Alarm In Taiwan Over Triad Ties To Pro-China Groups
Edward White, The Financial Times
Chang An-le is accustomed to being on the wrong side of the law. The former gangster, known as the White Wolf, spent 17 years as a fugitive from Taiwanese justice in mainland China and a decade behind bars in the US on drug-trafficking charges. Now he runs the Chinese Unity Promotion party that backs unification between communist China and democratic Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province. Pro-China organizations are in the spotlight as the island’s authorities investigate alleged Chinese efforts to destabilize Taiwan by funding triad gangs, a move that follows a series of clashes between CUP supporters and pro-independence protestors.
China’s Great Firewall Grows Higher Ahead of Party Congress
China’s internet censors appear to be upping their game when it comes to stopping the country’s more than 730 million netizens from bypassing the Great Firewall, online activists told RFA on Thursday. As the ruling Chinese Communist Party carries out a nationwide security clampdown ahead of its five-yearly national congress in Beijing on Oct. 18, many circumvention tools used to view content and social media on blocked overseas sites seem to be failing, they said. According to a social media post by online free speech activist Xiucai Jianghu, many people in China are increasingly unable to access sites like Twitter and Facebook using virtual private networks, or VPNs.
China Rebuffs Criticism Of Decision To Bar British Activist From Hong Kong
Benjamin Haas and Tom Phillips, The Guardian
China has rebuffed criticism of its decision to bar a prominent British activist from Hong Kong, declaring itself unshakably opposed to foreign interference in the former colony’s affairs. Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said decisions about who was allowed to enter were a matter of Chinese sovereignty. “Hong Kong has been back under Chinese control since 1997 so its affairs are an entirely domestic matter. The Chinese government is absolutely opposed to any foreign governments, organizations or individuals interfering with Chinese domestic affairs in any way. Our stance on this is unshakable,” Hua told reporters in Beijing.
China Threatens US Congress For Crossing Its “Red Line” On Taiwan
Josh Rogin, The Washington Post
China has rebuffed criticism of its decision to bar a prominent British activist from Hong Kong, declaring itself unshakably opposed to foreign interference in the former colony’s affairs. “Hong Kong has been back under Chinese control since 1997 so its affairs are an entirely domestic matter,” said Hua Chunying. “The Chinese government is absolutely opposed to any foreign governments, organisations or individuals interfering with Chinese domestic affairs in any way. Our stance on this is unshakable,” Hua told reporters in Beijing.
Dangerous Sound? Listen To What Americans Heard In Cuba Attacks
Josh Lederman and Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press
It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets. A high-pitched whine, but from what? It seems to undulate, even writhe. Listen closely: There are multiple, distinct tones that sound to some like they’re colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect. The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some U.S. Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks. The recording, released Thursday by the AP, is the first disseminated publicly of the many taken in Cuba of mysterious sounds that led investigators initially to suspect a sonic weapon.
Inside North Korea And Feeling The Drums Of War
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
“He broke the law in our country,” said Ri Yong-pil, a senior Foreign Ministry official, adding that Otto Warmbier was returned (a week before his death) as a “humanitarian” act. Another senior ministry official, Choe Kang-il, insisted that North Korea had provided excellent care and spent “all the money for nursing” him. Something in me snapped. I asked how North Koreans could possibly boast about their spending on a young man when he was in a coma only because of them. Choe replied just as hotly that Warmbier had not been mistreated and was in fine condition when he was sent back home. “The US administration, or some people with a certain intention, let him die,” Choe said. “This must be intended to foster and spread anticommunist hatred within America.”
Months After Violent Protests, Venezuelan Election Tests Opposition To Maduro
Cody Weddle, The Miami Herald
While Maduro remains unpopular, with approval ratings hovering just over 20 percent, apathy and disappointment within the opposition’s base could play to his advantage. Some doubt that winning the governorships will result in real change, especially at the national level. Instead, they expect the government and its compliant supreme court to act as it did when the opposition won overwhelmingly in 2015 parliamentary elections. The courts overturned nearly all substantive legislation passed by the new legislature.
Rights Group Demands Release of Vietnam’s Mother Mushroom on Anniversary of Arrest
Vietnam should “immediately and unconditionally” free a blogger sentenced to prison for “disseminating anti-state propaganda” and end the persecution of other activists targeted under the vaguely-worded criminal act, a rights group said on the one-year anniversary of her jailing. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh—also known by her blogger handle Me Nam, or Mother Mushroom—was arrested on Oct. 10, 2016. In marking the year since she was taken into custody by police, Sweden-based Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) called 38-year-old Quynh’s sentence “politically motivated.”