from the where-to-draw-the-line dept.
Officials in Xinjiang will deny benefits to children with certain Islamic or Islam-related names:
Many couples fret over choosing the perfect name for their newborn, but for Muslims in western China that decision has now become even more fraught: pick the wrong name and your child will be denied education and government benefits.
Officials in the western region of Xinjiang, home to roughly half of China's 23 million Muslims, have released a list of banned baby names amid an ongoing crackdown on religion, according to a report by US-funded Radio Free Asia.
Names such as Islam, Quran, Saddam and Mecca, as well as references to the star and crescent moon symbol, are all unacceptable to the ruling Communist party and children with those names will be denied household registration, a crucial document that grants access to social services, healthcare and education.
Muhammad, Jihad, Medina, Mujahid, Arafat, Imam, Hajj, and Yultuzay are also banned.
Related: West Facing 'Payback' for Colonialism, says China's State-run Paper
China's Xi Jinping Negotiates $46bn Superhighway to Pakistan
Facebook's Zuckerberg Meets With China's Propaganda Chief, Social Media Mocks Facebook Block
The religious and cultural tensions the West faces are "payback" for slavery and colonialism, a Chinese state-run newspaper said Tuesday in the wake of the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine.
The editorial in the Global Times newspaper — which often takes a nationalistic tone — dismissed the weekend's huge marches in Paris and elsewhere as "painkillers" that cannot halt the intensifying "clash of civilizations".
What do you think ?
China intends to invest $46 billion in infrastructure links to Pakistan:
The focus of spending is on building a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - a network of roads, railway and pipelines between the long-time allies. They will run some 3,000km (1,865 miles) from Gwadar in Pakistan to China's western Xinjiang region.
The projects will give China direct access to the Indian Ocean and beyond. This marks a major advance in China's plans to boost its economic influence in Central and South Asia, correspondents say, and far exceeds US spending in Pakistan.
[...] Some $15.5bn worth of coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects will come online by 2017 and add 10,400 megawatts of energy to Pakistan's national grid, according to officials. A $44m optical fibre cable between the two countries is also due to be built.
The Great Game lives. Different players, same game. Equally large implications. Diplomacy game geeks, awake! Who are the players, and what's the play?
Facebook was blocked in mainland China in 2009 following conflict between Uighurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang. Now Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on a "charm offensive" likely intended to convince the government to bring the site back through the firewall... in a heavily censored form. Meanwhile, Chinese social media users have been amused and confused by Zuckerberg's journey, which has been featured in state media rather than censored:
Chinese social media users have taken to popular microblog Sina Weibo to mock media coverage of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's visit, since Facebook is blocked in China. Whilst outlets praised Mr Zuckerberg's "sincere" acts of diplomacy, web users mocked the activities he has taken part in during his China visit, which included jogging through "hazy" Beijing's Tiananmen Square, visiting the Great Wall and meeting China's propaganda chief Liu Yunshan as well as fellow media guru Jack Ma.
[...] The Breaking News account on Sina Weibo, which has over 49 million followers, asked users the question: "Will Facebook this time successfully enter the Chinese market?" Despite Facebook being blocked, the post appears to have survived censorship cuts perhaps because Alibaba, headed by internet entrepreneur Jack Ma, owns a 31.4% stake in the popular microblog. Jack Ma is one of the people Mr Zuckerberg met during his visit. Outlets also virally shared pictures showing the Facebook founder riding a toboggan down the Great Wall, which were originally posted on his Facebook account. Despite traditionally censoring posts from the US social network, the overseas edition of People's Daily shared posts on his visit. These included one by "Michael Wyh", alluding to China's firewall. "I thought there were two great walls in China: one for Mark Zuckerberg, and one for Chinese residents," it reads, receiving over 100 likes.
Amid heavy media coverage of the Zuckerberg visit, many users expressed bemusement, since they have absolutely no idea who he is. "Who is this? What is Facebook, what website?" asks PlanAsphy. Chen Jinlei JC appears to offer an explanation, saying "Overseas Facebook users are all 'older people'." Others simply commented on his physique, especially during his Tiananmen Square jog. Bad-Jim said "His body is alright". "The CEO's beauty cannot be blocked," adds LiYouYou_Asik.
Police in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, China, have been collecting DNA samples from citizens and are now ramping up their capacity to analyse that genetic cache, according to evidence compiled by activists and details gathered by Nature. The advocacy group Human Rights Watch reported last month that Xinjiang authorities intend to accelerate efforts to gather blood samples from the region's large population of Muslim Uighur people. China's government has cracked down on Xinjiang's separatist movement in recent years, so the prospect of a DNA database there has stoked fears that authorities could use it as a political weapon.
[...] In its report, the organization said that Xinjiang's police had ordered 12 DNA sequencers. Nature has confirmed the order and learned, from documents and interviews with those involved in the transaction, that the police have purchased enough machines to process up to 2,000 DNA samples per day. The police department hung up when Nature rang to ask about the reason for the purchase.
[...] Many countries use DNA fingerprinting to solve crimes, reunite kidnapped children with their parents and identify bodies, and some researchers say that the boost in Xinjiang's DNA-analysis capacity does not, by itself, stand out. "Expansion of police surveillance is expected by any civilized nation," says Sara Katsanis, who researches the applications of genetic testing at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Still, Katsanis and others worry about how DNA is being collected in China and especially in Xinjiang. Last year, Human Rights Watch reported that citizens in Xinjiang were required to give a blood sample to get a passport. And in March, Chinese state media detailed the conclusion of a 4-month programme during which 17.5 million people — who were predominantly Uighurs — were given health checks, including blood tests. Last week, reports emerged that many of the people who underwent these examinations had been forced to do so.
China Bans Islam-Related Names in Xinjiang
China has turned its western region of Xinjiang into a police state with few modern parallels, employing a combination of high-tech surveillance and enormous manpower to monitor and subdue the area's predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. Now, the digital dragnet is expanding beyond Xinjiang's residents, ensnaring tourists, traders and other visitors — and digging deep into their smartphones.
A team of journalists from The New York Times and other publications examined a policing app used in the region, getting a rare look inside the intrusive technologies that China is deploying in the name of quelling Islamic radicalism and strengthening Communist Party rule in its Far West. The use of the app has not been previously reported.
China's border authorities routinely install the app on smartphones belonging to travelers who enter Xinjiang by land from Central Asia, according to several people interviewed by the journalists who crossed the border recently and requested anonymity to avoid government retaliation. Chinese officials also installed the app on the phone of one of the journalists during a recent border crossing. Visitors were required to turn over their devices to be allowed into Xinjiang. The app gathers personal data from phones, including text messages and contacts. It also checks whether devices are carrying pictures, videos, documents and audio files that match any of more than 73,000 items included on a list stored within the app's code.