Friday, June 17, 2011

Caucus Brief: Major Chinese Legal Activist Alleges Beating of Himself and Wife

MAJOR CHINESE LEGAL ACTIVIST ALLEGES BEATING OF HIMSELF AND WIFE.  One of China's most prominent legal activists, the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, has been under house arrest after being released from prison last year.  Reports have now surfaced that he was beaten and tortured by Communist Party officials while his wife was wrapped in a blanket and repeatedly kicked on the ground.  Chen Guangcheng was first arrested for helping to uncover government forced sterilizations and abortions in the eastern Chinese city of Linyi.  The reports of the beatings come from Chen Guangcheng's wife.

CONTINUED CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR TAIWAN F-16 SALES.  U.S. lawmakers from across party lines have stepped up pressure on the President to move forward with a proposed sale of F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan, with some accusing the Administration of showing deference to China.  Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, "With over 1,600 missiles pointed directly across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan needs the means to defend itself from the threats and intimidation…Taiwan needs the next generation of F-16 fighter jets now in order to protect its skies."

CHINA, RUSSIA FAIL TO FINALIZE GAS DEAL.  China and Russia have failed to reach final agreement on a natural-gas supply deal involving two massive pipelines that they agreed to in principle two years ago.  The disagreement is reportedly the result of a divide on pricing.  The WSJ outlines the deal: "The potential stakes are huge.  The planned construction of two pipelines, extending from natural-gas fields in eastern and western Siberia into Chinese cities, would likely cost around $100 billion, and gas exported through the lines could amount to up to 2% of Russia's GDP every year."


BURMA CLASHES SPUR FLIGHT TO CHINA.  Violence between government troops and rebels in northern Myanmar (Burma) has China concerned as thousands of refugees have attempted to flee into China.  Many have been refused entry as China has temporarily closed the border.  Now, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has called for an end to the fighting before it ignites a broader conflict.

MONGOLIA'S MINING TWO-STEP WITH U.S., CHINA.  For decades, Mongolia's vast expanse has served as a buffer between Russia and China, with the nation in the middle being no stranger to balancing the interests of major powers.  Today Mongolia is attempting to divvy up its mineral wealth between the U.S. and China.  From the WSJ piece: "Mongolia's head may be with China, since its populous next-door neighbor is the natural market for its resources…But Mongolia's heart may be closer to the U.S., the nation that inspired its democratic system, which President Elbegdorj refers to as the freest 'in this part of the world.'"

RARE EARTH PRICES DOUBLE ON CHINA CONTROLS.  In the past two weeks the prices of rare earths have more than doubled as China tightened control of mining, production and exports.  China controls over 95% of the world's rare earth elements that are used in technology ranging from guided missiles to energy saving light bulbs.

CHINESE TECHNOLOGY POLICY AND AMERICAN INNOVATION.  Council on Foreign Relations Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism, and National Security Studies' Adam Segal's testimony in front of the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China's technology policies and the need for the U.S. to push back against them to maintain its comparative advantage.

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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