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Tariffs And Tourists And Trade Wars, Oh My!
The U.S. trade war with China escalated this week. The Trump administration might be underestimating how many options the Chinese government has for responding to American tariffs.
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Aired 3 months ago 49:58
Ep. 372: In The Name Of Confucius
Hello again in welcome back to don't worry about the government. My name is Chris November out and join me on this episode today is the director of in the name of Confucius miss doers. Lou the show. Thank you, Chris. Hi, everyone. So in the name of Confucius is a very interesting documentary that highlights something that I feel has been under reported substantially here. And it is the Confucius institutes. Now, these got started in two thousand four as you have in your documentary. But can you tell us a little bit more about them? And how they began as a concept, right? The Confucius institutes is the initiative of the Chinese government. I I believe the Chinese government studied thoroughly about very similar organizations initiated by the United Kingdom for the British Council or the Germany's Gulf institute or Francis. 'alliance from SIS those are all language and culture promotional or -education centers set up by various governments outside of their country to teach their respective languages and culture, so the Chinese government studied, those model thoroughly, but the came out with a different model, which is Confucius institute. It differs from those western language and culture promotional centers in two ways. One Confucius institutes is hundred percent control. And connect. Added by the Chinese government, and it's under the budget of education ministry of the Chinese government. And to Confucius institute is trying to attached to the stab list of foreign universities and school boards, or in some very few very rare instant instance attached to some educational institutions, so it's not independent, and it becomes part of the foreign educational systems. So those western education institutions they are independent from their respective governments. Even though they get funding from their governments, but they can make decision by their own by them, all and they have their own premises. They're not trying to become part of foreign universities or schools, which are very. Different than the Confucius institutes. So because of these different models wronged by the China's government Confucius institutes believed by many, China, experts and educate educators as the are of the Chinese government, which is exerted into the foreign education systems. So that allows the China's government have a way ene. The western education systems. So from two felon than four two now in fourteen fourteen years. Chinese government has established more than five hundred Confucius institutes in university levels and more than one thousand Confucius classrooms in K to twelve school levels in more than one hundred and forty countries across the world. So it's a big success for them. There's over five hundred twenty five and as you have in the documentary there's over one hundred ten in the United States like where are they located in the United States? I know I looked them up and I found one right here in Dallas. Where else are they? Yes. As far as I know the five the one hundred I believe now, the number and the newest number in America is one hundred seven because a few universities as. Already announced the closed the closed the Confucius institutes. So now one of seven Confucius institutes in America are located primarily in universities across all but two states. So let me ask you this change gears a little bit. How did you become interested in the story of the Confucius institutes that was in early two thousand thirteen when I was still a reporter with the independent Chinese media? And Ray that I read article from globe and mail which is a leading Canadian newspaper about the story that university in Canada, which is MAC master university was going to close its Confucius institutes. And that's a huge news for me. Because never before. Did I hurt did are here any universities or schools? Trying to close Confucius institutes actually never before. I hurt any criticisms or concerns over the land Chinese language program? I didn't know much about the Confucius institutes other than it teaches Chinese language on culture in foreign countries. Which to me sounds great, right? I want people to learn my home country's language and culture. The in this article, it says the reason the McMaster University Canada was going to close Confucius institutes because. The Chinese government was is discriminating people who have believe in falon gome, that means when Chinese government when the China's government was recruiting instructors for the Confucius institutes, they allow Chinese people who believe in falon goal to be the instructors what is fallen gong. That's another story following on put it simply, according to my understanding falon gong far long is the three Chinese characters for literally means the law wheel of the universe and it rooted deeply in Chinese philosophy traditional Chinese philosophy and culture, the principles of falon goal, is truthfulness. Compassion forbearance. So following gome was first introduced by its founder, Mr Lee home, Jude publicly in China in nineteen ninety two and then in seven years following going has spread to all over China and not only China, but also many countries across the world, and by nineteen ninety nine following going has attracted a one hundred million Chinese people to follow its teaching in truthfulness, compassionate forbearance, but unfortunately, just because of the huge number of followers of fallen goal, which is a different belief system than the atheist Chinese communist regime, so the former Chinese president Jones me. He launched a persecution against a huge group of Chinese people who follow the who believed in fallen goal that was in July nine thousand nine hundred nine and that's the beginning of the Spurs tragic personal story of my main character whose name is Sonia Jau, she she taught at the McMaster university's Confucius institute. So when Sonia Jiao was was going to go to Canada to teach Chinese language at the McMaster University, she found in recruiting Ohio in contract, which she had to sign a clause says you cannot participate in fallen gone or any activities related to phone gone. Even when she would be in trying in sort even when she would be in Canada. So that struck her to the core because she herself is a fungal practitioners. And she and her mother practice the following gone since nineteen Ninety-seven when she was very little and her mother wanted to cure, her Eunice and the mother tried every means but failed until some friends. And introduce the mother daughter to the practice of fun gone, which contends some very mild and slow exercise and meditation and also Reagan the main book of a fungal teaching. So the mother and daughter started to practice Falun Gong and everything became very, well and Sonja became the healthy until the persecution happened in nineteen ninety nine and sodas mother was arrested when she was trying to go from her hometown to Beijing to petition to petition for following gome. So her mother was arrested and put into jail and young Sonia. Who was only thirteen years old? I believe was so frightened to tell anyone that she practiced the fallen