mandag 26. juni 2017

We participated in talks with North Korean representatives. This is what we learned.



This month, we were part of a group of delegates from the United States, Japan, China and South Korea who met in Sweden with representatives of North Korea to explore possible grounds for resuming the six-party talks that collapsed in 2009. After many hours with the North Korean delegation at these “1.5 track” talks, we left more pessimistic than when we arrived. North Korean officials made unambiguously clear that Pyongyang will not be deterred from augmenting its nuclear arsenal or test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that could eventually threaten the U.S. homeland. There were no signals of flexibility or willingness to negotiate on these programs.

Liu Xiaobo overført til sykehus – har uhelbredelig kreft

Fredsprisvinner Liu Xiaobo (61) er overført til sykehus i Kina etter å ha blitt diagnostisert med dødelig leverkreft.Det opplyser hans advokat til avisen South China Morning Post.     "Han får nå behandling på et sykehus i Shenyang. Han har ingen spesielle planer. Han får kun medisinsk behandling for sin sykdom," sier Mo Shaoping til nyhetsbyrået AFP. Mo ønsket ikke å gi et TV-intervju da NRK kontaktet ham i ettermiddag, men bekrefter at Liu Xiaobo nå er overført til Sykehus nummer 1 underlagt China Medical University i Shenyang.

Liu Xiaobos venn: – Myndighetene har løyet for oss

Kinesiske myndigheter har løyet for oss om Liu Xiaobos helsetilstand, hevder hans nære venn og støttespiller Hu Jia.Aktivisten og menneskerettighetsforkjemperen er opprørt og trist over nyheten om at Liu Xiaobo er dødssyk og ikke har lenge igjen å leve. – Helt frem til nå har vi fått forsikringer om at hans mentale og fysiske helse i fengselet var god. Når vi nå hører at han er dødssyk fremstår alle tidligere forsikringer som løgner, sier Hu Jia til NRK.

Uyghurs Rally Around Language in Face of Pressures From China


Members of the worldwide community of Uyghurs rallied on Thursday in defense of their language, warning that their Turkic tongue and cultural identity are under threat from heavy-handed Chinese policies to assimilate the central Asian ethnic group. “Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) invites all concerned individuals, human rights groups and governments to speak out against Chinese government policies aimed at undermining the linguistic rights of the Uyghur people,” the Washington-based group said in a statement.

The UHRP and other exile organizations launched International Uyghur Language Day in 2015 “to celebrate the vibrancy and richness of the Uyghur language” and celebrate contributions to humanity by Uyghur scientists, philosophers and poets, UHRP Director Omer Kanat said in a statement.

Hong Kong handover: The protest symbols China's scared of

Since both the Umbrella Movement and government-led political reform ended in failure, there have been growing demands in the city for full independence from China. Few things are more likely to rile up Chinese leaders than talk of separatism, be it in Hong Kong, Tibet or Taiwan -- a self-governing island that has been de facto independent for decades but is still claimed by Beijing. A bizarre propaganda video published last year by Chinese legal officials warned that those advocating Hong Kong or Taiwanese independence would transform peaceful China into war ridden Syria or Iraq

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Bloodied and broken: Rising toll of Philippines' war with ISIS


During the rainy season on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, storms are foreshadowed by flashes of lightning in the distance, visible above the treetops. When the rain finally comes, it is a vicious, torrential downpour, which ends as abruptly as it begins.While the rains come and go, the flow of wounded into a military hospital in the north of the island does not. Just as two ambulances pull into the hospital at Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro, the skies once again open up, muddying the dirt courtyard. They discharge yet another 10 soldiers, wounded in what is becoming a bloody, protracted insurgency by ISIS-affiliated militants.

Sinocism China Newsletter, June 25, 2017


Get smarter about China. Read more

søndag 25. juni 2017

Torbjørn Færøvik: "Vil dere ikke spise, så skal dere. Det er en nasjonal plikt å spise!"



”Vil dere ikke spise, så skal dere. Det er en nasjonal plikt å spise!”

Beskjeden var klar da det kinesiske kommunistpartiet i mai innkalte til massemøte på torget i Hotan. Byen ligger i Kinas vestlige del, i den muslimsk-dominerte Xinjiang-regionen. Ramadan, den årlige fastemåneden, sto for døren. Fra buldrende høyttalere ble tilhørerne, mest offentlig ansatte, befalt å gi avkall på en gammel religiøs tradisjon. 

Xi Jinping to visit Hong Kong for 20th anniversary of handover



Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of the city's handover to Chinese sovereignty, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua. It will be Xi's first visit to the territory as Chinese leader, and is expected to be marked by massive protests. During his time in the city, Xi will inspect People's Liberation Army troops at their garrison, visit a Chinese-Hong Kong construction project, and swear in Carrie Lam as the next Hong Kong Chief Executive. He will also attend a major gala celebration to mark 20 years since China assumed control over the city.

A Buddhist Leader on China’s Spiritual Needs

During a visit last fall to the Temple of Great Awakening, the sprawling complex built by the Buddhist organization Fo Guang Shan in Yixing, we were greeted by an unexpected host: the Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the group’s founder and one of modern China’s most prominent religious figures.

Master Hsing Yun established Fo Guang Shan, or Buddha’s Light Mountain, in Taiwan. But he was visiting mainland China to attend a ceremony and had stopped by the temple to inspect the construction of a new hall. At 89, he is mostly blind and suffers from diabetes, but he spoke with us for more than an hour, adeptly responding to questions that the authorities might find objectionable, including any suggestion that Fo Guang Shan is proselytizing in mainland China.

Is a Buddhist Group Changing China? Or Is China Changing It?


For most of her life, Shen Ying was disappointed by the world she saw around her. She watched China’s economic rise in this small city in the Yangtze River Valley, and she found a foothold in the new middle class, running a convenience store in a strip mall. Yet prosperity felt hollow. She worried about losing her shop if she didn’t wine and dine and pay off the right officials. Recurring scandals about unsafe food or tainted infant formula made by once-reputable companies upset her. She recalled the values her father had tried to instill in her — honesty, thrift, righteousness — but she said there seemed no way to live by them in China today. “You just feel disappointed at some of the dishonest conduct in society,” she said.

Blogger Who Compiled Reports of Protests, Demonstrations Stands Trial in China's Yunnan


Chinese citizen journalist who meticulously recorded details of public protests and other 'mass incidents' stood trial on Friday at a court in the southwestern province of Yunnan on public order charges, sources said. Lu Yuyu, who founded the blog "Not the News," was detained alongside his girlfriend Li Tingyu on suspicion of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble" by police in Yunnan's mountain resort of Dali in June 2016.

Lu, who recently refused food and water in protest at alleged mistreatment in a police-run detention center, stands accused of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble," in connection with his work publicizing protests in China. But rights activist Huang Yongxiang, who has previously been in contact with Li Tingyu's family, said he is unlikely to get a fair trial. "These sorts of trials are really just for show," Huang said. "Neither of them has committed any crime; it's just a form of political persecution."

Tibetan Cuts Own Throat in Lhasa Freedom Protest

A Tibetan man called out on Friday for freedom for Tibet before cutting his own throat in a solo protest outside Lhasa’s famous Jokhang temple, Tibetan sources said. No details were available on whether the man had died or been detained following his 10:00 a.m. protest, a Tibetan living in the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service on June 23. “But he is unlikely to have survived,” the source said, writing to RFA on condition of anonymity. “When police arrived on the scene, they immediately covered the place with blue sheets so that no sign of the incident was visible,” he said.

lørdag 24. juni 2017

Kazakhstan: How China's shaping one country's future

China's Belt and Road initiative is ploughing through central Asia. The plan, which aims to expand trade links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond, was unveiled in 2013. What impact has China's grand plan had so far in Kazakhstan? I went to Almaty - the financial capital - to find out. The lyrical strains of Almaty's latest pop song reverberates through the city's main Chinese market, lending a distinctly Kazakh feel to what looks like a scene that could easily be from Beijing or Shanghai. Inside, signs in both Mandarin and Kazakh point out directions in the warren-like maze.

Be Respectful To China’s National Anthem! Or You Might Face Detention



If the Chinese authorities want to promote something, they’ll simply make a law for it. As China is intensely promoting patriotism nationwide, a new law on the national anthem has been drafted. According to Xinhua, China’s top legislature is now (starting June 22) “deliberating on” the draft law. In actuality, this means the draft law will be approved very soon. Read more

China’s Struggle With Demographic Change


China’s rapid aging process is not only changing the makeup of society, but it is also dramatically impacting China’s future economic growth prospects and putting huge pressure on government finances. In 1987, the early days of China’s economic miracle, 63.8 percent of the population were of working age, and 4.2 percent were aged above 65. That meant a surplus of workers to feed China’s low-cost manufacturing boom, which drove the average 10 percent GDP growth seen between 1987 and 2007.

But increased life expectancy and lower fertility means that by 2025, when the share of the 65-and-over population exceeds 14 percent China will officially become an “aged” society. But unlike France, which took 115 years for its share to rise from 7 percent to 14 percent, China will have taken 23 years, and much less than in the United States (60 years), United Kingdom (45 years), and Germany (40 years), according to research by the World Bank and Standard Chartered.

Xi no evil: Hong Kong bans protest slogans as Chinese president visits

Hong Kong police have launched a crackdown on political banners and images ahead of a visit to the city by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to avoid “embarrassing” the country’s leaders. Swaths of Hong Kong will be locked down this week and at least 9,000 police officers, nearly a third of the territory’s force, are set to be deployed during Xi’s three-day visit starting on Thursday. Police have been instructed to remove signs calling for remembrance of the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre or advocating for direct elections of the city’s leader, according to local media reports. The aim of restricting the public’s right to freedom of expression is to “prevent leaders from being embarrassed” and signs must not appear on Xi’s routes through the city.

Hong Kong's new chief: detention of booksellers in China not our concern

The kidnapping and detention of a group of Hong Kong booksellers is of no concern to the city’s government, its new leader has said. Five booksellers associated with Hong Kong-based Mighty Current publishing were detained two years ago by Chinese police, with two of the men spirited across borders by plainclothes agents. The case sparked international condemnation and protests in Hong Kong, and added to fears that the city’s autonomy was eroding. But Carrie Lam, who is to be sworn in as Hong Kong’s chief executive on 1 July, said the matter was purely a concern for mainland authorities.