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Showing posts from December, 2019

It's time for the West to restrict trade with China and sanction the Chinese Communist leadership

National People's Congress, 2013 (photo by Dong Fang via Wikimedia Commons) On March 9, 2000, US President Bill Clinton gave a speech on US-China trade relations in which he advocated for the expansion of trade between the two countries and defended his administration's decision to push for China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). President Clinton's argument in favour of closer trade relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) was based on two assumptions. First, that increased trade with China would benefit the US economically, and that if the US failed to promote trade, then other countries would benefit from the opportunities that the Chinese market offered. Second, that closer economic ties between the US and the PRC would allow Washington to "pull China in the right direction."  " Last fall, as all of you know, the United States signed the agreement to bring China into the W.T.O. on terms that will ope

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

China deployed "Great Cannon" to take down Hong Kong pro-democracy website LIHKG

PRC and Hong Kong flags (photo by Alan Mak via Wikimedia Commons) China has deployed the so-called "Great Cannon" tool to launch a malware attack aimed at taking offline Hong Kong's popular pro-democracy website LIHKG , according to a report published by AT&T Cybersecurity. The Great Cannon is a "distributed denial of service tool (“DDoS”) that operates by injecting malicious Javascript into pages served from behind the Great Firewall ", the report states. "These scripts, potentially served to millions of users across the internet, hijack the users’ connections to make multiple requests against the targeted site. These requests consume all the resources of the targeted site, making it unavailable," the report adds. LIHKG is an online forum launched in November 2016. During the anti-extradition bill protests it became popular among Hong Kong activists , which used it as a platform to discuss politics and organize protests. On August

Hungary censors Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International - And why the European Union needs to stand up

Orban rally in 2012 (photo by Derzs Elekes Andor  via Wikimedia Commons) On November 29 Hungarian news outlet Nepszava reported that MTVA, Hungary's government controlled news agency, ordered its staff to ban statements from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch . Censorship of human rights-related content is yet another step towards authoritarianism in the country. Freedom House ranks Hungary as "partly free", giving it a score of 70 out of 100. "Hungary’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to sustained attacks on the country’s democratic institutions by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, which has used its parliamentary supermajority to impose restrictions on or assert control over the opposition, the media, religious groups, academia, NGOs, the courts, asylum seekers, and the private sector since 2010," Freedom House writes in a 2019 report. The Council of the European Union (EU) will hold a hearing on Article 7 proceedin