Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 5 News List

China jails activist teacher

AFP , BEIJING

Chinese police have arrested an activist university professor on charges of inciting subversion after he set up an independent political party, his wife said yesterday.

Guo Quan (郭泉), a professor at Nanjing Normal University and frequent government critic, was taken into police custody on Thursday, his wife Li Jing (李晶) said by phone.

Guo formed the China People’s Livelihood Party in 2004 — renaming it the China New People’s Party late last year — to protect the rights of “workers, farmers, businessmen, students, and urban residents,” according to Guo’s blog, which is blocked in China.

“Police gave his mother an official notice saying Guo is suspected of subverting state power,” Li said.

“It is suspected that Guo might have been detained for organizing the China Xinmin Party [New People’s Party],” China Human Rights Defenders, a network of Chinese and overseas rights activists, said in an e-mailed statement.

In a recent blog entry, Guo called the eight other legal parties besides the Chinese Communist Party “flowers in a vase” meant to give the appearance of democracy in China.

The group also said the arrest could be linked to articles published online by Guo that criticized the Nanjing city government, particularly for its construction of a chemical plant.

Guo had previously been stripped of his teaching duties over his activism and his been held in detention before, according to his blog.

Guo’s blog claims the China New People’s Party has 10 million members and branches in all provinces of the country.

Meanwhile, two milk inspectors for a major dairy firm were severely beaten in an attack blamed on suppliers angry at tough new safety checks following a tainted milk scandal, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday.

The two men were working in the northern city of Tangshan as inspectors for Mengniu, one of China’s largest dairy companies, which has implemented strict new safety inspections, the paper said.

The attack occurred on Nov. 5 after inspector Li Zhongping had confronted an outside dairy supplier over a batch of milk he was selling that appeared not to confirm with new standards, it said.

“According to an initial analysis, this incident was triggered by [Li’s] decision that this truck’s milk was not in compliance,” it quoted an unnamed Mengniu official as saying.

Li and another inspector, Zhang Liwei, were set on by a group of about five club-wielding men as they left work later that day.

Li was badly beaten, suffering numerous injuries over his body, including fractured vertebra, and was in a coma for “a long time,” the paper said, without specifying Li’s current condition.

Also See: US to detain all Chinese milk product imports

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