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COVID-19 relief bill includes hundreds of millions of dollars in Palestinian aid: report

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United States Congress

The nearly 6,000-page COVID-19 relief bill set to be voted on late Monday sets aside $250 million in investment aid for the Palestinians and for encouraging Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in a provision called the “Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act of 2020,” the Breitbart reports.

The Lowey Act, named for retiring Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), would spend $50 million per year for the next five years, due to economic stagnation in the Palestinian Territories and the likelihood for economic development in the region to help promote peace.

Back in July, a version of the act was passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, the Times of Israel reported at the time.

Under the Taylor Force Act of 2018, Congress limited U.S. financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, barring American taxpayer money from being sent to the Palestinian government as long as the entity continues to give money to terrorists and their families.

The Lowey Act would launch the “People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund,” which would be run by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to “provide funding for projects to help build the foundation for peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians and for a sustainable two-state solution.”

Moreover, the fund would have an advisory board of 13 members, alongside two members “who are representatives of foreign governments or international organizations for renewable periods of 3 years.”

The act would also support initiatives that promote dialogue between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel and would found the “Joint Investment for Peace Initiative,” which would offer investment funding for “projects that contribute to the development of the Palestinian private sector economy in the West Bank and Gaza.”

It should also be mentioned that the provision would ban the funding from being used to aid any foreign government, including the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It also bans funds from being provided to any group considered to be involved in, or promoting, terrorism.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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ChineseFemaleMiitary 652840318

China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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