Human Rights Lawyers in China Defend Hundreds of Falun Gong Practitioners This Year
Frank Fang, Epoch Times
China’s human rights lawyers, despite suppression, are continuing to take on the toughest cases, defending Falun Gong practitioners. According to the latest statistics from Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that tracks the persecution of Falun Gong in China, Chinese lawyers have represented over 350 Falun Gong adherents in court and argued for their innocence, since the beginning of the year to the end of October. In October alone, lawyers represented 31 practitioners facing trial.
Inside China’s Big Tech Conference, New Ways to Track Citizens
Paul Mozur, NYT
In a demonstration worthy of both wonder and worry, a Chinese facial recognition company showed how its technology could quickly identify and describe people. The technology enabling a full techno-police state was on hand, giving a glimpse into how new advances in things like artificial intelligence and facial recognition can be used to track citizens — and how they have become widely accepted here.
Soap-Box Orator Preaches Human Rights to Shoppers in China’s Chongqing
A political activist in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing took to the streets on Tuesday to deliver soap-box-style public orations praising the concept of universal human rights, a concept that has been rejected by the ruling Chinese Communist Party as a Western liberal import unsuited to China. “I told them that human rights was a higher principle than national sovereignty, and that a lot of people in China have never heard of human rights,” he said. “But once you have human rights, you have everything,” Han Liang told the crowd.
Sean Kilpatrick, Globe & Mail
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lauded the achievements of his second official visit to China, and his efforts to raise human-rights concerns, after the widely anticipated launch of trade talks with Beijing was delayed by further haggling. Mr. Trudeau, for his part, defended the effort he has put into raising human-rights concerns with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. At least five Canadians are in detention in China under controversial circumstances in cases that critics say are unreasonable imprisonment. “I brought them up last night – human rights and consular cases – with Premier Li and I will certainly be addressing those issues with President Xi,” he said of a planned dinner with the head of state.
Katharine Murphy, The Guardian
China has declared it does not interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries and Beijing has urged the Turnbull government to “discard prejudice” and deepen the bilateral relationship rather than pursue measures aimed at shoring up Australia from the risks of foreign interference. The sharp comments from a foreign ministry spokesman come in response to the Turnbull government’s decision to press ahead with a crackdown on foreign interference, with the introduction of legislation aiming to counter incidences of espionage and improper foreign influence within Australia’s political system.
Hmong Face Military In Laos Jungle In Fallout From Vietnam War
Jan van der Made, Radio France Internationale
Deep in the jungle in Laos, a small group of people tries to survive against all odds. Surrounded by Lao military camps, men, women and children keep themselves alive by eating roots and leaves and an occasional gibbon. They live in makeshift tents and are always on the move. Recently the shelling has intensified. But their calls for help fall on deaf ears. “There is more heavy artillery, they are launching 60mm and 80 mm rounds. It becomes very difficult to find food in the area.” This was the last update from Chong Lor Her, the leader of the Hmong Chaofa group that hides in the jungle in Xaishumboun Province, east of Vientiane.
North Korea’s Rich Investigated For Unlawful Acts
Wealthy North Koreans protected in the past by their ties to ruling party officials are falling under new scrutiny over reported lawbreaking, with local authorities now ordered to conduct investigations into their assets and activities, sources say. The order, originating with national leader Kim Jong Un and sent out to provincial officials for implementation, has already netted one well-known and influential figure in North Hamgyong province, a local source told RFA’s Korean Service.
Holly Ellyatt, Eunice Yoon, and Geoff Cutmore, CNBC
North Korea is the biggest threat to humankind right now and China and the U.S. can stop it, the U.S. ambassador to China told CNBC. “What’s happening with (North Korea’s) illegal and aggressive development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles … This is the biggest threat to humankind right now,” Ambassador Terry Branstad told CNBC in Beijing on Wednesday. While U.S. Ambassador Branstad praised China for adopting United Nations Security Council motions for more sanctions to be imposed on North Korea, following yet another ballistic missile test by the nation last week, he said more could be done.
Russia “Brazenly Assaulting Foundations Of Western Democracy”
Today, the Russian government is brazenly assaulting the foundations of Western democracy around the world. Under President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has launched a coordinated attack across many domains—military, political, economic, informational—using a variety of overt and covert means, according to Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and Michael Carpenter. To safeguard its kleptocratic system, the Kremlin has decided to take the fight beyond Russia’s borders to attack what it perceives as the greatest external threat to its survival: Western democracy.
David Filipov, NYT
Russia’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday banned Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from entering its premises, a day after the Russian government declared the organizations “foreign agents.” The 413-1 vote by the Russian State Duma to ban the outlets came as Moscow followed through onits promise to retaliate for similar U.S. actions against the English-language Russian network RT, which Russian leaders characterize as an assault on freedom of the press.
Kelsang Dolma, Yale Daily News
The real face of communism isn’t a playful, hammer-and-sickle-adorned meme about Canada Goose jackets or a picture of a hot young Stalin; it’s a 63 year old monk writhing in agony after setting himself aflame in protest against an oppressive government last week. It is astounding that many of the same liberals who howl for inclusivity are willing to ignore the message that their casual embrace of communism sends to those it has impacted. To promote communism while conveniently ignoring the millions who have been murdered and oppressed in its name is not progressive or entertaining — it is a toxic form of cognitive dissonance. It is a Great Leap Backwards.
Maduro’s Cryptocurrency To Fare No Better Than Venezuela Itself, Analysts Say
Brian Ellsworth, Reuters
Venezuela’s plan to create an oil-backed cryptocurrency faces the same credibility problems that dog the ruling Socialist Party in financial markets and is unlikely to fare any better than the struggling OPEC member itself, investors and technical experts say. Without such confidence, the “petro” would neither help Venezuela raise funds nor help it avoid sanctions levied by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
December 6th, 1956: A fistfight breaks out during the USSR-Hungary water polo match at the Melbourne Summer Olympics. Later called the “blood in the water” match, it was widely interpreted as a metaphor for the 1956 Hungarian Revolution that had been crushed a month earlier.