Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lawyer Returned to Beijing After Denied Meeting with Jailed Reporter

Mr. Zhou Ze had returned to Beijing after failed to meet his client, the jailed reporter Li Min in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province.

Mr. Zhou, the attorney hired by Li Min's father arrived Taiyuan, accompanied by Li's Uncle. The detention center refused his request to meet Li Min, citing instruction from the D.A. The D.A.'s office, denied they blocked the visit, but refused to talk to the detention center. The duo shuttled between the D.A.'s office and the detention center for two days without getting a clue, until they were suddenly told that another attorney was hired by Li Min, the reporter herself. The other attorney had been granted a visit.

Same trick had been played before in Yang Jia's case. Immediately after Yang Jia was arrested, the Shanghai police kidnapped Yang's mother. A lawyer was allegedly hired by Yang's mother to represent Yang in the trail, while no one knows the whereabouts of her. After Yang Jia was sentenced to death, Yang's mother was released from a police mental facility. On a side note, mental facilities are widely used by local government to jail whistle blowers, as recent publicized case in Shangdong.

Maybe, anyone should rent a safe box in a bank in Switzerland, with a note 'The only lawyer I trust is (fill in the lawyer's name here), and that any words I said after being arrested shall not be seen as my truthful willing'. Maybe, there's just no escape.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 Chinese Internet Events in 2008

  • Fuzhou Marina Affairs Director tried to grab a teenage girl into the man's restroom. When confronted with the girl's parents, Lin threatened the parents when they refused to take his money offer. The entire incident was caught on tape by surveillance camera. Lin was removed from the position.
  • A few foreign websites, such as New York Time and the Wikipedia was unblocked during the Olympic Game in the summer.
  • A local official lost a new appointed position after the information was leaked online. A Nanjing Housing Director was placed under investigation after network pictures showing him wearing luxury watches.
  • Explicit pictures depicting sexual adventures of Hong Kong actor Chen Guanxi with many other actresses were spread online.
  • Concerned citizen used Internet to investigate the motivation led to the slain of Shanghai cops by Beijing resident Yang Jia. One person was arrested after leaking the information that Yang Jia had been wrongfully tortured by the police.
  • Netizens were divided by the authenticity of a photo taken by a peasant of a wild tiger in Shannxi. Citizen Reporting an innovative idea;
  • First Online slander case ruled;
  • Popular new jargons:
    1) Push up
    2) Buying Soy Sauce;
    3) Five Times Better;
    4) To be Suicides;
    5) Very Yellow, Very Violent
  • Duke University freshman Wang Qianyuan was criticized for appearing with Tibet Independent Parade
  • Monday, December 22, 2008

    Great Quality Control

    A blogger and amateur photographer Ke Renchang (Shu Ran) toured the National Stadium (Bird Nest) and was shocked to see the otherwise brand new stadium, the pride of the nation is falling apart, only a few months after hosting the Beijing Olympic Games. Signs and logos are loosing parts, while paved ground are turning into gravel roads.

    This picture showed one of the five characters of 'National Stadium' in Chinese lost parts.

    On the bright side, it demonstrated the great quality control exercised by the Chinese project manager. The stadium sustained the most important political assignment, the whole purpose of its life. Who cares whether it may fall apart after the Olympic show? This was taken only days after the closing ceremony of the summer Olympic.

    Another Olympic stadium, the BUTU stadium, was damaged after a windy night. It may somehow remind you the New Orleans Super Dome after the Katrina, but there's nothing dramatic like that. An otherwise perfect normal windy night in Beijing's winter left the brand new Olympic looking for a roof. The university had banned students talking topic on its BBS.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    An Anatomy of Free Press

    For photojournalism, when you have to take the shot right there and then, there's no skill or preparation can guarantee technical perfection. Photo editor Joe of a local paper portrait in length of a discussion with his colleagues on whether or not it's ethic or professional for a photojournalist to remove red-eye effects with photo editing software. Joe used the opportunity to illustrate the high bar a photojournalist must pass in daily working.

