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Thursday, May 31, 2007

China’s Ministry of Public Security Issues Secret Directive to Investigate and Bar Thousands Worldwide from Olympics

NEWS - May 31, 2007 Falun Dafa Information Center [ http://www.faluninfo.net/ ]


China’s Ministry of Public Security Issues Secret Directive to Investigate and Bar Thousands Worldwide from Olympics
Directive Targets Falun Gong, Dalai Lama, Counter-Revolutionaries, and the Handicapped

FDI: NEW YORK, NY – In what may be its most audacious Olympic act yet, China’s Ministry of Public Security has issued an incredible directive that lists 43 categories of unwanteds who are to be investigated and barred from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Falun Dafa Information Center has learned. Pariah groups include eerily vague “key individuals in ideological fields,” “overseas hostile forces,” “counter-revolutionary” figures, the Dalai Lama and all affiliates, members of “religious entities not sanctioned by the state” (e.g. Roman Catholics), “individuals who instigate discontentment toward the Chinese Communist Party through the Internet,” and even certain types of “handicapped” persons.

Members of the Falun Gong would be barred, as would “family members of deceased persons” killed in “riots” -- a euphemism for events such as the Tiananmen Massacre -- and Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province, which the regime brands “national separatists.” Only at the very bottom of the directive does it identify “violent terrorists” and members of “illegal organizations” as targets for investigation and possible barring.

To be investigated are participating athletes, members of the media, Olympic staff members, referees, sponsors, dignitaries, and the International Olympic Committee itself, among others, to determine whether they fall into any of the 43 categories. If carried out, the directive would amount to an espionage effort of astounding proportions, and would fly in the face of international law.

The Ministry’s directive, said to have been issued in April and titled “Notification on Strictly Carrying Out Background Investigations on Candidates for the Olympics and Performing a Pre-Selection Screening” has reportedly been circulated to each Chinese province and autonomous region as well as to all police stations and bureaus in municipalities directly under the Central Government. The Information Center is making available the relevant excerpt of the original document (Chinese) as well as a translation (English).

The directive also calls upon all levels of China’s regime to “cooperate,” but adds that it is “vital to keep this directive and all associated activities secret… it is of utmost importance to give the look of an easygoing environment to the outside, but in fact keep a firm handle on all activities.”

“To see China’s rulers abusing their Olympic privileges like this is simply unconscionable,” said Mr. Erping Zhang, Information Center spokesperson. “The regime appears to have gone so far beyond international norms as to risk absurdity, and is clearly bent on hiding this fact. This means that a shockingly large number of people could not participate in, work at, sponsor, or report on the Olympics. You might even have your phone tapped although you live in London, or you might be spied on in Florida, simply on account of your possible political or religious beliefs.”

“The CCP is making a mockery of the Olympic spirit,” Zhang said.

The directive is yet further evidence that China’s rulers are capitalizing on the Olympics to quash dissent, particularly the Falun Gong. A Feb. 21, 2001, Reuters report revealed that the campaign against Falun Gong had escalated as China entered the final stages of bidding for the 2008 Olympics. The report cited the state-run Xinhua propaganda outlet as saying the government had given “citations” to 110 organizations and 271 individuals “for anti-Falun Gong work” and to “wipe out” Falun Gong.

A July 17, 2001, report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, meanwhile, disclosed that after Beijing landed the 2008 Olympics, China’s then Vice Premier declared that winning the Olympics was “justification for the country’s crackdown on the Falun Gong.”

In 2005, an intelligence journal, Intelligence Online, revealed that China’s deputy public security minister, Liu Jing, had been assigned the responsibility of wiping out Falun Gong before the Games. A directive was issued “demanding that all of the country’s security services lend a hand” in the effort. Notably, investigators were to be appointed even to Chinese embassies around the world to “infiltrate” Falun Gong groups there. This would appear to anticipate the new, April directive dictating massive international espionage.

A growing body of voices has been calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics in light of the regime’s human rights abuses. Many point in particular to the regime’s complicity in Sudan, where it has blocked U.N. and other efforts to stem the tide of genocide, with the regime itself being known to supply arms to the Sudanese government. Some China watchers have likened Beijing’s Olympic efforts to those of Nazi Germany in connection with the 1936 Berlin Olympics -- referred to by many as the Nazi Olympics. Historians have said of the ’36 Games that “the regime exploited the Games to bedazzle many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany.” (link)

“China’s regime is using the Olympics to legitimize its oppression,” said Zhang. “Is China’s communist dictatorship to decide who gets a share of human rights come Olympics time? Or are the games to just be one big propaganda stunt?”

The Falun Dafa Information Center is calling upon the International Olympic Committee to vigorously investigate the above, and take firm, principled action to uphold the Olympic Charter and the human rights it enshrines.

# # #

NEWS - May 31, 2007
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net


Background
Founded in 1999, the Falun Dafa Information Center is a New York-based organization that documents the rights violations of adherents of Falun Gong (or “Falun Dafa”) taking place in the People’s Republic of China. In July of 1999 China’s autocratic Communist Party launched an unlawful campaign of arrests, violence, and propaganda with the intent of “eradicating” the apolitical practice; it is believed certain leaders feared the influence of the practice’s 100 million adherents. The campaign has since grown in violence and scope, with millions having been detained or sent to forced labor camps. The Center has verified details of over 3,000 deaths and over 63,000 cases of torture in custody (reports / sources). Falun Gong is a traditional-style Buddhist “qigong” practice, with roots in the Chinese heritage of cultivating the mind/body for health and spiritual growth.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER- Contacts: Gail Rachlin 917-757-9780, Levi Browde 646-415-0998, Erping Zhang 646-533-6147, or Joel Chipkar 416-709-8678. Email: contact@faluninfo.net, Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/

Teachers from B.C. muzzled in China

If I had my way I would bring the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party to school and teach those kids the real history of China -- why keep those big lies alive -- that no students were killed in Tiananmen and that Falun Gong is an anti-China hostile force. Surely Shirley, you can do much better than that! Oh and check this youtube to see what is really going on in China's schools--not at all the neat polished Confucius image that is projected through the media. EH?

Update:
B.C. schools in China are making false claims if they say they are delivering the B.C. curriculum while also avoiding hot topics such as Tiananmen Square, China's relationship with Taiwan and its human-rights record, educators said Thursday.

Schools that are unwilling to tackle controversial issues are delivering a watered-down education that is not worthy of a B.C. graduation diploma, said Charles Ungerleider, an education professor at the University of B.C.

"An education is designed to lead you out from the narrow confines of your previous knowledge and experience," said Ungerleider, who was deputy education minister from 1998 to 2001. "If education doesn't do that, it has failed you."
Vancouver Sun: Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun - Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007 - Two B.C. schools in China instructed their B.C.-certified teachers last year not to mention controversial topics such as Tiananmen Square, Tibet, the Dalai Lama, or Taiwan in the classroom and to feign ignorance if students asked questions.

