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French journalist forced to leave China after article on Xinjiang

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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French journalist forced to leave China after article on Xinjiang | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

French journalist forced to leave China after article on Xinjiang
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: A French journalist has been forced to leave China after the government said it would not renew her press credentials for the new year in response to a critical report on Beijing’s policies in the troubled western region of Xinjiang.

The departure of Ursula Gauthier, a reporter for the French current affairs magazine L’Obs, marked the first time in more than three years that a journalist has been forced to leave China due to a refusal by authorities to renew accreditation.

China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that Gauthier could no longer work in China because she did not make a public apology for an article she wrote on Nov. 18.

Hours after President Xi Jinping told his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, that China stood by France in the wake of the Paris attacks in November, the article said, China’s public security ministry announced the capture of suspects over a coal mine attack in September in Xinjiang.

“Beautiful solidarity, but not entirely free of ulterior motives,” Gauthier wrote in her article.

On Nov. 20, the government announced that security forces in Xinjiang had killed 28 “terrorists” from a group that carried out a deadly attack at a coal mine in September under the direction of “foreign extremists”. The government has given no details of the composition of the group.

Reuters has not been able to independently verify that the suspects were Muslim Uighurs, or if they had a role in the mine attack due to tight government reporting restrictions in Xinjiang.

Hundreds of people have died in unrest in Xinjiang, home to the Uighurs, and other parts of China over the past three years.

On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Gauthier’s article “openly supports terrorist activity, the killing of innocents and has outraged the Chinese public”.

Gauthier said the government’s decision meant that she had to leave Beijing on a 1 a.m. flight on Friday to Paris.

When asked whether Gauthier would be allowed to return to China, Lu told reporters on Thursday it was “up to her”. He did not elaborate.

The European Union, in a statement released by its mission in Beijing, urged China to review its decision.

“The EU supports the principles of freedom of expression and independence of the media as underpinning every free society,” it said.

Gauthier, who has been based in China for six years, said she met foreign ministry officials three times starting in late November after the state-run Global Times published a commentary criticizing the article she had written on China’s policy in Xinjiang in the wake of attacks in Paris.

“DEATH THREATS”

Gauthier, who said she had received death threats after her report, told Reuters she had told the foreign ministry that the Global Times had distorted the meaning of her article.

“They wanted me to apologize publicly for my wrongs,” Gauthier said. “But I said my wrongs were all invented by the Global Times. I cannot apologize for crimes I did not commit.”

When asked to confirm the meetings, Lu said the ministry did not want to “publicize the situation”. He noted that Gauthier did not call the police.

“This is not that usual, unless she’s got other considerations,” he said at a briefing.

Gauthier said she did not report the death threats as she “did not expect the police to take the case seriously”.

The Global Times declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

France’s ambassador to China, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, has raised Gauthier’s case with China’s foreign ministry, said a spokeswoman for the French embassy in Beijing.

China requires all foreign journalists to renew their accreditation annually.

In May 2012, Melissa Chan, a reporter for Al Jazeera’s English language channel in Beijing, was forced to leave after authorities refused to renew her press credentials over unspecified alleged violations of regulations – the first such case in 13 years at the time.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Business

Talks resume in the ongoing China-US trade spat

The Thaiger

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Talks resume in the ongoing China-US trade spat | The Thaiger

By China Daily – Asia News Network

There’s been a resumption of talks in the China-US trade.’war’ Analysts are hoping the restart in talks between top negotiators from both nations will deliver a win-win outcome.

China’s Vice-Premier Liu He spoke by phone with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday. According to reports, officials exchanged views on implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state during the G20 Summit. The Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan also joined the conversation.

Yan Jinming, executive dean of the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China, says the consensus reached between the two countries’ leaders set a positive tone for future high-level economic and trade talks.

“I hope China and the US will properly solve their differences and conflicts about the trade issue, cooperate with each other and seek win-win results, so as to enhance the well-being of people from both countries and the rest of the world,” Yan said.

