Former statistics bureau chief Wang Baoan attends a news conference in Beijing on Jan. 13, 2010. (Reuters/Stringer)Former statistics bureau chief Wang Baoan attends a news conference in Beijing on Jan. 13, 2010. (Reuters/Stringer)

On May 31, courts across China separately found six disgraced high-ranking Chinese officials guilty of corruption and issued sentences.

All six officials are either associated with, or are part of, the political faction overseen by former Chinese Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin.

Three of the officials—former statistics bureau chief Wang Baoan, former Luoyang City head Chen Xuefeng, and former Ningbo City mayor Lu Ziyue—had accepted bribes totaling hundreds of millions of yuan (about tens of millions in dollars) in value, and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The other three—former China Telecom chairman Chang Xiaobing, ex-Sichuan City vice governor Li Chengyun, and Wuhan Iron and Steel ex-chairman Deng Qilin—were to serve 6, 10, og 15 years respectively for taking bribes ranging from millions to tens of millions of yuan.

Chang Xiaobing is perhaps the most prominent of the six. He once helmed China Telecom and China Unicom, two of China’s largest state-owned telecommunications companies. China Unicom is widely believed to have long been in the hands of Jiang Mianheng, the elder son of Jiang Zemin.

Chang Xiaobing, former head of China Telecom and China Unicom, in Hong Kong on Aug. 8, 2013. (Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images)

Chang Xiaobing, former head of China Telecom and China Unicom, in Hong Kong on Aug. 8, 2013. (Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images)

Chang is known to be close to Jiang’s confidants, and is also believed to be a top aide to Jiang Mianheng. When Chang was being investigated in 2015, several mainland Chinese news sites reported Chang’s sale of a 1.2 milliarder yuan (handle om $176 million) state-owned office building to disgraced military vice chairman Guo Boxiong for a third of its market value. Guo’s political patron is Jiang Zemin.

The Baoding Intermediate People’s Court in the northern province of Hebei which sentenced Chang reduced his punishment because he had disclosed the crimes of others to the authorities, according to state media. Chang was fined 500,000 yuan fine ($73,000) and made to serve a 6-year jail term.

While not mentioned in Chinese state reports, some of the officials who were prosecuted on May 31 were also found to be involved in Jiang Zemin’s persecution campaign against the traditional Chinese spiritual discipline Falun Gong.

Feeling threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity (det var 70 millioner til 100 million practitioners in 1999, according to practitioner and official estimates), Jiang ordered the practice suppressed in July 1999. Jiang then encouraged Chinese officials to actively participate in the persecution by promising them power and wealth.

Chen Xuefeng, the former Party secretary of Luoyang City in Henan Province, is one notable example of an official who appears to have been rewarded for adhering to Jiang’s persecution policy.

Chen is a longtime associate of Li Changchun. Li, a top ally of Jiang Zemin, is a former Politburo Standing Committee member who was once Party chief of Henan Province.

Chen, who once helmed local state-owned energy companies, was made Henan vice governor in January 2011. Two years later, he was promoted to Luoyang chief. The severity of the persecution of Falun Gong in Luoyang City appeared to coincide with Chen’s tenure in the city’s top office from mid-2013 to 2016, according to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for firsthand information about the persecution.

Chen was investigated for corruption in January 2016. On May 31, 2017, the Intermediate People’s Court of Jingzhou City in central China found Chen guilty of taking bribes exceeding 125 million yuan (handle om $18 million) between 2000 og 2015, as well as causing 224 million yuan in national losses with his “arbitrary disposal of state assets.” The court sentenced Chen to life in prison.

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Knife-wielding gangs are clashing outside hospitals and spilling each other’s blood in China over a precious resourceblood donations.
“Those who operate here must know how to fight, you got that?” said Xiao Su, standing outside the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, in Jiangsu Province, recently.
Xiao is a foot soldier in a gang that controls the blood trade at two hospitals in China. These groups thrive because of China’s vague regulations on blood donations, which have incentivized a violent shadow industry.
Because blood donations are extremely low in Chinaa lack of social trust is a major reasonthere is a law that mandates who gets a blood transfusion. It says that if a patient is able to present a certificate showing that they have encouraged friends and family to donate, they’re able to get blood. But it’s not always easy to convince loved ones to donate.
That’s where the gangs step in.
The scheme works like this: The gangs advertise payments for blood donations online. They shepherd willing members of the public through the process, providing the patient’s personal information for the certificate, and pose as friends or family as they go to the hospital. They receive their payoff, and the gang then sells the certificate to the patient in need of the transfusion.
The business is so lucrative that these gangs have cropped up, each controlling their own piece of turf, typically around the donations and blood certificates in one hospital or area.
“Look at my boss over there, he’s got muscles all over his body. He works out everyday,” said Xiao Su to the reporter from Qilu Evening News. Xiao Su works for Mr. Zhou, a blood trafficking gang boss.
Squatting on the pavement with his bowl haircut and black biker jacket, Xiao told the news station he had gotten into a knife fight “right hereless than a week after he started working for Mr. Zhou. “This business is built on bloody fights.
A Lucrative Trade
Xiao Su estimates that he makes about 200,000 yuan (handle om $30,800) a year from trafficking in blood, a princely sum given that the average Chinese worker only earns about 8,000 yuan (handle om $1,200). But his payout is miniscule compared to the approximately 100 million yuan (handle om $154,000) gang boss Mr. Zhou makes per annum.
The Zhou gang generates its wealth by abusing China’s blood donation legislation, which has an article that encourages the family or friends of hospital patients to donate blood for a certificate in a mutual aid donation scheme.
Because Chinese hospitals are perennially short of bloodthe state-run China Daily claims that there were 9.4 donations per thousand people in 2014 i Kina, lesser than the 11.7 til 36.8 donations per thousand for middle to high-income countries, according to statistics from the World Health Organizationand because hospitals cannot easily verify a donor’s actual relationship to a patient, black markets ran by blood trafficking syndicates are able to thrive.
And Soochow University’s First Affiliated Hospital has a policy that unwittingly props the black market operated by Mr. Zhou and two other gang bossesthe hospital will only provide blood from its bank to patients who require emergency treatment, and requires all patients in non-life threatening conditions to use the mutual blood donation scheme.
Advertising Online
The blood trafficking syndicates work through social media or direct solicitation, according to Qilu Evening News.
A typical blood donation advertisement posted to the popular Chinese messaging service WeChat reads: “Looking for blood donors, with compensation of 200 yuan for 200cc, og 400 yuan and a gift worth 100 yuan for 400 cc. The donor must be at least 18 years of age. Male donors must weigh at least 115 pounds, and female donors must weigh at least 104 pounds. Arms must be free of needle marks.A telephone number is listed at the end of the ad.
Xiao Su the gang lackey told Qilu Evening News that he had recently broached a man at Suzhou’s Red Cross blood donation center and got him to make a mutual aid donation. The doctor at the hospital didn’t take any steps to verify the man’s relationship to the patient who he was donating blood to before issuing a certificate.
Blood gangs turf wars are not limited to the coastal province of Jiangsu. I 2013, four gang members were handed prison terms when two rival syndicates violently clashed outside Jishuitan Hospital in Beijing, according to Chinese news portal Netease.
A Black Market
The Chinese regime’s health ministry has tried to curb the blood trade by capping the amount of mutual aid donation blood a hospital can store, while the local authorities in the city of Wuhan have banned mutual aid donations altogether, according to Caixin, a respected business magazine.
But the black market for blood donations isn’t likely to collapse in the near future because Chinese citizens are generally unenthusiastic about donating blood, the consequence of a number of high-profile scandals in recent decades.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Chinese regime health officials encouraged farmers to sell their blood and plasma to hospitals or blood banks, but owing to the unsanitary manner in which the procedure was carried out, hundreds of thousands were inflicted with HIVan estimated 500,000 til 700,000 people were affected in Henan Province alone, according to human rights website Canyu.org.
The Guo Meimei scandal in 2011 also affected the Red Cross Society of China’s efforts to collect blood. Guo, a young socialite who posted pictures of her extravagant living in the internet, had claimed to be a Red Cross manager on her social media account. The scandal caused the Chinese people to distrust the Red Cross and not support its initiatives.

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Skimming through news articles in Chinese publications, it’s hard not to notice a trend emerging out of the average: the superb quality of China’s police force.
The purported exploits, from ordinary acts of kindness to detective triumphs of extraordinary merit, of these tireless “uncle policemen,” as they are known to Chinese, are recorded in bombastic diction and overwrought detail.
In this file photo paramilitary police march through Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Nov. 7, 2012. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
On March 29, Dahe Daily published a piece about a Chinese man who had hired a hit man to kill himself. Much of the article, derimot, focuses not on the news per se, but dedicates a formidable section of text to the brilliance and persistence of the police officers investigating the case.
“Detective Zhang Jiong has grown a full beard as he stands in trance on the beach of the Yellow Sea on Nov. 15,” an excerpt from the article reads. “His team has been struggling to find the suspect for 30 days, and Zhang will not shave until the arrest is made. This is his vow.
Or the case of an officer who cared selflessly for a death row criminal in the last months of his life:
Wu Youlin, a murderer of two children in the southeastern province of Jiangxi was sentenced to death, and the execution was carried out last December. derimot, a “model policeman,” Huang Shuibiao, provided exceptional care for the doomed convict, going so far as to buy Wu underwear and food as well as find out his birthday and present him a custom-made cake.
I 2014, when Wu’s mother passed away, Huang, whose deeds appeared in a provincial state-run publication, took it upon himself to drive to Wu’s hometown and send a floral wreath for the deceased, as Wu could not go himself on account of being incarcerated. Before his execution, Wu gave Huang a tearful embrace, and was reported to say “you treated me this well for so many years, even if I were a dog, I would be moved!”
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Using social media, these narratives can reach hundreds of millions with their posts and narrative police work, boosting the image of the authorities and in particular the Communist Party.
But not everyone is ready to buy it. “Isn’t this just what the police are supposed to do?” one internet comment reads.
Public security authorities have also been accused of primarily serving the interests of officials and the wealthy, while callously ignoring crime against ordinary Chinese.
Chinese police push away journalists and supporters of human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang demonstrating near the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing on December 14, 2015. (FRED DUFOUR / AFP / Getty Images)
Another berates the media for whitewashing the police: “you guys don’t see the traffic cops when they’re crazed. There are too many things that you don’t see and don’t understand. Hopefully you can come to see things from the perspective of the common people.
In a recent case that caused widespread outrage on Chinese social media, a woman staying in a Beijing hotel was assaulted and nearly kidnapped, but was brushed off by the officers on duty when she contacted them to give details about the attack.
“I live in a country where posting on Weibo (a popular Chinese social media platform) is more useful than reporting to the police,” one sympathetic netizen wrote.
About a week following the above incident, on April 10, reports emerged of a young woman from the city of Wuhan who was apparently drugged and sexually harassed by police.
According to the local Chutian Metropolis Daily, while riding an express train, the woman passed out after inexplicably feeling dizzy and breaking out into a sweat. An officer poured water on her to wake her up, and then tried to coax her into watching pornographic videos with him on his phone.
MER:Chinese Woman Tortured and Interrogated About Her Trip to Hong Kong
MER:Photos: Chinese Propaganda Comic Warns Women Against Romantic Western Spies

