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Scholar Hits Out at China’s ‘Totalitarian’ System in Open Letter

Chinese scholar and former Tsinghua professor Xu Zhangrun is shown in an undated photo-Twitter

Chinese scholar Xu Zhangrun has penned a passionate call for solidarity among China’s embattled dissidents after his release from criminal detention, which came after he published several articles and open letters critical of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and its supreme leader Xi Jinping.

In an open letter to fellow alumni of Beijing’s Tsinghua University, which fired Xu after his release from prison earlier this month, Xu said he was “still healthy,” and could work hard to earn enough to eat.

He said he plans to make enough money to buy food through selling his writing.

He also hit out at ruling Chinese Communist Party officials for maintaining an “extravagant lifestyle” when most of the population are struggling to get by.

“Most of our compatriots are barely able to feed themselves and are struggling to survive,” he said.

“Half of China is under water and the rainstorms keep coming,” he added, in a reference to massive flooding across the Yangtze river basin this summer.

“The bad points of our political system won’t change, and countries around the world are starting to defend themselves against it,” Xu said, adding that Chinese academics are afraid to be isolated, so “languish” within it, not speaking out.

“But totalitarian power will be defeated, and freedom will finally come to my land,” he said, calling on Tsinghua alumni to redirect their financial donations “where it is most needed,” instead of giving the money to him.

“It is our responsibility and our fate to live through this time, to suffer, to keep the fires alive in the dark night, and to welcome the dawn,” he wrote.

Xu’s letter came after hundreds of Tsinghua alumni raised more than 100,000 yuan in donations to help Xu after he lost his job.

Moral courage

Canada-based lawyer Lai Jianping said he had been following Xu’s case closely, and that his latest letter sent out a loud message to fellow Chinese citizens and dissidents.

“The most important part is that he is thinking deeply about the future of the entire country and its people, and that he hasn’t lost faith or confidence,” Lai said.

“This is so valuable, because it is moral courage.”

“It’s quite hard for people like Professor Xu to make a living … although he could probably get paid for writing certain articles,” Lai said.

Independent journalist Gao Yu said the allegations of “seeking out prostitutes” were irrelevant, and that Xu is being targeted for his critical writings.

“This is a speech crime [Xu is being targeted with] … and the authorities … are trying to pretend it’s not,” Gao said.

“In the absence of material evidence, he is being framed,” she said. “They just pin prostitution charges on people.”

Authorities in Beijing detained Xu on the morning of July 6 after he called online for political reforms, on allegations of “seeking out prostitutes.”

He was released a week later, but later told the media that he had been fired from his teaching post and subjected to public sanctions for “moral corruption” by Tsinghua University’s law school.

Charges of “seeking out prostitutes” have been used before by the Chinese authorities to target peaceful critics and activists, or anyone who runs afoul of local officials and powerful vested interests.

Purge in the universities

Since party general secretary Xi Jinping began an indefinite term in office in March 2018, his administration has stepped up a purge of liberal intellectuals from higher education institutions.

Friends said at the time of Xu’s detention that it could be linked to the publication of one of his books in New York last month, a collection of some of his most controversial essays and articles.

Xu recently also criticized the Beijing municipal authorities for demolishing an artists’ village, and said that the administration of ruling Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping is taking China into “a dead end.”

In a 10,000-word essay dated May 21, 2020, Xu described China as isolated from “global civilization,” which would de-Sinicize in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wang Tiancheng, who directs the U.S.-based Institute for China’s Democratic Transition said China is growing more isolated internationally as a result of the pandemic.

“In the short term, it is clear that China is extremely isolated,” Wang said. But he added that there are many variables: “It is still too early to tell how things will pan out in the long run.”

“There are protocols in infectious disease control,” Wang said. “If a country doesn’t follow them, it is doomed to fail [in its attempts to control COVID-19]”

Sociology professor Guo Yuhua of Tsinghua University said China hasn’t really allowed civil society to play a role in its development.

“I don’t think China has acclimatized to international norms,” Guo said. “Regardless of whether a country is developed or developing, there is usually some form of civil society … which plays a certain role [in governance].”

Demand for an end to targeting

Xu’s essay called for China’s leaders to be held politically accountable, for the release of prisoners of conscience, including journalists and human rights lawyers, and for an end to the political targeting of academics.

Xu was notified by Tsinghua in April 2019 that he should cease performing any duties, after he published an article last July hitting out at the return of totalitarianism under the ruling Chinese Communist Party, including the abolition of presidential term limits and a cult of personality around Xi.

Xu has also called for amendments nodded through by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in 2018 to be revoked, and for an end to massive international expenditure to boost China’s influence overseas, as well as for legislation requiring officials to publish details of their assets and financial interests.

He had also published articles hitting out at “red” imperialism and calling for an upgrade to China’s political system.

Reported by Gao Feng for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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India News Brief

22 September 2020
India COVID-19 New Cases 75,083 in the Last 24 Hours

COVID-19 Total Cases:5,487,580  Deaths: 87,882

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 29 August

Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7thSeptember 2020 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.

Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 101 persons, with effect from 21st September 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21stSeptember 2020.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to 30 September.
Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged. However, following will be permitted, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from 21stSeptember 2020 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places remain closed.

According to MHA directive, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th September, 2020.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they a.re developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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