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Thursday, July 11, 2002

A violent three-day riot of exploited workers injured dozens of migrant factory employees in China's Guangdong province in southern China, according to a report in the London Financial Times.

The report, cited by the authoritative American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), which monitors developments in Red China, revealed that the riot at the Nanxuan Wool Textile Factory in the town of Shuikou was one of the worst incidents of industrial unrest reported in China since the turmoil in a northeastern mining town in early 2000.

While northeast China is notorious for its mixture of corruption, industrial decay and flawed welfare systems, the labor situation in the booming Pearl River delta near Hong Kong is different, the Times noted, since the area is rapidly becoming the workshop of the world as foreign companies take advantage of a seemingly limitless supply of cheap labor.


In other news, the AFPC reports a Reuters story that the British Broadcasting

Corporation's global TV channel may be off the air in China for some time after Beijing stopped transmission of its broadcast signal to protest BBC's news coverage on Friday of a Hong Kong protest by [practitioners] of the [suppressed] Falun Gong spiritual movement who were demonstrating against a visit to the former British colony by Chinese President Jiang [...].

China cut transmission of the BBC's World Service Television channel after it broadcast uncensored footage relating to Falun Gong, which ranks high on China's list of banned media coverage, along with any mention of Taiwan or Tibet in ways that stray from the Communist Party line.

AFPC says this is not the first time China has cut foreign news channels, which are shown in the country only to foreigners who live in housing approved by the government, and to guests in upscale hotels.

The ban comes as China seeks to move foreign TV channels onto a single encrypted broadcast satellite, the state-owned Sinosat, which gives Beijing the opportunity to censor foreign channels with the flip of a switch, media analysts told Reuters.

"Our encrypted signal through the Sinosat 1 satellite was stopped by the Chinese authorities on Monday," a BBC spokesman told Reuters. "No official reason has been given, but we understand there was dissatisfaction with the content of a news bulletin."