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The Chinese are Monsters

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been granted bail by a B.C. judge as she awaits an extradition hearing
Meng has been released on $10-million bail and must wear a GPS ankle-bracelet aimed at keeping her in or near Vancouver and away from its airport. She will be under 24/7 surveillance by a security company, with a mandated 11 p.m. curfew. The U.S. has until the start of February to file for extraditions on charges of fraud, which she allegedly committed by lying to several banks about her company’s activities in Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, said he would intervene in the case if it would serve national security interests or help the U.S. close a trade deal with China.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
The massive cyberattack on Marriott Hotels that affected 500 million users last month is being linked to Chinese hackers who work for the military and intelligence service. The breach, which was discovered in September, had been going on since 2014. Credit card info, birth dates, itineraries, and passport numbers of hotel guests were stolen. The hackers are suspected of working on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security. This discovery comes amidst already frosty trade relations between China and the U.S. and the recent arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou. Canadian customers have launched three class-action lawsuitsagainst Marriott and its Starwood brands, accusing the company of negligence.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Canada’s Ambassador to China, John McCallum, met with Michael Kovrig today. Mr. Kovrig is the former Canadian diplomat Chinese authorities arrested earlier this week on suspicion of “engaging in activities that endanger the national security” of China. Mr. McCallum did not provide any details of the visit, including any information on Mr. Kovrig’s condition. Global Affairs Canada also had no new information on a second detained Canadian, entrepreneur Michael Spavor. The arrests appear to be reprisals for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in early December.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan held talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis in Washington today that will focus on China’s detention of the two Canadians. Initially, the talks were going to focus on more than just China, including the war in Yemen and Russian aggression in Ukraine, but The Globe and Mail has reported that the focus has now shifted. One thing that wasn’t certain is if Ms. Freeland intended to raise concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he might use Ms. Meng as a bargaining chip in the U.S.-China trade war. Ms. Freeland told reporters on Wednesday that it was “quite obvious” any foreign country requesting extradition should ensure that “the process is not politicized.” During the meeting, Mr. Pompeo condemned the arrestof the two Canadians.

In China, Canadian expats are keeping their heads down. Nathan VanderKlippe, The Globe’s Asia correspondent who’s based in Beijing, has interviewed several Canadians who say they’ve changed routines in order to avoid attention. While the federal government has said relations are still relatively normal, this morning Tourism Minister Mélanie Joly cancelled her trip to Beijing next week, some Canadians fearing retribution have taken early vacations or established emergency contacts.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Five Eyes spy chiefs warned Trudeau twice about the national-security risk from Huawei

The Prime Minister met with directors from the intelligence network in April and July − months before Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive derailed Ottawa’s relations with Beijing (for subscribers). Sources say the spy chiefs in Five Eyes − which is made up of Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand − stressed that their countries cannot become dependent upon Huawei’s 5G technology because they view the company as beholden to the Chinese state.

Trudeau is now facing the decision of whether to follow most Five Eyes allies in barring Huawei equipment from being used for 5G technology. Going through with that would likely further anger China at a time when it is already upset over Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest. Beijing has detained two Canadians since the Meng incident. Canada was finally granted consular access to businessman Michael Spavor after six days. It also took four days to receive access to former diplomat Michael Kovrig. In contrast, Canada granted China immediate consular access to Meng.

Here’s Campbell Clark’s view on Ottawa’s ticking Huawei clock: “There will be a deep temptation to delay the Huawei decision for months, in the hope Chinese furor over Meng’s case will die down. But Meng’s extradition case could drag on for years, keeping Canada-China relations in the deep freeze – unless a judge quashes her extradition.”

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
China detains third Canadian; Trudeau says it does not appear to be retaliation for Huawei CFO’s arrest

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the detention of a third Canadian in China does not appear to be linked to two other Canadians detained last week, addressing concerns that the latest case is in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou earlier this month (Steven Chase and Michelle Zilio, for subscribers). The third Canadian has not been identified.

The news comes after the detentions of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor in China last week, days after Beijing warned Canada could face “serious consequences” over the high-profile arrest of Ms. Meng. The arrestwas requested by U.S. authorities who are seeking her extraditionfor an alleged fraud related to violating trade sanctions against Iran, which she denies
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Donald Trump is considering an executive order to bar U.S. firms from using Huawei and ZTE equipment

The order, which could be issued as early as next month, would be the latest step to cut Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE out of the U.S. market over national-security concerns. The U.S. government is already blocked from using Huawei and ZTE equipment, and the big wireless carriers there have cut ties with Huawei in particular. But small rural carriers have relied on Huawei and ZTE equipment because they tend to be less expensive. They could face the expensive prospect of ripping out existing equipment without compensation.

The Canadian government is still weighing any decisions about whether to bar Huawei from providing equipment for 5G technology.


Staff member
From 'rice bunny' to 'back up the car': China's year of censorship

Lily Kuo

Mon 31 Dec 2018 02.00 GMT

Social media companies have helped the internet crackdown, promising to police ‘harmful information’. Illustration: Getty/Guardian Design Team
China stepped up its campaign in 2018 to control what news and information its citizens can see.

While censors continued heavyhanded control for any content deemed dangerous for social stability, including Peppa Pig videos and the letter “n”, regulators also deployed more sophisticated methods, going beyond Chinese social media and working harder to curate and shape what Chinese residents consume.

Authorities have been forcing activists on Twitter to delete their accounts and shutting down the social media accounts of university professors. Apolitical content is coming under more scrutiny. In October, almost 10,000 social media accounts for outlets publishing entertainment and celebrity news were closed.

The country’s largest internet companies have also stepped up self-censorship. The messaging platform WeChat issued a statement in November, promising to step up its policing of “politically harmful information” while in April, the boss of Jinri Toutiao, a content aggregator, issued a public apology more similar to self-criticisms in Mao Zedong’s era.

WeChat groups were regularly shut down and users sending messages to friends often found themselves the victim of censorship when their messages appear not to go through.

“WeChat group takedowns and news item deletions are happening with greater regularity across a shifting slate of topics,” said Rui Zhong, a programme assistant at the Kissinger Institute on China.

These were some of the banned phrases this year:

‘Amend the constitution’
At the March annual meeting of China’s national legislature, lawmakers voted almost unanimously to abolish term limits for the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, allowing him to stay in power indefinitely.

In the leadup to the meeting and afterwards, phrases like “amend the constitution”, “I don’t agree”, “proclaiming oneself emperor” and the letter “n” were censored. “Emigration” and “Winnie the Pooh”, a reference to Xi that has been censored off and on over the years, was also blocked.

‘Back up the car’
In September, Chinese economist Wu Xiaoping released a controversial commentary arguing that the utility of the country’s private sector had been exhausted and such companies should now step aside.

Commentators quickly criticised Wu’s proposal as “driving history backwards” to a time of a command economy. As a result, the term “back up the car” was also censored.

In addition to domestic issues, Chinese regulators also tried to limit how much the US-China trade war was discussed, and censored certain types of articles and comments on US vice-president Mike Pence’s polemical speech on China, and the arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

“Censorship focus shifted from local issues to China’s global image, foreign affairs and economy,” said King-wa Fu, head of Weiboscope and WeChatscope at Hong Kong University’s School of Journalism and media studies, a project analysing Chinese censorship.

‘Rice bunny’
In January, a woman named Luo Xixi published allegations against a professor who forced himself on her when she was a student 12 years ago. Inspired by her account and the subsequent firing of the professor, other women began posting under the hashtag #MeToo or in Chinese version, woyeshi #我也是 .

When that phrase was censored, internet users began using a homonym mitu #米兔 or “rice bunny’. That too was blocked. Still the movement expanded and has led to revelations against professors, journalists, heads of NGOs, the head of a large Buddhist monastery and a well-known CCTV host.

‘Quangong carbon leakage’
In November, officials in Quanggang in the southern Fujian province reported a spillage of C9, a crude oil that is toxic to humans, off the coast of Fujian.

Local residents posted photos and accounts online of residents being sent to the hospital, arguing that the leak was more serious than officials claimed. Internet searches for “Xiamen Quangong carbon leakage” were blocked and video and posts related to the spill were deleted.

Officials initially reported that only seven tonnes of the chemical were dumped into the water. At a press conference later that month authorities admitted that almost 70 tonnes had been spilled.

from the Guardian

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Consular officials meet with Canadian businessman detained in China

Canadian consular officials in China visited detained Canadian Michael Spavor today, but provided no further details on how he is being treated by Chinese authorities, Robert Fife and Michelle Zilio write.

Entrepreneur Mr. Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were arrested by Chinese security officers last month in what appears to be reprisal for Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. officials.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump, urging him to maintain pressure on Beijing to release the two Canadians and to leave the U.S. extradition request of Ms. Meng to the courts. He made the call on the first day China and the U.S. held face-to-face trade talks since agreeing on Dec. 1 to a 90-day truce in their trade war.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows that Canadians support Ottawa’s decision to arrest Ms. Meng.

