It was supposed to be my first visit to China in four and a half years. However, when I arrived in Beijing airport on Feb. 27, I was refused entry. Two hours later, I had to board the same plane that brought me there to return to Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
Who owns human rights? For generations, the answer was the left -- the anti-fascist left that fought Franco and formed the core of the Free French, and took to the streets to defend the working man against capitalist exploitation.
Inside China, the Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang, or Turkestan, who came onto many people's radars for the first time after last summer's riots in Urumqi, might be a threat to the People's Republic, though I cannot imagine so tiny a minority challenging so giant a state.
In many ways, China's constitution is a marvellous document. It guarantees Chinese citizens a host of rights, including “freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” The problem is, they exist only in theory.
Spring break for congressional folks is just around the corner. Time for lawmakers and aides to sign up for those grueling missions in search of facts. But don't dally. For example, we hear there's only a seat or two left on an excellent 12-day trip for congressional staffers to China, leaving March 30.
A new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), To Strike The Strongest Blow: Questions Remain Over Crackdown On 2009 Unrest In Urumchi, details widespread human rights violations committed by the People’s Republic of China in the wake of unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.