Genocide and Cultural Genocide in China

Here is my latest on China’s ongoing genocide — explaining how it’s really both genocide, according to the UN Convention, and cultural genocide — including the mass assault on Uyghur and other ethnic academics, intellectuals, and artists — and also, on the important potential of the ICC in prosecuting the perpetrators:

Genocide and Cultural Genocide in China.” By Magnus Fiskesjö. YetAgain [UK], June 28, 2022.

Magnus Fiskesjö <magnus.fiskesjo@cornell.edu>

Voices of May

Source: China Digital Times (6/21/22)
VOICES OF MAY: “NO MORE IS THIS THE SHANGHAI WE ONCE KNEW”
Cindy Carter

“Voices of May” is the first in CDT’s monthly “Voices of …” series of viral audio-visual content from pandemic lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities. Inspired by the original audio-visual compilation “Voices of April,” which was the target of intense government and platform censorship, the “Voices of …” series seeks to circumvent censorship by amplifying the voices of Chinese citizens under various forms of lockdown and quarantine. CDT will continue to compile, translate, and publish these videos for as long as Chinese government censors seek to silence them.

Like the “Voices of April” video that inspired it, “Voices of May” begins with a summary of the month’s COVID case-count data and snippets of government press conferences, and segues into a series of audio and visual clips revealing the true experiences of Shanghai residents under lockdown. May’s content includes scenes of Shanghai residents being threatened by police for various minor infractions, students and householders objecting to “hard quarantine” measures such as metal fences or barbed wire, a peek inside a “refugee-camp-style” quarantine facility, a mother begging a hospital to treat her ill daughter, a retired professor denouncing “hygiene theatre,” and citizens wondering why they remain trapped at home despite the announced relaxation of Shanghai’s stringent citywide pandemic measures.

The eight-minute “Voices of May” video on CDT’s YouTube Channel features both Chinese and English subtitles.

China’s expanding surveillance state

Source: NYT (6/21/22)
Four Takeaways From a Times Investigation Into China’s Expanding Surveillance State
查看本文中文版
Times reporters spent over a year combing through government bidding documents that reveal the country’s technological road map to ensure the longevity of its authoritarian rule.
By Isabelle QianMuyi XiaoPaul Mozur and Alexander Cardia

A Times investigation analyzing over 100,000 government bidding documents found that China’s ambition to collect digital and biological data from its citizens is more expansive and invasive than previously known.

China’s ambition to collect a staggering amount of personal data from everyday citizens is more expansive than previously known, a Times investigation has found. Phone-tracking devices are now everywhere. The police are creating some of the largest DNA databases in the world. And the authorities are building upon facial recognition technology to collect voice prints from the general public.

The Times’s Visual Investigations team and reporters in Asia spent over a year analyzing more than a hundred thousand government bidding documents. They call for companies to bid on the contracts to provide surveillance technology, and include product requirements and budget size, and sometimes describe at length the strategic thinking behind the purchases. Chinese laws stipulate that agencies must keep records of bids and make them public, but in reality the documents are scattered across hard-to-search web pages that are often taken down quickly without notice. ChinaFile, a digital magazine published by the Asia Society, collected the bids and shared them exclusively with The Times. Continue reading

New textbooks claim HK was not a British colony

Source: BBC News (6/15/22)
Hong Kong: New school books claim territory was not a British colony
By Frances Mao, BBC News

A woman carries the Chinese and Hong Kong flags while walking down Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong

IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES: China has long said that Britain’s rule in Hong Kong did not usurp its sovereignty over the territory

New textbooks for Hong Kong schools will state the territory was never a British colony, local media report.

Instead, the books declare the British “only exercised colonial rule” in Hong Kong – a distinction drawn to highlight China’s claims of unbroken sovereignty.

China has always asserted it never gave up sovereignty and its surrender of Hong Kong to the British was due to unfair Opium War treaties in the 1800s.

The UK returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 after ruling for over 150 years.

During its rule, it referred to Hong Kong – a port with a deep harbour that grew into a booming city state, and one of the world’s leading financial centres – as a colony, as well as a dependent territory.

The United Kingdom governed the area from 1841 to 1941, and from 1945 to 1997, after which it was handed back to China. Continue reading

Biden’s opportunity to reverse course on China (1)

Yes. Spot on. America should bow down, and make sure to steer clinically clear of any hint of the genocide, oppression, and slavery going on in China, such as that which goes into solar panels. Because since when did Americans care about slavery or genocide?

ps. today the researchers at Sheffield Hallam U released their latest report on Chinese slavery on export to the US:

Built on Repression: The very floors we walk on could be made with forced labour. Sheffield Hallam University, Helena Kennedy Centre. [June 14, 2022].

And see their series, here’s the solar panels slavery report.

A nice writeup on today’s report:
TOXIC TILES: How Vinyl Flooring Made With Uyghur Forced Labor Ends Up at Big Box Stores. Mara Hvistendahl. The Intercept, June 14 2022, 9:00 a.m.

Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Biden’s opportunity to reverse course on China

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus (6/8/22)
Biden’s Golden Opportunity to Reverse Course on China
Improving relations with China could lower inflation, isolate Vladimir Putin, and accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.
By John Feffer

Biden’s Golden Opportunity to Reverse Course on China

Shutterstock

Originally published in Hankyoreh.

Joe Biden has wrapped up his first trip to Asia. He met with new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to shore up the U.S.-ROK alliance. He traveled to Tokyo to reinvigorate the Quad grouping with Japan, Australia, and India. And he peddled the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, an attempt by the United States to reinsert itself into the Asian economy after the Trump administration’s pullout from the Trans Pacific Partnership.

The headlines in the United States have all been about Ukraine, inflation, and gun violence. Biden’s trip was designed to prove that the United States is in fact focused on one thing above all: China, China, China.

The strengthened alliance with South Korea is a signal to Beijing that the more accommodating era of the Moon Jae-in administration is over. The Quad meetings are part of a strategy of countering China’s ambitions in the region including its ports and bases along the Asian littoral. And the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a deliberate effort to roll back China’s considerable economic ties with its neighbors. Continue reading

Taiwan identity politics and the California church shooting

Source: NYT (6/12/22)
They Inhabited Separate Worlds in Taiwan. Decades Later, They Collided in a California Church.
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
The 68-year-old suspect in a May mass shooting harbored resentment dating back to his formative years in Taiwan.
By Amy QinJill CowanShawn Hubler and Amy Chang Chien

Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif., where members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church were meeting when the shooting occurred.

Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif., where members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church were meeting when the shooting occurred. Credit…Mark Abramson for The New York Times

David Chou and Pastor Billy Chang spent their whole lives forging parallel paths. They were born in early 1950s Taiwan, grew up just miles apart during martial law and later rebuilt their lives in the United States.

But over several decades, they carried with them vastly different memories — and views — of the island of their birth.

Mr. Chou was the son of parents who fled mainland China following the 1949 Communist revolution, part of a mass exodus of Chinese who established an authoritarian government-in-exile in Taiwan. Though he was born on the island, he and his parents were “mainlanders” devoted to the Chinese motherland and saw Taiwan as forever part of China.

Pastor Chang’s relatives were local Taiwanese who had spent centuries on the island. At home, he spoke Taiwanese Hokkien, a language that for decades was banned in public spaces. Pastor Chang grew to believe that despite Beijing’s longstanding claims, the self-ruled island had its own identity, separate from China.

In May, the lives of the two men collided in a quiet retirement community in Southern California. Authorities say that Mr. Chou, 68 — armed with two guns, four Molotov cocktails and a deep-seated rage against Taiwanese people — opened fire inside the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church as members gathered in honor of Pastor Chang, 67. Continue reading

Entrepreneur who says what others only think

Source: NYT (6/10/22)
A Chinese Entrepreneur Who Says What Others Only Think
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
Already a maverick in business circles, Zhou Hang has dared to openly criticize the government’s zero Covid policy — and urges his peers to speak out, too.
By Li Yuan

Credit…Yifan Wu

China’s entrepreneur class is grappling with the worst economic slump in decades as the government’s zero Covid policy has shut down cities and kept would-be customers at home. Yet they can’t seem to agree how loudly they should complain — or even whether they should at all.

A tech entrepreneur wrote in a big group chat in May that many members were too critical. “What people here do every day is criticizing the government and the system,” she wrote. “I can’t see any entrepreneurship in this.”

