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Pompeo lifts ‘self-imposed restrictions’ on U.S.-Taiwan relationship

Pompeo lifts 'self-imposed restrictions' on U.S.-Taiwan relationship

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives a briefing to the media
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives a briefing to the media
 
Idrees Ali
 
 

By Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said he was lifting restrictions on contacts between U.S. officials and their Taiwanese counterparts, a move likely to anger China and increase tensions between Beijing and Washington in the waning days of President Donald Trump’s presidency.

China claims democratic and separately ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and regularly describes Taiwan as the most sensitive issue in its ties with the United States.

 

While the United States, like most countries, has no official relations with Taiwan, the Trump administration has ramped up backing for the island country, with arms sales and laws to help Taiwan deal with pressure from China.

In a statement, Pompeo said that for several decades the State Department had created complex internal restrictions on interactions with Taiwanese counterparts by American diplomats, service members and other officials.

“The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions,” he added.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, will visit Taiwan next week for meetings with senior Taiwanese leaders, prompting China to warn on Thursday they were playing with fire.

Chinese fighter jets approached the island in August and September during the last two visits: by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, respectively.

The United States is Taiwan’s strongest international backer and arms supplier, and is obliged to help provide it with the means to defend itself under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

“Today’s statement recognizes that the U.S.-Taiwan relationship need not, and should not, be shackled by self-imposed restrictions of our permanent bureaucracy,” Pompeo said.

Congress is moving to block goods made with the forced labour of Uyghurs

Working on the chain gang Congress is moving to block goods made with the forced labour of Uyghurs

America leads the world in restricting trade from Xinjiang

United StatesJan 9th 2021 edition

If a sportswear company like Nike or Adidas wants to know if any of the fabric in their socks or trainers is from Xinjiang, supplier of 20% of the world’s cotton, forensic science can help. Oritain, a firm based in New Zealand, says it can analyse sample swatches of cotton to determine whether particular elements—including zinc, potassium and rare-earth metals like cerium—are present in the same proportions as in cotton grown from the soil of the north-west region of China. Such tests of provenance are becoming valuable, because evidence is mounting that textiles made with cotton from Xinjiang, and other goods with links to the region, are the fruit of the forced labour of Uyghurs. The Trump administration has already moved to stop some imports from Xinjiang into the American market, and in the coming months Congress is expected to give customs officials greater power to do so. Other countries may follow America’s example.

In the past four years China’s ruling Communist Party has overseen the internment of more than 1m Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group that is indigenous to Xinjiang, in mass detention centres. In December the bbc and the Centre for Global Policy in Washington reported that at least a half-million Uyghurs were being put to work in cotton fields, conscripted to do a job handled by machines in many parts of the world, under the auspices of “poverty alleviation”. On December 28th BuzzFeed News reported, with the help of satellite imagery, the construction in the past few years of 21m square feet (nearly 2m square metres) of factory facilities on the grounds of more than 100 detention centres in Xinjiang.

 

Nikki Haley says Trump Twitter ban is ‘what happens in China’

Nikki Haley says Trump Twitter ban is 'what happens in China'

The tech giant announced late Friday that it was banning Trump from its platform

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Friday reacted to the permanent suspension of President Trump’s Twitter account, describing it as an instance of “silencing” of the kind that happens in communist China.

 

“Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country,” she tweeted, adding the hashtag #Unbelievable.

HALEY TELLS GOP NOT TO ‘SHY AWAY’ FROM TRUMP-ERA GAINS, BUT CALLS HIS RECENT CONDUCT ‘DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING’

Haley, who served in the Trump administration between 2017 and the end of 2018, tweeted shortly after the tech behemoth announced that it was permanently suspending the Trump account — which the 45th president has used to communicate with the country and announce policies, as well as hirings and firings.

The ban came within days of the riot at Capitol Hill, which a number of Democrats and Republicans had blamed Trump for encouraging. Twitter indicated it was within that context that the ban was being administered and shared two recent tweets as justification.

TWITTER SUSPENDS @REALDONALDTRUMP ACCOUNT PERMANENTLY

One read: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

The other was a tweet from Trump saying he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

 

“These two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” the company said.

“After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”

Haley had earlier this week been critical of Trump’s role in Wednesday’s events, calling his conduct “deeply disappointing.”

“President Trump has not always chosen the right words. He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time,” she told a Republican National Committee (RNC) dinner in Florida on Thursday. “He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

But Haley’s criticism of the tech giant lined up with a number of other Republicans — many of who were critical of the riot and Trump’s conduct, but also nervous about what they saw as censorship by the Silicon Valley company.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“What happened on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol is as wrong as wrong can be,” tweeted Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. “But canceling conservative speech will not promote ‘unity and healing.’”

 

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz warned: “Big tech tyranny is playing out before our very eyes.”

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

تۈرك مەدەنىيىتىدىكى چوڭ ئوخشاشلىق ۋە كىچىك پەرقلەر
Big similarities and small differences in Turkish culture

تۈرك مەدەنىيىتىدىكى چوڭ ئوخشاشلىق ۋە كىچىك پەرقلەر
Big similarities and small differences in Turkish culture

<br/>ۈرك مەدەنىيىتىدىكى چوڭ ئوخشاشلىق ۋە كىچىك پەرقلەر <br/> Big similarities and small differences in Turkish culture

India apprehends Chinese soldier for transgressing border

India apprehends Chinese soldier for transgressing border

FILE- In this Sept. 14, 2017, file photo, Indian army trucks drive near Pangong Tso lake near the India China border in India's Ladakh area. The Indian army said Saturday, Jan. 9, 2020, that it has apprehended a Chinese soldier in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed mountain border. An army statement said the Chinese soldier was taken into custody on Friday for transgressing into the Indian side in area South of Pangong Tso lake. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
 
ASHOK SHARMA
 
 

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian army said Saturday that it had apprehended a Chinese soldier in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed mountain border.

An army statement said the Chinese soldier was taken into custody on Friday for transgressing into the Indian side in area South of Pangong Tso lake.

“The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC (Line of Actual Control) are being investigated,’’ the statement said.

 

China said it informed the Indian side as soon as one of its soldiers went missing “due to darkness and complicated terrain.”

The Indian side later confirmed that it had found the missing soldier and said it would return him to the Chinese side, China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“The Indian side should strictly abide by relevant agreements between the two countries and hand over the lost personnel to the Chinese side as soon as possible, to add positive factors to cool down the situation at China-India border and jointly maintain peace and calm in the border area,” the statement said.

Indian and Chinese soldiers often lose their way in the disputed Himalayan region.

In October, India detained another Chinese soldier in Ladakh’s Demchok area, but he was freed after he was found to have strayed across the de facto border.

In September, China released five Indian nationals who went missing from the eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh amid simmering tensions between the two countries. The five men were Indian hunters.

The high-altitude standoff between the Asian giants began in early May with a fierce brawl, and exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details.

witter blocks ‘dehumanizing’ Chinese Embassy tweet claiming Uighur women are no longer ‘baby-making machines’

witter blocks 'dehumanizing' Chinese Embassy tweet claiming Uighur women are no longer 'baby-making machines'

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Twitter blocks ‘dehumanizing’ Chinese Embassy tweet claiming Uighur women are no longer ‘baby-making machines’
Joshua Zitser 4 hours ago
uighur women london protest
A woman holds a placard during a London protest in support of Uighur people over ongoing human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region on October 08, 2020. Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in the US posted a tweet claiming that Uighur women were no longer “baby-making machines” because of the eradication of extremism.
Twitter removed it on Saturday morning for violating rules against “the dehumanization of a group of people,” according to Ars Technica.
The tweet was linked to an article, published by the Chinese Communist Party, that celebrated the decline in birth rates in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of northwestern China.
China has been accused of using inhumane birth control practices on Uighur women. Forced abortions, sterilization, and unwanted IUDs are “widespread and systematic” practices, according to the AP.
Sens. Tom Cotton and Rick Scott had condemned the tweet. A number of other politicians criticized it and urged Twitter to take it down.