The teachers were also told to avoid talking about human rights but if the topic came up, they should direct criticism towards other countries, especially the U.S., according to confidential information distributed to staff at Grand Canadian Academy in Tongxiang and the B.C. Maodun High School.

"When dealing with such [human rights] topics, talk about other countries and avoid China," says the schools' 2006 handbook, which was leaked to The Vancouver Sun. "Chinese government is happy if we use U.S. as an example and be critical about its wrongdoings in human rights."

The two independent schools are certified by the B.C. Education Ministry to teach the provincial curriculum and graduate students with a B.C. certificate, which gives them easy access to post-secondary institutions in North America. The schools charge tuition fees and send a portion of that money to the B.C. government.

The teachers are all licensed by the B.C. College of Teachers. Some are from B.C., while some are from elsewhere in Canada, and abroad.

The confidential section of the handbook, titled Political Sensitivity in China, says the increase in foreign high schools in China has prompted the Chinese government to apply "more strict ideological scrutiny over the textbooks and instructions in these schools."

It cautions teachers to avoid talking about Tiananmen Square, Taiwan, Tibet, Falun Gong, Japan, China's democracy and Chinese leaders, especially Mao Zedong.

Regarding the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 that resulted in many civilian deaths, the handbook says the Chinese government and the western world hold entirely different opinions about the event and the Chinese government wants people to forget about it. "Totally avoid this issue. If asked about it, 'I don't know' is the safest answer."

Teachers were told that Taiwan should be referred to as a region of China, not a separate country, and Tibet and the Dalai Lama should never be mentioned.

The warning about Falun Gong is sterner. "This is a forbidden religion in China for its political tendency. Totally avoid this issue. If asked about it, 'I don't know' is the safest answer."

Education Minister Shirley Bond had little to say about the handbook when contacted Wednesday.

"Our job is to ensure that B.C. curriculum is being taught by certified B.C. teachers and that is exactly what's taking place," she said, adding that the topics mentioned in the handbook are not among the prescribed learning outcomes for students.

"There are cultural and political views, obviously, that vary from nation to nation. They may not be consistent with my own personal views. But our job is to ensure the curriculum is being taught and I've been assured that is exactly what's taking place.

The schools are owned by Michael Lo, a Vancouver businessman who was forced to close two post-secondary institutions in Vancouver -- Kingston College and Lansbridge University -- after they were found to be violating provincial laws.

His B.C. agent for the Chinese schools, David Maljaars, said in an e-mail response to a Sun query that the section of the handbook dealing with political sensitivities has been deleted.

The school principals declined a Vancouver Sun request for an interview, he added.

A former Madoun principal, who quit his job in January, described the instructions in the handbook as anti-democratic. "It's a betrayal of the Canadian education system," Doug Roy said in an interview Wednesday. "It flies in the face of what education is all about -- but that doesn't matter to people who are only interested in making money."

Roy, who resigned after 10 months on the job, said Chinese officials try to keep "a tight lid" on what is being taught in B.C. schools and some owners go along with that.

New Democrat MLA Rob Fleming said schools that award B.C. graduation certificates should be required to meet the same high standards. "It's legitimate to have cultural sensitivities but when you talk about the education curriculum, it should be held to the same standards abroad as we have here.

"You can't just jettison parts of it."

He said Bond should take a hard look at what the school is teaching, especially given other concerns that have surfaced on the Internet.

Grand Canadian Academy and Maodun are among nine B.C.-certified schools in China, although only two are owned by Lo's Kingston Education Group. There is also one B.C.-certified school in Egypt.

The handbook cautions teachers about any lesson involving Japan. "China and Japan are enemies in tradition and friends in appearance. Currently their relationship is tense because 1.) Japan claims to protect Taiwan, 2.) official worship to the dead soldiers killed in the war with China, and 3.) the territory of the East Sea.

Be careful about China's sentiment about Nanjing massacre," the handbook says.

In speaking about China's leaders, the teachers should avoid all criticisms, it adds.

"The people of every country tend to think their own government is lousy. However, in the "family-type" cultural structure like China, the local people may feel offended when the outsiders are critical about their government leaders, including the past leaders like Chairman Mao and the current leaders.

"Avoid negative comments even when the students and Chinese colleagues are being critical about them."

jsteffenhagen@png.canwest.com


Organ-harvesting claims spark call for boycott of Beijing Olympics

China's own genocide should be in the front page before the Games.

Times Colonist: Tim Naumetz - Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007 - OTTAWA - A coalition of Falun Gong supporters is calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing if the Chinese government does not allow an independent investigation of organ-harvesting allegations.

The Canadian chapter of a coalition that claims China supports the illegal harvesting of a range of organs of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners said the boycott should begin in August unless China complies with the request.

At a Parliament Hill news conference Wednesday, former Liberal MPs David Kilgour and Simma Holt, along with a group called Doctors Against Organs Harvesting, lent their support to the demand from the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.

Former MP, David Kilgour, speaks during a Falun Gong demonstration, on Parliament Hill, on Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006.View Larger Image View Larger Image

Former MP, David Kilgour, speaks during a Falun Gong demonstration, on Parliament Hill, on Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006.

"It's simply impossible, in my view, to have torture and killing going on in one part of Beijing,"said Kilgour, "and the Games going on in another."

Kilgour and Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas last January released a report saying they had independently confirmed allegations of Chinese organ harvesting on a "large scale" from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.

The Chinese government last month denied the claims, saying it has banned the sale of human organs and allows medical transplants only with written consent under standards that protect the safety and health of patients.

But Kilgour and Matas said they found evidence Falun Gong practitioners are killed for their organs, which are sold to foreigners for "huge amounts of money."

Holt, who once represented the Vancouver House of Commons seat now held by Trade Minister David Emerson, accused Emerson of being complicit in organ harvesting by ignoring the allegations while supporting closer trade ties with China.

Torsten Trey, a physician with Doctors Against Organ Harvesting, compared the 2008 Beijing Games to the 1936 Olympics held in Germany only three years before the beginning of the Holocaust.

"The Holocaust in China has already started," he said. "The organ harvesting of living people is just the tip of the iceberg in the persecution of Falun Gong."

China claims Falun Gong is not a religious or spiritual movement and poses a threat to society by exercising mental control over its followers while amassing illegal wealth. It has compared the movement to unnamed cults it claims are banned in western democracies.

Reuven Bulka, president of the Canadian chapter of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong, said China should not object to an inquiry if the allegations are untrue.

"They shouldn't be afraid of an investigation," he said. "That's all we're asking."


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How good are the censors in China?

From China, CNET News.com reporter Michael Kanellos searches the Internet for "Tiananmen," and sees just how editors can alter history in the Digital Age.

And this is what happens when he searches for Falun Gong. Now China decides that the internet is good (Foreign Policy). Surpirsed? China will say lots of things people like to hear ahead of the Games.

