Chinese retaliatory arrests are typically calculated, i.e. the two Canadians detained in response to Huawei were arrested by the Ministry of State Security and fit all the profile of being spies (ex government employee working for NGOs & North Korean connection). The Canadian drug smuggler expedited for death sentence after he repealed was convicted in Canada prior for smuggling as well and basically trolling Canadians who thought China was lax on drugs and rule of law. There's also a Canadian coup detained under espionage years prior. During Senkaku incident, a few Japanese employees at Fujita was serendipitously arrested for taking pictures of a military base which the company confessed to as an accident. Then you the drama behind exit VISAs which basically sums up to corruption, espionage, dissidents. The common thread behind these arrests is that the motivations are typically non trivial or ridiculous.
Shortly after the Huawei arrests, the hysterical Canadian media was blowing up routine / administrative arrests: a political dissident who got held up at the airport for a few hours during a flight transit and a Canadian teacher whose VISA expired. After it was noted that detainment levels has not elevated and in the teacher's case, govern officials had to go out of their way to clarify that the arrest had nothing to do with Huawei.
This pilot arrest is interesting though, the excuse is... extremely weak, yet there's political motivations because China is pissed at Fedex for diverting the Huawei package a while ago. Still it's very strange they went out of the way to arrest him in Hong Kong, if they have to nab a Fedex employee on flimsy grounds, why not just do it on the mainland. Also why do it so close to 70th anniversary - it's just very... not smart timing.
You are a new hire at the US-Mexico border control. One day a suspicious looking guy passes through, and you find a ton of white powder in his suitcase. You look him up in a database and find he has previously been charged with drug possession. You have been warned by your higher-ups that many people have recently trying to get through precisely your station smuggling drugs. So you detain him out of caution, but it turns out, for some weird reason, he just wanted to ship a suitcase full of baking soda to the US!
So since baking soda is totally harmless, this obviously means that your action must have been part of a plot on the US's part to put pressure on Mexico to fund the wall, right? What other explanation could there possibly be?
I have, of course, just gone through the article paragraph by paragraph and changed the subject to America. (Also, I am a US citizen.) No doubt, events like this happen constantly, and nobody cares, because mistakes happen. Only when the subject is China is everything a grand conspiracy.
> That's just how power works: the Chinese govt will leverage that capture to gain something from Trump
It doesn't actually work like this. Detentions happen constantly on all sides. One detention does not do anything to affect policy. I would bet that after a week this guy will be back home, to absolutely no consequence in the trade war, and you'll never hear about it in the news because it doesn't cause enough fear.
Ascribing the most sinister possible motives to everything a foreigner does is something that feels sophisticated and intellectual. But it's not. It's the oldest cognitive bias that exists. It is from the stone age and it will take us back.
It's of course totally dumb. Might as well arrest anyone carrying rice in their pockets.
If you were born in Arkansas, this would be all be clearly crazy, because you would know that your family in Arkansas are ordinary human beings, not heartless government spies. And it would be rather alarming, even if you had moved out of Arkansas, and hated its current government, because you would be next on the chopping block.
It would be even more disappointing if, when you tried to argue otherwise, you were dismissed without a thought by the same Arkansas paranoia. That's how witch hunts work.
If you really aren't, you're extraordinarily lucky. If you are, you know where I'm coming from.
Moreover, I'm not defending any governments. I'm just pointing out in this thread that an act that is stupid in retrospect might have just been that -- one person's stupid mistake. There's no need to talk about it in such conspiratorial tones.
You don't need that. Just search names in Google and Facebook and spend 15mins for it. Works for 90% of military personals. People share what they do, eat, and where they go these days.
However, that is not as fun a conclusion as joining in on bashing the outgroup.
> China has strict gun control laws, and it is potentially a criminal offense there to possess airsoft guns, similar to BB pellet guns, which are sometimes sold by online retailers as toys. It is unclear that carrying airsoft pellets alone would be considered a violation.
Seriously between this and the other exit bans, it's not looking great.
I'm really glad I went back in 2006 before national governments started getting snippy with each other and their citizens. I wouldn't go now because I don't really like the idea of being imprisoned without trial, but if you ignore the politics there's a lot to experience in China.
But probably the biggest hurdle to China tourism is that you have to apply for a Visa whereas all those places offer Visa-waivers to most developed countries.
Congrats, mentioning that last bit got you arrested and the consulate can't help since you technically broke PRC law.
Parent mentioned the "cultural history" of the square, which is edging to the no go zone.
You can get arrested if you want, shouting about the massacre, but there are much easier ways to do that.
China is such a vast place and there are a lot of places worth visiting. Don't let internet mentality stop you from exploring the world, no one is after you.
Sucks that China's govt is such an authoritarian hell but it's mostly transparent to you as a tourist.
The Chinese government loves offering students here in Australia free brainwashing trips, all expenses paid. It's was actually a good trip minus the sermons about why Huawei should have built the national broadband network.
I'm curious about this. Can you elaborate a little? How does this work?
I actually have friends who have visited the DPRK to get a feel for how China used to be.
Eating is cheaper overall I. China (50 kuai isn’t that much for an entree), but other things like cars and computers are more expensive, as can rent or housing prices. A pair of Levi’s jeans costs 800RMB, which is why many Chinese come to the states to shop.
Nominal GDP for comparing global economic influence
Use the right tool for the right job
It may well overtake in the future but it has yet to.
Remember there are at least 4 Chinese people per 1 person in the USA. That changes the math a lot.
When all the Huawei stuff kicked into high gear, and they ramped up detaining Canadians and Americans for BS reasons, I completely canx'd the idea. And I'm an ex-military officer, too? Easy to paint me as a spy. Not worth the risk.
Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal...all have their own appeal, but even together don’t cover completely what you can do in China. (They all have better internet, however)
I don't mean to start a round of whataboutism - just to point out that none of this is happening in a vacuum. I do agree that as a Canadian - probably not the best time. Mining minerals is a bit of an exaggeration though. He'll be detained for a couple of weeks, then deported with a 10-year ban. This is countries playing power games, nothing more.
Meng is free to move about Vancouver and is under "house arrest" at her two houses there totaling $16M CAD . If the judge finds there's no reasonable likelihood of her having committed fraud, she will be free to go, end of story. There's also a short, defined clock for them to do so.
They've sentenced at least one Canadian to death in retaliation  and prevented others from leaving the country indefinitely.
Don't make excuses here, don't equivocate, there's no whataboutism to play. One is under legitimate investigation for committing a crime in a jurisdiction that operates autonomously of the body politic and will be free to go if not guilty -- and in the interrim free to move about almost twenty million dollars of property and one of the most livable cities in the world. The other is being executed in retaliation.
Meng's charges are 100% about the Iran sanctions. This "fraud" was allegedly misrepresenting the destination of funds - allegedly to conceal a relationship with a company previously accused of trading with Iran. Meng was explicitly arrested by request from the USA.
I invite you to put aside your outrage, step back, and think about how the other side might view things. This "law" that Meng has broken - in her home country - is viewed as an illegitimate attempt by the USA to impose its will on the rest of the world. Illegitimate law, illegitimate investigation - and if you think enforcement of this kind of law isn't arbitrary, think again. The US knew what it was doing, and China's decision to start strictly enforcing one or two of its own laws is the absolutely predictable outcome.
One more thing. I'm not "making excuses". I'm no great fan of China and I'd never live there. But I'm tired of the narrative of "my own righteous, virtuous country can do no wrong" vs "the evil, scheming little brainwashed totalitarians". It's simply ignorant to think so. There are a great deal of intelligent, reasonable Chinese, and when they do things, they do them for a reason. Look for those reasons. If all you can come up with is "because they're evil" - go back to the drawing board.
> ...the Chinese are retaliating by making an example of some westerners - who, by the way, are all charged with crimes as well, unless you are claiming they were framed?
It's hard to say with the PRC of course, only 1,039 of more than 1.2 million people [brought to trial] were found not guilty in court in the PRC in 2014 (three 9's of conviction rate) . Either they've got some super-sleuths on staff at all the police stations or something's a little funky.
> This "fraud" was allegedly misrepresenting the destination of funds - allegedly to conceal a relationship with a company previously accused of trading with Iran.
Again, no, they're being charged with fraud. They'd have had to commit fraud to be extradited. Not sanctions avoidance. What the fraud was in connection to is kind of irrelevant. The reason they committed fraud is irrelevant, fraud is fraud. You can't misstate the destination of funds whether you're in America or Canada which is why the case is being made. If they'd written Destination: IRAN we wouldn't be having this conversation. And further, the judge is taking to account the political nature of the situation. Of course why they're looking into it now is political.
Hyperbolic example but if they'd ordered someone killed to conceal the destination of funds would you be air quoting "murder"? Probably not.
> One more thing. I'm not "making excuses".
>> I do agree that as a Canadian - probably not the best time. Mining minerals is a bit of an exaggeration though. He'll be detained for a couple of weeks, then deported with a 10-year ban.
My point is you're making a bad-faith argument or at least a false equivalency. You hand-waved this away as though they're going to spend some vacation time on the mainland, but in reality, they could just as face execution. Not for anything they did, but for political reasons. It's not an exaggeration, if anything, it was an understatement of risk.
> But I'm tired of the narrative of "my own righteous, virtuous country can do no wrong" vs "the evil, scheming little brainwashed totalitarians".
I'm not saying anything of the sort. I'm criticizing the false equivalency you made of taking someone through a rule-of-law process and treating them fairly in adjudicating whether a crime was committed, vs. execution in political retaliation. Just because there's a reason they're killing Canadians doesn't mean that it's okay or should be ignored, or that there's no risk. I have a lot of respect for the government of the PRC, but that hardly means I'm fine with this.
For the record, I'm by no means a fan of the recent developments with Iran, I think going back on the Iran nuclear deal is a huge blunder.
Dude if you can't see that the Meng process was 100% political chess moves then I am not sure what more I can say. Yes it's "rule of law" - "laws" passed specifically to facilitate this chess game. By the USA. You keep on accusing me of all sorts of apologetics and false equivalency and bad faith but that is just not true. I guess I can only give my personal word on that. I am a dispassionate outside observer for all of this shit and have no dog in this race.
Your point about the high conviction rate in China is naive. This is an asian thing. Police in China (and elsewhere in Asia) talk out cases before making an arrest, trying to solve problems extrajudicially. It's not comparable to the West. When they do charge someone, it's because they are absolutely certain - Japan's is also 99%. That does not mean the system is corrupt. It is a different approach.
> they could just as face execution
Let us make a bet, you and I, as to whether Mr Airsoft is executed. $1000 says no. You in?
I already said the process was initiated for political reasons.
> Yes it's "rule of law" - "laws" passed specifically to facilitate this chess game. By the USA.
Incorrect, it's Canadian law passed by Canada. It's a bilateral extradition treaty, of which they have 30 with countries including Cuba, but of course it's an open conversation . The rules are simple. Countries can request extradition on the grounds that a crime was committed, so long as it is a crime in both countries. Canada won't extradite you to America for marijuana possession, for instance, because it's not a crime in Canada. Meng could have been high off her face and the Americans wouldn't have been able to extradite her on those grounds, even if the US had evidence of marijuana possession within the US. They couldn't extradite her for sanctions violations either. Fraud is a crime in both countries, so they can -- but only if they convince a Canadian judge that there's reasonable evidence to suggest it happened and that they're doing so honestly, and within a short period of time.
> Your point about the high conviction rate in China is naive. This is an asian thing. Police in China (and elsewhere in Asia) talk out cases before making an arrest, trying to solve problems extrajudicially.
They may do that but China is not a rule of law country (as indicated by your comment on extrajudicial punishments). People are detained and charged with crimes for political reasons not matters of fact. Even the NPC admitted the system isn't particularly fair or functional . If you think all 99.93% of people convicted by Chinese courts were guilty I've got a bridge to sell you. Naturally the US State Department concurs, but of course, they would.
"Such problems were on full display in 2011 when a Henan Province farmer named Zhao Zuohai was released from prison after serving 11 years because the woman he was convicted of murdering was actually very much alive and living at home."
Sounds like the conversation went well! But of course anecdotes don't mean much, I just thought it was funny and relevant.
That is absolutely not the tone of your first response to me. You are moving the goalposts. My whole point was that all these actions - Canada's, China's - were part of a game, a game that in this case America started! You then carry on for 200 lines about the virtues of Canada's independent, unimpeachable judiciary - before admitting that yeah, in this case it was deployed in aid of america's sabre-rattling. I think we kind of agree?
> They may do that but China is not a rule of law country
Look man. China is big, and it is different. I would agree it is less bound by the rule of law than somewhere like Canada but that doesn't make it anarchy. Yes, Police in China have a lot more discretion and they try to solve problems before they hit the courts. There is no "sue your neighbour" - they will drag everyone down to the station and force them to talk it out and come up with a solution. It's just different.
