China And Hong Kong: Suspension of Amendments To Fugitive Offenders Ordinance

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

HKSAR Chief Executive announces suspension of amendments to Fugitive Offenders Ordinance

Xinhua
HKSAR Chief Executive announces suspension of amendments to Fugitive Offenders Ordinance

Xinhua

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam announces on June 15, 2019 that the HKSAR government will suspend the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance until further communication and explanation work is completed.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced Saturday that the HKSAR government will suspend the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance until further communication and explanation work is completed.

“I now announce that the government has decided to suspend the legislative amendment exercise,” Lam told a press conference Saturday afternoon at the HKSAR government headquarters building.

The HKSAR government’s secretary for security will send a letter to the Legislative Council (LegCo) president to withdraw the notice of resumption of second reading debate on the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill, and the LegCo will halt its work in relation to the bill until the HKSAR government completes its work in communication, explanation and listening to opinions, Lam said.

The bill, tabled by the HKSAR government at the LegCo in April, aims to deal with a murder case that happened in China’s Taiwan but involves a Hong Kong suspect who has returned to Hong Kong, and to fill loopholes in HKSAR’s existing legal framework concerning mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Lam said the HKSAR government has been discussing with various sectors of the community in a rational manner and has introduced amendments to the proposal on two occasions to ease the concerns of society and narrow differences, including increasing the threshold for fugitive offenders surrender and introducing additional human rights safeguards.

“My relevant colleagues and I have made our best efforts, but I have to admit that our explanation and communication work has not been sufficient or effective,” she said, adding that the HKSAR government will do more work in this regard.

“I want to stress the government is adopting an open mind to heed comprehensively different views in society towards the bill,” she added.

To deal with the Taiwan murder case, the HKSAR government has been trying to get the bill passed ahead of the LegCo summer recess in July. However, in consideration of Taiwan’s overt and clear expression that it would not accede to the HKSAR government’s suggested arrangement in the transfer of the concerned suspect, the original urgency to pass the bill in this legislative year is perhaps no longer there, Lam said.

“We have no intention to set a deadline for this work and promise to report to and consult members of the Legislative Council panel on security before we decide on the next step forward,” she said.

The bill was originally scheduled to be discussed at a LegCo meeting on June 12. The meeting was postponed due to violent conflicts between protesters and police around the complex of the HKSAR government and LegCo.

“As a responsible government, we have to maintain law and order on the one hand, and evaluate the situation for the greatest interests of Hong Kong, including restoring calmness in society as soon as possible and avoiding any more injuries to law enforcement officers and citizens,” Lam said.

In response to media questioning, Lam clarified that the amendments were initiated and managed by the HKSAR government and it would not withdraw the proposal since the original purposes were right.

The Chinese central government expressed support, respect and understanding for the decision announced by Lam on Saturday.

“We support, respect and understand the decision,” said a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, noting that the central government will continue to support Lam and the HKSAR government’s governance in accordance with the law and their efforts with people from all walks of life to safeguard Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.

Noting that the HKSAR police have always been the protector of Hong Kong residents and society, the spokesperson said the central government strongly condemns relevant violent activities and firmly supports the police in cracking down on such activities and police efforts to safeguard Hong Kong’s rule of law and social stability.

HKSAR Chief Executive announces suspension of amendments to Fugitive Offenders Ordinance

Xinhua

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam announces on June 15, 2019 that the HKSAR government will suspend the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance until further communication and explanation work is completed.

Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the policies of “one country, two systems,” “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong,” and a high degree of autonomy have been faithfully implemented, and the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people have been fully guaranteed in accordance with the law, which has been widely recognized.

“I want to reiterate that Hong Kong is China’s special administrative region and its affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that brook no interference by any country, organization or individual,” Geng said, adding that China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests and maintain Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.

An official in charge of the liaison office of the central government in the HKSAR said that since she came into office two years ago, Lam has been upholding the principle of “setting no easy goals and avoiding no difficult tasks” and leading the HKSAR government in governing Hong Kong in accordance with the law and assuming a proactive role, which has always been highly recognized and fully trusted by the central government.

The liaison office will remain steadfast in supporting the chief executive and the HKSAR government in governing Hong Kong in accordance with law, maintaining the order of rule of law in Hong Kong society and safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of Hong Kong residents, so as to secure Hong Kong as a prosperous and stable home for all, the official said.

An official in charge of the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR also voiced continuous staunch support for Lam and the HKSAR government in governing Hong Kong in accordance with the law, safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and upholding Hong Kong’s enduring prosperity and stability.

The official strongly condemned the violent acts by some people and voiced firm support for the Hong Kong police force to mete out punishment in accordance with law, stressing that freedom is by no means without boundaries, and rights must be exercised within the framework of the rule of law.

The decision to suspend the legislative amendment exercise was also supported by various sectors of the Hong Kong society.

Voicing support to the decision, the Non-official Members of the HKSAR Executive Council (ExCo Members) said in a statement that they would continue to offer their full support for the chief executive, and would call on members of the public to adopt a calm and rational manner when expressing their views, and to safeguard the civilized, free, open and pluralistic society of Hong Kong.

Speaking through a spokesperson, president of the LegCo Andrew Leung said he understood the decision and believed it was made after carefully listening to the voices of various sectors of the society.

Noting that the decision would enable more explanation, he appealed to the public to express their views in a peaceful and rational manner that reflects Hong Kong’s long-respected spirit of rule of law.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) Chairman Aron Harilela said the HKGCC welcomed the HKSAR government’s decision for it would allow things to cool down and let everyone return to rational debate.

“We look forward to the government continuing to engage in constructive discussions with stakeholders and the public to address and eliminate doubts about the bill,” added Harilela.

Telegram Traces Massive Cyber Attack to China During Hong Kong Protests

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG NEWS)

 

Telegram Traces Massive Cyber Attack to China During Hong Kong Protests

 Updated on 
  • Messaging service swamped by ‘garbage requests,’ Telegram says
  • Intrusions during demonstrations sourced to Chinese addresses
Pavel Durov
Pavel Durov Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said a massive cyber-attack on his messaging service originated in China, raising questions about whether Beijing tried to disrupt a protest involving hundreds of thousands that erupted on the streets of Hong Kong.

The encrypted messaging app said it experienced a powerful distributed denial of service attack after “garbage requests” flooded its servers and disrupted legitimate communications. Most of those queries came from Chinese internet protocol addresses, founder Pavel Durov said in a subsequent Twitter post.

“This case was not an exception,” he tweeted without elaborating.

Hong Kong is in the throes of political unrest as the Beijing-backed government attempts to force through controversial legislation that would for the first time allow extraditions to China, which protesters fear could be used to squelch government opposition. That proposal has ignited a widespread outcry, sending hundreds of thousands of protesters into the city’s streets and triggering violent clashes when demonstrators stormed the legislative chamber Wednesday.

Pavel Durov

@durov

IP addresses coming mostly from China. Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.

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Read more: China, Hong Kong Extradition Agreements Show Divided Map

Hong Kong protesters have grown increasingly concerned about legal repercussions as Beijing tightens its influence over the former British colony and the local government prosecutes demonstrators. They’ve relied on encrypted services to avoid detection. Telegram and Firechat — a peer-to-peer messaging service that works with or without internet access — are among the top trending apps in Hong Kong’s Apple store.
Protesters Clash With Riot Police In Hong Kong: In Pictures
Many protesters masked their faces to avoid facial recognition and avoided using public transit cards that can be voluntarily linked to their identities. An administrator of a large local Telegram group was arrested Tuesday for allegedly conspiring to commit a public nuisance, the South China Morning Post reported.

Mass Protests Lead To Postponement Of Hong Kong Legislature's Extradition Law Meeting

Protesters wear protective gear.

Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

The Extradition Law That’s Got Hong Kong Protesting: QuickTake
Hong Kong’s Legislative Council suspended a review of the bill for a second day Thursday amid the continued threat of protests. The city’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, is seeking to pass the legislation by the end of the current legislative session in July.

Telegram was created by Durov, a Russian entrepreneur known for his advocacy of internet freedoms. In 2017, he said the service would be registered with Russia’s communications watchdog after it was threatened by a domestic ban. Durov didn’t immediately respond to a message posted on his private Telegram channel.

(Updates with the bill’s status in the penultimate paragraph.)

The Murderous Dictators Of: China And Kyrgyz Pledge To Promote Bilateral Ties

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA COMMUNISTS PARTY NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Chinese, Kyrgyz presidents pledge to promote bilateral ties

Xinhua
Chinese, Kyrgyz presidents pledge to promote bilateral ties

Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping is received by his Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbay Jeenbekov upon his arrival in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 12, 2019. Xi arrived here Wednesday for a state visit to Kyrgyzstan and the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, met Wednesday evening, pledging joint efforts to promote bilateral ties.