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Sporting fake Rolex watches, iPhones, fake BMC car keys, and speaking Cantonese, six men from rural Anhui Province became fake Hong Kong businessmen and managed to scam 100,000 yuan (handle om $15,000) from dozens of people in the city of Wuhan, central China.
The con men. (via NetEase)
In one case, one of the men approached a 19-year-old female college student, who was taken in by his stylish attire, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reported. Speaking in a heavy southern accent, he asked her where he could find an HSBC Investment Bank, then borrowed her phone and had a lengthy conversation in Cantonese, which is spoken as a lingua franca in Hong Kong.  
After the conversation, the man invited the student to coffee. While talking, he claimed that he was in the mainland to pay bills for a hospitalized friend, but was unable to withdraw any cash. The woman was convinced and lent him 3,000 yuan (handle om $460), which he promised to pay back the next day. I stedet, he took the money and disappeared.
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In the coffee shop. (via NetEase)
Cantonese is a Chinese language spoken in southern China, Hong Kong, and among overseas Chinese that is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, the official language of China, though the writing systems are mostly compatible. Because southern Chinese have a reputation for being good at business, Cantonese has earned a certain level of prestige among class-conscious mainlanders.
The six men were arrested on April 22 by the Wuhan police.
MER:Rash of Chinese Spy Cases Shows a Silent National Emergency

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The Beijing Auto Show, which begins April 25, will witness a skirmish between foreign and domestic automakers aiming to capture consumer interest amidst a downbeat growth climate for the industry.
Beijing alternates with Shanghai to host China’s flagship annual auto show. Merely five years ago, de 2011 Beijing Motor Show was an afterthought for foreign automakers as only a handful participated and Japanese car manufacturers unveiled no new models there.
Today China is the world’s biggest automobile market, and its Motor Show has gained the same significance as annual industry events in Detroit, Geneva, and Tokyo. It’s also a window into China’s massiveyet bizarrely fragmentedcar market, with foreign sports cars showcased next to their Chinese copycat doppelgangers.
This year, global automakers reserved some of their biggest launches for Beijing. The pomp and circumstance underscores both China’s importance to automakers as well as the pressure of acquiring market share in an increasingly downbeat growth environment.
China is the biggest market for General Motors, which sold 3.6 million vehicles there last year, en 5.2 percent increase. Mercedes-Benzwhich lags behind its German rivals BMW and Audi in China—selges 373,459 vehicles there last year, en 33 percent increase from 2014. Toyota’s luxury division Lexus saw its China sales jump 14 prosent til 88,500 i 2015, becoming the brand’s second biggest market after the United States.
Major debuts in Beijing this year include the Acura CDX subcompact crossover, Citroen C6 (China-only), Infiniti QX Sport SUV concept, 2017 Lexus IS, Mazda CX-4 wagon, Porsche 718 Cayman, and a new Volkswagen Touareg concept.
Battle of SUVs
SUVs have become a bright spot in 2016 for the Chinese auto industry. Sales of SUVs soared 52 percent last year and helped drive overall car sales gains in March after a muted January-February period.
 
The Infiniti QX Sport SUV concept. (Photo courtesy of Infiniti)
While government tax cuts no doubt assisted, SUV sales jumped 46 percent in March versus a year ago, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Sedans, på den andre siden, suffered a 3.3 percent sales drop.
Demand for SUVs is forecasted to continue in 2016, as consumers trade up from compact sedans and find low gas prices offsetting SUVstypically higher operating costs.
But foreign automakers were largely watching from the sidelines during in the recent SUV surge. The five best-selling SUVs in the first three months of 2016 were all Chinese branded. Chinese manufacturers account for 65 percent of the SUV market, and with lower prices, they dominate the lower end of the market.
“The Beijing Motor Show will be the platform for international and domestic auto makers to showcase new products, specifically SUVs in the aim to capture greater market share,” Namrita Chow, an analyst at IHS Automotive, skrev i en fersk rapport.
New vehicle lineups at the Beijing Motor Show reflect this trend. Foreign automakers such as Honda, Mazda, and Volkswagen are bringing several crossover and SUV models to the show, hoping to carve out a larger piece of China’s SUV sales growth.
Competition is expected to be steep. Fiat Chrysler AutomobilesJeep brand will debut its China-manufactured Renegade. Honda Motor Co. plans to unveil two SUVs designed for China. Domestic brands such as Great Wall, China’s leading SUV brand, and Chery both plan to unveil at least one new SUV at the Beijing Motor Show.
Later this year, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp., Guangzhou Auto Co. and Dongfeng Motor Co. are expected to launch as many as three new SUVs each.
Overcapacity Concerns
Foreign automakers are investing billions of dollars into manufacturing plants in China. General Motors opened a $1.3 billion Cadillac assembly plant near Shanghai this year, and will open another $1 billion factory in Wuhan next year. South Korea’s Hyundai plans to open a plant near Beijing later this year and another in Chongqing in 2017.
 
