National China News

Date: May 9, 2019
By: Matt Rivers and Lily Lee, CNN

Almaty, Kazakhstan (CNN)
   Overflowing toilets in overcrowded cells. Food and sleep deprivation. Forced injections.

As she witnessed horror after horror and was told of others, Sayragul Sauytbay, who says she was a former employee inside one of China’s sprawling network of alleged detention camps in Xinjiang province, vowed to one day tell the world what she saw.
“I knew that all people there were not guilty of anything,” she said. “I could do nothing to help them avoid suffering. That’s why I decided that one day I would publicize what’s happening there.”

Sauytbay shared startling allegations of torture inside the camp during an interview with CNN in Almaty, Kazakhstan. While former detainees have raised the alarm about abuse they say they’ve faced, Sauytbay is one of a very small number of employees to have spoken out in detail.

“China has lied to the international community when it said these are not concentration camps, not prisons, and that they are teaching Muslims skills and trades,” she said. “That’s not true at all because I saw it with my own eyes.”

Sauytbay says she fled her job in a Xinjiang camp in 2018, escaping to Kazakhstan where she was united with her family briefly before being picked up by Kazakh authorities for crossing into the country with forged documents. She is requesting asylum in the country.    [FULL  STORY]

Date: May 4, 2019
By: Panos Mourdoukoutas

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg © 2018 BLOOMBERG FINANCE LP

China wants everything from Africa: its strategic location, its oil, its rare earth metals, and its fish, leaving African nations indebted to Beijing.

In its long history, Africa has served the global ambitions of many foreigners. Foreigners have reached out to Africa as missionaries, financiers, and infrastructure builders.They have promised to place the continent on the globalization map and help its people grow out of poverty. But they ended up grabbing Africa’s riches, colonizing one nation after another, and letting their people steep in poverty.

That may end up being the case again,  with China’s recent infrastructure investment projects in the continent.

On the surface, these projects seem to serve the quest of African nations to build a sound infrastructure. But on closer examination, they serve China’s ambitions to write the rules of the next stage of globalization.    [FULL  STORY]

INDONESIA has sunk dozens of foreign boats within just hours to deter illegal fishing in its waters bordering the highly contended South China Sea, as the country continues to assert its sovereign authority over the area.

Date: May 5, 2019
By: Alice Scarsi

As many as 51 foreign boats were sunk by Indonesia authorities as a warning to other nations, Fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti said. The vessels, most of which were bearing Vietnam, Malaysia and China’s flags, will be scuttled at several different locations over the next two weeks, according to Indonesian officials. Ms Pudjiastuti claimed the use of violence was necessary to avoid further economic losses from lax regulations that gave leeway for foreign boats to fish in Indonesian waters.

This is not the first time Indonesia sinks and capture foreign vessels accused of entering its territorial waters.

The practice was launched in 2014, following the election of president Joko Widodo, and in the past years has hit hundreds of vessels – more than half from Vietnam.

After being suspended for several months, this policy was resumed in full force last month, when a Vietnamese coastguard boat rammed an Indonesian navy ship attempting to seize an illegal trawler.    [FULL  STORY]

ABC News
Date: May 3, 2019
By: Elizabeth McLaughlin and Conor Finnegan

Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images, FILE

WATCHChina welcomes Year of the Pig with stunning Spring Festival Gala

China is increasing its activity in the Arctic, building a second ice-breaking ship and looking to expand its footprint in Greenland, according to a new Pentagon report, and Beijing’s presence in the region could lead to the deployment of armed submarines, the report warned.

The warning comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to attend a summit of the Arctic Council, the eight countries with territory in the region, and hopes to rally them to counter Chinese influence.

“We’ve committed to peace and sustainable economic developments [in the Arctic] for the long term, and we’re concerned about activities of other nations, including China, that do not share these same commitments,” said a senior State Department official, speaking anonymously to brief reporters.

As in previous years, the congressionally mandated Pentagon report assesses China’s military and security developments and how those fit in with the nation’s long-term growth strategies in the Pacific. This year’s report specifically highlights China’s growing interest in the Arctic, which has alarmed countries with interests in that region.    [FULL  STORY]

The New People’s Army and affiliated communist groups in the Philippines have no love for the modern-day Chinese Communist Party.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/04/29
By: Michael Beltran

Credit: Reuters / TPG

Filipino communist guerrillas of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been around for five decades, a feat that was marked with the group’s 50th anniversary March 29. The date itself mirrors the founding of the HUKBALAHAP, the old guerrilla army that confronted the Japanese occupation of the country during World War II. The new iteration of freedom fighters have identified an additional enemy: Chinese encroachment.

The NPA is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), whose ideological standpoint is firmly Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. Maoist China had a more lasting impact on the modern generation of activists from the 1970s. Many had gone to China to see first-hand the socialist practices at work. Edgar Jopson, a key figure of the anti-martial law uprisings of the 1970s, was one such individual enamored with what he saw in Beijing which contributed to him adopting communist ideals and subsequently joining the NPA.

Nowadays, it seems the guerrillas have their guns firmly pointed at China – along with President Rodrigo Duterte’s government whom, they say, is collaborating with Beijing by giving up territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea while allowing a massive influx of Chinese businesses and workers. The rebels say he not only bows down to U.S. imperialist interests but now to Chinese territory grabbing and interventionism.

It may seem hard to imagine how a group founded on something so closely identified with China now bears a desire to repel any Chinese incursions. To them and for many others, China has come a long way from the beacon of working-class socialism it once portrayed itself as to the world.    [FULL  STORY]

The Chinese-Russian bilateral relationship is better than at many points in the past, but it remains superficial.

The National Interest
Date: April 27, 2019
By: Doug Bandow Follow Doug_Bandow on TwitterL

Russian president Vladimir Putin left his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to journey to Beijing. The former’s destination: a forum on China’s infamous Belt and Road initiative, where Putin announced the approval of a toll road tying Belarus to Kazakhstan.

The more important objective, though, for the Russian leader was meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The former lauded Belt and Road “an extremely important initiative” and said the two countries’ ties had reached “an unprecedentedly high level.”

In fact, neither statement is true. The two governments haggled over Russian support for that single project for six years, and the road isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2024. If and when it actually opens is anyone’s guess. This suggests something other than “an extremely important initiative.”

The bilateral relationship is better than at many points in the past, but it remains superficial. Last fall when the two leaders met, Putin announced: “We have established trust-based relations on the political, security and defense tracks.” That was similarly overstated since trust plays a minimal part of the China-Russia relationship.

In fact, ties remain focused on dislike rather than like. The two nations share a fractious past but few present interests. Russian empire superseded the decrepit Chinese empire. Revolutionary Russia supported revolutionary China. Nationalism trumped communism as the two totalitarian states clashed over their disputed boundary. In recent years Moscow formally defenestrated revolution but kept repression while Beijing quietly abandoned communism in favor of de facto fascism. Both now are formally enthralled with authoritarianism.    [FULL  STORY]

Date: April 28, 2019
By: Nic Robertson

(CNN)Over the next few months, the world’s current and previous superpowers are set to undergo enormous self-harm.
The biggest victim could be democracy itself, and the biggest losers the approximately 4 billion people who live in its imperfect embrace.
As London and Washington convulse, China belches along, gobbling up cultures in a way that should alarm us all.
This week, China’s future global dominance was on full display as foreign leaders headed to Beijing in the hope of securing lucrative projects as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

It is the flagship policy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and it seeks to bring the world into China’s economic embrace by building infrastructure on a mass scale, ultimately improving transport, ties with and reliance on China across the world.
close dialog

The promise of increased trade with what will soon be the world’s largest economy — not to mention the immediate prospect of the aforementioned contracts — are too tempting to ignore.
Xi is doing what all aspiring empires do, threading the world in a web of dependency, slowly creating dominion in other powers’ backyards.

His ambitious show in Beijing seems perfectly timed to exploit the self-inflicted political crises the United States and the UK are imposing on themselves.

In the United States, a presidential election campaign pitching President Donald Trump against a crowd of Democratic foes will be firing up in the coming weeks, particularly now that heavyweight contender Joe Biden has officially thrown his hat in the ring.

Meanwhile, the UK will continue a very public evisceration of centuries of democratic process and precedent by executing an excruciatingly painful exit from the European Union. Amusingly, the next deadline falls on Halloween.

These two nations may yet reverse their direction and show that the current political spasms are nothing more than a spike in democracy’s growing pains.

But blind faith in the democratic system we’ve grown up with blinkers us to the realities of how China, the world’s superpower-in-waiting, gets stronger through democracy’s misadventures.
Lesson here: Your overlords in the new world order won’t give a fig for your democratic values or your grandchildren’s rights and desires.    [FULL  STORY]

The U.S. secretary of state begins a four-country tour of Latin America with a stop in Chile.

