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Four Chinese doctors sentenced to prison for organ harvesting

Four doctors have been sentenced to prison for illegally harvesting organs from deceased patients. According to the court documents, the doctors and two additional accomplices made the families of the donors sign fake organ donation consent forms and then extracted the organs of the deceased person.

Under Chinese law, organ donation is only permitted under the supervision of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC). The medical professionals have been jailed for between 10 and 28 months.

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More mass testing in China amid Covid-19 flare-ups in 3 cities
More mass testing in China amid Covid-19 flare-ups in 3 cities
Credit: unsplash.com / Macau Photo Agency

Chinese authorities have ordered mass testing of millions of people in three different cities across the country after multiple locally transmitted Covid-19 cases were discovered. New waves of infections are currently happening in Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli.

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China has given almost a million people experimental Covid-19 vaccine, Sinopharm claims

In an interview with posted on WeChat, Sinopharm chairman Liu Jingzhen claimed an emergency Covid-19 vaccine has been given to almost a million people as part of an emergency-use program authorized by Beijing.

"In emergency use, we now have used it on nearly a million people. We have not received any reports of serious adverse reaction, and only a few have some mild symptoms," Liu said, who added that the vaccine was given to Chinese construction workers, diplomats, and students who have gone to more than 150 countries around the world during the pandemic – none of them have reported a Covid-19 infection so far.

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Shenzhen becomes first city in China to introduce mandatory paid leave time for workers
Shenzhen becomes first city in China to introduce mandatory paid leave time for workers
Credit: unsplash.com / Robert Bye

Shenzhen, the Chinese technology hub in the south of the country, will be the first city in China to introduce mandatory paid leave time so that employees "with a heavy mental and physical workload can avoid excessive burnout," following the announcement by Shenzhen's work committee.

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China warns UK not to offer citizenship to Hong Kong residents
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Credit: eGuide Travel

China has told Britain to "immediately correct its mistakes" after the UK reaffirmed its plan to offer a route to British citizenship to almost three million people living there.

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Report: New detention camps for Uighur in China detected - number 40% higher than estimated

According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute China has 380 facilities in the Xinjiang region that are suspected to serve as detention centers for the Uighur minority in China.

The number is around 40% higher than previously estimated and contradicts claims by China that the system that they claim is for "re-education" is being scaled back.

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Report: China allegedly forces Tibetians into military-style training centers
Report: China allegedly forces Tibetians into military-style training centers
Credit: unsplash.com / Evgeny Nelmin

According to a report by the Jamestown Foundation, the Chinese authorities are allegedly forcing Tibetans into military-style training centers that are similar to labor camps. 500,000 people have been trained by the Chinese authorities and based on quotas relocated within Tibet and into different parts of China.

The report has been compiled from satellite images, policy documents and state media reports.

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Australian journalist held in China on national security grounds

Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been detained since August 14th and is suspected of "criminal activity endangering China's national security". Lei is a news anchor for China Global Television Network (CGTN) and was arrested in Beijing and was taken into secretive detention. The reason for her detention is still unclear.

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Hong Kong: ~100 arrested in protests against postponed elections

Around 100 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Sunday while protesting against delayed legislative elections. Elections were supposed to happen on September 6th but were allegedly postponed due to the Coronavirus.

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ByteDance accused of censoring anti-China content in Indonesia
ByteDance Logo
ByteDance Logo Credit: ByteDance

Reuters reports that, from 2018 to mid-2020, ByteDance censored content in its BaBe app in Indonesia. According to Reuters sources, local moderators were instructed to remove content perceived as critical of the Chinese government.

Articles with references to 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, or to Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China, were among those taken down.

In a statement, BaBe disagreed with the claims: "A cursory search on the BaBe app shows numerous articles and videos that highlight the type of content these claims say we would remove."

ByteDante has previously faced criticism as TikTok, one of their applications, has been criticizes for its alleged data harvesting on behalf of the Chinese state.

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Chinese court sentences two Canadian citizens to death over manufacturing and transportation of drugs
Canadian Embassy in Beijing
Canadian Embassy in Beijing Credit: Benjamin Vander Steen

Two Chinese courts in the Guangdong province have sentenced two Canadian citizens to death in two days.

The Canadian Xu Weihong had been tried in front of the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court, while the now sentenced Ye Jianhui had been tried in front of the Foshan Municipal Intermediate Court for the manufacturing and transportation of drugs.

The police had previously seized around 218 kilograms of MDMA in the form of white crystals from a room that had been used by Ye Jianhui and Lu Hanchang. The latter one has been sentenced to jail time together with three other people involved in the operation. They received between seven years and a life sentence.

In total, four Canadian citizens have been sentenced to death in the past two years.

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Report: China pays money for reports on underground churches
Excerpt "Notice on Rewarding Those Who Report Clues on Xie Jiao Illegal and Criminal Activities"
Excerpt "Notice on Rewarding Those Who Report Clues on Xie Jiao Illegal and Criminal Activities" Credit: Bitter Winter

According to the magazine Bitter Winter the Chinese government offers monetary rewards for reports of underground churches. The program awards people with up to around $14,000 if they report religious activities of groups banned by the Chinese Communist Party in private homes to the authorities.

In addition to these measures the Chinese government has started putting banners with anti-religious slogans up such as: "Don’t believe in any religion other than the Communist Party. It’s enough to believe in the Party and the People’s Government of China"

The

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NGO urges governments to take China to court over repression of Uighurs

Human Rights Watch estimates one million Uighurs were detained without any judicial process, solely based on their ethnic origin and religion. In the "political education" camps, the NGO members discovered and documented practices of torture, denial of access to basic health care, denial of the right to practice their religion, and forced political education.

A possible genocide by the Chinese government against the Uighur community is being discussed today since forced sterilization or contraception is considered a crime under international law.

Sending China to the International Criminal Court is not possible because China has refused to sign the ICC Statute. The International Court of Justice could be the right approach, says the NGO, but as it is a state-to-state process, a government would have to be willing to take China to court.

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China orders closure of U.S. consulate in Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu Credit: U.S. Consulate General Chengdu (Public Domain)

The Chinese Government on Friday ordered the closure of the United States consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The announcement was made just hours before Washington's deadline for the Chinese government to end its diplomatic mission in Houston, Texas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement: "On 21 July, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. The US move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-US Consular Convention. It gravely harmed China-US relations. The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US. It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices."

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Hong Kong closes schools again amid spike in Covid-19 infections
Kids walking to school in Hong Kong
Kids walking to school in Hong Kong Credit: unsplash.com/Free To Use Sounds

After over 100 new Covid-19 cases over the past week, Hong Kong officials have reimposed social distancing measures. All schools will be closed again starting Monday, after having just reopened in May. Bars and restaurants will have to reintroduce seating limits while kids' playgrounds are being closed completely.

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Tik Tok will exit Hong Kong following new security law
Tik Tok will exit Hong Kong following new security law
Credit: Kon Karampelas

TikTok plans to pull out of the Hong Kong market after China imposed a new security law on the city that gives authorities sweeping new powers, raising concerns about data privacy.

A spokesman for the company told BBC: "In light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,".

Other companies including Google, Facebook, Telegram and Twitter have suspended processing government access requests for user data in Hong Kong.

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Democracy activists' books disappear from Hong Kong libraries after new law
Democracy activists' books disappear from Hong Kong libraries after new law
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Books written by prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including Joshua Wong and lawmaker Tanya Chan, have started to disappear from the Chinese-ruled city’s public libraries. According to Reuters, the books are being reviewed to see whether or not they violate a new national security law.

On Twitter, Joshua Wong wrote "Less than a week after #NationalSecurityLaw has been put in place, #Hongkong's public libraries started to put books under review and suspend them from lending, including two of mine published in 2013 and 2015.".

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China forces Uyghurs to have less children through mandatory birth control, abortions and other measures
Uighur women in Kashgar
Uighur women in Kashgar Credit: mikepryan (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

In order to reduce the number of Chinas Muslim population, the Chinese government is reportedly forcing women of the minority onto birth control and to do regular pregnancy checks.

According to Associated Press women are also forced to abort pregnancies, to take birth control as well as forcing them to get sterilised. The failure to comply with these measures is the main reason why people of the minorities are sent to detention camps.

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China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
Credit: Bicanski

The Chinese military has developed a Covid-19 vaccine in its research unit together with the biotech firm CanSino Biologics. The vaccine has now been approved for military use as it shows a "good safety profile". Currently, the approval has been granted for one year as the studies are not fully conclusive and the vaccine only shows the potential to prevent symptoms from the Covid-19 infections. CanSino Biologics has also stated that it can't guarantee public access to the vaccine.

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500,000 Chinese people go into lockdown again
500,000 Chinese people go into lockdown again
Credit: Fusion Medical Animation

Near Beijing, 500,000 people are in mandatory lockdown again.

The Chinese government has announced that the number of new Covid-19 infections in the capital city has risen again and the city of Anxin will now be "fully locked and controlled". Only one person per household is allowed to go outside to buy groceries and medicine.

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Hong Kong annual pro-democracy demo banned by police
Hong Kong annual pro-democracy demo banned by police
Credit: unsplash.com / Leung Yattin

For the first time in 17 years, since the demonstration has first been held in 2003, the Hong Kong police have banned the annual pro-democracy demonstration on July 1. According to the organizers the police stated that the reason for the ban is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the claim that social distancing measures wouldn't be able to be upheld as well as previous unrest. The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) has shared an official letter which stated that only group gatherings of up to 50 people could be permitted.

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Beijing closes schools and cancels flights amid rising Covid-19 cases
People, who had been in contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market waiting in line for nucleic acid testing at a Chinese epidemic control testing site at Beixiaguan Street, Haidian District, June 16, 2020
People, who had been in contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market waiting in line for nucleic acid testing at a Chinese epidemic control testing site at Beixiaguan Street, Haidian District, June 16, 2020 Credit: 舞月書生 / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Beijing's health alert has been raised to the second-highest level on Tuesday after medical authorities have confirmed 106 new Covid-19 cases since last week. In response, the city has closed schools and Beijing Airport has cancelled over 1,200 flights in an effort to contain a second outbreak. A new cluster of cases is believed to have its origin in the Xinfadi wholesale food market and almost 30 residential compounds have been put under quarantine. Beijing reported 31 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.

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Thousands sing in Hong Kong for first anniversary of protests

Across the city, thousands of protestors have sung a protest anthem and chanted slogans to mark the one year anniversary of the ongoing demonstrations. The police have declared the protests unlawful and made several arrests, saying that they are in breach with the Anti-Covid-19 regulations regarding large groups.

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Japan declined to condemn China for Hong Kong law
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Japan has declined to join Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States in issuing a statement condemned China for imposing a new security law on Hong Kong.

The statement condemned China on May 28 for pushing a law that would threaten freedom and breach a 1984 Sino-British agreement on the autonomy of the former colony.

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Singapore announces wearable device for Covid-19 tracing
San Marina Bay, Singapore
San Marina Bay, Singapore Credit: Mike Enerio

In order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore has announced that it'll launch a wearable Bluetooth based device to track the spread of the coronavirus. This comes after the developed apps sometimes have connection problems when running in the background of the phones and is a step towards higher inclusivity as not every person is the possession of a smartphone.

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China: Security Guard Hurts 40 Children

A security guard at a primary school in southwest China has severely injured some 40 children with a knife.

The perpetrator was arrested, the motive is still unknown.

There are repeated attacks by criminals in kindergartens and schools, often the perpetrators justify their actions with resentment and perceived injustice.

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Chinese parliament approves national security law for Hong Kong
The Great Hall Of The People
The Great Hall Of The People Credit: Thomas.fanghaenel (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The National People's Congress passed a new security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing's authority in the territory.

The new law bans sedition, secession and subversion of the central government and allows China's state security agencies to operate in the city.

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Wuhan has completed over 2.4 million tests for Covid-19 in two days

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the Covid-19 originated, has successfully tested around 2.4 million people in just two days. The city council had ordered the mass testing with the goal to find hidden carriers and prevent a second wave of outbreaks, as the lockdown in the city has been eased. Wuhan plans on continuing the testing with the aim to test all 11 million residents.

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China abandons GDP goal for the first time since 1990

The Chinese premier Li Keqiang has announced in his opening speech of the National People's Congress (NPC) that the country would not set a goal for the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. According to him the decision was made based on the uncertainties due to the "Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment".

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Passenger plane crashes near Karachi, Pakistan

A plane from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has crashed into a residential area near Karachi in Pakistan. Currently, it's unclear if any of the 99 passengers and eight crew members have survived or what the reasons for the crash are. According to some reports the pilot had called in technical difficulties minutes before the crash.