mandag 27. mai 2019

Rights Group Presses Islamic World Over Xinjiang Camps Ahead of UN Session

The U.S.-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) launched a campaign on Friday aimed at persuading Islamic countries to end their silence over the more than a million Muslim Uyghurs languishing in Chinese detention camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

The “Close the Camps” social media campaign has opened during the Islamic world’s celebration of Ramadan and is focusing on getting the Xinjiang camps on the agenda of the United Nations Human Rights Council's 41st session, which opens June 24. “All Muslims in Xinjiang face pervasive restrictions on their religious practices and endure other rights violations, including collective punishment, restricted movement, and invasive surveillance,” said HRW.

Taiwan's President Meets With Tiananmen Massacre Veterans Ahead of Anniversary

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday met with survivors and victims of the 1989 massacre that ended weeks of student-led protest on China's Tiananmen Square.

Thirty years after the People's Liberation Army (PLA) used tanks, armored cars, and machine guns to clear Beijing of protesters on the night of June 3 and the days that followed, Tsai marked the occasion by meeting with former student leaders and victims of the crackdown, a first in the democratic island's history.

US Ambassador Raises Concerns About Religious Freedom in Rare Tibet Visit

U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad urged China to open “substantive dialogue” with exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama and give the Himalayan region’s Buddhists freedom to practice their religion in a rare week-long visit to Tibet, the State Department said on Saturday.

During his May 19-25 visit, the first such trip by a U.S. envoy to China since 2015, Branstad met religious leaders and toured historic sites in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Qinghai Province, a historic region of Tibet known to Tibetans as Amdo, the department said in a statement. “The Ambassador raised our long-standing concerns about lack of consistent access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region,” it said.

Opinion: China’s Orwellian War on Religion

Let’s be blunt: China is accumulating a record of Orwellian savagery toward religious people. At times under Communist Party rule, repression of faith has eased, but now it is unmistakably worsening. China is engaging in internment, monitoring or persecution of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists on a scale almost unparalleled by a major nation in three-quarters of a century.

Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch argues that China under Xi Jinping “poses a threat to global freedoms unseen since the end of World War II.” To its credit, China has overseen extraordinary progress against poverty, illiteracy and sickness. The bittersweet result is that Chinese people of faith are more likely than several decades ago to see their children survive and go to university — but also to be detained.

Modi Has a Huge Mandate in India. Now What Will He Do?

Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, is returning to power by an astonishing margin — defying expectations, leaving the political opposition gutted and securing nearly two-thirds of the lower chamber of Parliament. This election has proved how wildly popular he really is, and Mr. Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party see a clear mandate to transform India for an additional five years. The big question Indians were asking Friday: What is he going to do with that?

Many ask that question in hope, approving of the way he and his allies have already enhanced Hinduism’s role in public life, or of how he moved to help the poor and update the economy — or of both. This is what he has been doing his entire political career, simultaneously pushing Hindu traditions and modernizing India. Most analysts believe he will continue along this path.

India’s Muslims quiver in the new dawn of an emboldened Narendra Modi

Just after 1.30pm on Friday, the loudspeaker outside Sarai Alawardi mosque crackled to life, and more than a thousand foreheads were touched to the hessian mats that lined the ground. Towering over them were the skyscrapers of Gurgaon, a satellite town south of Delhi that houses technology companies, bowling alleys and other symbols of the “new India”.

A day after the Hindu nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, claimed a landslide election victory, some in the congregation were anxious about whether this new country had a place for them. “These days, it isn’t safe for us here any more,” said Haji Shezhad Khan, the chairman of a local Muslim activist group, sitting in a shaded courtyard a few metres from the mosque. For many Indian Muslims – whose population of about 200 million would comprise the seventh-largest country on earth – Modi’s emphatic re-election has been an isolating experience.

Beijing is building hundreds of airports as millions of Chinese take to the skies

When China's air industry hits the news, stories are typically centered on passengers going rogue, punching each other, trying to wrestle open emergency doors mid-takeoff or dangerously tossing coins into airplane engines for luck. While alarming and fascinating in equal measure, these headlines conceal another tale -- one of a country undergoing a breakneck expansion into the world of flying as its people take to the sky in rapidly increasing numbers.

In the space of barely more than a decade, China has transformed from a nation where few had ever experienced air travel to one where millions of its citizens are flying not only across their own vast territory, but to destinations around the world. Such is the pace of China's ascension to the jet age that stories of wayward passengers are perhaps inevitable -- even if they obscure the fact that many air journeys in China are incident free. 
But there's more to come. 

søndag 26. mai 2019

Hundreds of Same-Sex Couples Tie The Knot in Taiwan After Law Passes

Same-sex couples lined up on Friday in Taiwan to register their partnerships after the passage last week of a landmark law enabling marriages between two people of any gender. By 10:00 p.m. local time, 526 same-sex couples had completed registration procedures across the whole island, 341 of which were women, the island's ministry of the interior said. Nearly 100 marriages were registered in the island's capital alone, it said.

Undercover video reveals brutal treatment of Falun Gong prisoners inside Chinese labor camps

WARNING: This story contains graphic images and video that may be disturbing to some viewers. A California family is taking their fight to the Chinese government after they say their loved one was tortured and killed inside of a Chinese labor camp nearly 20 years ago, simply for supporting the spiritual meditation practice known as Falun Gong. Now, never before seen undercover video given to FOX 11 is revealing what life is like for political prisoners inside of those Chinese labor camps. In 1999, the Chinese government ordered the eradication Falun Gong, calling it a “heretical” organization that threatened social stability.

Beijing urges Germany to respect Hong Kong’s rule of law in asylum dispute over Mong Kok riot fugitives Ray Wong and Alan Li

China’s foreign affairs office in Hong Kong has entered into the city’s ongoing diplomatic dispute with Germany, voicing strong dissatisfaction over the granting of asylum to two local fugitives. The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in a statement on Saturday that it had lodged a solemn representation with Germany when its top official met the acting German consul general, David Schmidt, on Friday. The stern rhetoric came after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that she had summoned Schmidt – a move she said was approved by the foreign ministry’s office in Hong Kong.

China’s long battle to build a better soldier for a modern fighting force

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ambitions to build the People’s Liberation Army into a world-class modern fighting force, but analysts say there is one core weakness could hold it back: a lack of well-trained and educated soldiers. Xi underlined the need for higher standards in the rank and file this week on a high-profile visit to the southeastern province of Jiangxi.

One of the stops on the trip was the PLA Army Infantry Academy in Nanchang, where he drove home the need to train and improve the combat readiness of personnel to support a long-term struggle against US aggression.

Why capturing Huawei is no victory in tech war

It’s geopolitical, geoeconomic war. Cold, so far, but now about to descend to deep freeze. The US National Security Strategy unmistakably spells it out. China is a strategic competitor and must be contained, no holds barred, on all fronts: economic, military and most of all, technological.

Enter the current, concerted offensive across the spectrum, from 5G and AI to moves attempting to prevent the coming of globalization 2.0. Add to it maximum pressure all over the world to prevent nations from joining the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the organizing foreign policy concept for China in the foreseeable future and the strategic road map for Eurasian integration up to 2049. It’s all interconnected; the Trump administration’s trade war, Google blocking Huawei from the enhanced Android OS, the demonization of Belt and Road. It’s all about control of global supply chains and technological infrastructure.

The conflict to come in the South China Sea

As the United States and China volley round after round in an escalating trade war, a second front of conflict is brewing in the contested South China Sea, one that could soon force smaller regional states to take geopolitical sides.

This week, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer was deployed near the Scarborough Shoal, a sea feature occupied by China since 2012 but claimed by the Philippines as part of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The deployment was the destroyer’s second freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near the shoal this month, maneuvers which pointedly challenge China’s recent militarization of the features it controls in the waterway.

Huawei left floating in cyberspace

Google will not be missed in China because it simply does not exist.For more than one billion people glued to their smartphones in the world’s second-largest economy, Baidu is the search engine of choice. WeChat outranks Gmail and Youku, not YouTube, is the leading video streaming app.

Quite frankly, Huawei will continue to dominate in the land that blocked Google.But overseas, it will be a different story. A ban on using Google’s enhanced Android OS system would curb the high-tech group’s global ambitions after being dragged on to the frontline of the US-Sino trade war.

China’s economic data for April came in below expectations

With the slowdown in economic growth in recent years and the external pressure brought about by the U.S.-China trade conflict, the market has been pessimistic about the Chinese economy in 2019. However, according to the macroeconomic data revealed by the authorities in the first quarter of this year, the economic growth rate in China was 6.4 percent — this figure exceeded expectations. 

As a result, some are beginning to take the more optimistic view that China’s economy has bottomed out and is beginning to rebound, and are also expecting that monetary policy will be tightened. This expectation, coupled with poor communication with regulators, has led to a continuous decline in the capital market.

Based on April’s macroeconomic data revealed by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on May 15, we need to readjust and make a more objective assessment of the Chinese economy this year.

Vietnam Is the Chinese Military’s Preferred Warm-Up Fight

At some point, the Chinese military will need to test its new capabilities – and Vietnam is likely the preferred adversary.

History looms large on Xi Jinping's mind. The last major war China fought was against Vietnam in 1979 at their border and it resulted in embarrassing defeat. 

Furthermore, the war was predominantly a ground forces conflict and not the warfighting Beijing expects to face from a variety of current possible scenarios, whether against Taiwan or another regional opponent in the South China Sea or East China Sea, as all would near-exclusively take place in the air and naval domains. 

Thus, Beijing’s last major war experience gave it virtually zero lessons learned to apply to future armed conflict — a critical and alarming gap in the PLA’s understanding of how it might perform when supporting Xi’s signature Chinese national security objectives.

lørdag 25. mai 2019

The US won a trade war against Japan. But China is a whole new ball game

As President Donald Trump lands in Japan Saturday amid a worsening trade war with China, he could well be thinking back to a previous economic spat between Washington and an Asian economic powerhouse. In the 1980s, Japan was the big bad. Its economy was booming — the second largest in the world — and many in the United States feared they were about to be overtaken.

Articles were published warning of the "Japanning of America" or an "economic Pearl Harbor," as Japanese businesses bought US companies and landmarks. Lawmakers and commentators warned of a growing trade deficit between the two countries, and complained of Japanese firms stealing US intellectual property and taking advantage of unfair trade deals. In an interview with the "Morton Downey Jr. Show" in 1989, Trump himself complained that Japan had "systematically sucked the blood out of America — sucked the blood out!"

The China-U.S. trade war presents an existential crisis for the G20 nations

Bilderesultat for g20
In one month, leaders from the world’s top economies will meet at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, to discuss key issues in the global economy. But the Osaka summit threatens to be held hostage by a growing feud between the world’s two largest economies – the United States and China – on trade, investment and the application of “fair rules” to economic practices.

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