October 29, 2021- Stealth War 61: China in Tajikistan; India ICBM Test; Amnesty Shutters HK Offices; Taiwan in Europe; China Locks Down

By: Jamestown Foundation

Wed November, 2021, Age: 2 years



October 29, 2021

Welcome to the Stealth War Newsletter, a collection of the top 5 recent news items, collected on The Jamestown Foundation’s new website, stealth-war-org.cdn-pi.com. To continue to receive this weekly collection, click the button below to subscribe. 

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Strategic Indicator
This issue’s number to watch43
Number of countries that signed a formal United Nations statement expressing concerns over human rights violations in Xinjiang. This statement has been issued in the past, but the number of signatories increased this year with Portugal, Czech Republic and significantly- Turkey signing on.  

This Week:

*  China Expands Security Presence in Tajikistan
*  As Tensions with China Rise, India Conducts Successful ICBM Test
*  Amnesty International Forced to Shutter Hong Kong Offices
*  Taiwanese Foreign Minister’s Tour of Europe Enrages Beijing
China locks down another huge city

BRI Roundup: New Report Reveals Exploitation of Chinese Workers Abroad

Top Stories

China Expands Security Presence in Tajikistan

For at least five years, China’s People’s Armed Police (PAP) has stationed a counter-terrorism detachment at a facility near Shaymak in Southern Tajikistan, which is situated close to the meeting point of the Afghanistan-China-Tajikistan borders. Although the PAP is a paramilitary force, it falls under the control of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and is responsible for supporting the PLA Ground Forces in a war-time contingency.

China is set to further expand its security presence in Tajikistan as both Beijing and Dushanbe grow increasingly concerned over a potential increase in Islamic extremism in Central Asia following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. This week, Tajikistan signed off on construction of a new Chinese-funded base near the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border, and also said it was willing to transfer full control of an existing military base to China. Per the Chinese Embassy in Dushanbe, China would not have to pay rent at the facility in exchange for providing security assistance to Tajikistan. The bases in question are strategically located near the Wakhan Corridor, which links China and Afghanistan. China fears that Uyghur militant groups based in Afghanistan could use the corridor to infiltrate Xinjiang, where Beijing has carried out systematic repression targeting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

(source: FirstPost)

As Tensions with China Rise, India Conducts Successful  ICBM Test

On October 27, India successfully tested a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) – the Agni-5, which per New Delhi: “is in line with India’s stated policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’.” The ICBM has a range of 3,125 miles and is capable of striking nearly all of China. This is particularly critical because many of India’s other nuclear-capable missiles lack the range to strike targets deep in the Chinese heartland. The Agni-5 can also be launched from road-mobile or railway platforms, greatly enhancing both its agility and survivability. The Agni-5’s combination of added mobility and increased range will considerably enhance India’s deterrence capabilities versus China.

The Agni-5 was launched and tested from an island in the Bay of Bengal. The test, which Indian officials report came down “with a high degree of accuracy,” occurs at a time of rising Sino-Indian tensions. The two countries continue to face off along various sections of the Line of Actual Control, the de facto Sino-Indian boundary, including in Eastern Ladakh where dozens of Chinese and Indian soldiers were killed in a brawl last summer. Earlier this month, talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders aimed at disengaging troops on the disputed border collapsed. Despite the Agni-5’s formidable capabilities, Indian government sources were quick to reiterate that New Delhi remains committed to a “No First Use” nuclear doctrine.

Amnesty International Forced to Shutter Hong Kong Offices

International human rights organization- Amnesty International announced the closure of both of its Hong Kong offices due to the implementation of China’s National Security Law (NSL). In its departure statement, Amnesty stated that the NSL has rendered it “effectively impossible” for the group to operate in the city without reprisal. Amnesty also added that the NSL’s “sweeping and vaguely worded definition of ‘national security’ … has been used arbitrarily as a pretext to restrict human rights.”

Amnesty International is hardly unique in its decision to exit Hong Kong. At least 35 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been forced to suspend operations in Hong Kong this year. Until 2014, Hong Kong, due to its special status, had served as one of Asia’s NGO hubs, but in recent years, many NGOs have relocated operations to locations such as Taipei and Singapore.

The Chinese Communist Party has a long history of accusing non-governmental organizations, particularly those involved in human rights and democracy promotion, of being subversive forces seeking to foster “peaceful evolution” that are working to bring about a “color revolution” in China.

(source: Kyodo News)

Taiwanese Foreign Minister’s Tour of Europe Enrages Beijing

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is on a visit to Europe this week, traveling to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and likely to Rome to address a protest against China on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting. News recently broke that in addition to well-publicized visits to Prague and Bratislava, Wu is also set to make a “covert” trip to Brussels in order to meet with European Union representatives there.

The visit highlights Europe’s emergence (particularly Central and Eastern Europe) as a region where Taiwan has discovered eager partners in its efforts to increased international space. When questioned about Wu’s visit, an EU spokesperson stressed that “we do engage with Taiwan even in the absence of diplomatic recognition.”

China reacted with predictable fury. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian charged that Wu is “a typical “Taiwan independence” separatist, who makes such visits with the real purpose of advocating “Taiwan independence” and separatism. Zhao stressed that “China expresses its firm opposition to certain countries’ connivance of “Taiwan independence” separatists.” Zhao’s remarks occurred in spite of the fact that there is no record of Wu advocating for formal Taiwanese independence.

(sources: CGTN)

BRI Roundup: New Report Reveals Exploitation of Chinese Workers Abroad

China Labor Watch, a New York-based human rights group, has identified a pattern of endemic mistreatment of Chinese laborers working on BRI projects overseas. The report, which was highlighted by The Wall Street Journal, has found that over 10,000 Chinese workers abroad are being paid less than promised or exploited in other ways.

The report relays the experience of a Chinese laborer, who moved to Indonesia to work on a Chinese steel project. As soon as he arrived to the project site, management immediately confiscated his passport, and he was coerced in to signing a contract. This worker also reported that his wages and hours were considerably less what he was initially promised. Other workers who spoke with China Labor Watch reported similar conditions. Currently, there are over 600,000 Chinese migrant workers around the world, with most working on Chinese BRI projects.




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