Skip to main content

China Expels German Student For Interviewing Human Rights Activists, Says Foreigners Must Follow Chinese Laws

Tsinghua University, main administrative building (by pfctdayelise via Wikimedia Commons)

German journalism student David Missal has been expelled from China after he filmed a documentary about human rights activists. 

The 24-year-old was pursuing a master's programme at the prestigious Tsinghua University, in the Chinese capital Beijing. But on Sunday, August 12, he left the country after Chinese immigration authorities shortened his residence permit and denied him a visa extension. 

Missal told Hong Kong Free Press that he had applied for a visa extension two months ago. On August 10 he went to the Entry-Exit Administration and was informed that his visa would not be renewed because he had engaged in activities that were not covered by his student visa. He was told that he had ten days to leave the country. “I asked them what kind of activities did I do… and they said you should know by yourself,” Missal said. He had received a DAAD scholarship for two years.

Missal had submitted a documentary on human rights lawyers for a class project. He was warned twice by the university to stop filming and to avoid sensitive topics, but he decided to go on. He believes the documentary is the reason why he was expelled from China. 

On July 9, 2015, Beijing launched a crackdown on human rights lawyers known as the "709 crackdown". Over 300 lawyers were detained across the country. Some of them were tortured, their family members intimidated. Missal interviewed lawyers and relatives, including Li Wenzu, the wife of human rights attorney Wang Quanzhang, who was arbitrarily detained for 3 years without trial and denied access to a lawyer.
On August 13 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper Global Times published an op-ed slamming Western media's coverage of Missal's expulsion.

The editorial claims that Westerners do not respect Chinese culture and laws. "China has no choice but to deal appropriately with foreigners who do not respect Chinese laws and regulations, and who carry out activities that interfere with China's domestic politics," the piece says, without acknowledging that dissidents and human rights activists are also an integral part of Chinese society.  

"If they [the foreigners] currently fail to understand that, let us give them time to comprehend it. If China is strong enough, this process will gradually take place," the article says, reflecting the CCP's theme of wealth and power.  

The editorial argues that foreigners should abide by Chinese laws just like Chinese abroad abide by foreign laws. "Germany has its own rules, and Chinese students usually won't try to fight against those rules." 

The op-ed claims that Chinese students in the West are suspected of being "spies" (间谍), and that as a result "who knows how many Chinese exchange students have lost the opportunity to study abroad in the long term."

China has often been accused of infringing upon other countries' freedom of speech, which is protected by local laws.

"He [Missal] has neither understood China's politics nor learnt anything from the Chinese people's introverted and humble nature," the piece argues. "Anyway, he's still young, we can't expect too much from him," it adds.  

The "clash of civilizations", the article concludes, is an "important long-term issue" which only "time and China's gradual development" can solve.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Will The Huawei Case Finally Awaken Democrats To The China Threat And The Danger Of Faux Free Trade Rhetoric?

Huawei Shenzhen office building (by Raysonho  via Wikimedia Commons) On January 28 the Department of Justice of the United States unsealed two cases against Huawei , China's largest telecommunications company, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou.  Huawei has been accused of trying to steal trade secrets, committing bank fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. One indictment claims that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile by promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information. Huawei is not a company like any other. Over the years it has benefited enormously from the support of the Chinese Communist regime. The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, joined China's army during the Cultural Revolution . In 1978 he also joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  In the early years Huawei's sources of capital were high-interest loans (20%-30%) from Chinese state-owned enterp

Washington Post correspondent in China Gerry Shih assaulted for walking with Caucasian European

Gerry Shih, a China-based correspondent for the Washington Post, was assaulted on a Beijing street for "walking with a Caucasian European," according to a Tweet he posted on November 29. The assailants allegedly shouted at them: "F*** your American embassy!" Sign of the times: roughed up in Beijing street tonight for walking with Caucasian European. Neither of us said we were American but their parting shot was “操你美国使馆” pic.twitter.com/ekPLNsLBnj — Gerry Shih (@gerryshih) November 29, 2019 In recent years the Chinese Communist regime has intensified its anti-foreign rhetoric as Xi Jinping has sought to consolidate the power of the Party and rid China of perceived "foreign influence". Foreigners in China have been targeted by the government and anti-foreign sentiment has been enouraged. This year arrests and deportations of foreign teachers in China have increased amid a government campaign to promote "patriotic education." An inc

China releases anti-Uighur propaganda film "Black Hand"

Mosque in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, as photographed in 2008 (photo by jun jin luo via Wikimedia Commons) The People's Republic of China (PRC) has released a propaganda video titled "The black hand — ETIM and terrorism in Xinjiang", in an attempt to shape the narrative surrounding its crackdown on the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority. The propaganda film links the Uighur population to Islamic terrorism, thus trying to justify the indiscriminate persecution of the entire Muslim population. "For decades, the [East Turkistan Islamic Movement] which has close links with international terrorist organizations perpetrated countless terrorist attacks aiming to separate the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from China," writes China's state-run television network CGTN. The East Turkistan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, was reportedly founded by Hasan Mahsum, an Uighur from Xinjiang's Kashgar region. He was shot dead by Pakistani troops in 2003. In 2002 the Unite