Thursday, April 28, 2011

Some Thoughts on Implications of the Ai Weiwei Case

I am very concerned that while China signed the ICCPR in 1998, China is more and more flaunting the provisions of Article 14 and other articles with regard to citizens' entitlement to due process of law. Recently, there are more and more reports of people who support freedom of conscience and political democracy being incarcerated through arbitrary process by agents of the Chinese security apparatus without involvement of the police or judiciary. While we all question the validity of wide application of laws against "threats against state security," now Chinese people are being "disappeared" for political reasons without any charge being laid at all..

For example Ai Weiwei was taken away by persons unknown, evidently not police, and some days later we are told by the Foreign Ministry that he is being held in an undisclosed location while being investigated on suspicion of tax evasion and bigamy.  One would expect a process of 1. investigation by the procuracy;  2. charges laid; 3. arrest; 4. open trial (as tax evasion and bigamy do not fall into matters of state security that would call for a closed trial).  

Ai Weiwei is of course a high profile case, but there are dozens and dozens of reports of people similarly disappearing, most of them "human rights defender" lawyers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beijing officials 'laughed off' Australian concerns over human rights |

Confidential briefings provided by Australian diplomats to their American counterparts reveal that Australia's human rights dialogue with China has been characterised by persistent Chinese denials of rights abuses and ''boilerplate'' responses to concerns raised by Australia.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

PM Proposes New Office Of Religious Freedom To Promote Religious Freedom Around The World

Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that a re-elected Conservative Government will create an Office of Religious Freedom to ensure that defending persecuted religious minorities is a priority of Canada's foreign policy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Michael Ignatieff Supports Office for Religious Freedom Proposal

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff told reporters in Toronto the office is "the kind of thing that ought to have the support of all sides in politics," before referring to many of the aforementioned groups that have a presence in Canada.
"When you see in Egypt peaceful members of the Coptic community being attacked," he said, "when you see Baha'is being persecuted in Iran, when you see Jews being persecuted, when you see Christians unable to practice their religion freely in China, I think all Canadians believe in the importance of both defending religious freedom at home, but also defending religious freedom abroad."

Tragic Death of Liu Qian

I do feel so deeply sorry about this.  My heart goes out to Professor Liu Jianhui of the Central Party School and to all Ms. Liu's family,  And to all my friends in China who have children studying abroad who worry enough about them being so far from home already and now this.

Shared via RockMelt

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Editorial in Globe and Mail on Canada's China Policy

"Along with trade, the Canadian government should negotiate for independent legal representation of Canadians who get into legal trouble and consular access to them. Similarly, there should be an extradition treaty between Canada and China that embodies liberal principles of due process and human rights. Such arrangements could well have a wider good influence in China, beyond cases involving Canadians."

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Farewell speech by outgoing US ambassador Jon Huntsman in Shanghai

"Today's leaders may struggle with the legacy of outdated ideologies or past differences, but the next generation in both countries will carry with them a profoundly more global outlook."

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

My take on Ai Weiwei

To me Ai Weiwei represents best of the "salt of the earth" type of northern Chinese --- scrupulously honest, unpretentious, very warm, open, humorous and sincerely identifies with the common man.

PBS 17 minute long documentary "Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei?":

"Hurricane" - A song not sung by Bob Dylan at his show in Beijing yesterday

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

US Envoy Defends Detained Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei

"SHANGHAI (AFP) – US ambassador Jon Huntsman Wednesday defended detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei for challenging Beijing to better serve the people, in his final public speech before a possible presidential bid.

Huntsman also urged the Chinese government not to use the Internet to create distrust and warned misperceptions in the United States and China threaten to lead to policies that could undermine their relationship."

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Monday, April 04, 2011

My Take On MinMetals Hostile Takeover of Equinox

This bid is for a Canadian company that controls mines outside of Canada. It offers shareholders a significant premium over the current listed share price. I am at a loss as to any legitimate basis for Industry Canada to block this takeover.

Development in Wu Yuren Case

@KPinChina: Breaking News: Wu Yuren Released on Parole April 3rd, Still Pending Sentence: via @addthis

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ai Weiwei in custody and studio raided by Chinese police

Mr. Ai is well known in China due to his designing of the Olympic Bird's Nest Stadium. He is the son of prominent 20th century literary figure, Ai Qing. Presently Ai Weiwei has a favourably reviewed exhibit at the Tate Gallery.

His arrest can be seen as a milestone in the Chinese authorities' suppression of dissent due to Mr. Ai's prominence and very good reputation among most Chinese people in China.

Insightful article about Mr. Ai in New York Times:

Very powerful video statement by Mr. Ai: