Report: China’s unofficial ‘police stations’ operating under the radar in London, other parts of the world
- Spain-based nonprofit Safeguard Defenders released a report on Sept. 12 accusing China of setting up unofficial police stations in London and other parts of the world.
- According to the report, China has set up 54 “overseas police service centers” worldwide operated by Chinese community groups associated with the Chinese Communist Party.
- The centers, dubbed the “110 overseas service stations” after the country’s police emergency phone number, provide assistance to Chinese nationals residing abroad in handling paperwork.
- The growing number of such informal police stations comes amid accusations that Beijing has been harassing political dissidents living abroad.
- “In general, these stations have both a good and a bad purpose,” Safeguard Defenders Director Peter Dahlin was quoted as saying. “They are there to help say Chinese tourists who get into trouble, they can act as a liaison with the local police, they can help out, basically. The problem is they are not properly registered as [agents for the police] in these different countries.”
- So far, 36 stations have been built in 16 European countries, including France, Spain, Britain and Germany, while the rest can be found in the Americas, Asia and Africa.
Informal police stations operated by Chinese community groups associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have sprouted in London, a new report claims.
China has reportedly set up 54 “overseas police service centers” worldwide as part of its growing international network of CCP-backed agencies built in recent years, according to Spain-based nonprofit Safeguard Defenders.
- China is reportedly facing action from some countries in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) following a recent report that accused it of “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
- Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of attempting to block the report’s publication.
- The debate on holding China accountable for its alleged abuses reportedly intensified as the HRC opened a new term on Monday.
China is reportedly facing a collective response from member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) after the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) concluded that Beijing has committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
The violations, which are seen as potential crimes against humanity, are detailed in a long-awaited report released on Aug. 31. Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of working to block its publication.
Envoys from Japan, S. Korea, US commit to stronger security ties amid fears of N. Korean nuclear test
- On Wednesday, a trilateral meeting in Tokyo attended by envoys from Japan, the United States and South Korea resulted in an agreement to strengthen security ties between the nations amid fears of potential nuclear tests from North Korea.
- The concerns stem from the alarming number of missile launches that North Korea has conducted this year.
- "North Korea is continuing and even accelerating its nuclear and missile capabilities, and there is a looming chance of further provocation, including a nuclear test," said Japanese Foreign Ministry's Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Funakoshi Takehiro. "At the same time, we remain open to entertaining dialogue with North Korea."
- “Our bottom line has not changed,” the U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK Ambassador Sung Kim said. “Our goal remains a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Senior officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea have committed to strengthening security ties between the nations amid fears of potential nuclear tests from North Korea.
The agreement was made in Tokyo on Wednesday during a trilateral meeting hosted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Funakoshi Takehiro.
- The United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of suspending Russia’s membership on Thursday in a vote of 93 nations in favor and 24 against.
- China was among the countries to vote against the resolution and called it an act of “politicization.”
- Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun stated that while the “images of civilian deaths in Bucha” were “disturbing,” diplomacy was the “only way out” of the Ukrainian Crisis.
- Jun also appeared to be referring to the U.S. when he accused “individual countries” of “talking loudly of peace” but being “obsessed with creating bloc confrontations.”
- After the passing of the resolution, Deputy Permanent Representative Kuzmin announced that Russia had already decided to quit the Council and claimed it was monopolized by a group of states who use it for their own ends.
- Russia is the second country to have its Human Rights Council membership stripped, after Libya in 2011.
China called the United Nations’ decision to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council “dangerous” and an act of “politicization.”
The UN General Assembly voted in favor of suspending Russia’s membership on Thursday. The resolution required a two-thirds majority, and out of the 193 members, 93 nations voted in favor and 24 against.
‘I will fight until the very end’: South Korean WWII sex slavery survivor, 93, demands UN seek justice
- A South Korean woman who was subjected to sexual slavery during World War II is demanding that the United Nations seek justice by asking Japan for a formal apology and acknowledgement of full responsibility.
- As the number of living survivors declines, 93-year-old Lee Yong-soo believes this may be her last hope at getting closure.
- Lee and other international sexual slavery survivors subitted a petition last week to take the issue to the UN’s International Court of Justice.
- Lee first told her story to the world in 1992 and has been fighting for justice ever since, expressing that she will continue to advocate for herself and other victims “until the very end.”
- At the age of 16, Lee was taken from her home and forced into serving as a sex slave for the Japanese Imperial Army while enduring harrowing abuse at a Japanese military brothel in Taiwan.
- Of 239 women who registered with the Seoul government as victims of wartime slavery, only 12 remain alive today.
Lee Yong-soo, a woman who was subjected to sexual slavery during World War II under the Imperial Japanese Army, is demanding that the United Nations (UN) seek justice by asking Japan to formally apologize and take full responsibility.
After being inspired by Korean human rights activist Kim Hak-sun, Lee told her story to the world in 1992. She described having been dragged away from home at 16 and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. Lee faced harrowing torture and abuse at a Japanese military brothel in Taiwan until the end of the war.
Figure skater Alysa Liu, father targeted by Chinese spies over Tiananmen Square involvement, says report
- U.S. figure skater Alysa Liu and her Chinese dissident father, Arthur Liu, were purportedly targeted by a Chinese spying operation in the United States last October, the Department of Justice revealed.
- The FBI informed Arthur Liu of the spying scheme in October 2021, just as Alysa was preparing for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
- A man later identified as Matthew Ziburis, one of the five accused of spying in the U.S., contacted Arthur Liu while posing as an official with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to ask for his and his daughter’s passport numbers.
- Ziburis allegedly threatened Arthur, saying he would delay or deny Alysa’s international travel after the father refused.
- “I didn’t feel good about it. I felt something fishy was going on,” the father said. “From my dealings with the U.S. Figure Skating association, they would never call me on the phone to get copies of our passports. I really cut it short once I realized what he was asking for.”
- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian denied all the allegations on Thursday and called out the U.S. for "making an issue of this out of thin air.”
Olympic figure skater Alysa Liu and her Chinese dissident father Arthur Liu were reportedly targeted by a Chinese spying operation in the United States last year, the Department of Justice revealed on Wednesday.
Speaking to the Associated Press on Wednesday, Arthur Liu said the FBI contacted him about a spying scheme in October 2021. The news came to the family just as his daughter was preparing for her competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. He did not tell her about the issue, however, out of concern it would only distract her.
Fans of Beijing Olympics’ mega-popular panda mascot disappointed after hearing its ‘disgusting’ voice
- After the Olympic mascot’s voice was revealed on a CCTV program, fans of Bing Dwen Dwen have been expressing their disappointment at seeing the beloved panda in a new light.
- During an interview between Bing Dwen Dwen and Chinese freeskier Yang Shuorui, the cute mascot was revealed to have a deep, masculine voice.
- Many fans were taken aback by the unexpected voice and took to social media to express their shock over the reveal.
Beijing’s adorable Olympic panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen finally revealed its voice on an interview aired by CCTV, and many fans are heartbroken.
The round panda, wearing an icy, astronaut-like suit, was designed to embody the idea of “embracing new technologies for a future with infinite possibilities.”
- Skater Hwang Dae-heon won South Korea's first gold medal at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in the men's 1,500-meter skating event on Wednesday.
- In congratulating Hwang, Chinese ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming noted in his statement that the Chinese people’s positive response to the victory shows “true friendship of the two countries' people.”
- The message came a few days after Xing’s office expressed "grave concern" over earlier accusations from South Korea that referees were favoring the Chinese team with biased officiating.
- Hwang had earlier been disqualified, along with fellow Team South Korea athlete Lee June-seo, in a separate event on Monday.
- The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) accused the referees of being “biased and not transparent” and filed a complaint with the International Skating Union (ISU), who rejected the complaint and stood by the referee's decision.
The Chinese ambassador to South Korea congratulated South Korean short-track speed skater Hwang Dae-heon for winning an Olympic gold medal just days after South Korea accused officials of favoring Chinese skaters.
In a statement delivered through his spokesperson on Thursday, Ambassador Xing Haiming said, “With regard to the athlete Hwang Dae-heon’s performance, Chinese people are also positively evaluating it in show of the true friendship of the two countries’ people,” reported Korea Herald.
China denies using Uyghur torchbearer to deflect alleged abuses, says accusations part of ‘smear campaign’
- Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a 20-year-old cross-country skier from Xinjiang, was chosen to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday night.
- After finishing 43rd in her event, the Olympic debutant was barely referred to by Chinese media.
- U.S. envoy to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Yilamujiang’s selection as a torchbearer served as a distraction from abuses against her Uyghur community.
- Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun fired back at the accusation, saying Yilamujiang was chosen, simply because she was a pride of the country.
China is sternly refuting a U.S. allegation that it chose an Uyghur torchbearer for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics to “distract” the public from human rights abuses against the ethnic minority.
Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a 20-year-old cross-country skier from Xinjiang, was chosen as one of the last two torchbearers to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday night. Beside her was Heilongjiang-born Zhao Jiawen, who competes in Nordic combined.
- The 2022 Beijing Olympics are officially underway following visually stunning performances and a symbolic opening ceremony.
- The segment included a snowflake performance bearing the names of every participating country and with snowflakes in the shape of a Chinese knot to represent unity and peace.
- Athletes walked across LED-enabled floors during the Parade of Nations, and the symbolic ceremonial flame was held by two athletes, one of whom is Uyghur.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have kickstarted the Games with a grand opening ceremony that featured fanfare, stunning visuals with LED lights and symbolic performances that embodied themes of youth and peace.
To celebrate the arrival of spring, the opening ceremony began with the performance “Spring Awakening,” which included 400 performers equipped with large LED sticks to mimic the movement of spring willows. The costumes were designed by Chen Peng, a Chinese fashion designer.
SF-born ski star Eileen Gu’s decision to represent China at the 2022 Olympics called ‘opportunistic’
- After representing Team U.S.A. in international competitions, freestyle ski star Eileen Gu announced in 2019 that she will be switching to Team China for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
- Gu rose to immediate stardom by winning World Cup tournaments for the U.S. and then for China in her rookie year.
- Her decision to compete for China at the 2022 Games has drawn criticism from fellow athletes and fans of the sport.
Despite making her intentions known in 2019, freestyle ski star Eileen Gu’s decision to compete for China at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics still continues to spark heated discussions online.
Fellow athletes in the sport have been asking the 18-year-old why she decided to represent a country accused of human rights abuse, reported the New York Post.
Tibetans protest ‘Beijing Olympics: genocide Games’ outside IOC headquarters and Dalai Llama exile home
- Tibetans in different parts of the world held protests against the Beijing Winter Olympics ahead of its commencement on Friday.
- The largest event took place on Thursday in the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Switzerland, involving some 500 demonstrators.
- Protesters condemned the Chinese government for its alleged human rights abuses and demanded a boycott of the Games.
Tibetans in different parts of the world marched in protest against the Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday, calling it a “shame” that the Games would take place in China despite its human rights abuses.
One of the protests involved 500 demonstrators chanting “No rights, no Games” and “Beijing Olympics: genocide Games” and took place outside the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Loten Namling, an artist, led a procession of skis that were painted with the word “freedom,” according to AFP.