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China’s treatment of minorities troubles Canada’s religious freedom ambassador

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 17:17 -- Kanat
Andrew Bennet picture Canadas Office of Religious Freedom.jpg

OTTAWA — Canada’s religious freedom ambassador says he is deeply troubled about the Chinese government’s “egregious” treatment of religious minorities, and that he won’t hold his tongue despite growing trade ties between the two countries. Since becoming Canada’s inaugural ambassador for religious freedom in February, Andrew Bennett has condemned attacks and restrictions on religious minorities in Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Syria. But Bennett pulled no punches on China in an interview Monday, saying he remains very worried about the Chinese government’s “unacceptable” treatment of Falun Gong practitioners as well as Buddhist Tibetans, Uighur Muslims and Christians.

Beijing Hits Out Amid Criticism on Human Rights

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 16:49 -- Anonymous (not verified)
A dozen petitioners facing repatriation exit a van outside a government complex in Beijing, Dec. 9, 2013. Photo courtesy of petitioners

Beijing officials on Tuesday hit out at international concern over its human rights situation, saying that only the Chinese people have the right to speak out on the subject. But police in the Chinese capital swooped on the thousands of petitioners who arrived in the Chinese capital to pursue complaints against the ruling Chinese Communist Party ahead of Human Rights Day on Tuesday. "There are tens of thousands of petitioners lurking in Beijing," retired People's Liberation Army (PLA) officer Gao Hongyi told RFA's Mandarin Service.Gao, who hails from the eastern port city of Qingdao, said he and dozens of other former PLA officers planned to converge on the United Nations representative offices in Beijing's embassy district on Tuesday. Thousands of petitioners thronged the alleyway outside the complaints offices of the central government, Supreme People's Court and National People's Congress on Tuesday, on a street dubbed by petitioners the "Dead End Alley of the Three Cheats."

Beijing Hits Out Amid Criticism on Human Rights

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 16:49 -- Kanat
A dozen petitioners facing repatriation exit a van outside a government complex in Beijing, Dec. 9, 2013. Photo courtesy of petitioners

Beijing officials on Tuesday hit out at international concern over its human rights situation, saying that only the Chinese people have the right to speak out on the subject. But police in the Chinese capital swooped on the thousands of petitioners who arrived in the Chinese capital to pursue complaints against the ruling Chinese Communist Party ahead of Human Rights Day on Tuesday. "There are tens of thousands of petitioners lurking in Beijing," retired People's Liberation Army (PLA) officer Gao Hongyi told RFA's Mandarin Service.Gao, who hails from the eastern port city of Qingdao, said he and dozens of other former PLA officers planned to converge on the United Nations representative offices in Beijing's embassy district on Tuesday. Thousands of petitioners thronged the alleyway outside the complaints offices of the central government, Supreme People's Court and National People's Congress on Tuesday, on a street dubbed by petitioners the "Dead End Alley of the Three Cheats."

Chinese Thrust on Security

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 12:42 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects a guard of honor outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Aug. 26, 2013. China's plan to create a new security council, Wednesday, Nov. 13, further consolidates power behind President Xi Jinping in the years going forward.  Andy Wong/AP/File

Growing discontent and unceasing restiveness among Tibetan and Uyghur minorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region ensured that domestic security issues dominate Xi Jinping’s agenda. Stark reminders of discontent surfaced in the days leading up to the plenum. China’s leaders allocated vast sums for the domestic security budget which this year officially exceeds US$ 110 billion. The domestic security budget has now surpassed the national defence budget for the past three consecutive years. This will increase with the creation at the recent plenum of the National Security Committee (NSC). The head of China’s official foreign policy think tank said the new NSC would focus on the “Three Evils” (terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism) in addition to co-ordinating international strategy, particularly on maritime issues.

Tibet neither seeks separation nor high degree of autonomy: Sikyong

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 12:29 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay delivering his tatement during the 10 December function at the main Tibetan Temple in Dharamshala, India. Photo: TPI/Yeshe Choesang

In a statement marking the Human Rights Day, observed across the world every year on 10 December, Dr. Sangay recalled that the Nobel Peace Price was awarded to His Holiness for his consistent resistance to the use of violence in his people's struggle for basic freedom. "The Nobel Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama catapulted the Tibetan struggle to greater international visibility. His Holiness the Dalai Lama's global stature directly and positively impacted on the image of the Tibetan people and fundamentally strengthened the Tibetan cause. Tibet became synonymous with non-violence and justice." Sikyong Dr Sangay reiterated the Central Tibetan Administration's commitment to Middle-Way Approach. "Dialogue is the most realistic approach and the only way to find a mutually beneficial solution to the Tibet issue. The Middle-Way Approach neither seeks separation from the People's Republic of China nor "high degree of autonomy", but Genuine Autonomy for all Tibetan people under a single administration. This is consistent with both the National Regional Autonomy Law and the Constitution of the People's Republic of China."

Xinjiang Public Security Department Called for Respect and Protection of Human Rights

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 12:06 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Human Rights for the victims of Enforced Disappearances!

I, Mutellip Imin, from Lop County of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, am the master student of IstanbulUniversity, majoring in Sociology. I was illegally intercepted by the customs police of BeijingCapitalInternationalAirport in the name of ‘criminal detention’, on my way back school on July 15, 2013. Officers from the Public Security Department of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region deported me to Urumqi, where I was interrogated and held in three different hotels for 79days, without any legal procedure or notifying my family.

I Was a Victim of Enforced Disappearance for 79 Days

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 11:52 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Human Rights For the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (2013-12-10)

My name is Mutellip Imin. I am from Lop County in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China. From July 15 to October 1, 2013, I was incarcerated by the Xinjiang police in three different hotels, without any legal procedures. On the evening of July 14, 2013, I arrived at Capital International Airdrome in Beijing and went to the ticket counter to check in for my flight from Beijing to Istanbul. The ticket agent told me to wait and left with my passport. I was waiting for an hour until I was taken to the Airdrome police station where my backpack and PC were inspected. The customs agents told me that there were no suspicious items found in my belongings and that I would not miss my flight to Istanbul. I was, however, retained at the police station until two police officers came to inform me that I was wanted by the police in Xinjiang. My passport, cell phone, Turkish residency permit, and my Turkish language proficiency certificate were all taken by the police, and I was handcuffed and brought to the repatriate center near the Airdrome. On the way, I begged the officers to let me contact my loved ones. They refused even to send my girlfriend, Atikem, a message that I was incarcerated. They told me I would be able to contact my relatives when I got back to Xinjiang.

China's dilemma in Afghanistan

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 11:07 -- Anonymous (not verified)
A compound for Chinese workers in Afghanistan. Analysts say China lacks a "grand strategy" for the nation and prefers the US be responsible for ensuring security. Photo: Imaginechina

Direct Chinese investments in Afghanistan totalled US$200 million in 2011, but the estimated value of Chinese-backed projects is higher. For example, a copper mine project in Aynak backed by state-owned Metallurgical Company of China and Jiangxi Copper Corporation is worth nearly US$3.5 billion. China National Petroleum Corporation also has an energy project in northern Afghanistan. With that economic toehold, there have been calls for Beijing to deepen its security engagement with Afghanistan to prevent extremists in restive Xinjiang from going to Afghanistan to receive training from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. China has blamed the movement for a car crash attack that killed five in Tiananmen Square on October 28.

The Hijacking of Chinese Patriotism

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 16:14 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Yu Hua (Photo by Michael Lionstar)

BEIJING — THE Chinese government, as part of a long-running dispute over islands in the East China Sea, recently declared an “air defense identification zone” in the area, raising tensions with Japan and the United States. In my view, the significance of this step is not the warning to Japan, but the patriotic stance it represents. For a long time a strain of popular opinion in China had criticized the government for being weak on the issue. The new stance can be seen as a response to these sentiments. In this connection I am reminded of a pair of incidents last summer. On July 17, in the town of Linwu in Hunan Province, in central China, a melon farmer, Deng Zhengjia, and his wife had a dispute with municipal officials by their roadside watermelon stall. Several officers beat Mr. Deng, and he fell to the ground and died. According to witnesses, he had been struck on the head with a steelyard weight before he fell.

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