China clamps down before crucial party congress

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BEIJING — China’s national pole-dancing team, five women and two men, jet to Switzerland this week for the sport’s world championship. Back home, people fret about house prices, watch TV dating shows and love online shopping. They shoot “Gangnam Style” music video covers, too.

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China’s Communist Party prepares for power handover

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China’s political elite are expected to oust disgraced figure Bo Xilai and jostle for leadership roles in their last formal meeting which opened on Thursday ahead of next week’s landmark power handover. The Communist Party’s Central Committee convened behind closed doors, state media said, with 500 senior members to debate (read more…)

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China: Cafe Owner Sentenced Over Online Messages

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The owner of an Internet cafe in southwest China was given an eight-year prison term for criticizing the ruling Communist Party in online messages and for seeking to establish an opposition party, his wife said Thursday.

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China: Ongoing arbitrary detention of Ms. Mao Hengfeng

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The Observatory has been informed by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) of the ongoing arbitrary detention since September 30 of Ms. Mao Hengfeng, a Shanghai activist who has been active in defending the right to housing and opposing forced evictions as well as in promoting women’s reproductive rights.

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China adopts mental health law to curb forced treatment

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China adopted a law on Friday to protect for the first time the rights of the mentally ill after years of accusations that psychiatric hospitals are used to lock up people against their will and silence dissidents.

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Jiangsu, an 80 year old spends 4 years in prison without any criminal conviction

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The provincial authorities arrested Chen Yudao in 2008 over the murder of a neighbor. Without evidence, witnesses or motivation they kept him one year in prison, three years ago at the trial the judges did not sentence him.

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China hides jailed Nobel dissident’s wife at home

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Beijing (dpa) – Two years after her jailed husband won the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xia remains in limbo, almost completely cut off from the outside world yet subject to no legal process.

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America’s outdated view of China

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When the human rights lawyer Chen Guang­cheng escaped ­extra-legal house arrest and beatings and found his way to the U.S. Embassy last month, he became an instant hero on the Chinese Internet. How had he escaped? How could a single blind man tear such a hole in the government’s pervasive (read more…)

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Chinese Don’t Trust Beijing With Chen’s Safety: The public wants the U.S. to watch over activists, and is disappointed when Washington fails.

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The Chinese Internet calls him “China’s blind spiderman.” The web buzz about the blind human-rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who somehow escaped house arrest in Shandong province and fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing, was sky-high last week as news of his escape got out. How, people ask, did he (read more…)

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Rule of law? Not in China. Legal reform hasn’t helped activists such as Chen Guangcheng.

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The “deal” for Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng to leave China for legal study in the United States is not without pitfalls, but other outcomes could be worse. Even if Chinese authorities honor the promises apparently made to U.S. officials to let him travel, they have conceded little on human rights.

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New Complications In U.S.-China Relations

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Diane and guests explore political intrigue in China, in light of ongoing internal power struggles and the recent escape of a dissident. We take a look at new complications in U.S. –China relations ahead of high-level talks in Beijing.

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On Fang Lizhi (1936–2012)

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Fang Lizhi, a distinguished professor of astrophysics, luminary in the struggle for human rights in contemporary China, and frequent contributor to The New York Review, died suddenly on the morning of April 6. At age seventy-six he had not yet retired, and was preparing to leave home to teach a (read more…)

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