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China Reform Monitor - No. 1291

Taiwan, Hong Kong activists find common purpose;
Chinese settlers, Mongolian herders clash along border

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
July 21, 2017


June 9:

Violent clashes between Mongolian herders and incoming Han Chinese settlers in two separate locations have left several people injured and two in hospital,
Radio Free Asia reports. This week ethnic Mongolians living in Baarin Right Banner near Chifeng, Inner Mongolia said they were attacked by Han Chinese migrants wielding metal pipes and batons, leaving several injured, including two seriously. Such clashes are becoming increasingly common in the region. Residents of Shuluun Huh Banner near Xilinhot reported a similar clash. The dispute arose when the lease on the grasslands held by ethnic Mongolians was transferred to Han Chinese for cattle farming. Ethnic Mongolians make up almost 20 percent of Inner Mongolia's population of 23 million.

June 11:

Inspections into the Party organization of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development found multiple cases when officials misused poverty-relief funds. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said the Party organization of the China Railway Corp. was exposed for "illegal intermediary services and construction of project subcontracting." The Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs was criticized for "insufficient work in implementing the CPC Central Committee's major policies." Inspectors also received reports of forming "cliques" in China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.,
the CCDI statement said.

China is pushing to cut United Nations funding for human rights monitoring posts in Africa, according to diplomats speaking to New York-based watchdog Human Rights Watch. At session to deal with administrative and budgetary aspects of UN Peacekeeping, China's negotiators pushed to cut funding for 19 human rights experts in the Central African Republic; a move that would effectively end the UN's ability to monitor violence against women and children in the country,
the Hong Kong Free Press reports
. Beijing is also pressing to cut funds for human rights monitoring in missions in Mali, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In March, two UN experts were murdered there while investigating large-scale human rights violations.

May 25:

The head of Journalism at the School of Journalism and Communication at Wuhan University, Xia Qiong, has posted her resignation letter and other comments on her
WeChat social media feed. "During my 12 years serving as the head, I accomplished nothing and made no contributions to the school so I asked for the school's approval of my resignation." In a later post Xia elaborated: "After fighting for years against a flawed higher-education administration system that has no respect for teaching, tramples on teachers' dignity, and undervalues students' intelligence, I eventually realized that all my efforts are meaningless and of no value. It's extremely difficult to be a dedicated teacher." The letter was circulated and discussed widely on the Chinese internet and in an interview with the official Beijing News, Xia added that "publishing in journals has become an industrial chain."


June 12:

Pro-independence Taiwanese lawmakers have launched a support group for Hong Kong democracy,
reports AFP News. Founded by New Power Party's chief Huang Kuo-chang, who led protests against greater trade links with the mainland three years ago, it comprises his party colleagues and legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. Three Hong Kong lawmakers – Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Nathan Law Kwun-chun and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick – attended a press conference to announce the move, along with former student leaders of the 2014 Occupy movement, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang. DPP legislator Wang Ting-Yu said: "Only Hong Kong people can change Hong Kong but we can share Taiwan's experiences and history." A spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, the government body in Beijing that deals with Taiwan, described that event as "an attempt made by Taiwan's independence forces to collude with Hong Kong's independence advocates." He warned that those involved would get "their heads broken and covered with blood."

Hundreds of people holding placards and shouting slogans have marched along Nanjing Road, a shopping strip in Shanghai's city center, to protest changes to housing regulations,
The Straits Times reports
. Police set up blockades and about 10 protester leaders were taken away by police. All mention of the protests on social media were removed. Protesters were angry about measures announced on May 17 to "clean up and rectify" commercial office projects that had been converted into residential apartments - a grey area previously exploited by property developers who acquired land at reduced prices. The move is part of an effort to rein in property prices and speculation. It requires developers and buyers to rectify violations such as illegally installed toilets before they properties can be sold, effectively rendering them uninhabitable and worth a fraction of the purchase price. About 17 million sq. meters of real estate is being targeted by the campaign.


Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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