It’s no secret that the Chinese government’s human rights record falls short of international standards. Dissidents are imprisoned and harsh policies are imposed on Tibet and Xinjiang. Religious groups that operate without government approval are persecuted and a one-child-per-family policy is still pursued. Though the number of executions has dropped sharply, more than 3,000 people are still put to death every year.
Yet China has made important strides in at least one crucial area: the treatment of juvenile suspects and offenders.
Police arrested about 80,000 juveniles — those between the ages of 14 and 18 — in 2010. That same year, 64 percent of juveniles whose cases were heard received custodial punishment.… Seguir leyendo »
In a surprising response to public protests, the Chinese government recently prohibited police from publicly shaming criminal suspects through such devices as parades, used most controversially for parades of prostitutes. This is the latest in a series of developments that portend a more humane justice system, most notably in the area of capital punishment.
Hearing the news last month, I was reminded of scenes I encountered while traveling through the countryside outside Guangzhou late in the summer of 1983. China's "Strike Hard" campaign was underway; it was the first of many efforts to address what Chinese leaders saw as an alarming growth in lawlessness -- and dissent.… Seguir leyendo »
The Chinese people, it seems, are among the most satisfied on Earth. More than 80 percent told the Pew Research Center that they are satisfied with the country's economy and overall direction, and 65 percent think the government is doing a good job. Ninety-six percent think the Olympics will be a success, and 93 percent believe the Games will improve the country's image. Three-quarters think China will win the most gold medals. Even accounting for distortions that arise in polling in authoritarian states, the numbers are impressive: China is brimming with optimism.
Three in four Chinese think the world likes China, while only one in 10 thinks foreigners don't like the country.… Seguir leyendo »