Refugee Review Tribunal

RRT RESEARCH RESPONSE

Research Response Number: CHN32428 Country: Date: 22 November 2007

Keywords: China – Party – Milk – Income support – Discrimination

This response was prepared by the Research & Information Services Section of the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the RRT within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. This research response may not, under any circumstance, be cited in a decision or any other document. Anyone wishing to use this information may only cite the primary source material contained herein.

Questions

1. Information about Kuomintang Party. 2. Are records kept of subsequent generations/family members of former members of the Kuomintang Party? 3. What evidence is there of income-support? When is it paid? 4. Is there such a thing as “milk money”? When is “milk-money” paid or not paid? 5. Is there any evidence that subsequent generations of Kuomintang party members would be discriminated against by the , in the army, , social security payments or work?

RESPONSE

1. Information about Kuomintang Party.

The Kuomintang Party (KMT or “Chinese Nationalist People’s Party”) was a Chinese which emerged in the 1920s and contested for control of the country against the Chinese (CCP) until 1949, when the CCP led by gained complete authority over the nation. A brief description of this period in Chinese history is provided in a Background Note on the People’s Republic of China written by the US Department in August 2007:

In the 1920s, Sun Yat-sen established a base in and set out to unite the fragmented nation. With Soviet assistance, he organized the Kuomintang (KMT or “Chinese Nationalist People’s Party”), and entered into an alliance with the fledgling (CCP). After Sun’s death in 1925, one of his proteges, Chiang Kai-shek, seized control of the KMT and succeeded in bringing most of south and under its rule. In 1927, Chiang turned on the CCP and executed many of its leaders. The remnants fled into the mountains of eastern China. In 1934, driven out of their mountain bases, the CCP’s forces embarked on a “” across some of China’s most desolate terrain to the northwestern province of , where they established a guerrilla base at ’an.

During the “Long March,” the communists reorganized under a new leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung). The bitter struggle between the KMT and the CCP continued openly or clandestinely through the 14-year long Japanese invasion (1931-45), even though the two parties nominally formed a to oppose the Japanese invaders in 1937. The war between the two parties resumed after the Japanese defeat in 1945. By 1949, the CCP occupied most of the country.

Chiang Kai-shek fled with the remnants of his KMT government and forces to , where he proclaimed to be China’s “provisional capital” and vowed to re- conquer the Chinese . Taiwan still calls itself the “Republic of China.” (US Department of State 2007, Background Note: China, 9 March – Attachment 1).

The party is also referred to under its Chinese spelling – “Guomindang”. This and further information on the KMT, especially on the various forms under which Kuomintang named parties still operate in Taiwan and on , can be found in Research Response CHN14497 (RRT Country Research 2001, Research Response CHN14497, 1 November – Attachment 2).

Reports on the current treatment of people from KMT families are provided in answer to questions five below.

2. Are records kept of subsequent generations/family members of former members of the Kuomintang Party?

A personal dossier or file system does exist in China and there is evidence that Kuomintang membership, including of previous family members, is recorded in it. This personal file is usually held by a persons work unit and is a called a dang an (or dangan). It has been recently referred to and commented on by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This year DFAT stated that a person’s failed asylum attempt in Australia may be recorded in their dang an, which could have consequences for employment and future education:

…In terms of the possible treatment the person might receive on return to China, it is not particularly important how the person comes to the attention of Chinese authorities. As advised in reftel, it is not possible to comment definitively on how Chinese authorities would treat returnees to China who were failed asylum seekers. If Chinese authorities believed them to be a member of one of these groups (, underground church, political dissidents), it would be likely that authorities would interview them and might keep them under surveillance or detain them for a short period. Authorities may record the failed asylum attempt in the person’s dossier (“dang an”), which could impede the person’s attempts to obtain employment (particularly government employment) or engage in further education. If the person was a high-profile activist in Australia (for example a prominent Falun Gong leader, or someone known for publicly criticising the Chinese leadership) it is likely that the authorities would treat them more severely (longer-term surveillance, administrative detention) than if the person was a low-profile member of one of these groups (DIAC Country Information Service 2007, Country Information Report No. CHN8980 – China: Publication of client details (sourced from DFAT advice 20 March 2007), 22 March – Attachment 3).

