William Yang Profile picture
East Asia Correspondent @dwnews and President @TaiwanFCC. Words in @BuzzFeedNews, @Guardian, and @Independent. VIEWS and OPINIONS ARE STRICTLY MY OWN.
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7 May
Latest for @dwnews: On Thursday's "Arts and Culture" program, I talked about #China's recent attempt to extend its #Xinjiang propaganda effort to the realm of cinema, with the release of a musical and several documentaries by @CGTNOfficiale. dw.com/en/arts-and-cu…
The musical, called the Wings of Songs, featured three main characters from three different ethnic community, is a clear attempt by #Beijing to present its version of "ethnic unity" in a very forceful way.
I cited the prominent phrase used in Chinese official documents and state media, describing the ethnic unity as "the seeds of a pomegranate," to highlight #Beijing's insistence to claim that all ethnic groups in #China live harmoniously together.
Read 10 tweets
7 May
On the same day when @joshuawongcf and three other pro-democracy activists received more prison sentences, five #HongKong people, including a 15-year-old, were arrested by police under the #NSL. straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia….
Local reports said three of those detained were scooped up on Thursday morning during raids looking for members of a group called "Returning Valiant".
"Their comments left on social media could constitute the offences of secession and subversion under the national security law," a police source told the South China Morning Post daily.
Read 6 tweets
6 May
Latest: Following the further sentencing of @joshuawongcf and three other activists and the postponement of Jimmy Lai's case, I talked to @ayhcheung, Emily Lau and Kenneth Chan about what the recent wave of sentencing mean for #HongKong: dw.com/en/hong-kong-c…
If convicted, Lai could be sentenced to up to seven years in jail. However, it won't be the first jail term that Lai will have received. Last month, he was handed 14 months in prison for participating in an unauthorized assembly in August 2019.
Wong, who is already imprisoned, was handed an additional 10 months for unauthorized assembly and participating in the Tiananmen Square vigil, held on June 4, 2020. Three others were sentenced to four to six months in the same case.
Read 21 tweets
6 May
Latest on @radionz: In my latest appearance on the Overseas Correspondent's segment, I talked to the host about #Taiwan's recent wave of local #COVID19 cases extended from a suspected quarantine hotel mismanagement, #Taiwan's challenge to ... rnz.co.nz/national/progr…
... increase vaccination rates with the lack of #COVID19 vaccine options. The new #COVID19 case and the low vaccination rate have increased the anxiety here in #Taiwan, as both the government and the public becoming more vigilant about pandemic prevention.
Then I touched on the motion that the NZ parliament passed yesterday, which they unanimously declared #China's persecution of #Uyghurs in #Xinjiang as a serious human rights violation and concern.
Read 6 tweets
6 May
As Muslims around the world celebrate Ramadan, those in #China are forced to follow strict government guidelines as they try to maintain their religious tradition. That's especially true for #Uyghurs in #Xinjiang. By @dakekang and @kmorit: apnews.com/article/china-…
" Tursunjan Mamat, a practicing Muslim in western China’s Xinjiang region, said he’s fasting for Ramadan but his daughters, ages 8 and 10, are not. Religious activity including fasting is not permitted for minors, he explained."
“My children know who our holy creator is, but I don’t give them detailed religious knowledge,” he said, speaking through a translator. “After they reach 18, they can receive religious education according to their own will.”
Read 10 tweets
6 May
Just in: #China's Xinhua News agency reported that #Beijing announced that it will indefinitely suspend all activities under the #China - Australia strategic and economic dialogue.
More from @XinhuaBrisMUN: "Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and coopertaion between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimiation."

xinhuanet.com/fortune/2021-0…
"Based on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth Government toward China-Australia cooperation, the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China decides to indefinitely suspend ...
Read 4 tweets
6 May
Sober and great piece by @KathrinHille on the current state across the #Taiwan Strait. "To start a war — which would likely draw in the US and its allies — Chinese leader Xi Jinping would have to be either pushed into a corner ...

