Saturday, December 20, 2008

Geoff York's Final Comments from Beijing on Chinese MFA

"The Foreign Ministry is little more than a public-relations facade for the Chinese government. It is the weakest and least relevant department of the government, treated with contempt or neglect by China's more powerful security ministries. Foreign journalists and diplomats are obliged to deal with the Chinese Foreign Ministry because it is the only ministry that is routinely accessible yet it has so little clout in the Chinese system that its banquets and brickbats are little more than archaic rituals."

Mr. York will be leaving Beijing on December 28.  He will be the Globe and Mail's correspondent in South Africa.  His successor in Beijing will be Mark MacKinnon.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

English translation of Charter 08 Now Available

The document released to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has been signed by over three hundred prominent Chinese citizens. It is written in conscious admiration of the founding of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, where, in January 1977, more than two hundred Czech and Slovak intellectuals formed a

loose, informal, and open association of people…… united by the will to strive individually and collectively for respect for human and civil rights in our country and throughout the world.

The Chinese document calls not for ameliorative reform of the current political system but for an end to some of its essential features, including one-party rule, and their replacement with a system based on human rights and democracy.

et en franรงais:

and original in Chinese: