080. China’s Sprint to Nuclear Parity, or Superiority?

China’s Sprint to Nuclear Parity, or Superiority?

China has started a sprint to nuclear parity with the US, if not to nuclear superiority

Rick Fisher

Rick Fisher
July 12, 2021

Commentary 

In a February 2021 article for the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Commander Admiral Charles Richard wrote, “China’s nuclear weapons stockpile is expected to double (if not triple or quadruple) over the next decade.”

Then during a June 2 forum of the Air Force Association Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command Commander General Timothy Ray stated, regarding China’s strategic modernization, “Over the last six months we started to see changes, it’s not that we saw changes, it’s the number of times that assessments fell short of what they were actually accomplishing.”

A potential stark illustration of the degree to which past assessments “fell short” came in a July 1 Washington Post article reviewing recent commercial high resolution satellite imagery of China, by Dr. Jeffery Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, part of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and Decker Eveleth, a Reed College graduate student.

Near the Gansu Province city of Yumen, they found 109 new silos under construction for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). This major new People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) project likely prompted, in part, the warnings from Admiral Richard and General Ray.

This article noted PLARF efforts in other regions produced a total of 145 new silos under construction for new ICBMs. The ICBM most likely to go in the Yumen silos is a version of the 8,700 mile (14,000 km) range DF-41 made by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

Then in a July 4 statement on his Twitter page, Eveleth revised his count: 120 silos at Yumen and 16 silos at Jilantai, Inner Mongolia, for the DF-41 ICBM, and 18 operational silos for the liquid fueled CASC DF-5 ICBM, with another 8 DF-5 silos under construction.

In its 2019 issue, the Congressionally-mandated annual China Military Power Report of the U.S. Department of Defense had provided an earlier warning, stating, “China appears to be considering additional DF-41 launch options, including rail-mobile and silo basing.”

One might conclude that the U.S. intelligence community has been closely monitoring the PLARF’s new silo construction, affirmed by recent commercial satellite imagery.

What remains to be determined is whether there will be more PLARF silo ICBM brigades, or whether construction efforts will stress new railroad-based ICBM brigades, or both.

One alarming prospect of the completion of 145 or 136 silos containing DF-41 ICBMs would be the quadrupling of China’s nuclear warheads over the next one to three years instead of the next decade as mentioned by Admiral Richard.

Epoch Times Photo
Military vehicles carry China’s DF-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles in a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

DF-41 production likely began early in the last decade. The 2015 emergence of the DF-41-based Long March-11 solid fuel space launch vehicle suggests that DF-41 production may be supported by a dedicated second CASC production line.

China is credited in open sources of having about 350 nuclear warheads. The DF-41 may carry six to ten warheads, meaning an additional 136 new silo-based DF-41s could add 816 to 1,360 warheads. To that, one must add warheads from other ICBMs and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

Assuming that the DF-5 ICBM silos are now filled with the three-warhead equipped DF-5B, there could be 54 more warheads. An additional 72 warheads would be carried by 72 JL-2 SLBMs aboard six Type 094 nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). These will be followed by the Type 096 SSBN, which informal Chinese sources suggest will be armed with the 6-warhead capable JL-3 SLBM.

By the mid-2020s the PLA Air Force will have its new Xian Aircraft Corporation “H-20” strategic stealth bomber, based in part on stolen U.S. B-2 stealth bomber technology, capable of carrying multiple long-range nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

So, it is possible that by 2025, China’s ICBM and SLBMs warhead inventories alone could exceed 1,400. That is greater than the 1,357 warheads deployed by the United States, according to the latest State Department count, revealed on March 1, 2021 in accordance with the recently extended 2010 New START nuclear weapons limitation treaty with Russia.

Reacting to the revelation of the new silo construction, some U.S. analysts have suggested that the PLARF may not fill all the new silos with ICBMs, inasmuch as it constructed decoy silos for its earlier DF-5 ICBMs. Jeffery Lewis suggested China may be building up its nuclear force in reaction to “U.S. investments and missile defense.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has its own agenda well beyond responding to the United States. Filling all new silos would offer China more options for nuclear coercion against the United States. This would be all the more so if China and Russia combined their nuclear forces for coercion. Such offensive missile cooperation would follow from their near decade of missile defense cooperation.

It also has to be considered that the CCP likely has long been dissatisfied with simply having a small number of nuclear weapons to assure “retaliation” and thus deter nuclear attacks from the United States and Russia.

A decades long CCP rejection of even the simplest nuclear transparency and arms control is an obvious indicator it wants to build many more nuclear weapon systems.

In the last decade China has built over 2,000 theater ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, many of which are nuclear capable. This means the CCP saw fit to build a theater missile force larger than any other country. It also is a strong indicator that the CCP may now be seeking a superior intercontinental nuclear force.

A superior nuclear force would be consistent with CCP goals of deterring the United States from countering a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and then displacing the United States as the most powerful state in Asia. It would also be necessary for the CCP’s goal of becoming the world’s military hegemon by mid-century.

If the Biden administration is truly serious about deterring conflicts with China, and about strengthening U.S. alliances, it should offer a far more detailed public assessment of China’s nuclear weapons buildup.

It may dash the Biden administration’s arms control dreams, but leaving the New Start treaty, and compensating with a buildup of modernized U.S. nuclear forces, is far preferable to the disasters that would follow from failure to deter Chinese-Russian nuclear blackmail or attack.

Rick Fisher is a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinas-sprint-to-nuclear-parity-or-superiority_3898309.html

079. How China’s BGI Is Taking Over the Human Genome

How China’s BGI Is Taking Over the Human Genome

Anders Corr

Anders Corr
July 12, 2021

Commentary

In this three-part series, Anders Corr criticizes China’s harvesting of genetic information on a global scale. Part I details the harvesting by BGI, a Shenzhen-based company that is the object of U.S. government warnings. The company’s gene harvesting, through prenatal tests, yields gigabytes of data used by the Chinese military for research that singles out the Uyghur and Tibetan minorities, sounds close to eugenics, and could facilitate the next generation of gene-targeted bioweapons. Part II gives the history of BGI, including its collaboration with a Harvard professor’s private company, set up to send genetic data to Hong Kong. Part III reveals a Harvard student’s virtual internship at BGI, and legal strategies for protecting American genetic data from finding its way into China’s military research facilities. The United States and allies should immediately end the sharing of genetic data with China, which does not share its genetic data with foreigners. Harvard should likewise end its irresponsible cooperation with BGI, a Chinese company that is engaged in unethical science, and that is the subject of U.S. government warnings.

