China Reform Monitor - No. 1303

Legislating loyalty in Xinjiang;
Soccer as a sign of protest


November 2, 2017


October 3:

Egypt's secret police have rounded up some 200 Uighurs holding Chinese passports based on a deportation list issued by Chinese authorities,
Radio Free Asia reports. Some of those apprehended have been released because they weren't on the list, while others have been returned to China or are being held in an Egyptian detention center. "The worst is not being able to find out any information about my husband. The anxiety and the worry thinking about where he is or what has happened to him is increasing with the passing hours," said Bumeryem Muhammed, whose husband, Muhetar Rouzi, disappeared on July 16th.

October 4:

Authorities in Xinjiang have ordered ethnic minority families to display President Xi Jinping's portrait at home beginning October 1st as an expression of their respect. On September 30th, township and county offices handed out Xi's portraits to each household for display in their living rooms.
The Apple Daily reports Xinjiang provincial CPC secretary Chen Quanguo is likely the organizer behind the initiative. When Chen was party secretary in Tibet, he urged Tibetan families to display the national flag at their doors and hang the portraits of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao at home. Chen's display of loyalty to Xi may be a bid to secure a position in the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Chen originally belonged to the Jiang Zemin faction, and was Zeng Qinghong's protégé. He later won praise from Xi for exposing several top Xinjiang officials who allegedly were carrying out the Xinjiang policy half-heartedly,
the Apple Daily outlined in another story.]

October 6:

During a soccer "friendly" against Laos, a crowd of 2,200 Hong Kong fans booed China's national anthem, the March of the Volunteers, thumbing their nose at a recent law passed by Beijing forbidding such actions. Some fans held up their middle finger during the ceremony. The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) refused to comment on the incident. The trend of booing the anthem began two years ago in the wake of the Occupy Central protests. The HKFA has since been fined twice by FIFA for failing to control crowd behavior. About 20 security personnel were deployed at the Laos match, compared to 200 when Hong Kong hosted China at the same venue for a World Cup qualifier in 2015,
the South China Morning Post reports.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: In early September, the National People's Congress passed the national anthem law, which details that "attendees at events where the anthem is played are required to stand straight and remain solemn for the song under the law." While mainland offenders would be liable to 15 days' detention, Hong Kongers are not affected until the legislation is passed in the city.]

October 10:

Hong Kong soccer fans have again booed China's national anthem – this time before an Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia. Jeers rang out across Hong Kong Stadium as many turned their back on the song. This was the 14th match in a row that home fans protested the anthem since Hong Kong played host to Bhutan in a World Cup qualifier in June 2015 - six months after the Occupy pro-democracy protests. HKFA was fined twice by FIFA in 2015 for failing to control its crowd behavior,
the South China Morning Post reports.

October 12:

Construction has begun on Dongning Airport in Suifenhe, Heilongjiang, along China's border with Russia. With an estimated budget of 1.15 billion yuan ($174 million) and covering around 2 sq. km, the regional airport is designed to handle 450,000 passengers and 3,600 metric tons of cargo annually, allowing nearly 4,800 take-offs and landings a year,
the official China Daily reports
. Direct flights are planned from the airport to Beijing, Shenyang, Dalian and Qingdao, and international flights will connect to Russian cities. Trial operations at the facility are expected to commence in 2020. Located in the southeastern part of Heilongjiang, Suifenhe is the province's largest port to Russia and sees nearly a million cross-border trips and a trade volume in excess of 10 billion yuan a year.

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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