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News Chinese social injustice

  1. Jul 3, 2007 #1


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    I'm watching a PBS documentary on the increased focus on the need for a law system in China.

    Like they point out, the Western world has had hundreds of years to put their current judicial systems in place, China has only begun since the late 70's.

    It's a terribly eye opening piece on how migrant workers are abused by greedy employers. But is that really unusual in this world?

    What was sad was to see a sentence of 6 years in prison for a first offense purse snatching case. Migrant workers are not given a trial by jury of peers, it's 3 appointed judges, no legal representation if they can't afford it. In another court, theft of a moped, a luxury item, only gets a 2 year sentence.

    Corrupt property developers taking land from peasants due to vagaries stemming from communist times.

    China executes more than 8,000 people per year, more than the rest of the world combined, but considering the population is this disproportionate?

    A lawyer stated, I can only help people within the limits of the law, I cannot risk my life for them. Standing up to the government can cost you your life.

    The PBS show is Wide Angle.

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2007
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  3. Jul 3, 2007 #2

    Great link. I notice that the full episode is coming soon.

    Aside from their legal system I am amazed that so few people show any great interest in the country that now produces the lion's share of our consumer goods.

    In places there is still child slave labor in China.

    Many people think that there is nothing that we can do about working conditions in China. (quite a few flat out don't care) But there is a way for us to influence conditions, and that is public pressure. The biggest source of influence comes from the companies who build the factories and buy the Chinese goods, not from the Chinese government.

    Remember the big deal about the conditions in the Nike factory a few years back. Under pressure form the public Nike has stepped in and made drastic changes.
  4. Jul 3, 2007 #3
    OH Wow, I just checked and the program comes on here at 10:00 PM.:smile:
  5. Jul 5, 2007 #4
    If theres one thing I hate its statistics with no metric other than "wow, big number". I'm sure I'll come down with some foot in mouth after I research this but lets find out some more comparative numbers:

    "The estimated number[world executions] at the end of 2006 was between 19,185 and 24,646 based on information from human rights groups, media reports and the limited official figures available." -Amnesty International (who probably rounds numbers up anyway)

    China Population: 1,321,851,888
    World Population: 6,602,224,175
    China Executions: 8,000 (max estimate, only 1-2k actually reported)
    World Executions: 24,646

    20% of the world's population
    32% of the world's executions

    Given a communist regime with some strict laws, I don't find those numbers too astronomical. Above average, yes, but I don't know how they can claim that 8,000 is more than "The rest of the world combined" at least for 2006.

    I'm not defending China, I just HATE sensational statistics that don't actually convey any relative information.
  6. Jul 5, 2007 #5
    Unlike , the western consitutional system that is mainly based on the concept of justice, the chinese one has been based on intimidating people to fear the system and get in line, and that has been the case for centuries.

    That said i prefer the western one.
  7. Jul 6, 2007 #6


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    I note that number of executions was a maximum estimate, would a median estimate be therefore 5,000,
    i.e. 20% of the world total?

  8. Jul 6, 2007 #7
    It would indeed. And actually the world's estimate they try to say is probably a low estimate due to unreported executions. Could be higher, which would bring down China's part even more.
  9. Jul 6, 2007 #8


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    I've seen documentaries that give completely different stories. From "China Rises" on Canada's channel Newsworld.

    It discussed the ups and bads, and the positives that China are working towards. We must remember that starting a system in such a vast country and still in development mode is much more difficult than even setting up a universal health care system in the US, and um... you haven't done that yet.

    I personally take a lot of documentaries and things from China with a grain of salt. The media obviously wants to play some hype in a bad direction from China because of it's future economic power and cheap labour that is killing the US economy. The possibility of having some bias is high, in my opinion.

    For example, Newsworld was documenting a company who paid this girl 60 cents an hour to do this really repetitive job. That's nothing of course, and we're all sad about her. But the reality is, the company houses her too, feeds her too, and even entertains all of the employees by holding large karoekes and concerts and so on. On top of that, she said the 60 cents an hour that she gets allows her to buy the clothe she wants (nice by the way :wink:) and other stuff she wanted... at the same time she sending half of her wages to her mother to take care of her!!! All her friends and everyone seemed happy. Their dorm room was nice and clean, and had magazines and posters everywhere just like any young person would have here in North America.

    Not everything is perfect, but it's getting there.

    I've met 3 people from China. One from Hong Kong, and 2 from the outskirts of Hong Kong (big differences). The lady (that I tutored) told me things are really different in China. She said they are trying to cut down on corruption. In fact, she said if you're caught in the act of corruption by a government official, you're shot on the spot! I was like dang, but hey, they're doing something. Here in North America we choose to re-elect our corruptors into power again. :grumpy: Also, she said because there is no social assistance if you lose a job, you save a lot of money. Something all of us Canadians and Americans take for granted by the truck load. So, it's not surprising to hear that the average Chinese saves 20% of their income.

    So, now that we know China residents must save their money in a more life and death matter because no job means no food and attempting to steal food or stealing it is a serious crime. After understanding that, we have the good old American President telling the Chinese to EAT BEEF and SPEND MONEY. BEEF IS GOOD FOR YOU, SPENDING MONEY IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY... blah blah blah. How inconsiderate of a President to make such an ignorant statement. That's a pure *******. Anyways, enough about Bush. (Spending the money you saved to protect your future is not wise. Although Westeners do it, I wouldn't recommend the Chinese to do it.)

    Another big issue with starting a legal system is in fact the Chinese language. I just started to learn Cantonese and I can have basic conversations in Cantonese. Cantonese is more like the business language in China and Mandarin the peoples language. If you ever learned a decent amount of either one of those languages, you will see that grammar structure is not as concrete as ours. You will also notice that the vocabulary isn't as concrete as ours either. For example, I always wondered how my Hong Kong friend would get confused with people and person. As I learned Cantonese, I learned that people and person mean the same thing in Cantonese! I have to admit though it was funny to hear "Elycia, you're the whitest people I know!" That's a classic. It's really hard to avoid ambiguity as much as we can in North America.

    Of course they had all this time, but keep in mind they had more important things to do. It's really easy to point fingers and tell China what to do and what not to do while we're already developped. Also, the same thing applies to how China should stop making coal power plants. If China did that, they would never become a developped country. That's not fair. We took the dirty way up too, so we should let them do it too. It sucks, but we should talk **** if we did **** too. If we're not happy with it, we should help (we are not by the way) them and not tell them to stop.

    It's funny how people try to make it sound like they're "embracing" China, but honestly, nobody really is.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2007
  10. Jul 6, 2007 #9


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    What a load of horse ****. There is a lawyer in China (really famous now) that enforces worker's rights.

    He enforces them so much that he houses people who lost jobs because of injury and have no money. Then he goes to court one case at a time and so far he's won quite a few lucrative cases.

    None of the people I know said anything like that. If he's a corrupt lawyer, I can see why he said that.

    Well, I will most likely meet more Chinese immigrants this school year as I plan on hooking up with some to sharpen my Cantonese, so I'll see what they have to say. (Not all of them are rich. Some have saved money for their whole lives to come here.) And a lot time they're happy to talk about China (their home!).
  11. Jul 6, 2007 #10


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  12. Jul 6, 2007 #11


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    He's featured in the documentary.

    That was a large part of what the documentary was about.

    The documentary was about how China is trying to make changes and the difficulties in such a huge undertaking. The problem with overcoming the remnants of communism, the vast area and lack of resources and education for a large amount of the population. If you go to the link I provided, the picture of the people sitting at a table in the field is showing one of the new programs the Chinese government is trialing to get the court system out to remote locations. The documentary is going to be available for download soon, I think you'd be interested
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2007
  13. Jul 6, 2007 #12


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    I'll be sure to check it out.
  14. Jul 6, 2007 #13
  15. Jul 6, 2007 #14


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  16. Mar 1, 2010 #15
    hey sorry to interrupt your discussion on this issue but i would like to know were you got thses numbers from its for an assessment for uni
    and your discussion has helped a great deal with this assessment
  17. Mar 1, 2010 #16
    These numbers have been known to most world I think. I saw them on BBC. But you are not interrupting rather you are necroposting.
  18. Mar 1, 2010 #17
    wats necroposting? and i need to know if its per year or 2006 that thses numbers are from
  19. Mar 1, 2010 #18


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    The link is in the post above yours.
  20. Mar 1, 2010 #19
    thanks ill be going now sorry to interrupt again bye
  21. Mar 1, 2010 #20


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    I don't wish to comment on capital punishment itself, but there are some points to be made here about numbers.

    First, are the numbers right? Amnesty International (a credible, if biased source) says that there were 1252+ executions in 2007, including 470+ in the PRC. That's a long way from 8000 in a year! http://www.handsoffcain.info/bancadati/index.php?tipotema=arg&idtema=12000547 [Broken] has much higher figures, with 5000+ executions in China in 2007; but they seem to have no methodology section and I'm somewhat dubious. AI has 1700 for that same year.

    Second, if China executes more people than the rest of the world combined, this is certainly disproportionate, since their population share is 'only' about 20%. AI gives them 38%, which is less than half but still twice their expected share.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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