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.

Last week, 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, according to 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,” he said. “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 “about” 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 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.

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 to 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. So, “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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Brothers Wanqing Huang and Xiong Huang with their family in China. (Courtesy of Xiong Huang)Brothers Wanqing Huang and Xiong Huang with their family in China. (Courtesy of Xiong Huang)

Every time Huang Wanqing walks past a promotion of “Body the Exhibition” he may wonder if it’s the mutilated body of his brother staring at him from the posters.

Mr. Huang’s brother, Huang Xiong, was persecuted by communist authorities in China for his beliefs. He was held at a labor camp and monitored after release. In 2003, he disappeared in Shanghai. Huang believes his brother was kidnapped by the regime and likely died in custody.

Huang Xiong practiced Falun Gong, a traditional system of self-cultivation involving meditation exercises and based on principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Falun Gong has been hugely popular in China during the 1990s and praised by authorities for its health benefits. By 1999, about 70-100 million practiced it, based on government estimates at the time.

Some in the regime’s leadership, however, especially the Communist Party head Jiang Zemin, treated Falun Gong’s rising popularity as an ideological threat to the party’s doctrines and in 1999 launched a statewide campaign of repression and propaganda against Falun Gong.

Human rights organizations have estimated millions have been imprisoned as part of the campaign and, conservatively, thousands have died, usually as a result of torture in detention.

More than a decade of investigations have also uncovered the regime has been killing detained Falun Gong practitioners, as well as other prisoners of conscience, and stealing their organs for a massive state-sanctioned transplant business.

“Body the Exhibition” displays actual, plastinated (silicone-preserved) human bodies. It caused controversy for lacking documentation of the source of the bodies and consents of the deceased or their relatives regarding their posthumous public display for profit.

Tom Zaller, chief executive officer of Imagine Exhibitions which is currently presenting the exhibition in Prague, told Nevada Public Radio that he worked with a doctor in China who gathers unidentified bodies to plastinate.

JVS Group, the company that invited the exhibition to Prague, thanks Zaller and a Chinese plastination company Dalian Hoffen Biotech in its promotional materials.

Dalien was a hub of the plastination industry. Bo Xilai, who was Dalien Party boss at the time and was later handed a life sentence for corruption, was involved in a scheme that supplied killed Falun Gong practitioners to transplant hospitals as well as plastination facilities, based on The Epoch Times investigation.

Many of the detained Falun Gong practitioners refused to provide their names to the authorities to protect their families from persecution. Huang’s brother was one of them. That allowed the regime to declare their bodies unidentified.

Xiong Huang was arrested in China for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Wanqing Huang)

Xiong Huang was arrested in China for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Wanqing Huang)

Huang, who lives in the U.S., has recently filed a criminal complaint against the exhibition in Prague, Czech Republic. He’s asking authorities to identify the bodies, such as by DNA tests, to determine if his brother’s body is or isn’t among them.

The exhibition has run into significant resistance in Czech, where law requires deceased human bodies to be treated with respect and properly buried.

Czech Ministry for Local Development has asked Prague officials to confiscate and bury the bodies on display, but police has refused to act on the request without a court order. Jan Čižinský, mayor of the Prague municipal district where the exhibition takes place, intends to take the matter to court.

“It is necessary to turn to court so it becomes clear, once and for all, that such unethical exhibitions can’t be in our country and that respect for the deceased isn’t just an empty phrase in an unenforced law,” Čižinský said.

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During a rally joined by thousands of Falun Gong practitiioners at Taipei 23 April 2006, four demonstrators play in an action drama against what they said was the Chinese communists' killing of Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps.  (PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)During a rally joined by thousands of Falun Gong practitiioners at Taipei 23 April 2006, four demonstrators play in an action drama against what they said was the Chinese communists' killing of Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps.  (PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

“There was bleeding. He was still alive’, Chinese doctor, Enver Tohti, recalled to a panel of experts in Ireland on China’s lucrative practice of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

The Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence listened to evidence presented by organ harvesting experts, including David Matas and Ethan Gutmann, who have both been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their investigative work in China.

The panel listed a series of recommendations at the committee, including urging the government to ban ‘organ tourism’—a hugely profitable business predominantly abused by China, where citizens travel overseas to receive an organ transplant.

The main body of victims of these organ transplants is from practitioners of Falun Gong—a peaceful, traditional meditation practice whose main tenets are truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The Chinese Communist party began a bloody persecution of its practitioners in 1999 that continues to this day.

Hundreds of thousands of practitioners are in the vast network of labor camps across China at any one time and are highly vulnerable to being put on lists for organ extraction.

Organ tourism is already banned in Israel, Taiwan, Italy, and Spain. Gutmann said these countries did so out of a sense of “integrity, a highly-developed sense of tragedy, a historical wisdom to know that the big players, [such as] the U.S. the U.K., may not interfere in a world tragedy.”

Gutmann went on to say that this is a critical moment in a critical time, and now is the time to act.

Dr. Tohti said he performed an organ harvesting operation in the 1990s and thought he was doing his duty to “eliminate the enemy of the state.”

“Every time I give this account it seems like a confession,” he said, before talking to the committee.

