A public transport worker in Moscow has told RFE/RL that all drivers of buses, trams, and trolley buses in the Russian capital have been instructed to stop their vehicles and make all passengers disembark if they suspect any of their passengers are from China.
Russia's state TV Channel One has broadcast conspiracy theories blaming U.S. President Donald Trump, the Miss Universe pageant, and "international corporations" for the coronavirus. The report ran on the main evening news show on February 5, watched by millions.
In a February 13 indictment, the U.S. Justice Department has accused Huawei Technologies of helping Iran track protesters. Huawei was also charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used in the fight against organized crime.
Thousands of ethnic Dungans have fled ethnic violence in Kazakhstan. They originally came to Central Asia after an unsuccessful revolt against Chinese rule in the 19th century, and maintain a unique language and culture.
An interview by Latvia’s public broadcaster with an ethnic Uyghur woman who was held in a re-education camp in China’s Xinjiang province, and other interview by RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service with a former ethnic Kazakh inmate, are combined here to provide a corrective for Russian-language audiences to the portrayal by official Chinese media of Beijing’s treatment of its Muslims. (Current Time TV)
CHINA AND RUSSIA:
Russia has announced, effective February 20, "The entry of all Chinese citizens via Russia's state frontiers will be suspended...for work travel, private travel, study, and tourism.” The ban does not apply to transit passengers.
After residents of a Chuvash village voted a year ago to prevent a Chinese dairy farm from setting up on their land, the investor chose a different location in the small ethnic republic in Russia’s Volga region. Public hearings turned angry as it became known that authorities had illegally changed the status of the land so it could be rented out to a foreign company. Despite the region’s high unemployment and low wages -- about $200 per month-- the locals have expressed no interest in the new jobs the project has promised to create. (In English and Russian, Idel.Realities)
CHINA AND CENTRAL ASIA:
Kazakh authorities say they have launched about 90 investigations into the ethnic clashes in the southern region of Zhambyl that claimed 11 lives on February 7-8. The Interior Ministry also confirmed the arrest of three brothers from an ethnic Dungan family, who were charged with assaulting police after an altercation with a group of Kazakhs following a road-rage incident.
Interethnic violence has broken out again in southeastern Kazakhstan, this time involving ethnic Kazakhs and members of Kazakhstan's Dungan community. There are various accounts of what sparked the violence between the two groups on February 7 near the town of Kordai in Zhambyl Province.
Kyrgyz authorities say they have canceled a Chinese investment project in the eastern part of Kyrgyzstan. The decision follows several mass protests against the plans to construct a $275 million logistics center in the area.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov announced on February 11 that a modern air-defense system would be sent to the Russian military base in northern Kyrgyzstan. Although some have questioned the motives for the move, it is a logical step in an effort to create a unified air-defense system for the Commonwealth of Independent States. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have improved their air-defense systems by purchasing China's HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles.
CHINA AND THE BALKANS:
Chinese contract workers who are building a highway in Montenegro have not returned to the country since the outbreak of the coronavirus during the Chinese New Year. The Chinese laborers account for approximately 400 of the project’s 1000 workers. (Balkan Service)
China on February 19 said it was effectively expelling three Beijing-based journalists for the Wall Street Journal, a day after Washington designated five Chinese state-run media organizations as representatives of a foreign government. Regarding the designations, exiled Chinese dissident Zhou Fengsuo said they are “one step in the right direction," but pointed out that Tik Tok, which is owned by Chinese social media giant Tencent, has far more influence beyond China's borders. (Radio Free Asia)
A newly leaked database appears to provide insight into how Chinese authorities have determined the fate of hundreds of thousands of Muslims held in internment camps. Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, said "this remarkable document presents the strongest evidence" he had seen that Beijing "is actively persecuting and punishing normal practices of traditional religious beliefs."
Latvia attracts the most Chinese investment of any Baltic member of the European Union, but that does not always mean that Chinese migrants find it easy to settle there. Many left following a 2014 clampdown on visas, and even for those who have integrated, doing business is still a challenge.