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Wukan
Dez 28th, 2016 by Gao

China jails nine over protests in Guangdong “democracy” village (South China Morning Post)

Nine Guangdong villagers have been jail for up to 10 years for taking part in protests in September in a community once seen as a symbol of grass-roots democracy in China.
Villagers in Wukan, 170km northeast of Hong Kong, expressed frustration over the sentencing, which critics said was a warning to others not to stage similar demonstrations.

Wong Lok-to, Ding Wenqi: China Jails Nine Protesters From Guangdong’s Rebel Village of Wukan (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have handed down jail terms of up to 10 years to nine residents of the rebel village of Wukan following months of mass protests earlier in the year.
Wei Yonghan, Yang Jinzhen, Hong Yongzhong, Wu Fang, Zhuang Songkun, Cai Jialin, Li Chulu, Chen Suzhuan, and Zhang Bingchai stood trial on Dec. 17, mostly on a variety of public order charges, former Wukan resident Zhuang Liehong told RFA.
They were handed prison sentences in on Monday ranging from two to 10 years, he said.
Prosecutors said fellow protester Zhang Bingchai had „published false information via WeChat and manufactured rumors, which had a deleterious effect in the community.“
Wei Yonghan and Yang Jinzhen were found guilty of „organizing and inciting the villagers of Wukan to attend illegal meetings, demonstrations.“
Wei was also convicted of inciting villagers and „other members of the public“ to confrontation with police, throwing stones and bricks at them, and injuring police officers on duty.
Meanwhile, protesters Li Chulu, Cai Jialin, and Zhuang Songkun „rode their motorcycles to intercept passing vehicles, causing serious disruption to traffic,“ according to an indictment notice issued by the Haifeng District People’s Court, which tried them.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, David Bandurski: From Diamond Village to Wukan (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Protests broke out again in Wukan a couple of months ago after the democratically elected leader of the village, Lin Zulian, was jailed for corruption. He made a public confession on Chinese state television. When the villagers staged more protests in response to what all signs point to as a spurious prosecution and a forced public confession, riot police moved in, arresting villagers. Anxious to avoid a repeat of events in 2011, the authorities were also far more aggressive in dealing with foreign journalists trying to cover the story. I think this was retribution, four years delayed, against the village of Wukan for an experiment many Communist Party leaders surely saw as a dangerous precedent.
This experiment was, in my view, doomed from the start. How could the elected leaders possibly hope to resolve these land issues when leaders at every level over their heads had been complicit, and not only hoped their experiment would fail but had a clear interest in seeing land deals of this kind continue? The Financial Times reported in 2011 that 40 percent of local government revenue in this part of Guangdong came from land financing, basically the sale of cheap village land to property developers. In many cities, the percentage is even higher, and the incentive to take village land for profit is a huge driver of the kinds of cases of abuse and resistance I document.

Qiao Long, Zhuang Liehong: ‚We Called on Trump For Justice in Wukan‘ (Radio Free Asia)
Rammie Chui, Zoe Lai: Behind the scenes: The mainland journalist who writes about China’s human rights (Hong Kong Free Press)

Vatikan | Wukan | Ai Weiwei und Liao Yiwu | Hongkong
Sep 12th, 2016 by Gao

Emanuele Scimia: Possible Sino-Vatican entente will raise a diplomatic storm over Taiwan (Asia Times)

Taiwanese Vice President Chen Chien-jen says Taipei remains an indispensable ally of the Roman Church after his recent trip to the Vatican. But Vatican is moving closer to Beijing and if it decides to cut diplomatic ties with Taipei, small countries in Latin America, Africa and Oceania that maintain formal relations with the island nation might decide to switch to China. The Roman Church will then have to reshape its relationship with Taiwan on a non-diplomatic basis. This will lead to deterioration of the current cross-strait status quo…
Recent news from Hong Kong and Italy, as well as official overtures from Beijing, hint at the possible finalization of an agreement between the Chinese leadership and the Apostolic See that would allow Pope Francis to ordain, with some limitations, bishops in China.

Kevin Lui: Anti-Establishment Hong Kong Legislator Flees Home After Receiving Death Threats (Time)

On Sunday, he received the highest number of votes in the democratically elected half of Hong Kong’s legislature.
But now, Eddie Chu — dubbed the “king of votes” after receiving 84,121 votes in the territory’s Legislative Council election, the most among all candidates running in the five geographical constituencies — has moved out of his home, fearing for the safety of himself and his family.

Wong Lok-to, Yang Fan, Luisetta Mudie: China’s Rebel Village Protests Jailing of Its Former Leader For ‚Bribery‘ (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have jailed the head of a grassroots democracy movement on „bribery“ charges after he planned to relaunch a campaign of petitioning over his village’s lost farmland.
Lin Zuluan, former ruling Chinese Communist Party secretary for Guangdong’s rebel village of Wukan, was handed a 37-month jail term and a U.S.$60,000 fine after a court in Foshan city found him guilty of taking bribes and of other charges…
Lin admitted taking bribes in a televised „confession,“ but few in Wukan believed it to be genuine, as the authorities had also prevented him from meeting with lawyers hired by his family to defend him.

