» And the youth of China knows it, too: Said Zheng Aiwen, a 22-year-old student: “As soon as I saw the census results, I thought I have to hurry up and get married and have children, two if possible. I am quite worried about the economic pressure of caring for my parents and also about not being supported myself in my old age.” Despite this worrisome trend, the Chinese government won’t lift their one child per family policy, at least not yet — officials claim it has prevented about 400 million additional citizens, even as its biggest practical flaw (setting aside the deeply unpleasant moral breach most Westerners would view it as) seems to be coming home to roost.
One of the deacons returned to his home last Friday afternoon and the police came to ask him if he planned to attend the Easter Sunday service. He said yes, so the police said from this moment, you cannot leave this house. I spoke to him an hour ago, and he was still not able to leave the house.Shouwang Church member Kathy Lu • Describing what happened to one of the deacons before an attempted Easter service — authorities put him under house arrest. He and hundreds of others, in fact. But what’s absolutely bizarre is that while authorities arrested much of Shouwang Church’s congregation, the nearby Haidian Christian Church — which is state-sanctioned — was able to hold a service without any problems. The split emphasizes some big differences between the two churches — since Shouwang doesn’t tow to China’s regulations, it is “undergound” — a type of church that as many as 50 million Chinese people may take part in. We realize China has an atheist government and everything, but limiting this sort of free expression arbitrarily seems silly. source (via • follow)
» The church expected this to happen: With China’s officially atheist government completely at odds with any sort of religious celebration, Shouwang Church’s senior pastor, Jin Tianming, appeared ready for retribution for his church’s decision to hold an outdoor mass on Easter. “This is our uncompromising position and a matter of faith,” he said. “If they arrest our followers, this is the price we are willing to pay.” While you guys think of cute bunnies and Easter Eggs, keep in mind that people are still fighting for their right to celebrate this holiday. (UPDATE: We just threw up another post with more context.)
» Less global, more domestic: You can blame the decline on two things. First, as global economies (particularly the U.S. and Europe) start to improve, there’s less of a need to import things, creating lower demand. And secondly, in the face of criticism about its exports-first economic policy, China is giving its own domestic economy a little more love. So exports are down in China, but that’s because they’re becoming less reliant on exports.
[It is my] understanding the public security authorities are investigating Ai Weiwei according to law on suspicion of economic crimes… This has nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression.Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei • Seeking to dismiss claims that his government arrested famed artist and dissident Ai Weiwei for political reasons, at a news conference. Weiwei’s family (in addition, frankly, to most everyone else) isn’t buying it. Chinese law states that officials must notify the family of an arrested citizen within 24 hours of the detention, and Ai’s wife has heard nothing: “As of 8 A.M. today, it has been 96 hours since Ai Weiwei was taken away from Beijing airport, and I haven’t heard a single word about him.” source (via • follow)
Western capitals are failing to understand the magnitude of what is happening now. The Chinese authorities are actively seeking to try to redefine the boundaries of which opinions are tolerable, and which are not.Nicholas Bequelin, researcher for Human Rights Watch in China • Speaking on the grim state of Chinese affairs, in the wake of the arrest of famed artist and dissident Ai Weiwei. He argues that the Chinese’s tightening grip over the citizenry indicates a meaningful shift towards more abject totalitarianism. Bequelin added: “We know for certain that there are lawyers who haven’t been arrested, but have been clearly threatened. They’ve been told ‘the gloves are off, we can do anything we like now’. One was informed that ‘the party has special ways to deal with people like you’.” source (via • follow)
Crime and punishment in China: Amnesty International claimed yesterday that while the exact number is guarded as a state secret, they believe thousands of people were executed in the China last year, more than every other country combined. While China has maintained they’ve taken steps to lower their rate of execution, such as mandatory review of all death penalty cases since 2007, Amnesty International says they’ve still been executing people for “a wide range of crimes that include nonviolent offences and after proceedings that did not meet international fair trial standards.” source
swagandpassion asks: I plan on going on a study abroad program to China [Beijing] this May...will radiation be an issue?
» We say: Honestly, it shouldn’t be. Really, it’s only an issue within a 20 km radius, and only trace amounts of radiation have been found outside of Japan.
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This is an unacceptable accusation.China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu • Regarding Google’s claim that China has been infiltrating users’ Gmail accounts lately. We bet you’re wondering if she had any elaboration on this quote, considering its brevity. But, no, she didn’t. That’s all she said. Kinda awkward, isn’t it? source (via • follow)