China has reacted over US remarks centering China's Xinjiang policy and urged some U.S. politicians to immediately stop smearing China.
The US politicians have also been urged to stop interfering in China's internal affairs by creating rumors under the pretext of Xinjiang.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks in response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement over China's Xinjiang policy on Tuesday.
"We urge U.S. politicians like Pompeo to reject bias and double standards, face up to the issue of racial discrimination at home, spend more time and energy on improving human rights conditions at home, and immediately stop smearing China and interfering in China's internal affairs by creating rumors under the pretext of Xinjiang," Zhao said.
The Chinese government equally protects the legitimate rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups, including ethnic minorities, Zhao said.
From 1978 to 2018, the population of Uygurs in Xinjiang grew from 5.55 million to 11.68 million, registering a 2.1 times increase and accounting for about 46.8 percent of the total population of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the spokesperson said.
Zhao said ethnic minorities in the United States have long been suffering from bullying, exclusion and wide, systemic discrimination in economic, cultural, social and other aspects, citing examples from the killing of Indians through the Westward Expansion to the death of African American George Floyd.
Thousands of people in western Myanmar have been fleeing their villages over the past week after an evacuation order from officials due to clashes between the government and ethnic rebels.
The Rakhine state government, in an order last Tuesday, instructed village administrators in Rathedaung township to tell residents to stay away from their homes due to military plans to conduct a “clearance operation” against the rebels. “Clearance operation” is Myanmar military parlance for counterinsurgency action.
“Since the day the order was issued, more than 10,000 people from the operation area fled their villages,” Khin Maung Latt, an upper house member of parliament for Rathedaung township, said Monday, reports Associated Press on Tuesday.
The government has been embroiled for more than a year in an intermittent conflict with the Arakan Army, a well-trained and well-armed guerrilla force representing members of the area’s Rakhine ethnic group.
In Rakhine in 2017, the military carried out counterinsurgency operations against insurgents from the Muslim Rohingya minority, but critics charge they employed a campaign of terror to drive the Rohingya out of the country. An estimated 740,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, where they remain in refugee camps.
The Rakhine are Buddhist, the religion of almost 90 percent of Myanmar’s people.
“We have to flee the village as we don’t want to face the soldiers from the military. They were shooting into the village, arresting the villagers to use as human shields,” said Aye Mg, a 58-year-old resident of Rathedaung township’s Kyauktan village, where the government previously detained dozens of suspected Rakhine militants.
Civil society organisations and Buddhist monks are helping the newly displaced villagers find shelter.
“People can’t live in their places any longer due to the fighting. We are hosting over 300 displaced people at our monastery; around 100 of them have arrived recently,” Okkahta, a monk, said from the Tahtipati Sipintharyar Monastery in Rathedaung town.
“It’s like doomsday for them,” lawmaker Khin Maung Lat said, explaining why villagers fled. “They are in fear. This is the impact of the evacuation order to stay away from the village during the military operation.”
“Even most of the village administrators are fleeing from the villages,” he said. “Even they are scared to go back to their villages.”
The Indian government has imposed a ban on using 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok, which is operated by Chinese internet firm Bytedance amid a border standoff between the Asian giants.
On Tuesday, Indian TikTok users awoke to a notice from the popular short-video app saying their data would be transferred to an Irish subsidiary in what is being seen as a tit-for-tat response.
Digital experts say the quick workaround showed the ban was largely symbolic since the apps can’t be automatically erased from devices where they are already downloaded, and is a response to a border clash with China where 20 Indian soldiers died earlier this month.
“They want to send a message. This is a decision based on a geopolitical situation,” said digital rights activist Nikhil Pahwa.
Indian protesters have been calling for a boycott of Chinese goods since the June 15 confrontation in the remote Karakoram mountain border region.
Late Monday, the government said that it was banning 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok. It cited privacy concerns that it said pose a threat to India’s sovereignty and security.
The banned apps include some that enable TikTok users to add visual effects and music to their posts, as well as dating apps, privacy apps and multiplayer games.
India’s information technology ministry issued a statement saying it had received reports that mobile apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data."
The compilation of such data, and its mining and profiling by elements hostile to India is “a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement said.
Chinese products are ubiquitous in India, from toys to smartphones to Made-in-China Hindu idols. Two-way trade grew from $3 billion in 2000 to $95 billion in 2018, according to Indian government data, with the balance strongly favoring China.
“There is too much of Chinese presence in the everyday life of the average Indian,” said Alka Acharya, professor of Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. The soldiers’ deaths meant the Indian government had to hit back, Acharya said.
