Sunday, December 16, 2012

China still has labor "re-education" camps, especially for dissident bloggers

China still maintains Maoist (or in some people’s parlance, Salinist) labor camps were dissidents may ne sent without trial or charge, according to a New York Times story by Andrew Jacobs on Friday, December 14, 2012, link here.The forced labor system is called “laojiao” (a  good vocabulary word for a high school civics class) and recalls the Cultural Revolution where Maoism tried to force all intellectuals to become peasants.  There were far-Leftists in the US in the 60s who wanted to see that here.  
The NYT story focuses particularly on the case of Ren Jianyu, who was put into a camp for blogging (or "microblogging) about liberty, in a manner common in the US.  Authorities also used a T-shirt that said “Give me liberty or give me death” as part of their evidence.  Global Times, an Emglish language version a Chinese newspaper has a story  by Feng Shu here.  

Could western bloggers (like me) be detained if we traveled to China?  I’m told, no, but I wonder.
China is said to be urging stricter gun control in the US, but recently there was actually an attack in an elementary school in China using a knife (according to an FBI profiler who spoke to CNN after the Connecticut school tragedy Friday).  On the surface, such a story suggest that gun control is limited in its effectiveness.  Nevertheless, we hear the arguments of Piers Morgan on CNN!

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