Monthly Archives: March 2014

New Project & Challenges

As I have just recently decided to change my area of focus for the project, I am somewhat back at square one. The main challenge for me right now is to catch up to where I was before changing the research. I need to find out what my main questions are and organize my project and information. I have to find new primary and secondary sources and begin reading them. I believe the hardest thing will simply be catching up and being prepared for the draft due in a little over a week.

My new area of research is on athletes in China. Though I’ll be focusing somewhat on scandals and reports surrounding performance enhancing drugs and the athletes, I will also probably do more research on the general training process of national and Olympic athletes. I may also touch on the rumors and reports of under-aged Olympic athletes in China. I’ve found some particular case studies about all the previous topics mentioned that I will be using throughout the research.

I think one more challenge in this new project is finding genuine reports coming out of China on this topic and not just from other countries. I want to make sure I get the opinion of the Chinese people and facts coming from those involved. I may do some more extensive research with athletes who have a past of being caught using performance enhancing drugs. I will look into the reports of Chinese athletes being forced into taking performance-enhancing drugs with the excuse that it is for scientific training. I’m looking forward to seeing what I find.

Challenges with Research Projects

I’ve always had the trouble with research projects in that I am always trying to take on more than I can handle. I have trouble narrowing down my questions to one topic and end up without a solid few questions to follow. My research then begins to go astray and I become confused as to what I really wanted to know.

With this particular research project, I’m finding myself with a similar problem. I’m researching North Korean refugees treatment in China and discovering the desire to take under the broader topic of general refugees as well as wanting to know about the living conditions of the North Korean refugees in China. Another difficulty would be that a lot of the information I’m gathering is coming from countries outside of the two I’m focusing on. Due to the extensive censorship of media and information in China, as well as the fact that it is a sensitive topic for the Chinese government, I’m having difficulties getting a true feel of the opinion of the Chinese people about these refugees. I was aware that this would be a difficulty going into the project, but I’m hoping to find some good information after some digging.

Refugees or Illegal Immigrants

As a brief introduction to my research, I am looking at the treatment of North Korean refugees in China, China’s stance on refugees, and why China handles refugees in the manner they seem to do. The source I’m reporting on comes from Radio Free Asia and is titled “China Arrests North Korean Refuges: Reports.” It discusses the arrest and deportation of 11 North Korean refugees from China, who were traveling south out of China to an unknown Asian country and then presumably, on to South Korea. They were being lead by two ethnic Koreans with Chinese citizenship and were supported by a South Korean Christian mission. There are some contradicting released statements about just how many refugees there were.

In history, China’s known to forcibly repatriate North Korean ‘refugees’. However China doesn’t necessarily think the same way. A quote from the article reads, “China-North Korea’s staunchest ally-frequently repatriates those it catches, claiming they are illegal economic migrants, rather than refugees.” This article is very useful because it gives a very recent example of China dealing with North Korean refugees and covers what happened, China’s actions, and how they dealt with it. It also gives other countries opinions and actions.

I found it interesting that the number of refugees in the group arrested hasn’t clearly found a single factual number. If the refugees are forcefully repatriated, they would likely face death or be sent to a labor camp and Stephen Noerper of the Washington-based Korea society brings up the possibility that they will severely suffer. He wanted the international community to get involved.

I’m hoping to use this particular example further through other articles, news reports, and videos about the refugees and what actions the Chinese government may have taken The article could have been more detailed about China’s stance with possibly more quotes from news reports about the detainees.

Joshua Lipes, “China Arrests North Korean Refugees: Reports” Radio Free Asia. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/arrest-11182013171205.html