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Cartoon Henry Kissinger drafted in to praise China's Xi
by Staff Writers
Beijing March 8, 2016

The latest recruit to China's cartoon propaganda videos is an animated Henry Kissinger lauding President Xi Jinping. The former US Secretary of State, who paved the way for Nixon's visit to China in 1972 and the establishment of ties between Beijing and Washington, changing the global diplomatic balance, is praised in the two-and-a-half minute video as "the most awesome foreigner". The clip is the latest in a series of surreal animated videos created to promote political concepts such as Xi Jinping's "Four Comprehensives", which was set to a rap jingle earlier this year. With white hair, square spectacles and stripy tie, the cartoon Kissinger is shown speaking at a lectern and drinking tea with Xi, giving him a smiling thumbs up. "'Most awesome foreigner' Henry Kissinger publicly praised Xi Jinping," the video says in Chinese, before showing Kissinger lauding Xi's "profound knowledge" of the problem of corruption and his strength as a leader. Xi "has rich life experience and I believe he is one of China's most outstanding leaders," the video has Kissinger say. In a reference to Xi's pledge to target both powerful "tigers" and low-ranking "flies" in his drive against graft, it also shows the president and Communist Party chief hitting five sacked officials wearing tiger suits with a giant comic mallet, and beating a sleeping, startled tiger with a spiked caveman club. "Uncle Xi not only beats tigers, he also beats snakes in their nests," it says, showing the cartoon head of state smacking or stamping on the creatures. The video is credited to the Chaoyang Studio and was shared widely on major state-media websites Tuesday, including the official news agency Xinhua and state broadcaster CCTV. AFP was unable to immediately reach Dr Kissinger for comment. Detained Chinese lawyer arrives in US: NGO
Beijing (AFP) March 8, 2016 - A Chinese lawyer held after advocating the country adopt a jury system has arrived in the United States after he was detained for several weeks and put under surveillance for months, an American rights group said Tuesday.

Chen Taihe, 45, "was reunited with his family" last week in San Francisco after being informed by police in Guilin that charges against him "would not be pursued", according to a statement by the Dui Hua Foundation.

Police in Communist-ruled China detained Chen last July on charges of "inciting subversion of state power", "provoking a serious disturbance" and "embezzlement", the statement said, during a nationwide crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists that resulted in the detention or interrogation of more than 200.

He was held by police for a month before being put under "residential surveillance in a designated location", a police term that describes imprisonment outside of the country's official system of detention centres and jails.

Later, Chen was allowed to return to his own home and permitted to travel within China, under a form of extra-judicial probation.

After police informed him that charges against him would be dropped, he obtained a Chinese passport and flew to the United States, said Dui Hua, which promotes human rights through dialogue with Chinese authorities.

Before his arrest, Chen published "The Most Common Right", a book based on his study of Britain's judicial system, and was later invited to participate in judicial exchanges in the United States.

"I intend to resume my work promoting the adoption of the jury system in China and look forward to the day when China is a free country that respects individual rights and the rule of law," the statement quoted him as saying.

Detentions such as Chen's have become increasingly common as the ruling party ratchets up controls over civil society under President Xi Jinping.

Last month, UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called on China to release lawyers and activists being held "immediately and without conditions".

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