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Chinese Police Collect Blood Samples from Elementary and Middle School Boys

The Chinese Communist Party has forcibly collected DNA data using reasons such as “combating crime.” Beginning in 2016, the authorities in Xinjiang had massive collections of DNA samples from ethnic Muslims to establish databases for the purpose of surveillance and suppression. Now this practice has extended to the whole country. The regime is collecting DNA and other biological information on a large scale. All males, even elementary and middle school boys, are included and have not been spared.

In November, people from multiple cities in Guangxi Province told the Bitter Winter magazine, an Italian based publication focusing China’s religious freedom and human rights, that local police were collecting blood samples from elementary and middle school boys without notifying their parents. When asked for the reason, some teachers explained that it was to prevent children from being trafficked or lost, but they failed to explain why they were collecting only from boys but not from girls.

Bitter Winter obtained a document that the Public Security Bureau of Chongren County in Jiangxi Province issued in November. The document required the local Education and Sports Bureau to cooperate with the police to collect information on all male students in elementary and middle schools. The document stated that this work was carried out nationwide to collect information for the nation’s seventh population census, to issue third-generation digital ID cards, to improve the dissemination of population data, and to facilitate rapid identity verification.

Chinese media also reported that police have collected blood from male adult citizens for a number of reasons such as “free medical examinations” and “checking for drug abuse.”

A “Y-STR DNA Database Construction Work Plan Notice” that a county government in Hubei Province issued in September 2018 called for “the establishment of a male-dominated pedigree information database that comprehensively covered the rural areas,” and “through investigation of the family tree to maintain the social order and strengthen the ability to control the population.”

The Chinese government often uses the collected DNA data to suppress dissidents and religious believers. In July 2019, the police harassed the parents of a believer in the Church of Almighty God and forcibly collected blood samples.

Source: Bitter Winter, January 3, 2020

將建家系信息庫 警方強制採集中小學男生血樣未通知家長

Beijing News: Wuhan Disclosed Information on Unknown Viral Pneumonia

Beijing News recently reported that the Wuhan City Health Committee officially acknowledged the outbreak of an unknown type of pneumonia. As of 8 PM on January 3, the city confirmed 44 patients, of whom 11 were in serious condition. All confirmed patients are currently receiving treatment in isolated hospital zones. The government has traced 121 individuals who had close contact with the patients. The work of tracking down more people is still under way. As of now, no medical workers have been infected. A pathogen identification process is being conducted. Some common respiratory diseases, including flu, avian influenza and the adenovirus infection, have been ruled out. The outbreak is rumored to have started around a week ago. The Chinese central government and the Hubei provincial government have sent expert groups to the City of Wuhan. The disinfection process at the Huanan Seafood Place, where the outbreak originated, has started. Wider investigations of other spots have also started. The symptoms of this new unknown pneumonia are very similar to SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome), which had no cure and caused international panic in 2003.

(Editor’s note: Wuhan is the capital city of Hubei Province and has a population of 11 million. It is the largest transportation hub in central China. As of January 5, 58 patients were officially confirmed. Hong Kong has confirmed 14 patients.)

Source: Beijing News, January 3, 2020
http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2020/01/03/669703.html

Xinhua: China Plans to Re-interpret Classic Religious Books

Xinhua recently reported that the Ethnic Group and Religion Committee of the Chinese National People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) just had a discussion forum on religion. Wang Yang, Standing Committee Member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, delivered a speech on the importance of controlling the interpretation of religious doctrine. Wang proposed that the translation and interpretation of religious theories should keep up with the pace of today’s social developments. The socialist core values should guide the re-interpretation process. This would be an effective way to defend China against extremists and their evil theories. Wang asked the committee to look into organizing a major effort to perform a comprehensive review of all religious teaching books, including the Bible, the Quran and the Buddhist books. The committee should start modifications and even do full re-translations.

