Updates on Rights and Law in China
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits China
Louise Arbour, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, is
visiting China from August 29 to September 2, according to a United
Nations press release.
Ms. Arbour’s visit aims to renew technical cooperation programs between
her office and the Chinese government. She also hopes to sign an
agreement on facilitating the Chinese government’s ratification of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and on
implementing several recommendations from the U.N. Committee on
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. According to the press release,
the High Commissioner will meet the Ministers of Justice and Foreign
Affairs, the President of the Supreme People’s Court, and other senior
Ms. Arbour's visit is the latest in a series of events and
announcements suggesting heightened engagement between China and the
international human rights community. On July 20, Chinese officials and
the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) announced
that they had signed an agreement to open an ICRC office in Beijing.
From August 12 to 28, a delegation from the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom visited China. On August 22, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture announced that he would visit China in December 2005.
Before the UN Human Rights Commission met in Geneva in March 2005, the U.S. government noted China's commitment to open the ICRC office and receive the delegations as signs of progress in its human rights policies.
U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture to Visit China in November
Manfred Nowak, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, is scheduled to
visit China from November 21 to December 2, 2005, according to an
August 22 United Nations press release. Nowak will visit government
officials, representatives of civil society, and detention centers in
Beijing, Jinan, Urumqi, Yining, and Lhasa and will submit a
comprehensive report to the Commission on Human Rights in 2006,
according to the U.N. release.
Mr. Nowak and his predecessor, Theo van Boven, have long negotiated
with the Chinese government for permission to make an investigative
visit to China. In March 2004, the Chinese government agreed to a visit
by van Boven. It later postponed the visit with a pledge to reschedule
it before the end of 2004, citing the need for additional preparations
and the difficulty of coordinating the visit among local authorities.
Mr. Nowak succeeded van Boven in December 2004.
China's commitment to reschedule the Special Rapporteur’s visit for this year was one area of progress that the U.S. government noted prior to the meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in March 2005.
Beijing Police Crack Down on Human Rights Activists During U.N. High Commissioner's Visit
According to several sources, Chinese authorities have launched a crackdown on human rights activists in Beijing during the visit of Louise Arbour,
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to China from
August 29 to September 2. On August 29, Chinese police raided the
office of the Empowerment and Rights Institute, a legal and human
rights advisory group in Beijing, shortly before Ms. Arbour's arrival,
according to an August 30 New York Times article.
The article cited employees of the Institute as saying that police
searched the Institute's offices and copied computer files. The group's
director, Hou Wenzhuo, said that the police had come to her home as
well, but had not arrested her.
On August 29, the Web site of the U.S.-based China Information Center published an article by Liu Xiaobo
(in Chinese) saying that, since Ms. Arbour arrived in Beijing, police
had been deployed near his house, as well as near the houses of
political theorist Zhang Zuhua, and author Liu Di (also known as the
"Stainless Steel Mouse").
Chinese authorities previously placed Liu Xiaobo, who is president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, under house arrest
in January 2005 following the death of former Communist Party General
Secretary Zhao Ziyang. Chinese authorities also detained both Liu and
Zhang in December 2004 as part of a crackdown on authors who had voiced disagreement with the government and the Party.
Chinese authorities held Liu Di in detention from November 2002 to
November 2003 without charges after she posted a series of essays on
the Internet discussing political reform and criticizing the Party.
They subsequently placed her under house arrest in 2004 during the
annual meeting of the National People's Congress and on the 15th
anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.
Government Campaign Intensifies Against Protestant House Churches
Chinese public security officials have stepped up a campaign against
Chinese and American believers involved in the Protestant house church
movement, particularly in north central China, according to the China
Aid Association, a U.S. NGO that monitors religious freedom for
- On July 1,
security officials in Zhaolou village, Henan province, detained
approximately 70 house church members attending a baptism for new
believers. Officials sentenced 10 members of the group to 15 days
administrative detention; the others paid fines of RMB 300 ($35).
- On July 22,
police in Langfang, Hebei province, detained about 100 Protestant high
school students who were attending a Bible school. The students were
released after being questioned.
- On July 26,
Shanghai authorities posted a notice on a church gate declaring that
church members were conducting "an illegal religious gathering and
should end their service immediately" or else face "severe
- On August 2,
security officials raided a South China Church house church meeting in
Zaoyang, Hubei province. Officials detained two Americans for
questioning, then released them later the same day. The Americans claim
to have been handcuffed and mistreated. In the same sweep, police
detained 41 pastors and members of the church. According to eyewitness
accounts, officials beat and tortured many in the group. Authorities
had released 30 of those detained by August 8, and released an
additional 10 on August 13.
- On August 7,
public security officials raided a house church meeting in Hejing
county in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, detaining about 30
church members. Most were released, but as of August 17, three remained
- On August 11,
police raided a Sunday school teacher's training class in the village
of Xiping Xinjian in Jiangxi province. The security officials detained
35 students and church leaders. Another leader was detained on August
- On August 15, security officials detained five Americans and 27 Chinese leaders in Luoyang and Yichuan in Henan province.
- From June through August,
security officials in Lizhuang, Xuzhai, Qiaogou, and Fenggang towns in
Gushi county in Henan province detained between 400 and 500 Protestants
belonging to 15 separate house churches. All were released after police
collected fines ranging between RMB 2,000 to 5,000 ($220-$550).
Xinhua: Qinghai-Tibet Railroad Tracks Laid At Tanggula Pass in Qinghai
Rails for the Qinghai-Tibet railroad were laid at 16,641 feet (5,072
meters), the highest elevation that the railway will reach, on August
24, according to a Xinhua report.
Vice Minister of Railways Sun Yongfu acknowledged that laying the
tracks at Qinghai's Tanggula Pass was "a tough part" of the project.
High altitude and frigid conditions pose "a major challenge," according
to La Youyu, deputy director-general of the project's headquarters. He
said that nearly 300 miles of track cross frozen earth that is
"vulnerable to climate change" and can thaw during summer and "distend
the railway base in winter." Railway design incorporates measures that
include "heat preservation, slope protection, and roadbed ventilation
in frozen earth areas" in order to "avoid possible dangers," La said.
The railway is due to start trial operation in July 2006, according to a March 2005 Xinhua report.
