Chinese students studying inside a building at a university in Beijing on May 30, 2013. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)Chinese students studying inside a building at a university in Beijing on May 30, 2013. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

One of Beijing’s most popular tourist destinations, a library nestled within a natural landscape, was recently shut down by the authorities due to its collection containing pirated books.

The Liyuan Library is located on the outskirts of the city in the village of Huairou. Dentro 2014, it won a major international architecture design award for its incorporation of the natural surroundings and public service to the local community. The building’s exterior is covered in firewood to let in subtle natural light, while the interior is framed by timber beams.

The library is frequented by thousands of visitors a year, and made it to Business Insider’s list of the world’s greatest libraries.

But an online post published on Sept. 19 to WeChat, China’s popular text messaging service, revealed that books in the library were actually counterfeit copies.

The post author uploaded screenshots of the books, which included a pirated copy of the Chinese version of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” with text in jumbled Chinese and English. In one passage, the text contained a message in Chinese seemingly from the translator: “How do you translate this sentence??? Can someone help?"

(Screenshot via WeChat/Zuo Shu)

(Screenshot via WeChat/Zuo Shu)

A copy of a popular Chinese novel, “White Deer Plain,” listed different publishers on its cover and inside page.

The library soon issued a declaração em WeChat, explaining that most of its collection are publicly donated books. Dentro 2013, the library launched an event where readers could take a book from its collection if they donated three to the library. Como um resultado, many of the collection’s legal copies were taken, while pirated books were added, according to the statement.

The same day the online post appeared, a Beijing News newspaper reported that the authorities temporarily shut the library down.

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Xue holds a notebook declaring that she withdraws from the Chinese Communist Party on Sept. 8, 2017. (RFA)Xue holds a notebook declaring that she withdraws from the Chinese Communist Party on Sept. 8, 2017. (RFA)

The career of an Olympic doctor—who had blazed a trail to success at an early age—came to a screeching halt when she refused to inject the top Chinese gymnasts with steroids. After almost two decades of mistreatment, she is seeking asylum in Germany and has severed all ties with the Chinese Communist Party.

Xue Yinxian, 79, was born in a revolutionary family, and her early life as a privileged “second generation red”—child of veteran officials—went just as expected.

In her 20s, she entered the General Administration of Sport of China, the country’s top sports bureau. She later became the personal doctor for Olympians such as Li Ning, known in China as “Prince of Gymnastics,” and Lou Yun, a two-time gold medalist at the Olympic Games in 1984 e 1988. She was also the chief doctor overseeing the 11 national teams.

Everything changed in the late 1970s when a wave of state-sponsored doping hit China’s sports scene. Sports doctor Chen Zhanghao had been sent to study the advantages of stimulants and returned to China proclaiming their power to combat fatigue.

Shortly afterwards, Xue said all athletes were required to take the drugs.

The state sports bureau later established a research team on doping, which Chen led.

Xue said athletes were often not told what they were injected with—steroids and growth hormones were referred to as “special nutritional medicine” and promoted across the country as a part of “scientific training.”

“The campaign ruined our nation’s athletes for life,” Xue said.

As a physician, Xue saw the danger of stimulants more clearly than most of her contemporaries. She said the side effects included severe liver damage and brittle bones, as well as liver and brain cancer. But the teenage girl athletes paid the steepest price.

“The ‘powerful energizer’ did get them through the door to the professional team.” Xue said. “I saw some like that—she broke the provincial records…but now she is penniless and has mental problems.”

What bothered Xue most was the lack of drug regulations. “At least on the national team there were medical doctors watching them taking doses and taking responsibility for it, but who cared about the regional teams?"

Li Ning during the XXIII Olympic Summer Games at the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Califórnia, on 4th August 1984. (Trevor Jones/Getty Images)

Li Ning during the XXIII Olympic Summer Games at the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Califórnia, on 4th August 1984. (Trevor Jones/Getty Images)

Em julho 1988, two months before the Seoul Olympic Games, Xue was asked to inject gymnast Li Ning with performance-enhancing drugs.

She declined and retaliation followed swiftly.

While cooperative doctors enjoyed lucrative rewards and promotion, Xue was removed from her post. Her email and phone were monitored. A police car was permanently parked outside of her home.

“Li Ning is a celebrity,” she had told officials.” If this should be found out, it’s not only you, me, and Li Ning who would lose face, our national image would be gone as well.”

“What the sports committee wanted were champions, not athletes,” Li Ning told Southern Weekly dentro 2012.

Before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she got a visit from the vice director of the state sports bureau, who warned her not to “say anything unfavorable against the nation,” according to Yang Weidong, Xue’s son and a contemporary artist.

Xue’s husband, who had just had brain surgery, got into a physical confrontation with the official, during which he fell to the ground and again wounded his head. He died three months later.

Dentro 2012, Xue gave an interview to Australia’s Fairfax Media in which she blew the whistle on China’s state-enforced doping, the first time the regime had been directly implicated in the practice.

Seeking Asylum

Xue has suffered two strokes, and once lost her ability to speak. When she sought treatment at Beijing Hospital and China-Japan Friendship Hospital, two of the major state-run hospitals in Beijing, she received nothing more than examinations.

“For two years they wouldn’t treat my mom,” said Yang Weidong, Xue’s son and a contemporary artist. “The hospitals didn’t specify the reasons, but whenever we arrived at the hospital, the police would also be there.”

Before Xue was allowed to leave the country to seek medical help, her home was searched as the police attempted to find the 68 work journals that Xue wrote as a medical doctor—journals that help document her allegations of state-sponsored doping.

The police were a step too late: months earlier Xue’s family had transported the journals overseas.

Xue escaped to Germany in June with her her son and daughter-in-law, and applied for asylum. All three were transferred to a refugee camp in Mannheim on Aug. 29.

Xue Yinxian in 1988. (File photo)

Xue Yinxian in 1988. (File photo)

Xue told Radio Free Asia that she had stopped paying Party membership dues after her husband’s death. em setembro. 8, 2017, she had a picture taken of her holding a notebook on which she had written, "Xue Yinxian declares: [I] withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party. Dated 9.8.2017.”

With that gesture, Xue cut her last ties to the Chinese regime. To date, por aí 280 million Chinese have chosen to repudiate their connections with the Party and its affiliated organizations.

On Aug. 28, the abuse Xue has fought against was again in the news. The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed that two Chinese weightlifters were guilty of doping and stripped them of the gold medals they had won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The finding against the two weightlifters is the latest instance of the doping scandal that has shaken Olympic sports. Retesting of samples from the 2008 e 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London found about 50 doping cases and at least 25 medals were voided—most cases were involved athletes from the former Soviet Union, de acordo com Associated Press.

