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China Spying on Uyghur Muslims Living in Turkey

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According to a new report by the NGO Safeguard Defenders, China has created an elaborate police network to spy on and intimidate Uyghur Muslims living in Turkey. This report follows other recent bombshell publications by the NGO detailing China’s Iron Curtain-esque policies preventing millions of its own citizens from leaving its borders, its international ring of covert police stations, and its network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent. Safeguard Defenders compiled the new report from 93 surveys and 17 interviews of Uyghurs living in Turkey. Below are some of its key findings.

How the CCP Organized Its Surveillance Regime

The elaborate spy network involves police stations and family members in Uyghur cities in China, as well as Uyghur informants in Turkey. Local police in China collect information on the Uyghurs living in Turkey from their families in China. The police then set up files on the Uyghurs living in Turkey, often with the help of Uyghur informants there. Chinese local police then work with the Chinese embassy in Ankara and the Chinese consulate in Istanbul to obtain more information on their targets. China then engages the target via direct contact, through the Chinese embassy in Ankara or the Chinese consulate in Istanbul, or via family.

Coercion for the Sake of the CCP

Chinese police use coercive tactics on Uyghurs living in Turkey to further the CCP. The CCP leverages Uyghurs’ “financial difficulties,” concerns about passport renewals, and family ties in China to get Uyghurs in Turkey to spy on fellow Uyghurs, to refrain from speaking out against China’s persecution of Uyghurs, and to participate in Chinese propaganda.

The CCP’s Pressure on Family

China’s tactic of choice is engaging the target via family. The CCP has significant emotional leverage with this approach, given that most of the Uyghurs in Turkey surveyed (75 out of 93) claimed they had up until that point lost contact with their families for at least several years. Chinese police re-establish family ties to collect information on what the Uyghurs in Turkey are saying to their family, and to also use the family to convey threatening messages such as “Do not post anything about the government” and “Don’t circulate lies about our country, don’t participate in illegal activities.” All 17 of the Uyghurs interviewed stated that they Chinese authorities threatened to harm their families in China if they did not comply. Six of the 17 stated that the CCP offered to reunite them with their families if they did comply.

The CCP’s Political and Other Pressure

Out of the 17 Uyghurs in Turkey interviewed, eight admitted to being pressured by the CCP to engage in pro-CCP propaganda, including attending pro-CCP events at the Chinese consulate or embassy, or writing pro-CCP articles in Turkish newspapers. Twelve of the 17 interviewees admitted to being pressured to cease criticizing the CCP, often with the threat of harm being done to their family in China if they did not comply. Twelve of the 17 interviewees also admitted to facing pressure from the CCP to inform on fellow Uyghurs in Turkey. Five of the 17 stated the CCP offered them financial incentives if they cooperated.

Safeguard Defenders has once again illustrated the extent to which the CCP persecutes its own citizens, and that the CCP’s long arm of power to do so extends far beyond China’s borders.

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New documents show China trying to establish ‘satellite state’ in Caribbean

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China has been “exploiting a fragile security environment and taking advantage of the region’s need for economic investment to gain influence and advance its malign agenda” in a move that challenges U.S. hegemony in the Americas, U.S. Southern Command Comm. General Laura Richardson recently told Congress in written testimony.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, located about 220 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is where China is planning to establish a special Chinese-run economic zone, according to documents reviewed by Newsweek

Just The News  reports that per the documents, the area will have its own customs and immigration facilities, a shipping port and it will even issue passports. China will also establish different kinds of businesses that will specialize in things from facial surgery to virology, the latter of which is closely associated with the research in Wuhan that is the suspected source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. military is “aware that China may use its commercial and diplomatic presence for military purposes. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, China has already abused commercial agreements at host-country ports for military aims; our concern is they may do the same in this region.”

More than two-thirds of the 31 nations under SOUTHCOM’s responsibility have signed onto China’s belt-and-road initiative, which is Beijing’s program to lend money to developing nations to use for infrastructure projects, according to Just The News.

Several nations have had problems with repaying such loans, resulting in Beijing seizing the country’s assets. For example, Sri Lanka struggled to pay back Beijing in 2017 and instead signed off the rights to a strategic port, according to Foreign Policy.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., a member of the House Oversight Committee proving China’s incursion inside the U.S. sphere of influence, told Just the News on Monday night that Beijing’s aggression in the Caribbean reminded him of the Soviet’s intervention in Fidel Castro’s Cuba more than a half century earlier.

“It reminds me of Russia’s involvement in Cuba, just 220 miles off the shore of the US Virgin Islands. We have Antigua. It used to be considered the United States back yard. Unfortunately, today, it’s China’s front yard,” Burlison told the “Just the News, No Noise television show. “And China has used the united front to enter into loan agreements and contracts to create trade zones within Antigua in order to gain a foothold into the Caribbean.”

“And this is just part of their efforts around the globe, whether it’s in African countries or Laos. They’re they’re creating a network to try to undermine the U.S. dollar and try to end run around some of our tariffs and other programs,” he warned.

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