National China News

Beijing uses student and professional associations to try to influence not just Chinese citizens abroad, but outsiders, too.

The Atlantic
Date:  Jul 12, 2019
By: Didi Kirsten Tatlow

In centuries past, Prussian, Napoleonic, Nazi, and Allied soldiers all tramped the Strasse des 17. Juni, an east–west boulevard traversing Berlin’s leafy Tiergarten park, over which soars a winged, golden statue of the Roman goddess Victoria.

More recently, in the auditorium of the Technische Universität Berlin, which lies along the thoroughfare, a thousand patriotic voices swelled in song for a different rising power: China.

“Though I live in a foreign country, I cannot change my Chinese heart,” the mostly doctoral-level science students chorused to images of the Great Wall rolling onstage in a karaoke version of “My Chinese Heart,” a Chinese Communist Party–approved classic. “My ancestors long ago branded ‘China’ on everything in me!” they sang.

The Lunar New Year gala, in late January, was a glitzy, occasionally ear-splitting affair organized by half a dozen Chinese student associations at top universities in Berlin and Brandenburg state, which encircles it. On the program: Dance, music, kung fu, jokes about the German weather (too gray and wet), prizes (Huawei electronics and bottles of baijiu, a strong Chinese liquor)—and a message from Shi Mingde, the outgoing Chinese ambassador to Germany.    [FULL  STORY]

Fox News
Date: Jul 13, 2019
By: Ben Evansky, Adam Shaw | Fox News

UNITED NATIONS – The recent election of a Chinese official to a top U.N. organization is the latest sign of a steadily growing influence of China at the world body — something the U.S. is viewing as a “concerted push” by China to advance its interests and authoritarian agenda abroad.

Qu Dongyu, a Chinese government official, was elected as the next director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization last month, meaning that Chinese officials now run four out of 15 specialized U.N. agencies. The U.S. does not head any of the 15 agencies, although it does lead related funds, such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP).

STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS SENIOR UN OFFICIAL'S VISIT TO CHINA 'HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE'

"I'm very grateful to my motherland, without 40 years of successful reform and an open door policy I would not have been who I am,” Qu Dongyu said after his election.

Dongyu’s victory at the FAO now sees Chinese officials heading the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO,) the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that deals with information and communication technologies, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which is responsible for development goals.

“China is definitely being more assertive at the U.N., in line with its status as the second biggest payer,” one U.N. diplomat told Fox News. “They use their partnership with developing countries to try to knock down what they don’t like, especially on human rights.

"Along with Russia, they challenge the rules-based international order which most of the world believes has made us safe and prosperous. So most of the world needs to be ready to push back. “
[FULL  STORY]

International solidarity with the struggle in Hong Kong against the extradition law and police brutality!  反對習近平稱帝 Against Xi Jinping becoming emperor

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 05, 2019 
By: AFP, BEIJING

Beijing yesterday marked 30 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre with a wall of silence

A paramilitary police officer stands guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing yesterday on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Photo: EPA-EFE

and extra security.

Police checked the identification cards of every tourist and commuter leaving the subway near Tiananmen Square, the site of the pro-democracy protests that were brutally extinguished by tanks and soldiers on June 3 and 4, 1989.

Foreign journalists were not allowed onto the square at all or warned by police not to take pictures.

Officials told one reporter that “illegal media behavior” could affect visa renewals.

Meanwhile, Washington marked the occasion by hailing the “heroic” movement of 1989.

The Chinese Communist Party detained several pro-democracy advocates in the run-up to yesterday, while popular livestreaming sites conspicuously shut down for “technical” maintenance.

Searches for the term “Tiananmen” on the Sina Weibo platform yesterday displayed the official logo of the 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China.

Over the years, the party has censored any discussion of the protests and crackdown, which left hundreds, possibly more than 1,000 people, dead — ensuring that people either never learn about what happened or fear to discuss it.    [FULL  STORY]

CNN
Date: 4th June 2019
By: James Griffiths, CNNHong Kong

Credit: Badiucao

For years, Chinese artist Badiucao has operated anonymously, wearing a mask whenever he appears in public. But now, on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, he has revealed his face for the very first time.

Badiucao's name is a pseudonym adopted years ago, when he began posting caustic political cartoons lampooning the Chinese Communist Party online. He was quickly banned from Chinese social media and forced to operate outside the Great Firewall, China's vast online censorship apparatus.