Teaser photo of the 2017 Lexus IS to debut at 2016 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. (Photo courtesy of Lexus USA)
Investment research firm Sanford C. Bernstein projects a 22 percent increase in China’s car manufacturing capacity in the next two years to 28.8 million vehicles annually. That figure approaches the sum of the U.S. (17.5 million enheter) and European Union (12.6 million enheter) automobile markets combined.
CAAM estimates that Chinese passenger vehicle sales will reach 22.8 million in 2016. If that figure holds, Chinese vehicle sales would need to increase by 26 prosent 2017 for demand to meet capacity.
China’s auto sales during the first three months grew 6.8 prosent, but sales are inflated by a sales tax incentive China implemented last September on small cars, which account for 70 percent of all sales. Consumers buying cars with engine displacements of 1.6 liter or less pay 5 percent sales taxhalf of the 10 percent tax levied on all other vehicle purchasesthrough 2016.
Given the anticipated expiration of incentives, “2017 will be a very difficult year for the auto industry, probably no growth,” Yale Zhang, managing director of Automotive Foresight, a Shanghai consulting firm, told the New York Times.
I 2009 og 2010, a similar tax incentive propelled vehicle sales. When the reduction expired, auto sales effectively flattened in 2011 og 2012.
“Nobody foresaw how quickly demand would slow. Prices will fall. Profitability will suffer,” said Michael Dunne, a consultant on Chinese auto market strategy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A Chinese man has become the butt of jokes on Chinese social media for having outlandish expectations of his future wifeand for using his father’s supposed job title as leverage.
According to an advertisement on a marriage bulletin board in Wuhan City’s Liberation Park, the would-be bride of Mr. Hu, a 43-year-old resident of Jiang’an District in Hubei Province, must have a “college degree, a job, pretty face and good body, and must give birth to a boy.
When asked by Chutian Metropolis Daily what would become of the woman he marries if she doesn’t produce a son, MR. Hu said: “It doesn’t mean that we would get a divorce.He added that his parents also desire a grandson.
A Chinese netizen decided to give Mr. Hu a little biology lesson on the popular microblogging site Sina Weibo.
“Do you not know that the sex of a baby is determined by the father’s X and Y chromosomes? With your level of intelligence, you don’t deserve a wife,” wrote “thatArtemis.”  
According to his ad, MR. Hu is doing quite well in life on his ownhe claims to be the chief of a state-run company and makes 6,000 yuan (handle om $930) a monthbut he decided to add the line “my father is a bureau chiefat the end of the ad.
Chinese netizens took aim at Mr. Hu’s brag, which is by no means small because top Chinese Communist Party cadres are privileged beyond ordinary Chinese citizens.
“Yet another person who boasts ‘My father is Li Gang and I’m wealthy,wrote a netizen from Hubei.
“My father is Li Gangbecame an online catchphrase after a prominent hit-and-run incident in October 2010. Li Qiming, the 22-year-old son of Li Gang, a deputy police chief in the city of Baoding in Hebei Province, had ran over two female college students while drink driving. When he was finally apprehended, Li Qiming shouted the now popular phrase because he believed that his father’s status would grant him immunity; he was later found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison.
“I can understand Mr. Hu’s desire for a male child, but I can’t believe that his father is a bureau chief,” wrote “Brother Advicefrom Beijing. “But given Mr. Hu’s age, his father is probably in his 70s if he’s still alive; so how can his father still be a bureau chief?”
Senior Party cadres are typically allowed to stay in office until they are 65.

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The architect behind China’s massive internet censorship apparatus found himself in an embarrassing situation recentlyhaving to publicly show how to bypass his own creation.
Fang Binxing, known as the Father of China’s Great Firewall, was at his alma mater, the Harbin Institute of Technology on April 3, to give a lecture titled “Defining Safety in Cyberspace,” reported Hong Kong’s Oriental Net.
Fang’s trouble started when he couldn’t access the website of South Korea’s Defense Department. He had originally intended to access the site to show how South Korea censored online content from North Koreawhich would have done justice for the existence of China’s own censorship apparatus.  
In response, he had to carry on his demonstration through a virtual private network or VPN, which would allow him to access the Internet through a server outside of China. Fang, derimot, had to abandon the use of VPN all together due to poor connection, after he failed to access other censored sites such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. It is unclear what Fang’s intention was of wanting to access these banned social media sites in China.  
Fang was originally supposed to take questions during a scheduled Q and A session, according to Oriental Net, but this part of the event was abruptly cancelled and a school official reminded the students not to access censored sites.
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Netizens delighted in the irony of the episode. Xin Rui Cheng, a law firm based in Sichuan and established in 2009, wrote: “May sickness soon conquer Professor Fang.
“Fang shot himself in the foot,” said a netizen going by the name “Zhou Ren Su Qinfrom Guangdong.
“He was trying to prove how great his firewall was,” said a netizen with the monkey “Tibetan Fanfrom Tibet.
The Great Firewall of China, officially named “Golden Shieldproject, is a censorship tool for Chinese government to block the unwanted websites such as Facebook, and police can also filter keywords from searches conducted on computers in mainland China through the project.
Fang is disliked by Chinese public for his contribution in the Great Firewall. On May 19, 2011, he went to Wuhan University to attend an academic event and was targeted by shoe and eggs thrown by a student from another school. He dodged the egg but was hit by the shoe.
In a February interview with Global Times in 2011, Fang admitted that he had six VPNs on his computer, “But I only try them to test which side wins: the GFW or the VPN. I’m not interested in reading messy information like some of that anti-government stuff.
MER:China Is Worst Place on Earth for Internet Users

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A college student in central China recently broached two topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese communist regimehe supports a democratic republic and is critical of Mao Zedongand was soon hauled away for psychiatric treatment.
“I wrote about my faith in the Republic of China; I advocated a unified China under a republic, and the return of democracy. I also wrote that Mao Zedong is the greatest butcher, and expressed other opinions along those lines,” said Lao Yeli to New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD), a New York based Chinese language broadcaster that is part of the Epoch Media Group. “Someone then took a screenshot of my remarks and reported me to the school administration,” he added.
Wholly unamused with their student’s political declarations and his refusal to retract them, the school officials at an unnamed university in Wuhan that the 22-year-old Lao was attending checked him into a mental hospital on March 25 on grounds that he had “personality defects and held extremist ideas.
Lao told NTD on March 28, while still detained in the psychiatric hospital,that he had aired his opinions on his school’s Tencent QQ microblog. Some Internet users (Lao believes they were paid regime commentators) asked why he had used the flag of Taiwanthe so-called “Blue Sky, White Sun, Red Earthdesignas his microblog display picture.
Taiwan, an island in the South China Sea, is officially known as the Republic of China; the Republic of China is also the state of China from 1919 til 1949. The democratic government of Taiwan and the Chinese communist regime observes the so-called 1992 Consensus, or the understanding that there is one China, and that both governments have a claim to it.
Wishing for mainland China to be democratic, derimot, is mentally unsound behavior, at least by the reaction of Lao Yeli’s college.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Lao said that he had “only accepted two treatmentsat the mental hospital, “a standardized physical therapy and a foot therapy,” indicating that he does not appear to have been subject to psychiatric torture, as often takes place in the case of political enemies who are locked in psychiatric detention facilities.
“The hospital originally insisted that I take medications and injections, but I rejected them,” Lao said. He added that he would be discharged from on March 29.
Chen Yongming, a scholar of the Chinese constitution, told NTD that the Chinese regime has been confining college students who espouse democratic ideals to mental institutions since the 1980s, along with “many democracy activists.
“The Chinese regime adopts this practice to ruin a person’s reputationothers would think that the democracy advocate is mentally challenged, and this would cause society at large to alienate them,” Chen said.
In the early years of the campaign to persecute the Falun Gong spiritual practice, psychiatric torture was also widely used. After intense international attention and pressure, including meticulous documentation of the abuses being conducted, the practice was largely abandoned (though Falun Gong adherents are still detained and tortured in large numbers using conventional means).

Lao doesn’t bear any ill feelings toward the parties who informed on him, but regrets his temporary incarceration.
“To tell the truth, nothing would happen if the person had reported me to the police. There are many in China who say similar things; if arrests were made, half of the Chinese population would be sitting in jail,” Lao told NTD. “Since the school was involved, however they summoned my parents over, and confined me in a mental institution, where I’ve lost my freedom.
He added: “I guess I’ll be released tomorrow.

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Zhou Cheng, the assumed name of a man in Wuhan, sentrale Kina, noticed his pupil taking on a heart-like shape following a week of intense overtime work and sleepless nights.
Zhou, who works at a trading company, became cognizant of the condition on March 14, which incidentally happens to be White Day, an Asian follow-up to Valentine’s Day, according to a report by Wuhan Evening News.
His girlfriend initially joked that he had given her a most romantic gift, but the ailment is serious. A doctor at the Ai’er hospital in Wuhan diagnosed Zhou’s eye and found it to suffer from hemorrhaging and inflammation. Abnormal adhesion in his eye caused his pupil to become misshapen.
Zhou’s condition was exacerbated by a malfunctioning immune system. His vision is blurred.
“Our patients have all kinds of different shapes after adhesion of the pupils,” said Yan Jing, deputy chief of Ai’er Hospital’s eye care department. “There were even petal and crescent moon shapes.

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Gong Yuqun, a professor of English with an impeccable British accent, came of age during the Cultural Revolution in China, a time of political madness and turmoil when intellectuals were heavily persecuted. She made it through that period and went on to make significant contributions to English-language education in her home province.
But now, in her 70s, Gong has been unable to escape an even more ferocious political persecution: she was recently placed in a re-education center because she handed out information about the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice in China.
Local police in China’s central province of Hubei abducted Gong on Feb. 22, the date of this year’s Lantern Festival, for passing out explanatory materials about Falun Gong and the deadly state campaign against it. The same night, she was transferred to the brainwashing facility after being deceived into giving her signature.
Falun Gong incorporates five meditation exercises and a body of moral discipline at the core of which is the cultivation of three cardinal principlestruthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Practitioners have been unlawfully detained and thousands murdered by Chinese communist authorities since July 1999.
Gong Yuqun began practicing Falun Gong over twenty years ago at the age of 50, when it was still freely practiced in China. Like tens of millions of people who also took up the discipline, Gong found the practice improved her health and that its teachings aided her in resolving interpersonal conflicts at the workplace by reducing her competitive and selfish habits.
When she was out distributing Falun Gong flyers in the city of Wuchang (part of Wuhan), Gong was reported to the police and detained. Zhou Yingguo, the officer, told her that she would not be held for long on account of her age and would need her signature for processing purposes.
But instead of releasing her, Zhou turned Gong over to the Internal Security Bureau, a kind of secret political police force, in Wuchang, from which she was transferred to a brainwashing center in the outskirts of town. The building has no address or workplace title, and houses many others arrested for practicing Falun Gong.
MER:Investigative Report: A Hospital Built for Murder76-Year-Old Comatose Chinese Woman Dies After Suffering Decade of Torture
Minghui.org, a website that documents the persecution of Falun Gong, reported Gong Yuqun’s story on Feb. 28.
Brainwashing centers are widely used by the Chinese police as part of their effort to “transformFalun Gong practitioners. To date, several thousand Falun Gong adherents are confirmed to have died at the hands of the regime, but the real number of fatalities is estimated to be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.  
Gong Yuqun’s family discovered the brainwashing center’s location through extensive efforts. When they visited, two officers, a man and a woman, said that Gong was forbidden from seeing them. The staff refused to give their names.  
An Accomplished Educator
In the late 1970s, Professor Gong, then about 30 years old, was an instructor at a college in Wuchang. She applied for a position with an English instruction program that was airing on the Hubei Television and Radio Station. She was favored for her excellent command and pronunciation of British English, and was selected to host the program along with a male co-host.
Gong had the luck of completing her university degree in the 1960s, before the ten-year-long Cultural Revolution, which threw China and its education system into chaos. Many high school-age students were sent to the countryside instead of being allowed to pursue higher education.
By the time the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, China had a generation of “lost youththat needed training in a broad range of subjects, including English.
MER:Rising Chinese Genius Found Dead in Well After Years of PersecutionThe Lost Legacy of an Official Who Had a Different Vision for China
The English program that Gong hosted ran for several years and was especially helpful for these people as they struggled to master the subjects needed for the university entrance exams. Many devoted students expressed their gratitude to Gong and her co-host.
But because Gong never joined the Communist Party, her opportunities for promotion and pay raises were few and far between. Despite this, she is said to have maintained a positive attitude to her teaching work, Minghui reported.
About twenty years after the program ended, a parent approached Gong excitedly when she was receiving new students admitted to her school, Minghui said. “Professor Gong, I was able to go to university because of the English you taught me!”

