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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘China’

No Ramadan Fasting Allowed for Muslims in Xinjiang, China

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Residents of the majority- Muslim province of Xinjiang in China are not being allowed to celebrate their religious holiday this year.

The Chinese government posted statements banning the traditional month-long daily fasts on the websites of schools, government agencies and local party organizations.

“No teacher may participate in religious activities, instill religious thoughts in students, or coerce students into religious activities,” read a statement on the website of the No. 3 Grade School in Ruoqiang County in Xinjiang, according to the Virtual Jerusalem website.

“Students shall not participate in religious activities; they shall not study scripts or read poems at script and choir classes; they shall not wear any religious emblems; and no parent or others can force students to have religious beliefs or partake in religious activities,” another post on the website read.

Restaurants have been ordered to stay open in the province, including those owned and operated by Muslims, according to the Saudi Arabian Arab News website. Shops have been threatened with closure if they do not continue selling cigarettes and alcohol throughout the month of Ramadan.

According to the post, the ban is intended to “protect students’ well-being” and “prevent the use of schools and government offices from promoting religion.” But the ban may be adding fuel to a fire that is already beginning to blaze in the province against the Han ethnic majority in China, the largest such group in the country.

Dilxat Raxit, the Sweden-based leader of the Uighur people, however, warned in a statement last Friday, “The faith of the Uighurs has been highly politicized and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance.” The second-largest ethnic group in China is comprised of the Uighurs, who largely identify with Islam. All told, there are some 56 recognized ethnic groups in the country.

“China’s goal in prohibiting religious fasting is to forcibly move Uighurs away from their Muslim culture during Ramadan,” said Raxit, a spokesperson for the exiled World Uighur Congress. “Policies that prohibit religious fasting are a provocation and will only lead to instability and conflict.”

The ruling party, which officially is atheist, is “encouraging” its members to avoid daytime fasting – a direct slap at the Islamic practice during Ramadan.

“They are extracting guarantees from parents, promising that their children won’t fast on Ramadan,” Raxit said in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

In December 2014, China prohibited the wearing of burkas – Islamic full-body, veiled robes – in public in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, referred to by some as East Turkestan. Some eight million Turkish-speaking Uighur Muslims populate the northwestern Xinjiang region, which has been autonomous since 1955, but remains subject to security restrictions by Chinese authorities.

Last month violence in a Xinjiang open air vegetable market left 43 people dead. A year ago 13 radical Islamic terrorists were killed in a clash with police. Attacks at train stations in Urumqi and in southwestern China were also blamed on Muslim extremists.

The most populous nation in the world, China is also the third largest country in size geographically. Its role as a leader in world politics as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council is also bringing China to global prominence as well.

Up to this point, China has maintained a relatively low profile on the world stage with regard to the issue of terrorism driven by radical Islam. But its obvious return to the traditional Communist government intolerance for any religious practice, however – particularly timed to coincide with Ramadan — indicates a likely change in that attitude.

What remains to be seen is how local Muslims will respond to the whip, and whether – and how – fellow Muslims around the world will protest on their behalf.

Israel Has 80 Nuclear Warheads, Says Swiss Research Unit

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Monday in a report that estimated the world’s number of warheads fell from 22,600 to 15,850 since 2010.

Most of the drop is due to a reduction in stockpiles in Russia and the United States, it reported. However, the Institute also pointed to “extensive and expensive long-term modernization programs” in both countries.

SIPRI researcher Shannon Kile said in a statement:

Despite renewed international interest in prioritizing nuclear disarmament, the modernization programs under way in the nuclear weapon-possessing states suggests that none of them will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future.

The 1968 Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty recognizes three other countries as legally armed with nuclear warheads — China with 260, France with 300 Britain with 215.

Israel, whose policy of “ambiguity” does not admit or deny the presence of nuclear warheads, formerly was estimated by other sources to have at least 200 nuclear warheads.

SIPRI estimates that India has 90-100 warheads and that Pakistan has 100-120 warheads.

North Korea, where the Institute said it was difficult to access “technical progress,” was estimated to have 6-8 warheads.
It added that its estimates are not as reliable for Russia and China as they are for the United States.

China, Russia Unite in Joint Mediterranean Naval Drill

Friday, May 1st, 2015

For the first time ever, China and Russia will conduct a naval exercise together in the Mediterranean Sea. It is intended to become an annual exchange plan, said a spokesperson for the Chinese military.

In a news briefing on Thursday (April 30), Speaking for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China, spokesperson Sr. Col. Geng Yansheng confirmed “the navies of the two countries are going to conduct a joint exercise code-named “Joint Sea 2015-I” in the waters of the Mediterranean in mid-May.”

“Nine surface ships from the Chinese and Russian navies will take part in the joint exercise,” he said. “China will send three ships of 19th Chinese naval escort task force to take part in the joint exercise. The three ships… have just completed their escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast.”

The exercise is designed to hone the skills of naval personnel in “protection of navigation safety in the far seas,” he said.

