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Briefings - 1072. page

Forty Percent of Chinese Use Mobile Phones

The Ministry of Information Industry of the People’s Republic of China reported that there were over 539 million mobile phone users in China in November 2007, an increase of 78 million compared with the number of subscribers in 2006. The reform of mobile phone roaming tariffs was part of the reason for the rapid increase.

Guangdong province took the lead with 77 million cell phone subscribers while Tibet has only 765,000 subscribers. According to People’s Daily, the number of text messages sent over cell phones exceeded 535 billion in November 2007.

Source: Ministry of Information Industry Website, January 3, 2008/People’s Daily, December 25, 2007
http://www.mii.gov.cn/art/2008/01/03/art_2001_35674.html

Unwelcome Guests: Military Bombers Fly over Japanese Gas Field

According to Asahi Shimbun, on September 11 and 12, 2007, Chinese military bombers flew over a gas field in the East China Sea more than forty times. Japan‘s Self-Defense Forces’ F4 fighters scrambled to respond. At times, Chinese bombers and Japanese F4 fighters were only 5 kilometers apart. The encounters were confirmed by Taiwan‘s military sources and by the Japanese government. The gas field is Chunxiao gas field, which Japan has named ”Shirakaba,” or white birch.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, December 31, 2007
http://www.asahi.com/world/china/news/TKY200712300153.html

China Enters into a Decade of Crises

According to an Observer article on December 25, 2007, starting from 2008, China is entering a 10-year period of severe crises.

The article cites the following factors:

· Short-term crisis: The skyrocketing price of resources, coupled with social inequality
· Long-term crisis: A cross-the- board recession, given the constraints of limited land resources
· Crisis of Rule by Man: The one-party political system does not produce people with integrity.
· Justice Crisis: Courts are fatally overrun with corruption.

The article concludes that hope lies with the people. One of the goals of the rights movement will be to put a referendum in the constitution.

Source: Observer Magazine, December 25, 2007. Secret China reprint http://www.secretchina.com/news/223188.html

Asylum Seeker Turned Away by Taiwan

Wu Yalin, a PRC citizen who applied for political asylum with Taiwan government, was declined the application. With his Taiwan visa expiring on January 2, Wu is concerned that he will finally be repatriated to China. In 1980’s, Wu was jailed for nine years for disclosing illegal election practices. In 2007, he was sentenced to 3 years in labor camp for encouraging friends to read the Nine Commentaries on Communist Party, according to Wu. He fled to Taiwan via Hong Kong and Thailand. Beijing issued an arrest warrantee with the charge of “attempt to overthrow the government by colluding with anti-China forces.”

Source: Voice of America, January 1, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-01-01-voa21.cfm

Prostitutes Help Censorship?

On November 27, an explosion occurred at Lianhua Science and Technology Inc. of Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, causing dozens of deaths. After the incident, the city government launched an emergency response mechanism and managed to deter 69 journalists with 21 media outlets including Xinhua News Agency, China Youth Daily, China News Services, Xinhua daily, and Jiangsu TV Stations from covering the incident. Surprisingly, the local government sent prostitutes to the reporter’s hotel rooms, and in addition resorted to bribery and police force in an effort to make sure that the incident was “correctly” reported.

Source: Chinese Media Net, December 31, 2007
http://www6.chinesenewsnet.com/gb/MainNews/Forums/BackStage/2007_12_31_9_52_43_426.html

Xinhua Proclaims 2008 Belongs to China

On New Year’s Day of 2008, China’s state media Xinhua posted a slogan, “2008, the World Belongs to China” as the headline on its website’s World Report section. The slogan was later changed to “2008, the World Expects that China Appear in Perfect Form.” On the same page, the website published two articles that predict that the United States will slide downhill. One, quoted as “by Japanese media,” bears the title, “The American Era Is Ending.” The other one, quoted from Financial Times, is titled “The Era of U.S. Dollar’s Dominance No Longer Exists.”

Source: Xinhuanet, January 1, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2008-01/01/content_7347547.htm

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