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China has been a fickle market for Internet search engine companies

Most companies wanting to do business in China have had to adapt to policies that are much different than the ones in the United States.  For example, search engine companies have had to censor material that would easily be available in other nations.  Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based public interest group, has reported that Yahoo! censors more material out of all the search engine companies operating in China. 

Reporters Without Borders used a number of political terms that are deemed to be unofficially taboo by the Chinese government.  The report also claims that 97 percent of Yahoo.cn's search results are sites authorized by the Chinese government.  The Google.cn and msn.cn search engines allowed more information through compared to Yahoo.cn. 

Censorship is the cost of doing business in China for companies like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Skype.  Recently, Google.com has been blocked by Chinese authorities.  Yahoo has drawn the most fire after allegations the company helped the Chinese government put several journalists in jail.  Although the companies don't like having to censor material, each company is doing what it has to do.


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The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/19/2006 4:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
This whole "chinese people are being opressed" is utterly untrue. I am Chinese and i have seen the improvement over the past 15 years. This Chinese "censorship" of media has been blown out of proportion. Here go to www.google.cn and find me a site that you visit comonly on ur computer. u'll be hardpressed to find ANY one of them censored. What the western media protrays as "censorship" is just three or four obscure sites that the our government believes will cause instability and a general movement away from their set goals. They are simply inaccesable via search engines. You can simply put the web address in the browser and get to the "censored" site that way. Many people in the united states have a false impression what they believe is still "Red China". I suggest that they come to China and take a look for themselves to see first hand the "opression" that we undergo.




RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 6:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
> " I suggest that they come to China and take a look for themselves to see first hand the "opression" that we undergo. "

I've been to Hong Kong numerous times, Canton twice, and Shanghai once. I haven't been to Beijing, where I hear its worse. While the 'oppression' may not be as bad as some believe, its certainly not a free and open society. If you think otherwise, go stand in the middle of Tiananmen Square and try a few Falun Gong exercises, or try to chat up someone about the '89 Massacre


RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/19/2006 9:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've been to Hong Kong numerous times, Canton twice, and Shanghai once. I haven't been to Beijing, where I hear its worse. While the 'oppression' may not be as bad as some believe, its certainly not a free and open society. If you think otherwise, go stand in the middle of Tiananmen Square and try a few Falun Gong exercises, or try to chat up someone about the '89 Massacre


The 89 massacre was a mistake of the past. Something that will never repeat itself. No you cannot go to tiananmen square and start yelling bad remarks on the communist party. But in virtually every other city (beijing is more strict) you can pretty much say what you want in the open. Journalists even question the government many times thought they know there is a grey line that they cannot cross. But it is improving. We may not be free and open as the united states but the condition is improving. Every time i got to the United States people thinnk China is an authoritarian government that thinks nothing about its people. This impression is just untrue. China is opening up at its own pace. A country cannot simply jump from a mao era dictatorship to a free and open democracy in one night without suffering heavy consequences.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 10:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
> "The 89 massacre was a mistake of the past. Something that will never repeat itself."

The same government is in charge as in 89. The same people who killed those students are still not brought to justice...and the same protestors arrested in '89 are still in jail. History repeats itself, my friend. The only way the Chinese government won't massacre more protestors is if people stop protesting entirely.

> "Journalists even question the government many times thought they know there is a grey line that they cannot cross"

Well, that pretty much sums the situation. You can "question" the government as long as you don't say anything to make them angry. Otherwise, you'll spend the rest of your life in prison. Just ask Shi Tao (10 years prison for mentioning the government's censorship policy) or Li Zhi (8 years prison for criticizing government corruption)

> "But it is improving..."

Probably...but very slowly, and with occasional backsliding. And with no guarantee it will ever be a truly free society.









RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/19/2006 10:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Probably...but very slowly, and with occasional backsliding. And with no guarantee it will ever be a truly free society.
quote:
The same government is in charge as in 89. The same people who killed those students are still not brought to justice...and the same protestors arrested in '89 are still in jail. History repeats itself, my friend. The only way the Chinese government won't massacre more protestors is if people stop protesting entirely.

