Uighurs claim the development of the railways was aimed at increasing the exploitation of Xinjiang province by China. Credit: World Uighur Network News

POLITICS-CHINA: Tough Policy in Xinjiang Backfires

China’s success in eliminating clusters of Muslim insurgencies in the western province of Xinjiang may have pushed an alleged separatist movement across the border into Pakistan and Afghanistan, exposing it to greater influences by jihadist groups in those countries.

Joan Hinton in Tokyo Credit: Catherine Makino/IPS

Q&A: 'China Is Capitalist, Not Communist'

As one of the nuclear physicists behind the Manhattan Project, Joan Hinton commands awe. But she chucked it all to go to China in 1948 and take part in the Communist Revolution. Now 86, she works on a dairy farm near Beijing, her sense of humour unaffected by a stroke suffered 10 years ago.

Beijing's Ritan Park, designated for protests with official permission, saw no banners or slogan shouting.  Credit: Antoaneta Bezlova/IPS

MEDIA: Olympics Draw Harvest of Online Protests

Say goodbye to the usual slogan-shouting and banner-carrying protest actions, because one does not even have to be anywhere near China to push a mix of causes - from Tibet and Burma to Darfur. Online creativity is the name of the game.

Fuwas gambol at the Olympic Piazza set up in Hong Kong.  Credit: Jacqui Lau/IPS

CHINA: Olympics Leave Hong Kongers Cold

While the whole world tuned in on the spectacular Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing, there was little excitement in this former British colony that was returned to China in 1997.

Art performance at Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Credit: Chinese Gov't Official Site

CHINA: All the World's Stage

All the world is a stage and for a few mesmerising hours on Friday night that stage was China’s. Doubts over China as Olympic host faded away, at least temporarily, as the organisers delivered a fitting tribute to the mystery and sophistication of Chinese civilisation.

SPORTS-CUBA: Going for Gold – Once Again

Cuba’s prestige among the global sports élite for the past three decades testifies to the effectiveness of a mass, free physical education system which the government has supported through the ups and downs of the national economy.

Achim Steiner briefs correspondents at UN Headquarters. Credit: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

CHINA: Greening of the Games

Though human rights and environmental issues - such as censorship and pollution in Beijing - have been the two major focuses of criticism levelled against the Chinese government during the lead up to the Olympic games, Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is expected to address some of Beijing’s environmental successes during the opening ceremonies.

Burmese jade jewellery on display at a shop in Ruli, a Chinese border town. Credit: AKSYU

BURMA/CHINA: Avoid ‘Blood Jade’ Olympic Souvenirs – Activists

They make attractive mementos for the thousands of visitors to Beijing for the Summer Olympics. But souvenirs and jewellery made out of prized jade from Burma are ridden with a history of abuse and blood, say activists from the military-ruled country.

Spectators throng the 'Bird's Nest' stadium for Tuesday's rehearsals.  Credit: Chinese Gov't Official Website

CHINA: Olympic Glory Seen As More Than Sports

One hundred years ago Chinese athletes had neither money nor government support to compete in the Olympics. An invitation by the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, to Qing dynasty rulers to send a national team of athletes went unanswered.

DISARMAMENT: China Key Arms Supplier to Human Rights Abusers

As China tries to boost its international image, playing host to a summer Olympic games, the government in Beijing is being singled out as a key arms supplier to some of the world's worst human rights abusers, according to a new study released here.

SPORTS-ARGENTINA: More Money Would Help, But That’s Not Enough

Financial support for Argentine athletes has traditionally been meagre, but it has increased ahead of the Beijing Olympic games. However, several experts warn that more money alone is not enough to give a real boost to sports.

MEDIA-AUSTRALIA: TV Network Denies Censor Role in China

An electronic paper trail indicates that one of Australia’s leading television networks may be involved in dissuading foreign media in China against covering "forbidden" topics.

LATIN AMERICA: Unimpressive Medal Haul Expected at Beijing

Some 1,200 athletes from Latin America and the Caribbean will be taking part in the Olympic games in Beijing, but only a handful stand a real chance of landing a medal, to judge from their past performance and their own expectations.

President Hu Jintao with foreign journalists a week before the start of the Beijing Olympics.  Credit: Chinese Official Web Portal

CHINA: Hu Plea Not to Politicise Beijing Olympics

A gathering storm of international criticism over China’s security crackdown and limits on free speech while hosting the Olympic games this month has prompted Chinese president and communist party chief Hu Jintao to step in with a plea not to politicise the sporting event.

The Australian Institute of Sports has a reputation for producing Olympic champions. Credit: Wikipedia

AUSTRALIA: Road to Olympic Success Paved With Gold

While Australia is expected to feature prominently during medal presentations at this month’s Beijing Olympics, success will have come at a price.

CHINA/SUDAN: Move to Get Al-Bashir Off Genocide Charges

China has indicated keenness to have the case for indictment of Sudanese president Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir on charges of genocide suspended, saying the allegations are complicating peace negotiations in the war-torn Darfur region.

CHINA: Pledges on Rights, Environment Unmet – Critics

The party is all set. Firework fountains of red peonies and yellow dragons are ready to light up the skies for China’s biggest revelry ever.

CHINA: War on Drugs Prompts More Executions

China’s intensified "people’s war on drugs" is undermining efforts to reform the use of the death penalty in the country believed to be the world’s most prolific executioner.

RIGHTS: Uygurs Jailed From Guantanamo to Beijing

As a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. military improperly labeled a Chinese Muslim held at Guantanamo Bay an "enemy combatant" and ordered that he be released, transferred or granted a new hearing, an influential Congressional committee delivered a scathing criticism of China's closed trial of 15 men on terrorism charges - resulting in the immediate execution of two defendants, three suspended death sentences, and 10 sentences of life imprisonment.

CHINA: Olympics Party Disrupts Life for Beijingers

With less than a month to go before fireworks herald the beginning of China’s Olympics party on Aug. 8, the security overdrive and image concerns of Beijing authorities have resulted in so many restrictions that local residents are beginning to wish that the games were already over.

Minky Worden Credit: Human Rights Watch

Q&A: Will Olympics Break China's Human Rights Paralysis?

Barely a month before the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympics in China, it remains uncertain whether the Chinese government will respect basic human rights and press freedom during the Games.

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