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On 1st August 2011 the Sydney Chinese Consul General accepted my letter. Time passes, without response from China. A clear message to All of the Chinese lack of concern for an (ANY) Australian's Legal Rights. Consequently my campaign has escalated..
My other letter to Chinese Ambassador Canberra 13.9.2011 remains unanswered. Typical response.

BEIJING ...as you have never experienced it.. or would want to

Emptying the pee bucket was essential to daily 
living. Oh joy!
When we arrived in Beijing in February we were greeted with minus 16 degree Celsius night temperatures and low minuses during the day. Oh, so different to the hot Australian summer weather we had just left!

Initially we stayed in a hotel, not licensed for foreigners, but with TV, telephone, heater, toilet and shower. A reasonable room by Australian standards. But it was less than 3.5 star rating so Police pushed the landlord to throw us out. We left to save the Landlord from a hefty 10,000 rmb fine and further trouble from the Police. We were told that the fines collected are not necessarily collected and accounted for as they should be but were skimmed off by the local Police collecting the fine. If Beijing Senior Police did not know of that little scam then they do now.

We travelled to a rural area, to be nearer the State Letters and Visits Office, by bus and then had to walk a kilometre or so, dragging our luggage, over rocks and broken tiles buried in thick snow. We had to pass the Letters and Visits Office (http://chinalawandpolicy.com/tag/petition-the-court-of-complaints/) to reach the Local Community housing.

We tried the equivalent of a Hotel, in the same alley as the community toilet in the photograph, but the available room was so small there was no room for our luggage other than on the bed. We went along a bit further and saw a room for rent sign on a property. It pointed us in the direction of Number ******(withheld to protect the landlord). A Communal cement wash basin was just by the steps leading inside. Only one tap and it was cold water.
The Community toilet and the Visits and Letters Office.
Which building serves the people best?
There were two rooms available. We selected the 3 metre by 3 metre room at the back of the building because it was more secure. The floor was tiled and wet. The double bed had a lumpy mattress and bedding that stank. The smell pervaded all our clothing including inside our luggage. The room had one light dangling from the ceiling, one power point and a single window insulated from the cold outside with masking tape around the frame. The heater did not work and it was icy cold inside.
Squat at your own risk. Tread warily and take toilet paper.
Letters and Visits Office and Community Garbage Collection
area at the endof the alley
Our plastic wash bowl iced over during the night, every night. It was very cheap and the Landlord helped out with an electric blanket and a jug to boil water in. Neighbours grabbed every opportunity to look into our room and we tried to keep cameras, telephones and anything of value out of sight. One morning we heard an argument outside our room. Apparently a petitioner in the room, two doors away, had had his shoes stolen. The Landlord was caught up in the argument because it was his building and now the man's shoes had been stolen. The poor man had no money to replace them. He had travelled a very long way from a farming community to visit the Letters and Visits office and he had barely enough money to pay the rent and for a little food. I don't know how the man fared but he was gone two days later. We were lucky to get the room. The Communist Government was having a National Representatives Meeting and Police had pushed through this area and taken many petitioners away.

We had to bathe at a communal bath house about half kilometre walk from our room. A new experience, showering with so many strangers and the centre of their unabashed curiosity. Foreigners never lived in this area or had such close contact with the locals. Plastic sandals had to be worn and clothing was secured in small padlocked wooden cupboards, A wrist band with key attached was worn until you returned to the change area and cupboard, to dry and get dressed. I never mastered the knack of getting dressed without wetting the inside of my jeans legs with wet feet. If popularity of the bath house was a gauge then few homes in this area had their own bathroom. The same could be said of the Community toilet.

This man is walking toward the alley where we lived.
Letters and Visits Office, Beijing

My wife stands before the Letters and Visits Office, Beijing.
I was not welcome here. Officials videoed and photographed us
but I could not take photos.
Closed circuit TV cameras were mounted on every wall of the buildings in this area. Police used the cameras to maintain tight security for the Letters and Visits Office. It was not for the protection of residents. One Petitioner "moved house" at night in an attempt to evade the CCTV surveillance. To no avail. I'm sure, because he would've been seen at his new location the following day or within days. How many times I would sit with Petitioners, in tiny rooms, as they chain smoked and discussed strategies to get their Cases finished. So many, many hours and so many, many times. Relying on my wife as Interpreter I learned most of what they were discussing, what their Cases were about and what strategies they would try to get them resolved sooner. My wife is also a Petitioner and she, too, was searching for ways and means to have her case settled. As I sat with them, looking into their eyes and also seeing how poorly they lived I was overwhelmed with sadness. These were not criminals or bad people. Just ordinary Chinese who had unresolved Court Cases and a process that was destroying any chance they may have had at a better Life. For some there was no hope, their lives were in tatters and the only thing left was their Court Case to be pursued until their last breath. We stayed hidden as much as possible during these meetings to avoid trouble for the Petitioners from the Police and Security Guards. I, a non-smoker, suffered badly from the cigarette smoke.