gone so she had to hide her believe and then a few years later when. Two thousand ten when she was recruited by the Chinese government. To be instructor to teach Confucius institutes. She had to sign that contract and she saw the clause. And that's the beginning of her fear. All the way followed her when she was teaching in a Canadian university. And she. Shiels Warid about being found out as the following practitioner. Even when she was in Canada. And then she decide she eventually decided to defect to Confucius institutes and told her story to the media Canadian media, and as well as the university McMaster University, and that triggered the closure of the Confucius institutes, which was the very first case in I believe at least in North American Europe. That's McMaster became the very first university to close Confucius institutes. And that's how I started to. Become very interested into the story. A wanted to find out what is the real purpose of Confucius institutes behind? It's very benign image of teaching Chinese language and culture, and what kind of risks or threats the Confucius institutes could pose to our wet. Educational system as well as our societies. So I started my research and the journey of making the documentary in the name of Confucius worthy things that I found really fascinating. When you get into the nature of what is taught at the Confucius institutes is just how much chairman Mao comes up, and it seems like you get introduced to chairman Mao as a concept fairly early on. I is it really that heavy. I had. Up to two good access to some of the Confucius institutes textbooks. Definitely it's not that heavy in their teaching basically, the the teachers, you the Tate shoe. Hello. Thank you. Oh, what mule you eat, or what movie you're going to watch or those daily conversations but eaten it it sneak into the Chinese communist party's propaganda, which is to familiar for all of us Chinese people who are educated inside China to forget, even even when I now living Canada more than ten years. I still, you know, those teachings or praising for chairman Mao or prison for the communist party to bet and Taiwan provinces. Yeah. And belongs to China historically presently in future. That's all the. Teach ins or the propaganda we received throughout the years. We are in in schools from even from kindergarten primary school high school, universities will all have to take a course, which literally means politics or current affairs. And I myself was university teacher as back in China before immigrant to Canada. So my main rose, basically indoctrinate. Universities students of the year Chinese governments or namely, the communist party's highly all g in propaganda on. So those are the materials you could find in the Confucius institutes, and they even find a. Catoon cartoon for kids for young kids on their website. The call it's internet Confucius institutes, whoever can learn Chinese from internet. So that cartoon song was was about the Korean war that it says in China way were taught it's not Korean war with we're not saying, it's Korean war. We say. Aggressive aggression of the US aggression to career, and the Chinese were helping the Koreans to defend from the invasion of of the US. So that's how we see Korean war. And that cartoon for kids was a song to educate kids about that part of history of cream war. But of course, it's not called Korean war. Of course. No, it's the Chinese defensive career. That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that's one problem. I found very troubling to us because now I'm Canadian I really cherish in value. Those, you know, freedom freedom of speech freedom of press freedom of believe an human rights and rule of law. All the, you know, found the mental values we cherish in west now becomes very. Threatened. I would say threatened by the Confucius institutes because they do it does export the Chinese communist party's propaganda into our schools now through through the Confucius institutes and the Confucius classroom. So that's one big problem. The propaganda and also there's some other big problems. Brought by the Confucius institutes, which are censorship and self-censorship. And because as you can imagine a certain topics are deemed by the Chinese government as sensitive or taboos like you just named Tibet independence or Taiwan independence or human rights or ten in the nineteen eighty nine Channon massacre in China, the they're not saying massacre. Of course, they would say Taman turmoil. It says rebellious or something. Yeah. Right. Like riots is I was young back then and I remembered on TV on China Central Television, which stayed on TV station outlets on the TV entre assisted TV with the imagery of people. Burning the military trucks, and the anchor would would tell us that those riots are burning the People's Liberation Army soldiers and the soldiers are so plied, and very, you know, very restricted the didn't hurt the students or the Beijing civilins. So all all the back things don't by the people or by the students towards the People's Liberation Army. And then it was surprised. So that's how they describe the nineteen thousand nine ten and massacre to us that of course, it's not the fact we win know. And also, the TV station would say, there's no not a single China's people died in that huge turmoil. But it's not fact. Who off try immigrant to Canada? I knew there's many people died. And so that's why that one sort of iconic video of the man standing in front of the tank, I think has certain salience for you. Because it's stained star contrast to what the Chinese government is saying, right? I didn't I didn't see that image that famous image until I left China onto arrived the Canada. So I didn't know the truth all the time all the us when I was in China, and of course, the persecution alot suppression of fallen going. I heard about that some people I have a head friends or even relatives practice fungal. I didn't know much because the media is controlled very tightly controlled by the Chinese communist party what to report what not to report. And how you report what? Language, you use to describe surgeon things or descript history or current affairs. So it's all about control and sometimes they lie as well. Of course, the distort history. So those are. What Chinese people are taking into our life on a daily basis? No matter you, paper magazine, you hear radio like yours, or what TV or movie or pop songs, or you know, entertainment, anything it's about the states. Yeah. You have to stay the party line. Yeah. So in the process of putting together in the name of Confucius, you've become quite a scholar on this propaganda operation. Have you uncovered any other Chinese propaganda or influence operations that they're doing along the same lines as sort of soft power influence, of course, other than even inside education in systems. There's other ways for the China government to to practice their soft power other than Confucius institutes because you can imagine. The universities are doing a lot of exchange program with China. Right. And they will have foreign students go into China and Chinese students coming into American campuses. And remember many of the China? As people like myself are educated in China by the Chinese government. So in our brain, we carry those propaganda. So carry that with felt we have a responsibility to to to protect the image of our motherland. Right. So that's one way out even outside of campus. There are media, and like we know