Thursday, June 25, 2009

How the pro-Beijing lobby has exaggerated fears over upsetting the Chinese regime

Beijing's 'second channel' Diplomacy in Canada

By Matthew Little
Epoch Times Staff
Jun 25, 2009

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi made an official visit to Canada this week, prompting some to proclaim a breakthrough in Canada-China relations. China-business lobbyists will say the Conservative Government has now seen the light. But there are others who fear the government is stepping down from a stance toward China that was not only principled, but also made sense.

Early on, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had chilly relations with the communist regime. He publicly criticized its notorious human rights record, angering the China-business lobby. But he also earned respect as one of the few world leaders to speak up for China’s downtrodden.

That was then. Today it is hard to tell what Mr. Harper's position is. The Prime Minister’s Office seemed reluctant this week to put “human rights” and “China” together in the same sentence when asked if Harper and Yang had discussed that issue in their meeting. Instead, his spokesperson, Demitri Soudas, would only say the two had talked about all issues of concern to both countries.

It could be said that Yang's arrival in Canada was paved by former Chinese ambassador to Canada, Mei Ping. Beginning last fall, Mr. Mei worked behind the scenes to influence the Conservative government's China stance, a fact he boasted about in a reception at the Chinese consulate in Toronto last Wednesday night.

Ming Pao, a pro-Beijing Chinese-language newspaper who covered the event, reported that the communist regime turned to Mei because of his extensive ties here.

A ‘Secondary Channel’

The paper quoted Mei as saying he visited Canada in September and October of last year on a mission to use a “secondary channel” of diplomacy to change the government’s stance.

His efforts took him on a cross-Canada tour with stops in eight cities where he met with business leaders, think-tanks, opposition leaders, and media.

Chen Yonglin was a student at the Foreign Affairs University in China in the 1980s when Mei was the Chancellor there and said he is familiar with Mei's “secondary channel.” It's a concept Mei discussed at that time too.

“The ‘second channel’ is also called ‘non-governmental’ diplomacy,” explained Chen. “It means to influence the Canadian Government through the Chinese community in Canada.”

Chen said Beijing previously exercised this “second channel” through overseas front organizations to dissolve the trade sanctions Western countries imposed on China after the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre.

Chen was the consul for political affairs in the Chinese consulate in Sydney before he defected in 2005. He revealed that one of his duties there was to monitor Chinese political dissidents and rights activists in Australia.

He also revealed how the regime used front organizations, including Chinese community groups, Chinese student groups, and Chinese media, to further Beijing’s interests abroad.

In his reported speech, Mei had also highlighted that the opinion of Chinese Canadians during the last election had altered Canada's China stance, something Mei was in the country to witness.

The Epoch Times was following odd occurrences in the Chinese community during the election, many of which take on new significance in light of this information.

Among those odd occurrences was a poll published by the Ming Pao Chinese newspaper which claimed the single largest concern of Chinese Canadians was China-Canada relations. The poll came with the suggestion that political strategists could use the findings to lure Chinese voters.

These findings ran counter to most national election polls, which at the time found the economy was the overriding concern for the vast majority of Canadians.

Also odd were the townhall debates organized by Chinese community groups whose members were vocal supporters of the Chinese Communist Party and its foreign policy objectives.

Intelligence Efforts

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, formerly a senior intelligence officer at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and head of its Asia Pacific bureau, believes these incidents could be efforts by the Chinese regime to influence Canada's foreign policy.

His description of the Ming Pao newspaper offers some explanation.

Intelligence agents, he said, “have evidence to believe that Ming Pao has been used by the Chinese intelligence services on numerous occasions. So when we look at Ming Pao we see it as an extension of the government of China, the Central Committee of China and [an instrument of] Chinese intelligence services for its propaganda purposes.”

The same went for many Chinese community associations operating in Canada, he said. The goal was to exercise influence without getting caught.

"The Chinese government is having things done on their behalf but by someone else so you don't have a smoking gun."

Juneau-Katsuya backed Chen’s assertion that Chinese media, community and student groups were all frequently employed to influence foreign governments.

But a luncheon Minister Yang attended during his visit may add another dimension to that influence effort.

Not Just Business

The luncheon was put on by the Canada China Business Council, an influential China-lobby group whose membership roster includes some of Canada’s most powerful business leaders.

The business organization revealed in an email to members that the Chinese regime had directly asked the organization to put on the event.

Juneau-Katsuya said that because of its actions the CCBC, though made up of Canadians rather than Chinese diaspora, looks similar from an intelligence perspective to a front organization.

He suggested the group was heavily influenced by the Chinese regime.

"We've seen some positions, some statements made by these people, that were very very much representing the party line and the policies that the Chinese government wanted its allies to reverberate and to disseminate left and right," said Juneau-Katsuya.

He added that intelligence agents never considered the CCBC to be "strictly business orientated."

The Canada China Business Council (CCBC) has twice barred reporters who write articles critical of the Chinese regime from attending its events including its most recent luncheon. The organization has consistently cited “space limitations.”

Kate Heartfield with the Ottawa citizen attended the event and noted that Minister Yang's speech was politically charged and mentioned the regime's claims not only to Tibet, but also Taiwan.

She blogged about the contradiction presented by Canadian-China business community's frequent attempt to argue that doing business with China's authoritarian regime had nothing to do with politics.

“But that's a lie. The Canada-China business community doesn't avoid politics; it just avoids political opinions that run contrary to the propaganda spread by the totalitarian regime,” she wrote.

“Bombardier was a major sponsor of the lunch. How is it not interfering with China's affairs when a heavily taxpayer-subsidized Canadian company like Bombardier builds a rail link into Tibet to help China speed up its cultural genocide there? Maybe politics and business aren't that easy to separate after all.”

“And how come Canada's not allowed to interfere in China's affairs, but China's allowed to run guns to the likes of Robert Mugabe and Than Shwe? Why doesn't China stop interfering in the affairs of Burma and Zimbabwe?”

Not surprisingly, the founding president of the CCBC is former CEO of Power Corp, Paul Desmarais Sr.. Desmarais is one of the richest men in Canada and one of the most heavily involved in business with China.

Juneau noted that when former Chinese Premier Li Peng came to Canada in the early 1990s he spent a day and a half visiting then Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the rest of his five-day visit at one of Desmarais’ residences.

The CCBC has basically dictated Canada’s China policy for the past 50 years, said Clive Ansley, former president of the Shanghai chapter of the CCBC and the first Western lawyer to establish a practice in China.

The CCBC did this through Desmarais’s close personal relationships with former Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, and Jean Chretien, said Ansley. Desmarais’s son is married to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s daughter.

Ansley said the CCBC has managed to convince Canada’s A-list business leaders to pay hefty membership dues to join the organization with promises to facilitate trade with China.

