.

The 54-year-old writer, previously jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen protests, was detained a year ago after co-authoring Charter 08, a bold manifesto calling for reform of China's one-party communist system and protection of human rights.

Olivia Hu, a mainland student studying journalism in Hong Kong, said she felt it was her duty to join the march after learning about the ordeal of Liu from Hong Kong media.

"People on the mainland do not know what is happening. Had they gained access to the information we have in Hong Kong, I believe they would have felt the same as we do here," she said.

Political commentator Ivan Choi noted that the finishing point of the march was different from previous major democracy protests, which usually ended at the Hong Kong government headquarters.

"The change indicates a shift of target from the local government to the Chinese government. This will heighten tension between the campaigners and Beijing," Choi told broadcaster ATV.

Hong Kong, with a population of seven million, was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, and has a separate constitution guaranteeing freedom
 

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China Jails Christians during Christmas Season

China Jails Christians during Christmas Season

Atmosphere of fear at Christmas in north China
By Robert Saiget (AFP) – 18 hours ago
LINFEN, China — Christians in north China are facing a Christmas of fear after 10 local religious leaders were jailed in recent weeks and their new church shut down amid a crackdown on unauthorised worship.
Five of the church leaders were given prison terms of up to seven-years by a Linfen court, while the others were sentenced without trial to labour camps for two years, their lawyer said.
Their crimes? "Illegally occupying farm land" and "disturbing transportation through a mass gathering".
"The authorities are clearly sending a message to the Christians," lawyer Li Fanping, who defended the church leaders at their trial last month, told AFP. He expressed shock at the severity of the punishment for minor offences.
"They've convicted them of these specific crimes. As Christmas is coming, a lot of Christians will want to gather to worship, but the authorities have made it clear what can happen if they gather."
China officially allows freedom of religion, but in practice, the ruling Communist Party restricts independent worship by forcing groups to register with the government.
About 15 million Protestants and five million Catholics worship at official churches, according to official data.
But more than 50 million others are believed to pray at "underground" or "house" churches,
which refuse to submit to government regulation.
At the heart of the Linfen case is the giant Golden Lamp Church, built by Yang Rongli and her husband Pastor Wang Xiaoguang through donations.
The church is capable of accommodating thousands of worshippers at a time and could serve the religious needs of many of the up to 60,000 Christians in the area.
Bob Fu, head of the US-based Christian rights group ChinaAid, said the church was leading a nationwide Christian revival through its evangelical work and social services which had brought it to the brink of official legitimacy.
"Local officials at the village level have been tolerating and even helping the Linfen church," he said, when asked how the leaders had been able to build the towering structure.
But it appears that more senior religious authorities began getting nervous at the size of the unregistered church, and feared its ability to organise ordinary people into what could become mass anti-government movements, Fu said.
The completion of the building in December 2008 sparked a crackdown on unregistered churches, with police in mid-September raiding numerous places of worship throughout Linfen linked to the Golden Lamp, locals said.
The worst clampdown appeared to be in nearby Fushan county, where up to 400 police and hired thugs levelled a makeshift church in a farming community, attacking worshippers and seriously injuring several people, they said.
"None of the followers fought back, they just silently protested the action by the authorities and took the beatings," one Christian told AFP by phone, asking to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the case.
"Right now it is too dangerous to meet outsiders -- the police are watching us and the phones are not safe to use," said the man, who is related to one of people who was jailed.
Other church followers refused AFP requests for interviews out of fear of retribution by police.
Following the crackdown, Yang, 51, entered talks with the government for up to two million yuan (293,000 dollars) in compensation for the injured and launched a drive to petition central authorities in Beijing, lawyer Li said.
That is when police began arresting the church leaders, he said.
The government's insistence that the church was built on agricultural lands is central to the charges on which Yang and Wang were convicted, Li said.
The Linfen government, police and courts all refused to comment on the case when contacted repeatedly by AFP.
When AFP visited the area, an armoured personnel carrier and a police car were stationed outside the Golden Lamp Church -- part of a larger security presence that has been in place since the September crackdown.

