Mass Hong Kong protest looms as democracy push gathers steam

Electoral assistants count ballots at a polling station after the last day of civil referendum held by the Occupy Central organisers in Hong Kong June 29, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Electoral assistants count ballots at a polling station after the last day of civil referendum held by the Occupy Central organisers in Hong Kong June 29, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Hong Kong is bracing for its largest protest in more than a decade after nearly 800,000 voted for full democracy in an unofficial referendum, a move likely to stoke anti-China sentiment in the former British colony.

The annual July 1 rally, marking the day the territory returned to China in 1997, will focus on pressuring Beijing’s Communist Party leaders for full electoral freedom, organizers said, and could draw the largest turnout since 2003, when half a million people demonstrated against proposed anti-subversion laws which were later scrapped.

Several groups have indicated they will stage overnight vigils after the march in a possible prelude to a planned campaign to shut down the city’s financial district.

“We can see that Beijing is eroding the autonomy of Hong Kong, and we want to show we don’t fear central government oppression,” said Johnson Yeung, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, one of the organizers of the march.

Some 792,000 people, more than ten percent of the city’s seven million population, voted in the referendum urging Beijing to allow opposition democrats to run in a 2017 citywide election for a new leader.

The vote was organized by Occupy Central, behind the financial district shut-down plan, and comes at a time when many Hong Kong residents fear civil liberties are being stripped away.

Beijing has allowed Hong Kong to go ahead with a popular vote in 2017, the most far-reaching experiment in democracy in China since the Communist takeover in 1949, but senior Chinese officials have ruled out allowing the public to nominate candidates.

Instead, Beijing says a small committee of largely pro-Beijing loyalists choose who gets on the ballot, effectively filtering out opposition candidates and consolidating the current standoff.

Hong Kong returned to China with wide-ranging autonomy under the formula of “one country, two systems”, allowing such protests to take place. But China bristles at open dissent.

The stakes have grown markedly for Hong Kong and Chinese authorities over the past few weeks.

What was once dismissed as a fringe pro-democracy campaign by radicals has now snowballed into a populist movement with real clout and legitimacy.


Organizers of the Tuesday march expect more than half a million people to spill on to the streets, partly as a retort to a controversial “white paper” from China’s cabinet in early June – an official government paper stressing Beijing’s complete control over Hong Kong.

Two groups, Scholarism and the Hong Kong Federation of Students, say they will stage a sit-in after the July 1 march lasting until the following morning.

Alex Chow, one of the leaders of the federation, said he expected thousands to take part, with some analysts warning there was a risk this could become a catalyst for blockading the city’s central business district.

In the referendum, 91 percent of voters said they wanted public nomination of candidates, while nine percent abstained. Some 88 percent said the city’s Legislative Council should veto any proposal that wasn’t in line with international standards.

Benny Tai, a leader of Occupy Central, urged voters to come out and march, but ruled out taking action to blockade the central business district on that day, saying it “wouldn’t be the right moment”. A decision would be taken later, depending on the government response.

While Chinese and Hong Kong officials have warned Occupy Central would damage the city’s standing as a financial center, there appears to be a softening stance given the risks of provoking a greater backlash.

“They’ve changed their tone,” said Joseph Wong, a former senior government official and political commentator.

“They’re concerned about the high turnout and they don’t want to be seen to be adding fuel to the fire,” he added, noting recent comments from Hong Kong’s number two official, Carrie Lam, who said the government would heed the poll’s findings.

Activists say it is a peaceful movement demanding a “genuine choice” for Hong Kong voters.

Barrister Martin Lee, one of the founders of the main opposition Democratic Party, said a large turnout of marchers was key to putting pressure on Beijing.

But some Hong Kong politicians do not see much room for compromise.

“China has always been like that … if you are tough, I’ll try to be tougher,” said Rita Fan, a senior Hong Kong delegate to China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.

“If you are reasonable, I’ll try to be more reasonable. If you go ahead with all these things, then you can expect a rather strong response.”

Source: Reuters “Mass Hong Kong protest looms as democracy push gathers steam”

Related posts:

  • Hong Kong: 600,000 defy China in ‘vote’ for democracy (
  • A showdown is looming in Hong Kong, with China threatening to send in its army (
  • China threatens to remove Hong Kong’s autonomy (

China to try top military officer in strike against corruption

Li Dongsheng, Jiang Jiemin, Wang Yongchun, Xi Jinping, Xu Caihou, Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, China, Chinese poltics, corruption, military corruption, Chinese politics

Li Dongsheng, Jiang Jiemin, Wang Yongchun, Xi Jinping, Xu Caihou, Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, China, Chinese poltics, corruption, military corruption, Chinese politics

China will court-martial one of its most senior former military officers on charges of corruption, state media said on Monday, the highest-ranking official to date felled in President Xi Jinping’s battle against deep-rooted and pervasive graft.

