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China Reform Monitor - No. 909
PRC, ROK in joint counter-narcotics effort;
Proliferation of golf courses causing illegal land seizures
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
August 3, 2011
Chinese and South Korean intelligence have teamed up to crack down on North Korea’s government-sponsored narcotics trade in China’s Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang provinces. Last year the joint force seized $60 million worth of North Korean narcotics. “It’s only a fraction. The volume of drug trafficking in China is much greater than that,” according to a South Korean government in comments quoted in South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo. North Korea’s NCNA official news agency called the report a “whopping lie” and said “South Korea is a den of drug-related crimes.”
On July 1, leaflets calling for Xinjiang independence started circulating in Akesu (Aksu), Xinjiang. After discovering the leaflets, Akesu authorities began a 100-day “strike hard" campaign including around-the-clock security patrols in Uyghur neighborhoods, Radio Free Asia reports. To prevent the flyers – which read “demand independence,” “resist Sinicization,” and “Uyghur people unite” – from entering Urumqi, police set up check points along the highway out of Akesu. Ming Pao reports that 13 to 15 Uyghurs have been detained for carrying “illegal publications and audio products.” Police are also conducting security checks at hotels and all foreign passport holders are required to register. In addition, an “ethnic harmony” education campaign has been started in Akesu aimed at “strengthening ideological and political education among teachers and students.” Schoolchildren over seven are required to attend four days of political education in July and August, according to the Aksu Pinganwang website.
[Editor’s Note: Anti-Chinese sentiment remains high in Akesu. Last August a bomb attack killed eight people and 15 wounded after a man riding a three-wheeled vehicle threw explosives at a group of uniformed patrolmen.]
Largely due to the construction of golf courses in the first half of 2011, China saw 30,000 instances of illegal land use resulting in 18,533 hectares of land being illegally developed. China had 490 18-hole golf courses by the end of last year, but only 10 of them were officially licensed, the official China Daily reports. The Ministry of Land and Resources said that to circumvent a 2004 government ban on golf course construction developers label them green space or parks when they apply for permits. Authorities have investigated 8,894 cases of illegal land use and referred 698 offenders to judicial and disciplinary bodies; yet only six local officials were punished in the first quarter of 2011. Golf generated 60 billion yuan (or $9.2 billion) last year in China, but is a drain on the country’s dwindling fresh water resources, Time reports.
China’s eighth annual African media training workshop is being held in Beijing. The Ministry of Commerce and the State Council Information Office are jointly sponsoring 42 African participants including government media officials, spokesmen, and senior managers of mainstream media organizations to give them a “thorough and deep understanding of the ongoing changes taking place in China.” The officials, who hail from 17 African countries, will attend two-weeks of lectures, seminars and tours, according to the PLA Daily. Since the first workshop in 2004 nearly 300 media officials from 48 African countries have participated in the training sessions, which are intended “to boost exchanges and cooperation between media entities from China and African nations.”