ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘china

South Sudan.

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The creation of a new country is an immense undertaking. From the comparatively simple logistics of organising the demarcation of frontiers to establishing a governmental framework and all of the tens of thousands of tasks in between.

The difficulties of such an enterprise should not be underestimated or diminished, it is a mammoth accomplishment to even start the process.

So I think that whilst we should welcome the setting up of South Sudan we should not forget the background to its creation or the part play by Omar Al-Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup d’etat.

We should not forget the ICC’s warrent for his arrest.

I would heartily recommend Eric Reeves’s work on Darfur and beyond to understand what has happened and why.

Reeves’s past piece on China’s role in this conflict is illuminating:

“The weaponry and ammunition in this and many other subsequent attacks on the UN peacekeeping force were in all likelihood manufactured in China and imported into Darfur by Khartoum’s armed forces—in direct violation of a UN Security Council embargo on all such movement of arms or ammunition. This is confirmed in a new, unpublished report from the UN Panel of Experts on Darfur, created by UN Security Council Resolution 1591 (March 2005). According to the Washington Post, the UN panel reports “finding recently manufactured shell casings from Chinese ammunition at the site of numerous attacks launched by unidentified assailants against peacekeepers from the joint UN-Union Mission.” This finding clearly implicates Khartoum and its proxies in the attacks on peacekeepers. “

Written by modernityblog

09/07/2011 at 17:27

Chen Guangcheng, A Blind Lawyer Beaten Up.

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We often think we have it hard in the West, but the reality is different. Particularly when you consider what happens to you in China if you step out of line. You get beaten up or jailed. That’s what happened to Chen Guangcheng, AFP reports:

“WASHINGTON — A blind Chinese activist who exposed abuses in Beijing’s population control policy was beaten unconscious by dozens of men led by a communist party official, his wife said in a letter released Thursday.

Human rights groups earlier reported an attack on activist Chen Guangcheng in February, but the account from his wife — who said she was also severely abused and remains under house arrest — offered graphic new details.

Wife Yuan Weijing said that 70 to 80 men stormed their home in February. She said around 10 beat her husband for more than two hours while the others trashed the place, taking away a computer, video-camera and even flashlights.

“Some of them twisted his arms forcefully while the others were pushing his head down and lifting his collar up tightly. Given his poor health condition of long-time diarrhea, Guangcheng was not able to resist and passed out after more than two hours of torture,” she wrote.

The letter was released by ChinaAid, a US-based rights group. It said it received the letter on Wednesday.

Yuan said the couple was not allowed medical treatment. She said she was covered with a blanket and beaten, which she believed caused her broken ribs. She said she could not see for five to six days and still cannot stand up straight.

Yuan said that the assailants were led by a local communist party vice secretary and included policemen, although they did not wear uniforms or show legal documents.

Yuan said that authorities have stepped up pressure on them since the beating, with their five-year-old daughter also under house arrest and Chen’s mother followed constantly by three men.

Previous attempts to verify the couple’s condition independently were unsuccessful. Reporters from Western news organizations said they were roughed up in February when they tried to reach Chen’s home in the city of Linyi.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer blind since childhood, served more than four years in prison after he exposed widespread late-term abortions and forced sterilizations under China’s policy of restricting most families to one child.

He was released in September and put under house arrest. He later made a daring video, also released by ChinaAid, in which he said police threatened to beat him or throw him back in jail if he spoke up.

Eggs And The Firewall Of China.

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Shanghaiist has a good piece:

“Breaking, kind of hilarious news! Fang Binxing, the principal of Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications and the guy thought to be behind the infrastructure of the Great Firewall, was giving a lecture at Wuhan University earlier today and was allegedly pelted with eggs and a shoe.

While the numerous eggs seem to have missed, the shoe allegedly struck its target… apparently that guy’s going to get pretty lucky later on. Already, Sina Weibo has started erasing mentions of the incident.

If you want to follow what people are saying, Chinese Tweeters already have a hashtag for it on Twitter (which, obviously, isn’t erasing posts): #FuckFBX. Subtle! “

This explains it too:

“The hashtag #fuckfbx is what the Chinese are using to help avoid #Censorchip at this moment. Fang Binxing is a censored topic in China.”

Written by modernityblog

20/05/2011 at 02:38

Gao Zhisheng.

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The Index on Censorship has a piece on Gao Zhisheng, his wife recalls:

“In 2007, officials subjected him to electric shocks, held lighted cigarettes up to his eyes and pierced his genitals with toothpicks. In 2009, the police beat him with handguns for two days. He has been tied up and forced to sit motionless for hours, threatened with death and told that our children were having nervous breakdowns.”

Written by modernityblog

29/03/2011 at 22:49

China’s Gun Running.

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Not only do China’s dictators have one of the worst human rights record on the planet, within China and Tibet, they are also responsible for gunrunning and murder that has taken place in Darfur.

The Beijing dictators have been using all their skills and mounting immense pressure to stop a UN report which indicts them and in part they suceeded, Reuters has more:

“UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – After weeks of delays due to Chinese objections, the U.N. Security Council on Friday received a report on violations of the arms embargo in Sudan’s western Darfur region that infuriated Beijing.

Austrian U.N. Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting told reporters he was passing the so-called Panel of Experts’ report on compliance with the embargo to council members. A council diplomat later confirmed that the report had been sent out.

The confidential report, which Reuters has seen, said Khartoum committed multiple breaches of the embargo and China has done little to ensure its weaponry is not used in Darfur.

It describes how markings on most of the 18 types of bullet casings found at scenes of attacks against U.N./African Union peacekeepers indicated they were manufactured in China. “

The craven nature of Western powers complying with, or not wishing to offend their most beloved trading partners, China is shameful, but not unexpected.

As with David Cameron’s trip, Western leaders will occasionally raise, very carefully, a few questions about human rights in China.

But it is all for the benefit of the media and “face”.

Western leaders won’t let the inconvenient issue of human rights get in the way of doing lucrative contracts with China. Business comes first in the West, that’s how they see it, and it is the Darfurians and Tibetans that lose out as a result.

Update 1: We shouldn’t forget Eric Reeves’ writings on the matter, particularly his most recent:

“The relationship between Darfur and Southern Sudan has never been well understood by the Obama administration, largely because of the incompetence of the president’s special envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force General Scott Gration. Gration came to the position in early 2009 without any significant diplomatic experience or familiarity with the extraordinary complexities of Sudan—Africa’s largest and most diverse country; he touted as background only his birth in Africa to missionary parents and an apparent facility in Swahili (of no use anywhere in Sudan). But he has enjoyed until recently the full support of President Obama, and this has made informed, tough-minded engagement with the Khartoum regime impossible.

The consequences of this failure are increasingly evident in proliferating news coverage of the critical and unresolved issues between the regime in Khartoum and the southern leadership in Juba. Unsurprisingly, as the scheduled referenda for southern Sudan and Abyei draw nearer, there has been a corresponding proliferation of commentary, nearly all of it from sources as belated as the Obama administration itself in recognizing the dangers looming in Sudan. What these commentaries most conspicuously lack is any sense of the relationship between events in Darfur and Khartoum’s stalling on the southern electoral process.

THE COST of US belatedness in responding to the electoral calendar leading to the two southern referenda has been extraordinarily high (http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=303 ). With less than two months until the January 9, 2011 date on which the votes are to occur, Khartoum has successfully run out the clock and is in a position to extract significant concessions from the US—sweeteners to persuade the regime to allow the referenda to occur as guaranteed by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which in January 2005 ended more than twenty years of unfathomably destructive civil war. Desperate to avoid the diplomatic catastrophe of a CPA collapse, the Obama team has been significantly expanded in recent weeks and months; however, it is far from clear that there is enough time to prevent war from re-igniting, the same war ended by the CPA almost six years ago. Warnings unheeded for well over a year have only now set off all the alarm bells; in turn, the most significant part of the US response has been to offer Khartoum more and more in the way of incentives.”

Written by modernityblog

13/11/2010 at 02:27

China: Human Rights Getting Worse.

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Liu Xia is a former civil servant, imprisoned in her own home under house arrest in China.

Her crime? Being married to Liu Xiaobo.

Whilst David Cameron is sucking up to the dictators in Bejing, human rights in China are getting worse, as the BBC shows.

The Chinese state is attacking Liu Xiaobo’s family and friends, as the Toronto Star reports:

“Now, with the award of the Nobel, the government has fired up a fresh campaign against Liu, while at the same time targeting his supporters.

Newspapers have carried anti-Liu essays and opinion pieces calling him a “criminal” and “a Western tool” for suggesting an end to the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.

Meanwhile the government has suggested the Nobel is just part of an international conspiracy to bring disrespect to China’s legal system.

And Wednesday it took the extraordinary step of quashing any hope Liu might have had to have his own acceptance speech spoken at the ceremony in Oslo.

Liu’s family said Chinese authorities have cancelled their scheduled monthly visit with Liu, apparently afraid that he might pass on a message to be delivered to the world at the December ceremony.

Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, had said after visiting him Oct. 10 that he intended to draft a message.

But Liu’s two brothers and a brother-in-law told the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy that they expect no further family visits until after the ceremony, thereby ensuring no message gets out.

The government’s vitriol has surprised many observers.

“I think we expected some reaction after the award, but nothing quite as brutal as what we have had,” says Kerry Brown, a former British diplomat and senior researcher at London’s Chatham House, the international affairs institute.

“The Chinese response seems primitive and heavy handed. I am amazed that people we thought so powerful can get so offended.”

While many regard the awarding of the peace prize as “dubious at the best of times,” says Brown, “the Chinese elite are reacting like this actually matters — and evidently it does, to them.”

One of the most recent to feel the government’s heavy hand is Liu’s long-time lawyer Mo Shaoping.

Mo was forbidden to leave the country Tuesday — plucked from a line at Beijing’s sleek Capital International Airport just as he was about to board British Airways flight 038 to London.

Mo and well-known Chinese legal scholar He Weifang were headed to the U.K. to address a seminar hosted by the International Bar Association. The topic: the challenges of being an independent lawyer in China.”

Nor should we forget that China’s political policies, decided by unelected men, are the one reason that dictators in Burma are still in power.

Written by modernityblog

11/11/2010 at 04:40

Tibet And Language.

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China, like many colonial powers and dictators, is forcing its language on those it rules over, but some Tibetans have had enough, according to Free Tibet:

“The protests are sparked by Chinese educational reforms which stipulate that all subjects will be taught in Chinese and all textbooks will be in Chinese.These reforms have already been implemented in other areas across the Tibet Autonomous Region, including in primary schools.”

Written by modernityblog

22/10/2010 at 03:12

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