In June 2003, DFAT described the contents of the dang an in detail and referred to its diminishing use by authorities with regard to those who are not party members or cadres:

The Chinese government maintains different records for rural and urban residents. It does not keep personal files or dossiers on all citizens. The political significance of personal dossiers for those who are neither party members nor cadres has diminished in recent years. With greater between provinces and employers and the growth in the non-state sector, it is becoming easier to find employers who do not require a continuous personal dossier from a previous employer or work unit.

Chinese citizen may possess one or both of two basic documents. One is a household registration booklet (), issued by the local public security authorities at birth. It lists the place and date of birth, parents’ names and siblings’ names (if any), sex, ethnicity, marital status, and the holder’s registered place of residence (rural or urban). It is possible to change one’s registered residency from rural to urban: this change and the date are also recorded.

Beginning from primary school, a Chinese may also possess a personal dossier (dang’an). This is a collection of papers containing personal comments by teachers, records of marks, official commendations or records of disciplinary offences. It is passed through high school and on to university authorities. The dossier takes on real significance after university, when it can be used by potential employers in place of a personal resume or references to determine employment opportunities and promotion prospects.

Some large state-run employers, including government ministries and party organs, physically retain individuals’ dossiers, which are maintained by the personnel section. Smaller, private sector or foreign-owned work units can contract centralised “ resource centres” or employment agencies to retain the dossiers. Neighbourhood committees retain dossiers for the unemployed. Rural Chinese employed in agriculture do not require dossiers after leaving school. Village or -level personnel departments may keep records of rural households.

We have no specific information on how the dossier system works in particular provinces. But it would be reasonable to assume that the system would be used more strictly in relation to individuals in certain occupations (such as the military and cadres in government and party employment), rather than in relation to individuals’ geographic location per se. We have no evidence suggesting the dossier system is imposed more strictly on members of ethnic minorities.

The dossier is chiefly a record of official merits or demerits, qualifications, and evaluations by employers, including political evaluations, party membership and party standing. It may also record social or contributions. The system is clearly open to abuse, as individuals do not generally have access to their own dossier and work units can use retention of a dossier to pressure individuals contemplating changing their work unit. The personnel section which maintains the dossier may pass on incriminating comments (including information from third parties) directly to public security or state security authorities.

Local public security authorities maintain separate records of individuals, based on unique identity numbers recorded on identity cards and linked to hukou records. Individuals must carry their identity cards (shenfenzheng) at all times. Local public security authorities also maintain individual criminal records (DIAC Country Information Service 2003, Country Information Report 82/03 Personal Files, (sourced from DFAT advice 10 June 2003), 17 June – Attachment 4). A 1989 book by Suzanne Ogden titled China’s Unresolved Issues – Politics, Development and Culture refers to Kuomintang membership and “bad class background or origin” of family relations as being recorded in the dang an:

…In addition to black marks, letters, and the supervisor’s own comments, a dossier will also contain information about a person’s class background, education, friends and relations (especially if they have bad class backgrounds or have lived abroad), and participation in political organizations. If a person has a bad class origin or has ever been labelled as one of the “five bad elements,” that fact can haunt him for the rest of his life. For example, one man who before 1949 had joined the Kuomintang Youth League when he was only 12 years old was struggled against repeatedly for twenty years as being a “” and possibly a “foreign spy.” When he finally discovered the reason he was victimized, he committed suicide. Another man, one of China’s first college graduates in engineering and a “model worker,” was in 1958 labelled an “historical counter revolutionary” because he confessed to joining a “reactionary youth league” several years before liberation and remaining in it for one year. He appealed the party’s verdict, but the party refused to lift his political “hat.” Instead, it sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment. When he was later released, he went to work again, but his background destined him to repeated “struggle.” (Ogden, Suzanne 1989, China’s Unresolved Issues – Politics, Development and Culture, ‘Dossiers (Dang’an)’ from Chap.6 ‘Socialist Legality and Social Control’ – Attachment 5).

