30 votes

Chinese police are making threatening video calls to dissidents abroad, telling them not to criticise Xi Jinping

20 comments

  1. [4]
    Silbern
    Link
    It never ceases to amaze me how Trump-esque China's leadership really is. For as much as they put forth the image of being technocratic and competent, they then burn their limited international...

    It never ceases to amaze me how Trump-esque China's leadership really is. For as much as they put forth the image of being technocratic and competent, they then burn their limited international capital on stunts like this, trying to blackmail someone not even in your country with their family, on camera, and giving them wider exposure. Reminds me of Russia and the Salisbury incident - a completely pointless death that got Russia nothing, but cost it a lot of diplomatic goodwill, driven by the same fragility and zero-sum view of politics Trump is.

    Can't wait to see all these petty maniacs out of power.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      It's actually how China-esque Trump's administration is. He's the sort of guy who typically rises to the top in an authoritarian regime, but rarely does so in a democracy. And you're not getting...

      It's actually how China-esque Trump's administration is. He's the sort of guy who typically rises to the top in an authoritarian regime, but rarely does so in a democracy.

      And you're not getting Xi or anybody like him out of control of China unless there's another Chinese revolution.

      19 votes
      1. SunSpotter
        Link Parent
        Not in a healthy democracy. Russia was technically a democracy until Putin took power, though it could be argued that the rise of someone like Putin was inevitable. Meanwhile, Turkey is following...

        but rarely does so in a democracy

        Not in a healthy democracy. Russia was technically a democracy until Putin took power, though it could be argued that the rise of someone like Putin was inevitable. Meanwhile, Turkey is following in their footsteps by reversing decades of democratic progress under the rule of Erdogan. And I fear that the Philippines, and Brazil may be close behind. America is large enough that I doubt Trump will completely do us in as a democracy, but he's certainly doing damage. I worry that he's only paving the way for Americas Putin.

        Populist strongmen are poping up all over the world in the 21st century. Personally, it terrifies me because I find it too hard to believe it's all a coincidence. Whether it's some kind of tinfoil hat conspiracy, a consequence of social media, or just the natural cycle of history come back to bite us, there's certainly a trend at this point.

        It's all caused me to put a lot of thought into which parts of the world would remain anti-authoritarian holdouts if the world really does go 1984 on us.

        4 votes
    2. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      It's the other way around. Who do you think he'd learn from?

      how Trump-esque China's leadership really is

      It's the other way around. Who do you think he'd learn from?

      9 votes
  2. sron
    Link
    From the article: I wonder if this has anything to do with that new national security law which claims it applies to people who do not and have never lived in Hong Kong anywhere in the world....

    From the article:

    Let me tell you: You need to remember you are a citizen of the People's Republic of China, (...) You are not in the country, but remember, if China wasn't great and strong, you would have no status, (...) I’m telling you the truth, although you are [in Australia], you are still governed by the law of China, do you understand? You can record this call but let me make it clear to you, what you are putting out on Twitter is absolutely not permitted

    I wonder if this has anything to do with that new national security law which claims it applies to people who do not and have never lived in Hong Kong anywhere in the world. (Article 38 I think)

    Edit: if you didn’t see this

    This Law shall be applicable to persons who do not have permanent resident status in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and commit crimes under this Law against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

    https://transitjam.com/2020/06/30/national-security-law-english-translation/amp/?fbclid=IwAR27bxLyVqib9pHHUxUnfusLQbKYH1BKRLK3IeSZPEBCH5G4TACMD8sbsbg&__twitter_impression=true#_Toc44451716

    10 votes
  3. [6]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    There's a well-known South African vlogger, serpentza, who left China after a decade because he felt threatened by their large nationalist push over the past few years (he's white, but technically...

    There's a well-known South African vlogger, serpentza, who left China after a decade because he felt threatened by their large nationalist push over the past few years (he's white, but technically African, so was often targeted by the government). He had what he thinks is some sort of government operative try to determine where he lives by arranging a fake interview, and was casually using information in the conversation he hadn't given the individual.

    They're not messing around over there, apparently. I mean, they never really have, but it seems they're really ramping up all of their nationalist pride stuff. I don't know much about the guy, but anything I've seen him say about other topics has been reflected elsewhere, so I'd trust him on this.

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Is it that bad in China?

      he's white, but technically African, so was often targeted by the government

      Is it that bad in China?

      4 votes
      1. knocklessmonster
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        My understanding is a lot of Asia has a problem with black people, basically a widespread racism problem that isn't seen because there are so few black people. Black folks' ancestry is African, so...

        My understanding is a lot of Asia has a problem with black people, basically a widespread racism problem that isn't seen because there are so few black people. Black folks' ancestry is African, so they go Black = African = Bad.

        Another thing he said, apparently after befriending some cops in a smaller town: In China they want to know where foreign nationals are on a given day. They'll actively track black people to know where they are all the time. I'm assuming this is where resources permit, so less likely in a major city.

        7 votes
      2. [2]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        They absolutely detest Africans in China. With that said I thought it was black Africans...

        They absolutely detest Africans in China.

        With that said I thought it was black Africans...

        4 votes
        1. knocklessmonster
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          It is, at least from everything I've heard, and I don't actively seek out this sort of stuff. I responded to somebody else, but it's like this: Black = African = Bad. South Africans, having...

          It is, at least from everything I've heard, and I don't actively seek out this sort of stuff. I responded to somebody else, but it's like this: Black = African = Bad. South Africans, having "Africa" in their national origin, all get lumped in. It's as superficial as being concerned about the color of one's skin, and leads to much the same result, at least among shots called by bureaucrats like raiding apartments.

          1 vote
      3. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        Given their history of 'sinicization' and the whole Uyghur/Tibetan spiel, it doesn't seem completely impossible.

        Given their history of 'sinicization' and the whole Uyghur/Tibetan spiel, it doesn't seem completely impossible.

        2 votes
  4. [9]
    Amarok
    (edited )
    Link
    I've found a couple solid channels on Youtube that focus on reporting what's happening in China. Lately it looks like the literal biblical apocalypse. I find it pretty hard to take any Chinese...

    I've found a couple solid channels on Youtube that focus on reporting what's happening in China. Lately it looks like the literal biblical apocalypse. I find it pretty hard to take any Chinese threats seriously when they are on the brink of social and economic collapse.

    They both put out 30-minute newscasts every weekday.

    If the three gorges dam survives the next two weeks it'll be a miracle. :(

    5 votes
    1. [8]
      Atvelonis
      Link Parent
      Can you elaborate on the imminent "social collapse" that China is experiencing? The videos you sent mostly seem to focus on natural disasters (I'll watch them when I'm not at work), but such...

      Can you elaborate on the imminent "social collapse" that China is experiencing? The videos you sent mostly seem to focus on natural disasters (I'll watch them when I'm not at work), but such things are commonplace all over the world. I wouldn't even say the US is on the brink of collapse, despite its many problems right now. I haven't heard much in the way of social unrest from the Chinese populace, at least not outside of Hong Kong.

      8 votes
      1. [6]
        Amarok
        Link Parent
        Between the wildfires, locusts, earthquakes, record breaking flooding (that will continue for at least another month), loss of food stockpiles, loss of harvests, loss of farmland, corona shutdown...

        Between the wildfires, locusts, earthquakes, record breaking flooding (that will continue for at least another month), loss of food stockpiles, loss of harvests, loss of farmland, corona shutdown of major industry, fake gold destroying confidence in chinese banks, sanctions over HK closing off of their economy, tens of billions in damages, rampant corruption... I'm amazed they haven't crashed already.

        The people who live in China have been left to fend for themselves while their world crumbles around them. Their government looks at the deaths as a good thing, fewer mouths to feed. The three gorges dam alone will wipe Wuhan and Shanghai off the map if it collapses. That flood threatens around 400 million people with an inland tsunami - that's more people than live in the USA.

        To put it in American-ish terms, imagine one dam failing and wiping out the entire northeastern USA. Total loss of key infrastructure, transport, farmland, military assets, power generation, and world-record loss of life. Boston, DC, everything in between gone for good. That's what China is facing as I type this.

        China is up to their eyeballs in a shit show and their government is far more worried about taking over Hong Kong and rolling out their little surveillance network than taking care of their own people. This has done the CCP's popularity no favors in China. We saw what happened to Russia when they collapsed, and right now China's set to follow them.

        That dam is supposed to be built to the highest standard, but holding back almost thirty cubic miles of water during record flood season is not what it was designed to do. The sat images show plenty of movement and deformation from 2000-2018 before this flood started. They opened the gates completely in the middle of the night last week with no warning and have flooded dozens of smaller towns and cities.

        If you want to know more, watch the reports. Not all good information and not all good journalism fits into a wall of text - you need to see these images. It's incredible and horrifying what's been happening there.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          Atvelonis
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. I'm going to take anything from The Epoch Times or NTD News with a grain of salt—I seriously question their neutrality, and would be interested in determining...

          Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. I'm going to take anything from The Epoch Times or NTD News with a grain of salt—I seriously question their neutrality, and would be interested in determining if their funding comes from politically motivated right-wing billionaires, as I rather suspect it does—but I'm finding a lot of information on the flooding, etc. elsewhere too. I'm certain those sources are sensationalizing it for their own reasons, but the events clearly aren't made up. According to CNN:

          Since June, devastating floods have impacted 38 million people -- more than the entire population of Canada. Some 2.24 million residents have been displaced, with 141 people dead or missing, the Ministry of Emergency Management said Monday.

          [...]

          Sweeping floodwaters left a trail of devastation, ravaging 8.72 million acres of farmland, destroying 28,000 homes and in some cases submerging entire towns. According to state news agency Xinhua, by Sunday, the floods had caused 82.23 billion yuan ($11.75 billion) of economic losses nationwide.

          That's not quite on the level of Hurricane Katrina (1,245–1,836 fatalities and $125 billion in damages), but it's definitely not insignificant. It also has the capacity to get much worse, seeing as the flooding isn't over yet! I simply don't believe from the sources I can find that the Three Gorges Dam is nearing structural collapse, but evidently it's not doing well. I'll keep an eye on this for sure.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            Amarok
            Link Parent
            I'm not sure about NTD myself, however Crossroads is funded and directed by their Patreon supporters. That's part of why I like them better than NTD.

            I'm not sure about NTD myself, however Crossroads is funded and directed by their Patreon supporters. That's part of why I like them better than NTD.

            1. Atvelonis
              Link Parent
              Yeah, my concern with Crossroads was their host's relationship with The Epoch Times. I hadn't heard of this paper before, but according to Wikipedia: The sources for that statement are ones that I...

              Yeah, my concern with Crossroads was their host's relationship with The Epoch Times. I hadn't heard of this paper before, but according to Wikipedia:

              The Epoch Times is known in Europe to promote far-right politicians,[12][13] and in the United States it backs President Donald Trump; a 2019 report showed it to be the second-largest funder of pro-Trump Facebook advertising after the Trump campaign.[14][15][16] The group's news sites and YouTube channels have spread conspiracy theories such as QAnon and anti-vaccination propaganda.[7][17][18]

              The sources for that statement are ones that I do trust, like The New York Times. I just have a hard time taking seriously any source that endorses someone like Donald Trump, and likewise anyone who works for such an organization.

              6 votes
        2. [2]
          j3n
          Link Parent
          Is there a credible source for this? The images I'm finding on Google image search show distortion throughout the image, including of structures on land, making image distortion much more likely...

          The sat images show plenty of movement and deformation from 2000-2018 before this flood started.

          Is there a credible source for this? The images I'm finding on Google image search show distortion throughout the image, including of structures on land, making image distortion much more likely than actual deformation of the dam in my view.

          The current Google Maps images don't show any distortion either, so if the discrepancy was true deformation, that would imply that the Chinese government has coerced Google into editing the imagery. (Not saying that's impossible, but it does require a bit more evidence than the simpler supposition that the previous images were just distorted.)

          4 votes
          1. Amarok
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            The structural issues with the dam were first reported in this article. That's where all of the stories about it eventually wind up. There's also another taiwan primary source here. English...

            The structural issues with the dam were first reported in this article. That's where all of the stories about it eventually wind up. There's also another taiwan primary source here. English version covering it here. All of this goes back to someone called Wang Weiluo who is a Chinese hydrologist that inspected the dam.

            I'm honestly not sure what the hell is up with the sat imagery. Probably has something to do with China's policy of making mapping impossible.

            The dam is still generating power, and that's worth noting since those turbines would obliterate themselves if it had shifted significantly.

            Far as I can tell, the water level behind the dam is still rising steadily despite the floodgates being completely open. It's taking in water faster than the dam can get the water back out again, and it's already several meters above maximum rated capacity. State media pulled all metrics and numbers and information about the dam down last week.

            That's where the concerns of failure come from. If it continues to rise (likely with the record setting monsoon season) the dam is going to be further and further out of spec holding back that mass. Combine that with questionable construction (the norm in China) and you have a recipe for a record setting disaster.

            6 votes
      2. hhh
        Link Parent
        Maybe not social, but it seems like they have a looming demographic crisis due to the one child policy.

        Maybe not social, but it seems like they have a looming demographic crisis due to the one child policy.

        1 vote