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Non-binding motion in Dutch parliament says that China commits genocide of Uyghurs
Non-binding motion in Dutch parliament says that China commits genocide of Uyghurs
Credit: © Hubertl / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

As the first European country, the Dutch parliament has passed a non-binding motion declaring the treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority by China genocide.

The Dutch motion said that actions by the Chinese government such as "measures intended to prevent births" and "having punishment camps" fell under United Nations Resolution 260, generally known as the genocide convention.

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China bans BBC World News over alleged "illegal content"
China bans BBC World News over alleged "illegal content"
Credit: unsplash.com / K. Mitch Hodge

Diplomatic tensions between China and the United Kingdom continue to rise. After the expulsion of three Chinese diplomats and the revocation of the broadcasting license for the news station CGTN, China is now reacting in turn by banning the international service of the British BBC, the station BBC World News.

The station was banned for "illegal content" because it violated reporting guidelines in the country, the China Broadcasting Regulatory Commission announced. BBC World News will no longer be allowed to broadcast in mainland China, according to the statement. It said it "does not accept the new annual broadcasting application."

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11 of 22 Chinese miners trapped in gold mine rescued after two weeks
11 of 22 Chinese miners trapped in gold mine rescued after two weeks
Credit: Xinhua/Chen Hao

Efforts have been underway to reach the workers since the blast occurred about 240 meters from the mine's entrance, but Chinese officials had said Thursday it could take 15 days to drill through 70 tons of debris trapping many of the miners. Xinhua quoted the note as saying: "We are heavily exhausted and in urgent need of stomach medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs, and three people have high blood pressure."

The miners became trapped on Jan. 10 following an unexplained explosion at the Hushan gold mine located in the city of Qixia in China's eastern province of Shandong. It was not until 30 hours later that the accident was reported, leading to at least two local officials' firings.

In September, at least 16 workers in southwestern China died after they became trapped underground in a coal mine and exposed to unsafe carbon monoxide levels, state media reported.

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Twitter locks account of Chinese US embassy
Twitter locks account of Chinese US embassy
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Twitter has blocked the user account of the Chinese embassy in the US because of a tweet about the treatment of the Uyghur minority. The account @ChineseEmbinUS had published a tweet saying that Uyghur women were no longer "baby-making machines". The original English-language tweet referred to "baby making machines." The statement referred to a study reported by China Daily, a pro-government newspaper.

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Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma makes first public appearance in three months
Jack Ma
Jack Ma Credit: JD Lasica (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire internet entrepreneur suspected missing, has made his first public appearance in three months. The short speech is Ma’s first public appearance since October 24 when he made a speech at the Shanghai finance forum. In the speech, Ma criticised Chinese financial regulation and called for reform.

Ma's low profile since, which included pulling out of his own show African Business Heroes, led to speculation that he was "missing."

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Sinopharm Coronavirus vaccine approved in China

The Coronavirus vaccine from state-owned Sinopharm was approved by China’s health authorities, s promising to provide the general public with free vaccination. China plans to vaccinate 50 million people with the Sinopharm vaccine before February's Lunar New Year celebrations.

"Vaccine is a public good by its nature, and the price may vary based on the scale of use, but an important premise is that it will be provided to the public for free," Zeng Yixin, vice-minister of China's National Health Commission said.

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China to vaccinate 50m people in high-priority group by Lunar New Year
China to vaccinate 50m people in high-priority group by Lunar New Year
Credit: Illustration by Ashley Winkler for Pendect (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reuters is reporting that China plans to vaccinate 50 million people by the Lunar New Year in mid-February, with the Sichuan province starting the vaccination roll-out by early January. High-priority groups will receive the Covid-19 vaccination by Chinese firms Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd first, these include health workers, police officers, firefighters, customs officers, cargo handlers, transport and logistics workers.

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Report: Hundreds of Thousands of Uyghurs Forcibly Used in Cotton Harvesting
Report: Hundreds of Thousands of Uyghurs Forcibly Used in Cotton Harvesting
Credit: unsplash.com / Trisha Downing

Hundreds of thousands of members of ethnic minorities are being forced to work in cotton fields in China's Xinjiang province, according to a report. In 2018, at least 570,000 people were reportedly forced to harvest cotton in three Uyghur-majority regions in Xinjiang as part of a government forced labor program, the Center For Global Policy report said Monday, citing government documents.

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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.