The ban on Chinese apps, signed by India's powerful Home Minister Amit Shah, asked phone companies to begin blocking the applications Tuesday, as top Army officers from India and China were set to meet for a third time to try to quell tensions and rein back on military build-ups in the disputed border area.
Supporters of the ban hailed it as a way to curtail China's growing influence.
“They are earning from us and then bullying us,” 30-year-old Sonu Mishra said in New Delhi.
Others bemoaned the potential loss of jobs at the app companies' Indian offices. Some slammed it as an encroachment on free speech.
TikTok "continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government,” the company's India chief, Nikhil Gandhi, said in a statement.
This isn't the first time TikTok has been banned in India — the Madras High Court in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu banned it last year over hate speech concerns, but quickly vacated its order.
Chinese-owned apps have found a fast-growing market in India, with some companies creating India-specific apps that have exploded in popularity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has used the country’s 500 million internet users — second only to China — as a lure in getting tech giants including Twitter to localise Indians' data. It is expected to sponsor data localization legislation later this year.
Among the list of newly-banned apps, Alibaba’s UC Browser, Meitu’s Beauty Plus camera app and Bigo’s Likee video editing app are among the top 100 most downloaded apps in India, according to app intelligence firm App Annie.
India is one of TikTok's largest markets. As of April, 30 percent of TikTok’s 2 billion downloads were from India, according to app data analytics firm Sensor Tower.
Bytedance also operates the now-banned Helo social networking app, which was created for the Indian market and has over 50 million users.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China was very concerned about the Indian move and seeking more information. The Indian government has the responsibility to uphold the legitimate rights of foreign investors, while Chinese companies should abide by local laws, he said.
The Karakoram clash fanned already growing anti-Chinese sentiment amid the coronavirus pandemic, which emerged in China in December. India is the fourth worst affected, with nearly 570,000 cases and more than 16,000 deaths. In response to the crisis, a movement has emerged to promote India as an alternative to China for Western markets and to shun Chinese goods.
TikTok has sought to cultivate goodwill: in April it said on Twitter that it had donated 30 crore rupees (about $40 million) to PM Cares, a fund set up by Modi’s office to battle the coronavirus.
The antagonisms carry risks for India: A broader boycott could backfire if China were to retaliate by banning exports of raw materials used by India’s pharmaceutical industry. So far, it has not.
In the longer term, Chinese companies might avoid investing in India's technology sector and Indian start-ups might be reluctant to accept Chinese investments for fear of repercussions, said Shaun Rein, managing director of market intelligence firm China Market Research Group.
“Chinese investors are going to become very wary of investing in India. They’ll be worried that they might invest billions of dollars into the country and either Indian consumers will boycott and protest against them, or the government will just ban them because they’re backed by Chinese,” Rein said.
CanSino Biologics company of China on Monday announced that a Covid-19 vaccine they have developed is safe and somewhat efficient.
The vaccine candidate was developed jointly by CanSino and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology in the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, reports NDTV.
The military of China received the green light to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics after clinical trials, the report said.
The Ad5-nCoV is one of the eight vaccine candidates being developed by Chinese companies and researchers approved to be moved into human trials for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada, the reports said.
Earlier on June 25, the Central Military Commission of China approved the use of the vaccine by the military for a period of one year, CanSino said in a filing.
"The Ad5-nCoV is currently limited to military use only and its use cannot be expanded to a broader vaccination range without the approval of the Logistics Support Department," said CanSino.
The Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials showed that the vaccine candidate has potential to prevent diseases caused by the coronavirus, which has killed half a million people globally, but its commercial success cannot be guaranteed, the company said.
No vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use against the illness caused by the new coronavirus, but over a dozen vaccines from more than 100 candidates globally are being tested in humans.
China has put a county of Hebei province under lockdown following a surge in the number of coronavirus patients.
Around 400,000 people of Hebei's Anxin county, in the outskirt of capital Beijing, are now under the purview of the lockdown, reports BBC.
The authorities announced to fully enclose and control the county to avoid fresh outbreak.
Only essential workers are allowed to leave their homes, while one member of a household is allowed to go out once a day to shop for necessities.
Beside, no outsider will be allowed to enter buildings, communities or villages. Authorities have warned anyone violating the rules will be punished by police.
Anxin is around 150km (90 miles) south of Beijing. Chinese media say there have been 18 cases in the county since the beginning of the recent surge in Beijing two weeks ago.
The area is not nearly as densely populated as China's large urban centres, and local health experts said they were optimistic the spread could be stopped.
After the outbreak of coronavirus in late December last year, authorities at the country managed to get new infections to a consistently low level.
To avoid a second wave, even small surges are taken very seriously by the country's health authorities.