Sources:
(1) Xinhua, November 26. 2019
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/leaders/2019-11/26/c_1125277447.htm
(2) Radio France Internationale, December 23, 2019
https://bit.ly/2t9rVpu

CNA: Chinese Government Recommended Purchasing Air Purifiers

Primary Taiwanese news agency, the Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) just issued its official guide on health protection given the prevailing air pollution conditions. Currently the smog-based air pollution has triggered warnings in 55 cities across China. The NHC guide advised that office spaces, indoor sports areas and schools should be equipped with air purifiers. It recommended closing windows during smog days and using air purifiers to reduce the PM2.5 level. However NHC did not mention how public school classroom air purifiers would be funded. Studies over the past several years showed that each classroom will require two purifiers. Due to high purifier acquisition cost and high electricity cost for daily operations, so far only the city of Beijing has subsidized the schools for part of the cost. Very few schools standardized the equipment but they are usually funded by donations from the students’ parents. After a time, some schools have even removed purifiers to maintain fairness among the classes. The media suggested that the government should establish a set of criteria on how air purifiers should be deployed in schools. Based on data that the Ministry of Environmental Protection released, this winter Northern China has had low wind speeds and higher temperatures. This may lead to longer-lasting smog days with a wider regional coverage. PM2.5 particles are air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, small enough to invade even the smallest airways. These particles generally come from activities that burn fossil fuels, such as traffic, smelting, and metal processing.

Source: CNA, December 11, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201912110072.aspx

Deutsche Welle: The World Bank Terminated Its Controversial Loan to Xinjiang

Deutsche Welle reported that, on November 11, 2019, the World Bank decided to terminate its loan program and financial support to Xinjiang vocational schools amid questions of whether Beijing used the money to repress Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The World Bank provided a US $50 million loan to the “Xinjiang Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project” in 2015.

In July, a World Bank employee wrote a lengthy email to an executive director on the bank’s board detailing concerns about the Xinjiang program. The employee listed numerous issues perceived as red flags and suggested that the program should be referred to an internal inspection committee for investigation to ensure that World Bank rules were being followed.

For example, according to a tender dated November 2018, Yarkand Technical School, which is managed by another school as part of the World Bank program, spent about $30,000 purchasing 30 tear gas launchers, 100 anti-riot batons, 400 sets of camouflage clothing, 100 sets of “stab-resistant clothing,” 60 pairs of “stab-resistant gloves,” 45 helmets, 12 metal detectors, 10 police batons, and barbed wire. It is not clear if this money came directly from the World Bank loan, or from other funding sources, but it points to a worrying cross-over between the camps and legitimate schools.

The employee’s concerns went unheeded.

On August 23, the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China issued a letter to World Bank President David Malpass expressing its concern.

On November 11, 2019, the World Bank decided to terminate the loan program. However, human rights organizations and experts were not satisfied since the World Bank didn’t release a thorough investigate result about how the money was used.

Source: Deutsche Welle, November 12, 2019
https://www.dw.com/zh/世银终止资助新疆职业学校-专家批治标不治本/a-51207170

To Prevent the Spread of Plague, Government Set up “Firewall” Exiting Inner Mongolia and Entering Beijing

China’s Caixin.com reported on November 22 that an emergency response group of the provincial government of Inner Mongolia in northern China issued a “Work Plan for a Firewall for Exiting Inner Mongolia and entering Beijing” to prevent the spread of the plague. The plan highlights three lines of defense including an early warning of an epidemic situation, investigations by medical institutions, and an inspection of outbound passengers. According to the report, the Xilinhot Airport set up a check point at the entrance, logging the body temperature of every passenger. The Xilinhot Airport is the nearest airport to Xilingol League, where the initial two pneumonic plague patients originated. A body temperature check point was also set up at the highway to Sonid Left Banner, northwest of Xilingol League. All vehicles need to be inspected, and the information of passengers’ names, phone numbers, the point of departure and their destination must be registered. In addition, vehicles carrying livestock, wildlife, or wildlife products are required to register with the agriculture, animal husbandry, or forestry police authorities.

Earlier two patients from Xilingol League of Inner Mongolia were diagnosed in Beijing as having pneumonic plague. Soon afterwards, a patient in Bordered Yellow Banner of Xilingol League was also identified as having the plague. 28 people who were in close contact with this patient are still under medical observation.

The media reported that the recent outbreak of the plague was related to official negligence. This summer, some areas in northern China began to suffer from severe rodent problems. Although there were no new people infected with the plague in Xilingol League, there have been cases of dead animals and animals detected as having a positive plague reaction. There are unconfirmed tweets disclosing that more than 300 villages in northern provinces such as Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Liaoning, and Jilin were completely blocked. Armed police  were stationed there and villagers were not allowed to enter or exit. Communications have also been cut off.

Source: Central News Agency, November 22, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201911220160.aspx