Tag Archives: China

John Sudworth (left) and Yvonne Murray

This afternoon.

The BBC’s Beijing correspondent John Sudworth has left China and moved to Taiwan following pressure and threats from the Chinese authorities.

Via BBC:

He and his family were followed to the airport and into the check-in area by plainclothes police officers. His wife, Yvonne Murray, is the China correspondent for the Irish public broadcaster RTE.

Sudworth, who has won awards for his reporting on the treatment of the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang region, left Beijing with his family.

The BBC says it is proud of his reporting and he remains its China correspondent.

Meanwhile, Ms Murray said:

“Two of our children were born in China, they all speak fluent Chinese, so for them it is home and it’s particularly distressing for them facing the reality that they might never be able to go back, as long as the Chinese state is so determined to target and punish journalists for simply doing their job.

“But we will try to hold on to the memories we’ve made. China is an extraordinarily colourful, culturally rich country. Friendships we forged with Chinese people over the years can’t be taken from us.

The secret police who followed us as we left – while a sad departing memory – can’t erase all the other happy memories.”

BBC China correspondent John Sudworth moves to Taiwan after threats (BBC)

Irish reporter leaves China after rise in surveillance (RTÉ)


Xi Jinping, then Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, now its leader, sampling an Irish Coffee during his three day visit to Ireland in 2012

This morning.

Via Breakingnews:

1,088 Chinese citizens have paid up to €1 million to live in Ireland in a Government cash-for-residency scheme.

The money has gone into housing, nursing home and other projects.

The Irish Times reports that Department of Justice figures reveal that non-EU citizens have given €826.5 million to businesses and charities here in return for the right to live in the Republic since 2012.

Chinese citizens accounted for 1,088 of 1,166 investors since the start of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP).

It must be our climate.

They have a yen for it.

Over 1,000 Chinese citizens pay up to €1m for Irish residency (Breakingnews)


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left) with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China last January

This morning

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) says he is “very disappointed” China blocked the entry of its investigators.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ team had been due to investigate the origins of Covid-19 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Via Financial Times:

Beijing has barred the entry of a 10-member World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic after their visas were not approved.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said on Tuesday that he was “very disappointed” after China blocked the arrival of the virologists.

“Two members [of the team] had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute,” Mr Tedros said.


China blocks WHO team sent to probe Covid’s origins (FT)



Entrepreneur Jack Ma

This morning/afternoon.

Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of China’s most successful tech empire, the Alibaba Group, has apparently gone missing.


Ma hasn’t made a public appearance or social media post since late October, just over a week before a much anticipated stock market listing of Alibaba’s (BABA) financial affiliate, Ant Group, was blocked at the last minute by Chinese regulators.

…It was Ma’s last major appearance, though, that China tech observers suspect landed his business in hot water. At a conference in Shanghai in late October, Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators for stifling innovation by being too risk averse…

That’ll learn him.

Where is Jack Ma? Tech tycoon silent as China gets tough with his business (CNN Business)


Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) with Chinese President Xi Jinping

This morning/afternoon.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “waiting for official results” from the US presidential election before congratulating a winner, the Kremlin said today.

“We consider it correct to wait for the official results to be finalised. I want to remind you that President Putin repeatedly said he will respect the choice of the American people,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

…China said today it would follow international custom in making a statement on the US election, when asked why Beijing had not congratulated Democrat Joe Biden on his victory.

“We noticed that Mr Biden has declared election victory. We understand that the US presidential election result will be determined following US law and procedures,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily media briefing.

China, Russia delay congratulating US president-elect Biden (RTÉ)


Earlier: No Vote Left Behind

Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park, Wuhan province, China at the weekend

Currently, the water park receives an average of 15,000 daily visitors during weekends, and is offering half-price discounts to some visitors, Hubei Daily reported.

The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan in December last year. As the original epicenter of the outbreak,

May you live in interesting times.



Wuhan hosts massive water park party as coronavirus concerns recede (CNN)

Pics: Hubei Daily

From top: Protest in Hong Kong in May; Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (top left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill (bottom right) on a video call with Belfast’s Chinese Consul General, Madame Zhang Meifang (right)

This morning.

Via The Irish News:

THE first and deputy first minister are alleged to have told a Chinese government representative they “understand and respect” Hong Kong’s draconian national security laws.

Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill are said to have given the endorsement in a video call with Belfast’s Chinese Consul General, according to the consulate.

Details of the virtual meeting emerged in a report posted in recent weeks on the Chinese Consulate’s website.


Madame Zhang also spoke about Hong Kong’s national security legislation, claiming it does not undermine the region’s level of autonomy or its residents’ freedoms.

