Search this site powered by FreeFind

Quick Link

for your convenience!

Human Rights, Youth Voices etc.

click here


For Information Concerning the Crisis in Darfur

click here


Northern Uganda Crisis

click here


 Whistleblowers Need Protection


Chinese censors block news on scandal involving president's son

Micro-blogging, social network sites inaccessible
By Aileen McCabe, Ottawa Citizen
July 25, 2009

China's censors worked overtime this week to block all news of a tawdry bribery scandal in far-away Namibia.

The reason?

It tangentially involves President Hu Jintao's son, so no one in China can know about it.

Investigators at the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) in the Namibian capital of Windhoek would like to question Hu Haifeng, 38, concerning what he knows about a $55-million U.S. deal between Beijing-based Nuctech and the Namibian government for security scanners.

Until a year ago, Hu Jr. was president of Nuctech and is now party secretary of Tsinghua Holdings, the state-owned company that controls Nuctech and more than a score of other firms.

Hu Jr. is what they call a princeling in China. Like many of the golden sons and daughters who were his playmates and are now his peers, he has been trusted to lead a lucrative state-owned enterprise, and it could easily be a stepping stone into politics.

In his book, The Rise of Hu Jintao, China commentator and journalist Willy Lam wrote: "Unlike (other) leaders on the political stage (President) Hu made sure his kids kept a low profile."

Lam said "one of the few times" Hu Jr. and his sister Hu Haiqing ever made the news in China was when Haiqing married Internet entrepreneur Daniel Mao in a ceremony in Hawaii in 2003.

Namibian investigators have already arrested Nuctech's African representative Yang Fan, as well as two prominent local businessmen he dealt with. According to The Namibian newspaper, Paulus Noa, director of the corruption commission, is now "keen to talk to Hu."

The paper said: "Hu is not a suspect at this stage, Noa said, but would be interviewed as a potential witness. He also told the paper that Nuctech has indicated their willingness to send officials to Namibia to brief the ACC on the company's "operations and policy."

The disruption to the Internet caused by Hu Jr.'s troubles is just a tiny part of the censorship action currently rocking the web in China.

Micro-blogging sites like Fanfou, Digu and Jiwai are all blocked. Facebook is inaccessible. Zuosa, YouTube and Twitter are intermittent.

Nobody is exactly sure what the crackdown is about or when it will end.

There have been several sensitive anniversaries in recent months, however, starting with Tiananmen Square and the outlawing of Falun Gong, and the 60th anniversary of the republic is coming up in the fall. There was also the "Twitter revolution" in Iran that struck fear into the heart of many authoritarian regimes and, most recently, China's own violent uprising by the minority Uyghur population in Xinjiang province. Any or all of these events could have triggered the current round of censorship.

Home Books Photo Gallery About David Survey Results Useful Links Submit Feedback