In 2009, Badiucao moved to Australia, where he has since become a citizen, renouncing his Chinese passport. But even then, he did not reveal his identity. Like the UK-based graffiti artist Banksy, he operated in the shadows, carrying out most of his work online or on the streets, and only appearing at exhibitions in heavy disguise.

During the filming of a documentary about his work — which aired Tuesday night on Australian television — Badiucao and director Danny Ben-Moshe initially went to extreme measures to maintain this secrecy. At home in Melbourne and during a year working with world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Berlin, Ben-Moshe filmed Badiucao from behind, or in disguise, taking care to avoid anything that could be used by the Chinese authorities to identify him.

Chinese dissident artist's Hong Kong show canceled over 'safety concerns'
"Most of the shots were of my back, avoiding showing the shape of my body," Badiucao told CNN in a phone interview. "We were also aware of showing my fingerprints or the shape of my ear. AI technology has evolved so much that I was worried even a bit of my body could compromise my identity."    [FULL  STORY]

Time
Date: June 4, 2019
By: Laignee Barron

The Goddess of Democracy smiled on China for exactly five days. The papier-mâché likeness of the Statue of Liberty appeared in Tiananmen Square as protests convulsed Beijing and other cities seeking to unshackle the world’s most populous country from endemic corruption.

Their calls for political reform were answered in the early hours of June 4, 1989, with a bloody

People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers leap over a barrier on Tiananmen Square in central Beijing June 4, 1989. Catherine Henriette—AFP/Getty Images

military crackdown that crushed the movement and toppled its symbols. The massacre at Tiananmen killed hundreds, possibly thousands, of the students and laborers who joined massive gatherings lasting more than a month. The movement, favoring democracy and reformist policies that caused rifts within the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, had spread to hundreds of cities before the government resolved to disperse it with brute force. Military tanks rolled into Beijing, where soldiers opened fire with assault rifles on the unarmed demonstrators who tried to stop their advance.

And yet in the West, a certainty remained that China would eventually resurrect the dream of democracy that was deferred that night. Thirty years later, many are still waiting for the Middle Kingdom to liberalize, though the CCP’s grip on power has arguably never been tighter. To survive the upheaval, its leadership rewrote their social contract; the post-Maoist effort of “reform and opening up,” whereby China established its own brand of market-economy socialism, was ultimately accelerated but at the expense of political freedoms. By some measures the trade-off was tremendously successful. At the time of the Tiananmen rallies, China’s GDP per capita compared unfavorably to Gambia’s; by 2030, if not before, many indicators predict China’s economy will eclipse the U.S.   
[.FULL  STORY]

On the 30th anniversary of the massacre, commemorations to those who were killed will show the Chinese government we will not be silenced

The Guardian
Date: 4 Jun 2019
By: Rowena Xiaoqing He

Tiananmen Square on 2 June 1989, two days before the massacre. Photograph: Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty Images

He was just a kid, but he cried like an old man in despair.” Liane was trying hard to steady her emotions when she described to me how she had attempted to hold back a young boy whose unarmed brother had been shot by soldiers during the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

Liane was a student from Hong Kong when the 1989 Tiananmen movement erupted and she went to Beijing to support the demonstrations. On the night of 3 June, when 200,000 soldiers equipped with tanks and AK-47s were deployed against unarmed civilians, she was outside the Museum of the Chinese Revolution on the north-east corner of Tiananmen Square. She fainted after she failed to stop the young boy from dashing toward the soldiers, and was carried away covered with blood.

The legacy of Tiananmen is not something that belongs to China or to the Chinese people alone. It belongs to the world

“When I regained consciousness, people tried to put me into an ambulance,” Liane recalled. “I told them that I did not need one. A second ambulance came, and again I struggled not to get in.” At that point, a middle-aged female doctor got out of the ambulance, held Liane’s hands and told her: “Child, we need you to return to Hong Kong. We need you to leave alive to tell the world what our government did to us tonight.” Because of the freedom Hong Kong citizens enjoyed before the handover of 1997, citizens of Beijing hoped that Liane would bear witness for them. The fear that the blood would be shed in vain was widely shared by Chinese people that night. One Chinese man asked a Canadian reporter on the street: “Does the world know what happened here?”

The despair felt by Chinese people at the time was not misconceived. Although the world’s attention fell on Beijing, the Tiananmen movement had been national in scope, with millions of participants in cities across China. So, immediately after the crackdown the government carried out mass arrests across the nation.

Even as the massacre was taking place Wu Xiaoyong, the deputy director of Radio Beijing, broadcast a statement internationally, asking the world to remember “the most tragic event [that] happened in the Chinese capital, Beijing”. Wu was placed under house arrest after the crackdown. Two China Central Television (CCTV) news anchors appeared on camera dressed in black wearing sad facial expressions as they read the official texts about the army’s successful crackdown on the “counter-revolutionary riot”. Both were removed from their positions.

Propaganda officers of the People’s Liberation Army took control of all major media in Beijing. Many editors attempted to protect their reporters who were on the ground and saw what was happening (and tried to report what was happening), but the editors themselves were sacked so that the purge could proceed smoothly. Both the editor-in-chief and the director of the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party (CCP), were dismissed from their posts because of their sympathetic attitudes toward the students.    [FULL  STORY]

BBC News
Date: jUNE 4, 2013

Huge numbers had gathered in Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989 — Image copyrightAFP

China has rebuked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for remarks he made on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest.

Mr Pompeo criticised China's human rights record and called for it to reveal how many died in the crackdown.

A Chinese embassy spokesman in Washington DC said his comments were "an affront to the Chinese people".

In 1989, a large political protest in Beijing triggered a brutal clampdown by the communist authorities.

The Chinese government has never said how many people died at Tiananmen Square, although estimates range from the hundreds to thousands.    [FULL  STORY]

The New York Times
Date: May 27, 2019
By Salman Masood and Amy Qin

Rabia Kanwal and Zhang Shuchen were married in Islamabad in January. Eight days after they went to his home in China, she left to return to Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Rabia Kanwal’s parents were sure her marriage to a wealthy Chinese Muslim she had just met would give her a comfortable future, far from the hardships of their lives in Pakistan. But she had a premonition.

“I was not excited,” said Ms. Kanwal, 22, who lives in a poor neighborhood in the city of Gujranwala, in the eastern province of Punjab. “I felt something bad was going to happen.”

Arranged marriages are common in Pakistan, but this one was unusual. The groom, who said he was a rich poultry farmer, met Ms. Kanwal’s family during a monthslong stay on a tourist visa. He had to use a Chinese-Urdu translation app to communicate with them, but over all, he made a favorable impression.

Ms. Kanwal went through with the wedding. But upon moving to China with her new husband in February, she said, she was disappointed by what she found: He was a poor farmer, not a wealthy one. Far worse, he was not a Muslim. Within days, with the help of the Pakistani Embassy, she was back home and pursuing a divorce.

Hers was a relatively happy ending, though. In recent weeks, Pakistan has been rocked by charges that at least 150 women were brought to China as brides under false pretenses — not only lied to, but in some cases forced into prostitution. Others said they were made to work in bars and clubs, an unacceptable practice in Pakistan’s conservative Muslim culture.

At the same time, Ms. Kanwal’s story is not uncommon in China.

China has one of the most heavily skewed gender ratios in the world, with 106.3 men for every 100 women as of 2017, according to the World Bank. That tilt is a product of nearly three decades of strict enforcement of China’s one-child policy and a preference for boys over girls — a combination that caused an untold number of forced abortions and female infanticides.

But the long-term human costs of this gender imbalance have only recently come into view — and they are having an impact far beyond China’s borders.    [FULL  STORY]

CNN
Date: May 27, 2019
By: Serenitie Wang, CNN

Beijing (CNN)Wang Shichang works 12 hours a day, often for six days a week. The newlywed is so busy he says he barely has time for his wife.
At the age of 28, Wang’s energy levels are low. His eyes feel strained and dry. His sleep is light, and he says he’s put on 20 pounds since he started working as a developer four years ago.
“Climbing four floors makes me out of breath these days,” he says.
Wang blames his condition on what’s known in China as “996” — a grueling work schedule that stretches from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week, which has become the norm at many Chinese tech companies and start-ups.

The topic has prompted heated debate on social media, with many tech tycoons and entrepreneurs weighing on the merits of long and stressful working hours. Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba and one of China’s richest men, drew criticism earlier this year after he endorsed long work hours, calling them “a blessing.”

Wang doesn’t agree with Ma — and he’s not the only one. Many others have been voicing their complaints on Github, an online forum known in the tech world for code-sharing.

They also share “anti-996” memes that poke fun at their predicament. In one, a Japanese actress was photoshopped to carry a sign saying: “Developers’ lives matter.” In another, a couple hold up wine glasses with the caption: “Come, let’s celebrate being in the same room together for the first time in two years.” The Github project has been liked more than a quarter of a million times.

Despite the humor, Wang, the tech workers and experts alike say overwork is leading to serious mental and physical health problems.    [FULL  STORY]