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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Links - 3rd December 2022 (2 - China's 'peaceful' rise)

EU sanctions for China’s Uighur internment criticised by Wang Yi - "China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi says Western sanctions imposed over human rights violations made the superpower feel bullied by European imperialists as he told a German audience they knew what genocide looks like.  A senior Member of the European Parliament, German Reinhard Buetikofer, angrily hit back saying that using the holocaust as a “diplomatic football” was a reckless new low in China’s wolf-warrior diplomacy... “When those EU sanctions were launched, the Chinese people were reminded of the days when we were bullied by European imperialists. We have our national dignity to uphold.”... “There is no forced labour in China,” Wang said. “There’s no such thing [as] concentration camps in Xinjiang.”... “The fact of the matter is that it has been precisely because of our wretched history that we have built our democracies and European Union on the basis of adherence to human rights and the rule of law. For us it is an historic obligation.  “If this People’s Republic of China had nothing to hide, they would open up and allow a full independent investigation; no amount of aggressive wolf-warrior diplomacy will obscure the fact that they still have not done so”"
Ironic, coming from the biggest imperialists of all

'The horror made me wonder if they are human': UK inquiry examines China genocide allegations - "Uyghur Muslims are shackled with “tiger chains”, tortured, forcibly sterilised, raped, and live in fear under mass surveillance, an independent London tribunal heard...  the tribunal heard that there are 232 concentration camps, 257 prisons, and 5,567 missing people in Xinjiang, according to the Uyghur Transitional Justice Database (UTJD)  Giving evidence to the hearing, Omir Bekali, one of the first people to speak out publicly about his experience in a re-education camp in China’s Xinjiang region, told how he was tortured and tied up with chains.  In his written evidence, he told how a hood was placed over his head and he was taken by a policeman to a "a place like a hospital where a full body examination took place while my hood was still on".   Days later he was taken to the basement of a police station where he was allegedly tortured: “They hung me from the ceiling. They chained me to the wall and beat me with plastic, wooden, electric batons and metal wire whip.   “They forced me to accept three crimes: instigating terrorism, organising terror activities, and covering up for terrorists. I denied everything.”  "Experiencing horror non-stop makes you wonder whether these people are human,” he told the tribunal via a translator.  Another alleged victim, Patigul Talip, broke down in tears as she held up a photo of her family. “Both my son and my daughter, I don’t know whether they are alive or dead,” she said. Ms Talip said she and her husband fled China after he was allegedly imprisoned and beaten for teaching the Arabic alphabet and the Quran.  They tried to get their children out of China and into Sweden but claimed that the kids were hauled off the plane as it was about to take off from Beijing...   In another written testimony, Qelbinur Sidik, an Uzbek woman from Xinjiang and former teacher at an internment camp, described being forcibly sterilized, hearing guards brag of raping female inmates, and being sexually assaulted by a Chinese minder sent to her home as part of a government integration program. The Tribunal is independent, not backed by any government and its determination (to be made by December) is not legally binding.  However, the panel hopes that the final ruling will help governments around the world evaluate their relations with China.  It was organised at the request of advocacy group the World Uyghur Congress in the hope of garnering international support and action.   It is being chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who previously led the prosecution of Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal."
The good news is that the CIA is going to make the US go bankrupt soon, given how much they're spending in generating fake testimonials

