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European Union and West urged to take action against Chinese 'genocide' of Uyghurs

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The international community has been urged to respond to the “genocide” being perpetrated by the Chinese regime against the country’s Uyghurs and take “concrete action”.

An event in Brussels was told that up to 3 million Uyghurs are held in Nazi-style “concentration camps” with “insidious” pressure also being applied on those who try to champion the rights of the Uyghur community in China.

Many companies still do business with China and pretend the reported horrors against Uyghurs “is not happening” and Beijing is “not held accountable” for its actions.

Branding the current situation as a “genocide”, Rushan Abbas, a Uyghur activist, even drew a comparison with the Holocaust in WW2, saying, “history is repeating itself”.

In a passionate plea, she said: “China must be held accountable for these unspeakable crimes. If we don’t it will affect all our futures.”

Abbas was speaking at a virtual debate on the issue on 13 October, organized by The European Foundation for Democracy, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy to Belgium and the US Mission to the EU.

New evidence of China’s persecution of the Uyghurs, its 12 million strong “minority” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, continues to emerge with reports of torture, forced labour, coercive family planning (including forced abortion and forced sterilization), sexual assault, and attempts to “Sinicise” the exercise of the Islamic faith.

China’s repressive policies and so-called “re-education centres” are described as being like ethnic cleansing and gross violations of human rights targeting its own Muslim population.

Rushan Abbas, founder and Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, began with a quote from a Holocaust survivor, adding, “here we are in the modern age and the most brutal side of human nature is manifesting itself again. You would hope the world would learn from its mistakes but the international community is failing its own conscious.

“The world, after WW2, said ‘never again’ but again a regime is  waging a war on freedom of speech and religion. The Chinese call the Uyghur religion a  disease and say they don’t have human rights and what is happening is a dangerous ideology that will spread with even more people being brutalized.”

“There are 3 million Uyghurs in concentration camps, with crematoria attached. My own sister, a retired doctor who was abducted from her home, is among them.  Artists, intellectuals and successful businessmen are included.  More than two years later I still do not know if she is still alive. Where is my sister? Where are our loved ones?  Will no one call out the Chinese regime?”

She added: “The world continues to buy the Chinese narrative on this genocide. At first China denied the camps existed then, when they had to accept they did, they called them “schools,” and said the world should not interfere.

“But it is not China’s internal issue and the world must intervene.The West is complicit in massed rape, forced marriage and abortion, sterialisation, child abduction and organ harvesting and conducting genocide against Uyghurs. These crimes by a barbaric regime against humanity must be addressed. China’s blood money has won the compliance of the UN and the international community which has failed to stand up to China and its money.”

She suggested that ordinary people can take proactive action by speaking with their local mayors and politicians along with grassroots organizations. They should, she argued, also boycott Chinese products “made from slave labour”.

The coronavirus crisis has brought further suffering as they have been “denied treatment and locked in their homes without food”.

Vanessa Frangville, director of the Research Center for East Asian Studies, ULB, told the meeting: “We know that China resorts to all sorts of strategies to attack academics who speak out including being condemned to life sentences and this is happening to Uyghur academics.

"There are several who have vanished or sentenced to death and that includes Uyghurs living outside China in countries like Turkey.

“The regime also pressurizes scholars who work on the Uyghur situation which forces them to stop their work because they are worried. For example, my university published a public motion to support Uyghurs and the ULB president got an angry letter from the Chinese embassy who sent representatives to meet him and to demand that he remove the motion and my articles from the ULB website. They warned that further collaboration with our Chinese partners could be impacted if we refused.

“They also asked for information on Chinese students at ULB. This is typical of the intimidation by the Chinese. If you complain about such pressure they just mention ‘China bashing.’ Increasingly, this is typical of our situation as scholars who work on the Uyghur crisis. We have to be aware of these sort of insidious things and should not accept it.”

She admitted some universities still work closely with China because they fear that a collapse in collaboration, angry letters or even threats against colleagues in China.

She said: “You try not to let it affect your work but at some point you have to make a choice between speaking out or not. The same goes for the EU. If, for example, Spain or France speaks out and is not backed up by other member states it will be isolated. This is another Chinese tactic.”

On what action might be taken she cited the example of France where she said 56 national MPs had been “mobilised” to support Uyghurs, saying “this is important”.

“China is leading a misinformation campaign and it is important for people to distance themselves from this.”

 

Further comment came from Ilhan Kyuchyuk, an MEP and Vice President of the ALDE Party, who said, “We have seen enough of what is going on in the region and things are getting worse.”

 

The deputy, who has worked on the issue for some time and helped draft a parliamentary resolution last year on the Uyghur situation, added, “Europe is not united or consistent. We have to move this matter to the centre of EU debate. I know it is not easy to deal with China but we have to be more vocal and strengthen cooperation on this. Let us support the voice of voiceless people. Europe needs to act on this.”

He said the Uyghur issue was addressed at a recent EU/china summit but said: “Much needs to be done as the situation is deteriorating.”

“The dialogue has not resulted in any meaningful change by the Chinese. It is obvious the EU must act to protect the fundamental rights of the Uyghurs. We must speak out against this unacceptable repression against minorities for ethnic and religious reasons.”

In a Q and A session, he said: "The EU is much more aware of this issue compared with four or five years ago when they did not talk about the Uyghurs. There are no easy answers in how to deal with this though but the EU must get rid of the unanimity rule which requires member state agreement on acting against authoritarian regimes. The problem is at member state (council) level which must come up with a common approach when it comes to China.”

He added: “I am not saying we should sit and wait but to counter this problem you need a strategy and a holistic approach. It is easy for a great power like China to buy a member state. We will get nowhere if we deal with this persecution against the Uyghur minority and China’s counter narrative at member state level alone and that is why we need a European strategy.

He also suggested an EU version of the Magnitsky Act might be useful in its dealings with China.

This is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail.

Huawei

Meng Wanzhou: Questions over Huawei executive’s arrest as legal battle continues

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When a Canadian border officer did some hurried research on the internet on 1 December 2018, the result left him "shocked". He had just been told that a Chinese woman was landing at Vancouver airport in a few hours and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had an arrest warrant out for her based on a US request. What the research revealed was that she was the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and the daughter of the company's founder. It was at that moment that border officials realised they were about to be plunged into the centre of a major international incident which, nearly two years on, has not gone away.

The woman was Meng Wanzhou (pictured) whose flight from Hong Kong arrived at Gate 65 at 11:10 local time. She was on a stopover in Canada, where she has two homes, before heading on to business meetings in Mexico. Further details of what took place at the airport have been revealed in a Vancouver court in the past week as part of the latest stage of legal battle that could stretch on for years.

Her lawyers are pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to prevent her being extradited to the US on charges of misleading the bank HSBC in a way which might lead to it breaking US sanctions on Iran.

Ms Meng's lawyers have been arguing that there was abuse of process in the way the arrest was carried out.

One of the issues they raised is why Meng was questioned for nearly three hours by officers from Canadian Border Services Agency before she was formally arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Her lawyers are looking for signs that proper procedures were not followed in what unfolded in those hours.

Ms Meng, who appeared in court wearing the security ankle bracelet that is required for her bail, was described as "calm" during her initial questioning at the airport because she had no idea what was coming next.

Border officials took her phones and devices and placed them in a special bag - designed to prevent any electronic interference. Border officials also got her passwords and PIN codes for the devices but the court heard that they mistakenly handed these, along with the devices, over to the RCMP when they technically should not have done. The police officer who eventually arrested her after the border questioning was challenged in court as to why he did not do so earlier. Her lawyers are looking for evidence a co-ordinated plan by border agency and police - perhaps with the guiding hand of the US behind them - to improperly detain and question her without a lawyer.

Officials deny this and say the border questioning was to establish whether there was any reason she could not be admitted, for instance involvement in espionage. The police officer also testified "safety" concerns were one reason he did not arrest Ms Meng immediately after her Cathay Pacific 777 flight landed.

This part of the legal battle will focus on whether procedures were followed and if not, whether that was due to simple mistakes or the result of any plan.

The RCMP officer who took custody of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s electronics on the day of her arrest two years ago says foreign law enforcement never asked him to obtain the passcodes or search the devices.

Const. Gurvinder Dhaliwal said Monday American officials asked that Meng’s devices be seized and stored in special bags to prevent them from being erased remotely, which he considered to be a reasonable request.

He said he wasn’t concerned when the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer handed him a piece of paper with the passcodes written on it after the immigration exam adjourned and she was being arrested by RCMP.

“I didn’t even think about it, I just put them with the phones and I thought, this is her phones and these passcodes belong to her phones and eventually these phones and these belongings would go back to her once the process is complete,” Dhaliwal told B.C. Supreme Court under examination by Crown counsel John Gibb-Carsley.

Dhaliwal told the evidence-gathering hearing that he never asked officers from border services to obtain the passcodes or to ask any particular questions during Meng’s immigration exam.

Meng is wanted in the U.S. on fraud charges based on allegations related to American sanctions against Iran that both she and Chinese tech giant Huawei deny.

Her lawyers are collecting information they hope will support their allegation that Canadian officers improperly gathered evidence at the request of U.S. investigators under the guise of a routine border exam.

For the first time, the court also heard that security codes to at least one of Meng’s homes were also recorded on a piece of paper.

Dhaliwal described a photo to the court that showed the paper on top of boxes she travelled with as having the key to her residences and a “security code” for her house.

Dhaliwal said the paper was passed to him by a Mountie who was based at Vancouver’s airport.

“I have no idea where he got it from,” Dhaliwal said, adding he has not been involved in any discussion about those security codes.

Dhaliwal assumed the role of “exhibits officer” in Meng’s case, meaning he was charged with ensuring anything seized from her was documented, safe and secure.

After her arrest, Meng’s case was transferred to the financial integrity branch of the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit because it was a “complex” case, he said.

Dhaliwal received a request from Staff Sgt. Ben Chang indicating that the U.S. was asking for certain information in anticipation of an application through the mutual legal assistance treaty between the two countries, he said.

Dhaliwal was asked to record the electronic serial numbers, makes and models of her electronics, he said. He did so with help from the RCMP tech unit, he said. But at no point did he ever use the passcodes on the devices, nor was he asked to search the devices, he said.

Later, he was contacted by a senior CBSA officer inquiring about the piece of paper with the phone passcodes, he said.

“She had indicated to me that the codes were given in error to us,” Dhaliwal said.

As the codes were already part of an exhibit, he testified that he told her they were under the court’s authority and he could not return them.

The case continues:

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Cambridge Wireless and Huawei partner to build the first private 5G testbed in Cambridge Science Park

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CW (Cambridge Wireless), an international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless technologies, is teaming up with the global technology leader Huawei, to deploy and build Cambridge’s first 5G mobile private network within the Science Park.

The new set-up will allow Cambridge’s world-renowned technology community to undertake cutting edge new digital research and application in key areas such as autonomous vehicles, clean energy and remote surgery.

The 5G testbed will go live in January next year and kicks off a three-year partnership between Cambridge Wireless and Huawei, which will involve digital training, business support and joint events.

The aim is to explore how advanced wireless technology can have a far-reaching impact on both society and the economy.

“We are constantly working to provide value to CW members,” said CW CEO Simon Mead. “As home to one of the world’s most advanced R&D ecosystems, Cambridge is perfectly positioned for the rollout of next-generation wireless technology and we’re delighted to be driving this initiative with our partners. We hope to bring something unique to the Science Park to accelerate use cases and development of this technology. We invite ambitious businesses to get involved and through this exciting 3-year partnership with Huawei, we will support their 5G innovation journey.”

Huawei Vice-President Victor Zhang described the partnership as a key part of the business’s ongoing commitment to the UK. He said: “Huawei’s success is built on a relentless drive for innovation and we are able to keep pushing the boundaries of technology when we partner with those who share this ambition. The Cambridge eco-system is recognized as a global leader in technology and we are excited to work with the talent and vision in this eco-system. We hope to enable Cambridge Wireless members to reach new heights by allowing them access to our state-of-the-art equipment and markets including China and beyond. Our commitment to the UK and industry remains as strong as ever and we will continue to offer our expertise and technology to our partners to promote connections and innovation.”

The 5G testbed will be based at Cambridge Science Park, owned by Cambridge University, which is currently home to more than 120 tech companies and scale-ups.

Additional partnership with TusPark UK has been developed to accelerate the digitalisation of The Cambridge Science Park and enable businesses to exploit new capabilities, boost innovation and gain competitive advantage as they shift towards the adoption of 5G.

