Chinese journalists obliged to take refresher course in Marxist reporting techniques

Kuchikomi Oct. 25, 2013 – 07:00AM JST ( 15 )


Journalists and reporters employed by the media in the People’s Republic of China are said to number about 250,000. The Chinese government recently announced that in order to keep their accreditation they would be expected to undertake 18 or more hours of study and then undergo an examination.

The title of the course is “Reporting with View toward Marxism.”

Weekly Playboy (Nov 4) reports that in 2009, after incidents of unauthorized reporters and others claiming to be journalists became problematic, the Chinese government clamped down and began issuing official identification cards for journalists, who were obliged to undergo a qualification test to obtain one. The cards were valid for five years, upon which they could be automatically renewed upon application.

However, Weekly Playboy reports, when the cards come up for renewal in February 2014, this time the government is raising the barrier.

“In May of this year, a demonstration with 10,000 participants took place in Beijing, protesting the gang rape of a 22-year-old woman from Anhui Province,” explains author-journalist Daisuke Kondo. “The security agency attempted to pass it off as a suicide. Infuriated people from Anhui living in Beijing rioted. The real reason for the troubles was the widening gap between the rich and poor. People from poor provinces like Anhui are particularly dissatisfied with the system under leader Xi Jinping. I think the new guidelines are aimed at muzzling the media from negative reporting.”

But what’s keeping journalists from raising a ruckus over the government’s heavy-handed attempt to muzzle them? Kondo suggests the reason is probably money, as it seems journalism in China can be an “unexpectedly profitable occupation.”

“With the exception of the reporters at Xinhua and CCTV, which are basically government mouthpieces, ordinary news reporters virtually never approach the government,” he says. “The majority write about auto manufacturers and so on, and receive monetary gifts from the companies they report about.”

“So although their regular monthly wages are in the neighborhood of 80,000 Japanese yen, some reporters make enough money on the side to build homes worth 100 million yen,” Kondo adds.

Weekly Playboy was apparently in such a rush to scoop this story it missed out on the best part—- at least as far as Japan is concerned. That must be left to the Sankei Shimbun (Oct 20). It seems that among the information that Chinese journalists will be expected to follow Chinese government guidelines related to reporting about Japan, for which they are henceforth expected to assume a critical stance. Likewise for reportage about the U.S., which is “bent on undermining China.”

Among the sticking points regarding Japan that the scribes are expected to touch on are criticism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “right-leaning” administration. Nonetheless, terms like “kaisen” (outbreak of war) are to be eschewed as being overly inflammatory.

And within China, voices calling for freedom of the press or rule of law are also to be criticized. After all, according to the powers that be, those who raise such issues as basic human rights or democracy are actually “bent on attacking the teachings of China’s Communist Party.”

The examinations will be administered by the end of this year. Journalists receiving a failing grade will be obliged to retake the test.

China says 99.9 per cent of graft defendants found guilty



Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013

BEIJING – A total of 99.9 per cent of the verdicts reached against Chinese corruption defendants find them guilty, judicial authorities said Tuesday.

Nearly 200,000 people were investigated for embezzlement or bribery between January 2008 and August this year, China’s top prosecutor, Cao Jianming, told the National People’s Congress parliament.

Of those, 148,931 had been convicted, or 99.9 per cent of those who had been charged and had their trials completed, he said, according to a statement posted on the Supreme People’s Procuratorate website.

The figures imply that the courts only acquitted 0.1 per cent of those who came before them, or 1 in 1,000.

A total of 37.7 billion yuan ($6.2 billion) in economic losses were retrieved, it added. Of those investigated, 32 were at or above ministerial level, it said.

Authorities apprehended nearly 7,000 fugitives who escaped abroad, said a separate statement on the website.

It is the first time since 1989 that the national prosecutor has reported its anti-graft work to the parliament, according to a report by the government-run Legal Daily on Tuesday.

China’s president Xi Jinping has vowed to crack down on corruption at all levels of the government, calling graft a threat to the future of the ruling party.

But critics say the anti-corruption campaign by China’s new leaders has so far netted a series of low-ranking officials and only a handful of senior figures, with no reforms introduced to increase transparency to help fight graft.

Supporters demand billionaire activist’s release following ‘black Friday’ of multiple arrests

    Saturday, 14 September, 2013, 1:05pm

  • wanggongquan.jpg
Wang Gongquan was detained on Friday. Photo: screenshot via Weibo

In a statement published on early Saturday morning, hundreds supporters of China’s New Citizen Movement called on the Chinese government to release prominent venture capitalist Wang Gongquan, following his detention on Friday they described as “barbaric” and “cruel.”

The 52-year-old businessman was detained by police on Friday at his home in Beijing on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in public places”, a charge identical to the one that led to the arrest of Xu Zhiyong, the founder of the New Citizen Movement. Xu had been in police custody since mid-July.

The statement by Wang ‘s supporters said the accusation was  “ridiculous”, since Wang “could not possibly have disturbed order in any public places.”

“Mr. Wang is an adamant supporter of  New Citizen Movement, ” it said, “this means he endorses the use of peaceful and legal methods to fight for Chinese citizens’ rights promised by the constitution, the development of China’s citizen society, and ultimately to realise the peaceful transition of Chinese society.”

The statement also described Wang as a “sincere Buddhist” and “thorough humanitarian” who has nothing but “goodwill” towards the world and other people.

On the same day Wang was taken away by police,  the wife of Chen Baocheng, a journalist who was detained in August in Shandong Province,  was notified by police of his official arrest. Chen was detained along with seven other villagers for protesting against the forced demolition of their homes in Shandong.

Chinese media also confirmed on Friday that  Dong Liangjie,  an outspoken blogger and environmental activist, was detained this week in Beijing on suspicion of “spreading online rumours.” 

Micobrologgers who closely followed  the news of activists’ arrests that broke on Friday, commented on Weibo that it was indeed a very “black Friday.”

He Weifang, a liberal Peking University law professor, spoke out on his Weibo on Saturday regarding the recent arrests, criticising the Chinese government for “establishing its rule on the basis of people’s fears.”

“Threatening others only proves your weakness- just like those who try to fool people will eventually be fooled by themselves,” he wrote. “Handling critics by sending them  to jail is nothing but suicide.”


GlaxoSmithKline finance head banned from leaving China

The BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing: “Business leaders say foreign companies operating in China have never faced a tougher time”

Chinese authorities looking into alleged bribery by GlaxoSmithKline have banned the UK drugmaker’s British head of finance from leaving China.

The travel ban was imposed on Steve Nechelput at the end of June, said a company spokesperson.

On Monday, police in China said GSK had transferred 3bn yuan ($489m; £321m) to travel agencies and consultancies to facilitate bribes to doctors.

GSK has said it is deeply “concerned and disappointed” by the allegations.

The company said Mr Nechelput had not been questioned, arrested or detained by police.

The BBC understands that the British embassy in Beijing is providing consular assistance.

‘Abide by law’

Chinese authorities have taken into custody four Chinese executives at GSK in connection with the allegations.

They accuse GSK of using travel agencies to bribe government officials, doctors and hospitals in order to boost sales and prices of their drugs. The investigation began at the end of June, police said.

One of the four executives, vice-president and operations manager Liang Hong, appeared on state television on 16 July and said he had funnelled money through travel agencies for arranged conferences, some of which were never held.

Martin Patience, BBC’s correspondent in Beijing, said the reputation of the drugs giant has taken a huge hit in China where it has been widely condemned in the state media

An article on the China Daily website said: “This case should serve as a warning to other Chinese companies and their transnational counterparts that they must abide by the law when promoting their products”.

GSK’s general manager for China, Mark Reilly, is said to have left the country for Britain last month.

On Monday, Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit, said similar transfers had been made by other pharmaceutical multinationals. He did not name any other foreign companies.

GSK has said it is taking immediate action, including terminating links with the travel agencies that the Chinese authorities have identified, and conducting a review of its transactions related to the travel agencies.


Disabled Chinese toddler ‘imprisoned for four years’

A four-year-old disabled Chinese boy was put in a prison for over three years because his parents were protesters, his foster father has claimed.

Disabled Chinese boy Chen Ya, now eight, was imprisoned for over three years because his parents were protestors, his foster father has claimed.

Disabled Chinese boy Chen Ya, now eight, was imprisoned for over three years because his parents were protestors, his foster father has claimed.
Malcolm Moore

By , Beijing

6:29PM BST 20 May 2013

Chen Ya, who is now eight, was taken away by officials in Sanzao county in the southern province of Guangdong in 2009, according to Chen Fengqiang, his foster father.

Despite being a toddler with developmental problems, the boy was kept alone in a windowless 40 sq ft cell until April, when he was finally released into Mr Chen’s care.

Today, the boy “cannot walk very far and his head shakes,” said Mr Chen.

“He cannot talk so I do not know what happened to him. But you can imagine what it is like for a four-year-old child to be taken and shut away,” he said.

“There are no bruises on his body, so I do not know whether he was abused, but if you raise your hand, he curls into a ball afraid,” he added.

Mr Chen could not explain why the authorities had chosen to put the boy in solitary confinement. On Monday he travelled to the regional capital, Guangzhou, to engage a new lawyer, Wu Kuiming, to seek redress.

“This is a cruel method that the government uses when it wants to control protesters,” said Mr Wu. “But I do not know what they wanted to achieve by locking up a four-year-old boy,” he added.

Both Mr Chen, 54, and his former partner, the boy’s mother, Wei Lipei, 40, have been thorns in the side of the local government for over a decade.

Since 2002, the couple have vigorously protested the seizure of their land by the local government, who they say paid them scant compensation.

Mr Chen has two other children by a previous partner, a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. He said Ms Wei had told him that Chen Ya was not his son, but that he had not taken a paternity test.

As the couple fell deeper into the frustrating cycle of protesting their plight to the various branches of the Chinese government, their children were increasingly left to fend for themselves.

Chen Ya, because of his disability, was often taken along to protests, however, in order to exploit public sympathy.

In 2008, while Mr Chen was protesting in Beijing, Ms Wei then disappeared.

He claimed she was put in detention. At that point the three children were cared for by a nanny from the neighbourhood committee.

The following year, however, Chen Ya was taken away to a detention centre run by a special police squad that usually targets protesters. The centre was originally built in the 1960s as a labour camp.

In the meantime, Mr Chen was also imprisoned separately in 2010 for two years in another city.

Two other protesters confirmed that they had seen the boy in a cell in the centre last year. Another lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan, said he had accompanied Mr Chen to the centre in December to try to free the boy.

Illegal detention centres are common in China but are routinely denied by the authorities.

“I have never heard of this case but I can assure you nothing like this would happen in this area,” said a policeman at Jingwan district who declined to give his name. He added that a colleague in Sanzao had never heard of the detention facility.

Four officials in Sanzao county denied all knowledge of the case. One suggested contacting the local Propaganda bureau.

The fifth official, Wu Jing, from the Civil Administration bureau, said he had not heard of the boy and to contact the head of the local Harmony Maintenance bureau, whose name he gave as Mr Tang.

