Posts tagged ‘Guizhou’


* Guizhou man who broke tragic story of dumpster boys sent on ‘vacation’

Two steps forward, one step back OR is it one step forward , two back?

SCMP: “A former journalist who broke the story of the deaths of five street children in Bijie, Guizhou, a week ago has been sent on “a vacation” by local authorities trying to contain the fallout from the tragedy.

Li Muzi, the son of Li Yuanlong, said his father had been taken away by the authorities at 1pm on Wednesday and put on a plane at Guiyang airport for “a holiday” at a tourist destination he did not want disclosed.

“My father told me he received several phone calls before he was taken away from home,” said Li Muzi, who is studying in the United States. He keeps in contact with his father over the internet and by phone. “Apparently they are trying to prevent him from helping other reporters follow up on the incident.”

Li Yuanlong, a former Bijie Daily reporter, has written four postings on  – a popular online bulletin board on the mainland – since last Friday  detailing the circumstances that led to the five boys’ deaths in a wheeled refuse bin in Bijie’s Qixingguan district that morning.

The victims, all brothers or cousins aged nine to 13, died of carbon monoxide poisoning after lighting a fire in the bin to escape the cold, according to an initial investigation by the city government.

Follow-up reports by mainland media that accused the local authorities of failing to act on parents’ pleas about the five missing boys for more than a week triggered a huge outcry.

Li Muzi said he spoke to his father around 9am yesterday and his father had asked him to delete a microblog entry he had written about  the  disappearance. He said his father was worried it could have a bearing on how long he would be kept away from home.

Li Fangping, a Beijing-based lawyer who has asked the Bijie city government to provide more information on its handling of the  boys before their deaths, said the local authorities had violated the law by  ordering Li Yuanlong’s disappearance.

“It’s the same kind of overkill in the name of stability maintenance that we saw in the lead-up to the Communist Party’s 18th national congress,” he said.

“What we’re seeing now is at odds with the harmonious and beautiful China that new leadership tries to project to the world.””

via Guizhou man who broke tragic story of dumpster boys sent on ‘vacation’ | South China Morning Post.

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* Assistance mechanism set up after street kids’ death

Another serious consequence of the migrant worker issue.

China Daily: “The government of Bijie, a city in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, said on Thursday that it has initiated a mechanism to help street children after five boys were recently found dead in a dumpster.

The dumpster where the bodies of the five boys were found by a trash collector in Bijie City on Friday, November 16.

Luo Yanming, deputy head of the civil affairs bureau of the city’s Qixingguan District, said under the mechanism, relief centers will be established to help people living on the streets, including children.

“Billboards and guidance signs with helplines will be set up on streets in the district, while patrol officers will step up efforts to find them,” he said.

As part of the mechanism, the district’s education authorities planned to go to local primary and high schools to ensure that those under the nine-year compulsory education system are where they should be.

“Schools should keep records of left-behind children and report any cases of drop-outs,” said Chen Yong, deputy director of the education bureau of Qixingguan District.

“In the case of drop-outs, schools should inform their parents and try to persuade the children to return to school,” Chen said.

Five left-behind children were found dead in the dumpster on a drizzling Friday night in the district, spurring an outburst of grief from the public, who blamed the children’s caregivers and the local government for failing to take care of them.

Left-behind children are those who often stay with grandparents in rural areas while their parents work in cities.

One of the poorest provinces in China, Guizhou has an increasing number of people leaving to work in coastal cities where more jobs and better pay might be found.”

via Assistance mechanism set up after street kids’ death |Society |

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* Chinese Criminal Procedure at its Worst

WSJ: “On July 23rd in Guizhou province, lawyers obtained a partial victory for some  of the defendants accused of involvement in organized crime. Not all the accused were as fortunate, and the limited results came with the support of an intense Internet campaign to publicize gross violations of China’s Criminal Procedure Law by police and judges.

This case shows Chinese criminal procedure at its worst. It exposes extensive cooperation between police and court officials in violating Chinese procedural law to obtain convictions in a case brought during a nation-wide campaign with strong political overtones.  At the same time, it also provides a glimpse of the work of dedicated lawyers defending their clients and how they have begun to use the Internet to publicize the problems they encounter. The case is reported in great detail in a blog post on Tea Leaf Nation that is well worth reading and is the source of the following account of the events in this case to date.

In March 2010, Li Qinghong, a real-estate businessman, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for alleged involvement in organized crime  The case against Li and 16 others had begun in 2008 with a charge of gambling, but escalated in 2010 when a nation-wide “crackdown” campaign against organized crime was launched.  In this case, the Guizhou Provincial Coordination Office to Fight Organized Crime organized a meeting to mobilize police, prosecutors and courts to cooperate closely.

The case was remanded by the Guizhou Provincial Court for “lack of factual clarity,” and the Guiyang City District Court reprosecuted the case this year and increased the number of defendants to 57. The defendants’ lawyers took to the Internet to appeal for additional legal assistance, and were ultimately joined by lawyers from outside Guiyang Province. According to the CCP-led Global Times, a total of 88 lawyers formed a panel for the defense.

The defense lawyers say they regarded the case as a test of the entire criminal defense system, because it involved illegally obtained evidence, false testimony and the complicity of police and the courts in these procedural violations. At the trial more than 10 defendants testified to having been tortured, the police were not allowed to testify, and the court refused to exclude evidence that allegedly had been obtained illegally, according to the Tea Leaf Nation account. In addition, during the proceedings the court expelled four lawyers for their aggressive arguments on procedural violations.

The account goes on to say that court officers promised the defendants who were represented by lawyers from outside of Guizhou that they would receive lenient sentences if they fired those lawyers, which some did — only to reveal three weeks later that they had released their lawyers solely because of great pressure on them. Some of those defendants then rehired their lawyers.  After these events, one lawyer was quoted as saying “The criminal defense system in China is near its doomsday.”

The defense lawyers took their efforts to the public via the Internet in addition to vigorous arguments in court. They say that at issue was “the last defense, a life-or-death moment for the rule of law and for criminal defense.” They obtained only a partial victory:  Although some defendants were found innocent, defendant Li Qinghong was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Li has appealed.

The defense lawyers ascribed their (partial) success to a massive use of microblogs, having posted more than 1,000 tweets, including extensive daily updates via Sina Weibo, during the 47-day trial.  They emphasized that their use of social media filled a vacuum created by traditional media’s lack of attention to the case. They are quoted in the blog post as saying that these efforts, in addition to raising netizens’ awareness of the issues at stake in their case, “balanced the voice of the official media,” and helped to protect the lawyers’ personal safety.”

via Chinese Criminal Procedure at its Worst – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

In the same issue of, this article shows the ‘worst of’ Chinese criminal justice and another more ‘positive’ case:

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* A tale of two (Chinese) regions

China Daily: “China’s economic development over the last 30 years has been “a tale of two regions” — prosperous coastal areas where GDP matches some developed countries and inland areas that have lagged behind. …

In 2011, China laid out a 10-year development plan for the middle and western areas of the country, demarcating 14 impoverished regions and creating development plans for each region. Three of the 14 regions are in southwest China’s Guizhou province, which has a total of 65 counties listed as impoverished.

“When these areas develop, it will help to effectively close the gap with the eastern part of the country,” said Li Zhanshu, secretary of the Guizhou provincial committee of the Communist Party of China and a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), which is meeting now in Beijing.

The gap between the coast and many other parts of China is indeed large. From 1978 to 2011 per capita GDP in coastal Zhejiang province has risen on average 11.6 percent per year to $9,000 in 2011, far above the national average. This figure is about three times the amount for Tibet and Gansu province, in China’s west.

Closing this gap has been a major topic of the current annual NPC session and the concurrent meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s leading political advisory body.”

via A tale of two regions|Economy|

Given China’s success at creating a major ‘municipality’ of Chongqing in 1997 to act as a magnet in the centre of China, we shouldn’t be surprised if in 15 years these impoverished regions start to become more like the coastal regions of China.

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