China, one of the top countries in weightlifting, won seven medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, including five gold.

Additional reporting by Chang Chun and Zhang Ting.

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Tourists walk with their luggage at Beijing International Airport on November 24, 2016.
(Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)Tourists walk with their luggage at Beijing International Airport on November 24, 2016.
(Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

Having left her native China and entered the United States via a smuggling ring in 2014, Zheng Lili recalls the climax of her months-long journey, which took her around the world and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

“I was scared to death, gasping for breath, I thought I would die there.” It was at that very moment, after she crossed the Rio Grande, that she heard police officers say, “Welcome to America!"

Her first stop was Moscow. From there she went to Cuba, where a visa is not required for Chinese nationals staying less than a month, before finally arriving in Mexico City and embarking on their trek journey north.

At Mexican customs, the leader of the group Zheng was in had told everyone to slip $200 into his or her passport. They were then led to a special entryway and got through without trouble. Joined by a dozen others from different countries, they set off at midnight on a journey to the Rio Grande Valley. For two days straight, they marched over the mosquito-infested land, constantly ready to throw themselves to the ground to evade helicopters or patrol vehicles.

Zheng had become so exhausted that she had to be carried by her son and another immigrant. “We all looked forward to being arrested after crossing, because it speeds up the process,” she told The Epoch Times.

Her son was released on bail a month later, and was soon granted political asylum on account of the Christian faith he learned from his devout grandmother. Zheng was detained for two years.

Zheng Lili’s experience isn’t unique. Aug. 26 this year, twenty-three Chinese were arrested crossing San Diego’s Otay Mesa border, the largest bust of illegal entry by Chinese nationals via Mexico.

Along with seven Mexicans, the group was discovered while they were going through a cross-country tunnel from Mexico. All came from southeastern China—22 from the coastal province of Fujian and one from the neighboring province of Guangdong.

Zheng, also from Fujian, arrived in the United States in 2014 and spent two years in detention before she was reunited with her husband in 2016. Her husband, Chen Zhiqiang, was himself an illegal immigrant: he had gained entry over two decades earlier with a fake passport obtained in the Netherlands. Chen and Zheng were the last of 39 Chen-surnamed families in their town that left home for the United States.

Fujian has historically been one of the largest sources for Chinese immigrants. Changle District, which in the late 1970s became one of the first Chinese ports opened up for international trade, gained the nickname “Village of Smugglers.” From 1980 para 2005, sobre 200,000 people had been trafficked to overseas destinations, according to Sina, an online Chinese media group.

In Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, tens of thousands of “left-behind children” lived with their grandparents, according to Beijing News. The parents—unauthorized immigrants working in the United States—sent their toddlers back because they had no extra energy or time to take care of them after toiling for 13 hours a day or more. Changle District, which lies near Fuzhou and has around 712,500 residents, counted 5,000 U.S.-born children in 2012. Nearly every local household had someone living overseas.

Fujian has a long tradition of emigration, beginning in antiquity as Chinese merchants left the mainland and settled abroad, often in Southeast Asia. In the early 1960s, Fujianese sailors who took work in Hong Kong discovered that they could earn 15 times as much in the United States, sparking a first wave of emigration to the West.

Gradually an extensive network and an industry of smuggling developed. “When other people got out and we didn’t, it made us look bad,” unnamed immigrants told Sohu, another Chinese media site. Villagers in Changle would set off fireworks to celebrate whenever someone made it to the United States.

“There have been lots of historical cases of Chinese people being brought into the United States illegally on ships, in railroad coaches, hidden in cars, through tunnels, on airplanes – every imaginable way that humans can think of to cross the border,” Elliot Young, a history professor at Portland, Oregon’s Lewis and Clark College and author of the book “Alien Nation,” which documents China’s immigration history to the United States, told Voice of America.

“The Chinese were among the first to invent these ways of evading border control,” Elliott Young said.

Zheng Qi (not related to Zheng Lili), chairman of the Fukien Benevolent Association of America, made his way into America with a Thailand tourist passport, according to U.S.-China Press. In his unsuccessful first attempt, the Hong Kong-based travel agency got him a travel visa to Canada, which got him to the Canadian border before he was discovered and repatriated.

o Migration Policy Institute estimates about 268,000 illegal or undocumented immigrants from China, making them the fifth largest group among over 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States, and the largest of all non-Latin American nations. In a 2016 relatório, the MPI identified China as one of the world’s leading sources of immigrants.

Over a period of seven months from October 2016 to this May, the California border patrol apprehended 663 Chinese trying to illegally enter the United States, a huge jump from a mere 48 over the same period in 2016, and just 5 the year before, NBC 7 reported.

Smugglers see Chinese clients as more profitable than those from Latin America or Mexico, since gangs can demand higher fees due to the longer travel route. In the past few decades, the cost of smuggling an immigrant has more than doubled, rising from $30,000 para $50,000 para $70,000, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rarely are these fees paid upfront to smugglers, called shetou or “snakeheads” in Chinese, according to the professor Elliott Young.

Young observed that the immigrants would usually arrange with the smuggler on a certain amount of down payment—around a few thousand dollars—and “work off their debt in the United States by working in a business.” “They work in restaurants, garment factories and other, often Chinese-owned, businesses," ele disse.

A sarcastic Chinese expression describes a typical illegal immigrant’s day-to-day life upon arriving the United States: “Daytime at the stove, nighttime on the pillow, and weekend at the lawyer’s.”

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A Chinese man stands inside a job center on September 18, 2015 in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China in 2015. China’s slower economy has left many desperate for work, making them vulnerable to pyramid schemes that are evolving into criminal syndicates. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)A Chinese man stands inside a job center on September 18, 2015 in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China in 2015. China’s slower economy has left many desperate for work, making them vulnerable to pyramid schemes that are evolving into criminal syndicates. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

A young college graduate was found dead in the northern port city of Tianjin. Police suspect the death involved foul play by a pyramid scheme gang. Such gangs have been connected to a number of suspicious deaths across China.

Em julho 14, the body of Li Wenxing, 23, was found near a suburban highway in Tianjin, floating faceup in a small pond. Autopsy results showed that Li drowned with no apparent injuries.

Li, a native of Shandong Province, had come from a rural family and joined the wave of young people leaving small-town homes to find careers in big cities.

Li Wenxing, seen on the day of his college graduation ceremony, thought he was taking a programming job but ended up in a pyramid scheme run by violent con artists. (Handout via EMG)

Li Wenxing, seen on the day of his college graduation ceremony, thought he was taking a programming job but ended up in a pyramid scheme run by violent con artists. (Handout via EMG)

Chinese media reported that a Li’s body was found with a book of notes apparently taken at a class connected to the pyramid scheme known as Diebeilei. Chinese state media said five Diebeilei associates have been arrested for Li’s death and have confessed to luring him into the scheme and forcing him to stay at their dormitory.

Sixth Tone quotes a post from Li’s sister that has since been taken down, in which she claimed the autopsy of her brother revealed he had been starved.

Syndicate-like pyramid schemes are prolific in China and feed on vulnerable and often poorly educated victims who are lured in by overnight rags-to-riches stories.

Public outcry over Li’s death has been directed at both pyramid scams—which are known to use aggressive recruiting practices, deception, and even violence—as well as at “Boss Zhipin,” a popular Chinese job hunting website that failed to screen employers posting ads on its site.

The job site has issued an apology for that failure and has promised changes will be made.

Li was a recent graduate who thought he was going to work as a programmer at a company he found on Boss Zhipin. He had to travel to Tianjin for the job, not discovering until later that it was posted by a member of Diebeilei posing as a software company.

A police statement revealed that shortly after Li arrived in Tianjin on May 20, he was taken to facilities controlled by members of the scheme, tricked into signing up as a recruit, and began borrowing money from friends.

Reports said Li’s family and friends had problems reaching him and he wouldn’t give clear explanations for why he needed the money.

What happened later is not yet entirely clear, but in what seems to have been Li’s last phone call to his family on July 8, ele disse, “No matter who calls for money, don’t give it to them.”

Li’s death is not an isolated case.

No início deste ano, a 24-year-old man named Qu Pengxu was found dead in a village fish pond in Tianjin.

Qu had also been a Diebeilei recruit.

Another recruit named Zhang Chao was found dead on July 13.

Zhang’s body had been abandoned by three men on the roadside in the middle of the night. Zhang died from a “heat stroke” under suspicious circumstances. And there have been other similar cases around China.

Another college student, Lin Huarong, 20, from Hunan Province, was found drowned in a river in Hubei Province on Aug. 4.

Lin got sucked into a pyramid scam by a classmate when she was searching for a part-time job in July.

Lin’s father said he lost contact with his daughter that same month.

Chinese media reported that Lin was forced to receive brainwashing lectures and her cellphone was confiscated.

Four recent victims who died after coming into contact with pyramid schemes in China. Large photo is Qu pengxu. Top right and down are Li Wenxing, Zhang Chao, and Lin Huarong. Behind them is a picture of the pond where Li's body was found. (Composite photo via EMG)

Four recent victims who died after coming into contact with pyramid schemes in China. (eu) Qu Pengxu. (From Top R and down) Li Wenxing, Zhang Chao, and Lin Huarong. Behind them is a picture of the pond where Li’s body was found. (Composite photo via EMG)

Such cases reflect the severity of the problem, says China analyst Jason Ma.

Pyramid schemes are an ever changing menace, ele disse.

“In the beginning, it was called ‘direct marketing.’ Since direct marketing was introduced to China thirty years ago, it has transformed into something completely unrecognizable today.”

Ma said that in China today, these pyramid schemes have become “a dangerous business.”

“A great many people have become victims of such scams again and again. Today in China, the so-called pyramid scheme has turned into something extremely complex and it is constantly evolving …”

Ma notes that there are an estimated 600-700 types of pyramid or similar scams now being used in China by more than 1,000 organizations.

“‘Pyramid scheme’ is an umbrella term that covers a lot of ground. In the case of Li Wenxing, he had lost his personal freedom and likely died from abuse. This is really not a pyramid scheme in the conventional sense, it is a gang-style kidnapping," ele disse.

Public outrage is also being aimed at the police over why, after so many tragedies, authorities have failed to stamp out pyramid schemes.

Crackdowns on such groups flare up from time to time, with one currently underway, but the groups persist and evolve.

Some allege that authorities in China can’t stop such groups because they are sanctioned by corrupt officials within the regime.

“This is an extreme case of preying upon others. It is a form of corruption that stems all the way from the top of CCP leadership,” said China news analyst Heng He.

“The authorities are unable to touch the largest pyramid scheme organizations because the government has got their backs. CCTV even helps promotes some of them,” said He, pointing to the pyramid scheme known as ‘Shanxinhui’ as an example.

The group claims to be a women’s foundation and is affiliated with the CCP’s All-China Women’s Affiliation.

“These organizations get public financing but the money they get will not be repaid, or paid out to investors at the bottom. Those at the top are the ones that get the money,” said He.

He compares that scenario to the endemic corruption in China that sees Party officials profit at public expense.

It’s routine in China for the children of highly place Communist Party cadre’s to be placed at the helms of state-owned enterprises that dominate China’s economy, and for officials to manipulate land sales and other business dealings to line their own pockets.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has earned political capital by carrying out a massive anti-corruption campaign that aims to stifle such practices but there are questions over whether that is possible without regime change and real rule-of-law.

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Boxers Wen Yinhang, from Hubei, and Uyghur Tangtilahan compete at the 13th National Game in Tianjin, China, on Aug. 13. China has ordered the dissolution of the current National boxing team amidst complaints that the competition was rigged. (Sohu)Boxers Wen Yinhang, from Hubei, and Uyghur Tangtilahan compete at the 13th National Game in Tianjin, China, on Aug. 13. China has ordered the dissolution of the current National boxing team amidst complaints that the competition was rigged. (Sohu)

China has dissolved its national boxing team amidst complaints about rigged boxing matches in the recent China’s premier National Games, the country’s top sports’ governing body announced on Sept. 7.

The qualifications of certain judges who were allegedly involved will be terminated.

The boxing competition that took place in Tianjin between Aug. 3 e 13 ended in an uproar as several boxing athletes, indignant of the ruling that they deemed unfair, refused to leave the site in protest. Subsequent matches were delayed as a result.

The two boxers under spotlight are Wen Yinhang from Hubei Province in central China and his opponent, Tangtilahan, an ethnic Uyghur from Xinjiang, who competed in the men’s 75-kilogram final on Aug. 13. Wen was given a score of 5 para 0 despite many onlookers being certain of his defeat, leading to broad speculation that the match was rigged in Wen’s favor.

Wen Yinhang and Tangtilahan at the boxing match on Aug. 13. (WeChat)

Wen Yinhang and Tangtilahan at the boxing match on Aug. 13. (WeChat)

Wen, an athlete in the national boxing team, was set to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In an online recording of the live broadcast on state-run Central China Television, the narrator can be heard jeering at Wen, who wears a red outfit, as Tangtilahan punches him in the face. “Such an overwhelming victory,” he says.

