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Western media coverage of China tends to be dominated by two competing narratives. The first is all about economics. China, it contends, is an epochal success story. The economy is booming and national wealth is on the rise. The Chinese themselves are overwhelmingly satisfied with their lot. There's nowhere to go but up. The second focuses on politics. China is in the grip of communist party dictatorship. People have no democratic rights. Everywhere you turn, there is social turmoil -- seething popular anger over corruption, environmental degradation, illegal land grabs, and summary arrests. Something's got to give. To be sure, both of these interpretations contain grains of truth. But it turns out that there's another way of comprehending the reality of modern-day China -- one that captures the contradictions of the place and allows them to co-exist.
China’s ministries of health, education and human resources on 10 February ordered local governments to implement new policies designed to eliminate discrimination against people with HBV, the virus that causes hepatitis B. They were given 30 days to ban the use of HBV blood tests in job recruitment and school entry examinations.
When school reopens after the Spring Break in February, thousands of children of rural migrant workers in a Beijing district face having no classes to return to as their schools will have been demolished to make way for urban redevelopment. At least 6,000 students, among them young children of kindergarten age, would be affected after some 20 privately run migrant schools in Chaoyang District are torn down by the end of February, according to principals of the schools slated for demolition.
A university degree is supposed to provide students from poor rural families with a good job, high status and, crucially, a residency in the big city that would allow them to start their own family. However, the reality for today’s graduates is very different.
Despite government moves to eradicate employment discrimination against people with HBV, the virus that causes Hepatitis B, employers still routinely refuse to hire HBV-positive job candidates, and there is still a widespread fear and misunderstanding of the disease in Chinese society, according to a new research report by the HBV activist and support group, Yirenping
A 25 year-old university graduate with Hepatitis B has, for the first time in China, successfully sued a hospital for violating his right to privacy after it gave the results of his blood test to a prospective employer.
BEIJING - CHINA will stop mandatory hepatitis B tests for employees joining new companies and students enrolling in schools, state media said on Sunday, after a court ruled the tests were illegal discrimination. Deng Haihua, deputy director of the health ministry's general office, said the government would soon issue instructions to stop the practice, which is currently a requirement, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
On 23 May 2008, a Beijing district court awarded Gao Yiming nearly 20,000 yuan in compensation after he was refused employment at a Beijing technology company on the grounds that he was carrying the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). This was the first time a HBV discrimination case had been successfully litigated in China. Earlier cases had been successfully concluded through court ordered mediation or through private agreements between the plaintiff and defendant.
On the 20th anniversary of the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Beijing, CLB Director, Han Dongfang, expresses the hope that China’s current generation of civil rights defenders can realize the dreams of the Tiananmen Square protesters, but without further bloodshed. Photo by Chamarisk.
Table of Contents Part one: Those left behind Part two: Under the same blue sky? Rural migrant children in urban China Exclusion from the healthcare system


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