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Archive for August, 2018

New Light On Chinese ‘Reeducation Camps’ For Muslims

Friday, August 10th, 2018

41-year-old Sayragul Sauytbay has testified about the existence of a network of “reeducation camps” in western China where she says thousands of ethnic Kazakhs are incarcerated for “political indoctrination.”

Unlike others who’ve fled abroad, saying they’d been forced to endure dehumanizing indoctrination at such camps, Sauytbay was not a camp detainee. She was a camp employee.

Before crossing into Kazakhstan on April 5, Sauytbay had been the head administrator of a kindergarten — a position that, together with her membership of the Communist Party, technically made her a Chinese state official.

She says Chinese authorities had forced her to train “political ideology” instructors for reeducation camps in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

That, she says, gave her access to secret documents about China’s state program to “reeducate” Muslims from indigenous minority communities across western China — mainly Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and Hui.

Read more of the growing pile of evidence.

China hints at three-child policy

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Designer Han Meilin (R) poses for pictures as he presents his design manuscript for a Year of the Pig stamp that shows a five-member pig family to Liu Aili, president of China Post, at a ceremony in Beijing, China 6 August 2018


Postage stamps unveiled earlier this week to mark the incoming Year of the Pig in February 2019 have led many social media users to question whether a loosening of family planning restrictions could be imminent.

The stamps show a parent pig couple and three piglets. On the surface, it hardly appears to be a policy announcement. But users on the popular Sina Weibo microblog have pointed out that two years ago, before the one-child policy was abolished, China issued Year of the Monkey stamps featuring two baby monkeys.

And in recent months, the Chinese government has been strongly encouraging couples to have more than one child. Local authorities have even been offering incentives, such as tax breaks, and education and housing subsidies.

Please Vote For Me

Sunday, August 5th, 2018


Please Vote for Me is a 2007 documentary film following the elections for class monitor in a 3rd grade class of eight-year-old children in the Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan, China. The candidates, Luo Lei, Xu Xiaofei, and Cheng Cheng, compete against each other for the coveted role and are egged on by their teachers and doting parents. This was reported to be an interesting use of classic democratic voting principles and interpersonal dynamics.

The documentary gives a glimpse into China’s contemporary urban middle classes.

On Obrador’s 2018 Victory

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

“The outcome represents a clear rejection of the status quo in the nation, which for the last quarter century has been defined by a centrist vision and an embrace of globalization that many Mexicans feel has not served them.” Leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador wins Mexico presidency in landslide with mandate to reshape nation. (Globalism is getting it from all sides.)

+ Here’s more on Obrador’s election from WaPo, including this remarkable detail. “The campaign season has been marked by violence, with some 130 candidates and campaign staff assassinated across the country.”

+ “For the past 12 years, Mexico has fought violent drug gangs by deploying thousands of police, soldiers and intelligence officers to crack down on cartels and their leaders. If its new president-elect gets his way, however, negotiation may replace the hard-line strategy that critics say has only perpetuated violence.”

These links are from Next Draft

Navalny Trolls Putin

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Anyone who wants a glimpse of the information wars that could lie in America’s future should have a look, immediately, at Alexei Navalny’s latest video (it’s got English subtitles). The video so annoyed Oleg Deripaska, the video’s oligarch anti-hero, that he has just persuaded Russia’s media regulator to block it. Navalny, Russia’s best known dissident — he tried to run for president but was blocked — so annoys the Kremlin that Muscovites spray-painted his name on their sidewalks after a recent storm, hoping that would persuade municipal authorities to remove the snow. It worked.

Like most of Navalny’s productions, this one is a cross between investigative journalism and a piece of video entertainment, a serious exposé of corruption sprinkled with memes and jokes. But this time the inspiration was unusual. Navalny’s offices are often attacked — by police, by police dressed as “Cossacks,” by “spontaneous” groups of pensioners and, once, by prostitutes (or, in any case, women dressed as prostitutes). They came into his campaign offices, followed by cameramen who just happened to be there, draped themselves over the furniture and then left. This is modern authoritarian propaganda at its purest: The Russian state, at least for the moment, has decided not to arrest Navalny but to mock him, belittle him and undermine him.

This time Navalny flipped the story back at them. Studying the photographs of the women who’d visited their office, his team used facial recognition software to identify one of them as Nastya Rybka, author of “How to Seduce a Billionaire” and purveyor of an Instagram account packed with photographs of Deripaska and his yacht. Close reading of both the book and the pictures, plus a search of shipping and flight manifests, produced another discovery: Rybka and Deripaska had not been alone on that yacht. A senior Russian official, Sergei Prikhodko, a man who has quietly served in multiple Russian presidential administrations since the 1990s, was also on the boat.

Criminal Arrests in Xinjiang Account for 21% of China’s Total in 2017

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

According to Chinese government data, criminal arrests in Xinjiang accounted for an alarming 21% of all arrests in China in 2017, though the population in the XUAR is only about 1.5% of China’s total, based on the 2010 Census. Ethnic minorities account for nearly 60% of Xinjiang’s population, the largest group being ethnic Uyghurs, who account for 46% of the population.




For both arrests and indictments, the sudden increases in 2017 from 2016 are staggering. While the government has not provided explicit explanations for the steep climb, it is likely the result of hard-line tactics adopted by the Communist Party secretary for Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, who was appointed in August 2016, after implementing harsh measures to “maintain stability” as Party head in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Chen is reportedly responsible for a 92% increase in “security spending” in Xinjiang from 2016 to 2017, as well as a large expansion in police recruitment. Furthermore, many of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs detained in extrajudicial re-education camps—to which almost all are believed to have been sent without being criminally detained or formally arrested—have since ended up in the criminal justice system.


Read more here

Buhari Seeks Re-Election

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

More than fifty lawmakers and a state governor quit Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress this week, with the vast majority switching allegiances to the People’s Democratic Party. While both parties have struggled with internal divisions, the mass defections are breathing new life into the PDP, which ruled Africa’s most-populous nation from the end of military rule in 1999 until former President Goodluck Jonathan was ousted by Buhari in the 2015 election.

The goal now for the PDP, which gained a majority in the senate just before the end of the summer session, is to unite behind a candidate who’ll take on Buhari, a 75-year-old former military ruler, in elections scheduled for February.