News / Asia

    Beijing Plaza Partially Blocked Ahead of Planned Protest

    Chinese guards stand at the entrance of the pedestrian Wangfujing area in Beijing. The blue metal barriers are part of a construction site that partially blocks a designated spot for anti-government protests, February 25, 2011.
    Chinese guards stand at the entrance of the pedestrian Wangfujing area in Beijing. The blue metal barriers are part of a construction site that partially blocks a designated spot for anti-government protests, February 25, 2011.

    Construction barriers have gone up around a Beijing site that activists have designated for regular Sunday afternoon protests.

    The bright blue barriers stand in the plaza in front of the McDonalds on Beijing’s Wangfujing Street, which is where an online campaign urges people to demonstrate.

    A notice on the barrier Friday said the pavement has sunk, and so needs to be repaired.

    Chinese notice hangs on a metal barrier of the construction site on Wangfujing Street in Beijing.
    Chinese notice hangs on a metal barrier of the construction site on Wangfujing Street in Beijing.

    The campaign drew a crowd there last Sunday to protest injustice in China and show support for the so-called Jasmine Revolutions in the Middle East. However, security personnel, reporters and onlookers appeared to have outnumbered protesters.

    There were also gatherings in other cities in the country.

    China has no proper legal system and is a one party dictatorship that suppresses its citizens, says one protester in Shanghai.

    Despite the stepped-up security presence, the government has downplayed the possibility that a Jasmine Revolution could happen in China.

    Zhao Qizheng, with the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a government advisory body, told reporters this week that the idea of a Jasmine Revolution in China is absurd.

    Zhao says in Beijing, a city of 15 million people, it is not significant that a few people gather in one place to voice their concerns. He says that even if a small number of them want turmoil, it will not happen.

    Chinese troops killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people when they cracked down on student-led pro-democracy demonstrations on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi referred to that event this week to justify his own crackdown in Libya.

    The organizers of the gathering are believed to be Chinese dissidents who live overseas. They have called for the demonstrations to become a regular event. The on-line call urges people in cities around the country to gather every Sunday afternoon to “stroll, watch, or even just pretend to pass by.”

    Although over the past 30 years China’s people have been given more liberty to travel, own property and study and work as they please, the government acts quickly to shut down protests.

    It does not tolerate calls for political change, and over the past few years has worked hard to jail or detain its critics, including Liu Xiaobo, who was given the Nobel Peace Prize last year for peacefully advocating political reforms.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.