A top venture capitalist told his nearly 9 million social media followers that as much as everyone had suffered from the pandemic, they should try to stay away from negative news and information

Their approach, the equivalent of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, doesn’t make sense to Zhou Hang. Mr. Zhou, a tech entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, has questioned how his peers can pretend it’s business as usual, given the political and economic upheaval. Stop putting up with the ridiculous reality, he urged. It’s time to speak up and seek change.

Mr. Zhou is rare in China’s business community for being openly critical of the government’s zero Covid policy, which has put hundreds of millions of people under some kind of lockdowns in the past few months, costing jobs and revenues. He’s saying what many others are whispering in private but fear to say in public. Continue reading

Livestreamer censored for June 4 allusion

Source: CNN (6/6/22)
China censored a top livestreamer on the eve of June 4. Now his fans are asking about the Tiananmen Square massacre
By Nectar Gan, CNN

Chinese influencer Li Jiaqi holds a layered ice cream that resembles the shape of a tank.

Chinese influencer Li Jiaqi holds a layered ice cream that resembles the shape of a tank. From bigguguji Twitter

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three-times-a-week update exploring what you need to know about the country’s rise and how it impacts the world. Sign up here.

For decades, the Chinese government has sought to erase all memories of its bloody military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests, especially around the anniversary on June 4.

But this year, those attempts backfired, drawing attention to and prompting questions about the massacre from previously oblivious young Chinese internet users.

The fiasco started on Friday evening when a show by Li Jiaqi, the country’s top e-commerce livestreamer, ended abruptly after he and his co-host presented the audience with a plate of Viennetta ice cream from the British brand Wall’s.

The layered ice cream, garnished with Oreo cookies on its sides and what appeared to be a chocolate ball and a chocolate stick on top, resembled the shape of a tank – an extremely sensitive icon to be displayed in public just hours before midnight June 4. Continue reading

Xinjiang Police Files report

“Xinjiang Police Files: Images of horror outrage the world”, report München.

— this is an excellent ARD short film now translated into English, on the recent massive leak of grim photos of camp detainees, and other documents on the Xinjiang genocide, including further reconfirmation that Mr Xi Jinping himself personally is the chief leader instigating and driving the mass atrocities.  Includes discussion of the forensics of the photos and their authenticity, and the significance of this additional major leak of damning Chinese government files.

The film was earlier released In German:
Xinjiang Police Files – Bilder des Grauens empören die Welt. 24.05.2022 ∙ report MÜNCHEN ∙ Das Erste

More materials on the leak in this online bibliography (periodically updated) on the genocide in the Uyghur region (East Turkestan). There you find, for example, the BBC version:

Leaked data offers significant new insights into China’s Uyghur detention camps – John Sudworth,  BBC News, May 24, 2022. Continue reading

In conversation with Mukaddas Mijit

Source: Screen Worlds (nd)
In Conversation with Mukaddas Mijit
What can mainstream filmmakers do to listen better to creators from colonised worlds?
Mukaddas Mijit discusses Uyghur cultural expression and filmmaking along with her recent work, “A Poem About Exile” (2020).
Interviewed by David Tobin (The University of Sheffield).
Produced by Screen Worlds and The University of Sheffield. n.d. [2022].

Videos featured:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa6fQtbEzcU&t=88s (A Poem About Exile)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MFdIO0oI0w&t=13s (Uighur tradition meeting Palestinian music)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03ANcii-jXM (Momam: the great woman, 2012)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG5o-ohgf2o (6 meters of Etles / Brooklyn Bridge – Mukaddas Mijit & Lisa Ross)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_bEfi5S_4k (Qumul Muqam Center 2020)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCqTkvRHUcI (L’ IMPROMPTUE DANSANTE PAR MUKADDAS MIJIT, XAVIER COLLET, BIJANE ETEMAD-MOGHADAM)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg3-uIywlUU (Ahim (I cry) by Ghojimuhemmed Muhemmed 2020)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuz0Wae_wy4&list=PLMz6mfYQqhv6m3UDs9sA9gplCIMRFC6Cz&index=3 Ayshemgul Memet Ensemble & Mukaddas Mijit (traditional Uyghur music and dance, Morgenland Festival Osnabrueck)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIQS7uYb928&list=PLMz6mfYQqhv6m3UDs9sA9gplCIMRFC6Cz (2018 Biopics Muqueddes TLS, Guayabo Collectivo)

Posted by Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

On the 33rd Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre

Source: Human Rights in China (6/1/22)
For Fairness and Justice, We Will Persevere: On the 33rd Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre
By The Tiananmen Mothers
[Translation by Human Rights in China]
[Original Chinese text from tiananmenmother.org]

Thirty-three years ago, a brutal tragedy of unparalleled savagery occurred in China, sending shockwaves across the nation and around the world. The ruling Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, in complete disregard of the lives of the hundreds of thousands of students and common people along the ten-mile Chang’an Avenue, used the military to indiscriminately murder innocent people in the capital city of Beijing with live ammunition. The armed forces aimed their guns at them and even drove tanks to crush the crowd, killing and injuring thousands.

This government-led massacre caught Beijing residents completely off guard. At around 10 p.m. on June 3, under cover of darkness, martial law troops rode tanks and armored vehicles from all directions toward Tiananmen Square. On their way, they sprayed students and residents with gunfire and chased after those trying to escape, leaving heavy casualties in their wake. Early the next morning, on June 4, when student protestors evacuated from the square in files and walked to Liubukou in Xidan, the army unleashed poisonous tear gas with paralyzing nerve agents, causing the students and residents at the scene to collapse on the ground, unable to move due to difficulty breathing and a feeling of suffocation. A row of tanks ran over the fallen crowd, killing or seriously injuring more than ten students on the spot. Continue reading

The closing of the Chinese mind

Source: The Spectator (6/4/22)
The closing of the Chinese mind
By Cindy Yu

Leslie Cheung in Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine [Getty Images]

I was born in Nanjing five years after the Tiananmen Square protests. By then, records of the demonstrations and the Communist party’s brutal suppression had been scrubbed clean. So Tiananmen was not part of the national conversation when I was growing up. I only fully grasped what had happened when I visited Hong Kong in my early twenties (that would be harder now under the city’s new national security law). Tiananmen isn’t just absent from history books; the Chinese authorities keep an eye on literature and film, so anything that’s politically subversive is censored or driven underground and abroad.

One film that fell victim to this regime is Lan Yu, which I recently saw for the first time at a screening in Soho. It’s a gay love story between a poor university student and an older Beijing businessman set in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In one scene, injured young people from the Tiananmen protests are rushed away on carts and bicycles by their friends, gunshots ringing in the distance. Continue reading

Teacher learns the limits of free expression

Source: The New Yorker (5/16/22)
A Teacher in China Learns the Limits of Free Expression
By Peter Hessler

Classroom warped by a fish eye lens

“Animal Farm” was taught in university courses. Many students identified with Benjamin, the donkey who is skeptical of the new farm but keeps his thoughts to himself. Illustration by Josh Cochran

At Chinese universities, when a student reports a professor for political wrongdoing, the verb that’s used to describe this action is jubao. It happens rarely, but the possibility is always there, because potential infractions are both undefined and extremely varied. A student might jubao a teacher for a comment about a sensitive historical event, or a remark that seems to contradict a Communist Party policy. Ambiguous statements about Xi Jinping, the President of China, are especially risky. In 2019, during a class at Chongqing Normal University, a literature professor named Tang Yun offhandedly described the language of one of Xi’s slogans as coarse. After students complained, Tang was demoted to a job in the library.

Other problems can involve class materials. In the fall of 2019, I started teaching at Sichuan University, in southwestern China, where I met a law-school teacher from another institution who had developed a syllabus with some sensitive content. The course included “Disturbing the Peace,” an Ai Weiwei documentary about the artist’s encounters with the Chinese judicial system. For two years, the teacher used the film in class without incident, but then, when he was partway through another semester, some students decided to jubao. Within a week, the teacher had been replaced with a substitute instructor. But the process can be slower, and much less predictable, if an initial complaint is made on social media, which was how it happened to me.

One evening in mid-December of 2019, I was about to leave my office for class when my wife, Leslie, called. A friend had just sent her a message copied from Twitter:

American writer and journalist Peter Hessler, under Chinese name Ho Wei . . . who moved to China with his family in Aug. 2019 to teach Non-fiction writing at Sichuan University, has possibly been reported for his behavior/speech.

The tweet was by a Chinese academic in the United States. She had included a blurry screenshot from Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. People in China often distribute such images, because original Weibo posts can be removed by censors, who have more trouble monitoring screenshots. Leslie’s friend said that the report was spreading quickly on Chinese social media. “I wanted to warn you before you started class,” Leslie told me. …  [READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE]