Friday, September 09, 2005

Trying out the merchandise?

China is playing a constructive and positive role in the world affairs both economically and politically and it will have a lot to offer and experience to share with other countries at the upcoming 2005 World Summit next week.

So says UN SecGen Kofi Annan, at the United Nations yesterday in a joint interview with China's Xinhua News Agency and the China Central Television.

Annan believes China is “a very important country in the world today… not just economically but also politically,” and it is important that Chinese president Hu Jintao joins all the leaders from around the world to review "how we improve our collective security, how we improve the non-proliferation issue, how we improve human rights, how we deal with development and help the poor".

China, he continues, can make a major contribution by working with the developing countries, assisting them economically and sharing its experience with them. "I think that is the area where quite a lot of developing world are looking up to China," he said.

No doubt one area where China has “experience to share” is in its innovative cost-effective development of mobile execution vans, pioneered by provincial authorities to replace the traditional method of execution by firing squad in which prisoners are taken to an execution ground and made to kneel with hands cuffed before being shot in the head.

Officials in Yunnan province proudly explain that only four people are required to carry out the execution in the mobile vans: the executioner, one member of the court, one official from the procuratorate and one forensic doctor.

Eighteen mobile executions vans, converted 24-seater buses, have been distributed to all intermediate courts and one high court in Yunnan province. The windowless execution chamber at the back contains a metal bed on which the prisoner is strapped down. Once the needle is attached by the doctor, an act which breaches international medical ethics, a police officer presses a button and an automatic syringe inserts the lethal drug into the prisoner's vein. The execution can be watched on a video monitor next to the driver’s seat and can be recorded if required.

Zhao Shijie, president of the Yunnan Provincial High Court, was quoted as praising the new system: "The use of lethal injection shows that China’s death penalty system is becoming more civilized and humane."

If the Chinese need any testimonies, for something that could become a major export earner, they need only apply to the SecGen, who happily declares: "China obviously is an active player on the economic scene and rose fast in the world. It also has been extremely successful in production, in marketing and in exporting its goods".

With a little bit of luck, they might even get Annan to try out the merchandise.


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