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Hundreds of Retirees in Heilongjiang Contiue Protests on Overdue Benefits

On the morning of March 25, the second day of the protest, over 300 retirees from Ha Er Bin Insulation Material Factory in Heilongjiang province continued to gather in front of the Electric Motor Factory to demand the settlement of their overdue winter benefits package. The two-day protest was held in rainy and cold weather conditions. No factory officials came out to speak to the protesters.

Source: Chinese Human Rights Defenders, March 25, 2008 http://crd-net.org/Article/Class71/200803/20080325175518_8185.html

Overseas Chinese Media to Help Build a Harmonious Society [1] as an Extension of Mainland Media

Chinese language media remain influential among overseas Chinese people because even for those who have already become naturalized citizens of another country, Chinese is the most popular language. Europe Express is a Chinese language newspaper based in Italy. Its front page shows that it is a partner of the People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper. On March 3, 2008, Europe Express published an article entitled "In Order to Build a Harmonious Society for Overseas Chinese People, the Function of Overseas Chinese Media as a Watchdog is Very Important." It was republished by China News Service — the second largest official Chinese Communist Party news agency after Xinhua. Below is the translation of the republished article (excerpts) by China News Service. [2]

Chinese Newspaper: In Order to Build a Harmonious Society for Overseas Chinese People, the Function of Overseas Chinese Language Media as a Watchdog is Very Important.

The reform and opening up policy has rapidly improved China’s international standing, and innumerable overseas Chinese people have benefited from it. Consular protection and consular services have become part of the Chinese government’s national policy. The Chinese government never stops emphasizing the issue of consular protection. While emphasizing the need to build a harmonious socialist society, building a harmonious society among overseas Chinese people has been considered strategically as the most important policy in the new era. An article in Europe Express in Italy stated: For building a harmonious society for overseas Chinese people, the function of overseas Chinese language media as a watchdog is very important.

As stated in the article, from the 1980s of the last century, the trend of Chinese emigration has reached the entire world, and several million Chinese people have migrated overseas. As the number of overseas Chinese people as new immigrants increases, and the unique overseas Chinese cultural tastes evolve, there has come an upsurge of overseas Chinese media. Although the foundation, audience and positioning of the Chinese media in each country are quite different, most of them proclaim the principles of being patriotic, promoting Chinese culture and China, strengthening communication and social development. Their function lies in assisting overseas Chinese to better integrate into the mainstream society in economics, politics, and culture; providing services for employment, studying, social networking, etc.; defending overseas Chinese legal rights; creating better living conditions for the Chinese community; promoting solidarity and patriotic sentiment amongst local Chinese people; and advocating friendly communication and interaction between the countries of their residence and motherland.

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Now, the overseas Chinese media have the same ideological guidelines and the same angle of reporting that is consistent with the mainstream media in Mainland China. Based on the needs of the local Chinese community, it provides information about the country of residence and helps overseas Chinese to integrate into the mainstream society; and the Chinese media also provide information about China and help overseas Chinese people to nurture their ties with the motherland emotionally. The overseas Chinese media truly take on the responsibility for helping China to understand the world and the world to understand China. It may be called the overseas extension of the mainland Chinese media.

The article indicates that the Chinese media’s development not only depends on the strength of the overseas Chinese, but also depends on the great power of the motherland. When the motherland is formidable with high international standing, Chinese civilization will be respected. When Sinology and the Chinese language gains global popularity, the Chinese language media will be prosperous too.

[…]

to construct a harmonious society, the function of the overseas Chinese language media as a watchdog is very important. While the Chinese government encourages the mainstream media in China to play the role of a watchdog, it should also emphasize the overseas Chinese media as a watchdog.  The policies should safeguard the right of overseas Chinese media as watchdog, facilitate overseas media and reporters to play a better role of a watchdog so that they can truthfully report on overseas Chinese, and promote the harmonious development of Chinese communities.

