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China Tightens Grip on Hong Kong

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China continues to consolidate its tyrannical grip on Hong Kong through its puppet government in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong legislature passed a bill that reduces the number of elected officials in the District Councils from 452 to 88. Pro-CCP authorities in Hong Kong are vigorously seeking to extradite and prosecute dissenters abroad. The CCP government in the territory is also clamping down on pro-independence media, and promoting pro-mainland indoctrination.

District Councils Reform Bring Order from Chaos, According to Chinese Media

China’s state-run CCP media justifies the reform of Hong Kong’s District Councils. According to China Daily, the previous (and more democratic and representative) District Councils became “…a platform for obstructing the government’s administration, promoting separatism and violence, [and] attempting to subvert the regime and confront the central authorities…” In contrast, the new system has the “aim of putting an end to the chaotic political performance of the previous years…,” according to Global Times. According to the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the reforms will “surely play an important role in moving Hong Kong from chaos to governance and prosperity,” as quoted in Global Times, and are necessary for “patriots administering Hong Kong,” as quoted in China Daily.

Less democracy is the preferred option, according to Chinese media. According to pro-CCP Hong Kong legislators, “[t]he excessive number of directly elected seats in the [District Councils] could make them too politicized and populist, leading to chaos in the [District Councils],” and “‘one person, one vote’ Western-style elections may not be suitable for Hong Kong,” according to Global Times. In an Orwellian fashion, one China Daily article called the decreased number of directly elected officials an “improved system,” and that the reformed councils would “be better able to fulfil their roles in reflecting public opinion” and “serving the people and addressing people’s concerns.”

CCP-Aligned Authorities in Hong Kong Target “Separatists” Abroad in Dragnet Shakedown

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has issued HK$1 million ($128,000) warrants for the arrests of each of eight Hong Kongers abroad, which include “three exiled former lawmakers and five other people who have allegedly advocated separatism and sought foreign sanctions against Hong Kong,” according to China Daily. Former Hong Kong officials stated that these warrants and related arrests “have a deterrent effect, which can intimidate their followers,” will “restrict the movement of activists” and “are not only intended to apprehend activists, but also to caution their supporters,” according to that same article.

Known charges against the eight “fugitives” are vague and broad, which is further evidence of tyranny. The Hong Kong government is accusing them of “urging foreign countries to sanction judges in [Hong Kong],” “offering advice for other countries and regions to undermine…[Hong Kong’s] status as an international financial hub,” and “continu[ing] to engage in activities detrimental to national security overseas, including ‘incitement to secession’ and ‘incitement to subversion,’ according to Global Times.

Expressions of Hong Kong Independence Banned

Meanwhile, the now CCP-aligned Hong Kong is banning the song “Glory to Hong Kong” in several online platforms including Apple Music, iTunes, Facebook and Instagram Reels, and Spotify, according to Global Times. A Hong Kong court will hear the Hong Kong Department of Justice’s application for an interim injunction later this month that seeks to prohibit the performance, broadcast or adaptation of that song, according to that same article.

Indoctrination of Love for the Mainland Increasing

The Hong Kong government is also looking to pass legislation currently being reviewed in mainland China that would “boost the national [i.e., mainland, CCP Chinese] identities of people in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan, promote national pride, recognize Chinese culture and safeguard the unity of the nation,” according to China Daily. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Lee appears very sympathetic to the legislation. The China Daily article cited that Lee stated that “it is necessary to cultivate mainstream values in Hong Kong society that are compatible with the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.” Also, Lee remarked that Hong Kong’s contributions to date have included “strengthening national security education, helping the public understand national policies and encouraging young people to visit Chinese mainland cities.”

The CCP in China is further strengthening its grip on Hong Kong, and is methodically erasing the last vestiges of its autonomy. Will the Biden administration formulate policies to counter this, or is all hope lost?

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DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

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