“Who gave you my number?” said Mr Tang angrily, upon answering the phone.

“If Mr Wu gave you my number, you should ask him about the case, he knows better than me,” he added, before hanging up and refusing to answer further calls.

In 2007, a reporter for Reuters saw and photographed a three-year-old boy being held in a “black jail” alongside his father in the south west of Beijing. The father of the boy told him that they had been “held there for months”.

Phelim Kine, the deputy director of the Asia division at Human Rights Watch, said there was evidence that the Chinese government had abducted and detained other children in the past, both with and without their parents.

He said three detainees in illegal detention centres interviewed by HRW said that they had been imprisoned with their children. One 36-year-old from Gansu province who was detained in 2008 said his facility “also detained ‘many children, boys and girls'”.

In another case, a 15-year-old girl was beaten so severely by her guards that “they knocked out one of her teeth”.

Mr Chen and his foster son appear set to continue their protest. On Sunday they were detained by police for 12 hours after mounting a protest at Guangzhou railway station. The protest was seized upon by Chinese internet users to condemn the behaviour of the local government.


Abe vows to expel by force any Chinese landing on disputed isles

National Apr. 23, 2013 – 01:20PM JST ( 3 )

Abe vows to expel by force any Chinese landing on disputed isles
A Chinese marine surveillance ship cruises near the disputed islets in the East China Sea.;AFP


Prime minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday vowed to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on disputed islands.

“We would take decisive action against any attempt to enter territorial waters and to land” on the islands, Abe told parliament in response to questions from lawmakers. “It would be natural for us to expel by force the Chinese if they were to make a landing.”

Abe made the remarks after eight Chinese government ships entered Japanese territorial waters near the islands on Tuesday, the most in a single day since Tokyo nationalised part of the archipelago, the Japanese government said.

Japan’s coast guard confirmed the vessels had entered waters near the East China Sea island chain, while the government’s top spokesman said the flotilla was a one-day record since Tokyo’s nationalisation in September.

Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador in protest.

The maritime surveillance ships entered the 12-nautical-mile zone off the Senkaku chain of islands, which China calls the Diaoyu, around 8 a.m., the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.

State-owned Chinese ships have frequently spent time around the five disputed islands, also claimed by Taiwan, in recent months.

“It is extremely deplorable and unacceptable that Chinese government ships are repeatedly entering Japanese territorial waters. We have made a firm protest against China both in Beijing and Tokyo,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

© 2013 AFP

The ‘leftover’ women: China defines official age for females being left on the shelf as 27

  • Millions of women say they have been thrown  on the scrap heap
  • Chinese government worries that unmarried  men could cause social havoc

By  Peter Simpson

PUBLISHED: 09:04 EST, 21  February 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:13 EST, 21 February 2013

The derogatory name has caused an outcry among millions of ambitious young and educated females who claim they have been thrown on the scrap heap
The derogatory name has caused an outcry among millions  of ambitious young and educated females who claim they have been thrown on the  scrap heap (file photo)

China has upset its young female population  by labelling those who fail to marry by the time they are 30 as ‘left over  woman’.

The Communist government ordered its feminist  All-China Women’s Federation to use the derogatory term in several stinging  articles about the growing number of educated, professional, urban and single  females aged 27-30 who have ‘failed’ to find a husband and are now  deemed  ‘undesirable’.

‘Pretty girls do not need a lot of education  to marry into a rich and powerful family. But girls with an average or ugly  appearance will find it difficult,’ reads one article titled ‘Leftover Women Do  Not Deserve Our Sympathy’.

The derogatory name has been picked up by the  state media and stuck, causing an outcry among millions of ambitious young and  educated females who claim they have been thrown on the scrap heap – and who  bemoan the low quality of suitors.

The conservative country is going under rapid  changes with more women shunning tradition to wed and raise a family  early.

But the government wants to shame them into  marrying young to counter the growing and serious gender imbalance among the of  1.3 billion population.

Selective abortions because of the one-child  policy means far more males are born then females – 118 boys to 100 girls.

The government is also worried hordes of  unmarried men roaming the country could spark social havoc.

Leta Hong-Fincher, an American academic  studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said: ‘Since  2007, the state media has aggressively disseminated the left over term in  surveys, and news reports, and columns, and cartoons and pictures, basically  stigmatising educated women over the age of 27 or 30 who are still  single.’

Since the one child policy was introduced in  1979, there are now about 20 million more men under 30 than women under  30.

And census figures show that around one in  five women aged 25-29 is unmarried.

The proportion of unmarried males that age is  over a third higher – but  Chinese men tend to ‘marry down’ both in terms of age  and educational  attainment.

More Chinese women are shunning the tradition of marrying young and having children. But the government wants to shame them into marrying young to counter the population's growing gender imbalance (file photo)More Chinese women are shunning the tradition of  marrying young and having children. But the government wants to shame them into  marrying young to counter the population’s growing gender imbalance (file  photo)


Nine out of 10 men in China think women  should get married before 27

Sixty per cent say the ideal time is  25-27

One per cent believe the best age for a woman  to get married is 31-35

‘There is an opinion that A-quality guys will  find B-quality women, B-quality guys will find C-quality women, and C-quality  men will find D-quality women,’ Huang Yuanyuan, a confident and single  29-year-old who works in a Beijing radio station, told the BBC.

‘The people left are A-quality women and  D-quality men,’ she said.

But the Chinese Bridget Joneses are fighting  back, demanding the government ban the ‘left over women term.