Chinese media reports emphasize the boost that the railway is expected
to provide to the regional economy, and claim that Tibetans eagerly
await its completion. A China Central Television (CCTV) report
on August 5 said that Tibetans call the tracks "the Second Road Toward
Happy Life." The first is the all-weather highway that connects Lhasa
with Xining, the capital of Qinghai province.
Media and academic
reports compiled outside of China suggest that Tibetans are concerned
that the railway will increase the rate of influx of Han Chinese into
the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). The Chinese government's official Web site
posts a 2002 report featuring a senior TAR official saying that Tibetan
worries about assimilation are an "absurdity." But implementation provisions for China's Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law promulgated in May 2005, and Communist Party guidelines
released in July, call for Chinese workers, professionals, and college
graduates to travel to China's western provinces to seek employment.
Additional information about the railroad project is available in the CECC 2004 Annual Report.
SPC Moving Ahead With Death Penalty Review Reform
The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) is in the process of adding two new
criminal tribunals and several hundred new judges as it prepares to
take back the power to review all death penalty decisions, according to
in the Chengdu Daily. The new tribunals will be located in Beijing. An
SPC research division is compiling a draft implementation opinion that
lays out the mechanics of the procedural reform. This opinion will
reportedly be submitted to central Party officials for approval in the
second half of this year. In October, related amendments to the Organic Law of the People’s Courts
will be submitted for NPC Standing Committee deliberation. The article
suggests that the SPC may take back the power to review all death
sentences by next year.
While China’s Criminal Procedure Law
requires the SPC to review all death sentences, the SPC has delegated
this power in cases involving rape, murder, and certain other crimes to
provincial high courts. Chinese experts have long argued
that this delegation of power is unlawful. Some also express concerns
that, because high courts serve as both courts of second instance and
reviewing courts in many cases, the delegation system undermines
protections against wrongful executions. According to official Chinese
statistics cited in a Defense Lawyer Net article,
provincial high courts review over 90 percent of the death sentences
handed down in China. When the SPC does review death sentences,
however, it overturns them in a large number of cases. Of the 300 cases
the SPC reviewed in 2003, for example, it changed the original sentence or ordered a retrial in 118 cases.
A continuing domestic debate over the death penalty and its scope
intensified over the past year, particularly after Chinese news media
publicized accounts of wrongful conviction cases such as those of She Xianglin and Nie Shubin.
Officials have also said they will work to ensure that it is applied
fairly, and plan to refine death penalty review procedures and
gradually reduce death sentences in favor of long-term imprisonment.
The SPC has also called on lower courts to follow procedures strictly and evaluate exculpatory evidence carefully to prevent wrongful convictions.
Chinese Government Increases Scrutiny of Environmental Civil Society Organizations
Chinese officials are conducting a large-scale survey of
environmental civil society organizations in China, according to an
August 18 South China Morning Post (SCMP) article
(subscription required). According to unnamed government sources quoted
in the article, the survey seeks to determine the extent of these
organizations' operations, and uncovered unregistered organizations.
This move strengthens the view of some analysts that the Chinese
government is attempting to limit the independence of civil society
organizations, particularly environmental groups.
The All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF), a state-run organization established earlier in 2005,
is conducting the survey. Although ostensibly independent, the ACEF
resembles other "mass organizations" that Communist authorities have
long used to co-opt or control social groups. Environmental
organizations have faced increasing official pressure on their
activities and overseas funding, according to the SCMP article.
The belief of Chinese officials that Western-backed environmental
organizations played a role in recent social uprisings against
authoritarian rule in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, appear to have
motivated the government to commission the ACEF survey, according to
the article. In May, the Economic Times, a publication of the
Development Research Center of the State Council, said, "It is
necessary to learn from the lessons of the Commonwealth of Independent
States, and prevent Western countries from carrying out infiltration
and sabotage of China through political NGOs."
Xinjiang Prefecture Bans Sala Branch of Islam and Reportedly Arrests 179
The Yili Kazahk Autonomous Prefecture government has banned the Sala
branch of Islam in Xinjiang and arrested 179 practitioners, according
to the German-based World Uighur Congress and a report by Agence-France
Presse on August 19. High-ranking prefectural officials held a special
work conference on the Sala "threat" on August 17, according to the Yili Daily.
Government officials accused Sala leaders of "cheating and deceiving
the masses, and inciting them to worship their religious leaders," and
of pressuring followers to make donations to the organization.
Officials also accused the leaders of encouraging "transprovincial
worship" and "threatening social stability." The Yili press did not
mention any arrests.
According to Chinese official sources,
Sala was founded in the early 20th century in Qinghai province and has
thousands of adherents, primarily from the Muslim ethnic Hui and Salar
communities in Qinghai and Gansu provinces.
The government tightly controls the practice of religion in Xinjiang, particularly among members of the Uighur ethnic minority. In addition to these most recent arrests, authorities have detained at least 40 Muslims since July 20 for possessing unapproved religious texts and meeting without government permission.
New Joint Order Restricts Popular Access to Foreign Films and Television Programs
Five government agencies and the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department
(CPD) have issued a joint order increasing restrictions on the import
of foreign "cultural products," according to an August 2 Xinhua report.
The order is entitled the "Measures on Increasing the Administration of
the Importation of Cultural Products" and was issued by the Ministry of
Culture (MOC), State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television
(SARFT), General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP),
Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), Office of Customs (Customs), and the
CPD. The order clarifies the responsibilities of these agencies with
respect to importation and domestic distribution of foreign movies,
television shows, and other "cultural products":
- MOC: the importation of audio-visual products, artistic products, and performances.
the importation of radio and television programs, movies, television
series, and animated features; Sino-foreign cooperation on the
production of movies, television series, and animated features; and
domestic reception of foreign television satellite channels.
the importation of books, periodicals, and electronic publications;
trade in copyrights; and cooperative publishing activities.
- MOFCOM and Customs: the importation of cultural products "within their area of responsibility."
The Xinhua report said that the order seeks to "protect intellectual
property rights, raise the level of openness to the outside, and
safeguard national cultural security," but the International Herald Tribune
reported on August 4 that analysts and broadcasters said the order was
"part of an effort to clamp down on foreign influence on culture."
Several provisions will decrease the free flow of information to
The order is the most
recent in a series of measures intended to restrict public access to
information from foreign sources.
Norwegian NGO Reports on the Case of House Church Leader Cai Zhuohua
In an August 24 report,
Forum 18, a religious freedom NGO based in Norway, reviewed the case of
Cai Zhuohua, a Beijing house church pastor who the Chinese government
prosecuted for "illegal business practices." Pastor Cai's case
"highlights the severe restrictions Christian publishing is forced to
operate within in China," according to the report.
Chinese authorities detained Pastor Cai in September 2004 for
possessing a large number of copies of the Bible and other Christian
religious materials. Officials subsequently detained Xiao Yunfei, his
wife, and her brother and sister, Xiao Gaowen and Hu Jinyun. On July 7,
2005, after three postponements, Chinese authorities tried the four
under Article 225 of China's Criminal Law,
which makes it a crime for anyone to commit "illegal acts in business
operation and thus disrupt market order." In 1998, the Supreme People's
Court issued the Explanation
Regarding Certain Questions About the Specific Laws to be Used in
Adjudicating Criminal Cases of Illegal Publications, which allows
courts to use Article 225 to imprison anyone who "publishes, prints,
copies, or distributes illegal publications." Almost two months after
the court proceedings concluded, the court has not yet issued a
Cai and his family have been prosecuted for what is essentially an
economic crime, but events surrounding their detention demonstrate that
the government believes that these four Christian religious activists
represent a threat to the Communist Party's control over religious
practice in China:
- On September 12, 2004,
the day after Cai's detention, authorities raided an unregistered
seminary associated with Cai, detaining its students for three days and
- During the trial,
Cai's lawyers tried to argue that Cai was being persecuted for his
religious activities, but the judge would not permit arguments about
- On July 8, 2005, Ye Xiaowen, the Director of
the State Bureau of Religious Affairs, told the Hong Kong newspaper Ta
Kung Pao that Cai and others had illegally published 40 million copies
of the Bible and other tracts and illegally sold over 2 million of
them. Ye expressed the view that religion is a point of penetration
through which Western anti-China forces seek to Westernize and
TAR Official Says Gedun Choekyi Nyima Living In His Hometown
Vice Governor Wu Jingjie of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has
suggested that Gedun Choekyi Nyima, recognized by the Dalai Lama in
1995 as the Panchen Lama, is living in the TAR, according to a Reuters report
posted on Phayul.com, a Tibetan news site. "I wish you to believe he is
living in his hometown happily," Wu told a group of journalists touring
central Tibet on a government-arranged itinerary. Vice Governor Wu's
rare hint about the family's location has not been independently
confirmed. Wu explained the family's isolation since 1995, saying, "His
family and himself do not want interference from the outside world."
Gedun Choekyi Nyima's home is in Lhari county (Jiali) in the TAR.
After the Dalai Lama announced that Gedun Choekyi Nyima is the
Panchen Lama, Chinese authorities took the boy and his parents into
custody, keeping them incommunicado in an unknown location since that
time. The State Council declared the Dalai Lama's recognition of Gedun
Choekyi Nyima "illegal and invalid," and oversaw the installation in
late 1995 of another boy from Lhari, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the Panchen
Lama. Chinese authorities conduct political education classes in
Tibetan monasteries and nunneries and require monks and nuns to endorse
the legitimacy of Gyaltsen Norbu or face expulsion.
Vice Governor Wu told the journalists that the Chinese government
welcomes dialogue with the Dalai Lama's "private representatives, for
example his family," but rejects contact with the Tibetan
government-in-exile, according to the Reuters report. "We have never
recognized the illegal government of Tibet outside China so there is no
such question of dialogue between the central government and the
(official) representatives of the Dalai Lama," Wu said. The Dalai
Lama's envoys have had four rounds of talks with Chinese officials
since dialogue resumed in September 2002. The fourth round, in Bern,
Switzerland, at the end of July 2005, was the first to take place
outside of China.
Additional information about the Panchen Lama issue and the
dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama's
representatives is available in the CECC 2004 Annual Report.
Farmers Claim Administrative License for Power Plant was Issued Illegally
A Zhejiang provincial court agreed in June to hear a case involving
a lawsuit by 282 farmers against the Zhejiang Development and Reform
Commission (DRC). The farmers alleged that the DRC's approval of an
administrative license for a garbage burning power plant violated the
Administrative Licensing Law, according to a June 13 report in the Legal Daily.
According to the reports, the farmers claim that officials issued the permit in violation of article 47 of the Administrative Licensing Law,
which says that persons directly affected by a permit are to be
notified and have a right to demand a public hearing. The farmers seek
to have the permit revoked for lack of notification, lack of proper
approval for usage of the land, and because the Zhejiang Environmental
Protection Bureau (EPB) did not explicitly approve the construction of
the plant. The farmers charge that pollution from the plant will affect
Zhejiang DRC officials acknowledge that the project may produce
pollution if managed improperly, but also assert that the
Administrative Licensing Law does not apply, because it was implemented
after the examination and approval work began on the project in 2003.
Because the project was deferred to the State Council for approval, the
officials also argue, an administrative permit was not necessary. The
officials also indicate that the Zhejiang EPB did not contest the
suggestions included in the Environmental Impact Assessment report.
Xinjiang Authorities Detain More Than 40 for Possessing "Illegal Religious Materials"
Authorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region have arrested a
Uighur religious instructor and 37 of her students, according to the
German-based World Uighur Congress and as reported by Agence-France
Presse on August 15. Aminan Momixi, 56, was teaching the Koran to
students between the ages of 7 and 20 in her home on August 1, when
police rushed in and arrested the group. Police accused Momixi of
"illegally possessing religious materials and subversive historical
information" and reportedly denied her access to a lawyer. Although
central government officials assured the foreign press in March 2005
that minors are allowed to worship freely in China, the Xinjiang
government prohibits children under 18 years of age from entering mosques or receiving religious instruction even in their own homes. Students may not observe religious holidays, fast during Ramadan, or wear religious clothing in public schools.
The U.S.-based Uyghur Human Rights Project reported August 3
that police in central Xinjiang detained three Uighurs on July 20 for
possession of the Mishkat-ul Misabih, a religious text describing the
life and work of the prophet Muhammed. The Chinese government strictly
controls the printing and publication of religious texts. All Islamic
texts must be approved by the government's China Islamic Association
MII Reports China's Government Has Met its Goals in Private Web Site Crackdown
On August 11 and 12, Chinese authorities convened a forum in Shanghai to discuss the results of the recently-concluded nationwide crackdown on private Web site operators, according to an August 16 report in the Ministry of Information Industry's
(MII) People's Post and Telecommunications News. The report stated that
over 95 percent of Internet content provider Web sites and 89 percent
of IP addresses had registered with the MII. According to the report,
the crackdown began in September 2004, with Tianjin acting as a test
case, and concluded at the end of July 2005, with the registration of
6,641,000 out of 6,693,000 independent domestic domain names. An article in the August 18 edition of Southern Weekend reported that, as part of the campaign, authorities have shut down a "large number of Web sites," using "specialized software to render them inaccessible."
Forum participants included representatives from the communication
administration offices and basic telecommunication operators in 31
provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. In addition to
covering the results of the campaign, the report said participants also
discussed six draft regulations currently under consideration,
including the "Opinion Regarding the Establishment of Long-Term
Effective Work Mechanisms for Internet Administration," "Detailed
Working Rules on the Administration of ICP, IP Address, and Domain Name
Information Data," and "Measures for Handling Web Sites That Do Not
The report said that Su Jinsheng, an MII official, told the meeting
that authorities had established databases for Internet content
provider registration, IP address utilization, and domain names, and
that this represented the first stage of a "nationwide, coordinated,
and integrated Internet Web site administration mechanism." Su said
that the next stage would include "solving issues of information
accuracy" and how to "appropriately handle Web sites that fail to
Nanjing Propaganda Department Curbs Critical Investigative Reporting
In a July 26 directive, the Nanjing municipal Communist Party
Propaganda Department prohibited the publication of certain types of
articles unless the writer or editor has given the article's subject
the opportunity to first "review the article," "check the facts," and
"give their opinion," according to reports on the Nanjing Daily and People's Daily
Web sites. Entitled "Interim Measures on the Examination and
Verification of News Unit Public Opinion Supervision Articles," the
directive mandates that when journalists submit a critical
investigative report to an editor, they must also submit a copy of the
draft that has been signed by the subject of the article. Editors must
reject any article not accompanied by a signed draft, unless the
journalist can provide "objective reasons" in writing explaining why he
or she was unable to obtain the subject's signature. Editors not
enforcing this requirement and publishing articles without having
received the signed draft have committed a "severe" breach of Party
discipline and will be fined one month's salary, the directive says.
In addition, publishers may not reprint an investigative article
from news agencies other than the People's Daily and Xinhua, unless
they have first confirmed the article's facts with the article's
subject. The directive requires publishers to establish an "examination
and verification system" to carry out these inquiries, as well as a
retention and filing system for all materials relating to investigative
The directive demonstrates both continuing Party control of the
news media and a counterproductive approach to handling unprofessional
journalism. The directive says that the restrictions are necessary to
ensure that critical investigative reports are "fair and objective" and
"serve the central work of the municipal Party committee and the city
government." As an August 1 editorial
(subscription required) in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post noted,
however, the requirement that the news media serve China's ruling party
precludes it from being fair and objective: "So long as propaganda
officials [in China] keep a tight control over freedom of information
and prevent journalists from reporting the real news, it is only
natural that sensationalism and fabrication will get worse."
Chongqing Court Analysis: Increase in Petitions Caused by Institutional Weaknesses of the Judiciary
Chinese authorities are experiencing an increasing number of xinfang
petitions of final court decisions, ongoing court cases, and legal
issues which should be handled by the judiciary, according to an analysis
by a Chongqing local court official published on the China Court
Network Web site. Petitioners are increasingly resorting to extreme
behavior, multiple petitions, and organized petitioning efforts to
pursue their grievances.
The growing number of xinfang petitions has multiple causes, as
noted in the analysis. Chinese court decisions often fail to affect the
behavior of parties, leaving them little choice but to pursue repeated
petitions to redress their grievances. The existence of xinfang
channels facilitates petitioning by providing a means for both
officials and citizens to mobilize external political pressure to
interfere with (or attempt to enforce) judicial decisions. For many
citizens, the financial cost of pursuing a court case means that (free)
xinfang petitions are a rational economic choice.
Internal judicial practices identified in the article also generate
citizen petitioning. Within Chinese courts, judges often face
punishment under court responsibility systems if they fail to keep the
numbers of petitions and appeals under designated levels. This
incentive structure leads some judges to cover up or dispose of
particular cases in an effort to prevent them from reaching higher
authorities. This often generates additional grievances that are the
subject of renewed petitioning efforts.
RFA: Three Tibetans, Previously Unknown, Sentenced for Dalai Lama Photos, Teachings
Three Tibetans who attempted to carry photographs of the Dalai Lama
and audio tapes of his religious teachings from Nepal into the Tibet
Autonomous Region (TAR) were sentenced to imprisonment in July 2001,
according to a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report
on August 11. The Shigatse (Rikaze) Intermediate People's Court
sentenced two of the men, Lungtog and Tennam, to four years
imprisonment. The third man, identified by the pseudonym Jigme, was
sentenced to two years imprisonment and recounted his experience to RFA
after he fled the TAR. He showed RFA a copy of the official court
document sentencing the men for illegally crossing the border into
China and "instigation to split the country."
Law enforcement officials told RFA's informant that Tibetans are
free to practice their religion, but that the materials the men carried
"could harm socialism and damage the unity of the people." Chinese
leaders deny that Tibetans remain devoted to the Dalai Lama, depicting
him instead as menacing and out of favor. Xinhua reported
in May 2005 that TAR Chairman Jampa Phuntsog (Xiangba Pingcuo) said,
"All the locals want the current stable and sound situation in Tibet to
continue but Dalai Lama, judging from his words and deeds, simply wants
to destroy it and make something different. And the result is he has
grown more and more unpopular in Tibet."
Chinese officials have told foreign visitors that the public
display of a Dalai Lama image, even in a Buddhist monastery, is
forbidden, but that a monastic or secular Tibetan can have a Dalai Lama
photo in a private residence for religious purposes. Information in the
CECC Political Prisoner Database shows that the detention or
imprisonment of approximately 170 Tibetans since 1987 is believed to be
wholly or in part the result of possessing photos, printed matter, or
recordings featuring the Dalai Lama. More than 20 of these Tibetans are
believed to be currently detained or imprisoned.
Additional information about China's policy toward the Dalai Lama is available in the CECC 2004 Annual Report.
Chinese Statistics Show More IPR Criminal Enforcement in First Half of 2005
The Chinese government released statistics for the first half of
2005 showing that People's Courts at all levels have accepted 1,549
cases related to IPR violations from the manufacture and sale of
products. That figure represents an increase of 25.53 percent over the
first half of 2004. Officials completed 1,330 investigations, an
increase of 22.83 percent over the same period in 2004. This article (in Chinese)
attributes the increase in part to the implementation of the Supreme
People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate "Interpretation
Concerning Certain Questions of Using the Criminal Law to Handle
Violations of Intellectual Property Rights" (in English and in Chinese). According to another article (in Chinese),
however, the number of administrative cases transferred for criminal
enforcement remains low: 266 in the first half of the year, although
this number is 24.8 percent higher than the total during the same
period last year. The courts have disposed of 83 of the cases
transferred in 2005, an increase of only 2.4 percent over the same
period in 2004.
The statistics for criminal intellectual property rights
enforcement cited include cases other than those brought under Articles
213-20 of the Criminal Law,
which criminalize specific types of intellectual property rights
violations. The statistics include cases transferred for criminal
enforcement because of the danger that fake goods caused the public
(cases prosecuted under Articles 140-150 of the Criminal Law, including
cases of fake medicines or defective medical equipment). In addition,
the statistics reflect cases brought under Article 225 of the Criminal
Law, which criminalizes illegal business operations, activities that
include more than intellectual property rights violations. For example,
Chinese authorities prosecute individuals under Article 225 for engaging in any type of publishing without government authorization,
even when no intellectual property rights issues are involved.
According to the articles cited above, these statistics only include
those illegal business operations cases that involve intellectual
The statistics do not indicate whether a similar increase in cases
has occurred for violations of foreign copyrights and trademarks.
China's Internet Users Debate Shenzhen Public Security Bureau's "Real Name Internet" Requirement
Internet companies in Shenzhen should have finished "purifying and
rectifying" all Internet chatrooms, bulletin board systems, news
groups, and instant messaging systems ("forums") that they operate by
August 25, under the terms of a Notice
issued by the Shenzhen public security office on July 5. The Notice
requires companies to shut down forums suspected of having
"unauthorized mass organization activities." It also requires the
closure of forums having a name, summary, or postings containing
illegal information or information "not in harmony with the
requirements of establishing a civilization with a socialist spirit."
Forums that have failed to carry out "real name" registration should
also be shuttered, according to the Notice. The Shenzhen public
security bureau said these measures are necessary to address the
problem of people using forums to conduct activities related to
"illegal associations, illegal connections, and obscenity." The Notice
states that September will be a month of "heightened inspection" during
which users with foreign IP addresses will be prohibited from
Internet users throughout China felt the impact of the Notice,
because Shenzhen is the headquarters of the Tencent company, which owns
the popular "QQ" instant messaging software. On July 20, Tencent, which
gained notoriety in 2004 for including a list of banned words
such as "freedom" and "democracy" in its software to filter messages,
sent a notice to founders and administrators of forums on its system
telling them that they were required to re-register their forums and
provide personal information, including their national ID card number.
Chinese authorities generally attempt to either censor Internet expression with which they disagree or "steer"
it in directions they wish it to go. Since the Notice was issued,
authorities have allowed Internet users to openly debate the relative
merits of the real name system. For example, in mid-August the People's
Daily Web site established a page
providing links to almost a dozen articles expressing both opposition
to and support for a real name registration system.
Prominent Chinese Lawyers Call On Lawyers Association To Investigate the Detention of Zhu Jiuhu
A group of prominent Chinese lawyers has published an open letter
to the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA) calling on it to
investigate the detention of Beijing lawyer Zhu Jiuhu in Shaanxi
province and work more actively to protect the legal rights of lawyers.
Zhu had been representing thousands of investors in a sensitive
administrative lawsuit against several local government entities in
Shaanxi. The investors claim that Shaanxi officials illegally seized
more than 5,000 privately run oil fields worth hundreds of millions of
dollars after provincial officials encouraged them to invest in the
properties. The seizures affected more than 1,000 private enterprises
with more than 60,000 investors, and observers view the case as a test
of the Chinese government's rhetoric on improving protections for
private property rights.
After conducting a 10-month investigation, Zhu filed a lawsuit
against the Shaanxi province, Yulin city, and Jingbian county
governments on behalf of the investors in June 2004. On May 26, 2005,
local authorities detained Zhu in a pre-dawn raid and charged him with
the crimes of "illegal assembly" and "assembling the crowd to disturb
social order." One source suggests
that police charged Zhu with these crimes merely for meeting with
groups of clients. Zhu's defense lawyers attempted to meet with him on
several occasions in June, but local public security officials
reportedly denied them access to their client on the grounds that the
case involved "state secrets." On July 26, authorities also detained Feng Bingxian,
one of the lead plaintiffs in the case. Several signatories on the open
letter suggest that their goal is not only to push ACLA for action in
the Zhu case, but to prompt ACLA to play a more prominent role in
protecting the rights of its members generally.
Chinese lawyers and commentators have expressed growing concern about the intimidation, harassment, and imprisonment of legal professionals in recent years. According to Chinese sources,
nearly 80 percent of the 500 lawyers detained, accused, or punished for
all reasons between 1997 and 2002 were eventually found innocent of any
wrongdoing. The ACLA letter notes this trend, concluding that "one
practicing lawyer after another has been punished for criminal defense
work, leading to a situation where fewer and fewer lawyers undertake
criminal cases" and noting that "these days, the human rights of
practicing lawyers are not protected in civil or administrative cases
either." It states that the legal profession firmly protests such
"wonton violations of lawyer rights" and is "anxious about the
deterioration in the work environment for lawyers."
For a Human Rights in China article providing summaries of 27 lawyer detention cases in China, click here.
