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The number of foreign offenders receiving legal aid has increased since a law was amended last year requiring the government to provide free help to foreign criminals who face life sentences or the death penalty. According to the Ministry of Justice, legal aid authorities handled more than 800 cases involving foreign criminals last year after the law took effect in January 2013, a 20 percent increase from the year before. "That more foreigners are staying in China and the amended Criminal Procedure Law has enlarged the scope of our legal services to foreign defendants has contributed to the sharp increase in such cases," said Sang Ning, deputy director of the ministry's legal aid center. Most of the cases involved violent crimes, including drug smuggling and trafficking, murder, rape, human trafficking and robbery, as well as financial crimes, Sang said. Such cases mainly occurred in border areas, such as Yunnan province and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and some developed coastal areas, including Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian provinces. Offenders were mostly from Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and some European countries. Under the amended law, authorities also provide free legal service to foreigners sentenced to life imprisonment, rather than only those who could receive the death sentence. The number of foreigners staying in China for more than six months hit about 680,000, according to the ministry, including those who have obtained Chinese "green cards". Foreigners involved in civil cases can also receive free legal service if they are short of funds or their country has signed a judicial agreement with China. The ministry said it has established a database of 20,000 qualified volunteer lawyers who can provide free legal aid to foreign clients. About one-third of them can communicate in English. Sang said the ministry will emphasize having more free legal assistance in border areas such as Yunnan and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, where a large number of foreigners are involved in cross-border crimes, including drug smuggling and trafficking or huma,Mens Jordan 11,n trafficking. "The key is to increase government financial support to legal aid and take effective measures to improve the quality of service," said,Air Jordan 9 Calvin Bailey, Li Wei, a lawyer from the Beijing Lawyers Association.

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When 60-year-old Su Huiping, a Shanghai embroidery artist, put a nearly invisible silk thread through the tiny eye of a needle, a group of distinguished observers couldn't help but marvel. As Asia's regional leaders were busy on Wednesday with a security summit in Shanghai, Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan invited her counterparts to enjoy China's traditional arts and culture in the centuries-old Yuyuan Garden. Along with Peng, the group of women included Azerbaijani first lady Mehriban Aliyeva; Cambodian first lady Bun Rany; Kyrgyz first lady Raisa Atambayeva; and Dariga Nursultanovna Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Su, an expert in Gu embroidery, was one of the several folk artists invited to present their unique skills to the women. Gu embroidery, which originated during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is a style of needlework with silk thread on cotton pieces that duplicates famous paintings and calligraphy. When Aliyeva heard that a lappet thread can actually be divided into more than 200 strands of thinner silk thread, she wondered how one can pick up something so fine and put it through a needle eye. Su, who has been practicing the craft for 42 years, completed the task with ease — within a second — earning an appreciative reaction from her audience. Su told the women that the thinner threads are used to present the wings of birds or the tails of fish in the picture to show lightness. Nazarbayeva asked how many stitches Su needed to complete the embroidered image of the small bird Su was working on. The answer: countless. Gu embroidery is part of the country's prot,Jordan 11 For Girls,ected non-material cultural heritage, one of many Chinese cultural treasures that Peng wanted to share during the hour-long visit in the garden, also known as the Garden of Happiness. I,Jordan 1 Retro,t features rocks, ponds, pavilions and towers. The women also marveled at the creations of tie-dye artists, who turned cotton cloth into colorful pieces with the help of different herbal plants. Later, a performance of Kunqu Opera, tai chi and Peking Opera won much applause from the group. Xu Zhenlu, who participated in the performance, said it is really meaningful to showcase China's traditional arts to foreign guests. As more foreign people learn about local traditional arts, more such exchanges will help promote better ties with foreign countries, Xu said.

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The other 23 traffickers, of whom one is a Vietnamese citizen and eight others have supposed Vietnamese citizenship that has not been confirmed, received sentences ranging from one year and 10 months to life imprisonment, with confiscation of personal property or fines for the crime of trafficking children, according to a statement released by the intermediate court of Fangchenggang in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday. The group sold 23 infants aged 10 days to several months to Chinese families starting in 2010 to July 2011. The traffickers illegally carried the infants over the border to Dongxing, in Guangxi. From there, the children were sold to families in Shantou and Jieyang, both in Guangdong province. The gang also transported pre,Air Jordan 11 XX8 Days of Flight,gnant Vietnamese women to Guangdong, where they gave birth, and then sold the newborns. Eleven of the kidnapped children were rescued in the crackdown and returned to Vietnam in May 2013. Chinese police are cooperating with their Vietnamese counterparts to track down the children's birth parents. "The trial will play a big role in warning other traffickers to stop," said Huang Qiong, a publicity official for the court in Fangchenggang. It took more than a year to arrive at sentences in the cross-border trafficking case, much longer than other trafficking cases because it had confronted more obstacles during the investigation, Huang said. The large number of suspects and infants required a multinational investigation. In addition, the leader received a sentence of capital punishment, requiring a longer processing period. But the outcome of ,Air Jordan 6 Retro Womens White Infrared,dismantling the trafficking rings and rescuing the infants made it worth all the hard work, Huang said. Chen Shiqu, director of anti-human-trafficking office of the Ministry of Public Security's criminal investigation arm, said the trial sent a strong signal that human trafficking won't be tolerated. The main members got more severe sentences, and the ringleader, Huang Qingheng, who claimed to be a Vietnamese citizen, was sentenced to death. "To protect women and children, the traffickers should be punished harshly," Chen said. Since 2004, China has had a cooperation plan in place with its Southeastern Asian neighbors, including Thailand, to fight cross-border human trafficking. "The joint efforts will never let up, and we will rescue victims and protect our people," Chen said.