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Age Alteration û a Common Practice Among Soccer Players

A recent scandal revealed that the “Chinese Football (Soccer) Association” changed a soccer player’s age to be two years younger. Yao Xiao came from Sichuan. The news was quite an embarrassment to the soccer fans from Sichuan since Yao was regarded as a real proud of those fans because he was claimed to be the youngest player in Chinese soccer history.

In an interview with a senior soccer coach from Liaoning, the reporter found out that the age alteration has been a hidden rule that was commonly practiced in soccer area and is no longer a secret. The practice was driven by the pursuit of winning through a team composed of an older age group because the reward and recognition to the coaches and team management are closely tied to their performance. The age alteration is not only a common practice among soccer players, the article wrote, it is also practiced among basketball players, track teams or even the soccer referees.

Source: Commercial Times, Liaoning Province, December 7, 2008
http://www.sdshang.com/MMM/P_Show.asp?id=7996

China Launching Another Round of Media Control

The Communist Politburo has issued a directive mandating further control of media as a preemptive strike against potential social unrest in 2009. A Politburo directive cited information from the State Security Department and from military intelligence sources indicating China will face severe challenges and crises because “anti-china forces, domestic and overseas are actively strategizing their activities.”  As a result, the Politburo has increased funding for the Communist Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Public Security.

At a meeting towards the end of November, the Party’s Propaganda Department decided to initiate a preemptive strike in anticipation of increasing social unrest in 2009.  It has blacklisted 6 print media and all websites except sina.com.  In addition, 55 media professionals have also also blacklisted.  “You should know that this is China.  The Internet has a border.  It is not a place where you can exercise your free will.  The Internet must be under the control of the Party.  It is the Party’s Internet as well as the mouthpiece of the Party,” said Mr. Chen of the Propaganda Department. 

Source: Boxun.com, December 4, 2008
http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china2008/12/200812040011.shtml

Belgian Reporter and Crew Beaten in Henan for AIDS Story

Belgian reporter Tom Van de Weghe of the Flemish public TV station VRT, his Australian cameraman and his Belgian assistant were in Henan province doing a report on AIDS in China when they were attacked and robbed by eight men recruited by the Henan provincial authorities, VRT said.

The eight men intercepted them while they were on their way to a village and demanded that they surrender the videotape of interviews they had already done. The crew handed over the videocassettes after being hit. Their assailants also took money, microphones and batteries.

VRT has demanded an apology and compensation. The Belgian government has asked the Chinese authorities for an explanation.

Source: BBC Chinese, December 2, 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7760000/newsid_7761000/7761098.stm

Party’s Propaganda Chief Underscores Need for CCTV’s Domestic and International Expansion

In a visit to China Central Television (CCTV) on November 13, Li Changchun, one of nine members of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) standing committee of the Politburo and head of the party’s propaganda policy, emphasized the implementation of Hu Jintao’s speeches on ideological work, instructing the network on its domestic and global strategy.

During his stay, Li was shown a demo of web TV, podcast, cell phone TV, and in-vehicle TV. He also talked to Edwin Maher, a Western news anchor of CCTV International.

CCTV, as China’s state-run television station, should faithfully follow the right direction, said the senior party official. Li urged the network to step up the migration from a domestic oriented traditional media to a modern media with a global vision. Li told CCTV to expand international channels, facilitate its overseas access, and strengthen its appeal by studying the psychology of domestic and oversea viewers. At the same time, developing web TV was regarded as an important strategic task, with the goal of building a nationwide platform for web video programs.

Li’s visit was accompanied by Liu Yunshan, Head of the Publicity Department of CCP’s Central Committee, and Liu Yandong, another member of the CCP’s Politburo.

Source: Xinhua, November 13, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-11/13/content_10355067_1.htm

Blacklisted Chinese Democracy Activists to Sue Netease

Finding their names blacklisted on an internet file of the company’s website, three democracy activists have asked for an open apology and plan to sue Netease Com Inc, a Chinese internet company listed on NASDAQ (code: NTES).

Zheng Cunzhu, a businessman in Anhui province and chairman of the board of Jiahe Food Inc. Ltd, was the first to find from the official website of Netease a file named "badwords.txt," where his name was placed aside a list of dirty words. Zheng also spotted the names of Wang Zhaojun, a member of the standing committee of the political consultative conference of Anhui province, and Guo Quan, a professor at Nanjing Normal University. The three of them intend to file a lawsuit in the U.S. against Netease, providing no apology is heard by Nov. 14.

Zheng, Wang, and Guo are famous as each of them wrote an individual open letter to the leaders of the communist regime, calling for political reform and criticizing the regime’s policy on  the 1989 prodemocracy movement and the Falun Gong religious group. Censored in the Mainland, the letters  spread widely on overseas Chinese websites.

Other forbidden words on the list discovered by Zheng include those related to democracy, religion, and the domestic civil rights movement. The lawsuit aims to call attention to freedom of expression in China, with the hope of reforming the political system.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 11, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/guoquan-11112008102038.html

Breast Cancer Rated Number One Cancer Killer for Chinese Women

Breast cancer is rated the number one cancer killer for Chinese woman, according to the statistics released by the Cancer Hospital of Shanghai Fudan University. The statistics showed that between 1991 and 2000, the death rate for urban woman has grown over 39 percent and is still growing at 3.5 percent each year.  The experts attributed the rate increase to unhealthy diet and delay in child birth age as well as no breast feed chosen by certain women.

Source: China News, October 26, 2008
http://www.chinanews.com.cn/jk/kong/news/2008/10-26/1425434.shtml