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Archive for October 15th, 2006

From The Washington Post:

The children answer to nicknames such as “Seagull,” “Brightness,” “Summer” and “Ocean,” but they come with scars that social workers initially mistake for dirt. When they first arrive at the two-story house here, they hoard toothpaste, or they hide new socks and steamed buns in their bed quilts, as if they were precious gems.

They are the children of prisoners, and in this country, they belong to no one.

The law is unclear on who should provide for the children of China’s more than 1.5 million prisoners. No government department is willing to supervise them. Historically, relatives have taken them in, but in practice, many unwanted children are shuffled from family to family. Sometimes, even the families do not want them.

A small number of children, like the 12 at the home here in Dalian, receive care at “Children’s Villages,” organizations usually run by civic-minded individuals. But there are no more than nine or 10 such organizations nationwide, serving perhaps 1,000 children, experts say. Prisoners have an estimated 600,000 children under the age of 18, according to Justice Ministry statistics; experts argue that the actual figure is higher.

 Found at Letras Cum Garfos.

Chinese authorities also recognise having shoot in Tibet some Tibetans who were trying to cross to Nepal. But it was on self-defense. Of course that is ridiculous when you see they were trying to defend themselves from… a monk and some children. [UPDATE: You have more information about this in Truth About China, here, here and here]

But China is increasing his attractive throughout the world (found at China e-Lobby), despite Chinese record of Human Rights’ abuses:

Among the tools available to Beijing in exercising its soft power, the most obvious are socioeconomic. Riding the wave of its astonishing growth over the past decade, China now routinely portrays itself not only as a model for the world’s poorest countries but as their most vocal and sympathetic international ally.

[…]  At the top of China’s list in this regard has been energy, ever-increasing amounts of which are needed to fuel the country’s booming economy. The heads of state-owned natural-resource firms speak openly of the investments that Beijing directs them to make abroad. This campaign has paid off handsomely, with Chinese companies lining up a range of eager partners in countries possessing first-tier oil and gas fields. In South America, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has established a joint venture with the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela and, through a subsidiary, has bought a stake in Peru’s Pluspetrol. Last year CNPC purchased PetroKazakhstan, one of the biggest oil companies in Central Asia, for $4.18 billion. Chinese firms have also become the biggest foreign investor in Sudan’s sizable oil industry, and have concluded a deal to develop one of Iran’s major oil and gas fields (I wrote about this here).

[…] Still more amazingly, China’s charm offensive has made a strong impression on international public opinion. In a 2005 BBC poll of 22 nations, 48 percent rated China’s role in the world as mainly positive, with only 30 percent seeing it as negative. A follow-up poll, released in February 2006, revealed a rise in positive feelings in nations ranging from Brazil to Indonesia to Nigeria, even as the public standing of the United States deteriorated.

[…] The effects of China’s diplomatic outreach can be registered perhaps most sharply in its own region, where its influence is felt in older groupings like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and in newer pan-Asian institutions, like the East Asia Summit, which it has helped to create. In the longer run, Beijing may try to convert some of these partnerships into more formal alliances.

[…] Then there is Central Asia. There, China played a leading role in the founding five years ago of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a group that includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The rest of the world paid little attention, but since 2001, Central Asia has assumed new international prominence. It is both rich in oil—Kazakhstan alone produces more than a million barrels a day—and adjacent to flashpoints like Afghanistan and Iran -that now wants to control all the Middle East, as described in the link with Russia’s help-. This is why, after 9/11, Washington hurried to secure basing rights in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

[…] Globally, there is also the danger of imitation. To the extent that poorer nations follow China’s model of development, they are likely to reproduce both its disastrous environmental record and its hostility to independent labor unions and other accoutrements of a free civic order, a combination with dire effects on long-term social health. Nor is state control in the most backward corners of the world likely to produce anything like Chinese-style growth. Though corruption is endemic in Chinese officialdom, its negative effects are offset by the developing rule of law there (especially in the eastern cities) and by the country’s need to fight graft in order to attract foreign investment. In parts of the developing world, where the rule of law is at best a distant ideal, the Chinese model can only intensify corruption.

Finally, the Chinese posture of “noninterference” can be a cover for something more ominous. The fact is that, in the developing world, China has served as a positive impediment to Western efforts to bring about vital reforms. In 2005, for example, IMF officials were on the verge of concluding a deal with the Angolan government in which new loans would be tied to intensive monitoring to ensure that aid actually reached the poor. At the last minute, Angolan officials broke off the talks; China had stepped in, offering loans and credits worth as much as $5 billion—with no conditions.

[…] Worldwide, China’s support for dictators hurts the populations of the affected nations while endangering regional and international security. In supporting self-aggrandizing demagogues like Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez, China fosters instability in the world’s fragile, impoverished continents. By reducing pressure on rogue actors like Sudan and Iran, Beijing undermines any real prospect of political and social reform, all but guaranteeing that they will continue to be engines of extremism and global terror.