ft.com/content/01eb91…
... or know beyond doubt that there was no risk of losing that war, analysts say."
"According to US defence officials, a key reason behind Davidson’s prediction is the Chinese Communist party’s talk of a new interim goal, in 2027, for developing the People’s Liberation Army."
Read 13 tweets
5 May
Strong and clear statements regarding #Taiwan’s participation in @WHO from the G7 Foreign Ministers: “We support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly.”
“The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”
Read 4 tweets
5 May
After #HongKong government banned former pro-democracy legislator Wu Chi-Wai from leaving the prison to attend his father's funeral, he said he wouldn't accept the government's "arrangement" for him to attend the funeral through video call. cna.com.tw/news/acn/20210…
Wu is one of the 47 pro-democracy politicians who have been arrested and detained by #HongKong police under the #NSL for participating in the pro-democracy camp's primary last year. When Wu applied to see his father in the hospital for one last time early last month, ...
... his application was not approved due to the process and timing, which prevented him from seeing his father one last time before he passed away. After he passed away, Wu applied to attend the funeral but the application was rejected again.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
As tension in the South #China Sea continues to rise, the Philippines has rejected the summer fishing ban imposed by #China this year, as Filipino officials declared that the fishing ban doesn't apply to Filipino fishermen. reuters.com/world/asia-pac…
The taskforce opposed China's imposition of the ban over the areas within the territory and jurisdiction of the Philippines, adding "our fisherfolk are encouraged to go out and fish in our waters in the WPS (West Philippine Sea)"
The Philippines' South China Sea taskforce said it spotted seven "Chinese Maritime Militia" at the Sabina shoal in the disputed Spratly archipelago on April 27, which dispersed after being challenged by the Philippine coast guard.
Read 5 tweets
5 May
US Secretary of State @SecBlinken rejected claims that hte US is entering a cold war with #China during his visit to London to attend the G7 foreign ministers' summit. ft.com/content/f77604…
Blinken said he resisted “putting labels on most relationships including this one, because it’s complex”. “This is not about initiating a cold war, this is all about doing our part to make sure that democracy is strong, resilient, and meeting the needs of its people," he said.
“We’re not asking countries to choose [between the US and China],” Blinken added in remarks at the FT Live event on Tuesday, which were broadcast after G7 countries opened their meeting with a session on China.
Read 8 tweets
5 May
Scoop from @Reuters: #China has drawn up plans to upgrade an airstrip and bridge on one of Kiribati’s remote islands about 3,000km southwest of Hawaii, lawmakers told Reuters, in a bid to revive a site that hosted military aircraft during World War Two. reuters.com/article/us-chi…
The plans, which have not been made public, involve construction on the tiny island of Kanton (also spelled Canton), a coral atoll strategically located midway between Asia and the Americas.
Kiribati opposition lawmaker Tessie Lambourne said she was concerned about the project, and wanted to know whether it was part of #China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Read 9 tweets
5 May
Another horrible attack against Asians in New York City and this time, the victim is a woman from #Taiwan in her early 30s. She had to get 7 stitches to her head and she has now decided to return to Taiwan for the time being.
The attacker is an African-American woman who seemed to be drunk at the time of the attack. She walked passed the Taiwanese woman and her friend, and began to shout at her and ask her to take off her mask.
Then, she took out a hammer and began to hit the Taiwanese woman's head. Then she turned around to attack the Taiwanese woman's friend. She was only stopped after her hammer was wrestled away.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
Former @rthk_enews freelance producer @Baochoy decided to appeal the court case. She admitted that this is not an easy decision and said she has no right to be optimistic, given the changing political atmosphere...
... and the shrinking space for freedom of expression in #HongKong. "More and more voices are disappearing and Hong Kong people seem to have become accustomed to being afraid of speaking up or being unable to speak up," she wrote.
"This is not an impulsive decision and regardless of winning or losing the case, the case may go all the way up to the Court of Final Appeal. I've already been mentally prepared. As a journalist, I've always been reporting about truth, ...
