China News
News from China with a focus on human rights and religious liberty
Sunday, January 02, 2005

 China's New Prosperity Leaves Rural Women Behind [VOA]
Beyond city limits women still face daunting environment full of abuse and grinding poverty [more]

6:02:55 PM    comments []

Thursday, December 30, 2004

China Arrests 11 Falun Gong Members for Posting Torture Photos on Internet [VOA]
Reporters without Borders says at least 20 other Falun Gong members are in custody for posting photos to Internet [more]

2:51:38 PM    comments []

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Chinese aid joins world rescue. CHINAdaily Dec 28 2004 6:28PM GMT [Moreover - China news]
4:35:34 PM    comments []

HK people warmly participate in relief of tidal waves disaster. Xinhua News Agency Dec 28 2004 6:21PM GMT [Moreover - China news]
4:32:34 PM    comments []

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Chinese Activist Wins Press Freedom Award [VOA]

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) official unveils the 3 winners of the RSF - Fondation de France Prize 2004 
Liu Xiaobo, a prominent Chinese dissident, has won an international award as a defender of press freedoms. The announcement comes as a number of prominent activists in China are being arrested or detained.

Despite repeated government efforts to silence him, Liu Xiaobo refuses to back down. The former Beijing University teacher has been in and out of prison since 1989, when he spoke out in support of the students involved in the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Wednesday, the organization Reporters Without Borders honored his courage and his commitment to a free press, naming him the leading defender of press freedoms in 2004.

Vincent Brossel of Reporters without Borders says Mr. Liu has consistently championed an open society, and has called for the release of jailed reporters, at a risk to his personal freedom.  "He's facing a real risk," said Vincent Brossel. "He has been fighting for freedom of expression for years. He can be arrested at any time."

Forty nine-year-old Mr. Liu is the director of the Chinese PEN Center, the country's only independent advocate for the rights of journalists. He spent two years in jail for participating in the 1989 democracy movement. In 1996, the government sentenced him to another three years in a labor camp for criticizing the Communist Party. Earlier this year he published an online essay that criticized government use of subversion charges against some journalists.

Authorities cut off his telephone and Internet service in May, and repeatedly denied his requests for a passport. He and two other prominent intellectuals were briefly detained earlier this month, accused of revealing state secrets to foreigners.

Mr. Brossel says Beijing once again trying to tighten its control over its social critics, and cited a number of recent actions. "Officials are targeting respected intellectuals, journalists, freedom activists in the past three days one journalist has been arrested and one farmers' rights activist was under detention," he said.

Other press freedom awards went to an Algerian journalist who was jailed for libel after exposing corruption, and a Mexican weekly newspaper that saw three of its reporters killed after a series of investigative reports.

2:45:15 PM    comments []

Chinese workers blog in protest. From Poynter E-Media Tidbits, Fons Tuinstra reports from Shanghai that "Chinese strikers use weblogs for their struggle. " The worker's blog is here. The first article on the blog is the New York Times report on their strike. This is... [China Digital News]
2:39:10 PM    comments []

China breifly detained 'outspoken' editorial writer. From Reuters, via the New Zealand Herald: "China has arrested the chief editorial writer at China Reform magazine, continuing a Communist Party campaign to silence outspoken liberal intellectuals, sources familiar with the case said on Tuesday. Journalist Chen Min, who... [China Digital News]
2:37:21 PM    comments []

China turns on intellectuals. Chinese police arrest one of the country's most influential journalists in campaign to stifle critical discussion. [Guardian Unlimited World Latest]
2:33:35 PM    comments []

Unseasonal strife in Santa's little sweatshops. Chinese workers in the sweatshops of Guangdong have been demonstrating their discontent by striking, smashing their factories, and not turning up for work. [Telegraph News | International News]
2:31:41 PM    comments []

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Chinese President Praises Macau, Criticizes Hong Kong [VOA]

Chinese President Hu Jintao hailed the success of the "one-country, two systems" policy in Macau Monday, as he led 5th anniversary celebrations of the former Portuguese enclave's return to China. But the Chinese leader expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership of Hong Kong.

On his first visit to Macau as China's president, Hu Jintao praised the territory's record in the five years since its return to Chinese sovereignty.

The territory, administered by Portugal for more than 400 years, is enjoying an unprecedented economic boom, fueled by foreign investments in its recently liberalized gambling industry.

Mr. Hu says time has proven that the "one country, two systems" formula is, in his words, "entirely correct".

China's late leader, Deng Xiaoping, crafted the concept of "one country, two systems" to deal with the then impending return of Macau and the British colony of Hong Kong in the late 1990s. The policy provided for a high degree of political autonomy for the two territories and preserved their capitalist systems, despite China's communist system.