in the newspaper, the Chinese government can buy some inserts. So we know the China Daily, which is main mouthpiece of the Chinese government China. They could buy inserts to have their articles published in a very mainstream American media there one place in particular that came up in the film that I think would catch most people off guard is I alwa- Iowa. I did not know that ping had spent time in Iowa, and that this isn't important part of his mythology. This would be weird to most Americans because we think of Iowa as oh, yeah. That place that has the caucuses every four years, right? That's a very recent example of how. The China's coming can exert their soft power into American actually, there's some more articles criticizing or concerning about the Chinese government's meddling of the American election, which is coming just in a couple of weeks, a belief. Yeah. Okay. Let's talk about that a little bit. We hear that a lot. And for a lot of people, especially in my audience when Donald Trump gets on the microphone and says, oh, they're meddling in my affairs. It doesn't necessarily have the ring of truth because it's coming from a person who has a diplomatic and say a tenuous relationship with the truth. But I think it's a real thing. That's happening. So could you explain to people what that would look like I rate articles on just minutes before our conversation out? I was reading article. Titled how China interferes in U S elections. I haven't finished rating. They're just started, and I can writ. Just one of parallels to you China's powerful influence in CHAI, a US elections as President Donald Trump is alleged, but one will not necessarily find a Chinese intelligence agent agent stuffing ballot boxes in local city hall or tempering with volt in both. The Chinese are to the Chinese are not need those methods, but their immense wealth gives them more sophisticated and effective methods to influence the candidates themselves the business that funk candidate elections. The universities and think tanks are that outsor- the universities and think tanks that higher politicians after they leave office and the Niels media that voters will rely on to choose. Choose their congress members on a member six to eighteen that is a far more powerful network of influence than anything. The Russians may have tried to use in two thousand sixteen. I actually read articles. In Iowa, you mentioning Iowa, right? That's the largest I think lots the largest circulated newspaper in Iowa. And that was in last month and China Daily bought two. What's it called two pages can insert right? Yeah. Insert? Yeah. They they had to pages full inserts. And the title was called. I remember if I remember correctly, China watch and China watch is kind of section of China Daily, Trinidad is mouth piece of Chinese government. And that they put articles like how Trump's? Trait war with China would affect the farmers in Iowa. And. A what a bride's painted the Chinese president Xi Jinping in very bright light, and how smart or whatever, you know, positive image. You could imagine in this kind of designed to look like it would fit into the newspaper. So if you're not necessarily a discerning reader, you would look at this in just think that this is another article inside of that newspaper. And I'm actually reminded of something from that article that you just mentioned that was in the documentary, which is this idea of influence through money. So at one point in the documentary, you go up to a very small town in Canada. And the reason I mentioned small can't recall the name, it is fairly complicated name, but Coquitlam there we go. You said not me. I interviewed to western ladies, right? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Coquitlam? Yes. That's very sophisticated pronunciation, and it's a very small town and the budget that the Confucius institute showed up with was one hundred thousand dollars which for a school system of that size. Would be game changing could be could be. Yeah. And the marketing manager boasted to me proudly. They have some hung a few hundreds of international students studying in their schools and most of them are from China. And yeah, and. The biggest number are heard. That university accepted from China to establish a Confucius institutes was. Foreign million US dollars a one time grant for Stanford. Wow. Yeah. With Stanford University serious. Today's absolutely that's a huge. Yeah. That's a huge. That's a biggest number and Columbia University. God's. I believe is a quarter million US dollars throughout five year turn and typically Chinese government give host university or a school board. One hundred to one hundred fifty thousand US dollars per year to round to run the Confucius institutes. Yeah. And. Throughout according to mine, my own research on Chinese the Chinese government has spent over two billion US dollars in the past few years in the past again ten plus years founding this Confucius institute program, it's including on a physical and internet Confucius institutes than some of the Chinese language are tests, or including some the textbooks send it by the Chinese government to those foreign host schools, also including the Chinese instructors send it by the Chinese government to the Confucius institute on classrooms. So it's over two billion. And we believe the true number the real numbers higher than that. Because the Chinese government didn't put out the numbers. On the internet about the very fertile them. Early two years the two thousand eight ten to six thousand four to five into southern seven. The didn't put out put up the numbers the budget for the three years. But according to my research, a BBC article once said the Chinese government set aside one billion to open the first one hundred Confucius institute and China achieved that goal. In two thousand seven hundred twenty five now. So do the math. It's could be anywhere between five billion and seven billion somewhere in there. Maybe three to seven it could be. Yeah. Could be and then out since nineteen since two seven seven the China's government started to put up up put up annual report of the Confucius program, which includes the money the spend on this initiative. So my research was based based on their own official numbers, but they stopped to. Releasing the budget last year? So that means there was no budget number about the spending of two thousand two thousand seventeen. Yeah. So you could just imagine how much money they spend based on the previous year's number. That's huge that's huge number. But at the same time I wanted to remind you that China's not developed country. China is still a poor country is still developing their huge population of Chinese people still leaving in under poverty. The bitterest irony of this documentary is that while China is spending all this money on a propaganda operation disguised as an education program. They're not spending on education for their people. No, that's. Very sad. Terrible. It's terrible. And I have some numbers I trying to get Hendy about the domestic education, the China's governments in investment into their domestic education. It's much much lower number compared to American government compared to even Japanese government in their Asian. Let me get that number. Okay. Yet here in Canada, which is the county. I am residing. Now canada. Spend five percent of five percent. Five point six percent of GDP on education, the mystic education that equals to eleven thousand and hate eight hundred per students and United States spend four point seven percent of GDP education that equals to fourteen thousand nine hundred per student and China spend only three point nine percent of GDP. And it's the the number the per student number is only one thousand five hundred dollars per student. Or would that number is not even fully showing is that money is not evenly distributed like here in the United States where it's more or less evenly distributed is obviously going to be somebody's. In china? There are certain parts of the country that are simply not getting service by the government. Right. You're very right in the remote area and some of the rural areas people just so poor to even have a school. They don't have let's say building or whatever room. They don't even have this room for kids than the kids. Don't even have this or they don't have textbooks when they have is very very broken books. Thrown away by some kids in in a city. It's very poor. If you yeah. If you show the image. If you can see the image presented in documentary will be shocked even today there are people leave in that poverty in China. So I have an after the movie type of question because I finished watching the movie, and I have questions that I want to ask the director, and I had the opportunity to do that. 'cause you're here right now. So what happens to this Chris both guy? This guy's a character. And at the end of the movie, I don't want spoil too much, but he gets himself into some trouble. How have things shook out for him since twenty fourteen. I have no further information about that Fulmer board of chair of Canada's largest school board, which is Toronto school boards. He. Was believed to have some connections to the Chinese government or his brother. Deathly is connected to the Chinese government. You have that pretty concretely. He was working for a big Chinese Bank. Right. Right. And he himself visited China quite a few times. And as you saw Madan commend ships proud of his good relationship with China's government, and he admitted when eve visited China he was wind and dined by the hosts that's a very commonly used practice by the China's government when they wanted to. Wean some hearts and minds of the westerners. The what invites you to China for free trip, and when you come back from China, and you all of sudden. Kind of represent interest more of Chinese government rather than your own country. This is very reminiscent of what is happening with the Russians as well. I mean, the story kind of sounds not unlike Carter page who went over to Russia and got wind tonight. There's a number of different people you could name in in that setting. Right. You are right. Not only money. But also sometimes the China's gonna would like my friends in who worked for the Canadian intelligence irk the sectors who on the Asian Pacific desk for over fifteen years. He told me other than the money things and the Chinese government also uses sex sex, you know, that sex traps on or some other dirty ways to attract the foreign officials or foreign, you know, high ranking people. So that they can make use of those foreign friends. So I think that the westerners when they are invited by the Chinese government to have a visit. They need to be very careful. Yeah. Absolutely. We don't want people to be terrified of China. But there is certainly some perils in dealing with the Chinese government because they are not on the up and up. What is the US doing about Confucius institutes? I initially heard about the Confucius institutes when I was watching C span. And there was a hearing with FBI director, Christopher and believe it was Senator Marco Rubio asking him questions about the Confucius institute. So this is not necessarily a Republican democrat issue here in the United States like a lot of things are, but what is the government doing here in the United States to combat the Confucius institute influence campaigns, some of these softer propaganda operations. Right. The hearing you mentioned just now happened in Feb. This year that was a hearing in front of the Senate of of the national security committee or something like that. I'm not very familiar with American politics. But actually says late last year American media started to cover stories like Confucius institutes risks concerns as well as the Chinese government's political influence in America. And there's very extensive coverage on that. And then starting this year. Senator Marco Rubio himself wrote letters to five universities in his own states. Which is Florida. Those universities host Confucius institutes. And Senator Marco Rubio urged the five universities close Confucius institutes end tool of them did. So and replied to Senator saying they would close so that was western Florida university and north north Florida university. So now and also I know a few senators as will as congressman they tabled new bills to the house of Representative trying to register Confucius institutes as foreign agents. Even without even they didn't name China or even they didn't singled out Confucius institutes, but the bills. Are widely believed to be targeting the Confucius institutes, and the China government that was kind of amendment of a very old. Law which was which was it sounds like the foreign agents registration act Farah. Yes. Yes. That's a -ment trying to amend put a increase the bar trying to register any money coming from foreign agents into American universities in they think more than five fifteen thousand dollars. They are requesting those agents registered as foreign agents. So that's Bill still in the process of. Legal process and also they prohibit Pentagon from funding any universities, which host Confucius institutes. So that means if you found a Confucius institutes, if you get money from the Chinese government, you are not going to get money from the Pentagon for founding your Chinese language program. Is yet that is the very I believe is a very first step and a very effective measure even months ago moments earlier this year there was. Those seminar or. Event or it was founded by Confucius institutes sort of defending Confucius institutes in America. There were a few speakers. The are all Americans are not a Chinese people. Why not the speakers were former was a former congressman or Senator and that very former politician was defending Confucius institutes by saying something like look if Confucius institutes ever had any problem how could Pentagon with funding them for the Chinese language program? Now, just a few months later, the newly passed authority the defense Bill has already cut that off that pull affil- Inc. Filling that whole so I think that's a very good effective measure. Are there any members of congress to give you an example, there are wide suspicions that Dana Rohrabacher is someone who is influenced heavily by his relationship with Russia? Are there any members of congress that you think are influenced by China in a similar way to Dana Rohrabacher Russia? I'm not there familiar with American politicians, but remember of Rada article written by one of my journalists friend in American media. It named a Senator who is the female Senator. In california. I remember, but I can I can over that article. Yes. Yes. That's the name. Yeah. I remember that she she had a staffer of very key staffer who has very close ties with China's government or very close ties with local wealthy Chinese who could be a agent of the Chinese government. And also remember, my friend headed exclusive