KMT leaders were categorised as “bad class” in the immediate period following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 to the late 1970s (see (RRT Country Research 1996, Research Response CHN10897, 8 January – Attachment 6).

An Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada response dated 16 August 1989 stated that a father’s Kuomintang (KMT) links would “likely” be recorded in the personal dossier of his son:

A Canadian academic expert on Chinese politics states that the treatment of the children of former Kuomintang officers depends upon what the parents’ rank had been and in what part of the country they now reside. The rank of officer will impart more significance because the attainment of this rank would have involved more active participation in politics. Otherwise, ordinary soldiers conscripted by the Kuomintang are of less concern to the Communist authorities. The person’s residence is an important factor because the impact of the father’s Kuomintang link which comes under the category of political background and is most likely noted on the personal dossier kept on every Chinese citizen is assessed at the discretion of local officials. (According to this source, there is a strong Chinese cultural tradition that sins of the father can be visited upon his children.) (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 1989, CHN1715 – China: 1) Current treatment of children of a Kuomintang military officer; 2) Proportion of Chinese population who are members of the Communist Party; Possible sanctions for a person who voluntarily leaves the Party; 3) Information on the demonstrations in City, in -May 1989, 16 August – Attachment 7).

Other reports on the contents of the dang an are supplied in Attachments 8 and 9 (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 2001, CHN36619. ‘China: Whether Chinese citizens have a work record or employment book that provides information on employment history; if so, its format and purpose (1994 to March 2001)’, 4 April – Attachment 8; Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 2002, CHN38011.E – China: Whether the Public Security Bureau (PSB) has a national computer network that records all resident identification cards and alerts police stations nationally, upon inquiry, whether or not an individual has an outstanding police summons or arrest warrant, 13 March – Attachment 9).

A UK Home Office Country Report of October 2003 refers to the diminishing importance given to the dang an:

Further control of individuals is exercised through employment documentation: specifically through the individual’s work unit (danwei), which keeps employment history records in a personal archive called a dangan. The dangan can be referred to, annotated and added to by Party chiefs, but is not open to the individual. Until recently, the dangan was instrumental in controlling the lives of most China’s urban population. However the dangan has diminished in importance with the decline of the State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s)” (UK Home Office 2003, China: Country report, October – Attachment 10).

Further reports referring to the relaxing of the dang an system beginning from the late 1990s are supplied in Attachments 11 and 12 (‘The X-files’ 1998, , 14 February – Attachment 11; , Prof. -Wei 2003, ‘China’s Political transition: Trends and Prospects’, European Institute for Asian Studies website, 6 November http://www.eias.org/conferences/euchina611/zhang.pdf – Accessed 20 November 2007 – Attachment 12).

3. What evidence is there of income-support? When is it paid?

China has a diverse social security or income-support system. Income-support is often paid to “hard-pressed families” by their employers or the “local government”. The reports presented below will focus on income-support paid by the local government or work unit to struggling families and former employees.

A brief overview of the types of income support provided to various segments of the Chinese population, such as pensioners, the unemployed, mothers, the injured etc., is provided in a 2003 paper on the International Social Security Association (ISAA) website. This paper refers to regulations requiring the payment of unemployment benefits for 24 months for those formerly employed in stated-owned enterprises, the exact amount of which determined by local governments:

Social Security System in China: Chinese Monograph on the 28th General Assembly of the ISSA

II. Overview of China’s Social Security System

1. ’s Social Security System

…Since the middle term of , China has undertaken a series of reforms of the social security system: 1984 witnessed the reform of pension insurance system for enterprise employees; in 1986, urban unemployment insurance system was established; in 1994,1996 and 1998, maternity insurance system, work injury insurance system and insurance system reforms started respectively; in 1999, the Minimum Living Standard Security System was established; in 2002, the new rural cooperative medical system started to be set up. The reform and development of social security system have played an important role in promoting economic development and safeguarding the social stability.

2. System Structure

China’s social security system mainly includes contribution-based social insurance system and non contribution-based social relief system, the social welfare system, the special care and placement system and the social mutual help.

2.1. Social Insurance.

China’s current social insurance system includes basic pension insurance, unemployment insurance, basic medical insurance, work injury and maternity insurance. The social insurance system and the social insurance fund ensure individuals to get help and economic support in the case of old age, unemployment, sickness, work injury and maternity, which guarantees their basic life and health.

2.2. Social Relief

The Chinese government provides economic support for those citizens to maintain the minimum livelihood. The main target group are: those with no labor capability and no income source; with income source, but their living standard lower than the minimum standard; with labor capability, but having temporary interruption of income due to accidents or disasters.

2.3. Social Welfare.

3. Administration System

The central government and the local governments are jointly responsible for administering China’s social security system. The main responsibilities of central government are: formulating national regulations, policy and standard; providing financial assistance to the areas in extreme poverty. Local governments have the following responsibilities: formulating the local regulations, policy and standard according to the national policy, collecting the social security funds, distributing the social security benefits.

At the central, provincial, municipal and country levels, the public and non-profit social insurance operating agencies which are affiliated to the labor and social security administrative departments have been established with a working staff of 100,000 people. Their major responsibilities are: registration of the insured; collecting the social insurance contribution; recording the contribution; managing individual accounts; identifying the claiming qualification and distributing the benefits; managing the social insurance funds; providing inquiry service. The social insurance operating agency is also responsible for implementing the social insurance agreements signed between China and other countries.

… III. Social Insurance System

… 2. Unemployment Insurance

In 1986, the central government started to establish the unemployment insurance system in state-owned enterprises. In 1999, the State Council issued Unemployment Insurance Regulations, covering all urban enterprises and institutions as well as their employees. By December 2003, the total nationwide participants were 103.73 million and the number of receiving the unemployment insurance benefits in that month was 4.15 million. At present, individuals pay 1% of their salary and enterprises pay 2% of the total payroll. The qualification of receiving the unemployment insurance benefit: (1) the working units and the individuals must participate in the unemployment insurance and pay the contribution more than one year; (2) termination of employment is not due to personal reasons; (3) he should fill in the unemployment registration and actively search for job. The rate of the unemployment benefit, mainly the unemployment insurance, is determined by the local government, which is on the principle of less than minimum local salary but more than the minimum living standard. The maximum of the drawing period, which is calculated by the years of paying contributions, is 24 months. The medical allowance can be enjoyed if the unemployed suffers an illness during the period of receiving the unemployment insurance benefit; the funeral allowance and survivor allowance can be enjoyed if the unemployed is dead during receiving benefit; the unemployed can also enjoys occupational training and job introduction allowance during receiving the benefit.

…5. The Maternity Insurance Scheme

The maternity insurance system was initiated in 1950s. In 1994, the former Ministry of Labor promulgated the Provincial Method for Maternity Insurance for Enterprise Employees and began to implement the maternity insurance system. The maternity insurance contribution is paid by the employers in proportion of less than 1% of the total payroll without individual contribution. The employees enjoy childbirth allowance and medical costs during maternity leave no less than 90 days. Employers are prohibited to reduce the basic salary payment and terminate the labor contracts during the period of childbirth.

… IV. Non-contributory Social Security System

1. The Minimum Living Standard Security System

In early 1950s, the Chinese government set up a social relief system for the urban and rural poor. In 1993, the Chinese government began to reform the social relief system in cities, seeking to try out a minimum living standard security system. In 1999, the Chinese government promulgated the Regulations on Guaranteeing Urban Residents’ Minimum Standard of Living. At present, the security system has been established in all cities, formally established and towns throughout the country to ensure the basic livelihood of all urban residents.

