Information and Threats from China: November 23-24, 2019

From the Chicago Tribune: Chinese state media deny torture of ex-UK consulate staff

“Cheng described in his statement being hooded, beaten, deprived of sleep and chained to an X-shaped frame. The police were particularly interested in extracting statements about the U.K.’s alleged instigation of the Hong Kong protests, he said, and he constantly felt dizzy because they confiscated his glasses. The Shenzhen police have not responded to faxed requests for comment. In the videos published by the People’s Daily, Cheng is shown without his glasses and saying that he was ’embarrassed’ by his ‘illegal behavior.’ British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab summoned the Chinese ambassador in London to demand Beijing investigate Cheng’s treatment…”

From The Diplomat: Countering China’s Forced Confessions

“One year ago, on November 23, 2018, senior cadres at China’s Communist Party-controlled, state-owned broadcaster CCTV (China Central Television) were toiling away in their iconic Beijing headquarters on plans to launch a big European hub in London. It was a Friday and CCTV officials inside the headquarters off Beijing’s Third Ring Road, locally nicknamed the ‘pants’ because of its signature two-legged structure, looked forward to a nice weekend’s rest. But the day ended on a different note from the tune it began with.”

“That day in London, eight hours behind Beijing time, I had filed a complaint to the broadcast regulator Ofcom against CCTV, alleging violations of the Broadcasting Code for extracting and airing forced and falsified confessions from prisoners in China, which were then beamed worldwide including on U.K. airwaves. The aim of this legal complaint was to bring penalties upon CCTV, which could include stripping it of its U.K. broadcasting licenses…”

From Arab News: After Xinjiang, is Hong Kong next?

“In a bid to assure the Chinese communist party’s (CCP) longevity and unquestioned authority, the mass detention of Uighurs in ‘re-education’ camps, since 2014, may just contain the seeds of Beijing’s unraveling…China, in the eyes of President Xi Jinping’s cabal, is a unified, homogenous state of some 1.4 billion people that prizes conformity and total obeisance to the absolute authority that is the CCP… Regarding Hong Kong’s protest movement, it is now being painted with the same allegations of foreign interference, terrorism and infiltration, which Beijing has already used to justify its actions in the XAR.”

“To that end, a brutal crackdown on the mostly Muslim Uighurs, Kazakhs, Uzbeks and other minority ethnicities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XAR) is warranted — as confirmed by a leak of 400 pages of speeches, directives and orders by Beijing’s top brass. The contents of the leak, detailed in a New York Times report, were already known, they just lacked unfiltered and un-redacted corroboration from Beijing. In short, the Uighurs had failed to meet the benchmark of the CCP’s post-1949 ideals of homogeneity. As a result, Beijing was to show ‘absolutely no mercy,’ employing the ‘organs of dictatorship’ to launch an ‘obliterating offensive’ against ‘terrorism, infiltration and separatism’ in Xinjiang…”

From Yahoo! News: ‘Barbarians’: Inside Chinese media coverage of Hong Kong

“In China’s state-run media, protests that have rocked Hong Kong for almost six months are the work of bloodthirsty ‘barbarians’ or ‘terrorists’ backed by foreign forces. Coverage of the unrest in China, where the Communist Party strictly controls the narrative of all issues it deems sensitive, is in stark contrast to that seen in the West. Western media typically reports on protesters’ demands for the right to free elections in Hong Kong, as well as an independent inquiry into what they see as excessive police violence.”

“These issues are rarely touched on in China’s media. Here is a glimpse at the Chinese coverage: – Rioters ‘thirsting for blood’, ‘Wild’, ‘barbarians’, ‘terrorists’: the Chinese press regularly uses inflammatory words to describe the protesters. ‘The cruelty and insanity being displayed by the rioters show they have become deranged by bloodlust,’ the English-language China Daily declared last week. While the protesters say they are fighting for democratic rights, Chinese media flips that premise…”

From Bitter Winter: Over 1,000 Church of Almighty God Members Arrested in Shandong

“Organized operations to suppress the Church are sweeping across the province; the newest round was launched this autumn in the port city of Qingdao. Media outlets in mainland China reported that the government of Qingdao, a major port city in the eastern province of Shandong, launched a three-month operation in September to crack down on religious activities and people petitioning the government. The drive is part of the nationwide campaign to ‘clean up gang crime and eliminate evil.’”

“During a secret meeting convened ahead of the operation, the authorities designated quotas for the arrest of believers from various denominations and religious movements, ranging from 100 to 200. It was also demanded to expedite the arrest of believers identified through tip-offs from residents. The Church of Almighty God (CAG) was designated as one of the primary targets…”

From Channel New Asia: China surveillance tech seeks to go global

“Chinese firms are omnipresent at a Paris homeland security trade show, capitalizing on their vast experience in developing surveillance systems for Beijing to conquer the global market despite concerns the technology has been used to violate human rights. With 89 out of 1,100 companies demonstrating their wares at the Milipol security trade fair, China is the best represented of the 53 nations present save for host nation France.”

“But contrary to weapons and ammunition on display at other stands, Chinese firms offer non-lethal equipment: Helmets, bullet-proof vests and tactical clothing for special forces or riot troops. Jamming equipment. And cameras, lots of cameras. China is known for its heavy police surveillance, with market research firm IHS Markit estimating it has already deployed 176 million cameras to monitor public spaces across the country. That number is expected to expand to 2.76 billion, or nearly two for each citizen, by 2022…”

From Politico: Germany’s CDU seeks to block Huawei from 5G rollout

“Huawei’s chances of becoming a primary supplier for Germany’s 5G networks diminished on Saturday after the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) moved to block the Chinese company by stipulating that the German parliament have the final say on the matter. The party, ignoring opposition from Chancellor Angela Merkel, passed a motion at its convention that would bar 5G equipment suppliers from countries where the government holds sway over the business world.”

“The authors of the notion made it clear they were targeting Huawei. Critics of the Chinese company warn that using its equipment could expose countries’ communications networks to Chinese surveillance and even sabotage, suggestions Huawei has forcefully denied…”

From The Globe and Mail: Self-confessed Chinese spy spills espionage secrets to Australian government

“A self-confessed Chinese spy has given Australia’s counter-espionage agency inside intelligence on how Beijing conducts its interference operations abroad and revealed the identities of China’s senior military intelligence officers in Hong Kong, media reported. Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters Saturday that the detailed accusations of China infiltrating and disrupting democratic systems in Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan are ‘very disturbing.’”

“The Nine network newspapers reported Chinese defector Wang ‘William’ Liqiang told ASIO — the country’s counter-espionage agency — that he was involved in the kidnapping in 2015 of one of five Hong Kong booksellers suspected of selling dissident materials. The incident has been a reference point for protesters during the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong. He would be the first Chinese intelligence operative to blow his cover.”

“’I have personally been involved and participated in a series of espionage activities,’ Wang reportedly said in a sworn statement to ASIO in October…”

From Reuters: Canada’s use of Huawei 5G would hamper its access to U.S. intelligence: U.S. official

“The U.S. national security adviser urged Canada on Saturday not to use Huawei 5G technology, saying that doing so would put in jeopardy intelligence sharing with the United States and expose Canadians to being profiled by the Chinese government. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau postponed a decision on whether to use Huawei Technologies Co Ltd 5G network equipment until after the October federal election. He has not commented on the issue since winning the Oct. 21 vote.”

“Intelligence sharing ‘would be impacted if our close allies let the Trojan horse into the city,’ national security adviser Robert O’Brien told reporters at a security conference in Halifax. ‘When they (the Chinese) get Huawei into Canada or into other Western countries, they’re going to know every health record, every banking record, every social media post, they’re going to know everything about every single Canadian,’ he said…”

From The Detroit News: US regulators bar government telecom funds for Huawei, ZTE

“U.S. communications regulators have cut off government funding for equipment from two Chinese companies, citing security threats. The Federal Communications Commission also proposed requiring companies that get government subsidies to rip out any equipment from Huawei and ZTE that they already have in place.”

“It’s the latest action by the U.S. government against Chinese tech and telecom companies. The FCC voted unanimously Friday to bar U.S. telecommunications providers from using government subsidies to buy equipment from Huawei or ZTE. The FCC’s order mostly affects small, rural companies, as larger U.S. carriers do not use equipment from those Chinese companies…”

From The Gallipolis Daily Tribune: Sen. Rob Portman “Our tax dollars shouldn’t go to fuel China’s rise

“When U.S. taxpayers send their hard-earned money to the government, they shouldn’t worry that it’s being used to fuel economic and military growth in China. But that’s exactly what’s happening today. Every year, more than $150 billion in U.S. taxpayer money goes towards cutting-edge research conducted at our excellent network of universities and research institutions, helping us remain the global leader in science and technology.”

“However, based on an eight-month bipartisan investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that I chair, China has worked to exploit our U.S. research systems for their own gain. Our report reveals how the American taxpayer has, in effect, unwittingly footed the bill for research that has gone to China to advance national security and economic interests over the past two decades while our own federal agencies have done little to stop it…”

From Radio Free Asia: Arrest of Medical Staff During Hong Kong University Siege Sparks Furor

“A handful of protesters remained besieged in Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University (Poly U) ahead of district elections on Sunday amid concerns for their health, as an international medical journal hit out in an opinion article at the detention of doctors, paramedics, and first-aid personnel by riot police during the week-long siege. In the U.K.-based medical journal The Lancet, independent medical practitioner Darren Mann–a member of a medical team providing emergency care to injured protesters engaged in violent confrontation with police at Poly U on the night of Nov. 17–hit out at the arrest of healthcare personnel by riot police…”

From the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: China’s Operating Manuals For Mass Internment And Arrest By Algorithm

“A new leak of highly classified Chinese government documents has uncovered the operations manual for running the mass detention camps in Xinjiang and exposed the mechanics of the region’s Orwellian system of mass surveillance and ‘predictive policing.’”

“The China Cables, obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, include a classified list of guidelines, personally approved by the region’s top security chief, that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities. The leak also features previously undisclosed intelligence briefings that reveal, in the government’s own words, how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention…”

Click on the image below to view the China Cables in full.

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