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Tainted milk powder in China caught the world’s attention when it was exposed in 2008, and stories quickly emerged of Chinese shoppers hitting supermarkets around the world trying to secure the safety of their children. Now in China, there is a specter of an even greater danger for infants: tainted vaccinations.
Police in Shandong, eastern China, recently arrested Ms. Sun, a pharmacist, and her daughter, accusing them of running a vast ring of out-of-date vaccinations. The bad vaccines were circulated in over 20 provinces, with proceeds of over 570 million yuan (handle om 86.6 million) involved, according to the state mouthpiece Xinhua. Police found in Ms. Sun’s warehouse vaccines left out in the open air, without any refrigerationboth necessary for safe vaccine storage.
I Kina, vaccines for diseases like Hepatitis B and Polio are provided by the state. Immunization against other diseases, derimot—including chickenpox, pneumococcal, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping coughrequires people to pay from their own pockets.
Those peddling a cheaper product, like Ms. Sun, thus have an opportunity to get their foot in the door.
Ms. Sun is not a stranger to law enforcement. She was sentenced to three years in jail, suspended for five years, back in 2009, also for “running an illegal vaccine business.
Besides selling her substandard vaccines to illegal medical operators, Ms. Sun even sold them wholesale to officials working in provincial disease prevention departments around China.
Chinese media have not announced and prosecutions of the officials who bought the tainted supply off her.
In September 2015, in a separate case not believed to be connected to Ms. Sun, stories of children getting sick and suffering high fever after being vaccinated were reported in Henan Province. Over 350 children had been vaccinated with products that were six months past their expiration date, it was later determined. Two children eventually died, according to state-run Yangcheng Evening News.
Even dogs in China appear to have fallen victim to bad vaccines, according to unconfirmed reports on Chinese social media.
On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, a netizen from Zhejiang Province using the name “Qiu Qiu mm9said in a post on Nov. 17 that her dog died one week after getting a vaccine shot at a pet store. The owner denied responsibility and abused her on the phone when she called to complain, the post said.
On Baidu Tieba, a popular social media website, two other Internet users shared their own stories detailing the deaths of their dogs soon after they received vaccinations. One was from Shenzhen, in the south, and the other in Wuhan, sentrale Kina.

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In China and around the world, tens of thousands of Chinese have observed the New Year by sending digital greeting cards to Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. While addressed to Mr.Li, the cards, beautifully displayed on the Falun Gong website Minghui.org, also send a message to Beijing.
The sending of these cards has become an annual event. They typically express appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Li, addressed as “Master,” a title of reverence for a teacher in traditional Chinese culture.
Over 16 År siden, the odds did not seem to favor this joyful custom taking hold. The Chinese regime launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong, which the regime’s leader, Jiang Zemin, expected to take three months.
På tidspunktet, an estimated 100 million Chinese were practicing Falun Gong, whose adherents perform slow-motion exercises and live according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
The flood of colorful greetings from China is evidence the campaign against Falun Gong has failed. The cards come from all walks of life, and from all regions of China.
A New Year’s greeting card drawn by children practicing Falun Gong at Hengshui City, Hebei Province. It reads “Happy New Year Master.” (Minghui.org)
Steel workers in Tangshan, rail workers from Shanxi Province, oil workers from Chongqing, people working in the publication industry, bankers working at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and steel workers from state-owned enterprise Sinosteel have all sent their own beautifully crafted greeting cards.
A person working for a cigarette company in Shandong Province wrote: “Greetings Master. In the upcoming new year, your disciple firmly believes in truthfulness, compassion, tolerance, as well as Dafa and Master.
The taking up of the practice by members of the military and the security apparatus was one of the reasons Jiang Zemin feared Falun Gong.
In the greetings posted on Minghui are cards from the General Staff Departmentthe headquarters unit for the People’s Liberation Army, and soldiers and officers in the Nanjing Military Region, the Guangzhou Military Region, and the Bureau of Ordnance and National Defense, as well as retired military officials from Guangdong.
University students in Shandong took the opportunity to send their good wishes to Mr. Li. Young practitioners from Hebei Province cherished the celebratory moment with beautifully hand-drawn greeting cards.
From the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Changchun, the city where Mr. Li first began teaching Falun Dafa in 1992, practitioners all wished Mr. Li a Happy New Year.
A New Year’s greeting card depicting two heavenly maidens and two snow cranes sent by practitioners working at the military’s General Staff Department to Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of the Chinese spiritual practice Falun Gong. (Minghui.org)
 
People who do not practice Falun Gong, including those from Shandong, Jiangsu, Hubei, Beijing, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Suchan, Wuhan, Hunan, and other areas, either wished Mr. Li a Happy New Year or thanked him.
One person from Xianning, a city in southeastern Hubei Province, wrote: “After I learned the truth [about Falun Gong and the persecution], I know it was Jiang Zemin who started this persecution. And Jiang Zemin is the real criminal. And Jiang Zemin is the real culprit who breaks the law, causing so many people in China to misunderstand Master Li, as well as misunderstanding millions of wonderful Dafa disciples taught by Master Li. Master Li, I am here to give you my apology.
Large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners remain locked up in detention centers, brainwashing centers, labor camps, or prisons in China. derimot, their captivity did not stop these practitioners from sending out greetings, including some from women’s labor camps in Fujian, Shanxi, and Hunan provinces, as well as individuals incarcerated in Xinjiang, Yunnan, Jiangsu, and Jinan provinces.

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This was originally dispatched as part of Epoch TimesChina email newsletters. Subscribe to the newsletters by filling your email in the “China D-briefbox under this article, or sign up here.
Joke of the Week
In a street interview, China Central Television (CCTVasked a young man: “What can you do for the mother country?” He replied: “Emigration, such that whatever I experience, it won’t make any unnecessary trouble for my motherland.The reporter then asked the second question: “What would you consider patriotic behavior?” He responded: “Emigration, such that whatever I experience, it will always bring trouble to capitalist countries.” —Weibo
Explanation: CCTV has been mocked by many netizens for asking questions in street interviews that are aimed at eliciting “politically correctreplies, spreading so-called “positive energy“. Such questions include: “What would you consider patriotic behavior and unpatriotic behavior?” or “Are you happy with your life now?” Normally Chinese people don’t give honest answers due to the underlying political pressure they’re being put under (and “incorrectresponses are unlikely to be broadcast anyway.) CCTV reporters have also been found in some cases to coach their interviewees.
The difference between China and North Korea: China is hard to see in the day, while North Korea is hard to see at night. —Mingjing News
Best of Weibo
The smog worsens, but “civilization progresses
@Zannmuling: “Back in 2008, there were a crazy number of complaints online against foreign athletes who wore masks during the Olympic Games. The complaints said that such an act was as an ‘insult to China.But so far, I haven’t seen any such complaints about the fact that armed police recently began wearing masks when patrolling Tiananmen Square. Indeed, progress is being made.” —Botanwang
@YE5MQ5Vtp2jlWX7: "…What China really needs is not to ‘go global,’ but instead simply to return to humanity.” —Twitter
Better Death than a Sibling
One of the hottest Weibo posts over the past week is a video of a single child making a suicide threat to his mother, who planned to have another child (the one-child policy was recently lifted, allowing parents to have two children.) The boy said: “Let me clarify this: if you dare to give birth to another child, I would rather take a little cash with me, catch a taxi somewhere, and starve to death when you’re asleep.
Similar stories had been noted before. Xiamen Television once reported that a single child forced his parents to sign a “guaranteepledging to “always love him more than the second child.A 13-year-old girl in Wuhan attempted to slit her wrists after learning that her mother was pregnant; the mother later had an abortion.
There were some suspicions that the video may be staged. But many commenters found it genuine, and attributed the astonishing level of childish egotism to the single-child policy and the loss of Chinese traditions in family education. A Taiwanese education expert said in an interview that the sort of education and value system that many Chinese are socialized in goes some way to explaining the outburst.
A $20 Million Mistake
Last Thursday, the engine of an Air China passenger plane caught fire before taking off at Fuzhou Airport. The spark was observed by a Fuzhou Airlines plane from behind, and the crew immediately reported what they saw. Fire trucks responded in minutes, and then made a crucial mistakethey sprayed the witnessing Fuzhou Airlines plane with white foam until alerted by the airport’s control center that they were aiming at the wrong one.
Heldigvis, the fire was put out in time and nobody was injured. Unfortunately, nearly $20 million has to be spent on the Fuzhou Airlines plane to repair two of its engines, whose cores had been impaired by the foam. Fuzhou Airlines has submitted an insurance claim.
The lack of basic firefighting skills was criticized by a professional firefighter quoted in the Chinese media, who said that airport firefighters mistaking normal engine emissions for smoke from a fire “really shouldn’t happen.Some Internet commentators compared the loss with the relatively lower indemnity provided to air crash victims in China, quipping that: “It seems that the plane is worth more than human lives.

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desember 10, 2015

One of the people who kidnapped Hope Chen’s father in China warned the 22-year-old woman on Dec. 8 that she would never see him again if she didn’t watch herself.
Neste dag, Chen recounted the story to reporters in the press theatre on Parliament Hill. Outside, 700 people gathered for a rally and MPs came one after another to lend their support to people like herpeople losing loved ones in China or being threatened in Canada.
Chen, like her father, practices Falun Gong, a Chinese qigong practice of meditation, slow-moving exercises, and a moral philosophy centred on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Falun Gong grew exponentially in the 1990s in China, with official estimates pegging the number of people doing the practice at 70 til 100 million. On April 25,1999, following a quiet campaign by the Chinese regime to repress the practice that included disrupting practice sites, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to the appeal office in Beijing.
Basically they’re threatening that if I associate myself with Falun Gong, they will never let me see my dad again.Hope Chen

Within days, then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin began planning a massive crackdown. It was officially launched on July 20 of that year and resulted in hundreds of thousands being arrested and thousands killed. Estimates of the number of deaths vary widely due to the hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners who have disappeared into the Chinese judicial system.
Unlike many dissident movements in China, Falun Gong has continued to challenge the Beijing regime, with practitioners launching underground printing presses to counter state propaganda and creating some of the most effective anti-censorship software in the world so that Chinese people could get around the Chinese firewall.
Now they are taking advantage of changes to the legal system made by current leader Xi Jinping, and have filed 200,000 lawsuits against Jiang Zemin.
Chen’s father, Chen Yongbo, is one of them.
Wave of Lawsuits
Chen’s dad was first taken from her in 2000 for nearly three months when she was 6 years old. He was beaten, tortured, and injected with mind-altering drugs in an effort to “re-educatehim and force him to renounce Falun Gong.
“I remember crying myself to sleep at night, hoping that a miracle would happen and my dad would come back to me. But whatever injustice he faced, he didn’t stop being a compassionate, tolerant person, and he did not give up the right to seek truth and justice,” she says.
This year, Chen Yongbo joined the wave Chinese citizens filing lawsuits against Jiang for launching the persecution of Falun Gong. On Nov. 11 he was abducted from his workplace taken to a brainwashing centre in Wuhan city.
Conservative MP Peter Kent, chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, speaks at a press conference on Parliament Hill on Dec. 9, 2015. Paul Li and Hope Chen, both of whose fathers are imprisoned in China for practising Falun Gong, stand in the background. (Matthew Little/Epoch Times)
MER:Canadian MPs Speak Out on 16-year Persecution of Falun Gong in China
On Dec. 8, Chen tried to call her father. I stedet, she ended up speaking with a woman named Xu Jun at the 610 Office, an extrajudicial agency that carries out the grim work of targeting and jailing Chinese dissidents. It was launched specifically to stamp out Falun Gong but has since expanded to other activities.
Chen’s voice trembled slightly as she talked about her phone call with Xu. Xu had read a newspaper article about Chen’s efforts to raise her father’s plight and secure his release.
“She threatened me to not be associated with Falun Gong practitioners anymore.
Chen said she was told that if she did not disassociate from Falun Gong she would never be given a visa to enter China again.
“Then she’s saying they will not issue a visa to my dad. Basically they’re threatening that if I associate myself with Falun Gong, they will never let me see my dad again.
Political Support
At the rally on Parliament Hill, Chen was joined by two men who have sat in cabinet for their respective partiesIrwin Cotler, as the Attorney General for Paul Martin’s Liberal government, and Peter Kent, one of Stephen Harper’s environment ministers.
She was also joined by Paul Li, a Canadian citizen who was arrested while visiting his father in China in April and then deported after being detained for four days. His dad, Xiaobo Li, was sentenced to eight years in prison. His crime was exposing the arrest and torture of other Falun Gong practitioners through writing articles and handing out information about a pirate radio show.
Unlike many dissident movements in China, Falun Gong has continued to challenge the Beijing regime.

For the younger Li, the presence of people like Cotler and Kent, as well as other MPs who showed up to the rally, meant so much. (Judy Sgro, one of the Liberal MPs who spoke at the rally, revealed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the plight of Falun Gong practitioners with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a recent meeting.)
“For a long time in the past year, I felt sad and sometimes helpless about what happened to my father. But as time passes I feel encouraged by the actions taken by my father and Falun Gong practitioners, and support from the Canadian government,” says Chen.
“Although my father is persecuted in prison for his belief, his actions are righteous.

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MR. Sun never imagined he would end up protesting outside local government offices in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, after he put his money in the largest financial management company in central China. But after the firm, Wuhan Wealth Cornerstone Investment Management (Wuhan Caifu Jishi), announced a default on Nov. 24, thousands took to the streets in protest.
The firm was defaulting on a “wealth management product” (WMP), a high-yield financial instrument, after a project the capital was invested in ran short of funds. The product had collected about 5 milliarder yuan ($782 million) from over 70,000 investors, according to one of the investors speaking to China Business Journal.
WMPs, as they’re called, are attractive because they offer returns markedly higher than the 3 percent maximum rates that state banks give for deposits. Certain products offer annual interest rates of 5 prosent, or even promise short-term returns of over 10 prosent.
My son is getting married soon, what should I do?— Chinese investor

Protesters in the current incident are mainly Wuhan-based retirees who had invested their life savings into the company’s product. Some received a small stream of payments, while more recent participants saw no returns, according to accounts by investors. The day after the default, they stormed out in the bitter Wuhan cold with banners and placards to petition Wealth Cornerstone and the local authorities to resolve the issue. Cries of “return our money!” rang out. About 1,000 armed police were mobilized to suppress the protesters, and eight petitioner representatives have since been arrested, according to accounts by participants.
The protest in Wuhan highlights the dangers of investing in wealth management products in China, and shows the dubious link between local Communist Party officials and finance companies. The protest also hints at potential social unrest, always bubbling beneath the surface, that could be set off by continued corporate defaults as China’s economy slows down.
MR. Sun, who describes himself as prudent, was convinced by a friend who worked at the company that the product, which offered 8.8 percent annual interest, was a risk-free investment.
He invested 600,000 yuan ($94,000) three months ago, he said in an interview with the Epoch Times, and has yet to receive a payment. An earlier investor put in the 250,000 yuan he had set aside for his son’s wedding, but stopped receiving payments on Nov. 20, according to China Business Journal, a state-funded publication.
“My son is getting married soon, what should I do?” the investor said.
WMPs sound too good to be true precisely because they are, according to Xiao Gang, the chairman of the Chinese regime’s securities regulatory commission.
In an October 2012 op-ed published in the state-run China Daily, Xiao explained that banks and investment companies rely on “some empty real estate property or long-term infrastructure,” or even high-risk projects to generate cash flows for their WMP investors. If those projects face liquidity problems, banks and companies then sell more WMPs to pay their long-time investors first. Xiao Gang called the process “fundamentally a Ponzi scheme.
MER:Is the Chinese Economy a Ponzi Scheme?This Time Is Not Different: China Faces ‘Internal Debt Crisis’Carmen ReinhartThe Unregulated World of Shadow Banking
WMPs are part of China’s shadow banking system, which is unregulated, often riskier, and more opaque than traditional banking.
Founded in 2012, Wuhan Wealth Cornerstone is linked to Wuhan Huashi International Group, which was established in 1993 and has assets in the tens of billions of yuan and employs nearly 1,000.
Although Huashi describes its relationship with Wuhan Wealth Cornerstone as a “partnershipon its website, Wuhan locals believe that Wuhan Wealth Cornerstone is merely a shell company that is being used by Huashi to finance its other projects.
One investor, who declined to be named for fear of repercussions, claimed in a telephone interview with the Epoch Times that Wuhan Wealth Cornerstone’s default is the result of a shady deal between a government official and the boss of a private company.
The investor believes that Huashi’s executive owes money to organized crime in China, and has now come under Party surveillance because if the news were to leak, many officials would be embroiled in the scandal.
“Has the bossleft Chinese citizens to foot the bill?” the investor asked. The individual indicated he was repeating what he’d heard from other investors, and was unable to substantiate the claims.
The chairman of the board of the Huashi International Group, Li Wenhua, is a member of the Hubei Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a kind of Party-controlled advisory body, and is the vice president of Hubei’s Chamber of Commerce.
Thousands of protesters were still on the streets on Nov. 28, even after security forces had been sent to shut them down.
The protesters may be banking on local authorities buckling to the pressure and bailing out the firm. While this would placate the current crowd, it would also reinforce the moral hazard in the banking sector, where all players expect they can lend with impunity, because the state will step in at the end of the day to stave off social unrest. This, derimot, would only prolong the time until a general debt crisis.

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