AFP: Atmosphere of fear at Christmas in north China
 

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paranoid Chinese (CCP) :D one more slap on there face

China has withdrawn two of its films from the prestigious 21st Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) after it failed to force organisers to withdraw Delhi-based Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s latest documentary film on Tibet’s struggle for freedom.

While Sarin and Sonam left for the United States early on Friday to attend the screening of their film “The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its film bureau have withdrawn “City of Life and Death” (also called “Nanjing! Najning!”) and “Quick, Quick, Slow.”

In their film, Sarin and Sonam present a unique perspective on the Dalai Lama’s trials and tribulations and follow him over an eventful year, including the 2008 protests in Tibet, the long march in India, the Beijing Olympics and the breakdown of talks with China. PSIFF director Darryl Macdonald said in a statement that the Chinese films had been withdrawn after the festival refused to comply with the Chinese request to withdraw “The Sun Behind the Clouds.”

“We cannot allow the concerns of one country or community to dictate what films we should or should not play, based on their own cultural or political perspective. Freedom of expression is a concept that is integral both to the validity of artistic events, and indeed, to the ethos of this country,” he said in the statement while announcing the withdrawals.

“Ritu and Tenzing are on their way and will be here for their screenings. The Chinese consulate called several days ago and asked the director of the festival to withdraw the Tibetan film… when the director stood by the film and said the festival would always support freedom of expression, they withdrew the Chinese films,” Therese Hayes, programmer for PSIFF, told Deccan Herald from Palm Springs, Florida.

Officials from the Chinese government posted in the consulate there had met Macdonald requesting him to withdraw the Tibet film, which will be screened at the festival on Sunday and Tuesday, with the possibility of a third screening.
 

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Uighur man stabbed to death in south China (Reuters)

9 January 2010 HONG KONG - A Uighur man was stabbed to death in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, a sign of lingering tensions after a factory brawl last summer sparked bloody ethnic riots in Xinjiang, a newspaper said on Saturday.

Energy-rich Xinjiang, homeland to the Muslim Uighur people and strategically located in central Asia, has been struck in recent years by bombings, attacks and riots blamed by Beijing on Uighur separatists demanding an independent “East Turkistan”. The ethnic Uighur man was attacked by a Han Chinese man in a restaurant in Shenzhen, a city close to Shaoguan in Guangdong province where a massive brawl broke out at a factory between a group of Han Chinese and Uighur workers from Xinjiang last June, the South China Morning Post reported.

The Shaoguan incident triggered serious ethnic rioting in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi when Uighurs attacked Han Chinese, killing at least 197 people.

“I can’t say the suspect was targeting Uighurs. But this is a traumatising experience for me. We will return to Xinjiang once police finish questioning,” the Uighur owner of the Xinjiang barbeque restaurant was quoted as saying by the paper.

Seven Han Chinese men were arrested and reportedly fired from their jobs afterwards.

“The case is very sensitive, especially after the Xinjiang riots last July,” a manager of the Hongtaide Property Management Company, where the men had worked, was quoted as saying.

Police in Guangzhou recently detained three people for spreading rumours that a group of Uighurs had been beaten up.

Uighur man stabbed to death in south China
 

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Corrupt China officials pocket 50 billion: media

Corrupt China officials pocket 50 billion: media
BEIJING (AFP) – 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.

Corrupt China officials pocket 50 billion: media - Yahoo! News
 

plugwater

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Skewed China birth rate to leave 24 mln men single - Yahoo! News

BEIJING (AFP) – More than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without spouses in 2020, state media reported on Monday, citing a study that blamed sex-specific abortions as a major factor.

The study, by the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, named the gender imbalance among newborns as the most serious demographic problem for the country's population of 1.3 billion, the Global Times said.

