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tennisbum79
May 3rd, 2012, 07:06 AM
Repression & corruption

Two crises expose local abuses in China

A blind activist's escape from house arrest and the dismissal of a Politburo member spotlight blatant abuses in the provinces and, one expert says, show the need for Beijing to exercise more control over local authorities.

BEIJING
The dramatic escape from unlawful house arrest by blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng and the continuing investigation into former Communist Party Politburo member Bo Xilai have presented China's rulers with twin crises with a common theme: corrupt and abusive behavior by local party bosses and security officials operating with impunity in their fiefdoms many miles from the capital, Beijing.

How the two cases are ultimately resolved may also help answer one of the underlying puzzles of modern China's political structure: how much do the central authorities tolerate such blatant abuses in the provinces, and how much escapes the notice or control of Beijing?

Meanwhile, China's struggle to contain its biggest political shake-up in two decades may give the Obama administration an opening to resolve the case of a blind activist who reportedly fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Beijing Tuesday for annual meetings, a U.S. official confirmed for the first time that separate negotiations on the fate of Chen Guangcheng are under way in the Chinese capital between Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, other U.S. diplomats and Chinese officials.

Chen is under U.S. protection after escaping house arrest in Shandong province last week, ChinaAid, a human-rights group based in Midland, Texas, reported. Clinton vowed Monday to raise human-rights issues with Chinese authorities during talks in Beijing this week.

China has little incentive to take a hard line on Chen as it grapples with the ouster of Politburo member Bo Xilai and the arrest of his wife and an aide on suspicion of killing a British businessman, former U.S. State Department official Kenneth Quinones said. Bo's downfall has sparked the biggest upheaval since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

"Eventually a reason will be found to admit him to the United States for medical reasons or to allow him to go to a third nation," said Quinones, now a professor at Akita International University in Japan.
The Chen case resembles that of Fang Lizhi, a physics professor who was housed in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for 13 months before he left the country after the Tiananmen uprising.
"It worked for Fang Lizhi after a long, long period of waiting," said Lowell Dittmer, a professor of political science and China specialist at the University of California, Berkeley.
Complicating matters is the uncertainty of whether Chen is willing to leave China, said Stuart Harris, an emeritus professor of international relations at Australian National University in Canberra.

"The Americans would have to persuade him that he has to go, otherwise his family is not safe," Harris said. "That would be the first obstacle to overcome. The second would be China's willingness to let him go. At the present time they've got a lot of problems on their plate without having another one."
Another possible template for the Chen case is that of Harry Wu, who was dep
orted from China in 1995, hours after he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for spying. A harsh sentence for Chen followed by a deportation is another way China could justify his release, Berkeley's Dittmer said.

"I would say that at this point the Chinese government is trying to negotiate a deal in which he travels to a third country, not the United States and not staying in China," said Linda Jakobson, East Asia program director at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney. "Most dissidents who leave China become rather rapidly less influential than when they were in China standing up to the authorities."

Chen's supporters, including in the international community, have complained long and loudly that he was being confined illegally by plainclothes armed thugs in his farmhouse in Dongshigu village in Shandong province.
Clinton and others regularly raised Chen's case with senior Chinese officials. And when actor Christian Bale was roughed up trying to visit Chen in December, central-government censors knew enough about the case to black out the story on the CNN broadcast here.

After years of facing international criticism of its human-rights record, China's rulers now seem to be allowing local authorities to take the lead in silencing critics, sometimes through spurious legal charges, large fines and lengthy jail sentences, and often through other extrajudicial means, such as house arrests and "disappearances."

In the case of renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei, for example, the Beijing municipal tax authority has taken the lead in bringing charges against him for alleged tax evasion involving a company he controls.
In Chen's case, the local authorities behaved so crudely and, ultimately, ineptly that Beijing's Global Times newspaper, which is owned by the Communist Party and largely echoes the official line, criticized the local government.

Central government authorities, and the state-run media parroting the party line, have tried to paint the case of Bo Xilai as an isolated local incident.
The investigation of Bo began when his former police chief and right-hand man, Wang Lijun, left the city of Chongqing and entered the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu 200 miles away. Wang stayed at the consulate for more than 24 hours, revealing a tale of corruption, mistrust and murder involving Bo, his wife, Gu Kailai, and his aides. Wang was then taken by central security agents to Beijing.

But stories of Bo's ruthless methods, particularly during his crackdown on organized crime, have been circulating for years.
Also, Bo's measures to revive "red culture," including ordering Chongqing television to broadcast only "patriotic" programs during prime time and organizing mass sing-alongs of Mao Zedong-era revolutionary songs, were widely covered in China's media, and even attracted some criticism.

During his tenure in Chongqing, Bo became so toxic to party leaders that from the time he was appointed party chief in November 2007 until his sacking in March, neither President Hu Jintao nor Premier Wen Jiabao visited Chongqing. Yet Bo was never reined in by his bosses in Beijing.

Wang Xiangwei, chief editor of Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper, wrote in an April 30 column that the two incidents together Chen's escape and Bo's fall show the need for the central government to exercise more control over local authorities.
Wang said Chen had done the correct thing by exposing how local officials in Linyi city, where his village is located, had forced thousands of women to have abortions against their will.
"In any other country, Chen would have been hailed as a hero. But in Shandong, he was treated as a criminal, jailed and constantly harassed after his release."

"Even sadder, the central government seems powerless to stop local officials from committing such sins," Wang wrote. "This may be very hard for outsiders to believe, but the leaders in Beijing have far less influence than expected in important regional decisions, whether they be economic or social. The latest example is Bo's case. Bo ruled Chongqing as an overlord for five years, and leaders in Beijing seemed clueless until recently about how to deal with him."

"This phenomenon does exist in China now," said Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at Beijing Institute of Technology. "The local governments always screw something up, and the central government has to come in and cover up for them."
"Many people believe China is a highly centralized country. But really, that's a misunderstanding," Hu said. "The central government's power isn't so big. ... Some local officials, like the party secretary of a county or a city, is always called the 'local emperor,' which reflects how big their power is."

Chen, in his videotaped message to Wen on YouTube, seemed to offer China's central authorities a way out of the current impasse by blaming his plight on corrupt local officials in Linyi and appealing to Beijing for help.
"I think Chen was very careful not to corner Beijing," said Bequelin, the Human Rights Watch researcher. "He essentially said, 'I pretend that you, the central government, did not know about it, to give you an opportunity to respond positively.' "
"This is such an opportunity," Bequelin said. "The question is, why isn't Beijing doing it"

Material from Bloomberg News
is included in this report.



Source:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018117612_chinapower02.html

Lin Lin
May 3rd, 2012, 11:15 AM
Peopel really are interested in China:lol:which is good:yeah:

I am also concerned about the case:cool:

tennisbum79
May 3rd, 2012, 04:32 PM
Peopel really are interested in China:lol:which is good:yeah:

I am also concerned about the case:cool:
Lin Lin, what is the coverage in the Chinese media about Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai stories.

HippityHop
May 5th, 2012, 02:35 PM
tennisbum, does this thread mean that you've rethought your position from the political thread where you posted the following?
And I quote:


"Yes, the Chinese don't have the same values as the West; but China is no longer what it was in the time of Tiananmen Square.
They are much more open than in 1989, relatively speaking, with social media playing a critical role.
Also, Honk Kong now being part of China is now a major factor.

Last but, no least, China now having a market economy, Chinese officials will be very mindful of investors(foreign and national) and multinational companies who are petrified of social unrest and instability .

Not only their own export to the world has grown exponentially, but there are now Chinese companies all over the third world and emerging economy countries ( in Africa, South America, South East Asia, Middle East)

For these reason, Chinese leader will not crack down the same way they did in 1989 on Tiananmen Square."

fantic
May 5th, 2012, 03:36 PM
China could be even more dangerous than USA(be more ruthless), which is a scary scenario indeed.

ys
May 5th, 2012, 07:50 PM
China has the best of both worlds - intelligent autocracy and liberal economy. So the government has a freedom to do the right thing , no need to listen for progressive idiots, neither you need to pretend that the opinion of the incompetent ( i.e. electorate ) is of any importance. Why would they want to "reform" anything? The way it goes, 10% of annual GDP growth, you can't do better than that. And that political liberties are totally overrated, I guess that one was figured out by almost everyone except for western liberal democracies. And that is why the history is leaving them behind.

tennisbum79
May 5th, 2012, 08:50 PM
tennisbum, does this thread mean that you've rethought your position from the political thread where you posted the following?
And I quote:


"Yes, the Chinese don't have the same values as the West; but China is no longer what it was in the time of Tiananmen Square.
They are much more open than in 1989, relatively speaking, with social media playing a critical role.
Also, Honk Kong now being part of China is now a major factor.

Last but, no least, China now having a market economy, Chinese officials will be very mindful of investors(foreign and national) and multinational companies who are petrified of social unrest and instability .

Not only their own export to the world has grown exponentially, but there are now Chinese companies all over the third world and emerging economy countries ( in Africa, South America, South East Asia, Middle East)

For these reason, Chinese leader will not crack down the same way they did in 1989 on Tiananmen Square."

Good point, but NO.

We were talking about massive scale repression, at Tiananmen Square level.
Not that this is less problematic, but it impact on the market is limited and unlikely to raffle any feathers among the foreign investors class.

As for corruption, it has been known for a long time that it is part of the way China does business, and some corporations, including international corporations have "adapted" to it as part of doing business in China.

tennisbum79
May 5th, 2012, 08:57 PM
China has the best of both worlds - intelligent autocracy and liberal economy. So the government has a freedom to do the right thing , no need to listen for progressive idiots, neither you need to pretend that the opinion of the incompetent ( i.e. electorate ) is of any importance. Why would they want to "reform" anything? The way it goes, 10% of annual GDP growth, you can't do better than that. And that political liberties are totally overrated, I guess that one was figured out by almost everyone except for western liberal democracies. And that is why the history is leaving them behind.
You ideas and beliefs system are totally anti-thesis of US ideals and USA as an idea to thrive for.
You are stuck in this pragmatic, authoritarian, cynical, anti-liberal, darwinian way of looking at everything.
I wonder why you even left Russia/Soviet Union to come to this country.

ys
May 5th, 2012, 09:05 PM
I wonder why you even left Russia/Soviet Union to come to this country.

Ironically, USA will turn to more of intelligent autocracy with less liberties quite soon,there is simply no choice, to survive we need a better working productivity in our workers on per dollar basis. It's as simple as that. Our current policies are bankrupt. Luckily people start to understand this, hence US is now a much better prospective in that sense, comparing to Russia who is stuck with non-intelligent corrupted autocracy and semi-socialist mostly mining-based economy.