My fingers were painful due to the extreme cold.
At one time we did participate in a secret meeting involving about 50 petitioners. One petitioner had organised for a group of petitioners to act in unison and send all their papers together to a high official. It took several hours to copy all their papers since they could not be assembled in the meeting placer at the one time. One man "invited" himself inside and was ejected. He claimed to be a Lawyer but no-one believed him. Later the person who owned the meeting place was approached by Police and questioned about the assistance given Petitioners. He denied giving any assistance. Everyone blamed the interloper and he was challenged later about informing the Police. He denied the accusation.  My wife's papers were included with all the others, enveloped and taken to China Post near Beijing Railway Station where I mailed them. An Army Guard watched what I was doing. So many large envelopes emptied from inside a large cloth bundle and mailed. Because I was a foreigner he seemed unsure what to do and just watched. If the Chinese Petitioners had attempted to mail the envelopes I am sure the mailing would have been interrupted. I enclosed a copy of this this letter in each envelope. Of course, no residential address was given.
China Post mailbox is near here

To Whom it may concern,

The enclosed Court case papers have been provided by a number of plaintiffs in an effort to expedite the resolution of their claims.They have gathered together in a small Beijing copying office, after journeying from afar, at risk of arrest by the Police. Their utter desperation and exasperation with the Court System has led them to take this action.
My reason for being here is to provide support and protection to my wife as she pursues resolution of her 12 year old Civil Court claim resulting from an illegal court case. It is a journey I would have preferred not to have had to make or to have experienced the things that we have. I have witnessed many incidents Westerners would find disturbing, involving plaintiffs, around Beijing. Particularly, in and around the High Court and other offices whose function is to provide justice, aid and assistance to the people.

I and my fellow Australians are concerned that Court Cases can be resolved by the payment of bribes. This corruption of officials does not fall within the financial ability of ordinary Chinese, it benefits Society’s wealthy and makes a mockery of the judicial processes. The common comment we hear is that plaintiffs need “friends in high places” to assist in resolving their claims. Any wonder there is so much anger in the air?

After two months stay in China it is disappointing to report today that there has been no headway made in my wife’s case. An illegal court case can apparently be upheld within the Chinese Court system? We would rather her case had been settled so that we could have returned to our home in Australia after enjoying the more usual tourist activities.
I admire the Chinese people very much and I hope to return some day to enjoy the rich historical and cultural attractions of this great country.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Jones,


28th April 2010
There was no reaction to the letter. No petitioner received any response to the bulk mailing even with the Foreigner letter enclosed. It was one of many strategies used by Petitioners to try to advance their Cases. Chinese Courts are more reactive to numbers (Groups) of Petitioners and to "noisy" Petitioners, those who demonstrate often and long to draw attention to their Cases. Here the "squeaky gate gets the oil", perhaps the ear of an Official, or a beating and a spell in a black jail for their trouble. More about the lengths Petitioners go to to draw attention to their cases, often with tragic results, later.

We visited another office, the Ministry of Supervision of the People's Republic of China, after an early rise and long travel by bus. The Office Building had two large, reddish steel doors at the entrance. When we arrived there were several hundred Petitioners waiting ahead of us. We waited at the tail end of the queue until my wife was spotted by a Petitioner we had spoken to at other times and in different places. My wife moved ahead to talk to her. The Petitioners around them wanted to know everything about her. Why the shirt with the flag? Where was she from? Did she have a Court Case? She answered their questions and exchanged jokes with them. I have no idea what was said but if the laughter was a guide the jokes were good. "Go to the front!" They said. A woman took my wife by the hand and led her to the head of the queue. I followed.
The doors to the Office. Thanks Boxun.com for the photograph.
Unable to photograph here.
 And there, at the head of the queue stood "The Fat Man", with close cropped hair and his following of Security Guards. What authority this man held was not apparent as he was dressed as a civilian and wore no identification. He was one of the few very fat Chinese I had seen. He told my wife we could not stand there and that we must queue. I told my wife to tell him we were in a queue and that we were at the head of it. Our queue was just alongside the other long queue. He bristled with anger and said he didn't care if were were foreigners we still had to go to the end of the queue. The Petitioners yelled, "No, they go to the front!" He was now a very angry man. Police came and told us to go inside, through the cordon of Security guards. Inside the Fat Man yelled quite a bit and several officials came out of offices and yelled at us that we would get no help there. From their accents it was apparent that they were from Liaoning Province. We had caused the Fat man a great loss of face in front of his colleagues and the Petitioners.