"Sex-specific abortions remained extremely commonplace, especially in rural areas," where the cultural preference for boys over girls is strongest, the study said, while noting the reasons for the gender imbalance were "complex."

Researcher Wang Guangzhou said the skewed birth ratio could lead to difficulties for men with lower incomes in finding spouses, as well as a widening age gap between partners, according to the Global Times.

Another researcher quoted by the newspaper, Wang Yuesheng, said men in poorer parts of China would be forced to accept marriages late in life or remain single for life, which could "cause a break in family lines."

"The chance of getting married will be rare if a man is more than 40 years old in the countryside. They will be more dependent on social security as they age and have fewer household resources to rely on," Wang said.

The study said the key contributing factors to the phenomenon included the nation's family-planning policy, which restricts the number of children citizens may have, as well as an insufficient social security system.

The situation influenced people to seek male offspring, who are preferred for their greater earning potential as adults and thus their ability to care for their elderly parents.

The Global Times said abductions and trafficking of women were "rampant" in areas with excess numbers of men, citing the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

Illegal marriages and forced prostitution were also problems in those areas, it said.

Authorities put the normal male-female ratio at between 103-107 males for every 100 females. But in 2005, the last year for which data were made available, there were 119 boys for every 100 girls, the newspaper said.

However, the study said that in some areas the male-female ratio was as high as 130 males for every 100 females, a report by the Mirror Evening newspaper said.

The report said the study urged the government to relax the so-called "one-child" policy and study the possibility of encouraging "cross-country marriages."

China first implemented its population control policy in 1979, generally limiting families to one child, with some exceptions for rural farmers, ethnic minorities and other groups.

It has said the policy has averted 400 million births.

Researchers said the gender imbalance problem cropped up in the late 1980s when the use of ultrasound technology became more prevalent.

This allowed women to easily determine the sex of their foetuses, leading to an increased number of sex-selective abortions.
 

albert_008

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Haier releasing the world’s first No-tail TV

Haier launched the world’s first No-tail TV at 2010 International CES. The Haier No-tail TV is a no-video cable, audio cable, signal cable, network cable, power line, the real No-tail TV.

The Haier No-tail TV uses wireless power transmission technology, does not produce radiation, it has passed FCC, IEEE, and CCC certification standards. But we also to avoid wiring, hot plug, power cable short-circuit, bring more convenience and aesthetics. It also saves a lot of rubber, plastic, copper, tin and other materials consumption, conserving resources, reducing pollution, low-carbon environment.

Through WHDI wireless video transmission technology, the Haier No-tail TV solves a high-definition audio and video signal fidelity, long-distance transmission problems. In the 5GHz band, it can send up to 1080p high-definition signal specifications, effective distance of more than one hundred feet, equivalent to 30.48 meters, and also have the ability to pass through the wall, the signal delay does not exceed 1 millisecond. The WHDI video signals can share.

In addition, The Haier No-tail TV is also equipped with a wireless card, you can access the wireless LAN, wireless broadband network.


:goodstuff:
 

nitesh

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well Chinese again:

Fake auto parts of Bosch found at Auto Expo

Auto spare parts disguised as those of Bangalore-based component manufacturer Bosch Ltd have been discovered at the Auto Expo 2010 held in the capital’s Pragati Maidan. The fake parts were displayed at a stall in the China Pavilion, which houses 5,000 sq metres of exhibition stalls of numerous Chinese component manufacturers. The alleged high-end lighting products, fraudulently branded as Bosch’s, were discovered recently by the latter’s officials. Company officials said they had initiated action against the Chinese exhibitor responsible, but refused to elaborate. It could not be confirmed if any case had been registered with the police or with any authority.

“This is not just about counterfeiting. The displayed product was lighting systems that are capable of generating very high-intensity light beams from a vehicle which we do not manufacture in our product portfolio. It is dangerous to install such high-powered lights in one’s car. This is clearly an abuse of the brand Bosch,” said V Sadanandam, Brand Protection Manager.