He describes how in Chinese society, under communist rule you become a complacent slave, a “fully-programmed member of society, ready to fulfill the task ahead without asking questions.”

In 1995, he said two chief surgeons asked him to prepare a team for “the largest possible surgery” for the next morning.

Tohti and his team were brought outside the hospital and told to wait for gunshots.

“After gunshots were heard, we rushed in. An armed officer directed us to the far-right corner, where I can see a civilian-clothed man lying on the ground with a single bullet wound to his right chest,” Tohti said.

Then he said chief surgeons ordered and guided him to extract the liver and two kidneys. “The man was alive,” he said. The wounded man tried to resist but was too weak.

After signing up for organ transplants outside China, wait times are months to years, depending on the type of organ. But what experts have found is that if the organ was bought in China, a fresh organ can be delivered within days or weeks.

One of the driving factors pushing this organ tourism trade is the high demand for organs.

Tohti described the callous nature of the organ trade in China, referencing terms used on Chinese transplant websites such as “unlimited supply” and “predate for your heart transplantation.”

“It is not acceptable that a normal ‘by-one-get-one-free’ shopping pattern can be seen in organ transplantation,” he said. 

Tohti also mentioned recent reports of free national health check-ups in the Xinjiang region for “improving the quality of life of Uyghurs.”

“We suspect that the CCP is building a national database for organ trade,” he said. Uyghurs are a muslim ethnic minority also targeted for persecution by the CCP and have reportedly also been targeted for organ harvesting.

Gutmann and Matas found that in China there are between “60,000 transplants to 100,000 transplants per year” in a nearly 700-page report they published last year in June.

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Mr Chen Yonglin, former Chinese diplomat who defected to Australia in 2005, speaking at the Sydney rally. (Shar Adams/The Epoch Times)Mr Chen Yonglin, former Chinese diplomat who defected to Australia in 2005, speaking at the Sydney rally. (Shar Adams/The Epoch Times)

Australian news outlets ran a series of reports in June exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) infiltration of Australia’s political system. The joint investigation by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Fairfax Media found that Chinese businessmen with ties to Beijing had in the past decade donated millions of dollars to the major political parties in an attempt to sway national policy and even sabotage Australian national interests.

The Chinese communist regime further extended its influence abroad by manipulating local Chinese communities, suppressing Australian-based Chinese dissidents, co-opting Chinese student associations, and controlling Chinese-language media, according to the investigation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has since launched a major inquiry into Australia’s espionage and foreign interference laws, according to the ABC.

The topic of CCP infiltration is one that former Chinese consular official Chen Yonglin is very familiar with. Disillusioned with the CCP, Chen defected to Australia in 2005 and proceeded to expose the CCP’s subversive actions, an episode that The Epoch Times covered extensively.  

In a recent interview with this newspaper, Chen expounded on the latest CCP operations that were uncovered by the Australian media.

Buying Political Influence

Chen Yonglin said that the CCP plans to “infiltrate Australia from all directions so that Australia would eventually cooperate strategically with the CCP,” and veer away from its alliance with the United States. The CCP has employed similar tactics in other countries, “but with Australia, the CCP has managed to achieve significant results,” he added.

The recent Australian media investigation illustrates Chen’s point.

In 2015, Australia’s domestic spy chief, Duncan Lewis, warned the nation’s political parties that some of their major donors—including wealthy property developers Chau Chak Wing and Huang Xiangmo—were closely tied to Beijing, according to ABC.

Chau (also known as Zhou Zerong), a Chinese-born Australian citizen, donated over $1 million  (AU$1.35 million) to Australia’s political parties through his investment companies between 2013 and 2014. Chau happens to be a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Chinese regime’s top political advisory body.

Sheri Yan, a well-connected Chinese-Australian socialite and the wife of a former high-ranking Australian intelligence official, used $200,000 of Chau’s money to bribe the former UN General Assembly president John Ashe in November 2013. Yan pleaded guilty to bribery charges in Jan. 2016 and is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence in the U.S.

Huang Xiangmo, the other wealthy Chinese donor included in Lewis’ brief to Australian party leaders, had contributed over $400,000 (AU$525,000) in political donations to the Liberal Party and the Labor Party between 2014 and 2015.

Huang and his associates had also donated $37,900 (AU$50,000) to the campaign financing vehicle of then-Trade Minister Andrew Robb on the same day the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was finalized in 2014, according to disclosures from the Australian Electoral Commission.

In 2016, Huang pledged $303,160 (AU$400,000) to the Labor Party, but backed out in June after the Labor defense spokesman criticized Chinese policy in the South China Sea. The next day, Labor Party Senator Sam Dastyari appeared in a media event with Huang and said that Australia should not interfere with China’s activities in the South China Sea.

“[Dastyari] openly advocated for the CCP and contradicted the foreign policy of his own party, damaging Australia’s national interests,” Chen the former Chinese diplomat said.

Huang and another Chinese donor were later revealed to have paid for some of Senator Dastyari’s expenses in the past, including a travel expense and a $3,788 (AU$5,000) legal bill in 2014. Dastyari later resigned from his position on Australia’s shadow cabinet.

