11 September 2018   Leave a comment

Human Rights Watch is a highly respected human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) and yesterday it released a report on the treatment of Uigher Muslims in the Xinjiang Province of China.  The report is consistent with other reports we have received about the treatment of this minority group.  Human Rights Watch describes the situation in Xinjiang:

“In May 2014, China launched its “Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism” (严厉打击暴力恐怖活动专项行动) in Xinjiang. Since then, the number of people formally arrested has leaped three-fold compared to the previous five-year period, according to official figures and estimates by the nongovernmental organization Chinese Human Rights Defenders. The government has held people in pretrial detention centers (看守所) and prisons (监狱), both of which are formal facilities, and in political education camps, which have no basis under Chinese law. Those detained have been denied due process rights and suffered torture and other ill-treatment.”

There may as many as 1 million Uighers being held in these internment camps being subjected to indoctrination to assure their loyalty to Beijing.  US President Trump is reportedly considering imposing sanctions on China for its policies.  If the reports are true, sanctions will undoubtedly complicate the current US-Chinese negotiations on North Korea, trade, Iran, and the South China Sea.


United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has given a speech warning that “the world is facing ‘a direct existential threat’ and must rapidly shift from dependence on fossil fuels by 2020 to prevent ‘runaway climate change’”.  In the speech Guterres gave several examples of how climate change is already affecting the planet:

“As examples, Guterres pointed to Kerala, India’s worst monsoon flooding in recent history, almost 3,000 deaths from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, disappearing Arctic sea ice, some wildfires so big that they send ash around the world, oceans becoming more acidic threatening food chains, and high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere threatening food security for billions of people.

“Guterres said scientists have been warning about global warming for decades, but ‘far too many leaders have refused to listen, far too few have acted with the vision the science demands’”.

The speech comes as evidence begins to mount that climate change is also responsible for bigger and wetter hurricanes like Hurricane Florence which is currently bearing down on the US Mid-Atlantic.

Hurricane Florence


Yesterday I posted some thoughts about the National Security Advisor’s comments on the International Criminal Court.  Today, the State Department’s spokesperson, Heather Nauert, was asked questions about Bolton’s threat to prosecute those who cooperate with the ICC.  The exchange with the press was quite revealing:

QUESTION: When Ambassador Bolton said that countries who would cooperate with the ICC on inquiries on Americans or Israel or other allies, and then today countries like Germany and France said that they will continue to cooperate with the ICC, would that mean that those countries, close allies of the United States, would face consequences for cooperating?

MS NAUERT: I’m not going to get ahead of any decisions or any steps that the United States Government may take. But one of the key principles of this administration – and it’s laid out in our National Security Strategy as well – is sovereignty and that each country has its own sovereign rights, including our own. And encompassed in our own sovereign right is the fact that we have a fair and independent judiciary. We feel that that fair and independent judiciary more than backs up and takes care of any judicial issues that would confront – that would be in front of U.S. citizens and also U.S. service members. Okay.

QUESTION: Would you say that even close allies of the United States that would cooperate with the ICC would face consequences, sanctions, or —

MS NAUERT: Again, you’re asking me to forecast sanctions, and I’ll say —

QUESTION: He did this yesterday.

MS NAUERT: — I think this is the fourth or fifth time – if Ambassador Bolton wants to say that, that’s certainly his right to do so. I don’t speak for Ambassador Bolton, and we’re in obviously very different positions. Very different positions in government.

QUESTION: The impression that you’re leaving, Heather, is that the State Department doesn’t know what Ambassador Bolton’s talking about.

MS NAUERT: Well, Matt, you’re flat-out wrong, okay? You’re flat-out wrong. Okay.

QUESTION: Well, then you should be able to explain it.


MS NAUERT: Okay, I don’t need – I don’t need you —

QUESTION: With respect, Heather, you should be —

MS NAUERT: — yelling at me today.

QUESTION: You should be able to explain what exactly his threats and warnings were about and what they’re based in.

MS NAUERT: And I think that’s why I say – and I will say this one last time – we are not going to forecast actions, activities, sanctions, and other steps. And I will leave it at that. Said, go right ahead.

Testy, testy, testy.

Posted September 11, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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