story of how the Chinese government throw a local American Chinese very wealthy American Chinese to forge. Relationship or to open the Confucius classroom in one of the states. The that was the story. My my friends put up. Yeah. Remember years before there were some candidates in New York City who himself was with a Chinese heritage the Chinese famous lutron e I don't remember his English name. He got elected but later on he he lost the election or something or he was excluded from office because of some scandals that guy has close relationship with China as well. So they have been building out those political relationships starting to gain influence on that level as well. I have a question about Donald Trump, and she Jing ping. What are you going on there? Why is Donald Trump so fascinated with she what is it about? She's personality that Donald Trump might find appealing. I don't really think I really. Donald Trump think she didn't being is his friend. I think it's. Just some diplomatic expressions by your president. And you know, he sort of wanted to say anything without. Meticulous contemporary Shen. So he say anything he likes to off the top of the hat. Right. Yeah. One time few days later, you will change. He's. Cores discourse. I I don't I don't believe he really think she didn't think his friends, and Mr. she is very iron-handed. Roy ROY look at. Yeah. Look what he is doing in China. Right. And then those more religious persecutions, there's more Chinese human rights. Lawyers are jailed or more journalist who wanted to. Report the truth jailed as well. So I want everybody to see this movie. It's going to be available in the US with the necessary. Subtitles all that later this year. When is that it's probably already mixed here. But now, the DVD of the film, which has hang Bush and Chinese subtitles is already available on website. So you can just visit in the name of Confucius, movie dot com. So he can order DVD's from the website, and the distributor will working with. Would probably release the film. I mean, the English subtitled film sometimes next year, actually. And it's it's great film. I hope everybody goes and sees it. It's a great story. Thank you so much for coming on don't worry about the government where can people follow you on the internet? You can easily find us in the name of Confucius on Facebook. It just our what's tap hashtag. Or what's it called hashtag on Twitter? I think they do the hashtag on Facebook to fail. Okay. Anyway. As Alie find us on Facebook or Twitter on by pie, typing Confucius film. So please do like it and follow us because we do Kabul related articles as well as other materials so stories about the Confucius institutes issue as well as the reysen developments updates about our film. So you can also access visit our website, which is a again Confucius sorry, which is in the name of confusions, movie dot com. So we put a lot of information on the website, not only are films, but also the related issues such as the development of Confucius institutes as well as the China's government infiltration or foreign interference. So you will get a lot of updates on what site as well. My guest today has been miss doors. Lou the name of the film is in the name of Confucius. My name is Chris November. No, you can find me on Twitter at C H R. I S E M B R our home page is don't worry dot TV patriae dot com slash DWA. TGI is where you go to support the show don't worry about the government is one hundred percent listener supported that means you I keep these appeals to a minimum. I do them periodically. I'm just going to stop this one of the back end of the day because I want to let this interview brief here. But if you like the show, and you think you're getting something out of it a bucket show. All we ask that's hatred on dot com slash DWA, TGI, and you so much relisting and until the next one.
Don't Worry About The Government
Aired 4 months ago 28:52
Novichok poisonings - case closed? Repression of Muslims in China
The. Hi there and welcome to between the lines. This is Tom Switzer, heavy company. Well on the show today. The British government has now made public utilities in the scroll. Case it lies out. What it says is proof that the poisoning attack was carried out by two Russian intelligence agents. So is this case closed? My guest says there are still plenty of holes in the case by their on. We'll be discussing the brutal suppression of Chinese Muslims by the communist government with the Australian director of Human Rights, Watch align piece in style with us for that. Have you been falling? The lightest news on scruple. According to the British government to Russian men were behind the poisoning of a former spy, and he's daughter in England loss much they've been identified as Russian intelligence offices acting with the Kremlin's approval when they used the nerve agent Nava talk in the attack the UK has charged these men with attempted murder. His Prime Minister Theresa may in Parliament, Mrs fakery repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Seoul's Rian March and they have replied with office Gatien and lies this is including trying to pass the bylanes of the attack on terrorists onto our international partners. And even onto the future mother in law of Yulia script. They even claimed that I myself invented Nava chalk. Their attempts to hide the truth by pushing out a deluge of disinformation simply reinforces their cocoa -bility as we made clear in March only Russia had the technical means operational experience and motive to carry out the attack now prime minister, my in the Commons now, it should be stressed that Wendy initial charge against Russia was made. There was no evidence in the public record linking Moscow to the attempted killings, which is what passed on our in. You may recall professor, Stephen Cohen from New York. Dr Tara McCormack from Britain, the former diplomat Tony Kevin from camera, even me and my public commentary. That's what we were saying. And we were right. The initial charge was based on speculation not hard evidence. But now the British government has produced what it says is evidence linking Russia to the attempted killings. So is this case closed and how much worse could relations between the west and. Russia to address all this. Let's hear from one of Britain's leading experts on Russia. Mary digest sqi is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow as well. As Paris in Washington these days, she's a columnist with the independent and the guiding in Brisbane, Mary welcome to our in. Thank you. So the British government was always blaming Russia. But evidence was not available. When the initial charges were my back in much should the skeptics now except the lightest news. Singling out the two Russians for the attacks on scruple. Well, one very interesting things happened as a result of the TV and the identification that the British put out I think the officials in the UK have succeeded in dividing, those of us who regarded us L to skeptics, some people have said this looks like contrived proof that the Russians were involved. I'm standing, by my view, which is that they're all so many homes remaining in the British story that this. Looks like diversionary tactic surprises me slightly is that the Russian side happing insisted through officials throughout that. They had absolutely nothing to do with it. This point of decided to engage with the British story by putting these two guys on on television. It was both the interview for Russia today. RT external rushing services was actually broadcast back to back on domestic services, and I know that because I was in Russia tweak or, but the two men are defined as you say, these the so-called culprits, they maintain their innocence, many people in the west side of the denials on Russian state television lacked credibility, I think many Russians belt that too. I mean, some of the hilarity that greeted the interview in the social media in the UK was replicated absolutely in in Russia. I mean, the social media absolutely scornful. In the assessment of the story of these two guys. But one of the things which I think maybe has been left one side of it is that that denials of being involved in the poisoning and so's breath. Don't negate the fact that they may very well have been insulted, and they may have been up to no good. They were very evasive about this sort of business links. What else they were doing despite the fact that the Russian interview who's actually the head of RT? It wasn't a sort of mine interview, they got the benefit of the head about he and she looked I got to go through a lot of what I was saying. Now, the British government and many governments around the world, they say that this last proves beyond doubt, the nitro of the Kremlin regime. I say look Putin is a thug crook thief. He sent these two men to Salisbury to attempt to murder and expulsion. But also, the expose daughter who is by no measure. A legitimate target. What does all this main in the Mon and the British people now? Well, I think the British people actually quite divided about this as they are generally on the subject to Russia on the one hand, this is sort of consensus, which I would say is an elite government led consensus, which is the Putin and Russia are all bad and guilty of all sorts of dusted leads all over the place. But there is also of you, which is quite strong and has been much more prominent in the good experience of British people who went to the World Cup, which actually says that maybe the negativity applied to Russia is vastly overdone that Russia's being singled out and judged by standards that no other countries are judged by. I would add to that that I think the British a little bit like the Americans, but less lie. The continental Europeans, they've personalized. If you have Russia concentrating on the figure of Putin and demonizing him, and if we get back to the scruple story for a minute one of the biggest weaknesses to my mind of the British case is the attempt to Luke whatever happened. We don't know what happened not just with Russian agents of some sort but directly with the Kremlin. When you look at the levels of certainty, you played that clip from to resumes interview, what you didn't play was a sort of subsequent section where she talked about it being almost certain that the Kremlin was involved because it was presumed by quote, a body of intelligence, and it was based on intelligence that the crime was committed by agents of the ROY. Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, and because the GRU is supposedly a highly disciplined organization that it had to have received its orders from the very top. And therefore from the Kremlin. I think that's highly doubtful. Okay. We'll give my position I mean has that helped in any international misgivings. I mean are the United Nations now supporting the British position? I mean, should we expect more diplomatic expulsions? He I think it was two different things. I think that we will not expect any more diplomatic expulsions. Now, I may be wrong. But I don't think that's going to happen. Because I think that the solid IOT shown at the beginning of the scruple poisonings by very many countries, not just Europeans in expelling diplomats that was immediate. And it's when these people who know more about this than I do win that went when they looked at what happened. They actually said, well, you know, it's suited quite a lot of countries. To use the pretext to expel Russian diplomats. They suspected of being undercover security people of using diplomatic cover now. So many diplomats were expelled in round probably people run out of people to expel in a sort of free exercise diplomatically, so I don't think we're going to see any more expulsions. There was a joint statement of condemnation of the latest British revelations. But we're it's cheap. Again. It was interesting to me that in the wording of the statement. That was agreed. You had this slight hedging of the accusations against Russia using Tereza. Most terms of almost certainly highly likely, I not direct fund. My guest is Mary digest sqi. She's a columnist with the guardian and the independent in Britain Farley, Mary collusion. It seems like any discussion of Russia. These. Days is pointless without addressing these persistent allegations that Donald Trump is somehow Putin's puppet now just reminded the charges that in twenty sixteen the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to hack into the emails of the Democrats the Russians in guy the malls to WikiLeaks, which made them public and wrecked. The anti Russian Clinton's chances of winning the White House and the latest news. Of course last week was that the former Trump campaign shame and pull Manafort he's agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors special investigation led by Robert moolah. What are we might have all these? He's a possible, Mary this Manafort knows something about this alleged Trump Russia collusion tile that might metaphor target in the first place. Well, not you expect I've been very skeptical of the claims of Trump Russia collusion, and I think there's a lot of very sort of historical way of looking. This. It's looked with hindsight rather than how things were at the time. Don't Trump never expected to win the presidency. He was running a very amateur campaign Hillary Clinton campaign. Newell the regulations how the people around her who were part of the political establishment. She was expected to win the idea that the Russians that they could influence the election in favor of Donald Trump just seems to be completely absurd because nobody expected Trump to win on that included the Russians there is some suggestion that they were using bits and pieces of the social media to try and influence American opinion against Hillary Clinton. And that things that might be seen as tweets and strange sort of interventions with Twitter and Facebook accounts and things like that. But when you look at the figures in Vitesse symbol compared with the Vaas number of everything else. In the social media. I think that probably every intelligence service worth it sold was trying to hack into the whole of the American political process through that election campaign simply to find out what was going on. Because it was so pay quarterback what you'll critics would say that Trump is somehow vulnerable to Kremlin blackmail because as an intelligence dossier produced by ex British spy that shows that among other things Trump's dirty deeds in Moscow hotels years before he ran for president. So the the Steele dossier, and then you think about that hill, stinky summit Mary when Trump and put in had the press conference. I mean have the actions of these US foreign policy in the Trump era suggested that Trump is soft on the Kremlin critic Cy. Well, I think Trump was actually right when he said after the Helsinki press conference, the to go into so much trouble full that his administration has actually been tougher on Russia into of sanctions in terms of rhetoric in terms of all the things that generally considered tough in foreign policy. Think about Washington's expanded night. I once again it strengthened sanctions on Moscow it supplied the Ukrainian military with lethal weapons. It's boosted I to the Baltic countries. It's launch missiles against Syria's Assad regime. I can see what you mean. These decisions really outraged the Kremlin, rot dot right through all those things happening. There were still telephone calls between Trump and Putin. And it seemed to me that an to very recently, or maybe still those aren't really distinction that relations at the top level of being kept on even keel in the hope that maybe venture that can be an improvement that was envisaged as opposed to -bility by Trump during his campaign, but still it towards that very simple idea that better relations between Washington and Moscow might improve things in the world in general that has met with such stupidity in Washington. Not to be said outs. Side Washington inside Washington, we saw the response of the bushing establishment to the Helsinki summit, and what about the Steele dossier? I've read this deal dossier opiates, an I've followed everything is in the public domain and Sephora. I can see nobody is actually claiming that the some top-secret much more dumbing damaging evidence that the intelligence of for more time seen there is no evidence of collusion won't. So I've the the dossier seems very flimsy. There is no evidence of any of the charges. The two made one of the interesting charges the dossier tried to make but had to admit it could find no proof of was the suggestion that Donald Trump was actually doing business deals in Russia. What it said was that he'd been offered various business deals, but he turned the move down. Now, it doesn't seem to me that that's the mall of somebody who's trying to collude y'all. Critics Mary will say that this special prosecutor Malla, he's convicted several Trump former associates, and I'd say this shows is more the collusion narrative, then you're accepting. Yes. But what if they've been convicted of they've been convicted of nothing that has anything to do with Russia. There is no single strand of Russian in any of those convictions. The convictions of very American crimes to do with lobbying to do with long to do with ducks evasion. Lying skins to the authorities nothing whatsoever. That's fingered because you'll all too often. He from the media that these convictions somehow or they're employed related to the 2016 Trump campaign. Your argument is has nothing to do with the Trump campaign and Russia's middling in the campaign. No, most of them go back further than the Trump campaign and Paul Manafort in particular, I mean, he is just. The top of the range. Nope. Yest- he goes out and Tout's but business which he gets Voest expense Voss salaries and he does his job abroad. And at one point he was working for Yaakov, which supposedly pro Russian president of Ukraine, the one who was overthrown now twenty four the first thing wrong with is that unicol rich was actually at the time was negotiating with the European Union. He was not seen from Moscow. He wasn't seen as Bagai. I've Putin has almost undisguised contempt for Unicor ridge who he regards us presiding over chaotic Ukraine that he couldn't keep ordering his own country. He was very reluctant to give him refuge when he was thrown out of Ukraine. So the idea that, you know, coverage was somehow stooge Russia, and that therefore by working for Yanukovych Manafort with some of the student Russia that is simply completely wrong. Monifa was. Working for the person who was going to pay him. And in this particular case, this was Manafort, there is no tie, whatever. So far that I've seen between Manafort on the Kremlin Mary. Thanks so much for being on ABC radio today. Pleasure. Mary digest ski. She's a former foreign correspondent in Moscow is a columnist with the independent and the guardian in Britain on Iran sees between the lines with Tom Switzer. Win the fire west of China wrought up against the border with Mongolia and central Asia laws the Xinjiang province that's home to approximately half of China's thirteen million Muslim Weigo's, that's an ethnic minority. Now, the warriors have always had a fractious relationship with the Chinese government, which is predominantly Han Chinese. However things have got a lot worse than the last two years, the communist regime views the minority with suspicion sees their religion culture language as evidence of disloyalty human rights. Watch recently published a report hot alled erotic aiding audio logical viruses, China's campaign of repression against Xinjiang's move. And it compiles evidence of a systematic campaign of human rights violations. Lying piece is the Australian director of Human Rights, Watch align, Greg. See you again. Thanks, Tom super question. Why is China brutally suppressing the Muslims? Well, look, I mean, she Jiang has always been appropriate kind of on the periphery of China surrounded by other countries. And I think the has a waste bin concern about a separatist movement insurgency, and so they've been to quell this, but repression has really stepped up in the last two years, and that is really happened. Because of a move of the local Chinese communist party secretary who moved from two bit to Xinjang Chen Changhua. He really brought with him the tactics and tools that he perfected into bits to repress the population there, and he basically put these programs on steroids inching and this happened in light twenty sixteen. What's happened since he was brought in. So since he was brought in. We're now seeing these mess surveillance programs that are offering Jin Jiang. So basically anyone who goes the can have phone confiscated at any point in time. I'm at checkpoints if you found to be using what's up, y'all? Thin. You know, you seen as someone who's communicating with the outside world. So that's, you know, seen as something that's untrustworthy every aspect of daily life is basically controlled inching Jiang, the reeducation camps that has been getting a little bit of attention lately, they were always there, but they weren't being used at the scale, and they certainly were not detention centers. And now, we think that this, you know, somewhere around a million people being held in these trips that Shing, John the province with the way goes a predominantly based there are also other minority Muslim peoples in China. Correct. That's right. And it's not just the weakest who being subjected to the persecutions. It's also Muslims ethnic minorities won't expert view on why by djing sees its Muslim population as such a threat that it deserves this level of repression. Well, I think the Chinese government sees it as a counterterrorism imperative that you know, we need. To counter terrorism at all costs. So this is all about striking hard against religious extremists. And to be fair though. The Wego minority do occasionally carry out terror attacks in the lodge on Chani, CDs, ROY they have been join has joined Islamic state in Syria. They have been a number of isolated attacks and a few hundred we have gone to Syria, fighting not only for Islamic state. But I think for all the armed groups doesn't Beijing. Then have a reason to carry out some surveillance and click Dodder on these guys will these a I mean, these massive surveillance program. So I mean, I think you know, certainly