Is Falun Gong a threat for China?

22 Oct

Pro Falun Gong campaigner against the CPC in London. [Photo: Missinterpreting.com]

Recently, at a campaign event in Virginia on Oct. 5 a Falun Gong practitioner shook hands with President Obama and handed him a letter. The letter was handed by Karen Gao, from the Washington D.C. Falun Dafa Association, in an attempt to update the President about the live, forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime, and asked him to help end this atrocity. Is this really happening and if so why? On this article we will expose the two sides of the story.

Falun Gong was first introduced to the public in China by Mr. Li Hongzhi, in 1992. The people who initially tried the practice not only found powerful healing effects, but many also found answers to their deepest questions in life. As they continued to practice, their friends and family started to notice how they were becoming healthier and becoming better people overall. Thus, almost entirely by word of mouth, the numbers of enthusiasts kept growing. Falun Gong spread into 50 countries and attracted people from all walks of life and all cultural backgrounds.

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One-child policy in China: Pros and Cons

28 Aug

Make China rich and powerful, Make the ethnic groups prosporous and thriving, Make the population controlled (one-child policy)

Last June a case in which a 23-year old Chinese girl called Feng Jiamei, from Shaanxi province, was forced into abortion in the seventh month of pregnancy -even when Chinese law clearly prohibits abortions beyond six months- opened the pandora box in China, and outside the country. The baby was killed while still in the womb by an injection arranged by local family-planning officials.

After the event took place the Shaanxi Provincial Population and Family Planning Commission said in an official statement:

“Such practice has seriously violated the relevant policies set by national and provincial family planning commissions, which harmed the image of our family planning work, and caused extremely poor effects in society,” said the statement. Based on the findings, we have requested the local government to punish the relevant officers according to law.”.

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The South China Sea dispute: key aspects

14 May

Recently different media have extensively featured the escalating tension between China and the Philippines regarding territorial claims over numerous small islands and waters in the South China Sea. Last week the dispute reached a new level of concern, with hints of economic retaliation and even war. China has suspended tourist travel to Philippines and reinforced inspection on the country’s fruit -Chinais the single biggest buyer of Philippine bananas. (more…)

China’s military budget rise: the controversy

6 Mar

Last Sunday  Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of China’s national legislature, unveiled the new China’s military figures for 2012: its defense budget will increase by 11.2 percent to 670 billion yuan (106.4 billion U.S. dollars) this year. The draft defense budget is 67.6 billion yuan more than the defense expenditure of 2011. As it is being usual in the last few years the number of the the world’s second highest military budget in the world, after the U.S., provokes some confrontation between the Western countries and China. (more…)

How China is becoming one of the most competitive countries in the world

23 Feb

A few weeks ago was unveiled the 2011-2012 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), a yearly report published by the World Economic Forum which ranks countries based on the Global Competitiveness Index. The first report was released in 1979. The 2011–2012 report covers 142 major and emerging economies. On the latest edition of the report China (which ranks 26th) continues to lead the way among large developing economies, improving by one more place and solidifying its position among the top 30.

China has improved its score and rank each year since 2005. The world’s most populous country continues to lead the BRICS economies by a significant margin. Why? (more…)

New poverty threshold is unveiled in China

21 Dec

Just a few countries in the world can tell what China can tell now: a story of success in reducing poverty. Spectacular progress had been made in reducing absolute rural poverty levels to one eighth of what they were in 1978 when the economic reform process commenced – nearly all people have enough to eat and some clothing.  In China poverty rate declined from 85% in 1981 to 16% in 2005 (poverty being defined as the number of people living on <$1.25/day, the World Bank’s poverty standard). However, income disparities have increased in the meantime.  In fact, the Gini measure of inequality increased from 0.31 at the beginning of the economic reforms to 0.41 by 2007 (one of the highests rates in all Asia).

Latest China’s Government move regarding this was taken on Nov. 29 when announced a new threshold defining poverty, or 2,300 yuan (US$362) in terms of the annual net income of farmers, is equal to US$1.80 a day. This represents an increase of over 80% from the 1,274 yuan (US$200) standard in 2010. That will make 128 million people, or 13.4% of the registered rural population, eligible for government anti-poverty subsidies. This differs substantially from the figures provided by the government which admits a poor population of 26.88 million by the end of 2010. (more…)

Corruption in China: the endemic sickness

22 Nov

One of the latest and most notorious reports released about corruption in China (a Chinese central bank report released last June) unveiled something striking: since 1990 China missed about 800 billion yuan (more than $120 billion). How can a country “miss” $120 billion in 20 years? Easy. Allowing around 18,000 officials to steal, on average, an estimated 50 million yuan (more than $7 million). This is the number of of Communist Party and government officials, public security members, judicial cadres, agents of State institutions, and senior management figures of state-owned enterprises fleeing China since 1990. This means that  the Chinese officials mentioned stole as much money as Qatar’s 2010 GDP (according to CIA World Factbook). In China corruption afects about 3% of the GDP.

Another recent publication by Transparency International (TI’s 2011 Bribe Payers Index), released early this month, ranks 28 leading international and regional exporting countries by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad. Companies from Russia and China, who invested $120 billion overseas in 2010, are seen as most likely to pay bribes abroad. (more…)

Is China a democracy?

10 Oct

This is the million dollar question. If you ask this question to a Westerner he/she would probably say ‘no’, but if you ask this very same question to a Chinese he/she would probably say ‘yes’. In fact an English-speaking Chinese woman, a graduate of an American university, at an expensive restaurant in the most fashionable neighborhood of Beijing just said when asked about this question: “Why do you assume that we want Western democracy?” This is the key point in the discussion on China’s democracy.

What kind of democracy are we talking about?

China’s leaders do not think of democracy as people in the West generally. “Our objectives of carrying out the socialist modernization drive are to catch up with the developed capitalist countries in terms of economy and to create a higher level of democracy with more substance than that of capitalist countries in terms of politics,” Deng Xiaoping said long ago. And just two years ago Parliament chief Wu Bangguo said that China would draw on the achievements of all cultures but would not “simply copy” the West. Communist Party leadership should be strengthened and “the correct political orientation” maintained, he said. (more…)

Internet censorship in China: the Great Firewall

19 Sep

V.P.N.’s are popular with China’s huge expatriate community and Chinese entrepreneurs, researchers and scholars who expect to use the Internet freely. I am using one while writing these lines… But this week it’s been tough to get internet access since the Chinese government might be pushing harder because of the fortchoming China’s National Day (next October, 1st).

China, as it happened in other fields such as economy, has been rapidly increasing its internet penetration in the country. Since its first internet connections with the global computer network in 1994, China has witnessed explosive internet development, and by the end of 2008, China replaced the United States as the largest Internet user of the world. As a result of that, the growth of chinese language internet users has been exponential since year 2000, with an increase of 1,277%. And internet is usually a synonym of free access to the information, unless somebody does something to prevent it = internet censorship. (more…)

The survival of minorities in modern China

16 Sep

In the village of Longsheng (Guangxi province, China), famous for its widely known rice terraces (Longji terraces), modernity and tradition coexist. This small village is visited for thousands of tourists every year. It hosts four minority nationalities: Miao, Yao, Dong and Zhuang.

The Yao and Zhuang nationalities live in Longji. The Yao have distinctive clothing and hair styles which set them apart from other ethnic groups. Yao women are famous for having the longest hair in the world. Once they turn 18 years old they never cut their hair again. (more…)