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February 26, 2007

Rivals Seek to Expand Freedoms in China

Rivals Seek to Expand Freedoms in China

Interesting article about two human rights lawyers in China.

They divide into camps on the fundamental question of whether to try to improve the current Communist Party-run system by supporting well-intentioned party leaders, or to seek an end to Communist rule. “Some of us are waiting for a good emperor, some kind of Gorbachev, to come and fix the system,” Li Jianqiang said. “Many of the rest of us think that is a waste of time. We need to be building a civilization outside the Communist Party.”

February 16, 2007

China Covers Up Detention of AIDS Doctor

China Covers Up Detention of AIDS Doctor

The photograph and article in Tuesday’s Henan Daily could have been headlined “Happy Holidays.” Three highranking Henan Province officials, beaming and clapping as if presenting a lottery check, were making an early Lunar New Year visit to the apartment of a renowned AIDS doctor, Gao Yaojie.

They gave her flowers. Dr. Gao, 80, squinted toward the camera, surely understanding that pictures can lie. She was under house arrest to prevent her from getting a visa to accept an honor in Washington. Her detention attracted international attention, and the photo op was a sham, apparently intended to say, “Look, she’s fine and free as a bird.”

On Thursday, Dr. Gao said in a telephone interview, a handful of police officers remained stationed outside her apartment building in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

“I just can’t simply swallow it all,” she said. “I want to know two things. First, who has made the decision? I am an 80-year-old lady, and what crimes have I committed to deserve this? Second, they must find out who has been slandering my name on the Internet.”

February 10, 2007

Preparations for Beijing 2008

Preparing for the Olympics, the Chinese are instituting measures to stamp out poorly translated signs, public spitting, stray dogs, and littering as well as poor queueing behavior.
One campaign for "civilized behavior" kicks off Sunday in the Wangfujing shopping area, located just east of Tiananmen Square. This will be the first "Queuing Day," which will take place on the 11th of each month.

The 11th was picked because the two numbers 1-1 resemble two people lining up.

China Says No Spitting, Littering or Cutting in Lines at Olympic Games
Beijing bids to stamp out Chinglish

February 08, 2007

Tibetans tortured by Chinese after attempting to reach Nepal

Tibetans tortured by Chinese after failed escape attempt

A video still shows the Tibetan nun after she was shot by Chinese guards.

Samten was in a 75-strong group making their way over the 5,800-metre-high (19,000ft) Nangpa La pass in September when Chinese guards opened fire. At least two people, including a 17-year-old Buddhist nun, were killed.

The incident was filmed by a Romanian television producer on a mountaineering expedition, sparking an international outcry. Beijing had claimed the refugees were shot when border guards were attacked.

Of the survivors, 41 managed to reach India but 32 were caught and detained. The teenager said he was interrogated over a three-day period during which he was repeatedly hit with an electric cattle prod. "It went on until I fainted," Samten told reporters, adding that police repeatedly asked him to identify the dead nun.

After three days the Tibetans were taken to a prison in Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest city, Samten said. They were questioned again while chained to a wall, he said. "A guard wearing a metal glove would hit us in the stomach."

Samten was held in a labour camp there for 48 days and forced to dig ditches, build fences and work on fields, he said. Once released he paid guides to take him via Nepal to India where the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, has been based since 1959. "He wanted to come to see his holiness [the Dalai Lama] and he also wanted an education in the Tibetan language," said Tsering Ngodup, who works with the Tibetan refugee centre in Dharamsala.

The account could not be verified but echoes the stories of others who have made similar treks. Lobsang Gyaltsen, who managed to escape when Samten was captured, said he feared for his family in Tibet. "I do not know if they are safe. We come here to learn about our language and culture. These things are hard in Tibet where we do not have freedom."

The Chinese in Zambia

Thanks China, now go home: buy-up of Zambia revives old colonial fears

"It's hard to know how they all got here," said Guy Scott, a former agriculture minister and now the Patriotic Front leader in parliament. "If you go to the market you find Chinese selling cabbages and beansprouts. What is the point in letting them in to do that? There's a lot of Chinese here doing construction. Zambians can do that. The Chinese building firms are undercutting the local firms.

"Our textile factories can't compete with cheap Chinese imports subsidised by a foreign government. People are saying: 'We've had bad people before. The whites were bad, the Indians were worse but the Chinese are worst of all.'"

see also: China’s Influence in Africa Arouses Some Resistance

February 05, 2007

Evading the Great Firewall of China

The latest issue of 2600 contains a thorough technical explanation of how to defeat the Great Firewall of China. Apparently the solution is very simple. Unfortunately, the 2600 article isn't online, but fortunately there are some other articles which discuss the techniques used by the Great Firewall of China and how to defeat them.

Ignoring "the Great Firewall of China"