On July 8, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to news of a Chinese genomics company that is harvesting genetic data from around the world, in what could be connected to a Chinese Communist Party eugenics or bioweapons program. “Everything that their government does is connected to the military,” Pompeo said on a podcast. “And everything that comes under the face of their private sector is connected to that government and that military.”

The following day, a German health ministry spokesperson said that the country was taking seriously the news of gene harvesting by a Chinese company, which markets prenatal testing in Germany and other European countries. The spokesperson said that Germany would raise the issue with the European Commission.

Geneticists Wang Jian and Wang Jun founded the Chinese company, now called BGI and based in Shenzhen, in 1999 as a state-backed enterprise that was originally called Beijing Genomics Institute. BGI was founded to develop the Human Genome Project. Wang Jian served as a research fellow in the United States for six years starting in 1988. BGI is partially owned by the Chinese regime, and said in its latest annual report, according to Reuters, that it “has been working hard to promote Chinese technology, Chinese experience, and Chinese standards to ‘go global.’”

While Reuters reported that the BGI test is not marketed in the United States, the popular genetic testing company 23andMe is part-owned by Chinese entities, and there are concerns about whether 23andMe data are being shared, leaked, or hacked by the Chinese regime. In 2020, attempts by a prenatal genetic testing company to establish itself near a military base in San Diego were blocked by the U.S. government.

The U.S. government warned Nevada officials in 2020 not to use a donation of 250,000 BGI coronavirus test kits, facilitated by Peng Xiao, the CEO of G42, who sought to establish a coronavirus testing lab in Nevada. U.S. officials expressed concern about patient privacy, and Nevada turned down the offer. Nevertheless, a similar attempt by BGI to market its coronavirus tests in the United States directly to state, county, and city officials, was in part successful, and resulted in testing centers in California and Kansas.

BGI has prominent academic supporters in the United States, including Harvard geneticist George Church, who since 2007 has served on the company’s scientific advisory board, according to the Washington Post. BGI established an institute in 2017 named the George Church Institute of Regenesis, with a dozen BGI staff in China, that collaborates with Church’s Harvard lab.

The Post summarized Church as saying that the Institute attempts to “synthesize organisms made from human-made DNA, among other projects.” According to the Post, “Church also has a business relationship with BGI: Consumers who want their genomes decoded can send saliva samples to a company he co-founded, Nebula Genomics, which sends them to BGI labs in Hong Kong for sequencing.” Professors who mix their research and business with China, may be incentivized to share more data with the totalitarian country than they otherwise would.

The University of California at Davis also collaborates with BGI.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) forced a sale of China’s stake in a health-tech company, PatientsLikeMe, in 2019. China’s stake was held by iCarbonX, founded by BGI’s Wang Jun. Approximately 700,000 people have trusted PatientsLikeMe with their health data.

CFIUS was established in 1975 by President Gerald Ford and expanded under President Donald Trump.

A BGI subsidiary called Forensic Genomics International sold Chinese police the DNA collection and analysis supplies used since 2017 on millions of males in China, including children. The men and boys, who had no serious criminal background, could not reasonably have given free consent to the procedures.

BGI and G42, a United Arab Emirates company, started a coronavirus testing lab in 2020 in Abu Dhabi, and BGI established similar labs in Angola, Australia, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sweden, and Togo, according to the Associated Press and Washington Post. Saudi Arabia established six BGI testing labs with 500 Chinese specialists after a call between King Salman and Xi Jinping.

American, British, Japanese, and European values support a policy that strives to keep science open and globally accessible. But these policies are being exploited by the Chinese regime, which can now access genetic data on Western and allied populations, while not offering reciprocity. Such sharing of genetic data by democracies with China is irresponsible given the Chinese regime’s well-documented acts of genocide against the Uyghurs, as well as widespread data theft globally. The failure of U.S. and allied governments to ban China harvesting of women’s genetic data, despite a warning by the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) against BGI and other such China collections, is irresponsible and a dereliction of their most basic governmental duty to protect citizens.

Anders Corr has a bachelor’s/master’s in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He’s a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. He authored “The Concentration of Power” (forthcoming in 2021) and “No Trespassing,” and edited “Great Powers, Grand Strategies.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/how-chinas-bgi-is-taking-over-the-human-genome_3897061.html

078. Torture Cannot Shake Falun Gong Practitioners’ Faith

Torture Cannot Shake Falun Gong Practitioners’ Faith

July 8, 2021 | By Song Shan

(Minghui.org) Before the recent United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26, Falun Gong practitioners held numerous events to highlight the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China since 1999.

Practitioners in Auckland, New Zealand held a rally on Queen Elizabeth Square on June 20, calling for an end of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

Multiple government dignitaries spoke at the event to support practitioners. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Hon Marama Davidson, 1st Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, sent letters of support to the event.

The brutality of the CCP has violated the Declaration by United Nations, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, United Nations Convention against Torture, and other human rights laws.

Nearly 100 Torture Methods

The CCP began to suppress Falun Gong in July 1999. Its former leader Jiang Zemin, who launched the persecution, issued directives to “defame their [Falun Gong practitioners’] reputation, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.”

An extralegal organization was established on June 10, weeks before the persecution was launched. Known as the 610 Office, this agency has implemented numerous policies from Jiang, including “no consequences if practitioners are beaten to death,” and “counting beating deaths of [practitioners] as suicide,” and “directly cremating [practitioners’] bodies without checking their identities.” As a result, Chinese authorities have used numerous kinds of torture methods on detained Falun Gong practitioners in attempts to make them renounce their faith. Data shows that at least 4,600 Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of torture they suffered in labor camps, detention centers, or prisons.

These torture methods are applied in conjunction with mental abuse. The purpose is to force practitioners to give up their belief and write statements to renounce their faith and to defame Falun Gong.

The brutal methods include handcuffing, foot chains, dungeons, water dungeons, death bed, sitting still for a long time, solitary confinement, cuffing to a metal chair, the tiger bench, tying up tightly, puncturing flesh with nails, pulling fingernails with pliers, stabbing fingers with needles, force-feeding through a nostril, force-feeding pepper water, force-feeding concentrated salt water, and force-feeding dung soup.

Other torture methods include sexual abuse, keeping female practitioners in male cells, forced abortions, rape, detention in mental hospitals, forced injection of nerve-damaging drugs, and electric needles. Moreover, officials have harvested organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, sell them for profit, and cremate their bodies.

Various torture methods Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to while detained for their faith in China.

Harrowing Torture Leading to Disability and Death

Ms. Qian Youyun is a resident of Wuhan City, Hubei Province. After a coworker told her about Falun Gong in 1998, she began to practice in May that year and benefited from it both physically and spiritually. She was later persecuted for about 20 years for her belief. This included repeated labor camp and prison terms. In addition, she was kept at detention centers and brainwashing centers.

Sometimes Ms. Qian was hung up high for weeks, handcuffed behind her back during solitary confinement for two weeks, and forced to stand for months in the winter with doors and windows open. In addition, Ms. Qian was deprived of food, sleep and the use of a toilet. She was once kept in a basement with the air conditioning set to a very low temperature for 90 hours; at other times she was left outside under the scorching summer sun when it was 39oC (or 102oF) while being bitten by mosquitoes. As a result of torture, she was emaciated and disfigured. She also fell into a trance and was sometimes in a coma.

Mr. Pan Xujun was an English teacher in Pei County, Jiangsu Province. After beginning to practice Falun Gong in August 1996, many of his diseases disappeared, including chronic rhinitis, otitis media, and proctitis. His family became happier, and he was also well-liked by his neighbors and his students. After being arrested in May 2015, Ms. Pan was sentenced to 5.5 years in Hongzehu Prison, Jiangsu Province in 2016. Ten days before his scheduled release, he died of torture at 55 on November 8, 2020.

The abuse of Mr. Pan included harassment, arrest, brainwashing, and imprisonment. He was beaten, deprived of sleep for long periods of time, and force-fed. He had cold water poured in his collar and shoes in the freezing winter. He also had water poured into his nose while his mouth was covered. He was also subjected to freezing, had his feet scalded with boiling water, and handcuffed in the back for a long time. Sometimes guards and inmates repeatedly choked him, almost killing him.

Police in Nong’an County, Jilin Province arrested nearly 20 Falun Gong practitioners on July 15, 2020. They included Mr. Jiang Quande, a former employee of Nongan Grain Storage Bureau, and his wife, Ms. Sun Xiuying. Mr. Jiang was already emaciated, but police detained him anyway. It was not until he was extremely weak and on the verge of death did police allow his family members to pick him up. After returning home, Mr. Jiang relied on nutrient solution injections to survive.

Even before he died on August 25, 2020, about a month and a half after his last arrest, he still had scars from torture he suffered years ago. Mr. Jiang’s son once asked police to temporarily release his mother to take care of Mr. Jiang. Nongan police said they would not do that unless the family signed documents to renounce their belief. Mr. Jiang always told his son that they could not do that.

Mr. Jiang was tortured in labor camps for a total of one and a half years and in two different prisons for a total of 11 years. The facilities included Chaoyanggou Labor Camp, Fenjin Labor Camp, Changchun Police Department, Shiling Prison, and Gongzhuling Prison. During his detentions, he was tortured in many ways including with the tiger bench, being forced to sit still for a long time, suffocation by having his head covered with a plastic bag, bamboo sticks being nailed into his fingers and nipples, electric shocks all over, and being tied up tightly. Some of the torture methods were repeated more than 10 times. This led to Mr. Jiang having bruises and blood all over and a disability in his right arm.

Torture illustration: suffocation by covering the head with a plastic bag

Safeguarding Principles

What was described above was only a glimpse of the severe and lengthy abuse that Ms. Qian, Mr. Pan, and Mr. Jiang suffered for their belief. Moreover, the physical pain, mental stress, and harm brought to their families and families like them are beyond words.

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx wrote, “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism.” The past hundred-plus years have shown that communism is a specter with a nature of class struggle, hatred, brutality, and lies. Therefore, it contradicts traditional values and the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Despite the harsh persecution by the CCP in the past 22 years, Falun Gong practitioners have managed to remain peaceful and calm. This is because they simply want to be better citizens following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Their unshakable faith has enabled them to stand strong when faced with brutal torture and slanderous propaganda.

From ancient times to modern society, countless examples have shown that no totalitarian regime will last long and that the righteous will prevail in the end. Many high-ranking CCP officials have been removed and prosecuted in recent years, and over 380 million Chinese have renounced their memberships in the CCP and its two youth organizations, the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers. As more people join the movement to reject the CCP, the regime gets closer to being phased out of history.

https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2021/7/8/193997.html

077. Timeline of China’s COVID Vaccine Development Raises Serious Concerns

Timeline of China’s COVID Vaccine Development Raises Serious Concerns

Cheng Xiaonong, Contributor
July 5, 2021
Commentary

Ever since the CCP virus began spreading in China around the fall of 2019, its vaccine development was once ahead of the rest of the world. However, as one analyzes the timeline of the R&D process of Chinese-made vaccines, a series of anomalies occur, prompting the international community to question the origin of COVID-19. Moreover, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) vaccine production plan reveals the regime’s attempt of profiting from the pandemic.

The Starting Date of China’s Vaccine R&D

According to official data, the first case of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, was identified on Dec. 1, 2019; and by Jan. 21, 2020, only 440 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus. On Jan. 15, 2020, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission’s 8th public health report stated that “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found so far.” If this information was accurate, then it appears the regime did not expect the virus to spread globally and weren’t prepared for such an event.

However, on March 25 this year, an article in the state-run media Beijing Daily blew the narrative in the opposite direction. This report mentioned that the CCP had formulated five R&D strategies for vaccine developments in early 2020 and began to roll out various prototypes; and one of these five vaccine technologies came from Major General Chen Wei, the chief expert of the CCP’s military biochemical weapons, and her team. This news is both suspicious and thought-provoking.

According to Chinese state media, immediately after scientists in Hubei Province isolated suitable virus strains on Jan. 9, 2020, local authorities created a joint team between Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products to develop vaccines against the CCP virus.

Among all the vaccine R&D teams involved, specific starting dates were publicized for two companies: Sinopharm’s vaccine R&D was officially approved and started on Jan. 19, 2020, and Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics’ COVID-19 vaccine project was approved and started on Jan. 20, 2020.

Three questions can be discerned from this.

First, if the initial virus sequence really evolved from natural origins (for example, all the harm is to be blamed on a few bats) as the CCP said, and it is not transmissible between people, then why did the CCP mobilize all available forces, including its military biological warfare units for the large-scale research and development of vaccines?

Second, the CCP set off the research and development of multiple vaccines before the Wuhan lockdown on Jan. 23, 2020, indicating that it was very clear to the CCP that the virus would spread on a global scale. That being the case, why would they fabricate lies on how the virus is not easily contagious? Such nonsense will only let the virus spread even faster across the world.

Third, at the beginning of 2020, all types of vaccines at that time have entered the application-oriented stage (not all were commercialized). Why wasn’t Wuhan locked down then? Wouldn’t the number of infections and deaths be minimized this way? People with common sense can deduce that the CCP’s actions in the early stages of the pandemic were questionable, which exposed that the regime was not trying to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading around the world.

Were Chinese Vaccines Already Prepared Before Pandemic?

