China’s vice president to visit Australia amid tax spat

Originally published by AFP,18 June 2010

 SYDNEY — Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping was to begin a five-day tour of Australia Saturday as Beijing seeks assurances on the key mining industry rocked by a proposed 40 percent tax on profits.

 Xi, widely tipped to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2013, was due to arrive late Saturday from New Zealand, where his entourage clashed with a lawmaker waving a Tibetan flag outside parliament.

 It is the first high-level Chinese visit to Australia since March’s jailing of Rio Tinto mining executive Stern Hu and the resumption of free trade talks between the two economic partners.

 Xi is expected to take a particular interest in the centre-left Labor government’s 40 percent tax on the so-called “super profits” of mining firms, which has prompted a furious backlash from the key export sector.

Continue Reading →

China notes ties with Islamic world

Originally published by UPI, 18 June 2010

BEIJING, June 18 (UPI) — The Chinese government, facing separatist pressures from its minority Uighurs in the northwest, says it values its friendly relations with the Islamic world.

In his meeting in Beijing with visiting Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the 56-nation member Organization of the Islamic Conference, China’s top legislator, Wu Bangguo, said his government has always valued its ties with Islamic nations, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. He said China appreciated the Islamic nations’ firm support of China’s core interests, which usually refers to its sovereign claims on Taiwan and Tibet.

Wu said China has always supported Islamic nations on issues of concern to them.

The report said Wu briefed Ihsanoglu on China’s national and religious policies and on the social and economic situation of the Xinjiang-Uighur region.

Continue Reading →

China plans Xinjiang crackdown for riot anniversary

Originally published by AFP, 18 June 2010

 BEIJING — Police in the capital of China’s restive Xinjiang will launch a security clampdown ahead of the anniversary of ethnic riots, the government said Friday, in an indication they fear further unrest.

 Authorities in the city of Urumqi, which exploded in deadly riots last July 5, will “increase the police presence in key places, vital sectors and public areas,” the Xinjiang region’s state-run Tianshannet website said.

 Police will also ramp up inspections of all people transporting and using dangerous explosive materials and “severely deal” with those found violating the rules.

 Xinjiang had already been beefing up security and authorities have warned of a continued “separatist” threat in the region after the violence in Urumqi last July between Muslim ethnic Uighurs and members of China’s dominant Han group.

Continue Reading →

Govt urged to discuss Tibet on Chinese VP visit

 16 June 2010
Press Release: Friends of Tibet

Govt urged to discuss Tibet on Chinese VP visit

New Zealand Tibet campaigners note with interest that Xi Jinping, the man widely tipped to succeed China’s President Hu Jintao in 2012, is visiting New Zealand from 17th to 19th June 2010, when he will meet Prime Minister John Key.

Friends of Tibet (NZ) urges Prime Minister Key to raise concerns about the situation in Tibet during their meeting; specifically we call on him to ask Vice President Xi to help to urge Hu Jintao to meet the Dalai Lama in order to progress a genuine solution to the occupation of Tibet.

Vice President Xi Jinping is the most senior of the 5th generation of Chinese leaders. He is a “princeling”, the son of Xi Zhongxun, a former Vice Premier who supported Hu Yaobang’s progressive ideas, denounced the leadership’s handling of the Tiananmen Square protests and was reportedly close to the 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet. Although Xi Jinping is currently thought to have relatively little involvement in determining China’s policies in occupied Tibet, he attended the recent 5th Work Forum on Tibet, and has the opportunity if he becomes President to lead a complete transformation in China’s approach to the Tibet issue.

Continue Reading →

Human Rights Defenders: Tulip Nomination of Ms Kadeer and Mr Jemilev


Originally published by UNPO, 17 June 2010

On Monday 14 June 2010, UNPO nominated two human rights defenders for the Dutch Human Rights Defenders Tulip Award; Rebiya Kadeer and Mustafa Jemilev, both of whom have demonstrated outstanding commitment to campaigning for the rights of their people. The Tulip Award is an accolade awarded by the Dutch government, to honor the work done by individuals in this field and to increase awareness of the breaches in human rights taking place across the globe.
Rebiya Kadeer, is the Uyghur human rights activist from East Turkestan and so-called “Mother of the Uyghurs” by her people, she has suffered repression at the hands of the Chinese government’s policies and been an active campaigner on behalf of her people since her release as a prisoner of conscience in 1995. She now lives in exile in the US, separated from her family which she had to leave behind; her sons in fact are detained in China as a consequence. Ms Kadeer has also been nominated for this award by the Dutch Department of the Turkish Academic Student Association (TASA); their Press Release can be found here.
Continue Reading →

China’s secret media

Not believing what they read in the papers, China’s leaders commission their own

Originallypublished by The Economist, 17 June 2010

IN A country where independent information-gathering is kept in check, what China’s leaders know and how they know it matters hugely. A recently leaked speech by Xia Lin, a senior editor at Xinhua, China’s government-run news agency, suggests that even though press controls have been somewhat loosened in recent years, leaders still rely heavily on secret reports filed by Xinhua journalists. Other evidence indicates this fault-prone system is actually gaining in importance.

 In the speech last month Mr Xia revealed that the news agency’s public reports about an eruption of ethnic rioting in the far-western region of Xinjiang last July had played down revenge attacks by Han Chinese against members of the region’s biggest ethnic group, the Uighurs. Mr Xia said it was only after reading a classified “internal reference” report on the reprisals that China’s president, Hu Jintao, cut short an overseas tour. A summary of Mr Xia’s remarks was posted online by one of the audience. Censors removed it and tried to stop it circulating elsewhere.

Continue Reading →

Violence Kyrgyzstan: Concern in Beijing

The Chinese have no military presence in Kyrgyzstan. There is an unestimated number of Uighurs in Kyrgyzstan who support the Islamic Movement of Eastern Turkestan (IMET).

Originally published The Srilanka Guardian
By B.Raman

(June 15, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Concerned over reports of isolated attacks on the members of the Chinese community in the Osh region of southern Kyrgyzstan, the Chinese Government has started evacuating its citizens frm the area.

Two planes were sent by the Chinese Government to Osh on June 14,2010, to airlift about 600 Chinese nationals out of the area which has seen violent attacks on Uzbeks by mobs of Kyrgyz youth, resulting in the death of over 120 persons, the majority of them Uzbeks. Over 40,000 Uzbeks are reported to have fled the area into the bordering Uzbekistan.

The Kyrgyz-Uzbek clashes are attributed to the eruption of tensions between Kyrgyz supporters of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was overthrown in a poular revolt in April and Uzbek supporters of a provisional Government headed by by Roza Otunbayeva. The support of the Uzbeks for the provisional Government and allegations—-denied by the provisional Government— that in return for the support extended by the Uzbeks in the overthrow of Bakiyev, the provisional Government intended permitting the formation of ethnic parties added to tensions between the two communities. Ethnic parties are banned at present and the Uzbeks, who constitute about one million out of the total population of 5.4 million, are not allowed to have their own political party.

Continue Reading →

A new Great Game in Central Asia as Kyrgyzstan suffers

Original published by The National, 17 June 2010

By Adrian Pabst

The violent ethnic unrest at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, which has killed hundreds and displaced more than a quarter of a million people over the past few days, is not simply a political crisis that is turning into a humanitarian tragedy. Instead, it represents the latest drama in the Great Game dominating Central Asia and beyond for more than two centuries.

Just as tsarist Russia and imperial Britain carved out spheres of interest in the 19th century, Moscow and Beijing are vying for geopolitical hegemony in the 21st. Paradoxically, at a time when the US and other western countries speak of a “multi-partner world”, we are seeing the rise of old eastern empires dressed in new clothes. This disproves the claim that the world will gradually converge towards a universal model of liberal market democracy.

The United Nations has proven far too weak to impose a multilateral solution. The secretary general Ban Ki-moon is liaising with the foreign minister of Kazakhstan, which currently chairs the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). They have agreed to co-ordinate a crisis response with the EU, and send special envoys to the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.

Continue Reading →