Nov 15

Human Rights Watch has come out with a hard-hitting report on China’s black jails, illegal detention facilities where petitioners seeking to appeal to the central government are detained. The report, “Alleyway in Hell”, has a wide range of information on the jails and the circumstances in which people are put there, having conducted interviews with dozens of former victims. (Anyone having trouble accessing the HRW website can get a copy of the report here.)


The majority of black jail detainees are petitioners-citizens from rural areas who come to Beijing and provincial capitals seeking redress for abuses ranging from illegal land grabs and corruption to police torture. Petitioners, as citizens who have done nothing wrong-in fact, who are exercising their legal right to complain of being wronged themselves-are often persecuted by government officials, who employ security forces and plainclothes thugs known as retrievers or jiefang renyuan, to abduct them, often violently, and then detain them in black jails. Plainclothes thugs often actively assist black jail operators and numerous analysts believe that they do so at the behest of, or at least with the blessing of, municipal police. Continue reading »

Sep 12

In the continuing saga that is Chen Shui Bian’s colorful life, a trial court in Taipei sentenced Chen to life in prison yesterday as the first phase of his dramatic corruption and embezzlement trial came to an end. Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-chen, received a life sentence on corruption charges. Their son and daughter-in-law, convicted of money laundering, received relatively lenient 2 1/2 – and one-year terms. Continue reading »

Aug 11

Well … we’ve had several discussions (in the comments section recently) on political reform and the CCP.  Here is an interesting article I ran across today at Asia Times on people’s perception of government officials in China:

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Aug 08

Where in China is Xu Zhiyong?

Written by: Raj | Filed under:General | Tags:, , ,
117 Comments » newest 2009-08-25 05:41:51

(Hat-tip to Richard on the Peking Duck for writing on this last week.)

According to reports last week, the legal school and legislator Xu Zhiyong was led away by Police sometime on the morning of Wednesday 28th August. His whereabouts still seem to be unknown – his brother said that he had been charged with tax evasion.

It is hard to see how this isn’t linked to Xu’s work in helping people the State would prefer carried on with their lives like good little citizens, rather than pursue legal recourse against some sort of injustice/embarrassing matter that officials or local/central government would prefer to see the back of. But whatever the reason, this is not good for China’s future. Continue reading »

Jun 22

i38_19379493 Events of the last week in Iran have been widely reported by the world press. Not long before, the press also reported on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989. Were these two distinct events reported in a similar manner or were they treated as different and unique events? Let’s take a look at each and see what we can find.

1) Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

Based on the coverage I’ve seen, both governments were cast as being in the wrong and both protest movements as in the right. In the case of China, the government sent in tanks and used live ammunition to break up a protest movement that was alleged to have turned violent. Most of the reporters in the world press were located in or near the same area, and their reports reflected what occurred in that vicinity. Analyzes of this event in most cases pointed to the government as the culprit and the demonstrators as being victims and responding in a suitable fashion. Is this an accurate assessment? The Chinese government attempted to confiscate film of the event from foreign sources but those attempts were successfully evaded in most instances.

Continue reading »

Jun 19

It is often said that to be successful in the Chinese officialdom, you have to acquire a thick face, and a black heart (厚黑, there is an English book if you want to learn more about 厚黑学) .

Nine years ago, the director of Jiangsu Provincial Department of Construction, Xu Qiyao (徐其耀), was arrested  for taking bribes of over 20 million yuan. He also distinguished  himself among other corrupted officials by having extramarital affairs with 146 women,  including a mother and her daughter. Recently, a letter to his son, allegedly found in his diary during the investigation, is circulating on the internet.  In that letter, he demonstrated his theoretic superiority in the application of “thick face, black heart.”

Here is a translation for your enlightenment.

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Mar 12

[NOTE] This is a translation of a report filed by (王和岩) Wang Heyan in (财经网) Caijing Net two days ago. The content of this report has been making quick rounds in various Chinese Internet forums. It was also picked by other news medias.

The Communist Party Group of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) is staying at the Friendship Hotel. The members of this group are mostly current and former chairmen of CPPCC at province, city and regional levels. They are all experienced officials. [Note: CPPCC is generally where officials are parked after losing or retiring from power (i.e., active party or government positions).] Since they are no longer in the administrative structure and are not constrained in what they can say as before, I had high hopes to dig out something interesting from them.

However, things didn’t exactly go as I planned. Even though they are no longer in power, they kept their arrogance dignity intact, and are simply inaccessible.

Continue reading »

Dec 11

A couple of days ago, the Beijing News reported how local officials in Xintai – a city in the eastern province of Shandong – locked up citizens in mental hospitals to prevent them from making journeys to Beijing to alert central government officials of local injustices going on in Xintai (see original story – and english version translated by Global Voices). Continue reading »

Nov 27

In keeping with the theme of amusing news, let’s take a look at the translation provided in ESWN of a poem written by Chen Shuibian‘s to his wife from prison, after he was detained for allegedly (with his entire family) laundering bribes and embezzled money worth well north of millions in US dollars. Its literary quality is perhaps best summarized by this response from a well known cultural writer: “What kind of shit is this! Please don’t waste my time. Go waste someone else’s time!” Since then, an interesting conjecture surfaced, that Chen could be trying to sneak hidden instructions out of his prison cell through this poem. Continue reading »

Nov 01

(h/t to Kiwi Blog)

New Zeland recently granted honorary citizenship to Yan Yongmin(闫永明), ex-CEO of Golden Horse Pharmaceutical, wanted for embezzling 100 million RMB (20 million RMB was finally returned by NZ authority after 4 years.)

what happened? It seems Falun Gong NZ, who is on the take from Yan, claims he might be persecuted if returned, and worked with couple NZ politicans, who are also on the take from Yan, to work the magic.

Sep 28

A Mainlander uses the Made in China dairy scandal to spoof arguments commonly made by the Chinese government, fenqing, and other blindingly patriotic Mainlanders. Continue reading »

Jul 08

Many discussions involving China and the West end up being a competition: you have this, but we have that.

Here is one very popular competition, passed around in different forms on numerous Chinese internet forums for many years. It’s about the glory of our government buildings. The captions below are translated from the Chinese original:

The city hall in Marion, Iowa. In China, this kind of building would’ve been torn down long ago.

Government offices for the Fangshan District of Beijing. It’s far from the downtown area; a relatively poor mountain area!

Continue reading »

Jun 12

Can those “putting it on the tab” go on a diet?

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:News | Tags:
7 Comments » newest 2008-06-14 05:43:47

For average Chinese, one of the most common complaints about the Chinese government is the pervasive spread of “gray income” corruption in many government departments. At all levels of government, officials have opportunity to benefit themselves using public taxpayer money. Many officials eat and drink outrageously with public funds. Some officials are given the right to a government car plus driver, and use them regularly to run personal errands.

Because these stories surround us every day, it’s a constant reminder of special privileges for officials, and increasingly a source of real public anger. The most recent example comes from Holhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia. This story has drawn attention in the state press, which probably implies some sort of punishment will be coming to the officials involved.

This column (文章)comes from Rednet:

Continue reading »

May 26

Roland at ESWN provides this translation of an excellent Southern Metropolis story about the local government’s promises to fully investigate school collapses in the area.

Many Chinese netizens in recent days have aimed a flood of scorn and vitrol towards local Mianyang party secretary Jiang Guohua, accusing him of being involved in local corruption, and then trying to cover up the scale of the disaster from higher levels of government. The picture of him kneeling will bring cheers from many people.

I don’t know the truth of these accusations, and I will not convict Jiang Guohua on the basis of accusations alone. But if the Deyang city government (one level up from Mianyang) follows through on its promises, then China will have taken another major step forward in the long march towards rule of law.

May 24

The Red Cross corruption story yesterday was only the tip of the iceberg. A number of subsequent stories have since floated to the surface; in some cases, there have been been clashes between police and angry citizens.

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May 22

Red Cross in the Crosshairs

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:News | Tags:, ,
30 Comments » newest 2013-05-14 06:24:36

For the many Chinese critical of their government, their number one concern isn’t “human rights” or “freedom of expression”… instead, it’s corruption pervasive throughout Chinese society. In the aftermath of the earthquake, this issue is again on prominent display.

The Chinese Red Cross is playing a critical role in managing relief donations for victims of the earthquake. However, along with great authority comes great responsibility. The Red Cross is now being hit with allegations of corruption from every corner.

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