Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 Chinese Internet Events in 2011

  • Detail account information of more than 600 million users of CSDN was released for download in December. Other sites Tianya, Renren, Kaixin and Weibo were followed. It is notable that all password are in plain characters without any form of encryption. It is suggested websites store plain password information because of censorship regulations.
  • Sina Weibo started 'real-ID' in major cities.
  • A young woman Guo Meimei showed off her luxury belongings on the Internet. She also claimed to be a manager with the Chinese Red Cross. The online community were outraged and many vowed never to donate a penny to the Red Cross.
  • Jobs' death was censored in China, after people raised the question, why China did not have such figures.
  • Chinese knock-off of Paypal, a division of Yahoo, was transferred to a domestic holders group, without go-ahead from Yahoo, citing national security concerns (VIE).
  • Pro-democratic netizens made numerous high profile attempts to visit blind lawyer, who was jailed in his own house in Dongshigu Village in Shandong.
  • The Chinese knock-off of Twitter, Sina Weibo, has become the de facto news media of the time. With over 300 million registered users, celebrates such as actress Yao Chen have as many as 15 million followers.
  • The bullet-train accident on July 28 ignited anger among Netizens.
  • School bus accidents in many places further saddened the online community, especially when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a donation of school buses as foreign aids.
  • Many Chinese Internet companies went IPO in overseas stock markets.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chinese Police BBQ Cats on Street

A group of Chinese police officers were seen barbecuing cats on road side. A reporter of the Southern Metropolitan took this photo on 12/21/2011, in front of the office building of the Patrol Unit of the Hongmei Police Bureau in Dongguan City of Guangdong Province.

An undercover reporter was dispatched after alerted by residents nearby. The officers told the reporter they caught the cat a moment ago. 20 minutes later, they walked in the police office building with the cooked cat.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chinese American Solider Died in Hands of American Soldiers

Pvt. Danny Chen was found dead in October in Afghanistan, with a gunshot wound believed to be self-inflicted. Evidences were found that Chen had been subjected to physical abuse and ethnic slurs by others in his unit. American soldiers dragged him across the floor, threw stones at the back of his head, forced him to hold liquid in his mouth while upside down. Danny Chen was born and raised in Lower Manhattan, New York.

Asian-American community activists have been pleading the army to create 'an atmosphere in which Asian-Americans feel safe'. However, hazing towards Asian soldiers were wide spread beyond the Army.

Danny Chen was but one of numerous Chinese victims in the US military. Some reported, more might not be. Lance Cpl. Harry Lew was hazed by his fellow Marines, and found dead on April 3. The world wouldn't have known how Lew died, had not one other soldier came forward to tell the truth. Lew's parents were informed by the USMC that Harry Lew was killed the battlefield, quote 'supporting combat operations' unquote. Harry Lew was born and raised in Santa Clara, California.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Court with no Brain

The US Supreme Court is reviewing a case which will decide whether a medical diagnostic method is patent-able.

Skipping to the point, sadly, it looks the court will go that path.

The Seagull is particularly disappointed by Justice Kagan's clueless comments in the court hearing, when she advised lawyers of one side, 'What you haven't done is say at a certain number you should use a certain treatment, at another number you should use another treatment.'

The argument at issue is Prometheus 'invented' a method to help doctors determine a proper dosage for a patient. The idea is straightforward: test the blood to see how much of a drug is present. It is alike a doctor order a patient to stop taking a medicine when the pain is gone, or stop taking another medicine when the body temperature back to 97.5 degrees.

Justice Kagan's comments went all the way to make people wonder the education quality of the colleges she had attended. Or perhaps the Supreme Court should conduct an IQ test before accept the next member.

Would someone patent 97.5 to make a profit, so that other doctors with less means could no longer mention that magic number? It's not a presumptive question, because similar numbers, such as particular protein structure, had already been granted patents by the US Patent Office. However, we have long known as a fact that the USPTO were filled with monkeys, no we learned about the Supreme Court.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Let it snow

Beijing welcomed the first major now of the year. The picture shows a soldier standing still on his post on the Tian'anmen Square.

While many admired his tense and strong posture, for some it is a mere reminder of the People's Library Army's role in the Tian'anmen Square Massacre on June 4th in 1989. The tough soldier is not guarding the people, nor the nation. He is guarding the communist party.

Striking visible is the fire extinguisher, which had been a standard issue for guards of key positions. So many people set themselves to fire to protest the injustice they suffered, and Tian'anmen Square had became a top choice because of the constant media attention it entitles.

There would not be a fire extinguisher ready in places less visible to media scrutiny. As a matter of fact, local officials often order killing or sometimes public execution to 'show an example' to the people. In Zhengzhou of Henan Province, TV aired a video showing officials ordered a bulldozer to run over residents protesting a demolish project (which later showed as illegal). When one resident was run over, the police blocked other residents to save the woman, until her death hours later. In Fuzhou of Jiangxi Province, another illegal demolishing operation sponsored by the local government, Family of Zhong was determined to protect their house with their lives. When the government's bulldozers came, they set themselves on fire. Again the officials on the scene ordered no one should rescue them, and many cameras (some belong to varied government agencies involved, many from other residents living nearby) recorded two people burning, jumping, rolling in pain, until they could not move and how police blocked other residents who tried to come close to help. The 50 years old mother died at the scene. Her 30 years old daughter was badly burned.

In the Fuzhou Zhong family case, one remaining family member was able to get away from police detention (she was charged of obstructing police operation when she tried to put off fire on her mother and sister), and barracked herself in a restroom when the police finally caught up with her in an airport. She was planning to go to Tian'anmen Square to set herself to fire to protest. She was able to send a few micro-blogs (Twits), and thanks to online community, numerous persons acted immediately and probably including some with connections to power, she was promised an investigation from higher-up.

The investigation confirmed the wrongdoings of the local officials. Two commending officers of the Yihuang County, County Party Boss Qiu Jianguo and County Mayor Su Jianguo, were removed from their posts in September 2010 in a high profile manner. The Central Government once again stated no violence should be used in evictions and demolitions.

Last week, Xinhua news reported the two officials were all assigned to new (higher) posts. Qiu Jianguo was promoted to the Director of Development of Fuzhou Prefecture, Su Jianguo was promoted to Director of Public Transportation.

A Good Kid, Sun Yue

Sun Yue, a four years old girl, looked at the reporter with an alert eye.  She was afraid the reporter came to adopt her from her parents.  Her parents had been talking many times to give her to someone else, so that she could have a better life.  Yue does not want to leave them, because 'who will take care of you if I am not here?'

Yue lives with her parents in a remote village named Bajiazi Tun(Eight Family Hub) about 100 kilometers from Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.  Both of Yue's parents are disabled and constraint to lying on the bed whole day.  The mother, Zhan Juan, got severe arthritis after fishing in cold water for years.  The father, Sun Yuemin, was hit by a construction site accident in June, and paralyzed from chest down.

The reporter found some coal bricks donated by some volunteers the previous day (after Yue's story made news).  Two bags of potato are the only vegetables for the whole family through the winter.  The room is icy cold, nor surprisingly in a house made by mud.  There is no table, not even a chair.  Her pants are torn with holes, and she was still wearing sandals in -17 Celsius weather.

Yue was the only one in the family that can got off the bed.  Four years old Yue's daily routine includes making fire, cooking, washing clothes, feeding her parents, attending her parents.  Since the father's accident, the couple had been discussing giving little Yue to some other people so that she can live a child's life.  Yue refused, 'who will take care of you if I am not here?'  After the conversation, Yue is feared whenever she sees strangers in the house, as she is afraid he may adopt her to another family.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Power of Education

While US higher education institutions are struggling between the moral of not be evil and the money they can collect from training public officials of regimes in the world, one argument is often cited, at least it is one way of applying influence.  Certainly, it is not the case for University of New Haven on a student name Li Qun from China.

Li was named one of the most notoriously brutal communist official who is responsible for hundreds of thousands of death enforcing family planning policy in China as the top official and Party Boss of Linyi, and then Qingdao City.  Most recently, he is identified as the one who is behind the torture of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

Li was a student in the University of New Haven's public administration program back in 2000, and also served as a special aid to mayor John DeStefano Jr.  He wrote a popular book 'handshaking with a US Mayor' after returning to China.

Not to mention that most the 9/11 terrorists were trained in the US aviation schools before they piloted planes to hit major US targets.