The All-China Federation of Women has  recently dropped the label and now refers to ‘old’ unmarried women – but the  left over expression remains widely used elsewhere.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

China sends three Warships to disputed Islands

Wednesday, 30 January 2013
 Three Chinese government ships were sailing in  waters around islands disputed with Japan today, a day after the  Japanese premier suggested a summit could help mend frayed ties.

Japan’s coastguard said the maritime surveillance  boats were sailing in waters around a chain of Tokyo-controlled islands  known as the Senkakus in Japan for about an hour and a half, AFP  reported.

They all left the waters by 1:32 pm, coastguard officials said.

China, which calls the islands the Diaoyus, has  repeatedly sent ships to the area since Japan nationalised some of the  chain in September. The move triggered a diplomatic dispute and huge  anti-Japan demonstrations across China.

Beijing has also sent air patrols to the archipelago  in the East China Sea and recently both Beijing and Tokyo have scrambled fighter jets, though there have been no clashes.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested a  summit with China would improve a relationship that has been badly  troubled for months.

“A high-level meeting should be held because there is a problem. If necessary, there might be a need to build the…  relationship again, starting with a summit meeting,” he told a  television show.


US software firm hacked for years after suing China

Original URL:

Solid Oak nearly went under after three years of persistent attack

By Phil Muncaster

Posted in Security, 29th November 2012 04:05 GMT

Free whitepaper – Gartner: Secure Web Gateway Malware Detection Techniques

A Californian software company which sued the Chinese government for pirating its flagship content filtering product has revealed how it was targeted by hackers from the People’s Republic for the three years of the resulting legal proceedings.

Santa Barbara-based Solid Oak Software filed the civil lawsuit against China after discovering thousands of lines of code from its parental filtering CYBERsitter had been lifted and used to develop the Green Dam Youth Escort – Chinese software which was originally intended to be rolled out nationally by the government.

Just 12 days after Solid Oak founder Brian Milburn went public with his intentions, the hackers began targeting his employees with a view to infiltrating the company, gleaning intelligence about the court case and disrupting sales as much as possible, Bloomberg [1] reported.

“It felt like they had a plan,” Milburn told the newswire. “If they could just put the company out of business, the lawsuit goes away. They didn’t need guys with guns or someone to break my kneecaps.”

The attackers made initial incursions with spyware hidden in malicious email attachments and were soon able to remotely control PCs and switch on webcams to spy on individuals. They also apparently went after Solid Oak’s law firm in the hope of lifting documents which they believed may have helped in the upcoming court case.

Solid Oak’s web and email servers were also targeted, frequently crashing several times a day, and the small family-run business dived into the red as customers looking to buy the software online were not able to complete their transactions thanks to some tinkering with the script that controlled payment processing, Bloomberg said.

Forensic investigators told the newswire that the malware and attack toolkits they found on Solid Oak’s network and servers were unique to Chinese hackers known as the Comment group – a gang fingered for attacks on Coca Cola and others [2] revealed earlier this month.

In the end Solid Oak survived by the skin of its teeth, with Milburn and his staff forced to share documents on webmail and Dropbox in an attempt to thwart their foes.

Within two months of a settlement in the case , the attacks reportedly stopped. ®

The Chinese premier’s defense of his family’s ‘hidden riches’ may have unexpected effect.

How Wen Jiabao undermined the Party’s legitimacy


 November 1, 2012 05:37

HONG KONG — If Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was hoping to make the story about his family’s $2.7 billion fortune go away, his response is only making things worse.

Almost a week after the New York Times published a blockbuster report detailing how relatives of “Grandpa Wen” — a popular man regularly portrayed as being above corruption — amassed incredible wealth during his tenure, the outgoing Chinese premier has kept the story alive by mounting an unprecedented, vigorous defense.

Whereas other Chinese officials simply ignore allegations of corruption, Wen’s family has hired two lawyers, issued a highly unusual public letter, and threatened to sue the Times for defamation. The Chinese government also got involved, with Hong Lei, the foreign ministry spokesman, indirectly denouncing the report as a “smear.”

“The so-called ‘hidden riches’ of Wen Jiabao’s family members in the New York Times’ report does not exist,” reads the Wen family’s statement. They “reserve the right to hold it [The New York Times] legally responsible.”

One overseas Chinese news site has reported that Wen even sent a letter to the Party requesting an investigation into his assets to prove that his hands were clean.

At a time of great vulnerability for the Chinese government, Wen’s extensive efforts to prop up his reputation may worsen the Communist Party’s crisis of legitimacy. Wen’s self-defense not only sets a standard for transparency that other officials may find impossible to meet, it also keeps the public’s focus on the Communist Party’s gravest weakness: corruption.

“Public patience is running out because corruption, especially at the top, has become a key source of public discontent and unrest and poses a serious threat to one-party rule,” Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the South China Morning Post.

The irony of all this is that the Chinese censors were already doing a remarkably effective job of suppressing the New York Times report. The Times’ website was blocked within hours of the story being published; online censors have cut out nearly every imaginable nickname of Wen Jiabao and the New York Times (including “Twist Times,” which sounds like the newspaper’s name in Chinese.) Blocked terms include “Grandpa Wen,” “premier family,” and “2.7 billion.”

Still, comments from persistent Chinese web users manage to squeak through, if temporarily.

“The New York Times concerned itself again with China, but I don’t dare send out its contents,” wrote one user on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

“It turns out the family of officials get a lot of perks and money,” wrote another, who continued, saying that “because of censorship, I had to give up trying to forward it.”

Others were flippant, suggesting there was a connection between the New York Times report and the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“The New York Times annoyed Fu Manchu, so Fu Manchu is now taking revenge on all of New York,” joked one.