Xi and Jeenbekov had a meeting at the presidential residence in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek right after the Chinese president arrived in the Central Asian country for a state visit and the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

Reflecting on the traditional friendship between the countries, the two heads of state discussed the future of bilateral relations with an in-depth exchange of views on issues of common concern.

Noting that it is his second visit to Kyrgyzstan in six years, Xi expressed the delight of visiting an old friend.

Substantial advances in bilateral ties have been made over the past 27 years since the establishment of the China-Kyrgyzstan diplomatic relationship, Xi said, highlighting the two sides’ strong political mutual trust, mutually beneficial economic cooperation, mutual reliance in security and close coordination in international affairs.

Xi expressed appreciation for Jeenbekov’s public remarks on safeguarding the China-Kyrgyzstan friendship on many occasions.

The Chinese side applauds Kyrgyzstan’s achievements in reform and development, and expects more progress of the country in safeguarding national stability and promoting economic development, Xi said.

China is ready to share experience in state governance with Kyrgyzstan to achieve common development and prosperity, Xi said, hailing the solid outcomes in the joint construction of the Belt and Road.

Xi called for concerted efforts to strive for more fruits in the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to benefit the people of both countries.

The two sides, he said, should step up coordination within multilateral frameworks including the SCO and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, stick to multilateralism, and oppose protectionism and unilateralism, so as to contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Jeenbekov said he appreciates the great importance Xi attaches to bilateral relations. He expressed warm congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and wished China greater achievements.

Recalling his attendance last week at a release ceremony for the Kyrgyz edition of the first volume of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China,” Jeenbekov said the book is of great significance for Kyrgyzstan to learn from China’s experience and promote its own reform and development.

Jeenbekov stressed that Kyrgyzstan firmly supports the measures taken by the Chinese government in safeguarding peace and stability in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and cracking down on extremism. He also thanked China for its strong support and assistance to Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan, he said, values China’s influence in international affairs and is willing to deepen cooperation with China in various sectors within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, get on board the express train of China’s economic development, and push for leapfrog development of bilateral relations.

Thousands of anti-extradition protesters block roads surrounding Hong Kong government headquarters

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘GLOBAL VOICES’)

 

Thousands of anti-extradition protesters block roads surrounding Hong Kong government headquarters

Protesters block roads surrounding government headquarters to stop the passing of extradition bill. Image from inmediahk.net. Used with permission.

On June 12, thousands of protesters blocked major roads surrounding Hong Kong’s government headquarters and legislature in the Admiralty district to prevent lawmakers from presenting amendments to a controversial extradition bill. The secretary of the Legislative Council announced that the scheduled session at 11:00 am would be deferred until further notice after lawmakers were unable to reach the Legislative Council Complex.

Venus Wu@wu_venus

This is not the 2014 . This is now.

Just after Sunday’s million-strong protest, the HK gov announced it would continue to push the . The parliament is to debate it today & this is the people’s way of stopping it.

Pic: Tanya Chan’s FB pic.twitter.com/UUzeK0tSRp

View image on Twitter
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The roadblock protests followed a June 9 rally where over a million people took to the streets against proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment)  Bill. The proposed bill would provide legal grounds for the Chief Executive and local courts to handle case-by-case extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau. Protesters believe that the amendments would make it easier for mainland China to arrest critics, dissidents, and even journalists in Hong Kong.

Soon after the rally, the government issued a statement stressing that the administration will continue to proceed with the second reading of the bill on June 12. The government’s hard-line stance triggered a round of violent clashes between the police and hundreds of young protesters who gathered outside the Legislative Council on June 10.

Confrontation after midnight on June 10. Image from Stand News. Used with permission.

The police arrested 31 protesters and took records of the identity of 358 protesters who stayed overnight after the rally. About 80 percent of them are between 16 to 25-years-old.

On June 10, Chief Executive Carrie Lam continued defending the bill and stressed Hong Kong is “duty-bound to address that deficiency”. The president of the Legislature, Andrew Leung, decided that Hong Kong lawmakers would have to vote on the controversial bill by June 20.

The organizer of the Sunday rally, Civil Human Rights Front, called for another round of protests outside the government headquarters to paralyze the government starting on June 12. Student unions from seven Hong Kong tertiary institutions, including Chinese University and Baptist University, have called for students to boycott classes and join the rally. Over a hundred Hong Kong employers from across industry sectors have pledged to either suspend business or support employees who choose to strike.

About 2,000 protesters gathered overnight outside the Legislative Council on June 11 and more protesters joined them the next morning. At around 8:00 am, thousands of protesters occupied major roads (namely Lung Wo Road and Harcourt Road) surrounding the Legislative Council Building. Jerome Taylor, Hong Kong/Taiwan/Macau bureau chief for AFP, reported on Twitter:

Jerome Taylor

@JeromeTaylor

The crowds on Harcourt Road — this is a major artery through the island that passes just next to the city’s parliament

View image on Twitter

Jerome Taylor

@JeromeTaylor

Pepper spray deployed again pic.twitter.com/1wNCzqrYre

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Although the protester’s blockade was able to push back the scheduled session on the morning of June 12, house rules allow the Legislative Council president to resume the meeting with only one hour’s notice.

Hundreds of thousands protest in Hong Kong against the extradition bill

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Hundreds of thousands protest in Hong Kong against the extradition bill

Huge protesting crowd against the extradition bill paralyzed a large part of Hong Kong Island on June 9 2019. Photo from inmediahk.net

Hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the streets on Sunday, 9 June 2019, to stop the government from passing amendments to the existing extradition laws – the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance.

The rally started at 2:30 p.m. and it quickly paralyzed a large part of Hong Kong island. Anna Pearce recorded the crowd near Victoria Park, the starting place of the rally:

Anna Pearce@stilltalkin

No to China extradition.. incredible mass protest turnout in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/DmE643iKVx

Embedded video

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Streets flooded with protesters

The organizer of the rally, Civil Human Rights Front, estimated that there were more than a million protesters in the rally as the scale of the protest was larger than the anti-national security law mobilization on 1 July 2003. But the police said there were about 240,000 in the streets during the peak of the rally. As South China Morning Post reporter Jeffie Lam put it, Hongkongers made history today:

Jeffie Lam

@jeffielam

are making history today. All lanes of the Hennessy Road – including those which police refused to open before – are flooded by protesters against the @SCMPNews pic.twitter.com/UTr2ui7Fix

Embedded video

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Protesters said the proposed amendments would make it easier for mainland China to cause the arrest of critics, dissidents, and even journalists in Hong Kong. They were chanting “no evil law” and calling for the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam to step down.

Protester placard: No China extradition; Liar Carrie Lam, step down. Image via inmediahk.net CC: AT-NC

A social worker told reporter from inmediahk.net that she rallied to defend the people working in the social work sector because under China’s judicial system, those who tried to bring positive change in society would be arrested. Another student protester believes that once the amendment is passed, the city will cease to exist as the constitutional principle of “One Country Two Systems” would come to an end.

Denise Ho (HOCC)

@hoccgoomusic

Today, Hongkonger are telling the world we oppose the Extradition Bill! pic.twitter.com/fNvaBjRhRm

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
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There have been several mass protests against the extradition bill. On 30 March, about 12,000 rallied from Wanchai to Admiralty right before the government presented the amendment bill to the legislature. One month later on 28 April, about 130,000 took to the streets demanding the scrapping of the bill.

The series protests has caught the world’s attention. Many are now monitoring if the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam would withdraw the controversial bill which is scheduled for second reading in the legislative chamber this week.

The amendments were first proposed by the Hong Kong government in February to provide further legal grounds for the Chief Executive and local courts to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements, specifically Taiwan and China. By citing the murder case of a pregnant woman in Taiwan, the government claimed that amending the extradition laws was meant to address ‘legal loophole’ that allow fugitives to escape punishment.

However, legal experts pointed out that the so-called ‘loophole’ was in reality a firewall to prevent crime suspects from being handed over to mainland China where there is no fair trial.

Human rights defenders, journalists, NGO workers and social workers at risk

Various sectors have warned that if extradition requests are processed without legislative oversight, the amendments would provide a legal basis for mainland Chinese authorities to arrest political dissents. This concern was stated in an open letter jointly signed by over 70 non-government organizations:

Given the Chinese judiciary’s lack of independence, and other procedural shortcomings that often result in unfair trials, we are worried that the proposed changes will put at risk anyone in the territory of Hong Kong who has carried out work related to the Mainland, including human rights defenders, journalists, NGO workers and social workers, even if the person was outside the Mainland when the ostensible crime was committed. We are calling on the Hong Kong government to immediately withdraw the bill…

Instead of addressing the concerns raised by the petitioners, the Beijing Liaison Office met representatives of the local business sector and demanded them to back the bill. At the same time, the Hong Kong government gave some concessions to the business sector by exempting nine white-collar crimes in the bill and raising the threshold for extradition from crimes punishable by three years in jail to crimes with a seven-year prison penalty.

But on the other hand, it decided to by-pass the legislative committee-level deliberations and tabled the bill for full legislative council discussion.

The direct intervention of the Beijing Liaison Office and the Hong Kong government’s violation of legislative procedure have given a strong and clear signal to the public that the amendment bill is a controversial political decision which is far from protecting Hong Kong people’s interest.

Under the current bill, foreigners who traveled to Hong Kong could also be handed over to mainland Chinese authorities upon extradition requests. Diplomats from the U.S, Canada and European Union have expressed a concern about this. Against the background of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, some are worriedthat the amendments would turn Hong Kong into a battlefield of international politics:

The intended effects of the amendments can be regarded as a mirrored counterpart of the legal rights utilised by the US government in Meng’s case [Note: the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada upon the extradition request filed by the United State on 1 of December 2018]. If the amendments are passed, then any person who happens to come to Hong Kong can be arrested and surrendered to mainland China with the consent of a court or the Chief Executive, and without deliberation in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

More than 2500 lawyers demonstrated against the amendment of extradition law on June 6. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

The Hong Kong government responded by accusing the opposition of misleading the public.

Lawyers stage “Black March”

But among those who have spoken out against the bill were not just opposition politicians but also members of the professional legal sector. On 6 June, the legal sector staged a “black march” against the controversial bill. Dressed in black, about 2,500 lawyers gathered outside the Court of Final Appeal and marched to government headquarters in silence. Prior to the “black march”, both the BAR society and the Law society have submitted opinions to the government demanding an extensive consultation with the legal sector and other stakeholders.

While debate in the legislature has been muted by the Hong Kong government, grassroots opposition voices have taken over. In the past few weeks, social media platforms have been flooded with joint signature campaigns against the amendments initiated by hundreds of university and secondary schools alumni groups, Christian groups, and neighborhood associations.

Hongkongers abroad have also spoken out. Diaspora Hong Kong communities from at least 25 cities, including London, New York, Berlin, Toronto, Melbourne, and Tokyo among others also held a coordinated protest against the amendment bill.

Roydon Ng@RoydonNg

Chants of We Love Hong Kong and We Love Freedom are shouted from central CBD (). Protesters oppose the law that would allow for extradition to mainland China. Police estimate 2000 attending. pic.twitter.com/AycfpKVNjO

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The whole world is now watching if Carrie Lam would redraw or continue to push through the extradition bill in Legislature this week.

Most cyber attacks on China originate from US: report

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Most cyber attacks on China originate from US: report

Xinhua

Most of the cyber attacks targeting Chinese networks in 2018 have originated from the United States, according to an annual report released by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team on Monday.

In terms of Trojan and botnet activities, CNCERT found that 3.34 million computers on the Chinese mainland were controlled by more than 14,000 Trojan or botnet command and control servers (C&C servers) in the United States in 2018, up 90.8 percent from the C&C server number in 2017.

It also reported that 3,325 IP addresses in the United States, up 43 percent from 2017, planted Trojans in 3,607 websites on the Chinese mainland.

In the above two categories, the United States topped the list of overseas sources of cyber attacks targeting computers and websites on the Chinese mainland, according to the organization.

Established in 2002, the CNCERT is a non-governmental organization of network security technical coordination.

The 6 Longest Shared Borders in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

More from

6 Longest Shared Borders in the World

Borders are the geographical limits between countries, federal states, sovereign states and subnational entities. Some have stayed the same for centuries while others are the subject of constant negotiation among politicians and state officials. Borders come in a whole host of forms. Around the world there’s unscalable fencespainted cobblestones and even a public library separating two countries. Here we’ll take a look at the longest shared borders on our planet.

Bangladesh–India (2,582 miles)

Credit: Abhijeet Khedgikar/Shutterstock

India borders seven different countries; one of them, Bangladesh, is surrounded almost entirely by Indian territory. The dividing line is a crazy zigzagging marker that separates Bangladesh from the Indian states of West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura and Mizoram. It was drawn up during the 1947 Partition of British India, when the province of Bengal became the Indian state of West Bengal and the Pakistani province of East Bengal. East Bengal became Bangladesh in 1971. Some suggest that the China-India border is longer, but India’s Ministry of Home Affairs says otherwise.

China–Russia (2,615 miles)

Credit: James Jiao/Shutterstock

Russia and China are the largest and third largest counties in the world, respectively. Incredibly China shares borders with 14 countries and Russia has borders in both Asia and Europe. No surprise, then, that these two giant land masses make our list. The border has two non-contiguous sections. The eastern section travels for 2,500 miles from a China–Mongolia–Russia triple border to the Tumen River. The 115-mile-long western section starts atop Tavan Bogd mountain and ends where the two counties converge with Kazakhstan.

China–Mongolia (2,906 miles)

Credit: Daniel Andis/Shutterstock

Of all of its 14 bordering countries, the one that China touches most is Mongolia. Curiously, the east and west points of the border are both triple borders between China, Mongolia and Russia. The westernmost point is by far the most impressive as it stands close to the summit of the 14,350-feet-tall mountain massif Tavan Bogd. It also runs through the heart of the dunes and mountains of the Gobi Desert.

Argentina–Chile (3,293 miles)

Credit: Oomka/Shutterstock

Argentina is about four times as large as Chile; however, the enormous lengths of both countries mean that they have the third-longest border. It begins at a triple frontier between Argentina, Bolivia and Chile and then travels south across the snowy peaks of the Southern Andes before weaving through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. The southernmost section, called the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, is under constant political debate. The Beagle Channel and the 22,615-feet-tall Ojos del Salado, which is the world’s highest stratovolcano, are some major natural landmarks found on the border.

Kazakhstan–Russia (4,254 miles)

Credit: Fuping/Shutterstock

Russia gets its second entry in the list with its huge border with Kazakhstan, itself the world’s ninth largest country. At its southernmost point, the border sits on a peninsula that stretches out into the Caspian Sea. It then meanders through the remote north of Kazakhstan and south of Russia, areas characterized by green pastures, hundreds of lakes and isolated villages. In 2018 Kazakhstan launched a tourism development program to improve bilateral tourism and make border crossings smoother.

U.S.–Canada (5,525 miles)

Credit: Roman Babkin/Shutterstock

At number one on our list, and the clear winner by over a thousand miles, is the border shared between the world’s second and fourth largest countries. It passes through 13 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces and is broken up into two segments. There’s the east to west border of continental U.S. and a north to south section that incorporates Alaska, the Yukon Territory and part of British Columbia. Four of the Great Lakes straddle the border, as does Niagara Falls and the Thousand Islands.

China-India Border Talks Remain Difficult Amid Map Burning Controversy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE INDIAN PAPER ‘THE DIPLOMAT’)

 

China-India Border Talks Remain Difficult Amid Map Burning Controversy

The recent burning of maps by China that portrayed Arunachal Pradesh as part of India has elicited diverse opinions from different quarters on the meaning of the episode, what triggered it, and its effect on the continuing dialogue between the two countries to resolve the border row.

“Maps are the main form of representing national territory, which is serious for its political, scientific and legal significance. Problematic maps, if they appear in imported and exported products, will confuse the international community about China’s territory and the government’s position, or even be hyped by those with ulterior motives, seriously damaging national interests and the government’s image, the notice emphasized,” said the state-run daily, Global Times.

So far, 21 rounds of talks have been held between India and China to resolve the differences over the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which spans a long distance of 3,488 km mostly over hilly terrain. The last round, held in Sichuan between Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, took place amid the backdrop of the 73-day confrontation between the two militaries at Doklam. The confrontation centered on the Chinese Army’s plan to construct a road close to India’s strategic “Chicken’s Neck,” which links seven border states collectively called the Northeast.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.There are around 20 places along the LAC where the claims of both the countries overlap besides Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as its own territories. The confusion has resulted in frequent intrusions by the army into each other’s territories in the past several years.

Dialogue Will Continue

Indian diplomats are of the view that neither the burning of the maps nor the incident at the recent BRI summit in Beijing when maps showing Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as parts of India were removed would impede future talks to resolve the border dispute. They point to the slew of agreements inked between the two neighbors in the past two-and-a-half decades and the Wuhan Summit last year as an indication of the improving ties despite the failure to resolve the border dispute.

“The authorities are now proactively ensuring the correct depiction of China’s boundaries as the country regards them and is imposing serious penalties on those who may be guilty of lapses, inadvertent or otherwise. China’s position remains that Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, known to China as southern Tibet, are Chinese territories; that Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory between India and Pakistan and should be settled between them. I do not believe that the above position has changed,” said Shyam Saran, a former Indian foreign secretary.

Saran’s opinion that the burning or removal of the maps has not changed China’s position on the border is echoed by former director of the New Delhi based Institute of Chinese Studies Prof. Alka Acharya who is currently with Jawaharlal Nehru University. “They (Chinese) are extremely punctilious about their maps and did clearly not want any depiction which does not accord with their official position.   There will be no impact on the ongoing dialogue. Destroying maps which did not uphold their claim does not mean they would change their position – it is only a reiteration –  a logical step in keeping with their claim. They would not want anything to dilute that claim,” she said.

No Early Resolution of Border Dispute

At the same time, there are Sinologists and a section of Indian government officials who are less optimistic and doubtful of an early resolution of the border dispute between the two countries. A senior army official who was recently posted on the border in Arunachal Pradesh explained that while some intrusions by the Chinese army into Indian territory could have been “accidental,” there were other instances which indicate that they were “deliberate attempts.” He referred to an episode in 2014 when PLA troops intruded and camped in Ladakh for several days which also coincided with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.

Some intelligence officials believe that while cooperation between the two neighbors could reach new heights in several areas in the years ahead it is doubtful if Beijing would be willing to arrive at a settlement of its border with India anytime soon. They said that China’s reluctance to settle territorial disputes is also discernible with its other neighbors like Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam.

“It is a chauvinistic policy which harks back to the territorial claims of the last Chinese imperial dynasty, the Qing and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) strives to gain legitimacy by shrouding itself in the robes of bygone Emperor,” explained author and prominent Sinologist Lars Ellstrom. “It is thus also a very dangerous policy. One should not expect any will to compromise from the leaders in Beijing but rather that they might act in arbitrary and impulsive ways.”

“In addition, when armed forces face each other in the field small mistakes can quickly escalate into major confrontation.  As regards the shredding and burning of those maps, those actions are of course one manifestation of this assertive or chauvinistic, no-compromise, policy. I cannot and will not predict exactly what will happen but what is going on does not bode well for India, Taiwan, nor for the world.”

Rajeev Bhattacharyya is a senior journalist in Assam, India.

The US just quietly challenged China on something Beijing promised to go to war over

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BUSINESS INSIDER)

 

The US just quietly challenged China on something Beijing promised to go to war over

china militaryJon Woo/Reuters
  • The US military recently called Taiwan a country, something that China routinely threatens to go to war over.
  • China thinks of Taiwan as a renegade province with a democratic government that’s an existential threat to the Communist party.
  • No US president for decades has been so supportive of Taiwan, and the US and China now find themselves in uncharted territory.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has engaged China in a trade war that has global markets holding their breath, but his administration recently challenged Beijing on an issue Chinese officials have promised to go to war over.

The US military’s recent Indo-Pacific Strategy paper, published on June 1, goes further than perhaps any US document ever issued in potentially provoking China’s rage over what it sees as the most sensitive issue.

Buried in the paper, which charts China’s efforts to build up a military fortress in the South China Sea and use its growing naval might to coerce its neighbors, is a reference to Taiwan as a “country.”

“As democracies in the Indo-Pacific, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Mongolia are reliable, capable, and natural partners of the United States. All four countries contribute to US missions around the world and are actively taking steps to uphold a free and open international order,” the strategy reads.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway island province that has its own, democratic government. Beijing sees this as an existential threat and the factor most likely to upset the Communist Party’s absolute hold on power in the mainland.

In July 2018, China threatened to blacklist airlines that referred to Taiwan as a country. US airlines fell in line, but the White House protested the strong-arm tactic as “ Orwellian nonsense.”

But now the US itself has clearly said it: Taiwan is a country, and the US will treat it as such.

“The Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs”

Trump Bolton
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.
 NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

In another unprecedented step, a high-ranking Taiwanese minister was allowed to meet with Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, in May. This move predictably enraged China.

At the Shangri La Dialogue, the top defense summit in Asia, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe made clear the stakes of China’s Taiwan problem.

“Any interference in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs,” Wei said, according to Channel Asia News.

Taiwan is “the hot-button issue” in US-China relations, John Hemmings, the director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, told Business Insider.