However, despite the CCBC’s efforts to influence Canada’s business elite and its very vocal claims to the contrary, three national business polls conducted by COMPAS Inc. in 2006, 2007, and 2008 found that most business leaders judged Mr. Harper to have done well on his public criticism of China’s human rights abuses.

The executives said they believe Mr. Harper’s tough stance would either have no impact on Canadian business opportunities in China, or actually be good for business by helping Chinese improve their legal system. They also saw it as advancing human rights in China in the long run.

Legitimate Concerns

As a former Chinese diplomat, Chen Yonglin is well familiar with the inner workings of the regime and said its foreign policy effort all boils down to one thing.

“The core of China's diplomacy is to maintain the international recognition of the Chinese Communist Party as a ruling regime in China,” said Chen.

In short, the CCP is entirely focused on ensuring it is recognized as the legitimate ruler of China, an issue all the more critical at the present moment, he said.

“The exchange of visits with the Canadian top leaders will strengthen the public impression of the legitimacy of the Chinese government, which is not popularly elected.”

He points to the fact that China has been encouraging and assisting unstable neighbours North Korea and Pakistan in developing nuclear weapons as evidence that matters like national security hardly matter at all.

“The image of the Chinese leaders is the most important matter.”

It was once the case that a protest in China was met with bullets. But as the regime prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, public demonstrations and riots in China are at an all time high. In January, China's state-run Xinhua news agency published an article saying this year will be the peak period for “mass incidents.”

Official reports of “mass incidents” grew by more than seven times over ten years to 74,000 in 2004. Since then, officials have been tight lipped about the details of unrest in China which suggests that the numbers have continued to rise.

The largest recent protest in China was in Shishou city, Hubei province, from June 19 to 20. Estimates vary, but anywhere from several thousand to 70,000 residents were involved. Protesters overturned police and fire vehicles during the confrontation with police, who called in soldiers from another city to put down the demonstration. Another smaller riot erupted the following day in Nanjing, when students found out their technical college would be giving them degrees equivalent to high school diplomas rather than the associate degrees they were promised.

Some China analysts say public discontent in China is nearing a breaking point and the regime is deeply concerned about anything that could push the masses towards a popular uprising.

“The Chinese regime has never been so weak as it is now,” said Chen. “With the rapid expansion of Internet surfers, the regime has found it is harder and harder to fool the Chinese people. The people know more about the truth of China’s past and present. The regime has exhausted all methods to cover the brutality and persecution. Petitioners demanding their cases to be reviewed have become more united than ever.”

While the elite of CCP officials have prospered in communist China, the masses have suffered through corruption and persecution, and an increasing number of them aren’t willing to accept it quietly. A small but well-reported case reveals the magnitude of the change taking place.

Blog Justice

Waitress Deng Yujiao was charged with murder after she stabbed and killed one of three Chinese Communist Party officials who were allegedly trying to rape her.

The case caused outrage across China. Bloggers called for her release and for the officials to be punished. Many advocated taking their protest from the web to the streets. Other people started support groups in her name and a grassroots effort grew to have her freed.

Last week her sentence was handed down. She was found guilty but her murder charge was downgraded twice, from manslaughter to assault, and she received no punishment. Witnesses were not called, leading many to suggest the verdict was politically decided. While Chinese judicial system remains little more than political tool of the CCP, it seems China's masses can influence the system by taking their concerns to the street.

But there is another situation the CCP is not likely to reconsider: its decision to stomp out a movement chipping away its very foundation. Chinese people have begun registering public withdrawals from the various organs of the Chinese Communist Party that they either voluntarily joined or were compelled to enlist in by their workplace or school.

The withdrawal movement sprang from an editorial series called the Nine Commentaries published by The Epoch Times. The series details the regime's often hidden bloody history, and has led to over 56 million withdrawals. The Nine Commentaries are among the materials produced by the approximately 200,000 underground presses operated by Falun Gong practitioners in China, according to the Falun Dafa Information Centre. The CCP has made stopping the spread of the series among Chinese a top concern, and Canadian researchers at the University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab found that the Chinese version of Skype was storing messages that talked about the series.

How Mighty the Dollar?

The CCP’s perceived legitimacy becomes even more crucial in the face of an economic downturn, given that the regime has staked its life on improved economic prosperity for China’s masses.

But with unemployment rising, the findings of a report by Albert Edwards, a strategist at Societe Generale who predicted the Asian Crisis in 1997, couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Earnings for Chinese companies have fallen through the floor, revealing critical faults in the Chinese economy. “I believe we will look back on the Chinese economic miracle as the sickest joke yet played on investors,” Edwards wrote in his report.

“The bullish group-think on China is just as vulnerable to massive disappointment as any other extreme example of bubble-nonsense I have seen over the last two decades... The fall to earth will be equally as shocking.”

And given that Canada runs a huge trade deficit with the Chinese regime, and that the value of Canada's exports to China is tripled by as small a trading partner as the State of Illinois, maybe now is not the time to kowtow to Beijing.

Prime Minister Harper’s now famous claim that Canada would not compromise its principles for trade with China seems all the more a position for the government to reconsider.

“Canada should learn how to deal with a non-democratic regime like China,” said Chen. “Pressure is the only language that a dictatorship can understand.”

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Canadian Reporter Barred From Luncheon With Visiting Chinese Official

Sun Media’s Christina Spencer kept out of Yang Jiechi welcome lunch organized by Canada-China Business Council

By Matthew Little
Epoch Times Staff
Jun 24, 2009

A member of the Parliament Hill press gallery was barred from attending a Tuesday luncheon with China's foreign minister in a move reminiscent of a similar incident in 2005 when the same business lobby barred reporters from two media outlets from a dinner event welcoming Chinese leader Hu Jintao.

The luncheon with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was hosted by the Canada China Business Council (CCBC) in Ottawa at the bequest of the Chinese regime.

Christina Spencer, a Parliament Hill reporter for Sun Media who has written articles critical of the communist regime, was turned away when she tried to attend the event at the Chateau Laurier Hotel.

A spokesperson for the council said the reporter was barred because she hadn't been invited. An emailed response from Victor Hayes, CCBC's director of public relations, said space was limited and so only a small number of media were invited.

The luncheon came on the heels of a meeting between Yang and Prime Minister Stephen Harper where a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's office said the two discussed “the entire range of issues between our two countries.”

Attempts by the Parliament Hill Press Gallery to reach the CCBC had gone unanswered by Tuesday afternoon, but the gallery's vice president, Chris Rands did tell the Epoch Times the journalists' association was concerned about what happened.

“We are dismayed by the Canada China business Council’s decision to bar a member of the parliamentary press gallery from attending their event,” Rands said. “We will examine this issue at our next meeting later this week.”

