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Guangdong to License Streetside Food Vendors

Posted: 07/16/2014 10:47 pm

food vendorLegislation is being proposed in Guangdong Province to give legal rights to streetside food vendors that are currently unlicensed, reports Shanghai Daily. Under the new guidelines, streetside food vendors will be allowed to operate their businesses in specific areas at designated times.

While vendors will be allowed to apply for a license free of charge, it will be the government that will determine where and when they can do business.

READ: Trial System to License Guangdong Street Peddlers
Will Make Street Food “Safer”

Street vendors operating outside authorized zones and times will still be breaking the law. Furthermore, the new legislation only covers street vendors that sell food.

China’s current laws do not cover streetside food vendors because their businesses are deemed to be too small. Besides not being legally recognized, these food vendors are unregulated and aren’t inspected by any public health authority.

Conflicts between street vendors and chengguan, known as the municipal authority that enforces laws against the vendors, are a regular occurrence.

food vendor


Photo: BJCG, hinnews


Hong Kong Independence Activist Assaulted Outside Courthouse

Posted: 06/20/2014 1:14 pm

hong kong courthouse assault people first democracy independenceA member of the group “Hong Kong People First” was assaulted as he stood before a courthouse to stand trial for having trespassed upon a People’s Liberation Army military base, reports Sina News.

Zhao Xiancong and other members of Hong Kong People First gathered outside the Eastern Law District Office on June 19 and were shouting slogans like “Independent Hong Kong” and “Long Live Hong Kong”.

Then in full view of reporters at the scene, a middle-aged man suddenly charged at Zhao and struck him twice across the face, shouting in Cantonese, “Are you Chinese? What kind of country are you trying to establish?”

Zhao later stated he does not know the person who assaulted him.

Zhao and three other people, all members of Hong Kong People First, are charged for trespassing upon the Chinese mainland military base stationed in Hong Kong. Last year, on December 26, Zhao and the others burst onto the base waving the flag used by Hong Kong under the British colonial government.

Zhao was sentenced to two weeks in jail and given a suspended prison sentence of 12 month for his role, described as a “ringleader”. Two other people, Zhang Hanxian and Xie Yongwen, were fined HK$2000.

A fourth person was a minor at the time of the incident, and has had their case transferred to juvenile court. They will be tried on June 25.

Hong Kong People First is a group that opposes issues that concern mainland China such as the grey market of smuggling goods across the border.

Hong Kong is becoming more volatile ahead of a vote today on three proposals for full universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Beijing opposes all three options, and has warned a planned protest in Central this summer could destabilize the city.

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Photos: Sina, Southern Metropolis Report 


Bigamist Legally Weds Shenzhen Woman with Proper Paperwork

Posted: 05/19/2014 6:51 pm

One man; two identification cards for the same person; two legal names; six hukou; three wives; four children. And yes, it’s all legal: he’s got the paperwork.

This is the legal morass that a Shenzhen woman named Chang must deal with now that she’s found out her husband is a bigamist, already having having married two other women in other parts of China. When Chang finally found out, she was already five months pregnant.

After receiving a strange phone call asking for her husband but with a slightly different name, Chang because suspicious and confronted Liu about it. Liu finally confessed and explained that having a large family is a Jiangxi tradition because there is “happiness and strength in numbers”.

Chang wanted a divorce, but Liu rejected the idea, so she is taking Liu to court. Chang’s lawyer, Ma Xueping, doesn’t say Chang’s and Liu’s marriage should be annulled because polygamy isn’t tolerated in China. Instead, Ma explains the situation this way:

If we are to accept that Liu’s identification and hukous are authentic, or at the very least the majority of them are authentic, then it is likely that Liu had been involved in bribery or had forged a government institution to get receive multiple identification or hukous, and that this bribery or forgery of a government institution to receive this identification is a crime.

Yes, the lawyer isn’t even disputing that this marriage is illegal because Liu has all the right paperwork for it; it’s only the pretenses behind the documentation that Ma is questioning.

We hate to say it, but it looks like Liu has beaten a mammoth bureaucracy by becoming a saber-toothed paper tiger.

Photos: Sina


Court Orders Foshan Man to Visit His Elderly Mother Every Year

Posted: 05/13/2014 7:48 pm

On the second Sunday of every May, it is customary to wish your mother a “Happy Mother’s Day”. For one Foshan man named Li X Wen *, however, such a greeting was forced with litigation and a court order.

Li X Wen has not visited his 80 year-old mother for a full seven years, and that’s a problem. Although Li has seven siblings, he alone has refused to visit her since he relocated to Foshan in 2007.

Li’s mother, Su, lives in Dongfang, Hainan Province. Her husband died in 2006, and her health has been deteriorating since she underwent surgery to repair a blood clot in her brain.

All that Su wants now is to see her eldest son, Li X Wen, and if a guilt trip isn’t able to do the trick, then a hearing in court will do just as well.

Another son, Li X Qiang, represented her in court and made the following submission:

“Our parents suffered bitter hardship in order to educate and cultivate him into the established man he is now. At present, he has become a success, but cares not for his elderly mother. He has neither come home to celebrate the passing of the holidays, nor just to come home once.”

For his part, Li X Wen argued that he was too busy to make the trip, and that his gifts of money to Su have been ignored.

Given that Judge Judy was unavailable, the People’s Middle Court of Foshan stepped in to order Li X Wen to visit his mother at least once a year and to provide her with a monthly living allowance of RMB 300. Li was also ordered to visit his father’s grave and light a ceremonial incense offering.

The presiding judge, Liang Han, observed that,

Every child has a legal obligation to care for the welfare of their own parents. This not only includes children by natural birth, but also adopted children and stepchildren under special circumstances.”

Like being a “good samaritan“, “filial behaviour” is required by law in China, so you know that people all do it for the right reasons.

The “Elderly Rights Law” came into effect in July 2013, prompting online support and criticism from netizens . Almost a year later, it remains unclear if such a law is the embodiment of Chinese societal values, or if it is a punishment on children who failed to learn the definition of “filial” as it applied to their interactions with family.

* The “X” denotes information withheld from publication.

Photo: WSJ


Guangzhou’s Image Tarnished By Attention-Seeking Bridge Jumpers

Posted: 04/21/2014 9:38 am

China’s petitioners have a history of “gao yuzhuang” (告御状) where victims of injustice during China’s feudal times would petition officials in hope of redressing their grievances. When attempts failed, petitioners often resorted to extreme measures.

In today’s Guangzhou (or China at large), not much has changed: disgruntled petitioners denied redress often draw attention to their issues by threatening to harm themselves.

According to figures released by the Guangzhou Politics and Law Commission, Guangzhou has seen a sharp rise in incidents of “malicious acts of jumping from bridges,” said the commission in charge of the city’s social stability and legal affairs.

“Since April 14, Guangzhou has seen 85 cases of people climbing atop a bridge, of which 73 were not suicide attempts. Almost 90 percent of the people attempting the act were not local residents and most of the cases in question were not related to issues in Guangzhou,” said Luo Zhenliang, deputy head of the city’s police department, reported by Nanfang Net on April 18.

These attention-seeking methods were labelled by the official as “kidnapping Guangzhou’s public interest, damaging the city’s image and severely affecting people’s normal life.”

To further clarify his point, the commission cited stacks of well prepared figures. In April 2009 alone, Zhuhai had 8 incidents of attention seekers threatening to jump from the Zhuhai Bridge. As a result, the Zhuhai fire brigade sent out 49 firefighters, eight fire trucks and eight 22-meter-long air cushions, an ambulance with a doctor and two nurses, leading to a direct economic loss of more than RMB 1 million ($162,000).

Admittedly, these acts cause unnecessary economic losses. But when the ideal petition process through the Petition Bureau is less than satisfactory, and the legal system offers little recourse, the number of bridge jumpers is unlikely to decrease any time soon.

Home page photo credit: Nanfang Metropolis Daily 


2 British women in Guangzhou detained in “hellhole” for 38 days

Posted: 08/29/2013 10:48 am

In another example of why it is sometimes better to just bite your tongue than kick up trouble in China, two British women were detained by police for 38 days “after becoming embroiled in a dispute at a shoe shop” in Guangzhou, according to a report by the UK’s Daily Mail on Sunday (though the South China Morning Post must be credited with the original scoop).

The conditions they were kept in have been described as “hell-like,” with only wooden planks to sleep on and an open toilet in their cell that they had to share and use in front of six other prisoners, the Mail said.

Perhaps what has really driven this story to the mainstream media is the fact that the two women’s ordeal is not yet over: authorities have refused to issue them with new visas after their current visas expired, though it is not clear whether they expired before or during detention — it would seem likely it was during their detention in view of the fact that tourist visas are usually only valid for between 1-3 months.

The women claimed they were assaulted at the shoe shop, but have since paid the owner £4,500 in a damages settlement, which suggests either that they had genuinely damaged property or else were forced into the settlement.

The report said that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was aware of the situation but could do little to resolve it by themselves because “it was a matter for the Chinese [government].”

For the full story and to read the full range of claims from the two women and their families, check out the Daily’s report.

Photo credit: Epictoon


Guangzhou cracks down on parents who force their kids to beg for money

Posted: 03/13/2013 11:34 am

Parents in Guangzhou who force their kids to beg for cash could soon find themselves without their offspring.

Officials in Guangzhou are threatening to take children out of the care of parents if they continue to turn their kids into beggars, it was announced on Monday.

Under a proposed legal revision, rescue shelters will be able to refer cases to judges if they are concerned about a child’s welfare, and courts have the power to appoint new custodians. The legal framework provides firm protection for minors.

Image Credit: ChinaSMACK

Small children begging is a common occurrence in China. Foreigners, in particular, are targets for their perceived wealth as children use their hands or tin plates to indicate a ‘need’ for help. Often, they walk alongside or get in contact with their targets to entice a sympathetic reaction. Taojin in Guangzhou has become a notorious hotspot for this practice.

Experts have praised the move to protect children, but warn taking children away from their parents should only be done as a last resort and courts must be compassionate  before issuing judgment.

Zhang Wenjuan, a lawyer specializing in legal aid services offered to minors, tells the Global Times:

“Custody disqualification should be a last resort,” said Zhang. “Government departments and agencies should provide compassionate services and intervene before finally proceeding to that stage. Authorities should be fully informed of the reason why parents take their children to beg, offer a training session on how to take good care of their children, and supervise parents’ behavior to see whether a disqualification is truly needed.”

Significantly, children housed in shelters will qualify for education as any other child would. Children in one of these centres for more than two years will be transferred to government agencies, put up for adoption, or housed in orphanages.

The tough new measures are designed to clean up the streets, and indeed, enforce the city slogan “Civilised Guangzhou”.

Source: Global Times


Zhaoqing couple faces heavy fine after trying to sidestep family planning laws

Posted: 12/17/2012 7:00 am

A couple in Zhaoqing in Guangdong may have to pay more than 10 million yuan in social fostering fees after having eight babies in October 2010, according to Jiangxi Satellite Television.

After trying unsuccessfully to have babies for years, the unnamed couple tried IV treatment. Eight embryos were placed in the uterus of the wife and two surrogate mothers.

The woman herself had triplets in Hong Kong and the other two women had five between them, giving the couple four boys and four girls. China’s one child policy does not apply to twins or triplets, but having the five children by the surrogate mothers is considered a breach of China’s family planning laws, according to Guangdong Planning Commission.

China has banned surrogacy since 2003. As well as conducting a lengthy investigation into the couple’s activities, authorities have also been investigating agencies that offer surrogacy services.

The couple is said to have earning power of over 1 million yuan a year and spent around 1 million yuan on the test tube procedure. It already costs the couple around 100,000 yuan a month to raise the kids.

The size of the fine is calculated according to how much a family earns. Being high earners, this couple could face a 5-10 million yuan fine.


Shenzhen may crack down on smoking, littering, and other bad behaviour

Posted: 08/16/2012 1:20 pm

Shenzhen is looking closely at introducing new laws to crack down on bad behaviour.

The China Daily notes the city conducted a poll earlier this year asking residents which behaviours they found to be the worst.  The top 10 includes the usual suspects: spitting, cutting in line, littering, and setting up street stalls.

So should these behaviours be punished?  A second opinion poll of 103,000 Shenzhen residents found 80% believe those who commit bad behaviour should be “severely” punished.  Thirty-four percent of those surveyed felt an RMB200 fine would be most appropriate, with 45% saying the fine should be between RMB50 and RMB200.

The city is drafting a law based on the results of the surveys, with the question now being who should be responsible for enforcement: the chengguan or the police?

Dai Guangyu, deputy head of the committee for education, science, culture and public health ofthe Shenzhen People’s Congress Standing Committee, said that in Japan and Singapore, thepolice are the main enforcement bodies for bad behavior in public.

Dai said the result of this opinion poll will come out in two or three days.

Li Xiaofang, a public relations manager in the city, believes the police should take care ofenforcing the regulations.

“I think the police are more able to enforce the law. Compared with chengguan (urban management officers), the police are tougher,” she said.

Zhao Hong, a media employee, thinks it should be the chengguan’s job.

“Chengguan should be the enforcement body since bad behaviors like spitting and throwing garbage on the street belong to urban management.”

There would be some debate as to the perceived leniency of chengguan, that’s for sure.

One wonders why things like spitting and cutting in line are so common if so many people in Shenzhen oppose them.  Perhaps it’s a case of “if you can do it, so can I.”

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