Endnotes:
[1] The construction of a Harmonious Society (和谐社会) is the current and dominant socio-economic goal to be achieved using Hu Jintao’s signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept. It serves as the ultimate goal for the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). First proposed by the Chinese government under the Hu-Wen Administration during the 2005 National People’s Congress, the idea deviates from the focus of economic growth to overall societal balance. Independent observers believe the initiation of the Harmonious Society policy is the regime’s response to ever escalating domestic instability due to the CCP’s governance crisis. The CCP’s concept of “harmonious society” or “social stability”, meaning that dissident voices or social unrest are to be suppressed, is different from the use of the concepts in Western societies.
[2] Source: China News Service, March 3, 2008
http://www.chinanews.com.cn/hr/ozhrxw/news/2008/03-03/1179729.shtml

Bush’s Affirmation of Beijing Olympics Trip Placed as People’s Daily Headline

After the White House issued a statement on March 20, 2008 that U.S. President Bush will keep to his plans of attending the Beijing Olympics despite the Tibetan protests, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper The People’s Daily ran the news as a headline banner, reading “White House Spokesperson: Bush’s Plans for Attending the Beijing Olympics Unchanged” on the World section’s main page of its website. The banner remained prominently placed for three days through to March 23, 2008. Clicking on the banner brought up  the page displaying the specific article on the announcement. The news report also mentioned specifically that Bush regarded the Olympics as a sporting event and that he would not use it to publicly discuss political issues.

Source: People’s Daily, March 21, 2008
http://world.people.com.cn/GB/7026748.html

People’s Daily Accuses Western Media of Distorting China’s Suppression in Tibet

The Communist Party mouthpiece The People’s Daily posted an article today on its website entitled “Distorted Reports Astonishing – Where Is the Morality of Western Media?” The article quoted a commentary from Hong Kong’ pro-communist newspaper Wen Wei Pao, stating that after Lhasa incident, some Western newspapers, TV stations, and websites were full of reports of the Chinese government “suppressing” Tibetans, in which the distortion of the facts was astonishing. Some media used copy-paste, information-filtering means to mislead readers and audiences, spreading voices "demonizing China” voices. The article sharply criticized that these Western media outlets have even mixed the Olympics with these incidents and called for boycotting the Beijing Olympics.

Source: People’s Daily, March 25, 2008
http://world.people.com.cn/GB/1030/7040230.html

China’s National Defense Technology Industry Taking on Military/Civilian Dual Functions

As the Ministry of Information Industry is being dissolved in a new wave of government reorganization, China’s national defense technology industry is receiving more attention and will go through transformation from the closed military system to a dual function of “military and civilian application.” Yu Liegui, deputy director of Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, says that the development of military and civilian combined enterprise is the key to strengthening the capability of the national defense technology industry. Yu says that China will utilize civil nuclear power, spacecrafts, airplanes, and high-tech ships to develop key technology such as third generation nuclear-electricity technology, newer generations of space shuttles, giant civil satellites, new regional jets, and large liquid gas boats.

Source: Xinhua, March 23, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2008-03/23/content_7841193_1.htm

How the Chinese Communist Regime Does Grass-Roots Management

Large-scale social unrest in China has been on the rise in recent years. The upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has become a rallying point for issues of social discontent. To deal with social unrest in both urban and rural areas, the Communist regime is focusing on one aspect of Chinese society — a special grass-roots organization — the Community Neighborhood Committee. These community committees are unique to China. On the surface, they are non-governmental organizations, but the staff is on the government payroll. These committees exist everywhere and form a dense network of control, working for the local police and governments. On February 16, 2008, the official journal of the CCP Central Committee Qiushi published an article entitled “Grass-roots is the focus of social management and supervision.”[1] The author is a member of Standing Committee of Anhui Provincial CCP Committee and Secretary of Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the Anhui Provincial CCP Committee. [2] Below are excerpts from the article.

Grass-roots is the focus of society’s management and supervision

The 17th National Congress of the CCP raised an important issue: To form a sound grass-roots society management system, using a healthy Party committee’s leadership, responsible government, a coordinated social network, and participation from the public. Anhui Province, when dealing with political and legal work, has focused its work at the grass-roots level in order to dissolve all social conflicts and problems at the grass-roots level, to maximally enhance harmonious factors, and to maximally reduce the unharmonious factors, so as to lay a solid foundation for the construction of a socialistic harmonious society.