Office hours. Thanks Boxun.com for the photograph.
 Our Passports were inspected and we were put in a small cell like room with barred windows away from the view of other Petitioners and yelled at to sit down and be quiet. At no time had we been noisy. So soon after sighting our Australian Passports Officials treated my wife as if she was still a Chinese National. We spoke to several officials who refused to identify themselves but, by their accent, it was clear they, too, were from Liaoning Province. They would not give us their names or show us photo identification. They only showed us a cardboard card with a number on it one of them retrieved from another room. A man wearing glasses scanned through my wife's Case papers  and said that they could not help. He held the papers up and slapped the bundle hard with his free hand and yelled, "This is Law. We cannot change it!" My wife said, "These Case papers are not the Law. No-one can change the Law. This is an illegal case. And you do not understand the Law!" We were pushed outside and they did not register our visit there. When we came out into the street the Petitioners asked what happened. My wife told them that we had no result. But they should have faith in the Communist Party and the Chinese Government. She said, in time, any problem will be fixed. Some Petitioners tried to push their papers onto us in the hope we could help them. We could not help them and they would have only trouble if we took their papers.

It was our second visit to this building. The first time was earlier in the year and we had arrived after the office had closed for the day. The city is huge and travelling around it consumes a lot of time. We had had little to eat and decided to have some two minute noodles, out of large cardboard cups,  while we sat on two small stools in the street outside a small shop close by. Very soon a small crowd gathered around and the people began to talk to my wife. As she talked one woman came forward , very close and knelt in the mud and slush of the melting snow, talking to me and with tears streaming down her face. She clutched her Court papers to her chest. I was taken aback by her obvious distress and asked my wife what she was saying. The woman had a sad tale. Her husband had, somehow, come across information about their local Communist Party Leader and the Leader was concerned that her husband might use it against him. Thugs attacked the husband and his son. The son was killed and the husband had both kneecaps shattered. The woman then made a Case in Court against the Communist Party Leader who was still free with no charges laid. She was begging for my help. Her plight was hopeless. She would not be safe when she returned home without any protection. Some men, six or seven, came from who knows where and formed a semi-circle around the crowd. They were doing nothing in particular but their clothing was much cleaner and of better quality than that of the people in the crowd. "So many man with so little to do?" I asked. My wife interpreted and the men moved away. The shopkeeper beckoned us inside and we went with her followed by the lady in tears and a younger woman.

Inside, at the rear of the shop, there was a small room. It must have had at least eight  three tier bunk beds crammed into it. The shopkeeper said she provided the beds for Petitioners  visiting the nearby Letters and Visits Office. We sat in the room and the younger woman burst into tears. She had come from a province in South China.



Mini- truckers near the Beijing cafe
Living as we did, in the community beside the Beijing Letters and Visits Office, we bought our daily needs locally. We were regulars at a small, busy cafe just up the road and could not recommend their garlic chive dumplings highly enough. Delicious! The young couple and their son lived on the premises and the proprietor's father lived in nearby hostel accommodation. Sometimes we would come in from the snow, mud or dust (depending on the season) and give the floor a sweep. We could wash our hands at a basin just inside the door and the old man would bring us a pot of piping hot tea. We talked to many people in that friendly small shop. A young mechanic, learning his trade, knew a little English and he'd regularly join in our conversations. It was all very friendly. The shop was located on a corner in the road and the large site across the road was being developed. There was a brothel on either side of the cafe which I mistook, initially, to be hairdressing salons. I copped a good kick in the pants from my wife for taking too much interest looking inside one of them through the large shopfront window. There were huge potholes right on the corner of the road and traffic was reduced to a snails pace. I had joked with the Proprietor, months before, that his cafe was positioned in a very good position. He had large volumes of very slow moving traffic passing his door and a brothel on either side.  What more could anyone want to promote a good business. A few weeks before we left Beijing for the last time there was a definite change in the atmosphere in the shop. The proprietor appeared preoccupied and less interested in the business.Sadly, the shop was to be bulldozed and the family had nowhere to go and no new business to run. They would be homeless and penniless.  We did not see the old man before we left.  The cafe was demolished soon after our return to Shenyang and we never returned to that area of Beijing again.