But hearing the announcement of Wen’s victory, the narrator appears baffled, saying it “made no sense.”

The Chinese Boxing Federation rules deny athletes the chance to appeal for a review of the results if the score is 0:5 ou 1:4.

Similar questions were raised on Aug. 4, when Sichuan athlete Wang Gang defeated Yilanbieke, also a Uyghur, during the 64-kilogram match.

“An investigation has been launched and umpires who are found to have seriously violated discipline will be banned,” the Boxing and Taekwondo Center of the State General Administration of Sport said in a statement, according to the English Xinhua.

“The incidents exposed the loopholes of the boxing and taekwondo center in selecting, managing, and employing referees,” the administration said in the declaração. “The boxing and taekwondo center must take responsibility for it.”

In an earlier notice, the sports administration criticized the boxing and taekwondo center for not handling the issue in a sufficient and timely manner, and ordered an investigation.

enquanto isso, Chinese have taken to the internet to express their amusement or discontent.

“Wen Yinhang was punched four or five times every round, but he still got crowned with a score of 5 to 0,” one spectator wrote on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media site.

Another commented: “I can’t claim myself a veteran boxing fan, but I have watched some matches. This National tournament is simply ridiculous… My wife, who has never watched boxing match, joined me today and she asked, ‘how can this [Wen] win? What exactly is the standard for the competition?’ I had no good answer for her.”

Others directed their comments towards the apparently rigged results. “Such insufficient work. At least you should inform the host or narrator, this is way too awkward.”

Professional sports in China have long been plagued with corruption, doping, and fixed results. Wang Jing, the former champion in female 100 meter in the 2013 National Games, got a lifetime ban from running events for alleged doping. Dentro 2009, acclaimed diving coach Ma Yanping quit months before a scheduled competition, stating that the champions had been pre-arranged behind closed doors.

A notice issued by the State General Administration of Sports on Sept. 7, 2017 states that the national boxing team will be disbanded.

A notice issued by the State General Administration of Sports on Sept. 7, 2017.
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This photo taken on August 23, 2017 shows people at the Cambridge University Press stand at the Beijing International Book Fair in Beijing.  ( GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)This photo taken on August 23, 2017 shows people at the Cambridge University Press stand at the Beijing International Book Fair in Beijing.  ( GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON/BEIJING—Britain’s Cambridge University Press has rejected a request from its Chinese state-owned importer to block online access in China to scholarly articles from the American Political Science Review.

“A request was indeed made by the Chinese importer, but was not acted upon by Cambridge University Press, so no content was blocked,” a spokeswoman for CUP said in an emailed statement.

CUP later clarified that the request had been made early last month.

This photo taken on August 23, 2017 shows a woman reading a book at the Cambridge University Press stand at the Beijing International Book Fair in Beijing. (GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

This photo taken on August 23, 2017 shows a woman reading a book at the Cambridge University Press stand at the Beijing International Book Fair in Beijing. (GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s State Council Information Office told Reuters on Friday that importers of foreign publications must verify that the products are legal.

em agosto, CUP, the publishing arm of the elite Cambridge University, reversed a decision to block online access in China to several hundred articles and book reviews in the China Quarterly, a leading academic journal on Chinese affairs that has been published since the 1960s.

It said it had blocked the articles, which covered sensitive topics including the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, a 1966-76 Cultural Revolution and Tibet, in order to keep its other academic and educational materials available in China.

Academics called the decision an affront to academic freedom.

By Fanny Potkin and Michael Martina

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Residents at Beijing Normal University’s student halls can open the building’s doors with their faces.

The university has been using face or voice recognition technology to verify students’ identities since mid-August. The technology was first trialed in the student dormitories in May.

Facial recognition technology is becoming more common in China. It has been used to withdraw cash from ATMs, to pay for your chicken at the KFC in Hangzhou and authorities even installed cameras in public toilets at Tiantan Park in Beijing to prevent toilet paper theft.

An Alibaba employee demonstrates ‘Smile to Pay,’ an automatic payment system that authorizes payment via facial recognition, at the Alibaba booth during CES 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 5, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nev. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

At the university’s halls of residence, students are required to swipe their university cards, then the machine scans their faces or recognizes the student saying his or her own name. If this fails, students can enter a password that is linked to their university cards, according to a report in South China Morning Post.

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Inmates wait for lunch at the Chongqing Juvenile Offender Correctional Center. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)Inmates wait for lunch at the Chongqing Juvenile Offender Correctional Center. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

A program in China is sending school bullies to jail, and sentencing them to hard labor.

The courts in China are working with the schools on a pilot program for young bullies. Girls aged 15 para 17 are going through the program with the Tongzhou District People’s Court, BBC reported. A local Chinese paper said a student was convicted and sentenced to one year and 10 meses.

Part of the hard labor sentence puts them on a tough military training regimen. Schools then assess whether or not to let the student return, or be expelled for good.

The program has created an uproar across social media. Some social media users have commented that bullying is an epidemic in China and does need to be tackled, and that even the current punishment pilot programs are too lenient.

One user said the practice of electroconvulsive therapy would be better. Electroconvulsive therapy is the controversial practice in China of using severe electric shocks to break a teen out of internet addiction. The person who undergoes the treatment experiences seizures at the application of the electricity.

Another social media user mentioned that hard punishments are needed since the families are not teaching the children any better. Some commenters think the training will lead to the opposite effect and create more ferocious bullies.

Chinese social media has been plagued with extremely violent bullying video posts. One video shows a gang of girls holding steel pipes. They use the pipes to viciously beat another group of girls. de fato, the majority of the violent incidents caught on video involve girls beating, abusing, or torturing other girls. In some cases, the victim is humiliated by having her clothes torn off in public to go along with the public beating, What’s on Weibo reported.

Other videos even show middle school students kicking their teacher during class. The violent videos are posted in an incessant stream, overwhelming users of the Weibo social media platform. The videos also spread on video hosting platforms Youku or Miaopai. Users also see the videos on the WeChat platform. The videos fall into three categories of “student on student,” “student on teacher,” or “student vandalism of school property.”

The reason extreme bullying is a growing issue in China is because it hasn’t been taken very seriously. It’s “culturally” not seen as a serious issue, according to What’s on Weibo.

Chinese politicians are being forced to look into the issue and dish out legal consequences. But the military boot camps and hard labor in jail may just compound the issue. It doesn’t directly deal with the values that have made such behavior a widespread phenomenon.

A partir de NTD.tv

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Fishermen haul a whale shark through the streets of Fujian's Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Social Media)Fishermen haul a whale shark through the streets of Fujian's Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Social Media)

Local fishermen hauled a huge whale shark through the streets of Xiapu county in Fujian on Monday and offered to sell it to a local restaurant, Shanghaiist reported.

The fish appears to be alive in a video that can be viewed below, with its fin shaking as the truck makes its way down a busy street.

Fishermen haul a whale shark through the streets of Fujian's Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Social Media)

Fishermen haul a whale shark through the streets of Fujian’s Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Chinese Social Media)

When the fishermen arrived at the restaurant and made their offer, the manager refused to buy the shark, but not because it is a nationally protected species in China.

The giant fish apparently was “too smelly” and too full of mercury to eat.

Fishermen haul a whale shark through the streets of Fujian's Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Social Media)

Fishermen haul a whale shark through the streets of Fujian’s Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Chinese Social Media)

The next day, videos and photos surfaced of the enterprising fishermen lifting the shark into to a courtyard and cutting it up in the middle of the city because they thought it would be easier to sell in pieces.

Fishermen lift a whale shark from a flatbed truck in the middle of a street in Fujian's Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Social Media)

Fishermen lift a whale shark from a flatbed truck in the middle of a street in Fujian’s Xiapu county in China on September 4, 2017. (Chinese Social Media)

The bizarre photos and videos went viral on Chinese social networks and the flurry of outrage eventually reached local officials. They have launched an investigation and one of the men involved has already been arrested, according to Shanghaiist.

China prohibits the capture of whale sharks and fishermen must release them if they are caught. Filipinas, Índia, and Taiwan have also banned the fishing, selling, and import of whale sharks.

Despite the illegality, whale sharks continue to become victims after Chinese fishermen “accidentally” pull them in.

Dentro 2016, government officials from Beihai City shared photos on the official city account of a whale shark swimming in the waters near an offshore oil field.

whale_shark_killed

(Beihai City Government)

The city shared some more photos two days later, and they quickly went viral, but not because they were beautiful. The photos show the whale, the largest known living species of fish, strung up on a crane and slaughtered.

(Beihai City Government)

(Beihai City Government)

People who saw the photos online were outraged.

“I would like to string up whoever did this,” wrote one person.

A similar incident occurred in 2015 when a whale shark was slaughtered alive and butchered in a public square in Guangdong, Shanghaiist reported.

Dentro 2014, a fisherman in Zhejiang province reeled in a 5-ton whale shark “by accident”.

(Chinese Social Media)

(Chinese Social Media)

When officials launched an investigation, the fisherman, named Zeng, said that the fish swam into his net and that he didn’t notice it until he dragged it ashore.

The whale shark died once one land. Zeng said he sold it for a bargain.

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Thousands of students' parents in Guizhou's Anlong County took to the streets on September 5, 2017, after finding rotten meat delivered to the school cafeteria. (Screenshot via RFA)Thousands of students' parents in Guizhou's Anlong County took to the streets on September 5, 2017, after finding rotten meat delivered to the school cafeteria. (Screenshot via RFA)

It would have been another normal Tuesday morning on Sept. 5, as parents of Xifeng No. 2 Primary School pupils sent their kids off to school. At the school gate, the parents were surprised to find a dubious truck loaded with boxes of pork. The meat—partially rotted with some pieces covered with patches of mold or worms—gave off a repulsive stench.

The parents’ amazement turned into outrage when they realized that the meat was not going to the landfill for disposal but to the school kitchen, soon to be fed to their children.

Instead of going to work like they normally did, the furious parents staged a mass street protest. The number soon proliferated to thousands as more indignant locals and parents joined the march. Officials from the local market supervision bureau attempted to seal off and seize the boxes, but were blocked by the parents.

“Word spread quickly from mouth to mouth,” a parent surnamed Li told The Epoch Times. “The government wanted to take the pork boxes away and turn the issue into naught.” Li observed about 2,000 para 3,000 participants on the street.

To show what their children might have been eating, the protesters carried the boxes of pork and paraded on the street. They were confronted by a large but unspecified number of police, and a few protesters were arrested.

“From the No. 1 primary to No. 2 and No. 5, our schools are all on the streets, pretty much walking on any road can take you through the whole town, so you bump into demonstrators wherever you go,” Li said.

The demonstrators marched from school and stopped in front of the local government building. They dispersed after the police chief came to meet them and promised to solve the issue. They might plan for larger-scale protests if the authorities don’t settle it properly, the parents said.

The market supervision bureau staff member who picked up a reporter’s call refused to answer questions, stating that the issue was “under investigation.”

Rotted pork delivered to school cafeteria with worms swarming. (via Wechat)

Pork delivered to school cafeteria was found swarming with worms. (via Wechat)

The protest was a culmination of long-building dissatisfaction toward the government-monopolized school canteen. The parents said that Chia Tai Group (also known internationally as Charoen Pokphand or CP Group) that supplied the questionable pork had made a pact with the local government to become the exclusive supplier for the dozens of schools in Anlong County of Guizhou, a mountainous province in southwestern China. It has supplied food to tens of thousands of primary and middle school students who dined in the school cafeterias for over a year.

The incident has not been the first time the CP Group fell under public scrutiny for the quality of the food it supplied. The parents mentioned a small-scale food-poisoning incident last year when a few students fell ill after eating the cafeteria food, and said they dropped the matter for lack of awareness of their rights. They hoped that the government could suspend supplies from CP.

“We hope that the government could give schools the freedom to choose where to purchase their own food materials…wouldn’t it be much fresher that way? There’s tens of thousands of students, how do you make a ‘unified distribution’ when you don’t even have insulation in the truck? ” a parent surnamed Zheng told Sound of Hope Radio.

The Thailand-based conglomerate CP Group made its first entry to China in 1979 as the first foreign investor when China opened up trade to the outside in 1978. It has since sprouted to over 200 subsidiaries across the country.

Charoen Pokphand Foods, a company of the CP group, is a top international producer of pork, shrimp and poultry, and the third largest poultry producer in China. The company was also forced to issue a public statement last June after a video of counterfeit eggs with its Chinese Chia Tai package went viral online.

In September 2012, CP Group was involved in a drug scandal as two of its companies, Shanxi Chia Tai and Xiangfan Chia Tai, used gutter oil in their drug production, de acordo com Emergency Safety Net. Gutter oil is cooking oil that has been recycled from restaurant fryers, grease traps, sewers, and other sources.

To assure customers that their products are healthy, the CP Group went so far as to deploy a group of “robot nannies” in their chicken farm near Beijing to conduct daily checkups for its 3 million hens.

Food safety in China has been a growing concern as incidents have constantly emerged.

