Tibetan “singing nun” arrives in exile after second period of imprisonment

Originally published by International Campaign for Tibet,21 Sept 2010

By Cratke

Palden Choedron, one of a group of 14 courageous Tibetan women who became known as the “singing nuns” after they smuggled out a recording of patriotic and religious songs from their prison cells, has arrived in exile in Dharamsala, India. After her release from an eight-year sentence in Drapchi prison, Palden Choedron attempted to escape from Tibet but was caught and served three years in a “reform through labour” camp before her second, successful escape from Tibet and arrival in India on September 1.

She is the eighth of the Tibetan “singing nuns” to arrive in exile. The Drapchi nuns were known for their comradeship and solidarity, and sometimes put their own lives in danger to protect their cell mates.

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China police apologize to hard-hitting magazine

Originally published by Associated Press, 21 sept 2010

BEIJING – Police apologized to journalists at a hard-driving Chinese news magazine Tuesday after officers earlier tried to pressure them into revealing sources for an article about the detention of people seeking government redress over various grievances.

Top editors and managers at the respected Caijing magazine had refused to give in to demands issued Monday that were accompanied by threats of unspecified repercussions against the magazine for publishing the Sept. 13 article, said lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who is a legal adviser to the publication.

Editors were told the piece “undermined stability and unity,” Pu said.

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Chinese Regime Hires Security Company to Snuff out Dissent

Originally published by Epoch Times ,21 Sept 2010

By Matthew Robertson

Petitioners that arrive in Beijing from around China have been through it for years. They are approached by men wearing security badges, bundled into a car, their cell phones and IDs confiscated, and then they wind up in a “black jail.” Days, weeks, or months pass until officials from their hometowns have them escorted back home with the help of a special security officer.

Black jails sound bad, and they are bad. Held there without the knowledge of their families or friends, those detained in them may be beaten, tortured, tied up, raped, etc. Conditions are squalid; food is terrible, toilets foul.

While some are forcefully repatriated to their native provinces, other petitioners may be set free in Beijing. While many never find out where they were detained, some piece together a picture of the locations based on the road signs and their memories. Some of these individuals were recently interviewed by journalists from Caijing, a well-known magazine based in Beijing.

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EU to press China on rights at summit: trade chief

Originally Published by AFP, 21 Sept 2010

 STRASBOURG — Europe will press China to make progress on human rights and the need to open up its markets at a summit in Brussels next month, the European Union’s trade chief said Tuesday.

 “Human rights are the silver threads of EU foreign policy,” European Union Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht told the European parliament in Strasbourg.

 “Even though significant differences continue it is important that we discuss human rights and the rule of law during the upcoming summit,” he said.

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U.S. Influence in Asia Revives Amid China’s Disputes

Originally published by The New York Times,22 Sept 2010

BEIJING — For the last several years, one big theme has dominated talk of the future of Asia: as China rises, its neighbors are being inevitably drawn into its orbit, currying favor with the region’s new hegemonic power.

 The presumed loser, of course, is the United States, whose wealth and influence is being spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and whose economic troubles have eroded its standing in a more dynamic Asia.

 But rising frictions between China and its neighbors in recent weeks over security issues have handed the United States an opportunity to reassert itself — one the Obama administration has been keen to take advantage of.

 Washington is leaping into the middle of heated territorial disputes between China and Southeast Asian nations despite stern Chinese warnings that it mind its own business. The United States is carrying out naval exercises with South Korea in order to help Seoul rebuff threats from North Korea even though China is denouncing those exercises, saying that they intrude on areas where the Chinese military operates.

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China’s human rights record criticised by MEPs

Originally published by BBC News,21 Sept 2010

China’s human rights record came in for criticism during a debate by MEPs ahead of a EU-China summit in October.

The debate on 21 September 2010 opened with a statement by Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht who said that relations between the two blocs had “grown immensely” since formal relations began in 1975.

He told MEPs that China was a vital trading partner with the EU but that more needed to be done to open Chinese markets to freer trade.

China is now the EU’s second largest partner after the United States.

However many MEPs used the debate to highlight issues including the death penalty, internet censorship and the treatment of people living in Tibet.

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Tangles in China-Japan Ties

Originally published by RFA,20 Sept 2010
By Michael Lelyveld
China will pursue its long-term interests with Japan despite border incident, experts say.
 A protester carries a cake calling for Japan to get out of the Diaoyu islands outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing, Sept. 18, 2010.

BOSTON—A heated dispute over offshore borders is likely to be only a temporary setback to relations between China and Japan, U.S. analysts say.

Despite friction over Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing vessel in contested waters of the East China Sea on Sept. 7, the two Asian economic powers are seen as having too much at stake to risk their overriding interests.

“There is a tremendous amount of activity between China and Japan,” said Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L.
Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

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Aren’t We Clever?

Originally published by The New York Times,18 Sept 2010


Tianjin, China

 What a contrast. In a year that’s on track to be our planet’s hottest on record, America turned “climate change” into a four-letter word that many U.S. politicians won’t even dare utter in public. If this were just some parlor game, it wouldn’t matter. But the totally bogus “discrediting” of climate science has had serious implications. For starters, it helped scuttle Senate passage of the energy-climate bill needed to scale U.S.-made clean technologies, leaving America at a distinct disadvantage in the next great global industry. And that brings me to the contrast: While American Republicans were turning climate change into a wedge issue, the Chinese Communists were turning it into a work issue.

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