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WH disputes former Biden claim that Trump travel restrictions were ‘xenophobic’

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When asked by a reporter about President Joe Biden‘s past comments regarding then-President Donald Trump‘s travel restrictions on China toward the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she doesn’t think that’s “a fair articulation.”

“When President Trump was imposing travel restrictions in March, specifically on China, then-candidate Biden called it ‘xenophobic’ and ‘fear-mongering.’ Now, President Biden is putting travel restrictions on people coming in from other countries. “What word do we use to describe that?” asked Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy.

“I don’t think that’s quite a fair articulation,” Jen Psaki replied.

“The president has been clear that he felt the Muslim ban was xenophobic—he overturned the Muslim ban,” she continued, going on to say that Biden before he was inaugurated supported travel restrictions “in order to keep the American people safe” and to “ensure that we are getting the pandemic under control.”

“But he was critical of the former president for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions, and he conveyed at the time—and more recently—the importance of having a multifaceted approach: mask-wearing, vaccine distribution, funding in order to get 100 million shots in the arms of Americans in the first 100 days,” Psaki added.

Trump’s travel restrictions on the whole nation of China came into effect on February 2, 2020. Travel between the U.S. and Macau and Hong Kong continued, however.

In his question, Doocy is referring to tweets from then-candidate Biden accusing Trump of “xenophobia” and “fear-mongering” around the time Trump’s travel restrictions on China were coming into effect and when the then-president was starting to more frequently use the terms “China Virus” and “Chinese Virus” when discussing the coronavirus.

“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering,” Biden tweeted on February 1, 2020. “He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

“Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be responsibility. Do your job,” Biden tweeted March 18, 2020 in response to a tweet from Trump saying: “I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the ‘borders’ from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”

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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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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