Funds for this purpose are included in the fiscal budgets of the local people’s governments and the subsidy from the central government. The minimum living standard is determined according to the cost for maintaining the basic living standard in different . Urban residents whose average family income is lower than the minimum living standard can apply for the minimum living allowance. Investigation of the family’s income shall be conducted before distribution of the minimum living allowance, the level of which is calculated in terms of the difference between the family per-capita income and the minimum living standard. In recent years, part of the rural areas has started to set up a similar minimum living standard security system (International Social Security Association (ISSA) 2003, ‘Social Security System in China: Chinese Monograph on the 28th General Assembly of the ISSA’ International Social Security Association (ISSA) website http://www.28issa-china.org.cn/en/chnss/docss/ – Accessed 11 March 2004 – Attachment 13).

Payments to workers who had been “laid-off” (xiagang) due to the closure, or transformation to privately owned companies, of formerly State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are also referred to as a “living subsidy” (shenghuofei) and is paid to them through their former work unit. A 2001 paper by Lee and Warner explains the basic relationship between unemployment benefits and the living subsidy:

According to the State Statistical Bureau, unemployment refers to the urban registered unemployed who possess nonagricultural residence; are within a certain age range (16 to 50 for male and 16 to 45 for female); are able and willing to work; and have registered with the local labour bureau for employment (Chinese Statistics Bureau, 1997, p588). Only the openly unemployed are eligible for unemployment benefits. In fact, another form of unemployment is perhaps more pervasive – ‘hidden unemployment’ – referring to workers, often in the State sector, who have been ‘laid-off’ (xiagang). The State Statistical Bureau defines ‘laid-off’ workers to be ‘workers who have left their posts and are not engaged in other types of work in the same unit, but still maintain a labour relationship with the unit that they have worked’ (Chinese Statistics Bureau, 1997, p 588). Workers who have been ‘laid-off’ are only given living subsidies (shenghuofei) instead of unemployment benefits, and are not included in the registered unemployment-rate; before long, the xiagang system will be phased out (Lee, Grace O.M. and Warner, Malcolm 2001, ‘Convergence Revisited: Labour-Markets in ‘Communist China and ‘Capitalist’ Kong’, University of Cambridge, Judge Institute of Management Studies, Research Papers in Management Studies WP 19/2001, p.10 http://www.jims.cam.ac.uk/research/working_papers/abstract_01/wp0119.pdf – Accessed 10 March 2004 – Attachment 14).

The Chinese government’s gang policy is examined in some detail in question one of Research Response CHN16313 of December 2003 (RRT Country Research 2003, Research Response CHN16313, 4 December – Attachment 15). This response includes two reports which provide further details on the income-support provided within the xia gang policy. First, a 2002 Human Rights Watch report entitled Paying the price: Worker unrest in :

Laid-off (xia gang): applied to SOE workers sent home but formally kept on the company books…Legally, xia gang workers are entitled to monthly stipends, medical cost re-imbursement, and job re-training. In practice, stipends have been paid irregularly and medical expenses reimbursed sporadically. The xia gang policy began to be phased out in May 2001 and affected workers became formally unemployed. They could then apply for unemployment benefits paid from monies contributed to a labor insurance fund by employers and employees. A major problem has been the failure of employers to make required contributions.

…Since mid-2001… as the legal requirement to set up re-employment centres was gradually being phased out, former SOEs offered lump-sum severance compensation greements…based on years of service; and with the phase out of the xia gang category, lump-sum agreements became more common. Current government policy is for workers to register directly as formally unemployed, thus ending all ties to the enterprise”(Human Rights Watch 2002, Paying the price: Worker unrest in Northeast China, Vol. 14, No. 6 (C), August, p.8 – Attachment 16).

