The photo shows rights activists performing the roles of Chinese police and North Korean refugees outside the Chinese Embassy in Seoul on Feb. 21, 2012 during a rally demanding that Beijing scrap plans to repatriate arrested refugees from North Korea. The Chinese regime has intensified its crackdown on North Koreans who attempt to escape the Kim regime through China. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)The photo shows rights activists performing the roles of Chinese police and North Korean refugees outside the Chinese Embassy in Seoul on Feb. 21, 2012 during a rally demanding that Beijing scrap plans to repatriate arrested refugees from North Korea. The Chinese regime has intensified its crackdown on North Koreans who attempt to escape the Kim regime through China. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

North Koreans who attempt to escape the brutal Kim regime through China are increasingly being apprehended by the Chinese regime and deported back, according to reports. Those who were forcefully returned face certain imprisonment, torture, and even execution.

Human Rights Watch estimated that in July and August alone China apprehended 41 North Koreans attempting to flee their home country by crossing over into and through China, a steep increase from the 51 who are known to have been caught the entire previous year, from July 2016 to June 2017. North Korean escapees were caught in various locations inside China from the North Korea-China border all the way to Lao-China border in Yunnan Province.

The fact that North Koreans were being caught as far away as Yunnan means that some of them traveled thousands of miles inside China and were a short distance away from freedom before the Chinese regime’s security apparatus sealed their fate.

The intensified crackdown on North Korean escapees likely started in July, as China arrested a number of local guides that help North Koreans pass through China. As news of the crackdown spread, guides and activists within the existing “rescue network” became more reluctant to take the risk of transporting unfamiliar escapees as they were fearful of being betrayed to the Chinese authorities.

Północnokoreańskim żołnierz stoi na straży na łodzi z mieszkańcami na rzece Yalu pobliżu miasta Sinuiju naprzeciwko chińskiego przygranicznego miasta Dandong dniu lut. 9, 2016. (JOHANNES EISELE / AFP / Getty Images)

Północnokoreańskim żołnierz stoi na straży na łodzi z mieszkańcami na rzece Yalu pobliżu miasta Sinuiju naprzeciwko chińskiego przygranicznego miasta Dandong dniu lut. 9, 2016. (JOHANNES EISELE / AFP / Getty Images)

Among the 92 North Korean escapees that were caught since June 2016, only 46 are still in Chinese custody and the rest have been deported back to North Korea, according to Human Rights Watch. The North Korean regime imposes severe punishment on those attempting to escape the country. Most would be imprisoned in concentration camps and face torture and abuse, and some of them would be executed, according to Human Rights Watch.

The deportation of North Korean refugees back to North Korea has been identified as a violation of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its accompanying 1967 Protocol. China is a signatory country for both. Article 33 of the Convention, also known as the principle of non-refoulement, prohibits countries from expelling or returning a refugee where “his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

The Chinese regime considers North Korean refugees only as “illegal economic migrants” rather than refugees or asylum seekers, despite the fact that these North Koreans are internationally recognized as refugees who would face severe persecution upon return.

North Korea has also stepped up its own efforts to crackdown on defections. In a recent report, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said that 780 North Koreans eventually reached safety in the South between January and August, a significant decline from the same period one year previously, the Telegraph Podawane.

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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, Kanada, i Stany Zjednoczone.

Zeszły tydzień, New Zealand’s Newsroom oraz 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, według 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, yes, then I was teaching spies," powiedział. “I can understand that people can be concerned because they do not understand the Chinese system," on dodał, 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.

Według 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, Kanada, U.K., i Stany Zjednoczone, are known by researchers as extensions of China’s overseas diplomatic apparatus and are used to control Chinese students abroad.

The “o” section on the Facebook page of the CSSA at ANU says in Chinese that the association is “supported by the Chinese Embassy in Australia. The 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.

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.

According to 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

Earlier this year, 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. Nonetheless, 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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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 do 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, which 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. Więc, “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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WeChat, the most popular messaging app in China, now warns users that it actively stores a whole range of private data and will readily share them with the Chinese authorities if needed. (Matthew Robertson/Epoch Times)WeChat, the most popular messaging app in China, now warns users that it actively stores a whole range of private data and will readily share them with the Chinese authorities if needed. (Matthew Robertson/Epoch Times)

China’s most popular messaging app WeChat now warns users in a privacy statement about how much of their private data the company shares with the Chinese regime. To no one’s surprise, it’s just about everything users type into the app.

Developed by the Chinese internet company Tencent, WeChat is China’s equivalent of WhatsApp and is used by 662 million mobile users, which makes it the dominant messaging app in China and one of the largest in the world.

WeChat users who updated to the latest patch are greeted with a new prompt that requires them to accept the privacy policy in order to continue using the app. Upon careful reading, the new privacy policy acknowledges that WeChat collects a whole range of data from its users, and to comply with “applicable laws or regulations” would readily share them with the Chinese regime.

Private log data from users such as “information about what you have searched for and looked at while using WeChat,” and “people you’ve communicated with and the time, data and duration of your communications” are among the things that WeChat freely stores and uses to customize advertisement and direct marketing.

WeChat users who updated to the latest patch are greeted with a new prompt that requires them to accept the privacy policy in order to continue using the app. (Screenshot captured by Twitter user @lotus_ruan)

WeChat users who updated to the latest patch are greeted with a new prompt that requires them to accept the privacy policy in order to continue using the app. (Screenshot captured by Twitter user @lotus_ruan)

WeChat also admits that it would “retain, preserve or disclose” users’ data to “comply with applicable laws or regulations.” Because China’s law enforcement agencies and security apparatus do not need a search warrant to seize a citizen’s property or private data, the Chinese regime would essentially have access to just about everything WeChat users send through the app.

