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Human Rights Defender Sentenced to 4 Years’ Imprisonment

On February 5, Hangzhou-based writer Lü Gengsong was sentenced to four years for "inciting subversion of state power" based on 19 articles that he posted online. His political rights will subsequently be deprived for one year. Lü’s hearing lasted for 15 minutes and only his immediate family and two friends were allowed to attend. Outside the courthouse, more than 20 people came to voice their support, one was detained. According to Radio Free Asia, his wife said that he plans to appeal.

Source: Radio Free Asia, February 05, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/02/05/lugengsong/

China Developing Spaceplane That Can Bomb Any Target on Earth

Zhuang Fengan, a Chinese Aerospace expert, disclosed that China has been conducting research on spaceplane. Yan Liang aircraft stress testing base in Xian, a subsidiary of No. 1 Group of China Aviation Industry will carry out the final testing, which is expected to be completed before 2010.

The Global Times calls the U.S. developed spaceplane “sudden and swift; capable of bombing any target on earth.”

Source: Wenweipo, Hong Kong, February 6, 2008 http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/army/2008/02/200802060815.shtml

Chinese New Year û Snow Storm Strands Millions

Because of heavy storms hitting the south and northwest regions of China since mid-January, millions of migrant workers have been stranded and unable to go home for Chinese New Year. In Guangzhou alone, 1.1 million out of 3.8 million sold train tickets were returned due to cancellations. The local labor security agency in Guangdong Province has issued an urgent notice to various levels of authorities asking that they persuade those who are stuck on the road to return to Guangdong. They are hoping to keep 65 percent of the migrant workers for the New Year.

Source: Xinhua, February 5, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-02/05/content_7575411.htm

Snow Disaster Worse than State Media Reports

As rare as the heavy snow through mid- and south-China, all of the nine politburo standing committee members stepped out of their Beijing office and went to different regions deemed most hit by the snow, which was worst in 50 years and also coincides with the busiest travel time in the year. Back in 1989, only the then-president Jiang Zemin and then-premier Zhu Rongji came to the worst flooding area along Yangtze River; back in 2003, when SARS broke out, only two highest officials – Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao went outside Beijing to visit the disaster-ridden region. This time all nine standing politburo members all went out was taken as a sign that this snow disaster might be much worse than what the state media was reporting.

Source: Asia Times, February 5, 2008
http://www.atchinese.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45911&Itemid=110

China and Australia’s First Strategic Dialog

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith started their first round of bilateral strategic dialogue in Canberra on Tuesday. Yang expressed satisfaction toward Australia government’s one-china policy and opposition to Taiwan’s referendum on UN membership. Both Ministers agreed to strengthen high level communications, enhance mutual political trust, explore common interests, continue exchanges in culture and education, and deepen bilateral cooperation. Yang also met with Australia’s Prime Minster Kevin Rudd. The strategic dialogue mechanism between the two countries was set up when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Australia in September 2007.

Source: Xinhua, February 5, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-02/05/content_7572994.htm

Shandong’s Key CCP Official Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

On February 5, 2008, the Intermediate People’s Court of Xiamen City, Fujian Province sentenced Du Shecheng, former Deputy Secretary of Shandong Province’s CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Committee and Secretary of Qingdao City’s CCP Committee, was sentenced to life sentence with the charge of bribery, deprived of lifetime political rights, and confiscated personal assets. The courts found that while in the office of Vice Governor of Shandong Province, Mayor and CCP Secretary of Qingdao City, Du accepted briberies as high as 6.26 million RMB (0.88 million USD) from individuals and organizations.

Source: Procuratorial Daily, February 5, 2008
http://www.jcrb.com/200802/ca677369.htm

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