While the $2.7 billion figure made waves in some Chinese circles, most ordinary people did not hear of it at all, and many of those who did simply shrugged — not because it didn’t matter, but because everyone already believes Chinese officials are corrupt.

“The report is not surprising because the relationship between power and money is so close in China today,” wrote one Weibo user in a translation by Tea Leaf Nation.

This year has been rife with exposés of extortionate officials. On social media, Chinese dubbed one local official “Brother Watch” after he was discovered to be wearing more luxury watches than he could possibly afford on his salary. (He was forced out of office.) Another minor official in Guangdong was sacked after netizens furiously discovered that he owned 22 houses.

Still, even with Wen’s unusually outspoken response, the effect of the Times story has been limited. Chinese-language newspapers outside of the People’s Republic have taken a surprisingly skeptical attitude toward the report, uniformly suspecting the newspaper of being biased, or even a puppet of a conservative faction.

More from GlobalPost: China’s love-hate web thing

“This is really unthinkable that the Chinese state media and the overseas non-state Chinese-language media would converge on a major issue such as this one,” writes the author of the EastSouthNorthWest newsletter, which translates Chinese media. “So this is where we are — It is the New York Times on one side, and an alliance of strange bedfellows of Chinese state media and overseas Chinese dissident media on the other side.”

Nevertheless, elite political intellectuals recognize that the Party has entered a crisis of legitimacy, and are publicly calling for change. On Nov. 1, in the magazine Caijing, the deputy editor for a Communist Party mouthpiece urged officials to declare their assets and the assets of their families to rebuild their credibility.

“We can no longer act like an ostrich and be held hostage by corruption, we must have the courage to break out of this,” he wrote.

If Wen Jiabao does declare his assets in public as a result of this scandal, it would likely have that effect. As one Weibo user gushed after reading the story,

“If the New York Times reported all the assets of past and current officials in an objective and thorough report, it would undoubtedly be a time bomb,” the user wrote.

“But if they reported on officials’ families overseas’ assets the same way, it would be like an atom bomb!”

Chinese ships enter waters around disputed islands

News On Japan via Japan Today — Oct 25

Four Chinese government ships entered territorial waters around disputed Tokyo-controlled islands early Thursday, the Japan Coast Guard said.

Three maritime surveillance vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile zone around one of the islands in the East China Sea shortly after 6:30 a.m., the coast guard said in a statement. Another surveillance ship joined them one hour later.The four Chinese vessels were off Minamikojima, one of the islands in a chain known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.Separately, two fisheries patrol ships were spotted in so-called contiguous waters, which extend a further 12 nautical miles, of another island in the chain, the coast guard said.

China scrambles to censor novelist Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize

A leaked directive from the Chinese government shows censorship tactics towards dissidents.

October 16, 2012 09:08

Mo yan nobel prize china 2012 10 16

Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize win draws attention to the Chinese government’s censorship tactics. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
What do you think?

HONG KONG — It didn’t take long for the Chinese government to try to take control of the conversation about Mo Yan.

Days after the 57-year-old novelist thrilled his country by winning the Nobel Prize for literature, China’s central censorship organ issued a directive to media companies instructing them to strictly police online discussion for anti-party chatter or mentions of two other Chinese-born Nobel winners.

China Digital Times has a translation of the leaked directive:

“To all websites nationwide: In light of Mo Yan winning the Nobel prize for literature, monitoring of microblogs, forums, blogs and similar key points must be strengthened. Be firm in removing all comments which disgrace the party and the government, defame cultural work, mention Nobel laureates Liu Xiaobo and Gao Xingjian and associated harmful material. Without exception, block users from posting for ten days if their writing contains malicious details.”

Liu Xiaobo, a human rights activist and author, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, but he remains in prison in China. Gao Xingjian won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2000 after giving up his Chinese citizenship in 1996.


Official media has also been trying to steer the public toward acceptable lines of thinking about Mo Yan. In the state-run People’s Daily, an editorial urges people to adopt one of “three mentalities” about Mo Yan that “can be considered correct.”

These prescribed perspectives are: seeing his victory as a “blessing” for those in China who “have long had the Nobel Prize complex”; seeing it as a good thing that should not be “over-interpreted”; and rejecting those who criticize his work.

The last order presumably targets those in China who reacted to Mo’s victory with anger. While the overwhelming response was celebratory, a number of reform-minded Chinese knocked Mo Yan for having an apparently cozy relationship with authorities. Mo Yan remains a member of the Communist Party, and the vice chairman of the party-run Writers’ Association. He also contributed to a book of calligraphy in tribute to Mao Zedong.

Liao Yiwu, a celebrated author who was imprisoned for writing about the Tiananmen Square massacre, called the prize “a woeful example of the West’s fuzzy morals,” in an interview with Der Spiegel in Germany, where he has lived since fleeing China in 2011.

“Chinese officials feel vindicated in the way they have treated and continue to treat dissidents by such awards. And that is terrible for the people who suffer under them. You have no idea how much the news has angered my friends in China.”

Ran Yunfei, an acerbic writer and pro-democracy activist, called Mo Yan “a man who has no principles” on Twitter and said that the Swedish Academy’s decision makes it “an accomplice to the scoundrel China.”


Cui Weiping, a professor and social critic, wrote on Twitter that, “To those imprisoned writers and those who are being persecuted by censorship as we speak, this is a huge blow,” according to a translation by Seeing Red in China.

Yet this initial backlash has softened somewhat since Mo Yan told a press conference that he hopes imprisoned Nobel laureate Liu Xiabo “can achieve his freedom as soon as possible.”

Still, many observers outside China have continued to ask how Mo Yan can be an independent writer if he is endorsed by the Beijing regime.

A China-based translator, Brendan O’Kane, has offered one of the strongest defenses and explanations of the writer. Far from being a government “stooge,” O’Kane suggests, Mo Yan’s work is inherently—and surrealistically—subversive.

“Mo may not be a ‘dissident’ in the model of Liu Xiaobo or Vaclav Havel, but his work is filled with depictions of the venality, cruelty, and stupidity of power and authority,” he writes. O’Kane cites several of Mo Yan’s novels, including one which depicts a corrupt vice-minister hosting a banquet feast where braised child is served—hardly a flattering portrait of officialdom.

“The fact of the matter is that there are many excellent Chinese authors who are not banned or in jail. They choose to work within the confines of officially acceptable discourse, pushing at the boundaries wherever they can, because the alternatives are banning, or jail, or at best an honorary professorship in Berlin and the lonely irrelevance of the exile.”

By charting a delicate course in China’s mainstream, many argue that Mo Yan has not only avoided conflict with the Communist Party, but also enabled his strange, subversive novels to reach a much larger audience within mainland China. He has already become a national hero: bookstores are running out of stock, one of his novellas has been added to the high-school curriculum, and a rich philanthropist has, bizarrely, offered Mo Yan a free villa in Beijing.

To be an exiled Chinese dissident, however, means being largely unknown and unread at home.

If the Nobel Committee was hoping, by raising his profile and his moral authority, to make Mo Yan an a more outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s errors and abuses, it has already succeeded.

As Ai Weiwei said after hearing that Mo Yan said he hoped for the release of Liu Xiabo, “If this sort of courage is the result, I hope more Chinese writers will be given Nobel prizes.


Official chided for Senkaku remarks

Enginnering Evil: This Rebukes the prior statement on the compromise with China…


The government has taken a lawmaker in the Cabinet to task for making controversial remarks on the Senkaku Islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Wednesday.

Eiichiro Washio, a parliamentary secretary in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, told a gathering Tuesday that the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea are Japanese, but added that “who owns them should not matter. The Chinese government could own them” even though the government recently nationalized them.

Fujimura told a news conference that the lawmaker did not mean China, which claims the Senkaku Islands, may be their owner.

“I asked the (farm) minister to tell (Washio) to be careful about what he says,” Fujimura said.

Washio acknowledged Wednesday that his remarks were misleading.

“I strongly agree with the (Japanese) government’s nationalization” of the Senkakus, he told reporters.

Chinese government ships entered territorial waters off disputed Tokyo-controlled islands for the second straight day

Chinese ships enter disputed waters for 2nd day in a row

NationalOct. 03, 2012 – 03:20PM JST( 0 )

Tokyo and Beijing remain locked in a diplomatic row over disputed islands in the East China SeaAFP


Chinese government ships entered territorial waters off disputed Tokyo-controlled islands for the second straight day Wednesday, the Japan Coast Guard said.

Three maritime surveillance ships “ignored warnings from patrol vessels of our agency… and entered our country’s territorial waters” shortly after 12:30 p.m., the coast guard said in a statement.

“Our patrol vessels are demanding they leave our country’s territorial waters by radio and other means but the Haijians have not replied,” it said, referring to the ships’ names.

They were off Kubashima, one of the islands in a chain known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.

The Chinese ships were among four vessels that had been in island waters on Tuesday, remaining for around six hours, despite demands from Japan that they leave.

Tensions have risen in recent months over the islands, which lie in rich fishing grounds and on key shipping lanes in the East China Sea. The seabed in the area is also believed to harbor mineral reserves.

Diplomats from China and Japan traded insults at the United Nations in New York last week and sometimes violent demonstrations in Chinese cities hit Japanese business interests in the country last month.

© 2012 AFP

China delays approval of working visas

Firms made to wait as Beijing retaliates amid Senkakus flare-up

Sunday, Sep. 23, 2012

BEIJING — Japanese companies are experiencing delays in obtaining working visas for their employees from Chinese authorities due to the Senkaku Islands row, domestic business sources said.

The delays have triggered concerns among corporations about possible staff shortages at their facilities and installations in China, the sources said.

Beijing vowed to retaliate against Japan after the government announced earlier this month that it had bought and nationalized three of the Senkaku islets, which are also claimed by China and Taiwan, in the East China Sea.

According to the business sources, it typically takes four to five business days for China’s immigration authorities to issue Japanese companies working visas for their employees, but a number of firms are still waiting for them after eight workdays.

Businesses say they have no idea when Chinese authorities will return to the normal processing speed. “We have been told they won’t issue visas at present,” a Japanese business source said.

Beijing has accused Tokyo of ratcheting up the territorial dispute over the Japan-controlled Senkakus, which it calls Diaoyu, and warned that it will affect bilateral economic relations. China is Japan’s largest trading partner.

China’s customs authorities have already tightened clearance procedures for goods imported from Japan, including key components for electronics and other labor-intensive products used by Japanese companies to assemble products at Chinese plants.

Chinese customs took a similar measure in 2010 when ties soured over the arrest of a Chinese trawler captain who rammed two Japan Coast Guard cutters.

Meanwhile, tour agencies in China have cancelled sightseeing tours to Japan and the public has vowed to boycott Japanese goods in retaliation.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said Beijing will not yield “half a step” in the sovereignty dispute while Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to be appointed leader of the Communist Party this fall, has dismissed Japan’s purchase of three islets from a Saitama Prefecture businessman as “a farce.”

Invasion. Genocide. An utter lack of remorse. and why there could be a terrifying new war between Japan and China

!!! Engineering Evil Statement: I am only posting articles that bring attention to the seriousness of this escalation. Which this crisis is currently being played down by most western diplomats.  They are not my views…

By Max Hastings

PUBLISHED:19:02 EST, 19  September 2012| UPDATED:19:02 EST, 19 September 2012

A few years ago, nobody in Asia gave much  thought to the Senkaku islands. They form a cluster of eight pimples in the East  China Sea, mid-way between Taiwan and Japanese Okinawa, devoid of people,  culture and — by all accounts — beauty.

Yet suddenly, they have become the focus of a  dispute between China and Japan which is growing so bitter that doomsters fear  Beijing might even go to war over them.

The dispute is one of a dozen involving  islands off the Asian mainland — some claimed by Vietnam, others by South Korea,  others again by the Philippines — in which China is wielding a big  stick.

Disputed: China is challenging Japan's claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China seaDisputed: China is challenging Japan’s claim to the  Senkaku Islands in the East China sea


In some cases, it covets fish stocks around  the rocks, in others there is oil under the sea; elsewhere, Beijing merely wants  to extend its territorial waters.

What alarms the United States, as well as the  regional powers, is the ferocity with which China is pursuing its claims.

The row about the Senkakus escalated when the  Tokyo government recently purchased them from their owner, a Japanese  businessman. In the past week, the ownership of the islands has provoked  demonstrations in a dozen Chinese cities, outbreaks of violence and vandalism  against Japanese targets which have prompted some of its industrial giants — Nissan, Honda, Canon, Panasonic — to shut down their plants in that  country.

Provocative: Chinese fishing boats set off to fish near the disputed islands, known in Chinese as DiaoyuProvocative: Chinese fishing boats set off to fish near  the disputed islands, known in Chinese as Diaoyu

Sabre-rattling: China has sent military vessels to the islandsSabre-rattling: China has sent military vessels to the  islands

Some Japanese residents of China have shut  themselves in their homes for safety. They feel unable to rely on the Chinese  police for protection, because it is impossible for sustained vandalism to  happen without official acquiescence. Meanwhile, the Chinese government  continues to issue tough statements about the islands, which it calls the  Diaoyus.

Washington, as well as Tokyo, is alarmed by  the spectacle of China playing rough.

Nobody forgets that in the past, the Chinese  have sometimes used force to get their way in border disputes: they occupied  Tibet and fought a bitter war with Vietnam. Fears persist about China’s  obsessive determination to reunite the mainland with offshore Taiwan, left in  the old Chinese government’s hands after the 1949 communist  revolution.

Resentment: Chinese protesters march with anti-Japanese bannersResentment: Chinese protesters march with anti-Japanese  banners

The quarrel over the Senkakus has reawakened  atavistic Chinese hostility and resentment towards Japan, which goes back more  than a century.

In 1894, the Japanese seized and colonised  the Korean peninsula — a staging post towards an occupation of China — and sank  a Chinese fleet. China’s Qing regime had to sign a humiliating peace  surrendering part of Manchuria — effectively north-east China — and the  Pescadore islands, off modern Taiwan.

Then, on September 18, 1931, the Japanese  staged a faked attack on their own railway in their sector of Manchuria, blamed  the Chinese, and used the incident as a pretext to overrun all of that region.  (That date lives in infamy in China — which is why violent demonstrations took  place in the country this week.)

No surrender: Protesters hold up Japan's national flags at an anti-China rallyNo surrender: Protesters hold up Japan’s national flags  at an anti-China rally

The Japanese renamed the area Manchukuo, and  installed the emperor Pu Yi as their puppet ruler.

In the decade that followed, they extended  their empire with a ruthlessness that shocked the world. In 1932, after a  Chinese mob in Shanghai attacked five Japanese monks in the city, the Japanese  air force took reprisals by bombing the entire city, killing thousands of  civilians.

In 1937, Japanese army officers manufactured  a new incident at the ancient Marco Polo bridge outside the northern Chinese  city of Tientsin — in which the Japanese had a garrison under the terms of a  treaty. Claiming that their troops had been fired on by Chinese soldiers, they  launched a full-scale invasion of China. What happened thereafter has never been  forgotten or forgiven — not least because today’s Japanese are reluctant to  admit past war crimes.

Having fought their way through Shanghai,  sacking and killing, they embarked on a campaign which showed the world the  nature of Japanese militarism.

Tokyo’s soldiers marched on the Chinese  Nationalist capital, Nanking, killing and burning everything in their path in  the spirit of ‘Bushido’ — the ‘Code of the Warrior’. Their route led them  through Suchow, one of the oldest cities in China, famous for its silk  embroideries, palaces and temples set beside the Tai Hu lake.

On November 19 in heavy rain, Japanese troops  overran Suchow, ‘the Venice of China’, then spent days sacking the city.  Thousands of women were seized to be raped by the conquerors, and most of the  rest of the population fled.

The rape of Nanking: Chinese dead litter the street after Japanese forces stormed the city in 1937The rape of Nanking: Chinese dead litter the street  after Japanese forces stormed the city in 1937

Prince Asaka Yashuhiko, uncle of the Japanese  emperor Hirohito, took personal command of the 50,000-strong army. His men went  on to storm Nanking, overcoming a much larger Chinese garrison. Then an order  was issued systematically to kill thousands of Chinese prisoners, whom the  conquerors despised for accepting defeat, and whom they had no means to  feed.

A Japanese soldier named Azuma wrote: ‘They  all walked in droves, like ants crawling on the ground . . . a herd of ignorant  sheep . . . whispering to each other. It felt quite foolish to think that we had  been fighting to the death against these ignorant slaves, some were even  12-year-old boys’.

