Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Corruption? Bribery? Judicial Independance?

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, July 24, 2009

The Chinese Communist Party, under the leadership of Chairman Hu Jintao, is warning Australia to keep out of China’s ‘internal affairs’ in the case of the Rio Tinto employess who are being held hostage for political reasons. China Daily, the Party mouthpiece, has had the following headlines recently:

Australia urged to treat Rio Tinto spy case ‘properly’

China urges Australia to respect judicial sovereignty

Australia urged to respect judicial sovereignty in Rio case

It seems the Chinese take a dim view of bribery and corruption, and want to be seen to be taking a hard stance. Strange, therefore, that all news of the Nuctech case is being blocked.

Wait, Nuctech? What’s that?

Chinese Govt. mum on $3.7 million fraud
THE Chinese Embassy has declined to comment on the $3.7 million X-Ray equipment fraud involving Chinese manufacturer Nuctech Company, despite the fact that it is headed by Hu Haifeng, the 38-year old son of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The official spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek, who preferred to be named only as Mr. Yang told [the press] that the embassy was not prepared to say more than: “We will take the necessary steps.”

The charges are connected to a contract for the supply of security scanners to the Ministry of Finance. It was awarded to a Chinese company, Nuctech Company, and was marred by alleged corruption and the payment of kickbacks to the tune of as much as a third of the contract price of some $3.7 million.

Search engines in China, including Google Inc.’s local site, are blocking news on a graft case in Namibia involving a company once headed by the son of President Hu Jintao.

Hu Haifeng is the former president of Beijing-based Nuctech Co., a maker of security scanners involved in a corruption probe in Namibia.  Investigators want to talk to him to get information about the company.

A search on Google’s Chinese Web site using the characters for “Hu Haifeng” and “Namibia” results in the following message in Chinese: “The search results may involve material that may not be in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, unable to display.”

The restrictions show the extent to which the government is working to contain news of the case, which may embarrass President Hu as he cracks down on official corruption. A Beijing court this month gave a suspended death sentence for bribery to Chen Tonghai, former chairman of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s largest refiner.

“Google’s operations in all countries worldwide must comply with local laws, regulations and policies,” said Marsha Wang, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for the company. Because of that, “some search results are not shown.”

MyLaowai calls on the Chinese Government to treat the Nuctech case properly, and to respect Namibia’s judicial independance. Oh yeah, and hand over Hu Jintao’s grubby-fingered boy at once.

Corruption in the Hu family? Like father, like son…

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Posted in Censorship, China, ChinaDaily, Corruption, Human Rights, Media | 15 Comments »

Song of the Grass-Mud Horse

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, March 21, 2009

This song is a clever protest of China’s censorship of free speech and profanity on the internet.
The major characters in the song have names that sound similar to Chinese curse words.

There is a herd of Grass-Mud Horses (fuck your mother)
Who live in the MaLe Desert (your mother’s cunt)
They are lively and intelligent
They are fun loving and nimble
They live freely in the MaLe Desert (your mother’s cunt)
They are courageous, tenacious, and overcome the difficult environment

Oh, lying down Grass-Mud Horse (Oh, fuck your mother!)
Oh, running wild Grass-Mud Horse (Oh, fuck your mother, hard!)

They defeated the River Crabs (censorship)
In order to protect their grassland (free speech)
River Crabs (censorship) dissappeared from the MaLe Desert forever!

Posted in Censorship, China, Human Rights, Media | 1 Comment »

Quotations From Bastards

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, September 3, 2007

From the Land That Time Forgot, these quotations…

“China is highly transparent in terms of military policies and security strategy, as reflected in its commitment to no-first-use of nuclear weapons… [but] Transparency will always be relative. The key point is mutual trust.”
– Peng Guangqian

Yeah, except that China has a stated first-use policy and is internationally known for having the least transparent set of military policies and budgets on earth.
.

The number of cases involving foreign institutions and individuals conducting illegal surveying and mapping in China has been on the rise in recent years, according to the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM).

In the first six months of this year, local authorities have handled five cases and investigating five others in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Shanghai Municipality, and Jiangxi and Jiangsu provinces.

