Sunday, September 30, 2018

China says Swedish police 'brutally abused' tourists ejected from a hostel

China says Swedish police 'brutally abused' tourists ejected from a hostel

Posted 17 Sep 2018
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VIDEO: Stockholm police eject a family of Chinese tourists from a hostel in the city centre. (ABC News)
The ejection of a family of Chinese tourists from a Stockholm hostel has sparked a diplomatic dispute between China and Sweden, after the tourists claimed they were man-handled by police officers and dumped at a cemetery in the early hours of the morning.

Key points:

  • China's Foreign Ministry says police treated the tourists "brutally"
  • It said Sweden was yet to respond to China's requests for information
  • Stockholm's chief prosecutor says police did nothing wrong
The allegations have seen China's embassy in Sweden issue a stern travel warning to all would-be visitors, which claimed police "brutally abused" and "violated the basic human rights of the Chinese citizens".
However Stockholm's chief prosecutor has told local media his office would not investigate the incident, as they assessed that police committed no crimes.
Video of the bizarre incident, which took place at the beginning of this month, was posted on Chinese social media last week by one of the tourists involved in the dispute.
Identified in Chinese state media only by his surname Zeng, he alleged in the online posts that he and his elderly parents had flown into Stockholm on the night of the incident.
He said they arrived at the Generator Stockholm hostel in the early hours of the morning, but were advised that their check-in was later that afternoon, according to Chinese state media tabloid the Global Times.
The paper said Mr Zeng asked staff if his parents could wait in some chairs in the lobby as his father was unwell, but staff "reacted rudely and told them to leave or they would call police".
When police arrived he reportedly also asked them if his parents could remain seated in the lobby.
"He said the police ignored his request and forcibly dragged his father out of the hotel and threw him to the ground," the newspaper reported.
Police can be seen in the video carrying a man by his arms and legs out of the hostel and placing him on the footpath outside.
In other parts of the video, the two female officers can be seen standing around the family as they sit on the footpath crying loudly, and as their son yells in English for them to be allowed into the hostel.
The state media outlet reported that officers later took the family away in a police car, where Mr Zeng alleged they "beat" his parents before dropping the family off at a graveyard around an hour later.
"Zeng said the temperature was lower than 10 degrees Celsius, so he and his parents huddled together for warmth in the dark as they heard the sounds of animals," the Global Times reported.
"Fortunately, someone who was passing by gave them a ride back to Stockholm after they stayed in the graveyard for half an hour."
In a statement posted on its website on Friday, the Chinese embassy urged the Swedish Government to conduct a thorough and immediate investigation into the incident.
"The Chinese Embassy in Sweden is deeply appalled and angered by what happened and strongly condemns the behaviour of the Swedish police," it said.

Prosecutor won't investigate incident

An image provided to the Global Times by Mr Zeng indicated that the cemetery was the SkogskyrkogƄrden, a UNESCO world heritage site south of central Stockholm.
It is around eight kilometres away from the hostel, and in the middle of the night, the trip should take around 10 minutes by car.
Stockholm's chief prosecutor Mats Ericsson told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper a report about the incident had been filed with his office, however they decided not to proceed with an investigation.
"We made the assessment that no crime on the part of the police had been committed," Mr Ericsson said.
He said police in Stockholm often drove people who engage in disorderly behaviour outside of the city's centre.
Mr Ericsson said police had dropped the tourists off at a train station at the cemetery, which was "a very common place" for police to leave people.
In Beijing on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang doubled-down on the Government's criticism when asked about the incident at a regular press conference.
"Three Chinese tourists, two elderly ones included, were brutally treated by the Swedish police in Stockholm," he told reporters.
"The Chinese side has not received any feedback on how the investigation is proceeding from the Swedish side, and the Swedish police still has not responded to the Chinese Embassy's request for a face-to-face communication.
"This is inconsistent with diplomatic and internationally accepted practice."
Mr Geng was also asked whether the case of Gui Minhai — a Swedish citizen who has been detained by Chinese authorities since 2015 — had any influence on China's strong comments on the tourist issue, but did not answer the question directly.
"China's position on [Gui Minhai] remains clear and unchanged," he said.
Mr Gui is one of several Hong Kong-based booksellers who have gone missing in recent years after publishing books critical of Beijing.
He disappeared while on holiday in Thailand in 2015 and later reappeared in China, where the Chinese-born Swedish citizen made a televised confession to a historic hit-and-run incident.
His case has been a diplomatic flashpoint between Sweden in China, who otherwise enjoy good ties, with Sweden having been the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Communist-ruled China in 1950.
Earlier this year, Sweden again called on China to release Mr Gui after police removed him from a train to Beijing while he was in the company of Swedish diplomats, who were taking him to visit a medical specialist.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

China's decades old blueprint to destroy the United States

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America’s Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell Donates $32,575 to Close South Korean Dog Meat Farm

America’s Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell Donates $32,575 to Close South Korean Dog Meat Farm

September 29, 2018   
Simon Cowell, the 58-year-old America’s Got Talent (AGT) judge and a dog lover, donated £25,000 ($32,575) to Humane Society International (HSI) in an effort to close a dog meat farm in South Korea, according to a Facebook post by HSI on Sept. 27.
“We are excited to announce that Simon Cowell has just donated a HUGE £25,000 to HSI to help us close down a dog meat farm in South Korea saving over 200 dogs from being killed and eaten,” HSI said in the post, “We work with dog meat farmers who wish to leave this dying industry and help them switch to alternative livelihoods of their choice that do not involve any animal agriculture.”
According to HSI, they will use the money to rescue 200 plus dog from the dog meat farm. This will be the 13th dog meat farm in South Korea closed by HSI. The total number of dogs saved by HSI will amount to 1,600.
America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell
Producer Simon Cowell arrives at the National Music Awards at the Carling Hammersmith Apollo in London, on Oct. 26, 2003. (Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
“With every dog farm we close and every farmer we help [to] switch to a more profitable, humane business,” HSI said in a Facebook post, “we’re showing the South Korean government that it’s possible to end this cruel trade.”
The dog meat farmer has signed the contract and HSI’s Animal Rescue Teamwill leave for South Korea to rescue the 200 plus dogs early on the week of Sept. 30, according to an update from HSI on Sept. 26, 2018.
The music mogul Cowell has long been a supporter of HSI’s #EndDogMeat campaign. He once told Good Morning Britain that eating a dog would be like “eating your friend. It’s the fact you’re eating such a kind, helpless, sweet animal.”
South Korean has a long history of eating dog meat, originating from the Three Kingdoms of Korea period during the first century A.D.
According to a press release by HSI, eating dog meat is fast declining in popularity in South Korea, particularly among the younger generation.
However, thousands of dog meat farms still exist in South Korea. Around 2.5 million dogs are being bred for human consumption, HSI said.
A South Korean court ruling made the killing of dogs for meat illegal in a landmark decision in June 2018. Animal rights group Care, sued a dog farm operator in the case, arguing that meat consumption was not a legal reason to kill dogs. The decision paved the way for outlawing dog meat consumption entirely in South Korea, Kim Kyung-eun, a lawyer for Care, told AFP.
Nearly 1 million people signed a petition in 2018 to end the dog meat trade in South Korea, and it was delivered to President Moon Jae-in’s residence in August.
petition to end the dog meat trade in Asia is available on HSI’s website.

Trump Is Right to Confront Revisionist China

Trump Is Right to Confront Revisionist China

September 24, 2018    
The Trump administration implemented another round of tariffs, hitting $200 billion of Chinese goods. Predictably, Beijing cried foul and immediately pointed the finger at President Donald Trump for escalating tensions between the two countries.
Don’t be confused: China threw the first stone a long time ago. Beijing has vastly expanded its military ambitions, promoted unfair trade practices, and proactively worked to steal American technology. China is no friend. It is a great power competitor seeking global hegemony.
Previous administrations sought to develop closer ties with the communist state through economic integration and diplomatic outreach, hoping to bring China into the liberal world order. Assessing the situation today, those attempts clearly failed.
China’s “hawks” are in the driver’s seat, and the liberal-oriented moderates have been forced to the sidelines. Beijing has become a rising revisionist power, seeking to upend the U.S.-led order in Asia to one where it owns the title of hegemon.
China wishes to once again exert political and military pressure on its former, much smaller, vassal states. “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact,” stated China’s former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in a private meeting in 2010. Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines are all in Beijing’s line of sight.
Military prowess and economic manipulation have been the main tools used to drive this revisionist agenda. Massive man-made military fortifications with advanced radar capabilities are now spread throughout the South China Sea in what were once open waters.
Japan was forced to scramble jets 851 times to intercept Chinese fighter planes near its airspace in 2016 alone. Beijing has also developed operational anti-ship missiles to target American aircraft carriers. China recently announced its naval forces are prepared to combat U.S. forces in the Pacific.
In addition to an aggressive military posture, Beijing has declared economic war on American companies. Companies seeking to do business in China are forced to enter agreements that allow the transfer of sensitive technology and information.
Beijing deploys state-funded espionage units to steal trade secrets. And China has long supported anti-trade measures like tariffs and large corporate subsidies.
Yet this revisionism is on a collision course with the Trump administration’s foreign policy. And that’s made China queasy.
Beijing’s unease was shown early after the Trump administration stated it would increase freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea. A government-sponsored media outlet fired an early warning shot declaring that Trump should “prepare for a military clash.”
But the Trump administration has refused to kowtow. Peace through strength has been the overarching theme of its approach.
The president has since ordered the navigation patrols to increase in the South China Sea. Secretary Mattis also disinvited China to participate in the Rim of the Pacific military exercise. Better yet, Trump slapped sanctions on China’s defense agency and its director after Beijing violated sanctions and bought Russian fighter jets and S-400 surface to air missiles.
In an effort to boost American power, Trump has ordered a buildup of the U.S. military with a whopping $717 billion budget for 2019. U.S. naval policy has been directed to support a 355-ship navy, an ambitious goal aimed at countering Beijing’s growing fleet.
Diplomatic outreach has also been a key piece of this agenda. Mattis and Secretary of State Pompeo recently traveled to India, a natural partner against China, where they participated in the first ever 2+2 U.S.-India meeting with their respective counterparts. The outcome: a historic joint military agreement.
Ties with Japan and Australia have strengthened through economic and security coordination. Efforts to improve relations with China’s former vassal states like Vietnam are front and center. And the United States recently opened a new compound in Taiwan to help strengthen cooperation between the two countries despite loud grievances from Beijing.
Ensuring America’s business environment remains competitive with China has also been on the forefront. Trump signed the largest tax cut in history for middle-class families and businesses large and small. Burdensome red tape has been cut and America’s “energy dominance” is in full-swing, which offers leverage against China.
Don’t expect the pressure to let up soon. Trump’s confrontational strategy will stay the course. China has no right to violate international law, pillage U.S. companies, and bully its neighbors. Its revisionist agenda must be stopped.
Alex Titus is a policy adviser and fellow at America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting policy initiatives that will put America first. You can find him on Twitter @ATitus7.