Same government. New people. new generation. Technically the US has the same government as it had when it evicted and massacred entire civilizations of native americans or "savages" as they were called in the day under the clock of "manifest destiny". yes i read american history. When was the last chinese massacre for protests? Do you know how many protests go on each day in China? Contrary to what you want to believe there have been MANY protests against the government in the recent years, especially the rural areas, and there have been NO government ordered shootings.
quote:
Well, that pretty much sums the situation. You can "question" the government as long as you don't say anything to make them angry. Otherwise, you'll spend the rest of your life in prison. Just ask Shi Tao (10 years prison for mentioning the government's censorship policy) or Li Zhi (8 years prison for criticizing government corruption)

I unlike you read Chinese magazines and the Chinese newspapers. BTW can you even read Chinese? I doubt it. Though the government owns these bodies, these media organizations run seperatly from the government. They are more of a 'seperate entity'. The shanghai government is under scrutiny for corruption as of now. last week there was an artical on it.

quote:
Probably...but very slowly, and with occasional backsliding. And with no guarantee it will ever be a truly free society.

Very slowly? I think not. in the 1960s my father's family and his parents who were wealthy bank ownders lost EVERYTHING they had. They were forced into the country side for the cultural revolution. School's were shut down. He does not even have a high school education. That was communism. Now China is a one party state and no longer is a "communist" government in the sense of marxist idealism. it is as capatalist as any country in the world. And unfortunately it is suffering from the same problems as the united states when it was developing. Think what you want. I live in China. I use to live in the United States. I know what it's like first hand in my native country. I see the improvement even though you may not. China is far from the "opressed" "red China" that many people believe. Again visit China and you will see what China really is like.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 11:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "Technically the US has the same government as it had when it evicted and massacred entire civilizations of native americans "

Technically. Of course that was 150 years ago...and the sum total of all those natives killed in the entire history of the US was less than those killed in one good week of China's "Cultural Revolution", a scant 50 years ago.

Still, that'd be water under the bridge had China actually stopped their oppression. But 15 years ago, they were crushing kids under tanks....and last year, they were butchering political dissidents to sell their organs to rich Japanese "med-tourists". What's on the agenda for next year? More of the same.

Hey, at least Jintao banned police torture of detainees....unless its *really* neccesary, of course. For dangerous types, such as Falun Gong practitioners or nosy journalists.

> "I unlike you read Chinese magazines and the Chinese newspapers"

Oops, I read Xinhau on a fairly regular basis.

> "Though the government owns these bodies, these media organizations run seperatly from the government. They are more of a 'seperate entity'"

Separate, but told what they can and cannot print. Shi Tao got ten years in prison for pointing out that little "state secret".

> "Now China is as capatalist as any country in the world...

I'm sorry, you just lost what little credibility you had left with this statement. Are you so truly ignorant of your own country's economy to believe this? Hell, China doesn't even having a floating currency yet, for god's sake.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/20/2006 11:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oops, I read Xinhau on a fairly regular basis.
quote:
I'm sorry, you just lost what little credibility you had left with this statement. Are you so truly ignorant of your own country's economy to believe this? Hell, China doesn't even having a floating currency yet, for god's sake.


mm lets see stock market. Private enterprises. Private ownership all equal capitalism. Perhaps you fail to understand the definition of communism? Communism is when the the government owns all the wealth and redistributes it to the people. In a capitalist society the individual owns the wealth. China is on its way on having a free-floating currency. Slow but steady. Currently Japan does not have a free-floating currency. i guess they are not capatilist is well.
quote:
Oops, I read Xinhau on a fairly regular basis.

maybe you don't understand what a local newspaper is?



RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 11:34:04 AM , Rating: 2
> "Perhaps you fail to understand the definition of communism?"

Perhaps you're more interested in being an argumentative ass than in remembering your own statements? You said nothing of Communism....you made the claim that China was "as Capitalist as any country". Quite false, as I demonstrated. China has elements of developing Capitalism, true...but thats not the same thing at all.

> "Currently Japan does not have a free-floating currency. i guess they are not capatilist is well. "

Lol, the Yen has been floating since the early 1970s. Stop embarrassing yourself.

> "maybe you don't understand what a local newspaper is? "

Maybe-- once again-- you don't understand your original statement? You said nothing of "local" papers...you asked if I read any Chinese papers.

Speaking of Chinese papers, here's a bit on them from the AP yesterday.

quote:
College students in central China smashed offices and set fires in a riot sparked by administrative changes...

Photos of the weekend riots posted on the Internet showed fires set in debris-strewn school courtyards and glass smashed in administrative offices, shops, cars and a bank.

There was no mention of the apparent riots in the country's state- controlled media.


Those the same "independent" media you were referring to earlier? Ooops.



RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/19/2006 9:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
could you give me a few examples of the opression that you saw? I would like to know. Thank you.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 10:14:02 PM , Rating: 3
> "could you give me a few examples of the opression that you saw? "

Government agents in my hotel lobby, making "conspicious notes" of people I spoke with. People afraid to speak with me, for real or imagined repercussions. Refusal to grant me travel access to many regions in China (most cities were completely closed to foreigners). Requiring me to register daily as a foreign visitor, so the government could track my movements. All in all, it was worse than what I experienced while traveling in the USSR in the late 1980s.

I also had literally thousands of accounts of government oppression and persecution of Chinese nationals...but I assume you're interested only in what I experienced myself.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/19/2006 10:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Government agents in my hotel lobby, making "conspicious notes" of people I spoke with. People afraid to speak with me, for real or imagined repercussions. Refusal to grant me travel access to many regions in China (most cities were completely closed to foreigners). Requiring me to register daily as a foreign visitor, so the government could track my movements. All in all, it was worse than what I experienced while traveling in the USSR in the late 1980s.


wow.... This is entirely untrue. maybe you went to China during the early 90s or late 80s? because that type of situation does not happen now. Followed by government agents? making notes? People afraid to speak to you? Every foreigner i see is always talking to the locals with them attempting to sell them things. Not being able to many regions of china? no city is closed off to foreigners unless you get visas. There are retricted areas of course but not an entire city. it's obvious that you did not go to china in the past 15 years. please stop spreading false information.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 10:59:22 PM , Rating: 1
> "maybe you went to China during the early 90s or late 80s? because that type of situation does not happen now"

Shanghai, ten years ago. I seriously doubt its changed that much, given everyone I speak to from China gives similar reports...as does every human rights organization on the entire planet.

I notice you didn't comment on the journalists rotting away in prison now. Those two incidents are both very recent. And don't even get me started on the numerous accounts of organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners.

> "please stop spreading false information. "

So now I'm a liar? There are plenty of Chinese expatriates telling the same stories....as well as the governments of pretty much every nation on earth. Except for the Chinese, government of course.




RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/20/2006 11:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So now I'm a liar? There are plenty of Chinese expatriates telling the same stories....as well as the governments of pretty much every nation on earth. Except for the Chinese, government of course.
quote:
Shanghai, ten years ago. I seriously doubt its changed that much, given everyone I speak to from China gives similar reports...as does every human rights organization on the entire planet.

haha you will be blown away when you visit shanghai today. I live there right now in a district translated to yellow bridge. nice community. Every human rights organization unforunately does not say China controls the speach of every single citizen in China where they cannot speak their minds. Only on paper their is a grey line in which the media cannot cross IE giving out state secrets. unless i'm mistaken wasn't that one lady who gave out the identity of that CIA agent sent to jail in the US? Talk to any common citizen in the streets of Shanghai of what your view of China is and they will simply laugh at you.


quote:
So now I'm a liar? There are plenty of Chinese expatriates telling the same stories....as well as the governments of pretty much every nation on earth. Except for the Chinese, government of course.

A few hundred in a country of over a billion. How many people does the US keep in guantamalo bay that the US are abusing with no apparent trial? The fact that gitmo exists should be questioned. The fact that the entire Western half of the United States should be questioned. How do you think the West rose to power? One word. Imperialism. The western powers, though europe IMO has truly changed and realized their mistakes, the US is still oblivious. Do common americans know how many people were enslaved, murdered, and destroyed during the rise of western power? The western powers, quite frankly, colonized the world from the Americas, to africa, and Asia where they stripped the resources from each country and enslaved its people. Talk about columbia selling drugs. What about the government backed opium that the British were selling to China? Look at your own past before looking at anothers. The West have changed. China is changing as well. If you fail to see that. Then i am sorry. You can live in your own bubble of arrogance when i am living in the new China.



RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 11:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
> " Followed by government agents? making notes?"

Just to correct this, I never said I was "followed"...though I could have been, for all I know. I do know that plainclothes agents were always in my hotel lobby...and they'd conspiciously take notes whenever they'd see my (or any other westerner) talking to a local.

I also had to register daily with the government, so they could track my movements. I'm pretty sure that's still true today.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/20/2006 11:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
This simply does not happen. I have American friends living in Pennsylvania that come visit me frequently. (living in a small town next to reading. Wyomissing to be exact). They have never once seen "plainclothes agents" that were "conspiciously taking notes talking to a local". This is simply ammusing to see you talk about a country that you claim you have visted. BTW can you describe the airport that you went on. Which hotel you stayed on. And describe t he various districts of Shanghai. I'd like to know more of your "experiance" in China.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By slackpiv on 6/20/2006 11:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
This simply does not happen. I have American friends living in Pennsylvania that come visit me frequently. (living in a small town next to reading. Wyomissing to be exact). They have never once seen "plainclothes agents" that were "conspiciously taking notes talking to a local". This is simply ammusing to see you talk about a country that you claim you have visted. BTW can you describe the airport that you went on. Which hotel you stayed on. And describe t he various districts of Shanghai. I'd like to know more of your "experiance" in China.


RE: The truth behind criticism
By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 12:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "This simply does not happen."

Give it up; you're already exposed as a Chinese nationalist trying to prop up the image of your country through misplaced patriotism. I have news for you-- honest criticism of China's defects are the best thing you can do for it.

> "BTW can you describe the airport that you went on. Which hotel you stayed on"

The Peace Hotel, as I recall...plus another place I can't recall. As for the city itself, I remember a ride from the airport surrounded by what seemed to be an infinite number of construction cranes. Beyond that, I'm not going to play this little game with you.



Don't Justify Censorship
By gdillon on 6/19/2006 9:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
Michael,

Your news snippet seems to justify or, at the very lease, condone the actions of these companies. Censorship is not just "the cost of doing business" in China -- it is a demonstration of how American companies are complicit with an oppressive government. While I don't hold DailyTech to the same journalistic standards that I might expect of a more mainstream news source, I do wish to point out that your attitude toward these stories comes through your articles and skews the way they are presented. Please, report this news without bias.

Since, however, I'm not bound to any standards of independence, I'll take the opportunity to say that these companies should be condemned for limiting the distribution of free information on the internet. It's a shame that they are violating the values on which their parent country exists. (And don't even get me started on the Bush administration.)

~g




RE: Don't Justify Censorship
By InternetGeek on 6/19/2006 9:42:25 AM , Rating: 3
Fact: Companies do business not politics.

Fact: Politicians cannot expect companies to fight their wars for them.

Fact: Countries are different around the world and political systems are not a matter of morality.

Observation: If politics were a matter of morality more politicians would be jailed for corruption. But people doesn't care and prefer to earn their money and go on.


RE: Don't Justify Censorship
By Tris on 6/19/2006 10:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
You can't blame the publically listed companies for breaking into the Chinese market at all costs; it's their legal obligation to make as much money as they can for their share holders...

And it's also a bloody disgrace that we in the free world allowed our capitalist greed to enact such laws to put profits before people. We saw the line where the economy stopped serving the people and began serving itself, and didn't even flinch when we sprinted over it.


RE: Don't Justify Censorship
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 1:50:46 PM , Rating: 4
> "we in the free world allowed our capitalist greed ..."

Try as I might, when I hear some childish yammer about "capitalist greed", I just can't force myself to read further. Anyone who thinks capitalism is "greedy" hasn't seen how the rulers of any Socialist nation live.

China is going to censor the Internet with or without Yahoo. The essential question is this-- is China better off with simply local companies providing censored search engines, or with global companies providing the same results? In the final analysis, is there any difference whatsoever?

Chinese oppression is a political issue, not a business matter. It will only be solved on the political arena. Personally, I feel that allowing Western firms and Western-style capitalism into China helps to eventually promote freedom there. Its a slow process though...and one that won't be helped by companies refusing to do business entirely with the nation.


RE: Don't Justify Censorship
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 10:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "I do wish to point out that your attitude toward these stories comes through your articles "


Funny, I considered the story slanted against Yahoo, not for them...especially considered the advocacy group "Reporters Without Borders" was the only source quoted, and Yahoo's own defense of their position wasn't even mentioned. Let's not even get started on the misleading "Yahoo Biggest Censor" headline.



RE: Don't Justify Censorship
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/19/2006 12:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yahoo did not reply to our inquiries for this article. If you've seen a public statement posted somewhere, please feel free to post it here too since Yahoo did not do as much for DailyTech.


RE: Don't Justify Censorship
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 1:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
From Reuters:

quote:
"Just like any other global company, Yahoo! must ensure that its local country sites must operate within the laws, regulations and customs of the country in which they are based," Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako...


In The Register:

quote:
Yahoo told AFP it "only responded with what we were legally compelled to provide, and nothing more".

Yahoo! furthermore insists that it cannot be expected to take on the might of Beijing alone.

Its statement adds: "Private industry alone cannot effectively influence foreign government policies on issues like the free exchange of ideas, maximum access to information, and human rights reform, and we believe continued government-to-government dialogue is vital to achieve progress on these complex political issues...


If you want to do business in China, you do it China's way, period. Same as any other country. Now, I'd like to point out one simple fact that doesn't get much airtime. If a public corporation invests a significant sum of money in an overseas operation, then suddenly pulls out (or is shut down) because of its refusal to abide by local law, it's going to show a huge loss. And that opens the door to shareholder lawsuits against the company...and possibly personal suits against executive officers.



By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/19/2006 2:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks.


Opression
By goku on 6/19/2006 6:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
It's great to know that companies in america, country of the free, supports countries such as China which opress it's people and sensor things. I just think it's terrible that such things like this would be conducted by companies of our own country. It shows that they have nothing preventing them from allowing censorship/opression in our own country so long as it benefits them. I didn't realize turning a profit was that much more important.




RE: Opression
By The Cheeba on 6/19/2006 7:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
Censorship is everywhere. Try typing "holocaust denial" in Google under a few different proxy countries. You'll be amazed at the disparity.


RE: Opression
By BigLan on 6/19/2006 9:17:56 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed, or DeCSS and trying to find it on a us server.

Also, it's ot the US companies who are censoring things, it's their Chinese subsidiaries. The simple matter is that if they didn't filter this stuff out Chinese users wouldn't be able to use thier search engine at all, so which do you think is better - a 3rd rate seach service, or a good search which tells you that rsults are being censored?


RE: Opression
By oTAL on 6/20/2006 10:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting... I just found out I can access an enormous amount of google sites around the world but I get redirected when accessing google.cn .... check it out for yourselves ;)


RE: Opression
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 11:31:18 AM , Rating: 2
> "Censorship is everywhere. Try typing "holocaust denial" in Google under a few different proxy countries. You'll be amazed at the disparity"

A good point. China oppresses Falun Gong; Germany oppresses Holocaust deniers. I don't see much of a difference in the two cases myself.


RE: Opression
By stncttr908 on 6/19/2006 8:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
Bow before the power of the almighty dollar.


RE: Opression
By AncientPC on 6/19/2006 11:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
The dollar has been steadily declining over the past year . . .


RE: Opression
By rrsurfer1 on 6/19/2006 9:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I agree with you. I know these companies want to make money in the Chinese marketplace but I think going to the extent some have to do business there is downright unamerican.


sad
By tk109 on 6/19/2006 2:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
No moral backbone these companies have. What a shame. Everyone needs to stand up to these countries and not condone their conduct. Yeah so you cant do it alone. exactly. So dont give in if you actually care. They care about money over morals, values, or people. How does to make money make it right or acceptable?




