China

Politics • Asian
India raids multiple Chinese entities over suspicion of money laundering

According to an official statement, multiple premises of Chinese entities have been raided by the tax authorities of India.

The Indian authorities are investigating suspected money laundering but did not specify which entities and individuals have been raided. Following the statement over 40 bank accounts in dummy entities have been created and entered into credits of over $134,03 million in the local currency rupees.

One of the checked Chinese companies has allegedly taken over $13,4 million from shell companies to open "retail showrooms" in India.

Politics • Asian • China
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.

Health
Chinese officials say chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for Covid-19
Chinese officials say chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for Covid-19
Credit: unsplash.com / Erik Mclean

A sample of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, authorities said Thursday, the latest in a series of reports of contaminated imported food products.

The coronavirus was detected Wednesday on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings during screening of imported frozen food in Longgang district of Shenzhen, the municipal government said in a statement. Officials did not name the brand.

Politics • Oceanian
New Zealand investigates into packaging of frozen food for possible Covid-19 transmission
New Zealand investigates into packaging of frozen food for possible Covid-19 transmission
Credit: unsplash.com / Bodie Pyndus

New Zealand's director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has announced that the country is currently investigating the transmission of Covid-19 by freight. He stated that "we know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time" and that one member of the family of four that recently got infected works in a cool store in Auckland.

Surface testing for the store is currently underway to determine if it could be the possible source for the infections. Over the past weeks China has already reported that they found Covid-19 on the packaging of imported frozen seafood.

Politics • Asian • China
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.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Japanese startup Donut Robotics invents tech "smart mask" that can translate Japanese into 8 languages
Japanese startup Donut Robotics invents tech "smart mask" that can translate Japanese into 8 languages
Credit: Donut Robotics (Reproduction)

The white "c-mask" by Japanese startup Donut Robotics that can translate Japanese into eight different languages. The tech smart mask needs to be worn over standard face masks to ensure protection and can amplify the mask wearer’s voice, make calls, transcribe speech and translate languages. The first 5,000 masks will be shipped to Japanese buyers in September but the company is looking to expand their market into China, the US and Europe at a later date.

Politics • Asian
Hong Kong issues arrest warrant for Samuel Chu - a United States citizen - under new security law
Hong Kong issues arrest warrant for Samuel Chu - a United States citizen - under new security law
Credit: Samuel Chu via Twitter

Under the new national security law Hong Kong has issued multiple warrants for pro-democracy activists. Included in these warrants is one for managing director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council based in D.C., Samuel Chu.

Chu stated on his Twitter account that he heard about the arrest warrant from the media and that Hong Kong is searching for him for the alleged crimes of "inciting secession" and "colluding with foreign powers". He added that he is and has been for 25 years an American citizen.

Six other pro-democracy activists have gotten outstanding arrest warrants according to Chinese state media including the activist Nathan Law.

Politics • Asian • China
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

Politics • Asian
Germany suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
Germany suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States (Public Domain)

The German foreign minister Heiko Maas has announced that Germany will suspend the extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Germany as a consequence of the postponed Legislative Council General Election in Hong Kong.

Maas has stated that "the Hong Kong government’s decision to disqualify a dozen opposition candidates for the election and postpone the elections to the legislature is another infringement on the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong" adding that China needs to ensure international law and to provide free and fair elections.

Technology • Internet & Web
Japan likely to ban TikTok for alleged sharing of domestic user data with Chinese Government
Japan likely to ban TikTok for alleged sharing of domestic user data with Chinese Government
Credit: unsplash.com/visuals

According to the Japanese national broadcaster NHK, Japan is seeking to ban TikTok for the app's alleged sharing of domestic user data with the Chinese Government. A group of lawmakers has proposed the ban of several in China developed apps which will most likely be submitted to the government by September. Early this year, India banned several Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat and others.

Science • Space
Nasa has launched the Mars rover Perseverance to detect life on the Red Planet
Nasa has launched the Mars rover Perseverance to detect life on the Red Planet
Credit: Twitter Reproduction (Public Domain)

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Thursday atop an Atlas 5 rocket on a mission to search for traces of potential past life on Earth’s planetary neighbour. Perseverance was the third of three Mars missions to launch in the space of just ten days, after the United Arab Emirates’ Mars Hope orbiter, and China’s Tianwen-1.

The six-wheeled rover is on a path to intercept Mars in February next year, and when it lands, the Nasa robot will also gather rock and soil samples to be sent home later this decade.

Health
China reports 57 local Covid-19 cases on Sunday, highest number since March 6
People wearing masks in Guangzhou City
People wearing masks in Guangzhou City Credit: zhizhou deng / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

China has reported 57 confirmed locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Sunday, marking the highest case count since March 6. Of those cases, 41 were recorded in the western region Xinjiang which had its first Covid-19 cases on July 15 after almost five months of no new infections.

An additional 44 asymptomatic and four imported cases were recorded, though China is not counting asymptomatic cases to the country's total numbers.

Politics • American • US
FBI arrests Chinese researcher for visa fraud
Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco Credit: InSapphoWeTrust (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The FBI arrested a Chinese researcher who took refuge in the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. The researcher, Juan Tang, will appear in court on Monday after allegedly made fraudulent statements on her visa application by concealing that she served in the Chinese military.

If convicted, Tang faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Politics • Asian • China
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.

Politics • Asian • China
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."

Science • Space
China's Tianwen-1 Mars rover launched from Wenchang spaceport
China's Tianwen-1 Mars rover launched from Wenchang spaceport
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU / Public domain

Mars is getting crowded. On July 23, China has launched its Tianwen-1 mission atop a Long March 5 rocket from Wenchang spaceport on Hainan Island. The Tianwen-1 Mars rover – or "Questions to Heaven" – is scheduled to arrive in Martian orbit in February and land on the surface of the Red Planet two or three months later.

"Specifically, the scientific objectives of Tianwen-1 include: (1) to map the morphology and geological structure, (2) to investigate the surface soil characteristics and water-ice distribution, (3) to analyze the surface material composition, (4) to measure the ionosphere and the characteristics of the Martian climate and environment at the surface, and (5) to perceive the physical fields (electromagnetic, gravitational) and internal structure of Mars," members of a recent Nature Astronomy paper wrote.

Politics • American • US
Chinese consulate in Houston ordered to close by US government

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has been ordered to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas. The police in Houston has reported smoke from the consulate courtyard as Chinese officials allegedly have burned documents.

Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, has stated that the closure of the consulate has been ordered "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information".

Politics • Asian
Extraditions and arms exports from United Kingdom to Hong Kong suspended over security law
Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab Credit: Richard Townshend (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The United Kingdoms foreign secretary Dominic Raab has stated in an address to the parliament that the newly passed and enacted national security law is "a clear and serious violation of the UK-China joint declaration" and adding that the United Kingdom "will hold China to its international obligations".

The suspension of the extradition deal with Hong Kong is indefinitely and the arms embargo against China has been extended to include Hong Kong.

Politics • Asian
Japan to pay $536 million to companies for moving production out of China
Japan to pay $536 million to companies for moving production out of China
Credit: Chris / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

According to Bloomberg the Japanese government has announced that it'll pay 57 companies a total of $536 million in subsidies in order to move production from factories in China back to Japan or other countries.

This follows after the government has announced in April that it aims to reduce the dependency on Chinese supply chains. Another 30 companies will receive additional funds for an undisclosed amount.

Politics • World
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Credit: Jonathan McIntosh

The Independent reports that public records show exports of security technology from the United Kingdom to repressive regimes despite rules to prevent it. Security technology such as wiretaps, spyware and other telecommunications interception equipment shouldn't be exported to regimes that might use them for internal repression purposes.

Public records show that despite the rules exports worth £75 million have been approved to 17 countries including China, Saudia Arabia, the United Arba Emirates and Bahrain. All 17 states have been rated "not free" by the Non-Governmental Organisation Freedom House.