Second, a 2002 report by Dorothy Solinger from the University of California stated that the basic living allowance for laid-off workers is for a period of three years, but that the program of income-support has not always been fully implemented:

Each firm that has laid off some or all of its workers is supposed to create a “reemployment service center,” to which its xiagang workers are to be entrusted for a period up to three years. The center is to provide a basic living allowance [jiben shenghuofei], again, for up to three years, using funds donated by the enterprise, and, where this is not possible, from the city’s financial departments and/or , and, if an enterprise has contributed to the city’s unemployment insurance fund, from the fund. Second, the center is also to train the workers for a new occupation, and to help them locate new work posts. And third, the center should contribute to the pension, medical, and social security funds on behalf of each laid-off worker entrusted to it.

… By now, over four and a half years have passed since the Communist Party announced explicitly and publicly that firms would have to “reduce the workforce, increase efficiency,” a move that was soon followed up by a national conference convened in May 1998 that made the provision of basic living allowances and the on-time payment of pensions a number one priority. Sadly for the victims, alas, the Party’s several efforts in the time since to help the discarded frequently go unfulfilled. Programs to supply these people with living allowances while they wait, and install a social security system detached from the enterprises have at best served only the more elite among the furloughed, only the ones, that is, whose firms are still healthy and whose managers honest enough to report on the condition of their once-employees, or perhaps have helped some of those who were once model workers in the factories and who retain good personal ties with officialdom…

…For a variety of reasons, the main one being insufficient funding, workers from the more than half of state enterprises losing money; from the untold numbers of plants that have just disappeared, whether due to buyouts, mergers, or de facto bankruptcy; and from factories that formally went bankrupt, are either de jure or de facto ineligible [for benefits]. Even among many from state firms who have been issued the xiagangzheng [laid-off certificate], there is much distrust. One ex-worker in charged that the certificate is simply not implemented in his city. “There’s no training, though it says can get it, and while it promises an introduction to a new job, it gives you nothing.” (Solinger, D.J. 2002, ‘Jobs and joining: What’s the effect of WTO for China’s urban employment’, The Political and Economic reforms of mainland China (Conference), March, p.8 and pp.29- 31http://orion.oac.uci.edu/~dorjsoli/tw02kam.pdf – Accessed 24 November 2003 – Attachment 17).

4. Is there such a thing as “milk money”? When is “milk-money” paid or not paid?

No example of the use of the term “milk money” to denote money paid to a family for child expenses was found in the sources consulted. Several sources do refer to monthly payments made by the Chinese government to families who comply with family planning rules under the one child policy. In a detailed account of the current one child policy in China, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade referred in August 2007 to a monthly payment of RMB2.50 to couples who comply with the one child policy in :

For couples who comply with the policy, a small bonus (RMB2.50) is awarded every month until the child is 16 years old. They can also claim an additional pension when they retire, which is RMB2, 300 or US$300 in Shanghai (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2007, DFAT Report 691 – RRT Information Request: CHN32173, 31 August – Attachment 18).

A report by the China Development Brief refers to a “health maintenance allowance” of CNY5-15 for families in province who intend to have a single child:

On a brighter note, the province has begun replacing sticks with carrots in the implementation of family planning regulations. A ‘health maintenance’ allowance of CNY 5-15 per month is reportedly paid to families with one child who pledge not to have another; and in one , as part of a national pilot programme, a yearly payment of CNY 600 is made to rural families of child-bearing age that have complied with the regulations (China Development Brief 2004, ‘Anhui Situation Analysis’, China Development Brief website, 5 January http://www.chinadevelopmentbrief.com/node/302 – Accessed 21 November 2007 – Attachment 19).

Family planning regulations in province from 1990 refer to the return of a “health protection allowance” in describing the penalties for those eligible couples who do go on to have a second child:

…Article 18. If any couple eligible for a second birth intend to have their second child, both the husband’s and wife’s side must submit written applications to their respective units and submit a childbearing contract. They must return to the authorities their “Certificate of Parents of a Single Child” and health protection allowances for the only child. Their applications will be examined by the (town) people’s government or sub- office. After that, they will be submitted to a county-level family planning commission for approval. A childbearing certificate will then be issued (‘Henan Family Planning Rules and Regulations’ 1990, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, source: Henan Ribao (10 May 1990), 4 June – Attachment 20).