The same day of the protest, 120 kids in three kindergartens in Nanchang of southeastern Jiangxi Province fell sick from suspected food poisoning. The children were admitted to Jiangxi Provincial Children’s Hospital after showing symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, and complaints about abdominal pains. Thirty six were hospitalized, 62 placed under medical observation, e 22 were discharged, according to the Jiangxi News.

Fast food chains including Starbucks, Burger King and McDonald’s apologized to Chinese consumers in July 2014, after it turned out that the meat they sourced from a Shanghai company had expired.

The biggest food scandal in China in recent memory occurred in 2008, when melamine-tainted milk powder killed at least 6 babies and sickened 300,000.

Additional reporting by Gu Xiaohua.

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Screenshot of the police officer knocking down the woman with her child (YouTube / screenshot)Screenshot of the police officer knocking down the woman with her child (YouTube / screenshot)

A video showing a Chinese police officer slamming a woman holding child to the ground has incensed social media users in the world’s most populous country.

A video, taken by a bystander, shows a woman in Shanghai arguing with an officer over a parking fine. After a heated exchange, the officer suddenly slams the woman to the pavement, while she’s holding her child.

The infant can be seen flying to the pavement. Onlookers rush to the scene and try to help the woman and her child.

On the video, captured Sept. 1, Weibo users condemned the physical force used against the child.

One Weibo user from Nanjing said, “What are these police doing? They should be protecting and serving the people. Even if there are some disputes, it shouldn’t go as far as throwing a child on the ground.”

Another person wrote on Weibo. “After watching the video, I thought the problem was at most an individual issue. But after reading the official Shanghai police report, my opinion completely changed. I feel this is not a problem with any single person, but a very serious political issue. Those two officers have brought shame on entire country’s police forces. If they are not punished, how could the true police of the people tolerate it?"

The moment before the police officer slams the woman and child to the pavement (YouTube/screenshot)

The moment before the police officer slams the woman and child to the pavement (YouTube/screenshot)

The official report says that while the police officer was attempting to handle a parking violation, he was obstructed by the disobedient and violent owner. In this Chinese user’s blog, the police are criticized for using excessive and unnecessary force to resolve the situation properly.

In recent years, Chinese police officers have been criticized for committing human rights abuses. In one dramatic example, Xu Chensheng, a practitioner of Falun Gong—a type of spiritual practice that includes slow-moving, meditative exercises that’s been severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999—died in police custody after just 12 horas.

Over the past 18 anos, sobre 4,000 cases have been documented of illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners dying while in the hands of state security. The number of cases that haven’t been documented is much higher.

Xu Chensheng, 47, died a day after she was arrested (Minghui)

Xu Chensheng, 47, died a day after she was arrested. (Minghui.org)

Chinese police often unlawfully raid the homes of Falun Gong practitioners, confiscating their belongings and detaining them.

Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) in February said that Beijing recently implemented a series of “draconian laws” that gives more power for police to criminalize human rights activities.

“The Chinese government seems intent on eliminating civil society through a combination of new legislation restricting the funding and operations of NGOs, and the criminalization of human rights activities as a so-called threat to national security,” Frances Eve, a researcher at CHRD, told The Guardian several months ago. “What stands out is the almost institutionalized use of torture to force defenders to confess that their legitimate and peaceful human rights work is somehow a ‘crime’,” Eve added.

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The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Three out of four women from China that have been charged with cheating on language exams to gain admission into American universities have pled guilty. The case highlights the growing phenomenon of Chinese students who use fraud to enter the U.S. education system, an industry that in the last decades has seen an ever-growing reliance on tuition from Chinese students.

Earlier in May, NOS. prosecutors arrested Yue Wang, Shikun Zhang, Leyi Huang, and Xiaomeng Cheng, all Chinese students in the United States on F-1 student visas, e charged them with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Prosecutors said that Wang, a student at Hult International Business School, was paid to take the TOEFL exam for the other three Chinese students, who used their fraudulent test scores to gain admission to U.S. colleges, including Arizona State University, Northeastern University, and Penn State University. The students then obtained visas from the U.S. State Department based on their admission offers.

TOEFL is an exam widely used to assess the English-language competency of foreign students aspiring to gain admission into U.S. colleges and around the world. The test is used by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies worldwide.

Prosecutors said Wang was paid $7,000 to take the test in 2015 e 2016 for the other Chinese students, after they previously took the test and failed to meet the minimum scores required to enter their respective U.S. colleges.

While each of the women faced up to five years in prison if convicted, Cheng, Zhang, and Wang have agreed to plead guilty on Aug. 30 in exchange for prosecutors reducing their sentences to time served and deportation to China. Leyi Huang declined a similar plea deal.

Cheating as an Industry

Among Chinese students the illicit practice of hiring an imposter (also known as a “gunman” in Chinese) to take the entrance exam has been a widely-known phenomena that has existed for years in the country’s multi-billion dollar overseas education industry.

Por exemplo, a federal indictment in 2015 charged 15 Chinese nationals with cheating the college entrance examination system using fake passports and test-taking impostors, de acordo com New York Times.

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump's crackdown on immigration fraud such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says that the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States.

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump’s crackdown on immigration fraud, such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says for that reason the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States.

A random search on the internet immediately shows numerous Chinese websites selling the taking of TOEFL and other entrance exams. The vendors usually guarantee a high score on the TOEFL test, which the buyer can then use to apply for admission into U.S. colleges.

One such website—yhtoefl.net—sells not just TOEFL, but also other more advanced admission tests such as the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test, used for admission to U.S. college).

The yhtoefl.net website, which provides no information about what company owns it or its physical address, prominently displays examples of TOEFL scores that have been “commissioned” in the past, and says that the company has “8 years of experience” in the business and employs over 500 “professional exam takers” across China, Hong Kong, Cingapura, and other major cities where exams can be taken. The website charges a “reasonable price” for the TOEFL test, which ranges from 10,000 para 30,000 Chinese Yuan (US$1,500 to US$4,500), although it is unknown how such a price compares to the industry average.

The same website even published an article discussing the May 2017 case concerning the four Chinese students in this story.

“Since [NOS. President] Trump came into office, he has been tightening up the immigration policy, and as a result those who attempt to scam the U.S. immigration system would face severe punishment,” the website says. “That is why we prefer to do the exams for you in China, since the Chinese government would not care if Chinese students are scamming the U.S. government.”

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump's crackdown on immigration fraud such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says that the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the taking of entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump’s crackdown on immigration fraud, such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says for that reason the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers in the United States.

Tuition-hungry U.S. Colleges Fuel Abuse

The number of Chinese students coming to the United States for higher education has seen a rapid increase over the last decade and in 2016 reached a record of 304,000, ou 31 percent of all foreign students in the United States, de acordo com um relatório by the Migration Policy Institute. The phenomenon reflects China’s increasingly affluent population, many of which can afford to pay a hefty sum for an American education that brings prestige and a prospect for a good job.

Northeastern University in Boston, MA, which admitted one of the students convicted in this TOEFL fraud case, has 11,702 international students in the current academic year and is home to one of the largest Chinese-student populations in the country.

Unlike American students, international students such as those from China tend to pay the full cost of tuition, which is often twice or more the amount that their American classmates pay. Many U.S. universities and colleges that have had trouble finding enough native students have now opened their doors to a massive amount of Chinese cash by admitting a large number of Chinese students. And many of these are not competent in English.

The high concentration of Chinese students often means that the new students spend most of their free time with other Chinese, and their English remains poor even after years of living and studying in the United States. The industry that cheats on TOEFL and other entrance exams has most likely made the situation for Chinese students worse.

According to a recent story by John Pomfret, the former Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post, many educators and students have privately acknowledged that U.S. institutions face an “endemic and terrible problem” with mainland Chinese students, as the system is increasingly seen as broken and plagued by abuses.

In the same story John Pomfret points out that because a large number of Chinese students in America lack the necessary skill in English, these students fail to integrate into the U.S. environment, which can lead to more serious problems. The poorly-integrated students, according to Pomfret, could be easy targets for the Chinese regime to influence and control through propaganda and regime-run apparatuses overseas.

One such apparatus is the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), a state-supported Chinese organization involved in controlling and spying on Chinese students and scholars overseas. Chinese students not prepared for an American education naturally gravitate toward organizations such as the CSSA because “it offers us a place to go when we’re homesick,” according to Pomfret’s interview with a Chinese student.

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(Weibo)(Weibo)

A 24-year-old woman was detained by police after she attempted to ship her newborn girl to an orphanage wrapped in plastic bags.

The baby survived and the mother is being investigated for child abandonment.

The mother, surname Luo, lives in the city of Fuzhou in southeast China, some 480 miles south of Shanghai.

On Aug. 9, she put her baby in several black plastic bags and handed it over to a courier. She didn’t let him inspect the package contents, local media reported, according to CNN.

The courier took the package and continued on his rounds, but then he noticed the package moved and made sounds. He opened it and, to his shock, he found a baby drenched in sweat inside. The temperatures that day hit a sweltering 98 F.

People gathered around the baby girl and tried to hydrate her by dropping water from a cotton swab on her lips, as shown in a cellphone video circulated online.

The baby was taken to the Jin’an District Hospital and her life was not in danger, the hospital’s official told CNN.

“Police have identified the mother, who said she would take the baby home,” the official said.

Baby girls have often been aborted, abandoned, or even killed in China because of the communist regime’s imposing limits on how many children people can have (the regime imposed the rules in 1979 facing a massive population boom caused by its own mass promotion of having as many children as possible decades before).

In Chinese culture, the son takes care of his elderly parents and the daughter takes care of the parents of her husband. The regime’s social security system only covers about third of the country’s workforce. Most retirees still rely on the filial piety of their children. portanto, if couples can’t afford penalties for having a second or third baby, they’re strongly incentivized to ensure their first baby turns out to be a boy.

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A Chinese youth plays online game in a net cafe on January 21, 2008 in Chongqing Municipality, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)A Chinese youth plays online game in a net cafe on January 21, 2008 in Chongqing Municipality, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)

A teen death at an internet addiction treatment center has sparked more criticism over the controversial institutions.

An 18-year-old had just been admitted to the treatment center in Fuyang City, eastern Anhui Province, on Aug. 3. After a mere two days, members of the center’s staff informed his parents that their son had been rushed to hospital where he later died.

The center’s director and four staff members were held for questioning by local police. The treatment center was shut down for an investigation.

His parents decided to send him to the treatment center when they felt they were unable to help their son address his internet addiction.

A postmortem revealed that Ms. Liu’s son had suffered at least 20 external injuries, in addition to several internal injuries.

“My son’s body was completely covered with scars, from top to toe. … When I sent my son to the center he was still fine, how could he have died within 48 horas?” the mother told Chinese media Anhui Shangbao.

China has approximately 731 milhão internet users. Around 24 million of these are considered to be addicted youth reported The Telegraph. That is approximately 10 percent of the online youth population.

Starting in 2005, it is estimated that at least 250 youth treatment centers have appeared across China, offering services to help parents with the treatment of addictions and/or rebellious behavior, reported South China Morning Post. Parents can forgo 30,000 yuan ($5,000) to institutionalize their children, according to the BBC.

Some 20-odd teenagers assemble at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in the southeastern suburb of Daxing in Beijing, 01 marcha 2007, all placed there involuntarily by their family, to go through a strict regimen that might as well be boot camp. (AFP / AFP / Getty Images)

Some 20-odd teenagers assemble at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in the southeastern suburb of Daxing in Beijing, Em março 1, 2007, all placed there involuntarily by their families, to go through a strict regimen that might as well be boot camp. (AFP / AFP / Getty Images)

Many of these centres are located on military bases and are essentially re-education centers according to Hilla Medalia, an Israeli director in a BBC entrevista. There are also private centers and schools.

The attendees are put through rigorous physical training. Military drills are employed to improve attendees “bad” physical shape and train discipline that facility directors believe will help wean the youngsters off their addiction. Attendees are asked to perform practical tasks such as preparing vegetables.

In addition to physical training, the treatment centers also provide psychological counseling, electroshock therapy, and prescribe medication if deemed necessary. The medication may include sedatives and antidepressants, according to The Telegraph.

<a href="http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2017/08/14/GettyImages-73714356.jpg" class="light-box" data-lightbox="599218b2c4651" data-title="A Chinese psychiatrist prepares a teenager, one of the more serious cases, for treatment with low-voltage electrical jolts via pins inserted into the skin according to the prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine, at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in the southeastern suburb of Daxing in Beijing, Em março 1, 2007.
(AFP / AFP / Getty Images)”>A Chinese psychiatrist prepares a teenager, one of the more serious cases, for treatment with low-voltage electrical jolts via pins inserted into the skin according to the prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine, at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in the southeastern suburb of Daxing in Beijing, 01 marcha 2007.  (AFP / AFP / Getty Images)

A Chinese psychiatrist prepares a teenager, one of the more serious cases, for treatment with low-voltage electrical jolts via pins inserted into the skin according to the prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine, at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in the southeastern suburb of Daxing in Beijing, Em março 1, 2007.
(AFP / AFP / Getty Images)

But several cases of patient abuse have been reported over the years. Several of these facilities have come under investigation by local officials following evidence of harsh corporal punishment methods used by staff. Attendees have reported severe beatings and sleep-deprivation.

