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China

Uyghurs remember 1990 Baren Uprising over China’s forced abortions

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Uyghurs and sympathetic protesters rallied in Washington, Istanbul and Munich on Friday to remember a 1990 uprising in Xinjiang triggered by anger over China forcing Uyghur women to get abortions and sterilizations.

The death toll from the Baren uprising – put down by Chinese troops – ranges from a couple dozen to as many as 3,000, according to the World Uyghur Congress. 

Chinese authorities never held a public investigation, and Human Rights Watch said that a reliable tally of the casualties may never be known.

The rebellion started on the evening of April 4, 1990, when over 200 Uyghurs tried to break into a local government office in Baren, a town of 19,000 in Akto county on the western edge of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang’s Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture.

Demonstrators rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, April 5, 2024, to call attention to the 34th anniversary of the Baren Massacre. (Shahrezad Ghayrat/RFA)

In response, the Chinese government dispatched over 18,000 troops to quell protests, killing an unknown number of people on April 5 and subsequent days.

Seminal moment

The uprising was a seminal moment because it began a period of increased Chinese repression of the mostly Muslim Uyghurs, who today number about 11 million. Those policies have led to what the United States and other Western nations have labeled a genocide and crimes against humanity.

“The Baren Uprising was one of the earliest expressions of growing resentment within Uyghur society in the 1990s against the oppressive measures of the Chinese authorities,” said Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, or WUC, in a statement.

“The Chinese government’s violent crackdown on the protestors signaled a broader escalation in the violence against the Uyghur people, which over the last decades has evolved into genocide.”

China views the April 4 incident as a “counter-revolutionary armed riot” between Uyghur militants and Chinese government forces, incited by the East Turkistan Islamic Party. People linked to the party attacked the government building, kidnapping 10 people, killing six armed police officers, and blowing up two vehicles.

Protests

Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Chinese Embassy in Berlin and the Chinese Consulate in Munich, Germany. Dozens of people protested outside the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and at a commemorative event in Ankara attended by members of two of Turkey’s political parties. 

Uyghurs held another commemorative event in Sweden. Others gathered in the Netherlands, Britain and in Central Asian nations. 

Demonstrators protest in front of the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul, April 5, 2024, at a rally to call attention to the 34th anniversary of the Baren Massacre. (Arslan Tash for RFA)
Demonstrators protest in front of the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul, April 5, 2024, at a rally to call attention to the 34th anniversary of the Baren Massacre. (Arslan Tash for RFA)

In Washington, about a dozen protesters gathered outside Chinese Embassy on Friday and shouted, “China, stop the Uyghur genocide” and “We want freedom.” 

The rally also featured an iftar —  an evening meal eaten by Muslim families after the daylong fasts during Ramadan — with Uyghur cuisine to highlight the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Uyghur Muslims during the Islamic holy month, which runs from March 10 to April 9 this year.

WUC Vice President Zubeyra Shamseden urged the international community to hold the perpetrators of human rights violations against the Uyghurs accountable for their crimes.

Rushan Abbas, executive director of the Campaign for Uyghurs, called the Baren Uprising a vicious example of the Chinese Communist Party’s ruthless tactics attacking the legitimate demands of its people for dignity and basic human rights.”

“It started in Baren when people protested the forced sterilization and forced abortions of Uyghur women,” she told RFA. “Today, they are still continuing with this full-fledged act of genocide.”

Translated by RFA Uyghur. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Malcolm Foster.

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The New Company Law brings substantial changes with implications for new and existing foreign invested enterprises and stakeholders. Foreign investors must assess if adjustments to existing structures

Despite recent economic challenges, many organizations’ China operations provide unparalleled access to one of the world’s largest and most competitive global supply chains. Over the past 30 years, a significant number of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have been established in China. As of the end of 2022, the number of FIEs operating in China had exceeded 1.12 million.

Compared to their domestic counterparts, FIEs demonstrate greater caution regarding legal revisions and are diligent in making swift adjustments. This stems not only from the closer scrutiny FIEs face from regulatory authorities but also from their commitment to compliance and maintaining a competitive edge.

