Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for February 26th, 2011

Dell Attacking the Dragon- China Fact

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


Dell computers is looking to open up 1000 retails stores in China in yhe coming years

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House Arrest in China- What it is Like

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


China has a benign sounding form of punishment called ‘house arrest’. It is a form of punishment that has replaced the old art of executing someone. Many profs and lawyers in China come under ‘house arrest’. The follow is an excerpt of one Chinese man who explains what house arrest is like. also this is in youtube, but of course even though I am not under house arrest, I cannot access it here.

excerpt from here:
“By Cara Anna (CP) – Feb 9, 2011 BEIJING, China — Reporters and supporters who have travelled to activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s rural village in eastern China to see him after his release from prison last fall have been turned away by officials or stick-waving thugs. In a country where even the wife of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner is shut away at her home, Chen’s house arrest is one of the more extreme.

But a secretly made video of Chen released Thursday was smuggled out of his home and given to a U.S.-based rights group. The group’s founder said they received it from an “anonymous government friend inside China” who was upset about the way Chen and his family are being treated.

The video is the first word from Chen, one of China’s best-known activists, since his release from prison. His case was one of the few mentioned by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a speech shortly before Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington last month.

The hour-long video gives a look inside a ring of security that officials meant to be impenetrable. Chen, a blind self-taught lawyer, stands inside his family’s modest home and describes what he says the central government has directed: A 22-person team that watches his house around the clock. Gadgets placed in neighbouring houses to block cellphone calls. A ban on leaving the home that allows only his 76-year-old mother to buy food.

“I have come out of a small jail and walked into a bigger jail,” Chen says in the video. “No one is allowed to enter my home. Whenever fellow villagers try to help us, they are called accomplices and national traitors and counterrevolutionaries.”

The video opens with an unsettling shot of an unidentified man peering over a pile of cornstalks the family had put by a window to try to limit the surveillance. He seems to look right into the hidden camera.

Later in the video, Chen’s wife Yuan Weijing sits by a bookcase in near-darkness, talking softly about her concerns for their two young children and dissolving into tears. “I don’t dare speak loudly,” she says. Sometimes, a rooster crows.

Amid the tension, the video shows one of the children in the dusty courtyard making mud pies and leading the smiling Chen around indoors.

The U.S.-based China Aid Association, a Christian rights group, said it received the video early Wednesday and posted it on YouTube. Chen says in the video it was shot about 10 weeks after his prison release in September.

“He said he knows that by releasing this video there are risks, but he is ready,” Bob Fu, president of the group, said from Washington. “He said somebody has to fight for justice. He was very direct. One thing that really surprised me was his spirit of boldness, bravery, defiance to the regime itself.”

“Soft detention” is a common tactic used by the Chinese government to intimidate activists, with some essentially put under house arrest for years. One of the most recent cases is of Liu Xia, the wife of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. She has been unreachable since shortly after her husband won the prize in mid-October.

Chen’s detention has been notably harsh. Associated Press reporters in September were chased away by stick-carrying men who threatened to smash their car if they didn’t leave.

The lawyer, now in his late 30s, angered authorities after documenting forced late-term abortions and sterilizations and other abuses in his rural community and was sent to prison in 2006.”

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Taiwanese Officer Found Spying for China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


Excerpt from here:
“Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has confirmed a case of espionage involving a major general and said that China may have learned details of Taiwan’s capability and plans for electronic warfare.

Lieutenant General Wang Ming-wo, head of the ministry’s General Political Warfare Bureau, said during a press conference on Tuesday night (Feb. 8) that Major General Lo Hsien-cher, 51, division chief for the Army’s Communications and Electronics Department, allegedly collected electronic warfare information and sold it to China over the past six to nine years”

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China Hacks Into Foreign Internal Communications

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


The UK’ internal office of communications claims to have been hacked into by China according to this report.

excerpt:
China has penetrated the Foreign Office’s internal communications in the most audacious example yet of the growing threat posed by state-sponsored cyber-attacks, it emerged tonight.William Hague told a security conference in Munich that the FO repelled the attack last month from “a hostile state intelligence agency”. Although the foreign secretary did not name the country behind the attacks, intelligence sources familiar with the incidents made it clear he was referring to China. The sources did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

In his speech Hague was reflecting growing anger and concern within the government about the increasing threat posed by cyber-espionage – states, as well as individuals, using cyberspace to steal defence, diplomatic and commercial secrets.

“It is a new development. The UK is prepared to admit the attacks were state-backed,” said Alexander Neill, head of the Asia programme at the Royal United Services Institute thinktank.”

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China Caught Hacking Again

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


from yahoo news
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hackers working in China broke into the computer systems of five multinational oil and gas companies to steal bidding plans and other critical proprietary information, the computer security firm McAfee Inc said in a report.

The report, which named the attacks Night Dragon, declined to identify the five known companies that had been hacked and said that another seven or so had also been broken into but could not be identified.

“It … speaks to quite a sad state of our critical infrastructure security. These were not sophisticated attacks … yet they were very successful in achieving their goals,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s vice president for threat research.

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China Pic

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


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China Caught Cheating Again- Chinese Athletes Lie About Their

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


from here:
China is once again under fire from the international sporting community after eight figure skaters were found to have different birthdates from the official ones given to the International Skating Union.

The Associated Press discovered discrepancies in the birthdates of eight athletes on the official website of the China Skating Association. In a twist, some of the doctored ages made athletes appear younger in order to get under the age limit at junior skating events. Previously, China had been caught altering ages of gymnasts to make them old enough to get past international age minimums.

It doesn’t appear that the age issues will affect any Olympic medals, but a junior world championship could be in jeopardy if the allegations are proven to be true.

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German Perceptions on Chinese Stealing Tech

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


Here is a great article on what happened to German firms who came to China and got burnt by the locals copying their tech and then selling knockoffs in Germany. This is the reality of doing business in China. To me the benefit is that we either improve the patent laws or enforcement or scrap them altogether. Incidentally, when my friend and I started a business here, we found very similar things to be happening.

excerpt:
“China is where the customers are – and where the customers are increasingly going to be. But China, too, is perceived to be the country where technology mysteriously transfers from in-coming companies with know-how to companies which want to know how.

That, at least, is the pervasive view of influential German business leaders.

Artur Fischer, for example, is the head of the Berlin stock-exchange who got his fingers burnt in China.

“We gave them our description of the product we wanted – all the photographs, everything we used in order to to sell it over here in Germany” he says, recalling how a company he was involved with started making components in China.

“We asked them to manufacture it. They did that, but after half a year very, proudly they came back to us and showed us their own product, which they intended to sell in Germany.

“And it was a copy-cat of what we did, so they copied all our material. They took our photographs. They took our descriptions. Everything.”

read the rest here

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Living in China in These Turbulent Times- Chinese Living

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


I have been in China for over three years now, and have seen a bit but not as much as many others in the center country. But one thing that many ask me about is what life is like in China and how it feels to live under the thumb of the communist dictators, especially at this point in time. So I will answer this with a two-part response.

The question is somewhat difficult to answer. The first question is about life in China in general. The answer is that it really depends. I live in Beijing, so to me it’s one of the safest cities I have ever been in. The police only come out to shake down the illegal taxis or local craftsman who sell their wares on the streets, or to beat on our doors and demand to see our documents or stop is in our lobbies, demanding the same. Other than these minor irritations, they are a non-entity.
The problem in China is what you don’t see, it’s the ‘hidden big brother’ that surrounds us. As an example, a good friend of mine was leaving my place the other day. The Chinese think she’s Korean due to her looks, but she’s not. The local taxis out front asked her if she needed a ride and she walked by, speaking in Mandarin, a language they thought she didn’t understand, they proceeded to talk about the fact that she is Korean and a flight attendant and then discussed how she was my friend etc (she is a flight attendant and much of what they knew of her was true, and neither of us socialize with anyone in our neighborhood, thus their knowledge of her was scary). To me this is a scary example of how the Chinese keep an eye on the foreigners in their little villages and buildings. I was told when coming here that this was true. I was told that the cops actually will ask the locals, how we are behaving, if we are partying too much and even heard they will ask if the foreigners are keeping too much company with Chinese women. A very good friend of mine who has an over-active libido, has actually had some problems do to his prurient interests in the local women. Another friend had the cops regularly coming to his place to inspect it as they believed he partied too much. This is a fact of Chinese life. You will and are constantly under the microscope, and no matter how much you try to fly under the radar, due to the nature of Chinese,it is impossible.
That is Chinese living for we the foreigners. For Chinese it is worse. They are under constant scrutiny by each other and are belittled for any shortcoming. They are caddy and unloving and quite shallow.
They have no rights in China and as I posted earlier, a hum..an rights prof from China University of Political Science and Law ‘disappeared’ with two other h.u.man rights profs, last week. You may call this scary, I call it living in China. I report, you decide.

To answer the second part of the question I would say that being a foreigner in Beijing now, you feel safe. I use that term in the present tense, for one can constantly feel the ‘big brother’ effect and although they smile at you today, you get the feeling not to let your guard down. For instance, I say Beijing is peaceful , as it is today, but each year China literally has millions of protests, so being here I am somewhat isolated from that. But when you go to a place like Chongqing, you get a feel for the utter lawlessness of China and how little power the people have. I lived in Paraguay in the late 90’s when they had a bit of political unrest, tons of poverty and problems and some places in China feel the same.
Another caveat in the statement that I feel safe, is that we all have to remember that up until the mid 70’s China was still in the throes of the cultural revolution where millions Chinese died for no real reason. When one considers this little factoid, it makes one wonder just what this place would look like, should there be any form of unrest as we have seen in other places….
Much of the reality of what I have seen, I cannot share as of yet. Once back in the sanctity of my humble abode in the land of breathable air and drinkable milk, I will be more ‘detailed’ about what life here is like.

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China Warns of Hostile Western Forces

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 26, 2011


From here:
“BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese government faces a turbulent time of domestic unrest and challenges from “hostile Western forces” that it will fight with more sophisticated controls, a Communist Party law-and-order official said. Chen Jiping, deputy secretary general of the Communist Party’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, gave the toughly worded warning in this week’s issue of Outlook Weekly, and blamed Western democratic countries for fomenting unrest.”

read the rest here

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