Users who refuse to accept the latest privacy policy would be unable to access WeChat with their accounts, until they change their mind and click the “accept” button. jednak, because users can resume using the app anytime with their pre-existing data intact, WeChat likely plans to store all the data for a prolonged period, even when a user explicitly refuses to let WeChat manage his or her own data anymore.

The new privacy policy contains few surprises for those that have long been criticizing WeChat for lacking privacy and security protections for its users. After all, observers have attributed the dominance of WeChat in China to the company’s close collaboration with the Chinese regime in implementing self-censorship and surveillance mechanisms in the app.

WeChat certainly got an assist from the Chinse regime when it started a partial blocking of WhatsApp in July. The blocking of WhatsApp eliminated one of the few remaining messaging apps available for users in China that was not controlled by the authoritarian regime.

The Chinese regime also recently announced on Sept. 7 a new regulation mandating that the participants of WeChat message groups be responsible for managing the information posted in their respective groups. Essentially, this means that a user in a message group could be held liable and even persecuted for information that others post in the group.

It has long been noted that WeChat is among the most heavily censored messaging apps. ZA 2016 Ankieta wykonane przez Amnesty International, która plasuje się na świecie najbardziej popularne aplikacje wiadomości w zakresie ochrony prywatności dla użytkowników dał WeChat wynikiem 0 poza 100, co oznacza, że ​​użytkownicy WeChat otrzymać niewielką lub żadną ochronę szyfrowania komunikacji i ich aplikacja jest całkowicie wystawiony na działanie cenzury i nadzoru przez chiński reżim.

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Top graft buster Wang Qishan attends opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on March 3, 2016 w Pekinie, Chiny. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Top graft buster Wang Qishan attends opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on March 3, 2016 w Pekinie, Chiny. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Wang Qishan, China’s most powerful official after Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, has made a series of public appearances recently, after having disappeared from public view for months. Wang’s absence from the media led to speculation about his political future, to which he retorted with three appearances in the space of a week. Such appearances are bellwethers of political vitality in China’s opaque political system.

Footage from state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) showed Wang, who heads the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency, attending a national disciplinary inspection assembly on Sep. 8.

At the meeting, Wang stressed the importance of reflecting on the results of anti-corruption work carried out since Xi Jinping took power in 2012, and expressed resolve to continue with “unremitting efforts.”

“Party Central fully affirms the disciplinary inspection work,” Wang said.

Observers of Chinese politics closely watch signs of Wang’s presence (or absence) in the media for hints on whether he will continue to serve in the Politburo Standing Committee after the leadership reshuffling at the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress. The Standing Committee is the Party’s executive leadership and is composed of seven cadres, including Wang and Xi, who heads the body.

According to an unofficial convention of the regime, members of the Standing Committee who reach the age of 68 at the time of the Party Congress are expected to retire; officials aged 67 or younger may stay for the next five-year term. Wang Qishan, who is a key ally for Xi Jinping in his anti-corruption campaign, turned 69 this July.

Two days before Wang appeared on television, he attended a political seminar honoring his late father-in-law, the former vice premier Yao Yilin. Wang was accompanied by his wife and eldest grandson.

Besides the presence of four Politburo members, the Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily took special notice of two officials—Xi Yuanping, younger brother of Chinese president Xi Jinping, and Li Zhanshu, Xi’s right-hand man. “Xi Jinping sent two representatives to the meeting, one official and one personal…to show his respect,” the raport says.

Wang was also addressed, apparently for the first time by Chinese state media, as the leader of the “Central Leading Group for Inspection Work.”

From Sept. 3 do 5, Wang also paid a three-day visit to the central Chinese province of Hunan where he held a discipline inspection symposium, as reported both on CCTV and the official website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection that Wang heads.

Given Wang’s tendency to keep a low profile, the prominent media exposure is highly unusual, and has been seen as a pointed rebuttal of rumors that he has been diagnosed of late stage liver cancer. Independent political commentator Zhou Xiaohui says the media reports should also be read as a hint that Wang remains in Xi Jinping’s favor.

Since May, Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire who resides in an $67 million luxury apartment in Manhattan overlooking Central Park, has made various unproven corruption charges against Wang and his family members using social media. Guo has been linked with the political network grouped around former Party leader Jiang Zemin; the anti-corruption campaign under Xi and Wang has targeted hundreds of cadres aligned with Jiang. Guo faces a number of lawsuits from Chinese urzędnicy, actresses, i businesses for unpaid debts and defamation.

Xin Ziling, a retired official at the National Defense University, believes that Wang’s political position is protected on account of the indispensable role he plays in Xi’s administration.

“Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, and Wang Qishan are going to be the core in the 19th National Congress,” Xin told The Epoch Times. Li Keqiang is the premier. “If they take down Wang Qishan, it’s effectively saying that Xi’s anti-corruption effort was wrong.”

“Once you shoot the arrow, there’s no getting it back,” Zhou Xiaohui said. “The tone coming from state media has been that anti-corruption is going to continue, and Xi would be handicapping himself if he loses Wang Qishan.”

Wang’s absence has typically been associated with the purge of “big tigers”—the Chinese term for high-ranking corrupt officials. The last time Wang returned to public view after 40 days of silence, the authorities announced the investigation of prominent Chongqing Party secretary Sun Zhengcai, extinguishing the hopes in some quarters that he would be a candidate for succeeding Xi Jinping in the leadership.

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  • Autor: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/eva-fu/" rel="author">Eva Fu</za>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</za>
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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.

Po 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.

Pomimo tego, 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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Senator Anderson speaks in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco during a rally to protest the Chinese regime’s interference in California’s legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)Senator Anderson speaks in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco during a rally to protest the Chinese regime’s interference in California’s legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

SAN FRANCISCO—A rally was held outside the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on the morning of Sept. 8 to protest the Chinese regime’s interference in California’s legislature.

The rally was sparked by a letter sent from the Consulate to all members of the California Senate that warned that support of SJR 10—a resolution sponsored by Senator Joel Anderson that condemns the Chinese Communist Party for its ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners—would harm relations between the two governments.

Falun Gong, Wiadomo również Falun Gong, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition. It consists of living according the principles of truthfulness, współczucie, and tolerance and performing gentle, meditative exercises.

W 1999 byli 70 million people practicing Falun Gong in China, according to a survey done by the Chinese state, lub 100 milion, according to Falun Gong practitioners. In July 1999, jednak, then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin banned the peaceful practice and enlisted the nation’s entire security apparatus, media, and judiciary to participate in a massive persecution campaign that continues to this day.

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners in front of the San Francisco Chinese consulate during a rally to protest the Chinese regime's interference in California's legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners in front of the San Francisco Chinese consulate during a rally to protest the Chinese regime’s interference in California’s legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

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The most disturbing element in this brutal campaign is the compelling evidence that shows Falun Data prisoners of conscience are murdered to supply organs for transplantation in China.

The China Organ Harvesting Research Center raporty, “China now performs more organ transplants than any other country in the world, despite having few donations.” The Center asks where all of these organs come from.

W 2016 former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia/Pacific) David Kilgour, investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann, and international human rights lawyer David Matas released “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update,” which offers “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”, according to the report’s website.

The report shows that the Chinese regime is performing 60,000 do 100,000 transplants per year as opposed to 10,000 na rok (the Chinese claim). The Chinese regime has engaged “in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually‑based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tybetańczycy, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants.”

Also in 2016 Stany Zjednoczone. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 343, “Expressing concern regarding persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.”

Pulling the Resolution

SJR 10 takes note of H. Res. 343 and condemns the Chinese Government “for any government-sanctioned persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in the People’s Republic of China.” With both Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, it was unanimously approved last week by the Judiciary Committee. The next step should have been a vote on the Senate Floor.

Unexpectedly, the Senate voted to refer SJR 10 back to the Rules Committee-essentially blocking it from coming to a vote in the Senate.

Speaking at the rally, Senator Anderson blamed the shelving of his bill on a “a vicious letter sent by the Chinese Consulate to discredit Falun Gong Practitioners.” The letter threatened that SJR 10 “may deeply damage the cooperative relations between the State of California and China.”

Senator Anderson speaks in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco during a rally to protest the Chinese regime's interference in California's legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

Senator Anderson speaks in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco during a rally to protest the Chinese regime’s interference in California’s legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

Dated Sept. 1, the letter was sent to all California Senators the day after 200 human rights activists gathered at the State Capitol to support the unanimous approval of SJR 10 by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The same day this letter was received, Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon moved to pull the resolution from the floor.

Phone calls and emails from the Epoch Times to Jonathan Underland, press secretary to Senator De Leon, asking for the Senator’s comments about this issue were not returned.

Outraged that his bill was not allowed even to be heard, at the rally on Friday Senator Anderson decried this “alarming interference with our legislative process by a foreign power has silenced the voice of human rights.”

Other states—Minnesota, Illinois, and Pennsylvania—have each passed resolutions similar to SJR 10 within the past few years.

Against Genocide

Senator Anderson said, “We should stand together against genocide. This is not a party issue, it’s a human rights issue.”

Speaking on the Senate floor every day the week of Sept. 4-8, he attempted to attach SJR 10 to other measures, including a similar bill that condemns the Chechnya government’s persecution of the LGBT community. He was not alone in this attempt. Noting California’s long history of showing support for human rights resolutions, Senator Stone, a Republican from Temecula, urged his colleagues to let SJR 10 be heard.

“We commonly do resolutions in support of human rights. I think that this is a missed opportunity—one that makes us look hypocritical—that murder in one sense is justified as opposed to murder in another,” Stone said on the Senate floor.

Their pleas fell on deaf ears. SJR 10 remained shelved.

To explain the apparent hypocrisy of the California Senate’s condemning persecution of citizens in Checnya, but not in China, Anderson believes one has to follow the timeline:

  1. With bi-partisan support, SJR 10 passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously.
  2. A threatening letter was received from the Chinese Consulate.
  3. The resolution is shelved without ever being heard on the Senate floor.

Chinese Regime Threats

Threats and intimidation from the Chinese regime to American politicians are not new.

Stany Zjednoczone. Congress passed two resolutions—H Con ResR 188 w 2002 i H Con ResR 304 in 2004—that called for the Attorney General to investigate reports of Chinese Consular officials illegal acts of attempting to intimidate elected officials who showed support for Falun Gong practitioners. The resolutions also urged local governments to report to Congress, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State any incidents of pressure or harassment by Chinese agents.

Activities coordinator, Alan Huang speaks in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco during a rally to protest the Chinese regime's interference in California's legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

Activities coordinator, Alan Huang speaks in front of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco during a rally to protest the Chinese regime’s interference in California’s legislature, on Sept 8, 2017 (Lear Zhou/Epoch Times)

Outraged that the Chinese Government’s power to suppress free speech extends beyond its own borders to California’s Senate Leadership, Senator Anderson has vowed to continue pleading for his bill until it is allowed to be heard.

In an appeal to his colleagues’ consciences, powiedział: “We should be standing strong against genocide anywhere in the world. There were those who denied the Holocaust. There is no excuse with what we know today to deny the holocaust that is going on in China against Falun Gong practitioners. We need to stand up and say that nobody’s body parts should be harvested for their religious beliefs.”

He addressed directly the citizens of California, asking those who believe the Senate should be on record voting against genocide to call their legislators and tell them they want to see a vote on SJR 10.

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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. (STR / AFP / Getty Images)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. (STR / AFP / Getty Images)

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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  • Autor: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/colin-fredericson/" rel="author">Colin Fredericson</za>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</za>
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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, w Waszyngtonie. (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, w Waszyngtonie. (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. jednak, 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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The Communist Party of China's new Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision-making body (L-R) Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Gaoli, Yu Zhengsheng and Wang Qishan meet the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 15, 2012. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)The Communist Party of China's new Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision-making body (L-R) Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Gaoli, Yu Zhengsheng and Wang Qishan meet the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 15, 2012. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s ruling Communist Party will hold its national congress, which takes place once every five years, starting on Oct. 18, state media said last week. It’s leader Xi Jinping’s chance to secure his hold on the party—if he can get his allies into key positions.

The currently seven-member, Politburo Standing Committee has been the Chinese regime’s top decision-making body for decades. A zatem, the major factions and powerful elders of the Communist Party have strived to secure seats for their protégés in the larger 25-member Politburo before the National Congress, as future Standing Committee members are drawn from this pool.

The leadership shuffle of top party officials at every party congress often reveals the state of power struggles between different factions within the communist party. A key measure of Xi’s power will be how many of his supporters are installed in the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee.

Here are five things to look out for at the upcoming 19th party congress.

1. Will Xi’s Top Ally Break The Age Barrier?

Anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. Recently, anti-corruption investigators criticized the 610 Gabinet, an extralegal Party organization that oversees the persecution of Falun Gong, in a feedback report. (Feng Li / Getty Images)

Anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2014. Recently, anti-corruption investigators criticized the 610 Gabinet, an extralegal Party organization that oversees the persecution of Falun Gong, in a feedback report. (Feng Li / Getty Images)

Wang Qishan, 69, currently serves as Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. He has been the top enforcer of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign since 2012 and is widely seen as Xi’s most crucial ally.

Wang has overseen the punishment of hundreds of thousands of officials during Xi’s corruption crackdown. Even senior officials have been jailed, including Zhou Yongkang, China’s once-feared domestic security chief who oversaw an internal security apparatus that controlled the courts, prosecution agencies, police forces, paramilitary forces, and intelligence organs and rivaled the military in its budget.

He also oversaw an extrajudicial Gestapo-like apparatus, called the 610 office. Its primary function was to carry out the persecution of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice.

Former leader Jiang Zemin made an unwritten rule that anyone over 68 had to retire rather than start a new five-year term on the standing committee. He used this to stack the committee in his favor when he retired as leader in 2002, allowing him to maintain influence behind the scenes for another decade.

Some expect Xi will ignore the convention and keep Wang in position.

2. Will The Standing Committee Shrink?

Speculation has been rife that with five of the standing committee’s members up for retirement, Xi could shrink the committee down to five members from its current seven.

Xi could challenged in this if he uses the age policy to push some out but keeps Wang on the committee.

The size of the committee has ranged from three to eleven members. Jiang expanded it to 9 members when he retired in 2002.

(L-R) Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Qishan, National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang, Chiński przywódca Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan and Politburo member Zhang Gaoli at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2017. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

(L-R) Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Qishan, National People’s Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang, Chiński przywódca Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan and Politburo member Zhang Gaoli at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2017. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

The committee was reduced to seven members when Xi took power in 2012 and he may attempt to get it down to five, so he needs only two allies to have a majority on the committee.

Only Xi and Premier Li Keqiang are under 68-years-old.

3. Will The Constitution Be Changed?

Besides a large turn over in senior party officials, the National Congress is also a time when the party’s constitution is updated or modified. Past leaders have put their own ideas and theories into the constitution. Xi may do the same.

Xi has been an avid globalist, pushing for China to play a leading role in the international order.

He’s also spoken forcefully about the rule of law and has given judges unprecedented freedom to hear cases about party officials.

But he has also been a party stalwart.

It remains to be seen how these and other inclinations may translate into his attempt at adding to party dogma.

4. Will Xi Get A Successor?

Based on recent precedent, Xi is expected to step down at the 2022 congress after a decade at the top. If Xi does not choose a successor at the 19th Party congress, it would suggest he plans to stay on, though perhaps in another post.

Xi’s time at the helm of the party began with party rivals immediately trying to undermine his authority—even, according to some sources, attempting a coup.

Xi’s entire anti-corruption campaign is seen by many analysts as a way to purge the party of former leader Jiang Zemin’s influence. Jiang fostered rampant corruption as a way to buy loyalty from political allies.

If Xi feels that his work is not over, and his retirement could be followed by payback from his rivals, he may try to stay on in some capacity as leader.

5. Will The Chairman System be Restored?

Xi may bring back the position of Chairman of the Communist Party, a position abolished in 1982 in an attempt to keep any future leader from rising above the party as dictator Mao Zedong had.

Obecnie, the seven-member standing committee is supposedly run by consensus rather than majority rule. If Xi were to resurrect the chairman position, he would have effective control over the standing committee. This could lead him down the road to dictator, as happened with Mao, and place him at the head of a violent regime plagued by corruption and public scorn.

Alternatively, it could give Xi the authority necessary to make greater changes within the party, including shifting the regime away from communism towards a presidential system.

NTD TV contributed to this article.

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  • Autor: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/matthew-little/" rel="author">Matthew Little</za>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</za>
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Yao Gang.Yao Gang.

The former high-flying vice chairman of China’s top body for regulating stocks has been brought down, an action experts believe is preparation for the pivotal 19th Party Congress in October.

Yao Gang, 55, was targeted in November 2015, five months after the mid-year stock crash. He is one of the highest-ranking officials disciplined for alleged stock manipulation.

In mid-June of 2015, the stock market that had seen a long bull run lost nearly a third of its value in three weeks. Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes plummeted more than 40 percent during the summer.

The procuratorate stated that Yao was subject to “coercive measures,” but did not spell out the details. In an earlier statement issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s topmost anti-graft agency, Yao was accused of “resisting investigation,” “disrupting the order of the capital market,” and “sabotaging political ecologies in the security regulation department.”

Yao was expelled from the party and dismissed from office on July 20, 2017. sie. 31, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced he has been placed under investigation for taking bribes.

‘King of IPOs’

Known as the “King of IPOs” at China’s Securities Regulatory Commission (CRSC), Yao had been in charge of public offerings of A shares—stocks of mainland-based companies—since 2002.

Yao enjoyed a lengthy and cushy career in the security regulation sector. He had been the vice director in the futures administration department in 1993, and ended up presiding over the China Securities Commission as deputy director in 2008. In Nov. 2015, he was investigated on suspicion of “serious breaches of Party discipline,” a phrase commonly used for bribery probes in China.

Chinese news portal Tencent suggested that Yao might be connected to Ling Jihua, a former top aide to the previous Party leader Hu Jintao. The CRSC office over which Yao presided approved six requests for public listings from Ling’s fugitive brother Ling Wancheng, including one for the little known company LeTV.

Huijin Lifang Capital, a private equity firm controlled by Ling Wancheng, amassed 1.4 mld juanów ($225 milion) from an initial public offering, according to Caixin. Ling Jihua was arrested for corruption on July 2015, and given a life sentence the following year.

Following Yao’s downfall in July, some Chinese media have criticized him by calling him a “stock traitor” who “colluded with domestic and foreign forces to short the Chinese stock market.” Ifeng reports that some high officials in CSRC transferred a large amount of capital to Hong Kong and Singapore during the rescue of the market, citing Hong Kong media. At least seven of Yao’s associates in the security regulation system have been placed under investigation, według Xinhua.

A Warning

The same day that Yao was put under investigation, Beijing also confirmed the date of the 19th Party Congress. Some analysts believed that making the two announcements on the same day was a subtle hint that Xi’s corruption campaign might be focusing on the financial sector.

“Xi’s biggest concern is the financial sector that has been secretly doing sabotage,” the political commentator Tang Jingyuan told The Epoch Times. “By striking a blow at the tycoons and punishing tigers in the financial sector like Yao Gang, Xi Jinping is giving a warning to those bigwigs and corruption groups who still have strength to challenge him.”

“Everyone understands that the economy is the biggest pillar of the Chinese government’s legitimacy to govern and win over popular sentiment,” Chen Jieren, a Beijing-based political commentator, told The New York Times in a 2015 interview.

Chen said that a declining economy would put more pressure on the leadership. “If the economy falters, the political power of the Chinese Communist Party will be confronted with more real challenges…and Xi Jinping’s administration will suffer even more criticism.”

Yao was one of the five officials disciplined over the past month in the latest anti-corruption probe of China’s financial sector. Zhang Yujun, the former assistant head of the China security watchdog; and Yang Jiacai, the ex-assistant chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, were placed under investigation on July 21 and Aug. 1 odpowiednio.

According to Beijing News, China has ousted over 60 officials and senior managers in the financial sector since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

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Yang Huanning spoke in a conference on April 6, 2014. (cpd.com)Yang Huanning spoke in a conference on April 6, 2014. (cpd.com)

Liu Jingming, a procurement officer at the Qiqihar Hospital of Traditional Medicine, was well-liked by his colleagues and considered a “model worker” by his superiors: he was incorruptible and full of cheer, and on one occasion used his own paycheck to fix the hospital’s water faucets.

W lutym 2007, Liu was arrested for his beliefs and tortured to death. He was 39 lat, and died only 46 days after being detained. His family saw bruises and cuts across his swollen face, and a two inch hole in his right thigh, above a broken knee. Liu was a practitioner of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese practice of meditation that was targeted for persecution in 1999.

Teraz, one of the officials responsible for the death of Liu has been purged from the system he thrived in for so long.

Yang Huanning, the chief of the Chinese Communist Party’s security committee in Heilongjiang Province from 2005 do 2008, was removed from office on Aug. 22 and put under investigation for corruption and “violations of Party discipline.” At the time he was purged he was in Beijing as the director of the State Administration of Work Safety.

Yang, 60, had spent 32 years in the Communist Party’s fearsome public security system, and was one of the officials eager to accumulate political capital by lashing out at Falun Gong, under the orders of former Party leader Jiang Zemin in 1999.

Heilongjiang, an industrial province in China’s northeast, was the epicenter of the Party’s anti-Falun Gong campaign.

Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that espouses the teachings of truthfulness, współczucie, and tolerance and includes five slow-moving exercises. Liu took up the practice in 1995, becoming one of the between 70 i 100 million Chinese to adopt the practice in the 1990s, according to estimates from official and Falun Gong sources.

The anti-Falun Gong campaign that erupted in July of 1999 was an opportunity for many officials to profit from the budgets allocated toward it, and to gain promotions on the back of violent persecution.

Yang worked closely with then-security chief Zhou Yongkang, who played a key role in carrying out Jiang’s persecution orders. Zhou was purged in 2014.

Yang worked under Zhou as the vice director at Ministry of Public Security—the regime security apparatus that Zhou headed—from 2001 do 2005. W kwietniu 2008, Yang was transferred to Beijing as the ministry’s second-in-command, overseeing security work during the Olympics. Yang reportedly observed the day-to-day operations so closely that he even looked at the menu in each canteen, Gao Guangjun, a New York-based lawyer and a classmate of Yang in college, told the overseas Chinese-language media Mingjing.

During a national teleconference on political and legal work in 2009, Yang called on party officials to “be on strict guard, crack down ruthlessly,” and marked the persecution of Falun Gong as one of their six key tasks, według Minghui, a clearinghouse that collects first hand accounts of persecution. At the time Yang was head of the State Office for Social Stability Maintenance, one of the security organs charged with carrying out the persecution.

Liu Jingming, the hospital procurement officer, was not the only Falun Gong practitioner to be killed under the reign of Yang Huanning in northern China. Minghui also documents the case of Xu Hongmei, 37, and Shen Zili, 49, two friends from the city of Qiqihar. They were arrested on Jan. 13, 2007, and both died of brutal beatings around a month later.

Their family members were allowed to see them unconscious, just before they died, describing them as emaciated and swollen, according to Minghui. The police demanded the families to pay 20,000 yuan before discharging them. The family refused to pay the exorbitant charge — equivalent to over a year’s annual income — and the police said they’d rather see the practitioners die there than set them free.

Minghui reports that 4,126 practitioners have been confirmed to have died from torture or beatings in custody over the past 18 roku. In Heilongjiang, przynajmniej 537 practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture, forced labor, or detention, according to Minghui’s documentation. The real figures are likely much higher. It is unclear how many of these deaths Yang is directly responsible for.

Yang was transferred to head the State Administration of Work Safety in October 2015, four months after Zhou was purged for corruption in 2015.

Mainland Chinese media have speculated on Yang’s downfall since July, when his official biography suddenly vanished from the Administration of Work Safety’s website, following three months of his disappearance from public view. Within a few days, he was placed under investigation, demoted to non-leadership positions, and stripped of title as delegate to the 18th National Congress. The formal announcement of his investigation shortly followed.

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  • Autor: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/eva-fu/" rel="author">Eva Fu</za>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</za>
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A man rests beside a house in Elishku in China’s western Xinjiang region. Elishku was the scene of a bloody clash in July 28, 2014 between villagers protesting against the Chinese regime’s restrictions during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the government troops. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)A man rests beside a house in Elishku in China’s western Xinjiang region. Elishku was the scene of a bloody clash in July 28, 2014 between villagers protesting against the Chinese regime’s restrictions during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the government troops. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

Globe and Mail journalist Nathan VanderKlippe, who was briefly detained by Chinese police earlier this week, says he travelled to Elishku in China’s volatile Xinjiang region to find out more about a 2014 violent confrontation between Chinese authorities and the ethnic Uyghurs that exiled groups say resulted in 2,000 deaths.

VanderKlippe, the Globe’s Beijing correspondent, was detained on Wednesday evening, Aug. 23, just as he arrived in Elishku. He had his laptop confiscated by the secret police and was released early Thursday morning.

Similar to Tibet, Xinjiang is a very sensitive region for the Chinese communist regime due to the minority group’s dissatisfaction and occasional protests over the Chinese regime’s suppression of their rights and customs.

The Chinese Communist Party stifles the minority Uyghur group’s Islamic religious activity. Instances include barring Muslims from observing Ramadan, requiring men to shave their beards, forcing women to remove their veils, i coercing them to raise pigs, considered unclean in Muslim culture.

Not much is known about what happened on July 28, 2014, at the end of Ramadan in Elishku. China’s official accounts claim that the violent confrontation was in response to knife- and axe-wielding Uyghurs on a rampage, and put the official death toll at close to 100.

Exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer, jednak, cited evidence from the ground that at least 2,000 Uyghurs had been killed in what she called a massacre. Kadeer told Radio Free Asia that this was the highest reported casualty count in the history of Xinjiang violence.

Kadeer said evidence includes “recorded voice messages from the people in the neighbourhood and written testimonies on exactly what had taken place in Elishku township of Yarkand County during this massacre.”

Suppression of independent reporting of events is all too common in China. There is still no clear account of the death toll of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre w Pekinie, with the Chinese regime putting the death toll between 200 do 300 while other estimates put the toll at well over 1,000.

Deteriorating Conditions

Zgodnie z survey report by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC), conditions for international press in China continue to deteriorate.

The FCCC’s 2016 survey indicates 98 percent of foreign journalists report that conditions rarely meet international standards and that they face growing cases of harassment, obstruction, and intimidation of sources and local staff.

Close to 60 percent of journalists reported that they had personally experienced some form of interference, harassment, or violence while reporting in China.

Throughout his encounter with the authorities, VanderKlippe said he reminded the police that Chinese law allows him to report and interview anyone who gives consent. But his captors told him that Chinese law doesn’t apply to secret police, and even less so does it apply to a sensitive region like Xinjiang.

VanderKlippe wrote in a report for the Globe that his ordeal offered “a window into the ways China’s laws are regularly reduced to guideposts that can be ignored in service of broader objectives, and the contortions authorities take to reconcile the two.”

“It also illuminated the measures Chinese officials take to suppress unauthorized accounts of a region where the harsh policies of an authoritarian state have limited a minority people’s ability to conduct life on their own terms.”

Last June, Canadians saw a glimpse on their own soil of how China treats journalists when Chinese minister of foreign affairs Wang Yi scolded a Canadian journalist for asking a question related to China’s human rights record during a joint conference with then-Canadian foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion in Ottawa.

W grudniu 2015, China deported French reporter and veteran China journalist Ursula Gauthier for her reporting in which she denounced Chinese state-media coverage that equated the Uyghurs’ protests with the Nov. 15, 2015, Paris terrorist attacks.

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The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen with a hole on its portside after a collision with an oil tanker outside Changi naval base in Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017. An admiral in the PLA Navy celebrated the collision, which involved loss of American life. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen with a hole on its portside after a collision with an oil tanker outside Changi naval base in Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017. An admiral in the PLA Navy celebrated the collision, which involved loss of American life. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Both a Chinese navy admiral and a regime-sanctioned commentator with millions of online followers in China publicly celebrated the collision between a U.S. navy destroyer and a tanker on Aug. 21 that left 10 NAS. sailors dead or missing. The comment is the latest example that at least a portion of the leadership of the Chinese regime and its military harbor hostile intent toward the United States and show no sympathy for even the casualties of a peacetime accident.

The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, collided with the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC east of Singapore before dawn on Monday, with the destroyer suffering significant damage. The bodies of several of the ten missing sailors are reported to have been found.

The collision is the second incident in just two months involving a U.S. Navy destroyer and a merchant vessel in the hotly contested Asian waters. USS Fitzgerald, another destroyer of the same class as the McCain, collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel on June 17, leaving seven U.S. sailors dead.

Zhang Zhaozhong, a Chinese navy admiral who openly celebrated the Aug. 22 collision between the USS John S. McCain and a tanker that left 10 NAS. sailors dead or missing. (screenshot/CCTV)

Zhang Zhaozhong, a Chinese navy admiral who openly celebrated the Aug. 22 collision between the USS John S. McCain and a tanker that left 10 NAS. sailors dead or missing. (screenshot/CCTV)

Zhang Zhaozhong, a rear admiral of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy and a professor at the PLA National Defense University, wrote about the McCain crash in an Aug. 22 post on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter). With 8 million followers on his Weibo, Zhang has been described as the “No. 1 military commentator of China,” and he frequently posts bombastic comments belittling the U.S. wojskowy.

“What goes around, comes around,” says Zhang’s Weibo post, referring to the frequent freedom of navigation operations conducted by the U.S. Navy in the contested waters. “The USS John S. McCain has been making a lot of trouble in the South China Sea.”

Zhang brags that he had previously made a policy recommendation to convert the outdated PLAN Type 051 destroyers and use them to ram U.S. Navy ships conducting operations in the South China Sea.

In reference to the USS John S. McCain’s and USS Fitzgerald’s collisions with merchant vessels, Zhang says that the expensive U.S. warships have proved to be nothing more than “pretty decorations” and “paper tigers.”

A screenshot of Zhang Zhaozhong's Aug. 22 Weibo post. Zhang, an admiral in the People's Liberation Army Navy, openly celebrates the Aug. 21 collision between USS John S. McCain and a tanker which left 10 NAS. sailors dead or missing.

A screenshot of Zhang Zhaozhong’s Aug. 22 Weibo post. Zhang, an admiral in the People’s Liberation Army Navy, openly celebrates the Aug. 21 collision between USS John S. McCain and a tanker which left 10 NAS. sailors dead or missing. (Epoch Times)

Earlier on Monday Beijing’s English-language state-run newspaper Global Times also published an unsigned editorial saying that there is widespread “applause” among Chinese netizens who are openly celebrating the accident. “This reflects the sentiment of Chinese society,” says the editorial of the Beijing mouthpiece. Unlike Zhang however, the Global Times editorial nevertheless stresses that the missing and injured U.S. sailors “deserve sympathy.”

While there is no opinion polling to indicate whether Chinese society at large feels the same way, Zhang’s Weibo post seems to provide evidence of hyper-nationalist commentators in China who would openly celebrate any tragedy involving the U.S. military or the United States at large.

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  • tagi:, ,
  • Autor: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/stephen-gregory/" rel="author">Stephen Gregory</za>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</za>
  • Kategoria: Generał

dr. Torsten Trey, the spokesperson for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (Chen Baizhou/The Epoch Times)dr. Torsten Trey, the spokesperson for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (Chen Baizhou/The Epoch Times)

China’s media eagerly touted reforms in the nation’s organ transplant system following a major transplant conference in the city of Kunming in southwest China from Aug. 3 do 5. Chinese officials claimed China’s organ transplant system now sources only from voluntary donations, rather than from prisoners who have been executed.

But experts have pointed out glaring statistical discrepancies that suggest the claims may not be all they seem.

The supposed reforms equate to “attempts by a mass murderer to cover its tracks,” said Dr. Torsten Trey, the executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), in an email interview.

Since China’s transplant system began its period of rapid growth in the year 2000, researchers believe that the main source of organs used to supply the industry have been practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that has been brutally persecuted by the Chinese regime since 1999. Criminal prisoners who have been executed have always been used.

dr. Trey said there is no evidence that these practices have ceased. “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.”

Holes in the Data

For many years the Chinese authorities denied that it harvested organs from executed prisoners. W 2005, Huang Jiefu, then deputy health minister, disclosed to the international community that prisoners were indeed used, as a matter of policy in China since 1984. He was referring to prisoners who have been sentenced to death after being convicted of crimes.

W 2006, allegations arose that the human rights abuses involved in organ transplantation were far more egregious than previously imagined: the Chinese regime was harvesting organs from living prisoners of conscience—people imprisoned for their beliefs rather than for actual crimes. An independent investigation by Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas and Canada’s former Secretary of State (Asia Pacific) David Kilgour found the allegations to be true.

The Chinese regime never admitted to these crimes, but following intense international pressure, it announced a ban on organ transplants from executed prisoners starting on Jan. 1, 2015. But the 1984 regulations were not abolished.

China now claims to have built a voluntary transplantation system operating just like that in the United States or other advanced countries. They claim an exponential increase in voluntary organ donations, despite the country being still highly culturally averse to organ donation (because it violates a Confucian tradition of keeping the body whole after death).

There were only 130 voluntary organ donations as of August 2009, according to Professor Chen Zhonghua of the Institute of Organ Transplantation in Tongji Hospital, in an interview with state-run media.

Yet Chinese officials claim that they had procured organs from over 4,000 organ donors in 2016 alone. In contrast, the UK, where 21 million people have registered to be donors, only had 1,364 people be the source after their deaths for organs in 2016. The United States, which has 140 million registered donors, had only 15,951 individuals provide organs after their deaths. Registered donors, also known as designated donors, are the number of people who, while alive, have expressed their willingness to donate their organs upon death (assuming they die in a manner that makes them eligible to donate.)

China claims to have signed up 300,000 registered donors. Based on Dr. Trey’s estimates, if only the registered donors are supplying organs, China should only have 20 do 40 people a year donating, a far cry from the claimed figure of over 4,000 w 2016.

Using a death rate of 7 out of every 1,000 ludzie, dr. Trey estimated about 2,100 of China’s 300,000 registered donors pass away every year. And only 1 do 2 percent of them have organs suitable for transplantation, as is observed in the United States and the UK. The vast majority do not qualify because of the illnesses the donors died from, their unhealthy lifestyles, their age, or the time gap between death and organ retrieval.

And China does not need to only procure organs from registered donors; Chinese medical officials must also gain permission from the family. W Chinach, a single family member can overrule the decision of the donor to donate, adding another obstacle to the process.

The additional difficulty of getting permission on each occasion, especially when any family member can derail the consent to donate, raises questions about how genuine China’s official numbers are, dr. Trey said.

W lutym, the medical journal Liver International retracted a scientific paper from Chinese researchers who were unable to prove they had ethically procured the organs used in their research. The paper referred to 564 liver transplants at The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University between April 2010 and October 2014. But Huang Jiefu, China’s organ transplantation spokesperson, stated that the First Affiliated Hospital received 166 liver donations between 2011 i 2014, leaving 398 livers of unknown origins.

DAFOH, which kept tabs on the number of organ donor registrations, found that at the end of both 2015 i 2016, there was a sudden spike in the number of registered donors. At the very end of December 2015, the numbers increased by exactly 25,000 people in one day.

The same phenomenon occurred again in December 2016, with an increase of over 86,000 donors in one week, ostensibly because they had combined two organ donation systems.

“China knows that its figures of registered donors are too small to yield more than 4,000 organ donors per year, thus it was necessary to increase the numbers. According to China’s official numbers, o 50% of all registered donors signed up in 7 days alone—within four years. That is inconceivable and unprecedented, ” Dr. Trey said.

China’s ‘Chameleon-Like’ Organ Transplant Chief

The face of China’s organ transplant reforms is Dr. Huang Jiefu, China’s organ transplant spokesperson. He is the chairman of China’s National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee and head of the China Organ Transplant Development Foundation.

Although Huang was formerly the deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Health, he does not currently hold any official government position. Yet he has become the de facto spokesperson for China’s organ transplant system.

“What he says has no binding power on the Chinese government,” said Dr. Trey.

dr. Trey pointed out that the organ transplant foundation Huang heads is private, like the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in the United States. “But the difference is, in the U.S., UNOS is not involved in making announcements on behalf of the government.”

Although Huang ostensibly speaks for the Chinese regime and is now touting reform in China’s organ transplant system, his words have no legal authority. And he has rapidly shifted his position based on the situation.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2013, he was asked about the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners, to which he replied, “Why do you object?” But following widespread criticism, he said at a conference soon afterwards that the practice was unethical.

W 2015, Huang said in several newspaper interviews that death row prisoners would be treated as citizens with the “right” to donate organs.

But after a firestorm of criticism that prisoners who were killed for their organs would simply be reclassified as voluntary organ donations, Huang told The New York Times his statement was only from a “philosophical level.”

Huang’s statements are “chameleon-like,” Dr. Trey said. “He seems to say whatever is needed to either obey pressure at home or to please the requests for ethical standards from the international community.”

dr. Trey said his statements about reform of China’s organ transplant system similarly cannot be trusted.

“If reforms are praised while the hidden forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and prisoners of conscience continues, then we find this devastating situation where this applause resounds while innocent people are slaughtered for their organs,” said Dr. Trey.

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