The invitation for Tuesday's luncheon attracted the interest of Canadian China scholar Charles Burton.

In a recent blog post he noted that it was the Chinese regime and not the Canadian government that asked the business lobby group to make arrangements for Mr. Yang in Canada. The CCBC is an association that includes some of Canada’s largest corporations with business interests in China. The luncheon was to be attended by around 150 of Canada's business leaders. Journalists from Canwest News Service, CBC, CTV and others were able to attend.

In 2005, both The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television were kept out of a CCBC organized banquet for Hu Jintao in Toronto. The CCBC at the time again cited “space limitations” for excluding the two media outlets that frequently carry articles highlighting human rights abuses of the Chinese regime.

Kate Heartfield with the Ottawa Citizen did attend Tuesday’s luncheon and blogged afterwards about the contradiction presented by Canadian-China business communities frequent attempt to argue that doing business with China's authoritarian regime had nothing to do with politics.

“But that's a lie. The Canada-China business community doesn't avoid politics; it just avoids political opinions that run contrary to the propaganda spread by the totalitarian regime,” she wrote, citing some charged comments that appeared in the speech of the Chinese foreign minister about Tibet.

“Bombardier was a major sponsor of the lunch. How is it not interfering with China's affairs when a heavily taxpayer-subsidized Canadian company like Bombardier builds a rail link into Tibet to help China speed up its cultural genocide there? Maybe politics and business aren't that easy to separate after all.”

“And how come Canada's not allowed to interfere in China's affairs, but China's allowed to run guns to the likes of Robert Mugabe and Than Shwe? Why doesn't China stop intefering in the affairs of Burma and Zimbabwe?”

Heartfield wrote that she would have like to ask Yang these questions “but the media weren't allowed to ask him anything.”

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Christian Attorney Zheng Enchong Interrogated and Tortured

Contact: Katherine Cason, 267-210-8278,; Washington, D.C. Contact: Jenny McCloy, 202-213-0506,;,
SHANGHAI, China, June 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- On June 17 Christian human rights attorney, Zheng Enchong, was interrogated and tortured for nine hours by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers because of his work defending Chinese citizens whose land has been confiscated by the government. During his detention, he was beaten, stripped and cigarettes were held to his lips and eyelids. Zheng Enchong has filed a written protest and plans to file a complaint to the central government.

Photo: Zheng Enchong

According to ChinaAid sources, Zheng Enchong was summoned by four officers from Zhabei District Branch of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau on June 17. During his detention, officers took turns slapping him five or six times in the face, and hitting him three times in the back of his head. Police also held lit cigarettes to his lips and eyelids. Later, the officers pulled him from the seat and took off all his clothing, except his underwear. Police threw his personal belongings, including: money, keys, pen, and a Bible and some cookies to the floor. Then the PSB officers proceeded to search his body.

Authorities compiled a written record of the interrogation without interrogating Zheng at all, and, then, wanted him to sign it. Instead, he wrote down a statement on the record describing his violent treatment by the PSB. He denounced authorities for using the same method on him as they use on Falun Gong practitioners.

Attorney Zheng has been summoned by officials nearly 20 times, and his house searched twice in the past two and a half months. In 2003, he filed a major legal case exposing how government officials conspired with Zhou Zhengyi, "the richest man in Shanghai, " to illegally confiscate homes for demolition. Since that time, Zheng Enchong has been continually harassed and persecuted by Chinese officials. He was sentenced to three years in prison for "illegally providing secrets to overseas entities." The charge related to two faxes regarding workers' protests that Zheng was accused of sending to Human Rights in China, a non-profit organization. Zheng has also been beaten by authorities four times, so badly that he now has difficulty walking.

"As an internationally well-known Christian human rights lawyer, Attorney Zheng has always defended the poor and vulnerable," said Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid and a friend of Mr. Zheng and his family. "The repeated harassment and torture against such a conscientious rights defender demonstrates the Shanghai authorities' total disregard to citizens' basic human rights. We encourage the international community to continue to press the Chinese authorities to stop these hideous acts and to hold the abusers accountable."

ChinaAid calls on the international community to contact the Chinese Ambassador and urge that the violence against Zheng Enchong end, and that the government respect and uphold human rights according to the Chinese Constitution and international agreements:

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760

ChinaAid grants permission to reproduce photos and/or information for non-fundraising purposes, with the provision that is credited. Please contact: with questions or requests for further information.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

China slowly preparing to dominate the globe

The Tribune-Democrat

June 23, 2009 - I was recently surprised to discover my local cable-TV carrier had added a station. According to the station’s Web site, CCTV International is the English-language, 24-hour news channel of China Central Television.

It explains, “CCTV International is China’s contribution to greater diversity and more perspective in the global information flow.”

While serving as director of the Information Warfare faculty at the Department of Defense’s Joint Forces Staff College, I lectured on strategic communication, psychological operations and propaganda. I rate much of the programming on CCTV as little more than propaganda.

Some of CCTV’s propaganda is amateurish by Western standards. They should hire a Madison Avenue company that designs marketing campaigns for beer. Those folks know how to persuade!

The Chinese still have a lot to learn about Westerners. For example, recently while channel surfing, I noticed a symphony orchestra playing on CCTV. The orchestra was accompanying a woman singer. She was wearing a military uniform and singing (with English subtitles) about the glories of the homeland, where everyone is happy and everyone helps their fellow man. It was laughably corny.

What this patriotic diva failed to mention is China’s for-profit forced labor camps, its persecution of citizens who embrace the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, and China’s violent oppression of Tibet, a free country it seized by force in 1951.

Despite what the Chinese Communist leadership would have us think about the culture, China is a political, economic and military adversary of the United States. It represents the antithesis of American ideals.

CCTV is part of China’s public diplomacy campaign, which attempts to convey positive images and messages about China to the populations in other countries where the Chinese have economic interests and ambitions.

In April 2009, Zhang Zhexin of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies spoke at the national Information Warfare Conference in National Harbor, Md. Zhang explained that China’s public diplomacy has gone through three phases.

The first, from 1949 until the late 1980s, was propaganda oriented.

Phase two, from the end of the Cold War until the early 2000s, aimed to minimize China’s perceived threat to other countries.

Phase three, which is ongoing, aims to inform foreign populations about China’s culture and cultivate good perceptions of China throughout the rest of the world.

The current phase of China’s public diplomacy is critical. China needs other countries to be comfortable with and accepting of its culture. This goes far beyond encouraging us to buy Chinese takeout for dinner.

The Chinese leadership must make Chinese culture appear totally acceptable to the West – at least the parts of the culture they allow us to see. China’s leaders don’t want us to see the poverty, the ecological disasters their industries have created or the way they brutally suppress anyone who disagrees with them.