The model was also meant to entice Taiwan, which has been self-governed since 1949, to return to Beijing's rule.

But while Macau has experienced stability and growth, Hong Kong has been beset by economic and political troubles since Britain handed it back to China in 1997. The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome last year and demands for greater democracy have been among the many challenges the local administration has faced.

Beijing has refused to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong in 2007 and 2008, when the next elections for the territory's legislature and chief executive are scheduled - prompting mass protests earlier this year.

On Sunday, Hong Kong's government suffered another embarrassment, when a court challenge forced it to scrap a $3 billion privatization of the commercial assets of its public housing estates.

At the Macau celebrations Monday, President Hu publicly berated Hong Kong's leaders, including Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, who stood by looking uncomfortable as Mr. Hu spoke.

Mr. Hu told officials to reflect on what Hong Kong has gone through since returning to China, examine its shortcomings, and improve its capabilities.

President Hu has not visited Hong Kong since becoming China's president and Communist party leader last year.

11:46:52 AM    comments []


By Jeremy Reynalds
Special Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

CHINA  (ANS) -- While Americans gear up to celebrate Christmas and enjoy God’s blessings, numerous Christians in China are carrying their cross for Lord. In His Name they are tortured, jailed, detained, tortured, fined or separated from their families.

The Committee for Investigation on Persecution of Religion in China’s (CIPRC) Chief Secretary John Lee sent this compelling and yet tragic story of the torture that four Christian evangelists suffered because of preaching the gospel.

Lee explained by e-mail how his organization obtained the account. He wrote, “God has moved many brave Christians in China in interviewing and collecting the persecution cases. Then they smuggle these reports to us in the United States. In the past several years, we have received thousands and thousands of the bloody cases. (But) we have lost many people because of this.”

Lee added, “Due to the nature of our ministry, our organization has become the target of the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘secret force’ in the U.S. They tried various means to stop us, such as stalking, intimidating, etc. But ‘The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”

With that in mind, Lee wrote, “What should we do when knowing what have happened to our brothers and sisters? Where is our own cross? ‘Jesus said, ‘And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.’” (Luke 14:27)

A Tragic Story

According to the account from CIPRC, on Feb. 23 2003 four Christians were arrested and brutally tortured by police from Boli County, in China’s Heilongjiang Province.

Four policemen led by Weidong Sun from Chenxi Police Station drove two cars to Xiuying Chen’s home, and arrested Dan Deng, 38, an evangelist who rented a room there. There the police waited for three other Christians coming to meet Deng. They were Qingshan Qi, 29, Shengbin Man, 23, and Jiyan Cheng, 49.

At the police station, Sun and other officers surrounded Qi. Without any warning, Sun grabbed Qi’s hair and pushed his head between Sun’s thighs. The other two officers then kicked him in the back with leather shoes before slapping him on the face and kicking him on the ground for more than a half hour. Then they searched Qi, seizing 400 RMB ($50) and a variety of possessions. The police then demanded that Qi tell them the names of other Christians and where they met.

When Qi kept silent, the officers forced him into an excruciatingly painful posture known as “motorcycle-riding” – where the upper body is bent forward and one’s legs are stretched out. Officers then kicked Qi in the back between 50 and 60 times.

After about an hour, Sun took a chair and sat in front of Qi, saying, “I will see how long you can bear. I swear to make you confess!” Then with one hand holding Qi’s right arm, he used his other hand to hold a cigarette lighter and repeatedly burn Qi’s palm.

Later that day, Cheng was dragged into a room and put onto a “tiger” chair. There her legs were tightened, her left hand was tied to the chair’s low back while her right hand was attached to the upper back portion of the chair. Then the police officer forced her right arm down, making her scream in pain. When another officer saw that this wasn’t having the desired effect, he started slapping her face for a while.

Then another policeman came and continued the torture. Lifting Cheng’s clothes and starting from her breast and working on down, he pressed his fingers between her ribs. This caused such extreme pain she felt her heart was going to come out of her body.

The torture continued with a different officer – this one using a needle. He stuck the needle into Cheng’s knee between her bones a number of times and twisted it brutally. Then he started to poke her arms with the needle. Cheng’s legs were covered with bruises. Finally, the officer poked the needle through her upper lip.

Man was also beaten up. One policeman bashed his nose and followed that by grabbing his hair and smashing his head onto the wall. Sun pushed Man’s head against the corner of a steel cabinet, and then forced him to assume a posture known as “airplane-driving.” Another officer kicked Man on the back between 30 and 40 times for about an hour. The police confiscated his money and possessions. He was beaten again twice before being sent to the detention center.

Deng was interrogated for eight hours the next morning. He was brutalized so badly that his face was deformed.

Around 6:00pm the same day the police sent all the evangelists to the county North Jail. On March 10 they were transferred to the county detention center.

Qi was bailed out by his family at 4000 RMB ($500). He was released at about midnight on March 10.

Cheng was half dead from the torture before being released at midnight the same day.

Man was detained for 48 days. On April 12 his family bailed him out for 800 RMB ($100).

Deng was assigned to cook at the detention center but escaped and nobody knows where she is now.

According to CIPRC, the group was founded in 2000 in New York. Its objectives are to reveal the plight that the Chinese house church Christians have suffered, and to call on believers in the free world to help their brothers and sisters in the persecuted church.

For additional information about CIPRC go to 

11:33:43 AM    comments []

Saturday, December 11, 2004


By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

HENAN PROVINCE, CHINA  (ANS) -- One of the most prominent Protestant house church leaders in China, Pastor Zhang Rongliang, was arrested on Wednesday, December 1.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in the UK, Pastor Zhang, aged 53, was arrested in Xuzhai village in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He is believed to be being held incommunicado in the Jinshui area in Zhengzhou.

“There is particular concern for Pastor Zhang's welfare and safety, especially as he suffers from serious diabetes, which would affect his ability to withstand the cruelty that can be expected in detention,” said a CSW spokesperson.

“Pastor Zhang is the leader of the China for Christ Church, which is estimated to have about 10 million members, and is also the leader of the Fangcheng Mother Church.

“He has been wanted for many years and has already spent twelve years in prison for his faith, during five separate detentions. There is concern that he may be less able to withstand such conditions in his current state of health.”

Around lunchtime on December 1, a white Volkswagen car, with a Zhengzhou registration plate with the number 0191, was seen parked by Pastor Zhang's flat (apartment). Shortly afterwards, Pastor Zhang was arrested and there has been no communication with him since that time.

Pastor Zhang's wife and immediate family are all in hiding following the arrest. On December 1 and 2 the authorities raided every home in Xuzhai, where the arrest took place, apparently searching for the Zhang family.

“There is also concern for Gao Shunping, who had helped in the provision of ID for Pastor Zhang, who has been missing since 2nd December,” said the CSW spokesperson.

“The police have conducted a number of follow up raids in Zhengzhou and elsewhere, including raiding at least three house churches in Fangcheng city.

“Pastor Zhang's arrest comes in the midst of a serious crackdown on the house churches and an increase in the number of arrests and other incidents this year.

“The case is now being made public and is expected to attract significant attention as Pastor Zhang has a notable international profile. Due to his position, he is well known to many international organizations and individuals. His story has been featured in a number of international articles and books, including 'Jesus in Beijing', published in 2003 by former TIME journalist, David Aikman… He has been interviewed by major news outlets, including Newsweek and TIME magazine, as well as key Christian media. It is feared that he may face more intense persecution as a result of his high profile and his international connections.

“Even more seriously, as the leader of a large house church network, there is the danger that he could be falsely accused of being the leader of a cult. The Chinese authorities are afraid of large networks and adopt arbitrary classification of groups as cults based upon political objectives rather than doctrinal orthodoxy.”

CSW is calling for international attention to be drawn to Pastor Zhang's case and for the Chinese authorities to disclose Pastor Zhang's precise whereabouts, provide medical care and release him as a matter of urgency.

Stuart Windsor, National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide stated: “We are gravely concerned for Pastor Zhang, especially for his health. In previous detentions the police have shown themselves ruthless in their torture of Pastor Zhang and we fear for his welfare if he is subjected to similar treatment in his current medical condition.

"We call upon the international community to raise a strong cry for his protection and immediate release. Pastor Zhang is being targeted solely for his religious activities and his arrest is part of the pattern of serious abuse of religious freedom by the governing authorities of the country. We call upon China to make good her assertions of religious freedom and release Pastor Zhang without delay - both on grounds of justice and in light of his medical condition.”

For further information and photos, please call + 44 7770 755660.

10:05:01 AM    comments []

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

China Fears a Baby Bust. From the LA Times: "After 25 years of the one-child policy, the nation risks producing too few children. But many parents have decided one is enough. " This raises a new problem in China's population structure. "In Shanghai, 2.6... [China Digital News]
2:12:49 PM    comments []

 Google English News Disappears in China [The Epoch Times]
The popular online search engine company Google launched its Chinese news service. A few weeks later, China began a massive firewall blockade of English language news, according to Paris-based Reporters without Borders. [more]
2:02:31 PM    comments []

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Last Update: 1/2/2005; 6:03:19 PM

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