    I had an experience covering a same game with Joe once. That was the first game in the season. At the beginning, the players received a ring from the club. Of course that's one of the photo moment you have to catch. Each ring comes in a small box, which made it difficult to find a good angle to shoot the picture. Joe approached one player, ask him to 'show' him the ring, and took a shot. I noticed John, another photographer on the scene, shook his head in an apparent despise. This begs the real question: how much editing is acceptable?

    There's actually no standard, and most people follows the practice of reputed larger firms, such as NYT. Then who decides the ethics laws at NYT? Recall the famous and iconic scene when Iraqi people pulled down dictator Saddam's statue after the liberation of Baghdad in a celebration. The pictures released by Reuters and AP made it look like thousands of local people joined the celebration, while in reality only dozens of airborne Iraqi Americans exiles took part. In that case, pictures surely did not reflect the fact, but would that (shooting from weird angle and cropping) be considering photo manipulation? In another example, NBC digitally replaced the backdrop of their Evening News, so that the Time Square buildings carries a Toyota logo in place of a real Honda logo (for the sake of argument). Should this be considered digital manipulation? The third strike came recently: court ruled that news agencies produce news as a product, and had lawful right to process the 'news', without no obligation to the truthfulness of it. This was regarding the milk case if you remember.

    See, there's really no real ethic standard in the news media after all. The perceptive meaning of a free media is that the media is free to tell the truth, while in reality, it's that the media is free to make up any story that sells.

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    LA Chinese Baby Auction Case New Twist

    The online attention to the Craig's List Chinese baby trading case was quelled down overnight with a message cross posted all over Internet and major Chinese media claiming that it's a harmless prank. The almost instant response invited more skepticism than answering questions.

    1) Without exception, all of the reports, including those appeared on hundreds of Internet sites and those released by major Chinese news agencies cited the same little known source USA Qiao Bao(notable, there's no reference to the incident on its website as of the time of writing: and repeated the story word by word;
    2) There is absolute zero official reference to this case in English media;
    3) There is no official police statement anywhere from LAPD or FBI;
    4) According to the report, an LAPD police officer Carlos Monterroso told the reporter that the person who posted the message did not violate any law, and no charge would be filed. This simply can not be true. In a high profile United States v. Lori Drew, 2008 case trailed in Los Angeles, Lori Drew was found guilty in three accounts for violating EULA of AOL by posting false information. This is mandated in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030. No LAPD officer can be so unprofessional to the extend to say a federal criminal offense is lawful.

    Therefore, the 'Hoax' report itself must be a hoax.

    First Online Privacy Case Sentenced

    On Dec 29th last year, Jiang Yan jumped from 24th floor of her apartment building in Beijing, exhausted and desperate from her husband Wang Fei's extramarital affair with a co-worker Dong Fang. She arranged her MSN Live blog opened by a friend after her death, which contains a letter along information of her husband and his mistress.

    A 'network mob' was summoned out of anger and websites were set up to curse the husband and his lover. Soon the two were fired, and the husband was diagnosed with depression.

    The case went to trail in Chaoyang Court of Beijing. The man sued websites and won a verdict of RMB Yuan 3,000 ($500) and 5,000 ($800) from two sites, a third site was acquitted because it removed the offending materials in time. The case is significant as it is the first of such in China.

    Reading between lines:

    1) Network media could be held responsible for privacy violations, even though the information is freely accessible online. The MSN LIve Space Blog authored by Jiang Yan, the original source of the allegedly offending information, has never been shut down. MSN was never named in the lawsuit brought by the husband;
    2) Hosting company was not liable as long as they removed the materials posted by its users 'promptly';
    3) The fine, $500 for setting up a special column and leaked private information and $800 for setting up a dedicate website contains private information, is hardly a serious punishment by all means;
    4) The court made a judicial recommendation to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, suggesting a harsher monitoring system on online speech.

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    No Country for Perfect Women

    If you won't move on, you would be moved on. Perfect woman Zhou Huimin (Vivian Chow) released a statement drafted by her boyfriend Ni Zhen (Joe Nieh, aka Joe Ngai, Son of famous fiction writer Ni Kuang) to end their 20 years fairyland relationship.

    41 years old Chow is a perfect woman. She was a red hot top female singer in Hong Kong during the 90s. She also appeared in many movies and TV productions. She published literature in Japanese and English. She is an award winning painter, a champion Ruhr ball player, a professional pianist. Chow is an iconic figure for her charity works, volunteered to be ambassadors of many charity organizations. Chow is also a vocal advocate for animal rights. Besides, Chow has been the princess of Hong Kong, deemed most beautiful throughout the years every since she was exposed to the public almost 30 years ago. Age left little traits in her and she is still one of the most beautiful women in Hong Kong, among actresses who were born 20 years later.

    Chow has magic hands in business too. Only last year, Chow gave Ni a $2 million share of her business. Ni will keep receiving chips from Chow's other businesses. Ni had been known of seeing other women, and Chow had been known for turning her head on the 'rumors'. Just before we heard the two would finally tie the knots, when Ni was caught making out with a young woman. Pictures showing the two kissing were published on newspapers. It was suggested by some that the event was a set up by Ni. Promptly Ni and Chow released two statements. Ni exclaimed that he was so ashamed that he no longer deserved Chow, and Chow stated she agreed to terminate the relationship. Sources suggested that Ni set up the event and drafted both statements.

    A dream girl of millions of men, Vivian was deserted by the one she chose.

    Artist: Brooks And Dunn
    Song: Cowgirls Don't Cry
    Album: Cowboy Town

    Her daddy gave her, her first pony
    Then taught her to ride
    She climbed high in that saddle
    Fell I don't know how many times
    Taught her a lesson that she learned
    Maybe a little too well

    Cowgirls don't cry
    Ride, baby, ride
    lessons in life are going to show you in time
    soon enough your gonna know why
    it's gonna hurt every now and then
    if you fall get back on again
    Cowgirls don't cry

    She grew up
    She got married
    Never was quite right
    She wanted a house, a home and babies
    He started coming home late at night
    She didn't let him see it break her heart
    She didn't let him see her fall apart

    'cause Cowgirls don't cry
    Ride, baby, ride
    lessons in life are goinna' show you in time
    soon enough your gonna know why
    it's gonna hurt every now and then
    if you fall get back on again
    Cowgirls don't cry

    Phone rang early one morning
    Her momma's voice, she'd been crying
    Said it's your daddy, you need to come home
    This is it, I think he's dying
    She laid the phone down by his head
    The last words that he said

    Cowgirl don't cry
    Ride, baby, ride
    Lessons in life show us all in time
    Too soon God lets you know why
    If you fall get right back on
    Good Lord calls everybody home
    Cowgirl don't cry

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Nobody Wants A Crying Baby, For Real!

    I don't like the baby we adopted. (Beverly Hills)
    Reply to: [?]
    Date: 2008-12-15, 8:36AM PST

    Hello. My name is Barbara Stanwick. I need help, my adopted baby isn't what I expected and I don’t like it. Here’s my story…

    Ever since my husband, Don, and I married 22 years ago, I've wanted children. The years passed, and once I turned 45, I knew it was too late for me to conceive. So last year, on my 46th birthday, Don surprised me with adoption papers. It was the greatest day of my life. We were going to adopt a baby! It was from China, but I was still excited (we're very gracious, and wanted to save a baby from the communists)!

    After being on the adoption list for several months we were informed that a child had been selected for us! My anxiety acts up on planes, so Don's assistant, Lauren, retrieved the baby. I was finally going to have my very own child.

    When Lauren walked in, it was swaddled in blankets. I named her Wing, right then and there. A combination of Wang and Ling. I had never been happier, holding little Wing in my arms.

    But it was all downhill from there. I pulled back the blanket from her face and that's when I saw the problem. Not only did Wing NOT look like wanted her to, but she was BALD! I had been given a BALD looking baby! My vertigo hit me like a wall.

    Since then, I have been trying to send Wing back to China, but they won’t take her. I filed a complaint with the adoption agency, but they didn’t accept “bald baby” as a reason for returning it. Wing cries all the time, which makes my migraines act up and I think the cat might be allergic to her as well. If anyone would like to take Wing, even though she's bald, I will either trade or sell her to you. She's not a bad baby, I just think we can find a better one. Thank you for your time. Serious inquiries only.

    From Craig's List (, firstly flagged by a post on XiXiHe through MITBBS. Although the original thread has been removed by the Los Angeles Craig's List, they should still have information regarding the person who posted on the heavy traffic list.

    McDonald's Sanyuan Melamine Baby Killers

    Hebei Sanlu (Three Deers) Dairy Company, a state run enterprise triggered the melamine crisis, changed its name to Sanyuan (Triple Circles) Hebei to avoid compensating victims. Sanyuan is a Beijing based dairy company listed in the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The wholly held subsidiary will start producing next week.

    Sanyuan operates McDonald's franchise in Beijing and Guangzhou. While Sanyuan refused to pay for baby's medical expenses, more are dying at this minute.

    After the scandal was revealed, more than 30,000 infants were hospitalized and had to go through surgery, while tens died.

    The court system across China have thrown out legal complaints against Sanlu, citing government instructions.

    The next burger you eat in McDonald's is dipped with baby blood. Boycott Sanyuan, for your health; Boycott McDonald's, for justice!

    Tianjin Connected to Taiwan

    For the first time in 60 years, ship left Tianjin New Port to Kaohsiung, a southern seaport of Taiwan on Dec 15, 2008. The Dayangzhou (Oceania) is one of the largest container carrier in the world, launched in April 2008, capable of carrying 10,000 standard containers. At the same time, another 68,000 tons containers ship 'New Yantai' is leaving Tianjin for Keelung, a northern seaport of Taiwan.

    The new route connected 63 ports on the mainland to 11 ports in Taiwan directly without going through a third destination as Taiwan's policy used to required. At the same time, air travel and postal service are connected directly from this day. Thanks to treaties signed last month, the island is linked "directly", officially.

    Despite the ongoing economy crisis, Taiwan businesses will invest $3 billion in Tianjin in 22 major joint projects in sectors of electronics, chemical industry and environmental protections. As of October this year, Tianjin has attracted 2,014 Taiwan businesses bringing in an investment of $8 billion.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Reporter Vaporized in Shanxi

    Guan Jian was last seen kidnapped from his hotel room in Taiyuan Shanxi 14 days ago. Mr. Guan Jian is the chief reporter of the 'Wangluobao (Network Daily)'. His assignment in Shanxi was about a real estate company's misconduct in land use. The head of the company is a senior local official. Li Shuanglong, the Assistant to the Chief Editor of Network Daily arrived Taiyuan on Dec 8th to handle the rescue. Local police at the Yingze Bureau refused to register the case.

    Last week, a CCTV reporter was arrested by a D.A. office after she made a report of the corruption of the same office. Last year, a reporter Lan Chengzhang was beaten to death in Shanxi. In a early high profile case, a reporter was sentenced to jail for eight years after reporting a corruption case in Shanxi.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    Reporter Arrested

    A CCTV reporter was arrested at her home in Beijing on Dec 4, 2008, by police from the Xinghualing (Apricot Blossoms Ridge) Justice Department (District Attorney's Office) of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. Being the only officially national TV station, and an arm of the Communism propaganda department, CCTV had been in general immune from legal hassles in the past. As a matter of fact, employees of the three national news agencies, The Xinhua (New China) News, the Renmin Ribao(People's Daily), and the China Central Television State (CCTV), are government officials themselves, and usually of higher ranks than most local officials.

    The reporter, Li Min, produced a report on the D.A. Mr. He Shusheng of the Xinghualing Office of Taiyuan, Shanxi on alleged abuse of power.

    When the arrest was made, the police displayed an authorization file issued by the National Justice Department (National Attorney General Office). CCTV questioned the motives behind the arrest, and publicly refused to collaborate in the legal process. CCTV is a cabinet level agency in the Communism power architecture.

