lørdag 29. april 2017

China convicts rights lawyer Li Heping of 'subversion of state power'

A respected Christian human rights lawyer has been convicted of “subversion of state power” at a secret trial in China, almost two years after he was first detained in a sweeping crackdown. Li Heping was sentenced to three years in prison with a four-year reprieve, the court in the eastern city of Tianjin said on an official social media account, meaning he should be released but could be arrested and jailed at any point. The trial was held behind closed doors on Tuesday because “the case involved state secrets”, the court said, but was only announced along with the verdict on Friday. Read more

China Deports American Woman Convicted on Spying Charge

China has deported an American businesswoman convicted and sentenced on a spying charge, and she arrived in the United States on Friday, her husband said. The deportation ended uncertainty about the fate of the Houston businesswoman, Phan Phan-Gillis, known as Sandy, who was sentenced on Tuesday by a court in southern China to three and a half years in prison on an espionage charge. The judge said Ms. Phan-Gillis would be deported, but left unclear whether she would have to serve her sentence first. Read more

China’s Environmental Woes, in Films That Go Viral, Then Vanish

Achieving fame was not hard for Wang Jiuliang, but staying in the spotlight has proved more difficult. His career as a documentary filmmaker has followed a distressing pattern: spectacular internet reactions to his movies and videos on environmental topics, followed by their rapid disappearance from the web in China. The latest, in January, was a video showing him standing before a large screen displaying appalling photos of indiscriminate quarrying and other environmental woes and delivering a talk about them. In one, mountaintops have been obliterated. In another, an aerial shot, a rocky landscape has been pockmarked with gaping holes where the stone was extracted. Read more

China is squeezing North Korea - but not too hard

President Trump wants China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. But will Beijing play ball? China wields huge influence over the North Korean economy, accounting for more than 80% of its smaller neighbor's foreign trade and serving as its main gateway to the rest of the world. "China is very much the economic lifeline to North Korea so, while nothing is easy, if they want to solve the North Korean problem, they will," Trump tweeted on Friday. He spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone late Sunday. Read more

Military bases and submarines: What it's like to dive in the South China Sea

The Spratly Islands are a nebula of biological wonder -- an archipelago of atolls and reefs that support 600 coral species and 6,000 fish species -- including huge schools of batfish, bumphead parrotfish, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and dolphins. But they are also located in one of the most contested stretches of water in the world -- the South China Sea -- and the island chain is now is home to some 15 military bases. China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines have all reclaimed land in the Spratlys and built airstrips that can accommodate military aircraft but it's China's island-building that has grabbed the most headlines. Read more

Kinesiske arbeidere streiker som aldri før

Lange arbeidsdager og luselønninger blant kinesiske arbeidere er godt kjent. Men Kinas arbeidere mangler også andre rettigheter vi i Norge ofte tar for gitt – som å streike og å opprette uavhengige fagforeninger. Nå er imidlertid ting i ferd med å skje i verdens nest største økonomi. Et stadig økende antall kinesere har blitt bevisst rettighetene sine som arbeidstakere. Og trass i at de risikerer arrestasjoner og fengsel, viser statistikken at de også i stadig større grad står opp for dem. Les mer

fredag 28. april 2017

Huawei, Chinese Technology Giant, Is Focus of Widening U.S. Investigation

As one of the world’s biggest sellers of smartphones and the back-end equipment that makes cellular networks run, Huawei Technologies has become one of the major symbols of China’s global technology ambitions. But as it continues its rise, its business with some countries has fallen under growing scrutiny from investigators in the United States. American officials are widening their investigation into whether Huawei broke American trade controls on Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, according to an administrative subpoena sent to Huawei and reviewed by The New York Times. Read more

Documentary Pulls Back The Curtain On Communist China's Global Soft Power Outposts

“I didn’t think that going abroad, a place I thought to be free, that I’d still be restricted.” Sonia Zhao was a college student in China when she learned she could teach Chinese abroad through centers called Confucius Institutes. She signed up and finished the training, but recoiled when she saw the final contract. It required her to pledge nonparticipation in Falun Gong, a meditative practice banned in China, in part because its massive popularity threatens loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party. Read more

For Journalism in China, a Millennial Shift

The period from the mid-1990s to roughly the mid-2000s was a golden era for Chinese journalists. Now, however, many of the (still young) old guard have deserted, leaving inexperience in their wake. 

