Date: May 12, 2012
Abstract: In an exclusive interview with this week's Sunday Telegraph, the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, revealed he had been passed reports from inside Tibet warning that Chinese agents had trained Tibetan women for a mission to poison him while posing as devotees seeking his blessings.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader said he lives within a high security cordon in his temple palace grounds in Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, on the advice of Indian security officials.
Despite being one of the world's most widely revered spiritual leaders he has enemies in China and among some Buddhist sects.
His aides had not been able to confirm the reports, but they had highlighted his need for high security.
"We received some sort of information from Tibet," he said. "Some Chinese agents training some Tibetans, especially women, you see, using poison – the hair poisoned, and the scarf poisoned – they were supposed to seek blessing from me, and my hand touch."
Relations between China and the Tibetan government-in-exile in India are poor and mutual suspicion high following more than 30 self-immolations in the last year by Tibetans in protest at Chinese moves to marginalise their language and culture.
He said suspicion of Chinese interference in finding his reincarnation following his death meant he may be the last Dalai Lama and that Tibetans could decided to abandon the institution.
A number of young Buddhist monks, including the Karmapa Lama, could emerge as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, he said.
Despite frosty relations with Beijing, he said he believes China will change its hardline stance within his lifetime and adopt democratic reforms to safeguard its economic growth.
He said Chinese leaders should use Buddhist logic to overcome their suspicion and anger, but confessed he struggles to control his own temper.
He said: "Advisers, secretaries, other people around me, when they make some little, little mistake, then sometimes I burst. Oh yes! Anger and shout! Oh! And some harsh words. But that remains a few minutes, then finished."
Although he sometimes regrets such behaviour, he believes it is occasionally good for "correction."
The Dalai Lama will be in Britain tomorrow to receive the £1.1 million Templeton Prize at St Paul's Cathedral for his championing of science as a vital element of religious life (Telegraph, 2012).Title: 45 Signs That China Is Colonizing America
Date: May 23, 2012
Source: The American Dream
Abstract: Just because you were once the most powerful nation on earth does not mean that you will always be the most powerful nation on earth. Every single year, hundreds of billions of dollars leaves the United States and goes to China. This enormous transfer of wealth has had a dramatic effect on both countries. In case you haven't noticed, many of our formerly great manufacturing cities such as Detroit are rotting away while shining new factories and skyscrapers are going up all over China. If you go into any major retail store today and start turning over products, you will find that hundreds of them have been made in China and that very few of them have been made in America. As a nation, we buy far, far more from China than they buy from us. As a result, China is absolutely swimming in cash and they have been looking for things to do with all that money. One thing that China has done is loan the U.S. government over a trillion dollars and this has given the Chinese a tremendous amount of leverage over us. China has also started to buy up businesses, real estate and natural resources all over America. This kind of "economic colonization" is similar to what China has already been doing in Africa, South America and Australia. The formula is actually very simple. We send them our money and then they use it to buy us. With each passing day China's ownership over America grows, and it is frightening to think about where all of this could end.
The following are 45 signs that China is colonizing America....
#1 It was recently announced that China’s Dalian Wanda Group has bought U.S. movie theater chain AMC Entertainment for a whopping 2.6 billion dollars. This deal represents China's biggest corporate takeover of a U.S. firm ever.
#2 Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve announced that it has given approval for banks owned by the Chinese government to buy stakes in U.S.-owned banks.
#3 A few days ago Reuters reported that China is now able to completely bypass Wall Street and purchase U.S. debt directly from the U.S. Treasury Department.
#4 A recent investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services found more than one million counterfeit Chinese parts in the Department of Defense supply chain. How in the world could we be so stupid?
#5 After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government. The price for entering into many of these "joint ventures" was a transfer of "state of the art technology" from General Motors to the communist Chinese.
#6 A Chinese company known as "Sino-Michigan Properties LLC" has purchased 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan. The goal is to build a "China City" with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.
#7 As I reported on recently, corporations controlled by the Chinese government have been rapidly buying up U.S. oil and gas deposits worth billions of dollars.
#8 Chinese investors have been gobbling up real estate all over New York City. The following is from a recent Forbes article....
According to a recent report in the New York Times, investors from China are “snapping up luxury apartments” and are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on commercial and residential projects like Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. Chinese companies also have signed major leases at the Empire State Building and at 1 World Trade Center, the report said.
#9 The Chinese are also doing huge real estate deals in cities in the middle part of the country. The following example is from an article in the Toledo Blade....
Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., which has already purchased the nearby Docks restaurant complex for $2.15 million, put its $3.8 million offer to buy the southern 69 acres at the Marina District in East Toledo back on the table for approval by Toledo City Council. Additionally, Dashing Pacific Chairman Yuan Xiaohong, in a letter signed in Hangzhou, said the firm wants a two-year option to buy the decommissioned Toledo Edison power plant property on the site.
#10 According to ABC News, major road and bridge projects all over the United States are being built by Chinese companies. Meanwhile, there are millions upon millions of blue collar American workers that cannot find jobs. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent ABC News article....
In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
"When we subsidize jobs in China, we're not creating any wealth in the United States," said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
#11 The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.
#12 The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
#13 Check out this incredible photo which contrasts the decline of Detroit over the years with the amazing rise of Shanghai, China.
#14 A couple of years ago, a large Chinese company was considering building "a 10,000- to 30,000-acre technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes" just south of Boise, Idaho.
#15 Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion. That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.
#17 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China's high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.
#18 America has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.
#19 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
#20 The U.S. spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States. Does that sound like "fair trade" to you?
#21 While we allow Chinese goods to freely flood our shores, China just keeps slapping new tariffs on American-made goods. According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.
#22 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010.
#23 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month and more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#24 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#25 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
#26 In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.
#27 In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel. The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.
#28 In 2010, China produced 7.3 million metric tons of cotton. The United States only produced 3.4 million metric tons of cotton.
#29 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.
#30 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
#31 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.
#32 Chinese solar panel production was about 50 times larger in 2010 than it was in 2005.
#33 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.
#34 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.
#35 According to author Clyde Prestowitz, China's number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, during 2010 the number one U.S. export to China was "scrap and trash".
#36 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.
#37 The United States had been the leading consumer of energy on the globe for about 100 years, but during the summer of 2010 China took over the number one spot.
#38 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles. But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.
#39 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.
#40 China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire planet.
#41 China now has the world's fastest train and the world's most extensive high-speed rail network.
#42 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.
#43 The Chinese economy is projected to be larger than the U.S. economy by 2016.
#44 One economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
#45 China now holds approximately 1.17 trillion dollars of U.S. government debt. If you were alive back when Jesus was born and you had spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent that much money by now.
Please share this list with as many people as you can. It is imperative that the American people get educated about why our economy is falling apart and about why there are so few jobs.
Thanks to the foolishness of our politicians, today American workers have to compete directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.