Portland Press Herald
Date: April 14, 2019
By: Eva Vergara, Associated Prwess

SANTIAGO, Chile — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that China’s financing of President Nicolás Maduro’s government is prolonging the crisis in Venezuela.

Pompeo kicked off a four-country tour of Latin America in Chile, where he met with President Sebastián Piñera to discuss the U.S.-China trade war and the Venezuelan crisis. Hyperinflation, shortages of food and medicine and other hardships have forced more than 3 million Venezuelans — about one-tenth of the population — to flee the country in the last few years.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is greeted as he arrives in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Saturday. Associated Press/Jorge Saenz

“China’s bankrolling of the Maduro regime helped precipitate and prolong the crisis in that country,” Pompeo said, adding that China invested over $60 billion, “with no strings attached.”

“It’s no surprise that Maduro used the money to use for tasks like paying off cronies, crushing pro-democracy activists, and funding ineffective social programs,” he said.

“I think there’s a lesson, a lesson to be learned for all of us: China and others are being hypocritical calling for non-intervention in Venezuela’s affairs. Their own financial interventions have helped destroy that country.”

Pompeo said China is a major U.S. trading partner, but that its “trade activities often are deeply connected to their national security mission, their technological goals, their desire to steal intellectual property, to have forced technology transfer, to engage in activity that is not economic.”    [FULL  STORY]

Beijing wants to join the race for Arctic resources and trade routes.

The National Interest
Date: April 14, 2019  Topic: Security  Region: Asia  Tags: ChinaXi JinpingArcticStrategyWar
By: Lyle J. Goldstein

A rather odd incident in the annals of U.S.-China relations occurred in September 2015. At the very same time that President Barack Obama decided to drop in for an unusual visit to the state of Alaska, a Chinese naval squadron of five ships suddenly appeared in the Bering Sea. They had left from a joint exercise with the Russian Pacific Fleet and did not tarry for too long off American shores. Did this movement constitute a clever warning, designed specifically to humiliate the American President on his own turf? Or was it pure coincidence—just a minor excursion into unknown waters for a Chinese fleet that was undoubtedly just beginning to stretch its sails on the global stage? Is it possible that China has military designs on the Arctic, of which this was the initial step?

Available evidence and simple deductive logic suggest that skepticism is warranted concerning the final question above. And yet it must be admitted now that Beijing’s interest in the Arctic is something more than a passing fancy. Two announcements from Beijing during the course of 2018 implied that the issue was assuming new significance within China’s overall foreign policy. First, there was the “White Paper” on China’s Arctic policy that elevated the approach to the “Polar Silk Road” strategy. Next, came the “bombshell” that China intends to build a nuclear icebreaker.

Some new details emerged in mid-March regarding the specifications of Beijing’s icebreaker. It will be 152 meters in length, 30 meters wide, and will displace 30,000 tons. Thus, it will be quite comparable to Russia’s giant Arktika-class. The vessel, that will cost China about 1 billion RMB, is to be powered by two 25MW high pressure reactors. According to an analysis in the Barents Observer, “Nuclear power has the advantage of long range and massive power.” Still, most of the writing about this prospective ship has focused on the implications that such an “experiment” could have for China’s nascent nuclear aircraft carrier project. But what of China’s Arctic ambitions?    [FULL  STORY]

The Sidney Morning Herald
Date: April 7, 2019
By: Nick McKenzie

Yang Hengjun and his wife Xiaoliang Yuan.

Two Australian writers, including one now detained in China, were the targets of a Chinese government intelligence operation conducted partly on Australian soil.

An investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Four Corners can reveal that the Chinese operation was seeking details about former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s 2016 classified inquiry into Beijing’s campaign to influence Australian politics.

Blogger Yang Hengjun, who is currently detained in China, and Sydney academic-writer, Dr Feng Chongyi, were both targeted by Chinese authorities for information on John Garnaut, the China expert and former journalist who led the classified investigation.

The revelations come as Mr Yang’s wife Xiaoliang Yuan broke her silence from China – risking potential blowback from the Chinese government – to call for Australia to fight harder for her husband’s release from the “residential detention” facility he’s been held in since travelling there in January.

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has joined Mr Yang’s wife to issue an impassioned plea for Australians to demand his release from Beijing detention.

While some details of Mr Yang’s detention by Chinese intelligence officials in Beijing have filtered to the outside world, his questioning by Chinese agents in Sydney in March last year has never been made public.

Mr Yang was allegedly intercepted and questioned just prior to a meeting with Mr Garnaut.    [FULL  STORY]