China’s Surveillance State Has Tens of Millions of New Targets…

A damaged surveillance camera is seen at Tai Koo MTR station in Hong Kong on Oct. 3.
A damaged surveillance camera is seen at Tai Koo MTR station in Hong Kong on Oct. 3. ANTHONY KWAN/GETTY IMAGES

One evening in the summer of 2017, local police in China made a surprise inspection of a small private language school, checking the visas of all non-Chinese attendees. Among those present was a foreign doctoral student, who had left his passport at his hotel. “Not to worry,” said the officer. “What’s your name?” The officer took out a handheld device and entered the student’s name. “Is this you?” Displayed on the screen was the researcher’s name, his passport number, and the address of his hotel.

This kind of incident is common in Xinjiang, where China has extensively deployed technology against Muslim minorities. But this episode took place in Yunnan province, near China’s southern border with Myanmar. In fact, public security bureaus—the network of agencies in China that deal with domestic security and intelligence—across the country are using electronic databases coupled with handheld tools to keep track of certain categories of people. These “key individuals,” as they are officially known, range from paroled criminals and users of drugs to foreigners, petitioners, and religious believers.



China – Australian toddler caught up in Beijing’s ‘hostage diplomacy’

A collage of photos of Lufty, aged two
PHOTO: Lutfy, an Australian citizen, is trapped in the Xinjiang province in China with his mother. (ABC supplied)

There are concerns a two-year-old Australian citizen trapped in Xinjiang province in China is caught up in what experts call a growing use of “hostage diplomacy” by Beijing.

Key points

  • The Australian Government has repeatedly asked China to allow Nadila Wumaier and her son Lutfy, who is an Australian citizen, to travel to Australia
  • The ABC understands China is insisting the case an “internal matter” because Lutfy is a dual citizen
  • Experts believe Beijing is using the toddler’s case to express its displeasure with the Morrison Government

China has increasingly been accused of detaining international citizens to order to bully, coerce or retaliate against foreign governments.

Lutfy is an Australian citizen with an Australian passport and his mother Nadila Wumaier has a valid Australian visa but the Chinese Communist Party has banned them from leaving.

They are trapped in Xinjiang, where it is estimated more than 1 million Uyghurs are currently being detained in re-education camps, while those not detained have had their passports taken away, making it impossible for them to leave China

A few weeks after the family’s case was revealed by Four Corners in July, the Australian consul-general in Beijing met with the director of consular affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Lutfy’s case.

Foreign Minister Payne then raised the toddler’s plight during talks in Bangkok with top-level Chinese diplomats in early August.

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China Secretly Ordered NBA Commissioner To Fire GM Over Hong Kong Tweet

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver revealed on Thursday that the Chinese government insisted the league fire Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over a now-deleted October 4 tweet supporting the protesters in Hong Kong, according to Time.

We made clear that we were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said in his first US interview about the league’s ongoing free speech scandal. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”

Speaking at the TIME 100 Health Summit, Silver noted that “The losses have already been substantial,” adding “Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.”\

China’s private investment leading push into the Pacific..

Rainbow City is little more than a swathe of grassland on an island in the Pacific, but it has an apparently grand future.

Key points:

  • Rainbow City is being marketed to foreigners as a “Little Singapore” in Vanuatu
  • The project covering more than 86 hectares will dwarf nearby villages and resorts
  • Locals say they have been kept in the dark about the development

The grass is slowly being replaced with roads, the soil forming the base for apartments, villas and shopping centres.

This patch of paradise on Efate, the island that is home to Vanuatu’s capital, will eventually become a mini city for foreigners.

Over the next 10 years, the buildings over 86 hectares of open land will come to dwarf the surrounding villages, private homes and small resorts that neighbour it.

Supported by private, Chinese-backed investment, it is the biggest residential development in Vanuatu.

China gives few benefits in the World Trade Organization…

Whether China is a “developing” or a “developed” country for the purposes of the World Trade Organization matters a lot to the US President.

President Donald Trump ignited a new front in the US-China trade war in July by tweeting that the world’s richest nations were masquerading as developing countries to get special treatment.

They were “cheating“, according to Trump.

He directed the US Trade Representative to “use all available means to secure changes” at the WTO.

Then Australia joined in. While in the United States, Prime Minister Scott Morrison referred to China as a “newly developed economy“, and backed Trump, saying that “obviously, as nations progress and develop then the obligations and how the rules apply to them also shift”.

China is digging in. It hasn’t resiled from a statement by its commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng in April:

China’s position on WTO reform has been very clear. China is the largest developing country in the world.

But what’s at stake? In practical terms, almost nothing. Trump and Morrison are demanding something that would give them little.

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US to blacklist 28 Chinese security companies…

A masked Uighur boy takes part in a protest against China, at Fatih Mosque in Turkey

The US Commerce Department has placed 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies on a trade blacklist over Beijing’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.

Key points:

  • Blacklisted companies are barred from buying parts from the US
  • Video surveillance company Hikivision has been added to the list
  • Huawei Technologies and more than 100 affiliates are already blacklisted

Being added to the so-called ‘Entity List’ bars companies or other entities from buying parts and components from US companies without US government approval.

China has not yet commented on the US decision, but has long been accused of detaining around 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in its far-western Xinjiang region.

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China Is Leases an Entire Pacific Island….

Residents of Tulagi, an island of a little over 1,000 people in the Solomon Islands.

SYDNEY, Australia — The island of Tulagi served as a South Pacific headquarters for Britain then Japan, and during World War II, its natural deepwater harbor made it a military gem.

Now, China is moving in with plans to effectively take control.

Under a secretive deal signed last month with a provincial government in the Solomon Islands, a Beijing-based company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party has secured exclusive development rights for the entire island of Tulagi and its surroundings.

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Hong Kong pro-democracy leader hospitalized after hammer attack…

Jimmy Sham lies on the ground with a bleeding head and injury to the joints in his hands and feet, in Hong Kong.

he leader of one of Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy groups has been taken to hospital after being attacked by a group of hammer-wielding assailants.

Key points:

  • Jimmy Sham is attacked while on his way to an evening meeting
  • He is left with bloody head injuries but remains conscious
  • It is the second attack on Mr Sham since the protest movement began

Pictures on social media showed Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front lying in the street beside a car, covered in blood.

Mr Sham, one of the public faces of the protest movement, was on his way to an evening meeting in Kowloon when the four or five attackers pounced.

WARNING: This story contains a graphic image

He was left with bloody head injuries but remained conscious, the Civil Human Rights Front said on its Facebook page.

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China takes over from Taiwan to fund Solomon Islands Pacific Games’ stadium

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says China will step in to fund a $AUD74 million stadium for the 2023 Pacific Games, in place of Taiwan.

He announced the funding on his return from China, a month after Solomon Islands ended diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the financing would be in the form of a grant.

“It’s the implementation of commitments of the understandings that we’ve signed with them,” Mr Sogavare said, in reference to five Memorandums of Understanding that he signed during his trip to China last week.

The Pacific Games is the largest sporting event in the region, with Solomon Islands to host it for the first time in 2023.