5. Is there evidence that subsequent generations of Kuomintang party members would be discriminated against by the police, in the army, education, social security payments or work?

Research Response CHN31099 of May 2006 collates eight reports, dated between 1989 and 2004, on the treatment and level of discrimination faced by those associated with the Kuomintang party, including those whose forebears were members of the Party (see questions one (pp. 2-5) and two (p.10) of RRT Country Research 2006, Research Response CHN31099, 29 May – Attachment 21). These reports indicate that until the late 1970s the treatment of anyone who had served in the Kuomintang regime was harsh (i.e. imprisonment); that discrimination (based on information contained in the dang an) in matters such as employment might occur until the late 1980s, but would depend on the locale and rank of those involved with the KMT; and that from the mid 1990s Kuomintang party connections were less and less relevant in China but the possibility of ill-treatment of family members of former KMT official remained a possibility, dependent on the particular officials in a particular location.

The treatment of former members of the KMT Party and their families was also examined several years ago, in February 1998 Research Response CHN12812 (see question one of RRT Country Research 1998, Research Response CHN12812, 27 February – Attachment 22).

Research Response CHN10897 of January 1996 provides information on the treatment of KMT Party members from the period immediately following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 to the late 1970s (RRT Country Research 1996, Research Response CHN10897, 8 January – Attachment 6).

A article published on the Asiaweek.com website in 2001 referred to one example of the type of discrimination still faced by children of former KMT officials, as well as to the lingering educational discrimination confronted by the grandchildren of such officials:

…When my family first arrived in the U.S. from Taiwan in 1970, I remember my mother excitedly writing a letter to her older brother in , China. The two had not seen each other since 1949, when my mother fled with her parents to Taiwan. My maternal grandfather was a Kuomintang deputy minister of railroads, but he had no choice but to leave two of his sons in China in the aftermath of the sudden rout of the Nationalist regime. My mother had not been able to write from Taiwan because of restrictions on direct communications with the other side. Six weeks after sending her letter, got a short note back from her brother pleading with her “to never to ever write again.”

We didn’t find out until 1987, when she was able to re-establish contact with her lost family, that he had been sent to the countryside for two years of hard labor for receiving a letter from “overseas,” which was classified as a “counter-revolutionary” act. This was despite the fact that he had worked hard to ease the suspicion that sprang from the fact that his father was a KMT official. He had served in the People’s Liberation Army and had fought in the , but this was not seen as enough to erase the “sins” of his KMT father, nor to earn enough forgiveness for receiving a letter from the greatest devil of them all: America.

… By contrast, the sons and daughters of former KMT officials in China still suffer discrimination to varying degrees. Go to any Chinese ministry and you’ll be hard pressed to find a single senior official who has even a relative with KMT links. The Chinese Communist Party, in its heyday of zealous radicalism, tried to weed out all those who had questionable lineage. In the hysteria directed at the , even true believers in the communist cause were reviled. Until a few years ago, students whose parents or grandparents were once members of the KMT were still marked out. They had to score higher points to get into university; some were simply rejected by university admission committees because of their family background. Though the is long over, the deep roots of discrimination against the “bourgeois” still linger in many Chinese government institutions.

China of course has come a long way since the Cultural Revolution. Increasingly, many people are judged by their abilities and not by their past. As China enters the , the country will be transformed even more into a market-driven economy with greater emphasis on . However, for the country to be truly healthy, politically, socially and economically, much will have to be done to heal the scars left by the and 1970s (Cheng, A.T. 2001, ‘A Tale of Two Countries China and : These communists aren’t the same’, Asiaweek website, 8 January http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/foc/ – Accessed 11 October 2007 – Attachment 23).

