Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, an expert who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives said yesterday.
Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing “one of the worst catastrophes the world has ever known”.
Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.
Mr Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago. He argued that this devastating period of history – which has until now remained hidden – has international resonance. “It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century…. It was like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over,” he said.
Between 1958 and 1962, a war raged between the peasants and the state; it was a period when a third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertiliser and when the nation descended into famine and starvation, Mr Dikötter said.
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Under Chinese law, organ trafficking is not a crime per se; thus, traffickers were convicted for “illegal business operation”. So far, the authorities have tolerated the practice or even used death row prisoners’ organs for transplant.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Haidian District People’s Court in Beijing convicted seven people on human trafficking charges, imposing sentences ranging from two years to seven years eight months. Human organ trafficking is a major problem in China, a practice that includes a price list according to organs. People from around the world come to the mainland for transplants.
The problem is so widespread that organs are offered on the internet, price included. Every year, thousands come from abroad for a transplant in China.
Human rights groups have accused Chinese authorities of allowing trafficking of organs taken from prisoners, for instance, members of Falun Gong. Some go so far as to charge Beijing of keeping thousands of death row prisoners alive until their organs are needed.
Although discreetly out of sight to foreigners, the communists are still running practically everything.
But one of the responsibilities of being one of China’s 83 million Communist Party members is to obscure the power of the party from foreigners.
At the Changchun Railway Vehicles factory I asked the manager of the huge bullet train fabrication plant whether his was a ”patriotic” cause. He replied in the affirmative and then volunteered: ”We not only work for Changchun Railway Vehicles but for the country. We always do political education on loving the country and loving the party. In fact we have a Communist Party branch in this workshop. I’m a member, and 80 per cent of managers are members. To make sure our workers don’t get bored we organise activities, like education on how to love the country and love the party. It helps the workers integrate and improve their communal spirit.”
State-owned companies have made huge strides in efficiency and profitability but they are still owned and controlled by the Communist Party. And given that the profits last year at just two Chinese state-owned companies, China Mobile and PetroChina, far exceeded the combined profits of China’s 500 largest private companies (218 billion yuan), it’s fair to say that the party directly dominates big business in China.
Read more here: Chen Guangcheng, 38, was let out of jail Sept. 9 only to confront a regime of round-the-clock video surveillance, constant plainclothes police presence outside his home and monitoring or blocking of his and his relatives’ cell phones. If he is allowed to go anywhere, he’ll have a plainclothes police “escort.”
Such surveillance, called “soft detention” (ruan jin) in Chinese, is what happens to activists whom the Chinese state deems not dangerous enough for jail but too dangerous to be left to their own devices. The treatment can last years, even decades.
The methods are illegal according to China’s own laws, Chinese lawyers and rights activists say, and show how far authoritarian China still is from protecting citizens’ rights that now exist only on paper.
Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas accuses the Chinese regime of continuing a bloody harvest of much-needed human organs, killing up to 10,000 death-row inmates and political prisoners each year. But he accepts the scale of the problem is all but impossible to prove.
”Straight up, the allegation is people are being killed and their bodies cremated, so there is no corpse,” he told The Age yesterday. ”It’s done in a hospital, in a closed setting, so there are no witnesses, just perpetrators and victims. The documentary record is all Chinese internal records, so you’re not going to get any documents.”
// But Mr Matas insists rudimentary evidence of the crimes can be found by those determined enough to search.
He has co-written a series of reports since 2006 investigating the organ harvest and believes the trade is now servicing a growing local market for transplants.
All websites are to properly report on demonstrations in Hong Kong
August 30, 2010
The purpose of the demonstrations in Hong Kong (over the hostage tragedy in the Philippines) is not pure. (Those demonstrations) are releasing dissatisfaction towards the mainland. All websites are to properly report on demonstrations in Hong Kong, and not allow themselves to be taken advantage of by anti-mainland sentiment in Hong Kong.
Do not report the story “Secretary General of Vietnamese Communist Party holds multi-candidate elections”
August 30, 2010
It is forbidden to report on democratic steps taken in Vietnam: the Secretary General holding multi-candidate elections, direct elections for the National Assembly, and the requirement starting in April for all National Assembly representatives, legislators, and high-level government officials to report their property.
Central Propaganda Bureau: All media outlets are to recall reporters sent to Yichun
August 28, 2010
Other than reporters from CCTV, Xinhua, People’s Daily (Renmin ribao), Heilongjiang Daily (Heilongjiang ribao), and Yichun Daily (Yichun ribao), reporters sent from other media outlets are all to be recalled from Yichun.
Regarding Gao Yaojie in Southern Weekend
August 26, 2010
All websites are to delete the report on Gao Yaojie in Southern Weekend (Nanfang zhoumo).