torsdag 21. september 2017

How Rich Chinese Use Visa Fixers to Move to the U.S.


One summer Saturday in 2013, Vivian Ding took the stage in the grand ballroom of Shanghai’s Shangri-La Hotel to hold forth on a subject in which she was both an expert and an inspiration: emigrating to the U.S. Read more

Ai Weiwei: ‘Without the prison, the beatings, what would I be?'

Human Flow, the debut feature from the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, is a bold documentary about the refugee crisis. The film bounds from the cardboard cities of Europe to the burning oilfields of Mosul and from the unmarked graves of Turkey to the Texas-Mexico border. It plays out across 23 different countries. It contains a cast of thousands. In 2010, the artist packed Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with 100m hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds that broke up underfoot and filled the air with dust. Here, he crams an entire global tragedy into 140 fraught minutes.

The hidden risks of opening up trade with China



China’s enormous size and growing stature in global affairs make it a tempting partner for a free trade deal, but it comes with strings attached. Read more

‘Historic exodus’ from Myanmar: US gives $32M for Rohingya

The United States will contribute nearly $32 million in humanitarian aid to help Rohingya Muslim refugees, the State Department said Wednesday, in the Trump administration’s first major response to the mass exodus from Myanmar. The new money for food, medical care, water, sanitation and shelter comes as the U.S. joins a growing chorus of international condemnation over the minority group’s plight. In less than a month, some 421,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, as the United Nations and others raise allegations of ethnic cleansing.

The Trump administration announced the new funds as world leaders were converging in New York for annual United Nations General Assembly meetings. Vice President Mike Pence lamented the “terrible savagery” of Myanmar’s security forces as he addressed a U.N. Security Council session Wednesday focused on peacekeeping. “We are witnessing a historic exodus,” Pence said.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Much-Changed Icon, Evades Rohingya Accusations


Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar, stood before a room of government officials and foreign dignitaries on Tuesday to at last, after weeks of international urging, address the plight of the country’s Rohingya ethnic minority. But those who expected her to eloquently acknowledge a people’s oppression were disappointed. In her speech, delivered in crisp English and often directly inviting foreign listeners to “join us” in addressing Myanmar’s problems, she steadfastly refused to criticize the country’s military, which has been accused of a vast campaign of killing, rape and village burning.

Mannen bak overgrepene i Myanmar

Militærets brutale fremferd i Rakhine-staten i Myanmar skriker etter en løsning. Over 1.500 er trolig drept. 400.000 er drevet på flukt. Humanitær bistand fra FN er blokkert. Internasjonalt holdes Aung San Suu Kyi ansvarlig for overgrepene. Børge Brende uttaler at hun må stanse volden. Min Aung Hlaing må stanse volden. Fredsprisvinneren er den øverste valgte politikeren i Myanmar. Hærsjefen Min Aung Hlaing kontrollerer sikkerhetspolitikken.

tirsdag 19. september 2017

In Xi’s China, Pinnacle of Power Is Men Only

The last woman to run China was the Dowager Empress more than a century ago. On current trends, it could be another hundred years before a woman takes charge again. A country that officially promotes equality between the sexes is a men-only bastion at the very top. No woman has ever climbed as high as the Politburo Standing Committee, which currently has seven members led by Xi Jinping.

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China Claims 'Great Sacrifices' on North Korea Issue

Days after the UN security council approved a new round of sanctions against North Korea, the Kim regime launched another intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) which flew over Japan in the early morning of September 15. In response, China emphasized its “great sacrifice” on the North Korea crisis and called for the United States to take responsibility.

Faced with North Korea’s blatant defiance against the international condemnation, the U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, issued an immediate statement, urging the international community, China and Russia in particular, to take “new measures” against North Korea. “China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor. China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,” Tillerson said.

What Will Be Added to the Chinese Communist Party’s Constitution?


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s 19th National Congress, one of the most important meetings in China’s political calendar, has been set to begin on October 18. Exactly one month before the congress begins, the CCP announced that it will revise the party constitution to include “the key theories and strategic thoughts” at the October congress.

On September 18, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also serves as general secretary of the CCP Central Committee, presided over a meeting of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau, deliberating a draft amendment to the Party’s constitution. The new amendments will include “the key theories and strategic thoughts” so as to “fully represent the latest sinicization of Marxism,” according to a Party’s statement issued after the meeting and published by Xinhua.

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What Will Be Added to the Chinese Communist Party’s Constitution?

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s 19th National Congress, one of the most important meetings in China’s political calendar, has been set to begin on October 18. Exactly one month before the congress begins, the CCP announced that it will revise the party constitution to include “the key theories and strategic thoughts” at the October congress.

On September 18, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also serves as general secretary of the CCP Central Committee, presided over a meeting of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau, deliberating a draft amendment to the Party’s constitution. The new amendments will include “the key theories and strategic thoughts” so as to “fully represent the latest sinicization of Marxism,” according to a Party’s statement issued after the meeting and published by Xinhua.

Has China Really Made Great Progress on Human Rights?


To welcome the incoming 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Chinese authorities have compiled a book called “China’s New Achievements in Human Rights (2012-2017),” with the preface written by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. In the preface, Wang used 3000-plus words to compliment China’s great progress on human rights under the leadership of Chinese president Xi Jinping, who has been in office since 2012. On September 14, the CCP’s mouthpiece People’s Daily published Wang Yi’s preface in full.

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US must stop North Korea threats, says China, as Kim Jong-un aims for military 'equilibrium'


The United States must stop threatening North Korea’s leader if a peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis is to be found, China’s ambassador to Washington has said, as Kim Jong-un reiterated his country’s aim to reach military “equilibrium” with the US. Cui Tiankai told reporters in Washington: “They [the US] should refrain from issuing more threats. They should do more to find effective ways to resume dialogue and negotiation ... Honestly, I think the United States should be doing … much more than now, so that there’s real effective international cooperation on this issue.”

Spain expels North Korea ambassador amid growing nuclear threat


The Spanish foreign ministry has asked North Korea’s ambassador to leave Spain before the end of the month due to his country’s repeated refusals to renounce its nuclear weapons program. “Today, the North Korean ambassador was summoned and was told of the decision to consider him as a persona non grata, therefore he must stop working and abandon the country before 30 September,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Aung San Suu Kyi says Myanmar does not fear scrutiny over Rohingya crisis

Aung San Suu Kyi has broken her silence on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, delivering a speech denounced as a “mix of untruths and victim-blaming” by Amnesty International. In her first public address since a bloody military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority that has been branded “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the United Nations, the Nobel laureate did not criticise the army and said she did not “fear international scrutiny”.

mandag 18. september 2017

Sorry, an Oil Embargo Won’t Lead to North Korea’s Capitulation



On a superficial level, North Korea appears extraordinarily vulnerable to energy shutoffs. As a 1987 CIA report noted, the regime has long faced energy security problems despite its vast reserves of coal and hydropower potential. Such dependency, however, has yet to result in the sort of political vulnerability that embargo advocates claim already exists. As the U.S. Energy Information Administration notes, the end of the Cold War led to the end of Soviet subsidized oil imports, and North Korean oil consumption has dropped from 76,000 barrels per day in 1991 to 15,000 barrels per day in 2016. Over the same period, the country’s population has risen by an estimated 5 million people. Even accounting for the possibility of smuggling and off-the-books trade, it’s likely that the DPRK has long since adjusted to losing well over three-quarters of its per capita daily consumption of oil relative to the Cold War period.

Beijing’s balancing act over North Korea

Another week, another round of UN sanctions against North Korea. With it comes another demonstration of how adept Beijing is becoming at inching back and forth along the policy tightrope it has installed between Washington and Pyongyang. At the same time, muttering mounts among Chinese experts and the public as to the wisdom of tightrope walking and the availability of alternatives. To placate the United States and signal displeasure with North Korea, China voted for the latest sanctions even as it insisted on watering them down to let Kim Jong-un know that China will not let him fall.

Bad News, World: China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem


After each North Korean provocation, a soothing mantra echoes through the halls of government and think tanks in the United States. China, it is frequently said, could solve this seemingly unsolvable problem, finally reining in North Korea, if Beijing were just properly motivated. But this oft-repeated line contains three assumptions, none of which has held up well in recent years. It assumes that outside pressure could persuade North Korea to curtail or abandon its weapons programs. That China has the means to bring about such pressure. And that Beijing will do so once it is properly cajoled or coerced.

North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal Threatens China’s Path to Power

The two men stood together on the reviewing stand in the North Korean capital: a top official in China’s Communist leadership wearing a tailored business suit and a young dictator in a blue jacket buttoned to his chin. Liu Yunshan, the visiting Chinese dignitary, and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, tried to put on a show of friendship, chatting amiably as the cameras rolled, but just as often they stood silent, staring ahead as a military parade passed before them. Nearly two years have elapsed since that encounter, the last high-level visit between China and North Korea. The stretch of time is a sign of the distance between two nations with a torturous history: one a rising power seeking regional dominance, the other an unpredictable neighbor with its own ambitions.