SBSM said most of these foreigners came into the country under the disguise of scientists, tourists, expeditionists, and archaeologists.

The results of these foreigners’ surveying and mapping belong to China, and must not be brought and transmitted abroad without official permission by Chinese authorities, according to the law.

Foreigners who have illegally surveyed, collected and published geographical information on China will be severely punished according to law.
– ChinaDaily

These cases involve innocent people entering positional data into their GPS handsets. Hell, it includes me, since I’ve entered waypoints into my GPS-enabled cellphone. Come and get me. .

“Organic farming is not a new thing in Chinese agriculture. We did it thousands of years ago and now we are just going back to the traditions with some modern technologies.”
– Guo Changjun

Yeah. Modern Technology. Like not shitting in the rice paddy and calling it ‘Organic Farming’.
.

“China consistently spares no efforts to enforce its IPR legislation with great success acknowledged by the international community… It is regrettable for China to see the United States has chosen to request the establishment of a panel in spite of China’s efforts to settle this dispute through consultations.”
– Chinese WTO Delegation

Except that China rejected consultations under “relevant WTO regulations”.
.

一人超生,全村结扎!
If one person has too many babies, the whole village will have their tubes tied!
“一胎环,二胎扎,三胎四胎杀杀杀!”
One pregnancy gets the ring. Two pregnancies gets your tubes tied. The third and fourth, kill kill kill!
– Family Planning Slogans

.

“The reality of this country’s economic reforms is that the country, the race, is prospering. This must be extolled. It can only be extolled. There can’t be anyone who makes fun of it. People who do either have ulterior motives or they’re mentally challenged… As a Chinese director … as a Chinese actor, this point of view must be firmly entrenched.”
– Han Sanping, China Film Group Chairman

.

An unidentified official with the [Zhejiang] provincial industry and commerce bureau said that a thorough inspection shall be carried out for imported food products.

He also warned people to be cautious of taking foreign nourishment and avoid blind faith in expansive [sic] products.
-ChinaDaily

Yeah. Better to stick to cardboard-filled buns, right?
.

If we are serious about protecting Chinese culture, maybe we should begin by preventing our language from being Europeanized.
– Zou Hanru, ChinaDaily ‘opinion’ writer

.

Foreign acquisitions of Chinese companies will be subject to stringent new checks intended to protect national economic security under a new law passed Thursday.

“As well as anti-monopoly checks stipulated by this law, foreign mergers with, or acquisitions of, domestic companies or foreign capital investing in domestic companies’ operations in other forms should go through national security checks according to relevant laws and regulations”
– From the new Anti-Monopoly Law

.

Foreign investors are urged to pay more attention to environmental protection and energy conservation.

“China will strengthen restrictions on foreign investment in energy-intensive high polluting and low efficiency industries.”
– Vice-Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo

Yeah, because that’s the exclusive traditional domain of Chinese companies.

Posted in Censorship, ChinaDaily, Environment, Food, Human Rights, Lies & Damned Lies, Propaganda, Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fine Speech, Sir!

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, July 30, 2007

This is a speech given by Senator Frank Wolf, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. The speech was delivered July 17th, 2007.

“Imagine a country where factory workers have no workplace safety, labor or environmental protections and are required to work 80 hour-weeks for no more than $110 per month to produce goods for export.

“Imagine a country which boldly supplies missiles and chemical weapons technology to countries that support or harbor terrorists.

“Imagine a country that oversees a network of espionage operations against American companies and the U.S.

“Imagine a country which tortures and imprisons Catholic bishops, Protestant church leaders, Muslim worshipers, Falun Gong followers, and Buddhist monks and nuns just because of their faith and systematically destroys churches and confiscates Bibles.

“Imagine a country which has a thriving business of harvesting and selling for transplant kidneys, corneas and other human organs from executed prisoners who are thrown in prison with no trial or sentencing procedures.

“Imagine a country which maintains an extensive system of gulags – slave labor camps, also known as the “laogai” – as large as existed in the former Soviet Union that are used for brainwashing and “reeducation through labor.”

“Sadly, none of this is imaginary. Such a nation exists. It is the People’s Republic of China.

“Sadly, too, that’s just part of the list of egregious actions.

“In 2006, the Chinese government arrested 651 Christians that we know of. Currently China has 6 Catholic bishops in jail and another 9 under house arrest. Renowned human rights advocate Rebiya Kadeer has watched from exile as the Chinese government arrests and beats her family members in her homeland.

“Late last year, western mountain climbers captured on videotape a horrifying scene: Chinese police shooting from their North Face tents at a group of Tibetan refugees crossing Nangpa Pass. A 17-year old Buddhist nun was killed and several others were wounded.

“There are some who assert that human rights are something that should come once stability has been attained. They say that protection of human rights comes second to attaining economic power and wealth. We must reject that notion.

“During the debate over granting China permanent normal trade relations status, proponents argued that economic liberalization would lead to political liberalization in China, that exposing China to the West’s ideas and values would lead them to play a more constructive role in the international community, and that the U.S. and other industrialized nations could influence China through economic activity to better respect the rights of its citizens to fundamental human rights and the unfettered practice of their faith.

“Instead, we have seen why the protection of basic liberties should not come second to economic growth. The China of today is worse than than the China of yesterday, or of last year, or of the last decade. China is not progressing. It is regressing. It is more violent, more repressive, and more resistant to democratic values than it was before we opened our ports to freely accept Chinese products.

“And now, in addition to all of the horrible things the Chinese government does to its own citizens, it does to other countries’ citizens as well. It poisons children in Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Australia, with toothpaste containing an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. This toothpaste was marketed under the brand name “Mr. Cool.”

“Some 1.5 million wooden toys in the Thomas the Tank Engine line of children’s trains were recalled after manufacturers discovered that the Chinese-made toys were slathered in lead-based paint, a substance that is toxic if swallowed.

“China continues to send American consumers adulterated and mislabeled food products, including prunes tinted with chemical dyes, dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical, scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria, and mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

“Food and Drug Administration inspectors who traveled across the world to investigate the recent mass poisoning of U.S. pets stemming from tainted pet food from China arrived at two suspected Chinese factories, only to find the factories had been cleaned out and all equipment dismantled.

“On June 28, the FDA banned the import of five types of farm-raised shrimp and fish from China because they are so contaminated from unsafe drugs in China’s polluted waterways.

“A recent NPR story described how garlic from China outsold garlic grown in California for the first time last year. China began dumping garlic at U.S. ports below cost in the 1990s. Hefty tariffs kept the garlic imports at bay for a few years, but since 2001, imports of Chinese garlic have increased fifteen-fold.

“Several Fourth of July celebrations in my district, including in my hometown of Vienna, Virginia, included malfunctioning fireworks that injured 11 people, including children and an infant. These fireworks came from China.

“Some 450,000 imported tires were recalled from Foreign Tire Sales after it was discovered that the Chinese-made tires were sold without a critical safety feature that prevents the tread from separating from the tire. A blown tire can cause the driver of the vehicle to lose control of his or her car and crash.

“China is one of the world’s leading producers of unlicensed copies of goods ranging from movies and designer clothes to sporting goods and medications. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, 93 percent of DVDs sold in China are unlicensed copies. The MPAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups say that despite stricter Chinese enforcement, product piracy is growing amid China’s booming economic expansion.

“China is building a new coal-fired power plant every week and within a year will be the biggest source in the world of greenhouse gases. It is building factories and infrastructure all over the developing world, but we have no solid data on China’s plans or programs. A recent editorial in The Washington Post reported that World Bank experts estimate that toxic air and water in China kill some 710,000 to 760,000 Chinese each year.

“During a recent visit to Sudan, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised to build a new palace for the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, despite Bashir’s role in orchestrating the ongoing genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. This is in addition to the recent Amnesty International report that China is selling weapons to the Sudanese government, which are then being used to kill and maim innocent civilians in Darfur.

“China bullies neighboring Taiwan, repeatedly threatening to launch missiles from the mainland for Taiwan’s refusal to accept China’s claims of sovereignty over the democratically governed territory.

“And despite all of these abhorrent acts, China was still awarded the honor of hosting the 2008 Olympics. The Olympic Games: an event designed to lift up “the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles,” according to its own charter. Does China’s behavior sound like a “good example” to the rest of the world? Or that it is reflecting “fundamental ethical principles” that all nations should aspire to?

“Amnesty International reports that the Chinese government is rounding up people in the streets of Beijing that might “threaten stability” during the Olympic Games, and is detaining them without trial. Human Rights Watch reports that the Chinese government is tightening restrictions on domestic and foreign media, in an effort to control what information leaks out about China’s repressive and violent nature during coverage of the Olympics.

“China has even gone so far as to claim it will “force rain” in the days leading up to the Olympics, in order to have clear skies for the Games. They intend to fire rocket shells containing sticks of silver iodide into Beijing’s skies, provoking a chemical reaction that will force rain – despite mixed reviews on the soundness of this science.

“China s desperation to conceal its true character leading up to the Games smacks of the Nazi bid for the Olympic Games. Analysts are likening the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Olympics, in which Nazi Germany soft-pedaled its anti-Semitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, fooling the international community with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany under the guise of the Olympic Games.

“Like the Nazi regime in 1936 Berlin, the Chinese government is preparing for the Olympics by hiring U.S. firms to handle public relations and marketing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Where is the outrage over China’s unacceptable behavior? The facts are before us. The United States can no longer say that things are improving in China

“But China would have America and the world believe that is the case. China has hired a number of large lobbying firms in Washington, DC to push China’s agenda with the U.S. government. Documents from the Department of Justice show these lobbyists as having a significant presence on Capitol Hill, including almost 200 meetings with Member offices between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006.

“America must be a country that stands up for basic decency and human rights. America must speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves – men and women who are being persecuted for their religious or political beliefs. Our foreign policy must be a policy that helps promote human rights and freedom. Not a policy that sides with dictators who oppress their own citizens.

“Next time you make a purchase, and you see the words “Made in China,” think of the poisoned toothpaste, the contaminated food, the polluted waterways and airspace, the exploding tires, malfunctioning fireworks, the human rights abuses, and the intimidation of religious leaders. Remember that China poses a threat not only to its own citizens, but to the entire world. American businesses have an opportunity to capitalize on China’s failure to protect the safety of its food exports. American businesses should seize this opportunity by reclaiming their place in the global market. The United States government and American consumers must be vigilant about protecting the values that we hold dear.”

070730warninglabel.gif

Thanks to A True Chinese Renaissance for the report.

Posted in Annexed Territories, Censorship, China, Corruption, Environment, Human Rights, Media, Olympics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

QQ

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 22, 2007

First there was MSN Messenger, which was wonderful, because it gave Chinese office employees a reason to go to work. It also opened up an entirely new avenue for IPR theft, which of course is always a good thing here in China. The problem though, was that MSN Messenger was a foreign product, and therefore out of the control of the Party. So along comes QQ, the Chinese copy, which is obviously far better because it isn’t foreign. It still permits graft, has native Pinyin (Chinese language) support, and best of all automatically blocks anything the Communist Party deems dangerous.

Recently, some Chinese hackers located a document within the QQ installation package. The file contains over one thousand words, most of them in Chinese, which will be blocked by the service.

Owned by Tencent, QQ is China’s most popular Instant Messenger service. On a regular basis, tens of millions of users use their service. Because of its high traffic volume, it is technically much harder to build in the key word filtering mechanism on the server’s end. Instead, Tencent sneaked in a filtering program file in their installation package at the client end. When a client installs the QQ2003 software on their own computer desktop, a program file, called COMToolKit.dll, is automatically included. This file contains all the forbidden keywords, which will be automatically blocked when the client runs QQ. About 15% of the words are sex related, the rest are all related to politics. About 20% of the words are Falungong related, including [master] and [disciple]; about 15% are names of current officials and their relatives; about 10% are words used in the liberal political discourse such as “democracy”, “freedom”, and “dictatorship”; and about 5% are related to certain nationalistic issues, such as [defend Diaoyu Island], [Sino-Russian Border], [selling out the country] etc. About 15% of the forbidden words are related to anti-corruption, such as,[smuggling], [public fund]) etc. Other censored words include names of dissidents, writers, and intellectuals, and names of certain foreign publications.

The full list is below. Please note that it is no longer in text format, due to the adverse effect this has on my ability to view my own blog in China. Therefore, it’s a Hi-Res JPG. Download and view to see the list.

Thanks to China Digital Times for the list and heads-up.

 

UPDATE: Want to know which words are blocked? Check This Out!

Posted in Censorship, Human Rights, Media | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Want To See My Nipples?

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 22, 2007

This post relates to the recent case against Oiwan Lam, who is fighting an indecency ruling by the Obscene Articles Tribunal for posting an artistic photo of a topless woman that she found on Flickr. If the ruling is upheld she could face a fine of up to HK$400,000 and up to one year in jail.

If you live in Hong Kong you will be aware of the latest uproar over how the Television and Licensing Authority (TELA) and Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT) operate. At the Hong Kong book fair this week, a book depicting a classic French painting of Cupid kissing Psyche on its cover was nearly withdrawn from the Hong Kong book fair because TELA inspectors deemed it indecent.

Several media-related decisions by the Obscene Articles Tribunal in the 1990s have resulted in much confusion and criticism. The following three appeals lodged by the now defunct Eastern Express newspaper vividly illustrate the kind of unreasonable and unacceptable interference that the OAT could have on the daily operations of the media (Eastern Express Publisher Ltd v Obscene Articles Tribunal [1995] 5 HKPLR 247). In ruling on the appeals, a High Court judge sharply criticized the OAT saying, “These cases have, in my view, involved a great deal of waste of time, money and valuable resources.”

The first appeal concerned an OAT determination in 1995 that an advertisement in Eastern Express depicting Michelangelo’s statue of David was indecent. The OAT maintained that it was not appropriate for the newspaper to publish a photograph of a statue of wholly naked male body with the penis fully exposed. In allowing the appeal by Eastern Express, the High Court judge noted that he had never, until then, heard any sensible person suggested that the statue of David was indecent. He considered the OAT conclusion as “totally incomprehensible” and one which could not have been reached reasonably given that the advertisement was published on an inside page of a serious English-language newspaper and was clearly intended to be read by normal, reasonable adults.

– Yan Mei Ning, Hong Kong Media Law: A Guide for Journalists and Media Professionals

Well, if showing your nipples is what it takes to upset those bastards, then I’m game for a fight. Behold, netizens, and be amazed, as I expose my nipples for the benefit of the underaged public:

070722brassnipples.jpg

(Thanks to Rebecca MacKinnon and Roland Soong for the heads-up)

Posted in Censorship, Pornography | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Another Front for Political and Ideological Education

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 8, 2007

Oh dear, here we go (again)…

China’s Ministry of Education has banned university students from renting private accommodation during their studies, telling all students that they must share four to eight-person dormitories.

In a notice issued on Friday, the ministry instructed all universities to make the dormitories “another front for political and ideological education” in order to create a “good climate for the students’ growth”.

The ministry told the universities to strengthen the administration of dormitories, in what it says will ensure the safety of students and facilitate communication between them.

It also ruled that students sharing dormitories should be classmates with the aim of making it easier for teachers to monitor students’ lifestyles outside the classroom.

Xinhua

Posted in Censorship, Human Rights | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

He Says, They Say…

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, June 30, 2007

I find sometimes, that it’s helpful to put quotations into perspective:

In China, we don’t have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that’s a different problem… I’m sure I don’t know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all… Some people say that there are journalists in China that have been arrested. We have hundreds of journalists in China, and some of them have legal problems. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression.

– Chinese Government Official

This is a list of notable websites blocked in the People’s Republic of China. This list includes websites that are specifically blocked in one or more regions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the country’s policy of Internet censorship. Websites that are only blocked in particular institutions (e.g. universities) or are inaccessible because of packet filtering (and hence may be only partially or sporadically blocked) are not included in this list.

