Beijing Targets Petitioners Ahead of 18th Party Congress
Created: 2012-08-02 13:59 EST
China's Communist Party is preparing for its upcoming 18th Party Congress. State-run China Daily reported on Wednesday that it will be a time of celebrations, but not all would agree.
Petitioners who have travelled to the capital to air their grievances are being forced out of the city.
This woman told Radio Free Asia that Beijing police approached her landlord, threatening to tear down his building if he didn't evict his tennants.
Another petitioner, originally from Henan province, says Beijing police are working with authorities from around the country to rid the city of petitioners.
[Hu Xinai, Henan Petitioner]:
“So many have been arrested, between 400-500. Many were sent to labor camps, others are being monitored at home. It’s because the 18th Party Congress is starting soon. The government doesn’t resolve our problems and only care about maintaining stability.”
The 18th Party Congress is a major political event for the Communist regime, where a once-in-a-decade leadership change will take place. Shanghai petitioner Sun Hongqin says Chinese leaders are pre-occupied with power rather than public welfare.
[Sun Hongqin, Shanghai Petitioner]:
“We can’t survive, we know there is no use petitioning but we still try. Central appeals' authorities hold meetings again and again but in reality, no leadership has faced up to what we go through.”
No exact date has been set for the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Beijing’s newly appointed Party Secretary Guo Jinlong announced on Tuesday that Beijing is the focus of regime’s stability maintenance efforts.