This weeks roundup will be full focused on China as its been the centerpiece of news this past week. An ex-Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig was reportedly detained by Chinese authorities. Chinese Asylum claims have significantly jumped in Australia as we’ve seen the human rights violations committed against its citizens. The UN has also reached out to China this week to wants access to the “re-education camp” in China’s Xinjiang. All this in this weeks Asian news roundup.
Ex-Canadian Diplomat Goes Missing In China
A Canadian employee of the International Crisis Group has reportedly been detained in China, the nonprofit organization said Tuesday. Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who is the organization’s northeast Asia senior adviser, has been working with the group since February 2017, a statement said.
“We are doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael’s whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release,” the International Crisis Group’s statement said. The Chinese government hasn’t commented on Kovrig or his possible whereabouts. CNN has reached out to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.
Application For Asylum In Australia from China up by 300%
The asylum applicants in Australia between 2017 and 2018 have gone up by 311% as the process for granting asylum has become more and more difficult recently. While many of the applicants are coming for student and international, some are applying for legitimate political and religious persecution reasons. With the crackdown on the Muslim minority in China by the state through mass surveillance and the re-education camps, it’s no wonder that asylum seeking is on the rise. Unfortunately, Australia only granted visas to 10% of applicants, one of the lowest success rates for any nationality claiming asylum in the country.
UN Seeking Access To Xinjiang “Re-Education Camp”
The United Nations has requested direct access to “re-education camps” in China’s Xinjiang province, where more than one million Muslim majority Uyghurs have reportedly been imprisoned. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that she wanted to verify “worrying reports” the organization had received. Former detainees claim they were tortured and forced to learn Chinese Communist Party propaganda at the massive camps. Beijing says the camps are voluntary vocational training centers, designed to stamp out extremist tendencies among the Uyghur population. However, Bachelet said the UN had offered technical assistance in dealing with violent extremism, adding: “We wish to engage China in a serious dialogue on this pressing matter.”
You can read more from Amos Joseph on Think Liberty here.