CNET: Published: May 29, 2007, 11:17 AM PDT ...The only search term that's completely nuclear on any site is unambiguous Falun Gong. Type that in and the computer goes dead. You don't even get links--the server times out right after you hit enter. (more)

Visiting Chinese diplomat served $6M lawsuit

Falun Gong practitioners claim official is guilty of crimes against humanity

Leave it to Beijing to label a torturer the 'JFK of China'. We'll see Bo in court. Look for more here

National Post by Melissa Leong, Published: Monday, May 28, 2007 - Falun Gong practitioners charge that a visiting Chinese diplomat is guilty of crimes against humanity and served him with a lawsuit yesterday afternoon in the elevator of an Ottawa hotel.

A member of the Falun Gong spiritual movement gave Bo Xilai, China's Minister of Commerce, a statement of claim that alleges he "orchestrated and led a campaign of terror" while serving as mayor of the coastal city Dalian and deputy secretary of the Chinese Communist Party for the Liao Ning Province.

Rong Jin, a 27-year-old former Chinese resident, is seeking $6.25-million in damages claiming that she was detained on two occassions in Dalian prisons, where she was tortured in 2000 for practising Falun Gong.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Mr. Bo met with David Emerson, Canada's Trade Minister, yesterday to discuss investment and commercial relations while dozens of Falun Gong members demonstrated outside of the Foreign Affairs headquarters.

"I have known Minister Bo for 10 years, since he was the Mayor of Dalian and ... he's my counterpart, we have a tremendous amount of work to do together and [I have] a tremendous respect for him," Mr. Emerson told reporters yesterday.

"What is transpiring in terms of these other issues, I really have no comment on that."

Falun Gong practitioners complained that the RCMP kept them from serving Mr. Bo with legal documents, which police cited was for security reasons. Lin Di, an Ottawa resident, later presented Mr. Bo with the papers at The Westin as he stood in an elevator. "He wouldn't accept it. I threw it to him."

Mr. Bo or the Chinese embassy have 40 days to file a statement of defence or Ms. Rong can ask for a judgment in his absence, said Lawrence Greenspon, a human rights lawyer in Ottawa who has taken the case. Ms. Rong is able to sue Mr. Bo in Canada because she continues to suffer damages, he added.

"When I remember my experience in China when I was a freshman in university, it is a nightmare," said Ms. Rong, an accountant now living in Toronto. "I hope this lawsuit will be helpful to my local practitioners, to free them from jail."

The statement of claim was issued in Superior Court in 2005 when Mr. Bo was scheduled to visit Canada. He did not make the trip. The statement of claim was reissued last week.

Mr. Bo, a charismatic politician who has been called the John F. Kennedy of China, has been accused of torture and murder in lawsuits brought by Falun Gong practitioners in several countries.

Calls to the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China and its embassy in Ottawa were not returned yesterday. In a statement posted to its Canadian embassy's Web site, the Chinese government called Falun Gong a "cult" that has "degenerated into an anti-China political organization."

Mr. Greenspon said the lawsuit also helps raise public awareness about the alleged injustices in China.

"At the very least, their hope is Canada should not be playing host to people of authority who are responsible for torture," he said.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Canada's RCMP will protect Chinese Commerce Minister against Falun Gong activists in Ottawa today

Bo Xilai

It's a black day for human rights in Canada as we watch the Harper government cave in to Communist China in the name of the almighty dollar. Somehow their principled agenda just flew right out the window under communist pressure. Here are reports from CP and ET. Correction: the number of confirmed deaths in the CFP report below should read 3018 instead of 318. Update: Bo was served successfully after his meeting with Foreign Affairs without interference from the RCMP. Epoch Times has the scoop.

Canada Free Press: By Judi McLeod; Monday, May 28, 2007

David Emerson, Bo XilaiWhile their next-door neighbours are paying homage to fallen soldiers during Memorial Day 2007, Canadians will be thwarted from serving papers on an alleged killer and one of China's most notorious crimes against humanity offenders.

Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai--said to be responsible for 100 confirmed torture deaths of Falun Gong adherents while held in police custody in Liaoning Province--is expected in Ottawa today at the invitation of Canada's Minister of International Trade David Emerson.

Accepted on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP's) watch-list in September 2003, Bo is now being given Mountie protection.

"On Sunday May 27th, RCMP Constable M. Mongeon told Falun Gong practitioners that he had received high-level orders to arrest anyone who tries to serve Bo Xilai legal papers." (Falun Dafa Association of Canada).

Bo, 57, Mayor of the City of Dalian, Liaoning when the persecution of Falun Gong was launched in July 1999, is one of the communist party's prize "princelings", the son of a first-generation, high-ranking communist party official. It was while Bo was serving as Governor of Liaoning from 2001 to 2004 when 100 torture deaths of Falun Gong prisoners were confirmed.

All pleas to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, publicly credited for acting with conviction and compassion when it comes to respecting human rights, have fallen on proverbial deaf ears.

With the exception of the National Post, media mewlings about Bo's Ottawa visit today are all but non existent.

The Falun Association of Canada got little help in even being able to pinpoint the timing of Bo's Ottawa visit: "Jennifer Chiu, press secretary at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, did not deny that a visit was in the works but told The Epoch Times Wednesday "the visit is not confirmed". (The Epoch Times, May 24, 2007).

Today Falun Gong practitioners will converge on Ottawa to rally with banners in front of Parliament Hill expressing their outrage over the Canadian government's hosting of Bo.

"Evidence of Bo's complicity in torture and crimes against humanity has prompted lawsuits in 10 countries." (Falun Dafa Association of Canada).

Attorney Lawrence Greenspon states: "Canadians have rights to sue and serve legal documents on those who have wronged them. It is completely unacceptable that the RCMP would protect Bo Xilai from being served with proper legal proceedings."

"We are shocked that our government, who has recently shown some moral stand over human rights abuses in China, has taken such an about face on this issue by shielding a criminal of genocide and stopping Canadians from their right to seek legal redress for crimes against humanity," said Xun Li, Falun Dafa Association of Canada President.

Any diplomatic shielding of Bo flies in the face of the more than 318 documented death cases of Falun Gong practitioners as recent as April 23, 2007. Recent reports from David Kilgour and David Matas show substantial but largely ignored evidence of "large-scale organ seizures" from murdered Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning Province.

Bo, who was scheduled to visit Canada along with current Chinese leader Hu Jintao, made like the Artful Dodger when Liberal Paul Martin was Prime Minister in 2005. Falun Gong activists were proud to acknowledge that it was their protests kept him back in the Orient.

This was how Bo reacted when an attempt was made to serve papers on him in Washington, D.C.: Suddenly clueing in that he had been served with court papers, tyrant like, the ex-governor of Liaoning threw the papers to the ground. Someone in his entourage physically attacked the process server, the process server said.

An attempt to file a lawsuit against Bo in South Africa by nine Falun Gong practitioners met with violence.

On June 28, 2004 enroute from Johannesburg Airport, a gunman with an assault rifle shot at as Falun Gong practitioner's vehicle, hospitalizing the driver. After disabling the car, the would-be assassin made no attempt at robbery and successfully fled the scene. The practitioners believed the gunman was a killer for hire.

Today's visit by Bo to Parliament could be catalogued as the Liberal legacy of Canada's Minister of International Trade David Emerson.

First elected as a Liberal, Emerson served as Minister of Industry under Prime Minister Paul Martin. He was re-elected in the 2006 federal election as a Liberal. On February 6, 2006, Emerson accepted an offer to join the Canadian Conservative Government as Minister of Internal Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. Emerson was never made to answer to constituent voters for being the first Canadian MP to cross the floor after being officially elected--but before being officially sworn in.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Keep Bo Xilai out

Kilgour and Harris are right on the mark! Was this an oversight on the part of the Harper government? Or have they just chosen to ignore the tragic reality that the Chinese Trade Minister is linked with persecuting Falun Gong despite of much protest? Either way this news must not have sit too well with the Ottawa political elite and they are probably still trying to recover from the shock or are they? Their ability to trade with China has taken a very rough course right from the beginning and now this -- what could be worst? Meanwhile, they should have given the RCMP the go ahead to investigate the guy (Bo) if they are to stick by their principled agenda. A royal gaffe and a black day for human rights!

National Post -
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2007 - Ottawa will play host next week to Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai. Why would we let this man into our country?

Bo was a Communist Party regional head when the Party declared war on the Falun Gong community in 1999. Two years later, he was governor of Liaonong province, where especially brutal torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners occurred. The Matas- Kilgour report (organharvestinvestigation.net) quotes a woman whose surgeon-husband removed corneas from 2,000 practitioners' eyes at a hospital in Bo's province while he was governor. All "donors" in this commercial organ-harvesting scheme were murdered. Other evidence of torture and crimes against humanity during this period prompted lawsuits against Bo in 10 countries. A related suit was filed with the Ontario Superior Court in 2005.

Just days before Bo's latest attempt to enter Canada, two Canadians originally from Liaonong province told an Ottawa press conference what befell their own Falun Gong family members in Liaonong while Bo governed there. Intimidation. Torture. Murder.

And journalists heard that Bo is on an RCMP watch-list of Chinese officials, is among 45 alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity accepted by our federal government's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program and will face a civil lawsuit if human rights groups can serve him during a Canadian visit.

Stephen Harper has been a strong advocate of human rights in China. Officials have spoken out against Chinese espionage and the treatment of accused terrorist Huseyin Celil, and promised Canadians that trade won't trump human rights, or -- in Celil's case -- justify torture. Canadians want human rights and commerce balanced responsibly in our relationship with China.

Given all this, why was Bo invited in the first place? To appease the China business lobby? Were Ottawa bureaucrats overruling Mr. Harper's promise not to sacrifice human rights to trade?

One way or another, a decision on Bo will require all of the Prime Minister's gifts of leadership and moral clarity. Mechanisms are in place to bar Bo's entry. Canadians --and many suffering Chinese-- are watching.

By David Kilgour and David Harris. David Kilgour is a former

Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific. David Harris is senior fellow, Canadian Coalition for Democracies,www.canadiancoalition.com


Friday, May 25, 2007

Amnesty International Report 2007 - China and Singapore


Repression of spiritual and religious groups

The government continued to crack down on religious observance outside officially sanctioned channels. Thousands of members of underground protestant “house churches” and unofficial Catholic churches were detained, many of whom were ill-treated or tortured in detention. Members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement were detained and assigned to administrative detention for their beliefs, and continued to be at high risk of torture or ill-treatment.

• Bu Dongwei, a Falun Gong practitioner, was assigned to two and a half years’ Re-education through Labour in June for “activities relating to a banned organization” after police discovered Falun Gong literature at his home. He had been working for a US aid organization when he was detained.

• Pastor Zhang Rongliang, an underground church leader who had been repeatedly detained and imprisoned since 1976, was sentenced in June to seven and a half years’ imprisonment on charges of illegally crossing the border and fraudulently obtaining a passport. (to be cont’d…)

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

Restrictions on free expression and assembly

Civil defamation suits and criminal charges were used or threatened against government critics, human rights activists, Falun Gong practitioners and foreign news media. Tighter restrictions on several major foreign publications were announced in August, enabling the authorities to take punitive measures more easily.

• Two Falun Gong practitioners were convicted of holding an illegal protest outside the Chinese Embassy and sentenced in November to prison terms of 15 days and 10 days respectively. Nine practitioners were charged with illegally assembling to distribute leaflets. Jaya Gibson, a British journalist and Falun Gong practitioner, was denied entry to Singapore.



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Canada Urged to Cancel Invitation to Chinese Trade Minister Bo Xilai

Media Advisory

Thursday May 24, 2007 at 12:00 pm
Charles Lynch Conference Room,
130-S Centre Block, Parliament Building

OTTAWA—The Falun Dafa Association of Canada and the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, joined by Hon. David Kilgour, former Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), and victims of torture, will hold a press conference to call on the Government of Canada to withdraw the invitation and bar the entry of Bo Xilai, China’s Minister of Commerce who is scheduled to visit Canada this Monday and is alleged to have overseen the torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners when he was Governor for Liaoning Province. They are also calling for his arrest and a criminal investigation into his alleged crimes if he sets foot in Canada.

Bo Xilai is scheduled to visit Canada on Monday May 28th at the invitation of the Canadian government.


Background:

Bo Xilai is on the list of 45 perpetrators of crimes against humanity accepted for consideration by the Interdepartmental Operations Group of Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity & War Crimes Program in 2003, which allows for mechanisms that may lead to barring from entry, denial of visa, deportation, or prosecution of perpetrators of crime.

In 2005, Bo Xilai’s visit to Canada was aborted supposedly after attention was brought to his role in the torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners.

In 2006 it was disclosed that large-scale organ seizures from Falun Gong practitioners occurred in Liaoning province since 2001 while Bo Xilai was the governor.


Bo Xilai is a defendant in a number of lawsuits (both criminal and civil) in ten countries for torture, crimes against humanity and genocide, including the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Poland, Peru, Chile, Spain, and South Korea. On July 28, 2004, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia declared defendant Bo Xilai in default in a lawsuit in which Bo was accused of torture and crimes against humanity. Go here for the website detailing the lawsuits.

BO is among a group of government officials who in concert with others have implemented and sustained a campaign of suppression and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and in particular, in Liaoning Province.

Reuters: Falun Gong sues Chinese minister in U.S. court, 23 April 2004

23 April 2004, 05:37 pm;Reuters News; English; (c) 2004 Reuters Limited

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Falun Gong members have sued Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai in U.S. federal court for acts of genocide and torture which they said he carried out against them while a provincial governor, according to court documents made available on Friday.

Bo, in Washington this week as part of a delegation headed by Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi, was served with the legal papers on Thursday as he entered a hotel for a dinner in Wu's honor, said attorney Morton Sklar of the World Organization Against Torture USA, who represents the plaintiffs.

A State Department spokesman said he was aware a civil suit had been filed but it was unclear if the papers, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., had been properly served.

The Chinese Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

Before becoming commerce minister in February, Bo for three years was governor of Liao Ning province, home to the Masanjia forced labor camp and three mental hospitals. The provincial government is considered one of the worst abusers of Falun Gong practitioners, Sklar told Reuters.

Court papers said Bo "played a major role in seeking to suppress the Falun Gong spiritual movement."

Bo "planned and carried out a sustained and deliberate set of policies and actions that resulted in the arbitrary and unlawful arrest, detention, persecution and in some cases execution of the plaintiffs," the papers said.

Under international law, genocide is defined as intentional acts "to destroy in whole or part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

The suit said Bo's activities met this definition because "they consisted of an intentionally inflicted policy and practice, carried out under color of law, of inflicting serious bodily harm, and in a number of cases death while in detention, against members of a spiritual group."

Sklar said the suit was the fourth brought in the United States against Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that the communist government in Beijing considers a threat.

The State Department, in its latest human rights report, said China's government in 2003 continued its crackdown on Falun Gong and thousands of its practitioners remained imprisoned in jails, labor camps and psychiatric facilities.


MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 24 MAY 2007

Falun Gong urges Emerson to withdraw Bo Xilai Invitation

VANCOUVER – The Falun Dafa Association has learned that a communist official accused of executing a systematic campaign of torture and genocide against religious believers in northeast China will arrive in Ottawa this weekend at the request of David Emerson, Minister of International Trade. Their meeting is planned for Monday (28th).

Bo is accused of overseeing a brutal campaign of torture against adherents of Falun Gong, a Chinese meditation practice, in the northeast Chinese province of Liaoning where he was governor from 2001 to 2004. The repression of Falun Gong in Liaoning was one of the most severe in China under Bo's leadership. U.N. reports cite specific human rights abuses against Falun Gong in Liaoning province in every year that Bo was governor. According to the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, by the time Bo left the governor post there were 100 confirmed torture deaths of Falun Gong adherents in police custody in Liaoning.

In September 2003, the RCMP accepted a watch-list of high-ranking Chinese officials accused of torture and crimes against humanity against Falun Gong practitioners in China. Bo Xilai was among the first 15 names on the list, which now numbers 45.

Practitioners will hold a protest in front of Emerson’s office this Friday at 1:30 at 2148 Kingsway. A letter will be delivered to Emerson requesting that he withdraws the invitation to Bo Xilai to come to Canada. The torture allegations makes Bo an unsuitable guest in this country. Xun Li, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, says practitioners do not oppose Canada having relations with China, but Canada must not open doors to criminals. Allowing such officials [in]to Canada would send a message that Canada condones genocide and violations of fundamental human rights.

Time: Friday, May 25 at 1:30pm

Place: 2148 Kingsway

Background: Bo was scheduled to visit Canada along with current Chinese leader Hu Jintao in 2005 when Paul Martin was prime minister. However, after protests over Bo's planned visit, he was notably absent when the delegation arrived.

Bo has been served with lawsuits for torture, genocide, and crimes against humanity against Falun Gong believers in ten other countries.In April 2004, Bo was sued for crimes against humanity and torture while on a visit to Washington, D.C. Upon realizing he had been served with court papers, Bo threw the papers to the ground and his entourage physically attacked the process server.

Two months after Bo was served the lawsuit in the U.S., nine Falun Gong practitioners travelled to South Africa to protest the alleged crimes committed by Bo and another Chinese official, Zeng Qinghong, who were both visiting South Africa, and to file a lawsuit. On June 28, en route from Johannesburg Airport, a gunman with an assault rifle shot at the practitioners' vehicle, hospitalizing the driver. After disabling the car, the would-be assassin made no attempt at robbery and immediately fled the scene. The practitioners believed the gunman to be hired.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

China comes calling

Freedom should be on agenda when Chinese leaders visit

I couldn't agree more. The delegation, which includes Bo Xilai who is responsible for implementing the persecution of Falun Gong in China, is scheduled to meet Pelosi this Thursday--she should have a few good things to say to them.

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Democrat & Chronicle: (May 22, 2007) — A high-powered diplomatic delegation from China is in Washington this week to talk about the many economic barriers, mostly on the Chinese side, that have created a troubling trade deficit. Discussing trade with the most populous nation in the world makes sense.

But human rights should be on the agenda every time China comes to these shores to talk about partnerships and relationships of any kind.

This might not be a topic that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson feels equipped to raise with his guests. But President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who maintain that everything they have done in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East involves bringing freedom to the oppressed, should, if they're serious, impart the same message to the Chinese, whose government has one of the worst human-rights record in the world.

Persecution of the Falun Gong sect continues and the government represses at every turn the pro-democracy movement, most of whose champions are in prison, in exile or in hiding.

China's antagonism to human rights was on display in Sudan, where, as a major trading partner of the government, it chose not to interfere to help end the civilian bloodshed in Darfur province.

China has backed off a little in Sudan, in part because it does not want bad publicity as the 2008 Beijing Olympics approach. Now is a good time for Bush and Congress to stress the points about human rights and basic freedoms — free press and free speech, tolerance of dissent — and to remind China that, as a nation, we take these issues as seriously as we do trade barriers and undervalued currency.

Ronald Reagan's a good model in this regard. He invited a relationship with the old Soviet Union but he never stopped urging an end to totalitarianism. Reagan's spirit should be evident in Washington this week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Religious Persecution's Global Reach

Doug Bandow examines the global record of religious persecutions that is rapidly deteriorating. China is listed as a country of particular concern (CPC) by the US Commission. Bandow is vice president for policy of Citizen Outreach. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire (Xulon Press).

Spectator:
By Doug Bandow - Published 5/22/2007 12:08:08 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia -- The Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights gathered on Saturday to review the sad state of religious liberty around the globe. Led by Keith Roderick of Christian Solidarity International, the group painted a depressing portrait of religious persecution worldwide....

China has become an economic behemoth and is counting on increased prestige as a result of the 2008 Olympics. Yet the communist regime runs scared in the face of growing religious faith.

Believers are arrested, jailed, and tortured. Reports the Commission: "Every religious community in China continues to be subject to serious restrictions, state control, and repression. The most severe religious freedom abuses are directed against Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, Roman Catholics, house church and unregistered Protestants, and spiritual groups such as the Falun Gong."

Chinese Official Slams Dalai Lama

Aren't the Communist Party bosses showing their true colours by attacking the Dalai Lama? What a mistake, but on the other hand maybe this kind of attack will help the free world to see how hopeless the Communist Party really is.

am New York (AP) BEIJING May 21, 2007 -- A senior Chinese official has accused the Dalai Lama of conspiring with a host of perceived enemies, from Islamic separatists to the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, to weaken Beijing's hold over his homeland in Tibet, state media reported Monday.

In a speech, Tibet's Communist Party secretary, Zhang Qingli, warned that the Dalai Lama was "ganging up with Taiwan independence forces, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, democracy movements, and the Falun Gong in an attempt to establish an alliance aimed at splitting the motherland," the official Xinhua News Agency reported on it Web site.

The remarks marked an unusually broad attack. The Tibetan leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who fled into exile in 1959, is widely revered across ardently Buddhist Tibet, and Beijing fears he could be a rallying point against China's often harsh rule over the Himalayan region.

Zhang's list includes groups Beijing has accused of threatening the communist government or Chinese sovereignty. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement has called for independence for the Muslim, Central Asian border province of Xinjiang and is alleged to have links to al-Qaida. The Falun Gong, a meditation practice, managed to draw millions of followers in the 1990s before Beijing violently suppressed the group, banning it as a cult.

Xinhua did not specify how the disparate groups were linked or how the Dalai Lama was working with them.

"The Dalai clique has stepped up efforts to infiltrate (China's) domestic territory and has schemed to move the center of its separatist activities into domestic territory," Xinhua paraphrased Zhang as saying to a meeting of 600 officials in Lhasa on Friday.

In recent weeks, Beijing has stepped up a diplomatic campaign meant to isolate the Dalai Lama and intimidate foreign governments from hosting him. He canceled an appearance in Belgium after China objected, and a planned visit to Australia next month drew warnings from the Chinese Foreign Ministry last week.

Despite China's accusations that he is trying to foment rebellion, the Dalai Lama has said he wants Beijing to grant Tibet genuine autonomy in hopes of preserving the region's Buddhist culture.

Say no to the tyrant

Marchers claim Chinese communists losing members -- That is some good news!

Toronto Sun: Kevin Connor - May 21, 2007 - Hundreds of protesters from many walks of life called for the fall of communism in China at a rally held at Queen's Park yesterday.

"As Chinese-Canadians we have worried for years about China and the lives of our families under control of this blood-thirsty regime," said event organizer Jinan Liu.

"Now the Chinese are saying no to the tyrant Chinese Communist Party. Now it is a matter of time before its collapse."

The recent loss of 20 million members from the CCP shows that the Chinese people consider political liberties as important as economic prosperity, said Dr. Lavinia Stan, director of the centre for post-communist studies at St. Francis Xavier University.

ECONOMIC FREEDOM

"As in Eastern Europe, the Chinese people have started to realize that economic freedom means little if not accompanied by political freedom," Stan said.

"With its history of repression, its present ideological ambiguity and its uncertain future, the CCP has become obsolete. It should have the decency and the courage to allow multiparty elections."

Many in the crowd were worried about the "atrocities" their loved ones face for practising Falun Gong.

Falun Gong is an ancient form of qigong, the practice of refining the body and mind through special exercises and meditation.

Like tai chi, qigong is a vital part of many people's lives in Asia.

Only a few years after its public introduction in 1992, Falun Gong quickly grew to become the most popular form of qigong ever in Chinese history; however, in 1999 the CCP started a crackdown on its followers.

3,034 DEATHS

The Falun Gong Information Centre says they have verified 3,034 deaths since 1999 and hundreds of thousands have been detained.

"I am here today to protest those atrocities against the practitioners of Falun Gong as well as human rights violations in any manner contrary to the Charter of United Nations," said Muhammad Ali Bukhari, a human rights advocate.

"As Canadians we must speak up against these atrocities from individual to group or party policy to state."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

China asks Indonesian broadcasting commission to monitor Sound of Hope

Sound of Hope/Era Baru Radio has all the rights to air some factual information about the war waged by the Communist party on Falun Gong. But the Chinese Embassy is doesn't think so and is calling the shots, not for long I hope.

Batam (ANTARA News) - 05/20/07 23:40 - The Chinese embassy in Jakarta has requested the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission`s Riau provincial chapter to monitor Era Baru Radio which operates in Batam (the province`s noted industrial area) as its programs may disrupt Indonesia-China ties.

Chairman of the commission`s Riau Islands chapter, Hendryanto, said here Sunday the private broadcasting radio station was believed to have disseminated reports on political propaganda which had discredited the Chinese government.

"We are monitoring the programs aired by Era Baru Radio the majority of its listeners are ethnic Chinese in Batam and Riau Islands," Hendryanto said.

A provisional monitoring showed that the radio committed several things beyond its comitment, namely that 60 percent of the broadcasting language is in Chinese and only 40 percent in Indonesian.

However after the verification on the use of the languages, almost 90 percent of the broadcasting programs of the radio which has been operating since 2006 is in Chinese.

He said the commission had yet to find the content of the radio`s broadcasting programs which had led to political propaganda but learned the phrases of Falun Gong and Falun Dafa several times in its broadcasting materials in the Chinese language.

Falun Gong is an organization banned by the Chinese government.

"As a matter of fact, the terms Falun Gong and Falun Dafa were learned at a broadcasting program we were monitoring, and according to the written materials, it only delivered programs on human rights, and other topics," he said.

He pointed out that under Law No.32/2002 on broadcasting, broadcasting contents must be neutral and must not disrupt international relations.

The monitoring result on Era Baru Radio`s programs would be reported to the central Indonesian Broadcasting Commission.

Era Baru Radio assumed the legal status of a limited liability company whose president director Gatot was reportedly chairman of Falun Gong`s Riau Islands chapter.

Meanwhile, Gatot said he considered that the Chinese government`s request as an intervention.

"As an Indonesian citizen, I am concerned over the Chinese embassy`s request," he said.

He said none of Era Baru Radio`s programs concerned political propaganda as alleged by the Chinese embassy, however, if such an allegation was true, it (the embassy) should point out which was considered political propaganda and when it was aired.

"Don`t easily make such accusation, but if there is evidence, it should be informed. They (the Chinese embassy) should come and see directly to Era baru Radio to forward their objection," he said.

If Era Baru Radio reported news on ill treatment against Falun Gong`s activisits by the Chinese government, it was a fact and in Indonesia, reporting news based on facts is not banned as it is stipulated in Law No.40/1999 on the press.

"Falun Gong and Era Baru Radio have no direct relations. The radio station only has an interest in the broadcasting sector," he said.

Friday, May 18, 2007

China kills to harvest organs: MD

Doctors Against Organ Harvesting are giving everyone a fair warning about getting suspicious organs from China where Falun Gong practitioners are killed on demand to provide rich foreigners with organs. Check the report 'Bloody Harvest' to find out more about this macabre practice.

Ottawa Citizen: Published: Friday, May 18, 2007 (
TORONTO) Foreign patients who travel to China for transplants are likely receiving organs culled from political prisoners who are alive when their corneas, kidneys and livers are harvested, then left to die, an international group of doctors is warning.

China has long used organs from executed criminals, but since 2000 has turned to living donors and outlawed Falun Gong members to supply a growing trade in medical transplants, Doctors Against Organ Harvesting said yesterday.

The newly formed organization is seeking to warn patients that someone else's life is likely being sacrificed in the process of obtaining organs.