Two years ago in Hong Kong, I sat around a conference table with some of the finest journalists to have worked in the Chinese media in the past two decades. Left and right of me were reporters who had broken major stories of corruption, malfeasance and cruelty, and who had, in the process, shaped the contemporary history of Chinese journalism — a history in which, from time to time, a broader notion of the public interest won out against the narrow interests of the Party-state. Now, however, all of them were busy with start-ups (“innovation” being the buzzword of the day) having little or nothing to do with journalism. The low point for me came when one seasoned former reporter said with some bitterness: “I no longer think of myself as a journalist at all.” Read more

Confucius Institutes: Taiwan? Tibet? Dalai Lama? Human rights abuses? No, thank you!

Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted Confucius Institutes that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world—including more than 100 in the United States.These Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and educate a generation of American students to know nothing more of China than the regime’s official history. This is a study of the 12 Confucius Institutes in New York and New Jersey. It examines China’s soft power influence through American higher education, and reveals new data on China’s funding, hiring, and academic freedom policies. Read more

New Report: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education

Confucius Institutes are teaching and research centers located at colleges and universities, underwritten by the Chinese government. Since 2005, more than 100 Confucius Institutes (CIs) have opened in the United States; 103 remain in operation. These Institutes, many offering for-credit courses in Chinese language and culture, are largely staffed and funded by an agency of the Chinese government’s Ministry of Education—the Office of Chinese Languages Council International, better known as the Hanban. The Hanban also operates similarly organized Confucius Classrooms (CCs) at 501 primary and secondary schools in the United States. These 604 educational outposts comprise a plurality of China’s 1,579 Confucius Institutes and Classrooms worldwide. Read more

Trump says he would consult with China's Xi before speaking to Taiwan

US President Donald Trump has said that he would want to consult with Chinese President Xi Jinping before speaking to Taiwan's leader. In an interview with Reuters news agency, Trump said he wouldn't want to "cause difficulty" for the Chinese leader by again breaking with the "one China" policy. "He's a friend of mine. He's actually a -- I think he's doing an amazing job as a leader, and I wouldn't want to do anything that comes in the way of that. So, I would certainly want to speak to him first," Trump said. Read more

Hong Kong charges pro-independence activists over China protest

Hong Kong police have charged two former pro-independence politicians over scuffles in the legislature, amid a widening crackdown on dissenting voices in the former British colony. Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung were disqualified from the city’s legislature last year after a dramatic anti-China protest during their swearing-in ceremony in October. During the ceremony, Yau and Leung, who have both called for a complete split with mainland China, altered the text of their oaths, declaring allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation”. They also unfurled banners that said “Hong Kong is not China” and used an expletive to refer to China. Read more

'I know he is alive': wife of Taiwan activist seized by China pleads for release

The wife of a Taiwanese human rights activist detained in China for over a month without charge has vowed to take her fight for justice to the US and European Union, urging them to pressure Beijing to release him. It has now been 40 days since Lee Ching-yu’s “partner, best friend and confidante” suddenly disappeared while travelling to visit friends in Guangzhou, southern China. Beijing, which views democratic Taiwan as a renegade province, admitted only after 10 days that Lee Ming-che, 42, a community college worker known for supporting human rights, had been detained for allegedly threatening national security. Read more

'We are a target': South Korean village wakes up on frontline with North

It took just a few hours to transform Seongju from a sleepy farming village in the South Korean foothills into a symbol of the US military might ranged against North Korea. Once a retreat for amateur golfers , the Lotte Seongju country club is now in the hands of the most powerful military in the world and its South Korean allies. On land where dispirited golfers once cursed a badly sliced drive, work is under way to rush into service a defence system able to locate and destroy North Korean missiles before they threaten the South – or the 28,500 US troops stationed there. Villagers complained about the disruption caused by the arrival of the terminal high-altitude area defense (Thaad) system but the impact has been spread far beyond the bucolic hills of Seongju. Read more

Donald Trump warns of 'major, major conflict' with North Korea

Donald Trump has said that a “major conflict” was possible with North Korea though he would prefer to solve the standoff over the country’s nuclear and missile programme through diplomacy. Trump’s warning on Thursday came towards the end of a week where the administration has made a concerted effort to restrain Pyongyang from carrying out major new weapons tests. Read more

onsdag 26. april 2017

Power Can Sparkle: The Forbidden City in Beijing

Power can sparkle, and in Beijing it certainly does. Several thousand workers and artisans have during the past few years been laboring to restore The Forbidden City, the abode of Chinese emperors for centuries.

Huawei, Chinese Technology Giant, Is Focus of Widening U.S. Investigation

As one of the world’s biggest sellers of smartphones and the back-end equipment that makes cellular networks run, Huawei Technologies has become one of the major symbols of China’s global technology ambitions. 
But as it continues its rise, its business with some countries has fallen under growing scrutiny from investigators in the United States. Read more