Ongoing Events in China

GRiM

The Living Force
Deadly blasts in eastern China (reported carbombs)


Explosions are reported at three government buildings in an eastern Chinese city, possibly caused by explosions in cars, according to state media.

The blasts killed two people and injured six, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The nearly simultaneous blasts happened in Fuzhou city, Jiangxi province, on Thursday morning, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It did not give details of the cause or casualties.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reported from Beijing that all three explosions occurred within half an hour of each other.

A car exploded outside the prosecutor's office in Fuzhou city, then 10 minutes later an explosion went off at a district government building. Fifteen minutes after that, a car exploded outside a drug administration office, said an official at the information office of Jiangxi province.

Fuzhou officials said there were no suspects in custody yet, Thomas said.

The blast at the prosecutor's office blew out windows and destroyed a car, Xinhua reported. At least 10 vehicles were damaged at Fuzhou's Linchuan district government building.

Zhang Weizhang, a local man, told Reuters it was possible a disgruntled local resident was to blame.

"There are plenty of people complaining about the government. They ignore complaints. They've ignored mine," Zhang said, explaining that he was in a dispute over forestry rights in Fuzhou's Linchuan district.

"But nobody ordinary would do something like this. This isn't normal for here."

Earlier this month a bank cashier who had been fired for stealing money hurled a gasoline bomb into the bank, injuring dozens of people in western China.

A city of four million, deep in farming country, F
 
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GRiM

The Living Force
http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-05/26/content_12584621.htm
0013729c04950f48208a20.jpg

FUZHOU, Jiangxi - Two people, including the suspect, were killed and 10 others injured in three serial explosions that occurred in East China's Jiangxi province Thursday morning, according to local authorities.

Qian Mingqi, a 52-year-old unemployed resident of the city of Fuzhou's Linchuan district, is suspected of triggering the explosions, sources with the provincial public security department said.

Qian was killed in one of the blasts, the sources said.

The explosions occurred at three different locations in Fuzhou between 9:18 am and 9:45 am, according to the sources. The explosions occurred near the city's procuratorate office, the Linchuan district government office and the district's food and drug administration, the sources said.

Police wrapped up search and rescue operations outside the Linchuan district government office Thursday afternoon and retrieved one body, which was later confirmed to be Qian.

One of the four people who were seriously injured at the same site died in hospital, a spokesman with the provincial government said.

Seven others were slightly injured, the spokesman said.

A witness said the blast shattered most of the windowpanes in the procuratorate office. A nearby car was also destroyed, the witness said.

Witnesses said the blast near the Linchuan district government went off in a car park less than 100 meters from the office building and destroyed at least 10 vehicles.

A source with the Linchuan district government said Qian was involved in a house demolition dispute, triggering suspicions that he might've set off the explosions as a form of revenge against the local government.

Qian's microblog, hosted by Chinese web portal sina.com, was tracked by Internet users after the explosions.

Qian left a message on his microblog, saying he was forced to "step on a road I don't want to step on" due to the loss of his newly-built house, which was "illegally demolished," according to his blog.

Sources with the Linchuan government said Qian was not satisfied with his compensation and was angry about a case currently under review by legal authorities.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
FBI: China has been eliminating CIA informants, mole responsible now in custody
https://www.sott.net/article/374651-FBI-China-has-been-eliminating-CIA-informants-mole-responsible-now-in-custody

Sorry, I'll believe it from the FBI or New York Times when I see the proven facts, not anonymous bs or classified bs. Do we actually believe anything the FBI or New York Times says? Given the FBI's track record, the most likely scenario is the FBI framed Jerry Chun Shing Lee and planted "evidence" in his luggage.

Anyone remember the FBI and New York Times claiming that Dr. Wen Ho Lee stole the American nuclear crown jewels for China, only to have the truth come out years later that the FBI and New York Times lied? Fake news before it was known as fake news. Meanwhile Dr. Lee rotted away in solitary confinement and had his life ruined. For what purpose? So the propaganda machines (eg Washington Post [now owned by Amazon's Bezos]) could try to make Americans hate Chinese, like they are trying now to make Americans hate Russians, North Koreans, Iranians.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
China said on Sunday it was investigating Meng Hongwei for suspected wrongdoing after the head of the global law enforcement organization Interpol and Chinese vice minister for security was reported missing in France.

October 7, 2018 - Interpol Chief Meng Hongwei under investigation, China says
Interpol chief Meng Hongwei under investigation, China says | Reuters



The statement by a Chinese anti-graft body was the first official word from China about Meng since his disappearance was reported in France on Friday.
Meng had been reported missing by his wife after traveling last month from France, where Interpol is based, to China.

“Public Security Ministry Vice Minister Meng Hongwei is currently under investigation by the National Supervisory Commission for suspected violations of law,” the Chinese anti-corruption body said in a brief statement on its website.

Interpol said later that Meng had resigned as president of the organization, and that South Korean national Kim Jong Yang would become its acting president, while it would appoint a new president at a Nov 18-21 meeting of the organization in Dubai.

Interpol said earlier over the weekend that it had asked Beijing to clarify Meng’s situation.

“Today, Sunday 7 October, (at) the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France received the resignation of Mr Meng Hongwei as President of Interpol with immediate effect,” Interpol said in a statement on Sunday.

When asked about the Chinese announcement on Sunday, France’s Interior Ministry said it had no information.

The French ministry said last Friday that Meng’s family had not heard from him since Sept. 25, and French authorities said his wife was under police protection after getting threats.

HUSBAND’S WARNING TO WIFE?
French police have been investigating what is officially termed in France a “worrying disappearance”.

Local French media broadcast a video which they said was from Meng’s wife Grace, in which she issued a brief statement from a hotel in Lyon to express her concerns. Reuters could not confirm the comments attributed to her.

“As long as I can’t see my husband in front of me, speaking to me, I can’t have any confidence,” Grace Meng was quoted as saying by French TV stations and Sunday newspapers.

The websites of French papers broadcast video clips showing Meng speaking in a trembling voice, with her back to a TV camera in order to hide her appearance.

“This is a matter for the international community. This matter belongs to my motherland,” she added in the video clips.

French media also reported that Meng’s husband had recently sent her a mobile phone message featuring a knife image, as a way of showing her that he felt he was in danger.

Meng, 64, was named to the post of Interpol president in late 2016, part of a broader Chinese effort to gain leadership positions in key international organizations.

Presidents of Interpol are seconded from their national administrations and remain in their home post while representing the international policing body.

Interpol, which groups 192 countries and is usually focused on finding people who are missing or wanted, is run on a day-to-day basis by its secretary general, German national Juergen Stock.

When Meng was named Interpol’s president, human rights groups expressed concern that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents abroad. Beijing has in the past pressed countries to arrest and deport to China citizens it accuses of crimes, from corruption to terrorism.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a crackdown on corruption.


07.10.2018 - Chinese Authorities Suspect Interpol President of Corruption - Reports
Chinese Authorities Suspect Interpol President of Corruption – Reports

The Chinese authorities suspect Interpol President Meng Hongwei of corruption, local media reported Saturday citing sources.

According to Le Parisien sources, Meng is suspected of assisting a certain company in obtaining a cybersecurity contract, and is currently under investigation.

Earlier, French media reported that the Interpol president, Meng Hongwei, has been missing since he traveled to China in late September. Meng's wife, who resides in France's Lyon, the same city where Interpol is headquartered, reported to the police her husband missing on Friday, having not heard from him since 25 September when he traveled from France to his native China.

Chinese media said later that Meng, who also serves as the Chinese deputy public security minister, was taken for interrogation soon after landing in China a week ago.

Meng assumed office in November 2016. He has held various positions within China's Ministry of Public Security in his decades-long career. According to Interpol's website, Meng Hongwei served as Vice Minister of Public Security in China.


06.10.2018 - Interpol Requests Details from China on Missing President's 'Well-Being'
Interpol Requests Details From China on Missing President’s ‘Well-Being’

Interpol has told Euronews that they have officially requested clarification from China on the whereabouts of its President Meng Hongwei.

"Interpol has requested through official law enforcement channels clarification from China's authorities on the status of Interpol President Meng Hongwei. Interpol's General Secretariat is looking forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the President's well-being," the international policing body announced on Saturday.

The wife and children of the missing Interpol president had been placed under special protection by French police after she received threats by phone and via social media, the French Interior Ministry stated on Saturday, adding that they continued to exchange information with Chinese authorities over Meng's disappearance.

The 64-year-old official's wife, who resides in France's Lyon where Interpol is headquartered, reported her husband missing on Friday, having not heard from him since 25 September when he traveled from France to his native China.

A source familiar with the investigation told Reuters the working assumption was that Meng, who also serves as the Chinese deputy public security minister, had been detained as a result of a confrontation with Beijing authorities.

This partly confirms the suspicions of the Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP), which reported on Friday that the official is under investigation in China. According to the SCMP, Meng was taken for interrogation soon after landing in China a week ago.

Interpol has previously made it clear that it has been knowledgeable of the disappearance of the official. The organization also commented on Meng's disappearance, stressing that the whereabouts of the Interpol official was "a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China."
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
China continues with some high profile arrests ...

October 18, 2018 - China arrests former Vice Finance Minister for graph
China arrests former vice finance minister for graft | Reuters



China has arrested a former Vice Finance Minister for suspected corruption, its top prosecutor said on Friday.

Zhang Shaochun has been under investigation for “serious violation of discipline and law”, the graft watchdog said, in a long-running corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping.


October 19, 2018 - Former Chinese Internet Chief pleads guilty in Bribery trial
Former Chinese internet chief pleads guilty in bribery trial | Reuters



China's former internet chief, Lu Wei, pleaded guilty in court on Friday of taking millions of dollars in bribes, after prosecutors accused him of abusing his power in various government posts over 15 years.

The ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog said in November that Lu, who once headed the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China, was under investigation for serious discipline breaches.

He had since been expelled from the party, paving the way for his prosecution and making him one of a number of senior officials caught up in a sweeping anti-graft campaign under President Xi Jinping.

Prosecutors at an intermediate court in the Zhejiang province city of Ningbo said that between 2002 and 2017, Lu received illicit assets from government units or individuals worth more than 32 million yuan ($4.6 million), the official Xinhua news agency said.

“Lu Wei also made a final statement to the court, and admitted guilt and expressed regret,” Xinhua said.

The news agency said a verdict would be announced later, though Lu, 58, is almost certain to be found guilty, as courts are controlled by the party and will not challenge the accusations against him.

At the height of his influence, Lu, a colorful and often brash official by Chinese standards, was seen as emblematic of increasingly pervasive internet controls.

He had worked his way up through the Xinhua news agency before becoming head of propaganda in Beijing and then moving to internet work in 2013. He later became a deputy propaganda minister.

Xi has presided over a sweeping corruption crackdown since coming to power in 2012 and has vowed to target both “tigers” and “flies”, a reference to top officials and ordinary bureaucrats.

The campaign has seen the jailing or punishment of hundreds of thousands of officials and also brought down dozens of senior party and military officials.

The crackdown has not just been focused on issues like bribery and using public money to fund lavish lifestyles. It has also taken aim at those whose political loyalty is found lacking or who express doubt about party policies.

China has rejected criticism that the anti-graft campaign is as much about settling political scores as about stamping out genuine criminal acts.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
October 21, 2018 - China's top Macau representative Dead after falling from his building
China's top Macau representative dead after falling from his building | Reuters


Zheng Xiaosong, secretary of the Fujian Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), speaks during a meeting in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China April 23, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

China's top representative to Macau died late on Saturday after falling from the building where he lived, the Chinese government said on Sunday.

Zheng Xiaosong, the head of China’s liaison office to Macau, had been suffering from depression, the Hong Kong and Macau Office of the Chinese government’s State Council said in a statement, adding representatives of the Beijing government visited Macau to offer condolences. The statement did not elaborate further on the circumstances of his death.

Zheng, 59, was appointed to the Macau post in September 2017 and is a member of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee, the largest of China’s elite ruling bodies. He was previously the vice governor of the southeastern coastal province of Fujian.

The liaison office in Macau serves as a bridge between the local government and Beijing and has become increasingly influential in local affairs.

Like neighboring Hong Kong, Macau operates under China’s “one country, two systems” policy and is ruled by a chief executive, who is chosen via an election but must get approval from Beijing to formally take office.

Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui said in a statement that he was “shocked” about Zheng’s death and expressed condolences. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam also issued a statement expressing “deep sorrow” for Zheng’s death.

A statement published on Friday on the Macau liaison’s office website showed that Zheng met with the head of a think tank the day before his death. During the meeting he emphasized the importance of supporting the local government and the one country, two systems policy to ensure Macau’s continued development, the statement said.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
BEIJING - China will expel former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei from a high profile though largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament, state media reported, after the Chinese government put him under investigation for bribery and other violations.

