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Mass rescue of ‘slaves’ in China

Chinese police rescue more than 200 people, including 29 children, working as ‘slaves’ at brickwork factories.

More than 200 people, including 29 children, have been rescued after working as “slaves” in brick kilns in central China, state media reports.

Tens of thousands of police moved in on the kilns in Henan province, arresting 120 people, Xinhua news agency said.

They acted after media reports claimed that children were being forced to work in kilns in neighbouring Shanxi province, Xinhua said.

Photos of distraught parents were also published.

Xinhua said that, following the reports of child labour, some 35,000 police were despatched to the 7,500 kilns in Henan.

They reportedly rescued 217 people, including 29 children.

Xinhua said the victims had been “enticed or sent by human traffickers to the kilns“, where they were “beaten, starved and forced to work long hours without payment“.

Last week there were 31 slaves rescued.

Spanish newspaper ABC.es has reported that a total of 468 slaves have been freed in the last month from places where they were obliged to work in these conditions.

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BBC NEWS | Business | Yahoo’s China policy rejected h/t Chinaview.

Yahoo shareholders have rejected plans for the company to adopt a policy that opposes censorship on the internet. Proposals to set up a human rights committee which would review its policies around the world, specifically China, were also heavily defeated. Yahoo has been criticized by human rights groups since 2005 for its role in turning over some political dissidents’ e-mails. The materials were used to prosecute and imprison them. But Yahoo insists it must comply with local laws in areas where it operates.

And this happens the day it’s announced that Flickr has problems to be viewed in China… it’s confirmed: Flickr has also been censored.

Do we have to remind about Shi Tao, the blogger condemned to 10 years in prison because Yahoo! gave his personal data to Chinese authorities?

At the same time from The Irrawaddy News Magazine Online Edition:

An Internet anti-censorship activist group in Thailand is distributing free software that will allow access to prohibited Web sites blocked by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The Bangkok-based Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) has placed the software and operating instructions o­nline as “a gift of freedom” to the Thai people.

Good!

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Yes, that’s what The Englishman tells us in two posts: Lunatic Global Warming and All your data belong to us.

The latter is very important: in England they are beginning a “Green PC“, a Government’s huge PC to:

[work] by hosting functions such as office applications, email and internet surfing on data centres rather than on individual computers.

This is worrying: store my personal emails, archives, etc. on a Government’s huge PC? Never. And that’s not only a matter of privacy. Some people are considering that a way to control Jihadi types. I don’t know why, but I fear these guys are not going to store anything in that database.

There are other questions to make, though: are they going to oblige each citizen to enter its data there? What they are going to do if you do not want? By now, the program is still beginning and its not compulsory, but what about afterwards? What about the data’s security? Will the Government be able to access it?

This matter about security and intimacy is really important. Countries with huge amount of abuses to HR can consider that the environment is not a reason but a pretext to even reduce further the rights of theis citizens. Take for example, China: after USA announced in G8 meeting its intention to organise next autumn a new meeting of the most important countries regarding carbon emissions (h/t RDM20), China, one of the most important countries in violation of freedom of expression and bloggers’ rights (I posted yesterday about it and you can read more about China’s environment here) said that “economy came first and then the environment“. I wonder what Chinese authorities would think about this British measure. They are nowadays targeting bloggers but I really haven’t heard about anything like that. But, I bet that, if they just consider applying this measure, the international environmental community would applaud them.

Don’t know but this kind of measure seems to me not far enough from Iran’s process to open a blog. The only difference is that, now, in UK the sending of data to this “Green PC” is not compulsory, while in Iran those measures are.

The question is: with international praise to Al Gore -who, by the way, to continue with his hypocritical stand, did not vote in favor of making “more ecollogically friendly” Apple computers, whose board of directors he belongs to, even when he had promised to do so-, for how long that difference will stand?

Other related news:

  1. Barcepundit reports that Google has erased from their archives the video “An Inconvenient Truth: The Great Warming Swindle” with subtitles in Spanish.
  2. Batiburrillo reports also that the NGO Greenpeace has presented their new Noah’s ark, to remind people about the devastating effects that can have the global warming on the Earth.

More information about this measure: Monster and Critics.

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If yesterday I wrote about the HR abuses found in a brickworks in China, in which 31 workers were living as slaves and the police had done nothing before because they owner was the son of a local boss of Communist Party, today a syndicate of Unions have denounced the use of children or under-payed or forced workers (that is, slaves) in the production of merchandising for the Olympic Games to boost sales:

International Olympic Committee said it supported ethical (¡!) practices

But in Britain, where the IOC is due to meet on Tuesday, trade unionists said tougher action was needed to make sure that the 2012 Games in London were not tarnished by similar accusations.

Investigators’ report – entitled “No medal for the Olympics on labour rights” – cites “gross violations of basic labour standards… including adult wages at half the legal minimum, employment of workers as young as 12 years old”.

It also highlights alleged labour rights violations, such as forced overtime, workers being instructed to lie about wages and conditions to outside inspectors and poor health and safety conditions.

Shame on the Olympic Committee for supporting this unethical practices.

But don’t even consider that the Olympic Games are going to be suspended, over this or other abuses on HR such as Chinese relations with Sudan.

Anyway, Costa Rica has announced it ends its traditional relationship with Taiwan to back Chinese idea of “only one China“, but this decision, as President Arias told the press, has nothing to do with ideology or geopolitical causes, but just to “Elementary realism” and to an “awakening in an international context” to consider China as one of the most important economies in the world. Costa Rica considers that Chinese commercial relations and inversions can make it more “prosperous and developed”. I just hope Chinese methods about HR are not imported into Costa Rica.

it would also be useful to know Costa Rica’s people support for this measure. And I wonder why this decision is not commented, considering that Taishi tao tiananmenwan is running out of friends in international relations, while China is gaining them.

[En español].

Reporters without borders has asked China to free from prison the journalist and poet Shi Tao (photo), imprisoned since 2005 because of publishing information about Tiananmen in the web.

UDPATE: Shi Tao’s mother has called on Yahoo! to be punished for giving Chinese authorities the information they needed for his conviction. he is serving a 10-year sentence. h/t China View.

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China is not respecting the Refugees’ Statute UN Convention h/t Aquiles [in Spanish]. As North Korea is not precisely heaven on earth, they try to escape from their countries to the neighbouring ones as I have already being treating here. The phenomenon is on the rise as the North Koreans want to leave in the past the chronic food shortages and political oppression.

The entry into South Korea is really hard to achieve mainly because of the de-militarized zone and because the North Korean beaches are closed.

So this poor people only have another possible way of fleeing: entering China. And what China does with them? Chinese authorities send them back to North Korea:

Now those returned by China are often sentenced to prison for several years, and repeat offenders or Christians can be sent with their entire families to labor camps for life.

Some North Koreans told me that their government now holds regular sentencing rallies, at which the punishments are publicly announced — or in extreme cases, such as those who became Christian evangelists while in China, the accused are executed in front of the crowd by firing squad.

North Korea would not be a poor country -as it is- if it would not be because of its Government, who is now spending UN Funds to buy property in France, Britain and Canada. Even the UN has conceeded North Korea has violated UN rules:

About $3 million in United Nations money intended to help impoverished North Koreans was diverted by the Pyongyang government toward the purchase of property in France, the United Kingdom and Canada, according to a confidential State Department account of witness reports and internal business records. Millions more, the department reported, went to a North Korean institution linked to a bank alleged to handle arms deals.

Ban Ki-Moon as ever kissing the ass of North Korean Kim Il Sung (something which is not new):

Ban said a follow-up visit to North Korea is required in order to get more detailed information. But the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has already rejected such a visit, and critics of the UN said they doubted it would happen. 

Of course, a visit. That’s what i call a truly good solution. And what is going to do Kim Il-Sung? To present documents accusing him of diverting money?

And do you know who have also behaved like China with North Korean refugees?

SEOUL: In 1999, a group of seven North Koreans fleeing their country was intercepted in Russia. The Russian authorities, rejecting appeals from the United Nations and human rights groups, sent them to China. China returned them to North Korea.

In the ensuing uproar in South Korea over the government’s failure to rescue them, the foreign minister had to step down. And then, the seven were largely forgotten. Those who remember them may have recalled their frightened faces on Russian television, where they said they feared death if sent back to their Communist homeland.

Now, two of them have escaped again and arrived in South Korea, contradicting what the North Korean government told United Nations officials about the group’s fate – that most had been returned to their homes and jobs. One brought with him accounts of life and death at North Korea’s infamous prison camp No. 15, known to the outside world as Yodok.

“Until the last minute, until the Russians blindfolded us, loaded us into a truck and handed us over to the Chinese at a border bridge on Dec. 31, 1999, we believed the United Nations could save us,” said Kim Eun Chul, now 27, in an interview. “We were naive about real-world politics.”

At least five of the seven languished in Yodok, where inmates toiled 15 hours or more a day on rations meager even by the standards of the impoverished North for such deeds as criticizing the government

or fleeing the country because of famine, Kim said.

[…] Moscow said it was honoring its border treaty with Beijing, and Beijing said it was doing the same with Pyongyang. Pyongyang accused Seoul of trying to kidnap its citizens.

Read all the article.

Jang Ho Young -right- was one of a group who fled North Korea, but was returned and jailed at Yodok, a prison camp. [Photographs by NKHR]

The pressure is so great that North Koreans are now fleeing on boat to Japan (here, here and here). Japanese authorities have doubted if the 4 were spies (they had wristwatches, an important amount of fuel and the younger son was having methamphetamines to keep him awake and to be able to manage the jobs) although there are other considerations which lead to consider them only as refugees. South Korea has accepted them and Japan will transfer them there.

North Korea has also used political prisoners from a concentration camp to prepare for its underground nuclear test h/t One Free Korea.

But that is not at all interesting for China.

Related news:

    Workers at the factory

  1. “Slaves” rescued from China firm. Many workers had extensive burns from the hot bricks -they were obliged to carry them even they have not been properly cooled-. Eight workers were so traumatised by their experiences that they were only able to remember their names. The labourers had to work unpaid for 20 hours at a time, and were only given bread and waterobreros chinos esclavos in return. The brickworks, in the poor inland province of Shanxi, is owned by the son of the local Communist Party secretary.  […] the rescued workers had been duped into working at the factory. Once there, they faced a harsh regime. One man was even reported to have been beaten to death with a hammer, because he did not work fast enough. When police raided the brickworks they discovered foul-smelling workers who had been wearing the same clothes for a year. […] Local people said the brickworks, near Linfen, would have been closed down a long time ago had it not been for the protection of the party secretary. In Spanish in El Mundo. In a whole year, they couldn’t get out of the brickworks. They were also obliged to walk barefoot in the oven. Even the existence of a Chinese civil registry, which controls the movements of all Chinese, has not stopped the peasants from migrating to other areas. They are foreigners in their own country and become illegal workers, accepting jobs for 60€/month and no contract, security or right to protest.
  2. Well, do you know what is Le Monde worried about? The attacks against French Marks in China multiply: Milk bottles for children and feeding bottles, mineral water Evian and seafood are the targets of denigrating campaigns in the MSM. More than 118 tons of Evian’s mineral water have been blocked, Feb 2007, in the customs duty in Shangai, because of an alleged “very high level of bacteries“. And they continue: “Must we long for the time when China was asleep? When it is awaken, it has a apetite that makes anyone feel anxious”. Hmm, life is good. The only problems with China are related with our firms… But French products are not the only ones who have faced this kind of blocking. Also US products. I wonder if Spanish products have faced something similar…
  3. China has increased its trade with North Korea, despite nuclear conflict and missile launching -again on Jun, 7th-. Or thanks to it? h/t NoKorea Economy Watch.
  4. From China e-Lobby: Chen Yonglin talks about Communist espionage and the Long Arm of Lawlessness in Canada: The former Communist consular official who defected to Australia in 2005 “brought with him a portfolio of Chinese documents” (Toronto Star, h/t Between Heaven and Earth) detailing Communist China’s espionage network in Australia, and in particular its targeting of exiled dissidents and other anti-Communists (dubbed “The Long Arm of Lawlessness” by yours truly). Chen further ” says that Canada likely has a comparable amount (of Communist spying) within its borders” (Globe and Mail, h/t BH&E).Human rights activist sentenced in Beijing; family and lawyer still know nothing about it: The cadres were so determined to send Hua Huiqi to jail that they refused to let his family or his attorney into the courtroom for the sentence (Epoch Times). Hua was arrested for “accompanying his mother who tried to hand-deliver materials of complaint letters to representatives of the ‘two conferences (i.e. the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference).'” His mother is serving a two-year jail term.

More about NKorea Human Rights, here.

China has put economy before environment (more here: 16 out of 20 of the more polluted cities are Chinese). But if there is something very surprising is:

Ma, however, stressed that the bulk of responsibility for battling climate change still lay with industrialized countries, which “are in a better position to cap emissions.”

He said they also have the obligation to provide financial and technical support to developing nations — like China — whose “overriding priority at the moment is still economic development and poverty eradication.”

And the result of Chinese policies: From Phastidio.Net:

Prosecutors have charged environmental activist Wu Lihong with extortion from industrial plants that he accused of polluting Taihu Lake in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, state media said on Wednesday. The prosecutors in Jiangsu’s Yixing city accused Wu, who was once nominated as one of China’s top 10 environmentalists, of extorting 55,000 yuan (6,875 dollars) by threatening to expose the plants’ pollution, the official Xinhua news agency said. The agency quoted prosecutors as saying Wu’s diary listed “blackmail targets and showed amounts of money he had planned to extort from each factory or enterprise.

The Yixing court had not set a date for the trial of Wu, 39, who had fought for years against the pollution of Taihu.
Water supplies from the lake had to be cut to 2 million people in nearby Wuxi city in late May because excessive pollution had promoted the growth of a pungent blue-green algae.

Sent to Open Trackbacks to: 123 betaA Blog for AllBlue Star Chronicles, Dumb Ox, Pirate’s Cove, The Amboy Times, Woman Honor Thyself.

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 This piece of news is specially important:

Beijing is trying to position itself as a space benefactor to the developing world – the same countries, in some cases, whose natural resources China covets here on earth. The latest and most prominent example came last week when China launched a communications satellite for Nigeria, a major oil producer, in a project that serves as a tidy case study of how space has become another arena where China is trying to exert its soft power.

Not only did China design, build and launch the satellite for Nigeria, but it also provided a huge loan to help pay the bill. China has also signed a satellite contract with another big oil supplier, Venezuela. It is developing an earth observation satellite system with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand. And it has organized a satellite association in Asia. “China is starting to market and sell this technology to developing countries that need it,” said Shen Dingli, a professor in international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai. Of the Nigeria deal, Mr. Shen added: It gives substance to Sino-African relations. Not only does China buy raw materials, but also we sell some things.”

For China, the strategy is a blend of self-interest, broader diplomacy and, from a business standpoint, an effective way to break into the satellite market. Satellites have become status symbols and technological necessities for many countries that want an ownership stake in the digital world dominated by the West, analysts say.

Surce: Snubbed by U.S., China Finds New Space Partners – New York Times

And I say it’s important, because these countries have an interesting record both in Human Rights’ violations and in percentage of poor people. I mean, why on earth are wasting resources in putting a satellite out in space if they have people who can even eat? Some people would say “ehh, that’s demagogic” -I think it’s written like that…-. But really, there are no hospitals, schools, etc to build there??

And now, China, who is itself one of the countries in the world which most violates Human rights (more here) goes through the world protecting these regimes. Consequence? These regimes have no intention to modify their structures and situations:

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.

That is: China appears, no regime change into democracy….

related posts:

  1. Chinese PM launches Africa tour.
  2. China’s oil policy.
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From EL Diario Exterior:

 

Todo empezó en abril de 1996 cuando una paciente con una “fiebre innominada” ingresó en un hospital en la provincia central de Henan en China donde trabajaba Gao. La mujer imploraba, “ịNo quiero morir! Mi esposo y mi hijo no pueden vivir sin mí”.

Falleció 10 días más tarde. Durante más de una semana, el marido de la mujer durmió junto a su tumba en un acto de contrición: Había aprobado una transfusión de sangre años antes mediante la cual Gao determinó que la mujer había contraído el SIDA.

“Estaba asombrada de descubrir que la sangre contaminada había provenido de un banco de sangre,” declaró Gao. “Si un banco de sangre ha sido contaminado con HIV, ịciertamente debe existir más de una sola victima!”

Estaba en lo correcto.