Bosch officials say the high-intensity beams are dangerous to both pedestrians and oncoming vehicles because the powerful lighting could blind the eyes. “It’s also dangerous to the vehicle, since a high-intensity beam needs very high levels of energy to be lighted. A small short-circuit in the vehicle could blow up the entire car. We seized just one kit at the exhibitor’s stall. We do not know how many consignments were stored in the in the city,” said the official.

Business Standard reporters inspected the stall and the contraband. The exhibitor had vacated the premises since the morning. The alleged contraband bore the name Bosch. Domestic manufacturers say the level of sophistication is remarkable, as it has packaging identical to that of Bosch for its other automotive lighting systems.

Chinese delegates at the Pavilion told Business Standard they were not aware of counterfeit products at the Auto Expo. One manufacturer of piston rings who is a supplier to Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) said there may be instances of other counterfeit products finding their way in the Auto Expo but would not elaborate.

Sadanandam says the most commonly counterfeited product from Bosch’s portfolio are spark plugs. “These are not manufactured by domestic counterfeiters. They are imported from China. The other bogus products parading as original Bosch products are reconditioned delivery valves and nozzles, and diesel filter inserts that are manufactured locally.”
 

nitesh

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Google, Citing Cyber Attack, Threatens to Exit China - NYTimes.com

BEIJING — Google said Tuesday that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country altogether, citing assaults from hackers on its computer systems and China’s attempts to “limit free speech on the Web.”

The move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China by one of the largest and most admired technology companies, which had for years coveted China’s 300 million Web users.

Since arriving here in 2006 under an arrangement with the government that purged its Chinese search results of banned topics, Google has come under fire for abetting a system that increasingly restricts what citizens can read online.

Google linked its decision to sophisticated cyberattacks on its computer systems that it suspected originated in China and that were aimed, at least in part, at the Gmail user accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Those attacks, which Google said took place last week, were directed at some 34 companies or entities, most of them in Silicon Valley, California, according to people with knowledge of Google’s investigation into the matter. The attackers may have succeeded in penetrating elaborate computer security systems and obtaining crucial corporate data and software source codes, though Google said it did not itself suffer losses of that kind.

While the scope of the hacking and the motivations and identities of the hackers remained uncertain, Google’s response amounted to an unambiguous repudiation of its own five-year courtship of the vast China market, which most major multinational companies consider crucial to their growth prospects. It is also likely to enrage the Chinese authorities, who deny that they censor the Internet and are accustomed to having major foreign companies adapt their practices to Chinese norms.

The company said it would try to negotiate a new arrangement to provide uncensored results on its search site, google.cn. But that is a highly unlikely prospect in a country that has the most sweeping Web filtering system in the world. Google said it would otherwise cease to run google.cn and would consider shutting its offices in China, where it employs some 700 people, many of them highly compensated software engineers, and has an estimated $300 million in annual revenue.

Google executives declined to discuss in detail their reasons for overturning their China strategy. But despite a costly investment, the company has a much smaller share of the search market here than it does in other major markets, commanding only about one in three searches by Chinese. The leader in searches, Baidu, is a Chinese-run company that enjoys a close relationship with the government.

Google executives have privately fretted for years that the company’s decision to censor the search results on google.cn, to filter out topics banned by Chinese censors, was out of sync with the company’s official motto, “Don’t be evil.”

“We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all,” David Drummond, senior vice president for corporate development and the chief legal officer, said in a statement.

Wenqi Gao, a spokesman for the Chinese Consulate in New York, said he did not see any problems with google.cn. “I want to reaffirm that China is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign companies in our country,” he said in a phone interview.

In China, search requests that include words like “Tiananmen Square massacre” or “Dalai Lama” come up blank. In recent months, the government has also blocked YouTube, Google’s video-sharing service.

While Google’s business in China is now small, analysts say that the country could soon become one of the most lucrative Internet and mobile markets, and a withdrawal would significantly reduce Google’s long-term growth.