Xu Caihou retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission last year and from the ruling Communist Party’s decision-making Politburo in 2012.

Xi heads the Central Military Commission, which controls the 2.3 million strong armed forces, the world’s largest, and has repeatedly reminded them to be loyal to the party.

Xi has made weeding out corruption in the military a top goal. It comes as Xi steps up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas, though it has not fought a war in decades.

“This is earth-shaking. To the entire party and the country, this is heartening news that sends a strong signal. It’s a clap of thunder,” said Ni Lexiong, a military expert at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

Xu had been expelled from the party and would be handed over for a court martial after being accused of taking bribes, the official Xinhua news agency said. The military and judiciary both take orders from the party and will not likely challenge the charges against Xu.

“The party will never allow a hiding place for corrupt elements. The military will also never allow corrupt elements any place to hide,” Xinhua said.

Both the party and the army, the agency said, had to understand “the long-term, complicated and arduous battle against corruption, and the need for the fight against corruption to be put in a more prominent position”.

“Upon investigation, Xu Caihou took advantage of his office, helped others be promoted to positions and accepted bribes directly or through his family, used his position to influence others for profit and his family members accepted valuables from others.”

In separate and similarly brief stories, Xinhua also announced the expulsion of Li Dongsheng, former vice minister of public security; Jiang Jiemin, the former head of the state asset regulator; and Wang Yongchun, former deputy head of state energy giant China National Petroleum Company, all for graft.

The party’s official People’s Daily, in a commentary on its website, said that the party should not be disheartened by setbacks represented by a few bad apples.

“There’s nothing scary about degenerates – clear them out and be done with it,” it said. “Only by continually drawing the poison and lancing the boils can you ensure the body remains healthy.”

Xu has been under virtual house arrest for months while helping in the probe into Gu Junshan, who has been under investigation for corruption since he was sacked as deputy director of the logistics department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2012, sources previously told Reuters.

Gu was charged with corruption earlier this year.

Xinhua said that Xu had been under investigation since March 15, though this was the first time the government has made a public announcement about his case.

“Military anti-corruption efforts have not reached this rank before. It’s very serious,” said Zhang Ming, an expert on domestic politics at Beijing’s Renmin University, noting that the fall from grace of earlier prominent military leaders like Lin Biao and Peng Dehuai were not related to corruption issues.

The party leadership had faced a dilemma over whether to prosecute Xu, who is undergoing treatment for bladder cancer, sources have said.

Reuters has not been able to reach either Xu or Gu for comment. It is not clear whether they have lawyers.

The Xinhua dispatch made no mention of Gu.

President Xi has launched a sweeping campaign against graft since becoming party chief in late 2012 and president last year, vowing to take down powerful “tigers” as well as lowly “flies”.

Xu is the most senior person to date to have been felled.

However, a potentially far juicier scandal is brewing – the case of the powerful former domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang.

Sources have told Reuters that Zhou is under virtual house arrest, though the party made no announcement about his case.

Former Vice Minister of Public Security Li and former state assets chief Jiang are among the numerous Zhou allies who have been caught up in the case against Zhou, and their expulsions from the party also pave the way for their prosecution.

Zhou was a patron of former high-flying politician Bo Xilai, who was jailed for life last September for corruption and abuse of power in the worst political scandal since the 1976 downfall of the Gang of Four, led by the widow of former leader Mao Zedong, at the end of the Cultural Revolution.

The party has struggled to contain public anger at a seemingly endless stream of corruption scandals, particularly when officials are seen as abusing their posts to amass wealth.

China stepped up a crackdown on rampant corruption in the military in the late 1990s, banning the PLA from engaging in business. But the military has engaged in commercial dealings in recent years due to a lack of checks and balances, sources say.

The buying and selling of military positions has also been an open secret, but Chinese media have generally avoided the topic. It is difficult to assess how widespread the problem is.

For officers who paid bribes to be promoted, corruption is seen as a means of making a return on investment. Examples of graft include leasing military-owned land to private business, selling military license plates, illegally occupying military apartments or taking kickbacks when buying food or equipment.

