torsdag 10. oktober 2019

China's young climate heroes fight apathy – and the party line

One is a student engineer who became obsessed after watching an incendiary film about air pollution. The other is a 16-year-old who went on China’s first climate strike. Zhao Jiaxin and Howey Ou are part of a small but growing minority of young Chinese determined to press their country towards more radical carbon-cutting action. The pair are also China’s sole winners of carbon neutral “green tickets” the UN is providing to 100 young people around the world.

China is the world’s leading carbon emitter. It generates 60% of its electricity from coal-fired power and coal consumption and carbon emissions have risen for two years in a row after a plateau between 2014 and 2016. Emissions are expected to rise again in the figures for this year. Yet within the country, the positive half of the picture is more likely to be heard: how devoted the nation is to Xi Jinping’s goal of constructing an “ecological civilisation”, how China is a climate change leader compared with the US, and how much record-breaking renewable energy capacity it continues to install.

Torbjørn Færøvik: Kina bærer et tungt ansvar



Lederne i Beijing omtaler Kina som «en fremvoksende myk makt». Det er ikke alltid så lett å få øye på den, skriver jeg i min utenrikskommentar i Dagsavisen. Folkerepublikken Kina fylte 70 år i forrige uke. I Beijing ble dagen markert med en fryktinngytende militærparade. Nye avanserte våpen ble rullet over Den himmelske freds plass, blant dem en interkontinental rakett som kan nå Washington i løpet av tretti minutter. Men ingen av våpnene kan brukes til å få slutt på handelskrigen med USA, heller ikke demonstrasjonene i Hongkong.

China's love for the NBA runs deep. But the Rockets scandal is forcing fans to choose between sport and country

Basketball may have been invented by a Canadian and popularized by Americans, but it has more fans in China than anywhere else. Courts can be found scattered all over the country, from a cave in Guizhou province to a rooftop in Shanghai. Even China's controversial man-made islands in the South China Sea have courts.

An estimated 300 million people play basketball in China, according to figures cited in Chinese state media. Many of them are fans of the NBA, whose future in the country could be in jeopardy thanks to a now-deleted tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressing support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Those protests have significant support in Western democracies, but are seen by Beijing as destabilizing and dangerous. The demonstrations, now in their 18th week, have become increasingly violent, with protesters targeting Chinese businesses and banks, and burning the national flag.

NBA postpones Shanghai press event amid worsening spat with China

The NBA has abruptly called off a hotly anticipated press event for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai, the latest attempt to contain what is fast becoming a major crisis after a team official tweeted support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The tweet has placed the basketball league at odds with China's communist government -- and now threatens to undermine its decades-long relationship with the country and its millions of fans.

The firestorm began Friday when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey sent a tweet containing the popular protest rallying call "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong." The tweet, though swiftly deleted, resulted in a severe backlash inside China, where the Hong Kong protests have been framed in state media as a foreign-backed independence movement.

All of the NBA's official Chinese partners have suspended ties with the league

All of the NBA's official Chinese partners have suspended ties with the league as it grapples with the fallout from a team manager's controversial tweetabout Hong Kong. NBA China lists 11 wholly-owned Chinese companies as its official partners in the country on its website, all of which now say they have halted business with the league, according to a review by CNN Business of company statements and social media posts.

CTrip (CTRP), China's biggest online travel website, said Tuesday that it "dropped all NBA-related tickets and travel products" from its platform. Mengniu Dairy, one of the country's top milk producers, vowed to suspend "all commercial cooperation with the NBA."
Chinese fast-food chain Dicos also said it planned to suspend "all marketing and publicity activities" with the league, while the skin care brand Wzun said it would "terminate all cooperation with the NBA."

Hong Kong protests: Apple pulls tracking app after China criticism

Apple has pulled an app that tracked the movements of Hong Kong policethrough crowdsourced data, after it became the latest company to be put under pressure by China this week. The creators of HKmap.Live said the app was pulled after Apple found it was in violation of local laws and company guidelines. It shows real-time locations of Hong Kong police vehicles, riot and special tactical police and locations where tear gas has been fired, as well as directions of where protests should move. Information is crowdsourced by users through a Telegram bot and similar channels.

onsdag 9. oktober 2019

India's Modi to host China's Xi at summit with ties strained by Kashmir


India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping for an informal summit later this week, the Indian foreign ministry said, with the talks coming at a time when ties have been strained over the disputed region of Kashmir. The meeting in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Oct 11-12 is aimed at enhancing the rapport formed by the two leaders when they met in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year to help stabilize ties after a standoff in another contested section of their long border, far removed from Kashmir.

China calls Prague city council's move to cancel pact a 'breach of faith'

China hit back on Wednesday at a decision by the Prague city council to cancel a partnership agreement with Beijing that would have required it to commit to the “one China” principle affirming that Taiwan is a part of China.

Czech President Milos Zeman has pushed ties with China, but the capital’s government has figured in diplomatic rows between the two nations, such as one over the mayor’s refusal of a Chinese demand to eject a Taiwan official from a conference. “This type of action can be termed a breach of faith, and does harm to China and the Czech Republic’s relationship and the atmosphere of cooperation and exchange,” the Chinese embassy in the Czech Republic said.

China plans to restrict visas for U.S. visitors with 'anti-China' links


China is planning tighter visa restrictions for U.S. nationals with ties to anti-China groups, people with knowledge of the proposed curbs said, following similar U.S. restrictions on Chinese nationals, as relations between the countries sour. China’s Ministry of Public Security has for months been working on rules to limit the ability of anyone employed, or sponsored, by U.S. intelligence services and human rights groups to travel to China.

The proposed changes follow the introduction by the United States of tighter rules for visas for Chinese scholars in May. New U.S. visa restrictions announced on Tuesday, on Chinese government and Communist Party officials the United States believes responsible for the detention or abuse of Muslim minorities, had bolstered the case for the new Chinese restrictions, one of the sources said.


Houston Rockets fan arrested in China after threatening to burn national flag

A 25-year-old Houston Rockets fan in China threatened to burn the Chinese flag in protest of the ongoing disputebetween Beijing and the NBA team, and told police to "come and arrest him." He was behind bars hours later.

Authorities in China's northeastern Jilin province said the man, Howard Wang, was accused of publishing "insults directed against the national flag" on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter. Wang was arrested shortly afterward and the case is being investigated, local police said in a statement. It is illegal to desecrate the flag in China and offenders can face up to 3 years in prison. Wang's social media post was published Sunday, a few days after longtime Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey sent a tweet in support of months-long anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

China's love for the NBA runs deep. But the Rockets scandal is forcing fans to choose between sport and country

Basketball may have been invented by a Canadian and popularized by Americans, but it has more fans in China than anywhere else. Courts can be found scattered all over the country, from a cave in Guizhou province to a rooftop in Shanghai. Even China's controversial man-made islands in the South China Sea have courts.

An estimated 300 million people play basketball in China, according to figures cited in Chinese state media. Many of them are fans of the NBA, whose future in the country could be in jeopardy thanks to a now-deleted tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressing support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Those protests have significant support in Western democracies, but are seen by Beijing as destabilizing and dangerous. The demonstrations, now in their 18th week, have become increasingly violent, with protesters targeting Chinese businesses and banks, and burning the national flag.

The NBA faces a no-win situation in China. Here's what it stands to lose

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey sent what may be the most problematic and potentially damaging tweet in corporate America this year. Morey set off an international firestorm over the weekend when he tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.

"Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong," said the tweet, which has since been deleted.
Chinese authorities, challenged by months of protests in Hong Kong, have made it clear that business as usual with the league will cease until the NBA totally repudiates Morey's statement. The tweet has left the league and the Rockets with untenable choices. They can fire Morey and apologize, which would be seen in America as putting profits ahead of free expression and caving to anti-democratic forces in China. Or they could stand behind him and risk losing the sport's largest growth market.

'Protecting rioters': China warns Apple over app that tracks Hong Kong police

China’s state media has accused Apple of endorsing and protecting “rioters” in Hong Kong’s increasingly violent protests by listing an app on its app store that tracks the movement of police in the city.

The condemnation, by the People’s Daily, a Chinese Communist party mouthpiece, appears to be China’s latest move to pressure foreign companies to toe the line after its state TV and Chinese companies cancelled collaboration with the US National Basketball Association over comments by a team official in support of Hong Kong’s protests.

The app HKmap.live, which crowdsources the location of police and anti-government protesters, was approved by Apple on 4 October and went on its App Store a day later, after the company reversed an earlier decision to reject the submission, according to an anonymous developer cited in the South China Morning Post. The app displays hotspots on a map of the city that is continuously updated as users report incidents, hence allowing protesters to avoid police.

Handelskrig og sikkerhetspolitikk påvirket Telias 5G-valg: – Men vi kunne valgt Huawei


– 5G- og mobilnettene er svært viktige for Norge. Vi har god og løpende dialog med alle teleoperatørene om sikkerhet og beredskap, men vi har ikke utelukket noen enkeltleverandør, sa digitaliseringsminister Nikolai Astrup da han tirsdag talte under Telias 5G-lansering i Oslo. Selskapet annonserte at de lanserer det nye «super-mobilnettet» i april neste år og at hele landet skal være dekket i 2023.

Selv om statsråden, Telia og Ericsson snakket mye om de store investeringene og hva den nye teknologien kan bringe, så ble presentasjonen preget av et globalt, sikkerhetspolitisk bakteppe. Særlig siden Huawei ble droppet. Debatten om kinesiske Huawei har rast i en rekke land over lang tid. Selskapet har blitt anklaget for å la seg bruke som verktøy til spionasje av kinesiske myndigheter, noe selskapet selv har avvist på det sterkeste.

Situasjonen er likevel politisk betent. Både fra amerikansk og europeisk hold har flere sikkerhetspolitiske miljøer advart, og også den norske regjeringen har hevet i vinter en advarende pekefinger, om enn noe indirekte. PST har gått lenger og direkte advart mot Huawei.


tirsdag 8. oktober 2019

China Detains Activists Over Criticism of The Ruling Communist Party


Authorities in China have detained more than 10 people who criticized the ruling Chinese Communist Party around its 70th anniversary and National Day celebrations on Oct. 1. Police in the central province of Hunan detained a group of activists ahead of the National Day holiday after they gathered for a meal and displayed signs protesting the use of taxpayers' money to stage the lavish parade on Tiananmen Square in front of President Xi Jinping and other dignitaries.

Organizer Fan Junyi was detained alongside fellow activists on Sept. 28 and jailed for 15 days' administrative detention, a type of punishment that is handed down by a police-run committee without a trial, local sources said.

China Urged to Revise GDP Growth Claims


As China's government struggles to keep its economic growth rates from falling further, it faces persistent questions about its growth claims in the past. China economists and scholars have argued for years over the accuracy of official gross domestic product figures. In 2007, Premier Li Keqiang described the data as "man-made" and "for reference only," when he served as a provincial leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to a memo published by WikiLeaks in 2010.

Criticisms of the figures issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have focused on the remarkable stability of GDP growth rates through good times and bad. No matter what the external pressures, the NBS figures have had an uncanny knack not only for meeting the government's GDP targets but also for varying from quarter to quarter by no more than 0.1-0.2 percentage points, critics say.

China Detains Brother of Top Law Professor Over 'Terrorist' Video


Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained the brother of a prominent legal scholar after he posted an Islamic State video to social media in protest at a recent visit to Beijing by the Taliban.

He Weitong, younger brother of Peking University law professor He Weifang, is being held under criminal detention in Beijing on suspicion of "disseminating extremist, terrorist content," his friends said. He was detained after posting a 10-second clip of Islamic Statemilitants executing unarmed civilians on Sept. 12, a friend who gaveonly his surname Zhang told RFA. "He was taken into criminal detention on Sept. 30," Zhang said. "They are holding him on suspicion of disseminating terrorism and possessing terrorist content."

Hong Kong's Carrie Lam refuses to rule out asking China for help to quell protest

Hong Kong’s leader has said she would not rule out asking for Chinese government help in putting down the long-running protests “if the situation becomes so bad”, but at present she thought city authorities could handle the situation.

Carrie Lam said she had no plans at the moment to use sweeping emergency powers to bring in further laws, after a controversial anti-mask ban inflamed tensions across the city and spurred four days of street protests. The city’s chief executive warned that the city’s economy was entering a “bitter winter”, with the protests badly affecting tourism in particular with visitors in the first week of October – a national holiday in mainland China – down by half. Visitor numbers in July were down 4.8% year on year but in August and September, down by 30% to 40%.