Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Han Chinese House Church in Xinjiang’s Ancient Silk Road City of Khotan Raided

China Aid Association

(Khotan, Xinjiang—March 7, 2012) A Han Chinese house church in the ancient Silk Road city of Khotan in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of far western China was raided this past Sunday, ChinaAid has learned.

The March 4 raid in south Xinjiang’s Khotan, which sits on the edge of the Taklimakan mountain range, was conducted by local police and Domestic Security Protection agents who burst into a Sunday worship service in progress at a Han Chinese house church. They took away the preacher, Zhong Shuguang, who was also the head of the household where the worship service was being held, and confiscated a computer and a projector that were being used during the service. Zhong was later released and is now awaiting further processing of his case; the computer equipment has not been returned.

ChinaAid will closely monitor further developments in the case.
Background: The city of Khotan was known in ancient times as Yutian and was an important city of the southern branch of the ancient Silk. Around the time of the birth of Christ, it was a place where the Indo-European people, the Greek civilization and the Buddhist culture all flourished. From the 7th to the 9th century, the area was occupied by the Tubo people (ancient Tibetans), who were constantly at war with the Chinese Tang dynasty. In the late 9th century, Uyghurs fleeing from the grasslands of Mongolia drove the Tubo people out and formally took over occupation of Yutian.

Later, Christianity developed there. Around 795 or 798, the East Nestorian Church (Nestorius faction) decided to appoint a bishop in Khotan. In1006, Islam militarily conquered Khotan. From 1900 to 1930, missionaries from Sweden and Britain came to Khotan to evangelize. In 1950, China’s own Han Chinese missionaries from the “Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band” and the “Northwest Spiritual Movement” also came to Khotan to evangelize. In November 2007, Khotan Uygur Christian Osman Imin was sentenced to two years in a labor camp for preaching the Gospel.

(From History of Christianity in Xinjiang, China, with a general history background, by Mark Chuanhuang Shan)

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ChinaAid EXCLUSIVE: Local Government Mobilizes 1000 Police in Massive Land Grab in China’s “Garlic Town

China Aid Association

Editor’s Note: In recent years, government forced evictions and demolitions in China have been widely characterized by massive mobilization of government forces and surprise “attacks.” Even so, the sudden and violent massive pre-dawn action by the Jinxiang county government in coastal Shandong province still managed to shock people.

Image(Photo shows the confrontation between police and villagers, as a front-loader in the background levels a wheat field in Shandong province’s Waicaiyuan village. Click to enlarge)

(Weicaiyuan village, Shandong—March 6, 2012) A thousand police with 100 police vehicles and dozens of heavy machinery launched a massive lightning-strike, pre-dawn land grab in China’s “Garlic Town,” bulldozing a wide swath of farmland in the latest development in an ongoing yearlong dispute between the local government and the farmers it is trying to force to move into shoddy apartments.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Local Government Illegally Demolishes Three-Self Church in Lieshan, Anhui Province

China Aid Association

(Lieshan, Anhui—March 5, 2012) Local authorities in coastal China’s Anhui province illegally and secretly tore down a quarter-century-old government-approved church in the dead of night, then apparently drugged church leaders into signing documents agreeing to its demolition, ChinaAid has learned.

At 7 a.m. on Feb. 3, members of the Xin’an Three-Self Church in Lieshan town, in the city of Huaibei’s Lieshan district, heard that their church had been destroyed and rushed to the site, only to find that the local government had leveled the 520-square-meter (5,600-square-foot) structure to the ground in the night.  Shocked, some church members started wailing and crying.

Six Agencies of CCP Central Government promulgated “Opinions” on religious charity activities aiming to restrict and utilize the social influence of Christianity

China Aid Association, March 5, 2012, Monday

According to the report of Xinhua News Agency on Feb. 27, 2012, six agencies of Chinese Communist Party Central Government, i.e. State Religious Bureau in collaboration with National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Civil Affairs, and State Taxation Administration, promulgated “Opinions on encouraging and regulating the involvement of religious groups in public service and charity activities”, aiming to provide policy guidelines on religious groups’ participation in public service and charity activities.

The “Opinions” clearly indicated that religious groups can undertake three types of charity activities: 1) donate money or items to public service and charity enterprises; 2) start public service and charity initiatives; 3)found public service and charity organizations, which include foundations, welfare agencies and non-profit medical agencies.

Meanwhile, this legally binding document emphasized that religious groups “not preach religious ideas while doing public service and charity work and not receive funds, donations and partnership from overseas appended with political and religious conditions.” This regulation clearly targets on Christianity which in recent years, especially after Wenchuan Earthquake, has been consciously, systematically, and comprehensively getting involved in in-depth social charity work with increasing vigor and proclaiming the gospel in the meantime.

Mountain forest ownership violation affects hundreds of ethnic minority Christians of Yunnan Province; Christian lawyers and pastors offer help

China Aid Association, March. 05, 2012

Introduction to the case on Kexi Resident Group, Bingman Village, Mengnong Town, Mojiang Hani Autonomous County, Pu’er, Yunnan Province

Kexi Villiage Resident Group is governed by the Villagers’ Committee of Bingman Village, Mengnong Town, Mojiang Hani Autonomous County. The village has a concentrated population of Lahu ethnic minority who are backwards in both economic and cultural development. To this day, residents of this village still don’t have access to electricity and running water.

On Nov. 19, 1982, Mojiang Hani Autonomous County government issued the Kexi Resident Group the“Certificate for the Ownership of Mountain forest”, number 2177, which covers the 9199 mu(about 1515.4 acres) mountain forest around Kexi Village. The boundaries of ownership are defined as: east to Yuan-shui-Jiu-jia-hou-shan-liang-zi, south to Wa-lue-luo-jian-bao-shun road ending at Kexi-Xiaojing, west to Guma River, and north to Xin-ping-ge. For 25 years after the certificate was issued, Kexi Resident Group has been managing the mountain forest issued to them.

In early 2007, the villagers found that the County Timber Company stepped over the defined boundary to operate. On April 17, 2007, the villagers appealed to the Mengnong Township Government demanding the County Timber Company to stop infringing upon their territory. But Li Wenhui and some other people from the Forestry Reform Task Group said, “The 4,000 mu (about 659 acres) forest  defined by the ‘Certificate of ownership’, number 2177, which reaches westward to Guma River, is overlapping with the boundaries of state-owned forest defined and verified in 1992.” In other words, the 4,000 mu forest in the west side, corporately owned by Kexi Resident Group and certified in 1982, has mysteriously become state-owned in 1992. What was more baffling is that, before April 17, 2007, no one from Kexi Village Group had received any form of notification about the change of ownership.

Since then, the villagers had appealed many times to the Township Government and the County Forestry Bureau, but got no results. On July 2, 2007, the villagers applied to the county government to verify the boundaries of mountain forest owned corporately by Kexi Resident Group. In late August, 2008, the county government conducted an investigation about the boundaries, but did not give any response regarding the important issues concerned with the personal interest of Kexi villagers. In June, 2010, the villagers appealed to the Standing Committee of the County People’s Congress, demanding the legal supervision and correction of the county government’s illegal administrative behavior, and did not receive any reply in written form. On Feb. 27, 2012, the lawyer Liu Peifu from Beijing Gongxin Law Firm and Pastor Zhang (Bike) Mingxuan from Henan province arrived at Yunnan to offer legal aids to this group of ethnic minority Christians.

ChinaAid will follow up on the case and provide updates on its development.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fugitive Chinese businessman Li Jun details struggle over power and property

Washington Post   By Andrew Higgins, Sunday, March 4, 9:31 AM


(Andrew Higgins/ WASHINGTON POST ) - With eight of his relatives in jail, his business empire in tatters and his bank accounts frozen, fugitive Chinese executive Li Jun is rejoicing at unexpected good news: The police chief who engineered his misery has himself now vanished into the maw of Chinese state security.




(----- NO CREDIT -----/ ----- NO CREDIT ----- ) - CHONGQING , CHINA: Fugitive Chinese businessman Li Jun fled the Chinese metropolis of Chongqing to escape what he describes as a violent struggle over property and power. Pictured with investigators during detenion in Chongqing. He later fled China and is now in hiding abroad.

With eight of his relatives in jail, his business empire under police control and his bank accounts frozen, fugitive Chinese executive Li Jun is rejoicing at unexpected good news: The police chief who engineered his misery has himself vanished into the maw of Chinese state security.

“Nobody is happier than I am,” said Li, commenting on the downfall of Chongqing vice mayor and security boss Wang Lijun, who was hauled to Beijing last month after he took refuge at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

Chinese infighting: Secrets of a succession war

March 4, 2012 4:00 pm  By FT Reporters

The tale of a billionaire allegedly tortured in a crime crackdown offers a rare glimpse into infighting among the political elite

Under scrutiny: Bo Xilai, Chongqing Communist party secretary, seen above at a Beijing press conference. His future looks increasingly doubtful as his crusade against ‘organised crime’ is called into question. Rich businessmen were arrested, including Li Jun, who says that since his release from detention last year he has had to flee in fear of his life.

In his metallic blue shoes, pink polo shirt and battered baseball cap pulled down over his receding hairline, Li Jun looks more like an ordinary middle-aged Chinese tourist than an international fugitive.

In fact, he is a former billionaire property developer from the southwestern city of Chongqing who fled China after he was arrested, tortured and had his assets seized in the most sweeping crackdown on “organised crime” in the country’s recent history.

After more than a year on the run, Mr Li has decided to tell his story following a stunning turn of events that has cast doubt over the political fate of the man who launched that crackdown – Bo Xilai, Chongqing’s Communist party secretary.
As China’s most senior leaders gather in Beijing for Monday’s annual meeting of the rubber-stamp parliament, the country is mesmerised by the fate of Mr Bo, who is also the privileged “princeling” son of a top Communist party leader.