“The planning just got away from us and we feel bad…we don’t give a rat’s ass what Beijing thinks.”
That was how David Tell, spokesman for a conservative think tank called The Hudson Institute, explained to the Washington Free Beacon why his organization had postponed an event featuring Guo Wengui 郭文贵, who was scheduled to speak on October 4.
At first, the Institute made no explanation for the apparent cancellation of the event with Guo, an exiled tycoon who has been tweeting corruption allegations about senior Chinese officials, but the Institute did acknowledge that it had received intense pressure from Beijing to call off the event. Hudson reportedly received phone calls from the Chinese embassy in Washington, threatening emails, and “a major denial of service cyber attack traced to Shanghai.”
Guo reacted in a statement:
“I am shocked at Hudson’s cancellation, but at the same time I am also pleased the issue has proven to the American people and people of the world my repeated warning of the virulence and harmfulness of the Chinese kleptocrats’ long reach… The significance and value of this incident has surpassed my talk at Hudson.”
The intense pressure from Beijing to quash this politically sensitive event is not surprising, given the proximity of the 19th Party Congress, but it is unclear how much Hudson was influenced by Beijing.
The incident comes as Guo is seeking political asylum from the U.S. government, and as China’s minister of public security, Guo Shengkun 郭声琨, is visiting Washington to discuss issues, including fugitive repatriation, with top-level officials at the State Department and Justice Department.
China-watcher Bill Bishop noted on Twitter that the event with Guo will now be held on Thursday, October 5, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
China puts more boots at Doklam / The Hindu
- 19th Party Congress
China’s top graft-buster Wang Qishan: will he stay or will he go? / SCMP
“Multiple well-connected sources, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the South China Morning Post Wang was more likely to retire.”
Opinion: Xi Jinping shapes Beijing in his image, laying foundation for long reign / WSJ (paywall)
China broadens pre-congress crackdown on government critics, rights activists / RFA
- Human rights
Opinion: The Trump administration doesn’t care about human rights in China — here’s why they should / CFR
China votes against UN resolution to condemn death penalty for gays and lesbians / Shanghaiist
Xi Jinping tells Chinese defense firms to aim higher and catch up on weapons technology / SCMP