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China Reform Monitor - No. 983
One step forward, one step back for China in Africa;
Cross-Strait cooperation against trafficking
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
August 15, 2012
A program that allowed Yale University students to study at Peking University has been canceled, the New York Times reports. Yale said the partnership, which began in 2006 and was reaffirmed in December, came to an abrupt end due to “lower than anticipated enrollments,” Yale News reports. The program was not without controversy, however. In 2007, a widely circulated e-mail by a Yale biology professor teaching at the Beijing campus that was carried in the Chronicle of Higher Education blamed Chinese faculty and administrators for tolerating widespread plagiarism. Several top U.S. universities including New York University and Duke University are in the midst of unprecedented expansions of their educational initiatives in China.
Controversy surrounds Anjin Investments, a Chinese company with extensive ties to Zimbabwe’s military and $400 million in investments in that country’s diamond fields. According to Zimbabwe’s Nehanda Radio, a thousand striking workers have crippled operations at Anjin’s Marange diamond fields. Workers are demanding $650 per month – up from their current $235 per month wage – and the reinstatement of their labor leader, who was dismissed for organizing the strike. The Zimbabwean reports that three Chinese managers have apologized for sodomizing miners and will be deported. Since its founding two years ago Anjin has faced eight labor disputes and has been accused of failing to declare earnings to Harare.
A “trust crisis” has emerged between officials and citizens resulting in a growing number of protests and petitions targeting pollution and industrial projects. Demonstrations related to environmental concerns are increasing 30 percent annually, the official Xinhua News Agency reports. Zhejiang alone receives 50,000 to 60,000 environment-related petitions per year. Nationwide discontent sown by citizens’ lack of faith in authorities enforcement of environmental standards has stoked large-scale protests, calls for citizen rights and consultation with residents about industrial projects. To lure investment into their jurisdictions officials often support projects by improperly influencing environment officials, and purchase forged public perception reports. In Nantong, Jiangsu, for instance, officials cancelled an industrial waste pipeline project hours after thousands of residents stormed the city government compound, overturned vehicles and destroyed documents.
While speaking on the 85th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Abuja, Nigeria, China’s military attaché, colonel Kang Honglin, described Beijing’s extensive military support for Abuja. He identified three primary aspects of bilateral military cooperation: 1) close relations among senior Chinese and Nigerian military officers; 2) PLA training for Nigeria’s military from colonels to general officers – including eight Nigerian military officers at the major general rank; and 3) arms sales, including the Chinese-made F7 fighter aircraft. Beijing also helped Abuja build its domestic arms industry and naval capacity in the Gulf of Guinea. “We have very good defense products, which are cost effective and suitable to the Nigerian Navy. I believe we will see more cooperation in this area,” Kang said in comments carried by Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper.
In a joint raid against human-trafficking and forced prostitution, police from Fujian and Taiwan arrested 30 suspects – four from mainland China and 26 from Taiwan – and rescued nine victims. Criminal rings tricked mainland women to enter Taiwan for forced marriages and prostitution. Mainland police opened investigations in February after Taiwan’s immigration authorities alerted them. The joint operation was the first time police across the Strait cooperated in fighting human trafficking since the establishment of a mutual assistance mechanism in 2009, the official China Daily reports.