Yes there is corruption. Yes certain "golden people" will never get in trouble. It's worse than in the west but only by degree. You honestly think rich people in Canada get sent to jail at the same rate as others? Rich, connected people are always treated differently. Can you deny this?
Once again I hate to come across like I'm defending China. I hate China! But can you just zoom out and be fucking fair and impartial across these countries you're judging.
How do you have better foreign relations? Better compatibility between legal systems would be a start. What sense is their putting a westerner up against a socialist legal system? They're not citizens. I can only imagine how much this man is being traumatized by this.
Reading material on China's criminal justice system (pdf): https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1...
China has different types of detainment. It doesn't specify if he's in the administrative kind or the one facing much more serious repercussions.
This is just one area where China's incompatibility is going to end up costing it. You don't see the intellectual property stolen / royalties, and people who would potential bring wealth to China if they weren't so stubbornly insistent on maintaining an oligarchy.
Who is China's gov really working for? Nobody knows, it's so opaque. But if their system - which they subject their own citizens and foreigners alike to - was so humane and just, why not show the innards of it to demonstrate the virtuosity and benevolence of it?
The laws are a jungle everywhere :/
The detainment is the worrying part here.
Airlines (both passenger and freight) don't want to pay to train their own pilots, so their staffing pipelines rely heavily on ex-military pilots.
Many military and passenger aircraft share a basic airframe, for example the KC-135 is a 707 configured as a tanker for aerial refueling. Even the instances that are not - it would be relatively straightforward to transition from, say, a C-17 to a 767 or something like that.
So pilots tend to retire from the USAF and fly the friendly skies with civilian airliners.
The pilot, a former U.S. Air Force colonel named Todd A. Hohn, was detained a week ago while waiting for a commercial flight to his home in Hong Kong after flying deliveries throughout Asia from the FedEx regional hub in Guangzhou, people familiar with the matter said.
A lawyer for the Hohn family in Niceville, Fla., confirmed that Mr. Hohn had been detained in China. He was a wing commander at the Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma until 2017.
Reached briefly at his hotel room Thursday, Mr. Hohn identified himself to a reporter and then referred all questions to a family lawyer and discontinued the phone call. He is married and a father, the people familiar with the matter said.
When he was detained, Mr. Hohn was carrying nonmetallic pellets used in low-power replica air guns in a checked bag, the people said. Chinese authorities have alleged that Mr. Hohn was illegally transporting ammunition and have begun a criminal investigation, the people said."
China strictly controls ammunition inside China. There is no way plastic BBs are considered ammunition.
... But if China does they better stop the illegal export of BBs and airsoft guns to the USA. Taiwan will happily increase production.
"Under Chinese law, one should be given a criminal penalty if he or she illegally owns more than 20 military bullets, 1,000 pellets for air guns or 200 non-military bullets." -- https://www.shine.cn/news/metro/1903040562/
For more on how strict Chinese gun laws are see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_in_airsoft#China
> But if China does they better stop the illegal export of BBs and airsoft guns to the USA[...]
Manufacturing with an export license isn't the same as private ownership. You may be interested to know that the US exports a lot of arms you're not allowed to buy privately.
"In People's Republic of China, despite the common belief that airsoft is outright banned, the official stance on airsoft is that it is technically just "tightly controlled". However, the control standards are so strict and the punishments are so heavy-handed, that involvement in the sport (regarded as "wargame" or "live action CS") is considered too impractical for common individuals in Mainland China."
"Law enforcement is also highly arbitrary, and many of the merchandises confiscated are actually either non-functional props or well below the replica limit"
Sounds like Chinese law in a nutshell. Laws matter, when the CCP cares, sometimes, for some people.
I have a feeling the law is referring to the metal air rifle pellets, but I don't know that for a fact.
Typically, pellets for air rifles are made of metal:
"Airsoft" pellets are plastic beads:
Airgun pellets are not BBs. BBs are small lightweight plastic spheres. Airgun pellets are ammunition for airguns, they are usually moulded lead or a lead free alloy. Some pellets may be metal ball bearings, but usually that are shaped with a round or bullet like head and a flange at the back.
Search AliExpress.com. There are loads of sellers of plastic BBs. I doubt they are licensed. But there is notably no airgun pellets for sale!
Airsoft is plastic. The goal is to shoot your friends with it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft
Regardless of BBs vs airsoft, the article's tagline specifically states that whatever he was carrying is nonmetallic.
Source: a friend is a major importer into the USA.
IMO I think it's both payback for the opium epidemic of the 1800s, as well as a deliberate effort by the PRC government to "kneecap" their #1 Strategic competitor in the 21st century via societal decay.
The trading roster for opium dealing in China is a who's who of who founded this country and funded ivy league schools.
the perspective that somehow it's the drugs fault is both damaging to the recovery effort, the effort to reduce harm to the general public, and damaging to those of us with chronic pain that find fentanyl to be a solution to their woes.
Point the blame where it belongs.
Fuck under-regulation, over-prescription, greedy doctors, broken medical systems, for-profit care, and systematic government abuse.
Some interesting data: https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/opioid-overdose-de...
I'm mad about all the people overdosing because their drugs were laced with Fentanyl without their knowledge - Mac Miller OD'd on fake oxycodone that contained Fentanyl. Tom Petty and Prince also both died from fentanyl intoxication.
Why is US singled out here? Can't US just ban it?
China is right next to a major drug smuggling region. The jungles and mountains southwest of the country aren't exactly easy places to build border fences.
But whether or not you subscribe to that thinking, most people can agree that it would be great if China stepped in to do something to control the illicit export of Fentanyl (keyword: illicit, as in not fentanyl used for legitimate medical purposes).
Are you SURE China has the ability to save america from under-regulation, expensive healthcare, for profit doctors etc ?
No, China controlling their fentanyl output won’t solve the problem in America. Making health insurance less expensive won’t solve the problem. Regulating more won’t solve the problem. Eliminating profit doctors won’t solve the problem.
But all of them would -help- contribute toward improving the situation.
The cynic will think China is using this as a bargaining chip, but fentanyl is simply too easy to smuggle. US is failing to detect imports, think how much harder it is for China, the worlds biggest exporter to manage on the export end. Import and manufacturing control is a dead end when it comes to opiates, the chemistry is too basic and the logistics too easy.
Look at all the places where fentanyl isn't a problem for solutions. IMO, export control is the "‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens" (apart from Vancouver) tier thinking.
It’s more common to go with the novacaine local approach, and general anesthesia is very rare — normally when you have severely impacted or abcessed teeth and they need to cut into your jawbone and the like.
postoperative pain management consisted of tylenol and codiene, and I didn’t bother taking it anyway.
anyway, my point is merely that fentanyl has legitimate medical uses and that you can indeed have it administered in a medical setting without descending into opioid madness or overdose.
The US promoted the "Open Door" policy towards Chine, i.e. whatever traders of other nations could do, the US traders could also do.
Is this all they managed to come up with? The bar for saber rattling is low these days.
The answer is: tanks need to refuel somewhere, or trucks need to bring them more fuel. Also, the people inside the tanks need to get out to eat. And worse... again, just repeating the usual argument here... if it was against a truly dictatorial regime, let's say, to give the benefit of the doubt... the people inside the tank have friends and family that are not with them inside the tank.
But I assume if it got to the point that hundreds of tanks and hundreds of aircraft were being used against US citizens, the humans in the military would probably not be okay with that and this scenario would never happen.
Yes, but in this scenario they would be shooting back. All you need is to label them something starting with T and ending with 'rists' and the rules of engagement change.
In this day and age, the best bet for democratic societies is to try to keep democracy while they still have it. After that is lost, all bets are off. The government controls the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. It controls intelligence gathering. It can make your group illegal, it can then persecute your group, it can throw law enforcement at it before it is even properly organized.
If the military even gets involved, it means that whoever is in charge dropped the ball.
Small arms mean nothing if you have well organized law enforcement. If you add the military to the picture... well, they are trained for exactly this sort of thing, aren't they?
It's all delusions of grandeur from people living in a romanticized fantasy world that does not exist.
Look at how fast "good guys with guns fighting the government" got shut down when the BPP started carrying.
The goal of conquering an area (unless it's purely a natural resource grab) is to put its infrastructure and people to work to boost your economic tax base. That's not so easy to do when you're blowing stuff up and hurting innocent bystanders and scaring everyone.
Whenever you look at advanced countries fighting against guerrillas, no matter how many guerrillas die for each government soldier, the war never really seems to get won, and the government bleeds money: it has to feed the war machine (direct capital losses), and it suffers productivity (tax base, GDP) losses when infrastructure is destroyed and productivity declines.
There are reasons IEDs have been the preferred mechanism in recent decades. Now drones.
So pretty darn well!
This is a good argument against gun control as a solution to that problem.