Human Rights Watch released a report on May 15 claiming that China’s database of citizen DNA information has expanded beyond 40 million entries. While still accounting for only 3 percent of Chinese citizens — for comparison, the U.S. has DNA records on 4 percent of its citizens and the U.K. has 8 percent — the database is now the world’s largest of its kind. Furthermore, the report also brings together evidence on a number of data collection events conducted “without oversight, transparency, or privacy protections” under the authority of Article 130 of the Criminal Procedure Law — but many, if not most, entries are not of criminals or directly related to a criminal case.
One piece of evidence from the report, that authorities in restive Xinjiang Province in western China purchased $8.7 million in DNA testing equipment for a large-scale collection, has been confirmed to the Associated Press by state security officials. Human Rights Watch also reported the purchase of an additional $2.9 million in equipment. A computational biologist told the AP that such equipment “could be used to profile up to 10,000 DNA samples a day and several million a year.” Last year, the authorities in Xinjiang began requiring residents — a plurality of which identify as Uyghur Muslims — to submit DNA samples and other personal data to apply for a passport.
China adds its voice to chorus of condemnation as UN Security Council vows sanctions of North Korea’s latest missile test / SCMP
“In a unanimous statement backed by the North’s main ally China, the council on Monday vowed to punish Pyongyang’s ‘highly destabilizing behavior’ and demanded a halt to any further nuclear or missile tests.”
Pushing back against China’s One Belt, One Road, India, Japan build strategic ‘Great Wall’ / Economic Times
“India and Japan are holding a separate session on May 24 with stakeholders from Africa on the sidelines of the Africa Development Bank meeting in Ahmedabad to discuss joint projects on capacity building and infrastructure.”
Xi tells Japanese lawmaker he wants to put ties on right course / The Mainichi
Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, met with Chinese president Xi Jinping for a quick 17-minute meeting in Beijing. Nikai brought a letter from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that “called for the start of mutual visits at an appropriate time, according to a Japanese official.”
- China got 30 countries to take a stand on climate change and protectionism — mostly tiny ones / Quartz
- China releases British CEO of alleged million-dollar pyramid scheme / Reuters
- Translation: Next Weekly interview with Guo Wengui / China Digital Times