RFA in the News (January 2009)

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Jan. 30 “Dissidents denied family visas”(Reprinted Radio Free Asia story)

Political prisoners across China are being denied family visits over the traditional Lunar New Year holiday period, their relatives and close friends said.


Jan. 27 “Chinese dissident Bao Tong speaks out”

On Fuxing Road in western Beijing is a vast Soviet-style building that proudly houses old jets, tanks and ships – all memorials to the various military conflicts faced by the People’s Republic of China. But just around the corner, in a typical middle-class housing complex, is an unwelcome reminder of how the country manages its political conflicts.

Over the past month Bao has repeatedly questioned the authoritarian nature of China’s central government – in very public ways. He helped draft Charter 08, a lengthy pro-democracy online manifesto initially published in early December by 303 mainland writers, scholars and artists, a number that has since grown to several thousand. Soon after, he released a series of essays through Radio Free Asia that questioned the very motivations and accomplishments of the Party.


Jan. 27 “Succession story 'shakes up' Pyongyang”

Here we go once again with the North Korean heir game. This time, it was South Korea's Yonhap news agency that blew the whistle, generating a stampede of journalists trying to get ahead in the hottest and most tantalizing beat in the world.

The American government-supported Radio Free Asia joined the untrusting pronouncement, citing Ken Gause of the CNA Corporation, a think-tank that does work for the Pentagon, Rudiger Frank, an Austrian expert on North Korea, and Bruce Klingner of the Brookings Institution.


Jan. 15 “Postcards from Tomorrow Square – Book Review”

Veteran journalist James Fallows is at his best when explaining complicated international transactions in plain language. Fallows, who has been writing from China for The Atlantic magazine for the past two years, is not a China specialist. …

Dan Southerland, executive editor of congressionally funded Radio Free Asia, is a former Monitor correspondent and a former Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post.


Jan. 11 “Hill rejects N. Korea envoy job”

Christopher Hill, the Bush administration’s envoy in the six-party talks, has declined an offer to be an envoy to North Korea. The post, special envoy to the Communist state, is a new one proposed by President-elect Barack Obama, Radio Free Asia said.


Jan. 2 “EDITORIAL -- Our Views: Filing a suit for justice”

We don’t know his name, and we do know that his chances of success in court are minimal. But there is a hero in the Shanghai legal community who is suing the government of China, on behalf of parents who lost their children in the collapse of shoddily built schools in Sichuan province this year.
Parents told reporters from The New York Times and Radio Free Asia that the government has pressured them to accept financial compensation to drop the issue. The promises of compensation are backed by implications of unpleasant consequences for the plaintiffs, from an all-powerful Communist Party.

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