Development Could Widen Ethnic Divide

Originally published by RFA,31 March 2011

By Jelil Musha

China hopes to stabilize its restive Uyghur region by investing in the capital.


Uyghurs protest in Urumqi, July 7, 2009


 Beijing plans to stabilize ethnic tensions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by developing the capital Urumqi into a regional financial hub, but experts and exile organizations say the move will further alienate Uyghurs and fuel unrest in the region.

Nearly two years after bloody ethnic riots rocked the region, China will develop Urumqi into an “international trade center” for Central Asia by 2020 in an effort to win over the residents of the city, the official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday.

Plans for the city include improved transportation links, two brand-new districts, and possibly a new airport.

The city’s population is expected to double to nearly 5 million residents by 2020, while its economic output or GDP will rise to 420 billion yuan (U.S. $64 billion) from a predicted 131.1 billion yuan (U.S. $19.9 billion) this year, the report added.

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US worried about China rights trend

Originally published by Yahoo News,March 31 2011

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Thursday it was increasingly concerned about human rights in China, which has launched its biggest crackdown in years amid a wave of democracy protests in the Arab world.

Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said that the United States made “strong statements both in public and private” on human rights during President Hu Jintao’s state visit in January.

“Recent events in China, including the forced disappearances of rights lawyers and crackdowns on Chinese and foreign journalists, have only further increased our concerns about human rights,” Campbell told a congressional hearing.

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China: Arrests, Disappearances Require International Response

Originally published by HRW News, March 31, 2011

(New York) – The European Union, the United States, and other governments should call for the United Nations Human Rights Council to review the deteriorating human rights situation in China, Human Rights Watch said today.

The EU, US, and other governments should use all opportunities with the Chinese government, including their upcoming “human rights dialogues,” to send clear messages that the arrests and disappearances of dozens of the country’s most prominent lawyers, human rights defenders, and internet activists over the past few weeks are unacceptable. These governments should also reiterate that China is in breach of its international human rights obligations, and that these human rights abuses must be urgently addressed and reversed.

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Escalating Crackdown Following Call for “Jasmine Revolution” in China

Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) 维权网  

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International Community Must Take Strong and Clear Stance Condemning Rights Violations by the Chinese Government

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, March 31, 2011) – The Chinese government has criminally detained a total of 26 individuals, disappeared more than 30, and put more than 200 under soft detention since mid-February after anonymous calls for “Jasmine Revolution” protests first appeared online.  As of today, three of the criminally detained have been formally arrested while five have been released on bail to await trial, a dozen of the disappeared remain missing including a number of prominent human rights lawyers; while almost all of the soft detentions have been lifted. Authorities also chose to hand a very harsh 10-year sentence to Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌), a democracy activist, on March 25 for “inciting subversion of state power” to signal to those currently detained for similar crimes that they could be subjected to lengthy sentences. See the list below for a complete account of the arrests, detentions, and disappearances.

“After the international community rallied behind writer Liu Xiaobo, who was put behind bars for 11 years for his speech, or lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has disappeared, the Chinese government now pushes back by criminally detaining, disappearing and possibly torturing many more writers, netizens and lawyers for their peaceful expression,” says Renee Xia, CHRD’s International Director,  “the scope of the crackdown and the seriousness of the crimes used to detain or indict individuals have made this one of harshest since 1998 when the government imprisoned a couple dozens pro-democracy activists for organizing the China Democracy Party.”

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Compromise of Human Rights Under Cover of Counter-Terrorism – Human Rights in China Releases a Whitepaper on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Media Work / Press Releases and Statements / Compromise of Human Rights Under Cover of Counter-Terrorism – Human Rights in China Releases a Whitepaper on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

March 30, 2011


In recent years, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), comprising six states with deeply troubling human rights records – China, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – is increasingly embraced by the international community as a partner in countering terrorism and forging peace and security.

In a whitepaper titled Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: The Impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, released on March 30, 2011, Human Rights in China (HRIC) argues that the SCO’s counter-terrorism policies and practices undermine the effectiveness and integrity of the international counter-terrorism framework, and enable SCO member states to target their own populations through repressive measures that compromise internationally-recognized human rights.

Founded in June 2001 to enhance security and economic cooperation among its member states, the SCO has set counter-terrorism as one of its top priorities. The growing appeal of the SCO is apparent in the following statements by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs:

The United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization share the same principles and goals in peace, security, development and human rights and all the important principles of the United Nations. This partnership will give an added impetus and capacity to the United Nations when we are working together with all Member States and regional organizations in addressing regional and global challenges — in particular, when we are working to fight against international terrorism, extremism, and also drug trafficking, organized trans-boundary crimes. And we will also work together in major projects of development pillars.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 5, 2010

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China Lays Out Vision for Military

Originally published by The New York Times,31 march 2011


BEIJING — The Chinese military said Thursday that while the security situation in Asia and the Pacific was generally stable, it was becoming “more intricate and volatile,” with no clear solutions for tension points like the divided Korean Peninsula and with the United States increasing its involvement in regional security issues.

The military’s vision was laid out in a national defense white paper, a document published every two years since 1998. The paper tries to walk a line between trumpeting the modernization efforts of the Chinese military and assuaging fears by foreign governments and analysts that the fast-growing People’s Liberation Army will be used for expansionist purposes or regional dominance.

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Germany charges alleged Chinese agent for spying on Uighur exiles

Originally published by By The Associated Press,31 March 2011

BERLIN — Prosecutors have charged a Chinese national with spying on ethnic Uighur exiles in Germany on behalf of the government in Beijing.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday accused the 45-year-old, himself a Uighur and identified only as R. in line with German privacy laws, of passing information to Chinese security services from mid-2005 to November 2009.

Germany is a significant base for activists pushing for greater Uighur rights in China’s far-western Xinjiang region. Many Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs), historically Xinjiang’s majority ethnic group, resent heavy-handed Chinese rule.

Prosecutors say the charged man had been a member the Uighur community in Munich since 2002, and informed China about planned demonstrations and other activities.

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CECC: Xinjiang Authorities Target Religious and Political Publications in Censorship Campaigns

Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 31 March 2011


CECC — Local governments in the far western region of Xinjiang carried out a series of censorship campaigns in 2010 and early 2011. The work follows a national campaign to “Sweep Away Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications,” but with special emphasis on religious and political publications, along with “reactionary materials” connected to groups perceived to threaten Xinjiang’s stability.

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