October 26, 2018 - China to expel disgraced former Interpol Chief from Advisory Body
China to expel disgraced former Interpol chief from advisory body | Reuters

Under President Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a sweeping crackdown on official corruption.

Earlier this month, Interpol, the France-based global police coordination body, said that Meng had resigned as its president, after French authorities said the Chinese official had been reported missing by his wife after traveling to his home country.

It is unclear where Meng is being held and it has not been possible to reach him for comment. It is also unclear if he has been allowed to retain legal representation.

In the latest move by the Chinese government against Meng, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which advises parliament though has no legislative powers, has decided to dismiss him from the body, state media said late on Friday.

The decision still needs formal approval from the body’s standing committee, the official Xinhua news agency said, though this will only be a formality.

Meng had been a member of the body’s foreign affairs committee.

Members of the advisory body do not enjoy immunity from prosecution, unlike members of China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament.

Meng, 64 and a deputy minister of public security, became president of the global police cooperation agency in late 2016 amid a broader effort by China to secure leadership posts in international organizations.

His appointment prompted concern at the time from rights groups that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents abroad.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
October 29, 2018 - Wife of missing ex-Interpol Chief Meng Hongwei hires Lawyers to track him down
Wife of missing ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei hires lawyers to track him down | Reuters

The wife of former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has hired two law firms to help track down her husband, who has been missing since traveling back to his native China more than a month ago, but China said she had refused offers to talk to him by telephone.

Days after Meng’s wife reported him missing, prompting France to open an inquiry, China said he was under investigation for bribery and other violations. Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon, said Meng had resigned as president.

But no word has been heard from Meng himself since he sent his wife a WhatsApp message on Sept. 25 saying “wait for my call”. Grace Meng said she had decided to retain the law firms in London and Paris to pursue her husband’s case.

“Since my husband disappeared, people from all over the world have asked what they can do to help,” she said in an emailed statement, saying the firm of Marsigny Avocats and UK-based Lindeborg Counsellors had been retained.

“Above all, I urge everyone to raise their voice in asking China to respect our family’s fundamental human rights,” she said. “His disappearance could not be for anything other than political reasons.”

It is unclear where Meng, 64, is being held and it has not been possible for Reuters to reach him for comment. It is also unclear if he has been allowed to retain legal representation.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Tues. November 20, 2018 - Kremlin says US is meddling in Selection of Interpol Head
Kremlin says U.S. is meddling in selection of Interpol head | Reuters


FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in St. Petersburg, Russia May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that public opposition by a group of U.S. senators to a Russian candidate to head the international police organization Interpol amounted to election meddling.

Interpol’s general assembly is due to elect a new head at a meeting on Wednesday. On Monday, four U.S. senators issued a statement urging U.S. President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk.

The senators accuse Russia of abusing Interpol to settle scores and harass dissidents by issuing warrants, known as red notices, for their arrest. The senators said the election of Prokopchuk would allow Moscow to step up such abuse.

“This is probably a certain kind of interference in the electoral process of an international organization,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

Prokopchuk, a former major general in Russia’s Interior Ministry and current vice president of Interpol, is generally considered the leading candidate for the presidency.

Bill Browder, a British fund manager critical of the Kremlin who has been detained repeatedly at Russia’s behest before being released again, said it would be “outrageous” if Prokopchuk was named to head the global police agency.

“This particular individual has been responsible for trying to chase me down and have Interpol arrest me seven times,” he said in comments to BBC radio.

“All of a sudden, this guy is now put in charge of the institution he’s been trying to abuse for the last six years,” he said.


Tues. November 20, 2018 - Criticism mounts as Interpol set to Elect Russian as President
Criticism mounts as Interpol set to elect Russian as president | Reuters


A view shows Alexander Prokopchuk, Russian candidate to head international police organization Interpol, during a ceremony to open a monument to police in Bangkok, Thailand in this December 2015 handout photo obtained by Reuters November 20, 2018. Russian Interior Ministry/Handout via Reuters

International police body Interpol is expected to elect a senior Russian official as its next president on Wednesday, in a move that has provoked alarm in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin meddling.

Interpol’s 194 member states, meeting in Dubai for their annual congress, will hold the election on Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the Lyon-based agency said, with a candidate needing two-thirds of the ballots cast to be elected. Multiple voting rounds are possible.

There are two official candidates, and write-ins are still possible, but the vote is widely expected to lead to Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk, a police major-general and currently one of Interpol’s four vice-presidents, being chosen to succeed China’s Meng Hongwei as president for a four-year term.

“Russia has consistently misused Interpol to pursue its political opponents,” Guy Verhofstadt, a former prime minister of Belgium and a leading member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

“(If) Prokopchuk takes charge, democratic and free countries may need to develop a parallel organisation (to Interpol). Worrying times for the international order.”

“RED NOTICES”
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators this week accused Russia of exploiting the global body to settle scores and harass dissidents by issuing warrants, known as red notices, for their arrest.

They said the election of Prokopchuk, a senior Russian interior ministry official, would allow Moscow to step up such abuse, which has in the past targeted Bill Browder, a prominent Kremlin critic based in Britain.

Browder, a fund manager who has driven efforts to impose sanctions on Russia via the Magnitsky Act, was briefly arrested in Spain in May on a red notice. He said it would be “outrageous” if Prokopchuk was elected president.

“This particular individual has been responsible for trying to chase me down and have Interpol arrest me seven times,” he told BBC radio. “All of a sudden, this guy is now put in charge of the institution he’s been trying to abuse for the last six years.”

Russian dissident and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday gave a news conference in London alongside Browder.

Appointing Prokopchuk “would not only damage the reputation of all Interpol member states, but would carry a grave threat to those who may be considered potential victims of political persecution,” said Khodorkovsky.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the concerns raised by the U.S. senators, suggesting they were trying to influence the outcome of the Interpol vote.

“This is probably a certain kind of interference in the electoral process of an international organization,” he said.

Officials at Interpol declined to comment.

In an editorial this week, the London Times said Prokopchuk’s likely election called into question the viability of Interpol, set up as the International Criminal Police Commission in 1923, before being renamed Interpol in 1956.

“If Interpol is to restore its credibility it has to introduce new safeguards,” the paper wrote. “Interpol has to act more swiftly to weed out fake demands from states like Russia and China which manifestly do not respect the rule of law.”


Tues. November 20, 2018 - Kremlin critics unite to try to stop Russian becoming Interpol Head
Kremlin critics unite to try to stop Russian becoming Interpol head | Reuters

Two of the Kremlin’s most prominent critics joined forces on Tuesday to try to stop a Russian becoming the next president of international police organization Interpol, saying they feared Moscow would abuse the post to hunt down its detractors.

Interpol’s general assembly is due to elect a new president on Wednesday after incumbent Meng Hongwei of China went missing in September. Beijing later said it had detained him in connection with a bribery probe.

The battle to succeed him turned political after Alexander Prokopchuk, a former major general in Russia’s Ministry of the Interior, emerged as one of the favorites to get the job, a prospect that alarmed critics of President Vladimir Putin.

Russian dissident and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday gave a news conference in London alongside U.S.-born Kremlin critic Bill Browder at which both warned against Prokopchuk’s election, saying it would make it easier for the Kremlin to manipulate Interpol. Moscow has rejected such claims.

“Appointing such a person to the head of the international policing organization would not only damage the reputation of all Interpol member states, but would carry a grave threat to those who may be considered potential victims of political persecution,” said Khodorkovsky.

Putin freed Khodorkovsky in 2013 after he had spent a decade in jail for fraud, a charge Khodorkovsky said was fabricated to punish him for funding political opposition to Putin. The president has said he regards the businessman as a common thief.

Browder, the head of investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, has led a campaign to expose corruption and punish Russian officials he blames for the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 in a Moscow prison.

“If a Russian is president of this organization the Russian will be acting on the instructions of Vladimir Putin,” said Browder, who used to support the president before becoming one of his most implacable international critics.

“To put his representative in charge of the most important international crime fighting organization is like putting the mafia in charge,” said Browder.

Russian prosecutors said on Monday they suspected Browder of ordering a string of murders, including of Magnitsky, in a twist the financier dismissed as ludicrous.

‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’
On Monday, four U.S. senators jointly urged President Donald Trump to oppose Prokopchuk’s candidacy and accused Russia of abusing Interpol to settle scores and harass dissidents by issuing warrants, known as red notices, for their arrest.

Browder was briefly detained by Spanish police in May on a Russian Interpol red notice that was then deemed invalid.

Politicians in Lithuania and Ukraine have urged their governments to quit Interpol if Prokopchuk is elected, while Britain has said it is backing his South Korean rival Kim Jong Yang, currently the organization’s senior vice-president.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that opposition to Prokopchuk’s candidacy by U.S. senators amounted to election meddling.

“This is probably a certain kind of interference in the electoral process of an international organization,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia’s Ministry of the Interior defended Prokopchuk.

“We see a campaign aimed at discrediting the Russian candidate,” it said in a statement, complaining about what it called the unacceptable politicisation of Interpol.

“Alexander Prokopchuk has many years of experience working in the law enforcement sphere and is currently Interpol’s vice-president... which confirms the trust and high esteem in which his work in this international organization is held.”

If elected, he would carry out his duties solely in Interpol’s own interests, the ministry said.


Wed. November 21, 2018 - Interpol elects South Korea's Kim Jong-yang as President
Interpol elects South Korea's Kim Jong-yang as president | Reuters


International police body Interpol elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as president for a two-year term on Wednesday, beating a Russian national whose candidacy raised concerns in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin interference.

Interpol’s 194 member states, meeting in Dubai for their annual congress, elected Kim to succeed China’s Meng Hongwei, who disappeared in September and later resigned after Chinese authorities said he was being investigated for suspected bribery.

Interpol said on Twitter that Kim, who had been serving as acting president, had been elected for a two-year term. The body’s presidency, a largely ceremonial role, is typically held for four years.

It said Nestor R. Roncaglia of Argentina had been elected to a three-year term as vice president for the Americas.

Day-to-day work is handled by Secretary-General Jurgen Stock of Germany, but the presidency still commands influence. The candidacy of Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia, a police major-general and one of Interpol’s four vice-presidents, led to concern in Europe and the United States about the possibility of Russia being able to exploit Interpol’s power.

The United States said on Tuesday it supported Kim to lead the agency after a bipartisan group of U.S. senators accused Russia of exploiting the global body to settle scores and harass dissidents.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that public opposition by a group of U.S. senators to the Russian candidate amounted to election meddling.

In Europe former Belgian prime minister and European Parliament member Guy Verhofstadt had said “democratic and free countries may need to develop a parallel organization” if Prokopchuk was elected.

“Russia has consistently misused Interpol to pursue its political opponents,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Former Interpol president Meng has not been since he disappeared during a trip to China from where he sent a letter to Interpol announcing his resignation.

Days after his wife reported him missing, Chinese authorities said he was under investigation. Meng’s term was due to end in 2020.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
November 21, 2018 - Interpol Elects South Korean as President, Russia condemns Western pressure
Interpol elects South Korean as president, Russia condemns Western pressure | Reuters


Kim Jong-yang of South Korea, the new president of International police body Interpol talks during the 87th General Assembly in Dubai, UAE, November 21, 2018. Interpol/Handout via REUTERS

International police organization Interpol on Wednesday elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as president, beating a Russian whose candidacy had raised concerns in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin interference.

Interpol’s Secretary-General Jurgen Stock told reporters Kim’s election was free and transparent after Russia said clear outside pressure had been exerted on the vote.

Kim was elected president, a largely ceremonial role, at Interpol’s annual congress in Dubai for a two-year term to succeed China’s Meng Hongwei. The presidency is typically held for four years.

“The general assembly elected Mr. Kim from Korea as president through a voting process which was democratic, transparent, free and clear,” said Stock of Germany who heads day-to-day work at Interpol.

The president is elected after winning a two-thirds majority among members in a secret ballot, according to Interpol’s website.

U.S. and European politicians and Kremlin critics had lobbied against the candidacy of Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia, a police major-general and one of Interpol’s four vice-presidents.

“No matter ... what the nationality of the presidency is, it is not effecting Interpol’s neutrality and the independence of our organization,” said Stock.


Interpol’s role is to facilitate cooperation between police forces around the world. Its charter forbids it from involving itself in disputes of a political, religious or racial nature. It is not a supranational police force and has no agents who are allowed to make arrests.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators this week accused Russia of exploiting the global body to settle scores and harass dissidents by issuing warrants, known as red notices, for their arrest.

“Let me be crystal clear, the members of the executive committee, including the president, have absolutely no involvement or influence in the task force review or decision making process,” said Stock.

Russian Regret
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We regret that it wasn’t our candidate, but nonetheless there are no grounds to disagree with the election result.”


Prokopchuk declined to comment.

Kim, 57, worked in the South Korean police for more than 20 years before retiring in 2015.

Kim, who had been acting president, is now completing the term of former president Meng, which was due to end in 2020. Kim will not be able to seek a second term under Interpol rules which limit the presidency to a single term, said Stock.

Meng disappeared in September during a visit to China from where he sent a letter to Interpol announcing his resignation. Days after his wife reported him missing, Chinese authorities said he was under investigation.

“Our world is now facing unprecedented changes which present huge challenges to public security and safety,” Kim said in a statement. “To overcome them, we need a clear vision: we need to build a bridge to the future.”

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in congratulated Kim on becoming the first South Korean to head the organization.

Pacific island nations Vanuatu and Kiribati were approved this week as new Interpol member countries, while Kosovo’s bid was denied, bringing the total number of member states to 194. A number of countries including Serbia do not recognize Kosovo’s independence from Belgrade, declared in 2008.

Slideshow (3 Images)
Interpol elects South Korean as president, Russia condemns Western pressure | Reuters


November 21, 2018 - Kremlin says there was clear pressure on Interpol Vote: agencies
Kremlin says there was clear pressure on Interpol vote: agencies | Reuters

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that clear outside pressure had been exerted on a vote to elect a new head of Interpol, but that it did not see any factors that would render the election illegitimate, Russian news agencies reported.

International police body Interpol elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as its president for a two-year term on Wednesday, beating a Russian national whose candidacy raised concerns in the West about the risk of Kremlin interference.

The Kremlin regretted that Russia’s candidate did not win, spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.


November 21, 2018 - Kosovo hits Serbia, Bosnia with 100 percent Customs Feed after Interpol snub
Kosovo hits Serbia, Bosnia with 100 percent customs fees after Interpol snub | Reuters

TIRANA (Reuters) - Kosovo on Wednesday raised customs tariffs on Serbian and Bosnian goods from 10 to 100 percent after Serbia blocked its former province from joining Interpol, the international police organization.

Its retaliation, which was criticized by the European Union, also required authorities to remove or prevent from entering any goods that did not address Kosovo by its constitutional name, Republic of Kosovo, which Serbia and Bosnia do not recognize.

“This will halt any trade between Serbia and Kosovo,” Serbia’s Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic said.

President Aleksandar Vucic called a meeting of Serbia’s National Security Council to review the tariffs.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Kosovo’s move was a clear violation of CEFTA and of the spirit of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and Kosovo.

“The Kosovo government has to immediately revoke these decisions,” Mogherini said in a statement.

Bosnia’s Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Minister Mirko Sarovic said: “This is the biggest blow to the regional free trade zone.”

According to official figures, Serbia’s exports to Kosovo amounted to 440 million euros ($500 million), while imports amounted to 21 million euros. Bosnia’s exports to Kosovo reached 80 million euros last year.

Two weeks ago Kosovo imposed a 10 percent import tax on goods coming from Serbia and Bosnia. The European Union has urged Pristina to reverse that decision.

Kosovo’s mostly ethnic Albanian population declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a NATO bombing campaign to end the killing of Albanian civilians by Serb forces during a two-year insurgency.

It is now recognized by more than 110 nations but not by Serbia, Russia or five EU states. Belgrade and Moscow have blocked Kosovo from joining the United Nations.

In 2013 both countries agreed to an EU-sponsored dialogue to resolve outstanding issues, but little progress has been made.

Kosovo blamed a campaign by Serbia for its failure to join Interpol and said Serbia was against normalizing relations, key for both countries if they are to join the European Union. Bosnia also voted against Kosovo’s membership.

“The government has decided to impose a tax of 100 percent on imported goods coming from Serbia and Bosnia,” Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
November 21, 2018 - Kosovo hits Serbia, Bosnia with 100 percent Customs Fee after Interpol snub
Kosovo hits Serbia, Bosnia with 100 percent customs fees after Interpol snub | Reuters

November 21, 2018 - In a key victory for Serbia, Interpol rejects Kosovo’s membership bid
In a key victory for Serbia, Interpol rejects Kosovo’s membership bid

In a vote held during an annual general assembly in Dubai on November 20, Kosovo failed to secure two-thirds of votes cast to be approved as a full membership of Interpol, a result that was hailed as a major victory for Serbia by the latter’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.

Interpol has faced mounting criticism that governments have abused the organisation’s “red notice” alerts, which are circulated around the world to identify a person who is wanted by another country.

Serbia’s chief negotiator for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, said Kosovo would have used its membership for political reasons. If approved, the fear from the majority of Interpol’s members was that Kosovo would have been able to request “red notices” for the arrest of prominent Serbs that the Kosovar authorities consider to be war criminals.

“I am proud of our country’s struggle,” he told a press conference. “I want to believe that this will be a clear, undoubted message to Europe and the world to understand that things cannot be solved with one-sided pressure,” Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said while hailing Interpol’s decision.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia after the disputed region’s Muslim Albanian majority fought a devastating war in 1998-99 against the then-forces of Yugoslavia, which at the time only consisted of Serbia and Montenegro.

After a nearly three-month air campaign by NATO, who sided with the Kosovar Albanians, the region operated independently from the central government in Belgrade until February 2008 when the Kosovar government officially declared independence.

Supported by Russia, Serbia had been lobbying against Kosovo’s entry into Interpol as the two long-time allies said Kosovo had failed to establish any semblance of the rule of law, one of the main pre-conditions to join the international police body.

For their part, the Kosovar government claimed that it failed in its bid to join Interpol because Russia voted down its proposal.


November 20, 2018 - World’s police chiefs confront dark net at Interpol General Assembly in Dubai
World’s police chiefs confront dark net at Interpol General Assembly in Dubai

1374421-777921297.jpg

Ministers and police chiefs from around the world join delegates at Interpol’s General Assembly in Dubai. (Supplied)
  • The world’s law enforcement body is looking at how emerging technologies are changing crime fighting
  • Saudi Arabia has worked with Interpol since 1956 to combat crime and terrorism across the Middle East and beyond

DUBAI: With emerging technologies developing at a rapid pace in today’s digital age, drug trafficking through the dark net is one field that global police chiefs are confronting as they upgrade their skills to confront the new reality.

As part of Interpol’s 87th General Assembly, about 40 ministers and 85 police chiefs from around the world are meeting this week in Dubai for the first time to discuss innovation in policing and today’s major crime threats.

Saudi Arabia is one of 173 countries taking part in the discussion about the future of crime fighting.

