Monday, December 12, 2005

News of the Day (December 12)

Death toll in Shanwei Massacre (formerly Dongzhou shooting) reported at 70: It took a few days, but the truth about the shooting in Dongzhou village (third item) has escaped the Communist clutches: the death toll is now estimated at 70 people (Epoch Times), and that may rise since “Sound of Hope Radio (reported) the government not only arranged for tanks to occupy the village, but also ordered that machine guns be set up ready to strafe villagers on the street at anytime” and the police “were still searching for about 140 people considered the most active demonstrators” (Boxun). Meanwhile, the Communist cover-up is in full swing, with police putting murdered villagers “into police uniforms” (Epoch Times) and the Communist-run Xinhua press insisting the villagers – who were protesting lack of compensation for land seized for a power plant – had started the violence by hurling explosives (NBC via MSNBC). Time Asia quickly debunked that: “Just after 7 p.m., say two locals reached by TIME by phone, riot police opened fire on the villagers, who responded by throwing homemade explosives” (emphasis added). The Communists also tried a little damage control by announcing that the commander of the firing squad “was placed under a form of detention that falls short of formal arrest” (Washington Post); the local villagers “dismissed the detention of the commander as an empty gesture.” The village has now been sealed off (London Telegraph, UK).

Appalled reactions pour in: Amnesty International called the shooting “the first time Chinese forces had fired on protesters since pro-democracy protests were crushed in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989” (Cybercast News). AI’s amnesia about the Hanyuan County Massacre aside, the outrage of the Shanwei Massacre (Shanwei is the city of which Dongzhou is a part) is well-placed, and shared by China Support Network founder John Patrick and China Freedom Blog Alliance member One Free Korea.

Priests arrested in Hebei; church razed in Henan: Communists in Hebei Province “took away Fr. Gao Baojin . . . and forced him to undergo indoctrination and brain washing courses in order that he join the Patriotic Association” (Asia News). Seven deacons were also detained. Meanwhile, in Luotuowan (Henan Province), the Communists destroyed a church and “grabbed an old lady” (Boxun) from inside.

Petitioner jailed in Fujian; couple intimidated in Shanghai: Another example of how the Communists treat citizens who try to get justice against their local cadres (fifth item) came in the form of Huang Weizhong, who “represents 676 families to petition governments (local and higher level) for the too-low compensation for the lands used by government” (Boxun). Communist police sent him back to Fujian Province; he’s been in jail ever since. Meanwhile, “an administrative complaint filed by Tian Baocheng and his wife, Zhang Cuiping” (Boxun) in Shanghai was halted when local Communist police “occupied all 40-odd seats in the courtroom, while other police officers posted outside of the courtroom barred entry to the plaintiffs' witnesses.”

Jailed lawyer Zheng Enchong wins award: The German Judges Association gave its “Human Rights Award” to Zheng Enchong, the attorney who was jailed for exposing the corruption of Zhao Zhengyi (Boxun, see also tenth and twenty-sixth items).

Bird flu hits Liaoning; Hong Kong virologist said Communist cover-up ongoing: As Mingpao News (via Epoch Times) reported a human bird flu case in Liaoning Province, Hong Kong University virologist Guan Yi told Canada’s Globe and Mail (via Boxun) that he has “direct evidence” the Communists are still covering up the spread of the virus.

Communists black out Hong Kong democracy march coverage: Communist China has treated the Hong Kong democracy march from last week (second item) like it didn’t exist, completely blocking out any and all information on it (Voice of America via Epoch Times). Meanwhile, Apple Daily columnist Kin-ming Liu calls on the Hong Kong democracy movement to “try to find allies in the local business community” (Time Asia) with some compromises – on economic issues.

On Communist China and the United States: Willy Lam, China Brief, examines how Communist China is trying to eclipse the U.S. and Japan in Asia. Stephen Mbogo, Cybercast News, finds similar Communist moves in Africa. Paul Kelly, in the Australian, fawns over U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, and thus earns the Ignorant Comment of the Day. The Seattle Times comments on an issue near and dear to its hometown: Communist software piracy. Finally, Ellen Bork, Weekly Standard, rips President Bush’s hypocrisy on Taiwan in the Enlightened Comment of the Day. Coming close behind was Yu Jie, whose speech on how the West is sleepwalking through Cold War II (although he did not use that term) was reprinted by the Epoch Times.

More Commentary on Communist China: Cindy Drukier and Jan Jekielek, Epoch Times, compare United Nations torture envoy Manfred Nowak’s comments on torture in Communist China with the cadres’ response. Alberta University Professor Wenran Jiang predicts many more Jilin-Harbin fiascos (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, and seventh items) if Hu Jintao “fails to translate the latest setbacks into much-needed political reforms that include more press freedom to monitor government activities” (China Brief). Defectors Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun talk about their “Human Rights in China” tour through Europe; Xiao Qin, Epoch Times, reports. The Epoch Times staff scratches the surface of “businessman” Wang Dejun, and finds “massive bribing and inside government deals and land grabs.”

On Stalinist North Korea: China Freedom Blog Alliance member One Free Korea finds good reason to go after Chung Dong-young again, shows cautious optimism about America’s newfound concern for human rights in SNK, calls for viewers to get on the Seoul Train, and comments on a group of former Stalinist special force troops who have vowed to take the regime down. OFK guest blogger Andy Jackson has the latest from the Seoul summit on SNK human rights, including addresses by Citizens United for a Better Society President Yoo Se-hee, and Uri Party leader Chung Eui-young, who naturally was rather defensive about the record of his dovish party. Meanwhile, the Stalinists are still trying to use the nuclear talks to get out of counterfeiting penalties (Cybercast News, see also last item), and Rian Jensen, China Brief, examines Communist Chinese leader Hu Jintao’s role in his would be colony’s succession puzzle.

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