This list does not apply to the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, which have their own legal systems.

Media

  • BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk), the main BBC site (www.bbc.co.uk) is not blocked
  • Boxun News (www.boxun.com)
  • CBS (www.cbs.com)
  • China Digital Times (chinadigitaltimes.net)
  • China Times (www.chinatimes.com.tw)
  • The Epoch Times (epochtimes.com)
  • People’s Radio Hong Kong (www.prhk.org)
  • Radio Canada International (www.rcinet.ca)
  • Radio Free Asia (www.rfa.org)
  • Radio Taiwan International (www.rti.org.tw)
  • Sing Tao Daily (www.singtao.com)
  • TVBS (www.tvbs.com.tw)
  • United Nations News (www.unitednationsnews.com)
  • Voice of America (www.voa.gov)
  • World Journal (www.worldjournal.com)
  • Yazhou Zhoukan (www.yzzk.com)

Blogging/web hosting services

  • Flickr image servers (farm1.static.flickr.com, farm2.static.flickr.com)
  • LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com)
  • Tripod (www.tripod.lycos.com)
  • Technorati (www.technorati.com)
  • WordPress.com (www.wordpress.com)
  • Xanga (www.xanga.com)
  • Blogspot blogs
  • TypePad blogs

Non-governmental organizations

  • Amnesty International (www.amnesty.org)
  • Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  • Reporters Without Borders (www.rsf.org)
  • Students for a Free Tibet (studentsforafreetibet.org)

Governments and political parties

  • Central Tibetan Administration (www.tibet.net, http://www.tibet.com)
  • Democratic Party of Hong Kong (www.dphk.org)
  • Democratic Progressive Party (www.dpp.org.tw)
  • Kuomintang (www.kmt.org.tw)


Online games

  • Particracy (www.particracy.net)

Miscellaneous

  • The Gate of Heavenly Peace companion website (www.tsquare.tv)
  • Morning Sun companion website (www.morningsun.org)

(Source: Wikipedia)

This guy has the right idea: The Block China Petition

Posted in Censorship, Lies & Damned Lies, Media | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Dear Dad…

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, June 16, 2007

My old man is a decent bloke. He’s one of those chaps who deeply, sincerely believes in the goodness and downright humanity of all people, everywhere. That belief has cost him a few times, when people with a little less goodness and humanity than average have taken advantage of his better nature, but by and large it’s a belief that has seen him right and won him many friends. Despite not being particularly religious, he’s a better Christian than most Christians will ever be, and kudos to him for it.

I used to feel much the same way. As I’ve stated elsewhere, I used to believe that all people were all basically the same, that all parents wanted a better life for their kids than they had themselves, that education was the key to progress, that when you smiled at people, the vast majority would smile back, that love really was the most basic human emotion.

And then I came to the People’s Republic of Cheats China.

I was chatting to my dad the other day on the phone – always a bit tricky, due to the difference in time zones (he lives 5 hours and 5,000 years ahead of China). Anyway, he happened to mention that he’d taken a look at this blog, and he’d been a bit unimpressed. Essentially, he thought it was just a bunch of people complaining about things for the sake of it. I pondered that for quite some time. Is that what we all seem to sound like? Sure, we complain, but isn’t it at least possible that there’s something to it all? What would it take, short of actually living here, to even begin to understand what is really going on in this Evil Empire?

Well, dad, this post is dedicated to you.

1. Do you remember a couple of months back, when you asked about the weather here in Shanghai? I think I replied something to the effect that it was a bit chilly, but not raining. Well, dad, I really shouldn’t have done that. You see, by telling you the current weather, I was in violation of both the 1988 Law on the Protection of State Secrets, and the 1990 Measures for Implementing the Law on the Protection of State Secrets. I can be dragged out of my home in the middle of the night by plainclothed thugs and made to disappear for that. Or I could simply be kept under house arrest without charge indefinitely.

New regulations to take effect next year will clamp down on the illegal acquisition of Chinese meteorological information by foreigners.

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has identified about 20 breaches of weather security since 2000, the paper said.

“Illegal meteorological surveys and data collection have infringed China’s sovereignty… and threatened the country’s security,” the paper quoted CMA Vice Minister Zheng Guogang as saying.

– China Daily, 2006

2. Of course, I’m not likely to really get into trouble for telling you the weather, am I? That would be silly. On the other hand, by telling you that the weather is a State Secret, I am in violation of the State Secrets Law. Boy, I’m really racking up the charges now, ain’t I?

According to New York-based Human Rights in China, the world’s most populous country needs to come up with a clear definition of what it considers to be a state secret, The Los Angeles Times reported.

In a study released Tuesday, Human Rights in China said citizens in China have been thrown into jail for mailing newspaper clippings, defending displaced tenants and writing a doctoral thesis using 50-year-old library records.

A Chinese woman whose son was imprisoned for revealing state secrets said the lack of a clear definition means they can call anything they want a state secret, the Times said.

“It’s a conspiracy. They can use these at will to punish people,” Gao Quinsheng said in the article.

3. Of course, it all sounds a bit, well, dramatic, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not the Cold War any longer, and we’re all friends now in this harmonious new world, aren’t we? Surely China has a right to look after its’ own interests, and anyway, there are plenty of laws to protect people. The Constitution certainly does.

Tell that to my friend, a lawyer who took on a class action against the Shanghai Municipal Government, on behalf of residents who had been illegally evicted from their homes. Their homes were demolished and the land use rights sold to property developers. He won his case, the first time in history that the Chinese Communist Party has lost a court case on its own turf. And then, a week later, my friend was bundled into a police car whilst walking down the street, and sent to the Laogai. Because the Laogai system is extra-judicial, there was no trial, no appeal, and little hope of survival. His family weren’t informed of this for some time. A large number of people gathered to protest (many of whom were the residents on whose behalf he had taken on the court case). Some twenty of them were taken away, too. They haven’t been heard of since. Oh yes, and the same week the ruling judge overturned his own verdict and exonerated the Shanghai Government.

4. But let us not concern ourselves with isolated events. Sure, there are a few unfortunate cases, but by and large China is a peaceful nation and the Party is working hard to improve the condition of the people. Right? I mean, yes, they have annexed Tibet, East Turkestan, and half of Mongolia, and they did invade India, Vietnam, and Korea, not to mention initiating hostilities against Russia and the UN, and supported (financially and materially) revolutionary and anti-government groups in literally dozens of countries. And sure, they were the force behind the Khmer Rouge, and have supplied weapons and intelligence to Osama Bin Laden, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and various groups in the Sudan and elsewhere (and there’s always Taiwan to consider)… BUT, that’s all history, yes?

No. The Chinese Communist Party has an ambitious buying program underway for the Red Army, which includes Improved Kilo SSK’s and Sovremennyy DDG’s armed with SS-N-22 Moskit (‘Sunburn’) ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missiles (to which no defence yet exists). There are new main battle tanks, new mobile artillery, and a brand spanking new airforce that includes SU-27’s, SU-27SK’s, SU-30MK’s, and the new J-10’s. Look ’em up on Google, dad, they are rather impressive. They are developing their own aircraft carriers, and have already purchased the aircraft that will fly off them. There is a new generation of ballistic missile submarines (the 094) entering service now, armed with the DF-31 ballistic missiles (8,000 Km range, MIRV’d warheads). Not that they did it all on their own, the Los Alamos facility all but admitted that every one of their warhead designs were stolen by Chinese spies. Add to this list a manned space program operated for and by the military and the worlds largest army (1.7 million men under arms, which does not include other armed services such as the Peoples Armed Police or the Public Security Forces). What they don’t have is a functional healthcare system, social security net, or many of the other things countries that care about their people seem to have.

5. All well and good, but they wouldn’t actually use any of that hardware, would they? According to Major General Zhu Chenghu, they would:

China should use nuclear weapons against the United States if the American military intervenes in any conflict over Taiwan, a senior Chinese military official has said.

“If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone [China or Taiwan], I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.”

In extensive comments, Zhu said he believed that the Chinese government was under internal pressure to change its “no first use” policy and to make clear that it would employ the most powerful weapons at its disposal to defend its claim over Taiwan.

Many military analysts have assumed that any battle over Taiwan would be localized, with both China and the United States taking care to ensure that it would not expand into a general war between the two powers, but the comments by Zhu suggest that at least some elements of the military are prepared to widen the conflict.

“If the Americans are determined to interfere, then we will be determined to respond,” he said. “We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”

Zhu’s threat is not the first of its kind from a senior Chinese military official. In 1995, Xiong Guangkai, who is now the deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told Chas Freeman, a former Pentagon official, that China would consider using nuclear weapons in a Taiwan conflict. Freeman quoted Xiong as saying that Americans should worry more about Los Angeles than Taipei.

Add to that the fact that they recently “blinded a U.S. satellite using a ground-based laser, and blasted one of its own satellites out of orbit with a ballistic missile”, not to mention what they are currently doing to the people in Tibet and East Turkestan…

6. But how do the Chinese people feel about this? That question was asked recently by the BBC. There were many replies, most slightly muted and not as extreme as we who live here hear. These were among the conclusions of the non-Chinese who saw the programme:

I see all these opinions from people of Chinese origin and they confirm my fears. They are not interested in a peaceful China, a tolerant China, a democratic and liberal China, they want to see the superpower, the best country in the world throwing its weight around and bullying the rest of the world. It seems to me that they want an imperialistic China as much as they detest any western superpower. Not good, not good at all.

The future will indeed be a scary place as China will likely be another superpower. A superpower that is undemocratic and has no respect for human rights. A nation that is getting stronger economically and militarily every day.

After speaking with many young Chinese people overseas, I was astonished by the amazing effect of nationalistic propaganda imposed on the new generation. Any criticism towards the communist party is regarded by them as an attack on the people and nation of China. The Chinese communist party has reinforced its grasp of power very well after putting down the massive democratic movement of 1989. I believe the students had good intentions 15 years ago but were overly naïve and hasty. The movement achieved exactly the opposite of its goals: Even if the government at the time was starting to slowly concede more political freedom to the people, it certainly changed its mind in 1989 and decided instead to re-educate the youths to ensure that such challenges to the absolute authority of the Party never happened again.

Amen.

7. And here I have to say, I lack the will to go on. Mind you, y’know the saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? Well I’ve written just under two thousand words here, but they cannot capture the Spirit Of China nearly as well as the following picture of a Police vehicle:

070616shotdead.jpg

‘If you ride a motorcycle [use a vehicle] to rob [commit a crime],
You’ll be shot to death on the spot’

If, after all this, you remain unconvinced, then all I can do is tell you that, whilst these people think chicken claws and rats intestines is good food, they hate both Marmite and Vegemite. And that should be enough to convince anyone!

Posted in Censorship, Corruption, Human Rights, Lies & Damned Lies | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

About Textbooks…

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, April 29, 2007

From time to time I earn a crust by editing books and other publications. I’ve just finished one this week, as it happens. It’s an educational textbook aimed at 18-19 year olds in their last year of Senior High School. Typically, for textbooks, any work that the editors do must be approved by the Propaganda Department, and comments and explanations submitted in Chinese. There is a cover sheet for the publication, on which these comments and what-not are written, and this cover sheet has a short schpiel printed on it, for the benefit of the editors. I quote:

in translation:

Proof-reading comments on recommended textbook for vocational education
– Department of Education for Vocational Education and Adult Education.

References for approving recommended textbook for vocational education:

Political Ideology
1. Ideas should be politically correct, conforming to every policy, strategy, law and regulation of the Party and Nation.
2. The textbook should be embodied with materialist dialectics and historic materialism, should help students to build up correct worldview, lifeview and values.
3. Promote patriotism and nationalism

If it’s an English textbook you should be carefully guard the words, phrases, paragraphs and sentences, particularly the political correctness of the ideas.

And some people back home are surprised when I tell them that Chinese schoolkids are now learning that Japan and Korea will be part of China in 20 years. Good grief!

Posted in Censorship, Propaganda | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »