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Zimbabwean First Lady Enjoys Immunity in Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong police have enough evidence to bring Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe to court, she will not be prosecuted, according to the Hong Kong Department of Justice. Mugabe attacked and hurt British reporter Richard Jones on January 15. According to the Hong Kong Secretary of Justice, the decision was made by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who decided that Mugabe enjoys diplomatic immunity.

Many Hong Kong human rights organizations and Legislative Council members argued that Mugabe was on a tourist trip, not a diplomatic mission, when she conducted the attack. They also expressed deep concerns regarding the Hong Kong government’s inability to stand for human rights while yielding to Beijing’s pressure in support of dictators.

Source: Epoch Times, April 1, 2009.

Xinhua: Panchen Lama’s English Shocked the World

Xinhua reported the following. On the opening of the Second World Buddhist Forum on March 27, 2009, the 11th Panchen Lama Qoigyijabu gave a speech in English. His English skills “shocked” the eminent monks and cultural elites at the conference. He took at least two English lessons each week.

Xinhua also quoted reports from other media sources. According to Xinhua, Ta Kung Pao said that the Panchen Lama’s good English is helpful to promote Tibetan Buddhism overseas and to clear the outsiders’ misunderstanding of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. Xinhua said Reuters stated that the “Chinese government chosen” Panchen Lama is the critical tie for Tibetans to stay loyal to the central government. Xinhua also offered Sing Tao’s comment that “Under the official arrangement, the 19-year old Panchen Lama is moving quickly to the front stage.”


Chinascope Editor’s note: Panchem Lama is the second highest religious position in Tibet. After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, the Dalai Lama proclaimed Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama. However, the Chinese government named their own 11th Panchem Lama, Qoigyijabu, whose parents are both Chinese Communist Party members.

Source: Xinhua, April 2, 2009

Debate: Is Sichuan Earth Quake Related to Zipingpu Dam?

After Science magazine published an article “Seismology: A human trigger for the great quake of Sichuan?” (January 16, 2009 edition), China Daily interviewed a scholar of the China Engineering Academy, Chen Houqun, to rebut the point of the Science article, that Zipingpu Dam contributed to the earthquake.

BBC Chinese then pointed out that there are many obvious loopholes in Chen’s rebuttal and listed those loopholes in detail. It also pointed out that there are several indications that the Chinese government was aware of the earthquake and had taken certain actions to prepare for it, including releasing the water from Zipingpu Dam, which can be concluded from Chen’s statement, as well. But the Chinese government didn’t announce the earthquake to the public and continues to deny its awareness.

Source: BBC Chinese, April 1, 2009

Government Corruption High, Even in a Bad Economy

A salesperson at a high-end restaurant in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, told the reporter that, not including drinks, a standard meal for costs at least 300 to 400 yuan for one person and 3,000 to 5,000 yuan for a typical group.  He said, “Our business is good. The economic crisis has not impacted us in any way.” Most customers have a high social status, and many are party and government officials.

Government vehicles are widely known to be used privately China.  A driver who works for the Zhengzhou Municipal Authorities Affairs department reported that only about one third of their use is for government business; one third is for private use; the rest is for their own private businesses.

It one example in Shanxi’s Jincheng City, 66 government vehicles were sighted at high-end entertainment facilities. Many had license plates belonging to government agencies or the county-level people’s congress. Nine were police vehicles.

The State Secretary for The Prevention of Corruption, Ma Wen, said, “We have repeatedly emphasized this problem of ‘dining’ at the government’s expense.  Despite arrests, the overall result is not satisfactory. Chinese people have a tradition of inviting friends and colleagues to restaurants. A number of cadres take dining on public funds for granted.

Despite the economy going downhill, corrupt government officials always find ways to keep themselves well fed and entertained, and the taxpayers get to pay for everything. 

Source: China News, March 30, 2009

Medical Experts Call for Stop to Training Chinese Doctors

At the Ethics of Organ Transplantation Conference (EOTC) at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas on March 28, 2009, world renowned Canadian human rights attorney David Matas gave a presentation on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) practice of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit.

Medical experts attending the conference were shocked and angered by Matas’ findings. Many expressed that organ harvesting should not be used as a weapon of killing and that doctors who had carried out the organ transplants were committing crimes. The attendees felt that transplant doctors carrying out forced organ harvesting on the Falun Gong practitioners in China had brought a great shame to the organ transplant field, and these experts stated that the US should stop training Chinese doctors and transferring their transplant techniques to Chinese doctors. Some indicated that they would put the case of the CCP’s ongoing live organ harvesting into text books. Some EOTC experts stated they would call for Congress to stop the CCP’s crime.

Source: The Epoch Times, March 9, 2009

Chinese Hackers Have Broken into 103 Countries

The Epoch Times and the Chinese BBC have both coverd the story of a ten-month research study by the Munk Center for International Studies in Toronto, CA. The research reports that in the past two years, a Chinese spy network dubbed "GhostNet" has invaded 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including government agencies. These agencies include foreign affairs ministries, embassies and consulates, international organizations, news agencies, and NGOs. According to the report, there’s a "covert, difficult-to-detect and elaborate cyber-espionage system capable of taking full control of affected systems" that leads back to China.

Researchers at the Oxford University, UK also reported that these Chinese hackers have gathered information for the Chinese police to enable them continue their crackdown in Tibet.

While not claiming absolute proof, their newly-released report "Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network" says "circumstantial evidence" strongly suggests "this set of high profile targets has been exploited by the Chinese state for military and strategic-intelligence purposes." The Chinese Embassy in London denied any involvement and claimed the reports to be propaganda issuing from the Tibetan Government in Exile.

Source: The Epoch Times, March 31, 2009
Source: BBC Chinese, March 30, 2009
Source: NetworkWorld, April 1, 2009

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