Two more men have been hanged, under a system where death row prisoners are not told of their execution until hours before
During the third plenary session of the Chinese Communist Partyâs (CCP) 18th National Congress, it was announced that a state security committee would be established, mainly to deal with the various domestic challenges China is facing.
@ International Human Rights Education Conference last week
- Conference Attendee: Excuse me ...
- Conference Assistant: Yes sir, how can I help you.
- Conference Attendee: Well, my back hurts ...
- Conference Assistant: Yes?
- Conference Attendee: So, can you shine my shoes for me?
- Conference Assistant: Okay
Klaus Bardenhagen: I had the chance to ask Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou a question about the human rights situation in Taiwan. Watch his answer in this video.
Taipei Times cartoon depicting China with axe in hand extolling how much happier East Turkestan and Tibet are owing to the unprecedented freedoms he has brought them, whilst the bodies of the occupied nations lie on the ground and their souls of human-rights and self determination slowly fly away.
The most ridiculous aspect of the signing of the pact is the very different ways in which the two sides approached the talks. Taiwan was using the WTO framework, conducting the negotiations according to the principle of trade equality, while Beijing was focused entirely on how the talks could further its unification agenda.
How the two sides managed to carve out an agreement coming from such fundamentally different positions was quite a feat, but carve one out they did.
It would be naive to think that economic talks so transparently political in their goal would be undertaken as economic negotiations throughout.
Cross-strait ties have improved dramatically over the past five years. Peace and prosperity are now the shared hope of people in Taiwan and the mainland. However, a gap in the quality of human rights protections on the two sides has long impeded efforts to lessen the feeling of “otherness” between people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Even so, I do believe that this feeling can be gradually reduced through cross-strait interaction and dialogue on the subject of human rights.
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou in comments commemorating the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
My first two questions here are: Who is making efforts to ‘lessen the feeling of otherness between people in the two sides of the Taiwan Strait’ and Why would they see this as necessary or a priority? Bonus questions include: If China’s human rights were to magically fall in line with Taiwan’s does Ma believe that Taiwanese would suddenly feel that Chinese were their ‘tongbao’ (rather than ‘other’ or ‘special neighbour foreigner’), or does he just feel that that his goal of annexing Taiwan into China would become more politically feasible and viable in the short to medium term? Is Ma also concerned with lessening the feeling of otherness between Taiwanese and other close neighbours such as the Filipinos or Japanese and if not why not?
My feeling here is that Ma has been unusually explicit in expounding on a core goal of his - which is to unify Taiwanese and Chinese political identity through cultural, economic and educational policy. In other words, Ma regards a Taiwanese national identity as an anathema - a false consciousness that threatens to surplant or replace the Republic of China national identity his party imported and assimilated the Taiwanese into, at gun point, in 1949.
Ma regards a Taiwanese national identity, separate from a Chinese national identity (and here we are talking a specifically political identity codified into citizenship), as a form of insurrection and disloyalty to the Chinese race. His remarks above indicate that he is motivated by a desire to quash and expunge this Taiwanese national identity regardless of the wishes of the Taiwanese people who, ironically, elected him as President of a nation separate from China on the basis that they enjoy and wish to retain self-governance and national sovereignty. That Ma would use the Presidency to carry out such an agenda is an ironic betrayal.
Chinese police have refused to release an activist who was detained days after protesting against officials’ failure to tackle child abuse.
Officials say Ye Haiyan intentionally injured three women in a fight and insist the case is nothing to do with her demonstration. But supporters believe the case is retaliation for her campaigning and Ye said prior to her detention that people had stormed into her home and beaten her in front of her child, leaving only when she grabbed a knife. She believed they were sent by local authorities.
Ye, a well known campaigner, was one of several people who protested outside government offices in Wanning, Hainan province, over the case of a headmaster and official accused of raping schoolgirls.
A photograph showing her holding up a sign reading: “Principal, call me if you want to get a room. Leave the pupils alone,” inspired hundreds of others, who posted images of themselves with the same message online.
Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “The whole thing looks like a set-up so they could detain her for 15 days.”
He added: “There is a history of using proxies to unlawfully assault human rights defenders. There is a long history of lawyers or activists being attacked by ‘thugs’ or ‘gangsters’ in fact acting at the behest of the government.
"She is the victim here: she was attacked and she documented what was happening. If police have convincing evidence showing otherwise they should come forward with it. The fact she is now detained seems to be a transparent ploy to silence her on the issue of sexual assault of school children."