Is your own kitchen clean?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 3:06:26 PM , Rating: 3
Do you ever purchase any Chinese products? Somehow I feel you have a house full of them. What about German products or services, despite their censorship of Neo-Nazis or Holocaust deniers? What of Poland...where its illegal to lampoon a head of state? Israel? They have a highly active censorship board, which regularly bans films or songs considered derogatory or inflammatory. Philippines? They just banned the Da Vinci Code...is that censorship or not? Or Canada...after all, they sent Free Speech out the window with their recent hate speech legislation.

Somehow I feel you use products from each and every one of these nations, without a shred of guilt. Clean your own kitchen before you start looking to others.


Settle down...
By freon on 6/19/2006 3:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
The people in China deserve to have access to services such as Yahoo! and Google just as much as you and I. So because _their government_ doesn't allow them to see or do certain things, we suddenly must start blaming Google and Yahoo for at least trying to get them some access? What the hell sense does that make?
Shit how many US laws and regulations do Yahoo and Google have to comply with just to stay in business here in the US?




Where do we draw the line.
By lazyassbum on 6/20/2006 12:36:53 AM , Rating: 2
Where do we draw the line.

Do we just let companies lower themselves into another country's order until it starts affecting us?

If these type of dealings were to in any way compromise our security in any way, shape, or form, do we still just go with the flow because there is just no use fighting it.

We'll reap what we sew one day, and when that day comes,

Don't blame the companies,

Don't blame the government,

Don't blame other countries,

Just look in the mirror.




By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 11:40:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
On December 6, 2005, Chinese security forces fired at villagers who were protesting insufficient compensation for land taken for power plant construction in Dongzhou, Guangdong province. It was the most serious shooting of public protestors since the June 1989 massacre of democracy advocates in Tiananmen Square...

The Chinese authorities admitted in December that three people were killed when security forces fired at the villagers. At the time of the protests, villagers speaking by telephone with foreign journalists put the toll much higher. The killings took place after a large crowd gathered to protest the arrest of villagers involved in negotiations about adequate compensation for the land taken. Dongzhou was sealed off, with roadblocks set up to keep journalists out.

The first official response was to claim that the shootings occurred only after well-organized villagers initiated the violence. Chinese authorities called the incident “a serious violation of the law.” However, local residents also told foreign journalists that security forces had opened fire without warning and that the paramilitary People’s Armed Police (PAP) was seen in the vicinity. Only then did the government begin to backpedal.






By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 11:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hong Kong, December 8, 2005) — Thousands of citizens who petition Chinese authorities for the redress of grievances are attacked, beaten, threatened, and intimidated...Activists and representatives trying to help petitioners are also beaten and arrested....

Local officials send “retrievers” [jiefang renyuan]— plain-clothes security officers—who attack and intimidate petitioners and force them to return to their home province. Beijing police, in turn, play their part: to quell the threat of rising discontent, they raze the shantytowns where petitioners live in Beijing, round up petitioners, and hand them over to the retrievers, turning a blind eye to the retaliatory violence...

Ms. Kang’s case began when her husband, injured in a state-run factory, was unable to collect promised workers’ compensation. Alleging official corruption in management of the factory, Ms. Kang began to petition, and eventually took her complaint to Beijing. In 2002 she was seized there and taken back to Jilin

[In Jilin], I spent sixteen days in the detention house. They shackled me to a chair by my hands and feet. I couldn’t move at all. Everything was swollen, my hands, my feet. Everything became numb. They beat me and I couldn’t take it. It was so hard. After sixteen days, I was sentenced to reeducation through labor for one year. It was the first month of the lunar new year [roughly, February 2002]…. I was beaten in there four times because I wouldn’t eat….

[ Testimony on another incident, by a Mr. Jiang]: At 8:00 p.m. on the evening of December 30, the electric and phone lines in my house were cut. The village deputy [Communist] Party secretary brought the [thugs] on his motorcycle to my house. The vice secretary was just waiting outside on the motorcycle until the men beat me to a pulp to take him home. He [the vice secretary] gave the men 10,000 yuan [U.S.$1,200] to beat me to death . The village deputy secretary paid them to kill me. They organized it that day over lunch.




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