Prashant Yadav, a healthcare supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development, an international think tank, pointed out that “vaccine manufacturing is an endeavor where an almost infinite combination of things have to work perfectly.”

“There’s variability in the raw materials, the microorganisms needed to grow vaccine products, the conditions of the culture in which those microorganisms are grown, and more,” Yadav told USA today.

Therefore, it usually takes several years to design a vaccine prototype and then develop new vaccines. However, China seemed to be very familiar with the development of this vaccine.

It is common knowledge that vaccine prototypes used in clinical trials must first be developed over a lengthy time. The Pfizer vaccine began research and development on March 20, 2020 and it took them at least four months to produce a feasible prototype; Chinese state media reported the Sinopharm vaccine began its R&D on Jan. 19, 2020, and started clinical trials on April 12 in the same year.

Sinopharm was faster at creating a vaccine than Pfizer, which implies that the CCP was prepared for a pandemic before it all began, including getting a head start on the vaccine.

How China Swiftly Mass Produced COVID Vaccines

There are currently at least seven vaccine producers in the world, including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J/Janssen, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covishield. When the American vaccines were launched at the end of 2020, the production capacity of the Pfizer vaccine was quite small at that time; only until today has their manufacturing rate reached 100 million doses per month. However, Chinese vaccines have been made at a pace preceding Pfizer’s by almost one year.

The Pfizer vaccine in the United States began research and development in late March last year; they then moved forward with prototypes, the three phases of clinical trials until the final approval and market launch. This process took them about nine months. The Pfizer team itself couldn’t even believe how fast this happened. It took the company another few months to get the production speed up to 100 million doses a month. So, it took Pfizer about a year from initiating their vaccine program to the full scale market launch.

China joined the World Health Organization’s “COVAX” in early October 2020, providing vaccines and funding for the purchase of vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries. When China joined the plan, Zheng Zhongwei, head of the vaccine R&D team of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the CCP State Council, said that by the end of 2020, China’s annual vaccine production capacity could reach 610 million doses. In other words, as early as the end of summer and early autumn of 2020, the production capacity of Chinese vaccines would be close to the monthly output of hundreds of millions of doses. This is why in the first few months of this year, only the Chinese vaccines dominated the world’s vaccine supply. Vaccines in Europe and the United States started being manufactured only by the end of 2020, and it would take them three more months to mass-produce them. Compared with the Chinese vaccine, European and American vaccines had a late start in the world, and the supply of their vaccines was far behind domestic and foreign demand. This left a window of almost six months for the Chinese vaccines to become ubiquitous in the world.

Even if China’s vaccine research skills and manufacturing capacity have reached the same level as that of the United States, the cultivation process of the microorganisms required for clinical trials and vaccine production cannot be compressed or accelerated. Therefore, the shortest time required for China to achieve mass production of vaccines on a large scale should be roughly the same as the United States, which was about one year. However, considering that China’s vaccine had reached the scale of 100 million doses per month in early autumn last year, the CCP must have begun preparation work for microorganism cultivation, screening, testing, and packaging by the fall of 2019.

Chinese authorities claimed that the first patient who was infected with the virus was reported in Wuhan on Dec. 1, 2019, but this lie was overturned by its timeline showing rapid mass production of vaccines. Based on the above information, in the autumn of 2019, the CCP not only had the novel coronavirus in its hands, but also mastered a number of vaccine types that could be used, and even began to prepare for mass vaccine production. It must have made the assumption that the epidemic would soon spread from China to other countries, wreaking havoc around the globe.

CCP Prioritizes Vaccine Exports, Delays Domestic Vaccinations

When the Chinese vaccines were produced at a massive scale, they were not used in China. On the one hand, China stocked hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine, and on the other hand, the vaccines were sent to other countries for clinical trials, opening up the gate for large-scale vaccine export. As early as July 2020, the Sinopharm vaccine started Phase III of clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates. This clinical trial included 40,832 people in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan. Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine also started a Phase III trial in Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, and Chile on July 21, 2020. At that time, the United States was still at the initial research stage for vaccine development.

Why didn’t the CCP preemptively announce in June 2020 that it was ready for mass production for Chinese-made vaccines when it was set to arrange clinical trials in other countries?

The CCP, well known for being a habitual liar, chose not to bluff this time because there were two factors it had to take into consideration. First, if the vaccine had been announced to be ready for mass production in June last year, it would inevitably expose its secret and the whole world would suspect that the CCP had prepared the vaccine before the virus spread all over the world. Second, the CCP had to wait for the epidemic to spread to other countries before it could arrange clinical trials in selected countries, so as to obtain the necessary qualifications for the global sales of its vaccines.

This first factor determined that when the CCP had the capacity of vaccine mass production in June 2020, it had to keep the information confidential. Therefore, Chinese authorities did not launch mass inoculation domestically, although it was urgently needed for containing the virus.

In addition, the CCP intentionally delayed the domestic vaccination timeline for the sake of promoting its vaccines to foreign countries. According to a recent report from Taiwan’s United Daily News, Beijing had pledged to sell or donate nearly 700 million doses of vaccines to more than 90 countries as of June 7, 2021.

Chinese state-run media Xinhua News Agency reported that by Jan. 13, 2021, only 10 million doses of vaccine were administered in China. At that time, China’s annual vaccine production capacity had already reached 600 million doses.

According to public information released by the National Health Commission, China’s mass vaccination didn’t start until March this year, and the total vaccination was as small as 80 million doses as of March 23, 2021, which was one-eighth of China’s annual production capacity.

Then the total vaccine administered reached 250 million by the end of April, and 1 billion doses by June 21.

Why was China’s domestic mass inoculation delayed until March? Because during that month, European-made and American-made COVID vaccines entered the stage of mass production, and the vaccines the West developed are far superior compared to the Chinese-made vaccines. As China knew that it could hardly compete with the West in vaccine effectiveness, the CCP had to seize the opportunity to act quickly within a limited time frame—the few months before the West could produce large quantities of vaccines, to make profits from its vaccine exports. The CCP’s prioritization of vaccine exports over domestic inoculation reveals its sinister intention to deliberately allow the virus to spread globally and then profit from the pandemic.

China Fools International Buyers With Unreliable Clinical Trials

In order to quickly sell large quantities of Chinese vaccines before the U.S. vaccines became available, the CCP’s clinical trials in foreign countries were all conducted in a sloppy manner. China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines both completed Phase III clinical trials as early as fall of 2020, but Sinopharm’s Phase III clinical trial report was delayed until March 2021. It was then published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on May 26, 2021. Before May 26, the CCP had already made a lot of money from the pandemic.

As soon as the Phase III clinical report of Sinopharm’s vaccine was published, the international medical community immediately raised concerns.

Bloomberg reported on May 27 of this year that Chinese vaccine manufacturers have been criticized because they did not share enough data on vaccine safety and effectiveness.

“The testing was heavily skewed toward men, who accounted for nearly 85 percent of the participants. Less than 2 percent were aged 60 or older, and most were healthy. As a result, there is little evidence about the efficacy and safety among women, the elderly, and those with underlying diseases,” the report said.

Dong Yuhong, a Europe-based virology expert, believes that such clinical trials lack sufficient data to prove the vaccine’s capability to protect recipients from developing severe symptoms.

The Bloomberg report pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the green light to China’s Sinopharm vaccine to be sold globally despite the sloppy trials. As of today, the WHO has not officially cleared China’s Sinovac vaccine because its clinical trial report has not been publicized. However, the CCP has already sold 380 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine worldwide.

Voice of America published a report on June 27, summarizing the three new discoveries on the origins of the virus, from research all across the world.

The conclusions are: 1) the first case of the virus infection identified in China was at least two months earlier than the date China currently reported, and the virus had spread globally before Wuhan was placed under lockdown; 2) the virus that emerged during the earliest time already showed amazing adaptability to the human body, indicating that the possibility of lab leaks cannot be ruled out; 3) Chinese experts destroyed the early-stage virus samples, which is considered to be an attempt to destroy evidence and to cover up the origins of the virus.

I believe that we are moving forward in discovering the truth about the CCP’s cover-up on the source of COVID-19.

Cheng Xiaonong is a scholar of China’s politics and economy based in New Jersey. Cheng was a policy researcher and aide to former Chinese Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang. He also served as chief editor of Modern China Studies.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/timeline-of-chinas-covid-vaccine-development-raises-serious-concerns_3882991.html

076. The Morning After the CCP’s Party

The Morning After the CCP’s Party

June Teufel Dreyer
July 2, 2021
Commentary

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrated the hundredth anniversary of its founding with an orgy of self-congratulation. Momentum was built for the several months preceding the date, with a daily release of posters of milestones in the Party’s history. A separate series of posters carried quotations from Xi Jinping carrying such unforgettable thoughts as “education is essential to the country and the Party” and “the absolute leadership of the Party over the military is a defining feature of Chinese socialism, and a major source of political strength to the Party and the state.” Unmentioned in all of these accounts of the glorious past were its historic failures, most especially the man-made famine of the Great Leap Forward and the destructive policies of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Indeed, in the campaign against “historical nihilism,” meaning challenges to the official version of history, it can be dangerous to those who question.

As affirmations of their patriotism, citizens from toddlers to adults dressed in somewhat fancifully re-imagined facsimiles of Red Army suits, complete with red stars on the caps. Red tourism, meaning visits to the sacred shrines of Chinese communism like Mao’s birthplace at Shaoshan and the site of the CCP’s founding in Shanghai, boomed, with many of the tourists suitably decked out in Red Army costumes or group-issued t-shirts emblazoned with a 100 logo.

As the day approached, the iconic Bird’s Nest lit up the Beijing sky with a mammoth display of fireworks. A day later, Xi awarded gold medals to 29 people who had been deemed China’s most worthy Party members. And a set of 20 commemorative stamps was issued in an envelope inscribed in gold characters that read “stay true to the original aspiration and founding mission of the Party.” State media announced that over 1,300 congratulatory letters had been received from foreign political parties and state leaders, many of them vowing their desire to share its governing experience and lead international society in dealing with current challenges such as climate change and imbalanced development. In London, Zheng Zeguang, Beijing’s ambassador, who had been appointed after the abrupt departure of his controversially combative “wolf warrior” predecessor Liu Xiaoming, to the UK, laid a wreath on Karl Marx’s tomb.

The apex of this extravaganza, Xi’s long-awaited speech, did not disappoint. Clad in a Mao suit that contrasted—one might say jarred sharply—with the standard navy blue suits, crisp white shirts, and conservative ties of the other worthies on the reviewing stand—Xi’s speech extolled the past while looking toward the future. Under the leadership of the CCP, he stated, China had attained the status of a well-off society and would continue to prosper. He pledged that the central government would exercise jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao “in order to safeguard national security” and would “reunify” Taiwan: China’s rise was “unstoppable.” Each section was followed by enthusiastic applause from the audience, with the most belligerent statements drawing the most enthusiastic responses.

Far and away the most outstanding of these was Xi’s “The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, oppress or enslave us. Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.” 中國人民也絕不允許任何外來勢力欺負、壓迫、奴役我們,誰妄想這樣幹,必將在14億多中國人民用血肉築成的鋼鐵長城面前碰得頭破血流!In addition to spectator applause, it quickly drew 900 million views on Twitter. The English version changed this to the somewhat less confrontational “Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” though it is the Chinese version that is more apt to be remembered.

Just as the excesses of any party are followed by the sober reality of the morning after, a less bright reality lurks behind the pageantry and bravado of the CCP’s hundredth anniversary. Perhaps symbolically, the brilliant fireworks, spectacular though they were, did little to improve the capital’s famously polluted air or advance the Party’s promise to become carbon neutral by 2060. Surprisingly, there was no parade, with an official responding to a reporter’s query by saying the soldiers were needed to protect the motherland’s frontiers. He did not say from whom, and the number of military members in the reviewing stands and serving as honor guards at ceremonies was impressively large. Concern with guarding the country’s frontiers would seem to be genuine, with at least two of the 29 gold medals going to ethnic minorities for their work in stabilizing their areas and a third to a Han Chinese for unspecified acts in defense of China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea.

In Hong Kong, which was simultaneously observing—celebrating might be the wrong word—the 24th anniversary of its accession to China, the mood was somber. Newly appointed Chief Secretary John Ka-chiu Lee, warned that “external forces are still waiting to cause trouble especially when many countries want to attack our nation when it is getting strong peacefully.” No permits were issued for gatherings on grounds that they might abet the spread of the coronavirus, and police began clearing Victoria Park, the traditional site of both protests and memorial ceremonies, by noon the day before the birthday celebration. Risking the possibility of arrest under Hong Kong’s new national security law, a few small groups and individuals passed out protest leaflets nonetheless. The official celebration itself was subdued, with a torch relay race, helicopters flying over the harbor, and a fireboat spraying a water salute.

China has more to worry about than Hong Kong and its other frontiers. Xi has not designated a successor, leaving speculation that his appearance in a copy of the same suit that Mao had worn at the founding ceremony of the CCP in 1949 was meant to signify that he, like the Chairman, had no intention of ever retiring. With a Party Central Committee meeting coming up in 2022, such speculation is bound to increase. The fact that he has consolidated so much power in his hands could be a danger not only to the Party but to China itself if he fails.