Do you want your standard of living to continue to descend toward the level of a communist worker making about a dollar an hour?
Do you want tens of millions of American workers to be unemployed indefinitely as millions of good jobs continue to leave this country?
If not, you better stand up and say something while you still can.
The greatest economy the world has ever seen is falling to pieces right in front of our eyes and most Americans are dead asleep.Is there any hope for us? (The American Dream, 2012).
China Tells US To Stop Tweeting About Poor Air Quality In Beijing
Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: China told foreign embassies Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in the country, escalating its objections to a popular U.S. Embassy Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing.
Only the Chinese government is authorized to monitor and publish air quality information and data from other sources may not be standardized or rigorous, Wu Xiaoqing, a vice environmental minister, told reporters.
China has long taken issue with the U.S. Embassy's postings of hourly readings of Beijing's air quality on a Twitter feed with more than 19,000 followers since 2008. But its past objections were raised quietly. U.S. consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou also post readings of the cities' air quality on Twitter.
The Twitter feeds were operating normally Tuesday, and an embassy spokesman in Beijing said the air quality reports were meant to inform Americans living in the three Chinese cities.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. had no plans to stop providing the service.
"You know, air pollution, quite frankly, is a problem in many cities and regions in China," he told a news briefing.
The air quality readings in Beijing are based on a single monitoring station within embassy grounds, and pollution levels are rated according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard that is more stringent than the one used by the Chinese government.
For instance, the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday reported 47 micrograms of fine particulate matter -- particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size, or about 1/30th the width of an average human hair -- in the air and said the level was "unhealthy for sensitive groups." Readings from Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau's 27 monitoring stations ranged between 51 to 79 micrograms but categorized all those levels as "good."
The Beijing government only began reporting PM2.5 earlier this year after long-standing public and international criticism of its lack of transparency about its air quality.
The government appears frustrated that there are now dueling readings for air quality and that the U.S. readings underscore the fact that pollution levels considered unhealthy in the U.S. are classified as good by China.
Wu said it isn't fair to judge Chinese air by American standards because China is a developing country and noted that U.S. environmental guidelines have become more stringent over time.
The standard China uses "takes into account the level of our current stage of development," Wu said.
Wu also said that air quality monitoring by foreign diplomats was inconsistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and urged diplomats to abide by China's laws and regulations.
It is unclear if other nations monitor and publicize their readings of air quality in Chinese cities, but local Chinese have used the U.S. readings to prod their government into publishing more detailed pollution data.
Later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin echoed Wu's remarks, saying at a regular press briefing that China objected to the publicity rather than the gathering of the environmental data.
"Of course, if the foreign embassies want to collect air quality information for their own staff or diplomats, I think that is their own matter, but we believe that this type of information should not released to the public," Liu said.
The top environmental official in Shanghai over the weekend also spoke out on the issue, telling local media that an air quality feed launched last month by the U.S. consulate in Shanghai was illegal.
The U.S. Embassy said the air quality monitor in Shanghai measures the air quality in the area around the consulate's office. "The monitor is an unofficial resource for the health of the consulate community," said Richard Buangan, embassy spokesman in Beijing.
China requires concentrations of PM2.5 to be kept below daily averages of 75 micrograms per cubic meter -- more than twice as lenient as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standard of 35 micrograms.PM2.5 are believed to be a health risk because they can lodge deeply in the lungs, and have been linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer (Fox News, 2012).
Dogs Destined For The Table: Horrific Images Show Animals Being Killed, Cooked
And Served Up As A Meal In Chinese Tradition
Date: June 25, 2012
Source: Daily Mail
Abstract: These disturbing images show dogs being cooked and served up as a meal in a grim Chinese tradition.
The animals are chopped up and cooked in front of diners - despite a growing anti-cruelty campaign.
A group of Chinese activists in Yulin City, Guangxi province, descended on the dog meat market campaigning against eating the animals.
Artist Pian Shan Kong knelt down in front of the dead animals confessing for people's sins as he apologised to the dead animals during the demonstration.
China is yet to make
animal cruelty illegal and end the grim tradition despite campaigning by animal
Pet lovers' associations have sprung up in Chinese cities over recent years.
While many Chinese enjoy rich dog meat, especially during cold winters, some object to the practice in some regions of beating dogs to death to release the blood into the meat.
When food is scarce, dogs are eaten as an emergency food source around China in a practice which is seen as socially acceptable.
As the country becomes more affluent, a growing number of families are buying dogs as pets fuelling the growing campaign against animal cruelty.
In April, more than 500 dogs set to be slaughtered were saved when the truck they were being carried in to the slaughterhouse was intercepted by activists.
Many of the 505 creatures had barely survived their terrible ordeal, having endured cramped conditions and a lack of water during their near 1,000 mile journey by road.
But rescue came too
late for 11 dogs which had succumbed to dehydration and exposure (Daily Mail, 2012).
Reid Calls For Officials To 'Burn' China-Made Team USA Olympic Uniforms
Date: July 12, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed the U.S. Olympic Committee Thursday over reports that the Team USA uniforms were made in China, saying officials "should burn" them.
Reid, D-Nev., made the remarks following reports that China has already taken gold from America by manufacturing the uniforms Team USA will wear during the opening ceremonies.
“I think the Olympic Committee should be ashamed,” Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill. He said they should "burn" the current uniforms, and would rather America's athletes wear shirts with "USA" hand-painted on them.
In a statement to FoxNews.com, the U.S. Olympic Committee said it was “proud” of its partnership with the company.
“Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors," the statement read. "We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London.”
House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also responded to the growing controversy on Thursday.
"We take great pride in our Olympic athletes and try to watch them through as many of the trials as possible,” Pelosi told reporters during a congressional briefing. “I can’t wait to stay up all night to see as much as possible of them. We take such pride and they work so hard. They represent the very best and they’re so excellent, it’s all so beautiful.
“And they should be wearing uniforms made in America,” Pelosi said.
Boehner, meanwhile, said: “You’d think they’d know better.”
With corporate sponsor Ralph Lauren designing the duds, the job of making the red, white and blue uniforms falls to its apparel contractors in China, the New York Daily News reports. Every item in the uniforms that the U.S. athletes will wear at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.
The company, in a statement, said the outfits aim to embody "the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship."
But fashion designer Nanette Lepore said she was shocked that none of the uniforms had been made stateside, telling ABC News that it was “absolutely” possible that the Olympians could have been fitted in U.S.-made clothing for the opening ceremony.
Ralph Lauren also is dressing the Olympic and Paralympic teams for the closing ceremony and is providing casual clothes to be worn around the Olympic Village. Nike, meanwhile, has created many of the competition uniforms for the U.S. and outfits for the medal stand.
Prices for the apparel range from $55 for a beret to $795 for the men’s blazer.
