Street Fight: Congress Renames Road by Chinese Embassy After Jailed Dissident

Workers prepare the Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition 'I Have No Enemies' for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo

Beijing is not amused by the “provocative action,” as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo “has been convicted in accordance with the law”

For TIMEHannah Beech reports: Alert the post office. The official address for the Chinese embassy in Washington is to be changed to 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza. On June 24, the House Appropriations Committee voted to rename 3505 International Place, a strip of asphalt that runs in front of the Chinese mission in northwest D.C., after the jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The bid for the new Chinese embassy mailing address was tacked on as an amendment to the 2015 State Department spending bill. The road in front of the Chinese embassy is federally owned, giving Congress some latitude in deciding its fate. (The D.C. Council will also consider the resolution.) Fourteen bipartisan Congressmen, led by Virginia Republican Frank Wolf, shepherded the provision, which calls for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to institute the name change. A street sign adorned with Liu’s name is planned.In 2009, the veteran activist and writer was sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion against the Chinese state. Liu, 58, helped draft Charter 08, a pro-democracy petition that called on Beijing to abandon one-party rule and uphold basic human rights. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing labeled the road-renaming movement a “provocative action,” noting that Liu “has been convicted in accordance with the law.” Read the rest of this entry »


Former Beijing Tycoon Executed for Murdering 8 People 

Former Beijing multimillionaire Xia Keming and his three companions were executed on Tuesday for killing eight people between 1999 and 2007, the Beijing Times observed on Wednesday.

Xia once served as a civil servant in Beijing. He was sentenced in 1988 to three years in prison for the illegaldealingof train tickets. After being released, Xia started a business in Shenzhen, and also owned 19 percent of shares in a Beijing-based company valued at more than 100 million yuan ($16 million).

A file photo of Xia Keming(R1) and his three companions (Photo source: people.cn)

 Xia Keming (R1) and his three companions (Photo source: people.cn)

The murder spree began when Xia asked his brother Xia Kezhi and two of his ex-cellmates to kill a business partner surnamed Liu.

In the following eight years, the four killed seven other people, including Xia Keming’s business partners, mistress and acquaintances.

To cover up their crimes, the gang bribed officials with cash, cars, luxury watches and expensive rosewood furniture. Read the rest of this entry »


Passenger Smart Phones Still Active? Vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight Leaves Relatives with Anger, and Phantom Phone Calls

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Malaysia Airlines flight vanishes over South China Sea: Vietnamese air force jets reportedly spot two large oil slicks thought to be the airliner that disappeared with 239 on board, including three Americans.

BEIJING — For  The Washington PostWilliam Wan and Liu Liu report:  For three days, relatives awaiting word on the vanished Malaysia Airlines jet have endured a cruel roller coaster of emotions.

“One of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones…”

First came the shock. Then, with each development that has emerged, they have careened between hope and despair. But by Monday, the predominant emotion was anger.

“…or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.”

The Malaysian government announced that it has now expanded the search west into the Andaman Sea, far from the plane's intended northeasterly flight path towards China

The Malaysian government announced that it has now expanded the search west into the Andaman Sea, far from the plane’s intended northeasterly flight path towards China

Gathered at a hotel in northeast Beijing, many still resented Malaysia Airlines for having sent no one to explain anything during the first 15 hours after the plane’s disappearance. They blamed the Chinese government for not even meeting with them until Monday, three days into the crisis.

More than 100 of them signed a petition demanding answers and government assistance. Representatives selected from the families brought their protests to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.

And Monday afternoon, when Malaysia Airlines officials returned for yet another briefing with little more to offer, some relatives threw water bottles at them in frustration. The question-and-answer session Monday eventually devolved into crying and shouted demands:

“All you have to say is empty talk!”

“Why have you waited until now to show up?”

A vice director from China’s civil aviation air safety center tried to assuage the crowd.

“I am the same as everyone in that I haven’t slept for two days,” the official said. “We are still searching. There is no evidence to show the plane has had an accident.”

Another official reassured the families that they had read their petition. “Your concern is our concern.”

Beginning Saturday night, the families were kept in a conference area of the Lido Hotel in Beijing, sectioned off from a media scrum outside, where officials could address them out of journalists’ earshot. Read the rest of this entry »


China’s Jailed Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo Seeks Retrial to Challenge Subversion Conviction

xiaobo_postcard(BEIJING) —  reports:  Five years into his 11-year prison term, Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo plans to challenge his subversion conviction on grounds that he was legally exercising his right to free speech, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The complaint seeking a retrial would likely have slim chances for success. But lawyer Mo Shaoping said Liu’s family no longer feels it has anything to lose by challenging the conviction and that his attorneys hope to test recent pledges by China’s ruling Communist Party to make the country’s judicial system more independent.

Liu was convicted and sentenced to jail in 2009 on a charge of subversion, after he authored and disseminated a document — Charter ’08 — calling for democracy. He was awarded the peace prize in 2010 for two decades of nonviolent struggle for civil rights, in a decision that angered Beijing, which denounced the award.

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Liu’s conviction was upheld by an appeal court in Beijing, and his family members initially did not plan to challenge the verdict any further. However, they renewed their resolve to fight the verdict after authorities earlier this year jailed his wife’s brother on a fraud conviction in a case critics say was a political punishment for Liu’s pro-democracy advocacy.

“They have nothing more to worry about,” Mo said.

Mo said Liu agreed to the new legal challenge during a prison visit by his wife in October. Mo said he and a fellow lawyer have asked to meet Liu to discuss details but are awaiting permission from the local jurisdiction in China’s northeast where Liu is locked up.

“He has never accepted the guilty verdict,” Mo said.

Read the rest of this entry »


Peking University Needs The Blood of Virgins 

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The Peking University Cancer Hospital has set off a scandal by seeking out the blood of virgin females.

A recruitment notice by the hospital to collect blood from healthy virgin volunteers was designed to obtain serum for research on Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Published on campus bulletin board systems at Peking University and Beijing Normal University, the notice said that “To promote the prevention of HPV infection, our group is working on studies of serum antibodies to HPV. We need 100 healthy female college students as blood donors.”

“Any applicant should meet the requirements of being a virgin, and aged between 18 and 24 years old,” the notice also said. Read the rest of this entry »


Zoo in China Substitutes Dog for Lion

Chinese zoo angers visitors by passing off Tibetan mastiff dog as lion

Watch this video

Hong Kong (CNN) — A zoo in China has angered visitors by trying to pass off a hairy dog as a lion, Chinese state media reported.

A visitor, surnamed Liu, told the state-run Beijing Youth Daily she discovered the fraud when visiting a zoo in a park in Louhe, a city in the central province of Henan, with her son.

As they approached the cage marked “African lion,” they were shocked to hear the beast inside emit a bark.

It was a Tibetan mastiff — a large, hairy breed of dog.

“The zoo is absolutely trying to cheat us,” Liu said. “They are trying to disguise dogs as lions.”

Read the rest of this entry »