    An Internet Google revealed that while on the post of D.A. of another district (Jiancaoping District of Taiyuan, Shanxi), Mr. He Shusheng was named as one of top 150 corrupted officials in an article "Who is whom, Chinese Corrupted Officials Edition", published in the "Walk in WTO" NO. 4 2002. The court of Mr. He Shusheng's District fined the author of that article $60,000.

    Attorney Zhou Ze of the Beijing Wentian Law Firm will represent Li Min on pro bono. Mr. Zhou Ze is a well known high profile, professional, courageous and passionate warrior in fighting the injustice system. However, his involvement as an political system outsider made the case looking not good. In Chinese legal system, the last thing you need is a good lawyer.

    The Communism regime is like an old damned house, all pieces are so entangled that they dare not touch any piece of rotten woods, otherwise the whole building might just fall down. The top D.A.'s office got out of its way to specify a local D.A.'s office to investigate and investigate a reporter who had alleged wrongdoings of the same D.A. is beyond human sane.

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    Chinese Enjoy More Academic Freedom Under Communist Ruling, Said American Professor Xu

    An "American professor (as the author referred to himself in the article)" of communications published on Chinese national media, saying a professor in the US would have been fired if caught discussing politics in classroom. The article was in response to the public outcry in China when a professor was summoned by the police for discussing politics in classroom. The "American Professor" told the Chinese media that there was nothing wrong for students to inform the police of inappropriate political comments made by professors.

    The "American Professor" is an assistant professor in the School of Communications and Theater of the Temple University in Philadelphia.

    Thank you for the information, Professor Xu. We Chinese learned so much about academic freedom from you!

    信源:中国青年报|编辑:2008-12-03| 网址: 抄送朋友|打印保留

    八阕 学生告教授一点也不荒唐--学术自由不是向学生灌输政治观点

    徐开彬(美国费城天普大学传播学院助理教授)/张鸣先生在28日发了篇文章“如今学生告教授反革命太荒唐”。王晓渔先生也曾于27日发了篇“政法大学里的‘ 以言获罪’”。两文的大意是,华东政法大学杨师群老师在讲课时,批评中国文化,而且语涉政治,被他的学生告了。两人据此认为,这些学生忘记了大学的学术自由这回事,告老师,很没有道理,是要让老师以言获罪。


    比较张鸣、王晓渔与杨老师三者的话,我有一点要质疑的。现在 “反革命”罪早已取消,学生咋会告“反革命”罪的呢?所以我对张鸣先生所说的“反革命”罪深表怀疑,是不是拿这个来博取眼球?而且,连杨老师的原话都没有提“反革命罪”,张鸣用这个词只能涉嫌炒作了。果然,我输入该文章标题一搜索,发现了众多转载,还包括一些政府网站。看来张先生把媒体和网民玩转的很好,不愧是政治系的教授。至于王晓渔先生所说的“以言获罪”,我不赞同,如果要让杨老师以言获罪,那就是公安直接来找杨老师,而轮不到杨老师的院系领导同事来和他谈这个问题了,而且还泄漏具体的缘由。可能就是给杨老师提醒一下吧。感觉三位言重了,自己先吓了自己。









    An Angel Is Waching You

    Zhang, a math major in the 2007 class, knows that he has been being watched. Could it be the girl who has been pretending studying the unnamed plants at the entrance of the building? Could it be the student sitting in the second row have the same page for hours? His mind is only assured that the wary eyes belong to an angel.

    Wuhan Evening News reported on Dec 4th, that Hubei University launched a 'Little Angels Project'. Each student will be drawn randomly to watch another student, and take notes of everything noteworthy. At the end of each month, the notes will be assembled and released with personal identity information stripped.

    Student life administrator You Junqiao told the newspaper, knowing they are being watched, students study harder.

    500 Thousands Leftovers in Beijing

    Five hundred thousands women stepped in the 'leftover' category in Beijing. Still single in mid-thirties, the truth starts to sink in that a male partner may never appear. Researchers have been concerned on the gender disparity due to the one child per family policy. In many rural areas male to female children could be as high as 120:100. It's interesting to see in the end, it's the female who have more difficulties in finding their mates.