Chinese Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe (魏鳳和) on Tuesday defended his nation’s policy on the controversial issues of Hong Kong and Xinjiang in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
The Chinese minister also raised the issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea in the telephone conversation with his US counterpart, Xinhua news agency reported.
While it is usual for China to reassert its claim to sovereignty over both those areas in talks with the US, the mention of Hong Kong and Xinjiang is more unusual.
Hong Kong has been wracked by five months of anti-government protests that Beijing accuses the US and other foreign forces of encouraging, while China has come under criticism for detaining more than 1 million of Xinjiang’s Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in political re-education centers, where they are forced to swear loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.
The centers are seen by critics as a key part of what they call a campaign of cultural genocide.
China at first denied the existence of the centers, but now says they aim to provide job skills to lift people out of poverty, and combat religious extremism.
No details of Wei’s comments on any of the four topics were given, although he has issued a series of harsh statements renewing China’s determination to back up its territorial claims with force.
At a security conference in Singapore in June, Wei warned that China’s People’s Liberation Army would “resolutely take action” to defend Beijing’s claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Wei did not direct the threat at the US, but loaded his address with criticism of activities by Washington, including support for Taiwan and leading so-called freedom of navigation operations.
Beijing would not “yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land,” Wei said.
Despite Wei’s hardline stance, he told Esper that while China-US relations had reached a “crucial period,” mutually beneficial cooperation was the “only correct choice,” Xinhua reported.
“The two sides should ... continue to advance military-to-military relations to make them a pillar of stability in bilateral relations,” Wei was quoted as saying.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
IN THE PIPELINE: The Ministry of National Defense said the sale, expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale under the Trump administration The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan. The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday. The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added. The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational