China Briefs: Jan 15 to 16, 2009

By Gisela Sommer, Epoch Times
January 19, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015
Falun Gongpractitioners re-enact Chinese torture methods used on their practitioners during a protest in Sydney, Australia. (Torsten BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)
Falun Gongpractitioners re-enact Chinese torture methods used on their practitioners during a protest in Sydney, Australia. (Torsten BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan 15 — China: Falun Gong practitioner tortured with six electric batons at Shanghai prison
SHANGHAI ( – According to eyewitness accounts, Shanghai resident Jiang Yong, who is being detained at the Shanghai Tilanqiao Prison for talking to people about Falun Gong, has been tortured by six guards, each using an electric baton to beat and shock him.

Large areas of Mr. Jiang’s skin have been burned, causing much bleeding, from the mistreatment by prison personnel. Insider information indicates that Mr. Jiang has been frequently tortured with brutal methods, even to the verge of death.

The author of the report appeals to the international community to investigate this and similar incidents involving Falun Gong practitioners at the Shanghai Tilanqiao Prison.
Names and contact number of prison authorities in charge are also provided.

Jan 15 — Freedom House Releases Report in Taipei
TAIPEI, Taiwan (NTDTV) – Freedom House, an American think tank organization, released their annual report on freedom in the world. The report, entitled "Freedom in the World," evaluates the state of freedom in nearly 200 countries on basic standards of political rights and civil liberties.

Jan 16 — China's Income Gap Is Widest Since Reforms Started, Report Says
Bloomberg (Jiang Jianguo) – China’s income gap between farmers and people living in cities grew to the widest last year since economic reforms started 30 years ago, China Business News said today, citing a report from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Jan 16 — A County in China Sees Its Fortunes in Tea Leaves Until Bubble Bursts 
MENGHAI, China (New York Times, Andrew Jacobs) – The collapse of the Pu’er tea market turned thousands of farmers and dealers into paupers and provided the nation with a very pungent lesson about gullibility, greed and the perils of the speculative bubble.

Jan 16 — China calls Dalai Lama "saboteur" of Tibet development  
BEIJING (Reuters) – China has again lashed out at the Dalai Lama, accusing the exiled Buddhist leader of "sabotage" to slow the development of Tibet that China sees as key to creating support for its rule there.

Fifty years after the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and China quashed a Tibetan uprising, China has stepped up its defense of its rule over the mountainous region.

Jan 16 — China May Build Power Plants on World's Highest River (Update1)
Bloomberg (Wang Ying and Winnie Zhu) – China may build hydropower plants on Tibet's Yarlung Tsangpo, the world's highest major river, to meet long-term energy demand, said the country's dominant distributor of electricity.

Yarlung Tsangpo flows eastwards across southern Tibet before breaching the Himalayas as it bends round the 7,782-meter-high Namcha Barwa. The river then enters India, where it is known as the Brahmaputra. After merging with the Ganges in Bangladesh and forming the world’s largest delta in the process, the river empties into the Bay of Bengal.

Jan 16 — China couple first to take milk payout  
BEIJING (AFP) – The parents of a child killed by tainted milk powder in China became the first to accept compensation and give up the right to sue the company at the heart of the scandal, state press said Friday.

Yi Yongsheng and Jiao Hongfang accepted 200,000 yuan ($29,250) from the Sanlu Group over the death last year of their five-month-old son, Xinhua news agency said.

So far no lawsuits against the milk companies have been accepted by the nation's courts, although the government maintains that the victims have a right to sue for damages, Xinhua said.

Jan 16 — Japan-China joint history study delayed: project head  
TOKYO (AFP) – A joint history study between Japan and China has been delayed due to differences of opinion, according to its head, amid a report Beijing was upset at a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Jan 16 — Drug trafficker executed in east China 
People's Daily – A court in east China's Fujian Province executed a man Thursday for smuggling and trafficking about 51 kg of drugs.

Jan 16 — More than 80 percent of China's coastal waters polluted: report  
BEIJING (AFP) – Raw sewage and pollution from agricultural run-off polluted 83 percent of China's coastal waters in 2008, according to state media.

China's coastal waters last year witnessed 68 red tides, or algae blooms, which feed off nutrients found in excess pollution and sap water of oxygen, killing off large amounts of sea life, Xinhua news agency said.

Jan 16 — China's Downfall: the Ultimate Impact of Environmental Degradation  
HuffingtonPost (Jeff Schweitzer) – What pundits today fail to recognize is that China's economic expansion is more illusory than spectacular. The fundamental constraint on future growth imposed by severe environmental degradation in China is the story line that is not being read. Multi-decadal double-digit expansion has been achieved at the terrible cost of unprecedented levels of pollution, irreversible damage to ecosystem functions, and depletion of critical non-renewable natural resources. China has sustained unprecedented growth by stealing, not borrowing, from future generations. That debt must be paid, and when the invoice comes due, the economic expansion will come to a grinding halt.