Beijing has long refrained from engaging militarily beyond its borders. However, as some recent reports suggest, this situation may soon change. Ferghana News reported that China will build a military base in the northern province of Afghanistan, and, according to the news agency, the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan is already expecting a Chinese expert delegation to discuss the location and further technicalities for the base. If these reports are true, China will fully fund the new military base in Badakhshan, covering all material and technical expenses, including both lethal and nonlethal weaponry and equipment…. more
Two house church pastors in China have been told they must pay a fine of over 7 million yuan (over 1 million USD) because they collected the same amount in offerings from their congregation.
Pastors Su Tianfu and Yang Hua of Huoshi Church in Guizhou province have been facing the fine since May 2017, China Aid reported, but it was only earlier this month that a provincial court delivered a final verdict and confirmed the punishment.
Su and Yang have been told that the money they collected from church offerings is “illegal income,” despite their argument that they have only used the money for the church itself…. more
Chinese officials reportedly demolished a Christian church on Tuesday, detonating bombs to bring down the house of worship.
ChinaAid, an organization that monitors Christian persecution, reported that the Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, China, is “serially persecuted” and noted that the unregistered church was privately paid for by its members for just over $2.6 million.
The organization is speculating that the order to destroy the church came from China’s top officials, seeing as military police have been under the government’s command since last year. Officials placed bombs beneath the structure to bring it down…. more
According to Chinese customs data, Beijing has stopped selling oil products to its largest trading partner North Korea. China had previously refused to buy coal ore iron ore from the Kim regime.
But US satellites showed Chinese ships trading for oil with North Korean vessels just recently, raising questions about the Chinese commitment to denying North Korea energy supplies in accordance with UN sanctions.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dispatched delegations to Moscow and Beijing on Tuesday, as part of efforts to find new sponsorship for the peace process, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The move came as Ahmad Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member who is leading the delegation to China, ruled out any Palestinian officials meeting with US peace process envoy Jason Greenblatt during his upcoming visit to the region. “No one from the Palestinian side is going to meet with Jason Greenblatt, officially or unofficially,” Majdalani told The Jerusalem Post.
Majdalani told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the delegations would carry a message from Abbas to Russia and China about finding new sponsorship for the peace process within the framework of the UN to replace US sponsorship… more
Not his mother, who lives in a two-story house at the far end of a country road, alone behind walls bleached by the desert sun. She opened the door one afternoon for an unexpected visit by Associated Press reporters, who showed her a picture of a handsome young man posing in a park, one arm in the wind.
“Yes, that’s him,” she said as tears began streaming down her face. “This is the first time I’ve heard anything of him in seven months. What happened?”
“Is he dead or alive?”
The student’s friends think he joined the thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of people, rights groups and academics estimate, who have been spirited without trial into secretive detention camps for alleged political crimes that range from having extremist thoughts to merely traveling or studying abroad. The mass disappearances, beginning the past year, are part of a sweeping effort by Chinese authorities to use detentions and data-driven surveillance to impose a digital police state in the region of Xinjiang and over its Uighurs, a 10-million strong, Turkic-speaking Muslim minority that China says has been influenced by Islamic extremism…. more
The government has referred to its detention program as “vocational training,” but its main purpose appears to be indoctrination. A memo published online by the Xinjiang human resources office described cities, including Korla, beginning “free, completely closed-off, militarized” training sessions in March that last anywhere from 3 months to 2 years….
The concern for persecuted Christians and churches in China is set to grow following the 19th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, a watchdog group said, with President Xi Jinping set to rule for years to come.
Bob Fu, president of persecution watchdog China Aid, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Tuesday that the “clear signal” from the week-long congress, which is held only twice a decade, is that the Communist government will seek to “exert total control over all ares of life” of Chinese citizens, extending to churches and other places of worship.
As Reuters reported on Wednesday, the Communist Party revealed a new leadership line-up without a clear successor to Xi, meaning that he is likely to continue being a top figure even beyond the end of his second term in power in 2022…. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States should keep an eye on China’s rapidly growing naval forces, a part of which China has hidden as civilian fishing boats, a prominent U.S. expert on China warned at an event on Wednesday.
China’s regular navy already has more ships than the U.S. — a little more than 300 to the U.S.’s 277. But Andrew Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, warns that it is China’s informal sea forces that need close watching.
At an event hosted by the Jamestown Foundation, Erickson described the three elements of China’s maritime forces: the navy, coast guard, and a maritime militia – or, as he said a friend’s five-year-old son acutely described it: “a regular navy, the police navy, and the sneaky navy.”…. read more