In 2008, Ralph Lauren took criticism for an oversized logo on the opening ceremony uniform that some said overshadowed the Olympic rings, as well as reports that Chinese tailors worked overtime to finish the uniforms at the last minute."Lauren — and most likely his son David — celebrated not the spirit of athletic competition, but themselves and their brand, morphing our athletes into unpaid billboards for the "Polo™" pony and rider that has helped bring the Laurens great ... riches," The American Politics Journal wrote (Fox News, 2012).
China Blasts U.S. For Sending 'Wrong Message' On South China Sea Disputes
Date: August 6, 2012
Abstract: China blasted the United States on Saturday for its recent public criticism and urging of diplomacy to address territorial disputes in the South China Sea, saying the U.S. statement shows "total disregard for the facts" and sends "a seriously wrong message."
The blistering statement, from Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang, follows one issued the previous day by a counterpart at the U.S. State Department.
The debate revolves around who controls islands and waters in the South China Sea. Countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines lay claim to some areas. Qin stated unequivocally Saturday that "China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea and adjacent waters."
Acting U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell began his statement Friday insisting the United States does "not take a position on competing territorial claims ... and (has) no territorial ambitions in the South China Sea."
Yet he added that Washington believes countries "should work collaboratively and diplomatically to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and without the use of force."
Ventrell suggested that not all nations in the region are taking this latter approach, expressing U.S. concern about the "increase in tensions in the South China Sea" in the form of "confrontational rhetoric," "coercive economic actions and the incidents around the Scarborough Reef, including the use of barriers to deny access."
"In particular, China's upgrading of the administrative level of Sansha City and establishment of a new military garrison there covering disputed areas of the South China Sea run counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region," Ventrell said, before urging the nations involved to agree on ways to peacefully address disputes.
Qin, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, started his statement -- which was posted on his ministry's website -- by accusing the United States of confounding "right and wrong" and undermining regional efforts to "uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific region at large."
China's action in Sansha City, specifically, is a "necessary adjustment" that falls "well within China's sovereign rights," the spokesman said.
Qin accused other nations of not abiding by a 2002 agreement involving Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, members.
The Chinese spokesman then singled out Washington for what he suggested was hypocrisy and "unfounded accusations ... against China's normal and reasonable acts."
"People cannot but question the true intention of the U.S. side," Qin wrote.
He challenged the United States for overlooking other nations "marking out a large number of oil and gas blocks in the South China Sea" and claiming "as its own China's islands, reefs and waters."
Washington, too, has ignored it when other nation's navies have threatened Chinese fishermen, Qin claimed.
If the United States truly wasn't taking positions on territorial disputes, then why did it speak up now and "stir up trouble at a time when countries concerned in the region are stepping up dialogue?" he asked rhetorically.
"The United States needs to follow the trend of the times and respect the shared aspirations and consensus of countries in the region for peace, stability and development," Qin said. "It should respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and act in a way that contributes to stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and not otherwise" (CNN, 2012).
Hong Kong Protest Over School 'Brainwashing' By China
Date: September 3, 2012
Abstract: Chanting "No to brainwashing education. Withdraw national education", some 8000 people denounced a Hong Kong government-funded booklet entitled "The China Model" they say glorifies China's single Communist party rule while glossing over more brutal aspects of its rule and political controversies.
One hunger striker was taken away on a stretcher on the third straight day of protests after fasting for more than 40 hours.
The protests represent a challenge for Hong Kong's new pro-Beijing leader Leung Chun-ying, who took office in July, and who has come under pressure for policies that have highlighted underlying tensions as the financial hub becomes increasingly intertwined, economically and socially, with China.
Polls suggest Hong Kong public distrust towards China is at a record high some 15 years after the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, with many fearing Beijing's hand encroaching increasingly into the city's cherished freedoms and political affairs.
Many of the protesters were young students who flocked to the demonstrations straight after their first day back at school, some heckling Leung to scrap the scheme or step down.$
Despite protracted public opposition to the scheme including a late July rally that drew some 90,000 people, officials resisted calls to scrap it from local primary and secondary schools, saying it was aimed at instilling a greater sense of national pride and belonging towards China.
"The important thing is to ensure that the public concern or the parents' and the students' worry about the so-called brainwashing will not happen," said Hong Kong's number two official, Carrie Lam.
"But that will only be achievable by more communication between the various stakeholders and by putting the trust in the school sponsoring authorities and the individual schools."
Hong Kong officials say schools may adopt the curriculum voluntarily with the scheme not to become mandatory until 2015.
The protests are a continuation of demonstrations that first flared on Saturday, with many pledging to fight on including a small band of hunger strikers. One middle-aged female academic was stretchered off late on Monday for medical treatment after going on hunger strike for over 40 hours.
While the curriculum
touches on some negative aspects of contemporary Chinese history including
unfair land grabs by corrupt officials and a toxic milk powder scandal, it
makes no mention of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in
Beijing's Tiananmen Square (Telegraph, 2012).
Survey Shows Chinese Fret About Corruption, Inequality; Half Embrace US Ideas
Date: October 16, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: People in China are increasingly worried about corruption, inequality and food safety, according to a survey that also found that about half of Chinese like American ideas about democracy.
Chinese citizens have become far more concerned about domestic quality-of-life issues over the past four years, the Pew Global Attitudes Project report on attitudes in China found.
The new attitudes highlight the challenges China's new leadership will face when it assumes power in a once-in-a-decade transition next month. China's runaway growth in recent decades has led to a yawning gap between rich and poor and worsening pollution. The Communist Party has said repeatedly that pervasive corruption threatens its hold on power.
Most Chinese say they are better off financially, according to the Pew survey, but inflation remains their top concern, with 60 percent saying it's a "very big problem," though that figure was down from 72 percent in 2008.
Half of the respondents said corrupt officials are a major problem, up from 39 percent four years ago. The gap between rich and poor was the third biggest concern, with 48 percent of respondents citing it, up from 41 percent in 2008.
Concerns over the safety of food and medicine have increased the most. In 2008, 12 percent said food safety was a major problem; this time, after numerous food scandals involving products from baby powder to pork, the number more than tripled to 41 percent.
Quality of life issues are coming to the foreground in China as average incomes rise and leisure time increases, said Steve Tsang, a professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, who wasn't connected to the survey.
"People have to live with them on a daily basis," he said. "When one was too busy making a living to get bothered by them in the past, less attention was paid to them. Now that the overall standard of living has improved and individuals have more scope to slow down and reflect a bit, the poor quality of life becomes more of an issue."
The survey released Tuesday indicated a small increase in the embrace of U.S. democratic ideas — up to 52 percent, from 48 percent in 2007 — though it was unclear whether that reflected a real increase, because the difference was smaller than the poll's margin of error.
A decrease in the number of people rejecting American democratic thought was more dramatic, down to 29 percent from 36 percent in 2007.
Joseph Cheng, a political scientist at the City University of Hong Kong, said tightening state control over dissidence in the past five years has prompted many Chinese to become frustrated with their political system, but he doesn't think they are ready to press for Western-style democracy.
