A China of Citizens
Andrew J. Nathan, FOREIGN AFFAIRS
There have been many attempts at democratic change in China, but the most creative approach to dissent, however, was perhaps that of a young lawyer, Xu Zhiyong. In 2013, Xu was arrested and later sentenced to four years in prison for his role in leading the New Citizens’ Movement. This movement was based on his bold idea to take seriously the rights and duties of citizenship enshrined in Chapter II of China’s constitution, entitled “The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens,” which lays out extensive rights and duties for all who hold Chinese nationality.
Chinese Police Detain Netizens For “Insulting” Officers Online
RADIO FREE ASIA
Chinese police have detained a number of people in recent weeks for making online comments said to be “insulting” to police officers online. Police in the southwestern region of Guangxi said they had detained a man surnamed Jiang on Monday who posted under the handle “Changchun Social Sister” on the comments section of a social media post about a police officer in the northeastern city of Harbin who died in the course of his duty. According to the city police department in Guangxi’s Nanning, Jiang had “confessed to insulting a police officer” after he commented on the story.
Cubans Stranded in Mexico Due to “Wet Foot” Policy Demise Refuse to Return
Scores of Cubans meet every day at the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge in Nuevo Laredo on the US border after an odyssey through 10 countries, never knowing if they would achieve their dream of entering the United States, but with the conviction that returning to the island is “not an option.” As more groups of Cubans keep arriving to Nuevo Laredo, approximately 400 are staying at “migrant houses” set up by several churches. More than 11,000 Cubans arrived in Mexico during the last three months of 2016.
Cuba Should Release Political Prisoner Dr. Eduardo Cardet
SUNSHINE STATE NEWS
During a Senate floor speech on Tuesday night, US Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., highlighted the plight of Cuban dissident Dr. Eduardo Cardet, who was beaten and imprisoned for opposing the Castro regime. Rubio’s remarks are part of his #expressionNOToppression initiative, which highlights human rights abuses around the world.
US Defense Secretary Mattis: Only North Korea Need Fear Missile Defense
Brad Lendon, CNN
New US defense secretary James Mattis has defended the planned deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea, saying only North Korea had anything to fear from it. After arriving at the Osan Air Base outside Seoul, Mattis said Pyongyang’s “provocative behavior” was the only reason the US-developed system was on the agenda.
Russian Activist, Likely Poisoned Before, Hospitalized Again
A private foundation says one of its employees, a prominent Russian opposition activist, has been hospitalized after a sudden illness reminiscent of a poisoning he suffered two years earlier. Open Russia, run by exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said in a statement on Thursday that Vladimir Kara-Murza was hospitalized earlier in the day after becoming ill. Kara-Murza, a journalist and a close associate of the murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, nearly died when he suffered sudden kidney failure in May 2015.
Ukrainian Journalist Ordered Out of Belarus Due to Russia Ban
RADIO FREE EUROPE
Authorities in Belarus have detained Ukrainian journalist Vitaliy Sizov and ordered him to leave the country due to the fact that he was barred from entering Russia. He told RFE/RL that Belarusian police forcibly removed him from his hotel and ordered him to leave the country within 24 hours. “They told me Russia had barred me from entering its territory until 2021,” Sizov said. “Because Russia and Belarus are members of a union state I cannot be on the Belarusian territory either, they said.”
Trump Associate Denies Being Middle Man for Russia
Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, ABC NEWS
Another associate of Donald Trump has come forward to deny allegations contained in a 35 page dossier with unsubstantiated allegations that Russia and the Trump campaign were in cahoots during the US presidential election. In an interview with ABC News, one-time Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page, said that he never met with key Russian officials on Trump’s behalf. “It would have been an honor to meet [Russian oil executive and Putin ally] Igor Ivanovich [Sechin], but I never had that opportunity,” said Page, an energy executive who traveled extensively in Russia.
Ukraine: US Will Never Accept Russia’s Annexation of Crimea
Ukraine’s UN envoy says US Ambassador Nikki Haley has confirmed the Trump administration fully supports his country’s territorial integrity and independence and will never accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Volodymyr Yelchenko told reporters Wednesday that Haley also confirmed in their “very good” recent meeting that the US is “completely against the way Russia is dealing with the eastern part of Ukraine.”