FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Monday night where he alerted “the threat to the West from the Chinese government is ‘more brazen’ and damaging than ever before” reports the Associated Press.
In an appearance on Fox News Monday, Sara Carter spoke about China’s distribution of the deadly drug fentanyl that is making its way into the United States through drug cartels at our southern border. Wray’s message was about China as one of our biggest threats to long-term economic security.
“When we tally up what we see in our investigations, over 2,000 of which are focused on the Chinese government trying to steal our information or technology, there’s just no country that presents a broader threat to our ideas, innovation, and economic security than China,” Wray said, according to a copy of the speech provided by the FBI to the AP.
Chinese government hackers are so prevalent and skilled, hey are obtaining more personal and corporate data than all other countries combined. The FBI has to open new cases to counter Chinese intelligence operations every 12 hours or so, Wray said.
“The harm from the Chinese government’s economic espionage isn’t just that its companies pull ahead based on illegally gotten technology. While they pull ahead, they push our companies and workers behind,” Wray said. “That harm — company failures, job losses — has been building for a decade to the crush we feel today. It’s harm felt across the country, by workers in a whole range of industries.”
The AP reports that Chinese government officials have repeatedly rejected accusations from the U.S. government, with the spokesman for the embassy in Washington saying Americans have “made groundless attacks” and malicious smears about Chinese cyberattacks.
Wray added, “I’ve spoken a lot about this threat since I became director” in 2017. “But I want to focus on it here tonight because it’s reached a new level — more brazen, more damaging, than ever before, and it’s vital — vital — that all of us focus on that threat together.”
The AP notes “the Justice Department in 2014 indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking into major American corporations. One year later, the U.S. and China announced a deal at the White House to not steal each other’s intellectual property or trade secrets for commercial gain.” Similar to Iran, China’s words mean absolutely nothing.
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REPORT: China uses psychiatric institutions to suppress dissent
China has a vast network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. The report compiled data found on 99 victims involved in 144 instances on involuntary hospitalizations in 109 institutions from 2015 through 2021. Of the 99 victims in the report, 80 were petitioners [i.e., those who file complaints against officials] and 14 were activists.
But this is hardly a new phenomenon. “China’s regime has been torturing, maiming, and killing dissidents and others in psychiatric facilities for seven decades,” said Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. “The only way to end the horrific abuse is to end the rule of the Communist Party.”
The report detailed especially harsh treatments, which include: forced medication (in 77 percent of cases), physical restraints on the bed (60 percent), beatings by staff or other patients (25 percent) and electroshock therapy (14 percent). Otherwise normally healthy people were given anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications, causing severe side effects like memory loss, insomnia and tremors. Electroshock therapy was often administered to the victims as they were fully conscious, rather than under anesthesia in small doses as would be clinically appropriate for certain patients. According to the report, “[Electroshock therapy] without anesthesia is not only unimaginably painful and frightening for the patient but carries serious side effects, including the risk of bone fractures, joint dislocation, muscle tears, disruption of the heart beat and lung damage.”
Family and friends are often used as weapons against the victims. They were not permitted to call or visit the victims in 76 percent of cases, which essentially makes these cases “enforced disappearances.” 11 percent of cases were committed with the assistance of family (either voluntarily or coerced by authorities). Family and friends who petition for the victim’s release are often faced with persecution, and involuntarily commitment themselves.
The peak of psychiatric detentions occurred from 2015 through 2016, which was around the same time as China’s “709 Crackdown” where the government persecuted hundreds of human rights lawyers.
Some of the detentions are rather draconian. As a petitioner who called for local authorities to investigate a robbery in his house, Zeng Jiping was detained for almost two years. For “live tweeting herself splashing paint over a portrait of Xi Jinping,” Dong Yaoqiong received 1 year, 4 months detention. Twenty-nine out of the 99 victims in the report were hospitalized more than once. In two-thirds of cases where data was known, the authorities did not perform a psychiatric evaluation, in direct violation of China’s Mental Health Law.
The report also gives the example of Andy Li, a member of the “Hong Kong 12” pro-democracy protestors, as falling victim to involuntary detention in Hong Kong’ Siu Lam Psychiatric Center in 2021. The report noted that, as Li’s family didn’t know about his detention, “Li’s cases appears to be a worrying sign that the political abuse of psychiatry practiced on the mainland is now being exported into Hong Kong…”
Those who are finally released from their involuntary committals face lasting physical and phycological pain, and stigma within their communities. People seeking damages for their treatment are often faced with doctors and attorneys who do not want to assist them for fear of retaliation from the government.
According to the report, China is using “peace and health asylums” and other healthcare institutions to “punish and remove activists and petitioners from society without the trouble of going through a trial.” While the report details various Chinese laws that are supposed to protect citizens from such involuntary hospitalizations, in reality Chinese authorities do not abide by these laws and the citizens are not protected. The policy of involuntary hospitalizations show the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party will go to suppress dissent.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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