"While the appeal of Western democracy has been enhanced, Chinese people have no intention and they haven't the political will to challenge the existing regime," Cheng said. "Chinese people understand that their living standards have been improving in the past 30 years and more and they still expect further improvements in the coming decade."
The research by the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center also found that a growing number of Chinese are concerned about China-U.S. ties. A quarter described the relationship as hostile, up from 8 percent two years ago. Meanwhile, confidence in President Barack Obama to do the right thing in world affairs slipped from 52 percent to 38 percent.Pew said the survey was based on face-to-face interviews with 3,177 respondents between March 18 and April 15. It gave a margin of error of 4.3 percent. The poll represents approximately 64 percent of China's adult population, and the sample was disproportionately urban. China prohibits foreign polling organizations from surveying Chinese directly, so Pew obtained the poll data from Horizon Research Consultancy Group, a respected Beijing-based polling company (Fox News, 2012).
China Accelerates Plan to Phase Out Prisoner Organ Harvesting
Date: November 2, 2012
Abstract: China plans to launch a national voluntary organ donation system early next year in a bid to fulfill growing transplant lists and phase out its long-criticized reliance on organs from executed prisoners.
The country’s Ministry of Health has commissioned the Red Cross Society of China to run the nation’s organ donation system and will work with the organization to ensure that all organ procurement and transplantation is done legally, said Wang Haibo, director of the China Organ Transplant Response System Research Center of the Ministry of Health, in an interview featured in the November edition of a World Health Organization journal called the Bulletin (pdf).
Health officials have also tapped the University of Hong Kong to develop the China Organ Transplant Response System, a computer system to maintain requests according to “urgency, compatibility and patient need,” Mr. Wang said in the WHO interview.
The development of an organ donation program marks a move to overhaul of a system that has for years relied on prisoners and organ traffickers to serve people in need of transplants. “While we cannot deny the execut¬ed prisoner’s right to donate organs, an organ transplantation system relying on death-row prisoners’ organs is not ethical or sustainable,” the WHO quoted Mr. Wang as saying.
Officials in the world’s most populous country have before conceded that China has depended for many years on executed prisoners as its main source of organ supply for ailing citizens. Human-rights groups have criticized the practice, saying that organ harvesting is often forced and influences the speed and number of China’s executions.
China doesn’t publicly report execution figures, but San Francisco-based human-rights group Dui Hua Foundation estimates that 4,000 prisoners were executed in 2011. That compares to 43 executions in the U.S. last year, according to Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization Death Penalty Information Center.
Mr. Wang’s announcement moves up the projected date for the new national system. In March, Huang Jiefu, China’s vice minister of health, announced that China would abolish the practice of using prisoner organs within the next five years.
The demand for transplants in China is growing, said Mr. Wang in the report. An estimated 1.5 million people in China are in need of organ transplants annually, while only 10,000 receive them, according to government statistics.
In the U.S. in 2009, 14,632 organs were donated, while the transplant wait list had 104,898 patients, according to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
China’s new voluntary system will run up against a number of obstacles, including the lack of legislation defining brain death, Mr. Wang said in the interview. “Death is not merely an isolated natural process,” Mr. Wang was quoted as saying. “It has culture and societal aspects that are unique to each society, which must be respected by that society’s organ do¬nation system.” Clarity about when a person is legally dead is needed before his or her organs are procured, he said in the report.
In addition, the success of a voluntary system depends on the Ministry of Health’s ability to change public perception of organ donation, the report cited Mr. Wang as saying. Due to religious beliefs and cultural traditions, many in China believe the integrity of a body should be maintained after death, Mr. Wang said, noting that the same belief systems also encourage life-saving.
Mr. Wang said in the interview health officials will launch public awareness campaigns. Health experts are also discussing the need for a social support system for disadvantaged donors and recipient families, he added.The Red Cross program will be an extension of a pilot program for voluntary donation that it and China’s Ministry of Health launched in 2010 and that has been tested in 16 of China’s mainland cities and provinces (WSJ, 2012).
The proposal to stop using the system was put forth at a working conference by the country's most senior law enforcement official, Meng Jianzhu, according to a post by the state-run CCTV on its Sina Weibo microblogging account. Meng is the secretary of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Politics and Law Commission.
The proposal requires the approval of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress-- the country's legislature-- although it is largely a rubber-stamp formality.
The CCTV post was later deleted, as well as a post quoting it by the state-run Xinhua news agency. A post on the topic by the People's Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper, also disappeared on Weibo.
Under the "laodong jiaoyang" or "re-education through labor" system, petty offenders, such as thieves, prostitutes and drug abusers, are imprisoned for up to four years in labor camps without a judicial hearing. The United Nations Human Rights Council estimates there are 190,000 inmates in 320 such centers across the country.
Critics say the camps, which fall outside of the formal prison system, are often misused to persecute government dissidents, including intellectuals, human rights activists, and followers of banned spiritual groups like the Falun Gong.
Two high-profile cases that became public last year generated a massive backlash, forcing the government to address the thorny issue. In one case, a mother was sentenced to 1.5 years in a labor camp for "disrupting social order" after she repeatedly petitioned officials to execute men convicted of raping her 11-year-old daughter. In another case, a young village official was sent to a labor camp for two years for retweeting Weibo posts deemed seditious.
Recent official sentiment has indicated that reform, if not abolishment of the system, is needed. The camps date back to the 1950s when the new Communist regime sought to silence its enemies to consolidate its power.
In October, a senior official in charge of judicial system reform acknowledged that reforms were necessary and underway, according to Xinhua.
"The system was designed to maintain
social order, prevent and reduce crimes by reforming people who committed minor
offenses but were not punishable by the penal code," the Xinhua editorial
went on to say. "It did play an important role in maintaining social order
in specific periods, however, with the development of society and the legal
system, its defects have become more and more evident" (CNN,
Title: 'Appalling Irresponsibility':
Senior Scientists Attack Chinese Researchers For Creating New Strains Of
Influenza Virus In Veterinary Laboratory
Date: May 2, 2013
Abstract: Senior scientists have criticised the “appalling irresponsibility” of researchers in China who have deliberately created new strains of influenza virus in a veterinary laboratory.
They warned there is a danger that the new viral strains created by mixing bird-flu virus with human influenza could escape from the laboratory to cause a global pandemic killing millions of people.
Lord May of Oxford, a former government chief scientist and past president of the Royal Society, denounced the study published today in the journal Science as doing nothing to further the understanding and prevention of flu pandemics.
“They claim they are doing this to help develop vaccines and such like. In fact the real reason is that they are driven by blind ambition with no common sense whatsoever,” Lord May told The Independent.
“The record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring. They are taking it upon themselves to create human-to-human transmission of very dangerous viruses. It’s appallingly irresponsible,” he said.
The controversial study into viral mixing was carried out by a team led by Professor Hualan Chen, director of China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute.
Professor Chen and her colleagues deliberately mixed the H5N1 bird-flu virus, which is highly lethal but not easily transmitted between people, with a 2009 strain of H1N1 flu virus, which is very infectious to humans.
When flu viruses come together by infecting the same cell they can swap genetic material and produce “hybrids” through the re-assortment of genes. The researchers were trying to emulate what happens in nature when animals such as pigs are co-infected with two different strains of virus, Professor Chen said.
“The studies demonstrated that H5N1 viruses have the potential to acquire mammalian transmissibility by re-assortment with the human influenza viruses,” Professor Chen said in an email.
“This tells us that high attention should be paid to monitor the emergence of such mammalian-transmissible virus in nature to prevent a possible pandemic caused by H5N1 virus,” she said.
“It is difficult to say how easy this will happen, but since the H5N1 and 2009/H1N1 viruses are widely existing in nature, they may have a chance to re-assort,” she added.
The study, which was carried out in a laboratory with the second highest security level to prevent accidental escape, resulted in 127 different viral hybrids between H5N1 and H1N1, five of which were able to pass by airborne transmission between laboratory guinea pigs.
Professor Simon Wain-Hobson, an eminent virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said it is very likely that some or all of these hybrids could pass easily between humans and possess some or all of the highly lethal characteristics of H5N1 bird-flu.
“Nobody can extrapolate to humans except to conclude that the five viruses would probably transmit reasonable well between humans,” Professor Wain-Hobson said.
“We don’t know the pathogenicity [lethality] in man and hopefully we will never know. But if the case fatality rate was between 0.1 and 20 per cent, and a pandemic affected 500 million people, you could estimate anything between 500,000 and 100 million deaths,” he said.
“It’s a fabulous piece of virology by the Chinese group and it’s very impressive, but they haven’t been thinking clearly about what they are doing. It’s very worrying,” Professor Wain-Hobson said.
“The virological basis of this work is not strong. It is of no use for vaccine development and the benefit in terms of surveillance for new flu viruses is oversold,” he added.
An increasing number of scientists outside the influenza field have expressed concern over attempts to deliberately increase the human transmissibility of the H5N1 bird-flu virus. This is done by mutating the virus so that it can pass by airborne droplets between laboratory ferrets, the standard “animal model” of human influenza.
Two previous studies, by Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, caused uproar in 2011 when it emerged that they had created airborne versions of H5N1 that could be passed between ferrets.
The criticism led to researchers to impose a voluntary moratorium on their H5N1 research, banning transmission studies using ferrets. However they decided to lift the ban earlier this year, arguing that they have now consulted widely with health organisations and the public over safety concerns.However, other scientists have criticised the decision to lift the moratorium (Independent, 2013).
Title: Chinese Girl Subjected To Horrific
Date: May 14, 2013
Source: Sky News
Abstract: A case of almost unspeakable child abuse has emerged from China. (Warning: this story contains content some may find distressing.)
An 11-year-old girl was found walking on a road in the town of Shichang in China's southwestern Guizhou Province on May 8.
According to local news reports, the girl was talking to herself and occasionally shouting abuse at passers-by.
A man, named locally as Mr Fu, approached the young girl and discovered she had scars all over her body. On her scalp were scalded patches. She was missing much of her hair.
Other villagers then told Mr Fu that the girl's name was Xiao Li. They admitted that they knew she was the victim of abuse by her father, a man they named only as Yang.
Mr Fu called the police, who quickly arrested Yang. Only then was the full horror subjected upon Xiao Li revealed.
The 11-year-old's mouth had been stitched up with fishing cord, her head had been dipped in boiling water, her skin had been pierced with sewing needles, she had been forced to kneel on a floor covered with broken glass and she had been hung upside down and beaten with ropes and sticks.
Photographs taken of Xiao Li in hospital this week showed fresh wounds on her knees, and older scars all over her body.
Doctors say the hair on her head is unlikely ever to grow back because of the abnormal temperatures her scalp has been subjected to.
Although she is 11, she looks much younger, suggesting that she has been malnourished for most or all of her life.
The long list of abuses was established through a combination of medical examinations and police interviews with her father, who is said to have admitted his crimes.
According to an interview given by the girl’s grandmother, Xiao Li's parents left home shortly after she was born to find work elsewhere in China.
For five years, Xiao Li was looked after by her grandparents. Her father then returned and the abuse began.
In the interview, the grandmother claimed that she knew about the abuse but could do nothing to stop it. She said that Xiao Li's father - her son - abused her too.
"He sometimes even beat me along with her, using tobacco stems hitting my back, hitting my head with pot lids," she was quoted as saying.
On occasion, Xiao Li would flee her father's house and attempt to seek some safety in her grandmother's house. Her father would chase her and beat her again. The grandmother was unable to explain why her son was so abusive.
It has emerged that the police had been aware of at least one incident of abuse by Yang in October last year.
Villagers had reported an incident in which the young girl's head was dipped into boiling water.
The police questioned Yang, who claimed that he had put her head into a pot of boiling water in an attempt to rid her of head lice. The police had ordered Yang to take her to hospital, but the matter was not pursued.
Sky News has been unable establish what role Xiao Li's mother played in her upbringing.
Xiao Li is now recovering in hospital. The costs of her medical care have been waived and the local authorities claim to be organising an extensive programme of psychological treatment.
Chen Yuefang, a local government official, said they are now seeking guardians to look after Xiao Li for the remainder of her childhood because her grandparents are too elderly to do so.Mr Chen also pledged that checks would be made on all children in the town to ensure such an incident is not repeated (Sky News, 2013).
Title: Chinese Teen Sparks Outcry After
Writing Name On Egyptian Temple Wall
Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Chinese teenager who defaced an ancient temple in Egypt with graffiti has come under fire at home where his vandalism prompted public fretting about how to cultivate a good image overseas as more newly affluent Chinese travel abroad.
The teen scratched "Ding Jinhao visited here" in Chinese on a temple wall in the ancient city Luxor, and the incident came to light when another Chinese tourist posted a photo of it on a popular microblog with the comment: "My saddest moment in Egypt. Ashamed and unable to show my face."
The photo quickly caught the attention of the Chinese public, attracting thousands of comments, and someone was able to identify the person responsible for the graffiti as 15-year-old Ding Jinhao from the eastern city of Nanjing. Many criticized Ding's act as an embarrassment to the country.
"Why there are so many citizens who go abroad and humiliate us? How many generations will it take to change this kind of behavior?" Xuan Kejiong, a prominent journalist with Shanghai Television, wrote on his microblog.
The sentiment was echoed by the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, the People's Daily newspaper.
"Nowadays, people in China no longer want for food and clothing, and even in the luxury shops abroad, there are advertisement posters in Chinese," the paper wrote in a commentary. "But many people also feel as though their `hands are full but hearts are empty.' In the process of modernization, how have the people come to lack modern manners and consciousness?"
The outcry prompted Ding's parents to publicly apologize. In an interview with a Nanjing newspaper, Ding's father said "the child has committed a mistake and the main responsibility falls on the adults. It was because we did not supervise him well, and have not taught him well."
The soul searching comes as Chinese tourism overseas has seen an explosion in growth over the past decade, fueled by rising incomes and the relaxation of government restrictions on citizens' ability to travel abroad.
China has been the fastest-growing source of international tourists in the world for the past 10 years, the World Tourism Organization, a U.N. agency, said in April. The organization said the volume of international trips by Chinese tourists has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012 -- accompanied by a nearly eightfold increase in spending.
Last year, China surpassed Germany to become the largest spender in international tourism, with tourists' expenditure amounting to a record $102 billion, the organization said.
But Chinese travelers, many of whom join tour groups, are frequently criticized for rude behavior. Deputy Premier Wang Yang earlier this month during the passage of a tourism law urged Chinese travelers to mind their manners."They make a racket in public places, carve words at scenic spots, cross the road when the light is red, spit, and do other uncivilized things," Wang was quoted as saying. "This is detrimental to the image of the country's people and leaves a bad impression" (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Baby Rescued From Sewage Pipe In
Date: May 28, 2013
Abstract: The dramatic rescue began after cries were heard from a fourth-floor apartment toilet.
Alarmed neighbors heard the sounds and saw a tiny foot inside a ceramic bowl. There was a baby inside.
They called the fire department in the Chinese city of Jinhua, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
Unable to pull the infant out out, rescuers went to the floor below and sawed away an entire section of sewer pipe.
But still, the baby was stuck, so both the section of pipe and the infant were taken to a local hospital.
Working together, rescuers and doctors began removing the pipe, piece by piece, as shown in video from CCTV.
It shows the exact moment hands in white gloves gingerly pulled away a part of the pipe, revealing the tiny face of a newborn.
The afterbirth was still attached.
CCTV reported the infant, a baby boy, was rescued Saturday. He is in stable condition.
No one has come forward yet to claim the child, and police say they are looking for his parents.
Jinhua police issued an appeal on the social media website Weibo."Mom, come back! The baby is resilient and alive. Please show up, Mom. This is your own baby and he should return to your warm embrace soon” (CNN, 2013).
Title: Vietnam Accuses China Of Ramming
Fishing Boat, Damaging Its Hull In South China Sea Clash
Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Vietnam has accused China of damaging a fishing boat in the latest escalation of tension in the disputed South China Sea.
The Foreign Ministry said a Chinese vessel slammed into a Vietnamese fishing boat while it was operating in Vietnamese waters on May 20. It damaged the ship's hull and risked the lives of 15 crew members, it said.
Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said in a statement that the ministry lodged a protest Monday with the Chinese embassy.
Nghi said the Chinese action violated Vietnam's sovereignty and demanded that China severely punish the violators, compensate the fishermen and make sure similar incidents do not occur.
Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected the charges.
"Vietnam's accusations against China are totally untrue. The Vietnamese fishing boat entered waters around China's Xisha islands and fished illegally in violation of China's sovereignty and laws," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, referring to the Paracel islands. "There is nothing to dispute about China's relevant authorities carrying out normal law enforcement. We demand that Vietnam take concrete measures to educate fishermen to stop fishing illegally."Vietnam said in March that a Chinese naval vessel fired flares that damaging a fishing boat's cabin near the islands (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Uproar In China Over Handcuffing Of
Date: May 29, 2013
Abstract: Two local officials in southwestern China have been suspended from their jobs following allegations on social media that a teenage girl was handcuffed and paraded around town after an altercation with a deputy mayor.
Authorities have placed Yuan Zehong, the top Communist Party official in Kele Township, Guizhou Province, and Chen Song, a local police officer, under investigation following the allegations, the county government said in a statement Tuesday, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.
Accusations surfaced this week on the popular social media platform Weibo alleging that on April 6, Yuan and other officials handcuffed a 13-year-old girl, Rao Yao, and marched her up and down a street for about 20 minutes after she accidentally spilled water on a government car carrying the deputy mayor.
According to the allegations, the deputy mayor had physically fought with the girl, who was detained for 12 hours by authorities.
That version of events seems to have first been published by the Weibo user @yww272651564. But that account no longer appears to exist. In its report, Xinhua referenced an unidentified social media account as the source of the accusations.
The claims quickly spread in Chinese social media, with tens of thousands of people commenting on and re-posting them. Many users said the officials' actions were shameful.
But Yuan and local security officials have disputed the allegations against them.
In an article published on the website news.chengdu.com, Yuan said that the girl was handcuffed after she and two other family members kicked and beat the deputy mayor. He said the girl was put in a police vehicle and wasn't paraded around, the website reported.
According to a report on the case by local law enforcement officials cited by the website of the state-run newspaper People's Daily, the girl was taken to a vehicle parked 20 meters away from the scene. Officials didn't realize the girl was as young as 13 because of her height, according to the report.
It is unclear why the allegations only came to light several weeks after they are reported to have occurred.The team of senior county officials and police who are investigating the incident was set up on Monday, Xinhua reported (CNN, 2013).
Title: Chinese City Plans To Fine Mothers
Who Give Birth Out Of Wedlock In New Family Planning Rule
Date: June 3, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Chinese city plan's to fine mothers who have a child out of wedlock has sparked criticism that the policy is discriminatory and could lead to an increase in abandoned babies.
One expert says it is the first time that out-of-wedlock children have been expressly singled out for penalty by one of China's municipalities, which have flexibility in how they enforce China's population-control policies. It also comes just days after the rescue of a young single mother's newborn from a sewer pipe in eastern China prompted discussion over the stigma that single mothers face.
Chen Yaya of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences warned Monday there could be more "sewer babies" if the policy is enacted.Wuhan city says the rule is aimed at keeping the birth rate low (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Activists Ask People To Wear Black
On 24th Anniversary Of Tiananmen Crackdown
Date: June 3, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Activists in China are calling on people to wear black on the anniversary of the bloody military crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square.
Beijing-based rights activist Hu Jia said he had been appealing for people to wear black T-shirts on Tuesday or light a candle at home on Monday evening to remember the event.
The Chinese government has never fully disclosed what happened and it remains a taboo topic inside the country. Hundreds, possibly more, were killed.Hu said he felt the security around this year's event — the first since Xi Jinping became leader — was unprecedented (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Chinese-American Released From
China After Five Years
Date: June 5, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Chinese-American businessman who was held in China for nearly five years after he became involved in a dispute with a competitor has been allowed to return to his Southern California home, his wife said Tuesday.
Hong Li said her husband, Hu Zhicheng, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport from China on Monday night.
"We're grateful, we're very, very grateful for everybody's help and we're really happy to have him back home," she said of herself and the couple's two children.
She told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview Tuesday night that her husband was asleep and still jet lagged and did not want to talk about his ordeal or his return home.
Hu was released just ahead of a summit between President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, but Li said she didn't know if that played any part in her husband's return.
She said the first she learned that he was coming home in a call Monday from a relative in China, who told her was on a plane to the United States.
"I don't want to say too much at this point," she said. "I don't really know too much."
An internationally recognized expert in the development of catalytic converters that are used to limit pollution in automobiles, Hu holds a doctorate in engineering and more than 50 patents. He has performed research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for international companies.
He returned to China in 2004 after years in the U.S., hoping to get in on the ground floor building cleaner-running automobiles just as smog-choked China's economy was booming.
Hu became chief scientist and president of a company trying to build top-grade catalytic converters and was honored by the province of Jiangsu as one of its leading innovators. Li, meanwhile started her own business supplying materials to the company that employed her husband. She also holds a doctorate in engineering.
Eventually, a competitor accused Hu of stealing information and providing it to his wife's company. When Li and the couple's children returned to the U.S. for a summer visit in 2008, he was nervous enough to warn them not to come back to China. Shortly before Thanksgiving that year, he was arrested.
Hu was jailed for 17 months while police investigated the case. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing and released, but authorities refused to let him leave China after his business rival filed a lawsuit seeking financial damages.
Li said Tuesday she didn't know if that case has been resolved.
After his release from jail, Hu moved to Shanghai and worked for the company that employed him. He was allowed to travel freely within the country, but he could not leave. Asked Tuesday if he would consider returning at any point, Li laughed.
"No, I don't think so. I doubt it," she said.
The couple were born in China and became U.S. citizens several years ago. Both of their children were born in the U.S.
Their daughter, Victoria Hu, visited her father in Shanghai in 2010 and since then has kept up a relentless campaign from the United States seeking his release.
She posted a petition to Change.org that collected more than 60,000 signatures and started a Facebook page called "Help Victoria's Father Dr. Zhicheng Hu Come Home."
Her mother, meanwhile, contacted the State Department and other officials for years.All of those efforts had seemed to lead nowhere until Monday (Fox News, 2013).
Title: NYU Reportedly Ousts Blind Chinese
Activist Amid China Campus Deal
Date: June 13, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: New York University has reportedly booted a blind Chinese political activist from its campus under pressure from China over a deal to build a branch campus in Shanghai, according to the New York Post.
Chen Guangcheng has been studying at the university since May 2012, when he made a dramatic escape from house arrest in China's Shandong province to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Chen's escape sparked a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and China. Chinese officials later let him move to the U.S. with his wife and children.
The Post reports that Chinese officials who approved permits for NYU’s expansion in Shanghai did not approve of Chen's presence at the school.
NYU officials tell the paper, however, that Chen was never meant to stay at the university long-term and that the politics associated with the campus expansion had nothing to do with his ousting.
“If there were outside pressure, why would we have taken him in the first place when his plight was on every front page in the world?” spokesman John Beckman said in a statement to The Post.
Beckman told the paper the university received approval for the Shanghai campus months before Chen arrived at the school.
A self-taught lawyer who spent years in prison in China, Chen is currently in discussions with Fordham Law School in New York to continue his studies there, according to The Post.
Since his escape, Chen has criticized China's human rights records, speaking about it before a U.S. congressional committee. He also has complained that Chinese authorities have reneged on assurances made to U.S. diplomats that his relatives would be treated according to the law.
His nephew, Chen Kegui, was sentenced to 39 months in jail after he clashed with local officials who stormed into his parents' house in the wake of the activist's escape. Chen family supporters say the prosecution and sentence were retribution for the embarrassment the case has caused Chinese officials.
Last month, Chen Guangfu, Chen Guangcheng's oldest brother, complained that he and his family were subject to constant harassment by local thugs who beat him, distributed flyers with insulting language and tossed dead animals into the family yard.Chen Guangfu told The Associated Press last month that he and their mother, Wang Jinxiang, had been granted passports so they can travel outside China. He said they were planning to seek visas and visit Chen Guangcheng in New York (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Chinese Citizens Demand Evidence,
Doubt Official Explanation Of Bus Fire That Killed 47
Date: June 13, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Soon after a fire on a crowded commuter bus killed 47 people and injured 34, Chinese authorities offered an explanation: One of the dead had written a suicide note, boarded the bus during the evening rush and set it on fire.
After doubts were raised online, police said they found pieces of the burned cart and woven bag the arsonist used to transport gasoline. They said survivors saw Chen Shuizong set the fire, and that his wife and daughter confirmed that the suicide note was written in his handwriting.
Many Chinese still aren't buying it. Their reaction reveals at least as much about their distrust of the government as it does about the June 7 fire in Xiamen, a prosperous port city in southeast China's Fujian province.
"How can you solve a case in such a short period of time?" asked Liu Shanying, a political scientist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "And the suspect is dead. From a legal point of view, the case just looks very suspicious."
China's authoritarian government tightly controls access to information, censors the media and regularly refuses to provide data. Incidents of authorities or officials denying an event or guilt only to later be found to have been lying have added to citizens' distrust, as has endemic corruption.
Police changed their story twice following an explosion that killed four people last year at a community center in southwest Yunnan province's Qiaojia county. Twelve hours after the blast, they said a woman with a 1-year-old baby was the perpetrator. Days later, they named a different suspect and stated categorically that he was responsible. Three months later, two other men were named the criminal suspects.
Last month, authorities announced in a terse statement that they were investigating "suspected serious disciplinary violations" by Liu Tienan, the deputy chief of the planning agency in charge of steering the Chinese economy. But that came months after an agency Liu worked for fiercely denied a prominent journalist's accusations that Liu had shady ties with a businessman, was involved in large, problematic bank loans and had made up his academic qualifications.
Such backpedaling has made Chinese more suspicious of the official versions of events.
In the case of the bus fire, police on Monday offered a greater level of substantiation than usual, but skeptics are demanding more. They want to see the suicide note, which has not been released, and any video that may have been taken inside the bus.
"So many suspicious points if you really think about it," said Xie Tianming, a photographer who is based in Fujian. "How is there the space for a person to pour out gas and light it in a crowded place? And no one saw it to stop it? No testimony from survivors? Where is the driver? Who can believe the lie that in this high-tech era we can't get surveillance footage?"
In a microblogging account reported by state media to be Chen's, the writer claimed to be destitute and pleaded for an opportunity to live. The writer chronicled his frustrated efforts to get a local police station to correct his age so he could be eligible for social security payments. The last entries were made a day before the fire, and the account was removed a day after the fire.
Some question how an impoverished man needing social security could afford a computer, or that a man of his age — born in 1954, according to authorities — knew how to use the microblogging site.
