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Man Beaten to Death; Causing Massive Calls to Abolish City Inspectors

On January 7, 2008, in Tianmen City, Hubei Province, dozens of Municipal Law Enforcement officers known as chengguan beat Wei Wenhua to death. He was the manager of a water resources construction company in Tianmen, Hubei and had used his mobile phone camera to film the officers in a violent clash with protestors.

The public in Tianmen, Hubei Province has been in an uproar following the death, earlier this month, of a local resident (Wei Wenhua) due to a violent beating by city inspectors (quasi-police like government officers responsible for city regulation enforcement). The media and Internet forums have been inundated with discussions about the legitimacy of city inspectors. One article in the latest issue of Southern Weekend called for the total abolishon of city inspectors. The article is titled “It’s High Time to Abolish City Inspectors.” It has been widely circulated on China’s Internet and has been the subject of many heated debates.

Source: Southern Weekend, January 17, 2008
Chinascope, January 17, 2008

Open Letter Calls for Prosecution of the Shanghai Gang

On January 19, in his third open letter to the top leaders of China, Kong Qiang, a government employee from Shandong Province and the owner of “China Shenzheng Net,” a rights advocate website, called for the immediate legal prosecution of Jiang Zemin and his gang, also known as the “Shanghai Gang.” Kong said, “Otherwise, we will never be able to face either the people in China, or the people around the world.”

In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times, a news media based in New York, Kong disclosed that through his activities as a human rights advocate, he has come across substantial evidence against the Shanghai Gang and feels that he can no longer be silent.

Kong is 39 years old and works for the Administration of Industry and Commerce in the Qubu Municipality in Shangdong Province. He founded Shenzheng net in July 2005. The website has been shut down repeatedly due to his disclosing sensitive inside information about the Shanghai Gang. Kong has received numerous threats that he will be fired from his work and sent to a mental hospital. He previously published two other open letters, on December 6 and 24 in 2007.

Source: The Epoch Times, January 19, 2008

Existing System Criticized for its Effect on the Art Community

In an interview with Nanfang Weekend, Wu Guanzhong, a prominent 89-year-old contemporary painter spoke out against various issues in the art community. He said that the commercialized education system erodes the quality of education. Teachers’ evaluation process is a waste of time and money; it is full of personal connections and not effective. He is calling for closing the state-owned art associations and institutions, saying they have become corrupt and unproductive. “Events organized by these places are just like the prostitution industry, which is purely money driven.” Wu said, “The art community has been politicized. The artworks are way overpriced and the Art centers only collect junk artwork.” He concluded that there are all sorts of issues in the art community, including education, facility, contest, and market. “The existing system is the cause of it all.” Wu said he is speaking the truth and wants to speak up more when he is able.

Source: Nanfang Weekend, January 9, 2008

Ministry of Health Requests Police Force Be Deployed to Hospitals

In recent years, the conflicts between hospital’s medical staff and patients have been intensifying. Patient’s violent attacks have frequently resulted in the hospital staff being injured. The spokesperson from the Ministry Of Health recently requested that police be depolyed to the hospitals to protect the hospital staff. Analysts pointed out that the basic cause of tension between doctor and patient is the inadequate healthcare system and China’s declining moral values.

Bird flu (H5N1) has killed 11,172 poultry in central China

On May 19m, 2007, Xinhua News Agency, citing the Ministry of Agriculture, reported that 11,172 poultry in central China have died as a result of bird flu (H5N1). The report said that another 52,874 were slaughtered. Chinese Agriculture officials say that the outbreak has been brought under control. The Propaganda Department of the local Chinese Communist Party must approve all media requests for interviews.