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AFP: No more mandatory tests

BEIJING - CHINA will stop mandatory hepatitis B tests for employees joining new companies and students enrolling in schools, state media said on Sunday, after a court ruled the tests were illegal discrimination. Deng Haihua, deputy director of the health ministry's general office, said the government would soon issue instructions to stop the practice, which is currently a requirement, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
12/10/2009

As urbanization continues, will Cantonese and dialect usage increase?

A recent South China Morning Post article points towards a limited revival in the fortunes of Cantonese in Shenzhen. As it is now, many migrant workers to Guangdong come from the broad Mandarin-speaking areas of China in the northern and south-western parts of the country. Generally speaking, they are unable to learn the local language, due to lack of classes and the large amount of time that they spend working. However, some of the children of migrant workers − the second generation of migrant workers who have often grown up in the cities – are enthusiastic to speak Cantonese in Shenzhen, partly as a way of asserting their new identity as Shenzheners.
09/10/2009

Teachers Strike in Chengdu, a breakthrough in anti-HBV discrimination, and the ACFTU moves to strengthen SOE unions

In this podcast, William Nee and Geoff Crothall discuss a teachers strike in Chengdu, a breakthrough in anti-HBV discrimination legal work, and the ACFTU's recent moves to strengthen enterprise unions in SOEs.
13/11/2009

President Bill Clinton, Reform of People’s Congresses, and Equality in China

A look at how China’s parliamentary system is set up shows that the devil is indeed in the details, and the solution to fixing the system may come through constitutional appeals for equality. According to the Election Law, representatives from rural areas currently represent four times as many people as their urban counterparts . For example, say an urban representative represents 10,000 constituents. His or her colleague from a rural area would represent 40,000 constituents. Obviously, this means people from rural areas are underrepresented in the congresses, while the urban representatives have the advantage of using systematic steroids.
09/10/2009

Three workers die in Shenzhen sulfuric acid blast

Three workers died and another three were seriously injured during a sulfuric acid explosion at an electroplating factory in Shenzhen, China’s official media reported at the weekend.
05/10/2009

A wrap-up of the Xiao Huazhong case and more

William Nee and Geoff Crothall discuss how authorities in Sichuan are giving dying coal miner Xiao Huazhong a Kafka-esque run around, a survey of sex workers in Wuhan, and Cai Chongguo's vision for addressing ethnic tension in Xinjiang. (2 October 2009).

"Workers' Song" by Dick Gaughan.

  
02/10/2009

Local officials in Sichuan give dying miner the runaround

On the same day that Zhang Haichao was awarded 615,000 yuan in compensation for pneumoconiosis contracted while working at an abrasive materials factory in Henan, another migrant worker suffering from the same disease was being given the runaround by hospital and government authorities in Sichuan. Xiao Huazhong, an elderly retired miner from Qu county in Sichuan, suffers from stage three pneumoconiosis and has been seeking compensation from his former employer for several years, so far all to no avail. His former employer, Liao Xing’an, is a local coal baron and one of the most powerful men in Qu county.
28/09/2009

Substantial payout to migrant worker should not distract attention from the plight of others

The award last week of 615,000 yuan in damages to China’s best-known pneumoconiosis victim, Zhang Haichao, is very welcome news but it should not suggest that work-related illness sufferers in China are getting a better deal – far from it.
24/09/2009

Sex workers in Wuhan vulnerable and exploited

Young, poorly educated sex workers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan are routinely abused by clients but have little or no recourse to justice. Most do not trust the police and the vast majority (about 80 percent) have no knowledge of their legal or civil rights, according to a recently published survey.
23/09/2009

Cai Chongguo: In solving the inter-ethnic conflict in Xinjiang, civil society-based communication is the key

In this blog post, I have translated CLB’s Paris-based commentator Cai Chongguo’s opinion piece about what is needed to improve ethic relations in Xinjiang: civil-society based dialogue and genuine cultural exchange. As an urban Chinese youth in the Cultural Revolution who was “sent down” to the countryside to learn from “peasants”, and as a person who learned how to live in another culture while in France, Cai brings unique insight into what needs to happen in order to improve ethnic relations.
16/09/2009
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