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China Reform Monitor - No. 893
Shenzhen crackdown ahead of Summer Universiade;
Premier Wen makes another appeal for reform
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
April 27, 2011
Shenzhen officials seeking social stability before they host the Summer Universiade, an international sporting event for university students, in August have arrested or evicted more than 80,000 people deemed a threat to security. City police launched the 100-day security crackdown on January 1 against “suspicious” people, Shen Shaobao, vice-director of the city's Public Security Bureau said in comments carried by the Shenzhen Daily. The “high-alert” groups authorities targeted were former inmates, the unemployed, those with “abnormal living habits,” drug traffickers and smugglers, mentally ill people who could pose a danger, and residents in rental properties who do not have Shenzhen ID cards. Shenzhen police did not mention how the 80,000 people were chosen, where they went after leaving the city and how authorities would stop them returning. Police claimed to have already raided 330,000 rental apartments, 60,000 motels, and 20,000 entertainment venues. “During the Universiade, we will deploy over 500,000 mobile civil watchmen and set up at least 22,000 checkpoints to further intensify social security inspections with special focus on the floating population, checking for explosives and monitoring the community, including residential security checks,” Shen said. Liu Zilong, a Shenzhen activist lawyer told the South China Morning Post that the campaign “marks a departure from Shenzhen's efforts to cultivate an image as a leader of economic and social reform on the mainland.”
Spain's Supreme Court and National High Court have decided to hear two cases against Chinese leaders for repression in Tibet, prompting Beijing to lodge an official complaint with Madrid. The charges accuse Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, Minister of State Security Geng Huichang, and Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu, along with five other government officials of crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. Meanwhile, Ismael Moreno, a judge at the National High Court, accepted another case accusing former President Jiang Zemin and six other leaders of genocide during in the 1980s and 1990s. Judge Moreno ruled that the evidence may constitute war crimes against the Tibetan people that violate the Geneva Conventions and several articles of the Spanish Criminal Code. The case, for instance, includes “accusations that the former Chinese leaders ordered Tibetan women to have forced abortions and forcibly sterilized them.” The courts’ decision to rule on the cases marks the first ever tacit recognition of Tibet as an independent, occupied state since 1950.
[Editor’s Note: In 2009, Santiago Pedraz, a judge at the National High Court, requested Beijing’s permission to visit Tibet to question witnesses of the repression that took place there in 2008, before the Olympic Games. His request was denied.]
Chinese security forces continue to surround the Kirti Tibetan monastery in Sichuan after local residents tried to stop them from arresting the 2,500 monks holed up inside. The standoff began earlier this week, when hundreds of people living in Sichuan's Aba region converged on the monastery determined to stop police from removing the monks for reeducation. The monks could soon face food shortages because they depend on offerings from locals, the Voice of America reports. A U.S. State Department spokesman said the U.S. is concerned about China's actions in Aba, which it called it inconsistent with the internationally recognized principles of religious freedom and human rights. This most recent confrontation at the Kirti monastery began last month when a monk burned himself to death to protest Chinese rule over Tibet. Aba was also the site of a violent uprising three years ago against Chinese rule.
During his remarks last week to newly-appointed State Council advisers and members of the Central Research Institute of Culture and History, Premier Wen Jiabao urged cadres to “speak the truth” and expressed outrage over China’s moral degeneration. “For the government’s policy to be in line with people's wishes, one must listen to people's opinions,” Wen said, according to the South China Morning Post. “A country without improvements in the quality of people and moral strength cannot be a truly strong country respected by others,” Wen said. “We must deepen political and economic reforms to make lawbreakers and immoral people punishable by law.” The comments, which came amid the largest crackdown on dissent in a decade, reiterated a call for freedom of speech that Wen made nearly five years ago in an address to China’s official writers' association. Wen also created waves twice last year by discussing political reform – once in an interview with CNN and again during a visit to Shenzhen. Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, at City University of Hong Kong, said, “Wen is the symbol and the voice of the reforming forces. The fact that he appears helpless is a very good reflection of China's political reality. You have people in the party who might be interested in reforms but they are certainly in the minority.”