I’m glad that the Chinese Communist Party is in discussions over the future of China but like many Chinese who lives abroad very disappointed that they will not discuss political reform in regards to China.
This includes their recent announcement of relaxing the one child policy which is long overdue more can be done to improve the one child policy.
See article below:
China has revealed a range of substantial reforms that will affect tens of millions of people, including loosening its one-child policy and abolishing its controversial labour camps.
Chinese state media revealed the reforms on Friday night in a 22,000-word report detailing the results of the third plenum, a closed-door annual meeting of about 400 top party leaders that has historically been used as a launching pad for substantial reforms. Plenums in 1978 and 1993 laid the foundations for China’s current economic model, a combination of market capitalism and tight political control.
Couples in which one member is an only child will be allowed to have two children, China’s state newswire Xinhua reported , citing the results of the plenumwhich ended in Beijing on Tuesday. While most people in China are still only allowed to have one child, some groups, including ethnic minorities, disabled people, and couples in which both members are only children, are allowed to have two.
According to the document, the Communist party also plans to scrap its extrajudicial “re-education through labour” detention system, improve social welfare programs, and ease migration restrictions for the tens of millions of rural residents attempting to put down roots in cities. Details of the reforms and timelines for their implementation are still unclear.
The party established its re-education through labour system in 1957 at the height of Maoist fervour to expediently dispatch “counter-revolutionaries”. More recently, local authorities have used it to clear their streets of petty criminals, such as thieves and prostitutes, without the burden of due process. Other common targets include political dissidents and members of banned religious groups.
Sentences may last up to four years, and conditions in prison are often described as brutal – prisoners are crammed into tiny cells, deprived of adequate sustenance, and sometimes tortured. Despite an absence of official statistics, human rights groups say that the number of detainees could range from nearly 200,000 to millions.
“Because re-education through labour was so closely associated with political persecution, because conditions in the camps are so horrific, and because there have been decades of pressure for China to abandon this system, we should take this as a positive step,” said Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based senior researcher for Human Rights Watch.
“But I think the caveat is that we don’t know whether or not China intends to establish a new system of administrative detention – that is, a system of deprivation of liberty without the benefits of a trial.”
The report also pledged to “accelerate” reform of the hukou system, essentially a bureaucratic knot tying hundreds of millions of migrant workers to their rural hometowns. “The country will relax overall control over farmers settling in towns and small cities, and relax restrictions on settling in medium-sized cities in an orderly manner,” Xinhua reported.
Critics have called the controversial one-child policy, introduced in 1979 to keep population growth in check, outdated and cruel. In the cities, it has created a demographic crunch, catching second-generation only-children in a financial bind as they struggle to support two parents and four grandparents. In the countryside, it has fuelled a rise in sex-selective abortions, as many rural families prefer boys to girls, and a host of human rights violations – abductions, forced abortions, extralegal detentions – as family planning authorities use extreme measures to keep birth rates low.
Steve Tsang, professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham, said that the government’s unwillingness to abolish the policy altogether suggests that it is most concerned with its economic costs. “Until now, the growth of the Chinese economy has been propelled by a demographic surplus, and that has been turning into a demographic deficit,” he said. “The only way you can address the human rights abuses is to end the system entirely.”
“I think this is good news – one child is too lonely. I have a brother and I was happy as a little girl even though our family was poor,” said Hu Hongling, a 33-year-old woman from the rural Anhui province who lives in Beijing with her husband. “My husband is an only child and he sometimes feels lonely. It’s difficult for him to make friends.” Hu is currently planning to have her first child; she hopes someday to have two.
However, the policy’s relaxation is unlikely to lead to a population boom. Many urbanites, already burdened by rocketing education and housing costs, consider multiple children an exclusive province of the rich. Zhang Xin, a 39-year-old media worker in Beijing, is newly eligible to have two children – he is an only child, his wife has siblings, and they already have a seven-year-old son. Yet “the new policy doesn’t make a big difference for me,” he said. “I don’t think we could afford another child, in terms of time and financial pressure.”
The plenum report detailed a number of less dramatic reforms, including promises to explore ways of setting up an intellectual property court, reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty, and “build a more impartial, sustainable social security system, with an improved housing guarantee mechanism”.
It was also laced with a number of contradictions. While officials promised to ensure “independent, fair use of judicial authority” and uphold the country’s constitution – which promises freedom of assembly and freedom of speech – they also pledged to “strengthen public opinion guidance and crack down on internet crimes,” suggesting that media and internet censorship policies will remain in place.
“We do know that rule of law has become more of a rhetorical constant in Chinese language, and speaks to things that China finds important, for example, internationalisation,” said Rana Mitter, professor of Chinese studies at Oxford University. “If you can show genuine progress in fields such as criminal law, that will give you more credibility in other areas, such as international finance.”
He added: “It’s obvious but worth saying that this is, yet again, the party making it clear that it is in no way going to relax its grip on power. It doesn’t suggest the greater liberalisation or pluralisation of politics.”
Yet they give a good talk on free market would play a big role on the one hand and on the other they say security to guard against social unrest over China all this will be done by top down to persuade officials.
There are many more Chinese who lives abroad will continue with the struggle to speak if freedom of expression, assemble and human rights. Well many westerners will say “What does this have to do with us”
The point I’m raising is yes China needs to have economic reform to improve the countries profile but it comes with a very heavy price tab. Most westerners will enjoy the goods that China supplies around the world but they don’t want to read the harsh realities behind closed doors of human rights abuse yet many westerners seems to forget not all Chinese can speak out in fear of their families connections in the mainland.
Take the examples of many Chinese activists who have spoken out against the human rights abuse they have been in some cases detained in detention or under house arrest. Those who managed to escape the country continues to speak out and many feels that the country they have adopt as their new home they feel the government has not done enough to address their concerns but instead they pander to the Chinese government to do more business with the two countries whilst the silent majorities face more hardship of the Chinese government so in a nutshell it’s do business with us Chinese but don’t rock the boat.
Many Chinese freedom fighters all over the world love to return to be accounted for by participating in free democratic elections, freedom of movement, expression, free from human right abuse and the abolishment of the one child policy.
Instead some westerners just seem to think Chinese people are good cooks but fail to see the wider picture they can be found in working as civil services, trade unions, pubic services with includes Housing, Social Services, Engineering, construction, IT, Policies, police, politics, car manufacturing, barristers, solicitors, and the list goes on so there is no need to continue to stereotyping Chinese communities for just cooking food.
Let’s hope that David Cameron will extend the same courtesy as he did in Sri Lanka by having talks with the Chinese President when he has talks in China to boost trade with both countries. No doubt I strongly feel that he will back down from speaking out against China’s human rights abuse on the grounds of an old Chinese saying Money, Money, no money no talk whilst most Ethnic Chinese will continue to be abused with China’s human rights record for this very reason it’s no wonder why many Chinese will be sceptical of David Cameron’s visit to China to do business as he will recall that Dalai Lama meeting sparks Chinese protest. See article below:
The prime minister met the Tibetan spiritual leader in London.
China’s foreign ministry said the meeting “seriously interfered with China’s internal affairs” and “hurt” Chinese feelings.
Downing Street said the Dalai Lama was “an important religious figure” but the UK did not want to see its relationship with China “disrupted”.
Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg met the Dalai Lama privately at St Paul’s Cathedral.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was receiving the £1.1m Templeton Prize for his work affirming the spiritual dimension of life. He donated the bulk of the prize to Save the Children to support its work in India.
He told reporters China was beset by a “moral crisis” with widespread corruption and lawlessness.
Britain’s ambassador in Beijing, Sebastian Wood, was summoned to China’s foreign ministry by Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao following the meeting.
China’s Foreign Ministry said Mr Song told Mr Wood British leaders should consider the “serious consequences” of meeting the Dalai Lama.
The meeting “seriously interfered with China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s core interests, and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people”, said the foreign ministry in a statement.
At a news conference in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: “We ask the British side to take the Chinese side’s solemn stance seriously, stop indulging and supporting ‘Tibet independence’ anti-China forces, immediately take effective measures to undo the adverse effect, and take concrete action to safeguard the overall development of China-UK relations.”
Mr Cameron’s official spokesman defended his decision to meet the Dalai Lama, saying: “The Dalai Lama travels all over the world and has visited the UK several times in the past, and I believe that former prime ministers also met with him when they were in office.”
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism, fled his homeland in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
He now lives in Dharamsala in India, travelling the world to seek support for more rights for Tibetan people.
He is regularly vilified by the Chinese government, which accuses him of trying to split Tibet, with its separate culture and language, from the rest of China.
This just the tip of the iceberg as many Chinese will recall the incident of Tienanmen square which is still being banned in China feel free to see the youtube clip:
Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic protest in Peking’s (Beijing) Tiananmen Square.
Tanks rumbled through the capital’s streets late on 3 June as the army moved into the square from several directions, randomly firing on unarmed protesters.
The injured were rushed to hospital on bicycle rickshaws by frantic residents shocked by the army’s sudden and extreme response to the peaceful mass protest.
Demonstrators, mainly students, had occupied the square for seven weeks, refusing to move until their demands for democratic reform were met.
The protests began with a march by students in memory of former party leader Hu Yaobang, who had died a week before.
But as the days passed, millions of people from all walks of life joined in, angered by widespread corruption and calling for democracy.
Tonight’s military offensive came after several failed attempts to persuade the protesters to leave.
Throughout the day the government warned it would do whatever it saw necessary to clamp down on what it described as “social chaos”.
But even though violence was expected, the ferocity of the attack took many by surprise, bringing condemnation from around the world.
US President George Bush said he deeply deplored the use of force, and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said she was “shocked and appalled by the shootings”.
Amid the panic and confusion students could be heard shouting “fascists stop killing,” and “down with the government”.
At a nearby children’s hospital operating theatres were filled with casualties with gunshot wounds, many of them local residents who were not taking part in the protests.
Early this morning at least 30 more were killed in two volleys of gunfire, which came without warning. Terrified crowds fled, leaving bodies in the road.
Meanwhile reports have emerged of troops searching the main Peking university campus for ringleaders, beating and killing those they suspect of co-ordinating the protests.