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Kidnapped for speaking out E-mail
News - China News
Written by ND
A reporter with the German TV station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) was interviewing a young man in China about the newspaper censorship controversy, when, immediately after the interview, a team of plainclothes Chinese police picked up the man like a slab of meat and threw him into the back of an unmarked van, stunning the German camera crew.

China’s plainclothes state security agents are well known, particularly in Beijing and near politically sensitive sites such as Tienanmen Square. And it’s not uncommon for them to bundle perceived troublemakers, especially protesters or petitioners, into unmarked vans. But it is jarring to see police officers grabbing citizens so openly in front of a German TV news camera, given the Communist Party’s sensitivity to Western scrutiny of its human rights record.

German industrialists attack Chinese E-mail
News - China News
Written by Express
Two of Germany’s most prominent industrialists have attacked the business and investment climate in China during a meeting with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier. The criticism from the businessmen, the chief executives of Siemens and BASF, came against a backdrop of rising discontent among foreign businesses operating in China. The German executives’ comments were all the more striking as they were made directly to the Chinese premier, and in public, as part of Angela Merkel’s four-day state visit to the country.

Jürgen Hambrecht, chief executive of BASF, the chemical producer, hit out at restrictions on foreign business and complained of foreign companies being forced to transfer business and technological know-how to Chinese companies in exchange for market access.

11 Tigers Starve to Death in Zoo E-mail
News - China News
Written by Associated Press
Eleven rare Siberian tigers have starved to death at a zoo in northeast China over the past three months, state-run media reported Friday. The 11 tigers kept at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo, located in Liaoning Province's capital Shenyang, all died due to malnutrition, Shenyang Wild Animal Protection Station official Liu Xiaoqiang was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.

He said the privately run, financially strapped zoo only fed the tigers cheap chicken bones, while it also kept them in excessively small cages in the wake of a mauling incident last November. Two other Siberian tigers kept at the zoo were shot dead during the mauling incident, bringing the total number of tigers to have died there since then to 13. The zoo still has over 20 Siberian tigers left.

Earthquake E-mail
News - China News
Written by ND
A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 (some sources say 6.9) strucked this morning, Thursday 18.02.09, in the border region of China, Russia and North Korea. This was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other Geological Research stations today. Its epicentre was extremely deep and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage so far confirmed by Russian and Chinese authorities. North Corea did not release any information.

The temblor hit about 09:15 and office towers in Beijing swayed slightly for almost a whole minute. The USGS said the quake was centered on the Russian coast along the sea of Japan, 61 miles (98 kilometers) west-southwest of Vladivostok, Russia and about 70 miles (110 kilometers) east from Yanji city in northeast China's Jilin province.

High-Speed-Rails E-mail
News - China News
Written by ND
A new dedicated 968-kilometer high-speed rail line linking Wuhan, in the heart of central China, to Guangzhou, on the southeastern coast is coming. In test trials, the "WuGuang" trains (locally built variants of Japan's Shinkansen and Germany's ICE) clocked peak speeds of up to 394 km/h. They have also recorded an average speed of 312 km/h in nonstop runs four times daily since the WuGuang's December 26 launch, slashing travel time from Wuhan to Guangzhou from 10.5 hours to less than three.

WuGuang's speed blows away the reigning champion: France's TGV, which runs from Lorraine to Champagne and averages 272 km/h. It also bests China's first high-speed train, the Beijing-to-Tianjin trains that average 230 km/h, as well as Shanghai's magnetically levitated airport shuttle trains that can hit 430 km/h but average less than 251 km/h.

British Citizen executed E-mail
News - China News
Written by ND
The british embassy in Beijing confirmed the execution of british citizen Akmal Shaikh. The 53-old british national was executed with a a lethal injection in Urumqi, the capital of the western chinese province Xinjiang. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned this measure very clearly. He is "deeply disappointed" and "upset" that repeated requests for mercy were not heard at all. Akmal Shaikh is the first Anglo-European since 50 years who was executed in China.

Shaikh was arrested in September 2007 with more than 4 kg heroin in his luggage. In October 2008 he was condemned (after a 30 minutes trial!) to death by lethal injection. According to his family and the London based aid organisation "Reprieve", Shaikh is mentally ill. The drugs were given to him without his knowledge by criminals, said "Reprieve". Shaikh denied all knowledge of the heroin when he was arrested in Urumqi.


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