Li's US background made him a shining star in the Chinese bureaucratic system.  Evidently that did not change a bit of his beliefs, and he did not even blink before pulling triggers on another innocent Chinese.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A System Failure

The UC Davis incident was the second time in recent history of higher education, when administrators and faculty alike place their self interests ahead of their students'.

A few years back, when an rouge prosecutor falsely change the majority of the Lacrosse team of Duke University, the reaction from the faculty and the administration was overwhelmingly blinded support to the D.A.  If only they had one eye half open, they could have found the D.A. had not even talked to the alleged victim, not even once through out the entire process.  The charges were totally fabricated with the only purpose to win his re-election.  Faculty and school administration grossly failed their students, but I haven't heard anyone to come out apologize in person.

Ms. Katehi is a liar.  People can see that because in order to save her own job, she has been coming to the national TV multiple times a day to update her accounts of the incident, with different theories each time.  While a few brave sole called for her resignation, the majority of the Davis faculty showed indifference.  The UC system president Yudof confirmed Ms. Katehi had his confidence' after over 75,000 people signed a pledge to ask for her removal.

As Steven Thompson put it at the UCDFA's site:

We have forgotten the role of the educational administrator: to set the tone of admiration that comes with the privilege of the position for the future generations committed to learning under our model for leadership.

What we all learn in the university experience from Chancellor Katehi’s refusal to resign is that money changes everything, so get it. Pride trumps accountability, so have it. And no matter how much the world hates you for your obvious failure at leadership, wealth and intimate connections will help you retain your dictatorial stance no matter how ugly you look to the rest of the world for the rest of your life. Chalk up academe’s Casey Anthony.

It is a system wide failure in the entire US higher education system, echoing a switch of goals from educating/enlightening to professional/job training.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Email from Chancellor Katehi

To UC Davis Campus Community,

I am writing to tell you about events that occurred Friday afternoon at UC Davis relating to a group of protestors who chose to set up an encampment on the quad Thursday as part of a week of peaceful demonstrations on our campus that coincided with many other occupy movements at universities throughout the country.

The group did not respond to requests from administration and campus police to comply with campus rules that exist to protect the health and safety of our campus community. The group was informed in writing this morning that the encampment violated regulations designed to protect the health and safety of students, staff and faculty. The group was further informed that if they did not dismantle the encampment, it would have to be removed.

Following our requests, several of the group chose to dismantle their tents this afternoon and we are grateful for their actions. However a number of protestors refused our warning, offering us no option but to ask the police to assist in their removal. We are saddened to report that during this activity, 10 protestors were arrested and pepper spray was used. We will be reviewing the details of the incident.

We appreciate and strongly defend the rights of all our students, faculty and staff to robust and respectful dialogue as a fundamental tenet of our great academic institution. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our entire campus community, including the parents who have entrusted their students to us, to ensure that all can live, learn and work in a safe and secure environment. We were aware that some of those involved in the recent demonstrations on campus were not members of the UC Davis community and this required us to be even more vigilant about the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We take this responsibility very seriously.

While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful tone of the demonstrations during the week, the encampment raised serious health and safety concerns, and the resources required to supervise this encampment could not be sustained, especially in these very tight economic times when our resources must support our core academic mission.

We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.

We appreciate the substantive dialogue the students have begun here on campus as part of this week.s activities, and we want to offer appropriate opportunities to express opinions, advance the discussion and suggest solutions as part of the time-honored university tradition. We invite our entire campus community to consider the topics related to the occupy movement you would like to discuss and we pledge to work with you to develop a series of discussion forums throughout our campus.

I ask all members of the campus community for their support in ensuring a safe environment for all members of our campus community. We hope you will actively support us in accomplishing this objective.

Linda P.B. Katehi

Monday, November 21, 2011

Go Now Katehi

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi rejected calling for her to resign, because 'I really feel confident at this point the university needs me.' Katehi went on national TV, 'there are so many critical issues to be addressed and we really need to start the healing and move forward'.

Friday's peppery spraying peaceful students sitting in the quad demonstrated failure of leadership as the top official of a university. Her endorsement of obvious police brutality against students under her care even after the viral video flooded the Internet showed lack of judgment as an administrator. Her continuing floundering in pointing fingers elsewhere proved there was no moral value whatsoever on that body.

With 50,0000 signatures within 2 days over the weekend calling for her resignation and she still 'really feel confident', you can only wonder where does she come from?

Ms. Katehi was emerging from a national scandal at University of Illinois when she was picked for the Chancellor job at UC Davis. Her job offer should have been rescinded at that point.

Ms. Katehi put UC Davis in an international disgrace, but she has the courage clinging on her job. What are you, Ms. Katehi? Where are you from?

Ms. Katehi, you are a shame of an educator, and a shame of human being.

What language do you speak? Does it recognize a five letter word, "shame"? Or, here is an easier one, Gee..Ou..., Go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chancellor Katehi not all of the problem, but she must go

When asked about the calling for her resignation, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi replied that she did not violate any institutional policies, therefore she would not step down after video showed passive sitting students sprayed by campus police in their faces. Faculty member at the scene observed that for those refused to open their mouths, police pried open their mouths and then sadistically sprayed down their throats, all while a group of a few (a dozen to be precise) students were sitting still on the ground of the quad area at UC Davis.

Based on the videos now viral online at YouTube as well as many other websites, it is clear that those few students in protesting were not a threat to any one, in the least to the police officers in full riot gears, in Robocop costume as described by one bystander. In the video, police officers who were applying sprays were walking in a casual, if not joyful, manner, up and down and back and force around and above the sitting students. It is obvious to viewers that the pepper spray was used as a punishment. Through the entire process, students did not resist, or even move their bodies or fingers. They were sitting there, armed linked, when police officers spray on their faces. And they did not move when they were arrested one by one.

Many viewers of these videos were outraged, and called for termination of the police officer, Lt Pike of the UC Davis Police Department. As a matter of fact, a 9th Circuit ruling (276 F.3d 1125) in 2002 clearly outlawed police use of pepper spray against non-violent protesters.

However, law enforcing experts hold different opinions after carefully examining the same video. For example, Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department's use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a "compliance tool" that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters. Baltimore is not subject to California State Law, and is not covered by 9th Circuit in federal justice system. That being said, Kelly also was able to point out at least two instances when he found the student protesters where not 'passive'. In one case, a girl pull back her arm when police officers grabbed her. In another case, a boy curved himself into a ball on the ground. By police book, both warrant higher level of aggressive tactics (than pepper spray). In other words, by police standard, UC Davis police demonstrated not only high level of professionalism, but also great self-restraint even after being provoked.

At this time, it worth to review the video a few more times, to check out the two cases pointed out by Kelly. The trouble is, the Seagull, or any reasonable viewer would still have a difficult time to recognize any 'non-passive' movement of gesture of those sitting students, even after the hints, clues and helpful finger-pointing.

The discrepancy between the public and the police's view illustrated a bigger problem, as many referred to as a consequence of militarization of urban police, a topic with deeper implications.

Chancellor Katehi was trapped in her own media room on campus after a press conference late Saturday. Ms. Katehi refused to step down, as she 'did not violate any institutional policies', then refused to step outside the building, possibly felt threatened by her own students, whom she sent riot police in to get rid of from the campus the day before. Students did not threaten her by any means, they just sit in darkness on their own campus, three blocks long along the side of walkways between the media room and Ms. Katehi's SUV, in 'eerily silence'. When Ms. Katehi finally collected her courage to walk the walk, no sound could be heard, not even a cough.

Anyone who thinks she can continuously lead the campus must be blind.

As pointed out by the letter from the Davis Faculty Association, Ms. Katehi should have foreseen the brutality when she sent in the riot police on students.

Police were trained and reinforced daily on the belief that they were fighting the worse criminals in the world, thus must act accordingly. It is the same rational that you do not send in soldiers on civil matters as a soldiers' first instinct would be to pull the trigger. You can blame them, but you can't expect them not to be 'trigger-happy' because that was how they has been trained on daily basis. Ms. Katehi's decision to use riot police against students under her care was a loss of judgment and 'gross failure of leadership'. Therefore, she must go.

