Xi Urges Strengthened Party Education Campaign
THE GLOBAL TIMES
Communist Party Leader Xi Jinping has called for further implementation of a year-long education campaign within the Communist Party of China (CPC) to strengthen Party discipline. In the instruction read at a meeting held on Sunday, Xi noted that the campaign launched last year had achieved remarkable results. “The campaign has helped with the strict management of the CPC and must be carried on,” said Xi. “The campaign should prioritize political training, Party members’ words and deeds, the latest theoretical developments and it should guide all to become qualified Party members,” Xi noted. In addition, the campaign must focus on “a key few” leading officials and grassroots party branches.
China’s Grim Rural Boarding Schools
Educating rural Chinese has long been a challenge. In the 1990s almost every village had a primary school or “teaching point,” where children aged between six and ten often attended class in a single room. But school enrollments began to fall because of plummeting birth rates and migration to cities. Local governments responded by closing underused village schools and pooling resources in larger ones. In 2012 the central government ordered local authorities to stop “blindly” closing schools before ensuring that centralized ones are up to standard. But local governments have little incentive to spend more money, since any student who does well academically is certain to leave the countryside. Rural children will form the backbone of China’s future workforce. By failing them, the government is failing the country as a whole.
UN Rights Expert Praises Cuba Social Welfare System; Hopes for More Dialogue
Sarah Marsh and Nelson Acosta, REUTERS
A United Nations expert said on Friday she hoped her visit to Cuba would open the door to a more intense dialogue on human rights and praised the country’s social welfare system for reducing Cubans’ vulnerability to human trafficking. Communist-run Cuba is generally suspect of inspections by international institutions, and this was the first visit by a UN human rights investigator in a decade. “I hope that this will be a stepping point for a more intense and fruitful dialogue with the whole human rights system,” said Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, UN special rapporteur on trafficking in persons. Cuban dissidents, whom the government considers mercenaries funded by US interests, said it was a positive sign that she had been invited, but only a first step.
North Korea Puts on a Show for Day of the Sun
Ben Westcott, Azadeh Ansari, and Steve Almasy, CNN
North Korea put its military might on display during a parade in the heart of Pyongyang while the regime showed off some of its latest arsenal. Pictures on state television showed thousands of soldiers marching in formation alongside tanks, balloons, and enormous crowds. Leader Kim Jong-un was shown clapping and smiling from a reviewing box. At one point, the soldiers directed a chant toward him. “We will die for you!” they yelled, CNN‘s Will Ripley, who was at the event, reported. During the pomp and circumstance at Kim II Sung square, citizens showed their revolutionary fervor with choreographed performances while vehicles displaying North Korea’s military arsenal rolled by.
Concerns Raised Over Hiring at Luxury Hotel in Tibet
RADIO FREE ASIA
A newly opened luxury hotel in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region is employing only Han Chinese to serve on staff, a contact person at the Hilton Linzhi Resort says. A senior corporate officer based in Shanghai denies the claim, though, calling the Hilton hotel in the TAR “an equal opportunity employer.” Speaking to RFA’s Tibetan Service in a telephone interview on March 31, Yang Chunxiao—listed in Linzhi Resort literature as a contact for the hotel—said that of 200 employees now working at the resort, “all are Han Chinese.” However, no attempt has been made to discriminate against Tibetans seeking work at the hotel, which expects its guests to come mainly from China’s inner provinces, Yang told RFA. “It’s not that we don’t want them,” she said. “Probably they don’t want to come to work,” she added.
Failure to Sanction China Helped North Korea, Former Officials Say
Josh Meyer, POLITICO
There’s one uncomfortable secret that neither President Trump nor Communist Party leader Xi Jinping have publicly acknowledged: Chinese banks and businesses are playing key roles in providing Pyongyang with access to the global markets they need to acquire critical parts and technologies. In a little-noticed letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in February, six senators called on the administration to target Chinese banks and other entities as a way of effectively cutting off North Korea’s access to hard currency it uses to finance its illicit weapons-of-mass-destruction programs.
Venezuelan Artists Pay Tribute to Protest Victims, Call for Elections
LATIN AMERICAN HERALD TRIBUNE
About a dozen artists gathered on Saturday in eastern Caracas to pay tribute to the people who have died in recent weeks during anti-government demonstrations, calling upon President Nicolás Maduro to hold elections and establish a channel whereby humanitarian aid may come into the country. Actors, models, singers, comedians, sculptors and entertainment hosts gathered on Francisco Fajardo Ave. In Caracas, after speeches by some of the individuals, they read a manifesto rejecting the government’s “continued violation” of the Venezuelan Constitution and demanded the holding of national elections.