(July 20, 2012) Lakes in large number, once a plentiful distinction for the province of Hubei, are vanishing after years of “growth” without rule of law.
Shifang uprising halts controversial copper plant proposal
(July 5, 2012) Violent, public protest in China has halted construction of a controversial copper alloy plant in Shifang City, in Sichuan province. In a country with no free press, people left reeling by social media reports of police brutality took to the Internet to intervene. Meanwhile, the nation’s civil rights movement views the Shifang stand-off against government and industry as a turning point for citizen activism, with youth the drivers of a grassroots momentum to fight back.
The best way to promote human rights in Asia
(December 8, 2011) The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada held an online conversation on the question: is there a “best way” for Canada to promote human rights in Asia? Patricia Adams of Probe International says that there is: by “getting its own house in order and ensuring that Canada does not aid and abet abuses abroad.”
Who’s on notice: Ai Weiwei or the Chinese government?
(November 16, 2011) The notice from tax authorities has launched Ai as a cause célèbre yet again but, this time, and significantly, within China.
Brazilian judge blocks Belo Monte dam
A Brazilian judge has stopped construction on the world’s third largest dam. The Belo Monte dam on the Xingu River in the Amazon would flood about 500 square kilometres – displacing about 20 000 indigenous people – as well as diverting 80% of the Xingu’s flow. This Environment News Service article details the long and tortuous battles the Brazilian courts, government and indigenous peoples have fought over the project.
Official Chinese land grabs
(October 19, 2011) Local governments in China typically fund themselves by land sales and property taxes. This article, from Economic Observer, surveys how the economies of Beijing, Shaanxi, Tianjin and Hubei fared over the past year. Notably, Beijing’s economy slowed due to restrictions on real estate and vehicle purchasing – major parts of local consumption and tax revenue.
Dam postponement seen as rebuke to Beijing
Myanmar’s announced cancellation of the Myitsone dam on the Irrawaddy River has brought long-standing tensions with China into the open – including setting off conflicts with the Kachin Independence Organization in the north of the country. “It may be that the Myanmar government sees Chinese investment, in particular the Myitsone dam, as a destabilising force,” said Patricia Adams.
Chinese activists protest secret arrest law
The wife of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, whose detention sparked an international outcry, has urged lawmakers to reject draft legislation that would cement in law police powers to hold dissidents in secret locations without telling their families. And Hu Jia, recently released from imprisonment on charges of subversion, has called for the “KGB secret police-style Red Terror methods” to be rejected.
Liu Zhi: “Chaos reigns in China’s river valleys”
(September 29, 2011) Liu Zhi from the Beijing-based Transition Institute looks at China’s costly and chaotic dam-building spree, and the legal and economic reasons behind the bad investments.
Ai Weiwei ‘speaks out’ – in writing
Even a gag order can’t silence dissident artist Ai Weiwei on the dark subject of human rights in China.
China human rights and Canadian companies
(July 4, 2011) Probe International’s Patricia Adams joined a Business News Network (BNN) panel to discuss the dangers of corporations wishing to do business in China given its poor human rights record.
Hu Jia released
(June 28, 2011) China releases human rights activist Hu Jia from prison, subject to ‘supervision’.
China votes … on the Internet
(June 15, 2011) How microblogs are becoming a platform for independent election campagins.
The persecution of Ni Yulan
(June 8, 2011) “We believe that until the day the rule of law is established in China, what happened to Ni Yulan today could happen to each one of us.”
Prominent Three Gorges critic Lu Qinkan passes away at 97
(April 21, 2011) Chinese hydrologist Lu Qinkan passed away April 11 in Beijing at the age of 97. Lu was known to the west as one of the most vocal critics of the Three Gorges Dam.