For further discussion and analysis of the legal and political
implications of the open letter on the Zhu Jiuhu case, click more
Centuries-Old Buddhist Texts at Sakya Monastery to be Relocated During Renovation
The 80,000 volume collection of centuries-old texts at Sakya
Monastery will be moved to another location temporarily, according to
an August 17 Xinhua report.
The texts will be handled carefully under the close watch of Sakya's
monks, according to the same report. Each person handling the volumes
will be required to sign a log, even though the storage facility is 250
feet from the monastery's main hall. Tibetan worshippers consider the
chance to walk through the chamber behind the main altar, where the
texts are kept in 30-foot high racks in near darkness, to be of
profound religious significance.
Sakya Monastery, located nearly 300 miles west of Lhasa, was
founded in the 11th century and is the seat of the Sakya sect of
Tibetan Buddhism. The texts are the largest surviving collection in the
Tibetan areas of China, and one of the finest anywhere in Asia,
according to experts. Most Tibetan Buddhist scripture and art was
destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. It is said that Sakya
Monastery and its library were spared at the behest of Premier Zhou
Tibetan people and Chinese officials portray Sakya Monastery's
important role in history differently. Thirteenth century Sakya
teachers are credited with converting Mongol Khans to Buddhism and
establishing the "priest-patron" relationship. In exchange for the
patronage of Mongol leaders, Tibetan lamas taught them Buddhism. The Chinese government claims that the relationship established Chinese sovereignty over Tibetan territory, but many Tibetans contend that the arrangement was one of mutual advantage, not of Tibetan administrative subordination to China.
The Dalai Lama is seeking a solution to the issue that is based on
accepting autonomy for Tibetan areas within China. His representatives
have met with Chinese officials four times since 2002 in an effort to
narrow the divide between Tibetan and Chinese views. More information
about the dialogue is available in the CECC 2004 Annual Report.
Beijing News Reviews Progress and Problems in Criminal Procedure Law Amendment Process
A July 23 Beijing News article reviews in detail recent discussion and debate over amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law
(CPL). According to the article, the CPL amendment has been added to
the National People’s Congress (NPC) legislative calendar. An NPC
source quoted in the article reports that the Legal Affairs Committee
of the NPC Standing Committee is still researching amendment issues and
has not yet begun drafting the amendment proposal. The NPC has
tentatively scheduled consideration of a draft CPL amendment proposal
during 2006, with final passage slated for 2007. The article provides
insights into problems that the drafters have already encountered in
the amendment drafting process. As with the 1996 amendments,
investigative agencies reportedly are resisting some proposed reforms
that would enhance the rights of criminal suspects.
Guangdong Weekly Reports on How Chinese Authorities Have "United to Purify the Internet"
An article in the August 18 edition of Guangdong's Southern Weekend
offers the following perspective on how the Chinese government
administers the Internet:
From 1996 until now, fourteen agencies, including the Central Propaganda Department, State Council Information Office, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Culture, and the General Administration of Press and Publication have participated in the administration of the Internet, have promulgated nearly 50 laws and regulations, and have put together the world's most extensive and comprehensive regulatory system for Internet administration.
One scholar who specializes in researching Internet Law [said] our
country's degree of emphasis on, and effectiveness of administration
over, the problem of Internet security is "rare in this world."
article, which focuses on the current controversy in China regarding
the government increasingly requiring Chinese citizens to register
their real names when utilizing Web sites, news groups, messaging
services, and games on the Internet, also discusses the background on
the government's recently-concluded crackdown on private Web sites
(what it refers to as "a sweeping nationwide Internet Web site registration project"):
crackdown actually began in July of last year, when authorities
launched a "special project" to shut down pornographic Web sites.
November, after the Party issued a document calling for "increasing
work on the administration of the Internet," the 14 departments
"carried out a large-scale clean up and reorganization of the Internet,
and this activity has continued until today." The People's Daily, Xinhua, and Party officials have provided indications of the nature of that Party document.
Chengqing, the head of the Internet Society of China, told the author
of the article that "there have been rules for non-commercial Web site
registration for some time now," referring to Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services, but that "for various reasons, it has not been strictly implemented."
- As of July 7, registration work has been entirely completed.
- Local regulators throughout China have shut down a large number of Web sites,
utilizing specialized software to render them inaccessible, and the
relevant Internet addresses have been published on the Web sites of
communication administration offices throughout the country.
- In August, authorities will publish a summary of the results of the registration work.
article also points out that, in addition to requiring civil
registration under the MII, China's government is preparing to deploy
law enforcement authorities to crack down on private Web sites:
large clean up and reorganization action has been an inspection of the
Internet during the first half of this year by Internet police in all
areas, which has been the first nationwide Internet inspection in the
10-year development of the Internet. The relevant provisions of our
country's Measures for the Administration of Security Protection of Computer Information Networks with International Interconnections
stipulate that all Web sites must undertake registration procedures
with their local public security bureau within 30 days of opening. . .
. [P]ublic security bureaus throughout the country are currently
conducting extensive screening of small and medium Web sites that have
China's official news media reports that
public security officials have already begun to crack down on
unregistered private Web sites in Beijing
, and Qingdao
Shenzhen Municipal Authorities Announce Tighter Controls Over Migrant Population
Shenzhen authorities have tightened household registration (hukou) rules governing migrants, according to articles in the Beijing News, South China Morning Post, and on the Shenzhen municipal government Web site.
Migrants who do not qualify for a local hukou usually cannot obtain
public services such as health care and schooling for their children on
an equal basis with registered residents.
Shenzhen authorities say that the measures are intended to control
the rate of growth of the temporary resident population, which now
constitutes over 80 percent of the total municipal population of 10
million. According to news reports, the new measures will temporarily
suspend processing of applications for local hukou for dependent
children and parents of current Shenzhen migrant residents. Shenzhen
officials have not yet announced how the measures will be implemented.
In addition, officials will limit the growth of private schools for
migrant children and require migrant parents to pay additional fees to
enroll their children in public schools. As with many other local regulations,
the Shenzhen measures also emphasize the need to allow wealthy and
educated individuals to receive preferential treatment in obtaining
The Shenzhen announcement has attracted negative commentary in the Chinese news media. A China Youth Daily article
criticized the plan for attempting to use childrens' access to
education as a tool to limit migration, and ignoring the fact that
Chinese migration is driven primarily by the search for jobs in urban
areas. A separate Southern Weekend article
criticized strict hukou restrictions as a means for Chinese cities to
extract resources (taxes, low-cost labor) from migrants without
shouldering the corresponding burden of providing social services.
