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People’s Daily: The farce of bashing China’s human rights record

People’s Daily posted an edited version of the translation from an article in The Times (London) written by Brendan O’Neill titled “The farce of bashing China’s human rights record”. The key message of the article stated: “…The West has no moral authority to lecture anyone, including China, about rights and democracy… Respect for liberty is at an historic low in Europe and the U.S…”

People’s Daily, July 15, 2008
Times Online, July 14, 2008

Party Issues Anti-Corruption Rules to SOE Executives

Recently, the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Disciplinary Committee issued “Seven Rules” to warn executives of State owned companies. The rules warned that violators will face punishment, including the revocation of party membership. The article did not explain what punishments might be applied to non-party members.

The rules include language such as “profit taking for oneself or others using one’s official position is not allowed”, “no beneficial trade for one’s spouse and children using one’s official position [is allowed]” and “forcing accounting and financial professionals to forge fake financial reports is not permitted.”

All seven banned forms of misconduct are already illegal activities, raising the question of why the Party has to tell its senior members to obey existing laws.

Source: Jing Hua Shi Bao, July 16, 2008

Increased Armed Police and Travel Requirements in Beijing

Xinhua reports that passengers traveling in and out of Beijing during the Olympics need to use their real names to purchase tickets. The Ministry of Transportation issued a notice requiring strict checkups on passengers traveling via land and water. The news report is provided with photos showing police with heavy firearms standing at checkpoints along a main road.[1] In a separate picture report, armed police are patrolling Beijing’s Capital Airport. [2]

Source: Xinhua, July 11, 2008

Front Page Coverage: Media Publicity Campaign to Boost Hu

On July 10th, both the People’s Daily and Guangming Daily devoted the entire front page to an identical layout setting featuring the news, speech, and photos of Hu Jintao at the G8 Summit.  It was viewed as a media campaign effort to improve Hu’s image before the Olympics.

Source: Secret China, July 10, 2008

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