The faces from China’s Uyghur detention camps - "Thousands of photographs from the heart of China’s highly secretive system of mass incarceration in Xinjian... are among a huge cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region.  The Xinjiang Police Files... The government’s claim that the re-education camps built across Xinjiang since 2017 are nothing more than “schools” is contradicted by internal police instructions, guarding rosters and the never-before-seen images of detainees.  And its widespread use of terrorism charges, under which many thousands more have been swept into formal prisons, is exposed as a pretext for a parallel method of internment, with police spreadsheets full of arbitrary, draconian sentences.  The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture or Islamic faith - and of a chain of command running all the way up to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping. The hacked files contain more than 5,000 police photographs of Uyghurs taken between January and July 2018.  Using other accompanying data, at least 2,884 of them can be shown to have been detained.  And for those listed as being in a re-education camp, there are signs that they are not the willing “students” China has long-claimed them to be. Some of the re-education camp photos show guards standing by, armed with batons.  Yet claims of coercion have been consistently denied by China’s most senior officials... Many have been detained just for ordinary, outward signs of their Islamic faith or for visiting countries with majority Muslim populations... The Xinjiang Police Files - the title being used for the cache by a consortium of international journalists of which the BBC is part - contain tens of thousands of images and documents.  They include classified speeches by senior officials; internal police manuals and personnel information; the internment details for more than 20,000 Uyghurs; and photographs from highly sensitive locations... A set of internal police protocols describes the routine use of armed officers in all areas of the camps, the positioning of machine guns and sniper rifles in the watchtowers, and the existence of a shoot-to-kill policy for those trying to escape.  Blindfolds, handcuffs and shackles are mandatory for any “student” being transferred between facilities or even to hospital... There are countless examples of people being punished retrospectively for “crimes” that took place years or even decades ago - with one man jailed for 10 years in 2017 for having “studied Islamic scripture with his grandmother” for a few days in 2010.  Many hundreds are shown to have been targeted for their mobile phone use - mostly for listening to “illegal lectures” or having encrypted apps installed. Others are punished with up to a decade in prison for not using their devices enough, with well over a hundred instances of “phone has run out of credit” being listed as a sign that the user is trying to evade the constant digital surveillance... Tursun Kadir’s spreadsheet entry lists some preaching and studying of Islamic scripture dating back to the 1980s and then, in more recent years, the offence of “growing a beard under the influence of religious extremism”... Even for those not in a camp or prison, the Xinjiang Police Files reveal the gruelling impact of such high levels of scrutiny and surveillance.  The images show that Uyghurs still living in their homes were summoned in large numbers to be photographed, with the associated image timestamps showing whole communities - from the very elderly to families with young children - called into police stations at all hours, including in the middle of the night...  The photographs give human form to a policy designed to deliberately target Uyghur families as a repository of identity and culture and - in China’s own words - to “break their roots, break their lineage, break their connections, break their origins”... Working with a consortium of 14 media organisations from 11 countries, the BBC has been able to authenticate significant elements of the Xinjiang Police Files.  Uyghurs living in Europe and the US were asked for the names and ID numbers of their missing relatives back home in Xinjiang. Multiple matches in the spreadsheet data were discovered, providing firm evidence that the information contains real people. The BBC also asked Professor Hany Farid, an image-forensics expert at the University of California at Berkeley, to examine a subset of the photographs of Uyghur detainees.  He found no evidence that the images had been fabricated, with none of the usual tell-tale signs found in computer synthesised “deep fakes” nor any other indication of malicious, digital manipulation... After approaching the Chinese government for comment about the hacked data, with detailed questions about the evidence it contains, the media consortium received a written response from the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC... there was no response to any of the specific evidence in the cache...   The cache contains another secret speech, delivered in 2017 by Chen Quanguo - until recently Xinjiang’s hardline Communist Party secretary.  “For some, even five years re-education may not be enough,” he tells his audience of senior military and police cadres, a seeming admission that for as long as any Uyghur continues to feel a loyalty to identity or faith at least as strong as to the Party, there’s no end in sight.  “Once they are let out, problems will reappear, that is the reality in Xinjiang”"

Inside Xinjiang's 're-education camps': New images blow apart China's propaganda - "Chinese snipers were ordered to shoot at Uyghurs attempting to escape militarised internment camps in Xinjiang... Some were detained for being guilty “by association”. One prisoner’s son was described to have “strong religious leanings” for declining to drink or smoke, leading to her imprisonment. Her son too was detained and given a ten-year sentence on terrorism charges... in one county alone, at least 22,762 residents were either in a camp or prison between 2017 and 2018. This equals around 12 per cent of the population.  If the same percentage was applied to the rest of Xinjiang, it would mean that 1.2 million Uyghur and other Turkic minority adults were imprisoned."

Uyghurs in Australia scour through thousands of leaked photos from Xinjiang Police Files searching for loved ones - "Uyghurs in Australia spent much of the night searching frantically through the database hoping to find a glimpse of their family members... She said the new information was "extraordinary and chilling", and the photographs were reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge's torture prison, Tuol Sleng, in Cambodia."

Meme - ""If our genocide is fake, then where is my husband?" @Mehray_T has been married to her husband for 5 years, but has only spent 14 months with him. He's been in & out of China's Uyghur "concentration camps" & was recently sentenced to 25 yrs in prison."
"Australian-born Mehray Mezensof fears for her husband who has been detained in a Chinese re-education camp"
"I thought this was America or Israel and started getting really upset. But then I read that it's China and Uyghur. Fake news propaganda"

Chinese being ‘paid to marry Muslims in plan to wipe out Uyghurs’ - "Chinese people are being paid to marry Muslims in order to wipe out the Uyghur population, a human rights body has said. Local authorities are using financial incentives and blackmail to force Uyghurs and members of the Han majority into arranged marriages in China’s western Xinjiang region, according to a report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), a Washington-based nonprofit. The report draws from official policy documents, social media posts and interviews with Uyghurs abroad. Xinjiang officials have been offering cash rewards as well as housing and education subsidies, jobs and medical cover to Uyghur women willing to marry Han men – as well as reportedly threatening the women that they or their family could end up in internment camps if they refuse. In one instance, officials from Kalasa village in Aksu Prefecture offered 40,000 yuan (£4,750) to two mixed Uyghur-Han couples as part of the village’s “National Unity, One Family” campaign, according to local media. Similarly, the ancient city of Kashgar put aside 20,000 yuan (£2,380) annually for “ethnic intermarriage awards”, according to official documents. An Uyghur woman abroad said her neighbours “had to agree to wed their 18-year-old daughter to a Han Chinese out of fear that they could be sent to internment camps”... Videos circulating on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, and archived by Uyghur activists abroad, show mixed Uyghur-Han wedding ceremonies featuring clearly distressed Uyghur brides. In one such video, apparently used for propaganda, a mixed couple thanks China’s Communist Party for their “beautiful life,” while an Uyghur-language voiceover announces the government is urgently seeking “100 brides” to “promote the marriage between Uyghur and Han”. Such videos have raised concern among activists and fomented speculation that local authorities might be required to meet quotas for mixed marriages. China has “long viewed high rates or high instances of interethnic marriage as a kind of proxy symbol for social cohesion and national integration,” said James Leibold, a professor specialising in Chinese politics and society at La Trobe University in Australia. Beijing sees mixed marriages as creating a “more secure” environment for Xi Jinping’s foreign policies"

Is someone in debt nearby? Chinese court uses chat app to alert people as part of social credit system - "In a new addition to China’s data-driven social credit system, people in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, can check whether there are debtors near them with a swipe of their fingers.  The “Laolai Map” – laolai is a derogatory term for people who fail to pay back money – was announced by the Hebei Higher People’s Court last week... It pinpoints the user’s location and scans a radius of 500 metres (550 yards) for any laolai, including individuals, company employees and other organisations. The public can share the information as WeChat moments or with friends."

Chinese economists censored, removed from social media after critical takes on zero-Covid policy - "More outspoken economists and prominent investors are being silenced on social media in China as Beijing tightens its grip on online speech amid mounting economic pressure and growing controversies surrounding its zero-Covid policy.  The public accounts of Hong Hao, who was head of research at Bank of Communications (Bocom) International Holdings – a subsidiary of the state-owned bank – were removed from both WeChat and the Twitter-like Weibo service on Saturday.  Hong had more than 3 million followers on Weibo. It was unclear which red line the economist had crossed. Beyond the reach of China’s “Great Firewall”, Hong had made several posts on his Twitter account about the economic fallout resulting from Shanghai’s lockdown, including one on March 31 saying “Shanghai: zero movement, zero GDP”... Bocom International told the Post that Hong “has resigned due to personal reasons”, without providing further details. Hong’s name had been listed on the company’s daily market briefing report on Friday as head of research, but it was removed on Tuesday’s report... Weibo also recently suspended the accounts of a few other economists and market analysts, including Fu Peng, chief economist at Northeast Securities; Dan Bin, chairman of Shenzhen Oriental Harbor Investment; and Wu Yuefeng, partner and fund manager with Beijing-based Funding Capital. All of their suspensions were said to be for “violating related laws and regulations”.  Some investors on Weibo expressed confusion over the censorship, saying it would be increasingly difficult for them to find credible investment suggestions. Amid swelling discontent over China’s strict “dynamic zero-Covid” approach that has resulted in mounting economic distress, Beijing has been ramping up efforts to purge content it deems “harmful”, by taking new measures to censor internet users.  Those caught in the cross hairs include Wang Sicong, the son of property tycoon Wang Jianlin. With 40 million Weibo followers, the influencer saw his account removed last month after calling into question both China’s state-sanctioned medicine for treating Covid-19, and the government’s mandatory testing policy in Shanghai. And Dai Yiyi, a management professor at Xiamen University, was temporarily silenced on Toutiao, a news aggregator run by ByteDance, on Sunday for “violating related regulations” after making comments that appeared to be critical of China’s zero-Covid policy. His post in question referenced Berkshire Hathaway’s elderly chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett, 91, and its vice-chairman, Charlie Munger, 98, whom Dai said live in one of the “Western countries where Covid is rampant” – borrowing an oft-used line from Chinese state media.  “They did not wear masks and talked for six hours when tens of thousands of people gathered. Are they stupid? Or do they not want their lives? If they are stupid, how did they become so rich? If they want to die, how can they live so long?” Dai said.  He added that such questions “bother me deeply”. In January, outspoken and controversial economist Ren Zeping was also banned from posting on Weibo after sparking lively debate with a string of posts suggesting that the central bank print 2 trillion yuan (US$314 billion) to support the birth of 50 million babies over the next 10 years. On Thursday, the Securities Association of China (SAC), which functions under the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Civil Affairs, issued a notice to securities firms about regulating online speech by analysts.  “As public figures, securities analysts’ words and deeds are widely regarded by society and the media,” the SAC said, adding that “inappropriate” comments and actions could harm both their institutions’ reputations and that of the entire securities industry, and that analysts’ assessments must be better managed.  “All companies should strictly follow relevant regulations to do a good job in [terms of] quality control and compliance reviews of research reports to be released.”"
Of course, China shills buy the line that they were justly removed. Or maybe they'll claim it's part of Xi Dada's anti-corruption campaign

China’s Big Tech Firms Are Axing Thousands of Workers - WSJ - "China’s biggest tech companies are conducting large-scale layoffs this year as they deal with an economic slowdown and Beijing’s regulatory pressure... While Chinese internet companies regularly let go of underperforming employees, much of the current round of layoffs is linked to either China’s regulatory clampdown over the past year or the economic slowdown... Some of the new cuts amount to around 20% of staff in some business units, higher than the single-digit percentage level of cuts common in annual restructuring... These cuts are a part of the broader layoff trend that has emerged in China over the past months. In February, China’s official unemployment rate was 5.5%, up 0.4 percentage point from the end of 2021, while the youth jobless rate climbed to 15.3% from 14.3%.  Last year, Beijing unleashed a raft of regulations on various industries including internet platforms, real estate and for-profit education services as Chinese leader Xi Jinping sought to rein in what Chinese officials have described as capitalist excesses"
China shills claim that the CCP is concerned about the common people and economic growth, but will then say that the people support restricting big companies for the common good

Xi Jinping Is Watching His Back - "Chinese President Xi Jinping’s image may be all over the news these days, but in real life, Xi has all but vanished from the world stage. Hunkering down in Beijing for more than 700 days, Xi was a no-show at last year’s United Nations General Assembly, the G-20 summit in Rome, and the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Xi’s disappearing act is occurring at the same time he and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) face serious domestic headwinds, including rampant energy shortages, rising unemployment, and a real estate market teetering on the edge of collapse... the pandemic alone cannot explain Xi’s refusal to leave his seat of power—or to shelve, however temporarily, his grand international ambitions.  Instead, if Xi’s latest pronouncements are any indication, there is something else keeping him awake at night: growing fears about resistance to his rule from factions inside the CCP.   Put plainly, as China’s economy stumbles and its global standing tumbles, Xi is quickly realizing that after almost a decade in power, his demand for “absolute loyalty” within the CCP remains quixotic at best—and foolhardy at worst. And that is a major cause for concern less than 10 months before the CCP’s 20th Party Congress, when Xi is expected to assume a once unthinkable third term as the party’s general secretary... In doing so, Xi effectively enshrined himself alongside Mao Zedong in the pantheon of great Chinese rulers. But, perhaps sensing disunity within the ranks, Xi bluntly warned that, “Cliques, gangs, and interest groups within the party will be resolutely investigated and punished.” On this front, Xi promised “no mercy” for CCP officials who put themselves before party unity. Less surprising is that Xi avoided any mention of the reforms institutionalized by China’s other great revolutionary leader, Deng Xiaoping. They included Deng’s opposition to the cult of personality and his abolition of lifetime political appointments. Such omissions were almost certainly not lost on CCP elites long suspicious of Xi’s hasty and often messy consolidation of power over the last 10 years...   Xi’s focus on regime security also carried over into remarks later in December before an audience that included nearly every member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest-level decision-making body. Xi asked that all those present take a pledge to protect the authority of the party’s centralized, unified leadership. Put another way, Xi demanded that the party’s leaders demonstrate their personal loyalty to him. On how many occasions have Standing Committee members repeated this same pledge in recent years? Countless times, for sure. More puzzling is why Xi must constantly hear them declare it in public if, as he so defiantly claims, his political future is all but assured? The simple explanation for Xi’s refusal to leave China and his recent, over-the-top loyalty push is that Xi recognizes he is increasingly vulnerable...   At what could hardly be a more inopportune time for Xi—a few months before his third-term coronation—growing voices within the party are raising uncomfortable questions about not just Xi’s economic stewardship but his entire governing philosophy.  One recent speech by a former Chinese ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai, has attracted tremendous interest in Chinese political and diplomatic circles. Using words like “careless” and “incompetent,” Cui sounded the alarm about Beijing’s eroding global standing and Washington’s growing ability to constrain China’s ambitions. In a scathing rebuke of the so-called wolf warrior diplomacy Xi has unleashed, Cui noted that China “should not fight a war we are not prepared for, a war we are not sure of winning, a war of anger and attrition.” Even more pointedly, Cui warned that, “Every ounce of our peoples’ gains has been hard-won, and we must not allow them to be plundered by anyone or suffer losses due to our own carelessness, laziness, and incompetence.” The evolving nature of Xi’s ostensible anti-corruption push also reveals a party seemingly at odds with itself. Mao’s purges were often indiscriminate, targeting friends and foes alike who disagreed with him. Xi’s push for party purity has primarily targeted potential successors and political rivals."

Xi’s Confidence Game | Foreign Affairs - "Since the death of Mao nearly 50 years ago, the track record of U.S. assessments of China’s capabilities and intentions has been poor. Following the Great Helmsman’s demise in 1976, many American observers expected the CCP regime to collapse. It did not. The June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square crackdown, followed by the demise of the Soviet Union less than two years later, convinced some of the most eminent China specialists that the end was nigh for the CCP. Yet within just a few years, China’s economy was growing at double digits. After the global financial crisis in 2008, many analysts depicted the party as having perfected a new model of governance and economic management, one capable of impressive feats of long-term planning and strategic calculation. Yet these estimates also proved to be overstated, as the recent turmoil surrounding the Chinese technology and real estate sectors have shown... there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of authority Xi has over foreign policy and the number of international setbacks China faces."

US, Germany support Lithuania in spat with China over Taiwan - "Lithuania broke with diplomatic custom last year by letting the Taiwanese office in Vilnius bear the name Taiwan, instead of Chinese Taipei, which most other countries use to avoid offending Beijing. China considers Taiwan part of its territory with no right to diplomatic recognition, and Lithuania's move infuriated Beijing, which withdrew its ambassador to Vilnius and expelled the Lithuanian ambassador to Beijing... China had been pushing European and American companies to stop building products with components made in Lithuania or risk losing access to the Chinese market.  “This isn’t just about Lithuania, but about how every country in the world should be able to determine its own foreign policy free from this kind of coercion," he said, adding that the U.S. would work with its allies to diversify supply chains and counter "all forms of economic blackmail.” Germany's foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said that "we as Europeans stand in solidarity at Lithuania’s side.”  The EU's top trade official said last month that the bloc would stand up to coercive measures imposed on its member state Lithuania, citing reports of Chinese customs blocking imports from the country. Valdis Dombrovskis, a European Commission vice president from Latvia, said if necessary the EU would take up the issue at the World Trade Organization."

Lithuania says to throw away Chinese phones due to censorship concerns - "Flagship phones sold in Europe by China's smartphone giant Xiaomi have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Free Tibet", "Long live Taiwan independence" or "democracy movement", Lithuania's state-run cybersecurity body said... The capability in Xiaomi's Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the "European Union region", but can be turned on remotely at any time... The National Cyber Centre's report also said the Xiaomi phone was sending encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore."

Lithuania will ‘pay for what it did’, says China after it forges ties with Taiwan

Matas Maldeikis MP 🇱🇹 on Twitter - "The Chinese Communist Party is threatening to "sweep Lithuania into the trashcan of history", which is ironic, because that's where communism already is. #StandWithTaiwan 🇱🇹💕🇹🇼🍍"

China's Rising Menace Hardens Taiwan's Separate Identity - The New York Times - "When Li Yuan-hsin, a 36-year-old high school teacher, travels abroad, people often assume she is Chinese.  No, she tells them. She is Taiwanese.  To her, the distinction is important... Well over 90 percent of Taiwan’s people trace their roots to mainland China, but more than ever, they are embracing an identity that is distinct from that of their Communist-ruled neighbor... Ms. Li is among more than 60 percent of the island’s 23 million people who identify as solely Taiwanese, three times the proportion in 1992, according to surveys by the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University in Taipei. Only two percent identified as Chinese, down from 25 percent three decades ago... When nearby Hong Kong erupted in anti-government protests in 2019, Ms. Li, the schoolteacher, followed the news every day. She saw Beijing’s crackdown there and its destruction of civil liberties as evidence that the party could not be trusted to keep its promise to preserve Taiwan’s autonomy if the sides unified. Ms. Li’s wariness has only grown with the pandemic. Beijing continues to block Taiwan from international groups, such as the World Health Organization, a clear sign to her that the Communist Party values politics above people. Taiwan’s success in combating the coronavirus, despite these challenges, had filled her with pride... As Beijing has ramped up its oppression of ethnic minorities in the name of national unity, the Taiwan government has sought to embrace the island’s Indigenous groups and other minorities... To many young people in Taiwan, to call yourself Taiwanese is increasingly to take a stand for democratic values — to not, in other words, be a part of Communist-ruled China... When Beijing imposed an unofficial trade blockade to punish Lithuania for strengthening ties with Taiwan, people in Taiwan rushed to buy Lithuanian specialty products like crackers and chocolate. Democracy isn’t just an expression of Taiwan’s identity — it is at its core"

Taiwan’s Success in Coronavirus Fight Poses Challenge to China - WSJ - "The pandemic has even emboldened advocates of Taiwanese nationhood. In a March survey commissioned by Taipei’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles policy toward Beijing, 26.7% of respondents said Taiwan should ultimately seek independence while keeping the status quo for now, the highest level ever recorded in polling data released since the mid-1990s, and up from 21.7% in October. Another 9.3% said Taiwan should declare independence as soon as possible, the highest level since 2008 and up from 6% in October... The row escalated this week when WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accused Taiwan of being the source of racist attacks on himself, drawing forceful protests from Taipei, which demanded the agency chief apologize for his “baseless allegations.”... For many Taiwanese, Dr. Tedros’s remarks reinforced long-held perceptions about China’s influence over the WHO... Resentment in Taiwan against its WHO exclusion has simmered since the pandemic erupted. In the March survey commissioned by the Mainland Affairs Council, nearly 92% of respondents said they opposed the Communist Party’s efforts to exclude Taiwan from the WHO. Some 61.5% agreed that China’s government is unfriendly toward the Taiwanese people, the highest level since 1999.  Taiwanese officials, media and even ordinary citizens have repeatedly referred to the “Wuhan pneumonia” in Chinese, defying Beijing’s insistence on using Covid-19, the official name assigned by the WHO, which says that labeling diseases by their geographic origin causes stigma. Chinese officials and state media had referred to the “Wuhan pneumonia” during the initial outbreak before denouncing the name as derogatory."
Are the Taiwanese racist for calling it "Wuhan pneumonia"?

China's Economic Model Is Probably Broken - Bloomberg - "President Xi Jinping’s “Common Prosperity” drive should be seen in this context; not as an attempt to spread wealth but to pool losses, with the richest having to pay much more. That will help China guard against financial crisis and economic implosion, though will not guarantee that they will be sidestepped. I suspect that “Common Prosperity” is an implicit acknowledgment that it will take many more years — and a new economic model — for China to work its way through these problems."

Why do Singapore and Malaysia have a more favourable view of China than the US? - "In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center released at the end of June, Singapore, followed closely by Malaysia, was found to have the most favourable views of China. Some 67 per cent of Singaporeans and 60 per cent of Malaysians polled viewed China favourably, while an overwhelming majority of respondents from both states said their country had good ties with China. The results stood in stark contrast to other countries polled, many of whom held unfavourable views of China compared to the United States... Some 67 per cent of Singaporeans and 60 per cent of Malaysians said they saw China in a positive light. In comparison, 51 per cent of Singaporeans viewed the US favourably, while only 44 per cent of Malaysians had positive views towards the US – the lowest among all the countries polled.  Those results made the two Southeast Asian nations outliers in the Pew survey, where an overwhelming majority of the approximately 25,000 respondents polled said they held unfavourable views of China.  In the Asia-Pacific, 87 per cent of respondents in Japan regarded China negatively, as did 86 per cent in Australia and 80 per cent in South Korea... On whether they believed China’s leader “will do the right thing regarding world affairs”, 69 per cent from Singapore and 62 per cent from Malaysia expressed “some or a lot of confidence” in President Xi... Business executive Han says every country has its own ways of dealing with internal problems. “A leader has to do what he has to do,” he says, adding that he looks up to figures such as Suharto and Ferdinand Marcos Snr, the former dictators of Indonesia and the Philippines... Chong Ja Ian, an associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, said populations in Singapore and Malaysia were more “primed towards pliancy to authority” and tended to place more emphasis on economic performance... China’s large economy and its status as a major military power are also seen by some in Singapore as signs of success, he said. “A sense of pragmatism that is common in Singapore is to read material success as worthy of approval and emulation.”  Chong noted that Beijing’s efforts in strengthening Chinese culture may also “appeal to Singaporeans who may be seeking cultural and ethnic roots”... Meanwhile, there are also Singaporeans who disapprove of the US and Europe for their “excesses and failings”, including domestic problems ranging from race relations to political infighting, gun violence, economic troubles, and the invasions of countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, Chong noted.  “These Singaporeans may see US allies in Europe as complicit in these acts,” Chong said, adding that these Singaporeans tend to approve of what they see as the opposite of the US and Europe, in this case China and its leadership.  The academic said the lingering resentment by some Chinese-educated Singaporeans against historical policies that diminished their prospects may have influenced them to view China’s rise more favourably.  In the 1970s, Singapore shut down a number of vernacular schools as it made English the medium of instruction for all students.  The move led graduates of traditional Chinese schools to feel aggrieved over what they saw as a rollback of Chinese language and culture, and more importantly, a loss of career opportunities to those who were educated in English.  “They may see the rise of China into a global power as a vindication of their views. They associate themselves with the success of [China] and support the positions Beijing and its leaders take,” he said. “Some of this is in response to the condescension they experienced from the Anglophone Singapore elite.” Linda Lim, a Singaporean economist at the University of Michigan, noted that unlike some of the other countries surveyed, Singapore did not see China as a military threat and had no historical animosity or current conflict.  “China is too far away and, it is believed, would not want to undermine the Singapore and Southeast Asian economies by aggressive military action there,” she said.  The city state also doesn’t share the anxieties of Japan and South Korea, which view China as an economic competitor. Rather, Singapore has positioned itself as an agent of Chinese companies seeking to go regional or even global, just as it has for Western multinationals... “Many Singaporeans – especially the Mandarin-speaking, Chinese-educated, and new citizens originally from China – benefit from business with and employment in Chinese companies, so they benefit from China’s economic rise”... On human rights, Lim said Singaporeans had been conditioned to perceive individual freedoms “as unimportant or even dispensable” due to six decades of uninterrupted rule by the People’s Action Party, “which explicitly emphasises pragmatism over principle”... one source of influence had come from “recent immigrants, permanent residents and short-term visa holders from China”.  “They are so numerous that they cluster among themselves, with their own business and social associations, media and social media outlets that have close relations with China state organisations and readily propagate China state views”... “Many don’t speak English and also now dominate the Chinese-language media, cultural and educational space in Singapore, which spills over to and influences locally-born Singaporeans. You don’t need China state propaganda efforts and information campaigns to exert influence.”... Malaysians had always viewed the West with some scepticism due in part to years of nationalistic rhetoric by Malaysia’s political elite, and this fed into existing cultural and emotional ties to China... 67 per cent of the ethnic Chinese respondents viewed China positively, compared to just 28 per cent of the ethnic Malay respondents."

Woke Religion: A Taxonomy

This is very Christianity focused but it shows how similar wokeism is to it (and also how different woke causes are similar to each other). Too bad some of the items are quite forced, misclassified or questionable (maybe only true in a US context), and it doesn't have a row to show the Christian parallels.


Woke Religion: A Taxonomy

Category: Racism

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible
White people

Myths: Creation Story
The American War of Independence was fought to maintain slavery
Structural racism is the cause of all racial inequality and the only explanation possible for disparate outcomes by racial group
Asian success is due to Asians participating in white supremacy
Rioting and looting are political acts
We rarely discuss slavery and history of racism

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
Black people
Indigenous people
People of color

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Coates, Kendi, DiAngelo
Black Lives Matter
Critical Race Theorists

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
Math is racist
White people borrowing elements from other cultures is theft (i.e. “cultural appropriation”)
Culture doesn’t matter
Racism is as bad as ever
Living white people are guilty for sins committed by dead white people
Speech/silence equals violence
Implicit bias tied to real world harm

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
Racism has declined
There is broad societal acceptance of interracial relationships and families
Black wealth is rising
The obsession with race can make racism worse
1964 Civil Rights Act and subsequent legislation banned structural racism
Police do not kill unarmed black men at higher rates than other races
Asian success is due to hard work and higher ed

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
“Reverse racism”
“Acting white”
“All lives matter”

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Reparations/Affirmative Action/ racial preferences
Using correct language
Public apologies
White people not speaking
Asking students or employees to self- segregate on the basis of race
Diversity trainings
White people confessing to being racist
Announcing one’s race

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
“People of color”
Capitalized “Black” but lower-case “white”


Category: Climate Change

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Fossil fuel use
Industrial revolution
Modern farming
Western development

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible
Exxon, BP, etc. (fossil fuels industry)
“Climate deniers”
Koch Brothers

Myths: Creation Story
The Earth’s climate was safer in past
Climate change is making natural disasters deadlier and more expensive
Climate change is the main cause of high intensity forest fires
We rarely discuss climate change
We can power world with renewables
Human civilization is unsustainable

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
Subsistence farmers
Maldives, Tuvalo and other small island nations
Young people
Global South

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Climate scientists, activists, journalists
UN officials
Greta Thunberg
Vandana Shiva
Thomas Malthus

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
Climate change will make humans extinct
Humans causing sixth mass extinction
Study of “tipping points” is scientific
Prosperity doesn’t depend on high energy use
Prosperity is not necessary for happiness
Organic agriculture can feed the world while protecting nature

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
Deaths from natural disasters have declined 90% since 1900
Renewables can’t power high-energy world
Emissions are declining in developed nations and could soon peak and start to decline globally
Food surpluses are rising
Some climate policies hurt the poor and increase emissions
Nuclear energy is safe, clean, and effective, with myriad beneficial side effects
Renewables are dirty to produce and distribute
Prosperity (without inflation) follows shifting to cheaper, higher energy-density fuels, not more expensive lower energy-density fuels.

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
Nuclear power plants have the smallest environmental impact of any energy source
Fracking reduces carbon emissions
Economic development outweighs impact of climate change
Renewables hurt the environment
Wealth is good
“We’re safer than ever”

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Carbon offsets
Walking, biking, or public transit
Renewable Energy Credits
Carbon budgets
Climate reparations
Climate conferences
Extinction Rebellion-style performance art and public protests

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
“Sustainable” / “Sustainability”
“Net-Zero (Emissions)”
“Carbon Zero” / “Carbon Negative”


Category: Trans

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Sex or gender spectrum reduced to just two sexes and genders

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible
People who view sex as biologically determined
Opponents of legal requirements to use trans pronons (sic)
Opponents of allowing trans women athletes to compete with biological women athletes

Myths: Creation Story
Trans women or trans men are identical to biological women or biological men
Violence against trans people is on the rise, disproportionate, and due to being trans

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
Trans people
Nonbinary people

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Trans activists

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
Puberty blockers and surgery can change your biological sex
A person can immediately change their sex simply by identifying as the opposite sex, or as non-binary

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
Social acceptance of trans people is increasing
Trans kids and kids with gender dysphoria often benefit from parental involvement
Trans activism can hurt trans and gender- dysphoric children
Many children who think they’re trans have gender dysphoria
Many de-transitioners say they wish there had been more obstacles to changing their sex
Gender dysphoria is sometimes correlated with mental health problems
There is little evidence that transitioning reduces the risk of suicide

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
Sex heavily influences gender
Gender dysphoria is real

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Announcing one’s pronouns
Educating people about trans

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
“Speech is violence”
“Silence is violence”
“Trans women are women

Category: Crime

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Private property

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible
Prison guards

Myths: Creation Story
There are large numbers of unjustified killings of unarmed black men by police
Crime is not rising in progressive cities
Black people killed by police officers are sacred but black people killed by other black people aren’t
Police forces descended from slave patrols

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
Incarcerated people
Black people

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Progressive DAs
Black Lives Matter
Abolition movement activists
George Soros

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
Prisoners aren’t guilty, the system is
Jails and prisons aren’t necessary

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
Police reduce crime and prevent incarceration
The “Ferguson effect,” whereby anti-police protests result in police pull-back and criminal emboldenment, is
Anti-police agenda hurts black people
Most black people oppose defunding the police
Thirty times more black people killed by civilians than by the police
Taboo against cooperating with police and prosecutors is a barrier to successfully prosecuting criminals

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
“All lives matter”
“Black-on-black violence”

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Defund/abolish the police
Decriminalize theft

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
“Carceral state”
“Police state”
“Prison industrial complex

Category: Mental Illness

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Invention of mental illness

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible
Enlightenment philosophers

Myths: Creation Story
Enlightenment philosophy led to the medicalization of neuroatypical people
Psychiatrists don’t want to help people they just want to control them, whether with drugs or therapies

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Advocates of mentally ill
Michel Foucault
Thomas Szasz
R.D. Laing

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
Mental illness doesn’t exist except as a way to stigmatize neuroatypical people
Mentally ill people should be free to self- medicate however they see fit

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
Untreated mentally ill people are disproportionately violent
Many mentally ill people say they benefited from involuntary medical treatment

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
Some mentally ill people need involuntary medical treatment

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Close psychiatric hospitals
Demand the release of mentally ill people from psychiatric hospitals
Create all-voluntary community mental health clinics
Demand that the police not arrest mentally ill people when they break the law

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous

Category: Drugs

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Drug prohibition
Stigmatization of altered states of consciousness

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible

Myths: Creation Story
Most people in jail or prison are there for nonviolent drug offenses
We can liberalize, decriminalize and normalize addictive drugs without significantly increasing addiction

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
Drug users

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Harm Reduction Coalition
Drug Policy Alliance
George Soros

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
Decriminalizing or legalizing drugs is the key to preventing addiction and overdoses

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
Liberalization, decriminalization, and normalization of drugs increases use and addiction
Many recovering addicts credit being arrested for their recovery

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
Addicts who break laws should be arrested and given the choice between jail and rehab

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Distributing clean needles, and other drug paraphenalia
Providing services to homeless street addicts
Distributing Narcan

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
“Substance use disorder"

Category: Homelessness

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Private property

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible
Politicians who shut down open drug scenes (“homeless encampments”)

Myths: Creation Story
Homelessness is caused by poverty and high rents

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
The homeless

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right
Homeless advocates
Homeless service providers

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature
People who simply can’t afford rent and suffer no mental illness or addiction decide to live in tents on sidewalks
Acknowledging that homeless people suffer high rates of addiction and mental illness causes violence against them
Most violence against homeless people is by non-homeless people
Violence against homeless people is increasing

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
The rise in homelessness can’t be explained by trauma and abuse, which have steadily declined for decades
Most unsheltered homeless people are homeless because of their addiction and/or untreated mental illness
Housing First enables addiction
Homeless advocates restricted funding for shelter, worsening homelessness

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
Subsidized housing should be contingent on abstinence
People have a right to shelter, not to housing

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Free, unconditional housing
Homeless outreach
Defending the right of people to camp in public spaces

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
“People experiencing homelessness”


Addendum: This is by Michael Shellenberger and Peter Boghossian

Mirror for image:

I am also trying to explicitly draw the Christian parallels here: 

Category: Christianity

Original Sin: What happened in the past to make things so terrible today
Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit (of knowledge of good and evil)

Guilty Devils: The people who made things so terrible

Myths: Creation Story
Adam and Eve

Sacred Victims: People who continue to be harmed by original sin
Humans (themselves)

The Elect: Those chosen to make things right

Supernatural Beliefs: Beliefs beyond scientific understanding or known laws of nature

Taboo Facts: Things forbidden to say
The Problem of Evil
The Problem of Religious Pluralism
The Problem of Hell

Taboo Speech: Words that trigger anger among the elect
- (to be filled when I think of what fits)

Purifying Rituals: Acts perceived to make people innocent of guilt and responsibility
Good works
Donating to the Church

Purifying Speech: Words people use to be perceived as virtuous
He is Risen
God is Good
Praise the Lord

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