As good Marxists know, or at least profess to believe, the economy is the substructure on which all else in society is built—and, after a sharp rebound from pandemic-caused contractions, the economy has begun to soften. Xi has long been aware that a thoroughgoing economic restructuring is needed, but pushback from vested domestic interests has been strong. His attempts to silence criticisms, as in his protracted dismemberment of Jack Ma’s Alibaba/Ant Financial empire seem bound to decrease the competitiveness of China rather than enhance it. And, as charges of corruption proliferate—in January, Lai Xiaomin, the CEO of the Huarong Asset Management, was executed for bribery, greed, and associated sins—the way forward is unclear. The default of Huarong, the largest Chinese issuer of dollar-denominated foreign debt, $22 billion, could provoke a regulatory crisis, since the state is a majority owner.

Xi’s signature policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has also run into problems. To cite just a few examples, in Montenegro, construction on a highway described as a road to nowhere financed by a Chinese state bank and being built by a Chinese state-owned company halted when Montenegro could not afford to pay for it; the country appealed to the European Union for help. After Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that, because Chinese companies had been charging three times the normal price for construction she was cutting $5.72 billion from two railway projects that were part of the BRI agreement between the two countries, China withdrew funding. In Australia, the central government canceled BRI agreements between the state of Victoria and China as inconsistent with Australian foreign policy.

Telecommunications giant Huawei has also run into troubles in Canada, Sweden, and elsewhere.

Although the fireworks may have contributed little to China’s overall air pollution problem, the decision to expand coal mine production in order to stimulate economic growth certainly will.

Xi is under no illusions that the road ahead will be easy, as evidenced by his exhortations to the Chinese people to unite to build on the achievements of the past. Blaming foreign countries for China’s troubles, as China’s state media typically do, may resonate domestically, but muscular nationalism and rhetorical recitations of ideology will do nothing to solve these problems and, as pugilistic wolf warrior tactics have shown, may even exacerbate them.

In ancient Rome, emperors used bread and circuses to enhance their popularity. It worked until the costs of building the coliseum and staging the games began to bankrupt the empire. Xi’s government has proved its ability to supply glittering performances. Whether it can continue to produce sufficient rice will be the real test for Xi’s vows for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

June Teufel Dreyer is a professor of political science at the University of Miami, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a faculty adviser to the Rumsfeld Foundation, and a former commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Dr. Dreyer has authored several books on China’s ethnic minorities, China’s political system, China-Taiwan relations, and Sino-Japanese relations.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-morning-after-the-ccps-party_3883499.html

075. (Video) How the CCP Weaponizes Global Healthcare as a Tool of Influence—Cleo Paskal | CLIP

Cleo Paskal explains how the premier of the Solomon Islands’ Malaita Province, Daniel Suidani, stood up to Communist China, and how his case offers an example of how the world’s engagement with China has led to the Chinese Communist Party having undue influence on the global health system, which the the CCP can use to punish political dissidents, both domestically and internationally.

074. Chinese Scientist Who Shipped Deadly Pathogens to Wuhan Held 2 Patents

Documents withheld in case possibly related to espionage, biological warfare

Lloyd Billingsley
June 26, 2021 Updated: June 27, 2021
Commentary

“The high-profile scientist who was fired from Canada’s top infectious disease lab collaborated with Chinese government scientists on inventions registered in Beijing, but closely related to her federal job,” reports National Post reporter Tom Blackwell.

Xiangguo Qiu was “a long-time federal civil servant when the patents were registered in 2017 and 2019 for innovations related to the Ebola and Marburg viruses, key focuses of her work at Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML),” according to Blackwell’s article. Qiu shipped a load of the deadly pathogens from the NML to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a likely source of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Epoch Times Photo
The P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, on April 17, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

Canadian government employees cannot file a patent outside the country without permission from the health minister. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) refused to disclose whether Qiu had obtained such permission and whether the PHAC was even aware of the patents. The whereabouts of Qui and her husband Keding Cheng are unknown and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will not disclose if they know where they are.

As CTV News reports, PHAC President Iain Stewart “refused to provide further paperwork containing more details related to why scientists Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, were removed from [NML] in July 2019 and then later fired by the agency.”

Canadian officials called it a policy breach but others see a case of espionage related to biological warfare. The “main culprit” behind the breach is Qiu, according to “China and Viruses: The Case of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu,” a January 2020 paper from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA).

According to the paper, the “outstanding Chinese scientist” came to Canada for graduate studies in 1996 and until recently headed the Special Pathogens program at the NML. Since 2006, Dr. Qiu has been “studying powerful viruses—Ebola most of all—at the NML.” The viruses that were “surreptitiously shipped from the NML to China” include Machupo, Junin, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, and Hendra.

“China and Viruses” author Dr. Dany Shoham, a microbiologist and expert in biological and chemical warfare, says Dr. Qiu “maintains a close bond with China and visits frequently, and many Chinese students from a notable range of Chinese scientific facilities have joined her at the NML over the past decade.” Of those facilities, four are believed to be involved in Chinese biological weapons development: the Institute of Military Veterinary, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Changchun; Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chengdu Military Region; Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hubei; and the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing.

One of the graduate students Qiu and Cheng brought to the NML, Radio Canada reports, was Feihu Yan, from the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Academy of Military Medical Sciences. PHAC spokesperson Eric Morrissette declined to answer questions about Yan’s work at the sensitive Winnipeg lab.

Security expert Christian Leuprecht of Canada’s Royal Military College and Queen’s University told Radio Canada that “China has a very active, very aggressive and extremely dangerous bioweapons program. So all the research that’s being generated here could easily be reappropriated by the Chinese authorities to advance rather nefarious causes.” And “It appears that what you might well call Chinese agents infiltrated one of the highest prized national security elements when it comes to biosecurity and biodefence.”

Qui and Cheng were last seen publicly in February 2020. They have been absent from their Canadian properties, reportedly worth nearly $2 million. According to former co-workers, Dr. Qiu has bragged about owning a mansion in China. If the RCMP has any clue where Qiu and Cheng might be, they aren’t saying, and on all fronts, Canadian officials are withholding crucial documents.

Dr. Qui holding Chinese patents “should be a cautionary tale,” University of Windsor professor Myra Tawfik, a specialist in intellectual property, told The National Post. On the prospect of espionage related to biological warfare, Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu claimed, “We will never put Canadians’ national security at risk.” If Canadians thought their government had already done so it would hard to blame them.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of “Yes I Con: United Fakes of America,” “Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation,” “Hollywood Party,” and other books. His articles have appeared in many publications, including Frontpage Magazine, City Journal, The Wall Street Journal, and American Greatness. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/missing-chinese-scientist-who-shipped-deadly-pathogens-to-wuhan-held-2-patents_3873518.html

073. Vancouver: Epicentre of China’s Massive Flow of Fentanyl Into North America

Vancouver: Epicentre of China’s Massive Flow of Fentanyl Into North America

Bradley Martin
June 26, 2021 Updated: June 27, 2021
Commentary

For years, rampant money laundering in the city of Vancouver has facilitated the production and trafficking of illegal drugs. Through this ongoing laundering of illicit funds, both Chinese organized crime and Mexican cartels continue to profit from the ongoing fentanyl crisis in North America.

The term “Vancouver Model” was coined by Australian international security professor John Langdale, an expert on Asian organized crime, to describe how the Canadian city has become a hub for money laundering, drug trafficking, and capital flight. Money is laundered to and from China, while high rollers use Canadian casinos to facilitate the flight of capital from the country. The same model is occurring in other parts of the economy, in particular real estate.

Since May 2019, expert witnesses during the Cullen Commission—initiated to investigate widespread claims of money laundering in British Columbia—have highlighted claims that Canadian authorities were reluctant to properly monitor and report suspicious cash transactions. Money laundering has facilitated the flooding of fentanyl into the province by criminal networks, including Chinese triads and the Chinese Big Circle Boys. This in turn contributes to the growing fentanyl overdose crisis in major cities across North America.

According to the Vancouver Police Department in a 2017 report, China is the main source of illicit fentanyl that flows into Canada, the United States, and Mexico. International drug cartels and underground banks enable the export of drugs and facilitate money laundering out of China.

The B.C. Coroners Service reports that 1,726 people died from illicit drug overdoses in the province in 2020 alone, the highest number of such deaths in a year based on annual data going back to 2011. This figure also establishes illicit drugs as the leading cause of unnatural deaths in B.C. from 2010 to 2020, compared with other common causes including suicide, car accidents, and homicides.

In a study published by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, over 80 percent of drugs sold as heroin on Vancouver streets contain no heroin at all, while nearly all of them contain fentanyl.

Given the differences in trafficking patterns, seizure amounts, seizure purities, and a lack of a distinct geographic forensic profile, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that it has not been possible to identify whether China or Mexico is the primary fentanyl supplier to the United States. However, DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans said in his agency’s 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment that Mexican transnational criminal organizations supply most of the fentanyl, as well as most of the cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, smuggled into the United States.

Chinese organized crime has deep roots in Latin America. In June 2010, Brazil’s Secretary of Justice Romeu Tuma Júnior was fired for allegedly being an agent of the Chinese mafia, often referred to as the “triads.” Triads are reported to be operating in Peru, Venezuela, and Panama, extorting expatriate Chinese communities, which have historically been reluctant to report problems among their own members to non-Chinese host nation authorities.

In Mexico, cartels like Jalisco Nueva import ephedrine from China while precursor chemicals have been intercepted in Mexican ports. Illegal imports of fentanyl from Mexico involve Chinese-produced fentanyl or fentanyl precursors coming most often from China. According to a paper published in PRISM, a journal of the Washington-based National Defense University, Chinese-owned gambling operations in Latin America present a significant opportunity for money laundering because of the large cash flows involved in such establishments.

It’s no secret that Chinese organized crime covertly moves millions of dollars for Mexican cartels. In April, a Chicago federal judge sentenced Chinese national Gan Xianbing to 14 years in prison for facilitating a scheme where illegal narcotics proceeds from Mexican drug traffickers were picked up in Chicago, transferred to bank accounts in China, and then ultimately sent back to the criminal groups in Mexico.

One of Gan’s associates testified how the funds were laundered through underground channels. Once the money was in the hands of the launderers, they contacted one among a network of Chinese-owned businesses in the United States and Mexico asking for a transfer of a corresponding amount of money through Chinese banking apps. All this took place through Chinese banks and outside the purview of U.S. authorities.

Two other key figures, both Chinese citizens, have emerged since Gan’s arrest: Pan Haiping and Long Huanxin. They are believed to have handled the drug money received in Chicago and ensured its laundering through Chinese bank accounts. Pan was arrested in Mexico and is awaiting extradition to the United States, while Long was arrested in Vancouver in February 2020 and has already been extradited to the United States.

Last year, criminologist Stephen Schneider cited an example of China-linked money laundering operations during his testimony before the Cullen Commission. A Vancouver money service business called Silver International served as a “vortex” of casino and real-estate money laundering, he said. It is alleged that before the RCMP raided the China-linked enterprise in 2015, it was funnelling as much as $1.5 million a day through “underground banks,” which laundered the money via casinos, real estate buys, and exotic cars.

While triads have been instrumental in the laundering of money and facilitation of fentanyl trafficking into Canada, analysts in recent years have observed a growing tendency for these organized criminal groups to act as hired thugs on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to target perceived threats in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and even mainland China.

“When the Communist Party of China finds it inconvenient for it to do something, it will use those gangsters on its behalf,” Hong Kong political analyst Dixon Sing told AFP. This embrace of CCP goals represents a remarkable transition for criminal groups that were once characterized as the arch enemies of communism.

The CCP’s relationship with Chinese organized crime to advance its agenda is not without precedent. Triads are known to have attacked pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and may have been involved in a series of attacks on an Epoch Times printing facility in the city.

“The Mexican cartels have formed a deadly partnership with Chinese organized crime groups as Americans are dying at record levels. China is exporting massive amounts of precursor chemicals and finished fentanyl from labs in China,” Derek Maltz, a former agent in charge of the DEA’s Special Operation’s Division, told Coffee or Die Magazine.

It is disputed whether the CCP is intentionally flooding North America with fentanyl in order to fuel instability. But according to investigative journalist Ben Westhoff in his groundbreaking book, “Fentanyl Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Created the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic,” the Beijing regime is in fact subsidizing this illicit industry even though it is killing tens of thousands annually.

“I went really deep and tried to learn everything I could about this problem, and that brought me to China,” Westhoff told Yahoo Finance. “I actually went undercover into a pair of Chinese drug operations, including, I went into a fentanyl lab outside Shanghai.” He went on to describe how he found companies making fentanyl being subsidized by the CCP in various ways, such as export tax breaks.

The full extent of Vancouver’s role in the financing and laundering of funds for fentanyl distribution by Chinese and Mexican organized crime will not be known until the release of the final Cullen Commission report in December.

