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U.S. Government Helped a Chinese Dissident’s Family Escape Communist Control

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
https://www.voachinese.com/a/media-watch-xieyang-20170510/3846618.html

Wealthy Female Chinese Canadian Citizen Arrested in Beijing

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.

Sources:

Epoch Times, May 7, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/5/7/n9114024.htm
Hurun, “China Rich List 2016”
http://www.hurun.net/en/HuList.aspx?nid=1037

The Chinese Government’s Influence on the U.S. Media Landscape

On May 4, 2017, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) held a hearing, “China’s Information Controls, Global Media Influence, and Cyber Warfare Stategy.” Sarah Cook from Freedom House provided testimony outlining the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) strategies in spreading its propaganda overseas. Although her report was in English and not Chinese, her findings are important, so Chinascope has included them in a briefing.

The CCP’s Propaganda efforts have taken three primary forms:

1) Aggressive attempts to expand state-run media outlets’ reach and influence inside the United States. These efforts have included high-profile initiatives like Xinhua news agency’s advertisements in Time Square, the appearance of China Daily newspaper boxes on streets in major U.S. cities, and the launch of China Central Television (CCTV) America—recently rebranded as China Global Television Network (CGTN) America. In the Chinese-language media sphere, this effort has been going on for over 20 years, resulting in CCTV being accessible to over 90 million households in the United States and a series of free pro-Beijing newspapers displacing the earlier dominance of Taiwan and Hong Kong-affiliated papers.

2) Insinuating state-media content into mainstream media or other existing dissemination channels. Chinese officials and state-media reports have referred to this strategy as “borrowing the boat to reach the sea” (借船出海). This phrase refers to disseminating Chinese state-media content via the pages, frequencies, or screen-time of privately owned media outlets that have developed their own local audiences. This strategy has a long history of use in the Chinese-language environment, such as via the provision of Xinhua newswire content for free. In recent years, its robust expansion to English-language media has garnered much attention and public debate. One of the most prominent examples has been the emergence of China Watch—a paid insert sponsored by the state-run China Daily—that has appeared both in print and online in prominent U.S. papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. In November 2015, a Reuters investigation revealed that programming from the state funded China Radio International (CRI) was appearing on stations in 15 U.S. cities, including Washington DC, via intermediaries of a privately owned media group.

3) Co-opting or partnering with privately owned media to produce and publish content that serves Beijing’s aims: Not all pro-CCP propaganda appearing in U.S. media necessarily originates from writers and editors at Chinese-state run media outlets. Rather, Chinese diplomats and other officials have gone to great lengths to develop “friendly” relations with private media owners and reporters, encouraging them to produce their own content that promotes key narratives favored by Beijing. Outlets and diaspora media owners whose reporting portrays Beijing positively are frequently rewarded with advertising, lucrative contracts for non-media enterprises, joint ventures, and even political appointments. In several instances, Chinese state-media have also purchased small financial stakes in overseas media to solidify such a relationship. Examples of these dynamics are evident in two media entities whose content is disseminated in many parts of the United States. First, the above-mentioned Reuters investigation revealed that only part of the content aired on radio stations owned or leased by CRI’s U.S.-based partner G&E Studio originates from CRI. Other segments are produced by G&E Studio itself in California. Nevertheless, their messaging matches that of Chinese state propaganda. A second example is that of Phoenix TV, the second most widely available Chinese-language television station on cable in the United States. Owned by a former military officer with close ties to Beijing officials, Phoenix TV’s coverage is typically favorable to the CCP.

Censorship and other attempts to suppress the spread of information deemed undesirable by the regime have taken a variety of other, often more subtle forms.

– Direct action by Chinese diplomats, local officials, security forces, and regulators both inside and outside China. These measures obstruct news gathering, prevent the publication of undesirable content, and punish overseas media outlets that fail to heed restrictions.

– Economic “carrots” and “sticks” to induce self-censorship among media owners and their outlets headquartered outside mainland China.

– Indirect pressure applied via proxies—including advertisers, satellite firms, and foreign governments—who take action to prevent or punish the publication of content critical of Beijing.

Source: USCC, May 4, 2017
https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Sarah%20Cook%20May%204th%202017%20USCC%20testimony.pdf

China’s Spokesperson on North Korean Ships Unloading Coal in China’s Ports

While the United Nations has passed a resolution to restrict North Korea’s coal exports, there have been reports that China allowed some North Korean ships to dock or to unload their coal in China’s ports. China’s spokesperson gave an explanation for two incidents.

Geng Shuang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on April 26, 2017:

Question: “According to what we know, six ships carrying coal from North Korea unloaded the coal in Tangshan port last week. This seems to contradict the Chinese government’s claim that China has not imported any North Korean coal since February 18. Could you please provide more information and explanation?”

Answer: “Due to the fact that some ships that carried North Korean coal were severely short of supplies, out of humanitarian consideration, China allowed them to unload the cargo. However that was not to allow its importation. Unloading and importing are two different things.”

Huang Songping, spokesperson for China’s General Administration of Customs, on April 13, 2017:

Lianhe Zaobao news reported that it asked about 10 North Korean ships that were allowed to dock at China’s port, which made observers wonder if (it meant that) China has not enforced the UN’s embargo.

Huang said that China’s Customs did not let that North Korean coal go through the import process. “Since China’s Customs did not allow the import, how to deal with the coal involved in shipping is something that is up to companies themselves to handle.”

Sources:
1. Sina, April 26, 2017
http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2017-04-26/doc-ifyepsra5643741.shtml
2. Lianhe Zaobao, April 14, 2017
http://www.zaobao.com.sg/znews/greater-china/story20170414-748310

China Consolidates 18 Armies into 13

At a news conference on April 27, Yang Yujun the Spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Defense confirmed that China consolidated 18 of its armies into 13.

The new armies are given the numbers from 71 to 83, which are brand new designations. China’s armies were named up to 70 in the past.

Consolidating the army is part of Xi Jinping’s 300,000 military cut which he announced in late 2014. He also reduced the number of military regions from seven to five.

Source: Sina, April 28, 2017
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2017-04-28/doc-ifyetxec6878981.shtml

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