One girl who was admitted to an academy in Shandong told The Paper that she felt she had lived “a life without dignity” at the facility.

Concerned community members have been quick to point out that many youth at these facilities are forced into this method of treatment against their will, de acordo com BBC.

Toy guns for a group of Chinese teenagers to play with as part of their treatment at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre.  (AFP / AFP / Getty Images)

Toy guns for a group of Chinese teenagers to play with as part of their treatment at the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre. (AFP / AFP / Getty Images)

Trent Bax, an internet addiction researcher at South Korea’s Ewha Womans University, said that many parents send their children to these facilities as they are promised “quick fix” solutions to their child’s struggles through “emotive power advertising” that have been widely publicized since 2014.

The tragic deaths occurring in these facilities continue to fuel debate around whether parenting attitudes are partly to blame.

Mingguang Daily noted in an editorial, “Some parents, upon discovering the problem, fail to reflect on their responsibility to educate, and instead want to seek third parties’ help in solving the problem.”

China’s failed one-child policy amplified certain societal pressures for Chinese youth. A candid interview with one youth revealed why some youths find the internet so appealing and are at risk of addiction, “My parents wanted me to study at home all day, and I was not allowed to play outside,” a teenager at the Qide Education Centre told SCMP.

Wang admitted that playing games on the internet, sometimes continuously for more than three days, provided him an avenue of escape from parental and social pressures in the highly competitive Chinese schooling system. Despite its negative impact on his school grades, Wang said, “I gained another feeling of achievement by advancing to the next level in the game.”

Media commentators have said the problem facing China’s youth highlights a lack of formal, professional, psychological counseling and support for communities, leaving parents of addicted children helpless to successfully address the problem.

The Beijing Times has warned parents against sending their children to these widely advertised facilities, “Do not send your children to such a ‘cage’” it says. “Using violent means only further hurts a child.”

From NTD.tv

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Tourists wait to be evacuated after an earthquake in Jiuzhaigou in China's southwestern Sichuan province on August 9, 2017. 
China on August 9 evacuated tens of thousands people in its mountainous southwest after a strong earthquake killed at least 19 people and rattled a region where memories of a 2008 seismic disaster remain fresh. / AFP PHOTO / STR / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)Tourists wait to be evacuated after an earthquake in Jiuzhaigou in China's southwestern Sichuan province on August 9, 2017. 
China on August 9 evacuated tens of thousands people in its mountainous southwest after a strong earthquake killed at least 19 people and rattled a region where memories of a 2008 seismic disaster remain fresh. / AFP PHOTO / STR / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

JIUZHAIGOU, China—A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote, mountainous part of China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, killing 19 pessoas, including eight tourists, and injuring 247, provincial officials and state media said on Wednesday.

The quake hit a sparsely populated area 120 miles northwest of the city of Guangyuan late on Tuesday at a depth of 6 milhas, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination.

A huge quake in Sichuan in May 2008 killed almost 70,000 pessoas.

A separate quake of magnitude 6.6 hit a remote part of China’s far northwestern region of Xinjiang, mais que 2,000 1,240 miles away, on Wednesday, the Chinese earthquake administration said. State media reported 32 people had been injured in the mostly rural area.

Tourists Evacuated

Sichuan authorities said rescuers were gradually evacuating tourists and residents who had been cut off by landslides.

It added that 19 people had been killed, but most of those injured were not seriously hurt.

The dead included eight tourists, two residents and nine whose identities have yet to be confirmed, state television said.

In nearby Longnan in the neighboring province of Gansu, also jolted by the quake, eight people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the People’s Daily said.

Sichuan officials added that 45,000 tourists had been evacuated from the quake zone with 1,000 more still waiting to leave.

File: A Chinese paramilitary soldier inspects parking area at Jiuzhaigou Nine-village valley) in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, Jan. 9, 2006. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

A few dozen tourists were camped out at Jiuzhaigou airport, waiting for flights. The airport was open and beginning to evacuate people by air, state media said.

A traveler with a young daughter who gave his family name as Li said he was in his hotel when the earthquake hit.

“The walls and floor shook. Some things fell off the table," ele disse.

“At first the road was blocked, but they had cleared a lane this morning for ambulances,” Li added.

A car, damaged by a rock during an earthquake, is seen in Jiuzhaigou in China's southwestern Sichuan province on August 9, 2017.  At least 12 people were killed when a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern China, government sources said on August 9, but the toll was expected to climb as news trickles out of the remote mountainous region. / AFP PHOTO / STR / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A car, damaged by a rock during an earthquake, is seen in Jiuzhaigou in China’s southwestern Sichuan province on August 9, 2017. (STR / AFP / Getty Images)

A French man and a Canadian woman suffered light injuries, state media reported.

All 341 Taiwan tourists in 19 tour groups were safe, the government of the self-ruled island said.

Sichuan authorities dismissed as overblown earlier fears that part of a hotel had collapsed, saying damage proved minor and everyone was evacuated safely.

The Sichuan earthquake administration, which also assessed the quake magnitude at 7.0, said its epicenter was in Ngawa prefecture, populated chiefly by ethnic Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic herders.

Rescuers carry a woman, injured during an earthquake, in Jiuzhaigou in China's southwestern Sichuan province on August 9, 2017.  China on August 9 evacuated tens of thousands people in its mountainous southwest after a strong earthquake killed at least 19 people and rattled a region where memories of a 2008 seismic disaster remain fresh. / AFP PHOTO / STR / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers carry a woman, injured during an earthquake, in Jiuzhaigou in China’s southwestern Sichuan province on August 9, 2017. (STR / AFP / Getty Images)

The area was rattled by aftershocks on Wednesday.

Pictures on state-run social media sites showed some damage in Jiuzhaigou, with tiles having fallen off buildings and people gathering outdoors.

State television said electricity had largely been restored to affected areas and the military was also sending rescuers.

The Sichuan government said on one of its official social media sites that more than 38,000 tourists were now visiting Jiuzhaigou.

Shaking was felt in the provincial capital, Chengdu, and as far away as Xian, home of the famous terracotta warrior figures, according to the government.

The Xinjiang quake’s epicenter was in Jinghe county, sobre 60 miles from the border with Kazakhstan, where about 140,000 people live, de acordo com a Xinhua.

Residents several hundred kilometers away in Urumqi, and the cities of Karamay and Yining, felt strong tremors, Xinhua said. The jolt lasted about 20 seconds, it said.

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