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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid