Morning Clicks

People's Daily announces end to re-education through labour, but only for Guangdong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 11:39am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 11:43am

China abroad | China at home

Speaking at an internal work meeting yesterday on the four promised reforms, secretary of Guangzhou's politics and law commission Wu Sha told those present the priority now is to gradually start thinking about re-education through labour ('laojiao') as a practice which could be tightly controlled even, if the timing were right, halted altogether.

What Wu said isn't very different from what Guangdong Department of Justice head Yan Zhichan also said to media earlier this week with her emphasis that the majority of laojiao cases involve compulsory drug treatment followed by cases involving burglaries, gambling, solicitation and prostitution and public order violations.

Yan said an end to use of laojiao in Guangdong could be realised as early as this year, but that depends on whether a proposal to that effect gets passed at the National People's Congress session in Beijing in March.

For a detailed look at Guangdong's ongoing debate over reforming laojiao, check out this analysis today at the Duihua Human Rights Journal.

Last week, Guangzhou deputy mayor and head of the city's Public Security Bureau Xie Xiaodan said as far as he was concerned the biggest obstacle to scrapping use of laojiao is finding alternative means of punishment.

On Tuesday this week, one of Xie's deputies announced he plans to propose legalising the use of caning when he arrives in Beijing in March to attend the annual legislative sessions.

Dui HuaGuangzhou Police Chief Stands Up for Government Critics, RTL Abolition 
XinhuaGuangdong to stop "laojiao" system in China 
Global TimesBring back caning to reduce crime says congress deputy

China abroad

-- China, Japan and the Islands: What Do the Tensions Mean? To have alienated Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Borneo so thoroughly, after having expended so much earlier capital winning their hearts and minds with benevolent soft power efforts, is quite a dramatic turn-around in fortunes.

China in Africa
-- School Construction: World Bank versus China As one African official told me: "with the Chinese, you never see the money." This has drawbacks for ownership, but is likely to mean that corruption and embezzlement is lower with Chinese aid, and the promised projects actually get built. Maintenance of course is another issue...

-- Peace depends on constructive mindset, mutual respect The discussion of a peaceful development concept by members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, the country's top decision-making body, demonstrates that the CPC is willing to replace empty talk with actual thought.

China at home

-- China's Toxic Sky Since the beginning of this year, the levels of air pollution in Beijing have been dangerously high, with thick clouds of smog chasing people indoors, disrupting air travel, and affecting the health of millions. The past two weeks have been especially bad -- at one point the pollution level measured 40 times recommended safety levels.

-- What the Big Shift in China’s Online Buying Habits Means for Alibaba Right now, China’s e-commerce industry looks like a bazaar where shoppers roam around for independent sellers who have the items they’re looking for. However, trends in the nation’s online buying habits show that the Chinese are moving away from small merchants and gravitating toward their own sorts of superstores such as 360buy Jingdong Mall.

Boing Boing
-- For sale: no-name Chinese attack drones "The UAV is mainly used in the mountains, hills and complex terrain conditions; does effective short-range real-time attack to the fixed ground target or slowly move targets, such as artillery hole, command post, communication station, radar station, oil truck, oil depot and other small and temporary goals."

-- Top Internet phrases of the year 2012 in China This year, the phrase 吊丝 (diao4 si1) has come to be used as a self-deprecating term for the average poor young person in contrast to the “tall, rich, and handsome”高富帅 (gao1 fu4 shuai4). 

China Daily
-- Freeloaders could be exposed on Shanghai database A credit-rating database holding the records of enterprises and individuals is expected to be launched in Shanghai in the summer with the aim of clamping down on dishonest practices across the city.

Global Voices Online
-- Two Versions of Mao's China: History Retouched as Propaganda The missing person is Peng Zhen, also once a CCP leader. He was purged during the Cultural Revolution for opposing Mao's views on the role of literature in relation to the state.

Los Angeles Review of Books
-- Don't Bet Against the House Garnaut does an admirable job of analyzing the forces that propelled Bo through his career, and the factors that contributed to his downfall. In many ways, it’s a not-uncommon tale of a power-hungry politician whose greatest mistake was hubris, a sense that he was invincible.