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India May Join China and Russia against the U.S. out of Revenge

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to the Indian newspaper, the Deccan Herald, India is very upset about the U.S. cancellation of India’s GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) status. In response, India is prepared to “join China and Russia” to condemn the U.S. trade protectionist stance. The U.S. withdrawal of India’s GSP benefits was to take effect on June 5. This could impact over 2,900 Indian products that are exported to the U.S. The estimated trade volume on these products is around US$5.6 billion. According to Indian Business Today, the Indian government is going through internal processes in an official response, and the decision is expected by the end of June. India’s potential “revenge tariff” could start as early as June 16. However, that date can be delayed. India is planning to sign a joint announcement together with China and Russia during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, which is to be held in mid-June. Experts expressed their belief that India may not go too far against the U.S. since there are upcoming scheduled talks with the United States.

Source: Sina, June 6, 2019

Mingpao: Hong Kong Lawyers Marched in Black

Mingpao, one of the primary Hong Kong newspapers, recently reported that, on June 7, around 3,000 Hong Kong lawyers marched in silence against the government’s recent plan to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. The proposed amendments effectively extend the Mainland’s criminal laws to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong legal community, along with the local residents, are deeply concerned about the independent status of Hong Kong’s its legal system. All participants in the march were dressed in black, with no signs, banners or slogans. The group walked from the Court of Final Appeal to the city government headquarters. The protesters were led by seven former chairpersons of the highly respected Hong Kong Bar Association. The number of participants in the march is considered to be the highest since Hong Kong returned to China. Multiple members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council also joined the march. The Legal community is also worried about the fact that the government criticized the judges expressing their opinions and did not consult them on law amendments. The focal point of these local public opinions is that, in the past, it was the Mainland government trying to bypass the Hong Kong legal system

This time it is the Hong Kong government.

Source: Mingpao, June 7, 2019

World Journal: U.S. Reporter Detained in Beijing for Interviewing People before June 4

Well-known U.S. Chinese language newspaper, the World Journal, recently reported that, right before June 4, a U.S. CBS reporter interviewed random Chinese people in the streets of Beijing. He entered the tightly controlled Tiananmen Square area asking young people about their knowledge of the Tank Man. The reporter also showed people the world-famous photo of the Tank Man blocking the path of the communist tanks on June 4, 1989. Most of the Chinese people questioned had no idea who the Tank man was. The local police ended up detaining the CBS reporter for about six hours. BBC reporters also did similar street interviews using the Tank Man photo. Most people interviewed did not know anything about the Tank Man. However, some appeared to know but refused to admit it.

Source: World Journal, June 5, 2019

Bitter Winter: CCP Actions to Ban Foreign Religions Will Continue throughout China

According to Bitter Winter, an organization focusing on religious liberty and human rights in China, China has launched a nationwide effort to crack down on foreign religious activities. The action is to implement the “Work Plan for the Investigation and Handling of Special Actions and activities of Overseas Christian Churches.” The Central United Front Work Department and the Ministry of Public Security issued the Plan. The document specifically mentioned some of the more prominent Christian churches in the United States and South Korea, including the “Jesus Youth Association,” the “School Missionary Society,” the “Evangelical Lutheran Church,” the “Pok Oi Church,” the “Love Church,” and the “Canaan Church.” It also called for the further suppression of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and some Korean Christian churches that had been severely attacked previously. The purpose is to prevent them from resuming religious activities.

The document stated that the main tasks of the special action include: “resolutely cracking down on foreign religious believers; “resolutely destroying the religious activities of foreign religious groups in the local area; and “resolutely preventing organizations from attending trainings in neighboring countries and regions. It also requires strict supervision of foreign-related missions on the Internet.

The document requires detailed investigation of foreign-related religious groups, including their background, organization, scale, scope of activities, meeting locations, personnel, online activities, funds and other information; and analysis of the relevant QQ group and WeChat group contents. All believers’ information will be entered into the data platform to establish a “Resistance to Foreign Christian Penetration Work Database.”

The crackdown effort includes closing the meeting places, training centers, seminaries, and other facilities; using a variety of comprehensive means to attack the participant’s beliefs, such as using work units and relatives to pressure them, cutting off welfare protection; using the transformation education system to convert the believers; and even imposing criminal sentences. The local party committee and government are responsible for the transformation and for completely cutting off any possibility of resuming religious activities.

The document requires that, while attacking religious believers, there needs to be an effort to develop undercover members within the church. “We must strive to build and develop a working relationship with those who are both domestic or in foreign countries so that it can be used for our work.”

The document requires that the Publicity Department produce articles and videos about the relevant religious groups and strengthen the publicity and education work for the general public while inciting them to “resist consciously any foreign-related religions.” The online department should do a good job of controlling “harmful information” and strengthening “positive guidance” online. The education department needs to strengthen management of teachers and university students, especially foreign teachers and students who have a religious background. The article also mentioned that there is another document entitled, “Investigating and Dealing with the External Correspondence of Christians from Foreign Countries,” but Bitter Winter was not able to obtain the specific contents of this document.

The document requires that, when carrying out crackdown activities, it should consider the timing so that it does not conflict with sensitive political events or holidays.

The document also requires strict enforcement of confidentiality disciplines. It is strictly forbidden to upload relevant documents to the website or through non-confidential channels such as WeChat.

The guiding principal of the document is based on Xi Jinping’s series of “important instructions” about resisting “international religious infiltration,” including “not allowing foreign religious forces to form a system within our country. We must not allow the formation of forces against the party and government in the religious field.”

Source: Bitter Winter, May 27, 2019

遼寧機密文件內容曝光 全國性打擊涉外教會行動已開始

Xinhua: Whoever Advocates Giving in to the U.S. in the Trade War Is a Rat Who All Should Chase

On June 9, 2019, Xinhua published a commentary on the  U.S.-china trade issues titled, “Let Everyone Chase the ‘Surrender Theory’ As If It Were a Rat Running across the Street.”

The commentary began with a reiteration of the Communist Party’s official position. “The attitude of the Chinese side has always been clear: not willing to fight, not afraid to fight, have to fight if necessary. In this regard, the vast majority of Chinese people are very firm on this position and are united as one in solidarity. However, a small number of people have developed ‘PF chondrosis,’ lost their national integrity, and have widely advocated a surrender theory because ‘China is in a disadvantaged position and should appeal to all to compromise,’ thus confusing, disturbing, and distracting the public. In this regard, we must unequivocally say ‘no.’ We will vigorously carry out the struggle and let the ‘surrender theory’ become a street rat.”

The commentary went on, “[T]hose who advocate the ‘surrender theory’ unconditionally tout the ‘rationality,’ ‘legality,’ and ‘necessity’ of the U.S. government’s trade bullying policy and power-political behavior against China. They put the blame for the Sino-U.S. trade war entirely on China. They allege that China bites the hand that feeds it ‘with no reasonable basis for resisting the U.S. trade bullying.’ It is an action to curry favor with the United States and it is an absurd theory that calls white black and black white.”

The commentary concluded with a warning, “I hereby notify those who worship, are eager to please, and are fearful of the United States that you should not continue to be an accomplice of the U.S. government in bullying; you should not try to use the ‘surrender theory’ to sabotage the Chinese people’s spirit of resistance. If you continue to be obsessed and stubbornly move forward, an abyss of 100,000 feet will be right in front of you.”

Source: Xinhua, June 7, 2019

RFI: German Media on Hong Kong’s Massive Anti Extradition Amendment Protest

Hong Kong’s massive Anti Extradition Amendment Protest on Sunday caused widespread concern in the German media. Media, including Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Das Erste, Deutschlandradio, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel, and Handelsblatt immediately reported on the protest.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the protests expressed the Hong Kong people’s distrust of the mainland’s justice system. The people in Hong Kong believe that the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Bill will be a tool that the mainland will use to intimidate Hong Kong. Over one million Hong Kong people took to the streets and expressed strong protests. This is the biggest protest march that has happened in Hong Kong for many years. Critics believe that China’s judiciary is not independent and does not meet international standards. It persecutes political dissidents and 99 percent of those who are accused end up being sentenced. There are concerns that the new regulations are going to damage Hong Kong which is known to be the cornerstone of Asia’s economic and financial metropolis. As the public has strongly opposed the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, this created a dilemma for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Lin Zhengyue, who is loyal to Beijing.

Le Monde reported that there was mixed information on the number of demonstrators. The organizer estimated that there were over one million people, and the police estimated that there were only 240,000 people. Sunday’s parade was the biggest parade since Hong Kong’s return to China. China intends to strengthen its political influence in Hong Kong through the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. However, citizens of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have expressed their protests on the streets and demanded that the government withdraw this evil law.

Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen pointed out that the parade that took place on Sunday in Hong Kong was the biggest parade since the Tiananmen Square gathering in 1989. On July 1, 2003, there was a similar parade in Hong Kong, when 500,000 people took to the streets to oppose the establishment of the national security law. After the demonstration, the law was withdrawn. In 2014, demonstrations in Hong Kong demanding democracy led to a partial shutdown in Hong Kong. To this end, Beijing is intent on tightening its control. However, many demonstrators strongly criticized the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, saying that this was the worst law and it will trample on Hong Kong’s fundamental freedoms.

Das Erste stated that the demonstrations showed that the Hong Kong people are worried that the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance will not only affect Hong Kong citizens; it will also affect tourists who might come to Hong Kong because they could be taken to China. The status of Hong Kong as a financial center would also be weakened. What worries the Hong Kong people the most is that the freedoms of news, speech, and assembly that are not common in China and are only unique to Hong Kong would be undermined.

Source: Radio France Internationale, June 10, 2019