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December 29, 2009
China executes mentally ill Brit, first Westerner since 1951

China has executed a British man convicted of  drug smuggling, despite his family’s protestations that he was mentally unstable. The incident has provoked outrage around the world.

The British foreign minister said China had “failed in its basic human rights responsibilities.”

Andrew James Nathan, a political science professor at Columbia University, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the death penalty in China. Nathan estimates that China executes thousands each year, although the official numbers remain secret.

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Comments

9 comments

#9

I hardly think that this execution is a revenage. This guy simply broke the law and it is difficult to pursude chinese goverment to take a insanity plea (as mentioned in the interview) as in EU and US. However the harsh punishment is indeed rooted in the history when half of asian population was addicted to opium. China paid a great price for her drug problems and unfortunately the current goverment learned that it worked fast when you applied harsh punishments. Death penalty, you like it or not, is an independent choice in the country.

#8

I’d like to start by saying that my opinion is not prejudiced by China’s past,regarding the “Opium (#1 & #2) Wars”,but it has greatly influenced my conjecture regarding the nations justification,…the sole progenitor for their rational learned psyche.How it all started,… was that the Quig Court discovered currency outflow which disturbed the Chinese,because just as currency inflow leading to upward pressures on prices lubricates economic expansion,currency outflow leading to a reduction in money supply and a downward pressure on prices,creates economic problems. therefore Commissioner Lin is sent to Canto to extripate the opium trade,not because the court was concerned with the social evils surrounding opium,but because the Court wanted to stop the outflow of( China had been accumulating vast amounts of silver from South America,and Asia backing-up their currency,ie.) gold standard) silver. The British “Opium Traffickers Traders”, (Edward Albert Sassoon, and his wife Aline Caroline de Rothschild grand-daughter of Jacob (James Bauer/Schnaper-5th and last born son of “Mayer Amschel Bauer/Schnaper Rothschild”! They complained that their property had been confiscated,and their businesses destroyed,thus their (the British Army fighting as mercenaries for the Sassoon’s) government responded with military pressure,(ie; with the might of the greatest Army,and Navy of the world)leading to the first Opium War,and to the long protracted history of unequal ( The Treaty of Nanking #1,1839-43; and the Final Opium War Treaty #2, 1858-60)treaties forced upon the Chinese Manchu Emperor.Ironically,…common peasantry couldn’t afford becoming addicted to opium,period. Most or all of the opium abusers were in the provinces of the wealthy,who had riches to squander,and (old money) relatives to help when finances were low to sustain their addiction. Note: Most of the opium in China was heavily adulterated,and simultaneously about the same time new technologies were arriving in China,…Railroads,the Telegraph,Formations (birthing)of Financial Institutions,and Commercial Steamships for the inland waters of China.I’d be remiss not to mention this worthwhile sidenote having to illustrate the Chinese eagerness,and quickness to adopt both new commodoties,and organizational innovations (sound familar?).Lastly,… China was decimated by the English Treaty allowing the “Full Legaization Of the Opium Trade” throughout 7/8’s of it’s sovereign nation which brought in $20 million pounds alone in 1864 for the Sassoon’s,and the small portion given the British for their military service,etc. throughout this sordid ordeal brought upon the Chinese. Thus,…you can understand why their adament denial of a lesser sentence,… considering their not to distant memory of what this British Empire (and now their lost hubris unshackeled from their by-gone hegemony days)! PS. What goes around comes around,and please note that the British outlawed the trafficking of Opium in Europe,but made sure of importing the Chinese peasantry as slave labor for all of Europe,Nice?

#7

To Neohumanist Baba: “Fact: Humans have the right to reform, but not to punish”. Which country you are in where crimes are not punished by law approved by the majority? Or what substance you are using to give you this fact? China has been clear for years on this “you carry over 150 g heroine and you will pay to endanger massive amount of people”, so do a lot of east asian countries. This guy simply paid what other did in the past. Fair and square!

#6

Fact: Humans have the right to reform, but not to punish. The reactions to our positive and negative actions are reactions that correct our misguided movements. China actions are anti-social and criminal. China will suffer the reaction of it deeds.

#5

The justice system in China gives the accused no
chance at a fair trial.Even if they have broken the law.

#4

Nothing wrong with China’s drug penalties, in my opinion. They say up front, do the drug scene and you might die the first time… Period.

#3

He deserved what he got from China!!!

#2

Clarification/Adjustment(s) To
The Previous Post # 1:

The Swiss (as shown in another news article/video, here) are, freely, giving out (i.e. heroin) what another Nation (i.e. China) considers a crime (i.e. smuggling of drugs) which gives them
(i.e. members of the Chinese justice system) reason enough to try criminals–who are, thus, found to be so…whether or not in truth of trial
–to be executed.

#1

The Swiss (as shown in another news article/video, here) are, freely, giving out (i.e. heroin) what another Nation (i.e. China) considers a crime (i.e. smuggling of drugs) which gives them
(i.e. the Chinese justice system) reason enough
for tried criminals to be executed.

Does anyone see the eccentric dichotomy hidden
in the disturbing irony of this 21st Century “masterpiece” of tragic Theatre?

At Intermission (between the Acts of this Grand Comic-Tragedy), we can observe
Russian prisoners being beaten mercilessly for our viewing “pleasure”.

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