Either Democracy or Death

Originally published by Moscow Times,01 July 2010
S. Nikolayev / Vedomosti

 The argument is often made that democracy is unsuitable for certain nations. But there are objective factors in the modern world that are pushing humanity more toward democracy than ever before.

 First, we have the lessons of history that resulted from the rule of totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. On the one side, there are the extreme right-wing regimes of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and the Japanese militarists. On the other, there are the extreme left-wing regimes of Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Jong Il  and Pol Pot. The movements of the left and the right proclaimed different ideals and pursued different goals, but their actions and the consequences of those actions were identical — violence, human enslavement and the complete collapse of the state and society.

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EU must press China over human rights: Amnesty, HRW

Originally published by Expatica.com

Human rights groups Monday urged the European Union to use talks with China this week to demand Beijing release dissidents, withdraw curbs on freedom of expression and end arbitrary arrests.

“The European Union must seize this opportunity to address the serious human rights violations reported throughout the country,” said Esteban Beltran, the director of Amnesty International Spain.

It should demand “strong action from the Chinese government to promote the reforms needed to once and for all respect human rights,” he said in a statement.

Spain, which holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU, hosts the latest round of a human rights dialogue with China in Madrid on Tuesday.

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China, Norway hold dialogue on human rights, rule of law

Originally published by Daily mail News, 30 June 2010

BEIJING—China has vowed to continue to develop its human rights dialogue with Norway after the two nations concluded their 13th annual Roundtable on Human Rights and the Rule of Law here Tuesday.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin briefed Norwegian representatives on Chinese achievements in improving people’s livelihoods, reinforcing democracy, and constructing legal systems. The human rights roundtable between China and Norway is a model for countries with different social systems and from different civilizations to conduct equal and friendly dialogue, Liu said.

China hopes to strengthen dialogue and exchange with other countries on human rights issues on the basis of equality and mutual respect to increase understanding, expand agreement and jointly promote the healthy development of human rights internationally.

Norwegian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Gry Larsen spoke highly of China’s remarkable achievements with human rights, saying the two nations have conducted stable and effective cooperation in the field of human rights.

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EU, China voice ‘differences’

Originally published by Straits Times, 30 June 2010


MADRID – THE European Union and China voiced ‘differences of opinion’ during talks on human rights in Madrid on Tuesday that included discussion of the situations in the Tibet and Xinjiang regions, the Spanish foreign ministry said.

 The EU also used the opportunity to hand over to China ‘a list of individual cases’ of alleged human rights violations that it is concerned about, the ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.

 The EU-China human rights dialogue has been taking place about every six months since 1995. Spain hosted the latest round as it holds the six-month rotating presidency of the bloc. On the eve of the talks, human rights groups urged the EU to use the meeting to demand Beijing release dissidents, withdraw curbs on freedom of expression and end ‘arbitrary detentions’.

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China’s push to develop its west hasn’t closed income gap with east, critics say

Originally published by Washington Post, 29 June 2010

 By Keith B. Richburg

BEIJING — Ten years ago, China’s leadership launched its “Go West” campaign, an ambitious plan to develop and modernize the country’s poor western hinterlands. The aim was simple: to close the region’s yawning income gap with the more prosperous east and assuage restive minority populations, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet.

China’s economic boom had largely left the west behind. Spreading the wealth was as important politically as economically — it was a way of increasing domestic stability and cementing the government’s control.

Chinese officials rattle off all the statistical measures of the program’s success: Highways were constructed. Houses were built. Nomads were resettled in “model” villages. Millions of people have electricity and clean drinking water. A rail line links Beijing in the east to Lhasa on the Tibetan plateau. And annual economic growth in the west is about 12 percent, higher than the national average.

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Germany Cracks Down on Chinese Regime’s Spying

Originally published by Epoch Times,28 June 2010
By Gisela Sommer

An espionage incident only weeks prior to chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned China visit may be threatening the bilateral relations between Berlin and Beijing said German news magazine Spiegel Online in a June 26 article. Just days earlier, China’s intelligence gathering activities were prominently highlighted in a report issued by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior.

An employee of China’s consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, records from a window a protest in front of the consulate on March 26, 2008. An espionage incident only weeks prior to chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned China visit may be threatening the bilateral relations between Berlin and Beijing said German news magazine Spiegel Online in a June 26 article. (Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s office is investigating two high-ranking Chinese officials on allegations of espionage, and the matter could make Angela Merkel’s upcoming China visit more difficult.

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Suspicious Timing

Originally published by LRB Blog,28 June 2010


Friday’s Dongguan Daily, showing the two Uighur ‘ringleaders’ in a completely impartial pair of handcuffs

 Last Thursday the Chinese police claimed they had ‘cracked a terrorist cell headed by [Uighur] separatists’. At a press conference in Beijing, a Ministry of Public Security spokesman said that 10 people had been detained for their role in attacks on a police station in Kashgar in August 2008, and for ‘bombing supermarkets, hotel and government buildings’ in Kuqa. Two Uighurs were identified as the ringleaders: Abdurixit Ablet, 42, and Imin Semai’er, 33, both of whom were said to have confessed to planning a series of terrorist attacks. The press were also shown slides of bullets, axes, knives and pipe bombs allegedly made by the accused.

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China: Official Links 10 Detainees to 2008 Killings

Originally The New York Times,June 24, 2010

A Chinese security official said Thursday that the police recently broke up a “terrorist group” that was involved in an attack in August 2008 in the western city of Kashgar that resulted in the deaths of 17 paramilitary officers. The official, Wu Heping, said the police had detained 10 members of the group, including two “ringleaders,” Abdurixit Ablet, 42, and Imin Semai’er, 33, both natives of the restive western region of Xinjiang, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

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