Urgent appeal for Tashpolat Tiyip

Dr Tashpolat Tiyip, a leading Uyghur academic from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People’s Republic of China, is facing imminent execution.

Since 2014, organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Scholars at Risk have called attention to increasingly severe government repression in the XUAR. Extraordinary levels of human rights violations have been documented by human rights organisations, international media and in peer-reviewed scholarly articles.

The detention and prosecution of Dr Tiyip occurs against the backdrop of an apparent campaign by Chinese authorities to detain large numbers of ethnic minorities in the XUAR, including at least 435 prominent Uyghur, Kyrgyz, and Kazakh intellectuals and scholars. Human rights groups estimate that as many as one million members of these minority communities have been detained at centres for so-called ‘transformation through education’, now officially represented as ‘vocational training centres’. Continue reading

A Birthday Letter to the PRC

Source: China File (9/28/19)
A Birthday Letter to the People’s Republic of China
By Yangyang Cheng

(China Photos/Getty Images) A student draws the Chinese national flag on a chalkboard during an activity to mark National Day, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, September 30, 2007.

Dear People’s Republic,

Or should I call you, China?

I am writing to you on the eve of your 70th birthday. 70, what an age. “For a man to live to 70 has been rare since ancient times,” the poet Du Fu wrote in the eighth century. You have outlived many kings and countless men, and you have lasted longer than every other state that has espoused the hammer and sickle. Congratulations must be in order.

I was born a few weeks after you turned 40. We are both October babies, a fact I was so proud of as a child, your child. During a class in elementary school, the teacher showed us a recording of the day of your birth The audio, raspy with time, still echoes in me as I write, its black-and-white imagery etched in my memory.

“The People’s Central Government of the People’s Republic of China is founded today!” Chairman Mao declared atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace, overlooking a sea of red flags and exuberant faces. His portrait hung at the center of the gate, where it remains, next to these words: “Long Live the People’s Republic of China.” Continue reading

China wants the world to stay silent on camps

Source: NYT (9/25/19)
China Wants the World to Stay Silent on Muslim Camps. It’s Succeeding
By Jane Perlez

Near the banks of a river in Hotan, China, the low building in the background, shown last month, has housed a re-education camp. It was unclear if the camp, in the Xinjiang region, was still operating. Credit: Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times

BEIJING — When Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited Beijing this summer, he hailed a new Silk Road bridging Asia and Europe. He welcomed big Chinese investments for his beleaguered economy. He gushed about China’s sovereignty.

But Mr. Erdogan, who has stridently promoted Islamic values in his overwhelmingly Muslim country, was largely silent on the incarceration of more than one million Turkic Muslims in China’s western region of Xinjiang, and the forced assimilation of millions more. It was an about-face from a decade ago, when he said the Uighurs there suffered from, “simply put, genocide” at the hands of the Chinese government. Continue reading

Tashpolat Teyip

Tashpolat Teyip, former president of Xinjiang university now threatened with execution, is one of many outstanding intellectuals in danger, along with their entire nations: the Chinese regime is proceeding with a wholesale decapitation of the entire cultural vanguard of the Uyghurs and other Xinjiang peoples: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2019/04/08/universities-should-not-ignore-chinas-persecution-scores-leading-academics-opinion )–Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

Source: Washington Post (9/14/19
The Post’s View Opinion
A Uighur professor vanished and may be executed. Yet China expects respect.
By Editorial Board

WHEN DETAINED in China, political prisoners often disappear for months at a time. Sometimes, they reappear after lengthy interrogation, having made a coerced “confession” that is then televised. Others are less fortunate, reduced to just an announcement that they were convicted without access to family or lawyers. Still others are tortured and denied medical care and die without ever resurfacing.

Given this reality, the case of Tashpolat Teyip is particularly murky and worrisome.