Ms. Katehi is a liar. Even after the video went viral, in an email to the entire campus, she insisted police action was necessary 'make the campus safe for everyone'. Any conscientious sole who have had a glance of the video would beg to differ, as reflected by the international outcry in the days to come. Ms. Katehi has a bigger problem than lying in public, which is her lack of integrity and her ingeniously lack of caring to students, a mandate for any person in the education field. Ms. Katehi may be an excellent researcher or politician, but she is not meant to be an educator.

UC Davis Pepper Spray

The Seagull was so disgusted by the UC Davis incident when police officers walked to a few students who quietly sat in the quad area in protest and started spray on them.

From the calm and measured faces and paces, in a sharp contract to the students who dodge their heads in between their legs but otherwise sitting still through out the entire process, the Seagull had no doubt that had these officers given an order to shoot they would not even blink.

The Seagull will never forgive soldiers who opened fire at students in Tian'anmen Square in the early morning of June 4th, 1989. However, the incident at UC Davis showed those soldiers were not the only evils in this world.

The UC Davis police chief later claimed the police was 'cut off' and 'threatened'. With so many videos posted on Youtube, everybody could see by their own eyes whether any police was cut off or threatened in any way by any measure.

It is an even chilling moment when the UC Davis Chancellor Linda PB Katehi brushed it off, in response to the videos, as 'questions about how best to handle situations like this'. In an email to the campus, Ms. Katehi wrote: 'We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.'

Shame on you police, shame on you Ms. Katehi, shame on you University of California.

And watch it again, check out that smirk on his face, when University of California at Davis police officer Lt. John Pike performed his job. According to Assistant Professor Nathan Brown who was at the scene, police then pried open students' mouth with baton, then ejected pepper spray down their throats.

Professor Brown called for Ms. Katehi's resignation. A petition can be signed here.

The incident on campus at U C Davis made all the arguments of democracy pointless, when ordinary people in China see peaceful students being treated this way in the US.

Michael T. Richter says:

I am an educator in a Chinese college. I have been teaching in Chinese colleges and universities for the past decade. In that decade, deep in the heart of one of the most brutal police states in the world, I have never, not even once, seen brutality from university and civil authorities that comes even close to what I saw from UCB and UCD in recent days.

I say this with a very strong observational foundation, I might add. In the year 2003, in the first institute I taught in (Jiujiang Institute,, there was a full-fledged student riot—complete with massive property damage (a several hundred metre section of the school’s outer wall was torn down)—over restrictions placed on student movement during the SARS crisis. I was able to witness first-hand how the school’s authorities reacted. Despite being a well-connected official in one of the most brutally authoritarian states in the world, the president of the university went out, facing personal danger (students threw a variety of objects from their dormitory windows at him including filled thermos bottles), to *negotiate* with the students. The riots were brought back under control, tempers were cooled and the crisis brought to an end, get this, without the use of guns, chemicals, batons or even policemen.

Congratulations, America, you have actually managed to surpass China’s brutality—and make no mistake, the Chinese government is a collection of brutal thugs!—in this sphere.

I hope you’re proud.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Slip of the Tongue - Jon Huntsman

Former Governor of Utah and US's last Ambassador to China, spoke about how US can catch up in its manufacturing sector in a presidential candidates debate at Wofford College of South Carolina.

As in all presidential candidates debate, bashing China is always a cheap shot to gain applause from the audience. Mitt Romney stated the US was in the middle of an undeclared war with China, therefore the US should 'stand up' to China as if in a real war. Rick Perry proclaimed China would end up in the ash heap of history. While obviously pressured by hard line comments made by peers, Huntsman threw out what he perceived as the right way to 'take down' China: reaching out to allies in China, the youth and the Internet users. After they take down China, the US will have a chance to raise up its own economics and in particular manufacturing sector.

So all the 'reaching out' shown by the former Ambassador (as well as those by the current Ambassador Gary Locke) are not meant for friendship or promoting value of democracy?

A slip of the tongue, or a moment of truth?

Transcript from CBS News, Scott Pelley is one of the two hosts of the debate:

Jon Huntsman: Well, the re-- reality's a little different as it usually is when you're on the ground. And I've tried to figure this out for 30 years of my career. First of all, I don't think, Mitt, you can take-- China to the W.T.O. on currency-related issues. Second, I-- I don't know that this country needs a trade war with China. Who does it hurt? Our small businesses in South Carolina, our exporters-- our agriculture producers.

We don't need that at a time when China is about to embark on a generational position. So what should we be doing? We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China. They're called the young people. They're called the internet generation. There are 500 million internet users in China.

Scott Pelley: And Governor, we're going to have to--

Jon Huntsman: And 80 million bloggers. And they are bringing about change, the likes of which is gonna take China down.

Scott Pelley: We're gonna have to leave it there, Governor.

Jon Huntsman: While we have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic--

Scott Pelley: Governor--

Jon Huntsman: --manufacturing muscles. That's all I wanna do as president.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Chinese Law Enforcement Officers Enforcing the Law

A surveillance video camera caught a scene when two Chinese law enforcement officers gave a hotel front desk girl a lesson. youtube, and youtube (same, just in case first one removed by CCP)

One officer of the Law Enforcing Bureau called in to book a room. The officer was annoyed when the girl started taking down his information, because 'everyone should know me'. "I will be there in a minute", he said, and a few minutes later, he came in to beat the girl with stationary, computer screen and chairs. Then more officers rushed in, joining him to fist, kick the girl.

When asked by reporters, the Central Propaganda Department of the CCP responded that there had been worse cases happened in the US.

The video was leaked out recently, though dated 4/20/2011. The incident happened in Hekou District of Dongying City of Shandong Province. After the video went viral on the Internet, one of the officers, Mr. Zhang Zongguo received a warning by the local CCP (DongHeGuang CCP 2011-4). And that was the end of the story.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Chinese search engine Baidu bragged about its 'Testing on Toilet' Knock-off

The official Chinese search engine Baidu bragged about its 'Testing on Toilet (TOTT)' project, where intriguing thoughts or projects were posted in the bathroom for employees to 'digest, an idea piloted by Google about 5 years ago.

Well, they might be too used to copying & pasting in their cubicles, that couldn't help to do the same when releasing themselves, as revealed by this Biadu TOTT dated 10/12/2011. Notice the Google logo at the bottom right corner.

Although Baidu, as the official search provider endorsed by the Chinese propaganda department, dominant Chinese Internet search market and had chased Google out of mainland China, boasting its 'secure' searching algorithm that could filter out any information not favored by the Communists Party, its technical capability ran into a major embarrassment when Google shut down its own 'sensitive words' filter after getting afoul with the Chinese authority and instantaneously Baidu's search results were populated with forbidden topics such as the Massacre at Tian'anmen Square in 1989. It is evident that for all the time, Baidu's 'advanced' searching product had been piggybacking on Google.

source via solid_dot

Second Village Head Publicly Executed

65 years old You Ji'an was elected the head of village of Foguang (Buddha Aura), You Township, Xinhua County, Loudi Prefecture, Hunan Province.

You's body was found in the Zi River 100 miles away after he was last seen in the government building of Xinhua County, where You went to visit the County Party Chief after obtaining a correspondence [No. 201101120270] from the National People's Congress. Surveillance video showed a motionless You was carried out by six guards in the middle of nights and inserted into the truck of a car with license plate XiangKF9x53. The car belong to the commanding officer of the guards, Mr. Yang Haidan.

Police argued You was still alive although not moving at the time, although a medical examination showed broken bones and bruise inside skull. Police stated You was released somewhere away from the government building, and suggested You must fell the river accidentally by himself.

You was considered a troublemaker, because he often helped villagers in their petitions to higher authorities.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Most Polluted Cities in China

The 20 most polluted cities (PM10) in China in the first half of year 2011 are:

  1. Lanzhou, Gansu
  2. Urmqi, Xinjiang
  3. Xi'an, Shannxi
  4. Chifeng, Inner Mongolia
  5. Hefi, Anhui
  6. Yan'an, Shannxi
  7. Xining, Qinghai
  8. Beijing
  9. Yangzhou, Jiangsu
  10. Lianyungang, Jiangsu
  11. Nanjing, Jiangsu
  12. Jinan, Shandong
  13. Chengdu, Sichuan
  14. Harbin, Heilongjiang
  15. Wenzhou, Zhejiang
  16. Huzhou, Zhejiang
  17. Jining, Shandong
  18. Zhengzhou, Henan
  19. Ningbo, Zhejiang
  20. Yinchuan, Ningxia

As any numbers coming out of mainland China, the number should be swallowed with a grain of salt. Economically developed eastern provinces such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang probably are more confident in releasing more realistic data; and cities within a same province are likely peer-pressured to fix its data to the positive direction.

PM10 is considered an old, obsoleted method of measuring air quality because it ignores small particles in the air, which are the major health concerns. However, the Chinese government did not provide and pragmatically forbid study of smaller pollutants.

The US Embassy in Beijing set up an instrument in its back yard, and release data automatically through Twitter. The reading often went off roof, with 'crazy' (quoted literally from Embassy brief) numbers such as 570. At this time of writing, the figure is 257 and 307 'Hazardous', read from two sensors MetOne BAM 1020 and Echotech EC9810, according to the Twitter account. One interesting observation after studying the Embassy Twitter data is that the worst readings usually came around 1:00 am after midnight, where there were fewest cars on the road. Residents believe it was caused by factories who secretly release chemical waste in the middle of night.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Students Need a Bridge

While many bridges-to-nowhere are being built within and beyond mainland China boundary, a bridge has been urgently called for years. Students in Maji Village of Fugong County, Nujiang Prefecture of Yunnan Province have been commuting across the Nujian River like this every day for years. More than a dozen children fell in the river and many lost their lives in each and every year.

While pictures like these had shocked the nation in multiple occasions, whenever some tourists posted them online, the government of the Fugong Country had insisted that it had no money to build a bridge, being a national level poverty county. It is estimated by the government that CNY 400,000 (USD $60,000) would be needed to build the bridge.

The excuse was recently challenged by a reporter Gao Tianjun of Xinhua News, who revealed that the county Party chief bought himself an Audi with over CNY 700,000 government money. Gao questioned, why couldn't the Party chief use a less luxury car, and save some government money for the bridge.

People say, China is ruled by nine blinded men.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Last Class for Migrant Workers' Children in Beijing

Students were comforting each other with hugs after they learned their school would be shut down by the Beijing Municipal authority to drive them out of the capital city.

The principle of East-Dam Experimental School in Chaoyang District was the only person who knew the school was shutting down on Oct 21, 2001. The school has resisted the pressure from government to close for months. Students, teachers and volunteering parents blocked the entrance with human shield to stop the government bulldozer and police.

The Beijing municipal government had long seen millions migrant workers a burden to the capital city. Their cheap labor is welcomed and well received, but they are not allowed to stay or bring their children. Migrant workers were told to leave their children and elders at their original residence place, not an option for many that both parents were in Beijing. Migrant workers' children were not allowed to attend public schools in Beijing. Migrant workers and individual charities set up dozens of affordable schools to provide education for these kids. Now the government wants to shut down these school to drive the kids out of the city.

After a public outcry, even from local residents for this obvious social injustice, the Beijing government promised to absorb all migrant kids into local public schools. However, it set up a bar with paperwork so high that few could qualify. For the few who actually qualify, they were plainly denied with no reason given.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We Took Linyi

Linyi had been conquered, claimed at least by two individuals on the weibo, Chinese knock-off of Twitter. Details not known yet, but the two successfully get into the village of East Shigu, where blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng had been jailed in his own house. They were not able to enter Chen's house, which was guarded by more than 900 police and thugs hired by the government 24 hours. They were the first visitors who were able to sneak in and out without being beaten by police.

At this time of writing, 63 teams of 5 or more are on their way to Linyi to rescue Chen. This is a moment that will go into history books. In previous 2 years, many rounds of rescues had been folded by local police with brutal force. Rescuers had been robbed, beaten and some jailed too.

Chen, a free man, was locked inside his own house unlawfully by the government, because he spoke out for victims of forced abortions (130,000 in Linyi Prefecture alone).

In a recent incident, on 10/12/2011 in the Central Medical Center of Lijin County, Dongying Prefecture, Shandong Province, a six-month pregnant woman was visiting her O.B. when police rush in to performed a forced abortion, with NO MEDICAL PERSONNEL present. The woman was found dead six hours later by her family, lying on a table alone around 10:00 that night.

Simply Incomprehensible

The absurdity of the CCP's ruling can only be surpassed by itself.

A Chinese fighter-bomber JH-7 'Flying Leopard' crashed when performing in the 2011 China Xi'an International Air & Space Exhibition. One pilot was believed dead, another one was seriously injured. The PLAAF issued a statement that no military airplane took part in the performance. It would be a surprised, since not every one is allowed to own/operate an actively advanced fighter in today's China. However, the real shocking news came 24 hours after the accident, and 12 hours after one of the key mothpieces of the Central Propaganda Department, the CCTV played the video footage of the crash, the other mouthpiece the People's Daily denied the crash, citing reports from overseas media. The newspaper reported although there had been an in air issue with mechanical problem, the JH-7 landed normally and both pilots were safe.

A Shanghai resident was beaten to death at his home in Shanghai by local election officials two days ago on Oct 12, 2011. Hang Hongqi of 650-1, Jingyuan Rd, Hongqiao, Jiading District, Shanghai was beaten to death when he refused to sign the election ballots delivered by officials.

Oversea High School a Hoax

The Seagull reported a China sponsored charter school in California turned out a hoax, possibility fraud.

Although extensively carried by Chinese media, notable the official Xinhua News, and cheered as an iconic step in extending China's soft influence to the US, no reference in English other than from the allegedly founding organization Chemax Education Foundation can be found. The 'Opening Ceremony' was held in a country club, and the brochure was about another school in construction, Hillcrest High School, a regular school. Mike Simonson, executive director of business services of the Alvord Unified School Board in the Riverside County clarified there was no agreement nor talk in progress regarding the purported Chinese school, 'it is not true, it is fraud'. Simonson stressed in an email that there had been no partnership in written or in verbal.

A more in-depth report

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In Searching for Legitimacy

It appears the Communists Party of China is lost in its searching for ruling legitimacy.

Evidently, the 'Communists' roots was deemed inappropriate. The 45 anniversary of Mao's death was passed without a single word of mentioning in any state controlled media. Actually, any attempt that may reference to the Mao's past has been cracked down as brutally, as in the case of any democratic movement.

Last year, a statue of Confucius was quietly erected in the Tian'anmen Square. While the nation, mostly those in alignment with the Party cheering for the gesture to recognize the saint 2500 years old, the statue was removed quietly in one ordinary night.

The CCP stunted the nation again, when in an unprecedented memorial gathering of the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, attended by every top level officials in Beijing, President Hu Jintao personally announced the CCP was 'the most loyal beneficiary' of Dr. Sun Yet-sen. Five days later, Sun's humongous portrait was removed from the Tian'aanmen Square on the day of the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.

The issue, probably, is that every possible candidates who potentially qualify as a spiritual legacy that the Party can hang on must also have emphasized moral and value that run into conflicts with the Party's practice.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chen Guancheng

Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer, is a blind man, born 1971. The Chen family, Chen, his wife Yuan and his daughter kesi, lives in East-Shigu Village, Yinan County, Linyi Prefecture, Shangdong Province, about 300 miles from Beijing.

A person of 'Light' and 'Sincere' (the two Chinese characters of his name Guang-Cheng), Chen was not new in Irking communists leaders in Shandong. 1996, Chen's petition ended the local policy of taxing people with disabilities, as it was ruled out in a national law enacted in 1991. Also, in 1998 Chen's petition stopped local government from double taxing farmers' land. However, the crime he had committed was exposing government brutality in the exercising of the One Child Per Family policy. Chen was jailed four years from 2006 to 2010. Chen was released from the prison in September, 2010. Chen returned to his home in Linyi, Shangdong. After that, nobody has been able to visit him, or speak to him over the phone.

The village Chen lived was remodeled into a jail. The villagers he once helped had been lured into living-in guards. 900 people, including 300 government employees and 600 villagers had been placed on the payroll of a task force to isolate Chen from the outside world. The villagers were paid CNY 160 ($20) a day for monitoring Chen. CNY 500 for each visitor they capture.

The only connection between Chen and the outside world is his mother, who is allowed to bringing in food to his house. His daughter, 7 years old Kesi Chen was not allowed to go to school. No paper or stationary was allowed to pass in the house, so Chen can not even home-school his daughter. Hundreds of surveillance cameras had been installed pointing to Chen's house from every angle possible. Flush lighting converts nights to days. Cell phone signals was jammed, too.

Chen's village, has earned a spacial statues, that you must visit to claim legitimacy in the moral high-land. Waves of activists, reporters, intelligentsia and other groups had attempted to visit Chen, who is legally a free man with no string attached whatsoever. Nobody has been able to accomplish that mission. More recently, a Xinhua News reporter traveled in personal capacity to the village, only to be robbed, beaten, and thrown out like a dog. His taxi was stopped at a check point near the village by traffic police. Then was led by the police to a yard, where local villagers robbed him, and jailed him for days before set him free in another town. The reporter has since been suspended by the Xinhua News.

Chen was not an anti-government, or anti-Communism, or even an activist on all account. He was not against existing law nor government policy, in particular, not against the One Child per Family policy. The only thing he did that was not in alignment with the Party was that he tried to expose those wrongdoings in the enforcing this police by local government officials.

It's not that nobody from upper up hasn't heard of the incident. Chen's situation had not only enraged Chinese, but had drawn attention from almost every corner of the world, and remained the hot topic on every negotiation tables the central government sat by in the world. British Foreign Secretary expressed concern over Chen's trail in 2006. In 2007, 34 US senators wrote to President Hu himself to express their willing to see Chen's release. Earlier this year on the eve of President Hu Jintao's State Visit to the US, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly renewed her commitment to see Chen's free. July, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved an amendment to Appropriation Bill of 2012 calling for the release of Chen.

Reflecting on Chen's experiences, it seems the Communists Party showed more toleration on policy issues, than on personal accountability, even when it was about the accountability of the lowest ranking agents. The common traits between the Communists Party and a mafia is that they valued loyalty the most. The difference between the two is that the CCP does not hold any principle. The Seagull is curious on how long can a mafia hang on street smart, without any principle.

20 more people from all over the country who do not know each other just signed up on the sina-weibo, the knocked-off edition of Tweeter that is allowed to operate in China, to visit the village today. They are in the age range from 17 to 69. They knew what would they be facing, but they felt it was nothing in comparison to what Chen has been suffering. They felt if their visit/mistreatment by police can bring one more thread of light on this unbelievable situation, and leads to its final resolution, it would be well worth it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Guangdong Experimental High School in the USA

Guangdong Experimental High School traces its root to the 1872 preparation school for US studies, where 100 Chinese learned English before embracing their journeys in colleges and universities across the US, the first batch of Chinese students in the US.

Last week, a brand new school in Riverside, California celebrated completion of campus. According to Xinhua News, the charter school is funded by the Federal Government and the Chemax Education Foundation. It is most likely not true, as the Federal Government does not usually have a direct involvement in local education.

Among expected 1,300 enrollment, 90% will be from local while 10% coming overseas. In the first class, 180-220 will come from overseas, with 10 from China. The tuition for international students will bee 20% cheaper than private schools in the area.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Laowai Said Bomb Russia

Well, not really.

But you would never know where is the bottom line of Commies. Back then when a Chinese (mainland) fishing boat was detained by the Japanese near the disputed Diaoyu Islands area, the communists government kept their head down. There had been some heated discussions online regarding what to do.

Some argued since historically Diaoyu Islands fell in the authority of Taiwan provincial government before it was taken away by Japan, Taiwan should take care of Chinese fishermen's interest there. And then they came up with a better idea, when Taiwan's navy confront the Japanese navy, it would be a good time for the mainland to attack Taiwan.

You will have to wonder what kind of education of values did these young men go through. Look no further then their elementary textbook, where the story was told about how King Xiang of Song ( -657 B.C.) lost a battle to Kingdom Qi. While King Xiang insisted on follow noble protocol, Chairman Mao mocked him as of moral and value of a stupid pig.

A Protege of a Communist is No Better

Lu Binhua is a specialist at the a hair salon 'Windsor's Love' in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province. Her house in her hometown Hanyang, Hubei Province was bulldozed by local officials against their resistance and without going through legal procedures. Lu announced that she would not serve any officials.

She would ask the question, 'do you work in a government agency' before serving a client. If the answer is yes, she will then ask the client to go to the next specialist. When some of her co-workers argued that not all of persons working in a government agency officials, Lu responded, 'a protégé of an official is no better'.

source via @Daya9.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Twelve Chinese Universities Ranked in ESI Citations

Twelve Chinese Universities were ranked top according to the Essential Science Indicators (ESI).
  • 181 Beijing University, Beijing
  • 219 Qinghua University, Beijing
  • 241 Zhejiang University, Hanghzou
  • 291 University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei
  • 302 Fudan University, Shanghai
  • 307 Shanghai Communications University, Shanghai
  • 325 Nanjing University, Nanjing
  • 418 Sun Yet-sen University, Guangzhou
  • 495 Shangdong University, Jinan
  • 635 Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
  • 657 Lanzhou University, Lanzhou
  • 774 Beijing Normal University, Beijing
  • Korean Celebrated Japan's Monster Earthquake

    Koreans displayed a banner at the Quade-Final game of the Asian Football Confederation Champions League, when they hosted the Japanese team of Cerezo Osaka. The banner said "Congratulations on Japan's Monster Earthquake!". The banner was written in Japanese.

    With that said, the Korean team Jeonbuk Hyndai Moters FC won the game 6:1. The game took place earlier today at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, South Korea.

    No Child Trafficking in Hunan

    Today another investigation of the Shao Orphans incident was concluded by the Hunan Communist Party. "No Child Trafficking Operation Was Found", concluded the task force.

    Twelve Party members were expelled from the Party, but no fault was found of the government operation.

    Not sure when was this round of investigation started, and who was involved. There had been several official investigations launched by the local government after the scandal was broken out by oversea medias. Most recently, the New York Times carried the story on September 18, 2011. All previous investigations concluded no fault committed by any person or government agency.

    The newest conclusion followed the suit of previous in denying any wrong doing of the more than dozens provincial government agencies of wrong doings, and insisting that no law had been broken. However, the statement did not answer questions such as why the orphanage documented those children as 'someone left at the front door of the orphanage', rather than 'delivered by the police' as how it took place; also why social agencies fabricated a different set of identification for those children so that they could be marketed as 'orphans'. In a layman's eyes, it's obvious some laws must have been broken by someone, unless it's in an absolute lawless country.

    Students Arrested in New York for Cheating SAT

    A college student and six high school students were arrested for cheating in SAT. The college student allegedly sat in for high school students at a pre-arranged price in the past year.

    A freshman at the University of Michigan, Sam Eshaghoff was arraigned on charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records. The high school students were charged with misdemeanor.

    After teachers at Eshaghoff's alma mater Great Neck North High School of Great Lake heard of rumor that some of their students hired another person to take SAT exam, which was scheduled off campus, they pull out all students' academic record, and compared with SAT scores. The six stood out with the largest discrepancies.

    Cheating in the national exam personally guaranteed a death sentence in ancient time, while a fraud committed by the monitor usually lead to elimination of entire family. It was cruel. However, after the Communists took over the power, it went the other direction to the extreme, that defrauding a national exam became part of the local government routines. While officials when pushed to corners by reporters also cited there was no way to punish cheaters, they could learn from this case.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Sex Slave Story Questioned

    Days ago a 'sex slave' story shocked the Chinese Internet, when reporter Ji Xuguang called for backup on micro-blog when he was investigating a thread of women jailed underground in Luoyang of Henan Province. Ji managed to smuggle out the city in a car driven by his brother in law, armed with a rusty knife. After he reached a safe place, he told the following story as he heard of:

    An enforcement officer in the Luoyang Quality Monitoring Bureau, Li Hao, a Communist Party member, dug a rabbit hole under a residential building, where he lured and jailed six young women for sexual pleasure in a duration as long as two years. One of the sex slaves was able to alert the police when she was brought out on a nightly trip to a sexual client. Police captured Li and rescued four girls. Two girls had been killed on separate incident last year and a few months ago.

    An representative of the Party Committee of Luoyang contacted reporter Ji, accusing him of 'leaking national secret'. Ji had to abruptly halted his investigation and fled with help of the online community.

    After national media reported the story as told by reporter Ji, Luoyang Party Committee announced a decision to expel Officer Li from the Party.

    While the Luoyang Party Committee asked people to move forward, some reporters are curious on which part of the story amounts to 'national secrets'. It is really a horrible case, but horrible cases are committed by individuals at anytime at very corners of the world. What made this case a particular 'national secret'?

    Chen Zhengta, lawyer and law professor of the Shenzhen University, summarized some of the questions and posted in online:

    1. The rabbit hole is actually a two room suite with bedding, furniture and kitchen, accessed from a tunnel with finished passages completed by stairs, hand rails, lightening, etc. This is unlikely a single person's night work without alerting neighbors in an apartment building. Many of the accommodation seems to be unnecessary for jail room. The building sits next to the local police station, within an apartment complex. How could six adult women live in hole for two years and still presentable (as Li took them out to sex clients)? What about water and sewer? How did he moved furniture into the suite?
    2. The suite was equipped with Internet connection. And the girls were given laptops for entertainment. Why didn't they ask for help online?
    3. Why didn't the slaves rebel? It's not too difficult to kill one master, with the housing items (cooking knife, computer wires, etc.).
    4. The underground project was connected to room purchased by Li two years ago, but the slaves had also been there for 2 years. How fast can Li dig a 'hole' like that?
    5. All four girls has been under detainment since they were 'rescued'. Would any of them be allowed to talk?
    6. After the exposure of the case, Luoyang police combed through the city for sex trade. Is it an effort to silence potential persons with information?

    With the information learned after the exposure of the case, a more convincing plot pointed to an underground prostitution camp run by the city officials, linked to sexual bribery. Li could not have done all of these by himself, and the girls might not be 'slaves', while those involved might be from much higher-up.

    'That' might be the 'national secret' the Luoyang Party Committee tried to cover.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Unexpected Accident Hit Shanghai Subway

    July 23, on bullet train rear-ended the other, unknown number of passengers perished. While the focus of investigation was the signal system ATP, which gave green light even when there was another train occupying the same segment of rail right ahead, it was revealed that many subway systems, including the Shanghai Subway used the same signal system. The authority attributes the cause of accident to lightning strike, vowed to keep an eye on weather, but refused to examine the signal system. The Central Propaganda Department issued an memo to forbid mentioning the subway signals. One Beijing reporter posted the memo to a micro-blog was suspended.

    July 29, a Shanghai subway train traveled to the opposite direction for no reason. The authority blamed on the signal system, but guaranteed that Shanghai's subway carts (might head-on, but) would never rear-end, at the time when people's memory of the bullet train accident was still fresh.

    September 26, A Shanghai subway train rear-ended the other around noon, more than 260 injured. The accident duplicated the bullet train accident train to every detail. The ATP signal system failed for unknown reason (no lightning strike underground). The Subway company used manual control, and lost count of trains and their whereabouts.

    The official national TV station CCTV did not see it worth a word in its Evening News.

    Same signal system was used by the No. 1 and No. 2 lines of Subway in Tehran, Iran. Was that project sponsored by the CIA?

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    'Irvine 11' Sentenced

    Muslim students who disrupted an on campus pro-Israel political speech by shouting questions were found guilty of 'conspiracy to disrupt a public speech' and 'disrupting a public speech'.

    All sides cited academic freedom as an argument. The Muslim community see it a right to criticize, the pro-Israel group sees the crackdown valuable to allow an invited speaker deliver a message. The prosecution argued the shouting-down amounts to censorship.

    Professor Jarret Lovell of Cal State Fullerton finds the verdict surprising, as he believes the campus of a university should be kept a ground of trail and error.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Foreigners Set Up Container School for Poor Beijing Kids

    While the Beijing government is cracking down on low-cost schools in an effort to drive poor people out of the capital city, Compassion for Migrant Children (CMC), a charitable organization combining foreign and local volunteers, set up an after school park, with a name 'the container school', just outside the 5th Highway Ring of Beijing in a village 'Heiqiao (Black Bridge)' for the poor kids free of charge.

    Kids from poor families usually don't have anywhere to go after school because their parents were working hard making living. Now they have a place to work on their homework, or safely play.

    9th Grader Suicide on Textbook Fees

    A middle school student in Chongqing killed herself, after she couldn't pay a CNY 250 ($40) textbook fee. The student is from a poor family. The school is the Shanghe Middle School in Chongqing.

    The city of Chongqing, one of four municipals along Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, was reported to had spent CNY 270 billion ($45 billion) on a campaign to 'Sing Red Songs' in 3 years since Bo Xilai was named the Party Boss. People in Chongqing sing red songs in over 104,000 dedicated events, totaling 80 million headcounts. Everyone must participate, and they sing the red songs (revolutionary fighting songs) to other places, including tours in top theaters in Beijing. As Beijing is the official capital city of the country, Chongqing is often referred to as the 'Red Capital' due to its red song singing campaign.

    If only some of the money could be used towards middle school textbook.

    One Hundred and One Dalmatians

    The plot was familiar, a pretty woman stole a lovely dog, but the story took place in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
    The dog belongs to Handing Pet Club of Shanghai. The government run Hanghzou TV, under the propaganda department, borrowed it for a pet program. Then the TV station refused to return it. When the pet shop owner, a businessman from Taiwan asked for the dog, he was told the TV station already produced a new set of identification papers for the dog. Now the dog is officially belong to a producer of the program. The owner posted the original contract and all communications in written and oral forms. All proved the program 'borrowed' the dog. The owner filed a complaint to the police, but police refused to take actions, citing the new ID papers.
    And this is exactly the same trick played by the Family Planning Agencies in Shaoyang, Hunan Province. They took away children from farm families by force, in name of cracking down violations of family planning policy. Many of the children take away were 'legal' first child. But when they put together proper document, they were told the children were already sold to the US for adoption with another set of ID (to prove they are orphans).
    Shao Orphans and Hangzhou dog are all victim of communist government. And they were all made known because of final stage of their journey. Shao Orphans were sold to the US by the government. The dog ended in a young, beautiful woman's house. Shaoyang government claimed not responsible because the children were already in the US. Hangzhou government claimed not responsible as the dog now belong to the producer, not the government propaganda TV.

    The woman's name is Ai Jing, born Oct 20, 1987; educated in the Great Britain. Of course the incident caught public attention, thanks to her good looking. Oh well.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Shame of a Nation

    Second graders of the Yanshang Elementary School do not have their own classroom. The rented farm barn cost CNY 400 per year. Yanshang Elementary School is in Kunzhai Township of Nayong County in Guizhou Province. Lucky them, the school had been picked by a number of charity organizations, as well as the provincial government as a model site for free lunch. Before, most 274 students could not afford to pack lunch. For many families, a bowl of rice can only be found at dinner table on the New Year's Eve.
    A lunch cost CNY 2.3 ($0.40) but it's so much for the kids. Some even took their young siblings to share one dish. Hangzhou Charity Union's free lunch project received CNY 1.12 million donations in a week. A group-buy website sold 30 thousands lunch donations at CNY 2.3 a piece in 2 days. The free lunch project was organized by a local charity 'Love Nayong'. The first meal was made ready on April 14. Premier Wen Jiabao announced in August that the central government would pick up the bill to provide free lunch for poor students across the country.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    11 tourists fell into water, two still missing in Chongqing

    The title is a faithful duplication of the official Xinhua News: 11 people fell into water after the collision. Nine had been rescued, while 2 were still missing. The spokesperson of the Rail Ministry, Mr. Wang Yongping, said, ".. whether you believe it or not...well, I did."

    The accident happened earlier today, near downtown of Chongqing Municipal, the largest city in China (by population), watched by thousands of people in daylight. The dining tour boat capsized and submerged entirely in less than 5 seconds (video).

    Look at the first photo, and count how many heads do you see. Perhaps, the official Xinhua News reporter was a crazy mathematician with one finger missing. She counted, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 1, 2, 3, ......

    And now you know why Flickr, PBase, etc. were all blocked in China.

    Chinese Numbers

  • Between 1999-2003, the average crime rate of the general population in mainland China is 2.5 per 1000. The number for government employee is 5; for employee of the justice system is 15.
  • The ratio of family income to housing price: US (1:3), Japan (1:4), Singapore (1:5), Sydney (1:8.5), NYC (1:7.9), China (1:25), Beijing (1:40).
  • State run enterprises employed 8% of labor, but represent 55% of the wages.
  • Poverty population reached 250 million, based on the UN guideline of 'blow $1.25 per day'.
  • The ratio of public officials through Chinese history: Han (200 B.C. - 200 A.D.) 1:7500, Tang (618 - 697) 1:2927, Yuan (1271-1368) 1:2613, Ming (1368-1644) 1:2299, Qing (1644-1912) 1: 911, Communist China (1949- ) 38.
  • Government operational cost: China 25.6%, India 6.3%, US 3.4%, Japan 2.8%.
  • Expenses on Education and Health: China 3.8%, India 19.7%, US 21.5%, Japan 23.3%
  • Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Whistle Blower's Parents Harassed by Shanxi Police

    It started as a traffic dispute, but ended as the confrontation of the Justice System and the people.

    In the evening of September 6, near the entrance of a residential community, two young men driving a BMW (with no license plate) and an Audi (plate number Jin O 00888) brutally beaten up a young couple and their 5 years old child on a traffic dispute. The duo taunted witnesses to call 110 (the Chinese system of 911). The story went online 2 days later when it was revealed one of the young men, Li Tianyi, was son of a known singer General Li Shuangjiang. General Li is a singer, but hold the rank equivalent to a three star general. In his modified BMW, there was also an M4A1 carbine and a gate tag for the Chinese Congress.

    General Li soon apologized on TV, but his handling of the incident was criticized by the media, because 1) He stationed uniformed troops to the hospital to block media access to the victim. The media questioned whether that is a good use of tax payers' money; 2) Li Tianyi was released after a brief detainment by the police because he was only 15 years old. Public record showed Li was 18 this year; 3) The PLA runs numerous entertaining groups under its propaganda arm. Many of the singers hold ranks equivalent to generals; some hold military ranks. The public questions why PLA has to keep this 'tradition' of guerrilla warfare time.

    The entire incident took a sharp turn when the public's attention turned to the other young man, Mr. Su Nan, who was driving an Audi with a licence tag Jin (Shanxi) O (police) 00888. The tag itself is an indication of privilege, and it always reserved to the most powerful officials. Su told the local police that he was son of Mr. Su Hao, Deputy Police Chief of Shanxi Province and Police Chief of Taiyuan (the capital city of Shanxi). When it's clear the incident has grown to a national event, Shanxi Police issued a press release that Mr. Su Hao has nothing to do with Mr. Su Nan. Mysteriously, the released was withdrawn only hours later.

    Beijing based reporter Li Jianjun found Su Nan was a natural son of Su Hao. These created a serious issue for Mr. Su Hao, because according to the Family Planning Act, public officials could not have second child. By the Act, Mr. Su would be fired.

    Mr. Su threatened Li that he would hire Professor Wang Jijun, the Dean of Shanxi University Law School, to file a lawsuit. Wang has a track record of heavy hand prosecution. He was named a 'Heavy Hand Hero' by the Shanxi Government in 1985. Li welcomes the move to settle the case in the court, and refused to bow down.

    On September 13, a group of gangsters attacked Li's parents' house in Pingyao County of Jinzhong Prefecture of Shanxi Province. The gangsters broke into the house by force and threatened Li's wife, child and parents. After Li's family called police, Shanxi Police detained Li's father and brother.

    Reporter Li's phone was tapped by police, before he realized. He called two persons, one is a manger in his previous employer, a news agency in Shanxi, the other is a contact with information of Su's unlawful involvement in controlling local coal mines. Both were harassed by police immediately after the phone conversation.

    You would not see it as a nation-wide coordinated operation, while Sina (SINA @NASDAQ) and Tencent (700 @HKG), the two largest Internet providers in China, removed Li's accounts, and wiped all of his blogs and tweets at the same time. It is a sign that the order must have been handed down from much higher levels than provincial police.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    A forgotten accident

    64 people lost their lives when a ferry sunk near a sand filed in Shaoyang, Hunan Province on September 9, 2011. The same area where children were taken away by government agencies to be sold to adoptive families for profit.

    The ferry was certified to a capacity of 30, but carried more than 100 passengers, mostly local middle school students going home on the Moon Festival vacation.

    Official Xinhua News reported the death toll as 8, later revised to 11. Numerous sources and photos from the scene showed bodies of dozens, and a body count of 64. Nobody knows how many were on the boat, so 64 is only a lower bound.

    Unlike the bullet train accident, the ferry tragedy did not raise much attention online. It was already forgotten two days later.

    Thursday, September 08, 2011

    Gridlock in Beijing Tonight

    It has been gridlock in Beijing tonight, because it's time again to bribe the government officials. The Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) give people a good excuse to visit government officials to pass the season's greetings...with bags of cash, etc. The otherwise traditional festival is on August 15 of the lunar calendar. It fell on September 12 this year.

    Imagine that! The entire capital city would be sitting on stand still traffic for 5 days, all because of all the government officials busy taking bribe at the same time.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2011

    South Korea Online Censorship

    Professor K.S. Park was one of three members appointed by the opposition party of South Korea to the national Internet Censoring body Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC). An anti-censorship and free speech advocate, Park opposes most of the decisions made by the commission, a nine members body controlled by the ruling party. This week, Professor Park found his own blog on the roll of secret removal list to be considered by his own commission. KCSC cleans up the Internet on the South Korean government's like at the pace of removing close to 10,000 URLs a month. Park, using his blog, discusses legal implications and social impact of some removed contents he deems valuable.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a public letter to the KCSC expressing its concern, and pointed out 'no healthy democracy is possible where free speech is not tolerated'.

    People of South Korea should count their blessing that, in the least, there are someone who argues for their online rights to accessing 'valuable expressive historical, political and artistic' contents. On the contrary, in China, domestic Internet contents providers were all aligned themselves with the government, with no exception at all. Even foreign companies such as Yahoo and Cisco, who do not operate within China's borders, thus not subject to Chinese laws, volunteered to work with the government, in many cases, at the life cost of their customers.

    High-tech companies have an genuine interest in free flow of knowledge and information. With the talent as large as the Chinese, Chinese high-tech companies lagged behind their western counterparts at least a decade or more, a remarkable phenomena.

    Similarly, in China, the farmers suffered the most under the national policy leaning towards cities. However, they were the group that seemed to be never complaining. Human rights activists are by and large comprised of intelligentsia, elites and political/economical privileged in the city. So they see the pain of farmers, and hate to see it, but it's not something they must loose their sleep over. This partially explains the overwhelming anti-government sentiment online, but overwhelming stability in real life in China.

    Should we say, real victims never complains? This observation send an interesting to the regime, and and repressive regimes: do them harder!

    Tuesday, September 06, 2011

    I Want Go To School!

    "I want Go To School" was an official slogan of the 'Project Hope'. For over 20 years, schools were set up, and many children poor sponsored to go to school on private donations. If you are confused how come the No. 2 economic body in the world must rely on private donations for public education, you have to understand how the government income were allocated. Education and Health combined took less than 4% of the GDP. As a matter of fact, that's a clear violation to the education act passed many years ago, which mandates a 4% expenses on education. Even though China appeared a mighty military monster in neighbor's eyes, as a matter of fact, more money are spent in domestic suppression of human rights activists than on national defense. The bulk chuck of money goes to officials' cars, oversea trips and banquets.

    A months ago, just days before the begin of the new semester, China's cities are driving migrant workers' children out of city limit in an coordinate op. In Beijing alone, 35 schools for low income migrant workers' children were shutdown and more than 14,000 children lost school. Reporters dug out an interview with Mr. Liu Limin, then Beijing Municipal Education Chief, now Deputy Minister of Education Department, who said in front of camera that people should not pay too much attention to low income children's need for school.

    It is already a disgrace that the government not willing to spent a dime on citizen's education, but set up an official to collect private donations to build elementary schools. Amazingly, the government somehow deemed the education system in China was good enough, that they decided to use that money collected through 'Project Hope' to build schools in Africa. Believe it or not, most African countries had far better school system built than those in China. Google, Wikipedia and any data point to that. Perhaps building schools in Africa makes the communist regime look better, as the ruling class saw it. But, as people from Taiwan who questioned, how can we trust a government who does not treat its own citizen well, even when they try hard to kiss our ass?

    A school age child was kneeing outside of a public school in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province. He wanted to go to school like other kids. He used to go to a school set up by private organizations that attend to low income migrant workers. That school does not require a residency ID, does not charge high fees, reuse or let students share textbooks and stationaries. Now all those private schools were shut down. When probed by reporters, the government officials said they would allow these children go to public school if they satisfy 5 conditions, which were hoops and loops that had 'mission impossible' written all over them. Two weeks later, in Beijing, only a hand of children were able to collect all required documents, but when they gathered at the Education Bureau, they were told to walk away.

