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Theme: China: Nightmares and Dreams

September 11, 2007

From “Providence nuns consider returning to China,” The Criterion, August 28, 2007:

For years, the Chinese government has enforced a policy that has allowed families to have only one child.

The Sisters of Providence see a problem looming on the horizon for China because of this policy.

“In the coming years, one couple will have to be responsible for four parents because both will be the only child of their family,” Sister Anji said. “So we are looking at [establishing] senior homes, senior centers, adult day care. Who is going to be responsible for the older folks? This will be a big need.”

A trend that the sisters have seen among Chinese Catholics is their tremendous devotion to their faith.

“Christianity is spreading in China,” Sister Paula said. “People really are thirsting for it. I have been to both a patriotic church and an underground church and they’re filled with young people – standing room only. There’s just an extraordinary hunger.”

From “China says one-child policy helps protect climate,” Reuters, August 30, 2007:

China, which rejects criticism that it is doing too little to confront climate change, says that its population is now 1.3 billion against 1.6 billion if it had not imposed tough birth control measures in the late 1970s.

The number of births avoided equals the entire population of the United States.(italics mine – ed.) Beijing says that fewer people means less demand for energy and lower emissions of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels.

“This is only an illustration of the actions we have taken,” said Su Wei, a senior Foreign Ministry official heading China’s delegation to the 158-nation talks from Aug 27-31.

He told Reuters that Beijing was not arguing that its policy was a model for others to follow in a global drive to avert ever more chaotic weather patterns, droughts, floods, erosion and rising ocean levels.

But avoiding 300 million births “means we averted 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005” based on average world per capital emissions of 4.2 tonnes, he said.

From “Real estate and womanising greatest sins in Communist Party,” Asia News, September 3, 2007:

Real estate speculation and women are the most common pitfalls for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members. According to the Xinhua news agency, Supreme Court figures for last year show that out of 90,000 card-carrying Communists more than 60 per cent were punished for their involvement in illegal real estate deals and almost 90 per cent kept mistresses.

Since the last party caucus five years ago, a total of 16 officials at the ministerial level or above were brought down on corruption charges. Ten of these high-ranking officials removed either sold land at cheap prices in return for bribes from developers or siphoned off public funds for lucrative construction projects, a report said.

Womanising was also rampant in the mainland’s upper political echelons. In fact as many as 14 senior officials were identified as reckless philanderers eager to please their lovers using public resources.

(…)

Not only are party members warned against corruption, but they are not allowed to gamble, take second wives, visit nightclubs and massage parlors and participate in religious ceremonies. (italics mine -ed.)

From “China Catholic bishop dies in custody,” The Age, September 11, 2007:

An elderly bishop from China’s underground Roman Catholic church has died of unknown causes during his imprisonment, after spending about half of his life in various forms of custody, a US-based Catholic group said.

Bishop Han Dingxiang, 71, died in hospital on Sunday in the northern province of Hebei, where he had been imprisoned since late 1999, the Cardinal Kung Foundation said in a statement.
None of Han’s supporters was aware of any illness until local authorities summoned relatives to his bedside as he was dying in hospital, the foundation said.

Han’s body was cremated early on Monday, just six hours after he died, it quoted relatives as saying.

“What was the Chinese government afraid of to cremate Bishop Han only six hours after his death and at such an early hour at 5 o’clock in the morning?” foundation president Joseph Kung said in the statement.

Kung urged the Vatican, with which China has no official ties, to open an inquest into Han’s death.

“Why were the priests of his diocese not allowed to bless his remains and, together with his faithful, to pray for this heroic shepherd, and to view his body?

“This is not only inhuman, and atrocious, but also suspicious,” Kung said.

From “Doctors to remove needles from woman,” Ching-Ching Ni, Los Angeles Times, September 11, 2007:

Her relatives always had described her as a colicky baby.

When Luo Cuifen was 26, she found out a likely reason why.

Doctors discovered more than two dozen sewing needles embedded in her body, some floating close to her vital organs, others having pierced them.

X-rays of her head and torso look like a dartboard stacked with pins.

Doctors believe the needles were driven into her body when Luo was days old. One in the top of her skull could only have been stuck there when the bones in her head were still soft.

“They wanted her dead,” said Qu Rei, a spokesman at the Richland International Hospital in Yunnan province that has agreed to remove the first six of the 26 in her body today. “The fact she is still alive is a medical miracle.”

Luo does not remember being stabbed. Relatives suspect her grandparents, who wanted a grandson instead of a second granddaughter.

“I was horrified,” said Luo, now 29, in an interview by phone Monday from her hospital room. “How could they do such a thing to me when I was so young?”

Luo, an impoverished farmer, has had to wait three years for her operation because she had been unable to find a hospital willing to perform the difficult and expensive procedure for free.
Female infanticide is a common practice in cultures that prize boys. China’s strict one-child policy has exacerbated the age-old prejudice by making the male heir an even more precious commodity. Lopsided sex selection through such means as abortions has skewed the gender ratio; it now stands at about 119 boys to 100 girls. In industrialized countries, the balance is closer to 107 to 100.

China’s family planning restrictions also have led to a surge in child trafficking. On Friday, Chinese police rescued 40 kidnapped infants purchased from relatively impoverished southwestern China bound for potential buyers in the country’s more prosperous east coast.
Thousands of baby girls are abandoned every year. Some are left on the street or even in the trash.

Despite the severity of Luo’s case, it is not the first in which tiny children were pierced with metal objects. Early this year, state media reported the case of a 40-year-old woman with a lifetime of headaches. It turned out she had a 4-inch needle stuck in her head. Relatives said she had been born out of wedlock and passed from friend to friend as an infant. By the time she came home to stay with her mother, she had developed a habit for hysterical sobs that no one could explain.

From “China: Liberty Rising?” Interview with Harry Wu, Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com, April 10, 2006:

FP: Will China one day be free?

Wu: Free from Communist tyranny? Yes, and it will be soon. But as for China turning into a free and democratic country, there is still a long way to go.

FP: Mr. Wu thank you kindly for joining us today. It was a true honor to have you here. Any final thoughts?

Wu: When I heard Martin Luther King say “I Have a Dream” in 1963, I was in a Laogai prison camp. I was told that I had no value, I was nothing, and that even if I were to die, that would only pollute a piece of land.

Everyone has the right to have a dream. But for many years I could not. Not only did the authorities not allow me to have my own dream, I also didn’t want to have a dream. Dreams are nice, dreams are wonderful, and dreams create energy, but dreams also sometimes cause serious problems. Should I have a dream of freedom? Should I have a dream of love? I did have these dreams. Dreams also cause suffering and pain. Because I supposed that I could never become a free man. Under oppression, dreams are torturous.

But since I have become a free man, I can dream now. My son, he’s my dream. I hope that my son, and all Chinese boys and girls, will never lose their freedom, will never lose their faith like me.

I want to have a dream like Martin Luther King did: “Freedom belongs to everyone.”

See also:
John Ball / Taki’s Top Drawer: The Dollar Sign or the Cross: Which Faith Will Save China?

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