The impact of CCP bribery “can be seen with a large number of decision-makers in the Australian government, so the infiltration is quite serious,” Chen said. “Aside from political contributions, a larger amount was actually being handled out as secret bribes,” including lavish tours around China, Chen added.

The CCP “bring those guys to China for a first-class tour and treat them like emperors,” Chen says. “With such temptations, many Australian officials and even some journalists change their attitude drastically after they return, and start to support Chinese policies.”

According to Chen, when the son of Henry Tsang, a former member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, wanted to study abroad in China, the Chinese consulate covered all his tuition and living expenses.  

Controlling Strategic Infrastructure and Resources

Chen Yonglin said: “As early as August 2004, the CCP decided that among the countries in China’s periphery, Australia would be a major target for strategic deployment.”

He elaborated: “The CCP’s main consideration, for one, was that resources and energy in Australia would be key to ensuring the CCP’s economic expansion in the next two decades. And the other consideration was that Australia would be a stable supply base.”

For instance, in 2015, Landbridge Group, the company helmed by Chinese billionaire Ye Cheng, paid over $383 million (AU$506 million) for a 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin.

“What was strange was that the Australian federal government and Department of Defence both consented to leasing Darwin Port,” Chen said. “The Australian public was in an uproar when the media reported on it. The public felt that Australia’s most important national security asset had been forfeited.”

Additionally, former Trade Minister Andrew Robb started working as a financial consultant at Landbridge Group right after retiring from the Australian Parliament, and commanded an annual salary of $666,000 (AU$880,000), according to the ABC.

As for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Chen said that while Australia did gain in terms of trade, “Australia made considerable compromises in national security and sovereignty.”

“First, a Chinese company took over Darwin Port for 99 years. Second, China was free to invest substantially in strategic industries as well as agriculture and livestock farming. Third, it pushed forward the ratification of a bilateral extradition treaty, despite concerns over the differences between the two nations’ judicial systems,” Chen said.

The extradition treaty with Beijing was rejected in May this year because lawmakers objected to China’s inadequate protections of human rights and rule of law. “The dissenting voices were so overwhelming that Prime Minister Turnbull had to revoke that treaty proposal,” Chen said.

The Chinese regime continues to target Australia’s resources, Chen added. Chinese state-owned firms, the CCP elite, and CCP-affiliated Chinese businessmen have made extensive investments in Australia’s agriculture and mining sector.

Chinese buyers have also dominated real estate investment in Australia, and have driven up Australian housing prices in the process, Chen said.

Manipulating Overseas Chinese

The CCP has for many years maintained a vast intelligence network in Australia, according to Chen Yonglin, the former Chinese diplomat. This network has been tapped for intelligence gathering, as well as commercial and military espionage.

“China has about 300 to 500 professional spies in Australia,” Chen said. “There are also another 500 to 700 steady, part-time CCP agents or temporary informers. These agents are scattered in various organizations, industries, and even in Australian government departments.”

By infiltrating overseas Chinese communities and organizations, the Chinese regime aims to bring them all in line to form an overarching “united front” that is aligned with the CCP’s interests. Two CCP organs, the United Front Department and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, spearhead the Chinese regime’s efforts to control ethnic Chinese living abroad.

An opaque organization, the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China, ensures overseas Chinese toe the Party line, according to Chen. The Council is headed by the Chinese political donor and businessman Huang Xiangmo.

“Former Australian prime ministers were all recruited by the ‘Reunification’ council to be their advisors,” Chen said. “It was revealed that former U.S. President Clinton accepted $300,000 from the organization to deliver a speech.”

The Chinese regime also recruits informers from within the Chinese community to keep a close eye on ethnic Chinese dissidents and activists in Australia.

Tony Chang, a pro-democracy activist and university student in Australia, had suspected for months that he was being monitored, according to Australian investigative documentary television program Four Corners. Chang’s fears were confirmed when a family member called and said his parents in China had been harassed by state security agents because of their son’s activities, Chang told Four Corners.

Chen Yonglin said that the Chinese consulates mobilize Chinese students through Chinese students associations.

For instance, when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Australia in March, thousands of Chinese students were on hand to welcome him in Canberra. Lupin Liu, President of the Canberra University Students and Scholars Association, told Four Corners that the Chinese embassy sponsored the rally by providing transportation, flags, food, and legal aid.

Chen said that the CCP has managed to muddy Australian politics with its funneling of large sums of money to local politicians. Australian democracy, Chen added, is being slowly eroded by the CCP’s cash.  

 

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Demonstrators march against the CETA trade deal near the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Feb.15, 2017. Globalization has not been kind to incomes of most of the middle class in developed world economies. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)Demonstrators march against the CETA trade deal near the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Feb.15, 2017. Globalization has not been kind to incomes of most of the middle class in developed world economies. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

MONTREAL—Geopolitical risk is running high despite all seeming well with U.S. stock markets, but evaluating broader trends, which include “de-globalization” and China’s economic transition on asset prices and inflation, is critical at this time.

Volatility—the degree of fear in the market that can be measured by the VIX (S&P 500 volatility)—is extremely low. Meanwhile an elevated level of policy-related economic uncertainty prevails; investors have little confidence that impending government actions will work.

“It’s a little bit spooky how disengaged the two have been to each other,” said Lisa Emsbo-Mattingly, Fidelity Investment’s global asset allocation director of research, at the International Economic Forum of the Americas on June 12.

While it seems the world is heading for a period of synchronized economic growth, geopolitics—or non-market factors—such as aging populations and rising inequality remain headwinds.

Diversification has always been critical for investors to smooth market ups and downs on a path to achieving financial goals. In times of market stress, asset prices tend to move together (increased correlation) and it becomes costly to change a portfolio’s investment mix due to greater costs for buying and selling (worse liquidity).

Domestic Focus

With globalization having distributed economic growth toward emerging and frontier markets, the U.S. hegemony has been eroded, said Marko Papic, senior vice president of Geopolitical Strategy at BCA Research, a 68-year-old Montreal-based independent investment firm.

“We know from history, when more countries get to say and pursue what they want, it is a less stable world,” Papic said. “Today we have the highest number of conflicts going on at the same time.”

China has its eye on filling the void left by the United States as the post-Cold War order crumbles. Under Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the United States can no longer be a reliable partner.

Knowing what’s going on in China now is more important than ever.

— Paul Podolsky, partner, Bridgewater Associates

And Canada intends to play a bigger role on the international stage, based on recent comments from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

“We worry that East Asia will be the powder keg of the 21st century,” Papic said. Chinese and American economic symbiosis is tenuous at best.

In a more multi-polar world, Papic argues that it will be smaller and medium-sized businesses that will benefit relative to the large multinationals that prospered as globalization took hold.

“Any economy, sector, or particular stock that derives most of its final demand from within the jurisdiction in which it is domiciled will be the [investment] theme of the next 15 to 20 years,” Papic said.

The China Factor

“Swings in the global economy come from the swings in China’s economy,” said Paul Podolsky, a partner at hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.

China’s boom came from its cheap cost of plentiful labor; however, that’s less true today than it used to be. Its more recent rapid buildup of debt has propped up the world economy.

The issue is that plenty of economies—Canada, South Africa, Australia, Brazil—depend on China’s continuing to operate a credit-driven economic model. However, if the Chinese authorities are able to pull off the difficult transition away from a debt-fuelled investment model toward a domestic consumption model, it will be painful for emerging markets and commodity-driven economies. But China will benefit in the long run.

“Their domestic economy, that really needs to be resolved before they start thinking about global domination,” Papic said about China, whose 19th communist party congress takes place in the fall.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its forecast for Chinese GDP to grow 6.7 percent in 2017. This is up from a prior estimate of 6.6 percent. Chinese credit growth slowed in May under the tighter supervision of policy-makers.

We worry that East Asia will be the powder keg of the 21st century.

— Marko Papic, senior vice president, Geopolitical Strategy, BCA Research

“Knowing what’s going on in China now is more important than ever,” Podolsky said. He added that the short-term prognosis for China looks good—at least the rapid debt buildup is denominated in its own currency, of which more can be printed.

Specter of Inflation

As globalization grew, production moved to cheaper sources of labor—China and emerging markets. Among the reasons the populist wave rose is the failure of globalization to boost incomes for the middle class in developed world nations like the United States and United Kingdom.

Canada’s finance minister, Bill Morneau, has targeted helping the middle class in his two budgets. “We need to deal with the sense of anxiety people are facing,” he said in discussing the rejection of the status quo seen by the Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s election, and the Liberals returning to power in Canada in 2015.

As the global economy moves away from peak globalization, an upside risk for inflation develops. If free movement of capital and labor is restricted, supply is more costly to produce, resulting in higher prices.

“Our view is that we are exiting a deflationary period and entering an inflationary one slowly but surely,” Papic said. “And then gold will realize its role as a safe haven.”

U.S. stock markets have been in a “Goldilocks” scenario, supported by low interest rates, low inflation, good corporate earnings, and a low threat of an imminent recession.

“I would not say there’s a lot of complacency in the market. The VIX is reflecting a very exuberant market,” Emsbo-Mattingly said, adding that the recovery emanated from a Chinese recovery, which has been good for cyclical stocks globally.

“My concern is we’re at peak valuations, peak growth. A lot of things are as good as they’re going to get,” Emsbo-Mattingly said.

Follow Rahul on Twitter @RV_ETBiz

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Anastasia Lin on the red carpet of the Leo Awards in Vancouver, Canada, on June 5, 2016. (Courtesy Flying Cloud Productions)Anastasia Lin on the red carpet of the Leo Awards in Vancouver, Canada, on June 5, 2016. (Courtesy Flying Cloud Productions)

Anastasia Lin, the beauty queen and human rights advocate against mass organ harvesting carried out by the Chinese regime, has spoken out after she was allegedly silenced.

The Miss World Canada winner said that the Chinese Communist Party has killed Falun Gong practitioners for their organs since the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999. Formally known as Falun Dafa, Falun Gong is a type of traditional Chinese meditation practice.

Speaking with NBC, Lin, 26, said Miss World pageant organizers made it difficult for her to speak to the media after she notified them via text messages or email.