    September 1 was the first day of school in China.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Believe It Or Not, PLA Edition

    Believe it or not?

    A 48 years jobless woman was sentenced to 10 years by the First Middle Court of Beijing. Xiu Zhu claimed her husband was a Major General, deputy political director. She took CNY 1 million ($150K) from a active duty Major with Last name 'Wei' of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), promising she could make him a Lieutenant Colonel. Wei paid CNY 200K when the two met the first time in April 2009. Wei paid another CNY 800K in installments in the next two months by bank transfers.

    Wei was not promoted when he was transferred to another post in April 2010. Xiu Zhu again promised to transfer him to a better post, with a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.

    Xiu Zhu was arrested on November 12, 2010. She returned all CNY 1 million to Officer Wei. The Court found Xiu Zhu was unemployed. The Court also found Xiu Zhu's husband was not 'as she had described to Officer Wei'.

    The Seagull felt that the PLA should administer IQ test when recruiting officers.

    This news was reported by New Capital Daily and Beijing Youth Daily.

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    A Frugal Education

    Five little ones were on a bed surrounded by coal powders piled higher than the bed. Some were playing; some were sleeping at home of Yuan Lihai of Lankao County in Henan Province. These children were deserted by their parents, many with disabilities or chronic diseases. Since 1987, Yuan has raised up more than 100 kids like them on his own.

    While China is building schools in Africa, Europe and in the US, few outside the country knows the frugal education system inside China. The world average public education expenses is 5.1% of GNP. The figure is 5.3% in developed countries. The South-Sarhara countries average 4.6%. India 3.5%. The poorest countries 3.3%. China: 2.3%. From another angle, 20% population of the world live in China, while the education expenses is 1.5%.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Seven Days Later, 14 Thousands Kids in Beijing Lost School

    Only days before the Fall semester started, Beijing authority abruptly shut down 24 private schools for migrant workers who do not hold local residency cards. The action was believed an attempt to drive these kids out of Beijing. However, because their parents are working, usually on bottom level labor jobs, in Beijing, the consequence is 14 thousands school age kids are out of school.

    Initially the Beijing Municipal Education Department said the shut down was carried by lower level authorities. After the incident was reported on news media, coincidentally while the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department announced China would spent CND 2B ($300 million) to build schools in Africa using money raised up for rural education in China, the Beijing Education Department claimed all involved school age kids would be absorbed by public schools at free tuition. The Beijing Education Department published a step by step guide for migrant workers on how to enroll their kids to public schools. Seven Days Later, only a few dozens of parents were able to obtain all five certificates detailed by the Education Department. The other 14 thousands kids were unable to collect required certificates, because some certificates were impossible to apply. When the few dozens of parents who managed to jump through the hoops went to the Education Department, they were faced with locked doors. The Department said they were not ready to handle their applications.

    The huge economic discrepancy between major coastal cities and inland areas is by and large contributed by the steady free labor force flowing east. Coastal cities used the labor at low cost, while the youth and elders live in inland areas. Coastal cities force older workers to go back to their hometown by not providing retirement and medical benefit, even though they must pay fees and taxes. Now, coastal cities are forcing their youth back by having their schools shut down.

    Eyeing for a better image, China has been increased its spending on international aids. Do you believe a government who treated its own citizens this way would treat foreigners nice? They can pretend, but they can't disguise.

    Unbearable Burdens

  • Chinese portal website announced that it would censor users who posted inaccurate messages. For example, if a user posted 'The area was struck by an earthquake 2 minutes ago', while the stamp showed 2.3 minutes according to the official earthquake time released by the USGS, then it would be considered an 'inaccurate' message.

    It looks like that Sina took an unbearable burden on its back. Was it a commitment Sina was willing to make, that all uncensored messages were 'accurate'?

  • A draft of the revised criminal procedure law contains a newly added clause which granted the prosecution power to secretly detain five categories of people for six month without telling their families. These groups include persons that are considered dangerous, anti-government, suicidal, etc.

    As a matter of fact, the new law granted police power to 'make disappear' anyone they do not like without court order thus justice procedures. The authority may feel it suited their life for now, but the measure would prove an unbearable burden in the long run. Soon, families of every disappeared person would automatically believe their loved ones were taken away by the government. Think of that.
  • Friday, August 26, 2011

    QA888 Skipped Crash after Declaring Mayday in Shanghai

    August 13, 2011, originally Pudong bound QR888, a 777-300ER, declared Mayday after waiting more than an hour at alternate airport Hongqiao due to weather condition at the original airport. On its way was a crew with a female Korean captain piloting HO1112, an A320. The Korean Captain refused to give out the descending path.

    The Air Traffic Control begged the Korean woman repeatedly to no vain. Later, the crew said they were also short in fuel. After both plane were on the ground, it was measure the Korean captain still has more than 3 tons of fuel.

    In more than 100 years of Chinese civil aviation, this was the first time an airplane refused to get out the way to a Mayday declaration. Due to shortage of pilots, China hired a large amount of foreign pilots. Incidentally, the Korean Captain made a real history in China.

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    EFF Told CISCO Stop Helping Communism Regime Abuse Human Rights

    One unique characteristic of high tech companies in the Internet era was their conscience awareness. Google's unofficial 'do no evil' earned them not only reputation and respect, but businesses.

    However, there are a few exceptions. One is Yahoo, the other is Cisco. Both earned commissions on helping the communism regime in detecting and putting human rights activists in jail.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation launched a campaign to tell Cisco: Stop Helping China Abuse Human Rights.

    Tell Cisco: Stop helping China abuse human rights!

    Chinese dissident writer Du Daobin may face imprisonment and torture for trying to hold Cisco accountable. Urge Cisco Systems to intervene on Mr. Du's behalf and to stop helping China abuse human rights. Sign our petition now!

    Reports indicate that networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc., an American company based in Silicon Valley, has been knowingly selling Internet surveillance and censorship tools to the Chinese government for years. The Chinese government's "Great Firewall" prevents Internet users in China from accessing much of the Internet, including online references to Tiananmen Square and the Jasmine Revolution, as well as social media sites like Facebook. In addition to blocking access to information, these tools have enabled the Chinese government to spy on its citizens and may include special customization to target individuals working to protect human rights and build democracy in China.

    Du Daobin, a dissident writer in China, was reportedly detained and interrogated by the Chinese government specifically about a lawsuit he and other Chinese dissidents brought against Cisco. In June 2011, the activists sued Cisco and a number of Cisco executives in the United States District Court in Maryland for their "knowing and willful aiding and abetting of the Chinese government's harassment, arrest, and torture of Chinese political activists."

    According to his lawyers,
    Mr. Du's persecution began in 2003, when he was arrested while his house was raided by Chinese authorities. On June 11, 2004, he was charged with "inciting to subvert state power" and was sentenced to three years in prison for posting pro-democracy articles online. Instead of immediately serving that sentence, he was placed under probation for four years, after which it was determined that he violated the terms of his probation and was then forced to serve his original three year prison sentence. During his imprisonment, Mr. Du was subjected to extreme physical and psychological torture. By the time of his release in 2010, Du was suffering from extreme malnutrition, cardiac issues, could no longer walk without assistance, and was dependent on a wheelchair.
    We believe Mr. Du has since been released, but he still faces the possibility of more imprisonment and torture for challenging an American company's policies and speaking out against censorship. Help us defend this political activist, and call on American companies to defend human rights rather than selling the tools of repression! Sign our petition to tell Cisco to intervene on behalf of Mr. Du and to commit to standing up for human rights.

    An in-depth discussion of the background o this case can be found at EFF's site by clicking here.

    Gallery Exhibit Canceled

    If you like the drawings of a 10 years old boy, so do I.

    Alas, a planned gallery exhibit at the">Jue Lab of Shanghai was canceled in the last minute, because the boy's father committed a crime.  Xia Jianqiang's father Xia Junfeng was a peddler in Shenyang.  When he was beaten by a gang of para-police for no-reason, he managed to fight back and killed one of the mobs accidentally.  Although lawyers across the nation rushed to stand for his defense, Xia was sentenced to death.

    Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in China, Wang Shengjun, spoke on a seminar for chief judges of middle-level court that whether or not to impose a capital punishment should not rely on the law.  "It should reflect people's willingness", said Chief Justice Wang.

    W-h-a-t are t-h-e-y afraid of?