The report added:

“Foster and O’Neill said that the Northern Ireland government cherishes friendship with China, understands and respects Hong Kong’s national security legislation, and sincerely wishes Hong Kong more prosperity and stability, and expressed that Northern Ireland is willing to further strengthen its cooperation with China in the epidemic.

“Mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of prevention and control, local cooperation, economy, trade and tourism will better benefit the people of both sides.”


In a single-line response, an Executive Office spokeswoman said: “Ministers held a courtesy call with the Chinese Consul General as part of their regular communications on areas of interest to the executive.


Chinese consulate claims Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill endorsed draconian Hong Kong security laws (The Irish News)



US residents in all 50 states reported getting the unsolicited seed packages…

Via The New York Post:

An Arkansas man who received one of the mysterious seed packages sent to thousands of US residents from China planted them on his property — and said the results are wild.

“We … planted the seeds just to see what would happen,’’ Booneville resident Doyle Crenshawn told local CBS-TV affiliate KSFM.

The plant is producing large white fruit from orange flowers that resemble those of a squash.

“Every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it, and they just started growing like crazy,’’ Crenshawn said.

Man plants mystery seeds from China — here’s what happened (New York Post)

From top: Protesters rally against China’s national security law, in Hong Kong, on May 27; Anthony Sheridan

Hong Kong belongs to the Chinese in exactly the same way as the Isle of Wight belongs to the British.

Here’s how Britain came to own Hong Kong. In the 19th century the British East Indian Company was making huge profits in the illegal smuggling of drugs [opium] into China.

This criminal activity did serious damage to the Chinese economy and resulted in widespread drug addiction among the population.

The Chinese authorities appealed to Queen Victoria to stop the drug trade, she ignored them. The authorities then offered to allow the merchants to trade in tea in place of opium but this too was rejected. As a last resort the authorities confiscated supplies of opium and imposed a blockade of foreign ships.

The British responded by going to war. They defeated the Chinese and in the subsequent peace treaty demanded and were given ownership of Hong Kong.

For the next 150 years Hong Kong was ruled from London through a British appointed governor, there was no democracy under British rule.

Hong Kong citizens were never happy with this lack of democracy and frequently rebelled. In 1856, for example, when a very limited form of democracy was suggested the Colonial Office rejected the idea on the grounds that:

‘Chinese residents had no respect for the principles upon which social order rests.’

The current Chinese dictatorship holds the exact same anti-democratic view.

Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong before the territory was handed back to the Chinese in 1997, is outraged by this anti-democratic policy.

Here’s some of what he had to say in  a recent article:

“The world simply cannot trust this Chinese regime. Liberal democracies and friends of Hong Kong everywhere must make it clear that they will stand up for this great, free and dynamic city.”

But Patten’s complaints are futile and hypocritical.

They are futile because China is now an empire and Britain a mere backwater on the world stage. They are hypocritical because the Chinese are not doing anything the British did not do during their occupation of Hong Kong.

And there’s another important point, Hong Kong is geographically and culturally part of China. Britain, on the other hand is nearly six thousand miles away from its former colony.

Let’s imagine a reversal of history. Let’s imagine that China was the most powerful empire in the world in the 19th century and went to war with Britain because it was prevented from selling illegal drugs to the British people. Let’s imagine that after defeat the British were forced to hand over the Isle of Wight to the Chinese.

Fast forward to the present day and the Chinese, having lost their empire, are forced by the British to give the island back.

How would the British respond if the former Chinese colonists, from six thousand miles away in Beijing, began to lecture London on how they should govern the newly liberated territory.

I think we know the answer to that.

China agreed to give some political and social autonomy to Hong Kong through a ‘one country, two systems’ policy for a 50 year period.

That a ruthless communist regime should actually honour that promise for nearly half that period is nothing short of a miracle. Again, if the situation was reversed, would the UK honour such an agreement, particularly if its political and commercial interests were threatened – highly unlikely.

And it is principally commercial interests that lie behind the, so far, relatively benign response by the Chinese government to events in Hong Kong. The city is an extremely rich capitalist money-making machine and China is fast becoming the most powerful and richest capitalist country in the world.

The Chinese government want two things, to continue sharing the wealth generated by Hong Kong but, at the same time, exercise total political power over its citizens. In a word – they want capitalism but not democracy.

And that policy is a carbon-copy of the policy imposed by the British during their undemocratic rule of the territory.

Anthony Sheridan is a freelance journalist and blogs at PublicEnquiry.

Hong Kong And Democracy (Anthony Sheridan, Public Enquiry)

Pic: Getty