BEIJING — William Wan writes: Chinese state television on Sunday broadcast a startling video of a famous blogger in handcuffs, renouncing his Web posts and saying how dangerous the Internet would be if left uncontrolled by the government. The 10-minute news report featuring Charles Xue — a Chinese American businessman and one of China’s most popular bloggers — was the latest step in what appears to be a systematic campaign to intimidate online opinion leaders against speaking too freely or critically of the government. Read the rest of this entry »
“A fugitive is like a flying kite. Even though he is abroad, the string is held in China.”
WASHINGTON — Mark Mazzetti and Dan Levin write: The Obama administration has delivered a warning to Beijing about the presence of Chinese government agents operating secretly in the United States to pressure prominent expatriates — some wanted in China on charges of corruption — to return home immediately, according to American officials.
“American officials did not disclose the identities or numbers of those being sought by the Chinese in the United States. They are believed to be prominent expatriates, some sought for economic corruption and some for what the Chinese consider political crimes.”
The American officials said that Chinese law enforcement agents covertly in this country are part of Beijing’s global campaign to hunt down and repatriate Chinese fugitives and, in some cases, recover allegedly ill-gotten gains.
The Chinese government has officially named the effort Operation Fox Hunt.
The American warning, which was delivered to Chinese officials in recent weeks and demanded a halt to the activities, reflects escalating anger in Washington about intimidation tactics used by the agents. And it comes at a time of growing tension between Washington and Beijing on a number of issues: from the computer theft of millions of government personnel files that American officials suspect was directed by China, to China’s crackdown on civil liberties, to the devaluation of its currency.
“That reluctance reflects divisions with the Obama administration over how aggressive to publicly confront China on a number of security issues.”
Those tensions are expected to complicate the state visit to Washington next month by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.
The work of the agents is a departure from the routine practice of secret government intelligence gathering that the United States and China have carried out on each other’s soil for decades. The Central Intelligence Agency has a cadre of spies in China, just as China has long deployed its own intelligence operatives into the United States to steal political, economic, military and industrial secrets.
In this case, said American officials, who discussed details of the operation only on the condition of anonymity because of the tense diplomacy surrounding the issue, the Chinese agents are undercover operatives with the Ministry of Public Security, China’s law enforcement branch charged with carrying out Operation Fox Hunt.
“For instance, the White House has gone out of its way to avoid making any public accusations that the Chinese government ordered the computer attack on the Office of Personnel Management, which led to the theft of millions of classified personnel files of government workers and contractors.”
The campaign, a central element of Mr. Xi’s wider battle against corruption, has proved popular with the Chinese public. Since 2014, according to the Ministry of Public Security, more than 930 suspects have been repatriated, including more than 70 who have returned this year voluntarily, the ministry’s website reported in June. According to Chinese media accounts, teams of agents have been dispatched around the globe.
American officials said they had solid evidence that the Chinese agents — who are not in the United States on acknowledged government business, and most likely are entering on tourist or trade visas — use various strong-arm tactics to get fugitives to return. The harassment, which has included threats against family members in China, has intensified recently, officials said. Read the rest of this entry »
Democrats want California’s universities to resurrect an ugly institution.
Are our boys and girls wrong
In expecting you who make your living
Exclusively off the white race
To stop patronizing Jap laundries.
And thereby assist your fellow men and women
In maintaining the white man’s standard in a white man’s country?
— Placards belonging to the Anti-Jap Laundry League, Calif., 1908
Kevin D. Williamson writes: California has a long and ugly history of discriminating against Asian Americans. From the Anti-Jap Laundry League, the Anti-Chinese League, the Asiatic Exclusion League, the alien land laws, the Anti-Coolie Act . . . the list is long. Much of that discrimination had its origins on the left, with the Ant-Jap Laundry Act, the Asiatic Exclusion Act, and the Anti-Coolie Law being in the main projects of organized labor, which did not like the idea of being made to compete against Asians for work.
New rhetoric, same old bigotry.
And now another group of left-leaning Californians is chafing at the idea of being made to compete with Asian Americans.
The California state legislature was on the verge of approving a referendum to restore the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions to state universities. The referendum originally had the support of three state senators who have since had a change of heart: Leland Yee of San Francisco, Ted Lieu of Torrance, and Carol Liu of La Cañada, Democrats all. They changed their minds when they were overwhelmed with telephone calls and e-mails — thousands of them — from angry constituents who know exactly what such affirmative-action programs mean in the context of elite universities: Asian quotas. A petition to cancel the referendum has already been endorsed by 100,000 signatories. Subsequently, the senators sent a letter to the speaker, John Pérez (do I need to note that he’s a Democrat?) seeking to have the measure tabled. The letter reads in part: “As lifelong advocates for the Asian American and other communities, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children.”
If they mean that, all three of them belong to the wrong political party.
Chinese Media Taunt Outgoing U.S. Envoy Gary Locke with Bizarre Racial Insults: ‘Yellow-Skinned, White-Hearted Banana Man’Posted: March 3, 2014
Gary Locke may have won over ordinary Chinese with his conduct in the country, but not everyone was impressed with the first Chinese-American to serve as the U.S. envoy to China.
“And it’s all because of a coffee break…”
NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reported Friday for our Newscast unit about an opinion piece in China News, a Chinese state media outlet, that called Locke, the outgoing U.S. ambassador, a “‘yellow-skinned, white-hearted banana man,’ whose Chinese ancestors would have kicked him out of the house, had they known about his future career.”
“The piece lambasted him for carrying his own backpack and buying his own coffee in what it described as a ploy to embarrass less frugal Chinese officials.
“It also called him the ‘guide dog’ of Chinese blind activist Chen Guangchen, whose exodus to the U.S. was a sensitive episode in Locke’s tenure.
Chinese authorities have detained a 16-year-old schoolboy for posting “fabricated facts” on the internet amid an extensive crackdown on the country’s relatively free-wheeling online communities.
The boy from Zhangjiachuan county in north-west Gansu province, identified only by his surname, Yang, was detained after rebuking local police on Sina Weibo, China‘s most popular microblogging service. Local authorities have accused Yang of “picking quarrels and provoking disputes”, Chinese media reported. Read the rest of this entry »
Chinese Internet users could face three years in prison for writing defamatory messages that are then re-posted 500 times under regulations announced Monday amid a broader crackdown on “online rumours”.
Web users could also be jailed if offending posts are viewed more than 5,000 times under the new rules, which appear to be part of a controversial campaign against online chatter, which has seen companies, bloggers and journalists targeted.
China has the world’s largest population of Internet users and authorities seek to keep close control on the country’s hugely popular weibo microblog sites, where a number of officials have been exposed for corruption.
The new guidelines announced by the country’s most senior court and its top prosecuting body stipulate that netizens may be charged with defamation if “defamatory information” they post reaches the quotas on viewings or re-posts. Read the rest of this entry »