"A confession online, and an identity of petitioner makes one a suspect," lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan wrote on the Sina Weibo, referring to people who take local grievances to the central government. "It is lucky there was only one petitioner on the bus. What if there were more? It would be seen as a group alienating themselves from society. Why doesn't the police release the evidence directly?"
Such doubts are voiced every time China has a violent episode that the government blames on a loner. They illustrate the tensions between a government that wants to control information and citizens emboldened to question official accounts online where, there is lively debate, criticism and access to more information than ever.
"People are becoming even more distrustful," said David Zweig, professor of social science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
"In general, society in China pays a huge price for all kinds of government abuse or for company misbehavior," he said. "That's the main theme in China these days and so if this guy cracked because of one of those situations the entire bureaucracy has no interest in it being publicized ... And the Chinese people know it."
In some cases where doubts surfaced about the official version, the perpetrators became instant heroes online.
In 2011, Qian Mingqi, a man upset over a long-running land dispute with the government, set off three bombs in the southern city of Fuzhou, killing himself and two others and stirring sympathy among a public angry at official corruption and indifference.
After state media identified him as the culprit, Qian's blog drew hundreds of messages, many of them admiring, and he garnered thousands of followers. Today, he still has more than 20,000, and people continue to leave messages.One says, "Came back to visit Mr. Qian after the Xiamen fire case" (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Dolphin 'Dies After China Tourist
Date: June 18, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A dolphin has died in China after tourists hoisted it out of the water to pose with it for photographs, state media said Tuesday, provoking outrage online.
Images posted online showed a group of tourists manhandling the grey creature, which washed ashore on a beach Sunday in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, the state-run Shanghai Daily reported, adding that it later died of "excessive bleeding."
The dolphin might have collided with a fishing boat before it became stranded, the paper quoted an expert as saying.
But instead of trying to help the distressed animal, a crowd of bathers gathered in the water to pose with it, images posted online showed. Several men lifted the dolphin above the water as one of them flexed his muscles for the camera.
Users of China's Twitter-like social media service Sina Weibo reacted with outrage at the photographs on Tuesday.
"When even the basic respect of life is lost, I just want to say, how can I be proud of you, China?" one user said in a typical comment.
"Chinese style tourism is not about relaxation, but for showing off where one has been... Only by posting the pictures and getting praise and compliments, can the tourist feel he didn't spend the money in vain," another said.
"Dolphins, as highly evolved mammals, have an IQ only a little lower than humans. But those people in the pictures are worse than pigs," wrote another.China, which has a growing animal rights movement, does not currently have any laws to protect non-endangered animals (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Activists Targeting China Dog Meat
Date: June 19, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A festival dedicated to dog meat in southern China has been targeted by protesting animal lovers, who have won a minor concession from local officials, an activist said on Wednesday.
The annual festival, scheduled to take place on Friday in Guangxi province, sees dogs packed into cages before being killed, skinned and cooked -- but has met with increasing opposition from activists, highlighting China's growing animal rights movement.
Members of the activist group the Boai Small Animal Protection Centre have been protesting in Yulin, the city which holds the festival, since early this month, calling on the local government to cancel it, group founder Du Yufeng said.
Photographs from past festivals showing dogs packed into cages and locals feasting on their meat from steaming pots have circulated on China's popular social networking websites, leading thousands to condemn the festival as cruel.
"This year the government has said they feel under pressure from online activism...so they have a special team to monitor the festival," Du said.
But the measures were unlikely to prevent the annual feast, she said.
"I think the team will reduce the cruelty somewhat, but mostly on the surface," she said, adding: "We have seen animals beaten just before being cooked...the more we inspect, the more cruelty we discover."
Government officials previously said that they could not close the festival as it was organised by locals, and not the government, Du said.
The event is reported to have started several decades ago to mark the summer solstice. It is due to attract 10,000 people according to the South China Morning Post.
Trucks arriving at the city packed with live dogs had taken measures to avoid being intercepted by activists, Du said.
"We can't stop the trucks because they come at three or four in the morning, so we don't know about them," she said.
But the activists had rescued dozens of the dogs and hoped to find new homes for them, she said.
Pictures posted on the group's account on Sina Weibo -- a Chinese social networking service similar to Twitter -- showed around a dozen activists on a street in Yulin holding posters showing caged dogs and calling for the festival to be cancelled.
Dog meat is not widely eaten in China, but can be found at restaurants across the country, where it is sometimes considered a speciality.
"Yulin is famous for its dog meat, and they serve cat meat too," Li Xiaoyun, a shop owner in the neighbouring city of Beihai, told AFP.
The festival has drawn protests before. Also in recent years, Chinese activists have staged a series of dramatic rescues of dogs and cats from trucks transporting them to restaurants.
Animal lovers rescued around 500 dogs in 2011 after a truck carrying them was forced to stop on a highway in eastern Beijing by a motorist who swerved his car in front of the truck and then used his microblog to alert animal-rights activists, reports said.China currently does not have any laws to protect non-endangered animals (Fox News, 2013).
Title: U.S. Businessman Held Hostage By
His Workers In China, He Says
Date: June 25, 2013
Abstract: Dozens of Chinese workers angry over a pay dispute have held their U.S. boss hostage for five days, the American businessman said.
Chip Starnes, co-founder and president of Specialty Medical Supplies China, has been trapped in the company's suburban Beijing factory since Friday. He told CNN it's all because of a misunderstanding about layoffs and severance packages.
"I tried to leave a day and a half ago, and there was like 60 or 70 of them here inside every entrance, and every exit was barricaded," Starnes said Tuesday from behind the gates of the factory. "I can't go anywhere."
Starnes was calm but looked haggard, wearing the same blue jeans and a blue shirt that he said he has been wearing since last week.
The incident started when the company laid off about 30 workers in its injection molding division. He said he transferred workers to another division, but some workers did not want to move. So the company gave them severance packages.
Starnes said the problem came when workers who already moved to another division also wanted severance packages.
But workers who spoke to CNN from behind the factory gates gave an entirely different account. Some said they're owed two months' worth of back pay and feared everyone at the plant would be laid off, as they claimed no new materials had entered the factory.
Starnes disputed that.
"There are no outstanding balances. There is no reason to be doing this other than bad information," he said. "The wrong information got out. Things snowballed. I am in the process of trying to fix that, but the demands and the amount of money that it is taking to do that puts the company in a bad situation, so there has got to be some compromise."
About four police officers at the scene would not comment on the situation.
U.S. embassy officials in Beijing met with Starnes on Monday and confirmed he is safe and is close to reaching an agreement, spokesman Nolan Barkhouse said. He said the executive has access to attorneys.
Starnes said the employees haven't caused any physical harm but have disrupted his sleep by banging on doors and windows.
He has a cot and is receiving three meals a day, said Les Capella, the U.S president of Specialty Medical Supplies.Capella said the company has offered protesting employees a lesser severance package if they want to leave. But he said the 80 to 100 employees at odds are demanding about $500,000 -- which would bankrupt the company (CNN, 2013).