China spends even more on internal "stability maintenance" and security than it does on its army. Some of that incredible budget goes to forced holidays for dissidents that get them out of the way during events like the 25th anniversary of Tienanmen Square. It's called "being traveled."
The bizarre form of kidnapping is reportedly very popular with high-ranking members of the security services, who get to accompany the dissidents on long beach holidays and share access to the best booze and food while away. Regular dissidents don't get this kind of treatment, though -- they go to "black jails" for beatings.
Police "went with me every day and paid for everything" on a trip to Ningxia in the north-west that took in the towering dunes of the Tengger desert.
"If you refuse to go travelling there will be consequences," he said. "You have to go. Even though you are at tourist sites, you have been forced to go, so you're not in the mood to enjoy it."
Government personnel relish the trips, some regular forced travellers suggest. "We ate the best food and drank the best alcohol. The security officials enjoyed it too. Not just any security official can go on this kind of trip, they need to be above a certain rank," said the environmental campaigner Wu Lihong, adding he was taken to the ancient city of Xian for two weeks in March.
"Quite a few" officials from Beijing's secretive ministry of state security accompanied him, he said.
China sends dissidents on free holidays [Agence France-Presse]
(via Super Punch)
(Image: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Mark Fischer, CC-BY)
Wisconsin Governor and balanced-budget hawk Scott Walker’s failed bid for the GOP presidential candidacy left him with $1.2 million in debt.
The Federal Election Commission has deadlocked on a complaint about an employer who coerced his salaried employees into donating to a PAC he had started; the three Democratic commissioners voted to take action, the three GOP commissioners voted against, and that means that nothing will happen.
This week, Marvel Comics published the first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers in which it’s revealed that since his earliest days, Captain America has been a double agent for Hydra, the thinly veiled allegory for the Nazis; in an epic Twitter rant, Livejournal alumnus and Dreamwidth cofounder Denise Paolucci explains the way that perpetual […]
If you want to add some real firepower to your programming repertoire, learn Java–one of the most adaptable, widely-used programming platforms around. You can easily do that with this Ultimate Java bundle, now just $69 in the Boing Boing Store.Across 14 lectures and 117 hours of content, the educators at online academy eduCBA will walk you through […]
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]