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Iran test fires short-range ‘smart’ missile

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Iran nuclear weapons program

Iran’s army testfired a sophisticated short-range missile on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

According to Gen. Kioumars Heidari, Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces, the “smart” missile had a range of 300 kilometers, or 186 miles and was capable of working in “any weather condition.” Gen. Heidari did not say where the test took place.

Short-range missiles are controlled by Iran’s national army. Long-range missiles, capable of traveling up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), are controlled by the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Iran’s ballistic missile tests and satellite launches are concerning for the United States, which has argued that Iran’s ballistic missile tests are a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231.

According to the resolution, Iran is to refrain from work on ballistic missiles, designed to deliver nuclear weapons, for up to eight years.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.

Moreover, the resolution supports the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran. In response, the Islamic Republic has slowly scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

The Biden administration has said it will return to full compliance with the deal, once Iran does.

Iran has repeatedly made clear that it will not renegotiate the original agreement.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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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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