Rubric Red Lanterns

Red Lanterns

Slated to open today, the trial has been adjourned until 13 December. The local executive has asked the National People's Congress to prevent Lai from being defended by Timothy Owen. Former associates of the Catholic tycoon prepared to testify against him. The former British colony risks a further blow to its judicial independence.

| 01/12/2022
| RED LANTERNS

Despite being shut out of the SWIFT international payments system, Russia did not turn to China’s (CIPS). Putin was betting on the yuan-centred system to replace the one based on the dollar after the attack on Ukraine. Refineries in China have stopped buying crude oil from Russia for December, waiting to see the effect of new Western sanctions on Russia’s oil sector.

| 24/11/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Emanuele Scimia

For Xi Jinping, the new Pericles, China’s “consultative” democracy is the true one since it involves everyone. Yet, China’s regime forgot to consult everyone, like the people who continue to protest against anti-COVID lockdowns, or dissidents, be they religious or academic, who languish in prison or lose their job for not toeing the party line.

| 17/11/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Li Qiang

He was the chief aide to former Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. Both fell from grace for opposing the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. After years in prison and under house arrest, he turned into a prolific pro-democracy advocate. For his daughter, Bao still harboured some hope for China.

| 10/11/2022
| RED LANTERNS

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Europe asked to adhere to restrictions on the export of semiconductor technology to China. With the 'Chip Alliance' Biden aims to create a supply chain that excludes Beijing. The example of Huawei's 5G ban.

 

| 03/11/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The Communist Youth League, the Party’s reserve team, has been excluded from the regime’s ruling body for the first time since 1978. Rumours continue to fly about former President Hu Jintao’s removal from the 20th Congress. A new opposition to Xi will emerge sooner or later.

| 27/10/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The British authorities have opened an investigation. Consul General Zheng Xiyuan was also allegedly involved in the beating of the Hong Kong citizen. More and more nations in Europe are criticising the diplomacy of the Chinese 'wolf warriors'. European export industries, however, are calling for a pragmatic approach.

 

| 20/10/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The zero-COVID policy has strengthened the police state and social control, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang. Many human rights activists and lawyers remain in prison awaiting trial or sentencing. In China, Xi's "two cornerstones" are a must.

 

| 13/10/2022
| RED LANTERNS

105-year-old Song Ping calls for preserving the reform and greater liberalisation policy launched by Deng Xiaoping. Xi aims at a new centralisation of the economy. Most of the president's critics remain cautious. New purge among executors of Xi's anti-corruption campaign.  

| 29/09/2022
| RED LANTERNS

There are 1,121 political prisoners in the former British colony. Proceedings against the Catholic media tycoon will open on 1 December. Ongoing trial for Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan. For jurist Benny Tai there is no precise date. Trail of Card. Joseph Zen postponed again.

 

| 22/09/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The two leaders meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. The Russian leader fully backs China's Taiwan policy, and appreciates Beijing’s “balanced" position on Ukraine. For his part, the Chinese president spreads his wings in Central Asia, the Kremlin’s traditional turf.

| 15/09/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Li Qiang

The premier wants the country to maintain the policy of "reforms and openness" that underpinned China's economic miracle. With his 'common prosperity', Xi aims to centralise power. National economy in trouble, with a rapidly ageing population. Choice of new prime minister central to future direction.

| 08/09/2022
| RED LANTERNS

Chinese authorities offer condolences, but the former Soviet leader is held responsible for the end of a great empire. Many in China believe he made a huge mistake in trusting the West. Deng Xiaoping considered him an 'idiot'. Shortly after his visit to Beijing in May 1989, the regime ordered the Tiananmen massacre.

 

| 01/09/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The trial for the Catholic tycoon, founder of the Apple Daily newspaper - in jail for 20 months - will begin on 1 December. It will be entrusted to a panel of three specially appointed judges, dropping a cornerstone of the local system's legal protections. Lai has announced that he will plead not guilty to charges of "sedition and conspiracy with foreign forces" for which he faces life imprisonment.

 

 

| 25/08/2022
| RED LANTERNS

In the Hubei city, the "congress" charged with dictating the line and renewing leadership. Vice-minister Cui Maohu praises the "autonomy and independence" of the Chinese Church and calls for "serious study and implementation of Xi Jinping's directives." In the review of the six years since the previous Assembly no mention of the Agreement with the Vatican on the appointment of bishops.

| 18/08/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by John Ai

According to analysts, to modernise the Chinese military needs people with specialised skills. Beijing's new White Paper on Taiwan envisages reunification with less autonomy than previously offered to the island.

 

| 11/08/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The launch of Dongfeng missiles as part of China’s military drills is a response to Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Beijing has added another zone of operation to the exercises. One zone overlaps with Japan's exclusive economic zone, which China does not recognise.

 

| 04/08/2022
| RED LANTERNS

It is deemed incompatible with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The former British colony is a signatory to the document, unlike the Chinese central government. Criticised for repression of freedom of expression. Calls for investigation into police actions during 2019 pro-democracy protests.

| 28/07/2022
| RED LANTERNS

Fr. Mella begins a three-day protest in front of Shek Pik prison. He urged the imprisoned activists not to lose hope. In January, he had demonstrated calling for the release of Catholic tycoon Jimmy Lai. Since the imposition of the security law, police have arrested nearly 200 people; 113 have ended up on trial.

| 14/07/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Li Qiang

China’s president is promoting allies from one of his political fiefdoms to the highest offices of the state. Wang Xiaohong is now national security czar and can control Xi's rivals. The Fujian faction also has a foothold in the Central Military Commission. Their rise is however threatened by Xi's protégés in Zhejiang and those of Premier Li Keqiang.

 

| 07/07/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Gianni Criveller *

Xi Jinping arrived in the former British colony to show that normalization has become a top priority. On July 1, 1997, Martin Lee and Margaret Ng from the balcony of Parliament were calling for freedom and democracy, while today they are reckoning with the consequences of the National Security Act. And Hong Kong is increasingly becoming a sad, depressed and fearful city.

| 30/06/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by John Ai

Lu Ke used children in Malawi to make videos for profit. Chinese social media carry videos of Africans sending messages of good wishes, but some have racist content. The case sparked protests in Malawi. Racism is a new area that could wreck relations between China and Africa.

| 23/06/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by John Ai

 

Under the zero-Covid policy, without a health code it is impossible to travel or access public places. Current account holders at four banks in Henan have filed complaints after discovering they cannot withdraw their money. Many uarantined after their Qr code turned red. However, antigen tests show they are negative for the virus.

 

| 16/06/2022
| RED LANTERNS

Victoria Park will be empty again. The authorities want to erase the memory of the fallen of 4 June 1989 killed by the Chinese government. The organisers of the traditional commemoration are in prison. Even the Catholic Church fears the security law.

 

| 02/06/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Li Qiang

China could miss the growth targets set by the government. The current economic situation is worse than at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Li is called to solve the economic problems created by Xi's policies. From here to the Communist Party Congress in the fall, the two leaders and their factions will be vying for power.

| 26/05/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by Arundathie Abeysinghe

With the Rajapaksas in power, Beijing financed infrastructure projects that were often unnecessary and overpriced. The port and airport in Hambantota district are the most striking examples. China holds 10 percent of Colombo's external debt, like Japan, but at much higher interest rates.

 

 

| 19/05/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by John Ai

The authorities tighten restrictions in various parts of the country, as requested by paramount leader Xi Jinping. Censors remove online criticism. US companies in China are also critical of Beijing's zero-COVID policy.

| 12/05/2022
| RED LANTERNS

The faction to which Premier Li Keqiang belongs has lost four million members in 10 years. 20th Communist Party Congress: the Chinese president wants an ally as the new prime minister. The worsening pandemic and  economic crisis only obstacle to Xi, who aims to prevent Comunist Youth League member Hu Chunhua from heading government.

 

 

| 05/05/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by John Ai

The design of the pocket text is reminiscent of those distributed during the Mao era. It is part of the propaganda ahead of the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which will most likely grant Xi his third term in office. Authorities censor online debate on CCP history.

 

 

 

 

 

| 28/04/2022
| RED LANTERNS
by John Ai

Economic growth at 4.8% in the first quarter; unemployment at 6% in March, the highest since 2018. In preparation for the 20th Communist Party Congress, the Chinese president's line doesn't change. Lockdowns spark citizen protests. Companies struggle to survive.

| 21/04/2022
| RED LANTERNS
Editor's choices
 
by John Ai
Protests against the zero-COVID policy have spread across the country, including university campuses, becoming the most impressive since 1989. Despite the impact on the economy and household income, Chinese authorities have ignored people’s demands. ...
| 28/11/2022
| CHINA
 
Accused along with five pro-democracy figures of failing to register the charity in accordance with the law. The cardinal refused to accept a lighter sentence than his co-defendants. The maximum sentence imposed is €492. According to the defence, ...
| 25/11/2022
| HONG KONG - CHINA
 
The prelate, who was secretly ordained with a papal mandate in 2014 and arrested for this reason, took office as auxiliary bishop in a ceremony held today in Nanchang.  The boundaries of his new diocese were drawn by the authorities. In Yujiang, ...
| 24/11/2022
| CHINA
 
Anwar Ibrahim took the oath of office today before King Abdullah. Forming a working majority among the various political factions will not be easy. For Archbishop Simon Poh of Kuching, “Seek harmony, mutual respect and acceptance. Religious extremism ...
| 24/11/2022
| MALAYSIA
 
Myanmar and Russia are the only two countries to use the bombs systematically. A report confirms the atrocities committed by Myanmar’s junta with anti-personnel mines placed around people killed during an air raid. The anti-junta resistance controls ...
| 22/11/2022
| MYANMAR
 
6,500 migrant workers have died on stadium and infrastructure construction sites. But violence also affects domestic workers, exploited or abused by their bosses. The German Church is promoting a campaign, relaunched by the Benedictine nun and activist ...
| 16/11/2022
| QATAR - PHILIPPINES
 
A congregation of Italian nuns tonight commemorates the 90th anniversary of the departure for China of six sisters who, in today's Mindong diocese, lived alongside abandoned girls in their mission for 17 years, before having to leave everything ...
| 11/11/2022
| CHINA-ITALY
 
An ancient structure from the probable pre-Islamic era has been discovered off the coast of the Emirates. Inside is a church, a refectory, water cisterns and individual cells used by the monks. For scholars it is a confirmation of a period of at least ...
| 10/11/2022
| UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”