North Korean soldiers patrol next to the border fence near the town of Sinuiju across from the Chinese border town of Dandong on Feb. 10, 2016. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)North Korean soldiers patrol next to the border fence near the town of Sinuiju across from the Chinese border town of Dandong on Feb. 10, 2016. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIJING/HONG KONG — Kina‘s central bank has told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea, four sources told Reuters, amid U.S. concerns that Beijing has not been tough enough over Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear tests.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang on Sept. 3 prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions last week.

Chinese banks have come under scrutiny for their role as a conduit for funds flowing to and from Kina‘s increasingly isolated neighbor.

The sources said banks were told to stop providing financial services to new North Korean customers and to wind down loans with existing customers, following tighter sanctions against Pyongyang by the United Nations.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (R) speaks with China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi before voting on a US-drafted resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on Aug. 5, 2017. (EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The sources said lenders were asked to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea and were warned of the economic losses and reputational risks if they did not do so.

Chinese banks received the document on Monday, the sources said.

Kina‘s central bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“At present, management of North Korea-related business has become an issue of national-level politics and national security,” according to the document seen by the sources.

The document directed banks to explain to any North Korean customers that “our bank is fulfilling our international obligations and implementing United Nations sanctions against North Korea. As such, we refuse to handle any individual loans connected to North Korea.”

The document did not specify whether existing North Korean account holders could still deposit or remove money from their accounts.

Frustrated that Kina had not done more to rein in North Korea, the Trump administration considered new sanctions in July on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang, two senior U.S. officials told Reuters.

Kina‘s Big Four state-owned banks have stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, Reuters reported last week, with some measures beginning as early as the end of last year.

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A general view of New Zealand’s Parliament House in Wellington in this file photo. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)A general view of New Zealand’s Parliament House in Wellington in this file photo. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

A Chinese-born MP from New Zealand’s ruling National Party has come under scrutiny for his former career teaching spies in China and his membership in the Chinese Communist Party. And while he is dismissing his background as being any reason for concern, those familiar with the inner workings of Beijing’s politics and intelligence activities are telling a different story.

The case is the latest episode in a series of recent events raising questions about Chinese influence in the internal affairs of Western democracies such as Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Forrige uke, New Zealand’s Newsroom and the Financial Times, which had conducted a joint investigation into MP Jian Yang, released reports that Yang had attracted the interest of the country’s Security Intelligence Service for his links to China’s military academies.

Yang studied and then worked for several years at elite military academic institutions, including the PLA Air Force Engineering College and the Luoyang Foreign Language Institute.

He first became a member of New Zealand’s parliament in 2011 and was part of different committees at different periods of time, among them foreign affairs, defence, and trade. He currently remains a parliamentary private secretary for ethnic affairs.

Yang has been a major fundraiser in the Chinese community for the National Party, and has, as the Financial Times put it, “big-spending anonymous donors.” The reference is to a 2016 fundraiser with then-Prime Minister John Key, in which six unnamed Chinese donors donated a total of $100,000 to a bid to change New Zealand’s flag, i følge local media reports. The donors wanted the Union Jack removed from the New Zealand flag because of the past China-Britain history.

New Zealand MP Jian Yang (New Zealand Parliament)

Speaking to reporters after the reports on his past emerged, Yang said he taught English language and American studies while at the Chinese military academies, adding that some of his students were trained to collect, monitor, and interpret information, according to The Associated Press.

Refuting “any allegations that question” his loyalty to New Zealand, Yang said he is a victim of a racist smear campaign.

“Although I was not born here I am proud to call myself a New Zealander, obey our laws, and contribute to this country,” he told reporters.

Yang said the military system has both ranking and non-ranking officers who are called civilians, and that he was one of the civilians.

“If you define those cadets, or students, as spies, ja, then I was teaching spies," han sa. “I can understand that people can be concerned because they do not understand the Chinese system,” he added, according to The Associated Press. “But once they understand the system, they should be assured that this is nothing, really, you should be concerned about.”

But it is precisely those who have a good understanding of the political system in China, including a defector who used to work for the same regime as Yang, who are sounding the alarm.

Military Background

Yonglin Chen was the first secretary at the Chinese consulate in Sydney, Australia, until he defected in 2005. He was in charge of the consulate’s political department, tasked with overseeing and interfering with the members of the Chinese community overseas.

Chen says Yang’s background with the Chinese military is not something that can be ignored.

According to Chen, someone who graduates from the PLA Air Force Engineering College holds the rank of a lieutenant; and if he graduates from the Luoyang Foreign Language Institute with a Master’s degree, he at least holds the rank of captain.

Speaking to the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times, Chen said Chinese military academy students and faculty are “completely brainwashed” and New Zealanders ought to be cautious when it comes to people with a background in the military.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a global fellow at the Wilson Center, writes in a paper that the People’s Liberation Army “would not have allowed anyone with Yang Jian’s military intelligence background to go overseas to study—unless they had official permission.”

Chinese Student Associations

Before coming to New Zealand and taking an academic position at the University of Auckland, Yang was a graduate student at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. According to an “exclusive interview” he gave to a Chinese-language publication, while at ANU he was chairman of the Chinese Student and Scholars Association (CSSA).

CSSAs, which are found on many campuses outside China including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, U.K., and the United States, are known by researchers as extensions of China’s overseas diplomatic apparatus and are used to control Chinese students abroad.

The “handle om” section on the Facebook page of the CSSA at ANU says in Chinese that the association is “supported by the Chinese Embassy in Australia. De website of the CSSA at the University of Canberra says in Chinese that the Association is “under the administration of the Chinese Embassy in Australia.”

According Brady, CSSAs are “one of the main means the Chinese authorities use to guide Chinese students and scholars on short-term study abroad.”

Americans were treated to a not-so-secret experience of CSSAs’ mission earlier this year when the CSSA at the University of California–San Diego rallied Chinese students to stop a scheduled speech of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, at the university. The CSSA published a statement on WeChat (a Chinese instant messaging platform) that states, “the Chinese Student and Scholar Association has asked the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles for instructions and, having received the instructions, is going to implement them.”

After defecting, Chen explained how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses overseas student and community groups acting as front organizations to influence Western government officials and societies.

“The control of the overseas Chinese community has been a consistent strategy of the Chinese Communist Party and is the result of painstaking planning and management for dozens of years,” he said in a past interview. “It’s not just in Australia. It is done this way in other countries like the U.S. and Canada, too.”

Many of the CCP’s overseas espionage and initiatives to exert influence are organized by the United Front Department and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Chen said.

Brady explains that the United Front takes its origin from a “Leninist tactic of strategic alliances.”

“United front activities incorporates working with groups and prominent individuals in society; information management and propaganda; and it has also frequently been a means of facilitating espionage,” she writes.

I følge Michel Juneau-Katsuya, former chief of Asia-Pacific for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the CCP has set up several organizations such as the National Congress of Chinese Canadians (NCCC) to act as its “agents of influence” in Canada. He said the CCP exerts influence among the Chinese diaspora and the broader public in other countries through similar organizations. The NCCC has strongly denied being a front for a foreign communist power.

“What is very important [for China] is to have certain organizations that become agents of influence of their own within the community, to be capable to identify first the dissidents, and be capable after that to lobby very much the local government of any country,” Juneau-Katsuya said.

Influence

Tidligere i år, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation warned the country’s major political parties against taking millions in donations from individuals with close links to the Chinese regime, as this would make the nation vulnerable to Beijing’s influence.

The issue of China’s campaign to infiltrate and influence Australia, including shaping government policies and exerting influence over the Chinese community and media in Australia, were given more extensive attention in the press earlier this year. There has since been calls for banning donations from foreign sources to political parties.

In Canada, much of what happened in Australia with million-dollar donations would already be illegal due to legislated donation limits, at least on a federal level. likevel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was last year criticized by opposition parties for attending cash-for-access fundraisers attended by wealthy people from the Chinese-Canadian community, one of whom had an ongoing business initiative needing government approval. One of these events was attended by Zhang Bin, a political adviser to the Chinese government, according to The Globe and Mail. Trudeau ended the controversial cash-for-access fundraisers early this year.

In her paper, Brady lists several CCP policies that aim to gain control over foreign nations. Among them: appoint foreigners with access to political power to high profile roles in Chinese companies or Chinese-funded entities in the host country; co-opt foreign academics, entrepreneurs, and politicians to promote China’s perspective in the media and academia; the use of mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships with foreign companies, universities, and research centres in order to acquire local identities that enhance influence activities; and potentially, access to military technology, commercial secrets, and other strategic information.

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Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year.  (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year.  (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—They had just arrived in the United States a little more than a week ago, but they were ready to tell the world about what they endured.

Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, two sisters from China joined a group of about 80 meditating protesters outside the U.N. building. Rui and Xing are practitioners of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice that the Chinese regime has heavily persecuted since 1999. They asked to use pseudonyms for fear of repercussions for their parents living in China, who also practice Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).

Rui and Xing were just 11 og 8 years old when their father was arrested and sentenced to prison for 14 and a half years for his faith in the ancient Buddhist discipline. Feeling threatened by Falun Dafa’s growing popularity in China—reaching 100 million practitioners at its peak, according to Falun Gong sources, eller 70 million according to a survey by the state, the Communist authorities launched a systematic campaign in 1999 to eradicate the practice.

Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year.  (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

In their home in Gansu, a central region of China, Rui and Xing recall the local police barging in and keeping them under house surveillance, keeping watch 24/7 for weeks on end. Six years later, their mother was also arrested and sentenced to prison. This time, the police also enlisted Rui’s school administrators and teachers to spy on her. 17 og 14 years old, they were left to fend for themselves, with the help of some Falun Dafa practitioners who lived nearby. Rui and Xing were told they could not apply for college student loans.

“We want to tell China’s delegates to stop the persecution, so that the practitioners in China can believe freely. They are people we know, people who are still suffering,” Rui said in Chinese.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Despite the heavy winds on Tuesday, the Falun Dafa practitioners outside the U.N. arrived early in the morning to begin their silent protest. Most were either performing the exercises or holding tightly to their unfurled banners that threatened to collapse against the wind, with printed messages like “the world needs truth, compassion, tolerance”—the faith’s three central tenets—and “bring Jiang Zemin to justice” in English and Chinese. Jiang was the leader of China who initiated the persecution.

Wang Luorui, a practitioner who had been arrested 11 times in China, said she hopes American president Donald Trump will put pressure on China to bring Jiang to justice. “It will allow Falun Gong to bring the universal values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance to the Chinese people,” she said.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Wang Cun Ling, a practitioner from Shanghai, said her faith helped her to become a responsible and caring teacher who mentored many students in China who successfully applied to top colleges. With the influence that the U.N. has over the world, she hopes to convey the message to all people that Falun Dafa is good. “We want to tell people the truth [about Falun Gong] in a peaceful, compassionate way,” she said.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

fd-un-20170919-benjamin-chasteen0206

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners meditate to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York while the world leaders meet on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong exercise at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017, to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners and perform exercises to raise awareness about the persecution inside China that is now in its 18th year at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)
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United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday that China’s manipulative trade practices and economic model represent an “unprecedented threat’. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday that China’s manipulative trade practices and economic model represent an “unprecedented threat’. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

China’s manipulative trade practices and economic model represent an “unprecedented threat” to the world’s market-based economy and U.S. interests, said the incumbent United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a speech on Monday.

It was the first major public speech given by Lighthizer, a long term critic of China’s trade practices against the United States. Lighthizer told a crowd of over a hundred at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that China represents the one challenge facing the administration that is “substantially more difficult than those faced in the past.”

“The sheer scale of their coordinated efforts to develop their economy, to subsidize, to create ‘National Champions,’ to force technology transfers, and to destroy market, in China and throughout the world, is a threat to world trading system that is unprecedented,” said Lighthizer.

Lighthizer was referring to the hundreds if not thousands of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOE) that are institutionally protected and promoted by the Chinese regime, hence known as the “national champions” of the Chinese economy.

Not only do Chinese state-owned enterprises receive extensive protection from the Chinese regime against foreign competition, they are also often the culprits in stealing technology and other intellectual properties from foreign companies. Large number of American companies have fallen victim to such abusive tactics by the Chinese, which has resulted in massive job losses on the part of American workers, according to Lighthizer and many other critics of China’s trade practices.

“Unfortunately the World Trade Organization is not equipped to deal with this problem,” Lighthizer said, “WTO and its predecessors, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), were not designed to successfully manage mercantilism on this scale.”

“We must find other ways to defend our companies, workers, farmers, and indeed, our economic system,” said Lighthizer, “We must find ways to ensure our market-based economy prevails.”

Cargo ships berth at a port in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province on June 8, 2016. (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

Abusive trade practices by the Chinese state-owned enterprises have inflicted significant harm on American companies and will be dealt with by the Trump administration, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Photo showing cargo ships berthed at a port in Qingdao, Kina. (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

Lighthizer did not reveal specifics of the ongoing investigation regarding China’s alleged theft of intellectual property, a process that was started by President Trump on Aug. 14. He revealed, derimot, that the investigators receive “an awful lot of complaints” from executives of American companies that were hurt by the abusive practices of the Chinese, with many complaining that they were forced to give up their technology and corporate secrets to their Chinese competitors.

Trump Continues Hawkish Stance

Lighthizer’s comment on Monday represents the latest signal that Trump’s campaign pledge of a hardline trade policy against China remains steadfast, despite the departure on Aug. 19 of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who was widely thought to be the administration’s primary advocate of a hawkish stance against China.

Lighthizer is not the only “trade hawk” inside Trump’s administration. Peter Navarro, an economist who is also known for outspoken criticism of the Chinese regime and of China’s trade practices against the United States, was selected by President Donald Trump to head the newly created National Trade Council and is believed to be playing a key role in forming the Trump administration’s trade policies.

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Three legislators of Taiwan, Hsu Yung-ming, Yu Wan-ju, and Chang Hung-lu led the march to United Nations Headquarters during the Sept. 16 ‘Keep Taiwan Free’ march. Hundreds of activists held a rally in New York City on Saturday afternoon to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)Three legislators of Taiwan, Hsu Yung-ming, Yu Wan-ju, and Chang Hung-lu led the march to United Nations Headquarters during the Sept. 16 ‘Keep Taiwan Free’ march. Hundreds of activists held a rally in New York City on Saturday afternoon to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of activists held a rally in New York City on Saturday afternoon to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations and other international organizations. Taiwanese Americans, Chinese dissidents, and international supporters of Taiwan joined force with activists and politicians from Taiwan to push for Taiwan’s international participation as U.N. General Assembly started its new session.

China’s role in excluding Taiwan from the international community of nations was highlighted as activists kicked off their march to the UN Headquarters from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Hell’s Kitchen. In support of the rally prominent Chinese dissidents Yang Jianli and Teng Biao gave speeches in front of the consulate.

“China’s relentless and increasingly oppressive tactics to exclude Taiwan from the global community have only harmful consequences for mankind,” said Yang Jianli, who was jailed by the Chinese government from 2002 til 2006 for his pro-democracy activism. “Surely Taiwan has much to contribute to the world, and the UN should open its doors to the vibrant democracy of 23 million people.”

Chinese dissident Yang Jianli gives a speech on Sept. 16 in front of China's Consulate General Office in New York City to protest China's blocking of Taiwan from the United Nations and other international organization. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Chinese dissident Yang Jianli gives a speech on Sept. 16 in front of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York City to protest China’s blocking of Taiwan from the United Nations and other international organizations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

The “Keep Taiwan Free” rally was organized by the New York-based Committee for Admission of Taiwan to the UN and was held to coincide with the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, hvilken convened on Sept. 12 and runs through Sept. 25. Among those attending was a delegation from the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA)—a Taiwanese NGO that for 14 years has organized an annual trip to the United States to work for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN.

A crowd of 600 participated in the event, according to organizers. Starting at 4 pm, the marchers walked across Manhattan and eventually reached the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in front of the UN Headquarters at around 5pm. The march was peaceful and caught the attention of many New Yorkers who were strolling through midtown on Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of activists held a march on Saturday afternoon from the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Hell's Kitchen to the UN Headquarters on the other side of the Manhattan, to protest Taiwan's exclusion from the United Nations and other international organizations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of activists held a march on Saturday afternoon from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Hell’s Kitchen to the UN Headquarters on the other side of the Manhattan, to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations and other international organizations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Ting, a Taiwanese student studying in America, said that she participated in the rally because she wants her country to be recognized by other people, and she feels strongly about Taiwan having such an identity. An estimated 57,000 Taiwanese students are studying internationally around the world, most of them are in countries that don’t recognize Taiwan’s statehood diplomatically, including the United States, where 21,000 Taiwanese students are believed to be studying.

TAIUNA President Michael Tsai, who is also a former Minister of Defense of Taiwan, said that no one should be barred from participation in the UN. Tsai argued that even Palestine, held to be a “non-state entity” by many, was able to join the U.N. as an observer two years ago. Så, “why can’t Taiwan?"

Michael Tsai (middle), Taiwan's former Minister of Defense and president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, said that no one should be barred from participation in the UN. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Michael Tsai (middle), Taiwan’s former Minister of Defense and president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, said that no one should be barred from participation in the UN. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Hsu Yung-ming, a Taiwanese legislator from the New Power Party flew from Taiwan and joined the rally. “Many people say the push for UN membership is impossible for Taiwan, but they fail to see what’s at stake here,” said Hsu. “Taiwan needs to make its voice heard by the international community. We need to make this an issue, and for the world to see there are 23 million people currently being excluded from the UN.”

Chang Hung-lu and Yu Wan-ju, two other legislators from the Democratic Progressive Party—the current ruling party of Taiwan—also joined the rally. “The fact that China has the power to exclude others from the United Nations is a violation of its founding philosophy, which is supposed to include everyone,” said Yu.

June Lin, one of the young Taiwanese Americans during the Sept. 16 'Keep Taiwan Free' march, gave a speech at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza next to the UN Headquarters. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

June Lin, one of the young Taiwanese-Americans during the Sept. 16 ‘Keep Taiwan Free’ march, gave a speech at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza next to the UN Headquarters. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

At Dag Hammarskjold Plaza next to the UN Headquarters, activist students took turns giving speeches supporting Taiwan’s return to the UN. June Lin, one of the young Taiwanese-Americans, said that the recent trial of Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese citizen imprisoned by China, is the latest example why Taiwan needs to make its voice heard on the international stage.

Taiwan under the name “Republic of China” was kicked out of the UN by the 1971 General Assembly Resolution 2758 to make way for the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan has tried without success to reenter the U.N. since 1993.

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In this file photo a Chinese ship makes its way toward the Lions Gate Bridge into the Port of Vancouver,  one of North America's most important gateways to Asia.(CP Photo/Chuck Stoody)In this file photo a Chinese ship makes its way toward the Lions Gate Bridge into the Port of Vancouver,  one of North America's most important gateways to Asia.(CP Photo/Chuck Stoody)

Nyheter Analyse

As NAFTA negotiations with the United States show slow progress, en new survey shows that more Canadians want to increase trade relationships beyond the United States, with Europe and the U.K.—jurisdictions with similar democratic institutions as Canada—taking the top spots.

China takes the fourth spot as the trade partner of choice, a finding similar to periodic surveys in recent years showing a decline in Canadians’ interest in free trade with China.

The federal government is pushing ahead with free trade talks with China, derimot, with a decision on the potential deal with the Asian giant expected this fall, according to The National Post.

The Epoch Times contacted Global Affairs Canada for an update on the Canada-China free trade talks, but answers to questions were not provided by press time. The government’s public consultation phase on the proposed deal closed in June.

As U.S. President Donald Trump plays hardball in NAFTA negotiations, Canada’s pursuit of a free trade deal with China has been cited by some as an attempt to send a signal to its southern neighbour that Canada isn’t limited in choice when it comes to trading partners.

But the Liberal government started negotiations on a potential free trade deal with China immediately after coming to power in the fall of 2015. That was long before Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, criticized NAFTA’s terms as being overly in Canada’s favour as president of the United States.

The Angus Reid poll published last week asked Canadians where their government should look to develop closer trade ties. Rundt 45 percent chose the EU, followed closely by the United States at around 40 prosent. The third spot with 30 percent went to the U.K., which is in the midst of exiting the EU and will be on its own in any trade talks. Kina, with close to 25 prosent, came in fourth.

Angus Reid notes that interest among Canadians for developing closer trade ties with China has been in decline since the research company first began its periodic polling on the subject in 2014.

Even among the Liberals’ own support base, i.e. those who voted Liberal in the 2015 federal election, support for a free trade deal is below two in five.

Rule of Law

The Liberals’ “human connection” initiatives and “people-to-people exchanges” between China and Canada over the last few years were cited as being intended to reverse the negative polling trends of Canadians’ views on China, but it seems they haven’t succeeded in making Canadians more receptive to closer trade ties.

Perhaps that’s because it is not the elected representatives of the Chinese people that oversee the affairs of their country, but a single non-elected entity that controls all branches of power, including the judiciary, in a one-party system.

The overt state control in China is something that worries Dean Allison, the Conservatives’ newly appointed international trade critic, should a Canada-China free trade agreement go ahead.

“We certainly don’t mind doing deals with the Chinese people. It’s when you have the state involved in such a large way that gives us some great concerns,"Sa han i et intervju.

That’s the lesson Amy Chang hopes Canadians wanting to do business in China learn. Chang’s parents, John Chang and Allison Lu, Canadian citizens who own wineries in B.C. and Ontario, are currently being held by Chinese authorities in Shanghai over an alleged customs valuation dispute.

According to Chang, the Chinese authorities have criminalized a commercial dispute in her parents’ case.

“If this is an issue regarding undervaluation, then they can let me know and we can deal with this diplomatically. There’s no need to have Canadian citizens detained overseas and imprisoned,” Chang told The Canadian Press last spring when she visited Ottawa to plead with federal politicians for help in getting her parents released.

"[Beijing] really is a government that doesn’t play by the rules, it isn’t rule-based,” said Allison. "[I Kina] we have clear violations of the rule of law as it would exist here in Canada.”

That means that when it comes to a free trade deal with China, there is no guarantee of a level playing field, han sa.

“If you and I are making decisions in Canada based on business and personal interest and how the market economy works, that’s one thing, but we are competing with a systematically organized and controlled state-run operation. I think that skews the level playing field,” Allison said.

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Tourists walk with their luggage at Beijing International Airport on November 24, 2016.
(Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)Tourists walk with their luggage at Beijing International Airport on November 24, 2016.
(Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

Having left her native China and entered the United States via a smuggling ring in 2014, Zheng Lili recalls the climax of her months-long journey, which took her around the world and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

“I was scared to death, gasping for breath, I thought I would die there.” It was at that very moment, after she crossed the Rio Grande, that she heard police officers say, “Welcome to America!"

Her first stop was Moscow. From there she went to Cuba, where a visa is not required for Chinese nationals staying less than a month, before finally arriving in Mexico City and embarking on their trek journey north.

At Mexican customs, the leader of the group Zheng was in had told everyone to slip $200 into his or her passport. They were then led to a special entryway and got through without trouble. Joined by a dozen others from different countries, they set off at midnight on a journey to the Rio Grande Valley. For two days straight, they marched over the mosquito-infested land, constantly ready to throw themselves to the ground to evade helicopters or patrol vehicles.

Zheng had become so exhausted that she had to be carried by her son and another immigrant. “We all looked forward to being arrested after crossing, because it speeds up the process,” she told The Epoch Times.

Her son was released on bail a month later, and was soon granted political asylum on account of the Christian faith he learned from his devout grandmother. Zheng was detained for two years.

Zheng Lili’s experience isn’t unique. Aug. 26 this year, twenty-three Chinese were arrested crossing San Diego’s Otay Mesa border, the largest bust of illegal entry by Chinese nationals via Mexico.

Along with seven Mexicans, the group was discovered while they were going through a cross-country tunnel from Mexico. All came from southeastern China—22 from the coastal province of Fujian and one from the neighboring province of Guangdong.

Zheng, also from Fujian, arrived in the United States in 2014 and spent two years in detention before she was reunited with her husband in 2016. Her husband, Chen Zhiqiang, was himself an illegal immigrant: he had gained entry over two decades earlier with a fake passport obtained in the Netherlands. Chen and Zheng were the last of 39 Chen-surnamed families in their town that left home for the United States.

Fujian has historically been one of the largest sources for Chinese immigrants. Changle District, which in the late 1970s became one of the first Chinese ports opened up for international trade, gained the nickname “Village of Smugglers.” From 1980 til 2005, over 200,000 people had been trafficked to overseas destinations, according to Sina, an online Chinese media group.

In Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, tens of thousands of “left-behind children” lived with their grandparents, according to Beijing News. The parents—unauthorized immigrants working in the United States—sent their toddlers back because they had no extra energy or time to take care of them after toiling for 13 hours a day or more. Changle District, which lies near Fuzhou and has around 712,500 residents, counted 5,000 U.S.-born children in 2012. Nearly every local household had someone living overseas.

Fujian has a long tradition of emigration, beginning in antiquity as Chinese merchants left the mainland and settled abroad, often in Southeast Asia. In the early 1960s, Fujianese sailors who took work in Hong Kong discovered that they could earn 15 times as much in the United States, sparking a first wave of emigration to the West.

Gradually an extensive network and an industry of smuggling developed. “When other people got out and we didn’t, it made us look bad,” unnamed immigrants told Sohu, another Chinese media site. Villagers in Changle would set off fireworks to celebrate whenever someone made it to the United States.

“There have been lots of historical cases of Chinese people being brought into the United States illegally on ships, in railroad coaches, hidden in cars, through tunnels, on airplanes – every imaginable way that humans can think of to cross the border,” Elliot Young, a history professor at Portland, Oregon’s Lewis and Clark College and author of the book “Alien Nation,” which documents China’s immigration history to the United States, told Voice of America.

“The Chinese were among the first to invent these ways of evading border control,” Elliott Young said.

Zheng Qi (not related to Zheng Lili), chairman of the Fukien Benevolent Association of America, made his way into America with a Thailand tourist passport, according to U.S.-China Press. In his unsuccessful first attempt, the Hong Kong-based travel agency got him a travel visa to Canada, which got him to the Canadian border before he was discovered and repatriated.

De Migration Policy Institute estimates about 268,000 illegal or undocumented immigrants from China, making them the fifth largest group among over 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States, and the largest of all non-Latin American nations. In a 2016 rapportere, the MPI identified China as one of the world’s leading sources of immigrants.

Over a period of seven months from October 2016 to this May, the California border patrol apprehended 663 Chinese trying to illegally enter the United States, a huge jump from a mere 48 over the same period in 2016, and just 5 the year before, NBC 7 reported.

Smugglers see Chinese clients as more profitable than those from Latin America or Mexico, since gangs can demand higher fees due to the longer travel route. In the past few decades, the cost of smuggling an immigrant has more than doubled, rising from $30,000 til $50,000 til $70,000, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rarely are these fees paid upfront to smugglers, called shetou or “snakeheads” in Chinese, according to the professor Elliott Young.

Young observed that the immigrants would usually arrange with the smuggler on a certain amount of down payment—around a few thousand dollars—and “work off their debt in the United States by working in a business.” “They work in restaurants, garment factories and other, often Chinese-owned, businesses," han sa.

A sarcastic Chinese expression describes a typical illegal immigrant’s day-to-day life upon arriving the United States: “Daytime at the stove, nighttime on the pillow, and weekend at the lawyer’s.”

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In a video released by the Chinese court, a visibly shaken Lee Ching-yu can be seen reading out a statement in court that admits his guilt for “subverting” the Chinse government. Lee’s wife can be seen sitting in the last row of the court room. (Weibo Screenshot/Yueyang Intermediate People's Court)In a video released by the Chinese court, a visibly shaken Lee Ching-yu can be seen reading out a statement in court that admits his guilt for “subverting” the Chinse government. Lee’s wife can be seen sitting in the last row of the court room. (Weibo Screenshot/Yueyang Intermediate People's Court)

The Chinese regime held a show trial to convict Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese human rights activist who has been imprisoned in China since March of this year under charges of “subversion.”

Lee is the first Taiwanese citizen ever to become a political prisoner in China, and the case has attracted considerable international attention. Human rights groups and Lee’s wife blasted the Chinese regime’s treatment of Lee and have criticized the trial as a mockery of justice.

Lee Ming-che disappeared in late March 2017 when he attempted to enter China via Zhuhai, Guangdong, from Macau. The Chinese regime later confirmed that Lee was detained and charged with “subversion.” Lee’s alleged crimes consisted of sending books and materials to friends in China who are interested in human rights, and engaging in online chat group discussions with other Chinese human rights advocates.

Etter 170 days in jail, the 42-year-old Lee went on trial in Yueyang Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan on Sept. 11. The hearing was broadcast live on the court’s Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter), supposedly to demonstrate that the trial was fair and open. Lee was tried along with his co-defendant Peng Yuhua who allegedly also participated in the “subversive” online chat group.

In the video, a visibly shaken Lee pleaded guilty to charges of “subverting state power,” and can be seen reading out a statement in court that blamed “false portrayals of China in Taiwanese media” for his action. He also expressed his “gratitude” to the Chinese authorities and said he saw how “fair and civilized” China’s justice system is.

As is typical with China’s judicial system, nowhere in the recorded video of the proceeding did Lee’s court-assigned “attorney” speak in Lee’s defense, nor make any statement contradicting the prosecutors’ charges. The trial ended with both Lee and Peng’s “confessions,” and the court announced that a hearing on sentencing will be held in future date.

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Lee’s wife Lee Ching-yu who was allowed to travel to China and attend the court on Monday, released a statement asking the Taiwanese people to forgive her husband for the “embarrassing confession” he made in court under duress. Chinese authorities only allowed Lee to enter court in the middle of the proceedings, and she was seen sitting in the last row of the court room.

The court’s Weibo published several photos of the trial, including one that shows Lee Ching-yu reunited with her husband and holding his hands.

Since his arrest in March, Lee Ming-che was not allowed any communication with the outside world—not even his wife and family. Lee’s wife later posted on Facebook that she felt Lee was afraid of saying anything in front of her, and all that the couple could do was to hold hands and look at each other.

“I am proud of you, Lee Ming-che!” Lee’s wife Lee Ching-yu posted a photo on Facebook showing support for her husband prior to Monday’s court trial. (Lee Ching-yu’s Facebook)

Lee Ching-yu has launched a relentless and high profile public campaign to seek her husband’s release. Previously, Lee attempted to travel to China in April but was rejected from boarding at the Taoyuan airport as her travel permit to mainland China was cancelled by the Chinese regime. She later traveled to the United States in May and testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing. She also met with various human rights NGOs and Trump administration officials.

The Taiwanese public has reacted to the trial with anger. Many Taiwanese netizens have been using the hashtag “We are all Lee Ming-che” on Facebook and other social media to express their solidarity with Lee.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which serves as the country’s official agency dealing with the mainland Chinese regime, dispatched a team of advisors and assistants to accompany Lee Ching-yu to China. Tt also released a statement after Monday’s trial that says that it is “disappointed” that the Chinese government did not observe due process in the trial.

Despite this, many inside Taiwan still perceive the government’s response to the case as too weak and insufficient to demonstrate Taiwan’s resolve.

Previously, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen administration had sought to minimize confrontation with the hostile Chinese regime on the other side of the strait. After reports surfaced that there was some friction between Lee Ching-yu’s high profile campaign and the Taiwanese government’s low profile approach to the case, the Tsai administration publicly pledged to ramp up efforts to rescue Lee Ming-che,

Lee is notable for being the first ever Taiwanese citizen to be recorded as a political prisoner in China by the political prisoner database maintained by U.S. Congressional Executive Commission On China (CECC).

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This picture from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken on August 29, 2017 and released on Aug. 30, 2017 shows North Korea's intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)This picture from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken on August 29, 2017 and released on Aug. 30, 2017 shows North Korea's intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang. (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

The Chinese regime is on high alert for radiation seeping into China from North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

The test took place less than 50 miles from China’s border. The magnitude-6.3 earthquake could be felt by locals and Chinese hundreds of miles away as the nuclear test went off. A smaller tremor followed. It could be from a structural collapse after the first earthquake. The worry is that radiation was emitted into the atmosphere due to underground shifting, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Chinese regime said that testing centers haven’t detected radiation yet. Soil, air, and water will continue to be tested. Seismologist Steven Gibbons told WSJ that it may take days or weeks to detect radiation. An environmental issue could become a political issue if the regime thinks that it is being perceived as weak on North Korea.

Chinese officials are reported to have told South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye that North Korea’s nuclear testing in 2013 contaminated the Yalu River, which runs across the border between China and North Korea. Chinese officials neither confirm nor deny the comment, but since 2013 China has added several radiation-monitoring stations.

China had planned to add at least two more monitoring stations, to come some time after the latest nuclear test. This sixth test was the largest out of North Korea and 10 times bigger than last year’s test blast. A potential radiation leak is a great concern to the 100 million residents of China’s northeastern provinces. Exposure to the radioactive elements emitted in a blast could cause cancer or even death.

“If it turns out that there is fallout, and some leaking that threatens northeastern China, it will likely change China’s stance,” said Zhu Feng, an expert from Nanjing University. “It would need to tell people that it will keep [North Korea] under check.” China is North Korea’s biggest trade partner, aid donor, and investor.

Nuclear tests are conducted underneath a large mountain. The North Korean state-run news agency stiffly stated that the test went off without a problem. “There’s a lot of mountain to go before you reach air,” said Gibbons. But Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization head Lassina Zerbo said that a leak could spread over northeastern China and then into far eastern Russia over the week.

There is also worry that the nuclear tests could set off a volcano on the border that is known as Mount Changbai to Chinese and Mount Paektu to Koreans. Chinese locals near the Korean border are worried about the panic continued testing could create. The last test was already a huge shock.

Kim Jong Un has bragged about having the capability of reaching the United States with a nuclear-tipped ICBM. The United States has systems in place to detect any such launch, Fox New reported. Military spy satellites can pick up a heat and plume signature of a launched missile. The detection can be transferred to NORAD and to U.S. Strategic Command.

Missile defense can then be put into action by ground-based interceptors on the U.S. West Coast.

From NTD.tv

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  • Merker:, ,
  • Forfatter: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/colin-fredericson/" rel="author">Colin Fredericson</en>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</en>
  • Kategori: Generell

Dan Blumenthal (center), Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, speaks at a discussion on U.S-Korea relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)Dan Blumenthal (center), Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, speaks at a discussion on U.S-Korea relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON – In the aftermath of last week’s nuclear test by North Korea that allegedly detonated a hydrogen bomb, experts suggest that the time is now for the United States to apply overwhelming pressures on China so as to force it into giving up the rough Kim regime and put an end to its seemly-endless provocations and aggressions.

Dan Blumenthal, Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said on Tuesday that it is possible for the United States and China to reach an agreement over the future of the Korean Peninsula, provided that United States “makes China feel so much pain over its relationship with North Korea” so that China would eventually give up its support for the totalitarian Kim Jong-un regime.

Among a panel of experts that participated in the discussion on U.S.-South Korea strategy hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Sept. 5, all agreed that a unification of the Korean Peninsula under the democratic rule of the South Korea should be desired “end goal” for both the United States and South Korea. derimot, Dan Blumenthal was the most vocal when it came to advocating a hardline policy against China over its support for North Korea.

“What we need to do, and what we have done effectively, is to scare China,” said Dan Blumenthal, "[The United States should] make China very scared, and on its heels about what we are going to do, and what we are capable of doing.”

Blumenthal also said that Trump’s approach to North Korea is more or less on the right trajectory: “The policy adopted by the Trump administration right now is to tie North Korea as a liability for China, to make China feel so much pain for its relations with North Korea,” said Blumenthal, “at some point China would say, enough is enough.”

“China will help get rid of Kim regime, and give him a nice villa in Shenyang, with Dennis Rodman as his companion,” said Blumenthal.

After North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sunday, President Trump vowed that the United States will stop all trade with any country doing business with North Korea. China is currently North Korea’s biggest trading partner. Previously Trump has said many times that he was “disappointed” in China for not helping stop North Korea’s nuclear aggressions.

A B-1B long range strategic bomber in a file photo. In July this year the U.S. flew two of the bombers over the North Korean penninsula in a demonstration of force. Michael Green, the senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at CSIS, said that China needs to be compelled to change through a forcible approach, such as building the fear of a U.S. attack on North Korea in the minds of the Chinese regime rulers. (Courtesy USAF/Getty Images)

A B-1B long range strategic bomber in a file photo. In July this year the U.S. flew two of the bombers over the North Korean penninsula in a demonstration of force. Michael Green, the senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at CSIS, said that China needs to be compelled to change through a forcible approach, such as building the fear of a U.S. attack on North Korea in the minds of the Chinese regime rulers. (Courtesy USAF/Getty Images)

Michael Green, the senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at CSIS, said that he would substitute the word “incentivize” for the word “scare.” However, Green also acknowledged that China needs to be compelled to change through a forcible approach, such as building the fear of a U.S. attack [on North Korea] in the minds of the Chinese regime rulers.

Other experts expressed more doubt over the possibility that the Chinese regime’s behavior could be changed. Laura Rosenberger, Director of Alliance for Securing Democracy said, “I am more pessimistic on it. We forget that [the Chinese regime] has a communist party leadership. That’s an existential issue.”

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Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xiamen, southeastern China's Fujian Province, on Sept. 5, 2017.
(WU HONG/AFP/Getty Images)Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xiamen, southeastern China's Fujian Province, on Sept. 5, 2017.
(WU HONG/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea declared that it tested its sixth nuclear bomb on Sept. 3, a move emphatically condemned by UN Secretary General António Guterres and U.S. President Donald Trump, who threatened to stop trading with any country doing business with the reclusive communist country.

Of all the countries that have diplomatic ties with North Korea, Trump’s threat probably hits closest to home for the Chinese regime, North Korea’s largest and historically most loyal ally.

Over the years, China has supported its communist neighbor, fearing that a collapse of the Kim regime would send thousands of refugees pouring into the country.

The Chinese regime also uses North Korea as a bargaining chip with the United States, claiming that China is the only one that can bring North Korea to the table, says Chen Pokong, a China current affairs analyst.

But the Chinese regime also doesn’t want to deal with the backlash and instability in the region that North Korea has created.

<a href="http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2017/07/12/GettyImages-689969574.jpg" class="light-box" data-lightbox="59aefff3999db" data-title="The test fire of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in an undated photo released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on May 30, 2017.
(Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)”>The test fire of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in an undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on May 30, 2017.  (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

The test fire of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in an undated photo released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on May 30, 2017.
(Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

For these reasons, Beijing has shown its disapproval of North Korea’s brinkmanship, but at the same time, has not done a great deal to stop it.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who were at a summit in China during the most recent nuclear test, both ambiguously vowed to “appropriately deal” with” the North’s provocations, according to Chinese-state-run media.

When North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Aug. 29, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying called for restraint from all parties and for everyone to study the “relevant resolutions by the UN Security Council.”

This raises the question of whether China, in the event of an all-out conflict, would ultimately take the side of the United States or its maverick neighbor.

While the Chinese regime under Mao signed a pact with North Korea in 1961 that obliged China to come to North Korea’s aid in the event of an attack, Xi’s administration has begun to show signs of ending China’s long-standing support for the Kim regime.

Earlier in August, China approved UN sanctions against North Korea after Trump put significant pressure on Beijing to rein in its rogue neighbor.

Beijing also announced in mid-August that it would ban imports of products like coal, fish, and iron from North Korea starting Sept. 5—a significant move considering that about 90 percent of North Korea’s export income comes from trade with China.

China has also reportedly been fortifying its border with North Korea by sending more troops to the region, holding military drills, and gathering intelligence through 24-7 surveillance.

Samtidig, China has declared that it “will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula,” according to China’s representative to the UN.

Further aggravating North Korea’s relationship with China is Pyongyang’s timing. Both the missile over Japan and the nuclear test come close to the Chinese regime’s 19th Party Congress, a once-in-five-year event at which China’s new leadership is chosen.

“The Chinese Communist Party needs to create a stable environment [ahead of the 19th Party Congress],” said Chen Pongkong. “That means the CCP is willing to compromise with others, even submit to humiliation. [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un sees this, so he always picks this most crucial time to be provocative.”

OSS. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Fla., on April 7, 2017. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

OSS. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Fla., on April 7, 2017. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

When Trump and Xi met in person for the first time in April, North Korea was one of the topics of conversation. Coming out of that, Trump said he better understood the complexity of China’s situation and was optimistic that Xi would help the United States deal with North Korea.

“They have pressures that are tough pressures, and I understand. And you know, don’t forget, Kina, over the many years, has been at war with Korea—you know, wars with Korea. It’s not like, ‘Oh, gee, you just do whatever we say.’ They’ve had numerous wars with Korea,” he told White House reporters in July.

Although the Chinese regime has agreed to cooperate with the United States to sanction North Korea, their starting points differ. The Chinese regime advocates all sides coming to the table, whereas the United States wants North Korea to abandon its nuclear program before it will sit down to talks.

Recently however, Trump has hinted that negotiations, whether North Korea lays down its nuclear arsenal or not, are futile.

“North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success,” he tweeted Sept. 3. “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!"

What Kim Wants

Analysts believe that Kim Jong Un craves the respect that comes with being recognized as a nuclear power, and has no interest in abandoning its nuclear weapons.

“While geographically a small nation, if it is a big nuclear nation, the Kim empire—his dictator regime—will last forever. So Kim is pursuing the stability of his regime,” Chen Pongkong said.

“North Korea’s ultimate goal is to force the United States to accept it as a nuclear state, and to be able to talk to the United States on this basis,” said NTD TV’s East Asia political affairs analyst Wen Zhao.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) in Pyongyang on Fe. 22, 2017. (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) in Pyongyang on Fe. 22, 2017. (Bilder STR / AFP / Getty)

derimot, it doesn’t look likely that the United States and other nuclear nations will willingly allow North Korea to be a nuclear power.

If Trump carries through on his threat to cut trade ties with North Korea’s backers, he could be looking at a trade war with one of the United States’ largest trading partners—China.

Trump has made no secret about the fact that he wants to re-negotiate trade deals with the world’s second largest economy, saying to reporters in July, “I’ve been going a little bit easier [on China] because I’d like to have their help … But we have to fix the trade with China because it’s very, very non-reciprocal.”

“In terms of North Korea, our strength is trade,” he added.

The United States is China’s largest importer. If Trump follows through with his threats, the Chinese regime could be forced to choose between the survival of its own economy and that of North Korea’s.

“Once the pressure is high enough, I believe the Xi government will choose the option with the least negative consequences,” said Chen Kuide, the chief editor of China in Perspective, a digital Chinese language magazine out of Princeton that covers China’s democracy movement and rights issues.

From NTD.tv

NTD News’ Tina Lin contributed to this article.

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OSS. Rep. Jim BridenstineOSS. Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Longtime space advocate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) has been nominated by President Trump to be the next administrator of NASA. Birdenstine is known for his strong support for a new manned mission to the Moon, and for his belief that the United States needs to challenge China’s ever-expanding presence in space.

The nomination of the former Navy pilot and three-term Congressman from Oklahoma has been expected for some time, and was finally announced on Sept. 1. Previously, Trump tasked Vice President Mike Pence to lead a re-established the National Space Council aimed at reinvigorating and reasserting the U.S. presence in the space.

Bridenstine has been an active voice in the Congress for increasing the U.S. commitment to the space program. I 2016 Bridenstine introduced H.R. 4945, the American Space Renaissance Act, which sought to reform and modernize the U.S. space program in a comprehensive manner. While the act did not move forward, some of its elements were incorporated into later legislation.

The nomination could face a challenge in the Senate and has already prompted criticism from Florida’s two senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson. Florida is the home to NASA, and both Rubio and Nelson have complained that Bridenstine, a politician, lacks management experience.

derimot, some observers have speculated that Rubio’s opposition might have been partially motivated by Bridenstine’s support for Rubio’s primary opponent Ted Cruz in the 2016 GOP presidential campaign, which caused relations between the Oklahoman and the Floridian to become bitter.

The private space flight industry has largely welcomed the news of Bridenstine’s nomination. Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), a private spaceflight advocacy group composed of space industry giants such as SpaceX and XCOR Aerospace, issued a statement praising President Trump’s nomination of Bridenstine.

“NASA needs dedicated and inspired leadership, and Representative Bridenstine is an outstanding choice to provide precisely that,” said S. Alan Stern, board chair of CSF.

Similarly, several space experts have voiced support for Bridenstine. "[Jim Bridenstine] understands space technology, economics and policy better than most of the people who advise our other policy makers on these topics,” said space researcher and educator Greg Autry. Previously Greg Autry had served as the Trump administration’s liaison to NASA. “Far from being a politician, Bridenstine is a well-informed aviator and leader,” Autry said.

Challenging China’s Presence in Space

Bridenstine has previously expressed serious concerns about China’s space ambitions, as he sees the U.S. presence in space and competition with other adversaries there as intimately linked with national security. Bridenstine’s support for a new manned mission to the Moon is partially motivated by China’s ever-expanding presence on and around the Moon.

In this July 20, 1969 file photo, astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. stands next to a U.S. flag planted on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface. Jim Bridenstine, Trump’s newly nominated administrator of NASA, vows to compete with China in space by launching new manned mission to the Moon. (Neil A. Armstrong/NASA)

“As the cis-lunar economy develops, competition for locations and resources on the Moon is inevitable,” Jim Bridenstine wrote in a Blog post i 2016, “The Chinese currently have landers and rovers on the Moon. The United States does not.”

In another Blog post i 2015, Bridenstine wrote that: “We are seeing the Russians and Chinese attempt to deny space to us. The Russians are launching things into space that are not being registered with the agencies they would normally be registered with.”

“Space is no longer uncontested,” Bridenstine wrote. “It’s being contested, and it’s congested.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine will head an agency that currently has an annual budget of more than $19 milliarder. The current budget however takes up less than 0.5 percent of the total federal budget, a tiny portion compared to NASA’s heyday. During the 1960s the United States allocated almost 5 percent of the annual federal budget to NASA to fund the manned space missions to the Moon.

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The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Three out of four women from China that have been charged with cheating on language exams to gain admission into American universities have pled guilty. The case highlights the growing phenomenon of Chinese students who use fraud to enter the U.S. education system, an industry that in the last decades has seen an ever-growing reliance on tuition from Chinese students.

Earlier in May, OSS. prosecutors arrested Yue Wang, Shikun Zhang, Leyi Huang, and Xiaomeng Cheng, all Chinese students in the United States on F-1 student visas, og charged them with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Prosecutors said that Wang, a student at Hult International Business School, was paid to take the TOEFL exam for the other three Chinese students, who used their fraudulent test scores to gain admission to U.S. colleges, including Arizona State University, Northeastern University, and Penn State University. The students then obtained visas from the U.S. State Department based on their admission offers.

TOEFL is an exam widely used to assess the English-language competency of foreign students aspiring to gain admission into U.S. colleges and around the world. The test is used by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies worldwide.

Prosecutors said Wang was paid $7,000 to take the test in 2015 og 2016 for the other Chinese students, after they previously took the test and failed to meet the minimum scores required to enter their respective U.S. colleges.

While each of the women faced up to five years in prison if convicted, Cheng, Zhang, and Wang have agreed to plead guilty on Aug. 30 in exchange for prosecutors reducing their sentences to time served and deportation to China. Leyi Huang declined a similar plea deal.

Cheating as an Industry

Among Chinese students the illicit practice of hiring an imposter (also known as a “gunman” in Chinese) to take the entrance exam has been a widely-known phenomena that has existed for years in the country’s multi-billion dollar overseas education industry.

For eksempel, a federal indictment in 2015 charged 15 Chinese nationals with cheating the college entrance examination system using fake passports and test-taking impostors, ifølge New York Times.

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump's crackdown on immigration fraud such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says that the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States.

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump’s crackdown on immigration fraud, such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says for that reason the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States.

A random search on the internet immediately shows numerous Chinese websites selling the taking of TOEFL and other entrance exams. The vendors usually guarantee a high score on the TOEFL test, which the buyer can then use to apply for admission into U.S. colleges.

One such website—yhtoefl.net—sells not just TOEFL, but also other more advanced admission tests such as the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test, used for admission to U.S. college).

The yhtoefl.net website, which provides no information about what company owns it or its physical address, prominently displays examples of TOEFL scores that have been “commissioned” in the past, and says that the company has “8 years of experience” in the business and employs over 500 “professional exam takers” across China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other major cities where exams can be taken. The website charges a “reasonable price” for the TOEFL test, which ranges from 10,000 til 30,000 kinesiske yuan (US$1,500 to US$4,500), although it is unknown how such a price compares to the industry average.

The same website even published an article discussing the May 2017 case concerning the four Chinese students in this story.

“Since [OSS. President] Trump came into office, he has been tightening up the immigration policy, and as a result those who attempt to scam the U.S. immigration system would face severe punishment,” the website says. “That is why we prefer to do the exams for you in China, since the Chinese government would not care if Chinese students are scamming the U.S. government.”

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the service of taking entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump's crackdown on immigration fraud such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says that the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers around the United States

Screenshot of a Chinese website that sells the taking of entrance exams for Chinese students. The website discusses U.S President Trump’s crackdown on immigration fraud, such as the fraudulent TOEFL exam takers, and says for that reason the company will avoid doing the exams in testing centers in the United States.

Tuition-hungry U.S. Colleges Fuel Abuse

The number of Chinese students coming to the United States for higher education has seen a rapid increase over the last decade and in 2016 reached a record of 304,000, eller 31 percent of all foreign students in the United States, i henhold til en rapportere by the Migration Policy Institute. The phenomenon reflects China’s increasingly affluent population, many of which can afford to pay a hefty sum for an American education that brings prestige and a prospect for a good job.

Northeastern University in Boston, MA, which admitted one of the students convicted in this TOEFL fraud case, has 11,702 international students in the current academic year and is home to one of the largest Chinese-student populations in the country.

Unlike American students, international students such as those from China tend to pay the full cost of tuition, which is often twice or more the amount that their American classmates pay. Many U.S. universities and colleges that have had trouble finding enough native students have now opened their doors to a massive amount of Chinese cash by admitting a large number of Chinese students. And many of these are not competent in English.

The high concentration of Chinese students often means that the new students spend most of their free time with other Chinese, and their English remains poor even after years of living and studying in the United States. The industry that cheats on TOEFL and other entrance exams has most likely made the situation for Chinese students worse.

According to a recent story by John Pomfret, the former Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post, many educators and students have privately acknowledged that U.S. institutions face an “endemic and terrible problem” with mainland Chinese students, as the system is increasingly seen as broken and plagued by abuses.

In the same story John Pomfret points out that because a large number of Chinese students in America lack the necessary skill in English, these students fail to integrate into the U.S. environment, which can lead to more serious problems. The poorly-integrated students, according to Pomfret, could be easy targets for the Chinese regime to influence and control through propaganda and regime-run apparatuses overseas.

One such apparatus is the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), a state-supported Chinese organization involved in controlling and spying on Chinese students and scholars overseas. Chinese students not prepared for an American education naturally gravitate toward organizations such as the CSSA because “it offers us a place to go when we’re homesick,” according to Pomfret’s interview with a Chinese student.

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Senator Joel Anderson speaks in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento during a rally to support a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, on Aug. 29, 2017. (Mark Cao/Epoch Times)Senator Joel Anderson speaks in front of the California State Capitol in Sacramento during a rally to support a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, on Aug. 29, 2017. (Mark Cao/Epoch Times)

SACRAMENTO, CA—Impassioned speeches asking Californians to stand together against tyranny were heard at the State Capitol on Aug. 31 when around 200 Human Rights activists gathered to show support for SJR 10—a resolution that condemns the Chinese Communist Party for its ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.

State legislators as well as three survivors of the brutal persecution, implored Californians to stand together against the “egregious state-sponsored violence,” as one Senator put it, that is now occurring in China.

aug. 29, the resolution had passed the Judiciary Committee hearing unanimously. But then on Sept. 1, the day following the rally, the State Senate unexpectedly voted to refer SJR 10 back to the Rules Committee—essentially blocking it from coming to a vote in the Senate.

Foreign Interference

The action appears to be the direct result of interference by the Chinese communist regime in American governmental affairs.

That morning, the members of the Senate received by email an unsigned letter on the stationary of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

“We would like to urgently draw the attention of the California legislature to SJR-10,” the letter begins. “This may deeply damage the cooperative relations between the state of California and China.”

Seinere, the letter points out the high level of trade China has with California, the great number of tourists from China who visit the state, and how China is the largest source of foreign students who attend California’s colleges and universities.

Then it directly asks legislators not to support the resolution, “so as not to sabotage the friendship and sustainable development between California and China.”

The author of the resolution, Senator Joel Anderson, knew that passing an official condemnation of China’s human rights abuses would not be easy.

At the rally Anderson said: “I proudly stand here with everyone to condemn the Chinese Government for their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. … It takes great courage to stand up against persecution, to stand up against one of the greatest nations in the world—China—and to call them out for their practice of harvesting organs and the genocide they have created against Falun Gong. Sammen, we’ve taken our first steps towards defending freedom and human rights.”

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that consists of performing gentle exercises and living by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. First brought to the public in 1992, it spread rapidly throughout China and by 1999 det var 70 millioner til 100 million people practicing.

Fearing its popularity—there were more Falun Gong practitioners than members of the Communist Party—then Chinese leader Jiang Zemin banned the practice and enlisted the nation’s entire security complex, media, and judiciary to participate in a massive persecution campaign that continues today.

organhøsting

The persecution over 18 years has amounted to genocide. At the rally, Anderson used this weighty word and called for it to stop.

“In World War II, there were deniers who said the Holocaust didn’t exist, who said it wasn’t happening. We now know that the Holocaust happened and that millions of Jews lost their lives. I will not stand by and watch millions of Falun Gong practitioners lose their lives,” Anderson said.

“If you feel strongly and you believe that nobody should be persecuted or executed for their body parts because they practice a faith, then you need to call your legislator and tell them that they need to stop genocide in China," han sa.

Anderson was referring to the murder of Falun Gong practitioners to supply China’s flourishing organ transplantation industry.

I juli 2006, Canada’s former secretary of state (Asia/Pacific) David Kilgour and international human rights lawyer David Matas released a report, "Bloody Harvest,” which investigated allegations that Chinese state institutions were “harvesting organs from live Falun Gong practitioners, killing the practitioners in the process.”

Kilgour and Matas determined it was true.

Former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour presents a revised report about continued murder of Falun Gong practitioners in China for their organs, as report co-author lawyer David Matas listens in the background, on Jan. 31, 2007. (The Epoch Times)

Former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour presents a report about the murder of Falun Gong practitioners in China for their organs, as report co-author lawyer David Matas listens in the background, on Jan. 31, 2007. (The Epoch Times)

I 2016, Kilgour and Matas, joined by Ethan Gutmann (author of “The Slaughter: Mass Killings, organhøsting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem” ) released an updated report.

De rapportere explains that it represents “a meticulous examination of the transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals in China, drawing on media reports, official propaganda, medical journals, hospital websites and a vast amount of deleted websites found in archive.”

The researchers analyzed hospital revenue, bed counts, bed utilization rates, surgical personnel, training programs, state funding and more, and concluded that China performs 60,000 til 100,000 transplants per year—not 10,000 as the regime claims.

The authors determined that most of the organs come from Falun Gong practitioners, with a lesser number from other prisoners of conscience drawn from Tibetans, Uigurene, og Hus kristne.

Call to Action

Rally at the California State Capitol in Sacramento support of resolution SJR 10, which condemns the Chinese Communist Party for its ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners, Aug. 31, 2017. (Mark Cao/Epoch Times)

The rally was part celebration that the resolution had passed out of the Judiciary Committee and part encouragement, to help whip up support for the resolution in Senate.

At the heart of Anderson’s resolution were three statements:

Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature expresses support for Falun Gong practitioners’ 18-year nonviolent resistance against persecution, which exemplifies uncompromising courage and human spirit; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature condemns any government-sanctioned persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in the People’s Republic of China or elsewhere; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature urges the President and the Congress of the United States to condemn any government-sanctioned persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in the People’s Republic of China or elsewhere;

Joining Senator Anderson in authoring SJR 10 are four State Assembly members—Democrats Adrin Nazarian and Cristina Garcia, and Republicans Randy Voepel and Tom Lackey—making the resolution a bipartisan effort.

Voepel also spoke at the rally, affirming the importance of the resolution and the message it sends to the Chinese regime.

“It makes the vital statement that we stand against oppression—against a regime that wants to control the minds and bodies of its own people,” Voepel said. “Organ harvesting is big money over there—it’s an underground economy.

“That is pure evil in the world, and I will stand up against evil in any way I can.”

Three Falun Gong practitioners who now live in California also spoke, sharing heartbreaking stories of being arrested, brainwashed, and brutally tortured simply because they would not give up their beliefs.

randyvoepel

Resolution co-author Assemblyman Randy Voepel speaks during a rally on Aug. 29, 2017 in Sacramento, in support of Falun Gong practitioners’ peaceful resistance in the face of persecution. (Mark Cao/Epoch Times)

They also described how while in labor camps, only Falun Gong prisoners were given regular blood tests and brief medical exams, which was odd since clearly the regime did not care for the health of prisoners it was torturing. They believed these tests were for the purpose of establishing a living organ bank. One medical researcher compared detained practitioners to lobsters in the tank in a seafood restaurant, ready to be plucked out whenever needed.

David Xu was a financial software engineer in China. His good friend was tortured to death while imprisoned in 2011. I April 2016, Xu feared it was his turn.

Kidnapped from his home, he was taken to a brainwashing center where he endured extreme torture. The most frightening moments for him were when his blood was taken. He was well aware of the regime’s practice of harvesting the organs of Falun Gong practitioners and was terrified for his life. He went on a hunger strike for 18 days before he was released.

Safe in America, he can’t stop worrying about his friends and family back in China. “Even though I escaped, It is hard for me to find peace in my heart because there are still so many Falun Gong practitioners in prison there.”

His story is echoed by Jie Li and Yolanda Yao. Speaking to the crowd, they both shared chilling stories of imprisonment, torture, and mysterious blood tests. They saw fellow practitioners beaten mercilessly, and then saw them disappear.

Yolanda Yao, now a resident of Sunnyvale, had to give up her PhD studies because of the persecution. She was arrested in 2011 and spent two years imprisoned. “Words cannot describe the pain I have felt. I experienced firsthand the brutality of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Those were the darkest moments of my life.”

Imprisoned in the Beijing Women’s Labor Camp, she spoke of being subjected to around-the-clock brainwashing sessions and unrelenting mental and physical torture. Forced to sit in a child’s chair for 10 til 11 hours every day, her legs and feet would swell immensely, resulting in severe bruising and ulceration in her back and hips.

She was also forced to perform to slave labor in summer temperatures surpassing 100 degrees, and was once soaked in pesticide when the 70-pound barrel she was carrying on her back leaked all over her.

The most horrific thing she experienced, derimot, were the blood tests she and fellow Falun Gong practitioners were given three times a year. Like Xu, she was aware of the forced organ harvesting, and was certain that their blood was being tested to evaluate them as potential candidates.

Although she is safe in California, her heart is still in China with her elderly parents who are both imprisoned for their beliefs. “The suffering and torment I experienced in the labor camp still haunts me to this day. It horrifies me to know that my parents are suffering the same fate.”

Her only solace is the hope that through international pressure and individual actions they will be released. She ended her speech with a plea:

“I humbly ask for your help in raising public awareness of this brutal persecution and hope that together we can bring an end to 18 years of harassment, torture, killing, and most heinous of all, forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.”

State Assembly Member Tom Lackey shares his hope that the people of California will stand together and oppose these crimes. “That you have a government that would actually approve such a hurtful and wicked practice is just unimaginable. These people have no control—those of us who do need to speak very loudly so we can influence the government and pressure them to change this policy so that lives can be saved.”

Additional reporting by Stephen Gregory

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Chinese doctors carry fresh organs for transplant in 2012. (Screenshot/Sohu.com)Chinese doctors carry fresh organs for transplant in 2012. (Screenshot/Sohu.com)

China recently claimed to have nearly 300,000 registered donors and boasted it would surpass the United States in organ transplants by 2020, during a major organ transplant conference in the southwest Chinese city of Kunming on August 3 til 5.

China’s claims of an explosive rise in organ donations and transplants are cause for alarm, according to Dr. Torsten Trey, the executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting.

Dr. Trey spoke with The Epoch Times in a recent interview, laying out his concerns over the transparency of China’s organ transplant system, and pointing to the possibility of ongoing abuses.

The Epoch Times: China has stated that they have almost 300,000 registered organ donors and claimed that it has successfully reformed its organ donation system. Do you find the claims credible?

Dr. Torsten Trey: I USA, it took approximately 20 years to create a donation system. I Kina, the environment is even more conservative in terms of donations than the U.S. Traditionally, Chinese people are against organ donations. And in the particular case of China, there is even a regulation that if only one family member rejects the organ donation from a deceased relative, the organ cannot be procured. Dermed, even if people register as organ donors, there are still obstacles ahead that don’t exist in the U.S. Også, once a person is registered, the person usually does not pass away within 2-3 years after registration.

To develop a voluntary, free organ donation system requires time. A fast development is rather a sign that the system is not growing voluntarily. And then there is again the question: where do the organs come from?

The Epoch Times: What are the standards for determining if an organ a transplant system is transparent and credible? How is China’s system different from that of the U.S. and other developed countries?

Dr. Trey: Transparency and traceability of organ donors are criteria among the WHO Guiding Principles for transplantation. Without transparency, transplant medicine is walking a very narrow path where abuse can unhinge the very principles of the medical practice: medicine is supposed to save lives, and do no harm, yet in transplant medicine one depends on an organ from another person to provide cure for the patient. If that transplant organ is procured in an unethical way, in a way where the life of the donor is jeopardized or even killed, then this would violate the mission of medicine. Transparency and traceability are the minimum requirements to prevent such abuse.

In order to assess whether a transplant and organ donation system is meeting these WHO guidelines, an independent examiner needs to be able to ask—at any time and for any organ—where the organ comes for, who the relatives are, who the donor is, what the cause of death was, and whether there was voluntary, free and informed consent. This is common practice in all western countries.

I Kina, we see the opposite: there is no access for independent examiners—except maybe for biased examiners—or to examiners who are not aware of the findings of independent investigators.

The Epoch Times: How has China managed to escape independent scrutiny then? And what would it entail?

Dr. Trey: Scrutiny requires access on the ground. China keeps control over it; they decide who can enter or not. The best comparison is made with the business world. If a company wants to produce inside China, they have to collaborate with a Chinese company, and they have to reveal their technology. This is unheard of in other countries, I believe. On the surface it is just an IT privacy issue, but on a deeper level it is censorship of who can enter the country. Same in the transplant field: those organizations and doctors who were invited and granted access to “inspect” transplant centers are only those doctors who have proven over the years that they only write in a pro-China style. It is censorship in transplant scrutiny—like in business—which guarantees there won’t be inconvenient questions or investigations. Companies and doctors alike who abide by Chinese censorship are granted access to the country.

Med andre ord, by selecting who can access the country, truly independent scrutiny is systematically prevented. If China would be really open for transparency they would allow the true critics, who ask real scrutinizing questions, to enter the country. The intention of this strategy is to fool the international community with pseudo-independent inspections.

The Epoch Times: How did Huang Jiefu, China’s organ transplant spokesperson, respond to international allegations that many of China’s organs have been sourced from prisoners of conscience, mainly Falun Gong practitioners? Why did he say the claims were “nonsense”?

Dr. Trey: I februar 2017, during his visit to the Vatican in Rome, Huang Jiefu simply replied that allegations of the number of Falun Gong victims were “nonsense.” Other than saying that this is nonsense, there has been basically no statement deflecting the findings from investigators or providing data that would say otherwise.

Given that there has been international criticism for more than 11 år, it would be fairly easy for China to let investigators enter China and investigate. It is surprising that China endures the criticism, instead of dispelling these allegations by allowing international inspections.

There are books filled with evidence, hundreds of pages of evidence, with countless testimonies by Falun Gong practitioners, etc. Thus rejecting all this with just one word—”nonsense”—is absolutely inadequate. But to a certain degree, it also proves that the allegations and the evidence are true, at least in part, as Huang Jiefu is not able to provide any response to counter the allegations.

The Epoch Times: 30 leaders of foreign organ transplant societies and associations attended the recent transplant conference in Kunming. And Chinese media reports cited international transplant experts lauding reforms in China’s organ transplant system. What would you like to say to them?

Dr. Trey: It is commendable, if China, or any other country, makes genuine reforms to meet ethical standards. But it would be a fatal mistake to applaud such reforms if they are only covering up more severe crimes against humanity. In that case, the alleged reforms cannot be considered reforms, but a scheme to deceive Western doctors and to cover up ongoing forced organ harvesting. If reforms are praised while the hidden forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience continues, then we find this devastating situation where applause resounds while innocent people are slaughtered for their organs.

As a representative of international medical organizations, one has the responsibility to consider the victims first: reforms are good, but the well-being of potential victims to forced organ harvesting is the first thing to guarantee. Can you guarantee that no prisoner of conscience is being killed for their organs? If you can guarantee it, then feel free to applaud. But if you cannot guarantee that not a single Falun Gong practitioner is being forcibly organ harvested somewhere in China, then hold your applause and keep scrutinizing. Anything different would be irresponsible and premature.

The Epoch Times: In an interview with Global Times, a subsidiary of a mouthpiece paper of the Chinese Communist Party, Huang Jiefu claimed that China was not the first to use prisoners as a source for organs.

Dr. Trey: Huang Jiefu suggested the U.S. invented this practice of using executed prisoners as a source of organs. In that interview, he also suggested the U.S. is the “the most rampant organ trafficking country in the world.” This is of course false. And it is a shame because many of the doctors who support him the most come from the U.S. Interestingly, this was only an interview in a Chinese newspaper, and it is probably little known in the West how Huang Jiefu talks about his Western colleagues.

Aside from the historic question—who was firstthere is absolutely no doubt that in terms of numbers and systematic approach, China is the worst offender. Over the past 20 år, they have killed at least hundreds of thousands of people for their organs.

With reporting by Li Chen.

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