The acceptance of Chinese culture by Western populations is absolutely essential if China is to maintain its aggressive economic growth (8 percent projected for 2010), because only Western powers can disrupt China’s economic plans. They need the West to continue buying Chinese goods and to refrain from a new East-West arms race.

To maintain its robust economic growth, China must expand its global presence. Chinese government purchasing agents are heavily engaged around the world securing the natural resources and raw materials China needs to fuel its growth. Oil and natural gas are at the top of the list.

China’s development of a blue-water navy, which may include aircraft carriers, is a part of its global engagement strategy. A true superpower must be able to project power globally.

The Chinese are also buying up America. As General Motors quietly slips down the toilet, China is negotiating to purchase the Hummer, the auto line that once symbolized the raw audacity of GM’s brand.

The Chinese are also snatching up American real estate. At the aptly named “America Is for Sale Expo,” which occurred in Beijing in April 2009, Chinese buyers grabbed more than $100 million in U.S. real estate. Shortly after the expo, it was reported that an additional $400 million in sales was in the works.

The next expo is scheduled for October.

Why should average Americans care about this? For starters, near the end of 2008 China surpassed Japan as the largest owner of U.S. national debt instruments. China’s leaders are using this advantageous position to pressure American leaders to support their global ambitions.

China and Russia recently announced plans to use their own currencies for trade between their countries, instead of the U.S. dollar, placing more pressure on the Obama administration.

The subservient demeanor of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during his recent visit to Beijing is an indicator of how far America has fallen.

Geithner and a bunch of elected fools on Capitol Hill are mortgaging our country’s future to China. Therefore they have to pay homage to China’s leaders at the expense of American taxpayers.

Behold the United States, the country which ultimately defeated the Third Reich and Imperial Japan, kowtowing to a gang of Chinese Communist thugs. At the same time, China’s brutal regime subsidizes its own manufacturers and manipulates its currency’s value, making American goods less competitive in China and globally.

The new Chinese superpower that made its world debut at the Beijing Olympics continues to rise. It appears nothing can stem the red tide.

Will China’s rise mean the end of America’s global superpower status? Unfortunately, the answer may be yes. We may be witnessing one of those rare occasions in world history where a great power is deposed by a weaker adversary, without even having put up a fight. You can thank a lot of folks on Capitol Hill for making this possible.

With no end to America’s economic crisis in sight and no apparent end to China’s economic growth, Americans have little to look forward to these days, except perhaps the midterm elections. Then at last we can start clearing out the bums who got us into this mess.

Zachary Hubbard is a retired Army officer residing in Upper Yoder Township. He is a member of The Tribune-Democrat readership advisory committee.
OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Friday, June 19, 2009

Slovak Activists and Pro-Communist Chinese Clash During Visit of Chinese Leader

By Peter Sedik
Epoch Times Staff
Jun 18, 2009

Falun Gong
Falun Gong practitioner Mrs. Xu who suffered bleeding injuries after the Chinese leader supporters threw her to the ground for holding a banner reading 'Falun Dafa is Good'. (Kamil Rakyta/The Epoch Times)

BRATISLAVA—In the first day of Chinese top leader Hu Jintao’s visit in Slovakia, police arrested nine people for violating public order on Thursday, June 18.

About one hour before Hu’s arrival, human rights activists started to gather on the square in front of the Slovak presidential palace, already filled with hundreds of Chinese supporters waiting for the arrival of Hu Jintao.

When the activists tried to unfold their banners, Hu’s supporters started to verbally and physically assault them. The most active ones tried to take the banners out of their hands. When successful, they tore them to pieces or ran away with the catch. As a consequence, one Chinese man was arrested for attempted theft when he tried to steal an activist’s banner.

Chinese flag used as a weapon against the human rights banner. (Kamil Rakyta/The Epoch Times)

Mrs. Xu, who held the banner promoting Falun Gong, the spiritual discipline banned in China, had to be treated by the emergency ambulance service. “The Chinese President supporters attacked me and threw me to the ground. I got injured and my forehead was bleeding. I also feel pain in my neck and wrist,” Mrs. Su told the Epoch Times reporter.

Slovak media and the participants of the protests criticized the passivity of the police, who didn’t protect Slovak citizens against the attacks of the Chinese “Welcoming committee” members.

Slovakia is the only EU country the Chinese leader visited on his European trip, taking the Chinese minister of foreign affairs and Chinese businessmen with him. Both Hu and the president of Slovakia praised the mutual relations between the countries, while Hu did not forget to mention “non-meddling in the other country’s internal affairs” as the basis of the good cooperation.

Human rights activist Peter Weisenbacher (in the middle) from Amnesty International holds the banner against the Tiananmen masacre. The Chinese activists tore several of his banners during his short protest. (Peter Sedik/The Epoch Times)
OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Green Tsunami Released to Burst Green Dam

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A few days after China announced the mandatory installation of a piece of censorship software on every PC sold in China, a leading anti-censorship organization releases software to defeat it.

Global Internet Freedom (GIF), a consortium formed by a few technology companies specialized in circumventing political censorship on Internet by repressive regimes, today announced its release of “Green Tsunami”, software designed for Chinese users to disable or get rid of “Green Dam”.

Green Tsunami gives users options to temporarily disable the monitoring of “Green Dam”, or to completely remove it from users’ computers.

The censorship software, Green Dam, has been developed with the support of the Chinese government, which then announced the mandatory installation program for the alleged purpose of blocking pornography and other “harmful” content, and to protect underage youth.

GIF’s analysis of the software reveals, however, Green Dam is designed to filter a much wider range of content than pornography, with Chinese keywords such as “Anti-China Congressmen”, “Falun Gong”, and even “Argentina”.

In addition, Green Dam has built-in functions designed specifically to cripple FreeGate and UltraSurf, two of the most popular anti-censorship software tools developed and supported by GIF. Chinese users have used both to circumvent the filtering and blocking of the Chinese national gateways, the so-called “Great Firewall”. The censorship software is also engineered to be very difficult for average users to uninstall it.

GIF has developed counter-measures to evade and defeat Green Dam, and is releasing Green Tsunami with either FreeGate or Ultrasurf built in, so users of GIF’s anti-censorship software will largely be unaffected by China’s new move.

“One of the great privileges of my life has been to watch the GIF developers play an instrumental role in causing Chinese regime to move from efforts at national gateway monitoring and censorship to their recent, desperate resort to an overtly Big Brother system requiring the installation of bugs on every computer in China,” said Michael Horowitz, a fellow at the Hudson Institute and advisor of GIF.

“The disabling of the regime’s ‘Green Dam’ bug system represents an important step towards shattering the internet firewalls which 21st century dictatorships mush maintain in order to stay in power. Today’s ‘Green Tsunami’ development is of as much importance to the people of Iran, Burma, Cuba, Vietnam, and Syria as it is to the people of China.” Mr. Horowitz said.

Green Tsunami-enabled FreeGate or UltraSurf is now available for download, free of charge, at and, respectively.

About The Global Internet Freedom Consortium

Formed in 2006, the Consortium is an alliance of a few of the leading organizations in developing and deploying anti-censorship technologies for Internet users in oppressive regimes. The Consortium partners have contributed significantly to the advancement of information freedom in China. The anti-censorship technologies the Consortium members developed have enabled Internet users in China to securely visit websites blocked by the Chinese government, such as those of Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. For more information, visit WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Internet censorship fight goes global

By James O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square upheaval approached, Internet users in China found new restrictions on access to Web sites offering accounts or commentary on the June 4, 1989, crackdown that brought the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators.

The New York Times and The Guardian reported that even social networking sites such as Twitter were blocked throughout China this week. Reuters reported that Hotmail similarly went dark across the country. The cyber censorship is nothing new, in China or elsewhere. One research and advocacy group, the OpenNet Initiative, reports that more than 25 countries have some kind of political or governmental censorship of the Web.

The motives vary. In the United States, schools and libraries are required by federal law to block access to certain pornographic materials.

As with more traditional forms of censorship, there are digital pathways around such information embargoes. The Web itself provides numerous programs -- some commercial, some free -- designed to allow surfers to circumvent blocks on content, or to mask their own identities from prying government eyes. A variety of human rights groups are lobbying Congress to provide more federal support for efforts to unblock the flow of information to countries with varying degrees of hospitality to the Internet.

In a relatively modest way, the government has done so in the past. In a 2008 appropriations bill, Congress directed $15 million toward such efforts, with the justification that, "ensuring the freedom of Internet communication in dictatorships and autocracies throughout the world is a high and critical interest of the United States."

Last month, a coalition of human rights activists and dissidents from countries including China, Burma, Laos and Cuba joined in signing an open letter to Congress urging the allocation of $50 million to beef up efforts to provide hardware and software tools to counter government censorship of the Internet.

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., urged an appropriations panel to support the initiative, calling it "a low-cost method of allowing people, especially those living under repressive regimes, to access all-source, uncensored, unfiltered information."

Exactly how to do that, and how to mete out the anti-censor funding, would be a task for the State Department. The Citizen Lab, an initiative of the University of Toronto, published "Everyone's Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship."

It lists a wide variety of strategies and software tools for opening Internet access. Reportedly one of the most robust systems for penetrating the kinds of filters imposed by China and other countries has been developed by the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, a group that's also at the center of the current lobbying for increased federal funding.

The developers of the Internet access tools promoted by the GIFC are loosely allied with the spiritual movement Falun Gong. Falun Gong considers itself apolitical, but is regarded as a subversive religious cult by the Chinese government, which has banned its activities. American-based adherents of Falun Gong developed their version of the Internet tool to ease communications for their followers and sympathizers of the movement in China. But its software is not China-specific and has reportedly been used to thwart government-directed Internet controls in countries throughout the globe.

The appropriations language proposed to Congress would not earmark any specific amount for the GIFC or any other group, but GIFC's supporters argue that the success they have demonstrated without government aid would make the group a logical candidate for a significant share of the new funding.

Michael J. Horowitz, director of Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty and a former official of the Reagan administration, is a leading advocate of the GIFC project and its lobbying effort with Congress. He sees that effort and the Internet overall as a powerful tool to promote openness and democracy worldwide just as, in the Cold War era, agencies such as Radio Free Europe broadcast pro-democracy messages beyond the Iron Curtain.

But his hopes that the Falun Gong-associated group might benefit from the increased appropriation suggests a potential dilemma for the U.S. government. At a time when Washington is striving for increased financial and security cooperation with Beijing, it might be difficult for American diplomats to explain their aid for a group Beijing regards as subversive while the Federal Reserve continues to rely on China to finance American debt.

"This must be viewed as an Internet freedom program and not as an anti-China initiative," Mr. Horowitz said. "You're not giving it to the Falun Gong; it's going for [computer] servers. ... The Burmese, the Iranians regard these as lifelines."

Mr. Horowitz insisted that the initiative not be aimed specifically at the Chinese government. But he argued further that its potential to promote human rights worldwide offered a moral rebuttal to such pragmatic objections. He noted that Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson faced similar criticisms when he lobbied for a confrontational approach to issues such as the persecution of Jews in the former Soviet Union.

"It was the same with [President] Reagan when he raised human rights in the Helsinki Process," Mr. Horowitz said, while acknowledging, "If you think you should never do anything that in any way inconveniences or concerns the Chinese, you should be against this legislation."

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

'China's Gestapo's' Decade of Brutality

By Charlotte Cuthbertson
Epoch Times Staff Jun 9, 2009

The 6-10 Office in China is an extra-judicial police force similar to the Gestapo, say experts.
The 6-10 Office in China is an extra-judicial police force similar to the Gestapo, say experts. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

A police force with powers extending over all levels of China's security apparatus continues to lead the crackdown on Falun Gong in China.

The 6-10 Office was formed 10 years ago on June 10 by the head of the Chinese Communist Party at the time, Jiang Zemin. He gave the directive to use “every means necessary” to wipe out the spiritual practice of Falun Gong.

“The 6-10 Office is just like Hitler’s Gestapo,” Guo Guoting, a Chinese human rights lawyer in exile told the Falun Dafa Information Center (FDI). “They are powerful and they got enough financial support from the government so…they secretly control all the Falun Gong practitioners in their local areas.”

Former police official of Tianjin State Security Bureau and the 6-10 Office, Hao Fengjun, defected to Australia in 2005 and says that China does indeed have a Gestapo-like agency called the 6-10 Office.

"Once I had to go to a place detaining Falun Gong practitioners. When we got there, I saw a lady practitioner with two large bruises and two 8-inch wounds on her back. A policeman was beating her using a half-meter-long iron bar. When I saw this, I knew that I could not carry on with this job. At that moment, I felt my heart break.”

Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote after a 2005 investigation into the persecution against Falun Gong, “The immoral act that has shaken my soul most is the 6-10 Office and policemen’s regular practice of assaulting women’s genitals.”

'China's Hidden Holocaust' video by NTDTV. The third in the 'Decade of Courage' series.

Gao's whereabouts is currently unknown in China after he was detained by police in February this year.

“Of those persecuted,” Gao wrote, “almost every woman’s genitals and breasts and every man’s private parts have been sexually assaulted in a most vulgar fashion.”

Though the Chinese authorities deny its existence, the 6-10 Office’s activities are an open secret in China, said the FDI.

Official Chinese Communist Party Web sites from 2008 and 2009 discuss the strengthening of 6-10 operations with the purpose of “handling” and “disposing of” Falun Gong, according to a FDI press release.

Falun Gong spokesperson Erping Zhang said the 6-10 Office undermines any effort to build the rule of law in China. “It's terrifying to think how many lives have been ruined by this agency, and how many more will be everyday it continues to operate."

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Monday, June 08, 2009

Chinese Lawyers Suppressed

6/8/2009 2:13:48 PM10

NTD: The Beijing Lawyers Association is like America’s Bar Association, granting or denying lawyers a license to practice law.

But human rights lawyers say the association stops them from taking on cases that the ruling regime considers sensitive.

Last month the association refused to renew the licenses of lawyer Tang Jitian and more than a dozen lawyers from his Anhui law firm. Mr Tang has taken on sensitive cases, such as those of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

Then the night before the sensitive 20th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square massacre, he was detained without explanation, along with dissidents across the country.

Before his detention he told Sound of Hope Radio by phone that the yearly registration system for lawyers violates China’s laws, and lawyers are denied licenses after upholding basic human rights.

[Tang Jitian, Human Rights Lawyer]:
"The authorities are always saying they want to align with the international community, but they are reversing the progress made in drafting our country’s laws. It’s hard to know what they really want.”

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

CCP Mandates New Internet Censorship Software

6/8/2009 2:08:16 PM19

NTD: The CCP is further tightening its control of the Internet with a new computer policy. According to the Wall Street Journal, starting July 1, the Chinese regime will require all new PCs sold in China to be outfitted with special software that blocks access to certain internet sites.

The makers of the new software, called “Green Dam-Youth Escort,” say it’s aimed at limiting access to pornography. But it would also make it easier for the CCP to block access to any site, including sites about so-called “sensitive” topics like Falun Gong and Tibet.

Those who have analyzed Green Dam say it would also make it easier for the CCP to collect personal information from web surfers—like which sites they have tried to access and when.

The Wall Street Journal reports that this unprecedented regulation has PC makers like Hewlett Packard and Dell in a scramble to figure out how—and if—they should comply. Those who’ve seen a copy of the new regulation say it does not mention any penalty for noncompliance.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Monday, June 01, 2009

China's Modern Authoritarianism

The Communist Party's ultimate goal is to stay in power, not to liberalize.

WSJ: In the wake of the 1989 crackdown on prodemocracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, the Chinese Communist Party seemed morally bankrupt. Average Chinese complained bitterly about graft and special privileges reserved for the Party's elite, and few believed the Party's sloganeering about socialism when officials practiced ruthless capitalism. The army, too, had lost face: The Tiananmen killings showed that the "people's army" could open fire on the people themselves. The urban economy seemed locked within an inefficient and corrupt iron framework of the old work-unit system. No one either inside or outside China saw the country's authoritarian system as a model to follow.

Twenty years later, the Chinese Communist Party has built a new popularity by delivering staggering economic growth and cultivating a revived -- and potentially dangerous -- Han Chinese nationalism. China's material successes, as seen in its gleaming city skylines and piles of foreign currency holdings, suggest the government's top priority is economic growth. The increasing socioeconomic diversity in Chinese society suggests that the regime seeks liberalization and might one day throw open its political system.

These are dangerous misconceptions. The Party's top priority remains what it has always been: the maintenance of absolute political power. Economic growth has not sparked democratic change, as one-party rule persists. Through a sophisticated adaptation of its system -- including leveraging the market to maintain political control -- China's Communist Party has modernized its authoritarianism to fit the times.

The Party has utilized a sophisticated strategy to maintain control of its populace. While growing the economy, it has kept the majority of wealth in the hands of an elite class of business leaders, many of whom have willingly accepted authoritarian rule in exchange for getting rich. Far from forming a middle class that might challenge authority, these groups now have reason to join their rulers in repressing "instability" among the people. Meanwhile, the Party has also deliberately stoked and shaped Chinese nationalism, and many inside China now feel pride in the government's model of authoritarian development, especially as the model of liberal capitalism staggers in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Despite its tailored suits and suave diplomats, the Party also maintains a key tool in inducing popular obedience that dates to Mao's era, a technique called "thoughtwork." This ideological enforcement today operates more subtly than in the past, but it is still highly effective. It is covert -- accomplished, for example, through confidential telephone calls to newspaper editors, rather than in banner newspaper headlines. And it is targeted: Whereas Mao Zedong-era campaigns aimed to transform society and even human nature, thoughtwork today focuses on political issues that are vital to the Party's rule, and lets the rest go.

The effects of thoughtwork are far reaching. The Party's activities include outright censorship, but much of the rest of thoughtwork entails the active cultivation of views that the government favors among the media, businesspeople and other opinion leaders in Chinese society. This assertive side of thoughtwork has become especially important in recent years. Many Chinese still harbor complaints about the government's management of the economy, the environment and the country's political system. Particularly in rural areas, it is easy to find people furious at corruption, land grabs, worker exploitation, the wealth gap and thuggish repression.

But thoughtwork counters these complaints in two ways. First, the Party encourages the belief that the central leadership remains pure and all of the problems are due to corrupt or uninformed local officials. Second, the Party simply distracts its citizens. Demands for clean air, for instance, are answered with 52 Olympic gold medals and massive propaganda about the Games. Displaced homeowners are encouraged to worry about the Dalai Lama "splitting the motherland."

The Party's adaptive methods of disruption and distraction have helped maintain control during a period of rapid change, suggesting a durable domestic model of authoritarian governance. Even more worryingly, the government is translating its success at home into success abroad, where the "China model" of authoritarian capitalism is gaining currency. Governments from Syria to Vietnam have sung its praises.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Authoritarian elites seek formulas for maintaining their power while also growing their economies. In poor developing countries, average citizens are vulnerable to this propaganda, which China spreads by extending aid and investment with no human rights strings, running training programs in China for foreign officials and students, opening cultural centers such as Confucius Institutes within foreign universities, and offering diplomatic cover to repressive regimes at the United Nations and elsewhere.

China has extended its hand of friendship to many different types of nations, from harsh regimes -- including those of Sudan, Burma, Uzbekistan, North Korea and Zimbabwe -- whose leaders are seeking only financial assistance and protection at the U.N. and other international bodies, to a diverse group of developing countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa that seek economic, political and cultural ties to China. The scale of this effort is difficult to calculate. For example, China trains at least 1,000 Central Asian judicial and police officials annually, most of whom could be classified as working in antidemocratic enterprises. Over the long term, Beijing plans to step up its training programs for African officials. The scope of China's broader aid programs is similarly difficult to quantify, but the World Bank estimates that China is now the largest lender to African nations.

The China model, although a definite threat to democratic values, is no juggernaut. Its appeal abroad will depend in large part on how the Chinese economy weathers the global downturn, and how any stumbles it might encounter are perceived in the developing world. Back at home, the Party is more frightened of its own citizenry than most outside observers realize. Chinese citizens are increasingly aware of their constitutional rights; a phenomenon that does not fit well with authoritarianism. The Party may win the affection of foreign elites, but still faces dissent at home from local nongovernmental organizations, civil society and elements of the media.

Since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, China's leadership has modernized the country's economy but also its authoritarianism. And because the system's flaws are as glaring as its resilience, its challenge to democracy is a crisis in the original sense of the word -- the course of events could turn either way.

Mr. Link co-edited "The Tiananmen Papers" (PublicAffairs, 2001) and holds the Chancellorial Chair for Teaching Across Disciplines at the University of California at Riverside. Mr. Kurlantzick is a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment's China Program. This article is adapted from a forthcoming essay, "Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians" (Freedom House, Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty).

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

The Long Shadow of Tiananmen

June 2009

The Tiananmen Square killings of 4 June 1989, 20 years ago, remain the most deadly events in the People's Republic of China since the death of Mao in 1976. Merely mentioning them can lead to arrest and detention. More than a dark shadow, the Tiananmen nightmare still hovers over the country.

Here are the essential details of what is officially still called "the incident" or "the events". On 15 April 1989, deposed party general secretary Hu Yaobang died. He had incurred the displeasure of senior leader Deng Xiaoping for being relaxed about dissent. But students, who liked him for his honest, country bumpkin ways, assembled in their thousands to mourn him in Tiananmen, the world's largest man-made space. The crowds grew ever larger, and on 26 April, the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily condemned the demonstrators for conspiring to destabilise China. This enraged the students, who from then on called for a retraction, greater government openness and less corruption. Real democracy was never demanded, but there were huge shouts for the end of party rule and the removal of the unpopular Premier, Li Peng, and even of Deng Xiaoping. At their height the demonstrators, no longer just students, numbered over one million. On the night of 3-4 June, the square was violently cleared and hundreds lay dead.

From single incidents to subsequent developments at the highest level of Chinese politics, one cannot exaggerate the importance of Tiananmen. Nor were the "events" confined to Beijing alone. There were hundreds of uprisings, from Mongolia, in the north-west, to the deep south. In addition to the numbers killed — and there has never been an official figure since the government declared within days of the massacre that "not a shot was fired, not a person was killed" — thousands were imprisoned.

To this day, if the word Tiananmen appears on the Chinese internet, whoever has used or accessed it can expect a knock on the door and may join the dozens of Tiananmen activists still in China's jails and labour camps. Such prisoners used to be convicted of "counter-revolution". Now they are simply "criminals".

It is a measure of the significance of what happened that spring, that after 1989 and 1990, when communist regimes in eastern Europe began collapsing, China's Communist Party remains in place, ruling well over one billion non-citizens and sitting on hundreds of billions of US dollars. To attract those dollars, Britain, together with the US, has issued demeaning statements involving Tibet and human rights. The debate about how to handle the demonstrations split the higher echelons of the party. Party general secretary Zhao Ziyang argued with Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng for negotiations with the students and lost. He appeared in the square on 19 May, muttering through a megaphone, "I have come too late." We didn't know he was referring to the declaration of martial law the next day. Within a few days, Zhao, now deposed, became the focus of leadership wrangling about how much he should be blamed for the "disorder". By 1991, he had disappeared into house arrest. He died in 2005. Zhao's secret memoir, Prisoner of the State (Simon & Schuster), composed while he was detained and smuggled to Hong Kong, has just been published. It confirms his sympathy for the Tiananmen demonstrators and his misery as he heard the sound of gunfire from the square. "I told myself," Zhao whispered into a hidden tape recorder so as not to be heard by his guards, "that no matter what, I refused to become the general secretary who mobilised the military to crack down on the students. The students are only asking us to correct our flaws, not overthrow our political system." These statements are now widely available on the internet. When they are read in China, the regime will denounce them as fabrications or delusions, but they will arouse public feelings of uncertainty and anger against the leadership. It took Deng weeks to persuade army units from around China to come to the capital to crush the uprising. When they did this, on Saturday night and Sunday morning, 3 and 4 June, it was witnessed by scores of international journalists (and millions around the world watching television), who had spotted Tiananmen as a huge story in late April. Some set up their breakfast programmes to be presented from Beijing.

Mikhail Gorbachev came to Beijing on a state visit between 15-18 May. With the square in the grip of demonstrators, he had to be smuggled into the Great Hall of the People through the secret tunnels dug under Beijing especially to guarantee safety for the leaders in case of emergencies for his audiences with an embarrassed leadership. Gorbachev held a warm conversation on 16 May with Zhao Ziyang, who revealed that Deng Xiaoping, although retired, still made key decisions. (This was held against Zhao when he was axed.) I asked Gorbachev's press spokesman, Gennady Gerasimov, how his boss had enjoyed his discussions in Beijing. He replied, "Next time he comes here, except for Zhao, he hopes he never sees any of these guys." At his press conference, Gorbachev said that if such demonstrations had happened in Moscow, "I would have gone into the streets to talk with the people." He clearly imagined that the Beijing regime would not endure.

But talking with the people is precisely what Deng and his aged, mostly retired comrades, did not do. And for the first time for us foreign journalists, Beijing's streets were fun. The almost total absence of security forces gave us the false impression that the police state had collapsed. We warmed to the open friendliness of the capital's people, who for once were eager to speak to foreigners about the demonstrations. Instead of the usual greeting, "Have you eaten yet?", people now asked each other, "Have you demonstrated yet?" Even the official press began running stories with pictures of the demonstrators, and I recall the staff of People's Daily marching into the square under a banner reading: "No More Lies."

Some Tiananmen events remain easy to recall even 20 years later. In late April, I accompanied thousands of students marching miles from their campuses to Tiananmen Square. Such marches, unapproved by the security services, were (and remain) illegal. Along the way crowds applauded the students and offered them food and cold drinks. We reached a roadblock formed by army trucks and lines of soldiers. I noticed the soldiers taking off their belts, with buckles bearing the characters "Eighth Route Army", after Mao's legendary forces during the civil war, and wrapping them around their fists, always a sign of impending violence. I found myself pressed nose to nose with a young, sweating, trembling soldier. Over his shoulder, I saw an officer and wondered whether the soldiers would now beat us up — or worse. I had already noticed armed soldiers in the trucks. The officer barked an order, the troops parted, a cheer went up from the students, and we marched through.