“The consequences of not playing the China market could be very big for any company, but particularly for an Internet company that makes its money from advertising,” said David B. Yoffie, a Harvard Business School professor. Mr. Yoffie said advertising played an even bigger role in the Internet in China than it did in the United States. At the time of its arrival, the company said that it believed that the benefits of its presence in China outweighed the downside of being forced to censor some search results here, as it would provide more information and openness to Chinese citizens. The company, however, has repeatedly said that it would monitor restrictions in China.

Rebecca MacKinnon, a fellow at the Open Space Institute and an expert on the Chinese Internet, said that Google had endured repeated harassment in recent months and that by having operations in China it potentially risked the security of its users in China. She said many Chinese dissidents used Gmail because its servers are hosted overseas and that it offered extra encryption.

“Unless they turn themselves into a Chinese company, Google could not win,” she said. “The company has clearly put its foot down and said enough is enough.”

In the past year, Google has been increasingly constricted by the Chinese government. In June, after briefly blocking access nationwide to its main search engine and other services like Gmail, the government forced the company to disable a function that lets the search engine suggest terms. At the time, the government said it was simply seeking to remove pornographic material from the company’s search engine results.

Some company executives suggested then that the campaign was a concerted effort to stain Google’s image. Since its entry into China, the company has steadily lost market share to Baidu.

Google called the attacks highly sophisticated. In the past, such electronic intrusions have either exploited the practice of “phishing,” to persuade unsuspecting users to allow their computers to be compromised, or exploited vulnerabilities in software programs permitting the attacks to gain control of systems remotely. Once they have taken over a target computer, it is possible to search for specific documents.

People familiar with the investigation into the attacks said they were aimed at source code repositories at high-tech companies. Source code is the original programmer’s instructions used to develop software programs and can provide both economic advantages as well as insight into potential security vulnerabilities.

In its public statement Google pointed to a United States government report prepared by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission in October and an investigation by Canadian researchers that revealed a vast electronic spying operation last March.

The Canadian researchers discovered that digital documents had been stolen via the Internet from hundreds of government and private organizations around the world from computer systems based in China.

Google’s announcement Tuesday drew praise from free speech and human rights advocates, many of whom had criticized the company in the past over its decision to enter the Chinese market despite censorship requirements.

“I think it’s both the right move and a brilliant one,” said Jonathan Zittrain, a legal scholar at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
 

Armand2REP

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Google is not withdrawing because of cyber attacks over Human Rights activists. Human rights has never stopped western companies from operating there before and it won't start now. Baidu is hacked all the time by Taiwan and Tibet activists but you don't see them shutting their doors. They are withdrawing because China isn't allowing them to compete nor is there going to be sufficient growth to keep dealing with the BS. Baidu and the government have been forcing them out and they just aren't going to play the game.
 

ppgj

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Greying China: Getting old before getting rich

Wednesday, 13 Jan, 2010


An elderly man lies on a bed at a nursing house in Beijing. With more than 160 million people over the age of 60, China is facing an increase of older citizens which is straining health care system and leaving many older people without pensions. - AFP Photo

BEIJING: At a nursing home in the suburbs of Beijing, 86-year-old Ma Shufan, still sprightly despite her advanced age, is thrilled to have friends. At her son's home, she likely would spend her days alone.

The best part? Having mah-jong, a Chinese game that uses tiles similar to a card game, partners.

“This is much better than being with my children. They have to go to work, and no one has the time to talk with me. My son did not even have a room for me,” said Shufan, a former school teacher.

With more than 160 million people over the age of 60 and the aging rate growing rapidly, China is facing a curious problem: it is greying while still in development – a challenge other economies have only had to face at a more advanced stage.

The speed at which the number of elderly in China is increasing has alarmed both the government and demographers about the future, with the nation's healthcare system already straining and two-thirds of rural workers without pensions.

“Population aging is going to be a big social problem in China,” said Wang Xiaoyan, the founder of Community Alliance, one of the few non-governmental organisations in China that addresses the needs of senior citizens.