China has always maintained that it would prefer to reunify with Taiwan peacefully but will do so by force if needed. Additionally, China’s navy has increasingly patrolled the waters around the island and flown nuclear-capable bombers nearby.

But the US has also sailed warships through the narrow strait separating China and Taiwan and has gotten allies to pitch in.

The arms are already moving

Marine Corps Abrams tank Arrow 19 Finland
A US Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams tank from 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, during Arrow 2019 at the Pohjankangas Training Area near Niinisalo, Finland, May 12, 2019.
 US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins

The US’s rhetorical escalation follows the Trump administration normalizing arms sales to Taiwan and the news that it will sell $2 billion in tanks, anti-tank weapons, and air defenses to the island.

According to Hemmings, these weapons have a clear purpose: To fight back against a Chinese invasion of the island.

Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider that the US had now entered “uncharted territory” by acknowledging Taiwan.

The US under Trump has been the most pro-Taiwan administration in decades, Hemmings said. Trump demonstrated this when he had a call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen before Trump even took office.

Taiwan military exercise invasion artillery Han Kuang
Women soldiers from an artillery unit during the live-fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China’s People’s Liberation Army invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan, May 30, 2019.
 REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

For years, China has slowly stepped up pressure on the US in areas like forcing companies to transfer technology, building up military sites on artificial islands in the South China Sea, and naval challenges.

Hemmings referenced a popular anecdote in China, where a frog is cooked by putting it in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize it’s getting cooked until it’s too late. China’s gradual pressure campaign against the US has been compared to this practice.

With the US now quietly acknowledging Taiwan in a strategy document, it may have found its own small way to turn up the heat on Beijing.

More: China Taiwan Military Defense

We Should Only Put Tariffs On U.S. Companies Shipping Back To America

We Should Only Put Tariffs On U.S. Companies Shipping Back To America

 

This article is simply just my opinion on the matter of ‘Trade War’s and Tariffs’. I am all for certain tariffs on freight coming into the United States, but not on all freight. I do not claim to be an Economist as my degrees are not in this field. They are only the opinions of one old man who has spent his whole lifetime living here in the States. Now, the reason I say what I do is this, American jobs. I was in the trucking industry for three decades and I witnessed multiple times where companies in the northern states in particular and in Canada who closed up their manufacturing plants and moved them to Mexico because of the costs to operate there was much less. So they would close up their factories here to save money and to increase their profits. It makes sense, good business policy, right? Have you ever noticed that when a company closes up here in the States and opens in another country for cost savings that the prices of their products on our Nation’s retailers shelves do not go down? The simple truth is that in business everything is only about profits, especially if a company is on a Stock Exchange. In my belief, stock exchanges are a death sword to the working people who actually make the products. If a company lays off a bunch of workers or is able to bust a Union, the value of their stock shares goes up. If a company closes their factory and moves it to another country, their stock values go up. These things are simple reality, the truth.

 

I often knock companies like WalMart who import most all of their store products from countries like China. To me, buying from China is the worst thing that we could possibly do as they use that income to create more and better weapons in which to kill the people of the Democratic free world. It is stupid to give them the bullets to kill you and your family with. I do not blame any company for opening a factory in a different country as long as the factory only makes products for that country. Where I strongly disagree is when a company closes here in the States, laying off American workers and then turns around and imports those products back into America for the laid off workers to buy. For an example, if General Motors wants to build a factory in China, India or anywhere else for the purpose of only creating vehicles for that Nation I honestly don’t have a problem with that. We have many car makers here in the U.S. that are based in other nations. Here in the U.S. we have Subaru, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and Nissan factories which all created good paying jobs for American families. This is more profitable than shipping them here and paying the tarif costs.

 

My thoughts on these tarif wars is quite simple, have free trade flowing between all nations except for what I consider to be treasonous American companies who move elsewhere but wants Americans to buy their products. It is my belief that in every case where American companies have moved away, costing American jobs that those import tariffs should be at 100%. Make it not profitable for any American company to outsource American jobs if they want to sell their products here. This might cause some economic pain in the short term but if these companies are basically forced to reopen or build manufacturing facilities here in the States, in the long term it will be a very good thing for the American people. Also, such an ironclad tariff policy would keep other American companies from following the other traitors paths and moving away also. We have to protect our own jobs, just as any country does, we have to make it unprofitable for any company to screw the people and communities like what has been the norm for so long now.

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