"Each person who travels to China for an organ causes the death of another human," said Dr. Torsten Trey, a Washington, D.C.-based physician and founding member of Doctors Against Organ Harvesting.

The group is sounding the alarm in the medical community about evidence of unethical transplants in China and want doctors to impress the information upon their patients. They want hospitals and universities to close their doors to visiting Chinese physicians and scholars looking to hone their techniques. And they want medical journals to reject research on transplants conducted in China.

"Medical science cannot build up any knowledge which is based on inhuman and unethical procedures," said Trey, who compared China's pilfering of organs from Falun Gong practitioners to Nazi medical experimentation during the Holocaust.

Doctors Against Organ Harvesting was formed in the wake of a Canadian investigation first released last year.

Authored by former Liberal MP David Kilgour and Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas, the report claims there is a widespread and systematic policy in China of selling organs from living donors to a growing clientele of desperate patients.

Kilgour said Thursday it is clear Falun Gong members are being targeted over other ethnic groups and religions, as a part of a campaign to villainize their spiritual practice since it fell out of favour with the government in 2000.

The report's conclusions were drawn from interviews with a handful of eyewitnesses from the medical side, recipients of organs harvested in China, official government pronouncements, statistics showing a sudden explosion in the number of transplants performed, marketing websites and undercover inquiries to hospital.

In one instance, an Asian patient recounted that after rifling through a list of potential donors, a military doctor departed and returned to the hospital several times, bringing back a total of eight different kidneys before finally settling on a match.

In another, a sick patient found out one day he needed a transplant and had an organ within 24 hours.

Websites market transplants in China in five different languages and in some cases guarantee availability of a matching organ within two weeks. The average wait time for a kidney in Canada is 32.5 months, while in British Columbia it is 52.5 months.

In surreptitious phone calls to Chinese transplant hospitals by Mandarin-speaking investigators, medical staff admitted organs came from Falun Gong prisoners.

While he is sympathetic to the plight of ailing Canadians who wait years for a transplant and face the prospect of dying before a match comes along, Kilgour said patients and doctors cannot turn a blind eye.

"Medicine cannot be practised by killing innocent people like chickens," he said.

Gerry Koffman, a Toronto general practitioner and member if Doctors Against Organ Harvesting, said there are about 100 confirmed cases of Canadian patients from Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver having transplants done in China.

One kidney specialist told him about a patient with end-stage renal failure quietly disappearing for several weeks then returning to sheepishly seek after-care for his "second" organ. When his body rejected the first, Chinese doctors quickly supplied him with a second, Koffman said.

The exposure of China's transplant industry, he added, should also be a wake-up call to all Canadians to sign their donor cards so the sick aren't forced to make such desperate choices.

"If more organs were available there would be no need to become an organ tourist," he said.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hackers deface Beijing’s security website

In China, Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted to death for internet related activities.

Financial Times by Mure Dickie in Beijing - June 20 2005 03:00 - Chinese hackers have defaced the website of a police-run security company that is leading a new effort to strengthen the Communist government's control over the internet.

The action by unknown hackers against the website of the Beijing General Security Service Co comes amid its drive to recruit a corps of 4,000 "internet security guards" to monitor the online activities of people in the Chinese capital.

"A security company that cannot even protect its own website can hardly talk about security," the hackers wrote in a notice that appeared on the site's news section last week.

The action against Beijing General Security underlines the challenges Chinese officials face in their campaign to tame the internet.

However, the company's continuing drive to recruit online overseers underlines Beijing's determination to prevent the internet from posing any challenge to the Communist party's monopoly on political power.

"Agents of hostile forces at home and abroad are using the internet to engage in propaganda, infiltration, incitement and sabotage," an official of Beijing General Security said. "Strengthening management of the internet is of special significance for the strengthening of the party's ability to govern."

The guards whom Beijing General Security is recruiting will be assigned to around 3,000 "internet access work-units", including telecommunications operators and internet service providers as well as 800 internet caf├ęs around the capital. Activities such as internet fraud, promoting the banned Falun Gong sect or online pornography are to be stopped and reported to police.

China already uses a range of methods including automated scanning to crack down on online activity. Local websites are regularly shut down, thousands of overseas sites are blocked and internet dissidents are routinely harassed or jailed.

International companies that operate internet businesses are expected to support such efforts and some have proved willing to do so. Microsoft’s new Chinese joint-venture internet portal, for example, has been banned from using a range of potentially politically sensitive words including “democracy” and “freedom” to label personal websites set up using its free online blog service, MSN Spaces.


Court decision won't force Falun Gong away from Vancouver Chinese consulate

Pressure from the Chinese Consulate is not the only thing that keeps Sam Sullivan ticking these days. Keep an eye on the City of Vancouver as it endeavours to maintain a happy face ahead of the 2010 Olympics at the expense of the poor and dissident voices. Oh and they even have their own law enforcer now. Sounds familiar? Indeed Vancouver and China have much more in common than one could ever imagine. It is clear that Mayor Sullivan will do anything to get the Falun Gong to move their 'blue wall and hut' before the Games. Here's a letter that was published in the Sun recently, from Sue Zhang, Falun Gong spokesperson for the Vancouver chapter.

Canada.com VANCOUVER (CP) Thursday, May 17, 2007 - Falun Gong practitioners say despite a recent decision they'll still get a day in court over their ongoing protests outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver.

The quasi-religious sect and the city are locked in a fight over the bright blue protest hut and plywood billboards the group has refused to leave for the last five years.

The city is attempting to evict it by enforcing a bylaw forbidding structures on private property without a permit.

But the group says its freedom of speech is being violated and only a full trial can prove that the law is being applied selectively.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has said the group is free to protest but not build on city land.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has refused to overrule a lower court's decision not to grant the group a trial but at a news conference today a Falun Gong lawyer is expected to outline why it still thinks it has a case.

Followers of Falun Gong, which combines tai -chi like movements and meditative practice, say the Chinese government has killed and tortured untold numbers of practioners since the movement was banned there in 1999.

The Chinese government denies the allegations.

© The Canadian Press 2007

Harper & Co. have got to get their China act together

Here's my letter to the Sun: I couldn’t agree more with Barbara Yaffe (Harper & Co. have got to get their China act together). I am stunned that Canada suddenly gives the white glove treatment to Communist China ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At this crucial time when the international community views China as a major world concern for many reasons--Canada’s rhetoric not to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation--means that we are simply embracing China’s good and bad side. A recent Angus-Reid poll showing that 77% of Canadians value human rights in the political arena should be reason enough for Harper & Co. to stand by Canadian values. It's time to walk the walk, otherwise are we not just helping China to keep their big lies alive in order not to blemish the Games’ happy face, namely, nobody was killed in Tinanmen, Falun Gong adherents are happy to donate their organs and Tibetans love China. Can somebody help them find the Middle way please?


Vancouver Sun: May 17, 2007 - How cute -- China lecturing Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay last week on who should and should not visit Taiwan.

The Chinese are fuming about Canadian MPs who have been regularly accepting invitations to visit Taipei.