Bradley Martin is the executive director for the Near East Center for Strategic Studies. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @ByBradleyMartin

https://www.theepochtimes.com/vancouver-epicentre-of-chinas-massive-flow-of-fentanyl-into-north-america_3874111.html

072. Why Is Beijing Punishing Hong Kong’s Apple Daily?

Why Is Beijing Punishing Hong Kong’s Apple Daily?

Alexander Liao
June 25, 2021
Commentary

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tabloid, Apple Daily, has printed its last edition on June 24 before shutting down. Apple Daily is no longer a newspaper but a symbol.

On June 17, Hong Kong police arrested five top executives of the company. Five hundred police officers searched the newsroom for evidence of the company violating the national security law which was imposed by Beijing on the city in 2020.

In a press briefing, Hong Kong police claimed that since 2019, Apple Daily had published more than 30 articles calling on countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and mainland China—an offense that violated the draconian national security law.

The chief executive officer, chief operating officer, deputy chief editor, editor-in-chief, and chief executive editor were all arrested. This marks the second raid of Apple Daily in less than a year.

Last August, Hong Kong police raided Apple Daily and arrested its founder, Li Zhiying, most notably known as Jimmy Lai, as well as his two sons. Hong Kong authorities alleged that Apple Daily and its parent company, Next Media, were suspected of violating Article 29 of the national security law: “conspiracy to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security.” The collusion charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Lai has been in jail since December, accused of participating in unauthorized rallies during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests back in 2019 and allegedly endangering national security.

During the latest raid, more than a hundred police officers patrolled Apple Daily headquarters. All staff and persons entering the building were required to register with their legal identification and company identification. They were also required to provide personal information, including phone numbers and addresses. The computers of all editors and reporters were temporarily seized. Apple Daily claimed that reporters were asked to leave the editorial department.

The homes of the arrested executives were searched by Hong Kong police, looking for evidence in a suspected violation of the national security law. In addition, the Hong Kong police also froze $18 million HKD (about $2.3 million) of assets under Next Media.

This is the largest action against the media since the the national security law was implemented by the Chinese regime in Hong Kong last year, and the first incident of police publicly arresting journalists.

On June 14, Lai was given the Truman-Reagan Freedom Award, issued by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The Foundation’s chairman, Andrew Bremberg, called on the free world to support Hong Kong as a beacon of freedom and to stop people like Lai from becoming victims of communist regimes.

Jimmy Lai’s Anti-Communist Stance

When Lai was 12 years old, he snuck into Hong Kong from Guangzhou on a boat. As a grown man, he would go on to build a clothing empire, Giordano. In the early years, Lai maintained a good relationship with mainland Chinese officials. Giordano was first established as a joint venture with China Resources, and its factory was located in China.

However, after the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989, Lai ended his relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He went on to set up Next Media and Apple Daily, two resolutely anti-communist publications. Lai not only ran the companies, but he also wrote articles criticizing CCP leaders.

Apple Daily aroused criticism and controversy for its tabloid gossip coverage, but it became the best-selling newspaper in Hong Kong.

What sets Apple Daily apart from other newspapers in Hong Kong is its anti-communist stance, which has remained unchanged amid the city’s political drama. Apple Daily played a very important role in covering the Umbrella Movement in 2014 and the anti-extradition bill movement that began in 2019 and ended in 2020.

In addition to his media company, Lai remains deeply involved in Hong Kong politics and has donated money to the city’s Democratic Party.

Money and media power are what the CCP’s authoritarian system fear most. Therefore, Lai is referred to as one of the backbones of chaos in Hong Kong by the city’s Communist Party. Jimmy Lai, Next Media, and Apple Daily have become the number one enemy of the Chinese Communist Party’s system of ruling Hong Kong.

In the past eight years, Chinese authorities have pressured businesses to withdraw advertisements from the paper and threatened Lai’s business partners.

In the summer of 2019, Lai traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with top U.S. officials to discuss the controversial extradition bill and Hong Kong’s autonomy. At that time, I interviewed him for an event for a think tank in Washington.

Lai expressed very clearly that he did not support Hong Kong’s independence, but he sympathized with the Hong Kong youth’s dreams for the city’s independence. He also called on the U.S. government not to impose economic and trade sanctions on Hong Kong at the time, so that the city wouldn’t become solely reliant on China for trade. Despite this, I was surprised when Apple Daily was charged under the national security law.

Hong Kong authorities accused Apple Daily of publishing an article calling for economic sanctions against China and Hong Kong, which allegedly constitutes collusion with foreign forces to endanger China.

Lai does not approve of economic sanctions against Hong Kong, but I do not know whether he approves of sanctions against the CCP. I have never found a public statement from him on this matter.

Since the national security law was passed, some people fear that it could be applied retroactively and target certain individuals for actions committed in the past. Will statements made after the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre be traced back? Will it go back to the 1950s when landlords and right-wing capitalists fled the mainland in defiance of the CCP’s rule?

This is the dangerous practice of communist groups. During the Cultural Revolution, there were crimes charged against Chinese citizens that traced back to the eighteenth generations of ancestors. Even Confucius, who lived 2,500 years ago, was charged as an anti-Chinese and an enemy of the CCP.

Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, said at a forum on June 12 that in Beijing’s view, the CCP governs through the “one country two systems” framework and anyone who opposes the CCP’s one-party rule is the “enemy of Hong Kong who seeks to undermine Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.”

Luo said that under the national security law, Hong Kong has not suffered economic damage and foreign capital has remained steady. This is just a short-term illusion. The recent international summits in Europe have formed a consensus on the CCP, and the strategies to combat the CCP will be released one by one in the coming years. The effect of the global allies countering the CCP may be hard to imagine.

Alexander Liao is a columnist and journalist in research on international affairs in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia. He has published a large number of reports, commentaries, and video programs in newspapers and Chinese financial magazines in the United States and Hong Kong.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/why-is-beijing-punishing-hong-kongs-apple-daily_3866518.html

071. (Video) Discovering China without communist influence; US bans 5 Chinese firms over forced labor

The Biden administration has imposed trade bans on five Chinese firms over concerns of forced labor in Xinjiang. Some of them manufacture silicon, used in solar panel production. China’s space program appears to serve military purposes first and civilian needs second. A U.S. expert says that China could use its space program to cripple the #AmericanEconomy, sending it back toward the 1970s. How long does it take the Delta virus variant to spread from one person to another? A surveillance video shows that it can make the jump in as little as 14 seconds. The Chinese ambassador to the United States is stepping down. But will his successor become another wolf warrior diplomat or a sheep? One westerner’s fascination with #TraditionalChineseCulture took him to China, but the experience didn’t live up to his expectations. It was only after he returned to the United States did he find the true China he had dreamed about—in a most unexpected place. We sit down with Jared Madsen to hear his story.