Down the road from outside the cafe
Further along the same stretch of road there was a small hardware shop. The proprietor had learned English many years ago and could remember some words and phrases and the alphabet. We had an understanding. I would teach him a little English and we would talk about China but not about the forbidden Chinese Politics. We bought several household items from him, including our pee bucket. The bucket was part of my nocturnal performance outside the closed Letters and Visits Office on our way home. As we walked down the road, I rehearsed my act. I took the pee bucket and put it on my head as if it was a hat and then, ever so gracefully, removed it with a long sweep and low bow. A crowd of locals were very amused at the antics of the Foreigner who was either drunk or mad. I was neither, but I did manage to stop the traffic with my rehearsals. I performed my act several times under the CCTV cameras of the Beijing Letters and Visits Office and I hoped it was recorded. This disrespectful act, a salute with a pee bucket, was the only sign of any respect I gave that building. Afterwards, the pee bucket and my head were never reunited. We dropped in to say goodbye to the hardware shop man before we left. It was nearly dark and he came outside and took my hand in his. We walked fifty metres from his shop with him still gripping my hand saying goodbye. I had to remind him to return to his shop and customers. We were getting further and further away from it. "We are all human", He said and hugged me, "We are all human!" I cried then, as I do now reading this.

Beijing. Near our Bank. So many modes of transport.


TO HEAR THE SONG AND WATCH A VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhvMUcCFskQ


Azaleas (Ying Shan Hong) _ English translation

At midnight look forward to the dawn
In the middle of Winter look forward to the Spring breeze
When Azaleas are flowering all over the mountains the Red Army will come back..
When Azaleas are flowering all over the mountains the Red Army will come back

This is an old Chinese song but not very old song.  The lyrics are not mournful but there is sadness linked to the song and an incident. The tears still flow when I listen to it today. No, I am not a soft push-over.

I have used photographs from websites. I was unable to take my own photographs because the risk of arrest, detention and confiscation of the camera, or deliberate damage to it, were too high. The photographs are of places we were forced to go to in our attempts to resolve this 13 year old illegal civil court case.

The street is way down the end just out of view. The people are Petitioners.
Usually plain clothed police lined up on the opposite
side to the queue ready to remove any Petitioner they wanted
We visited the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China here. A woman, Mrs. Du and number 508, "assisted" us here. She showed us no identification and denied that she was from Liaoning Province though her accent suggested otherwise. She had a business card for a Beijing based Washing Machine Repairs Business to prove it!  

This is the first place where I heard the song, Ying Shan Hong. In this view we are looking back,down the driveway toward the street with people coming in. The views shown run from around street level up into this area and onward nearly to the wall at the top end of the driveway.We had to show our Passports to guards at the entrance. The Court Case papers were quite heavy and we transported them about in a small shopping trolley. A guard wanted to inspect our trolley and I told him, impolitely to "Bugger Off!!" as he had not shown me his identification. We were allowed in every time we visited.
The low brick buildings are the toilets. The high buildings behind are Offices
Police and guards have a reputation for taking Case papers making it impossible for Petitioners to pursue their case until they can access copies and return again. 
The papers are required for Petitioners to Register to see an Official.
Just beyond the archway, on the right is the steel fence and gateway.
It is in that area where the old man was
bashed by guards.
One Official, in plain clothes, often led us from the entrance to beyond the archway warning everyone of our arrival by proclaiming, through his loudhailer, "Big Nose is coming! Big Nose is coming!" Yes, my nose is generous in proportion but not worth the attention he gave to it. Usually, he used the loudhailer for crowd control. Just beyond the brick archway on the right there is a barred fence with a gateway protected by guards on the inside and outside. You must show your Case Papers to get through these gates. Once, inside, large bags etc cannot be carried any further and must be left on trestles for collection on your return. I made it very clear to the guards that since we were made to leave our items there I was making them responsible for their security. There would be much trouble if they were stolen.On one occasion, while we waited to be processed to get inside, an old man walked up and down,near the gateway, singing Ying Shan Hong. His voice was loud, his eyes blazed and he walked strongly and erect. Well wishers asked him to stop. The guards were getting angry with him. He refused to stop singing. My wife asked him to stop. He sang all the louder. Then we were ushered  through the gateway to the baggage area and then on down the right hand side of the walkway behind the buildings. We had possibly progressed thirty metres when the singing stopped. 
Rain, hail, snow or sun. There is no protection given Petitioners from
the elements, Guards or Police
At the conclusion of our business we returned to the archway where we asked Petitioners what had happened to the old man. Guards had grabbed him, slapped and punched him to the mouth and then dragged him off to a car and driven him away. He was bleeding heavily from the mouth. So much violence against an old man singing a song of hope. Hope, amongst other things, is not permitted in this precinct.
We did not see the type of violence shown in this video. But it happened at this place:
Another incident filmed at this place. An old man is punched by guards 21.8.2011. Typical of the brutal treatment suffered by Petitioners. http://www.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2011/09/201109081212.shtml

There is much more to be said about the officials and the guards here.  The photographs show only a small number of the petitioners who come here daily. The queues we joined here were three times the size shown in the photographs. These people are not criminals. They are just ordinary people with Court Cases

More will be written shortly.