Source: Reuters “China to try top military officer in strike against corruption”

Related posts:

  • China: Severe Anti-corruption Storm on the Horizon dated August 31, 2013
  • China: Xi Jinping’s Anti-corruption Storm Sweeps Chinese Military dated November 6, 2013
  • Severe Anti-corruption Typhoon to Sweep Entire China dated November 15, 2013
  • Anti-corruption Storm Sweeps the Top dated November 22, 2013
  • Xi Jinping’s Anti-corruption Storm Sweeps PLA Air Force dated February 15, 2014
  • China Ex-PLA top general Xu Caihou held in cash for rank probe dated March 20, 2014
  • China Anti-corruption Storm Intensifies in Its Military dated March 23, 2014

China’s Xi heads to Seoul with North Korea on his mind

China's President Xi Jinping attends a conference marking the 60th anniversary of the ''Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence'' at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, June 28, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

China’s President Xi Jinping attends a conference marking the 60th anniversary of the ”Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, June 28, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

The president of China, North Korea’s only major ally, visits South Korea this week where the leaders of the two countries are expected to call on Pyongyang to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons, although Beijing will make sure it is not seen as taking sides.

In a visit certain to be watched carefully in Pyongyang, President Xi Jinping will be holding talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye for the fifth time in a year, without yet meeting the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, and its plans to hold a fourth nuclear test, will dominate the agenda, officials in Seoul said.

“There will clearly be an expression of the commitment by the two leaders and their governments that North Korea’s nuclear weapons will not be tolerated,” South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told parliament on Monday.

“(The two leaders) are expected to spend considerable time discussing the North Korean nuclear and the Korean peninsula issues in depth, and we believe the atmosphere will be appropriately reflected in a joint document,” Yun said.

China is usually very guarded in its opinion on North Korea’s nuclear program but Pyongyang’s three nuclear tests and several rounds of sabre rattling have tested Beijing’s support.

In May, Seoul said South Korea and China had agreed at a meeting of their top diplomats that recent nuclear activity by North Korea posed a serious threat to the peace and stability of the region and Pyongyang must not conduct another nuclear test.

Xi, however, is unlikely to step much beyond Beijing’s stated position calling for a negotiated solution to the issue through talks that involve the United States, while urging all players to refrain from actions that will further escalate tensions.

Beijing has backed U.N. sanctions imposed on the North, but is also not expected to upset its balanced approach towards the two Koreas. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in March that denuclearization on the peninsula was the only road to peace, and that China would not permit war or instability on its doorstep.

Xi is also courting stronger economic and diplomatic ties with South Korea, a major trade partner, and his two-day visit includes meetings with business leaders of Asia’s fourth largest economy, including executives from Samsung, LG and Hyundai Motor.

North Korea has sent a flurry of mixed signals over the past two days which has shifted some of the spotlight from Xi’s visit. It tested two short-range missiles on Sunday in violation of a United Nations ban. On Monday, it said it would put two American tourists on trial for crimes against the state.

Pyongyang also came up on Monday with a fresh proposal for peace with the South, with which it is still technically at war. It offered to stop military drills as early as this week, which would coincide with Xi’s visit, in return for the suspension of annual South Korea-U.S. military exercises.


Despite U.S. and South Korean pressure, China is likely to maintain that it is in no position to ensure that the North give up its nuclear arms.

“The main player in this is not China, but the other two countries – North Korea and the United States,” said Li Changhe, a former senior diplomat who now works for the government-backed China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.

“China is in there to push talks, getting those two to sit down together. But the problem is neither side really listens to us. We’re stuck in the middle.”

North Korea’s Kim, who took power following the sudden death of his father in December 2011, has maintained contact with Beijing through high-level visits by officials from Pyongyang. However, the closest Kim came to communicating with Xi was through a letter handed to the Chinese leader last year through an envoy. His father Kim Jong Il went six years asserting his leadership domestically before traveling to China for the first time.

Xi, who is due to arrive in Seoul on Thursday in his first visit to South Korea since taking office last year, is reciprocating Park’s visit to China a year ago.

The Asian nations have one of the world’s largest commercial partnerships, with two-way annual trade at nearly $230 billion. China is South Korea’s biggest trading partner.

South Korea is also one of the few major economies that runs a surplus with China, to the tune of $63 billion last year, thanks to exports of cars, smartphones, flatscreen TVs, semiconductors and petrochemicals.

China’s trade with North Korea was just over $6 billion in 2012, according to South Korean government data.

North Korea knows that its nuclear capability is the key reason it commands world attention, former Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage said.

“My belief is that North Korea wants to be left alone, with some modest economic opening that they control,” Armitage said at a recent forum in Beijing. “They don’t like China much more than they like the United States.”

Source: Reuters “China’s Xi heads to Seoul with North Korea on his mind”

Related posts:

  • First batch of 20,000 North Korean workers in China dated May 27, 2012
  • US$60,000 for a beautiful North Korean bride dated June 15, 2012
  • China steps up customs checks, but North Korea trade robust dated April 30, 2013
  • How North Korea is coping with uncouth tourists from China dated August 9, 2013
  • Chinese businessmen seek profitable opportunities in North Korea dated November 18, 2013

Last Day of Discount on My Book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition

cover 2nd ed

This is to remind those who are interested in buying my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition that the big discount of 70% and 50% respectively for Kindle and print versions are effective only in June to commemorate Tiananmen Protests. After June, there will be no discount provided by me and the price of Kindle and print versions will respectively be US$9.99 and US$30.00 or their equivalents in other currencies. Amazon will perhaps continue to provide 10% discount on its own on the print version. I do not know whether there will also be discount on Kindle version.

Thanks for your support.

Chan Kai Yee
Author of Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements

In Custody along with American Peking Opera Actor Playing Female Roles (Part 2)

Chiang Ching-kuo and his father KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek

Chiang Ching-kuo and his father KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek

chiang Ching-kuo and his Russian wife who is also fond of Peking opera

chiang Ching-kuo and his Russian wife who is also a Peking opera fan

Walter Was Lucky in Not Having Been Persecuted by Red Guards
As he and I lived in the same lane and his house was only two houses further than mine, we walked home together at noon and in the evening and became friends.

I told him that he was very lucky that his Peking opera troupe dissolved. He was amazed to hear that and said, “Are you crazy? I am unemployed now!”

I said, “Yes, I know. But it is better than being denounced, imprisoned and beaten. You know that everywhere Peking opera actors, especially well-known ones, have been denounced, struggled at, detained and beaten by Red Guards. The Red Guards said that they were punished for having the stages dominated by reactionary plays about feudal emperors, kings, generals and prime ministers. You are lucky that they have not punished you because you had stopped giving performance since long ago when your troupe dissolved.”

“No,” he said, “I did not stop giving performance. I gave performance in private for rich people at their wedding and birthday parties. Otherwise, how can I earn a living. I cannot find another job. Even if I can, it would be a job of manual labor that I am not able to do. Now, I am really hard up as there are no rich people now. My interrogators told me to apply for poverty relief. The maximum amount of that is 10 yuan (US$4.40 according to the official rate at that time) a month per head. It is not enough for me to use as my pocket money.”

“You will get only 2 yuan less than other well-known Peking opera actors. Red guards have raided all their houses, taken away all valuables and left them in dire poverty. Their troupes now only pay them 12 yuan a month per head. Money-wise, they are not better off, you see.”

Walter’s Sister
I knew that he was financially desperate then. His sister’s former husband was in prison for a counterrevolutionary crime, leaving her, a housewife, and their five children not provided for. It was very difficult for his sister to find a job at that time because China’s economy was recovering from the economic depression called by the Party as the three years of natural disaster; therefore, without the husband’s salary, they were starving. She could apply for poverty relief, but usually the government would move them out of Shanghai to remote areas, then her children might lose the opportunity of good education and jobs in Shanghai. Her husband’s younger brother was then single and earning a salary a little less than 100 yuan. The brother was willing to use much of his salary to support his sister-in-law’s family, but 100 yuan was indeed not much. It was hard to maintain two separate families with such an income. He had better move into his sister-in-law’s home so as to greatly reduce their living expense. However, he might be in trouble if there was merely a rumor that he had an affair with his sister-in-law, a counterrevolutionary’s wife.

When the younger brother visited his elder brother in the prison, the two brothers discussed the matter and decided that the brother in prison should divorce his wife and then the younger brother should marry the elder brother’s wife. This was what I learnt from our maid before the Cultural Revolution. I do not know what actually happened between the two brothers. Our maid was of the opinion that it was a pity that when a man became a counterrevolutionary, he lost not only his freedom but also his wife and children. According to our maid, some of my neighbors thought that a man should not take advantage of his brother’s misfortune to rob his brother of his wife.

I knew Walter’s sister. She was indeed beautiful. The brother must be happy to have such a beautiful wife. However, at that time she had had already five children and could by no means be regarded as young. Moreover, 100 yuan a month was quite a high salary at that time. On average a university graduate earned only 58 yuan and the average young worker’s wage was about 40 yuan. With such a high salary, it is easy for the brother to find a young and pretty girl to marry. I believe that either the brother was really a good brother willing to sacrifice himself for his elder brother or he was deeply in love with his former sister-in-law. By the divorce and remarriage, Walter’s sister was no longer a counterrevolutionary’s wife and her children no longer a counterrevolutionary’s children. They, especially the children, would not be discriminated in their pursuit for higher education and good jobs. Except in 1961, in the period from 1958 to 1966, as a rule, counterrevolutionaries’ children were not admitted into any tertiary education institution. At that time I believed that should be the major purpose of the divorce and remarriage. However, though divorce and remarriage were lawful in China at that time, Walter’s sister was looked down upon by some of her neighbors because of the Chinese tradition against women’s remarriage.

Anyway, at that time Walter lived in his sister’s home where the eight people there had to live on a monthly income of about 100 yuan, 12 yuan per head. They were well below poverty line.