This latest tiff serves to draw attention to Stephen Harper's Sino dilemma. Canada and China definitely are not cosy these days and Harper appears at a loss to confront the challenge of fostering better ties.

The PM is under serious pressure from the business community, which has obvious reasons for wanting robust relations with China.

B.C. cabinet minister David Emerson is front man on the China file, promoting the Asia-Pacific Gateway initiative for his home province and travelling over yonder to press flesh.

Harper, too, has tried courting China, last October giving the back of his hand to Taiwan.

In an interview with a Vancouver-based Chinese-language newspaper, Harper pandered to Beijing, asserting Canada would not "extend de facto recognition to the Taiwanese government. We believe it is an integral part of China."

This was at odds with ideas Harper's caucus had been embracing before the Conservatives took power in early 2006.

Conservative MP Jim Abbott went so far as to sponsor a private member's bill, the Taiwan Relations Act, to normalize relations with the burgeoning democracy of 23 million, which -- by choice of the Taiwanese people -- functions in every conceivable way as a fully independent nation.

If Canada wishes to stand as a beacon of democracy and human rights -- and, when necessary, Harper's constituency is prepared to have military force used to support such things -- it's pretty well impossible for the PM to keep up a good working relationship with China.

The fact is, the Chinese, by their past actions, are not into doing the Right Thing. They don't deserve Canada's respect.

But Harper and MacKay need to start getting their stories straight. Are they prepared to stand tall for Canadian values, or not? If so, why exclude Taiwan when speaking out on democratic values?

Yet, there was MacKay last week, again pandering to Beijing which had chastised Canada for allowing MPs to visit Taiwan on Taipei-financed fact-finding missions. Said MacKay wimpily: "We have not officially recognized Taiwan, ever."

Many voters who support Conservative principles have considerable sympathy for the reality of the Taiwanese position. Taiwan is obviously separate from China, collecting taxes from and passing laws adhered to by its people.

How dare China, a foreign power, try to dissuade Canadian MPs from travelling anywhere they choose? China needs to recognize, a whole lot of folks just don't buy the fiction about Taiwan being "a renegade province" of China.

This, after all, is the same China that has refused Canadian consular access to Huseyin Celil, a minority rights activist with dual Canadian-Chinese citizenship who in April was imprisoned for life in China.

Celil had been travelling with his Canadian passport in Uzbekistan when he was picked up, taken to China and charged with terrorist activities.

This is the same China that this spring left the world facing a crisis relating to pet food because wheat gluten and rice protein of Chinese origin was found to be contaminated with melamine.

This is the same China that has yet to answer for an egregious scandal involving the harvesting of human organs from persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Two respected Canadians, lawyer David Matas and former MP David Kilgour, issued a report last July concluding that human organs from thousands of Falun Gong adherents have been taken from executed people and sold, mostly to foreigners. (The rights of Falun Gong practitioners receive full protection in Taiwan.)

This is the same China that tried to cover up a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003 that left Canada unaware of and unprepared for the threat which thereafter resulted in a serious epidemic in Toronto.

Nearly 150 cases were recorded in that city, with a subsequent death toll of 23.

The Harper government would like the benefit of China's tourism and trade, but this prime minister has pledged to stand up for Canadian values. He must be consistent to be believable.

byaffe@png.canwest.com

Monday, May 14, 2007

'WSJ' Reporters in China Warn of Murdoch Takeover

The China journalistic team is right to be concerned about this takeover--the quality of the paper is bound to go up in smoke if Murdoch has his way. Look here, here and here for more on this topic.

Johnson said in an interview that it was relatively easy to be hard on China now because outside media were limited there.

"What I would be more worried about is five years down the road, when they open up and they want to know are you friend to China or not a friend?" Johnson said. Murdoch, he said, "would be willing to subvert the integrity of the paper to do a deal." (more)

By E&P Staff (NEW YORK) Published: May 14, 2007 8:30 PM ET - Seven correspondents in the Wall Street Journal's China bureau has apparently written a letter to four board members at Dow Jones & Co., urging them to stand fast to their decision not to sell to Rupert Murdoch.

Among other things, they wrote that Murdoch "has a well-documented history of making editorial decisions in order to advance his business interests in China and, indeed, of sacrificing journalistic integrity to satisfy personal or political aims."

The letter, written last Thursday, was first posted by Greg Sargent at his blog The Horse's Mouth at the popular Talking Points Memo site (www.talkingpointsmemo.com).

It follows.

We are correspondents who report from China for The Wall Street Journal, and we are writing to urge you to stand by the Bancroft family's courageous and principled decision to reject News Corp.’s offer to acquire Dow Jones & Co.

There are only a handful of news organizations anywhere with the resources and the integrity to pursue the truth in matters of national and even global importance. Thanks to your family’s committed stewardship, the Journal is at the head of this dwindling group.

Our China team won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting this year for a series of stories detailing the consequences of China‘s unbridled pursuit of capitalism – for China and for the rest of the world. Many of those stories shed an unflattering light on the government and business interests.

The prize is a reflection of the Journal’s substantial investment in covering what is perhaps the biggest economic, business and political story of our time: how China‘s embrace of markets and its growing global role are reshaping the world we live in. It is an important example of the coverage that we fear would suffer if News Corp. takes control.

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has a well-documented history of making editorial decisions in order to advance his business interests in China and, indeed, of sacrificing journalistic integrity to satisfy personal or political aims.

Mr. Murdoch’s approach is completely at odds with that taken by your own family, whose unwavering support of ethical journalism has made the Journal the trusted news source it is. It is fair to ask how News Corp. would change the Journal’s coverage.

In 2001, for example, our colleague Ian Johnson shared the Pulitzer for international reporting for his articles about the Chinese government’s sometimes brutal suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Under Mr. Murdoch, these articles might never have seen the light of day. That year, Mr. Murdoch’s son, James, the CEO of British Sky Broadcasting, delivered a speech in California echoing the line of the Chinese government in terming Falun Gong a “dangerous” and “apocalyptic cult,” which “clearly does not have the success of China at heart.”

Newspaper accounts of the speech say that James Murdoch criticized the Western media for negative coverage of human-rights issues in China, concluding that "these destabilizing forces today are very, very dangerous for the Chinese government.”

We believe that it is important for all of us – from reporters and editors to you, the owners of the company – to keep constantly in mind the fact that the Journal is an institution that plays a critical role in civic life. We take pride in knowing that Journal readers trust us to uphold these principles, even in the face of risks.

Your family established and is now entrusted with a unique and important institution. Safeguarding it is a responsibility that you have fulfilled admirably for decades. Yours is the kind of stewardship journalists on the ground in China will require in the years to come if they are to accurately frame one of the world’s most critical news stories. We have enormous respect for your continued willingness to defend the journalistic standards so important to all of us.

Sincerely,

Gordon Fairclough
Mei F. Fong
James T. Areddy
Shai Oster
Jane Spencer
Andrew Batson
Jason S.L. Leow