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Holy See-Beijing diplomacy not likely in near future

TAIPEI (SE): Tou Chou-shen, a former ambassador to the Vatican from Taiwan between 2004 and 2008, said that he believes that a high level dialogue between the Holy See and Beijing may be in the too hard basket at present and diplomatic relations out of the question.

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Babies for sale reflect problem of one-child families

 

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The recent arrest of Wang Yiping, the head of a village family planning committee in Anxi county, Fujian province, for selling babies is one of the sad consequences of the One Child Policy in China, AsiaNews reported on January 4.

Wang is being accused of selling a baby to a couple who are believed to have on sold it to another client.

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State washes its hands of children’s tragic deaths

 

HONG KONG (UCAN): The posting of a notice on rubbish collection units in Bijie, Guizhou province, reading, Humans and animals are forbidden to enter. The consequences of violating this order are your own responsibility, in the wake of the deaths of five homeless children from carbon monoxide poising seems a bit heartless.

The children were taking shelter from the bitter cold in the rubbish collection unit and lit a fire out of paper to try and keep warm in November last year.

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Seminary closures reflect drop in vocation numbers

 

JINAN (UCAN): Around a third of China’s 12 government-recognised regional seminaries have suspended operations in recent years for reasons as varied as lack of students to difficulties in finding trained staff.

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Internet restrictions in China tighten

ROME (AsiaNews): People in China who want to use the Internet must now be clearly identified, according to an official announcement published through the official news agency, Xinhua.

All anonymous surfing of the Internet is now banned, which AsiaNews believes casts a sinister light on respect for human rights by the new leadership of Xi Jinping.

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Hope for human rights or window dressing?

ROME (AsiaNews): New laws that came into effect in China on 1 January 2013 provide for people picked up by the police to have immediate access to a lawyer; immediate notification of relatives of their whereabouts; and a limit on detention without trial to six months.

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Tragic fire at orphanage prompts basic questions

HONG KONG (UCAN): A fire broke out on the morning of January 4 at an informal orphanage killing seven children who were being cared for by a woman in Lankao county, central Henan province, in China.

The tragic deaths have prompted an outrage around the country with discussions revolving around the existence of unregistered orphanages.

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Doubts China will stop indiscriminate detention

HONG KONG (UCAN): Government critics say they remain skeptical that the government will improve rights standards within the justice system, following an official announcement on January 7 that the government would overhaul the use and function of labour camps.

State media quoted Meng Jianzhu, the secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission, as saying that China would end the practice of sending people to labour camps, a policy which denies alleged offenders a trial.

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Church in China opens doors at Christmas

SHIJIAZHUANG (Agencies): The solemn Christmas celebrations of the Catholic community in China was characterised by three themes; love of neighbour, witness to faith and the life and development of faith, Fides reported.

You and I together was the theme of the Eighth Christmas Charitable Evening organised by Jinde Charity in Shijiazhuang, attended by around 400 volunteers and benefactors who have been involved with what is the biggest charitable organisation in the country for years.

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China honours far-sighted missionary

SWANSEA (Agencies): A delegation from the Union Hospital in Wuhan, China, travelled to Swansea in England in order to erect a memorial to the Welsh founder of the institution, Griffith John, to mark the centennial of the death of the 80-year-old deceased missionary.

The delegation from what today is a major medical research centre in China, donated a bust to the town where John was born on 14 December 1831. It will be displayed prominently in the city museum.

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