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Briefings - 1046. page

Communist Youth League Enters Hong Kong College Student Association

For the first time, a communist party youth league member from mainland China will run for office in an election for board members for the Hong Kong University students association. It was reported that this student candidate refused to disclose his position about June 4, 1989, Tiananmen student movement even though the campaign policy of the association specifically calls for correcting the mistakes made during June 4th . Some student members are concerned that the political position of the Hong Kong University student association might be affected because of it.

Source: The Apple Daily, January 26, 2008, reprinted by Boxun
http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2008/01/200801262036.shtml

Young Migrant Workers Need More Education

Members of the Shanghai municipal committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference urged the government to provide more education to respond to an escalating crime rate involving laborers born since 1980. They account for 60% of the total migrant population and have become the main labor force in urban areas.

In Shanghai, 1.8 million out of 3 million migrant workers are under 28 years of age. The rate of crime involving young workers is steadily rising. They also called on the authorities to address the problem of defaulted salary payments, a longtime headache for migrant workers and the authorities.

Source: People’s Daily, January 24, 2008-01-24
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/language_tips/cdaudio/2008-01/24/content_6418492.htm

Dealing with Widespread Illegal Land-Use

The Minister of Land and Resources, Xu Shaoshi, reported that more than 2,700 government officials face prosecution in 31,000 land-use violation cases.

Xu reported that 1.3 million hectares were used without authorization, about 20,000 hectares of land were taken over in the name of leases and 66,666 hectares were involved in the expansion of development zones. The courts have convicted more than 300 officials with fines and confiscating property worth 2 billion yuan ($276 million).

Land remains a steady source of fiscal revenue for local governments. To attract foreign investment, they offering investors cheap land. This practice has triggered outrage from the farmers, who are not properly compensated for the appropriated land.

Source: Website of The Ministry of Land and Resources, January 22, 2008
http://www.mlr.gov.cn/xwdt/jrxw/200801/t20080122_98401.htm

210 million Internet Users – a Tremendous Force that Can Guide China

According to China Internet Network Information Center, as of December 31, 2007, the number of Internet users in China had reached 210 million. According to The Beijing News, "This is a tremendous force that can guide and push China towards democracy and freedom." The most challenging task is not the Internet, but the authorities’ attempt to control it. The article is critical of the practice of putting someone in jail because of what that person writes. It suggests that the authorities should be open and treat Internet users with kindness – one should go along with “the grand trend of human civilization” instead of bucking it.

Source: The Beijing News, January 19, 2008
http://www.thebeijingnews.com/comment/shelun/2008/01-19/014@014708.htm

Remaking Defense Industry within Next Five Years

In 2008, China will accelerate the privatization reform of state-owned Chinese defense industrial enterprises and plans to complete the reform within the next five years. According to  officials from the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense of China (COSTIND), the anticipated capitalization will amount to close to 100 billion RMB.

In 2007, 18 public companies (formerly state-owned defense enterprises) requested to increase market capitalization and 10 of them applied for an Initial Public Offering. COSTIND officials encourage both domestic and foreign participation in the privatization reform.

Source: Xinhua, January 20, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2008-01/20/content_7454122.htm

Thousand Workers Strike in Dongguan, Guangdong

Ever since the new Labor Contract Law went into effect on January 1, 2008, there have been continuous conflicts between workers and owners of private companies in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and other cities in Guangdong Province. On January 20, two large-scale strikes took place simultaneously in foreign owned enterprises in Tangxia Town of Dongguan City, involving more than 1000 workers. The strikers accused the employers of cutting their pay by adopting new ways of calculation. The furious workers blocked the road, confronting hundreds of police. Dozens of people were injured.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 22, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/01/22/bagong/

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