US Ambassador presses China on
Ambassador Gary Locke urges China to release blind lawyer-activist Chen Guangcheng.
Jocelyn Ford and Kathleen E. McLaughin November 6, 2011 08:06
TAISHAN, China – US Ambassador Gary Locke is quietly pressuring the Chinese government on a high-profile human-rights case, acknowledging he had lodged a complaint over the extralegal home detention of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng.
“We are very concerned about his treatment and, for instance, the reports his daughter was not allowed to go to school. Although he’s been freed, he is still under severe restrictions on his movements,” Locke told GlobalPost in a private interview Friday. He said the Chinese government has not yet responded to the letter he sent in September.
Chen was released last year after more than four years in prison but remains under house arrest, without charge, and has reportedly suffered beatings in captivity.
Since Locke sent the letter, Chen’s 6-year-old daughter has been allowed to leave her home to attend school, under guard.
The ambassador, who arrived in Beijing in August, added his voice to the chorus calling for China to ease its extreme treatment of the self-taught lawyer, who is known for exposing forced abortions in his hometown in Shandong province.
Chen has become a galvanizing figure for those concerned with human rights and with the growing clampdown on free expression in China. Dozens of activists, journalists and diplomats have tried to visit Chen in recent months. They have been chased away, beaten and robbed by gangs of thugs who stand 24-hour guard around Dongshigu village.
Still, the visits and support continue, with many referring to it as “adventure tourism” in Shandong.
In recent weeks, thousands of users of Sina Weibo, China’s micro-blogging service, have changed their photo icons to pictures of themselves wearing sunglasses in solidarity with the blind lawyer, who wears dark glasses. This week, iconic artist and government critic Ai Weiwei posted a photo of himself in shades to support Chen. Earlier this year, Ai himself was arrested and disappeared for three months over what he says is a fraudulent tax bill.
Chen, who turns 40 in the next few days, is a self-taught lawyer who ran afoul of authorities in Linyi, in Eastern China’s Shandong province, for exposing forced abortions of local women targeted by local officials under China’s one-child policy. After multiple run-ins with the law over his human-rights work, he was sentenced to prison for “damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic.”
Since his release in 2010 Chen has been unable to leave his village or even his home. Last year, he and his wife managed to smuggle out a video detailing their lives in their home prison. After the video aired worldwide, Chen was reportedly beaten repeatedly. – More here
As for Biblical prophecy, besides this being more evidence of the last days, it also seems to imply that Asian countries, or certain ones, will be ruled by monarchies sometime in the future. This will be more likely to happen if enough Chinese citizens become wealthy enough, wealthy enough to afford guns, including sniper rifles, or grenade launchers. Once they can do that, they can overthrow their oppressive government, and China can then split up into various kingdoms:
From the Wall Street Journal:
Recent strikes in China are highlighting a technique widely used by foreign companies to keep costs down: hiring large numbers of “trainee” workers who can be paid less than the legal minimum wage.
The practice, while legal, has been a source of complaint for at least some workers during recent strikes, and labor experts say foreign companies may have to refrain from overly relying on it.
For companies operating in China, “the whole labor-unrest saga should lead to a rethinking of labor relations,” said Andreas Lauffs, head of law firm Baker & McKenzie’s employment-law group in Hong Kong.
As China’s migrant workers become more aware of their legal rights, they are starting to question some employment practices, such as excessive overtime and the wide use of trainees on the factory floor.
Riot Erupts in Southwest China Town
Thousands rioted in Guizhou’s Qianxi County on Thursday, apparently incensed by an altercation with chengguan or “urban administration officials”. From Reuters:
The protest in Qianxi County, Guizhou province, was the latest of thousands of brief, local riots and demonstrations that happen in China every year, and like many recent outbreaks this one pitted residents against “urban administration” officials charged with enforcing law and order.
A “clash broke out between urban administration officials and the owner of an illegally parked vehicle, drawing in thousands of onlookers and sparking incidents of crowds smashing law enforcement vehicles and blocking roads,” the website of China National Radio (cds.cnr.cn) reported on Friday.
“Crowds turned over the vehicle of the urban administration staff and attacked police who came to quiet down the situation,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The rioters smashed ten vehicles and torched another five, said Xinhua, adding that 10 police officers and guards were injured. The police arrested 10 people suspected of attacking the vehicles.
Unrest also broke out last month in the nearby city of Anshun after chengguan allegedly killed a fruit seller and single father, Deng Qiguo. Soon after, a journalist was beaten by local police after travelling to Anshun to investigate the story.
The Los Angeles Times’ Barbara Demick examines the continuing rise of “mass incidents” as a means to address specific grievances such as pollution and land seizures.
These demonstrators have a narrow agenda and concrete demands: Farmers want a stop to confiscations of their land or to get better compensation for lost property. Homeowners want to stop demolitions. People want cleaner air and water and safer food. Truckers and taxi drivers want relief from soaring fuel prices ….
The number of reported “mass incidents” rose from 8,700 in 1993 to more than 90,000 in 2006, according to the Chinese Police Academy. A professor at Tsinghua University, Sun Liping, has told Chinese reporters he believes the figure last year was up to 180,000 ….
In China, it is impossible to go to court to get a temporary restraining order if, for example, a factory is spewing harmful sustances into the water supply or somebody starts building on your land. Petitioning, an archaic practice dating to imperial times, requires the aggrieved to travel to Beijing and wait for months, if not years.
Rioting gets results. Quickly.
A new China Labour Bulletin report, meanwhile, focuses on the growing number of strikes and other labour protests, as young migrant workers become increasingly assertive in demanding wage increases. From Reuters:
Although migrant workers have often won pay rises in recent years, they feel poorly served by China’s official, Communist Party-run trade union, which has often sided with management in factory disputes, the China Labour Bulletin said in the report.
“They are giving each other in real time updates of their protests, and this has allowed workers’ rights groups, lawyers interested in workers’ rights, to offer advice, help them push their demands,” said Crothall, the Labour Bulletin spokesman, speaking of these digital tools.
The China Labour Bulletin report estimates that in 2009 China experienced about 30,000 collective labor protests, and adds there is “certainly no reason to suspect that the number of strikes is decreasing.”
The narcissist prizes attention, the psychopath is a sadist, the addict cares only for comfort and pleasure.
A true Christian seeks to conform to God's will; a self-centered man exalts his own will.
A logical man sees the universe and worships the Designer; an when an atheist sees it he resents his powerlessness, envies and scoffs.
To deny God's existence is to deny the existence of truth and right from wrong because without a God, right and wrong are simply opinions of imperfect beings and where they go when they die, who knows? What I mean by truth and right from wrong are the redundant terms, "absolute truth", "absolute good" and "absolute evil". So then, to deny the existence of God is neither logical nor moral.
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