Pope Signals Closeness to China and Distance from Taiwan and Hong Kong…

A worshipers waves the flag of China as Pope Francis leaves following the weekly general audience on June 12, 2019 at St. Peter's square in the Vatican. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

ROME — Pope Francis sent subtle but clear signals of closeness to Beijing while distancing himself from Taiwan and Hong Kong during his flight to Japan from Thailand Saturday.

In a series of telegrams to officials of the three territories, the pope disclosed the current diplomatic position of the Vatican regarding key Asian conflicts.

Especially revealing was the wording of the pontiff’s telegrams to China and Taiwan and the different manner in which he described each nation.

“I send cordial greetings to your Excellency as I fly over China on my way to Japan. I assure you of my prayers for the nation and its people, invoking upon all of you abundant blessings of peace and joy,” the pope wrote to Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Full Story: https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2019/11/23/pope-signals-closeness-china-distance-taiwan-hong-kong/

Chinese spy case could be the greatest threat to Australian security…

Wang Liqiang looks to the right as he sits mid-speech. He has glasses, wears a checked shirt and dark jacket.

Not since the Petrov affair in 1954, when a KGB officer sought asylum in Australia with details of Soviet spying activities, has a case been as potentially significant for Australian security as that of Wang Liqiang, the man who purports to be a Chinese spy.

We are using the word “potentially” in the Wang case because his accounts of Chinese espionage activities in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia need to be fully assessed before a more complete judgment is made about the veracity of his claims.

Nine Newspapers journalists have conducted due diligence on the Wang case over some months and concluded publication is justified. But gaps remain in the defector’s narrative.

These include the reasonable question of how a young man with a fine arts degree and a skimpy background allegedly in Chinese intelligence has suddenly come forward with a cache of information that sheds light on nefarious activities.

Full Story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-26/chinese-spy-case-the-greatest-threat-to-australian-security/11739372

Scientists shred Chinese CRISPR babies experiment after leak of unpublished research

‘Deliberate falsehood’: Scientists shred Chinese CRISPR babies experiment after leak of unpublished research

A controversial genetic experiment to make Chinese twins resistant to HIV is causing renewed outrage after the release of the original research, with scientists charging that it failed to meet its goals and ignored basic ethics.

The MIT Technology Review published portions of two previously unseen research papers on Tuesday, principally authored by Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui, who last year attempted to use CRISPR DNA editing technology to immunize twins – Lulu and Nana – against HIV.

While He’s bold claims about what the experiment accomplished have come under scrutiny before, a wave of new criticism has followed the publication, which was passed to MIT by an unnamed source. Chief among the complaints is that He’s experiment didn’t achieve its main goal: producing a mutation in the CCR5 gene that would create resistance to HIV.

“The claim they have reproduced the prevalent CCR5 variant is a blatant misrepresentation of the actual data and can only be described by one term: a deliberate falsehood,” Fyodor Urnov, a geneticist at the Innovative Genomics Institute, told the Technology Review.

Full Story: https://www.rt.com/news/474955-scientists-china-crispr-babies/

629 girls and women from across Pakistan who were sold as brides and taken to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who were sold as brides to Chinese men and taken to China. The list, obtained by The Associated Press, was compiled by Pakistani investigators determined to break up trafficking networks exploiting the country’s poor and vulnerable.

The list gives the most concrete figure yet for the number of women caught up in the trafficking schemes since 2018.

But since the time it was put together in June, investigators’ aggressive drive against the networks has largely ground to a halt. Officials with knowledge of the investigations say that is because of pressure from government officials fearful of hurting Pakistan’s lucrative ties to Beijing.

Full Story: https://apnews.com/c586d0f73fe249718ec06f6867b0244e

China to suspend U.S. Navy visits to Hong Kong in retaliation…

BEIJING — China said on Monday that it would suspend U.S. Navy visits to Hong Kong and sanction a range of pro-democracy non-governmental organizations in retaliation for the passage of legislation supporting human rights in Hong Kong by Congress last week.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated accusations that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act “seriously interfered” in Hong Kong’s internal affairs and appeared to back up China’s threats the U.S. would bear the cost of the decision.

Along with suspending visits by official U.S. military ships and aircraft, Hua said China would sanction organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Human Rights Watch and others that she said had “performed badly” in the Hong Kong unrest.

Full Story: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asia/china-suspend-u-s-navy-visits-hong-kong-retaliation-rights-n1093936

Chinese-made condoms too small; Zimbabwe

Condoms waiting to be packaged at a factory in Japan. Photo: Bloomberg

A Chinese condom manufacturer says it is considering making its products in different sizes after Zimbabwe’s health minister complained that contraceptives made in China and exported to the African nation were too small for its men.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa made the comments at an event in the capital Harare last week to promote HIV/Aids prevention, according to the website New Zimbabwe.com.

Full Story: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2135243/chinese-made-condoms-too-small-zimbabwes-health-minister

Chinese academics from labs linked to military who studied in Australia

University of Wollongong

Two scholars at a NSW university have been linked to Chinese research centres that have reportedly carried out cyber attacks and espionage for the nation’s military.

Key points:

  • Two visiting professors at the University of Wollongong may have ties to “high-risk” Chinese schools
  • The University of Aus said it is concerned about the allegations
  • The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the professors’ links should be probed

One of the scholars attended the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) cybersecurity centre several years ago while visiting from a Chinese laboratory allegedly implicated in executing cyber attacks against foreign countries.

The other scholar, who is working at the university, is visiting from a Chinese physics academy considered “very high-risk” by security experts due to its ties to the country’s nuclear weapons program.

A third academic, a professor who was accused by US media outlets of being a military liaison, co-authored a recent research paper on encrypted coding with the UOW.

The revelations come 24 hours after the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) released a report warning Australian universities were unwittingly creating security risks by collaborating with Chinese schools.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-27/university-of-wollongong-professors-linked-to-high-risk-schools/11741450

China: A Colonial Power in Disguise for Cameroon

China is colonizing Africa. As part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative, Africa is being used as a source for food, minerals, and strategic military ports. China’s first overseas military base is in Djibouti. Will US China battle for influence in Africa affect the Trade War? Joining us is Felix Agbor Nkongho, founder and director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa.

View story here: https://youtu.be/igLJe-CWUZg

Australia is having limited success in countering Chinese political interference

Chinese flags fly high outside the Australian Parliament House in Canberra

Australia is having limited success in countering Chinese political interference, a US Congressional report has said, suggesting new joint military training bases could be set up across the Indo-Pacific to thwart Beijing.

Key points:

  • American politicians say China’s military assertiveness is prompting “mounting regional pushback”
  • The bipartisan committee said Australia’s crackdown on foreign interference had “mixed success”
  • They want Donald Trump to consider establishing new military training centres in the Indo-Pacific

In its annual report to Congress, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has outlined Beijing’s growing influence across the globe and delivered dozens of recommendations to the Trump administration.

The high-powered commission has found the Australian Government’s recent steps to “mitigate the risks of engagement with China”, including tightening foreign investment restrictions and cracking down on political interference, had “mixed success”.

“Australia wants to maintain positive economic ties with China, but is also wary of Beijing’s increasing regional assertiveness and outright interference in Australia’s political affairs,” the 500-page document concludes.

READ MUCH MORE HERE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-16/australia-struggling-to-contain-beijing-political-interference/11709990