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Briefings - 1138. page

Epoch Times Chicago Office Received Threat Letter with White Powder

Late afternoon on May 30, 2008, the Chicago office of the Epoch Times received a threatening letter containing white powder and statements such as "Long Live the Communist Party."  Enclosed in the letter was a newspaper clip of an Epoch Times report in Chinese on the arrests of pro-Communists during earlier violence in Flushing, New York against Falun Gong volunteers at the "Quit the Chinese Communist Party Service Center" in Flushing.

Epoch Times is a New York based media company.  Started as a Chinese language newspaper, it has become a multi-language publication distributed throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Oceana, Africa and the Middle East.

Source: Epoch Times, May 31, 2008
http://news.epochtimes.com/gb/8/5/31/n2137580.htm

Annual Lawyer Registration is a Mechanism of Party Control

Two lawyers in China were denied the renewal of their licenses during the 2008 annual registration.  Local lawyers who passed the annual registration described the reasons behind the mandatary annual registration.  "The government is afraid of lawyers.  It is a very unique feature that in China, the authorities must have a mechanism to counter the role that lawyers play. … The more one complies with the law, speaks the truth and upholds justice, the less likely you will have your license renewed."

Source: Epoch Times, June 1, 2008
http://news.epochtimes.com/gb/8/6/1/n2138386.htm

Has News Media Really Opened Up Due to the Earthquake?

The Earthquake in Sichuan has shifted the focus of the world’s media away from Tibet and the Olympics. The outside world may have been misled by a false impression that the Chinese government has opened up its news media, according to the author of this article published in Taiwan News. The authorities had learnt from the past, starting in 1991 during flooding in the central part of China, that opening up the media to report in the event of a natural disaster helps to improve the official image and attract foreign donations especially from overseas Chinese. The authorities have never lost control of the media as demonstrated in the current situation where official media reports have been centered on praising the Party and government leaders.

Source, Tainwan News, 6/2/2008
http://news.epochtimes.com/gb/8/6/3/n2140347.htm

Chinese Authorities Refuse to Renew the License for Two Human Rights Lawyers

BBC quotes Human Rights Watch’s report that the Chinese authorities refused to renew the licenses for two Chinese prominent human rights lawyers, Teng Biao and Jiang Tianyong. The reason is that they offered help for the Tibetans arrested during the 3.14 Event. Teng Biao was the lawyer for Shandong human rights activist Chen Guangcheng. Jiang Tianyong was involved in famous rights activist Hu Jia’s case. Early in April, the Ministry of Justice already threatened that those who expressed to help to Tibetans would be diciplined and have their licenses withheld.

Source: BBC, May 30, 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7420000/newsid_7427900/7427943.stm

Party Journal: Reform of Power Structure is the Key to Political Reform

On May 21, 2008, Study Times, the Journal of the Party School of Communist Party published an article entitled “Objectives of Political System Reform.” The article holds that there are four aspects to such reform: “One, the building of legal system. Two, the reform of power structure and checks and balances. Three, the reform of personnel system. Four, the reform of administration system. The reform of power structure and checks and balances is the key to the political system reform. The main task is to establish checks and balances and to maintain highly transparent exercise of the power to prevent corruption and abuse of power."

Source: Study Times, May 21, 2008
http://www.chinanews.com.cn/gn/news/2008/05-21/1257572.shtml

Reservoir May Have Caused the Sichuan Earthquake

Wang Lowei, an expert on water at a German Engineering firm, stated that the construction of Zipingpu Reservoir might have caused the May 12 Sichuan earthquake.  Similar views have been posted online inside China.  Zipingpu Reservoir was built right on top of the Longmenshan Fault. Completed in 2006, Zipingpu Reservoir is one of the larger reservoirs, with a storage capacity of 1.112 billion cubic meters.

Source:
Observe China, May 28, 2008
http://observechina.net/info/artShow.asp?id=49497
Internet Posting, People.com, May 28, 2008
http://bbs.people.com.cn/postDetail.do?view=2&pageNo=1&treeView=1&id=86446095&boardId=2