Read 4 tweets
5 May
New Zealand's parliament unanimously declared that "severe human rights abuses" are happening in #China's #Xinjiang. The statement called on the Government “to work with all relevant instruments of international law to bring these abuses to an end”. stuff.co.nz/national/polit…
“The New Zealand Government, in concert with others, will continue to call upon China in the strongest terms … We call on China to uphold its human rights obligations,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said, in a speech in Parliament.
On Tuesday, the Labour Party watered down a parliamentary motion that would have MPs label Beijing’s abuse of the Uyghur minority as “genocide”.stuff.co.nz/national/polit…
Read 6 tweets
5 May
A piece looking at #Taiwan's indigenous community's fight to maintain its hunting tradition from @ambermywang and the @AFP team in Taipei: france24.com/en/live-news/2…
"Talum, 62, was one of the hundreds from his Bunun tribe taking part last week in Mala Hodaigian, an annual festival that honours both hunters and wild game. But a shadow hung over this year's festivities because of a landmark court ruling set for Friday."
At stake is both Talum's freedom -- and whether the current hunting limitations placed on Taiwan's Indigenous communities are discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Read 8 tweets
5 May
US policy coordinator for Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, on Tuesday said there are significant downsides for the US to make a clear statement of its willingness to defend #Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
todayonline.com/world/signific…
https://t.co/5LkYzhdLrk
He said it was appropriate to be concerned about the situation over Taiwan, the self-ruled democratic island that has come under mounting military pressure from #China, which considers it a renegade province.
However, Campbell said he believed there was appreciation in both the United States and #China that maintenance of some degree of status quo over the island was in the best interests of both countries.
Read 12 tweets
5 May
On Tuesday, members of G7 discussed how to form a common front towards an increasingly assertive #China in the foreign ministers' first in-person talks in two years. channelnewsasia.com/news/world/g7-…
"What we are trying to do is to uphold the international rules-based order that our countries have invested so much in over so many decades to the benefit, I would argue, not just of our own citizens, but of people around the world - including, by the way, #China," said Blinken.
A senior US official said after Tuesday's session that there had been "no real disagreement of any meaning" within the G7 on #China or other issues.
Read 9 tweets
4 May
Top EU economic officials said on Tuesday that a diplomatic spat between #China and the EU has jeopardized the highly expected investment deal between the two sides. dw.com/en/eu-china-in…
EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told AFP news agency that efforts to win approval for the deal were effectively on ice. "We now in a sense have suspended ... political outreach activities from the European Commission side," Dombrovskis said in an interview.
"It's clear in the current situation with the EU sanctions in place against China and Chinese counter sanctions in place, including against members of European Parliament (that) the environment is not conducive for ratification of the agreement," Dombrovskis said.
Read 8 tweets
4 May
Latest for @dw_chinese (Eng version): Former #HongKong district councilor @TimothyLee_HK became the latest political figure to go into exile. In this interview, he told me what prompted him to leave and how he views the current situation in the city. williamyang-35700.medium.com/former-hong-ko…
“In 2019, I participated in the protest through a different role and in November 2019, I became one of the last batch of district councilors elected by Hong Kong people,” he wrote in his Facebook statement.
Lee said the reason that prompted him to leave Hong Kong was the mass-arrest of the 47 pro-democracy figures at the end of February for participating in the legislative council’s primary held by the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong.
Read 27 tweets
27 Apr
Last week, Australian academic Jane Golley claimed that an anonymous academic paper "debunked" the estimated number of #Uyghurs detained in #Xinjiang as well as the evidence of forced labor in the region. She reflected on that incident: smh.com.au/world/asia/anu…
"The anonymous 18-page document took aim at work by Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute but primarily focused on the work by German academic Dr Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation who was recently sanctioned by China."
"Several of Zenz’s key works have been peer-reviewed by Xinjiang scholars. By contrast, the report attempting to discredit his work has not been peer-reviewed."
Read 20 tweets