It's April. Sites are being banned, women who ask China to admit to what they did in Tiananmen on June 4th 1989 are arrested. I love April. It's always the month when I am reminded in the most personal of ways my government will shut down, close up, jail all the people who simply have some power of thought and think for themselves. It's two months from June, that's why. They start early. And it's also the time when the governments around the world jump up and down a little bit, play some charades, make a few statements on China's human rights record, slap a few wrists and we all go about oppression as usual.
The second article I posted, its headline is: "China trumpets improvements in human rights record." HAHAHA. You have got to be kidding me.
So there we go. Glutter has finally hits its cynical peak. You don't see it much. I try to keep it on the level but Din Zilin (The woman who started Tiananmen Mothers) is a hero of mine, and she is in jail. I wonder how difficult was it for her husband to pass that piece of news out? How many people in the underground in China and Hong Kong it had to go through before it got to BBC? So many, it's not like he could just go out and call a journalist and have it been told.
At least it was done, so now we know, they have put her in jail. Why? Because she of all people know what happenned in June 15 years ago, because her son never went home, and because she is brave enough to keep speaking up about it. Just like those people who went out in 1989. Some are in jail. Some are dead, and those who are prominant are in exile on "medical parole." It's been 15 years. Admit it, my country, the new generation of leaders, admit what you did and say it was wrong!!
I know, it's all about who called this and I know it's about the fact if you admit those who bestowed you power made a mistake it means that your power will be diminished. The biggest fall of Communism, the changing of the guard, the move to the next generation, it's all about who loves you, and who wants you in power because the way it's given, the way it's passed down... I know, I know, I know.. I know all the reasons why of this and that, why China needs to go slow, that I should be happy how far you have come, but it's not enough for me, not on a personal level. It really isn't. But you could give everyone a bit more slack, you don't have to shut down services of Chinese bloggers, you don't have to arrest those women, you could just let us have a little bit more freedom. China you really could. Why are you so afraid of your own people? Why are you so afraid of us??
What was I thinking going up to China? I am not that brave. I really am not. I say the things I do because I know I am safe in Hong Kong. Where I can say and feel those things without being threatenned with jail time. All those expats in China (those who know, know who I am refering to, trust me not all of them are, but some) who act holier than thou about this whole thing, about how Chinese people don't speak up, and don't understand, and don't want freedom. I say, why don't you go out and throw a yellow ribbon in Tiananmen, unfurl a banner that reads, "It's the 15th anniversary of the crackdown!" I want to see it. I want someone to do it. I can't. Please do with your foreign passports, and protection of the consulate.
My grandfather who fought with the KMT and also a writer refused to ever go up to China again because of the communists, it's all starting to make sense. Finally, three years after his death, he makes more sense by the day. My old cynical, sometimes mean granddad who hated the regime. I understand him much more now. Yeah, I am thinking of you yeye, today I am thinking of you. I hope I will never turn as angry and sometimes hateful as you were in your life, but I think I am starting to understand why you became the way you were.
China detains Tiananmen mothers
The women's children were killed in the suppression of the protests
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
Chinese security agents have detained the mothers of three students killed during the Tiananmen demonstrations 15 years ago. The three are all prominent members of the Tiananmen Mothers' Organisation.
They are seeking justice for the students gunned down when government soldiers broke up pro-democracy protests on 4 June 1989.
So far the Chinese government has given no explanation for the women's detention.
Of the three women detained, the best known is Ding Zilin.
The 67-year-old retired professor is the head of the Tiananmen Mothers' Organisation.
She set it up after her 17-year-old son was shot dead on the night of 4 June 1989, while taking part in the mass democracy demonstrations.
Ding was detained on Sunday morning in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi.
The other two, Zhang Xianling and Huang Jinping, were taken from their homes in Beijing on the same day.
Why they have been detained remains unclear.
A US-based human rights group says the women recently made a video that is due to be presented to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
But Ding Zilin's husband says he believes she has been detained because the Chinese government fears her group is planning activities to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen democracy demonstrations, which began on 15 April 1989.
China trumpets improvements in human rights record
Tue Mar 30, 3:06 AM ET
BEIJING, (AFP) - In an apparent attempt to waylay a controversial anti-China resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission, China has admitted to having a poor record but pledged to improve protection of human rights.
Publication of a white paper on human rights came after Chinese police jailed three women whose videotaped testimony on their efforts to seek justice for loved ones killed in the 1989 Tiananmen massacre was to be put before the commission.
Ding Zilin, Zhang Xianling and Huang Jinping, whose teenage sons or husbands were shot during the bloody crushing of the democracy protests, were arrested Sunday after police found out their testimony would be brought before the commission, the New York-based group Human Rights in China said.
"Despite the fact that China has made great efforts to promote and safeguard human rights, there is still much room for improvement of the human rights conditions," said the white paper issued by the State Council, China's cabinet.
"The Chinese government ... will continue to take active and effective measures to steadily improve China's human rights conditions and earnestly raise the level of human rights."
It said that "the state protects the rights and interests of women and children," despite the arrests of the three women who for years have represented 124 relatives of victims of the Tiananmen crackdown.
The United States has vowed to table a resolution expressing concern over a degradation of the rights situation in China in recent years.
The 40-page paper countered that China had made progress namely in amendments added earlier this month to China's Marxist constitution including wording that "the state respects and safeguards human rights" and an amendment on protecting private property.
It said freedom of speech, religion and the press all witnessed improved protections during the past year but failed to detail exactly how, other than pointing to the recent legislation.
Chinese legal scholars and international rights groups have long pointed out that existing constitutional protections such as freedom of speech, press, religion and association have been widely ignored by the government.
There were also few signs police were ready to end a harsh crackdown on political dissent, groups expressing opposition to government policy on the Internet and non-registered religious and spiritual groups because of the new amendments, they said.
Last week, New York-based Human Rights Watch applauded the amendments on private property protections, but lamented that the legislation came after tens of thousands of private homes have already been razed and tenants forcefully evicted to make room for lucrative real estate projects.
The group lambasted the widespread collusion between government and developers throughout China that has enriched the ruling elite while evicted tenants are compensated at well below market rates.
Much of the white paper appeared written exclusively for foreign consumption with information selectively used and placed solidly within the context of rights improvements.
The paper maintained China has 29 million people in absolute poverty who are making less than 1,305 yuan (157 dollars) a year. But last week Liu Jian, a leading official on poverty reduction, told a UN meeting in Beijing there were 56 million Chinese earning less than 869 yuan a year.
"In 2003 China's economy observed a rapid and healthy growth, and the people's rights to subsistence and development were further improved," the paper said.
"The general living standard of the people continued to rise..., the net per-capita income (in 2003) for rural residents was 2,622 yuan (316 dollars) an increase of 4.3 percent in real terms."
However, the paper did not explain that the UN and World Bank (news - web sites) benchmark for poverty is based on an income of one dollar per person per day and that on average China's 750 million rural residents live below the internationally accepted poverty line.
All Typepad Sites Banned in China (All Updates Collected on this page)