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The Chinese are Monsters

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
More than 400 pages of internal Chinese government documents obtained by The New York Times show new details on the origins and execution of China’s mass detention of as many as 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominately Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, per The Times.

  • Why it matters: This is "one of the most significant leaks of government papers from inside China’s ruling Communist Party in decades."
"The 403 pages reveal how the demands of top officials, including President Xi Jinping, led to the creation of the indoctrination camps, which have long been shrouded in secrecy," The Times reports.

  • "The documents also show that the government acknowledged internally that the campaign had torn families apart — even as it explained it as a modest job-training effort — and that the program faced unexpected resistance from officials who feared a backlash and economic damage.
The authors are Austin Ramzy, a Hong Kong correspondent, and Chris Buckley a correspondent covering China, where he has lived for more than 20 years.

 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Secret documents reveal how China’s mass detention camps work, including a series of surveillance measures to “prevent escapes” by Uyghurs and other minorities, most of whom are Muslim. The directives also outlined a strategy to rewire the thoughts of detainees and the language they speak. Experts say the new leaks “confirm that this is a form of cultural genocide.”
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Classified directives, leaked via a chain of exiled Uighurs, lay out the Chinese government's strategy for locking up more than 1 million ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime, to rewire their thoughts and language, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: The documents give the most significant description yet of high-tech mass detention in the 21st century.
  • They spell out a vast system that targets, surveils and grades entire ethnicities to forcibly assimilate and subdue them — especially Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic minority of more than 10 million people with their own language and culture.
The six directives, published by news organizations around the world in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, follows a different cache that was revealed by the N.Y. Times 10 days ago.

  • The papers show how Beijing is pioneering a new form of social control using data and artificial intelligence.
Go deeper: Download the original documents + English translations
 
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Meng Wanzhou has taken to WeChat to detail her past year fighting extradition
The Huawei executive wrote on the Chinese social platform that she he has experienced “moments of fear, pain, disappointment, helplessness, torment and struggle” in Canada. Meng also said that “Over the past year, I have also learned to face up to and accept my situation.”
Meng has been living in a $13-million Vancouver home, with bail restrictions limiting her movements and requiring her to wear an ankle bracelet. Her situation is starkly different from the two Canadians who have been detained by China and interrogated in what critics call a case of “hostage diplomacy.”
Over the weekend, The Globe detailed the final hours that led to the arrest of Meng at Vancouver’s airport one year ago.
Meanwhile, Australia criticized China over its treatment of a writer who has been detained there for nearly a year, calling on Beijing to release more details about the case.
The Globe’s editorial board writes: “The last thing China wants is a co-ordinated, global effort calling out its abuses. Which means there ought to be just such an effort.”
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Calls are growing for Ottawa to sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials
The pro-democracy group Canadian Friends of Hong Kong is set to send a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today calling on the government to put sanctions on officials implicated in police brutality against protesters. That follows massive demonstrations yesterday where hundreds of thousands took to Hong Kong’s streets.

A pair of Conservative senators are also set to table a motion this week urging Ottawa to impose sanctions “relating to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and of the systematic persecution of minority Muslims in China.” The letter to Trudeau also demands a response over the internment camps where Muslims including Uyghurs are being detained.
China’s ambassador to Canada has warned that any effort at sanctions would prompt “very firm countermeasures” from Beijing.
On Monday, a Chinese official said detainees in China’s forced political indoctrination and skills training centres had “graduated.” The announcement, which was met with skepticism by critics, comes as the U.S. raises pressure on China for its treatment of Muslims amid renewed efforts to complete a trade deal between the world’s pre-eminent economic powers.
 
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
On Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the cases of Kovrig and Spavor have been transferred to prosecutors for “review and prosecution in accordance with the law.” Such trials are usually carried out behind closed doors and convictions are virtually assured.


A year ago, after Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, China arrested the two Canadians and accused them of violating state secrets laws. Authorities have yet to make public any evidence against either man as Meng lives in her Vancouver mansion.

To get a sense of the pair’s living conditions, Globe correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe visited the facilities where they’re being detained.


Spavor, a businessman who brought tourists, artists and athletes to North Korea, has been inside Dandong Detention Centre since May 6. He’s being held in Cell 315 with some 20 others. Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, is being detained 670 kilometres away in a cell with one other inmate.

The Dandong facility is also where Canadian Kevin Garratt was held for 19 months before his release in 2016. Detainees there must pass through a tunnel and seven locked doors before reaching an area situated inside an imposing inner wall ringed with guard towers and razor wire. Garratt said the beds were wooden boards on steel frames covered by thin cotton pads.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case gets under way today

It’s a case that upended Canada’s relations with China and led to what critics called hostage diplomacy through the jailing of two Canadians. A little more than a year after her arrest at Vancouver’s airport, Huawei’s chief financial officer will head to B.C. Supreme Court today for the start of extradition proceedings.
China’s foreign ministry on Monday called on Canadian authorities to immediately set free Ms. Meng. The case could take years to play out, and the stakes are high – both for Meng and for the Trudeau government. Here’s a look at what to expect:


First steps: Meng’s lawyers will argue this week that the fraud charges she faces in the United States would not be a crime here because the case is linked to alleged violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran – the type of sanctions Canada dropped in 2016. If the Attorney-General’s department successfully defends against this, the next hearings will be in June.
Meng’s legal team: Despite Huawei’s position as the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, lead lawyer Richard Peck doesn’t use a cellphone. The 71-year-old is widely seen as the dean of British Columbia’s criminal-defence bar, Sean Fine writes. Expect a “low-key but very effective” style rooted in facts and reason, one lawyer said.
The stakes: The case is “definitely a defining moment in the bilateral relationship” with China, says Lynette Ong, a professor at the University of Toronto. Attorney-General David Lametti could opt to intervene to release Meng, but critics say that would send a message that the rule of law in Canada is no different from China’s.
Our editorial board’s view: “Washington had every reason to expect that Canada would honour an extradition request. But Ottawa had every reason to expect the U.S. to stand up against an attack on an ally, and on the American-led international order. Washington’s abdication has left Canada high and dry.”
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Meng’s extradition proceedings continued yesterday with the B.C. Supreme Court judge presiding over the case indicating she was struggling with aspects of Meng’s defence: that the offence she is accused of in the United States is not a crime in Canada.
The judge and Meng’s lawyer “were communicating at odds with one another," said Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, who was watching from the public gallery. A key question, he said, is whether Canada would become a sanctuary for those who violate foreign laws and enter Canada without the possibility of extradition.
Meanwhile, a woman who joined a group protesting for Meng’s release says she is an actor who was paid to stand outside the B.C. Supreme Court. Julia Hackstaff said she was duped into protesting under the guise of a $100 paid acting gig.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Prosecutors defended a U.S. extradition request for Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on Wednesday, and argued Meng’s alleged bank fraud is at the heart of the case – a pointed counter to her defence team’s argument that “double criminality” is the heart of the extradition case. Prosecutor Robert Frater said Meng was arrested on charges of bank fraud, which is a crime in both countries, and not because of U.S. allegations she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. On Monday and Tuesday, Meng’s legal team argued the case is really about a violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which they argue can not be prosecuted in Canada because Canada has no economic sanctions against Iran.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is inching toward a decision that could profoundly harm the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States under President Trump.

Driving the news: Johnson is expected to decide, as soon as this week, whether to defy Trump's request that he ban Chinese technology giant Huawei from the U.K.'s 5G wireless network.

  • Johnson's decision comes after repeated private and public warnings from Trump and senior administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser Robert O'Brien, U.S. officials tell Axios.
Behind the scenes: "This is a highly consequential decision that the British prime minister's going to be making," a senior Trump administration official told me in a phone interview on Saturday.

  • "Not only in terms of their relationship with the United States, but first and foremost for their own citizens," added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive diplomacy still happening across the Atlantic.
  • "People are going to be a bit shaken by the U.K.'s judgment if they make this decision."
Why it matters: The Huawei debate — which may seem abstract to many Americans — has become one of the most urgent foreign policy priorities of the Trump administration and one of the more serious tests of the U.S.-U.K. relationship in recent times.

  • It could ultimately lead to the U.S. government curtailing the intelligence it shares with its closest ally, U.S. officials told Axios.
  • Some British officials have countered that, with severe restrictions, it's possible to safely include Huawei equipment in a 5G network.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been a leading voice, globally, in warning about the risks of allowing the Chinese company to embed itself in Western mobile networks.

  • Turnbull told me in a phone interview on Saturday that he shared his assessment of Huawei with the Trump administration in early 2017. (Australia is part of America's most important intelligence-sharing alliance, the "Five Eyes.")
  • Turnbull said he spent a lot of time personally investigating the subject in consultation with Five Eyes partners.
  • "To be honest with you, I'm surprised that the U.K. is taking the approach it is," Turnbull said. "The ability to mitigate the risk is very, very questionable."
The big picture: The battle over Huawei is what a "tech Cold War" begins to look like.

  • In recent remarks that received surprisingly little attention in the Western press given their implications, Trump's deputy national security adviser, Matthew Pottinger, used a revealing analogy to describe the Trump administration's attitude toward Huawei.
  • At the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Jan. 16, Pottinger said: "Can you imagine a situation where, in the '80s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher have a conversation and they say, 'You know, I think we should have the KGB come and build all of our telecommunications and computer network systems because they're offering a great discount.'"
Between the lines: 5G mobile networks will allow humans and machines to communicate at unfathomable speeds. When people talk about the Internet of Things, they are referring to a world in which everything from driverless cars to home appliances to hospital equipment will be connected and constantly exchanging data.

  • "When you're talking about 5G, everything will become critical infrastructure," said the senior Trump official.
 
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