[…] All of which is a sharp reminder that China remains not only an economic rival but a looming political danger. In many respects, indeed, China represents a more complicated potential adversary than the Soviet Union ever was. Our struggle with the hidebound USSR certainly had its “soft” side, involving the contest of ideas and of political and economic ideals. But the main struggle was in the arena of hard power, of military might and determination, and in the end this is what proved decisive. Countering the new China is a task requiring a kind of intellectual and ideological agility at which Americans are not much practiced. If democratic values are to prevail globally, we need even more rapidly to develop and to give life to some unaccustomed instruments of American influence.

It does not say anything -that I have read- about NKorea’s abuses: WMD reports that refugees are reporting the killing of disabled infants and forced abortions of babies believed fathered by Chinese men in an obsessive program based on mystical notions of Korean racial superiority.

Oficialmente los hijos de prisioneros en China no tienen sitios donde alojarse mientras sus padres cumplen condena. Normalmente los recogían parientes, pero ahora son rechazados por sus familias en muchos casos. Se estima que el 1,5 millones de chinos en la cárcel, tienen 600.000 hijos menores de 18 años -algunos estiman que son más-, de los que aproximadamente 1.000 reciben cuidados de organizaciones cívicas. smile_sad

Asimismo, las autoridades chinas han declarado que los soldados de la frontera dispararon contra unos tibetanos muy malos que se les resistieron y lucharon contra ellos. Lo que me creería si las personas a las que dispararon a quemarropa y a sangre fría no hubieran sido un monje y varios niños que querían huir a Nepal… smile_angry

Por último, un artículo en el que se examina la importancia geopolítica de China. Con su política suave ha hecho olvidar a la gente que es el país en el que más derechos humanos se violan -como ya vimos ayer-. Invirtiendo en estados con grandes reservas de petróleo, se ha introducido en Sudamérica, con importantes acuerdos con Chávez y Evo Morales, así como comprando un paquete de acciones en la peruana Pluspetrol; en Asia Central, formando la Shanghai Cooperation Organization, de la que forman parte Rusia, Kazajstán, Uzbekistán, Tazijistán y Kyrgystán -ya vimos aquí la construcción del mega oleducto a Turkmekistán-; y en África, con los acuerdos con los gobiernos sudanés -ya vimos lo que pasaba con los campos petrolíferos de Darfur– y angoleño.

El comportamiento de China da lugar a varios problemas: el primero que nos interesa es la imitación. Si a los países subdesarrollados se les ocurre imitar a China, sólo conseguirán disminuir el respeto a los Derechos Humanos y aumentar la corrupción. Y el segundo es que su política de apoyo a los dictadores representa un peligro aún mayor, con apoyo a los ayatolás -que ahora quieren controlar todo el Medio Oriente, con la inestimable ayuda de Rusia-, a Chávez, a Mugabe o al querido líder Kim Jong-Il -que parece estar llevando a cabo un obsesivo programa de limpieza racial: a las norcoreanas que se quedan embarazadas de un chino, o les hacen abortar forzosamente o matan al niño dejándolo sin comer una vez que ya ha nacido-.

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From CNN:

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to slap North Korea with trade, travel and other sanctions as punishment for its claimed nuclear weapons test.
President Bush described the U.N. action as a “swift and tough” message that the world is “united in our determination to see to it that the Korean Peninsula is nuclear-weapons free.”
He said North Korea has an opportunity for “a better way forward” and promised help to the impoverished country if it verifiably ends its nuclear weapons program.
North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Pak Gil Yon said Pyongyang “totally rejects the unjustifiable resolution,” calling it “coercive … while neglecting the nuclear threat” he said was posed by the United States against his country.
After the 15-0 vote for Resolution 1718, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said it sent a “clear and strong message” to North Korea, whose claimed nuclear test on Monday poses “one of the gravest threats to peace and security” the council has ever confronted.
Bolton said the resolution calls on Pyongyang to end all nuclear weapons programs. It forbids U.N. member nations from North Korean trade involving nuclear and weapons of mass destruction. North Korean government officials known to be involved in WMD efforts are banned from traveling to member states. It also includes a North Korean ban on “luxury goods.”
If confirmed, it would be the first nuclear weapons test since Pakistan’s underground blast in 1998. The claim has renewed fears of a regional arms race and that North Korea might aid terrorists with nuclear materials or technology.

And why the luxury goods?

The luxury goods mentioned in the sanctions is directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who has a long, documented record of living a life of luxury while his people wasted away in famine. On Friday Bolton said, “The North Korean population’s been losing average height and weight over the years, and maybe this will be a little diet for Kim Jong Il.”

The NKorean Ambassador left quite angry BEFORE the vote. In this video we can see US Ambassador to UN, John Bolton, speaking about this and be questioned about the actions USA was going to take if NKorea test a second nuclear device:

Video found at Atlas Shrugs. Go and read her post. It’s really important.
Flopping Aces has the video in which NKorean representative says that this new resolution is gangster-like

(more…)

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