“In the age of unprecedented information exchange, police the world over are increasingly facing new challenges,” Kim Jong Yang, Interpol’s senior vice president, said during the event’s opening ceremony on Sunday.

“Interpol must evolve to continue strengthening its global early-warning system by means of policing capabilities, to detect and prevent the flows of transnational crime,” he added. “Global connectivity is something Interpol strives for among law enforcement worldwide.”

The event enables Interpol’s 192 member countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to work together to fight international crime, and learn about investment in innovation, data overload and changing the culture of policing to keep pace with technology.

“It is a swiftly transforming environment, not least in terms of scope and technologies. This is the era of artificial intelligence, cyberspace unknowns and intensive digital activity,” Kim said.

“A highly innovative outlook to how police traditionally operate is rapidly being adopted by many governments at the national level,” he added. “Criminal data and the rules surrounding its processing have become critical contours for shaping the work of international police cooperation.”

Saudi Arabia has been working with Interpol since 1956 to combat transnational crime across the Middle East and beyond, with the country contributing toward some 40,000 foreign terrorist profiles in Interpol’s database. “International police cooperation is important,” Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock said during a press conference.

“Interpol’s database contains 93 million records, and they are being checked up to 200 times a second,” he added.

“This is just a snapshot of the activity of our member countries, which doesn’t include regional and global activities targeting all forms of crime by Interpol,” Stock said. “Every gap that remains provides opportunities for criminals to hide their terrorist activities, so it’s important we strengthen this system.”

Drug trafficking is a prime example of a crime affected by the digital revolution. “Drug dealers trafficking their drugs physically from place to place is still ongoing, but the new threat dimension is definitely drug trafficking with regards to the underground economy and the dark net,” Stock said. “One of the challenges for global law enforcement is to adapt to new technologies.”

Johan Obdola, president of the International Organization for Security and Intelligence, said cyber threats presented an extraordinary security challenge to the world, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

“Saudi Arabia is already facing some level of underground criminal activities, mostly related to money laundering and illegal drugs,” he added.

“These operations aren’t conducted in isolated ways; they’re highly complex and coordinated regional and global operations conducted from several locations around the world, from where strategies, shipments, communications, money laundering and additional logistic services to these criminal enterprises are happening.”

These transnational criminal groups have no limitations regarding countries and possess the capacity to undermine the stability of any nation if they reach a level of national underground control, Obdola said.

“The dark web is the most ideal cyber tool for criminal and terrorist groups to operate, as it provides the anonymity and hard-to-track platform required for these groups,” he added. “From anarchists to terrorism, criminal activities including prostitution, assassination services, weapon sales, radicalization literature, child prostitution and money laundering are provided, acquired and coordinated through the dark web.”

The Gulf is one of the most attractive regions for criminal groups due to its sustainable economic growth and development, Obdola
said.

The GCC is becoming a region where the future is present, with the latest technologies, luxury at its best, sustainable growth and top business opportunities,” he added. “This means opportunities for operations of criminal and terrorist organizations.”

He cited Hezbollah which, 14 years ago, initiated aggressive and coordinated specialized operations in Latin America and Africa to slowly bring cocaine to the Gulf. “Since 2011, the operations started to become noticed by intelligence agencies across the GCC, and, in 2014, it was acknowledged by law-enforcement officials from the Gulf,” Obdola said. “Their (Hezbollah’s) aim is to penetrate the GCC to later manipulate the system using tools to compromise governments, to establish a growing demand for drugs and to strengthen their relations with drug cartels.”

Officials from the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) for Saudi Arabia, which is part of the Interior Ministry, are taking part in this week’s event.

The NCB serves as a gateway for international investigations involving the Kingdom and its citizens.

“Relevant police information is key for any kind of preventive work, to ensure we can prevent terrorist attacks from taking place or to successfully investigate crime and terrorist activity,” Stock said. “We’re grateful for the support from the whole MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, and we’ve been doing a lot to intensify dialogue with all countries in the region.”

Interpol supports a number of operations in the Middle East, with partners including the GCC and the Arab Interior Ministers Council.
“We try to coordinate our activities so that we build up a complementary architecture of security,” Stock said. “Every country supporting us counts. If we don’t do this, criminals and terrorists will take benefit.”

Interpol Riyadh works regularly with all of the organization’s member countries to locate fugitives and bring them to justice, among other tasks.

Last month, it arrested a Saudi accused of issuing four bad checks abroad amounting to almost SR30 million ($8 million). Information recovered from improvised explosive devices in Iraq and the Gulf, shared via Interpol, has also resulted in the identification of suspects in Europe and Asia. But global crime is becoming more complex and international in today’s digital age, requiring police chiefs and ministers to address complex terrorism and crime threats, Stock said.

Interpol’s number of Red Notices, a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition, has been on the rise, reaching 57,289 to date.

Daily arrests of murderers, rapists, perpetrators of sexual child exploitation, drug dealers and other members of organized crime take place throughout the world. “In the past few years, we have also strengthened the legal framework behind the system of the Red Notice to ensure every notice request is assessed by an international legal team,” Stock said.

“It is quite clear all these phenomena can’t be fought in isolation. No country or region can fight these in isolation, so this strengthens our global fight against terrorism and crime.”

Increased use of artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as innovation in the field of forensics, are high on the event’s agenda.
As societies continue to change, and with more than 55 percent of the world connected to the Internet, Stock said a more hyper-connected world and the “Internet of Everything” will provide unprecedented opportunities for criminals to attack private computers and critical infrastructure, including the health system and water supply.

“This needs to be protected, and police work needs to adapt to this new environment. Police agencies need to invest in capabilities, in expertise and investigation in the dark net, where you can simply click and buy drugs which will then be sent, or buy and rent a botnet, hacking tools and organize a criminal group through the Internet,” he added.

“That’s a new dimension of crime, which all member countries are facing, so modern policing needs to be innovative.”

During the event, Interpol will elect a new president and consider the membership applications of Kosovo, Kiribati and Vanuatu.
The organization’s former president, Meng Hongwei, resigned by letter tendered by the Chinese government last month over “suspected corruption,” before disappearing. Interpol has come under increased pressure to provide answers as to his disappearance.

Published on Nov 20, 2018 (1:30 min.)
 
Last edited:

angelburst29

The Living Force
China is now protected by a Russian S-400 Triumf missile system.

2019-01-11 - China successfully completes trials of S-400 defense system
https://www.almasdarnews.com/articl...ompletes-trials-of-s-400-defense-system-tass/



China has carried out a second successful test firing of the S-400 Triumf missile system purchased from Russia, wrapping up its trials, a military-diplomatic source told TASS on Thursday.

“The second test firing of the S-400 was carried out in December last year at a Chinese firing ground. The 48N6E missile fired by the system’s launcher hit an aerodynamic target [simulating an aircraft] flying at a speed of more than 600 meters per second,” the source said.

China has become the first buyer of the Russian S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems. Under the contract, Russia will deliver two regiment sets of S-400 air defense missile systems to China.


2019-01-10 - China releases footage of its ‘mother of all bombs’
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/china-releases-footage-of-its-mother-of-all-bombs-video/



China has released footage of its new “mother of all bombs” that was tested in an undisclosed location:

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Chinese President Xi Jinping dropped in on surprised diners at a small Beijing restaurant and chatted with deliverymen on Friday on an apparently unscripted visit ahead of next week’s Lunar New Year holiday.

February 1, 2019 - China's Xi surprises Beijingers with casual Pre-New Year visit

China's Xi surprises Beijingers with casual pre-new year visit

Xi last year visited villagers in a poor southwestern part of China, to press home his campaign against poverty.

On Friday, state television showed Xi walking into the restaurant in a southern district of Beijing known for its traditional alleyways and courtyards, asking how much the food was and how long the owners had been in the city.

As diners stood up to take pictures, Xi told them not to stop eating on his account.

“I’m just passing through,” he said.

Still, Xi was almost certainly accompanied by his security detail throughout, even if they were not directly shown in the television footage.

The week-long holiday, starting on the eve of the New Year, on Monday, is the most important in the Chinese calendar, when millions of people travel home, many for the only time in the year.


BEIJING - Former U.S. military contractor Erik Prince had “no knowledge or involvement” in a preliminary memorandum signed by a Hong Kong-listed company to build a training base in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, his spokesman said on Friday.

February 1, 2019 - Erik Prince had 'no knowledge' of training agreement in China's Xinjiang: spokesman

Erik Prince had 'no knowledge' of training agreement in China's...

Xinjiang is a major part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure network but the region has faced attacks blamed on members of the Muslim ethnic Uighur minority. Beijing has responded with a security clampdown condemned by rights groups and Western governments.

Frontier Services Group (FSG), a Hong Kong-listed company founded by Prince, said in a Chinese-language statement posted on its website on Jan. 22 that it had signed a deal to build a training center in southern Xinjiang.

Reuters reported on the statement on Thursday. A Prince spokesman told Reuters on Friday that Prince had “no knowledge or involvement whatsoever with this preliminary memorandum regarding the company’s activity in Xinjiang.”

“Any potential investment of this nature would require the knowledge and input of each FSG Board member and a formal Board resolution,” the spokesman said in an email.

Prince is deputy chairman, a minority shareholder and a board member of FSG, a security, logistics and insurance provider.

The former U.S. Navy SEAL officer is the brother of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. He founded the U.S. military contractor formerly called Blackwater that drew international scrutiny and faced lawsuits for shootings and other conduct in Iraq. It now operates as Virginia-based Academi.

A Hong Kong-based spokesman for FSG told Reuters on Friday that the statement was “published in error by a staff member in Beijing” and had been taken off FSG’s website.

The removed statement had said that FSG signed a deal with the Kashgar Caohu industrial park in Tumxuk city in southern Xinjiang to build a training center.

The Tumxuk government did not answer a phone call seeking comment on Friday.

The statement did not provide details but said a signing ceremony in Beijing on Jan. 11 was attended by officials from Tumxuk city and CITIC Guoan Construction, owned by state-run conglomerate CITIC Group, which took a controlling stake in FSG last March.

A state media report had said FSG would invest 4 million yuan ($600,000) in the center, which will have the capacity to train 8,000 people a year.

In a March 2018 stock exchange filing, FSG said that it intends to set up a “secured logistics business” in Pakistan and Xinjiang.

In May 2017, it acquired a 25 percent stake in a security training facility in Beijing, which it said was the largest such school in China and would allow FSG to provide “world-class training courses” to Chinese companies.

Hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained in the security clampdown in Xinjiang.

China has defended the measures as “de-radicalization” that has prevented violence by providing vocational training to people susceptible to “extremist” thought.


China punishes 3,000 people in organized crime crackdown: state media
China has punished 3,021 people in a crackdown on organized crime and the local "protective umbrellas" that allow it to operate, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday, citing a government anti-crime task force.
 

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The Living Force
China's top anti-corruption body will target "political deviation" this year along with continued efforts to stamp out graft, it said on Tuesday, as part of a long-running campaign to improve discipline in the ruling Communist Party.
FILE PHOTO - Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China January 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

February 19, 2019 - China's top graft buster to go after 'Political deviation'
China's top graft buster to go after 'political deviation'
The headquarters of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China is pictured in Beijing, China February 10, 2018. Picture taken February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
The headquarters of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China is pictured in Beijing, China February 10, 2018. Picture taken February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

President Xi Jinping has presided over a sweeping corruption crackdown since coming to power in 2012, vowing to target both “tigers” and “flies”, referring to elite officials and ordinary bureaucrats.

The campaign has led to the jailing or punishment of thousands of officials and also brought down dozens of senior party and military officials.

The anti-corruption effort has not only focused on issues like bribery and using public money to fund lavish lifestyles. It has also taken aim at those whose political loyalty is found lacking or who express doubt in public about party policies.

In comments carried on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, Wang Ying, deputy head of the inspection team, said this year they will “deepen political inspections” and “uncover political deviation”. She did not elaborate.

Special effort will be made to find problems in the implementation of party policies and major party decisions, as well as rooting out corruption and “undesirable work styles”, Wang added.

The graft watchdog routinely sends out inspection teams to government ministries and provincial governments, which then issue reports detailing problems found and how they intend to rectify them.


China has rebuffed criticism that the campaign is as much about settling political scores as about stamping out genuine criminal acts.

But several high profile corruption cases have made mention of specific political crimes officials were suspected of, along with actual criminal behavior like taking bribes.

Former party boss of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, Sun Zhengcai, was accused by the party of having inflated political ambitions and of damaging the party’s image. Sun was jailed last year for life for corruption.

Vice President Wang Qishan, a close ally of Xi’s and formally in charge of the war on corruption, wrote in 2017 that the country had to step up vigilance against plots to grab power, as political corruption is the worst form of corruption.

Xi has warned, like others before him, that the corruption problem is so severe it could affect the party’s grip on power.


A Chinese military court sentenced a senior general who had been chief of a top defense department to life in prison on Wednesday after finding him guilt of corruption, state news agency Xinhua reported.

February 20, 2019 - Senior Chinese General jailed for life for graft

Senior Chinese general jailed for life for graft
FILE PHOTO: Chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Gen. Fang Fenghui attends a meeting with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford (not pictured) at the Bayi Building in Beijing, China August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Gen. Fang Fenghui attends a meeting with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford (not pictured) at the Bayi Building in Beijing, China August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

China’s military, which is the world’s largest and is in the midst of a modernization campaign, has been an important focus of President Xi Jinping’s battle to stamp out corruption.

The senior general, Fang Fenghui, who had accompanied President Xi Jinping to his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017, was replaced as chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People’s Liberation Army later that year with no explanation.

The government later confirmed he was being investigated on suspicion of corruption.

Fang was subsequently replaced as a member of the Central Military Commission, headed by Xi and which controls the armed forces, at a five-yearly Communist Party congress in October 2017, as part of a sweeping military leadership reshuffle.

Xinhua said a court martial had found Fang guilty of bribery and having huge wealth that he had been unable to account for.

His illicit assets will be confiscated and given to the government, it added, without elaborating.

Zhang Yang, who served on the commission alongside Fang, committed suicide in November 2017 while being investigated for corruption and over his links to Guo and Xu.


Wary of Xinjiang backlash, China invites waves of diplomats to visit
China is stepping up its diplomatic outreach over controversial camps in its heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang, inviting more foreign diplomats to visit as it seeks to head off criticism from Muslim-majority countries and at the United Nations.

China's desire for close Iran ties unchanged, Xi says ahead of Saudi prince's visit
China's desire to develop close ties with Iran will remain unchanged, regardless of the international situation, President Xi Jinping told the speaker of Iran's parliament, ahead of Thursday's visit to Beijing by Saudi Arabia's crown prince.

Chinese 'Ivory Queen' smuggler sentenced to 15 years jail in Tanzania
A prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the "Ivory Queen" was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court on Tuesday for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants, weighing nearly 2 tonnes, to Asia.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Members of the ruling elite of China's governing Communist Party have written to President Xi Jinping to tell him of their efforts to "strengthen education" of their families, state media said on Thursday, part of Xi's stringent anti-graft campaign.

February 28, 2019 - China's ruling elite tell Xi they have 'strengthened education' of families

China's ruling elite tell Xi they have 'strengthened education' of...
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China January 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China January 2, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

Upon assuming power in late 2012, Xi has waged war on deep-seated corruption, with dozens of senior officials imprisoned.

Part of that campaign has been to stop top people from allowing relatives to abuse their connections for personal gain, and to stop senior officials from unduly benefiting their families.

The 25 members of the Politburo, the second most important of the party’s governing inner core,
wrote to Xi outlining their work, pledging primarily their loyalty to Xi and his agenda, the official Xinhua news agency said, offering a broad outline of the contents of their work reports.

Politburo members also pledged to strictly follow anti-corruption rules, Xinhua said.

“Comrades of the Politburo strictly enforce the rules of honesty and self-discipline of party members and leading cadres ... and strengthen the education management of relatives and staff around them,” the report added. It did not provide details.


China's ruling Communist Party warned party members to stick to Marx and Lenin and not believe in "ghosts and spirits" or practice "liberalism", in the latest effort to root out superstitious practices and further tighten party control.

February 27, 2019 - China warns party members to stick to Marx, not 'ghosts and spirits'

China warns party members to stick to Marx, not 'ghosts and spirits'
FILE PHOTO: Men check on a light installation in a shape of the party flag of the Communist Party of China, that is set up to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, in Jining, Shandong province, China January 29, 2019. Picture taken January 29, 2019.  REUTERS/Stringer
FILE PHOTO: Men check on a light installation in a shape of the party flag of the Communist Party of China, that is set up to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, in Jining, Shandong province, China January 29, 2019. Picture taken January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

China officially guarantees freedom of religion for major belief systems such as Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, but party members are meant to be atheists and are especially banned from participating in what China calls superstitious practices such as visiting soothsayers.

A lengthy statement on how best to strengthen the party’s role and its leadership, issued on the official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday, said Marxism was the guiding thought for China and the party. ”Resolutely prevent not believing in Marx and Lenin and believing in ghosts and spirits, not believing in the truth and believing in money,” the party statement said.

“Resolutely oppose all forms of mistaken thought that distorts, misrepresents or negates Marxism,” it said.


President Xi Jinping said last year the party’s decision to stick with the political theories of Karl Marx remained “totally correct”. He was marking the 200th anniversary of the German philosopher’s birth.


A senior Chinese diplomat expressed "deep concern" over the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan on Wednesday, after the two countries said they shot down each other's fighter jets.

February 27, 2019 - China expresses 'deep concern' over India-Pakistan conflict
China expresses 'deep concern' over India-Pakistan conflict
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a joint news conference with Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Minister Chyngyz Aidarbekov (not pictured) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a joint news conference with Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Minister Chyngyz Aidarbekov (not pictured) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat made the comments in a telephone conversation with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

Qureshi telephoned Wang to inform him of the latest developments in the conflict and to express hope that China would continue to play a “constructive role” in easing tensions, the statement said.

Wang “reiterated his hope that both Pakistan and India will exercise restraint and earnestly fulfill their commitments to preventing the expansion of the situation,” and said the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the statement said.


China urges 'objective' view of Xinjiang after Turkey criticism
Countries should take an "objective" view of Chinese policy in Xinjiang and stop saying the wrong thing, China's government said on Wednesday, after Turkey and Britain voiced concern at China's alleged mistreatment of Uighurs and other Muslims there.

China says Taiwan talks must benefit 'reunification'
China can talk to Taiwan as long as it helps promote peaceful development and "reunification", Beijing said on Wednesday, after the island's main opposition party said it could sign a peace treaty if it wins a presidential election next year.

Trump says China has been 'a big help' with North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had spoken a lot about China during their summit in Vietnam but North Korean was not taking orders from anyone.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it hopes dialogue and communication between the United States and North Korea can continue.

February 28, 2019 - China says hopes US, North Korea dialogue can continue

China says hopes U.S., North Korea dialogue can continue
FILE PHOTO:  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions about a major bus accident in North Korea, during a news conference in Beijing, China April 23, 2018.  REUTERS/Jason Lee
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions about a major bus accident in North Korea, during a news conference in Beijing, China April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing in Beijing that both sides had shown sincerity after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula at their summit in Vietnam.
 
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