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Links 1 through 10 of 15 by David Bandurski tagged information

In a piece published in the most recent edition of the official Party journal Qiushi (求是), and shared across China's internet today, Premier Wen Jiaobao (温家宝) calls for great government transparency, "creating the conditions for the people to monitor the government." The piece, drawn from Premier Wen's March 26 speech on clean governance at the State Council, comes right on the heels of the official announcement last week that former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai has been removed from the Party's Central Committee for "serious discipline violations."

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In today's The Beijing News, columnist Yu Hu (于平) says the recent decision in the southern city of Guangzhou to allow government departments to reveal their expenditures at their own discretion is a step back. In 2009, the city's budget office released online the budgets of 114 government offices, earning widespread praise. 

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Chinese media report today that China's State Council Information Office (SCIO) yesterday released its "Record of Human Rights in the U.S.A. in 2010" (2010年美国的人权纪录). The report is a direct response to an annual report on human rights released last Friday in the U.S. The U.S. report, issued under a congressional mandate for the past 35 years, commented forcefully on China, saying the human rights situation in the country has worsened sharply. The SCIO report on the U.S. said "violations of civil and political rights in America are extremely serious." 

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According to a news report today from CNTV, an online service of the official China Central Television, the State Council Information Office has now released an iPad application through the "App Store" at Apple.com.cn. Now it's more convenient than ever to find out what's going on at China's top government agency -- the Central Propaganda Department is on the "Party" side -- responsible for the release of information (and misinformation). For more on Internet censorship of course, in which the SCIO also plays a central role, you'll have to stay tuned to the China Media Project.  

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As news comes that artist and dissident blogger Ai Weiwei (艾未未) was detained in Beijing yesterday, readers may want to review AIWW Study, an online archive of work by Ai and his work team, which have documented many important cases in China in the past few years, including the Yang Jia court case in 2007 and the collapse of schools the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.  

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On the front page of today's edition of the CCP's official People's Daily, Jia Qinglin (贾庆林), currently regarded as the fourth-ranking member of the China's Politburo, urges the need to "urgently study President Hu Jintao's speech" [last weekend on strengthening social controls] and maintain "development and stability" in Tibet. Reminiscent of Hu's speech on February 19, Jia mentioned the need to address a range of subsistence issues facing people in Tibet and surrounding provinces, but also emphasized the importance of strengthening controls on public opinion: "[We must] further strengthen and optimize the management of grassroots society and service mechanisms [for the grassroots], and [we must] strengthen and optimize our control of information networks."

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As the controversy continues in China over the suspicious death of village leader and rights activist Qian Yunhui (钱云会), Wu Danhong (吴丹红), an assistant professor at China University of Political Science and Law, writes in Southern Metropolis Weekly that the case underscores yet again the crisis of credibility facing local governments across China. Openness of information, Wu writes, is one important key to government credibility: "We learned already from the 2003 SARS crisis that the open release of information helps to raise government credibility, and during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the government release of information on the disaster . . . helped to prevent the spread of rumors, settle the hearts of the people and did much to raise government credibility."  

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He Huagao (何华高), a reporter for the Information Times newspaper, a spin-off of the official (but very commercialized) Guangzhou Daily, was roughed up and taken away by police in Pujiang (晋江市), Fujian province, today while covering the verdict in the trial against local village official Lu Jiangbo (吕江波), lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan reported on Twitter. Lu, who has been embroiled in a corruption case involving the illegal requisition of land for development, has steadily maintained his innocence, saying he was unaware of any illegal activity. Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), the lawyer representing Lu Jiangbo, has a report of the incident involving the Information Times reporter on his blog, and provides his own contact information (http://liu6465.fyfz.cn/art/781900.htm)

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Several Chinese Twitter users reported today that the "Ministry of Truth" -- a term web users use to collectively refer to censorship-related organs such as the Information Office and the Central Propaganda Department -- has issued a ban asking media not to make any mention of a report by 60 teachers and students from 20 universities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan that exposes alleged illegal activities at Taiwanese technology manufacturer Foxconn. Among other findings, the report says that 16.4 percent of Foxconn employees have been subjected to corporal punishment for violations of strict company rules. The ban reported on Twitter reads: "According to directions from (Guangdong) leaders: there is to be no reporting and no commentary on 'An Investigation of Foxconn,' a report by teachers and students from 20 universities on the mainland and in Hong Kong and Taiwan, including Peking University." The headline above links to a relevant Global Times story.

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People's Daily Online reports today on remarks made yesterday at a national forum on "creating a civilized Internet" by Wang Chen (王晨), director of China's State Council Information Office (SCIO) and a deputy propaganda minister. Wang, China's top Internet control official, invoked the words of President Hu Jintao during a collective study session of China's Politburo last July, saying that the country must "firmly oppose the trends of vulgar (庸俗), cheap (低俗) and tasteless (媚俗) content" (ie, the "Three Vulgarities"). In his four points on how China should create a "civilized web," including "rational self-discipline" and "a correct view of the Internet," Wang did mention the need for "supervision by public opinion" (a term generally referring to public and media monitoring of power), but the term was used in this context to refer to Internet users informing on "illegal and harmful information" online.

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