On the evening of December 17, 1939, the  Japanese herded thousands of prisoners, their hands bound, to the bank of the  Yangtze river. There, abruptly, Japanese machine-gunners opened fire. Within  minutes, amidst frenzied screams of excitement from the killers, and of terror  and agony from their victims, hundreds of Chinese were thrashing wounded or  dying beside the river.

Massacre: Japanese soldiers bayonet Chinese prisoners in NankingMassacre: Japanese soldiers bayonet Chinese prisoners in  Nanking

Merciless: A Japanese soldier beheads a Chinese prisonerMerciless: A Japanese soldier beheads a Chinese  prisoner

The Japanese conducted their slaughters with  refinements of cruelty that appalled the world, which soon learned of them. In  Nanking, having killed the military prisoners, they turned on the civilian  population.

Corpses were left in heaps outside the city  walls; the river ran red with blood. Soldiers not only bayoneted thousands of  victims, but proudly sent home photographs of themselves with their  victims.

Imai Mastake, a Japanese correspondent,  wrote: ‘On Hsiakwan wharves, there was the dark silhouette of a mountain made of  dead bodies. About 50 to 100 people were toiling there, dragging bodies . . .  into the Yangtze. The bodies dripped blood, some of them still alive and moaning  weakly, their limbs twitching.

Code of the warrior: Japanese officers celebrate in Suchow after their troops had occupied the cityCode of the warrior: Japanese officers celebrate in  Suchow after their troops had occupied the city

‘The labourers were working in total silence,  as in a pantomime. After a while, the coolies had done their job of dragging  corpses, and the soldiers lined them up along the river. Rat-tat-tat machine-gun  fire could be heard. The coolies fell backwards into the river and were  swallowed by the raging currents. The pantomime was over. A Japanese officer  . . . estimated that 20,000 persons had been executed.’

Another correspondent, Yukio Omata, watched  Chinese prisoners meeting their fate at the killing ground of Hsiakwan. ‘Those  in the first row were beheaded, those in the second row were forced to dump the  severed bodies into the river before they themselves were beheaded. The killing  went on non-stop, from morning until night.’

Westerners know all about Japanese atrocities  towards our own soldiers and civilians in World War II, but sometimes forget  that 15 million Chinese died during Japan’s campaigns in their country between  1937 and 1945. Indeed, some Chinese historians claim the total was up to 50  million.

Selective: Japan's twentieth-century history centres around the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (pictured) rather than the atrocities of the Sino-Japanese WarSelective: Japan’s twentieth-century history centres  around the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (pictured) rather than  the atrocities of the Sino-Japanese War


No matter what is the true number, the  Japanese behaved unspeakably towards the people of China, and have never shown  much penitence. While modern Germans are acutely conscious of the crimes of  Hitler, most modern Japanese are oblivious to the crimes of their own  forebears.

Some of their apologists claim Japan has said  sorry for its role in World War II. But a deafening silence persists in Japan’s  schools and universities on the subject, and there are yawning gaps in their  textbooks.

Every Japanese is taught that their country  was the victim of the first atomic bombs. Few know their grandfathers enjoyed  nothing more than chopping off a few Chinese heads. As recently as 2008, the  commander of the Japanese air force, General Toshio Tamogami, published an essay  suggesting that Japan had done nothing to be ashamed of in the war. Tamogami  complained bitterly: ‘Even now, there are many people who think that our  country’s aggression caused unbearable suffering to the countries of  Asia.’

Not so, said the general: ‘We need to realise  that many Asian countries take a positive view of the Greater East Asia War. It  is certainly a false accusation that our country was an aggressor nation.’ Tamogami said that Japan was entitled  by treaty to act as it did in China, and claimed that Korea, during its half  century as a Japanese colony, was ‘prosperous and safe’. He rejected the  verdicts of the Allied tribunals which convicted Japan’s war criminals in 1945  for their barbaric treatment of enemy troops, including Britons.

To be fair, the Tokyo government sacked the  general following furious protests from Beijing. But it remains amazing that one  of Japan’s most senior commanders could make such claims in the 21st  century.

But Tamogami wrote what many Japanese  nationalists think, including some academic historians.

Not only the Chinese government, but also  ordinary people, are enraged when such things are said in Japan, and when  Japanese courts reject lawsuits from Chinese former sex-slaves and forced  labourers.

Few Japanese, too, recognise the enormity of  the atrocities committed by the wartime Japanese Army’s biological warfare  group, Unit 731, for which no one was ever punished. Under its aegis, thousands  of men, women and children — including foreign prisoners — were killed in  gruesome experiments designed to test the limits of the human  body.

Unsurprisingly, there is real popular Chinese  bitterness towards Japan, and it explodes into the open when the Beijing  government highlights such a quarrel as that about the Senkaku  islands.

Whatever are China’s motives, its behaviour  shows a growing willingness to intimidate and bully its neighbours. Nobody is  sure just how far Beijing will press its claims in the East China Sea — perhaps  including China’s rulers themselves.

Their handling of international relations is  often clumsy and brutal. They are still groping, as they explore how best to  exploit their ever-growing power and wealth.

But all this makes China a dangerous nation.  Its neighbours think so: they are clamouring for closer defence ties with the  United States. Japan is installing new U.S. anti-missile radar systems, which  means that the Americans may yet find themselves drawn into the growing  dispute.

China has gone to war in the past to make  good its claims to territory. It is possible that it will do so again.

The Senkakus scarcely feature on a  large-scale map. Yet one day they, or one of the other disputed island groups in  the troubled waters off China, could precipitate a breakdown of global peace — a  crisis that would have fearful implications for us all

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook