China human rights attorney Xie Yang (谢阳) was taken into custody during the infamous arrest of human rights lawyers on July 9, 2015. At that time, the Communist regime in China detained hundreds of attorneys who defended people’s human rights. In March of 2017, his wife and daughter were able to escape China to come to the U.S. .
Xie’s wife Chen Guiqiu (陈桂秋) revealed to the public in January 2017, that Xie Yang was brutally tortured during interrogation while he was in detention. From that time on, the police retaliated against her and repeatedly harassed her.
On February 19, Chen Guiqiu and her daughter started their journey to escape from China. With the help of many people, they managed to come to Thailand. Thai officials arrested them in Bangkok on March 2. The next day the Thai judge decided to deport them. Thai officials showed them a video that over 10 Chinese officials were waiting outside of the prison to take them back to China.
At that critical moment, U.S. officials came to the prison. After discussing the situation with the Thai officials, they took Chen and her daughter to the international airport. The Chinese officials followed them to the airport. The U.S. officials, Chinese officials, and Thai officials had a stand-off at the airport for several hours. Eventually the U.S. Officials were able to take the mother and daughter to the U.S.
Bob Fu, a Chinese American pastor who founded “China Aid” to help Christians and other dissidents in China, was a coordinator who helped Chen Guiqui and her daughter to escape. Fu praised the Trump Administration for being very responsive and effective in helping them out.
Source: Voice of America, May 10, 2017
Sun Qian (孙茜), a wealthy Canadian citizen was arrested in Beijing because she practices Falun Gong. In 2016, Sun and her husband ranked number 846 on the Hurun China Rich List. In 1997, they founded Leadman Biochemistry and the company went IPO in 2012.
Sun Qian started practicing Falun Gong in 2014 to cure the diseases that had bothered her for a long time, including depression, a frozen shoulder, liver necrosis, and cardiac arrest. Her diseases soon disappeared, so she continued practicing, despite the fact that, since 1999, the Communist Party had maintained a ban on the practice of Falun Gong in China.
Sun Qian was arrested in her Beijing home on February 19, 2017. Police ransacked her home for over eight hours and confiscated her Falun Gong books, cell phone, USB drives, printer, and computer. On March 28, 2017, the Beijing Number One Procuratorate authorized the arrest. The charge was, “Utilizing an evil religious organization to undermine the implementation of the law.”
Some legal experts pointed out that Sun didn’t commit any crime. Her arrest was likely due to the fact that someone who was against her reported her to police.
Sun obtained her Canadian citizenship in 2007. The Canadian government is working on rescuing her and getting her out of China.
Epoch Times, May 7, 2017
Hurun, “China Rich List 2016”
According to an article that Voice of America published, the People’s Congress recently posted the “National Intelligence Law” on its official website and welcomed members of the general public to voice their opinions. The Intelligence Law states that the intelligence agencies can interrogate or conduct searches, including searching in restricted areas, as long as they obtain approval and display their identification. However, the law does not specify who would issue the approval. The speculation is that the new law will grant expanded powers to intelligence agencies.
The article also stated that the Ministry of State Security could be split into two agencies: the National Counterintelligence and the National Intelligence Agencies. The article said that, since Xi Jinping attained power, the Ministry of State Security has gone through a series of restructurings and has removed a number of key members from their posts including Zhou Yongkang, former Secretary of the Central Political and Legislative Affairs Commission; Ma Jian, former Vice Minister of State Security; and Liang Ke, former director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of State Security. Currently the Ministry of State Security is under the National Security Commission which is chaired by Xi Jinping.
The article stated that, since 2014, China has passed a series of national security laws including the Internet security law in 2016, the national security law in 2015, and the counterintelligence law in 2014.
Source: Voice of America, May 16, 2017
Voice of America carried an article on the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which was held on May 14 in Beijing. The article discussed the criticism Beijing received for promoting tolerance to the outside world while lacking tolerance toward its own citizens and suppressing different voices. The article mentioned that, while the forum was taking place, Beijing applied the highest level of security measures against dissidents and petitioners. Security forces could be sited at public facilities. Some of the dissidents were either sent back to their hometowns or forced to take a “vacation” and leave Beijing. Some stores, tourist sites, and certain construction sites were ordered to shut down during the forum.
In terms of the Belt and Road project, the article stated that it faces many challenges. One is a lack of transparency since it is State Owned Enterprises that are driving the project rather than the market economy. Another concern is the stability of the countries that are situated along the Belt and Road path.
Source: Voice of America, May 14, 2017
According to Guangming Daily, on May 16, the Publicity Department held a meeting in Beijing and issued directives to launch a nationwide publicity campaign prior to the 19th National Congress. The directives requested that all parties “increase the depth of the media campaign to the full extent; mobilize large scale media events, exhibits and forums, as well as produce TV documentaries in order to showcase the achievements that the Party and the country have made; to launch education, arts, and cultural programs to present a harmonious and upright social environment; actively to produce publicity content that targets foreign countries that are able to tell China and the Party’s stories well, and to present confidence and positive energy to the world.”
Source: Guangming Daily, May 17, 2017