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Human Rights & Social Issues

China arrests activist who campaigned about leaders’ wealth


Xu Zhiyong

Xu Zhiyong

Police have arrested one of China’s most prominent rights activists who has called for officials to disclose their wealth, his lawyer said on Friday, raising the stakes in the government’s crackdown on anti-graft campaigners.

The arrest of Xu Zhiyong, who has pushed for greater civil rights, could trigger an international outcry over Beijing’s tightening grip of a fledgling movement. It also exposes shortcomings in the government’s drive against corruption.

Western governments have sparred repeatedly with Beijing over human rights and the United States raised Xu’s case this month during its annual rights dialogue with China.

Xu, the founder of the “New Citizens’ Movement”, advocates working within the system to press for change.

On the Internet, he has called on officials to disclose their assets and fellow activists have gone into the streets to urge citizens to combat corruption.

Beijing police arrested Xu on Thursday on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place”, one of Xu’s lawyers, Zhang Qingfang, said by telephone.

Xu was detained last month on the same charge. Before that, he had been under house arrest for three months, with no reason given by the authorities. Xu had previously told Reuters that “it could be due to my campaign to push for asset disclosure”.

Wang Gongquan, a venture capitalist and an old friend of Xu, said he was shocked at the arrest.

“What I’m shocked about is that the government and the police have gone farther and farther down the wrong road on the matter of Xu Zhiyong,” he said.

“I feel sorry because there was an opportunity to release him before his arrest, but they are too overconfident and accustomed to doing their own thing regardless of right and wrong.”

Police in Beijing could not be reached for comment.

China has detained at least 16 activists involved in pushing for asset disclosure by officials, in what rights groups say is a new, coordinated crackdown by the stability-obsessed ruling Communist Party against graft campaigners.

Xu’s arrest coincided with the opening of the trial of former senior leader Bo Xilai on corruption charges, a case which has so far focused on Bo’s alleged ill-gotten gains.

LAWYERS PRESS FOR ACTIVIST’S RELEASE

In China, a formal arrest usually leads to a trial, though Zhang said he was relatively confident that Xu could be released before the case comes to trial.

“I’m convincing Xu Zhiyong to express his views on social issues more rationally, in a more moderate way,” Zhang said. “Xu has accepted this point.”

Zhang said the lawyers were also trying to persuade authorities that litigating the case “is not necessarily the best way”.

In a rare video-taped message from a detention center issued in early August, Xu, wearing handcuffs and an orange vest, urged the Chinese people to fight for their rights.

“Somebody has to pay for the society’s progress, I am willing to bear all the costs for freedom, justice, love and faith,” Xu said in his video.

In 2009, Xu was briefly arrested on tax evasion charges his defenders said were trumped up in a bid to stifle his work. The charges were dropped after a furor.

Source: Reuters “China arrests activist who campaigned about leaders’ wealth”
 

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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4 thoughts on “China arrests activist who campaigned about leaders’ wealth

  1. Reblogged this on IdeaTransfuser.

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    Posted by Alice Joy | August 31, 2013, 10:43 pm

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  1. Pingback: China’s online crackdown prompts outrage: social media empowers environmental activism | China Daily Mail - September 29, 2013

  2. Pingback: China detains activist amid rights crackdown | China Daily Mail - October 14, 2013

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