The HRIC Daily Brief is a daily selection of news stories and commentary related to human rights in China, drawn from Chinese- and English-language news and online media sources that we monitor daily. In addition to headlines and source links, HRIC also provides English translation of Chinese headlines.

Monday, January 24, 2005

January 22-24, 2005

Top news of the day

June 4th – prisoners – Zhao Ziyang (趙紫陽)

Organizers of march to mourn Zhao detained
多维追击:组织前往赵紫阳故居游行发起人遭羁押, January 23, 2005
The wife of former student leader Zhao Xin (趙昕) said her husband had been taken away by police for Zhao’s application for organizing a march in Beijing mourning Zhao Ziyang’s death.

Police – abuse / human rights
55 government officials investigated for human rights violations in Guangxi
People’s Daily, January 24, 2005
55 government officials, including police officers, are under investigation by the Guangxi procuratorate bureau for human rights violations such as arbitrary detention of farmers who fail to pay fines for violating one-child policy, and forced confession to suspects.


Two BOC staff flee after 1b yuan goes missing
SCMP, January 24, 2005
At least two officials of the Bank of China are believed to have fled the country after being involved in the embezzlement of up to 1 billion yuan.

Cadres' relatives in graft firing line
SCMP, January 22, 2005
Party members will be required to report the overseas travel and employment of their family members, revealing the government’s latest anti-corruption efforts.

Death penalty
Death sentences for nine Henan gangsters
SCMP, January 24, 2005
Nine members of one of the mainland’s biggest gangs were sentenced to death by a Hunan court for crimes ranging from murders to running triad organizations.

Fuzhou tycoon Chen Kai sentenced to death
福州首富陈凯组织卖淫获死刑, January 23, 2005
Chen Kai (陈凯), the wealthiest man in Fuzhou, and his triad gang were convicted of a range of organized criminal offences including fraud, abduction, drug trade, and etc. Chen was given a death penalty.

Disaster forecasting system to be upgraded, January 22, 2005
China’s early warning system for weather disaster is to be upgraded this year, with efforts focusing on six major areas such as calamity monitoring, public broadcasting, disaster assessment and emergency response.

Human rights – bilateral ties
With might comes rights: Canada PM
SCMP, January 22, 2005
Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin urges China to respect human rights as it is one of the new obligations for China’s rise in economic and political power in the international arena.

US says China's human rights record remains an issue to be dealt with
AFX via, January 23, 2005
US urged China to improve its human rights record as human rights issue remains a stumbling block of Sino-US relations.

June 4th – EU arms ban
Straw ties arms exports to rights
SCMP, January 22, 2005
British emphasizes code of conduct on arms exports, in particular to human rights, stability and security in the region, and the security of friendly and allied countries remain the key consideration for lifting EU arms ban on China.

June 4th – prisoners – Zhao Ziyang (趙紫陽)
Funeral plans for Zhao still in dispute
SCMP, January 24, 2005

Hundreds brave snow to pay tribute
SCMP, January 24, 2005

Ceremony gives leaders perfect chance to show new colours
SCMP, January 24, 2005

Mainlanders join mass memorial for Zhao
SCMP, January 22, 2005

Group of party elders urge leaders to grant proper funeral honours
SCMP, January 22, 2005

Thousands in Hong Kong Mourn China's Zhao
Voice of America, January 22, 2005

Labour – industrial accidents
19 died in three coal mine blasts
Radio Free Asia, January 22, 2005
19 reported died in coal mine blasts in Liaoning, Gansu and Yunnan on January 20 and 21.

Media - reform
More efforts urged to crack down on illegal publications in 2005, January 22, 2005
The crack down on pornography and illegal publications in 2005 is seen as the government’s prime task in advancing reform in the media.

Natural resources and energies
Power shortage causes blackouts nationwide, January 22, 2005
21 Chinese provincial power grids oblige to impose blackouts since this January due to the surging demand for power caused by cold weather and rapid economic growth.

Politics / Society
Excerpted article from Chinese News Week: public opinions slowly gaining influence in government policy-making?
中国新闻周刊:民意诉求开始悄悄影响政府决策?, January 24, 2005
Given the growing importance of public consultation meeting across China, it appears to show the increasing influence of public opinions in a modern style of policy-making in China.

Religion – Falungong
Reformed Falun Gong followers renounce faith in jail
SCMP, January 24, 2005
Liu Yunfang, a devoted Falungong follower who had set himself on fire in the name of Falungong and now serving a life sentence, denounced the religious group and confessed the wrongdoing against the government, reported in an interview arranged by the authority.

Rural issues / Government – fiscal
Rural districts get big slice of budget
SCMP, January 24, 2005
Beijing will allocate half of the city government’s budget, or an increase of 67.4% from last year, on developing rural areas this year as a way to solve resource shortages in the poor rural areas.

Rural issues / land policy
40-50 million rural farmers now landless
中国失地农民约四千万至五千万人, January 23, 2005
It is estimated that 40 to 50 million rural farmers are now landless, with the group believed to be increased 2 to 3 million annually.

Xinjiang bus blast that killed 11 was man-made, officials say
SCMP, January 22, 2005
Police confirmed the bus blast that killed 11 people in Xinjiang last Thursday a man-made incident.