“We are looking for organizations that would like to create, accelerate and test out new and innovative applications and products on the CW 5G Testbed,” said CW Chief Commercial Officer Abhi Naha.

The 5G Testbed will be launched in January 2021. To find out more and how to get involved, please contact

 

Abhi Naha

CCO CW (Cambridge Wireless)

Tel: +44(0)1223 967 101 | Mob: +44(0)773 886 2501

[email protected]

 

- Ends -

About CW (Cambridge Wireless)

 

CW is the leading international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile, internet, semiconductor, hardware and software technologies.

With an active community of over 1000 technology companies ranging from major network operators and device manufacturers to innovative start-ups and universities, CW stimulates debate and collaboration, harnesses and shares knowledge, and helps to build connections between academia and industry.

www.cambridgewireless.co.uk

 

About Huawei

Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. We are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. Huawei's end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes. At Huawei, innovation puts the customer first. We invest heavily in fundamental research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have nearly 194,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com

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Huawei supports open innovation to speed up tech development thus delivering high quality tech products into the marketplace

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Huawei Public Affairs Director Dave Harmon yesterday (18 November) addresed an EU-China research and innovation forum that was hosted by Ivo Hristov MEP and which was supported by STOA, the College of Europe and EU40.

Other speakers that addressed this forum included European Research Council President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Davide Cucino, the president Emeritus at the EU Chamber of Commerce in China and and Dr. Bernhard Muller who is a senior professor at the Technical University of Dresden.

Dave Harmon is director for EU Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies and he is a former member in the cabinet of the EU Commissioner for research innovation and science 2010-2014.  

Dave Harmon is director for EU Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies and he is a former member in the cabinet of the EU Commissioner for research innovation and science 2010-2014.

Dave Harmon said: “Huawei as a company supports open innovation and actions that back open scientific activities in Europe and across the length and breadth of the world. Programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe are open by nature. This is the right political approach. This is because it will ensure that the best scientists across the world can and will work together in common cause to translate scientific effort into solutions for society. Science initiatives that are open will speed up the process of innovation. We are living through a digital transformation. ICT solutions are now modernizing different economic sectors across society and in a very speedy manner.

"The EU and China work on many common research initiatives including within the areas of urbanisation, agriculture, transport, aviation and health and the ICT sector underpins much of the collaborative actions within these policy spheres. This approach is enshrined within the framework agreements that the EU has with China that cover the science and technology sectors. Moreover, the EU Joint Research Centre has an MOU with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to work together on scientific advancement covering the transport, environment and agriculture sectors. The EU and China also has an innovation dialogue in place that is promoting higher levels of co-operation between the public and private sectors within the innovation policy space.

"China is now spending 2.5% GDP on research and development activities. This is ensuring that Chinese scientists can support global research measures that are successfully tackling the grand challenges that society faces today. Programmes such the EU-China mechanism for research and innovation that is administered by the Chinese ministry of science and Technology are ensuring higher levels of involvement from EU scientists in Chinese led research schemes. The European Commission sponsored Enrich initiative is also promoting higher levels of collaborative engagement between EU and Chinese researchers and business innovators alike.

"Huawei is an EU company. Huawei is deeply embedded within the ICT research eco-system. The company set up our first research centre in Sweden in the year 2000. Huawei has 230 technology partnerships with EU research institutes and collaborative arrangements with over 150 universities in Europe.

"Europe has great expertise and capabilities within the software engineering arena. Huawei, as a company ranks 5th in the 2019 European Commission Industrial Scoreboard for [email protected] Huawei has been an active participant in both FP7 and in Horizon 2020.

"Huawei is in a strong position to implement the policy goals of the European Union. International collaboration is a vital component within the research strategic space so as to ensure that EU policy objectives are fully implemented. Huawei wants to actively enable EU research and innovation actions under Horizon Europe and in particular in areas that will focus on the development of smart networks and services and the key digital technologies of the future.

"Moreover, there must be a stronger emphasis on green and environmental research at the basic and applied levels of scientific engagement. This will ensure that climate action targets will be reached and that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be fully implemented.”

Dave Harmon is director for EU Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies and he is a former member in the cabinet of the EU Commissioner for research innovation and science 2010-2014.  

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