A few days later, on Changan Avenue, Beijing's main thoroughfare, I saw hundreds of unarmed soldiers trotting towards the square. Before long, they were set upon by ordinary Beijingers, who scolded them for daring to threaten "our students". The soldiers fled back the way they had come, tails between their legs. When the soldiers next appeared, on the night of 3-4 June, heavily armed and ready to kill, I recalled that it had not occurred to me that such a public humiliation of the People's Liberation Army, the "fathers and mothers of the people", could not be tolerated by the heirs of Chairman Mao.

On another night, I went with three journalist friends to the east of Beijing where we had heard a column of tanks had been stalled by villagers. There we saw the village men urinating on the tanks' treads and the women offering tea to the crews through the forward hatches. I clambered on to a tank and knocked on the hatch. When the astounded commander, wearing a Snoopy-like leather helmet appeared, I asked him where he was going. "I'm going to Beijing to save the Central Committee," he answered. When I said I thought the army were the fathers and mothers of the people, he replied, "But Deng Xiaoping is my baba [dad]."

By mid-May, factory workers began setting up their tents in a separate "village" in the square. They fraternised little with the students. It was a sign of the class difference between the students and the workers, who had little to do with each other. But we didn't foresee that when the possibility of a student-worker union arose, a phenomenon of eastern Europe, Deng would act. When the tanks roared into the square, they first rolled over the workers' empty tents. On the night of the killings, a vision and pandemonium of Hell that few had expected, Deng didn't care about the watching press. Nor did he care about the massacre, the next morning, of hundreds of screaming parents and other relatives of the students, at the edge of the square, demanding to see the killed or wounded. They were shot down, further Hell, and when doctors and nurses arrived from the nearby Beijing Union Medical School (where my father worked in 1935), I saw them shot down, too.

Deng was right to expect little condemnation from the West. The following December, when President George H. W. Bush's National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft, met Deng in Beijing, he was heard to say, "My president wants you to know he is your friend forever." Deng reportedly told Scowcroft, "China will persist in punishing those instigators of the rebellion and its behind-the-scenes bosses in accordance with Chinese laws. China will by no means waver in its resolution of this kind. Otherwise, how can the country continue to exist?" There was an international show of indignation until August 1991, when Prime Minister John Major flew to Beijing to sign a memorandum of understanding to build the new Hong Kong airport, a task usually delegated to a junior minister. Mr Major had checked with President Bush that such a visit, the first by a European leader to China since Tiananmen, would receive American approval. It did. In Beijing Mr Major assured us that he had pressed Li Peng about political prisoners and human rights. I was later informed by a senior Hong Kong civil servant, Anson Chan, who had been in the room, that no such discussion had taken place.

The Chinese regime has got away with it. Young students in the best Chinese universities, if they have heard of Tiananmen at all, remark that it was some sort of disorder which the regime did well to put down. When the then mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, visited Beijing in April 2006, he was asked by reporters in Tiananmen Square if he would mention what happened there in 1989 to his Beijing counterpart. Mr Livingstone replied, "We have had some interesting riots in Trafalgar Square — only 20 years ago the poll tax riots, and the flames licking up. If you go back to some of the earlier incidents, you will find many occasions when lots of innocent protesters were hacked to pieces with sabres."

Last October, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, suddenly proclaimed that Tibet had always been a part of China. Most Western authorities on Tibetan history dispute this. Beijing's response was contemptuous. It was obvious, scoffed the official press, that Britain was after China's money. In February, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Beijing that with the world gripped by an economic crisis, now was not the time to concentrate on human rights in China. Yet only two months earlier, when several thousand very brave Chinese signed a human rights declaration, some of the main signatories were arrested.

I've just finished a thick book on the Chinese criminal justice system. There are dozens of capital crimes in China, and more people are executed there annually — between 2,000 and 5,000, the regime won't say exactly how many — than in the rest of the world combined. No wonder, then, that Ding Zilin, whose son was murdered in Tiananmen Square, and who formed an alliance of 126 "Tiananmen Mothers" whose children were also killed, has written this: "A person can make many different choices. I made the choice of documenting death. I have scaled a mountain of corpses and I have floated in the tears of the victims' families."

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Beijing Olympics a Rights Disaster, Says Amnesty

By Shar Adams
Epoch Times Staff
Jun 1, 2009

The Amnesty International Report 2009 cites the Chinese regime for stepping up human rights abuses around the time of the Olympics. (Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images)

China has been slammed for its human rights record in the latest Amnesty International report. It also declared the 2008 Olympics in Beijing a disaster for human rights in the country.

The report, “State of the World’s Human Rights”, was launched May 28 by Amnesty’s Secretary General Irene Khan. According to Khan, an explosive human rights crisis is underlying the global economic downturn.

“The world needs a new global deal on human rights—not paper promise, but commitment, and concrete action from governments to defuse the human rights time bomb,” said Ms. Khan in a press release. “World leaders must invest in human rights as purposefully as they are investing in the economy.”

While few countries were immune to Ms. Khan’s criticisms on human rights, China was particularly identified as a focus of Amnesty’s new global campaign “Demand Dignity” and noted as proof that “open markets have not lead to open societies”.

Rather than human rights improving, as was touted by Chinese authorities and members of the International Olympic Committee, the report identifies a litany of repressive initiatives introduced as a result of the Olympics.

“The Olympic Games in Beijing brought heightened repression throughout the country as authorities tightened control over human rights defenders, religious practitioners, ethnic minorities, lawyers, and journalists,” the report said.

Falun Gong practitioners were, “among those most harshly persecuted,” the report said. It noted that, “In the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, thousands were reported to have been arrested, with hundreds imprisoned or assigned to Re-education through Labour camps and other forms of administrative detention where they were at risk of torture and other ill-treatment sometimes leading to death.”

The report acknowledges the hundreds of Tibetans who remain incarcerated due to protests before the Olympics, and notes the series of “violent incidences” in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region before and during the Olympics that became the reason to arrest over 1,300 local Uighur Muslim people on religious extremism or state security charges. Around 1,150 Uighurs have since been charged and remain in custody.

Contrary to promises made by Chinese authorities that journalists would have unrestricted ability to report in China in the lead up and during the games, the government maintained strict control of freedom of expression. And while some Internet sites were unblocked during the games many more remained blocked.
“Approximately 30 journalists and 50 other individuals remained in prison for posting their views on the Internet,” the report said.

Similarly Chinese authorities made a show of protest zones which were established two weeks prior to the Olympics.

Lawyers who took on sensitive cases were likely to lose their jobs or have their licenses suspended. Some lawyers were told to not take on certain types of cases, such as Falun Gong and Tibetans.

Family members of human rights activists, including children, were also increasingly targeted by the authorities, including being subjected to long-term house arrest and harassment by security forces.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008