counterterrorism deserves the law enforcement response, but this is completely overblown. So what we're seeing right now. And she Jiang is that, you know, this, you know, every aspect of your life is controlled even how you would say Hello to someone. You have to say now ni how you can't say Salaam aleikum because that would be grounds for suspicion. How you weigh you? Hey, you cover your hair's woman. If you have a be it as a man so every aspect of lady. Life. Anyone who is most is controlled Robert Kaplan, well known foreign policy. Scola bison Washington who was riding in the Wall Street Journal this week, and he climbs the repression is related to the Chinese government's built in Rhode policy. So he's argument is that the assault on the Weigo's of if you like Beijing's imperial ambitions that required Stibal land borders plausible. Yeah. I mean, I thought that was an interesting argument. But you know, I think you know, I'm not sure I totally agree with Robert on this. I think this is really more about trying to drive loyalty at all costs to the Chinese state because they've never had that inching Jiang. So this is really about nationalism. It's about a radical any Islamic identity, and she Jiang, and that's what's really going on here in order to make these citizens of China loyal to the Chinese say nurse self-determination whatsoever. No, that's right. And I mean, I think. You know, certainly China has been scared about the fact that in neighboring countries Russia seeing the fall of the Soviet Union. I think they've always been concerned about separatism and they've been concerned that people engine Jiang week as in particular. Don't feel particularly Chinese my guest is line peace, and she's the Australian director of Human Rights Watch with talking about the way good movememts in China's Xinjiang province. Now, of course of oh. The Chinese state has existed for something like three and a half thousand years. These provinces only really being pot of China's Qing dynasty since around the mid seventeen hundreds at histories important, align Tillis, more about these political reeducation camps. So these reeducation camps that dotted all around Xinjang the places where people forced to go. They basically places where people are brainwashed. They're subjected to a military type regime, they have to sing songs. Praising the Chinese communist party? They have to learn Mandarin. And we've heard numerous reports about psychological and physical abuse going on in these centres Human Rights Watch. And you'll the Australian director it says that there could be up to one million Sean as Muslims being held in these camps. What's the evidence for their existence in and until it's more about the evidence that you gathered? Well, that's right. I mean, the one million estimate really comes from academic and all the NGO estimates that have relied on extrapolating the data from police arrests inching Jiang. It's very difficult to know because the UN Human Rights Watch journalists, they don't have access to Xinchang. So it's impossible to know. How many people exactly being held in the centers, but we do know they exist. I mean, the state media in China has reported on these centers. They don't call them political reeducation camps. They insist that they are vocational training centers where people can go for rehabilitate. In order to gain employment opportunities, they need to learn Chinese. So that is the legitimate argument that is put forward by the Chinese government. And how does it by government responsive Human Rights Watch reports on this issue? Well, the government has responded saying that human rights. Choose spewing lies that these claims are fabricated. They've completely dismissed these allegations. And they've also said that they fighting a battle against terrorism and Chin-jang, and so they need to implement measures in order to protect their security and more right in saying that the the western media with rare exceptions hasn't really been subjecting the Chinese too much scrutiny on this issue because I feel like I hear much about it. I mean, given the scale of these violations one million people in these camps. You would think that would be on the front page of every newspaper and yet that has not happened. I think part of it is because of access difficulties. It's very difficult to find people to speak up who've been inside these centers because. A lot of them still remain Incheon Jiang. But I think also governments haven't really wanted to take China to task on this issue, and that has really emboldened the Chinese government to take such extreme missions. Because no one is challenging them about this. And your calls are growing for the US Senate to put him place around economic sanctions on China in response to these human rights violations. The New York Times detoro Justice week is called on Washington's stand tough. Do you think that camber will follow suit? Well, certainly hope so I mean, I think you know, if these trillion government has not said very much about these issues. They've. I don't know exactly why. They haven't said I think a lot of China's transgressions in the South China Sea. Why not question them on the human rights abuses? I mean camera has been pitifully weak on human rights shoes under previous foreign minister, Julie Bishop MAURICE pain has certainly said that China is a priority in terms of the rules based order, but that hasn't really extended to prime ministers or foreign ministers. Really, speaking robustly about human rights concerns, and I think that's really problematic. I think good thing was that Estrella did mention concerns about Xinjang in its opening statement at the Human Rights Council last week, but we need considered action. And these needs to come from countries standing together, we need a joint statement at the Human Rights Council, and we would like to see a stray playing a leading role in that this brings us back to the Robert Kaplan faces he argues that realists foreign policy realists who generally speaking don't place a lot of stress on him and rods. Focuses more on external relationships. Gripe house, nevertheless, it makes sense for foreign policy realists to rises human rights issue in China because otherwise China will get a blank check with its one belt one road imperialism. Oh, absolutely. And I mean, I certainly agree that, you know, without taking strong steps against China. It emboldens China to go further. And I mean, we are now seeing that we is in a stray Leah are also feeling threatened because they can't contact family members back home we had an event at the low institute a few weeks ago, a number of weeks came some of them left because they actually felt so on safe in that environment verdict. These trillion government has an imperative here not only to stand up because this is the right thing morally to do. But also because it starting to affect stralia citizens on that disturbing night align graduate, heavy back home between the lawns. Thanks, tom. That was a line peace, and she's the Australian director of Human Rights Watch. Well, that's all for this week dishes of between the lines Greg to heavy company. Now, remember if you missed anything, you can find all our interviews on the R N website and make sure you cheating next week when I'll be speaking with James Crabtree. He's a former foreign correspondent for the tea, and he's the author of billionaire rise. That's about the rise of India's new billionaire class.
Between The Lines