The case against her centres on Huawei’s suspected ties to two obscure companies: telecom equipment seller Skycom Tech, which operated in Tehran, and Skycom’s owner, a holding company registered in Mauritius, Canicula Holdings

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
These incidents appears to be China’s apparent reprisal against Canada in an effort to allow Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to return home. The first retaliatory move was the detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. And this week, a Chinese court sentenced Canadian Robert Schellenberg to death on drug-trafficking charges.

Schellenberg’s case has sparked a debateinside China’s legal community about “the suspicion that the judiciary in China is merely a servant of politics,” according to Zhang Jianwei, a professor at the country’s prestigious Tsinghua University.

U.S. prosecutors, meanwhile, launched another criminal investigation into Huawei – this time for allegedly stealing trade secrets. A lawsuit argues that two Huawei employees stole information related to T-Mobile’s smartphone-testing robot.
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
China’s ambassador is warning of ‘repercussions’ if Canada bars Huawei from 5G

Lu Shaye also called Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou a “backstabbing” betrayal of its relationship with China. And he upped the ante as Canada weighs whether to follow the U.S. and other allies in barring the Chinese firm from supplying equipment for next-generation 5G mobile networks over espionage concerns.

“I hope Canadian officials and relevant authorities and bodies will make a wise decision on this issue. But if the Canadian government does ban Huawei from participating in the 5G networks … I believe there will be repercussions,” Lu said without elaborating on how China would retaliate.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wouldn’t say when Ottawa will decide on Huawei’s status for 5G, but noted that the matter is “being studied carefully by our security officials and by the government and is under serious consideration.”

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
China is mistreating Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, McCallum told MPs

The two Canadians are being kept in prison cells where the lights are on 24 hours a day, Canada’s ambassador to China John McCallum told a closed-door foreign-relations committee. Authorities are alsointerrogating both menfor up to four hours a day with no access to a lawyer, sources said. Consular officials are only allowed to visit them only once a month for half an hour and those conversations are being monitored.

The tensions between the two countries have upended Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plans for closer ties with China, and Canada’s business community is warning of a chill that could see multimillion-dollar deals scrapped or delayed.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
More than 100 scholars, former diplomats call on China to release detained Canadians

More than 100 top academics and former diplomats have called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to release two Canadians detained in what has become a heated dispute over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Nathan VanderKlippe writes.

By seizing Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor days after the Dec. 1 arrest of Ms. Meng at the request of U.S. officials, Chinese authorities have sent a message that forging cross-border connections and seeking the exchange of ideas “is unwelcome and even risky in China,” according to an open letter signed by 115 people from 18 countries.

This comes days after John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, informed members of parliament that Chinese authorities are mistreating Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor, holding them in prison cells with the lights on 24 hours and day and subjecting them to lengthy interrogations.

Separately, the Chinese government appears to be distancing itself from remarks made by its ambassador to Canada, saying Beijing has no plans to retaliate against Ottawa if it blocks the installation of fifth-generation cellular technology made by Huawei.

Opinion: For the security of Canadians, Huawei should be banned from our 5G networks, former national security adviser Richard Fadden argues: “If the current brouhaha between Canada and China holds a lesson for Canadians, it is that China is willing to take extreme measures to guard its national interests.”

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Extradition from Canada to proceed on request by US ...

The U.S. will proceed with its request to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. confirmed that Washington is going forward with its request over allegations of banking fraud related to violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Meng is currently living in Vancouver while out on $10-million bail. Her arrest appeared to spark retaliation from China, which has detained two Canadians and sentenced a third to death.

"We don’t like that it is our citizens who are being punished,” Ambassador David MacNaughton said. "[The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are.”

China issued fresh demands Tuesday that the U.S. abandon its request for the extradition.

MacNaughton’s comments follow the publication of an open letter signed by 143 academics and former diplomats who called on China’s President Xi Jinping to release Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Authorities have sent a message that forging cross-border connections and seeking the exchange of ideas “is unwelcome and even risky in China,” they write.

In a heated responseTuesday, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused the letter’s signatories — which include some of the world’s top China scholars and two former national foreign ministers — of “deliberately attempting to arouse fear,” and shading the truth.

How the extradition process works: The U.S. must formally file the Meng request by Jan. 30. After it’s received, Canadian federal lawyers must determine within 30 days whether an extradition hearing will be held, though they can’t deny a hearing if the U.S. request complies with treaty requirements. A judge will then weigh whether a trial would happen north of the border if the alleged conduct had “occurred in Canada.” There are several opportunities for Meng to appeal decisions, which could mean months or even years before a final answer.
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
China urges U.S. to withdraw extradition request for Meng Wanzhou

Tech giant Huawei denies committing any of the violations cited in U.S. indictments
The Associated Press · Posted: Jan 29, 2019 4:26 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago

China's Foreign Ministry has called on Washington to "stop the unreasonable crackdown" on Huawei and withdraw its request for Canada to extradite a Huawei executive to face charges of lying to banks about possible dealings with Iran.

The U.S. Department of Justice unveiled a 13-count indictment on Monday in New York charging Huawei, two of its affiliates and a top executive, Meng Wanzhou.

The charges include bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. A separate case filed in Washington state charges Huawei with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1. Prosecutors allege she committed fraud by misleading American banks about Huawei's business deals in Iran, conducted via a front company in Hong Kong.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, complained that Washington "has shown disregard for the stern representations" from Beijing over the case of Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer.

"We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw the arrest warrant against Miss Meng Wanzhou and stop making such kinds of extradition requests," Geng said.

Meng is out on bail in Vancouver and is due in court Tuesday as she awaits extradition proceedings.

China will "firmly defend" its companies, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement. It gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate for the charges against Huawei, China's first global tech brand.

"We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei," said the statement, which was read on state TV. It said Beijing will defend the "lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies" but gave no details.

'Fair and just operations'
Huawei is the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies.

The tech company denies committing any of the violations cited in a U.S. indictment that accuses the company of stealing technology, violating trade sanctions and lying to banks.

The charges unsealed Monday are the most serious allegations yet against Huawei, which has spent a decade battling U.S. accusations that it is a front for Chinese spying and a security risk.

John McCallum, Canada's ambassador to China, was fired over the weekend after he was quoted telling a gathering of Chinese-language journalists in Toronto that he thought Meng had a strong case to fight extradition to the U.S. and listed several arguments he thought could help her with her case.

Huawei says it serves 45 of the 50 biggest global telecom carriers and forecasts its 2018 global revenue should exceed $100 billion US for the first time despite the tension with Washington.

Huawei said U.S. prosecutors rejected a request to discuss the investigation following Meng's arrest. It also noted the allegations in the trade secrets charge were the subject of a U.S. civil lawsuit that already has been settled.

The latest charges could dim prospects for U.S.-Chinese trade talks due to start Wednesday in Washington.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
The U.S. is escalating its fight against Chinese espionage

A day after two indictments of technology giant Huawei, chiefs of U.S. spy agencies are warning that China represents the single largest espionage threat to the country. Despite Washington’s urging to bar Huawei from 5G cellular networks, Ottawa is signalling that it won’t accelerate its decision: “This is not about rushing a decision because of political pressure. This is about making sure we do what’s in the best interests of Canadians,” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said.

Andrew Willis writes that “it’s clear the Liberal government would be taking a political gamble if it allowed the 5G to happen in Canada with Huawei gear. It’s far less clear how Telus and BCE, both currently significant customers of the Chinese company, will cope with life after Huawei.” (for subscribers)

Meanwhile, Canada has received the U.S. request to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, but the complex process could take years to reach a final resolution. “She’s confident in her innocence and in the justice system,” her lawyer David Martin said after a court appearance to make a minor change to Meng’s bail conditions.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
American DNA expertise helps China crack down
"Chinese authoritiesturned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control," the N.Y. Times Sui-Lee Wee reports:

  • "China wants to make the country’s Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, more subservient to the Communist Party."
  • "Collecting genetic material is a key part of China’s campaign ... [A] DNA database could be used to chase down any Uighurs who resist conforming."
"cientists affiliated with China’s police used equipment made by [Massachusetts-based] Thermo Fisher [and] relied on genetic material from people around the world that was provided by Kenneth Kidd," a Yale geneticist.

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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
New era of automated racism

"How China Turned a City Into a Prison" (By permission of The New York Times)
What's new: "In a major ethical leap for the tech world, Chinese start-ups have built algorithms that the government uses to track members of a largely Muslim minority group," the N.Y Times' Paul Mozur writes.

  • "The facial recognition technology, which is integrated into China’s rapidly expanding networks of surveillance cameras, looks exclusively for Uighurs based on their appearance and keeps records of their comings and goings."
  • A twist: "The A.I. companies have taken money from major [U.S.] investors."
Why it matters: "The practice makes China a pioneer in applying next-generation technology to watch its people, potentially ushering in a new era of automated racism."
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