Scholars Comment on Public Demands for Tighter Restrictions on Rural Migrants
Citizen representatives invited to comment on Beijing's municipal
development plans demanded tighter restrictions on rural migrants,
including tough hukou (household registration) policies and strict
controls on providing housing and employment to migrants, according to
a Southern Daily article. Commentary by scholars that was posted on the East Day Web site, however, called for a more cautious approach.
The scholars questioned whether adopting stricter residence
criteria is the most effective method to slow migration to urban areas.
Noting that Chinese government overinvestment in urban areas has
created an environment that attracts rural migrants to China's cities,
the scholars suggested that refocusing development goals to emphasize
building up China’s rural areas might slow rural migration to urban
areas more effectively. The scholars also noted that municipalities
should take the interests of migrants and rural residents into
consideration when drafting development policies, rather than only
considering the demands of established urban residents.
Beijing Olympic Committee Refusing All Telephone Interviews To Avoid Falun Gong Journalists
Jiang Xiaoyu, Vice Chairman
of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Organizing Committee, said that the
Committee will not accept interviews with international news media by
telephone because the reporters might represent the Falun Gong
spiritual movement, according to an August 8 report
in The Australian. The report quoted Jiang as saying, "The problem with
telephone interviews is that we can't identify the person on the line,
which media he represents, and whether he is a journalist or not . . .
. For example the Falun Gong cult is illegal in China but they have
their own journalists."
According to his official biography on the Beijing 2008 Olympic Organizing Committee Web site, Vice Chairman Jiang also currently serves as Deputy Director of the Beijing Municipal Communist Party Central Committee Propaganda Department.
Supreme People's Court Issues Reply on Eviction Cases
The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has issued a Reply
to the Zhejiang High People’s Court confirming that people’s courts may
not directly accept civil lawsuits involving disputes over compensation
for urban evictions. The Reply provides that such disputes must first
be submitted to administrative adjudication boards under procedures
outlined in China’s Urban Housing Demolition and Relocation Management Regulations.
Under the Regulations, parties must submit compensation disputes to
administrative adjudication tribunals, and may appeal to higher level
administrative organs and/or file an administrative lawsuit in a
people’s court to challenge the adjudication decision if they are not
The Reply appears to confirm existing law and procedures for
eviction compensation cases. An August 12 South China Morning Post
article incorrectly suggests that the Reply cut off access to the
courts for parties in eviction compensation disputes. However, the
Reply does not explicitly prohibit courts from accepting appeals of
administrative decisions as provided in the Demolition Regulations. It
merely confirms that courts may not directly accept a different type of
lawsuit (a civil suit). This interpretation appears to be consistent
with a provision on land disputes contained in SPC interpretation on
the General Principles of Civil Law (Article 96). An article
in China’s domestic press confirms that parties in eviction proceedings
retain the right to file administrative lawsuits to contest
adjudication decisions on eviction compensation.
Urban evictions have sparked a surge of petitions, lawsuits, and
protests in recent years and are a growing cause of urban social
unrest, a problem acknowledged by China’s central leadership. As noted
in a Human Rights Watch research paper,
the urban eviction process and existing dispute resolution mechanisms
are riddled with corruption and abuse. To the extent that the SPC Reply
cuts off one possible avenue for the redress of grievances, it could be
considered a setback for evictee rights. According to the SCMP, Chinese
lawyers expressed disappointment at the decision.
The SPC Reply probably reflects a fear that courts presently lack the capacity
to deal with the flood of lawsuits that could result if it confirmed a
right to file direct civil claims in eviction compensation cases. By
requiring parties to submit to adjudication and then file
administrative lawsuits, the SPC may hope to weed out some cases while
preserving access to the courts for the most extreme cases.
Qiansu City Expands Legal Counseling Services for Ethnic Migrants
The State Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission (SERAC) in Qiansu
city, Jiangsu province, signed cooperative agreements in July with
legal aid centers in 36 cities to provide legal counsel to ethnic
migrant workers. The number of minority migrant workers living in
Qiansu has risen from 9,500 in the 1980s to over 24,000 today,
according to an August 2 State Ethnic Affairs Commission report.
More than 3,600 of Qiansu's minority citizens are currently employed in
temporary jobs outside of the city and will now be able to seek legal
counsel at legal aid centers in any of the 36 partner cities.
Qiansu city established its first legal aid center for minorities
in 2001. The expansion of legal aid counseling announced in July
reflects the city's effort to implement new State Council Regulations on the Implementation of the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law
promulgated in May. The Regulations require local governments to
increase the awareness among minorities of their rights under the
Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law and to take "concrete measures" to protect
these rights. Article 38 of the Regulation also requires governments in
autonomous areas to manage the orderly flow of minority workers into
and out of the autonomous areas and ensure that their lawful rights are
Anhui Court Sentences Writer Zhang Lin to Five Years Imprisonment for Inciting Subversion
A court in Anhui province has sentenced writer Zhang Lin to five
years imprisonment and four years of deprivation of political rights
for inciting subversion, the Committee to Protect Journalists
(CPJ) reported on August 2. According to CPJ, on August 2 authorities
notified Zhang Lin's family and his lawyer, Mo Shaoping, that on July
28 the Intermediate People's Court of Bengbu ruled that Zhang was
guilty of crimes related to articles he has posted on the Internet, and
to a radio interview. Reporters Without Borders
said that the court convicted Zhang for posting reports and essays on
the Internet that were "contrary to the bases of the Constitution" and
"jeopardized national unity and territorial sovereignty, spread lies,
and disturbed public order and social stability." The sentence was
imposed under article 105 of the Criminal Law, a provision on
Mo told CPJ that Zhang has already submitted a written appeal in advance of the 10-day deadline set by the court.
Zhang was tried on June 21. Police detained him at a Bengbu train station on January 29 and initially ordered him to serve two weeks administrative detention. In February, Reporters Without Borders reported
that Chinese police had informed Zhang's wife that he was being held in
"criminal detention" for threatening state security. On March 19, AFP reported
that public security authorities had informed Zhang's wife that they
had formally arrested Zhang for inciting the subversion of state's
In February 2005, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released an advance version of the report on its September 2004 mission to China.
Among its numerous recommendations, the report called for a halt to the
use of vague criminal provisions such as "endangering state security"
and "subverting public order" to punish peaceful expression, assembly,
and religious practice.
Drug Addict Reportedly Beaten to Death In Police-Run Detoxification Center in Guangdong Province
The parents of a 24-year-old addict who died in a Guangdong province
drug detoxification center received an anonymous call indicating that
their son had been beaten to death, according to South China Morning
Post articles published on August 4 and 5. An autopsy reportedly
supports the caller’s assertion. The addict's parents, both doctors,
had admitted him to the facility. According to one man who was detained
there, the Guangdong center had a reputation for irregular fatalities
and had been ordered to improve its record. Key footage from a
surveillance camera that had been installed to prevent abuses is
apparently missing without explanation.
The Chinese government recently launched a major campaign
to combat illegal drug use. Under administrative regulations, Chinese
police have the power to commit drug users to forcible detoxification
for three to six months without judicial review. Statistics published
in a China Daily article
on the drug detoxification system indicate that at the end of 2003,
China had 583 compulsory drug detoxification centers, 151 detention
centers, and more than 1,000 "voluntary" rehabilitation units. The
relapse rate for forced detoxification detainees reportedly exceeds 90
percent. Officials may subject repeat drug offenders to longer terms of
administrative punishment in re-education through labor centers.
The drug detoxification case resembles the 2003 case of Sun
Zhigang, who was detained by mistake on suspicion of being an illegal
migrant and beaten to death in a Guangzhou city detention center.
Public anger over Sun’s death led to the repeal of administrative
regulations that permitted police to forcibly detain vagrants, beggars,
and unregistered migrants.
Chinese Scholar Says Revised Criminal Procedure Law Likely To Require Witnesses to Appear in Court
A Chinese scholar who has participated in discussions on the
amendment of the Criminal Procedure Law has said that a requirement
that witnesses appear in court is very likely to be written into the
law, according to a China Youth Daily report.
The scholar notes that the failure of witnesses to appear in court is a
"chronic disease" in the judicial process and has made it difficult to
establish an adversarial framework in China’s criminal justice system.
If witnesses do not appear in court, he concludes, defense lawyers
cannot cross-examine them, and judges find it more difficult to
evaluate the veracity of witness testimony. The scholar sees this as a
key flaw in the criminal justice system.
The failure of witnesses to attend trials has received increased
attention in Chinese legal circles. According to Chinese sources, only
a small percentage of witnesses in criminal cases appear in court (see
related stories here and here).
One source discussed in detail how police and prosecutors often
intimidate or detain defense witnesses or witnesses who change their
testimony at trial and undermine the government's case. The National
People’s Congress has included the amendment of the Criminal Procedure
Law in its current five-year legislative plan. Chinese sources suggest that the first set of amendments is scheduled for formal consideration next year for possible implementation in 2007.
Pollution Continues To Threaten the South-North Water Diversion Project
Thousands of tons of waste continue to pollute water that the
government intends to be diverted through the eastern and middle routes
of the South-North Water Diversion Project, according to an August 5
Xinhua article. The diversion project is part of national development plans to relieve severe water shortages
by diverting water from south China to the north, but financial
difficulties and lack of water treatment facilities threaten the
project’s timely completion and effectiveness.
On March 23, State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) officials
reported that a third of the water treatment facilities on the eastern
route had not been completed, and construction on many has not yet
begun. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by
2007. In late March, a Xinhua report indicated that domestic banks plan to loan $5.9 billion for the project, which a November 2004 China Daily report says has already exceeded its estimated budget.
Citizens Petition NPC Standing Committee for Review of Conflicting Legal Provisions on Marriage Registration
Two private citizens have petitioned the National People’s Congress
Standing Committee (NPCSC) to resolve an apparent contradiction between
national and local legal requirements related to marriage registration,
according to an article
in the Procuratorate Daily. In July 2005, Heilongjiang provincial
officials amended a local rule to require couples to submit evidence of
a medical examination before they may obtain a marriage license.
Although the rule is consistent with the 1994 Law on Mother and Infant Health Care,
which requires evidence of such exams to be presented before
authorities register a marriage, it conflicts with the State Council Marriage Registration Regulations issued in 2003, which specifically abolish such compulsory medical examinations.
Under China’s Legislation Law,
the NPCSC is responsible for resolving conflicts between national laws,
national regulations, and local rules. Article 90 of the Legislation
Law gives citizens the right to petition the NPCSC for a review of
conflicting legal provisions, but the NPCSC has not fulfilled its
review function in practice. In 2004, however, the NPCSC opened a new
office to review such legal conflicts, and NPC members publicly
confirmed that citizens have the right to petition.
In requesting review of the Heilongjiang rule, the two citizen
petitioners indicated that they hope to prompt the NPCSC office to take
its first formal action on conflicting legal provisions. "Through our
specific action, we also hope to reduce the phenomenon of conflicts
between regulations and law," they write, "and to promote the
completion of China’s legal review system."
Jilin Provincial Government Will Allow Citizens To Challenge Internal Regulations
Jilin provincial authorities will allow citizens to challenge
internal, nonpublic regulations that administrative agencies often rely
on as a legal basis for government action, according to a report
appearing on the Ministry of Justice Web site.
Media reports and scholars have criticized the use of such internal
regulations, which are often drafted without citizen participation.
The Jilin measures allow citizens to apply to the provincial legal
affairs office for review of internal local regulations and require the
review to be completed within two months. The measures also authorize
the legal affairs office to declare invalid those regulations that fail
The Jilin measures are a positive step that may empower citizens to
challenge internal regulations that lack any legal basis. The
provincial government, however, may intend for these measures to
operate as a partial substitute for more substantive efforts to develop
effective and independent judicial review of administrative
Henan Provincial Authorities Expand Medical Services to Migrants and Rural Residents
Henan provincial authorities will include several urban medical
facilities in a rural health cooperative system that provides health
services to migrants and rural residents, according to a Beijing News report.
Chinese migrants and rural residents are often excluded from receiving
urban public services, including health care, on the same terms as
urban residents. The Henan decision appears to be a positive step aimed
at removing some of these barriers.