I. Promoting the construction of communities, perfecting grass-roots management and a service network

We take the construction of communities as the base for managing society. Advice on Promoting the Construction of Communities on all Fronts was drawn on for the purpose of actively promoting construction of urban communities, and relying on Community’s Neighborhood Committees (CNC). We have constructed 2300 CNC’s covering all the cities and towns in the province. In 2007, we also established 10 pilot rural village communities so as to promote the construction of rural neighborhood communities based on the autonomy of villagers.

We have strengthened the communities’ self-governance function and clarified the CNC’s obligations and its autonomous role. As a result, the government’s administrative management effectively coordinates with residents’ self-governance through CNC’s. The government’s law enforcement interacts with the community’s lawful autonomy. We have strengthened construction of the community management team. By hiring community managerial staff members, implementing the system of certification, and improving staffer’s welfare, we have built a steadfast community management.
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II. Perfect social organizations and enhance their service functions

Taking the management of social organizations as an important issue of strengthening the grass-roots work, we have issued Suggestions on further strengthening the management of civil social organizations, so as to guide and regulate the healthy development of non-governmental organizations. In Anhui province there are more than 10,000 lawfully registered non-governmental organizations, with a total staff of 70,000. These organizations span across the cities and villages, forming a system of non-governmental organizations with extensive coverage and comprehensive categories.

III. Strengthen grass-roots law enforcement, preserve long-term social stability

We take grass-roots enforcement as the focus, and use the construction of a "Peaceful Anhui" as a framework for handling prominent public order and security problems collectively. We implemented a policy focusing on the grass-roots, reinforcing the grass-roots level police force, and promoting an in-depth control system for preventing social unrest and promoting social stability. By organizing all social forces to carry out law enforcement, we managed to maintain continuous stability in the urban and rural areas across the province.

In the process of strengthening grass-roots public security management, we adhere to the policies of combining crackdown with prevention and combining targeted strikes with general supervision. We set up a working mechanism of rapid response, flexible operation, and orderly coordination to guarantee effective security protection and control. We have implemented a responsibility and accountability system. We oppose inaction and chaotic action. We have severely clamped down on various criminal activities, improved the service and management of the migrant population, strengthened the propaganda and education of rule of law to the whole society including young people, and effectively prevented crimes.

IV. Improve the emergency management mechanism and enhance the abilities of the grass-roots level to manage crises and risks

Emergency management is a crucial aspect of managing society. We have made legal regulations such as an Overall Emergency Plan for Unexpected Public Incidents, established an emergency management organization system, and enhanced the ability to prevent and deal with unexpected events. We focused on the counter-emergency planning at the county and township levels, and strengthened guidance of the counter-emergency planning in key work places, important public locations, schools and communities (villages). We strengthened the organization and training of specialized teams for emergency events management; established a working system of unified command, orderly coordination, sensitive response, and efficient operation. We improved the construction of the monitoring and detecting system, established an integrated system of society emergency monitoring, societal mobilization, rapid responsiveness, and high efficiency reaction.
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V. Coordinate various interest groups and properly handle internal conflicts among the people.

We take the coordination of various interest groups and proper handling of various social conflicts, especially any internal conflicts among the people, as the daily work to promote and guarantee grass-roots stability and harmony. We adhere to the principle of "local management and hierarchical responsibility" and "whoever is in charge is responsible," so as to implement the responsibility policy and the policy of accountability at the grass-root level. We improve the case analysis and conflicts resolving system, adhere to the policy of "actively preventing, promptly exposing, effectively controlling and properly resolving," and extensively carry out the survey of public opinions. We also established a people-administration-judiciary trinity mediation system based on the judiciary, in which the departments of public appeals, the courts and public security participate. Thus, we have strived to achieve early investigation, rapid detection, complete control, and proper handling of various conflicts.

Endnotes:
[1] Qiushi,issue 4, 2008
http://www.qsjournal.com.cn/qs/20080216/GB/qs%5E473%5E0%5E19.htm
[2] Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs:Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs (CPLA) is CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) a functional body in charge of judicial issues. The Central CPLA organizes and leads the work of all judiciary related CCP agencies, guiding the work of CPLA’s at CCP Committees in provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government. Top officials at Ministry of Public Security, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and Supreme People’s Court ought to report to the Secretary of Central CPLA, who usually is a member or leading member of the CCP Committee in Ministry of Public Security, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and Supreme People’s Court. The establishment of CPLA guarantees the de facto control of the CCP over the judicial branch of the central government.