Twitter urged to act on China’s ‘violent propaganda’ about Uyghur Muslim women

Twitter urged to act on China’s ‘violent propaganda’ about Uyghur Muslim women

Conservative MP Nus Ghani brands social media post ‘blatant fake news and violent propaganda’, as Jewish leaders join calls for Twitter to censor Chinese government accounts

Protestors against discrimination of Uyghurs
Protestors against discrimination of Uyghurs

Community leaders and leading MPs have urged Twitter to take action against Chinese government accounts, spreading “violent propaganda” about the sterilisation of Uyghur Muslim women.

Its Embassy to the United States shared an article from China Daily, state-run media, claiming the “eradication of extremism” in Xinjiang, an area of China with a large Uyghur population, has given women “more autonomy”.

It said: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.”

This comes after Jewish News led a campaign to highlight to MPs the similarities between the Jewish experience of persecution and China’s repression of its Uyghur minority – including sterilisation of the community’s women.

This included images of shaved heads, crammed cells and names replaced by numbers in vast ‘re-education’ camps, which have been met by communal outcry. Up to one million Uyghur Muslims thought to be detained, with concern raised last year after hair, forcibly removed Uyghur Muslim women, was found in the United Sates.

Conservative MP Nus Ghani responded to the article, calling on Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey to take action. She said the article is “blatant fake news & violent propaganda against millions of Uyghur women & children. Block this site – just as you banned Trump. Block it-stop the abuse.”

Last year, she hand-delivered a letter to Downing Street, organised with Jewish News, urging the UK to put pressure on China to end persecution.

MP Tom Tugendhat agreed with Ghani, saying: “Claiming that ethnic cleansing is a form of gender equality is horrific.”

Nus Ghani holding the Uyghur petition

Joining the chorus of condemnation was Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker, who said: “The attempt by the Chinese Embassy in the US to present an alleged programme of forced sterilisation of Uyghur women as a humanitarian measure is both outrageous and disgusting The persecution of the Uyghurs for their faith must stop immediately and the International community must be given access to verify “

Mia Hasenson-Gross Executive Director of Jewish human rights groups Rene Cassin said: “The forced steralisaltion, forced coupling and physical and sexual abuse that Uyghur women are experiencing is very real and goes against any value of humanity and dignity, as well as international human rights law.

“The genocidal acts committed against the Uyghur people are real and must end now! The Jewish community has been at the forefront on speaking out against what is happening to the Uyghurs and should continue to do so in any instance.

The Chinese government strongly denies claims about persecution, insisting it is a ‘re-education’ programme against extremist views.

US voices disgust at China boast of Uighur population control

US voices disgust at China boast of Uighur population control

Sam Brownback, US ambassador at large for international religious freedom, seen speaking in June 2020, has sharply criticized China's embassy for promoting population policies involving Uighur women
Sam Brownback, US ambassador at large for international religious freedom, seen speaking in June 2020, has sharply criticized China’s embassy for promoting population policies involving Uighur women
 
 
 

A US official voiced disgust Friday after China’s embassy took to social media to laud how women of the mostly Muslim Uighur community were no longer “baby-making machines.”

“Appalled and disgusted at lies” of the Chinese embassy, tweeted Sam Brownback, the US envoy on international religious freedom.

“Coercive population control is not reproductive health care. (Uighur) women deserve to enjoy their religious freedom and unalienable rights with dignity to make their own choices.”

 

China’s embassy on Thursday promoted a study in state-run media that said that the birth rate declined in 2018 among Uighur women as they increasingly accepted contraceptive measures due to the “eradication of religious extremism.”

“The minds of (Uighur) women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines,” the embassy tweeted from the study.

Rights groups say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim people in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang have been incarcerated in camps in a bid to root out Islamic customs and forcibly integrate minorities.

China insists it is offering vocational training to reduce the allure of extremism in the wake of deadly attacks.

A study by German researcher Adrian Zenz last year found that China had forcibly sterilized large numbers of Uighur women and pressured them to abort pregnancies that exceeded birth quotas, an assertion denied by Beijing.

US lawmakers have pointed to population control as they push for a declaration that China’s policies meet the definition of genocide.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, urged Twitter to remove the tweet by the embassy, which it said used the platform “to celebrate crimes against humanity.”

When I learned the #CCP was enforcing population controls on Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, I was the first leader to condemn it. Forced abortion, forced sterilization, jail & torture if you resist – this is what I mean by #StainOfTheCentury.

When I learned the #CCP was enforcing population controls on Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, I was the first leader to condemn it. Forced abortion, forced sterilization, jail & torture if you resist – this is what I mean by #StainOfTheCentury.

 

When I learned the #CCP was enforcing population controls on Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, I was the first leader to condemn it. Forced abortion, forced sterilization, jail & torture if you resist – this is what I mean by #StainOfTheCentury.

CHINA: FURTHER INFORMATION: UYGHUR AGAIN DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO: MAHIRA YAKUB

CHINA: FURTHER INFORMATION: UYGHUR AGAIN DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO: MAHIRA YAKUB

, Index number: ASA 17/3491/2021

Mahira Yakub has been sent back to Yining Detention Centre in China’s Xinjiang region in late November 2020 and is still without access to her family and a lawyer of her choice. A Uyghur who worked in an insurance company, she first went missing in April 2019 and was indicted in January 2020 for “giving material support to terrorist activity” after transferring money to her parents in Australia. She was temporarily released from custody on 4 September 2020 and subsequently hospitalized for unknown reasons. There are grave concerns for Mahira Yakub’s condition and wellbeing.

 
Second UA: 86/20 Index: ASA 17/3491/2021 China Date: 7 January 2021
 
URGENT ACTION
 
UYGHUR AGAIN DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO
Mahira Yakub has been sent back to Yining Detention Centre in China’s Xinjiang region in late November
2020 and is still without access to her family and a lawyer of her choice. A Uyghur who worked in an
insurance company, she first went missing in April 2019 and was indicted in January 2020 for “giving material
support to terrorist activity” after transferring money to her parents in Australia. She was temporarily
released from custody on 4 September 2020 and subsequently hospitalized for unknown reasons. There are
grave concerns for Mahira Yakub’s condition and wellbeing, especially as she suffered from liver damage
during a previous detention.
 
TAKE ACTION: WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER
 
Deputy Procurator of Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture People’s Procuratorate
Han Jielong
Lane 4, Sidalin (West) Lu
Yining Shi 835000
Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
People’s Republic of China
 
Dear Deputy Procurator Han:
 
I am writing to express my concern about Mahira Yakub (
亚库 ‧ 依拉玛
), a Uyghur insurance company
worker who is being held in Yining Detention Centre without access to her family and a lawyer of her
choice. She first went missing in April 2019 and was indicted for “giving material support to terrorist
activity” (
助恐怖活资
) in January 2020 for transferring money to her parents in Australia. I understand
that she was released from detention on 4 September 2020, after which she was taken to hospital for
unknown reasons, but she was returned to Yining Detention Centre in November 2020. Throughout this
time, Mahira Yakub’s family has not been able to get in touch with her.
 
It is alarming to learn that Mahira Yakub’s relatives residing in Xinjiang have been harassed by the Chinese
authorities because other relatives living overseas shared updates about her on social media. This type of
intimidation has no legal basis and is aimed solely at curbing others’ right to free expression.
 
Without access to her family and lawyer of her choice, I am deeply concerned about Mahira Yakub’s health
and wellbeing, especially as she did not receive adequate medical treatment when she suffered from liver
damage in a “transformation-through-education” facility from March to December 2018.
 
 
I therefore call on you to:
Release Mahira Yakub, unless there is sufficient, credible and admissible evidence that she
committed an internationally recognized offence and is granted a fair trial in line with international
standards;
Allow Mahira Yakub access to her family as well as prompt and adequate medical care, as
necessary or requested, facilitate her right to have effective legal representation of her choice, and
ensure she is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment;
Stop all kinds of harassment and intimidation against Mahira Yakub’s relatives.
 
 
Yours sincerely,
Second UA: 86/20 Index: ASA 17/3491/2021 China Date: 7 January 2021
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
Mahira Yakub worked at China Life Insurance Co. She also sold walnuts in local markets and taught Uyghur children
Mandarin Chinese at night. After Mahira Yakub went missing in April 2019, her sister who was living in Australia
reached out to the Australian authorities for their help. It was only in September 2019 that she learned, through
communications between the Australian authorities and the Chinese embassy in Canberra, that Mahira Yakub had
been arrested on 15 May 2019 and “prosecuted in July 2019 for allegedly financing terrorist activities and is currently
in good health”.
Mahira Yakub’s parents are accused by the Chinese authorities of being “fleeing terrorists” despite being able to visit
China without incident in 2015 and 2016. They have not been targeted in any way by the Australian authorities for
suspected criminal activities.
According to her sister, Mahira Yakub transferred money to her parents in June and July 2013 to help them pay for
a house in Australia. Mahira Yakub’s sister has kept the documentation, including the bank transfer receipts and
records of the house purchase. The Chinese authorities also claimed that Mahira Yakub possessed items, including
66 photos, that promoted extremism. Mahira Yakub’s sister believes that the photos were of herself, Mahira and their
mother wearing headscarves. No reasons were provided for Mahira Yakub’s detention in a “transformationthrough
education” facility from March to December 2018. It is unclear if this detention was related to her money transfers
to her parents.
When Mahira Yakub was taken away on 5 September 2020, her family members were told that she would be taken
to Yining People’s Hospital for unknown reasons. However, her family members were not able to speak to her even on
phone. According to her sister, Mahira Yakub has not been able to engage a lawyer because she is a Uyghur. Amnesty
International has documented cases in which members of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang were unable to hire lawyers
because the lawyers feared retaliation for representing them. Mahira Yakub’s aunt and uncle, Gulbekram Memtimin
(麦米提敏‧ 木热古勒拜克 ) and Qasim Tohti (托合提‧ 哈斯木), were indicted on the same charges. They are currently
released on bail.
Xinjiang is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in China. More than half of the region’s population of 22 million
people belong to mostly Turkic and predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, including Uyghurs (around 11.3 million),
Kazakhs (around 1.6 million) and other populations whose languages, cultures and ways of life vary distinctly from
those of the Han who are the majority in “interior” China.
In March 2017, the Xinjiang government enacted the “De-extremification Regulation” that identifies and prohibits a
wide range of behaviours labelled “extremist”, such as “spreading extremist thought”, denigrating or refusing to
watch public radio and TV programmes, wearing burkas, having an “abnormal” beard, resisting national policies, and
publishing, downloading, storing, or reading articles, publications, or audiovisual materials containing “extremist
content”. The regulation also set up a “responsibility system” for government cadres for “antiextremism” work and
established annual reviews of their performance.
It is estimated that up to a million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim people have been held in the
“transformationthrougheducation” centres. The Chinese authorities had denied the existence of such facilities until
October 2018, when they began describing them as voluntary, free “vocational training” centres. They claim that the
objective of this vocational training is to provide people with technical and vocational education to enable them to
find jobs and become “useful” citizens. China’s explanation, however, contradicts reports of beatings, food
deprivation and solitary confinement that have beencollected from former detainees. Chinahas rejected calls from
the international community, including Amnesty, to allow independent experts unrestricted access to Xinjiang.
Instead, China has made efforts to silence criticism by inviting delegations from different countries to visit Xinjiang
for carefully orchestrated and closely monitored tours.
PREFERRED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS TARGET: Chinese, English
You can also write in your own language.
 
PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE UNTIL: 18 February 2021
Please check with the Amnesty office in your country if you wish to send appeals after the deadline.
 
NAME AND PREFFERED PRONOUN: Mahira Yakub (she)