The first generation of parents affected by China's population control policy put in place in 1979 — which the government says has averted 400 million births — is now hitting age 60.

The tens of millions of one-child homes, coupled with mass migration of students and workers to urban areas, has destroyed the traditional nuclear family model.

Instead, ordinary Chinese are coping with a 4-2-1 inverted pyramid — four grandparents and two parents, all the responsibility of an only child.

As a result, half of Chinese people over the age of 60 – 80 million people, or roughly the population of Germany — live in “empty nests” without their children, who are unable to assume responsibility for their aging parents.

“This is why we have problems now,” said Wu Cangping, a 88-year-old demographer who still teaches at Renmin University.

“Children do not have enough money to take care of their parents. We're getting old before we are getting rich!”

The problem of an aging population has not escaped notice in the corridors of power in Beijing. Authorities have put in place a system effective this year that will give pensions to 10 percent of rural workers. In recent years, they have also been raising healthcare allotments for the elderly.

The government wants to allow 90 percent of older people to receive family care with welfare assistance, six percent to receive state-backed community care services and the other four percent to move to nursing facilities.
But the country’s 40,000 retirement homes only have 2.5 million beds — enough for barely more than a quarter of the eight million it needs.

“Today, we need 5.5 million more beds to fulfil demand,” said Community Alliance’s Director Wang Liwen.

At the Ren Ai (Kindness/Love) home, where Ma lives, construction work is under way. An additional 400 beds will be available soon, a major jump from the current 100 offered, according to Liwen.

“There are not enough nursing homes,” explained Liwen, who has a backlog of 200-300 admission applications.

“The residents of Ren Ai, most of them former workers and farmers with tiny pensions, pay 1,350-1,550 yuan (almost 200-225 dollars) a month to live in the home,” said Liwen.

In the older parts of the home, walls are crumbling and carpets are faded. She offers a tour of the new, windowless 20-square-metre (215-square-foot) rooms — to be shared by up to three residents.

“If their pension is not high enough, or if they don't have one at all, the children pay. But some older people have no children and no money, and we take care of them too. Some old people think their kids have abandoned them,” said Liwen.

Wu, the demographer, is confident that China will not experience the same crisis over the aging seen in some Western countries.

“The government is now spending very little on care for the elderly and health expenses, but that trend is being reversed,” Wu said.

“Spending on the aged will not create a budget crisis. We have the means to spend a lot on the elderly.” – AFP

DAWN.COM | World | Greying China: Getting old before getting rich
 

enlightened1

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Gay pageant 'cancelled by police' in China

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8461643.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8461643.stm

A Chinese gay pageant, said to be the first held in the country, was ordered by police to close an hour before opening, organisers say.

The Mr Gay China event was thought to mark a new openness toward the gay community in China.

Organisers said police informed them it could not go ahead because they had not applied "according to the procedures".

Homosexuality was illegal in China until 1997, and officials described it as a mental illness until 2001.

The event's organiser, Ben Zhang, said he had been hoping the event would mark another step towards greater awareness of gay people in China.

One of the judges, Weng Xiaogang, told the AFP news agency: "In my opinion, I believe it [the cancellation] had something to do with the issue of homosexuality."

The eight contestants were competing for the right to represent China at the Worldwide Mr Gay pageant next month in Norway.

The event, in an upmarket Beijing nightclub, would have included a fashion show and question-and-answer sessions with the contestants.

Some 150 people who turned up to watch, many of them from media organisations, were left to view a deserted stage.

Contestant Jiang Bo, 29, told Reuters: "It's a disaster. I'm full of disappointment. I thought the government was becoming more and more tolerant.

"They were making a big step. The whole world was thinking China was doing a very good thing. But now I think everybody will be disappointed."

In June last year, the organisers of China's first Gay Pride Festival were told to cancel two of their sessions - and that they would face "severe consequences" if they went ahead.
 

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