Mr. Teyip is an ethnic Uighur professor of geography. From 2010 until 2017, he was president of Xinjiang University, the leading institution of higher learning in the Xinjiang region in northwest China, home to millions of Turkic Muslim ethnic Uighurs. In the past two-and-a-half years, China has been carrying out a drive to corral 1 million or more Uighurs and others into the equivalent of concentration camps in order to wipe out their traditional language, traditions and mind-set in favor of that of the majority Han Chinese. China at first denied their existence, and now describes the camps as small and benign — “retraining centers” is one favored phrase. Continue reading

China’s war on Uighur culture

Excellent update report here, on the human rights catastrophe in Xinjiang, China, including on the “single ‘state-race’” racist-nationalist and Han-supremacist ideology that is driving the Chinese government in perpetrating these atrocities. –Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

Source: Financial Times (9/12/19)
Fear and oppression in Xinjiang: China’s war on Uighur culture: Beijing’s crackdown on minorities reflects a broader push towards a single ‘state-race’
By Christian Shepherd

When Gulruy Asqar first heard that her nephew Ekram Yarmuhemmed had been taken away by the Chinese police, she feared it was her fault. It was 2016, and she had recently moved to the US from Xinjiang, the region in north-west China that is the traditional homeland of her people, the Turkic-speaking Uighurs.

Her nephew’s family had loaned her about $10,000 towards the move, and Asqar had just transferred the money back to Yarmuhemmed when police came to his home in the regional capital of Urümqi and detained him. “I felt so guilty and I cried . . . I thought I was the reason for it,” Asqar told the FT by telephone from her home in Virginia. Continue reading

HK protest artist Boms

Source: SCMP (9/10/19)
Hong Kong protest art headed for the streets of London and Amsterdam
Work by Hong Kong street artist Boms can be seen all across the city, but his protest posters are now headed for Europe. The Young Blood Initiative will be handing out copies of his work to the public in London and Amsterdam
By Snow Xia

Graffiti artist Boms with his protest poster in a street in Mong Kok. Photo: Snow Xia

Graffiti artist Boms with his protest poster in a street in Mong Kok. Photo: Snow Xia

Boms has been run off his feet lately.

The Hong Kong street artist and dancer – who doesn’t want to be identified – has been plastering walls across the city with his protest posters, voicing his support for the large-scale anti-government movement over the past three months.

Unlike most of the protest art produced locally during this period, his drawings will also be headed for London and Amsterdam, where copies will be distributed to the public and be posted around the streets, over the next two months. Continue reading

The Party is Struggling

Source: China Media Project (9/6/19)
THE PARTY IS STRUGGLING
by 
The Party is Struggling

In his address to a training session for young leaders at the Central Party School on September 3, Xi Jinping spoke of the immense challenges facing the country and the Chinese Communist Party. The language he chose, however, was not “challenge,” “test” or “obstacle.” He spoke instead of “struggle,” or douzheng (斗争), a word that bears the weight of a painful political history — recalling the internal “struggles against the enemy” that tore Chinese society apart in the 1960s and 1970s.

For many still, douzheng invokes not just the need for unity toward common goals, or a can-do attitude, but warns instead of deep and potentially traumatizing division.

A passage from the Xinhua News Agency release on Xi Jinping’s September 3 speech, with the word “struggle” highlighted. Continue reading

Cornell should suspend its China projects

My piece about Cornell U. and China, from last week–Magnus Fiskesjö, nf42@cornell.edu

Source: The Cornell Daily Sun (8/27/19)
Cornell Should Suspend Its China Projects
By Magnus Fiskesjö

The massive scale of the Chinese atrocities in Xinjiang has become quite clear. Cornell should suspend all projects involving Chinese counterparts and undertake a transparent review to see if any ought to be terminated because they are aiding these atrocities.

Since 2017, the Chinese government has carried out a mass terror campaign in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, targeting millions of ethnic-minority people and forcing them to give up their culture and religion. Those who refuse are sent to brainwashing camps, where they are tormented into denying their ethnic identity and everyday faith and told to stop speaking their own language.

As I have argued elsewhere, this campaign is effectively a program of genocide. It includes a massive effort to break up families, with children confiscated and cut off from both their families and their culture. This is a mass trauma that will linger for generations. Then there is the mass detention of indigenous cultural icons, which is why the campaign is also called a “cultural genocide.” Continue reading

Is Xi mishandling HK

Source: NYT
Is Xi Mishandling Hong Kong Crisis? Hints of Unease in China’s Leadership
Beijing’s halting response to the protests in Hong Kong has raised questions about President Xi Jinping’s imperious style and authoritarian policies.
By Steven Lee MyersChris Buckley and 

A riot police officer in the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong on Friday. Credit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

BEIJING — China’s leader, Xi Jinping, warned a gathering of senior Communist Party officials in January that the country faced a raft of urgent economic and political risks, and told them to be on guard especially for “indolence, incompetence and becoming divorced from the public.”

Now, after months of political tumult in Hong Kong, the warning seems prescient. Only it is Mr. Xi himself and his government facing criticism that they are mishandling China’s biggest political crisis in years, one that he did not mention in his catalog of looming risks at the start of the year.

And although few in Beijing would dare blame Mr. Xi openly for the government’s handling of the turmoil, there is quiet grumbling that his imperious style and authoritarian concentration of power contributed to the government’s misreading of the scope of discontent in Hong Kong, which is only growing. Continue reading

Protest posters from HK

Readers might be interested in this collection of very stylish protest posters from HK–Richard Kraus <rkrausa@comcast.net>

Source: Archive.org
Collection of posters from Hong Kong protests 2019 – 1/3

Publication date: 2019
Topics: Hong Kong, , Posters

more posters at:

https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_posters_02
https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_posters_03

galleries:

https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_gallery_001
https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_gallery_002
https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_gallery_003

Identifier: HongKongProtests2019_posters_01
Scanner: Internet Archive Python library 1.8.4
Year: 2019

What China experts have to do to get on Beijing’s ‘whitelist’

Source: Washington Post (9/5/19)
What China experts have to do to get on Beijing’s visa ‘whitelist’
By Isaac Stone Fish

Chinese leader Xi Jinping speaks during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2017. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping speaks during the unveiling of the Communist Party’s new Politburo Standing Committee in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2017. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

“I call it a ‘whitelist,’” the Chinese government official told me. Beijing, he explained, wanted to reward academics, scholars and business people who spoke positively about the U.S.-China relationship, promoted engagement and overlooked Chinese human rights abuses. “We don’t want people critical of China” visiting China, said the official, who asked to speak anonymously when I met him in New York in August. So Chinese officials in the United States are creating a list of China-watchers whom they will reward with multiple-entry visas. I asked him to share the list, and he replied that it was confidential; he did say, though, that those who “signed the open letter” in The Post would certainly be viewed favorably. Continue reading

Lam withdraws extradition bill

Source: NYT (9/4/19)
Hong Kong’s Leader, Carrie Lam, to Withdraw Extradition Bill That Ignited Protests
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Austin Ramzy and Elaine Yu

HONG KONG — Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said Wednesday that the government would withdraw a contentious extradition bill that ignited months of protests in the city, moving to quell the worst political crisis since the former British colony returned to Chinese control 22 years ago.

The move eliminates a major objection among protesters, but it was unclear if it would be enough to bring an end to intensifying demonstrations, which are now driven by multiple grievances with the government.

“Incidents over these past two months have shocked and saddened Hong Kong people,” she said in an eight-minute televised statement broadcast shortly before 6 p.m. “We are all very anxious about Hong Kong, our home. We all hope to find a way out of the current impasse and unsettling times.” Continue reading

Mainlanders don’t think alike on HK

Source: China File (8/27/19)
China’s Government Wants You to Think All Mainlanders View Hong Kong the Same Way. They Don’t.
By Kiki Tianqi Zhao

Chinese counter-protesters wave the flag of the People’s Republic of China as members of the U.S. Hong Kong community protest against what they say is police brutality during the ongoing Hong Kong protests, in Santa Monica, California, August 17, 2019. Mark Ralston—AFP/Getty Images

Are mainland Chinese, especially tech-savvy millennials, overwhelmingly hostile, unsympathetic, or indifferent towards the protests that have engulfed Hong Kong over the past three months? Both the Chinese government and the international media seem to think so.

They flood the Internet with messages calling protesters in Hong Kong “useless youth.” They send obscene messages and death threats to supporters of the Hong Kong demonstrations. They gather in Australia telling Hong Kong protesters to “get the fuck out of” Hong Kong because all of China is theirs.

Video footage of rallies outside mainland China shows groups of young mainlanders hurling profanities at supporters of the Hong Kong protesters. In one clip, Hong Kong sympathizers in Australia chant, in English, “Hong Kong stay strong,” and mainland Chinese students shouting in Mandarin respond, “Fuck your mother.” Continue reading