(26/07/2017). Report Nº 245 / Europe & Central Asia. Russia’s and China’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict.
China, traditionally averse to intervening abroad, is testing the role of peacebuilder in South Sudan, where it has unique leverage. This could portend a growing global security role, but further Chinese engagement will likely be tempered by selfinterest, capacity constraints and aversion to risk.
China’s population growth, rising living standards and focus on exports increased annual energy consumption by fivefold between 1980 and 2010. Hydropower projects are prioritised in China in order to meet high electricity demands and the country is home to nearly half of the world’s 50,000 large dams.In 1996, the construction of the Manwan Dam on the Upper Mekong River displaced 7,260 people, twice the official estimate. The displacement and resettlement process was plagued by insufficient government oversight, limited financial and technical resources and a lack of community consultation and social impact assessment to plan for resettlement. The first case study of this series discusses how insufficient government oversight, limited resources, lack of community consultation and a late social impact assessment increased the vulnerability of China’s Manwan Dam’s IDPs.
Index number: ASA 17/5849/2017. The Chinese government continues to conceal the extent to which capital punishment is being used in China, despite more than four decades of requests from UN bodies and the international community and despite the Chinese authorities’ own pledges to bring about increased openness in the country’s criminal justice system. This report focuses on the extent to which the authorities maintain near absolute secrecy over the death penalty system, while using partial and generally unverifiable disclosures to claim progress and reject demands for greater transparency.
The Chinese government’s controls over religion have intensified under Xi Jinping, seeping into new areas of daily life and triggering growing resistance from believers, according to the report The Battle for China’s Spirit, released today by Freedom House.
The report, “‘Special Measures’: Detention and Torture in Chinese Communist Party’s Shuanggui System,” details abuses against shuanggui detainees, including prolonged sleep deprivation, being forced into stress positions for extended periods of time, deprivation of water and food, and severe beatings. Detainees are also subject to solitary and incommunicado detention in unofficial detention facilities. After “confessing” to corruption, they are typically brought into the criminal justice system, convicted, and sentenced to often lengthy prison terms.
The report draws on ICT and FIDH’s analyses of China’s counterterrorism strategy and legislation, as well as the findings of an international round-table held in June 2016. Experts at this roundtable detailed how the Chinese government has sought to legitimize its repressive measures by passing legislation that intensifies the Chinese Communist Party’s control over free expression and broadens the scope to suppress dissent in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Dangerous aerial and naval encounters are rising as China and Japan spar over disputed islands in the East China Sea. A promising reconciliation process has floundered. To prevent an accident tipping the dispute into open hostility, both sides urgently need a credible crisis management protocol to insulate any negotiations from their broader rivalry.
Index number: ASA 17/4032/2016. Police in Hong Kong engage in questionable tactics to arrest sex workers, including the receipt of sexual services as an investigatory technique; entrapment; and obtaining confessions through coercion or deception. Transgender sex workers report degrading and humiliating treatment in custody. Laws in Hong Kong force sex workers to work in isolation, prohibiting them from working with others for their own safety. In addition, immigration laws prohibit migrants and people from mainland China engaging in sex work, making them vulnerable to arrest and deportation. In this report, Amnesty International brings together testimony from sex workers and public officials.
This report documents the Chinese government’s detention, prosecution, and conviction of Tibetans for largely peaceful activities from 2013 to 2015. Our research shows diminishing tolerance by authorities for forms of expression and assembly protected under international law. This has been marked by an increase in state control over daily life, increasing criminalization of nonviolent forms of protest, and at times disproportionate responses to local protests. These measures, part of a policy known as weiwen or “stability maintenance,” have led authorities to expand the range of activities and issues targeted for repression in Tibetan areas, particularly in the countryside.