List of Sources Consulted

Internet Sources: International News & Politics Asiaweek website http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/ Specific Links China Development Brief website http://www.chinadevelopmentbrief.com Topic Specific Links International Social Security Association (ISSA) website http://www.28issa-china.org.cn/ Search Engines Google search engine http://www.google.com.au/

Databases: FACTIVA (news database) BACIS (DIMA Country Information database) REFINFO (IRBDC (Canada) Country Information database) ISYS (RRT Country Research database, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, US Department of State Reports) RRT Library Catalogue

List of Attachments

1. US Department of State 2007, Background Note: China, 9 March. (Cisnet China CX184267) 2. RRT Country Research 2001, Research Response CHN14497, 1 November.

3. DIAC Country Information Service 2007, Country Information Report No. CHN8980 – China: Publication of client details (sourced from DFAT advice 20 March 2007), 22 March. (Cisnet China CX174138)

4. DIAC Country Information Service 2003, Country Information Report 82/03 Personal Files, (sourced from DFAT advice 10 June 2003), 17 June. (Cisnet China CX79779)

5. Ogden, Suzanne 1989, China’s Unresolved Issues – Politics, Development and Culture, ‘Dossiers (Dang’an)’ from Chap.6 ‘Socialist Legality and Social Control’ – Attachment 5). (Cisnet China CX21865)

6. RRT Country Research 1996, Research Response CHN10897, 8 January.

7. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 1989, CHN1715 – China: 1) Current treatment of children of a Kuomintang military officer; 2) Proportion of Chinese population who are members of the Communist Party; Possible sanctions for a person who voluntarily leaves the Party; 3) Information on the demonstrations in Guangzhou City, in April-May 1989, 16 August. (REFINFO)

8. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 2001, CHN36619.E ‘China: Whether Chinese citizens have a work record or employment book that provides information on employment history; if so, its format and purpose (1994 to March 2001)’, 4 April. (REFINFO)

9. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada 2002, CHN38011.E – China: Whether the Public Security Bureau (PSB) has a national computer network that records all resident identification cards and alerts police stations nationally, upon inquiry, whether or not an individual has an outstanding police summons or arrest warrant, 13 March. (REFINFO)

10. UK Home Office 2003, China: Country report, October. (Cisnet China)

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13. International Social Security Association (ISSA) 2003, ‘Social Security System in China: Chinese Monograph on the 28th General Assembly of the ISSA’ International Social Security Association (ISSA) website http://www.28issa- china.org.cn/en/chnss/docss/ – Accessed 11 March 2004.

14. Lee, Grace O.M. and Warner, Malcolm 2001, ‘Convergence Revisited: Labour- Markets in ‘Communist China and ‘Capitalist’ ’, University of Cambridge, Judge Institute of Management Studies, Research Papers in Management Studies WP 19/2001, p.10 http://www.jims.cam.ac.uk/research/working_papers/abstract_01/wp0119.pdf – Accessed 10 March 2004.

15. RRT Country Research 2003, Research Response CHN16313, 4 December.

16. Human Rights Watch 2002, Paying the price: Worker unrest in Northeast China, Vol. 14, No. 6 (C), August.

17. Solinger, D.J. 2002, ‘Jobs and joining: What’s the effect of WTO for China’s urban employment’, The Political and Economic reforms of mainland China (Conference), March, p.8 and pp.29-31http://orion.oac.uci.edu/~dorjsoli/tw02kam.pdf – Accessed 24 November 2003.

18. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2007, DFAT Report 691 – RRT Information Request: CHN32173, 31 August.

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21. RRT Country Research 2006, Research Response CHN31099, 29 May.

22. RRT Country Research 1998, Research Response CHN12812, 27 February.

23. Cheng, A.T. 2001, ‘A Tale of Two Countries China and Vietnam: These communists aren’t the same’, Asiaweek website, 8 January http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/foc/ – Accessed 11 October 2007.