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Showing posts with the label freedom of speech

Chinese Dissident Zhang Jilin Detained By Police In Chongqing After Calling On Xi Jinping To Resign

Portrait of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Square (photo by Rabs003 via Wikimedia Commons) Chinese dissident Zhang Jilin (张吉林) has been detained by police in the city of Chongqing after publicly saying that President Xi Jinping should be removed from office. According to Taiwan-based Apple Daily , on January 17 Zhang talked about China's current affairs on a WeChat group. His ideas received praise from the group members, and he later told friends that he wanted to give a public speech based on the thoughts he had expressed online. Other dissidents urged him to be careful, but he insisted that he had "the right to free speech." On January 19 Zhang went to Guanyinqiao Square, in the city of Chongqing, and delivered a speech about China 's political situation, calling on Xi Jinping to be removed from office. "I think it's time for Xi Jinping to be removed from office," Zhang told a crowd according to an audio recording. "The Chinese Comm

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl's Curtsy To Vladimir Putin Draws Criticism

Vladimir Putin (by Kremlin.ru [CC BY 3.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons ) Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl's curtsy to Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn criticism from Austrian politicians and international media. On Saturday, August 18, Putin attended Kneissl's wedding in the state of Styria, in southeastern Austria. Among the guests were Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the conservative Austrian People’s Party, and vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ). Karin Kneissl  is a former journalist. On December 18, 2017, she was sworn in as Austria's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Integration. She is an independent, but she was recommended for the role by the Freedom Party. At the wedding Vladimir Putin gave a short speech congratulating Kneissl and her husband, businessman Wolfgang Meilinger. Kneissl danced with Putin and at the end of the dance she gave the Russian leader a curtsy. Foota

Rumours About Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing's Arrest Spread Online

Rumours about the arrest of Chinese model and actress Fan Bingbing on charges of tax evasion have spread on Chinese media. As Apple Daily reports, celebrity Fan Bingbing and her younger brother Fan Chengcheng have allegedly been detained for taking part in a tax evasion scheme alongside her manager, Mu Xiaoguang. Mu has also allegedly been charged with destroying incriminating evidence. On May 28 TV anchor Cui Yongyuan posted on Weibo a contract that showed Fan Bingbing being paid $1.56 million (RMB10 million) for four days’ work on director Feng Xiaogang's film “Cell Phone 2.”  Later Cui released another contract worth $7.8 million (RMB50 million) for the same work. He alleged that Fan had declared to tax authorities only the first contract, thus avoiding to pay taxes on the second, larger amount.  Double-contracts for the purpose of tax evasion are known in China as "yin-yang contracts".  Although the Chinese government censored Cui's p

Should Supporters Of The Chinese Communist Party Be Allowed To Stage Demos in Taiwan? A Few Thoughts On The Limits Of Freedom Of Speech

On May 15 Taiwanreporter published a video (see below) showing people demonstrating against Taiwan independence and in favour of "peaceful unification" with Communist China. In Ximending one usually sees scores of supporters of Taiwan independence waving flags and banners, but apparently pro-Communist forces are now trying to counterbalance those demonstrations by staging their own.  The video shows a number of protesters waving flags of the People's Republic of China (PRC). They seem to belong to the so-called Chinese Patriotic Association (中華愛國同心會), a group that supports the incorporation of Taiwan into the PRC according to the "one country, two systems" (一國兩制) framework that Beijing already used for Hong Kong and Macau. This is not the first such demonstration organized by "Chinese patriotic" groups. Taipei 101 used to be one of the patriotic association's favourite spots, before an incident involving peaceful Falun Gong demonstrators led

Visiting Missing Hong Kong Booksellers' Causeway Bay Bookstore

Yesterday I was walking with a friend in Causeway Bay, when she suddenly pointed at one of the countless colourful billboards that decorate the shopping district's building facades and said, "That's the bookstore of the missing booksellers !". The bookstore is called " Causeway Bay Books " (銅鑼灣書店) and it's located on the second floor of a building on Lockhart Road. I and my friend went upstairs and, of course, the bookstore was closed. Next to the entrance door there were messages written on the wall by sympathetic citizens.

The Media Must Follow The Party, Says Xi Jinping

On February 19 Xi Jinping made a high-profile visit to China's three major news outlets, Xinhua News Agency, China Network Television and People's Daily. During his tour, Xi laid out his vision for the future of the Chinese media industry. And this vision is: journalists must do what the Party says.  Xi ordered state- and Party-owned media to strictly follow the Party's leadership and focus on " positive reporting ". They must work "to speak for the Party's will and its propositions and protect the Party's authority and unity". They must act as their "publicity fronts".  They must align "their ideology, political thinking and deeds to those of the ... Central Committee [of the Chinese Communist Party] and help fashion the Party's theories and policies into conscious action by the general public while providing spiritual enrichment to the people". 

Xi Jinping Visits China Network Television, Sends Clear Message To Journalists

Xi Jinping does not miss a chance to show who is in charge. From the army to the internet , from the arts to the economy , the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party is eager impose on every sector of society his vision of the new China. And this vision is based on a simple principle: the "people" must follow the leadership of the Party, and the Party must follow his leadership. On February 19 Xi Jinping paid a high-profile visit to CNTV , China 's state television channel. He visited the control room and the broadcasting studio, took photos with journalists and was connected with the headquarters of CNTV in Washington DC. According to state-owned newspaper People's Daily , "90% of the staff [of CNTV] were present during the visit, Xi Jinping sent his greetings to the entire crew and wished them all the best". The obsequious faces of the TV staff show clearly why more and more young Chinese journalists are giving up on their profession

China's Supreme People's Court Rejects Western-style Judicial Independence

As Xi Jinping tightens control over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), further restricts freedom of speech and revives Marxist and Maoist ideology, the judicial system, too, is undergoing a conservative counter-reformation aimed at strengthening the role of the Party and excluding possible reforms inspired by the judicial system of liberal countries.  According to China News , on February 25 the Party leadership group of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China released a statement stressing that the country must preserve "the judicial system of socialism with Chinese characteristics " (中国特色社会主义司法制度). At the same time, it strongly rejected what it described as "Western judicial independence and the separation of powers" (西方“司法独立”、“三权鼎立”). The Supreme People's Court said that the judicial system must "resolutely resist the influence of wrong Western thought and wrong Western viewpoints."

Hong Kong Journalists Denied Entry to Macau Ahead of Xi Jinping's Visit

On December 20 Xi Jinping , the president of the People's Republic of China (PRC), will visit the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty of the former Portuguese colony.   But while the Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will attend the ceremony in Macau, Hong Kong journalists have already been denied entry to the neighbouring region.  As the newspaper Apple Daily reported, yesterday  one of its journalists was denied entry into Macau.  According to the paper, on December 12 the journalist took a ferry to Macau. After his arrival at the ferry station he went to the Immigration Hall, where the police prevented him from entering Macau.  Public security officers took him to an examination room and asked for the purpose of his visit. The journalist replied he was there for an interview - without specifying whether he was the interviewer or the interviewee.  The officers checked his

Film About Political Exiles Banned in Singapore on Grounds of National Security

To Singapore with Love , a documentary film by Singaporean director Tan Pin Pin, has been banned in Singapore due to national security concerns. The film revolves around the lives of activists, student leaders and members of the communist party who fled the country between the 1960's and the 1980's in the midst of crackdowns carried out by the British colonial government and then the government of the new Republic.  The Media Development Authority (MDA) , a government agency that supervises Singapore's media, decided that the film is "not allowed for all ratings", which means that it cannot be distributed or publicly screened in Singapore.