Clearly, there has been a shift in China’s corporate regulations—from merely encouraging an increase in the number of companies to focusing on attracting mature enterprises and higher-quality investments. While the transition from a broad approach to a more refined one may cause short-term challenges, it ultimately benefits the company’s long-term development. By returning to the original intent of setting registered capital, it not only protects the interests of creditors but also shields shareholders from the operational risks of the company.

In China’s foreign investment landscape, while most FIEs exercise commercial prudence in determining registered capital—factoring in capital expenditures, operational costs, and setting aside surplus funds—some opt for higher registered capital levels to avoid future capital increase procedures. This typically involves lengthy document signing and registration changes, lasting 1-2 months.

Joint ventures (JVs) often impose stricter payment deadlines for registered capital in their articles of association to ensure both parties’ simultaneous contributions align with operational needs. Conversely, wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) tend to favor flexibility in payment deadlines, often allowing full payment before the company’s operational period expires.

Given these circumstances, despite the generally stronger capital adequacy among foreign companies compared to domestic entities, many FIEs could be affected by the new capital contribution rules.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Foreign Tourist Groups on Cruise Ships Fully Permitted Visa-Free Entry in China

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China will allow visa-free entry for foreign tourist groups arriving by cruise ship at 13 ports along the coast, starting May 15, 2024. Visitors must stay with the same ship and in permitted areas for up to 15 days. This policy aims to boost tourism and facilitate high-quality development in the cruise industry.


China’s immigration agency announced that it will grant a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups to enter China by cruise at all cruise ports along the coast of China, starting May 15, 2024. The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within permitted areas for no more than 15 days.

Effective May 15, 2024, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) has officially implemented a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships. This progressive move aims to enhance personnel exchanges and foster cooperation between China and other nations, furthering the country’s commitment to high-level openness.

Under this policy, foreign tourist groups, comprising two or more individuals, who travel by cruise ship and are organized by Chinese domestic travel agencies, can now enjoy visa-free entry as a cohesive group at cruise ports in 13 cities along the Chinese coast.

The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within China for no more than 15 days. The eligible areas for this policy are coastal provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and Beijing.

Furthermore, to support cruise tourism development, seven additional cruise ports—Dalian, Lianyungang, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beihai—have been included as applicable ports for visa-free transit.

The recent implementation of the visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships is poised to have several significant effects. The policy will provide crucial support for the cruise economy and the overall cruise industry. By facilitating smoother travel for foreign tourist groups, it acts as a catalyst for high-quality development in this sector.

Additionally, under this policy, international cruise companies can strategically plan their global routes by designating Chinese port cities, such as Shanghai, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, as docking destinations. This move is expected to attract more cruise ships to Chinese ports, ultimately bringing in a larger number of international visitors to the Chinese market.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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China’s New Tariff Law: Streamlining and Standardizing Current Tariff Regulations

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China’s new Tariff Law consolidates import and export duties, clarifies rules for imposing counter-tariffs, and sets a December 1, 2024 effective date. It codifies existing practices on cross-border e-commerce and rules on the origin of goods into law, impacting trade relations.


China’s new Tariff Law consolidates rules on import and export duties that were previously implemented via several legal documents and makes important clarifications and additions to prior regulations. Among other changes, it stipulates provisions for the Chinese government to impose counter-tariffs on imported goods, codifying these powers into law for the first time. We outline all the notable updates to the China Tariff Law and discuss the implications for the country’ current trade relations. 

On April 26, 2024, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, adopted the Tariff Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Tariff Law”) after several rounds of revisions.

The new Tariff Law will replace the Import and Export Tariff Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, which fall under the purview of the State Council, and adopts many of its provisions.

Previously, Chinese law had not stipulated legislative powers to implement countervailing tariffs, although China was nonetheless able to impose counter-tariffs on trade partners through other means.

China’s new Tariff Law comes into effect on December 1, 2024.

China’s Tariff Law elevates several existing provisions and practices to the level of law. For instance, Article 3 of the Tariff Law clarifies the obligations of cross-border e-commerce platforms for tariff withholding and implementing consolidated taxation.

The Tariff Law also solidifies the rules and regulations on the origin of goods, stipulating that the application of tariff rates shall comply with the corresponding rules of origin. Although this has been previously implemented in practice, it is the first time this has been codified into law.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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