Chiang Ching-kuo’s Dinner
One day on our way home, Walter told me that he was in trouble. I asked him why. He said his interrogators told him that they knew that Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek’s son Chiang Ching-kuo (who was later Taiwan’s president) gave him a dinner and a Longines watch as a gift when he was giving performances in Nanjing before the communists came to power.

I told him he had nothing to worry about that. As a well-known actor playing female roles, he certainly would have some contacts with Kuomintang high officials. I asked whether there was anything political in his contacts with them. He said no. They gave him dinners after they saw his performances because they liked his performances. I said that if so, he had nothing to worry. However, as there were surely reports about his contacts with the officials in the newspapers then, he had better tell his interrogators all such contacts before they found such contacts themselves in old newspapers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Challenges US World Leadership

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

Chinese quite popular website responds in its report to Bloomberg’s report on Xi Jinping’s recent speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Bloomberg says in its report titled “China’s Xi Urges Asian Security Framework to Counter U.S”, “China’s President Xi Jinping warned against any single power’s attempt to dominate” Xi refrained from calling names, but everybody knows Xi refers to the U.S. just as everybody knows that US pivot to Asia aims at China in spite of repeated denials by the U.S.

Bloomberg shows its insight saying, “China’s President Xi Jinping reiterated his call for a new security framework for Asia, as the country’s claims over disputed territory increasingly challenge U.S. alliances in the region.”

In fact China’s principle of none interference in other countries’ internal affairs is quite flexible.

When China regards the US as it leader, it loyally supported US bombing (military intervention) of Libya in 2011 in spite of the heavy losses it might suffer.

Recently, despite its repeatedly advocated non-interference into Ukraine’s internal affairs, it did not say anything against Putin’s annexation of Crimea.


Because in 2011, China regarded the US as world leader and wanted to be its ally though the US had no intention to be China’s ally. On the contrary, US launched its policy of pivot to Asia to contain China. US support for Japan and countries contending with China in the South China Sea broke China’s dream to be an ally of the U.S. China immediately turned to seek alliance with Russia.

Now being Russia’s ally, it just turned a blind eye to Russia’s aggression.

Perhaps, American people are happy to hear Obama say that the U.S. will be world leader for 100 years in the future. Some of them perhaps are afraid that China will replace the U.S. as world leader.

No matter how strong China becomes, I hope China will not fall into the trap of world leader ambition. See how hard the US is now to keep its world leadership. It has to spend most of its financial resources to maintain huge aircraft carrier fleets so that whenever other countries need its intervention, it can send its troops there. It has even to fight wars to maintain its leadership.

Due to the money squandered in war and fleets, the U.S. is now heavily in debt. It lacks the funds necessary to improve its infrastructure to deal with natural disasters.

Shall China not learn from U.S. lessons to have the wisdom never to seek world leadership? I admire Chinese leaders wisdom in promising that China will never seek world hegemony no matter how strong it has become. However, I will never believe that China may keep its promises for 100 years. Who knows what will happen I the hundred years.

Seeking world hegemony or not is decided by China’s leader. Mao want to grab the leadership of the communist world from the Soviet Union when China was very poor and backward.

We Chinese people suffered a lot from starvation, poverty, unemployment, etc. due to Mao’s pursuit of world hegemony. Mao’s Great Leap Forward that gave rise to his Great Famine was precisely aimed at becoming the number one in the world.

Xi warned against any single power’s attempt to dominate international affairs and said China will never seek hegemony no matter how strong it becomes. He spoke at a conference in Beijing yesterday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, policies that have directed the nation’s external relations since the 1950s. says in its report, “President Xi Jinping last month outlined his concept for the establishment of a new order of mutual cooperation and trust in Asia. The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) comprises more than 20 Asian nations including Japan and the U.S. as observers. CICA’s goal is to improve cooperation on peace and security in the region.

The following is the full text of Bloomberg’s report:

China’s Xi Urges Asian Security Framework to Counter U.S.

By Bloomberg News Jun 29, 2014 12:01 AM GMT+0800

China’s President Xi Jinping warned against any single power’s attempt to dominate

China’s President Xi Jinping reiterated his call for a new security framework for Asia, as the country’s claims over disputed territory increasingly challenge U.S. alliances in the region.

Xi warned against any single power’s attempt to dominate international affairs and said China will never seek hegemony no matter how strong it becomes. He spoke at a conference in Beijing yesterday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, policies that have directed the nation’s external relations since the 1950s.

China is seeking to cast itself as a major power in the Asia-Pacific and end decades of U.S. economic and military dominance in the region where it’s embroiled in tussles with Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines over territorial claims. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned last month that China’s actions in parts of the disputed South China Sea are destabilizing the region.

“We should work for a new architecture of Asia-Pacific security cooperation that is open, transparent and equal, and bring all countries into a common endeavor to maintain peace and security in our region and the world,” Xi said. “The notion of dominating international affairs belongs to a different age and such an attempt is doomed to failure.”

Xi last month outlined his vision for regional stability and a new security concept at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. The group, known as CICA, comprises more than 20 mostly Asian nations from Turkey to South Korea that aims to improve cooperation on peace and security in the region. Japan and the U.S. are observers.

Impose Views

In his speech yesterday, Xi said nations should respect a country’s right to choose its own social system and model of development. They should also oppose attempts by any country to impose its views or oust legitimate governments through illegal means, he said.

“Willful threats or use of force should be rejected,” he said. “Flexing military muscles only reveals the lack of moral ground or vision rather than reflecting one’s strength.”

China’s Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the cornerstone of its foreign policy, were laid out in 1954 by then Premier Zhou Enlai and were used to normalize relations with India and strengthen ties with Myanmar that year.

Xi said the principles — mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in another country’s internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence — can contribute to setting up a new model for international relations.

India Relations

Myanmar’s President Thein Sein and India’s Vice President Hamid Ansari were among foreign dignitaries who attended the conference at the Great Hall of the People.

China has reached out quickly to the new administration of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sending foreign minister Wang Yi to the country on June 8, two weeks after Modi’s inauguration. While China and Myanmar had a close relationship during the five-decade rule of the military junta, ties have become increasingly strained since the country shifted toward democracy.

Source: “Bloomberg: Xi Jinping’s shocking speech challenges US military hegemony in Asian-Pacific region” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Source: Bloomberg “China’s Xi Urges Asian Security Framework to Counter U.S.”

Beijing to boost police gun training amid security threats

China will boost gun training for police in its capital Beijing, a senior security official said, as it braces for what it calls an upsurge in militant violence around the country.

The vice minister of public security and head of Beijing’s Public Security Bureau, Fu Zhenghua, urged officers to increase security in the city as he visited police stations and SWAT checkpoints along Beijing’s main thoroughfare, Chang’an Avenue, on Saturday.

Police must be ready to “deal a deadly blow to enemies at the critical time”, the official Xinhua news agency cited Fu as saying in a report on Sunday.

Chinese police do not always carry firearms, but top leaders have warned that security threats are mounting.

Police in Beijing have already stepped up armed patrols after five people were killed and 40 hurt when a car plowed into a crowd and burst into flames near Tiananmen Square last October. The dead included three people in the car identified by authorities as Islamists from the western region of Xinjiang.

Xinjiang is the home of Muslim Uighurs who speak a Turkic language. China has blamed previous attacks on Islamists it says seek to establish an independent state there called East Turkestan.

Around 200 people have died in attacks blamed on Xinjiang militants in China in the last year or so, and the authorities have launched a campaign to stop the unrest, detaining hundreds and executing many others.

China will host an APEC summit on the outskirts of Beijing in November. This will draw heads of state and government from around the Asia Pacific region in one of the highest profile events to be held there since the 2008 Olympic Games.

Source: Reuters “Beijing to boost police gun training amid security threats”

Related posts:

  • China Terrorists Killed 3, Injured 79 with Knives, Explosive at Urumqi Railway Station dated May 1, 2014
  • China’s president warns against growing threats to national security date April 26, 2014
  • Knife Killing Sparks Panic All over China dated March 16, 2014
  • Six dead in central China knife incident dated March 16, 2014
  • China: 27 dead, 109 injured in knife attack on Kunming railway station dated March 1, 2014
  • China says Xinjiang police station attacked by axe, knife-wielding mob, 11 dead dated November 18, 2013

In Custody along with Famous American Peking Opera Actor Playing Female Roles (Part 1)

Walter Ho playing the role of a Chinese beauty

Walter Ho playing the role of a Chinese beauty

Walter Ho still able to play female roles at the age of 90

Walter Ho still able to play female roles at the age of 90

Walter Ho Joining Our Study Class
A few days after I was in the study class*, the two interrogators of another team ushered in a handsome man and told him to sit at a desk next but one to my left. They told him to study Mao’s works and write self-criticism and then left. The man drew the attention of everyone of us including the four guards watching us, because he looked like a Westerner. He had a prominent nose and coiled hair of light color. I think, he must be a Westerner or a mixed-blood. Otherwise, he would have been in trouble. Coiled hair was regarded as a “bourgeois” hairstyle that imitated the coiled hair of Westerners. It was denounced as a blind preference of things foreign to natural hair. Rebels or Red Guards would have denounced him and have had half of his head shaved. However, they could do nothing to a foreigner’s or mix-blood’s coiled hair because it was precisely natural.

Another problem with the man was the way he moved his hands and fingers, especially the way he held up his little fingers. It was the way like a woman’s but it was not a modern woman’s way but that of a young lady in traditional Peking or Yueju opera. The shape of his hands especially the long and thin fingers look precisely like those of the beauties in traditional Chinese paintings and operas. One of the four women guards watching us said in a whisper, “What a shame! How can a man act like a woman!” Even today when Chinese are much more open-minded, most Chinese people look down on a man acting like a woman. The bias was much more strong at that time.

However, another guard said, “Don’t blame him. It is his professional habit.” She then said to the man, “Walter, I heard that your teacher was Wang Yao-ching, the Peking opera master who taught Mei Lanfang, the greatest Peking opera actor playing female roles well-known across the world. It was said that at that time your teacher was old and had decided not to have any more pupil.” The woman seemed to be very much interested in Peking opera.

Mei Lanfang’s Teacher Took Walter as His Last Pupil
At that time I realized that this man was Walter, the well-known Peking opera actor playing female roles. I learnt long ago that he came back to live with his sister when his Peking opera troupe in another city dissolved due to lack of fund during the “Three Years of Natural Disaster (euphemism for the economic depression caused by Mao’s rash pursuit of fast economic growth)”. He and his sister were both mixed-blood of an American mother and an ethnic Chinese father. However, I had never met him. People living in our residential area seldom socialized with their neighbors in order to avoid involving one another because most of us were targets of Mao’s revolution.

Walter said, “I was interested in Peking opera since I came to Shanghai from the United States at the age of 7. When Master Wang saw me for the first time, I was fourteen and was already learning Peking opera from another master not so well-known. Master Wang said that I would be a Chinese beauty if I made up for a traditional Chinese girl. He immediately asked someone to make me wear the makeup and dress of a young Chinese lady. When the making up finished, I went to him. He exclaimed, ‘Wonderful! Wonderful! I finally find the right girl!’ Then he said that this was an opportunity he should not lose and immediately asked me whether I was willing to be his pupil to learn the art of actor playing female roles. I asked whether it would be fun. He said, ‘Certainly, you will have lots of fun.’ As I was willing and my father did not object, I soon became his pupil.”

“What about your mother?” the guard asked.

“She was in the United States at that time,” said Walter.

Another guard said, “It is so disgusting that a man plays the role of a woman. Why isn’t the role played by a female?”

Walter said, “In the past, men and women were not allowed to mix up in one troupe; therefore, either men’s roles are played by women like that in Yueju opera or women’s roles are played by men like that in Peking opera. That is our theatrical tradition.”

*During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards and Rebels could arrest and imprison people at will with the excuse of keeping them in study classes to learn Mao Zedong’s teachings. As too many people were put into study classes, those whose problem were regarded as less serious were allowed to go back home to have meals and sleep along designated routes but were not allowed to go anywhere else to contact any other people. They were closely watched by their neighbors.

To be continued

This is also a chapter I wrote for my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements but not included in the book. It is now divided into six parts to be posted by installments.

Prostitution in China during Cultural Revolution (Part 2)

Demand for Prostitutes

On the demand side, due to the long period of poor economy, a large number of youth in community grew older than 25 but remained unemployed. They were then called idle laborers and could find temporary jobs. When they could not find temporary jobs, quite a few of them became peddlers. In addition, quite a few unemployed young men got money through robbery and theft. It was difficult for those who did not have stable permanent jobs to find girlfriends, let alone wives because they did not have stable income, but there was the philosophy to spend all their money to enjoy their lives. Better than being taken away in house raids they thought. They spent their money freely to have sex with prostitutes. As there was such a demand, prostitution thrived and some secondary school girls joined the trade to have sex with the men they liked and make some quick money.

There was also the demand arising from sex imbalance in married couples. For example, the older colleague mentioned above che lasei (chased lustful girls) to satisfy his excessive sexual desire that his wife could not satisfy. Extramarital sex might resolve the problem, but at that time, it was a sin or even a crime. However, judging by the description in Chapter 2 of the large number of condoms flowing out of the cesspool of the office building of the workers propaganda team in a university, the workers did have extramarital sex to satisfy their excessive sexual desire when there were conditions to do so. But there was the risk of breaking their marriage. Che lasei or visiting prostitutes was probably a better way to resolve that problem as long as the workers can afford it.

Besides, it was a period of time when CCP wanted people to sacrifice themselves for CCP but seldom considered that CCP should do something to satisfy people’s needs and resolve their problems. As CCP assigned jobs to people in disregard of their need to be with their families, the problem of separation between husband and wife was common. A man had to wait for almost a year and then took his annual 22-day home visit leave to have sex with his wife. What can a man do in such a long period without sex? Visiting a prostitute seemed to be the only way out. Nearly all the above demand was created by CCP. CCP, especially its autocratic leader Mao, should be blamed if anyone should be blamed for the emergence of prostitution during the Cultural Revolution.

The reform and opening-up have made most people better off but there were a small number of people who have not been benefited much mostly because they have not received much education. Those people are nostalgic for the era before the reform. They would like to say that there was no prostitution and few crimes then.

From Sep 25 1952 to 1958, there was indeed no prostitute in Shanghai. Crime rate was low in the 1950s, but after the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, it kept shooting up. Militiamen often carried out large-scale campaigns to round up criminals in Shanghai. Those campaigns were called typhoons. When militiamen caught a girl for the offence of premarital sex, they did not look into the issue of whether she was paid for the sex. Before the Cultural Revolution, people were sent to prison for premarital sex, but as the focus of punishing crimes had switched to political offences since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, such offenders were treated leniently. They were imprisoned in factories to attend study classes for one or two months.

In their study classes, they did not study Mao’s works or make self-criticism like what I did when I was involved by my father and friend. They were imprisoned in a factory and forced to do heavy and dirty manual jobs in the factory. Compared with reform or education through labor in the past, this punishment was quite lenient. So were youngsters punished when they had committed other crimes not political in nature such as robbery, gambling and gang fights. Crime rate was excessive at that time. One autumn evening in 1975, I left home at 7:00 pm on bicycle to visit my relatives in a downtown area. It was only a 15-minute ride, but I saw six robberies of handbags and bicycles on my way. People often judge crime situation by crime rate. Crime rate is useless in judging the crime situation in China then. At that time, as it was no use to report such crimes, few such crimes were reported; therefore, the statistics are useless.


The above is the excerpt of my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded Second Edition following yesterday’s excerpt “Prostitution in China during Cultural Revolution (Part 1)”. My five posts from “Dating in China during the Cultural Revolution” on June 25 to today are the full text of Chapter 23 “From Che Lasei to Prostitution—Illicit Prostitution during the Cultural Revolution” of my book.

Progress in China’s Warship Building: Large, Stealth, Powerful Engine

Brand new Type 052D destroyer

Brand new Type 052D destroyer

PLA Daily, Chinese military’s official paper, reported on March 31 that the Kunming a new missile destroyer designed and made by China on its own was commissioned in Shanghai to maintain Chinese navy’s trend of turning out new warships in short intervals.

Last March, quite a few Chinese warships conducted emergency search for the missing flight MH370 of Malaysian Airline, the 17th batch of Chinese fleet was sent to patrol the sea areas in Africa frequented by pirates. On June 2, Chinese warships conducted joint anti-pirate drill with Cameroon navy and the next day two Chinese warships conducted a friendly visit to Indonesia.

From the Chinese warships that have appeared on Oceans, we can see the change and progress in China’s warship building technology.


In the 1950s, China could not make its own destroyers and had to import from Russia.

Since 1960, China has conducted research in missile destroyers. In December 1968, it began to build a destroyer on its own and commissioned the first China-made destroyer in December 1971.

The warship was characterized by high speed, long range and strong marine fire power. Series production of that type of destroyer began in 1972.

In the 1980s, there were great changes in the destroyers of sea powers, mainly in the deployment of more anti-ship and air defense missiles and warship-carried helicopter for anti-submarine and beyond-visual-range attack.

China followed the trend and began to develop new type of missile destroyers in the 1990s.

In the 21st century, due to rapid development of new high technology, China developed and built a new generation of missile destroyers with further enhanced seaworthiness and range and further overall improvement of functions. The new destroyer is now equipped with phased array radar, various warning, surveillance and detection equipment and attack weapons such as long-range missiles and regional air defense system with more IT technology and stronger comprehensive combat capabilities.

There have been the following major improvements:

1. Comprehensive power devices with stronger propulsion to ensure high speed and maneuverability. The new generation warships have replaced steam or diesel engines with advanced combined diesel and gas-turbine engine with flexible way of use and more sufficient power.

2. The trend of making warships undetectable by improving their coating and shape and reducing radar image, infrared emission and noise.

3. Comprehensive combat capabilities

Missiles have become the major weapons to replace the major role of cannons and torpedoes. There are now anti-ship, air defense and anti-submarine missiles of short and medium range and high, low and extremely low attitude.

Vertical launch technology has been applied in launching missiles to enable the warships to give full play of its comprehensive capabilities at the same time.

4. Multi-function radar able to search, monitor and track quite a few targets simultaneously.

5. Warship-borne helicopter for anti-submarine and sea battle operations.

Source: “Official media exposes progress in China’s warship building technology: Making warships larger and better undetectable and with more powerful engine (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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