National China News

Prime minister condemns Beijing for linking its 2018 detention of two Canadians with arrest of Huawei executive

The Guardian
Date: 21 May 2020
By: AFP in Ottawa

 Meng Wanzhou, seen in January, was arrested in Vancouver in 2018. Photograph: Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters

Beijing’s linking of its detention of two Canadians in China to the arrest of a Chinese executive in Vancouver shows it does not understand the meaning of an independent judiciary, Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

China detained the former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor in December 2018, nine days after the arrest on a US warrant of the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

“We’ve seen Chinese officials linking those two cases from the very beginning,” Canada’s prime minister said.

“Canada has an independent judicial system that functions without interference or override by politicians.

“China doesn’t work quite the same way and doesn’t seem to understand that,” he said, calling the linkage of the cases “distressing” while vowing to continue to press for the release of the two Canadians.

The arrests led to the worst-ever crisis in relations between the two nations, with accusations of “arbitrary detentions” and hostage diplomacy met with trade sanctions and suspended consular visits.    [FULL  STORY]

“Everything they’re doing is a full-court press,” one expert told Vox.

Date: Apr 28, 2020
By: Alex Ward 

 Nemanja Cabric/Xinhua via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic that rages across the globe is a fire China helped light. And now, while Beijing grasps a fire hose with two hands, it’s also planting a boot on the world’s neck.

The Chinese government spent weeks denying and downplaying the severity of its growing coronavirus outbreak that eventually spread to the rest of the world. That obfuscation cost nations crucial time in preparing for and potentially curbing the damage of Covid-19. Some experts Vox spoke with believe President Xi Jinping’s regime should be held accountable for the more than 3 million infections and 200,000 deaths that have taken place worldwide.

But China isn’t letting the crisis go to waste. Instead of looking to make amends, Beijing is taking advantage of the chaos to pursue its long-term foreign policy goals more aggressively.

“When it sees opportunities, China moves to exploit them,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, DC. “And we are in a moment where the Chinese definitely see opportunities.”

China has capitalized on the world’s distraction to claim sovereignty over disputed islands in the South China Sea, intimidate Taiwan, and assert more authority over Hong Kong in an attempt to quash the pro-democracy movement there.

It’s taken advantage of vulnerable countries in Africa that are struggling to cope with the coronavirus and its economic impact by offering much-needed debt relief — but only if those countries provide lucrative national assets as collateral.

And after the US suspended funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) for allegedly being too cozy with Beijing, the Chinese government pledged millions of dollars in additional support for the organization, giving China even more influence in the global health agency and allowing the country to portray itself as the new champion of multilateralism.    [FULL  STORY]

Date: APRIL 24, 2020

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks as he takes part in a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 11, 2020. KCNA/via REUTERS/File Photo

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks as he takes part in a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 11, 2020. KCNA/via REUTERS/File Photo

The trip by the Chinese doctors and officials comes amid conflicting reports about the health of the North Korean leader. Reuters was unable to immediately determine what the trip by the Chinese team signaled in terms of Kim’s health.

A delegation led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department left Beijing for North Korea on Thursday, two of the people said. The department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighbouring North Korea.

The sources declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.

The Liaison Department could not be reached by Reuters for comment late on Friday. China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment late on Friday.

Daily NK, a Seoul-based website, reported earlier this week that Kim was recovering after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12. It cited one unnamed source in North Korea.

South Korean government officials and a Chinese official with the Liaison Department challenged subsequent reports suggesting that Kim was in grave danger after surgery. South Korean officials said they had detected no signs of unusual activity in North Korea.    [FULL  STORY]

National Review
Date: April 24, 2020
By: Tobias Hoonhout

President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Financial records show that President Trump still owes the state-owned Bank of China millions from a $211 million loan that he used to refinance his 30-percent stake in a New York City skyscraper.

Politico reported Friday that Trump’s investment in 1290 Avenue of the Americas, a 43-story building adjacent to the Trump Tower in Manhattan, is a passive one, with Vornado Realty Trust holding the majority stake — 70 percent — in the skyscraper, which has a market value of over $1 billion.

In a 2012 refinancing of the building, the Bank of China became the first Chinese lender to join the U.S. commercial-mortgage-backed securities market by providing a $211 million loan. Vornado and Trump are due to pay back the loan by November 2022, with Chinese experts warning that Beijing could have compromising financial information on the president.

Trump has mentioned the investment in the past, saying when he announced his candidacy in 2015 that he owns “a big chunk” of the building “that I got from China in a war.” The New York Times reported in 2016 that Trump received his 30 percent share in the building in a court order, after suing former Hong Kong business partners for cash, who he argued had committed a “staggering breach” of fiduciary duty for not consulting him on a real-estate development sale.

“Through more luck than talent, I ended up much better because the buildings have increased in value,” Trump said at the time. “In the end, it was fine.”   

Fox News
Date: March 31, 2020
By: Louis Casiano | Fox News

China's COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan seems false to locals

Funeral homes that serve Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, have been handing out the cremated remains of about 500 people to their families every day. However, residents say those numbers put the 2,500 death toll the Chinese government has claimed into question.

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Months after the coronavirus began to surface in China, the outbreak has spread across the world, killing thousands and prompting governments to enact unprecedented containment measures.

Beijing says it's slowly beginning to emerge from the crisis that originated on its soil, while putting its propaganda machine to work to craft a favorable narrative. Weeks after announcing the outbreak, some governments — particularly the United States — are accusing China of purposely failing to inform the public, thereby exacerbating the crisis.

A Chinese doctor who has since died of the virus tried sounding alarms during its early stages. Li Wenliang — who worked in a Wuhan hospital and has since been hailed as a hero —  was detained with eight other doctors for posting information about patients with respiratory problems on WeChat, a Chinese messaging platform.

Authorities claimed the doctors were spreading "unverified information" as reason for their detention. Other doctors were reprimanded and told to stop posting online about the virus. Li was released after signing a document admitting he committed "illegal acts."

He eventually contracted the virus and died in February.

“If society had at the time believed those ‘rumors,’ and wore masks, used disinfectant and avoided going to the wildlife market as if there were a SARS outbreak, perhaps it would’ve meant we could better control the coronavirus today,” the Supreme People’s Court said of Li's detention. “Rumors end when there is openness.”    [FULL  STORY]

Trump administration officials are discussing taking action after China said it would expel almost all American journalists for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times
 March 26, 2020
By:  Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes

A Foreign Ministry briefing last week in Beijing. At least 13 American journalists stand to be expelled from China.Credit…Andy Wong/Associated Press


WASHINGTON — As China moves forward with expelling almost all American journalists from three major American newspapers, Trump administration officials have intensified discussions over whether to evict employees of Chinese media outlets who they say mainly act as spies.

The action is under consideration because some U.S. officials want to retaliate against China in a new conflict that has revolved around news organizations and is being fueled by hostility over the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the virus began spreading across the United States, Washington and Beijing have waged a global information war over the outbreak. President Trump and his aides are trying to pin responsibility on China, where Communist Party officials initially covered up the dangers of the virus as it was first discovered. Mr. Trump, though, has been criticized for vast failures in the American response.

Some American intelligence officials have pushed for years to expel employees of Chinese media organizations who they say mainly file intelligence reports. The officials now see an opening to make a strong case after Beijing abruptly announced this month that it would expel almost all American citizens who report from mainland China for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.    [FULL  STORY]

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Yahoo News
Date: March 7, 2020
By: March 7, 2020

Dozens have so far been rescued from the rubble of the 80-room Xinjia hotel in Quanzhou city (AFP Photo/STR)

More than 40 people have been rescued following the collapse of a hotel used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in eastern China on Saturday, state media reported.

Officials said around 70 people were initially trapped when the building first crumbled.

Footage circulating on microblogging platform Weibo showed rescue workers combing through the rubble of the 80-room Xinjia hotel in coastal Quanzhou city in the dark as they reassured a woman trapped under heavy debris and carried wounded victims into ambulances.

A total of 43 people have so far been rescued from the wreckage, state news agency Xinhua said.    [FULL  STORY]

Wuhan residents shout 'fake, fake, everything is fake' at China's vice premier while inspecting quarantined community

Taiwan News
Date}: 2020/03/06
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Sun Chunlan (front, center). (WeChat video screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Video has surfaced appearing to show Wuhan residents shout "everything is fake" at Communist China's Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孫春蘭), as she toured the quarantined community at the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on Thursday (March 5).

On Thursday, Sun, vice premier of the State Council, led members of the Central Steering Group on an official inspection tour of epidemic prevention efforts by residents in the Wuhan Kaiyuan Mansion Community in Wuhan's Qingshan District, reported Xinhua News. However, frustrated, quarantined residents soon began loudly shouting at Sun and her entourage from their high-rise apartment windows.

In videos of the incident that quickly surfaced online that afternoon, male and female residents can be heard shouting in both the Wuhan dialect and standard Mandarin, "Fake! Fake! Fake!" and, "Everything is fake!" Others said things like, "They are taking advantage of the people to put on a show," "The real estate management office has concocted this scene," and "formalism" (形式主義, basically, appearance rather than content).

One resident shooting video was surprised that people would so boldly shout such criticism at a high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official. Another resident who captured the scene on camera giggled with glee.   [FULL  STORY]

Fox News
Date: Feb 27, 2020
By: Samuel Chamberlain

Ed. Note: This article is adapted from Fox Nation's six-part series "The Unauthorized History of Socialism," hosted by Bret Baier)

In early 1958, Mao Zedong, the leader of Communist China, announced a new economic experiment meant to catapult his country ahead of the West in both agriculture and industry.

By the time the Great Leap Forward ended four years later, millions were dead and the Chinese economy was in tatters.

At the core of the Great Leap Forward were more than 23,000 people's communes housing more than 500 million people. Mao, who had taken control of China in 1949, believed that by mobilizing that vast labor pool, he could remake his agrarian country into a fully communist society.

"He [Mao] became disillusioned with the Soviet model and he thought he could improve upon it and bring communism overnight," says historian Merle Goldman. "He was truly a utopian thinker."

But Mao's frenzied commitment to the Great Leap Forward led only to impossibly high production quotas and inferior products.

"One way he thought of speeding up the agriculture growth was to plant [crops] more densely,” says Barnard College political science professor Xiaobo Lü. “And that’s scientifically irrational, that did not really increase the production. Very soon in 1959, there was also some drought [and] floods. So natural disaster plus this human policy and that became a killer combo."    [FULL  STORY]