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15,000 Sign Petition to End Forced Labor Camp System

On Monday July 7, more than 15,000 Chinese scholars and experts signed a petition, calling on the government to end China’s forced labor camp system. They believe that the forced labor camp lacks legality, and it may lead to administrative power abuse. They also pointed out that the system failed to protect citizen’s rights.

The forced labor camp system was introduced in 1956 from the Soviet Union. Under the system, the government can send undesirables to do hard labor in a concentration camp without any trial. The Chinese government uses it to punish Christians, Buddhists, pro-democracy activists and Falun Gong practitioners.

Fan Yafeng, a sponsor of the petition and a Beijing-based social scientist said that the petition was intended to ease the worsening tension between the people and the government.

Source: Voice of America, July 8, 2008

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the Improvements on Human Rights are up to Chinese People to Judge

In speaking about the human rights issues in China during a regular press conference on July 8, Qin Gang, the spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “China’s human rights situation is making consistent progress. This is recognized by any of those who hold unbiased views (about China). China did not make the commitment to improve human rights because of the Olympics. The Chinese Communist Party was making effort to improve the human rights at the establishment of the Party. The Party will put this goal as the top priority and will not change under any circumstances. The effort of human rights improvements are not judged by the standards set by any foreign countries, forces, organizations or any individual views. It is up to 1.3 billion Chinese People to judge.”

Source: Xinhua, July 8, 2008

Party Official’s Remarks On Freedom of Press and Publication in China

On July 3, during a chat discussion in the Qiangguo forum of the People’s Daily, Liu Binjie, director of General Administration of Press and Publication said: “There are misunderstandings around China’s freedom of press and publication… Some people think that China imposes strict control over the press and publication. It is absolutely impossible. Some research studies have suggested that there are over 60 million Chinese people who express their views through newspaper, magazine, radio, television, and internet everyday. This number has exceeded those countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, and France. How can people still claim that there is no press freedom in China?”

Source: People Daily, July 9, 2008

Beijing Hails Bush’s Decision to Attend the Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games

During G-8 summit meeting Bush restated that he will not miss the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fokuda also expressed his intention to attend the ceremony. After French President Sarcozy finally gives out words that he is going to Beijing for the event, Xinhua publishes an article claiming that “Anti-China Force Sighs Sadly the Total Failure of Boycotting Beijing Olympics. Bush’s picture in a posture with a thumb up was posted under the title of the article.

Source: Xinhua, July 7, 2008

Qinghua University Establishes Marxism Institute

Qinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, held a ceremony on July 6 to celebrate the establishment of a Marxism Institute. The aim of setting up the institute is to enhance the construction of Marxist theory and the training of Marxists. Xing Fensi was appointed as the director of the institute. Xing had been the director of the Institute of Philosophy in the Chinese Academy of Social Science, chief editor of Qiushi magazine (under Xinhua News Agency), and vice principle of the Central Communist Party School.

Source: China News, July 6, 2008

Hu Instructs the Party Journal to Stick to the Party Line

On its 50th anniversary, Qiushi, an official publication of the Chinese Communist Party, received a greeting letter from Hu Jintao. Hu’s letter acknowledged the accomplishments that the journal has made on behalf of the Party since its inception. The letter asked the journal to “diligently implement the messages from the 17th National Congress of the Party and work closely on the strategic mission of arming the Party with socialist theory with Chinese characteristics”. Hu wished that the Journal “thoroughly fulfill the important role as the Party journal and contribute further to the realization of a well-off society and of building socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

Source: Xinhua, July 4, 2008

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