China Reform Monitor No. 1514

Related Categories: Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues; China; Russia; India

CHINA PRESSURES UN NOT TO RELEASE XINJIANG REPORT
China has sent a letter asking United Nations High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet not to release a report on human rights violations in Xinjiang. Bachelet has previously pledged to publish the report before she leaves office next month. China began circulating the letter, which expresses its "grave concern," among diplomatic missions in Geneva in June and asked countries to support it. It is unclear how many signatures the letter has received. "The assessment, if published, will intensify politicization and bloc confrontation in the area of human rights, undermine the credibility of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and harm the cooperation between OHCHR and member states. We strongly urge Madame High Commissioner not to publish such an assessment," the letter said. An OHCHR spokesperson said the Xinjiang report is being finalized. (Reuters, July 19, 2022)

URUGUAY NAVY CAPTURES CHINESE VESSEL FISHING ILLEGALLY
Uruguay's maritime authorities have discovered 11 tons of squid inside a Chinese fishing vessel, the Lu Rong Yuan Yu 606, which they detained 150 miles off the coast of Punta del Este. On July 1st, an aircraft detected two vessels illegally fishing for squid inside the Uruguay's Exclusive Economic Zone and two days later a patrol vessel was sent to confront the ships. The Chinese vessels initially agreed to be boarded but then fled when the Uruguayan ship dispatched staff on speedboats. After a chase, the Chinese ship was caught, boarded, the squid was discovered, and the crew of 14 Chinese and 14 Indonesians was detained. (Insight Crime, July 6, 2022)

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels are aggressively encroaching in the waters of various countries in Latin America. The capture of a Chinese fishing vessel and detention of its crew is a rare instance in which a small country has pushed back against the intruding fleets.]

INDIA PROBES CHINESE PHONE MAKERS FOR TAX EVASION, ETC.
India is seeking $551 million (43.89 billion rupees) from Chinese smartphone maker Oppo for evading customs duties and not including licensing fees paid to overseas companies in the value of imported goods. New Delhi's anti-smuggling agency has questioned the firm's management and searched its local offices, where it discovered “incriminating evidence indicating willful mis-declaration" of imported tools and components to make phones, according to India's Finance Ministry. The suit is the third this year against a Chinese phone maker. New Delhi has also accused Xiaomi of using falsely claiming patent-fee payments to move money tax-free out of the country. Last week, Indian officials seized bank accounts, cash and gold bars belonging to Vivo Mobile Communications Co.'s local unit and related companies. Authorities are also investigating Vivo and ZTE for financial improprieties. (Bloomberg, July 13, 2022)

PENTAGON TO REVIEW ALL U.S.-CHINA MILITARY ENCOUNTERS
Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley has ordered a comprehensive review of all U.S. military interactions with PLA forces over the last five years. Milley wants a detailed accounting of all "unsafe" or "unprofessional" military interactions, such as Chinese aircraft or ships operating too close to U.S. assets. Interactions between the two militaries are often not made public. In June, for example, a U.S. C-130 transport plane operated by special forces had an encounter with PLA aircraft that the Pentagon has not previously acknowledged. Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said China's aggressive and dangerous actions “threaten to undermine security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific." (CNN, July 19, 2022)

CHINA-RUSSIA PASSENGER JET JOINT VENTURE AT RISK
The largest Sino-Russian aviation joint venture is at risk due to disagreements over the role of Western firms and profit distribution. The long-range, 280-seat passenger jet called the CR-929-600 is being developed by the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corp. and Russia's United Aircraft Corp. But the Russians are unhappy because China wants to use some Western components in the $50 billion project. For example, Beijing wants to use a U.S. or German undercarriage, while Russia prefers to use its own. China also wants to exclude Russia from any profits from sales in its domestic market and instead give the Russians a 70 percent share of global sales. But the China market looks to be the most profitable. Russian vice-premier Yuri Borisov has acknowledged: "We are working with China on this project which is not going in the direction that suits us. Our participation is decreasing and decreasing." (South China Morning Post, July 23, 2022)