Jörg Hänztschel: Ai Weiwei: “All I ask for is a normal life” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Everybody was surprised by the news that you were allowed to travel. Just recently hundreds of human rights lawyers were detained in China.
Yes, there are some cases where the authorities act quite totalitarian. But it’s very different from when I was detained. Today, when they detain you, they come with arrest orders. Courts decide what kind of treatment these people will get. They follow procedures. And if there is not enough proof they release you. The tactics are not as unlawful as a few years ago. Of course the police have the right to arrest you if they think you’re suspicious. Although I think this is also used as a tactic to control these people.
Still, it looked like the dawn of a new era of repression.
The reason is the anti-corruption campaign by president Xi Jinping. That creates a lot of tension, so they want to make sure they don’t lose control. If they see any sign of unrest they do whatever it takes to stop it. By the way: The anti-corruption campaign was very necessary. It was completely rotten. It was a urgent step to clean up this huge mess.

Angela Köckritz, Miao Zhang: „Kein Grund zu weinen“ / 没有理由去哭 / “There’s no point crying” (Zeit)

Der chinesische Künstler Ai Weiwei hat seine Regierung stets stark kritisiert. Jetzt klingt er plötzlich anders.

Ian Johnson: ‘I Try to Talk Less’: A Conversation with Ai Weiwei and Liao Yiwu (New York Review of Books)

In late July, Chinese authorities renewed travel privileges for conceptual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, ending a five-year prohibition following his arrest in 2011. He promptly flew to Munich and then Berlin, where he has accepted a three-year guest professorship at the city’s University of the Arts.
After arriving in Germany, Ai gave two interviews that aroused some controversy, telling the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit that repression in China is bad but not as bad as in the past—defensible positions, especially if comparing today’s China to the Cultural Revolution or the period immediately after the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, but still surprising to some who had come to expect extremely pointed and uncompromising statements from Ai.

中国国际航空访问伦敦提示引发愤怒反应(BBC)

中国国际航空公司(Air China)警告旅客在访问伦敦“有些印巴聚集区和黑人聚集区”时要多加小心,在伦敦引起轩然大波。
这家航空公司在自己的空中月刊《中国之翼》中提示,“到伦敦旅行很安全,但有些印巴聚集区和黑人聚集区相对较乱。夜晚最好不要单独出行,女士应该尽量结伴而行。”

Matthew Weaver: Air China magazine condemned over ‚racist‘ guide to London (Guardian)

MPs have urged China’s UK ambassador to intervene in a row over racist comments reportedly issued by a Chinese airline about ethnic minority areas of London.
An image of text from an inflight Air China magazine posted on social media prompted outrage after it warned passengers that “precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people”.

Korea | Inselstreit
Jun 27th, 2016 by Gao

Johnny Erling: Nordkorea: Kim provoziert mit Doppelraketentest

Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong-un schlug zum richtigen Zeitpunkt gleich doppelt zu. Den UN-Sanktionen zum Trotz forderte er wieder einmal alle Welt heraus – mit zwei Raketentests kurz hintereinander, und das, obwohl die Vereinten Nationen solche Tests seinem Land verboten haben. … Kim befahl den ersten Test nach Angaben der südkoreanischen Nachrichtenagentur Yonhap Mittwochfrüh um 5.58 Uhr. Er ließ eine Mittelstreckenrakete vom Typ Musudan von der Ostküste Nordkoreas abschießen. US- und südkoreanisches Militär sehen in ihr eine potenzielle Trägerwaffe, die künftig mit einem Atomsprengkopf bestückt werden könnte. Mit einer Reichweite von 3000 bis 4000 Kilometern erreicht sie angeblich jeden Punkt in Japan und bedroht auch US-Stellungen auf Guam und in Alaska. …
Südkoreas Verteidigungsbehörden nannten den Test „misslungen“. Das Geschoß sei 150 Kilometer vom Start entfernt ins Meer gestürzt. Seit April ist es der inzwischen fünfte Fehlschlag in Folge. Doch um 8.05 Uhr zündete Nordkorea eine zweite Musudan. Sie soll laut Yonhap rund 400 Kilometer weit gekommen sein.

Justin McCurry: North Korea: UN security council ‚to meet‘ after missile tests (Guardian)

The missiles are usually test-fired at a flatter angle to maximise their range, according to Jeffrey Lewis at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California. “That suggests the missile worked perfectly,” he said. “Had it been fired at its normal angle, it would have flown to its full range.”…
It was not immediately clear whether Pyongyang considered the second Musudan launch a success or failure, or how the flight ended.

Pepe Escobar: Beijing goes mobile in the South China Sea (RT)

Not a day goes by without some sort of turmoil in the South China Sea. Let’s cut to the chase: war is not about to break out.

Scenarios of the Coming Crisis: A Response to Aufheben’s “The Crisis: Afterword” (Chuang)

In China, official politics is a game of arcane signals. Predicting tectonic shifts in policy requires that one read the seismic shudders buried beneath terse statements issued by poker-faced officials. Slight changes in terminology may hint at sliding allegiances or new waves of repression. The most significant signals, however, take the form of interviews with anonymous oracles—almost always an “authoritative person”—their words propagated by the state’s highest media organs without attribution. The more such oracles speak, the greater the magnitude of the coming “intervention.” Such proclamations also often signal internal disagreements within the seemingly monolithic Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With the slowing of economic growth, such disagreements have been exacerbated, as the top leadership debates the future of the economic reforms that have led China into a commanding role within global circuits of capital accumulation.

Qiao Long, Wong Lok-to, Luisetta Mudie: Chinese Blogger Who Compiled Protest Data Missing, Believed Detained (Radio Free Asia)

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