Diao Daming, associate professor at Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies, said the essence of China-US trade friction is competition between huge economies.

“The China-US high-level economic and trade consultations have been resumed. The main goal of the talks is to stabilise bilateral relations through ad hoc mechanisms and set an example for solving potential problems in the future,” Diao said.

The two countries have exchanged tariffs on billions of dollars in a tit-for-tat spat targeting each other’s imports, while Washington has tightened its restrictions on many Chinese companies, including global telecom giant Huawei.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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Technology

Thai smartphone users ready for 5G

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai smartphone users ready for 5G | The Thaiger

“50% of the local respondents said they are willing to pay 150 baht extra in fees per month.”

5G, the next generation of phone speed, is on the way and coming to a smartphone near you.

A recent survey of 35,000 people around the world shows that there will be as many as 1.9 billion 5G subscribers globally in the next five years, and that in Thailand the technology will also be applied in the business world.

The survey was conducted on smartphone users aged between 15 and 69.

Wuttichai Wutti-Udomlert, head of network solutions at Ericsson Thailand, said the 5G network was laid down in South Korea earlier this year, and it is already being used in the US and most of Europe, which should encourage local mobile operators to lay down the 5G infrastructure in Thailand.

According to a survey involving 35,000 respondents in 22 countries, including 1,500 in Thailand, Ericsson said it believes that by 2024, to 65% of the global population will be using 5G and that 95 per cent of data traffic will be transmitted via 5G technology by the end of 2024.

He said that there are 7.9 billion mobile subscribers across the world (the global population as of April 2019 stood at 7.7 billion), and around 47% use the 4G-LTE network. Of the 1.54 billion subscribers in Asia-Pacific, Philippines has shown the highest growth.

In Thailand, the survey showed that most mobile users expect 5G technology to be available in a couple of years and that half of them will be ready to switch providers within six months if their operator doesn’t offer the technology.

Thai mobile users say they are willing to pay 30% more for 5G services, while 50% of the local respondents said they are willing to pay 150 baht extra in fees per month. The survey also showed that consumers were looking for new 5G-ready applications and services, and will gladly pay for the privilege of using them.

Also, some 76% of Thai consumers believe they will be wearing augmented reality (AR) glasses instead of using mobile phones by 2025. Most of the Thai respondents also said that they will start watching high-definition streamed content once 5G is available.

Thai smartphone users ready for 5G | News by The Thaiger

He added that 88 per cent of the respondents believe they will be making 3D holographic calls on a weekly basis, while 13 per cent believe hologram video calls will replace normal video calls. Some 66 per cent of the respondents believe 5G connectivity in vehicles will be as important as fuel efficiency and that smartphone users in Thailand will consume up to 130GB per month on a 5G device.

“There is growing awareness about 5G technology globally. I think average mobile data usage with 5G devices may increase 10-fold to 70GB per month in Thailand and that 5G uptake will be faster than expected. The top three industries in Thailand that will adopt 5G to support their business will be manufacturers that utilise robotics followed by services such as smart monitoring and public safety,” Wuttichai said.

He added that Ericsson has signed 24 commercial 5G contracts across the world.

ORIGIAL ARTICLE: The Nation

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Travel

Korean passenger from hell ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines compensation

The Thaiger

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Korean passenger from hell ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines compensation | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

A man, who forced an international flight to return to Hawaii last February, has been ordered to pay the airline more than 5.3 million baht.

South Korean Kyong Chol Kim was also sentenced to six months in jail for interfering with flight attendants and crew members, and annoying passengers on the flight. His behaviour on the Hawaiian Airlines flight to South Korea forced the pilot to turn around and return to Honolulu.

Prosecutors say the 48 year old South Korean was drinking whiskey before the flight and later started hassling a child sitting next to him.

They then accused him of lunging at a flight attendant after being confronted about his behaviour.

As it happened, there were armed US officials on board who were able to help restrain the man as the pilot decided to turn the flight around. Kim has been ordered to pay Hawaiian Airlines costs relating to the return of the flight and accommodating the passengers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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