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Olympics: Pro-Democracy Student Leaders Demand Right to Return to China

A group of pro-democracy student leaders asked in a joint statement that China allow free travel. They and many others have had their Chinese passports revoked or renewal denied, effectively banning them from returning to China. Their joint statement says that the Olympic Charter prohibits any country from denying anyone the right to attend the Olympic Game on the basis of political or religious affiliation, and that China engages in political persecution via its passport administration, thus violating the Olympic Charter.

Source: Asian Times, March 6, 2008 reprinted by Boxun http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/intl/2008/03/200803070458.shtml

Xinhua Censors Wen’s Government Report

On March 5, the 11th National People’s Congress opened with Premier Wen Jiaobao’s two-and-half-hour report of government work. According to Radio Free Asia, in the transcript of Wen’s speech posted on the website of Xinhua New Agency, some of his words were missing. For example, in the part where Wen addressed  “strengthening the construction of socialistic democracy and the rule of law, facilitating social justice”, Xinhua’s report skipped the following words of Wen’s: “conduct democratic elections, democratic decision-making, democratic management, democratic supervision, and protect people’s rights to know, to participate, to express, and to supervise.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, March 5, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/03/05/jiang_zhemin/

People’s Daily: Party Leadership is the Key for Realizing Socialist Democracy

This commentary article praised the speech given by General Secretary Hu Jintao regarding the path of the political reform in the Second Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China as "the intellectual foundation and political guarantee" for the two congressional conferences currently being held in Beijing. "Developing a socialist political system with Chinese characteristics is the correct path for achieving socialist democracy", the article cited the view emphasized by Hu. The perseverance of the Party’s leadership is the fundamental guarantee that the people are the masters of the country and that the country is ruled by law. In the end, the article states that China shall learn from the positive results of other forms of political culture, but shall never model the political system of the west, nor shall China abandon the essence of the country’s current political system.

Source: People’s Daily, March 2, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newmedia/2008-03/02/content_7698743.htm

CAAC Strengthens Olympic Background Check

The Epoch Times reports that General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC)’s public security department issued a “Notice on Reporting the Administrative Work of Purifying the Internal and Airport’s Controlled Area Pass.” The “Notice” demands to have a background check on those people with airline crew boarding pass and airport controlled area pass. The scope of the check includes the involved person, spouse, parents, parents-in-law, and children above 18 years old, investigating whether these people have criminal records, their behavior during “Cultural Revolution,” actions during “6.4” (1989 student-led democratic movement), whether or not practicing “Falun Gong,” and whether or not having overseas connections.

Source:The Epoch Times, March 4, 2008
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/8/3/4/n2031337.htm

China Continues Africa Courtship

President Umaru Yar’Adua from Nigeria met with China’s Hu Jintao at People’s Hall in Beijing on the afternoon of February 28, 2008 as part of his four-day trip in China.  Both leaders attended the ceremony to sign documents on exchanges and cooperation in culture and education.

Trade between Nigeria and China reached 3.13 billion dollars in 2006, up from 1.1 billion dollars in 2001, according to the latest data from China’s commerce ministry. Aside from oil deals with Nigeria, China has helped the country build railways and hydroelectric dams, while last year it launched a telecommunications satellite for the nation. Chinese media last month also reported that state-controlled China Development Bank was in talks to buy a five-billion-dollar stake in Nigeria-based United Bank for Africa.
 
Source: Xinhua, February 28, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-02/28/content_7689378.htm

Beijing Hires PR Firm to Handle “Olympic Crisis”

According to an article published by International Herald Leader, a newspaper under Xinhua, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) hired a public relation firm to handle "crisis management," although the name of the firm was not mentioned. The job of the firm was to respond to negative media reports about Olympic Game, arrange media to conduct interviews in Beijing or other places of China. The article stated three challenges faced by China before the Beijing Olympics: international critiques on Beijing’s support for Sudan’s dictator regime; quality of China exports; and large scale domestic social unrests.

Source: International Herald Leader, February 26, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/herald/2008-02/26/content_7669584.htm

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