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Title:  China Human Rights Practices, 1995 
Author:  U.S. Department of State 
Date:  March 1996 
 
 
 
                                  CHINA 
 
 
 
The People's Republic of China (PRC) is an authoritarian state in which 
the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the paramount source of power.  At 
the national and regional levels, party members hold almost all top 
civilian, police, and military positions.  Retired senior leaders retain 
considerable power, but the top leadership announced in mid-1995 that 
ultimate authority had been passed to the younger generation of 
Communist Party leaders that makes up the 21-member Politburo.  Economic 
decentralization has increased the authority of regional officials.  
Socialism continues to provide the ideological underpinning of Chinese 
politics, but Marxist ideology has given way to pragmatism in recent 
years.  The party's authority rests primarily on the success of economic 
reform, its ability to maintain stability, appeals to patriotism, and 
control of the security apparatus. 
 
The security apparatus comprises the Ministries of State Security and 
Public Security, the People's Armed Police, the People's Liberation 
Army, and the state judicial, procuratorial, and penal systems.  The 
security forces were responsible for numerous human rights abuses.  
 
China has a mixed economy that is robust and expanding rapidly.  
Economic reforms continue to raise living standards, encourage private 
entrepreneurial activity, diminish central control over the economy, and 
create new economic opportunities.  Income disparities between coastal 
regions and the interior are significant and growing, but there has been 
a sharp drop in the number of Chinese living in absolute poverty in 
recent years. 
 
During the year the Government continued to commit widespread and well-
documented human rights abuses, in violation of internationally accepted 
norms, stemming both from the authorities' intolerance of dissent and 
the inadequacy of legal safeguards for basic freedoms.  Abuses included 
arbitrary and lengthy incommunicado detention, forced confessions, 
torture, and mistreatment of prisoners.  Prison conditions remained 
harsh.  The Government continued severe restrictions on freedom of 
speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, privacy, movement, 
and worker rights.   
 
Although the Government denies that it holds political prisoners, the 
number of persons detained or serving sentences for 
"counterrevolutionary crimes" or for criminal convictions for peaceful 
political or religious activities are believed to number in the 
hundreds--perhaps thousands.  The Government still has not provided a 
comprehensive, credible public accounting of all those missing or 
detained in connection with the suppression of the 1989 demonstrations.  
Persons detained during 1995 included activists arrested after the 
issuance of pro-democracy petitions in March and May.  Throughout the 
year, Chinese leaders moved swiftly to cut off organized expressions of 
protest or criticism and detained government critics, including those 
advocating worker rights.  Discrimination against women, minorities, and 
the disabled, and violence against women and the abuse of children 
remain problems.   
 
Although the Government permits local, competitive elections in villages 
inhabited by millions of rural Chinese, citizens have no ability 
peacefully to change either their leaders at higher levels of government 
or the form of government.  The Constitution provides for fundamental 
human rights, but they are frequently ignored in practice, and 
challenges to the CCP's political authority are often dealt with harshly 
and arbitrarily.  Legal safeguards for those detained or imprisoned are 
ignored or inconsistently implemented.  The Government attaches higher 
priority to maintaining public order and suppressing political 
opposition than to enforcing legal norms.  For example, the judicial 
system denies criminal defendants basic legal safeguards such as due 
process or adequate defense, as demonstrated by the 20-month 
incommunicado detention, abrupt formal arrest, and sentencing to 14 
years' imprisonment of leading dissident Wei Jingsheng for the peaceful 
expression of his political beliefs.     
 
Overall, in 1995 the authorities stepped up repression of dissent.  By 
year's end, almost all public dissent against the central authorities 
was silenced by intimidation, exile, or imposition of prison terms or 
administrative detention.  The Government's November decision to name a 
Panchen Lama without the Dalai Lama's concurrence was symptomatic of the 
politicization of this question and a broader tightening of strictures 
on some religious believers.  Nonofficial Christian churches and some 
Muslim groups also experienced intensified repression in 1995.  In 
similar fashion, the Government strengthened controls over disaffected 
ethnic groups in Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang. 
 
During 1995 the Government also took some steps that raised the 
possibility of positive developments in the human rights situation in 
China over the long term.  In August and September the Government hosted 
the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women and an associated 
Nongovernmental Organizations Forum (NGO Forum) both of which discussed 
women's and universal human rights.  Government restrictions on the free 
exercise of internationally recognized freedoms of speech and 
association hampered the discussion, however.  The Government also moved 
forward with legislation designed to make political and judicial 
processes more transparent.  In February the National Peoples' Congress 
(NPC) passed three new laws designed to hold judges, prosecutors, and 
policemen to higher standards; the new laws came into effect July 1.  In 
October the Ministry of Justice promulgated implementing regulations for 
1994 legislation that allows citizens to sue government agencies for 
malfeasance and to collect damages.  The Government has also drafted a 
lawyer's law that would clarify the nature of the attorney-client 
relationship, improve professional standards, separate most lawyers from 
state employment, and improve the ability of citizens to defend their 
legal interests; the legislature had not passed this law by year's end.  
In many respects, Chinese society continued to open up:  greater 
disposable income, looser ideological controls, and freer access to 
outside sources of information have led to greater room for individual 
choice, more diversity in cultural life, and increased media reporting.  
Although the sale and use of satellite dishes are tightly regulated, 
satellite television broadcasts are widely available, particularly in 
coastal areas.  Telephone and facsimile communication is also 
extensively used.  In many cities, the introduction of commercial 
Internet service promoted access to international sources of 
information.  At year's end, however, new government limits on Internet 
access threatened to halt the growth of Internet use.  In addition, new 
controls on reporting economic information introduced doubts about the 
Government's commitment to freedom of information.  Government control 
of news media generally continues to depend on self-censorship to 
regulate political and social content, but the authorities also 
consistently penalize those who exceed the permissible.  China continued 
a human rights dialog with some foreign interlocutors in the first half 
of 1995.  Although no formal dialogs were held in the second half of the 
year, the Government agreed in late 1995 to schedule some bilateral 
dialogs in early 1996.  The Government is increasingly willing to 
acknowledge openly certain human rights problems, especially official 
abuse of citizens' rights; some of these abuses are documented in the 
press. 
 
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
The number of extrajudicial killings by government officials in 1995, or 
the adequacy of the government response, is impossible to determine 
because the Government restricts access to such information.  There were 
individual accounts of such killings, including some carried in the 
Chinese press.  In February the former director of a police station in 
Tangshan, Hebei, was sentenced to death for torturing a suspect to 
death; five other policeman were sentenced to 5 to 15 years' 
imprisonment for their involvement.  A policeman in Hebei was sentenced 
to death in February for shooting a peasant to death during a dispute 
over a traffic accident.  In March an authoritative article in the 
People's Daily described a case in which several village officials were 
sentenced to death or prison for murdering a peasant who had complained 
about arbitrary fees.  In a report to the NPC in March, China's Chief 
Procurator described a case in Heilongjiang where police had tried to 
frame a suspect for murder, but the Procuratorate discovered that the 
victim had actually been tortured to death.  The true culprit was then 
arrested. 
 
     b.  Disappearance 
 
Disappearances and long incommunicado detentions continued in 1995.  
There were no indications that security forces killed those who were 
taken into custody. 
 
     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
Both official Chinese sources and international human rights groups 
continued to report many cases in which police and other elements of the 
security apparatus employed torture and degrading treatment in dealing 
with detained and imprisoned persons in violation of legal prohibitions.  
Persons detained pending trial were particularly at risk as a result of 
government failure to correct obvious systemic weaknesses in the design 
and operation of the legal system.  These weaknesses include a reliance 
on confessions as a basis for convictions and the lack of access to 
prisoners by legal counsel and family members until after authorities 
file formal charges, a step which often takes months.  Former detainees 
have credibly reported that officials used cattle prods, electrodes, 
prolonged periods of solitary confinement and incommunicado detention, 
beating, shackles, and other forms of abuse against detained men and 
women. 
 
Against the background of these reports, the Government claims to have 
undertaken a campaign to reduce incidents of torture.  Because prisoners 
remain inaccessible to international humanitarian organizations, such as 
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), these claims are 
impossible to verify.  In March the Supreme People's Procuratorate 
reported it had investigated 409 cases in which torture was used to 
extract confessions in 1994, but it provided no information on 
convictions or punishments.  The number of actual incidents of torture 
and ill-treatment by government officials is almost certainly far 
greater than this statistic indicates.  The Chinese press reported in 
February that five public security officers from Shanxi were sentenced 
to death for extracting a confession through torture; another five were 
sentenced to 5 years to life imprisonment in the same case.  Anhui 
Province investigated 26 cases of torture in 1994, while Shanghai's 
procuratorate reported 9 cases.  Shenzhen authorities reportedly 
investigated 17 policemen for conducting "forced interrogations" in 
1994.  In April procuratorate officials emphasized the need to crack 
down on cases of favoritism, dereliction of duty, major accidents, 
extortion of confessions by torture, and illegal detention. 
 
Chinese officials reported in 1994 that the Procuratorate had assigned a 
total of 748 officials to China's jails, "reform through labor," and 
"reeducation through labor" facilities.  Their responsibility was to 
supervise prison management and enforce laws on treatment of prisoners.  
Procuratorial offices or officers were assigned in 1994 to approximately 
94 percent of prisons and labor camps.  In 1994 another 7,000 officials 
were responsible for supervising China's detention centers. 
 
In December 1994, China enacted a new prison law designed, in part, to 
improve treatment of detainees and respect for their legal rights.  
Conditions in penal institutions are generally harsh and frequently 
degrading, and nutritional and health conditions are sometimes grim.  
Adequate medical care for prisoners continues to be a problem, despite 
official assurances that prisoners have the right to prompt medical 
treatment if they become ill.  In 1995 political prisoners who 
reportedly had difficulties in obtaining timely and adequate medical 
treatment included Bao Tong, Ren Wanding, Gao Yu, Zhang Xianliang, and 
Fu Shenqi.  In July authorities released Yang Zhou, who had developed a 
tumor in his throat, on medical parole; he received permission to go to 
the United States in September for medical treatment.  Chen Ziming, who 
had been released on medical parole in 1994, had his medical parole 
abruptly revoked in June, and he was returned to prison despite having 
been diagnosed as suffering from cancer.  Gyaltsen Kelsang, a Tibetan 
nun, died in February after her release on medical parole in December 
1994.  According to international human rights groups, she had been 
mistreated in prison and had been diagnosed with severe kidney problems. 
 
The Chinese press reported in February that the Government has 
established 157 psychological treatment centers and 54 consultation 
clinics in the nation's 685 prisons.  The same report claimed that more 
than 17,000 prisoners were treated at those facilities over the past 10 
years.  There was no information in 1995 indicating whether detained 
dissidents are incarcerated in psychiatric institutions and treated with 
drugs.  Neither conditions at such institutions nor treatment of 
prisoners at these centers could be verified because of lack of access 
by independent observers. 
 
Conditions of imprisonment for political prisoners vary widely.  
Political prisoners are often incarcerated with common criminals.  In 
January fellow inmates at a Wuhan prison beat Tong Yi, former secretary 
of Wei Jingsheng, on at least two occasions.  Ren Wanding, Zhang Lin, 
and Qin Yongmin have reportedly also been severely beaten by other 
inmates. 
 
China does not permit independent monitoring of prisons.  The 
Procuratorate, charged with law enforcement in the corrections system, 
in 1994 reported 39,342 violations of law in prisons, 17,823 of which 
were corrected.  In March the Government indefinitely postponed 
negotiations with the ICRC regarding access to prisoners. 
 
     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
Under the Criminal Procedure Law, officials may hold detainees for up to 
10 days before the Procuratorate must approve a formal arrest warrant.  
In theory, the Administrative Procedure Law permits a detainee to 
challenge the legality of his or her detention.  In practice, however, 
lack of access to legal counsel inhibits the effective use of this law 
to obtain prompt judicial decisions on the issue. The State Compensation 
Law that came into force on January 1 provides a legal basis for 
citizens to recover damages for illegal detentions.  There is no 
judicially supervised system of bail, but at the discretion of public 
security officials some detainees can be released pending further 
investigation.  The authorities must notify the detainee's family or 
work unit of his detention within 24 hours; in practice, however, 
authorities seldom give timely notification.  Under a sweeping exception 
to the law, officials need not provide notification if it would "hinder 
the investigation" of a case. 
 
In 1994 the Government issued revised public order regulations setting 
out penalties for social groups that failed to register with the proper 
authorities or for persons on parole or deprived of political rights who 
"violate regulations," as well as for several other offenses.  With some 
exceptions, violators can be detained for up to 15 days and fined about 
$23 (RMB200). 
 
Because the Government tightly controls information, it is impossible to 
estimate accurately the total number of people subjected to new or 
continued arbitrary arrest or detention.  Nevertheless, Procurator 
General Zhang Siqing reported in March to the NPC that during 1994 the 
Supreme Procuratorate investigated 4,441 illegal detention cases 
involving 316 judicial officers.  These figures likely include illegal 
detentions of those involved in commercial disputes as well as those 
detained for political reasons. 
 
In practice, authorities often disregarded or circumvented limits on 
detention by using regulations on "taking in for shelter and 
investigation," "supervised residence," and other methods not requiring 
procuratorial approval.  Dissident Wei Jingsheng was held incommunicado, 
without charge in "supervised residence" from April 1994 until the 
Government filed formal subversion charges in November 1995.  Wei was 
tried, convicted, and sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment in December.  
Several other political activists, including Wang Dan, Liu Nianchun, Liu 
Xiaobo, Huan Xiang, Wang Donghai, and others were detained in May and 
continued to be held without charge at year's end. 
 
The authorities also used parole regulations to control activists' 
activities.  In April Guangdong dissident Wang Xizhe's parole, scheduled 
to end on April 20, was extended through 1999.  Under the terms of his 
parole, Wang must report to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) monthly and 
request PSB permission before leaving Guangzhou.  In order to air his 
grievances, Wang traveled in May to Beijing, where authorities arrested 
and beat him.  In June he was transferred to Guangzhou and released.  In 
September a Guangzhou court denied his appeal of the parole extension. 
 
Local officials and business leaders frequently conspire to use 
detentions as a means of exerting pressure in commercial disputes.  In 
September a Chinese U.S. legal permanent resident, Cui Peiyan, was 
abducted from his home in Fuzhou, Fujian province, by off-duty public 
security officers acting at the direction of the Hunan Provincial Animal 
Byproducts Corporation (HTSC), with which he had a commercial dispute.  
Until his escape 6 weeks later, he was held in a shed and beaten 
regularly.  His wife reported that she was repeatedly called by HTSC 
employees demanding money.  In April the Chief Procurator of Zhejiang, a 
coastal province with significant foreign trade and investment, reported 
146 cases in 1994 of illegal hostage-taking in trade disputes.  In March 
U.S. citizen Troy McBride and a partner were detained for several weeks 
at a hotel in Hefei, Anhui Province, in connection with a business 
dispute after a local court seized the American's passport.  There were 
numerous similar cases involving detained foreign businessmen whose 
passports were confiscated.  Australian businessman James Peng, whom 
Chinese public security officials kidnapped in Macau in 1994 and brought 
to China for trial, was tried publicly in November 1994, but not 
sentenced until September.  He received a lengthy prison sentence; his 
appeal was denied, and he remains detained in China.   
 
Security personnel sometimes "invited" activists to take vacations at 
government expense outside of Beijing and other cities at sensitive 
times.  The alternative to accepting such invitations was detention.  A 
number of activists left Beijing on government-sponsored "vacations" 
during the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women.  Tong Zeng, who 
planned to lobby conference participants for Japanese compensation for 
atrocities committed during World War II, was reportedly forced to leave 
Beijing for 21 days in the company of 20 public security officers.  He 
spent the duration of the conference in Guangxi, a province in southern 
China.  Liu Nianchun reportedly received an invitation to take a 
government-paid holiday with his family to Hainan Island during the 
period of the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations.  It is 
possible that his refusal to leave Beijing was related to his May 21 
detention. 
 
Other activists who might otherwise have been in contact with foreigners 
during the conference were detained under questionable official charges.  
Ding Zilin and Jiang Peikun, whose son died during the 1989 Tiananmen 
demonstrations, were held in the eastern city of Wuxi in connection with 
an "economic" dispute.  Authorities sentenced Liu Gang to 15 days 
confinement reportedly for breaching post-release conditions.  Wang 
Zhihong, wife of Chen Ziming, was summoned in August to move to the 
Beijing prison where her husband is held, and detained with him during 
the conference. 
 
Although there are no reports of the Government forcibly exiling 
citizens, authorities imposed restrictions on reentry into China by 
dissidents and activists (see Section 2.d.). 
 
    e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
According to the Constitution, the court system is equal in authority to 
the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the two most 
important government institutions.  All three organs are nominally under 
the supervision of the NPC.  Officials insist that China's judiciary is 
independent but acknowledge that it is subject to the Communist Party's 
policy guidance.  In practice, party and government leaders use a 
variety of means to pressure the courts on verdicts and sentences.  
Corruption and conflicts of interest also affect judicial 
decisionmaking.  Supreme Court President Ren Jianxin reported in March 
to the NPC that in 1994 the judiciary disciplined some 1,094 court staff 
for illegal exercise of duty, and 34 judges received criminal penalties.  
The Supreme People's Court stands at the apex of the court system, 
followed in descending order by the higher, intermediate, and basic 
people's courts.  Judges are appointed by the people's congresses at the 
corresponding level.  There are special courts for handling military, 
maritime, and railway transport cases. 
 
In February the NPC passed three new laws designed to professionalize 
judges, prosecutors, and policemen.  Leading judicial officials exhorted 
the courts and law enforcement agencies to implement the new laws, which 
came into effect on July 1. 
 
In practice, officials often ignore due process provisions of the 
Constitution.  Both before and after trial, prisoners are subjected to 
severe psychological pressure to confess.  Defendants who fail to "show 
the right attitude" by confessing their crimes are typically sentenced 
more harshly.  There is no presumption of innocence in the criminal 
justice system.  Criminal trials remain essentially sentencing hearings, 
despite official denials.  Confessions without corroborating evidence 
are insufficient for a conviction under law, but coerced confessions are 
frequently introduced into evidence. 
 
The case of U.S. citizen Harry Wu exemplified problems with the lack of 
procedural and substantive due process of law and also the problem of 
forced confessions.  On June 19, Chinese authorities detained Wu when he 
applied for entry at a border post in Xinjiang Province on a U.S. 
passport with a valid Chinese visa.  Official government statements 
characterized Wu as a "criminal" weeks before his court trial.  On July 
27, the Government released a videotape which the official press 
characterized as a "confession" of Wu's alleged crimes; Wu's 
interrogators filmed his statements without his knowledge.  Chinese 
Ambassador Sha Zukang told the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva on 
August 4 that Wu was a criminal who stole national secrets.  On August 
24, Wu was tried and convicted to 14 years in prison at a trial attended 
by a U.S. diplomat that otherwise was closed to the public.  Wu was 
expelled from China the same day; he returned to the United States. 
 
The authorities give accused persons virtually no opportunity to prepare 
an adequate defense while their cases are being investigated, the phase 
during which the question of guilt or innocence is essentially decided.  
The law provides that defense lawyers may be retained no earlier than 7 
days before trial.  However, in some cases even this brief period is 
shortened under regulations issued in 1983 to accelerate the 
adjudication of certain serious criminal cases.  Under the law, there is 
no requirement that the court appoint a defense attorney for the 
defendant unless the defendant is hearing impaired or a minor, although 
the court may appoint defense counsel if it feels an attorney is 
necessary.  When attorneys do appear, they have little time to prepare a 
defense and rarely contest guilt; their function is generally confined 
to requesting clemency.  The conviction rate is over 90 percent.  The 
court's permission is required before the accused or his representative 
can interrogate witnesses, produce new witnesses, or review evidence. 
 
Political dissidents have not always been able to choose their own 
attorneys.  In the case of Harry Wu, the authorities permitted Wu to 
choose only from a list of government-approved names.  In the case of 
Shanghai dissident Yang Zhou, the authorities permitted Yang's wife to 
represent him in court, but later retaliated by revoking her license to 
practice law.   
 
Chinese legal scholars and lawyers acknowledge that the legal system has 
some serious shortcomings and assert that reforms are under way.  For 
example, an experimental trial system tested in 1994 has now been 
approved for use in Shanghai and other jurisdictions for most civil 
cases.  The new system, which applies only to civil cases, introduces an 
adversarial element into trials by giving attorneys more responsibility 
for presenting evidence and arguing facts. 
 
Government officials state that China has an insufficient number of 
lawyers to meet the country's growing needs.  A key element in Justice 
Ministry efforts to encourage legal reform is a plan to have 150,000 
lawyers, 30,000 notaries, and 200,000 grassroots legal service workers 
by the year 2000.  Vice Minister of Justice Liu Yang stated in May that 
China currently has 80,000 lawyers, 16,000 notaries, and 100,000 
grassroots legal service workers.  According to the All China Lawyers 
Association, China has 7,000 law firms.  In many cities, lawyers are 
organizing private law firms outside the framework of established 
government legal offices.  These firms are self-regulating and do not 
have their personnel or budgets determined directly by the state.  A 
foreign press report quoted Justice Ministry officials as stating that 
there were approximately 1,000 such firms in early 1995.  Only a small 
percentage of lawyers practice criminal law.  Like other Chinese, many 
defense lawyers still depend on an official work unit for employment, 
housing, and other benefits.  They are reportedly often reluctant to be 
viewed as overzealous in representing defendants in politically 
sensitive cases.  In some such cases, relatives of defendants reported 
finding it difficult to hire defense lawyers. 
 
The Criminal Procedure Law requires that all trials be held in public, 
except those involving state secrets, juveniles, or "personal secrets."  
Details of cases involving "counterrevolutionary" charges, however, have 
frequently been kept secret, even from defendants' relatives, under this 
provision. The 1988 Law on State Secrets affords a ready basis for 
denying a public trial.  There is an appeals process, but initial 
decisions are rarely overturned, and appeals generally do not provide 
meaningful protection against arbitrary or erroneous verdicts.  Under 
the Criminal Procedure Law, persons "exempted from prosecution" by 
procurators may still be deemed to have a criminal record, despite the 
lack of a judicial determination of guilt.  Such provisions can be 
applied in counterrevolutionary crimes as well as for ordinary criminal 
offenses. 
 
Lack of due process has egregious consequences when defendants receive 
the death sentence.  China's 1979 Criminal Code contained 26 crimes 
punishable by death; 1995 legislation raised this number to 65.  In June 
the NPC approved legislation permitting the death penalty for such 
financial crimes as counterfeiting currency, passing fake negotiable 
notes and letters of credit, and illegal "pooling" of funds.  In the 
late 1980's, research of the Chinese press put the total number of 
executions between 125 and 150 persons.  In 1995 approximately 1,100 
death sentences were reported in the Chinese media.  The actual number 
of executions was probably significantly higher.  A high court nominally 
reviews all death sentences, but the time between arrest and execution 
is often a matter of days, and reviews have consistently resulted in a 
confirmation of sentence.  In October a bank robber in Shenyang was put 
to death 5 days after being captured; three peasants who committed armed 
robbery on September 27 were put to death in "late September;" and a 
failed stock market investor who went on a shooting spree in Shenyang on 
October 24 was executed on October 29.  In a rare public admission of 
error, a Liaoning court in August exonerated Li Xiuwu of stealing and 
murder and executed the "real" killer.  Li had been put to death in 
August 1988.  No executions for political offenses are known to have 
occurred in 1995. 
 
In recent years, credible reports have alleged that organs from some 
executed prisoners are removed and transplanted.  During 1995 officials 
confirmed that executed prisoners are among the primary sources of 
organs for transplant in China.  Officials assert consent is required 
from prisoners or their relatives before organs are removed, but this 
assertion could not be verified.  Officials acknowledge that China lacks 
national legislation governing organ donations. 
 
Justice Ministry statistics issued in January showed that China has 
imprisoned and released approximately 10 million prisoners since 1949; 
there were 1,285,000 prisoners in prisons or reform through labor camps 
at the end of 1994.  Only courts can sentence prisoners to these 
facilities.  However, government authorities can assign persons accused 
of "minor" public order offenses to reeducation through labor camps in 
an extrajudicial process.  Terms of detention run from a normal minimum 
of 1 year to a maximum of 3 years.  The Labor Reeducation Committee, 
which determines the term of detention, may extend an inmate's sentence 
for an additional year.  According to prison officials, 200,000 
detainees were in reeducation through labor facilities at the end of 
1995, up from 153,000 at the end of 1993.  Other estimates of the number 
of such inmates are considerably higher.  Officials said that in 1993 
the Government released 75,900 persons from reeducation through labor 
facilities.  Under a State Council Regulation issued in early 1991, 
those sentenced to reeducation through labor may ask the committee to 
reconsider its decision. 
 
Since 1990 defendants have been able to challenge reeducation through 
labor sentences under the Administrative Procedure Law.  While some 
persons have gained a reduction in or withdrawal of their sentences 
after reconsideration or appeal, in practice these procedures are not 
widely used, and short appeal times, lack of access to lawyers, and 
other problems weaken their effectiveness in preventing or reversing 
arbitrary decisions.  Before departing the country in September, Yang 
Zhou unsuccessfully appealed the reeducation through labor sentence that 
he received in September 1994.  Irregular appellate procedures in his 
case included inadequate notice of the hearing, and a shift of venue 
from Shanghai to a labor camp hundreds of miles away. 
 
The number of political prisoners has declined in recent years, but 
hundreds--perhaps thousands--of such people remain imprisoned or 
detained.  Government officials deny that China holds any political 
prisoners, asserting that authorities detain persons not for the 
political or religious views they hold, but because they have taken some 
action which violates the Criminal Law.   
 
Political dissidents, however, are often detained or charged with having 
committed counterrevolutionary crimes under Articles 90 through 104 of 
the Criminal Law.  Counterrevolutionary offenses range from treason and 
espionage to spreading counterrevolutionary propaganda.  The authorities 
have also used these articles to punish persons who organized 
demonstrations, disrupted traffic, disclosed official information to 
foreigners, or formed associations outside of state control.  In other 
cases, the system of reeducation through labor is used to punish 
political offenders without taking their cases to the courts. 
 
In January 1995, a Justice Ministry official said that there were 2,678 
people serving sentences for counterrevolutionary crimes at the end of 
1994.  These figures include people convicted of espionage or other 
internationally recognized criminal offenses, but do not include 
political prisoners detained but not charged; political or religious 
activists held in reeducation through labor camps; and persons detained 
or convicted for criminal offenses solely involving nonviolent political 
or religious activities. 
 
The 1988 Law on State Secrets affords a ready basis for denying a public 
trial.  Details regarding such cases under this provision are frequently 
kept secret, even from defendants' relatives.  In January the 
authorities acknowledged for the first time that Democracy Wall activist 
Zhao Fengping has remained in prison since 1980, despite previous claims 
that all activists from that era had been released.  Human rights 
monitors expressed concern that other less well-known activists from 
this period may also be serving prison sentences. 
 
The Government released during 1995 certain prisoners detained for 
political or religious reasons, including Yang Zhou.  Nevertheless, many 
others, including Wei Jingsheng, Ren Wanding, Bao Tong, Zhang Lin, Bao 
Ge, Li Guotao, Yang Qingheng, and Dai Xuezhong, remained imprisoned or 
under other forms of detention.  Some of those released in 1995 or 
earlier, such as Chen Ziming and Wang Dan, were harassed by authorities 
after their release and then rearrested in connection with pro-democracy 
petitions submitted in March and May (see Section 1.d.). 
 
The Government subjects many prisoners--including political prisoners--
to "deprivation of political rights" even after they have served their 
sentences.  This status further limits rights of free speech and 
association.  Former prisoners often find their status in society, 
ability to find employment, freedom to travel, and access to social 
services severely restricted.  Economic reform and social change have 
ameliorated these problems to some extent in recent years.  The families 
of political prisoners are sometimes subjected to police surveillance 
and harassment and also may encounter difficulty in obtaining or keeping 
employment and housing.  For example, government harassment has 
prevented relatives of Chen Ziming from obtaining and keeping steady 
employment.  In September the authorities froze the joint bank account 
of Chen Ziming and his wife, Wang Zhihong. 
 
     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
Economic liberalization is creating diverse employment opportunities and 
introducing market forces into the economy, thus loosening governmental 
monitoring and regulation of personal and family life, particularly in 
rural areas.  In urban areas, however, most people still depend on their 
government-linked work unit for housing, permission to have a child, 
approval to apply for a passport, and other aspects of ordinary life.  
The work unit, along with the neighborhood committee, is charged with 
monitoring activities and attitudes.   
 
Although the law requires search warrants before security forces can 
search premises, this provision is often ignored in practice.  In 
addition, both the Public Security Bureau and Procuratorate apparently 
can issue search warrants on their own authority.  The 1982 Constitution 
states that "freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens are 
protected by law."  In practice, however, authorities frequently record 
telephone conversations of foreign visitors, businessmen, diplomats, 
residents, and journalists as well as Chinese dissidents and activists 
and others.  Authorities also open and censor domestic and international 
mail.  In March Procurator General Zhang Siqing reported to the National 
People's Congress that in 1994 the Supreme People's Procuratorate 
investigated 1,772 cases of illegal search or intrusion, and 104 cases 
of violations of the right of correspondence.  Government security 
organs monitor and sometimes restrict contact between foreigners and 
citizens, particularly dissidents.  Rules implementing the State 
Security Law define as a violation of the law "activities of individuals 
outside the country (including non-Chinese citizens resident in China) 
who disregard dissuasion and meet with personnel in the country who have 
endangered state security or who are seriously suspected of endangering 
state security." 
 
The Government permitted increased international correspondence and 
information access when commercial Internet accounts became available in 
May.  According to press reports, between March and July alone the 
number of computers associated with the Internet increased from 400 to 
6,000, and the number of users rose from 3,000 to 40,000.  However, in 
the beginning of 1996 a moratorium on new Internet accounts and new 
regulations governing the content of Internet information threatened 
this rapid growth.  Generally, the regulations appear to be designed to 
impose the same restrictions on the Internet as now limit public 
discourse in China:  computer experts have reported that the authorities 
appear to be primarily seeking ways to limit explicit antigovernment 
political activity on the Internet.  Chinese Internet technicians have 
prevented access to information from dissident groups abroad.  At 
present, however, authorities appear to lack the technical expertise and 
resources to censor effectively information on the Internet.  For 
example, politically controversial homepages remain accessible.  New 
controls on dissemination of economic information also introduced doubts 
about the Government's commitment to expanding public access to 
information.  The authorities continued to jam selectively Chinese 
language broadcasts of the Voice of America (VOA).  The effectiveness of 
the jamming varies considerably by region, with audible signals of VOA 
and other broadcasters reaching most parts of China, including the 
capital. 
 
The Government continued to implement comprehensive and highly intrusive 
one-child family planning policies first adopted in the late 1970's.  An 
official announcement in February that the population had reached 1.2 
billion, roughly double the population of 40 years ago, suggested that 
Chinese efforts to control population growth have had mixed results.  
China's population policy most heavily affects ethnic Han Chinese in 
urban areas.  Urban couples seldom obtain permission to have a second 
child.  Exceptions are allowed for the 70 percent of Han who live in 
rural areas, and ethnic minorities are subject to less stringent 
population controls. 
 
Population control policy relies on education, propaganda, and economic 
incentives, as well as on more coercive measures including psychological 
pressure and economic penalties.  Rewards for couples that adhere to the 
policy include monthly stipends and preferential medical and educational 
benefits.  Disciplinary measures against those who violate the policy 
include fines, withholding of social services, demotion, and other 
administrative punishments, including, in some instances, loss of 
employment.  Fines for giving birth without authorization vary but they 
can be a formidable disincentive.  In Guangzhou, for example, the 
standard fine is calculated to be 30 to 50 percent of 7 years' income 
for the average resident.  Unpaid fines have sometimes resulted in 
confiscation or destruction of personal property.  Because penalties for 
excess births can be levied against local officials and the mothers' 
work units, many individuals are affected, providing multiple sources of 
pressure. 
 
According to a government white paper released in August, more than 200 
million married couples of childbearing age, or about 80 per cent of all 
couples in that age group, use contraception.  The Government does not 
authorize physical compulsion to submit to abortion or sterilization, 
but Chinese officials acknowledge that there are instances of forced 
abortions and sterilizations.  Officials maintain that, when discovered, 
the responsible officials are disciplined and undergo retraining, but 
they provided no data or examples to verify this assertion.  Officials 
admit, however, that more severe punishment is rare.  Individuals can 
sue officials who have exceeded their authority in implementing family 
planning policy, but government officials have not provided statistics 
on or examples of successful suits on these grounds. 
 
Regulations forbid sex-selective abortion, but because of the 
traditional preference for male children, particularly in rural areas, 
some families have used ultrasound to identify female fetuses.  Use of 
ultrasound for this purpose is specifically prohibited by the new 
Maternal and Child Health Care Law, which calls for punishment of 
medical practitioners violating this provision.  In September a court 
reportedly sentenced a retired Shanghai doctor to 4 years in prison for 
identifying the sex of fetuses.  The press has reported that the 
national ratio of male to female births is 114 to 100, while the 
statistical norm is 106 male births to 100 female.  This ratio may 
exclude many female births, especially the second or third in a family, 
which are unreported so that the parents can keep trying to conceive a 
boy, but also probably reflects the abuse of sonography and sex-
selective abortion.  Female infanticide or neglect of baby girls may 
also be a factor in some areas. 
 
At least five provincial governments have implemented regulations 
seeking to prevent people with severe mental handicaps from having 
children.  In June the National Maternal and Child Care Law came into 
effect.  This law calls for premarital and prenatal examinations to 
determine whether couples have acute infectious diseases, certain mental 
illnesses (not including mental retardation), or are at risk for passing 
on debilitating genetic diseases.  The Ministry of Health, not the State 
Family Planning Commission, is charged with implementing the new law, 
which mandates abortion or sterilization in some cases, based on medical 
advice.  The new measure also provides for obtaining a second opinion 
and states that patients or their guardians must give written consent to 
procedures (see also Section 5). 
 
 
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
Although the Constitution states that freedom of speech and freedom of 
the press are fundamental rights enjoyed by all citizens, the Government 
interprets the Communist Party's "leading role" as circumscribing these 
rights.  It does not permit citizens to publish or broadcast criticism 
of senior leaders or opinions that contradict basic Communist Party 
doctrine, which provides for a Socialist state under the party's 
leadership.  For example, the formal charges brought in 1995 against 
dissident and pro-democracy activist Wei Jingsheng were based on Wei's 
public criticism of the Government after his September 1993 release from 
prison.  These criticisms, together with critical articles published 
outside of China, led to Wei's conviction in December for "subverting 
the Government" (see Section 1.d.). 
 
The Government and the party intensified control over the expression of 
unauthorized political views in 1995.  In August police broke up a press 
conference held in a private hotel by former Chinese "comfort women" 
seeking compensation from the Japanese Government for World War II 
atrocities.  Also in August public security personnel arrested 6 foreign 
Greenpeace demonstrators, detained them for 1 day, and expelled them 
from China for unfurling an antinuclear banner in Tiananmen Square; 10 
foreign journalists present were also detained.  Authorities also 
limited the amount and type of written information brought into China by 
participants in the NGO Forum associated with the U.N. Fourth World 
Conference on Women that was held in Beijing September 5-15.  In 
addition, Government intimidation and harassment of Conference and NGO 
Forum participants effectively limited the exercise of free expression 
during official proceedings (see Section 5).  In September security 
personnel detained and questioned a U.S. citizen for 2 hours after she 
protested in Tiananmen Square against government abortion policies. 
 
The party and the Government continue to control print and broadcast 
media and compel them to propagate the current ideological line.  Both 
formal and informal press guidelines continued to require reporters to 
avoid coverage of sensitive subjects and to protect "state secrets."  
Under the State Security Law, "state secrets" are broadly defined, and 
interpretation is left to the Ministries of State Security and Public 
Security.  In December the authorities refused to renew the visa of 
Beijing-based German journalist Henrik Bork, forcing him to leave China 
involuntarily.  Chinese officials accused Bork of "negatively 
influencing German public opinion about China" in an article about Li 
Peng shortly before the Premier's 1994 visit to Germany. 
 
Despite official admonitions, China's lively tabloid sector continued to 
expand in 1995.  Radio talk shows remained popular, and, while generally 
avoiding politically sensitive subjects, they provided opportunities for 
citizens to air grievances about public issues.  Despite licensing 
requirements, a small but rapidly growing segment of the population has 
access to satellite television broadcasts.  The Government introduced 
commercial Internet service in many cities during the year but imposed 
restrictions on Internet access at year's end (see Section 1.f.). 
 
Fierce competition and dwindling government subsidies have increased 
opportunities for private publishers and booksellers, but the Government 
tried in 1995 to tighten its control over the production and 
dissemination of publications.  In June the China Press and Publications 
Administration announced it would limit the number of books published by 
controlling book registration numbers issued to officially approved 
publishing houses.  Despite this effort, books continued to be published 
through unsanctioned channels. 
 
Fear of government retaliation limited artistic freedom of expression.  
In January a Beijing publisher reportedly backed out of a contract to 
print a collection of poems by former political prisoner Huang Xiang 
after learning about the poet's background.  In September a government 
"request" prompted director Zhang Yimou to cancel plans to attend the 
New York Film Festival showing of his film "Shanghai Triad."  In a 
series of incidents between June and October, security personnel 
harassed and sometimes arrested artists living near Beijing University 
at Yuanmingyuan.  The crackdown appeared to be the result of official 
irritation over the artists' antigovernment political views. 
 
The Government has continued to impose heavy ideological controls on 
political discourse at colleges, universities, and research institutes.  
As a result, many intellectuals and scholars, fearing that books or 
papers on political topics would be deemed too sensitive to be 
published, feel compelled to exercise self-censorship.  In areas such as 
economic policy or legal reform, there was far greater official 
tolerance for comment and debate. 
 
     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
While the Constitution has provisions for freedom of peaceful assembly 
and association, the Government severely restricts these rights in 
practice.  The Constitution provides, for example, that such activities 
may not infringe upon the "interests of the State."  Protests against 
the political system or its leaders are prohibited. 
 
The Government tolerates some small-scale demonstrations about 
nonpolitical grievances, but authorities deny permits and quickly move 
to suppress demonstrations involving expression of dissident political 
views.  In May the authorities detained or imprisoned dozens of 
activists, including Chen Ziming, Wang Dan, and Liu Xiaobo, after they 
issued pro-democracy petitions.  By the end of the month, 24 people were 
in detention, and another 20 had been questioned and released.  However, 
unauthorized protests on nonpolitical subjects are not automatically 
disrupted.  In March police allowed people protesting evictions from 
their homes to hold demonstrations for several days on a major Shanghai 
road.  Local officials reportedly later met with protesters and acted on 
some of their grievances. 
 
The Communist Party organizes and controls most professional and other 
mass associations.  Regulations promulgated in 1990 require all 
organizations to be officially registered and approved.  Ostensibly 
aimed at secret societies and criminal gangs, the regulations also deter 
the formation of unauthorized political or labor organizations.  Not 
only have Shanghai authorities refused to allow several persons to 
register a proposed "Human Rights Association," but they have detained 
members of the group.  Yang Zhou, a leader of the group, departed China 
in September (see Section 1.c.).  Liu Nianchun, who was denied 
permission in 1994 to register the Association for Protection of Labor 
Rights, was among those arrested after issuance of pro-democracy 
petitions (see Section 1.d.). 
 
     c.  Freedom of Religion 
 
The Government subjects religious freedom to restrictions of varying 
severity; nonetheless, the number of religious adherents continues to 
grow.  While the Constitution affirms toleration of religious beliefs, 
government regulations restrict religious practice to government-
controlled religious organizations and registered places of worship.  
The Government supervised the publication of about 1 million Bibles for 
distribution in 1994, but complaints that the amount of Christian 
religious materials fell far short of demand increased pressure on the 
Government to raise the number to 1.5 million in 1995.  The State 
Council's Religious Affairs Bureau and the United Front Work Department, 
which are staffed by officials who rarely are religious adherents, 
provide "guidance and supervision" over implementation of government 
regulations on religion and the role of foreigners in religious 
activity.  The Catholic seminary in Chengdu, closed since an April 1994 
protest against party interference in school operations, has yet to 
reopen due to lack of funding and government support for efforts to 
relocate it to the outskirts of the city.  Communist Party officials 
state that party membership and religious belief are incompatible.  This 
places a serious limitation on religious believers, since party 
membership is required for almost all high positions in government and 
state-owned businesses.  According to a 1995 government survey, 20 
percent of Communist Party members engage in religious activities.  In 
January the CCP circulated a document to party organizations at the 
provincial level ordering expulsion of party members belonging to open 
or clandestine religious organizations. 
 
The Government's treatment of religious believers and organizations 
often varies widely depending on the locality.  Unregistered or "house" 
church leaders and members are harassed in some regions but tolerated in 
others.  Nonmainstream sects are often singled out.  In February a 
Shanghai splinter group of the Henan-based Christian evangelical sect 
known as the "Shouters" was broken up and its members harassed.  Twenty 
leaders of the "Anointed One" sect reportedly were detained.  The 
Shouters sect has been deemed counterrevolutionary by the Government and 
its members detained, fined, and imprisoned since its establishment more 
than 15 years ago.  In February and March, police raided and broke up a 
house church meeting in Huadu City in Guangzhou municipality.  In the 
March raid, Huadu police reportedly beat worshipers.  In March Henan 
police harassed and detained Protestant house church worshipers in 
Zhoukou City.  In April and May, police arrested some 140 Christian 
evangelists based in Fangcheng County, Henan, who had been sent by their 
unofficial churches to various parts of the country to proselytize.  
According to reports, in mid-June Public Security Bureau officials in 
Yingshang county, Anhui, raided numerous Protestant house churches and 
arrested approximately 300 Christians for "illegal religious 
activities."  Reportedly, electric batons were used during the raids.   
 
After forcefully suppressing all religious observances and closing all 
seminaries during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, the Government began 
in the late 1970's to restore or replace damaged or confiscated 
churches, temples, mosques, and monasteries and allowed seminaries to 
reopen.  According to the Government, there are now 68,000 religious 
sites in China and 48 religious colleges.  The Government also adopted a 
policy of returning confiscated church property.  Implementation of this 
policy has varied from locality to locality.  The official religious 
organizations administer more than a dozen Catholic and Protestant 
seminaries, nine institutes to train imams and Islamic scholars, and 
institutes to train Buddhist monks.  Students who attend these 
institutes must demonstrate "political reliability," and all graduates 
must pass an examination on their theological and political knowledge to 
qualify for the clergy.  The Government permitted some Catholic 
seminarians, Muslim clerics, and Buddhist clergy to go abroad for 
additional religious studies in 1995. 
 
The authorities permit officially sanctioned religious organizations to 
maintain international contacts as long as these do not entail foreign 
control.  In January 1994, China promulgated regulations on religious 
practices by foreigners and on places of religious activities.  The 
regulations codified many existing rules, including a ban on 
proselytizing by foreigners, but allow foreign nationals to preach to 
foreigners, bring in religious materials for their own use, and preach 
to Chinese at churches, mosques, and temples at the invitation of 
registered religious organizations.  In practice, authorities tolerate 
some discreet proselytizing and distribution of religious texts by 
foreigners outside official channels. 
 
Before the Fourth World Conference on Women, government organizers 
instructed foreign participants not to bring in religious materials 
other than those for personal use.  Leaders of Protestant house churches 
were warned to avoid contact with conference delegates arriving from 
foreign countries.  One Catholic leader, Bishop Jia Zhiguo, was detained 
until the day after the conference. 
 
Buddhists are the largest body of religious believers in China.  The 
Government estimates that there are 100 million Chinese Buddhists, most 
of whom are from the dominant Han ethnic group.  The Government says 
that there are 9,500 Buddhist temples and monasteries in China and 
170,000 nuns and monks.  In May Beijing hosted a three-nation conference 
which addressed cooperation between Chinese government-sanctioned 
Buddhist leaders and South Korean and Japanese Buddhist representatives.  
(A discussion of government restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism can be 
found in the addendum to this report.) 
 
According to government figures, there are 17 million Muslims in China.  
In some areas with large Muslim populations, officials continue to 
restrict the building of mosques and the religious education of youths 
under the age of 18.  Following unrest in 1990 in Xinjiang, which has a 
large Muslim population, the authorities issued regulations further 
restricting religious activities and teaching.  Authorities in Ningxia 
Hui Autonomous Region, another province with a large Muslim population, 
issued regulations in July 1994 forbidding religious bodies from 
interfering in administrative affairs, including education, marriage, 
and family planning.  China permits Muslim citizens to make the hajj to 
Mecca, and the number of those making the pilgrimage has significantly 
increased in recent years.  About 6,000 Chinese made the hajj in 1994 at 
their own expense. 
 
The number of Christians continues to grow rapidly.  However, only those 
Christian churches affiliated with either the Catholic Patriotic 
Association or the (Protestant) Three Self Patriotic Movement may 
operate openly.  The Government established both organizations in the 
1950's to eliminate perceived foreign domination of local Christian 
groups. 
 
Active unofficial religious movements pose an alternative to the state-
regulated churches, although in some areas there is tacit cooperation 
between official and unofficial churches.  The unofficial, Vatican-
affiliated, Catholic Church claims a membership far larger than the 4 
million registered with the official Catholic Church, although actual 
figures are unknown.  Reliable estimates indicate that there are about 
10 million people who belong to the official Protestant church, while 
perhaps twice that many worship privately in house churches that are 
independent of government control. 
 
There continued to be credible reports in 1995 of efforts by authorities 
in some areas to rein in activities of the unapproved Catholic and 
Protestant movements, including raiding and closing a number of 
unregistered churches.  In January 1994, new regulations tightening an 
existing requirement that all church groups register with the state-
controlled Religious Affairs Bureau went into effect.  These regulations 
have presented religious believers with the choice of registering and 
bringing their congregations under official control or continuing to 
operate underground and risking fines, arrests, and prison sentences.  
It was reported in 1995 that Vincent Qin Guoliang and Li Zhixin, two 
priests affiliated with the unofficial Catholic Church in Qinghai 
Province, were sentenced to 2 years in a labor camp in November 1994.  
In February police reportedly detained nine church workers after raiding 
one unofficial church in Huai'an, Jiangsu Province.  According to press 
reports, a Jiangsu official warned in a church publication that 
Christian meeting places deemed controlled by hostile forces would be 
banned.  Guangzhou preacher Li Dexian was detained four separate times 
and allegedly beaten by police after attempts to give his monthly 
sermons at a house church outside of Guangzhou.  According to press 
reports in December, Beijing authorities sentenced underground Christian 
activists Xu Yonghai, Cao Feng, and Liu Fenggang to up to 2 and 1/2 
years reeducation through labor.  Elsewhere, authorities tolerate the 
existence of unofficial Catholic and Protestant churches as long as they 
remain small and discreet. 
 
     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
The effectiveness of the Government's identification card system used to 
control and restrict the location of individual residences within the 
country continued to erode in 1995.  The "floating population" of 
economic migrants leaving their home areas to seek work elsewhere in 
China is estimated to be over 100 million.  Because this itinerant 
population lacks official status, its access to housing, schooling, and 
the full range of employment opportunities is limited. 
 
Authorities have denied some former inmates permission, under the 
"staying at prison employment" system, to return to their homes, a 
provision applicable to recidivists incarcerated in "reform through 
labor" camps.  Those inmates sentenced to more than 5 years in 
reeducation through labor camps also may lose their legal right to 
return home.  For those assigned to camps far from their residences, 
this constitutes a form of internal exile.  The number of prisoners 
subject to this restriction is unknown.  Authorities have reportedly 
forced others to accept jobs in state enterprises where they can be more 
closely supervised after their release from prison or detention. 
 
Other released detainees returned home but were not permitted freedom of 
movement.  The Government prevented Liu Gang from traveling within China 
and abroad after his release from prison in June when Jilin provincial 
authorities refused to accept his written travel application.  Chen 
Ziming's movements were also restricted during the time he was released 
from prison on medical parole.  Official concern about the June 
anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident prompted public 
security personnel to force Chen, his wife, and their nephew to remain 
at home on May 31 rather than participate in a family outing at a local 
park.  Chen's medical parole was abruptly revoked in June. 
 
The Government routinely permits legal emigration and most foreign 
travel.  Although regulations promulgated in 1990 required college 
graduates to repay the cost of their free post-secondary education by 
working for 5 years before going abroad, students wishing to go abroad 
still routinely were able to obtain passports.  Permission for couples 
to travel abroad was sometimes conditioned on agreement to delay 
childbirth; noncompliance triggered fines for the couple or their work 
unit.  The Government continued to use political attitudes as a major 
criterion in selecting people for government-sponsored study abroad, but 
it did not similarly control privately sponsored students, who currently 
constitute the majority of students studying abroad.  The Government 
continued efforts to attract persons who have studied overseas back to 
China.  Official media have said that before returning home, people who 
have joined foreign organizations hostile to China should quit them and 
refrain from activities that violate Chinese law. 
 
In January Human Rights Watch/Asia and Human Rights in China announced 
the existence of two blacklists of Chinese dissidents banned from 
returning to China because of their political beliefs.  Persons 
reportedly on the list, over 80 percent of whom lived in the United 
States, included Yan Jiaqi, Su Xiaokang, Harry Wu, and many persons 
active in the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations.  Authorities continued to 
refuse to allow labor activist Han Dongfang to return to China, after 
revoking his passport in 1993, on the grounds that he had engaged in 
activities hostile to China while overseas. 
 
The Government continued to accept the repatriation of citizens who had 
entered other countries or territories illegally.  In 1995 in addition 
to the routine return of Chinese illegal immigrants found in Hong Kong, 
the Government continued accepting the return of several groups of 
illegal immigrants from other countries.  Citizens illegally smuggled to 
other countries were often detained upon their return for a short time 
to determine identity and any past criminal record or involvement in 
smuggling activities.  As a deterrent and to recover local costs 
incurred during the repatriation, the authorities in some areas levied a 
fine of $1,000 or more on returnees. 
 
Since the late 1980's, China has adopted a de facto policy of tolerance 
toward the small number of persons--less than 100 annually--from other 
nations who have registered with the Beijing office of the U.N. High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as asylum seekers.  China has 
permitted these persons to stay in China while the UNHCR makes 
determinations as to their status and--if the UNHCR determines that they 
are bona fide refugees--while they await resettlement in third 
countries.  Treatment of asylum seekers who present themselves initially 
to Chinese authorities is unknown.  China has no law or regulations that 
authorize the authorities to grant refugee status, but the authorities 
continue to work with the UNHCR on such measures. 
 
The Government provided local resettlement to almost 300,000 refugees, 
overwhelmingly ethnic Chinese, who left Indochina for China during the 
late 1970's and the 1980's.  The authorities have accepted the return to 
China of would-be illegal emigrants to Hong Kong and Australia from 
among these refugees, provided China can verify their identity and 
willingness to return voluntarily.  China has successfully worked with 
Laos and Cambodia to facilitate the return of resettled refugees who 
have decided to go back to their home countries, but it has been unable 
to obtain Vietnamese agreement to accept 6,000 persons who have sought 
to return to their homes in that country.  Although the Government 
denies having tightened its policy on accepting Vietnamese refugees, in 
recent years very few such refugees have been resettled in China.  China 
has not signed the Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated at the Geneva 
International Conference on Indochinese Refugees in 1989. 
 
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to Change 
Their Government 
 
Citizens lack the means to change their government legally and cannot 
freely choose or change the laws and officials that govern them.  
Citizens vote directly only for party-reviewed candidates for delegate 
positions in county-level people's congresses.  People's congress 
delegates at the provincial level, however, are selected by county-level 
people's congresses, and in turn provincial-level people's congresses 
select delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC).  Although the 
CCP approves the candidates, many county and provincial elections are 
competitive, with more candidates running than there are seats 
available.  According to the 1982 Constitution, the NPC is the highest 
organ of state power.  It elects the President and Vice President, 
selects the Premier, and elects the Chairman of the Government's Central 
Military Commission.  Delegates attending the 1995 session of the NPC 
displayed an unusual degree of assertiveness when one-third voted 
against a candidate for Vice Premier, and slightly more voted against 
important government-proposed legislation.  The NPC does not in 
practice, however, have the power to determine policy or remove 
government or party leaders. 
 
The election and agenda of people's congresses at all levels remain 
under firm control by the Communist Party, the paramount source of 
political authority in China.  The Constitution was amended in 1993 to 
ratify the existence of small "democratic" parties, but these play only 
a minor consultative role, and all pledge allegiance to the Communist 
Party.  The Party retains a tight rein on political decisionmaking. 
 
Direct election for basic level or village government is legally 
sanctioned for all of China's 1 million villages.  Foreign observers 
estimate that more than one-third of China's 900 million rural residents 
have already participated in elections for local leaders.  Although many 
villages have yet to hold truly competitive elections, central 
government officials appeared intent on further popularizing the 
competitive election process.  Successful village elections have 
included campaigning, platforms, and the use of secret ballots.  The 
Ministry of Civil Affairs, which administers the village election 
program, plans to set up an election training center in Beijing that 
will train local and provincial officials how to teach others the basic 
techniques of running democratic elections.  There were credible reports 
that candidates most favored by the authorities were defeated in some 
local, village elections.  In early 1995, a local Communist Party 
secretary in eastern China reportedly attempted to fire an elected 
Village Chief, but the Chief retained his position after suing and 
winning a judgment in local court.  Elections have reportedly reduced 
corruption and brought better management to some villages.  Political 
controls, however, remain tight, and village elections do not threaten 
implementation of unpopular central policies or endanger the "leading 
role" of the Communist Party. 
 
The official requirement that associations register and be approved 
discourages independent interest groups from forming and affecting the 
system.  Social organizations registered in recent years include groups 
promoting environmental protection, consumer rights, charitable work, 
and the rights of the disabled, but the Government monitors their 
activities to ensure that they remain apolitical.  Dozens of activists 
who submitted pro-democracy petitions to government authorities in March 
and May were subsequently detained or arrested (see Section 1.d.). 
 
The Government places no restrictions on the participation of women or 
minority groups in the political process.  The Government and party 
organizations include some 12.4 million women officials.  In August the 
press reported that women constituted 21 percent of National People's 
Congress delegates and 12.3 percent of NPC standing committee members.  
Approximately 13.5 percent of members of the Chinese People's Political 
Consultative Conference were women.  Women, however, hold relatively few 
positions of significant influence within the party or government 
structure.  There are no women, for example, in the 21-member Politburo. 
 
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
There are no independent Chinese organizations that publicly monitor or 
comment on human rights conditions in China.  The Government has made it 
clear that it will not tolerate the existence of such groups.  Shanghai 
officials have refused to register the Chinese Human Rights Association 
founded by Yang Zhou and other dissidents.  Yang left China in September 
(see Section 1.c.).  Other cofounders were detained, but it is not clear 
whether their detentions resulted solely from their involvement in the 
group.  Wang Dan, a Tiananmen-era activist, announced in 1994 his 
intention to investigate China's human rights situation and subsequently 
was detained repeatedly for brief periods.  In 1995 the authorities 
detained him in connection with pro-democracy petitions issued in May 
(see Section 1.d.).  He remained in detention at year's end. 
 
Since 1991 the Government has promoted limited academic study and 
discussion of concepts of human rights.  Research institutes in Shanghai 
and Beijing, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, have 
organized symposia on human rights, established human rights research 
centers, and visited other countries to study human rights practices in 
those nations.  In 1993 the Government formed the China Society for 
Human Rights Studies as a "nongovernmental organization"; its efforts 
have focused largely on improving China's image abroad and responding to 
criticism of China's human rights record.  In March the Society's 
director publicly criticized the 1994 U.S. State Department report on 
human rights practices in China and defended Chinese practices, glossing 
over fundamental human rights abuses that the Government continues to 
perpetrate.  In December the State Council's Information Office issued a 
white paper entitled "The Progress of Human Rights in China" that 
restated Chinese views on human rights issues and defended China's human 
rights record in similar terms. 
 
The Government agreed in September to the platform for action adopted at 
the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women but called into question its 
commitment to the platform and international human rights standards by 
its treatment of Conference and NGO Forum participants (see Section 5).  
The platform recognized the universality of human rights.  Despite this 
public acknowledgment of universal human rights principles, Chinese 
officials accept only in theory the universality of human rights.  They 
argue instead that a nation's political, economic, and social system and 
its unique historical, religious, and cultural background determine its 
concept of human rights. 
 
The Government remains reluctant to accept criticism of China's human 
rights situation by other nations or international organizations and 
often criticized reports by international human rights monitoring 
groups.  To deflect attempts to discuss its human rights record, the 
Government strongly opposed a resolution on China's human rights record 
at the 1995 session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNHRC).  The 
Government introduced a motion to take no action on the resolution; this 
motion was rejected by the Commission.  The resolution itself 
subsequently failed to pass by a single vote.  Nevertheless, officials 
no longer dismiss all discussion of human rights as interference in 
China's internal affairs.  Chinese authorities continued a limited 
dialog with foreign governments on human rights issues in talks with a 
number of visiting delegations from other countries and also during 
visits abroad by Chinese leaders.  China's pique at some governments' 
support for the China resolution at the 1995 UNHRC session, however, 
resulted in the suspension of bilateral human rights dialogs for the 
remainder of 1995.  During the first half of the year, the Government 
provided limited information to a private person who requested 
information about the status of certain persons believed to be 
imprisoned for their political or religious beliefs.  In the second half 
of the year, the Government did not respond to similar requests. 
 
 
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
There are laws designed to protect women, children, the disabled, and 
minorities.  In practice, however, societal discrimination based on 
ethnicity, gender, and disability has persisted.  The concept of a 
largely homogeneous Chinese people pervades the thinking of the Han 
majority. 
 
     Women 
 
Nationwide statistics on the extent of physical violence against women 
are not available, but the establishment of a Beijing women's hot line 
staffed by some 100 volunteers has focused attention on the problem.  In 
April the Chairman of the China Academy of Management Science Institute 
of Women's Studies stated that domestic incidents have become both more 
violent and more frequent in recent years.  In March 1994, the Beijing 
Society for Research on Marriage and the Family published a survey of 
2,100 families showing that one-fifth of all wives had been abused by 
their spouses.  A government study indicated 2 percent of urban 
households and 5 percent of rural ones had serious problems with 
domestic violence.  Physical abuse can be grounds for prosecution. 
 
The abduction of women is a serious and growing problem, especially in 
those areas where local officials have resisted efforts of the central 
authorities to stop it.  The "demand" for marriageable women is created 
by individuals who seek to start families but cannot find local brides.  
Some families address the problem by recruiting women in economically 
less advanced areas, receiving, in effect, mail order brides.  Others 
seek help from criminal gangs, which either kidnap women or trick them 
by promising them jobs and an easier way of life and then transport them 
far from their home areas for delivery to buyers.  Once in their new 
"family" these women are "married" and raped.  Some accept their fate 
and join the new community; others struggle and are punished.  Henan is 
among the country's main "recipient" provinces of abducted women despite 
efforts of the province's Bureau of Public Security to control the 
problem. 
 
The Government continued to condemn and to take steps to prevent and 
punish the abduction and sale of women for marriage or prostitution.  
The press reported in April that a Henan provincial court sentenced a 
28-year-old man to 15 years in prison for buying, abducting, and raping 
a second-year Chinese literature student from an unidentified university 
in northwest China.  In April the Anhui provincial procurator reported 
that 20 criminals were sentenced to death in 1994 for abducting and 
selling women and children.  According to figures announced by the 
Ministry of Public Security in January 1994, there were over 15,000 
cases of abduction and trafficking in women and children in 1993. 
 
One report from Inner Mongolia blamed part of the problem of abduction 
and selling of women on a serious imbalance in sex ratios in one county, 
where there were 115 men for every 100 women.  (The question of 
male/female birth ratios and traditional preferences for boys is 
discussed in Section 1.f.)  Although the authorities have enacted laws 
and conducted educational campaigns to eradicate the traditional 
preference for sons, in many areas this preference remains strong, 
especially in rural China.  A number of provinces have sought to reduce 
the perceived higher value of boys in providing old-age support for 
their parents by establishing or improving pensions and retirement 
homes. 
 
The 1982 Constitution states that "women enjoy equal rights with men in 
all spheres of life," including ownership of property, inheritance 
rights, and access to education.  In 1992 the NPC enacted legislation on 
the protection of the rights and interests of women which was designed 
to assist in curbing gender-based discrimination.  Women have continued, 
however, to report discrimination, sexual harassment, unfair dismissal, 
demotion, and wage cuts. 
 
Women are sometimes the unintended victims of reforms designed to 
streamline enterprises and give workers greater job mobility.  The press 
reported that, according to a 1995 survey by the Women's Research 
Institute of the Chinese Academy of Management Science, women 
constituted 70 percent of persons fired or likely to be fired as a 
result of restructuring of unprofitable state enterprises.  Women under 
age 35 or over age 45 were the most affected, and the least likely to be 
retrained.  In addition, female employees were more likely to be the 
ones chosen to take pay cuts when a plant or company was in financial 
trouble. 
 
Many employers prefer to hire men to avoid the expense of maternity 
leave and child care, and some even lower the effective retirement age 
for women workers to 40 years of age.  (The official retirement age for 
men is 60 years and for women 55 years.)  Although the law promises 
equal pay for equal work, a 1990 survey found that women's salaries 
averaged 77 percent of men's.  Official government responses to the 
State Department's 1994 report on human rights practices in China 
implicitly recognized that those statistics remain accurate.  Most women 
employed in industry work in lower skilled and lower paid jobs. 
 
While the gap in the education levels of men and women is narrowing, men 
continue to constitute the majority of the educated, particularly the 
highly educated.  For example, a government white paper reported that in 
1992, women made up 33.7 percent of college students and 24.8 percent of 
postgraduate students.  From 1982 to 1993, only 4.9 percent of doctoral 
degrees were awarded to women. 
 
In August and September, the Government hosted the U.N. Fourth World 
Conference on Women and an associated NGO Forum.  Many wishing to 
participate questioned the motives of the host government when 
authorities delayed issuing confirmations for hotel accommodations and 
failed to issue visas in a timely manner, forcing hundreds to cancel 
plans to attend.  Observers said that the extent to which the Government 
exercised the sovereign right to limit visa issuance exceeded norms 
established at similar international meetings.  The Government also 
abruptly changed the venue of the NGO Forum to Huairou, some 25 miles 
from Beijing.  In addition to difficulties in traveling to and from 
Huairou, many participants felt that facilities at the new site were 
inadequate:  hastily constructed and lacking appropriate basic 
amenities.  Participants with disabilities attending the NGO Forum found 
the lack of physical access to many areas particularly difficult. 
 
Woman's Conference and NGO Forum participants faced harassment and 
intimidation from security officials.  Some participants reported being 
followed, videotaped, photographed, or jostled by security agents.  
Others reported searches of personal possessions; several reported the 
loss of personal items and papers.  In addition, the Government 
permitted little of the copious international news media coverage of the 
Conference and the NGO Forum to reach a domestic audience.  Foreign 
journalists were limited to covering the meetings, but were not 
permitted to pursue stories outside the conference and forum sites. 
 
     Children 
 
The Constitution provides for 9 years of compulsory education for 
children.  China's extensive health care delivery system has led to a 
sharp decline in national infant mortality rates and improved child 
health.  According to the State Council's 1995 white paper on "Family 
Planning in China," China's infant mortality rate declined to 17.7 per 
1,000 live births in 1994.  There were credible reports of sex-selective 
abortion and female infanticide, but no reliable statistics were 
available to demonstrate the extent of the problem.  The Chinese press 
has reported that the national ratio of male to female births is 114 to 
100, while the statistical norm is 106 to 100 (see Section 1.f.). 
 
Physical abuse of children can be grounds for criminal prosecution.  The 
1992 Law on the Protection of Juveniles forbids infanticide, as well as 
mistreatment or abandonment of children.  This law also prohibits 
discrimination against disabled minors, emphasizes the importance of 
safety and morality, and codifies a variety of judicial protections for 
juvenile offenders.  Despite government efforts to prevent the 
kidnapping and buying and selling of children, the problem persists in 
some rural areas.  In March authorities in Guanxi Province reported 
that, as a result of 3 campaigns in the past 2 years against trading of 
children and women, police arrested 3,886 criminals, smashed 595 
criminal gangs, and released 134 children and 2,861 women.  In February 
Chongqing authorities tried and convicted a gang that abducted and sold 
80 infants and 5 women, earning approximately $15,000; 5 of the 35 gang 
members received the death penalty. 
 
According to a 1994 Beijing University demographics study, the number of 
children abandoned in China each year is approximately 1.7 million, 
despite the fact that under the law child abandonment is punishable by 
fines and a 5-year prison term.  The vast majority of the approximately 
100,000 children who are eventually admitted to Chinese orphanages every 
year are female or disabled.  The treatment of children at orphanages 
varies from deplorable to adequate.  There have been reports of children 
being restrained for long periods of time and being denied basic care 
and feeding.  Differences among available statistics make accurate 
determination of infant mortality rates in orphanages difficult, but 
rates appear to be very high at many orphanages, especially among new 
arrivals.  Human Rights Watch cites Ministry of Civil Affairs statistics 
for 1989-90 that put infant mortality in orphanages in 10 provinces at 
over 50 percent. 
 
According to several sources, orphanage workers practice triage and 
reserve basic medical care and even nutrition for children who are 
deemed to have the best chances for survival.  Some sources report that 
children whose prospects are determined to be poor are placed in rooms 
separate from other children and subjected to extreme neglect.  Claims 
that government policies, as opposed to lack of resources, were to blame 
for the lack of care of children placed in orphanages could not be 
verified.  A 1996 Human Rights Watch report, however, alleges that many 
orphanages, including those with the highest death rates, have budgets 
that provide for adequate wages, bonuses, and other personnel-related 
costs, but that budgets for children's food, clothing, and other 
necessities are extremely low in institutions throughout the country.  
The Government denies that orphans are mistreated or refused medical 
care, but acknowledges that the orphanage system is hard pressed to 
provide for those children who are admitted with serious medical 
problems. 
 
     People with Disabilities 
 
In 1990 China adopted legislation protecting the rights of China's 
approximately 55 million disabled.  However, as with many other aspects 
of Chinese society, reality for the disabled lags far behind the legal 
provisions.  Misdiagnosis, inadequate medical care, pariah status, and 
abandonment remain common problems for the disabled population. 
 
Statistics on education compiled in 1994 reveal the inequity of 
resources afforded the disabled:  only 6 percent of disabled school 
children received primary education.  The illiteracy rate among the 
disabled is 60 percent, and school attendance rates averaged only 20 
percent for blind, deaf, or mentally retarded children.  According to a 
September press report, the Government responded to the problem by 
budgeting $21.6 million to establish the nation's first university 
exclusively for disabled persons, in northern Shandong province.  The 
school reportedly will offer courses in law, finance, computers, and 
other subjects. 
 
In May 1994, Deng Pufang, son of retired senior leader Deng Xiaoping and 
head of the China Welfare Fund for the Handicapped, said that his 
organization hoped to assist the disabled by providing rehabilitation 
services to 3 million people, raising school enrollment rates for 
disabled people to 80 percent, and increasing their employment rate to 
80 percent by the year 2000.  The Government requires all state 
enterprises to hire a certain number of disabled workers, but 
authorities estimate 40 percent of disabled people are jobless. 
 
Standards adopted in May 1994 for making roads and buildings accessible 
to the disabled are subject to the dictates of the 1990 Law on the 
Handicapped, which calls for their "gradual" implementation.  Lax 
compliance to date has resulted in only limited access to most 
buildings.  Facilities built for the U.N. Fourth World Conference on 
Women and NGO Forum highlighted the problem.  The authorities promised 
that all housing and meeting areas would be accessible to the disabled, 
but some of the 200 disabled persons who attended reported many 
facilities lacked ramps, elevators, and other modifications necessary to 
facilitate access. 
 
The new Maternal and Child Health Care Law became effective in mid-1995.  
It forbids the marriage of persons with certain specified contagious 
diseases or certain acute mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.  If 
doctors find that a couple is at risk of transmitting disabling 
congenital defects to their children, the couple may marry only if they 
agree to use birth control or undergo sterilization.  This law mandates 
premarital and prenatal examination for genetic or contagious diseases, 
but it specifies that medically advised abortion or sterilization 
requires the signed consent of the patients or their guardians. 
 
     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
The 55 designated ethnic minorities constitute about 8 percent of 
China's total population.  Most minority groups reside in areas they 
have traditionally inhabited, many of which are mountainous or remote.  
China's minorities policy calls for preferential treatment in marriage 
policy, family planning, university admission, and employment.  The 
Government has programs to provide low interest loans, subsidies, and 
special development funds for minority areas.  While these government 
development policies have helped improve minority living standards in 
recent years, incomes in many minority areas remain well below the 
national average.  Development programs have also disrupted traditional 
living patterns of minority groups, including Tibetans and the Muslim 
Uighur majority of Western Xinjiang. 
 
In the area of education, the Government has tried to adopt policies 
responsive to minority concerns.  In many areas with a significant 
population of minorities, there are two-track school systems using 
either standard Chinese or the local minority language.  Students can 
choose which system to attend.  One acknowledged side effect of this 
policy designed to protect and maintain minority cultures has been 
reinforcement of a segregated society.  Under this separate education 
system, those graduating from minority schools are at a disadvantage in 
competing for jobs in government and business, which require good spoken 
Chinese.  These graduates must take Chinese language instruction before 
attending universities and colleges (see also Tibet addendum). 
 
The Communist Party has an avowed policy of boosting minority 
representation in the Government and the party.  Many members of 
minorities occupy local leadership slots, and a few have positions at 
the national level.  However, in most areas, ethnic minorities are 
effectively shut out of most positions of real political and 
decisionmaking power.  Some minorities resent Han officials holding key 
positions in minority autonomous regions.  Ethnic minorities in Tibet, 
Xinjiang, and elsewhere have at times demonstrated against Han Chinese 
authority.  Central authorities have made it clear that they will not 
tolerate opposition to Communist Party rule in minority regions and have 
responded to unrest with force and heightened security measures. 
 
Section 6 Worker Rights 
 
     a.  The Right of Association 
 
The 1982 Constitution provides for "freedom of association," but 
qualifying language makes it clear that this right is subject to the 
interest of the State and the leadership of the Communist Party.  The 
country's sole officially recognized workers' organization, the All-
China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), is controlled by the Communist 
Party.  Independent trade unions are illegal.  Although ACFTU officials 
recognize that workers' interests may not always coincide with those of 
the Communist Party, the ACFTU's primary goals remain to improve labor 
discipline and mobilize workers to achieve party and government 
objectives.  The 1993 revised Trade Union Law required that the 
establishment of unions at any level be submitted to a higher level 
trade union organization for approval.  The ACFTU, the highest level 
organization, has not approved the establishment of independent unions.  
Attempts to form or register independent unions have been severely 
repressed.  There are no provisions allowing for individual workers or 
unofficial worker organizations to affiliate with international bodies.   
 
The ACFTU's primary attention remains focused on state sector workers.  
The Trade Union Law mandates that workers may decide whether to join the 
union in their enterprise.  By official estimate, 8 percent of workers 
in collective and state-owned enterprises have chosen for their own 
reasons not to join.  There have been no reports of repercussions for 
workers who have not joined ACFTU unions.  Diversification of enterprise 
types over the last decade of reform has vastly increased the number of 
workers outside the traditional sphere of the ACFTU.  Over half of 
China's nonagricultural work force is now largely unorganized and 
outside the state industrial structure, in collectives, township and 
village enterprises, private and individual enterprises, and foreign 
investment enterprises.  In township and village enterprises, one of the 
fastest growing sectors of the economy, only a tiny percentage of 
workers are organized in ACFTU affiliates.  Workers in companies with 
foreign investors are provided with the right to form unions, which must 
affiliate with the ACFTU.  As of September 1995, according to an ACFTU 
survey, 86 percent of foreign-invested enterprises had union branches.  
Anecdotal evidence, however, indicates union influence in such 
enterprises is weak. 
 
Credible reports indicate the Government has attempted to stamp out 
illegal union activity.  Since China joined the International Labor 
Organization (ILO) in 1983, three complaints have been lodged against it 
with the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association.  The most recent 
complaint (No. 1819) was lodged by the International Transport 
Federation in 1993 on behalf of three Chinese seamen who were arrested 
by security officials in the city of Tianjin because of their 
involvement in a wage dispute.  The authorities have since released the 
three seamen, but the ILO is still awaiting an official reply from the 
Government of China to the complaint.  In the other earlier two 
complaints, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions charged 
China with illegally arresting independent union organizers following 
its crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators in June 1989. 
 
In March 1994, a petition calling for workers to have "freedom from 
exploitation," the right to strike, and the right to organize 
nonofficial trade unions was circulated in Beijing.  The authorities 
detained Zhou Guoqiang, Yuan Hongbing, and Wang Jiaqi after they 
presented the petition.  Zhou is an associate of Han Dongfang, the 
leader of the Beijing Autonomous Workers' Federation.  He was sentenced 
in September 1994 to 3 years' reeducation through labor, although the 
charges against him were reportedly not linked to the petition (see 
Section 2.d.).  Accurate figures are not available on the number of 
Beijing Autonomous Workers' Federation detainees still being held for 
their participation in the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations. 
 
The right to strike, which had been included in China's 1975 and 1978 
constitutions, was removed from the 1982 Constitution on the grounds 
that the Socialist political system had eradicated contradictions 
between the proletariat and enterprise owners.  The Trade Union Law 
assigns unions the role of mediators or go-betweens with management in 
cases of work stoppages or slowdowns.  Beginning in 1993, the Ministry 
of Labor stopped officially denying the existence of strikes.  Strikes 
are still not officially sanctioned, and accurate statistics on strike 
incidents are not available.  Work stoppages did occur, however, in 
several locations during 1995.  In one case reported in August by the 
official press, 600 female workers at a South Korean clothing factory in 
Hebei Province initiated a work stoppage to protest excessive overtime 
hours.  Documented instances of work stoppages also occurred in Special 
Economic Zones (SEZ's) in south China during 1995. 
 
A dispute settlement procedure has been in effect since 1987.  The 
procedure provides for mediation, two levels of arbitration committees, 
and a final appeal to the courts.  According to official statistics 
based on National Mediation Center and Labor Bureau records, labor 
disputes increased by approximately 65 percent in 1994.  This followed a 
50 percent increase during 1993.  Most cases are solved through 
arbitration and very few reach the courts.  According to Labor Ministry 
officials, most arbitration cases are filed by contract workers or their 
employers.  During the first 6 months of 1995, 12,956 labor disputes 
were brought before arbitration committees, a 66 percent increase over 
the same period in 1994. 
 
     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
The National Labor Law, which took effect on January 1, permits workers 
in all types of enterprises to bargain collectively.  This law 
supersedes a 1988 law that allowed collective bargaining only by workers 
in private enterprises.  The Labor Law provides for workers and 
employers at all types of enterprises to sign individual as well as 
collective contracts.  Collective contracts are to be worked out between 
ACFTU or worker representatives and management and specify such matters 
as working conditions, wage distribution, and hours of work.  Individual 
contracts are then to be drawn up in line with the terms of the 
collective contract.  Collective contracts must be submitted to local 
government authorities for approval within 15 days. 
 
To date, union and labor officials report the initiation of only a few 
experiments in collective bargaining.  Official sources have explained 
that sufficient ideological and practical difficulties remain to 
preclude drawing clear distinctions between labor and capital in China's 
state-owned enterprise sector.  According to the ACFTU, collective 
bargaining will first be implemented mostly in foreign investment 
enterprises where capital interests are clearly delineated. 
 
The Ministry of Labor sets a total wage bill for each collective and 
state-owned enterprise according to four criteria:  1) as a percentage 
of profits, 2) as a contract amount with the local labor bureau, 3) for 
money losing enterprises, according to a state-set amount, or 4) as an 
enterprise-set amount subject to Labor Ministry review.  Individual 
enterprises determine how to divide the total among workers, a decision 
usually made by the enterprise manager in consultation with the 
enterprise party chief and the ACFTU representative.  Worker congresses 
have mandated authority to review plans for wage reform, although these 
bodies serve primarily as rubber-stamp organizations.  Wages are 
generally equal for the same type of work within enterprises.  
Incentives are provided for increased productivity.  Under the new Labor 
Law, wages may be set according to conditions set out in collective 
contracts negotiated between ACFTU representatives and management.  
However, in practice only the small number of workers with high 
technical skills can negotiate effectively on salary and fringe 
benefits. 
 
Worker congresses, held periodically in most Chinese enterprises, 
theoretically have the authority to remove incompetent managers and 
approve major decisions affecting the enterprise, notably wage and bonus 
distribution systems.  However, worker congresses generally take place 
only once a year and serve essentially to approve agreements worked out 
among factory managers, party secretaries, and ACFTU representatives.  
In smaller enterprises it is not unusual to find these three posts held 
by the same person.  The Trade Union Law prohibits antiunion 
discrimination and specifies that union representatives may not be 
transferred or terminated by enterprise management during their term of 
office.  Unionized foreign businesses generally report pragmatic 
relations with ACFTU representatives.  As of September 1995, 42,327 
foreign-invested enterprises had union branches--about 86 percent of all 
such enterprises nationally. 
 
Laws governing working conditions in SEZ's are not significantly 
different from those in the rest of the country.  However, wages in the 
SEZ's, and in southeastern China generally, are significantly higher 
than in other parts of the country because of high investment and profit 
levels.  As in other areas of China, officials admit that some foreign 
investors in SEZ's are able to negotiate "sweetheart" deals with local 
partners which effectively bypass labor regulations. 
 
     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
Some penal facilities contract with regular industries for prisoners to 
perform light manufacturing and assembly work.  In 1991 the Government 
published a reiteration of its regulations barring the export of prison-
made goods.  On August 7, 1992, the U.S. and Chinese Governments signed 
a memorandum of understanding (MOU) prohibiting trade in prison labor 
products.  A statement of cooperation (SOC) detailing specific working 
procedures for implementation of the MOU was agreed to and signed on 
March 14, 1994.  Although the signing of the SOC initially helped to 
foster a more productive relationship with Chinese authorities, 
cooperation has stalled since mid-1995.  As of the end of 1995, the 
authorities had not granted access to a prison labor facility since 
April 30.  Repeated delays in arranging prison labor site visits called 
into question Chinese intentions regarding the implementation of the MOU 
and SOC.  For example, authorities refused repeated requests (the first 
was made on May 30) to visit the Wuyi plant in Zhejiang Province, 
despite the terms of the SOC requiring a visit within 60 days of a 
request. 
 
In addition to prisons and reform through labor facilities, which 
contain inmates sentenced through judicial procedures, China also 
maintains a network of reeducation through labor camps, where inmates 
are sentenced through nonjudicial procedures (see Section 1.e.).  
Inmates of reeducation through labor facilities are generally required 
to work, but the  authorities do not regard the facilities as prisons 
and have denied access to them under the 1992 prison labor MOU.  Reports 
from international human rights organizations and the foreign press 
indicate that at least some persons in pretrial detention are also 
required to work. 
 
Justice officials have stated that in reeducation through labor 
facilities there is a much heavier emphasis on education than on labor.  
Most reports conclude that work conditions in the penal system's light 
manufacturing factories are similar to those in ordinary factories, but 
conditions on farms and in mines can be harsh.  As in many Chinese 
workplaces, safety is a low priority.  There are no available figures 
for casualties in prison industry. 
 
     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
The 1995 National Labor Law specifies that "no employing unit shall be 
allowed to recruit juveniles under the age of 16."  Administrative 
review, fines, and revocation of business licenses of those businesses 
that hire minors are specified in Article 94 of the Labor Law.  The 
Constitution provides for children to receive 9 years of compulsory 
education and to receive their subsistence from parents or guardians.  
Laborers between the ages of 16 and 18 are referred to as "juvenile 
workers" and are prohibited from engaging in certain forms of physical 
work including labor in mines. 
 
The Labor Law mandates the establishment of labor inspection corps at 
all administrative levels above county government.  However, the rapid 
growth of China's nonstate sector has outpaced the evolution of 
government regulatory structures and resulted in inadequate labor 
inspection and enforcement regimes.  In poorer, isolated areas, child 
labor in agriculture is widespread, given the few options available to 
minors who have completed their primary school education at 
approximately 13 years of age.  China's vast reserve of surplus adult 
labor, however, minimizes the incentive to employ children.  Most 
independent observers agree with Chinese officials that urban child 
labor is a relatively small problem in formal sectors of the economy.  
Rising dropout rates at secondary schools in some southern provinces and 
anecdotal reports suggest that children may increasingly be entering 
unregulated sectors of the economy.  No specific industry is 
identifiable as a significant violator of child labor regulations. 
 
     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The Labor Law codifies many of the general principles of China's labor 
reform, setting out provisions on employment, labor contracts, working 
hours, wages, skill development and training, social insurance, dispute 
resolution, legal responsibility, supervision, and inspection.  There is 
no national minimum wage.  Rather, the Labor Law allows local 
governments to determine their own standards on minimum wages.  In 
general, minimum wage level determinations are higher than the local 
poverty relief ceiling but lower than the current wage level of the 
average worker. 
 
Wages are in general paid and calculated monthly.  The monthly minimum 
wage in Beijing is approximately $29 (rmb 240).  In the SEZ of Zhuhai in 
south China the monthly minimum wage is approximately $46 (rmb 380).  
These wage levels are slightly greater than average living expenditures 
according to official statistics.  Minimum wage figures do not include 
free or heavily subsidized benefits that employers may provide in kind, 
such as housing, medical care, and education.  In poorer, rural areas 
monthly minimum wage levels are as low as $14 (rmb 120). 
 
In May China reduced the national standard workweek from 44 hours to 40 
hours excluding overtime.  The Labor Law mandates a 24-hour rest period 
weekly and does not allow overtime work in excess of 3 hours a day or 36 
hours a month.  It also sets forth a required scale of remuneration for 
overtime work.  Enforcement of regulations regarding overtime work 
varies according to region and type of enterprise.  The press regularly 
reports cases of workers forced to work long overtime hours at small-
scale foreign investment enterprises, particularly in southeast China 
and the SEZ's.  Abuses at private enterprises are sometimes given 
coverage. 
 
Occupational health and safety are constant themes of posters and 
campaigns.  Every work unit must designate a health and safety officer, 
and the ILO has established a training program for these officials.  
Although the 1982 Constitution does not provide for the right to strike, 
the Trade Union Law explicitly recognizes the right of unions to 
"suggest that staff and workers withdraw from sites of danger" and 
participate in accident investigations.  It is unclear, however, to what 
extent workers can actually remove themselves from such dangerous 
situations without risking loss of employment.   
 
Nonetheless, pressures for increased output, lack of financial resources 
to maintain equipment, lack of concern by management, and a 
traditionally poor understanding of safety issues by workers have 
contributed to a continuing high rate of accidents.  Official statistics 
indicate that 20,263 workers were killed in industrial accidents during 
1994, up from 14,288 in 1993.  Deaths from industrial accidents during 
the first 5 months of 1995 stood at 6,656.  One credible report 
indicates that there are over 10,000 miners killed yearly.  Fires, 
mostly in entertainment establishments and factories, killed 2,000 
people in 1994, according to official statistics.  Poor enforcement by 
local officials of occupational safety and health regulations puts the 
lives of workers at risk.  Over 30 million Chinese work in toxic 
environments.  Less than half of rural enterprises meet national dust 
and poison standards.  In addition, many factories using harmful 
products, such as asbestos, fail not only to protect their workers 
against the ill effects of such products, but also fail to inform them 
about the potential hazards.  Although work safety issues have attracted 
the attention of senior government leaders, supervision of both local 
and foreign small-scale private enterprises, where most accidents occur, 
remains poor. 
 
---------------- 
 
 
TIBET 
 
(This section of the report on China has been prepared pursuant to 
section 536 (b) of Public Law 103-236.  The United States recognizes the 
Tibet Autonomous Region--hereinafter referred to as "Tibet"--to be part 
of the People's Republic of China.  Preservation and development of 
Tibet's unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage and 
protection of its people's fundamental human rights continue to be of 
concern.) 
 
     Respect for the Integrity of the Person 
 
Because the Chinese Government strictly controls access to and 
information about Tibet, the scope of human rights abuses can not be 
precisely determined.  However, according to credible reports, during 
1995 Chinese government authorities continued to commit widespread human 
rights abuses in Tibet, including instances of torture, arbitrary 
arrest, detention without public trial, long detention of Tibetan 
nationalists for peacefully expressing their political views, and 
intensified controls on freedom of speech and the press, particularly 
for ethnic Tibetans.  There were credible reports that Chinese 
authorities also detained foreigners visiting Tibet, searched them, and 
confiscated materials deemed politically sensitive. 
 
There have been credible reports that some female detainees in Tibet 
have been tortured and, in some cases, raped.  In addition, the 
representative of the UNHCR in Kathmandu has reported that Tibetans who 
sought asylum in Nepal and were forcibly repatriated to Tibet were 
tortured by Chinese police upon their return.  Refugees reported to 
UNHCR officials that they were imprisoned, beaten, and interrogated 
three times a day.  Electric cattle prods were used during 
interrogations of adults, but not of minors.  The UNHCR concluded, based 
on the consistency of reports received, that torture was not a random 
occurrence by one or two police officers, rather it was the result of 
instructions given to border police.   
 
The acting Chief Procurator for Tibet reported in June that in 1994 some 
164 people (including 137 lamas and nuns) were arrested in 44 
counterrevolutionary cases involving separatist elements.  International 
human rights organizations reported that a 24-year-old Tibetan nun, 
Gyaltsen Kelsang, died on February 20 at her home on the outskirts of 
Lhasa.  She was reportedly imprisoned for political reasons in 1993, 
beaten after imprisonment, and fell ill while performing hard labor.  
The authorities reportedly released her from prison on medical grounds 
when she was near death. 
 
The authorities permit most traditional religious practices.  Those seen 
as a vehicle for political dissent, however, are not tolerated and are 
promptly and forcibly suppressed.  The authorities continue to detain 
and prosecute monks and nuns who have expressed dissenting political 
views in public.  There are reports of politically active Tibetan monks 
and nuns under the age of 16 being detained in a work camp in Dui Tesam 
Zonkhang, west of Lhasa.  Minors are allegedly being held there until 
they reach the age of 16 and can be formally charged.  Legal safeguards 
for ethnic Tibetans detained or imprisoned mirror those in the rest of 
China and are inadequate in design and implementation.  Lack of 
independent outside access to prisoners or prisons makes it difficult to 
assess the extent and severity of abuses and the number of Tibetan 
prisoners. 
 
According to human rights organizations, small-scale protests occurred 
in Lhasa, Shigatse, Penpo Lhundrup County, Medro Gongkar County, and 
elsewhere during 1995, resulting in swift detention for participants.  
As in past years, many arrests coincided with pro-independence 
demonstrations marking the anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising on 
March 10, 1959.  Human rights organizations reported that arrests during 
the first 3 months of 1995 exceeded the total number in 1994.   
 
     Freedom of Religion 
 
The Government does not tolerate religious manifestations that advocate 
Tibetan independence.  The Government condemns the Dalai Lama's 
political activities and his leadership of a "government in exile." 
 
Tibetan Buddhism and pro-independence activism are closely associated in 
ethnic Tibetan areas of China, and relations between Buddhists and 
secular authorities remained tense.  In mid-May the Dalai Lama announced 
that a search committee had identified the reincarnation of the Panchen 
Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's second most important leader.  The Government 
regarded the announcement as a direct challenge to its rule over Tibet.  
Chinese authorities subsequently detained the abbot who led the search 
committee as well as approximately 40 monks who were engaged in the 
selection process.  In November Chinese officials publicly rejected the 
boy identified by the Dalai Lama; the boy's current whereabouts and 
status are unknown.  On December 8, the Government enthroned a different 
child as the new Panchen Lama at a ceremony overseen by Chinese State 
Councilor Li Tieying.  Official Chinese announcements explicitly 
identified the Dalai Lama as an "enemy of China," and dismissed him as 
irrelevant to the proceeding.  According to reports, 27 people were 
arrested between November 27 and December 11 in connection with protests 
about the selection of the Panchen Lama.   
 
The Government strictly enforces limits on the number of monks in major 
monasteries, and in March acknowledged publicly for the first time that 
these limits exist.  Since April authorities have halved the number of 
monks officially permitted at the Jokhang temple in central Lhasa.  In 
addition, the Government has moved to curb the proliferation of Tibetan 
Buddhist monasteries, which are seen as a drain on local resources and a 
conduit for political infiltration by the Tibetan exile community.  To 
bolster loyalty to the party, the Government stepped up efforts to 
ensure that party cadres in Tibet, over 70 percent of whom are ethnic 
Tibetans, adhere to the party's code of atheism.  The Government 
defended its authority to confirm the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama.  
The Government continues to oversee the daily operations of monasteries.  
Although the Government generally only contributes a small percentage of 
the monasteries' operational funds, it retains management control of the 
monasteries through the government-controlled democratic management 
committees and the local religious affairs bureaus. 
 
At the same time, however, worship in Tibet remains relatively free, as 
long as it is devoid of political content.  The Government continued to 
restore sacred Buddhist sites, many of which were destroyed during the 
Cultural Revolution.  In 1994 government religious authorities forbade 
party and government officials from displaying the Dalai Lama's 
photograph, including in their homes and removed his photos from sale in 
bazaar shops.  However, the authorities still permit open veneration in 
monasteries of the Dalai Lama as a religious figure, even as the 
argument over the Panchen Lama continues.  Despite government attempts 
to curb their proliferation, the monasteries continued to house and 
train young monks, making possible the transmission of Tibetan Buddhist 
traditions to future generations.  In 1994 the autonomous regional 
government in Tibet ordered Tibetan officials who have children studying 
in India to bring them back to Tibet, but the actual number of students 
who may have returned as a result of this order is unknown. 
 
     Economic Development and Protection of Cultural Heritage 
 
Like China's 54 other minority ethnic groups, Tibetans receive 
preferential treatment in marriage policy, family planning, university 
admission, and employment.  However, in practice discrimination against 
Tibetans is widespread, especially in the area of employment.  Chinese 
government development policies have helped raise the living standards 
of ethnic Tibetans, but have also disrupted traditional living patterns.  
The Government sought to respond to Tibetan concerns about the 
preservation of the Tibetan language.  In Tibet primary schools at the 
village level teach in Tibetan.  Many pupils, however, end their formal 
education after graduating from these schools, which usually have only 
two or three grades.  Those who go on to regional primary schools and 
beyond, particularly after junior high school, continue to receive much 
of their education in Mandarin Chinese, although some areas provide 
instruction in Tibetan through junior high school.  Efforts to expand 
Tibetan language instruction are hampered by lack of materials and 
competent teachers at higher levels. 
 
The Dalai Lama continued in 1995 to express concern that development 
projects and other central government policies encourage a massive 
influx of Han Chinese into Tibet, which has the effect of overwhelming 
Tibet's traditional culture and diluting Tibetan demographic dominance.  
In recent years, freer movement of people throughout China,  government-
sponsored development, and the prospect of economic opportunity in Tibet 
have led to a substantial increase in the non-Tibetan population 
(including China's Muslim Hui minority as well as Han Chinese) in Lhasa 
and other urban areas.  Most of these migrants profess to be temporary 
residents, but small businesses run by ethnic Han and Hui peoples 
(mostly restaurants and retail shops) are becoming more numerous in or 
near some Tibetan towns and cities.  Roughly one-third of the population 
of Lhasa is Han Chinese.  Chinese officials assert that 95 percent of 
Tibet's officially registered population is Tibetan, with Han and other 
ethnic groups making up the remainder.  Plans for investing 2.3 billion 
yuan about $350 million (2.3 billion yen) in economic development 
announced during a July 1994 work conference on Tibet raise the prospect 
of the transfer to, or temporary duty in, Tibet of a substantially 
greater number of non-Tibetan technical personnel in the years ahead.  
These plans may also increase the number of immigrants from China's 
large transient population seeking to take advantage of new economic 
opportunities. 
 
Economic development, fueled by central government subsidies, is 
modernizing Tibetan society and changing traditional Tibetan ways of 
life.  While the Chinese Government has made efforts in recent years to 
restore some of the physical structures and other aspects of Tibetan 
Buddhism and Tibetan culture damaged or destroyed during the Cultural 
Revolution, repressive social and political controls continue to limit 
the individual freedoms of ethnic Tibetans. 
 
 
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[end of document]

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