Archive for July 23rd, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wanchai Flag Attacker Explains

Zhū Róngchāng (朱榮昌), a 74-year-old mainlander who lowered and burned a flag at Hong Kong’s Golden Bauhinia Square on Friday, was passed on to a mental hospital’s custody (Siu Lam Hospital, 小欖醫院) by Kowloon Magistrate’s Court on Saturday. His case was adjourned to August 5, to await medical findings.

Zhu targeted the PRC flag, according to a BBC Chinese Website report, shouting “Down with the Communist Party” (打倒共產黨).

Zhu stated in court that his action hadn’t been aimed at China, as Sun Yat-sen‘s flag, not the “marxist” one, actually represented the country (朱榮昌星期六在法庭上稱,他燒燬的是「馬克思的旗」,不代表中國;「孫中山先生的國旗」才代表中國).

According to Hong Kong’s “National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance” (國旗及國徽條例), a person

who desecrates the national flag or national emblem by publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine at level 5 and to imprisonment for 3 years,

the BBC quotes the ordinance.

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Updates / Related

青天白日旗才是正宗, Ming Pao (Toronto), July 24, 2011

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Canada Extradites Chinese Fugitive: “The future, yet to be seen by both countries and others, will stand as witness to the outcome”

It may be no coincidence that China Daily is the likeliest source for  information about countries which have concluded extradition treaties with Beijing so far. To governments of countries where the rule of law applies, but who entered such treaties with China all the same, the issue should be, and quite likely is, a rather awkward one.

Radio Canada International QSL, 1988

Once upon a Time: Radio Canada International QSL, 1988

But it may emerge on the front pages when the agreed rules are actually applied.

China’s most wanted man flies home,

reads the Vancouver Sun‘s headline. The man in question is Lai Changxing (賴昌星), about whom the Vancouver Sun article says that

China accuses Lai of running a multibillion-dollar smuggling operation in the southeastern city of Xiamen in the 1990s in one of China’s biggest political scandals. After his escape to Canada, Lai set in motion one of the most complex refugee cases in this country’s history.

Canadian officials had dismissed Lai’s or his defense team’s arguments that he could be tortured, executed, or that he will die of some mysterious illness or something bad will happen to him, as Darryl Lawson, one of his defenders, is quoted by the Vancouver Sun. J. Michael Cole, the Taipei Times‘ deputy news editor, writes that while a death sentence brought by a Chinese court may not be in the pipeline for Lai, one of Lai’s brothers died while in detention in a Chinese jail – referred to as as a mysterious prison death by the Globe and Mail on Friday.

It is assumed that the assurances of the Chinese government, as per its written promises, will be kept, as the Chinese government’s honour and face is, and will be, bound and kept respectively, by the monitoring for the lifetime of the applicant…,

the Globe and Mail quotes Federal Court judge Michel Shore. These assurances included an arrangement which would also allow Canadian officials to visit Mr. Lai and sit in on some of his court hearings, Shore argued.

Another counsel to Lai, David Matas, had told the court that

Canadians were only promised access to “open court,” meaning officials couldn’t attend any hearings closed to the public – common practice for politically sensitive proceedings. He added that it would be next to impossible to find a lawyer to represent Mr. Lai who wasn’t influenced by the Communist Party, since the government had turned him into the “poster boy” for corruption.

But none of the issues raised by Lai, due to the Chinese government’s assurances, amounted to clear and convincing proof necessary to support his irreparable harm claim – that’s how the Globe and Mail indirectly quotes Shore. Lai’s extradition went ahead on Friday.

The court may not be to blame, if the  extradition treaty itself really requires clear and convincing proof that no harm may be done to an extradited person before stopping the process.

If Lai should indeed die in prison, before or after trial, by whatever cause declared by Chinese authorities, those who support the extradition treaty in general and Lai’s extradition in particular may still argue that there is no clear and convincing proof that harm had indeed been done.

Once upon a time, Canada was seen as a champion of human rights.

It’s hard to see that these days. But then, business with the Soviet Union never counted for a lot.

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Updates / Related
» U.S. cooperating with China, Reuters, July 28, 2011

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

An unauthorized Auto-da-fé in Wanchai

A 74-year-old mainlander was arrested and indicted on Friday after lowering the flag at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wanchai without authorization (擅自, shànzì), and setting it on fire. The flag was immediately replaced, reports Xinhua (via Enorth). According to Xinhua, the indictment is about violating the National Flag and National Emblem Bill (国旗及国徽条例). Kowloon Magistrate’s Court starts hearing the case on Saturday (today).

The report does not specify which of the two flags – that of Hong Kong, or the PRC – was vandalized.

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Flag-raising ceremony, YouTube, 2008

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