Pageant officials, meanwhile, didn’t allow her to meet with a Department of State official about harassment of her father in China. According to the New York Times, Lin’s friends and relatives said she was refused permission to attend the U.S. premiere of “The Bleeding Edge” in which she plays the lead role as a Falun Gong practitioner and organ harvesting victim. She was eventually allowed to attend the premiere.

“For me, I went there to raise awareness about the causes I care about. It was never really about the crown,” she told NBC News. “My goal was to be the voice for the voiceless. I felt Miss World would be a good platform to have my voice be heard. But as it turned out, my voice was not being heard in the last two weeks.”

Regarding organ harvesting in China, independent researchers former Canadian MP David Kilgour, international human rights lawyer David Matas, and author Ethan Gutmann wrote that state-run medical facilities in China had the capacity to perform between 60,000 and 100,000 transplants each year over the last 16 years, or between 960,000 and 1.6 million transplants total.

 “The ultimate conclusion of this update, and indeed our previous work, is that China has engaged in the mass killing of innocents,” Matas wrote in June.

Many of these forced organ transplant victims were Falun Gong practitioners, they added.

Chinese doctors carry fresh organs for transplant at a hospital in Henan Province on Aug. 16, 2012. (Screenshot/Sohu.com)

Chinese doctors carry fresh organs for transplant at a hospital in Henan Province on Aug. 16, 2012. (Screenshot/Sohu.com)

Earlier this month, Epoch Times learned through friends of hers that pageant organizers had, until Wednesday, Dec. 14, declined to grant her permission to speak to media outlets, and organizers had threatened her with disqualification if she did so, citing a clause in the contract between contestants and the Miss World Organisation.

Lin told NBC that she understood the Miss World Organization tried to silence her due to its Chinese corporate sponsors.

“It was very difficult. I felt like giving up,” she said. “I knew Chinese people were going to watch, and I said I had to stick in there till the end.”

A spokesperson, Miss World Organization CEO Julia Morley, said that “I can tell you absolutely honestly Ms. Lin has not been blocked from anything,” NBC reported.

The Chinese regime also put pressure on her father, who currently lives in China.

“A couple of days before the competition, he sent me a text message and he said, ‘I can’t take this anymore,’” Lin told NBC. “I can see how much he is in despair. That’s what really made it feel so difficult [during the competition], knowing my father is like that and I couldn’t speak to the media.”

The Miss World organizers allowed her to compete on Sunday.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/jack-phillips/" rel="author">Jack Phillips</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
  • Category: General

Chinese people wearing masks for protection against pollution walk at Ritan Park shrouded by heavy smog in Beijing, on Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Chinese people wearing masks for protection against pollution walk at Ritan Park shrouded by heavy smog in Beijing, on Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING—Engulfed in choking smog, some northern Chinese cities limited the number of cars on roads and temporarily shut down factories Monday to reduce air pollution during a national “red alert.”

More than 700 companies stopped production in Beijing and traffic police were restricting drivers by monitoring their license plate numbers, state media reported. Dozens of cities closed schools and took other emergency measures after a “red alert” was issued from Friday night to Wednesday for much of northern China.

“The smog has serious repercussions on the lungs and the respiratory system, and it also influences the health of future generations, so under a red alert, it is safer to stay at home rather than go to school,” said Li Jingren, a 15-year-old high school student in Beijing.

Authorities in the northern province of Hebei ordered coal and cement plants to temporarily shut down or reduce production. Elsewhere, hospitals prepared teams of doctors to handle an expected surge in cases of pollution-related illnesses.

China’s air pollution is blamed on its reliance on coal and emissions from older cars.

A man wearing a mask for protection against pollution exercise at Ritan Park during a heavily polluted day in Beijing, on Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

A man wearing a mask for protection against pollution exercise at Ritan Park during a heavily polluted day in Beijing, on Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

“If you are tracking back to the first day of this episode, you can see that the layer of the smog (in Beijing) is moving slowly from the south to the urban area in Beijing and then to the north,” said Dong Liansai, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing. “You can easily find the large deployment (of smog) in the regions south of Beijing.”

Dong said emissions from factories in nearby provinces were the main cause of the smog choking the capital.

The smog had earlier grounded flights in some cities and closed highways due to low visibility.

On Sunday, news websites said the number of children being taken to Beijing hospitals with breathing trouble soared. Photos showed waiting rooms crowded with parents carrying children who wore face masks.

Members of the public closely watch levels of PM2.5, particles measuring 2.5 microns across that are easily inhaled and damage lung tissue.

Parents carrying their children wait to see doctors at a children's hospital in Beijing on Dec. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Parents carrying their children wait to see doctors at a children’s hospital in Beijing on Dec. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The alert, this winter’s first, lasts through Wednesday. Red is the highest level on the four-tier system prescribing actions taken to reduce the smog.

Authorities in Jinan, south of Tianjin, raised that city’s alert to the second-highest level Sunday after the city “basically disappeared” in the haze, the newspaper Jilu Evening News reported. Photos on its website showed downtown office towers as ghostly silhouettes at midday.

Beijing and other cities have tried to improve air quality by switching power plants from coal to natural gas and rolling out fleets of electric buses and taxis.

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(From L-R) David Burrowes MP, Commissioner
Benedict Rogers, Vice-Chair of the Commission
Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Commission
Anastasia Lin, and
The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, Governor of Hong Kong (1992-1997) Chairman of the Conservative Party (1990-1992) present the new report from the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission entitled 'The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016' in the UK Parliament on June 28, 2016. (Roger Luo/Epoch Times)(From L-R) David Burrowes MP, Commissioner
Benedict Rogers, Vice-Chair of the Commission
Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Commission
Anastasia Lin, and
The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, Governor of Hong Kong (1992-1997) Chairman of the Conservative Party (1990-1992) present the new report from the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission entitled 'The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016' in the UK Parliament on June 28, 2016. (Roger Luo/Epoch Times)

A new report urging the UK government to rethink its China policy was launched by The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.

The report, called “The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013–2016”, focuses on the “unprecedented crackdown” on human rights since Xi Jinping’s leadership and outlines 22 recommendations for the UK government.

For many, Britain’s trading relationship with China is perhaps particularly pertinent as it gears up to – albeit slowly – exit the EU.

The report is critical of the current policy and states that the UK should ensure that human rights are “a central focus” to continued engagements with China.

Lord Patten of Barnes, Governor of Hong Kong between 1992 and 1997, said at the launch that it is important to “demolish the absurd argument” that the only way to trade with China is by kowtowing to them.

“When I was governor of Hong Kong I was regularly told trying to stand up for Hong Kong was bad for business. Actually, if you look at the figures, our exports to China during that period went up substantially,” he said.

Lord Patten said that government dialogues on human rights issues need to be given due weight.

“The idea that by treating human rights abuses as a sort of rather nervous postscript to a conversation, so when you are drifting out the door you say: ‘By the way foreign minister did you know there is a certain amount of concern in my country about human rights abuses, I hope you can look at it’ – phew, I’ve said it, I can tell the press I said it. That’s a pretty weasely way of dealing with what is a very, very important subject,” he said.

(From L-R) Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Commission Anastasia Lin, The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, and Angela Gui, daughter of Gui Minhai, one of the missing Hong Kong booksellers.

(From L-R) Commissioner Benedict Rogers, Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Commission, Anastasia Lin, The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, and Angela Gui, daughter of Gui Minhai, one of the missing Hong Kong booksellers. (Roger Luo/Epoch Times)

Vice-Chair of the Commission Benedict Rogers gave the example of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has consistently spoken out more than the British government on human rights in China.

“Germany is a good example, where you can do good trade [with China] and speak out and not kowtow,” he said.

“One thing that concerns me is that there may be some who say, because we voted to leave the European Union we need to strengthen our ties with other markets around the world. So all the more reason why we need to be increasing our trade and engagement with China, and therefore we need to kowtow more.

“Yes, we can strengthen our trade relationship with China, but to do so without kowtowing, and to do so speaking out on human rights.”

Lord Patten recalled that during the Soviet Union era, Soviet dissidents who had been imprisoned told him regularly that their conditions improved when Western governments raised their cases with Soviet authorities. The same is true with Chinese dissidents, he said.

“The Darkest Moment” received evidence from more than 30 individuals and organisations, including Joshua Wong, leader of the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong, Chen Guangcheng, the award-winning blind human rights activist, and Angela Gui, daughter of Gui Minhai, one of the missing Hong Kong booksellers.

Gui Minhai is a Swedish citizen and disappeared mysteriously around the same time as four other publishers, including British citizen Lee Po. They sold books that were critical of the Chinese regime in Hong Kong. Gui Minhai was on holiday in Thailand in October 2015 when he was allegedly abducted.

“That was the last time my father was seen before he was paraded on Chinese state controlled TV, after 3 months of silence.

“On TV he said he came back to China voluntarily to hand himself in for a crime – the news channel claimed – that he had committed 13 years ago,” said Angela Gui.

Eight months later and Angela Gui hasn’t received any explanation of why he was detained without charge for 3 months. He still remains in Chinese custody today.

“Knowing my father very well I was convinced that his so called confession was coerced, but I’d not had any proof until my father’s colleague, Lam Wing-kee, was released. He made the courageous decision to tell the truth, Lam told the media that they were given a script to memorise before his TV appearance, that he was held in solitary confinement for months to the point of contemplating suicide.”

“Britain has to insist on answers from the Chinese government regarding this cross-border abduction and the illegal detention of my father and his colleagues, especially as one was a British citizen from Hong Kong. It means it is a serious breach of the Sino-British joint declaration,” she said.

She added: “Nobody should have to live in fear of kidnapping and illegal detention because of their illegitimate trade in books.”

The report highlights the continued detention of dissidents, bloggers and journalists in China, detention and harassment of human rights lawyers, the abduction and detention of booksellers from Hong Kong, the increased repression of the media, forced organ harvesting, the use of televised forced confessions, the ongoing repression in Tibet, and the deteriorating political situation in Hong Kong.

Anastasia Lin, the Chinese-born winner of Miss World Canada who was banned from China because of her human rights work, was at the launch and gave evidence to the report. Her father in China started receiving threats after she won the title.

“Changes must come from China one day and it must come from within,” she said. “It’s true that Chinese people have to initiate the change. One day when the Chinese people are finally free to confront the crimes of the communist party, I hope they don’t have to blame us for complicity.”

Lin is an actress and just won a Leo Award for Best Leading Actress for her portrayal of a victim of persecution in China in the film The Bleeding Edge, which is about the killing of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China for their organs.

Researchers have found that practitioners of Falun Gong – a traditional Chinese practice of the Buddha school that was banned in China in 1999 – are the main source of forced organ harvesting in China.

A report published on June 22 this year called “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update” estimates that China has done between 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year since 2000 – compared with China’s “official statistics”, which are 10,000 to 20,000 per year.

The Commission, which is independent of both the government and the Conservative Party, will be looking into organ harvesting in China and other parts of the world as a separate study in the near future, “The Darkest Moment” report confirmed.

The plight of Falun Gong practitioners has left countless orphans homeless in China, according to teenagers who organised a global bike ride to rescue these children in a project called Ride 2 Freedom. Teenagers highlighted their ongoing efforts to raise awareness during a separate event in Parliament on Wednesday.

At the presentation, Benedict Rogers said: “It is happening on a scale that I think we don’t realise – the persecution of Falun Gong – in killing people for their organs and the orphans who are left without their parents as a result.”

Jim Shannon MP, who sponsored the Ride 2 Freedom talk, said: “The job for us now is to press the government to find if any people travel from here to China for transplants and to stop a disgraceful barbaric and violent surgical practice taking place in China where people don’t willingly donate their organs but they are harvested.”

At the “Darkest Moment” launch, Tim Loughton MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group Tibet, highlighted the severe restrictions on human rights faced by those in Tibet, an “Orwellian world of surveillance” with cameras on every street.

People have been jailed for promoting the Tibetan language or for showing support to the Chinese authorities. The “most horrific” he said was the 143 self-immolations of monks, and their families who are prosecuted by Chinese authorities.

Chinese authorities have been known to try to influence British authorities who show any common cause with Tibetans, which he experienced first-hand.

“When I was a minister, the influence from Downing Street to stop me having lunch with the Dalai Lama, which I have had on many occasions, was quite extraordinary,” he said.

A meeting between David Cameron and the Dalai Lama in 2012 upset the Chinese regime, who cut high-level diplomatic ties with Britain. A year later, Cameron agreed not to meet the Dalai Lama again and has since made several trade deals with China.

Lord Patten, who was also former EU commissioner for external affairs, said: “I wish the European Union – I suppose we are still just a part of it – had behaved with a little more common courage, and made it clear to the Chinese authorities, that we’re not ‘splitists’, the Dalai Lama isn’t either, that actually European ministers, British ministers, choose who they want to see and what they want to raise, and they don’t they have to accept and changes to engagements in their diary.”

In the foreword of the report, Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Commission, summed up the spirit of the launch: “Being a friend to China does not mean we resist speaking out when something is wrong. Indeed, being a true friend to the people of China involves the people – and the government – of the United Kingdom speaking up for them.”

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The Chinese regime scrambled fighter jets on May 10 to chase a U.S. Navy ship in a region of the south China Sea about 500 miles south of the Chinese mainland.
The United States is continuing its “freedom of navigation” exercises in the region, which several different countries claim parts of, and which China claims in its entirety.
The USS William P. Lawrence, a guided missile destroyer, passed within 12-nautical miles of the Fiery Cross Reef, which is in the Spratly Island chain. According to Reuters, the Chinese regime responded by scrambling two fighter jets and three warships, which shadowed the U.S. ship and told it to leave.
China converted the reef into an artificial island in a highly controversial move in 2014, and satellite imagery in Sept. 2015 showed the Chinese regime had started building advanced military facilities on the man-made island, including sophisticated radar.
According to The Diplomat, the Chinese regime had also constructed a runway on the artificial island close to 10,000 feet long. On Jan. 2, it conducted its first landing on the newly-built airstrip.
This isn’t the first time the Chinese regime has scrambled jets to chase foreign ships or aircraft in the contested region. In 2013, soon after China created a largely unrecognized air defense zone in the disputed East China Sea, it began scrambling jets to chase U.S. and Japanese planes passing through the region.
MORE:Faced With Barrage of Chinese Spies, US Expands Rules for National Security Cases
This may, however, be the first time the Chinese regime has scrambled jets to chase foreign ships in a region this far south of the Chinese mainland.
The Chinese regime only recently began deploying jets in the South China Sea. In February, it began deploying jets on Woody Island, part of the Paracel Island chain closer to Vietnam and Hainan.
The jets it used in the recent incursion, however, were likely the two J-11 fighter jets it deployed in early April to Woody Island.

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When Ling Wancheng fled to the United States recently, it created quite a commotion. His older brother, Ling Jihua, was one of the highest ranking officials to come under investigation in Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption probe.
The younger Ling’s escape to American brings to mind another defection some 30 years ago, that of Yu Qiangsheng.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claimed that they had killed Yu but late last year the former head of the FBI Chinese counter-intelligence group, IC Smith, revealed otherwise. Smith told Voice of America that Yu was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Yu Qiangsheng’s escape to US through Hong Kong
In October 1985, Yu was a senior intelligence officer in China and a director at the Ministry of State Security of the People’s Republic of China.
While in Hong Kong inspecting the intelligence system there, he disappeared during a shopping trip at Chung Ying Street, a border street between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
His disappearance was immediately reported to Beijing which ordered Yu be found at all costs, dead or alive.
A few hours later, gunmen and CCP secret agents arrived at the Hong Kong, Kai Tak International airport but Yu was already on a civilian plane taking off for the U.S.
Yu’s family survived reprisal despite his defection, unusual in communist China. They were protected by Deng Pufang, the son of former supreme leader Deng Xiaoping.
Yu’s younger brother, Yu Zhengsheng, even prospered and is currently ranked No. 4 in the party.
Yu’s defection was notable because he revealed the top CCP spy embedded in the United States, Larry Wu-Tai Chin. Chin was subsequently arrested and committed suicide in prison.
Yu disappeared in the 1990s and the CCP spread rumors that the regime has successfully assassinated him.
Chinese state media reported that Yu was pursued by five special agents and subsequently drowned in the sea in South America. Some said he was fed radioactive salt when he was traveling in South America, while other believed Yu was executed on the west coast of the U.S.
However, in a program in December, 2015, former head of the FBI Chinese counter-intelligence group, IC Smith, told Voice of America the inside story of the CCP spies.
Smith said it was not true that Yu was killed by the CCP agents. According to him, Yu was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under the name “Planesman”.
Smith said he often spent the night going pub to pub with Yu in Georgetown, Washington DC.
When asked if Yu had moved to California, Smith declined to comment.
Abandoned CCP spy
Chin, the revealed CCP spy, had a more cruel fate. On November 24, 1985, one month after Yu’s defection, Chin was arrested by the FBI and charged with passing information to the Chinese regime for the last 30 years.
When Chin’s wife visited him, he told her he had US$100,000 in his bank account in Hong Kong. Chin’s wife flew to Hong Kong only to find the account had been frozen.
Chin hoped he might be rescued by a prisoner exchange that would see China trade democracy activist Wei Jingsheng in exchange for his freedom.
During the Cold War, the USSR had exchanged hostages with the US for their secret agents. Chin was hoping the CCP would do the same for him.
At the time, a spokesperson at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the regime had any connection with Chin.
Realizing he had been abandoned by Beijing, Chin committed suicide in prison on the morning of February 21, 1986 at the age of 63.
The last person who visited Chin was a “reporter” from a pro-CCP Chinese paper in American.
Translated by Benjamin Ng and Su Lin written in English by Matthew Little.

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Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, should be in China right now, competing for the Miss World Title. But she isn’t. She never received her invitation letter from China—the one issued to every other contestant—so she couldn’t apply for a visa.
Her supporters have started a petition on change.org aimed at Chinese leader Xi Jinping asking him to intervene to let Lin into the country.
Lin needed the letter by Friday, Nov. 20, to make it to Hainan Island, the site of the competition, in time or she’d be disqualified. Of course, in extenuating circumstances exceptions can be made, but time is running out, which is the reason for the 11th-hour signature campaign.
The petition letter asserts that Lin has been excluded because she’s been a vocal critic of human rights abuses in China.
The Chinese-born actress was crowned Miss World Canada in May on the promise to “be a voice for the voiceless.” And it’s a promise she has kept.
We ask you allow Ms. Lin to travel to China immediately and participate in the Miss World final— Change.org petition to Chinese leader Xi Jinping

“Ms. Lin is being discriminated against because she has spoken out about human rights abuses in China, including the persecution of Falun Gong, a meditation practice that has been persecuted in China since 1999,” reads the letter.
The letter mentions how her father in Changsha, China, was visited by state security personnel shortly after she won the beauty pageant in Canada. Before the visit, he had told his daughter how proud he was of her accomplishments. After the visit, he told her to stop speaking about human rights.
“My dad was really scared. He said, ‘You must stop what you are doing now, otherwise we will just go our separate ways.’” Lin told Epoch Times at the time. Lin and her father haven’t been able to speak openly since.
Yet Lin refuses to be intimidated. She publicly exposed the pressure her father was receiving and in July, she even testified before the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China at a hearing on human rights abuses in that country.
Her view is that to give into the Chinese regime’s pressure is precisely what perpetuates that behavior.
“If it works on me, it will work on other people,” she previously told Epoch Times. “The more time that this kind of tactic works on people, the more they will apply it.”
The petition urges Xi Jinping to do the right thing if China is to be respected internationally.
“If China aspires to be a responsible member of the international community it should behave according to the standard of that community, including respecting basic freedoms and different viewpoints.”
The letter concludes with a direct appeal to Xi to intervene on Lin’s behalf:
“We ask you allow Ms. Lin to travel to China immediately and participate in the Miss World final on December 19, 2015. We also demand you abandon any attempts to intimidate her family members.”

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