En los años 90, los bancos de sangre “no oficiales” florecieron y los campesinos chinos fueron alentados a vender su sangre a fin de recolectar el plasma. Las “clínicas”, en ocasiones dirigidas por políticos locales o militares, debían superar la renuencia de muchos campesinos a dar sangre. Así, se volvió normal reinyectar a los donantes con sangre desprovista de plasma que era extraída de un fondo general. Esa sangre no era examinada para ver si contenía SIDA.

Nadie sabe cuán difundido está el problema resultante.

[…] Según la revista The Economist, “Las Naciones Unidas estiman que a finales de 2005 existían 55.000 donantes comerciales de sangre y plasma infectados con HIV en China….Un experto chino en SIDA, Zhang Ke, informó en 2004 que la cifra para la provincia de Henan…podría ser más de 170.000. El Dr Zhang estimaba que unos 130.000 adicionales en Henan obtuvieron el virus de transfusiones en los hospitales”.

China has now, in these days a grave problem with AIDS. During the 1990’s flourished the blood banks in the countryside. Peasants did not like to give away their blood, but political and medical bodies wanted them to sell it in order to have more plasma. Then they injected repeatedly again the blood-with-no-plasma in the donor’s circulatory system. As these funds did not have any health control, and as the blood was reinjected after been mixed with all the other donors’ blood in a general fund, if one part of it was contaminated everything of it was.

This terrible secret has been discovered by an old woman, Gao Yaojie. This 80-years-old lady, is defying all the Communist Party whose leaders do not want China to meet another scandal in the eve of the Olympic Games.

But the scandal could be monstrous, and the Communist Party is practising a police of “good cop, bad cop“, harrasing her some times and praising her others. For example, she has been placed under house arrest some days to prevent her to go to New York to receive a prize. But the same days one of the leaders of the local Communist Party, stepped by and a photo was made of them both, photo that later was published in the local Communist Party newspaper. The reason? Next year Oympic Games, for obvious reasons.

According to Gao, everything began back in 1996 when a young woman was received in the hospital where Gao was working with “an unknown fever”. The woman began screaming that she did not want to die, because she had a husband and a son. Nothing could be done and the woman died 10 days later. The husband blamed himself because he had approved a blood transfusion several years before. Through the normal procedure, it was determined she had been infected by the blood in the fund.

So Gao says “a lot more people could be infected”.

And she was right. According to The Economist, “UN estimates that in the end of 2005 55.000 donors of blood and plasma were infected with AIDS in China… A Chinese expert in AIDS, Zhang Ke, informed in 2004 that only in the province of Henan…there could be more than 170.000. Dr Zhang estimated that another 130.000 in Henan obtained the virus through transfusions in the hospitals”.

Today NYT has published that 2 activists have been placed under house arest and barred from leaving China:

 

The police barred Hu Jia, 33, and his wife, Zeng Jinyan, 23, from departing from Beijing on a trip to Hong Kong and several European countries, Mr. Hu said. The couple had planned to call attention to what they described as a neglect of AIDS patients and to defend other Chinese campaigners for human rights who had been prosecuted in recent months.

Mr. Hu said the police told him that he and Ms. Zeng were suspected of “endangering national security” and would be required to stay in their home under police watch for an indefinite period.

“Officials are worried that we would set off opposition to Beijing’s hosting of the Olympics,” Mr. Hu said. State security officials almost never offer any information about their activities, but the city is the venue for the 2008 Summer Games and intends to use the event to present China as a sophisticated, modern country that is open to the outside world.

In another indication of the sensitivity of the Games to China, Yang Jiechi, the country’s new foreign minister, on Friday denounced efforts in the United States to link support for Beijing’s serving as host of the Olympics to its policies in Sudan.

China has been criticized for giving strong financial and diplomatic backing to the government of Sudan, which the Bush administration and critics worldwide say has practiced genocide in its southern Darfur region while waging a war against secessionists there. “There is a handful of people who are trying to politicize the Olympic Games,” Mr. Yang told reporters. “This is against the spirit of the Games. It also runs counter to the aspirations of all the people in the world.”

But in recent times it has been the UN and not USA the one who has blamed China -and Russia- about Darfur. Croydonian has more about Chinese involvement in Darfur.

Other South-Asian news:

(more…)

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After yesterday I blogged about two Cubans who wanted to get out the paradise, also yesterday was announced that 2 NKoreans have defected in a boat:

Four North Koreans have defected to South Korea by boat and are being questioned
by intelligence officials, news reports said Wednesday.
The four arrived on a small wooden boat in waters off Yeonpyeong Island near South Korea’s western sea border with the North late last month, the Chosun Ilbo daily reported, citing an unnamed government official.
Defections by boat are rare, with the vast majority of North Koreans fleeing to the South traveling by land through China and Southeast Asia.
The North Koreans have expressed their wish to defect to South Korea and were being questioned by intelligence officials, the Chosun Ilbo and the Yonhap news agency reported.
Neither the National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, nor the Korea Coast Guard could confirm the reports.
South Korean officials are usually reluctant to talk openly about North Korean defectors, wary of the safety of their relatives still in the North. North Koreans reportedly face harsh punishment by their hardline regime when their relatives flee the country.
The number of North Korean defectors has risen steadily in recent years as they seek to escape chronic food shortages and political oppression.

What??!! What are they saying? Are they mad??

North Korea keeps abducting South Koreans and denying it. South Korea does not fight for them, but is going to seize the land of descendants of collaborators with the Japan conquerors during the period 1910-1945. Of course, Japan conquered the Peninsula and had been accused of proved abuses. But that was 50 years ago!!! And NKorea is abducting SKoreans NOW.
Anyway there are [a lot of] NKorean supporters in South Korea. Especially in unions.
Other news:
  • Explosion in China: 20 miners dead, 10 trapped in central China coal mine explosion. “China’s mines are among the deadliest in the world, with an average of 13 miners dying every day in accidents. Explosions are frequent in Chinese coal mines, whose seams often hold pockets of gas. With coal prices high to feed the booming economy’s energy demand, mine operators often ignore safety regulations to boost production“. Oh, you workers’ defenders, leftists of the world, how on earth this can happen in so a beautiful paradise… Why you’re not burning Chinese flags and doing other peaceful actions to stop this real opression? AS I posted here, there are increasingly more deaths in China because of lung disease, for the same reasons.
  • what China does about abortion: A massive forced abortion campaign is ongoing in China’s Guangxi Province, according to China Aid Organization. “One Christian lady, Ms. Linrong Wei, 7 months pregnant, was dragged into the hospital from her home on April 17 at 8:45 AM (Beijing time) by ten officials from the Population and Family Planning Commission in Baise City, Guangxi. Her husband Yage “James” Liang was formerly a pastor in the government-sanctioned TSPM church before he became a House church pastor a year ago,” the CAA said. CAA said it has eyewitness reports of 40 other pregnant women who were forcefully moved to the Youjiang District People’s Hospital of Baise City on the same day to perform forced abortions. Eyewitnesses told CAA that pastor Liang’s wife was pregnant accidentally and they wanted to keep this baby because of Christian principles, said CAA, adding that “Ms. Wei was injected with medicine to induce birth at 11 AM on April 17.”[I remember that I posted some months ago about a Chinese mother who was forced to have an abortion … because she was not married. CMinor then, pointed me this article about forced abortion in China. A must read.]
And today we are following the French elections: Ségolene was marvelled with the quickness of the Chinese justice. Uff, yeah, they kill inmediately, even in buses to make possible the growing organ market… What happens with French and Chinese? Chinese head of the censorship was awarded Chinese first and more important medal because he is a fan of Chirac!

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[Traducido al final]
According to the new report from Amnesty International, China has not fulfilled its promise to protect Human Rights for the Olympics Game of 2008:

The report catalogs a wide range of persistent abuses, from extensive use of detention without trial to the persecution of civil rights activists and new methods to rein in the domestic media and censor the Internet.
The London-based group welcomed the new rules for foreign journalists and the referral of all death sentences to China’s Supreme Court since the start of the year. “Disappointingly, they have been matched by moves to expand detention without trial and house arrest of activists, and by a tightening of controls over domestic media and the Internet,” Catherine Baber, deputy Asia-Pacific director of Amnesty International, said in a statement.
China’s Foreign Ministry in a statement Monday rejected the report, saying the government was improving its legal system and promoting democracy. “We are conscientiously fulfilling our promise for the Olympics. … The progress China has achieved in human rights cannot be slandered by a report from an individual organization with political prejudice,” the statement said.

What is more AI denounces China is using the Olympics to increase its pressure on dissidents:

A report by the group welcomed some reforms, but criticised China’s detentions without trial and tightened control of the media and the internet.

Precisely the limits imposed on freedom of speech are one of the more worrying. And internet is precisely one of the places were it is more limites. MySpace is already on in Chinese internet… with some restrictions:

Attempts to post on topics that are deemed inappropriate by the Chinese Government will result in the message: “Sorry, the article you want to publish may contain inappropriate content. Please delete the unsuitable content, and then try reposting it. Thank you.” Even searching for blacklisted keywords results in the same warning.

Anyway, Chinese evident lack of progress on Human Rights has had some benefits: Chinese Censorship Chief receives French Highest Honor.

Long Xinmin, rewarded with the Légion d’Honneur at the French Embassy in Beijing, is a dignitary of the Chinese regime. He is the chief of the censorship administration, an administration that controls all newspapers, television and, of course, the Chinese Internet. It does not hesitate to send to prison those who do not respect the strict rules of the propaganda. Officially, Mr. Long has received the medal for being a francophile. But even inside the communist party, he’s considered as a hardliner, a conservative that has recently been harsher with Chinese bloggers.

Canada has been assured that China had not tortured Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citzen accused by Chinese authorities of “separating China” and “organizing, leading and participating in terrorist groups, organizations“. I wonder if they would be soooo worried if this Canadian citizen was Christian, Jewish or Buddhist…

We will also see if Al Gore sells any of his videos to China, as the pollution there is growing rapidly: it will be this year the more important polluter:

Currently, 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are located in China, and it is the second largest emitter of energy-related carbon dioxide after the United States. China relies on coal for 70 percent of its energy needs, and discharges a large amount of pollutants into its rivers. The increase of the economy’s energy demands is also the cause of higher greenhouse gas levels, as many Chinese companies build coal-fired plants and operate them without the government’s consent.

In the same link there says that AlGore has spoken about Chinese environment… in USA. It would be very good to try to speak about this with Chinese authorities…

Other news:

Rich Chinese fancy expensive cars. The most exclusive car brands are among those experiencing the fastest growth. Jenny Zheng, Rolls-Royce’s general manager for greater China, says the company’s China sales jumped more than 60% last year from the year before. She says China overtook Japan for the first time in 2006, though she declined to cite actual figures. Globally, the brand has sold 805 cars, each one tailor-made to the owner’s demands, she says. Well, this is logical considering that China is communist… or not?
China moves to restrict lending.
Thousands of Chinese mines and cement workers are dying each year from breathing of coal and cement dust. “The lung disease known as “black lung” or pneumoconiosis accounts for three quarters of all occupational deaths, health officials said. China’s coal mines are the most deadly in the world. An average of 17 miners are killed in mining accidents each day, the official People’s Daily newspaper reports. Independent labour groups believe the death toll is much higher“. “Of 677,000 occupational disease cases reported in China since the 1950s, more than 90% were pneumoconiosis cases, health ministry spokesperson Su Zhi said. Last year alone, the black lung disease accounted for 76% of the 11,000 new occupational disease cases reported. 621 of the pneumoconiosis cases reported last year involved workers under the age of 18“.
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Un informe de Amnistía Internacional vuelve a denunciar que China sigue sin respetar los derechos humanos, a pesar de haber prometido hacerlo para la inauguración de los Juegos Olímpicos. Entre otras cosas, el informe denuncia las detenciones sin juicio y las restricciones a la libertad de expresión, así como que parece que se está aprovchando precisamente los JJOO para incrementar la presión sobre los disidentes.
Por supuesto, China lo ha negado diciendo que “los evidentes procesos en materia de Derechos Humano van a ser dismiuidos en importancia por una organizacion con prejuicios políticos”.
Sin embargo,las restricciones en Internet continúan: ahora es MySpace la que tiene un filtro que impide postear material considerado “no apropiado“, de tal forma que si no lo quitas el post no puedes postearlo.
Eso sí, Francia ha concedido al censor mayor de … la Republica Popular China la legion de Honor, porque es “muy francófilo“. Y mientras Canadá está muy aliviada después de que las autoridades chinas hayan asegurado que no han torturado a un ciudadano canadiense, acusado de intentar separar China y de “pertenecer a organizaciones subversivas, terroristas o semejantes”. El ciudadano en cuestión es musulmán, y, considerando loable que defiendan a sus ciudadanos, habría que preguntrse si hubieran mantenido la misma postura, si Husiyen Celil hubiera pertenecido a otra religión.
Asimismo, China -al igual que EEUU, pero ya veremos quién es más criticado- consideran poco fiable un informe sobre la contaminación, al convertirse China este mismo año en el mayor contaminador del mundo. Ya de las 2o capitales más contaminadas, 16 están en China.
Y, para terminar, a los chinos ricos les molan los coches caros (la firma Rolls-Royce ha anunciado que este año han aumentado un 60% sus ventas) mientras las 3/4 partes de los mineros o trabajadores del cemento mueren anualmente de “pulmón blanco“. Sólo el año pasado, el 76% de los trabajadores con enfermedades han muerto por esta causa. 621 eran de menores de 18 años.

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From Deustche Welle:

On the heels of a well-received report on Darfur by the newly revamped UN Human Rights Council, the body is in danger of having its power stripped away. The EU says, give the council more time.

Cuba is leading a bid by a number of countries to strip the Human Rights Council of its power to investigate and condemn violations of human rights, a move some activists warn could jeopardize the entire UN’s credibility, the news agency Reuters reported.

The 47 member states of the new UN watchdog, which was set up last year to replace its discredited predecessor, are quietly negotiating a package of measures which will define its role.

At stake is the fate of “special procedures” — independent investigators appointed to report on countries where abuses are suspected. The former Secretary General Kofi Annan described these rapporteurs as the “crown jewels” of the UN human rights machinery.

“Our fear is that some governments are trying to sell the crown jewels, trying to undermine the independence of special procedures,” Irene Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International, told reporters in Geneva.

“There are huge stakes here for human rights, not only for survivors of abuses but the credibility of the council and the larger credibility of the United Nations,” she said.

Politically motivated

Its 13 special rapporteurs on countries, retained for now from the former UN Commission on Human Rights, include experts probing suspected abuses in Belarus, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea.

One such investigator, Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, issued a much-anticipated report on Darfur March 12 which blamed Sudan for orchestrating war crimes across Darfur.

Still, some countries singled out for this attention, and their allies such as China, say such finger-pointing is selective and politically motivated. They want to abolish the investigators.

Cuba — which has never allowed a visit by the special rapporteur on Cuba, Christine Chanet —is leading the charge to dismantle country investigators.

The US declined a seat on the Human Rights Council

This is marvellous isn’t it? AS I do not like the things these bad people are telling me, because I am very democratic…. the solution is not to change, as I really do not have to change. No, the solution is ¡¡¡to get rid of this people!!! No, I am not going to kill them -hmm, although I have reasons enough, they are liars…!!-, but I am going to forbid them to critic me. I am going to get rid of these busy bodies…

And Zapatero & Co. so favorable as they are to UN, what are they going to say?


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Because the bus had moved the routes and doubled the fares:

Security is tight in a town in central China following riots that involved as many as 20,000 people.

A BBC correspondent in the town, in Hunan province, has seen riot police and soldiers protecting government buildings and patrolling the streets.

He says it appears the protests began after a local firm took over the town’s bus routes and doubled the fares.

Vehicles were burned and several people were injured in clashes with police as the protests climaxed on Monday.

Reports said one person had been killed, although this was denied on Wednesday by the official Xinhua news agency, which played down the incident.

[…] The firm’s decision to raise the bus fare from around 50 cents to $1 during the recent Chinese New Year brought complaints initially from the parents of secondary school children, our correspondent has learned.

Gateway Pundit writes that 10 cars had been torched during the riot and that they were also rioting to protest about official corruption.

Pajamas Media links to Pub Philosopher where Steve writes that there has been 23,000 other similar incidents only this year.

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Según parece, este año ha habido 23.000 disturbios en aislados en China. El último se ha producido en la provincia de Hunan, después de que la compañía de autobuses cambiara las rutas y aumentara las tarifas entre medio y un dólar. Los padres de los alumnos que cogen las líneas iniciaron una protesta a la que se fueron sumando más personas.

Ahora bien, los ánimos estaban tan caldeados que la protesta evolucionó en disturbios, habiendo informado fuentes independientes que ha muerto un hombre aunque luego la agencia estatal de información china lo haya negado.

Pero parece ser que han conseguido lo que querían porque la empresa ha bajado las tarifas al precio anterior.


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Government vows to curb Chinese spying on Canada



Canada’s foreign affairs minister says he wants to crack down on Chinese spies who are stealing industrial and high-technology secrets at a tremendous cost to the economy. “It’s something that we want to signal we are prepared to address and continue to raise with the Chinese at the appropriate time,” Peter MacKay told CTV. MacKay raised concerns of the release earlier this month in China of the RedBerry, an imitation of Canada’s BlackBerry handheld device, made by Research in Motion based in Waterloo, Ont.

Daimnation, examinating the raise in military expenditure, also links to an article in the Washington Post in which they quote James Mann, the author of The China Fantasy, who maintains that foreign critics of China’s abuses on Human Rights are told to be quiet:

After all, there is no point in hurting Chinese feelings or making the Chinese authorities dig in their heels. Mann is particularly scathing about what he describes as the “Lexicon of Dismissal.” Criticism of China is dismissed as “bashing,” “provocative” or “anti-China” (a favorite of the Chinese themselves), and any such censure always runs the risk of turning China into an enemy.

In his anger over this muzzling trend, Mann comes close to seeing a conspiracy by well-meaning but self-serving American elites — with, of course, the happy acquiescence of the Chinese communists — to keep the United States investing in and trading with China.


El Ministro de Exteriores Canadiense John Kay, ha dicho que quiere perseguir y detener a los espías Chinos que están robando los secretos industriales y de alta tecnología con un coste tremendo para la economía. “Queremos señalarlo especialmente ahora que estamos preparados para dirigirnos e incrementar [la colaboración] con los chinos en el momento apropiado”, dijo Peter McKay a la televisión canadiense. MacKay hizo que se incrementasen las preocupaciones como consecuencia de la presentación del Redberry, una imitación de la Blackberry canadiense, hecha por “Investigación en marcha”, con sede en Ontario (Canadá).

Pero si esto es un crimen, aún lo es más el silencio que se impone sobre los abusos [muy graves] de los Derechos Humanos en China. Sobre esto -entre otras cuestiones-, trata el nuevo libro de James Mann, La Fantasía China, en el que su autor critica el que si se denuncian los abusos, se considera que se está usando un lenguaje anti-chino -je, je, ¿a qué me suena esto?…-, provocativo… Así, apunta también a que en un futuro próximo China será mucho más poderosa y mucho más rica que hoy, pero que es muy probable que también incremente su autoritarismo.

Fantastico, ¿ehhh?

Related about Chinese military: China update, Beijing feeds the hype, Chinese new arsenal.

More about technology and military for China: technology disputes and weapon sales.

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Chinese military expenditure is going to grow nearly 18 percent in 2007, announcement that comes, as ever mixed with menaces to Taiwan. This continues the trend maintained lately by Chinese leaders, and is not very well related to the PM’s statement about focusing on pollution and poor:

He warned that illegal land confiscation had to be stopped. He praised the real estate industry as an essential part of the national economy, but he called on developers, who have built expensive projects all over China, to also focus on building affordable housing and not to threaten “primary farmland.”

In the past, Wen has used his speeches before the National People’s Congress to announce plans to repeal the agricultural tax on farmers and to extend free schooling to students in the poorest regions. This year, he said the government would stop collecting tuition and fees from all rural students. He said the government also would expand pilot projects to build a rural cooperative health care system and would begin establishing the equivalent of a welfare program for the poorest people.

Corruption, meanwhile, has become a dominant concern in recent months, as President Hu Jintao has ordered a nationwide crackdown that many political analysts consider as much about purging political enemies as cleaning up the government.

It is not either very proportionate to the actual Chinese economical growth, which reached 10.7, judged essential by experts who think it is the main cause of the survival of the Communist rule.

But Chinese rulers are much more surprised than by their economical record, by the religious surge that the country lives today. Anyway, religious people do not have it easy to live their faith.

ICC (International Christian Concern) has reported about the case of Ms Shuang Shuing, an elderly Christian woman (77 yrs old) who has been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for asking for her son, Hua Huiqui, a detained and very active pastor. She has been charged of willfully disturbing public and private property. Also UN in Thailand has denied refugee state to a persecuted Chinese pastor.

Related links: Christian persecution in China. Human Rights Watch World Report for 2006: China and Tibet. About Catholic persecution:

State interference in Catholic affairs was evident in January when the officially-sanctioned Chinese Catholic church, rather than the Pope, ordained five new bishops. As of October, at least seven Catholic bishops remained in detention in China, many of whom had been held for years. On September 14, sixty police officers took eighty-one-year-old Bishop Zeng Jingmu into custody, together with two priests.

You can also read Cardinal Kung Foundation index of persecuted Catholics.

Lastly, former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), David Kilgour, and Human Rights lawyer David Matas, have issued a report about Falun Gong prisoneres who have been harvested for live organs, something which has been denounced repeatedly by Chinese dissidents and Human Rights Lawyers. Last evidence here.

UPDATE: Spanish on-line newspaper El Diario Exterior reports that the announcement of the increase in military budget has been made during the visit of US State Subsecretary John Negroponte to China, and after protesting about the US announced intention of selling missiles to Taiwan.

But China had already increased military expense by 15% (approx. US$ 36,600 millions) before Negroponte’s visit. Now Chinese Government has only announced a greater increase (approx. US$45.000 millions). They have declared that it is only to substitute old military material and that their intentions are peaceful.

Also in The Washington Post (from Kosmoblog).

Chinese authorities have also announced an increase of 41% in the educational budget.

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El gasto militar chino va a ser aumentado este año en un 17,8%, casi el doble de lo que va a crecer la economía china (10,7%). A pesar de eso, el presidente chino ya ha dicho que está más interesado por la contaminación y por los pobres, al mismo tiempo que hacía un llamamiento a los especuladores inmobiliarios para que dejaran de apropiarse ilegalmente de tierras que no les pertenecen e hicieran más casas baratas.

La corrupción se ha convertido en uno de los quebraderos de cabeza del Gobierno chino, porque la especulación en prácticamente todos los sectores, pero principalmente en el inmobiliario, ha hecho que muchos den lo que aquí se conoce como pelotazo financiero. Los críticos del Presidente Hu Jintao creen que las purgas para reducir la corrupción, tienen como verdadero objetivo purgar a los disidentes que existan dentro del Partido Comunista.

Ahora bien, lo que más les sorprende a los dirigentes chinos es el florecimiento religioso que está teniendo lugar en el país. Pero, claro, su sorpresa no trae buenas consecuencias para los que osan no cumplir con la “ortodoxia religiosa china. Tanto budistas como cristianos o musulmanes están siendo perseguidos.

Como ya sabreis, los católicos en China están divididos en dos grupos: aquellos que no reconocen la soberanía de Roma y se integran en la Iglesia Católica Patriota China y los que siguen fieles a Roma. Estos últimos son los que se llevan la peor parte, llevando algunos obispos -que son investidos de forma totalmente privada- varios años en la cárcel. Algunos de ellos como el obispo Zeng Jingmu, que hoy tiene 81 años, han estado en prisión más de 30 años entre rejas por no apostatar. Zeng Jingmu fue detenido junto con otros dos sacerdotes el pasado septiembre.

Pero los que sin duda están siendo peor tratados y torturados de la peor manera posible son los seguidores del Falun Gong. El movimiento, pues no puede ser considerado religión, constituye una disciplina para mantener la salud en cuerpo y mente. Sin embargo, el Partido Comunista chino los ha venido persiguiendo y sometiendo a torturas de forma regular y son considerados como disidentes peligrosos. 3013 ya han sido asesinados y más de 100.000 enviados a campos de trabajo forzados.

Y ahora un informe independiente, encabezado por el ex-Secretario de Estado Canadiense para Asia-Pacífico, David Kilgour, y el abogado de Derechos Humanos, David Matas, ha confirmado lo que muchos activistas de Derechos Humanos ya habían denunciado: los prisioneros disidentes del Falun Gong estaban siendo literalmente cosechados para producir órganos humanos destinados a trasplantes, que en un gran porcentaje se hacen fuera de China.

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Related posts:

About Chinese military expenditure: Technology disputes and weapons sales, Beijing feeds the hype, Chinese new arsenal.

About the organs’ market: The organs’ market appears to be thriving in China.

About Human Rights’ violations: They are firing at them like dogs, China, still on the podium of torture, Death Penalty buses in China, Chinese mother forced to have an abortion because she was not married, China: Internet cos must obey its laws, Tiananmen.

Others: Chinese prisoner’s sons, Tibertans murdered and Chinese geopolitical importance.


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Some days ago I wrote about the Chinese firing at some Tibetans who were going to see Dalai Lama. A commenter let me the address of a video at youtube that you should all see:

“They are firing at them like dogs”

Hace algunos días escribí sobre unos soldados chinos que dispararon a unos tibetanos que intentaban cruzar la frontera para ver al Dalay Lama. Las autoridades chinas dijeron que les habían atacado. El vídeo prueba que, como dice el cámara, “les están disparando como a perros”.

Por cierto, si alguien lo ha visto en algún medio de comunicación español que me lo diga.

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You remember that recently Google acquired YouTube. Well, now Google is urged to cleanup YouTube’s Copyright Troubles.

Google could make big money on advertising in the purchase of YouTube, but that potential won’t be realized unless the search engine giant cleans up the copyright violations on the online video site, an analyst firm says.

Right Voices has more.

You also remember that Google has made a special censored version of the search engine for Chinese users. Well, looks like that is making the giant firm lose market share:

When Google decided to offer a censored Chinese search engine it caused an outcry among the free-speech movement in the US who wondered what the company who had “Do no evil” as a motto was up to. Chinese internet users were equally puzzled, as they saw no reason to visit the censored Google, since they preferred the uncensored one. smile_wink [Chinese people are more intelligent that is clear…]

Two recent surveys indicated the US search engine has lost about one third of its market. While the domestic search engine Baidu was already a market leader in eyeballs, those were perceived less valuable than the group of relatively older, better educated and better-earning users of Google. The new research indicates that Google has been wiped away in its key markets in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Como ya sabreis Google ha comprado YouTube. De lo que no se ha hablado mucho, sin embargo, es de los problemas de copyright que va a tener Google. YouTube aloja muchos videos piratas por los que algunas empresas ya habían iniciado acciones contra ella. Ahora, al convertirse en una parte del “imperio Google”, las van a dirigir contra ella.

Pero ese no es el único problema: Google había sacado una versión censurada de su motor de búsqueda y al parecer esa es la causa de una fuerte caída en su uso en China. Los usuarios chinos de Internet prefieren la versión no censuradá así que se han pasado en masa al motor de la competencia Baidu. El motor censurado ha sido echado del mercado en mercados principales como Shanghai, Pekín o Guangzhou y ha perdido más de la tercera parte de su cuota anterior.

Google se lo tiene muy merecido.

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