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So much has happened in the past few weeks that an update to our coverage of China, Unwelcoming Nation, is well overdue. This time it's the US, Taiwan and Australia that have been in the spotlight with everything from threats to teenaged girls to a revival of the televised forced confession.

Despite international condemnation for broadcasting forced confessions, China aired yet another one Sunday night.

Safeguard Defenders' founder and director Peter Dahlin describes what disappeared Australian journalist Cheng Lei is likely facing in her RSDL prison in China and how the latest data shows that the system is expanding at a terrifying rate.

Image of Australian journalist Cheng Lei from her Facebook pageThe latest victim of China's hostage diplomacy, in a very long line of victims, is Australian citizen Cheng Lei. She has been working for China's Party-state TV station CGTN for eight years and is a high-profile anchor of their Global Business show.

Safeguard Defenders, along with a group of non-governmental organizations, has submitted a comprehensive review of China's use of forced televised confessions before trial to nine United Nations Special Procedures, calling for a full review of how this practice violates key international rights and laws.

The arbitrary detention of the two Canadian Michaels – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – in China has made headline news around the world. But few have heard of the case of American businessman Kai Li...

China’s hostage diplomacy has got a whole lot more threatening. An increasingly hostile China continues to target foreigners from countries that have angered it with arbitrary arrests, handing down death sentences, and expanding upon a recent trend - stealing the citizenship of former Chinese passport holders.

13 July 2020. 10 NGOs urge Vietnam to reverse its expanding crackdown on civil society, media institutions and journalists, and ensure the safety and legal protections of citizen journalists like Pham Doan Trang.

Full statement as PDF with co-signatories here:

UK’s TV-regulator Ofcom finds China Global Television Network (CGTN) guilty on all counts concerning an investigation launched after a complaint by the UK's Peter Humphrey concerning the extraction and broadcast of several TV confessions he was forced to make. Both broadcasts were anchored by James Chau. 

As China wages a political influence campaign overseas on Covid-19, at home it has intensified control of the spread of information, media and free speech.

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