It is also intended to “strengthen the pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia and to improve the capabilities of the two navies to deal with maritime threats. What needs to be stressed is that the joint exercise is not targeting any third party and not related to the regional situation,” he underlined.

Russia has continued to arm both Iran and Syria. Both in turn arm Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in the north, who have ties to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists within and south of Israel. Despite Israel’s warming diplomatic relationship with China, this exercise may also signal a new direction for the People’s Republic — a concern the spokesperson clearly attempted to allay.

Israel is maintaining a number of natural gas reserve fields in the Mediterranean waters off its northern coast. To its south, its own navy is on constant alert to prevent Iranian-backed terrorists from smuggling weaponry and other contraband to terrorists in Gaza who hope to annihilate the Jewish State.

Other nations who may be affected by this exercise include Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Crete and Cyprus — all with interests in the gas fields and all of which have either been launching pads or port stops for Hamas “humanitarian” terror flotillas in the past.

Lausanne Talks May Be Camouflage for Iranian Nukes in North Korea

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Iran’s dragging on the negotiations with the P5+1 on an agreement covering its nuclear program may be one of the biggest con jobs in modern history, camouflaging secret nuclear development in  North Korea, which has been providing technology and advice to Tehran.

North Korea was caught red-handed helping the construction of a nuclear facility in Syria, heavily backed by Iran, when Israel bombed the site in 2007.

The Daily Beast reported Monday that Iran since 2012 has deployed personnel at a North Korean military base near China, which along with Russia has been the biggest investor in Iran’s program to reach nuclear capability.

North Korea, which already is a nuclear threat to the world, would love to see Iran in possession of a nuclear bomb to help it threaten the West. Evil always has an insatiable appetite for more evil.

Iran is the trickiest of tricksters. It has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Obama administration and its predecessors, which is not difficult considering that their foreign policy advisers are blind to foreign cultures and assume everyone in the world thinks like and acts like Americans and that shaking hands means a deal is a deal.

The talks in Lausanne are a great stage for the Islamic Republic to act as if it is hanging on to every possibility to refuse to concede to the West, as if doing so would delay its being able to point a nuclear weapon at Israel.

But if a deal finally signed, and if that happens it won’t be much before one minute before President Barack Obama’s self-imposed deadline, it won’t take into account possible Iranian nuclear development in North Korea. The menace from the Far East has sent hundreds  of scientists and technicians to Iranian sites.

Tehran also has a healthy, or unhealthy, delegation in North Korea. The Daily Beast reported.

Larry Niksch of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., estimates that the North’s proceeds from this trade with Iran are ‘between $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion annually…..

Iran has bought a lot with its money. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, thought to be Tehran’s chief nuclear scientist, was almost certainly in North Korea at Punggye-ri in February 2013 to witness Pyongyang’s third atomic test. Reports put Iranian technicians on hand at the site for the first two detonations as well.

The North Koreans have also sold Iran material for bomb cores, perhaps even weapons-grade uranium….

In 2011, The Trumpet wrote,” Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst for the Rand Corporation, an intelligence company used by the U.S. military, says, “There’ve been stories of Iranians at the nuclear tests in North Korea. So if information is really being shared then you’ve got a much more dangerous situation, because most people would argue that the North Korean nuclear program is out ahead of Iran, and we don’t want Iran having that assistance.”

So let’s say Iran signs an agreement – and remember, this in only a “framework” agreement, one of the Obama administration’s favorite terms and which always turns out to be a basis for more concessions in a supposed final agreement.

A deal would not prevent Iran from buying enriched uranium from North Korea, and the Islamic Republic will have plenty of cash to do so because a deal will be accompanied by the removal of sanctions.

If a deal is signed by midnight March 31, Iran can celebrate April Fool’s Day by opening up its sites for inspection, after all traces of nuclear weapons research are removed, and carry on  freely in North Korea to assemble a nuclear weapon.

The Daily Beast wrote very succinctly:

The  Iranians could be busy assembling the components for a bomb elsewhere. In other words, they will be one day away from a bomb—the flight time from Pyongyang to Tehran—not one year as American and other policymakers hope.

It also pointed out the obvious other probable partner in evil, namely China, which has invested millions in Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. China previously has violated U.N. Security Council resolutions by sending to Iran materials that could be used for building atomic bombs.

Did Apple Sell Out Its Clients in China and Abroad?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Apple has reportedly given Beijing access to the software used in its iPhones.

Aside from the obvious invasion of privacy the company has authorized with this action, there is a question of whether Apple has also now invited the Chinese government to indulge in further corporate hacking attempts within the United States.

The move was officially meant to allow the Chinese government to conduct “security inspections” allegedly intended to ensure the privacy of its citizens.

A report published in the Beijing News claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook authorized the security checks, which reportedly were also to ensure that foreign governments could not use the iPhones within China for surveillance.

However, the Chinese government is also believed to have performed “man-in-the-middle attacks” on citizens using iCloud and similar tools, Pando.com reported.

Numerous nations have rushed to begin doing business with Beijing in the past several years, including the State of Israel. But as the world hurtles towards the mammoth Asian market that dangles in the East, the apparently forgotten difference in culture and mentality is a chasm equally wide.

“This would mark the first time Apple and China have conspired to compromise the security and privacy of people outside the country,” Nathaniel Mott wrote in his Jan. 23, 2015 article on the website. “But it’s not the first time people inside China have had to worry about Apple’s cozy relationship with the government.”

Mott has written previously about Apple and its iPhones in China, explaining that Beijing expects to receive any data it requests from companies with servers on its territory. Apple revealed in August 2014 that it stores customer data in China through a partnership with China Telecom, a state-owned wireless service provider, Mott wrote.

“Some fear Apple may have provided the source code to the operating system used in its iPhones and iPads. If that’s true, the security of those devices has been severely harmed,” he warned. “Percy Alpha, a member of the GreatFire censorship watchdog, told Quartz that it could allow China to discover vulnerabilities in Apple’s software that it could later exploit.”

Google has struggled with the Beijing government since 2006, when it first launched its search function in China, to maintain a semblance of autonomy for users.

At present the ruling Communist party at various times of the year forces internet users to fully identify themselves to service providers, and periodically blocks international versions of the search engine. Also blocked in China at those times are Picasa, Maps, Translate and Calendar.

“China currently uses every method of censorship in the book,” notes GreatFire, “from bandwidth throttling, keyword filtering and site blocking to the wholesale intimidation of the press.”

Business experts contend, however, that such tight censorship can only be maintained for so long, before the country’s economic needs outweigh its demand for control.

A ‘Wall of Blue’ Bids Farewell to NYPD 1st Detective Wenjian Liu

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Wenjian Liu, the first Chinese-American cop in New York to be killed in the line of duty, was honored in his home 84th precinct Sunday with a sea of blue stretching “as far as the eye could see.”

Among the crowd were representatives from all the Jewish first response and security teams, as well as many Jewish civilian residents of Brooklyn. “Hakaras hatov” – acknowledging and thanking someone for the good they’ve done – was the reason given over and over when asked why they came.

Tearfully, Liu’s young widow Pei Xia Chen thanked the tens of thousands who gathered to grieve with her.

“He is my soul mate… an incredible husband, son, co-worker and friend; my best friend. As the only son, the Number One Son, he was extremely close [to] and respected his parents, of course,” she added. “One his many passions was being a police officer. He took pride in the fact that he was NYPD… I thank you, my extended family, my family of blue.”

The couple had wed only two months prior to Liu’s death. The 32-year-old police officer, promoted posthumously to first detective, had been on the job for seven years. Together with his parents he emigrated from China 20 years ago, with a dream to become a cop.

In addition to Sunday’s funeral, Liu’s family was to hold private ceremonies in the Buddhist and Chinese traditions as well.

“God bless America. God bless NYPD. You are the best!” Liu’s father said in a broken voice after delivering a eulogy in Chinese.

In addition to his wife, his father, cousins and city officials, a police chaplain and FBI Director James Comey spoke.

“These are our most difficult days,” Comey said. “I make far too many calls [like these] … 115 police officers killed this year, a shocking increase over 2013. I do not understand evil, I cannot understand evil. Our obligation is to do good, to honor this good man and do everything to protect those who would protect us. They want to do good for other people.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was to have spoken as well, but his own father passed away on New Year’s Day and arrangements for the wake and funeral, which are to take place Monday and Tuesday, were still being made.

With reddened eyes and a husky voice, Police Commissioner William Bratton expressed the feelings of the “thousands upon thousands” of officers standing outside a Brooklyn funeral home on a “very gray morning.” He commented that Liu was about to join his partner, “his partner for all time,” First Detective Rafael Ramos – also promoted posthumously –to be laid to rest. The two were executed by deranged gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley while eating lunch in their squad car. Brinsley turned the gun on himself right after.

“Liu believed in the possibility of a city free from fear,” Bratton told his family, who had traveled from China to attend the funeral. “The NYPD has done that for millions upon millions of citizens of this city.”

Addressing the tens of thousands of officers, Bratton went on to explain: “He left China at age 12, and his parents worked hard; his father was a garment worker in Queens. Liu called himself Joe and was on the way to becoming an accountant on 9/11, the day Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers.” That event changed his life, and inspired Liu to become a cop instead.

“The NYPD looks like the city it serves,” Bratton noted. “Our heroes are from everywhere too.” He listed the departed and the lands from which they had emigrated to America. Ramos and Liu came last.

China to Send Two Giant Pandas to Israel

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Chinese government has agreed to send two giant pandas to the Haifa Zoo if Chinese panda experts agree that the conditions there will be appropriate for the animals, according to Haaretz.

The conditions include providing the appropriate food, a certain kind of bamboo, and the zoo must also build a special habitat for the pandas.

A delegation from the Haifa Zoo must visit China to observe the rare animal, which is considered an endangered species.

Haifa and the Chinese city of Chengdu signed a sister-city agreement last week, according to Israel HaYom.

China has used “panda diplomacy” for hundreds of years to strengthen ties with other countries.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/china-to-send-two-giant-pandas-to-israel/2014/12/02/

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