Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Pacific Mall is one of world's most notorious sources of counterfeit goods: U.S.
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 12, 2018
MARKHAM, Ont. -- A U.S. government report says a Toronto-area mall is among the most notorious sources of pirated and counterfeit goods in the world.
Pacific Mall, a predominantly Chinese-Canadian shopping centre in Markham, Ont., is one of 18 brick-and-mortar locations and 25 online retailers named by the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative in its annual review of so-called "notorious markets."
The U.S. government says sales of counterfeit goods at Pacific Mall are "sprawling and pervasive" and that vendors "operate largely with impunity (as) requests for assistance from local law enforcement have reportedly gone unanswered."
The new report says some of the counterfeit items available at the mall, including cosmetics, sunglasses and perfumes, can pose a risk to public health and safety.
Pacific Mall is the only Canadian market included on the list, though the report notes that one of the fastest-growing advertising networks that cater to online sellers of counterfeit goods is based in Canada.
The RCMP and York regional police have, over the past two decades, seized counterfeit electronics, DVDs, video games and other goods, said to be worth millions of dollars, from Pacific Mall vendors.
Representatives of Pacific Mall were not immediately available for comment.
Indonesia to deport *153 Chinese citizens over US$450 million cyber fraud ring
Syndicate accused of targeting wealthy businessmen and officials on mainland
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017
Indonesia will deport 153 Chinese nationals arrested for their alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar cyber fraud ring targeting wealthy businessmen and politicians in China.
The syndicate, who ran their operation from abroad to avoid detection by Chinese officials but did not target any victims in their host country, has made around six trillion rupiah (US$450 million) since beginning operations at the end of 2016, Indonesia police said on Tuesday.
The suspects were arrested following a tip-off from Chinese authorities.
“We are conducting an intensive investigation and currently coordinating with the Chinese police to deport them,” said national police spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by one name.
The group, based in several locations across Indonesia, contacted victims pretending to be Chinese police or law officials, promising to help resolve their legal cases in return for immediate cash transfers, Jakarta police said.
The criminal network included IT specialists who would retrieve information on victims and develop communications systems for contacting them, he said.
Chinese nationals were arrested in Jakarta, the city of Surabaya and on the resort island of Bali in separate raids over the weekend.
“The perpetrators and the victims are Chinese. It just happens that they operate from Indonesia,” said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono.
Police are investigating how several of the Chinese suspects were able to enter the archipelago without a valid passport.
Cyber criminals targeting victims in China have increasingly exploited technological advances to operate from abroad, spreading across Southeast Asia and beyond in recent years.
China has become increasingly assertive in extraditing suspects.
In July, a gang of 44 people from mainland China and Taiwan were arrested in Thailand for allegedly running an elaborate phone scam that conned US$3 million from scores of victims, mainly based in China.
Cambodia deported 74 people to China for their role in an alleged telecom fraud, also in July, according to Xinhua.
Last year, 67 alleged criminals were deported from Kenya to China to face investigation for fraud.
Estate of murdered Chinese investor sued by accused killer for farmland profits
Published on: June 15, 2017
Li Zhao, who is accused of murdering Chinese businessman Gang Yuan, has filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court seeking a one-third share of the Yuan estate’s profits from the sale of 47 Saskatchewan farm properties.
Zhao claims he and Yuan were in a joint-venture to develop Saskatchewan farmland, according to documents filed with the court last month.
A deal planned by Yuan’s company to sell the properties in Saskatchewan was near completion, Zhao’s claim states, when Yuan was found shot and cut into 100 pieces in his West Vancouver mansion on May 2, 2015.
Zhao, 56, has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder of Yuan, 42.
In his criminal trial, a judge ruled this week that Zhao’s confession to West Vancouver police is admissible. The court heard that Zhao told police he and Yuan were in business together in an agricultural company and were having legal problems with the company. Zhao told police that following an argument with Yuan, who lived in his British Properties home with Zhao and Zhao’s wife, he fatally shot the victim and cut up his corpse with a saw.
While Zhao’s criminal trial continues, a number of civil claims are underway in B.C. courts, as Yuan’s relatives in China and Vancouver battle over his Canadian assets, including Saskatchewan farms and luxury properties in Vancouver, estimated to be worth about $50 million in 2015.
In addition to his Canadian fortune, Yuan had mining interests in China. And according to a 2015 court verdict in southwestern China, Yuan was linked to a government corruption and bribery scandal that led to a 19-year jail term for an official named Yunye Lin.
Li Zhao’s B.C. Supreme Court claim states that Yuan was the sole shareholder of a company called State Agriculture Development Inc.
“At the time of his death, Mr. Yuan and/or State Agriculture were the owners of at least 47 farm properties in Saskatchewan,” Zhao’s claim states.
The Supreme Court claim does not mention that Zhao is on trial for Yuan’s killing.
Zhao claims that he and Yuan agreed to invest in Saskatchewan farms in 2011, after Zhao had researched the investment and had incorporated a company in Saskatchewan called Green Land Agricultural Development Inc.
Zhao and Yuan agreed that “instead of Mr. Zhao purchasing the farmlands and holding them in Green Land, that Mr. Zhao would pay back some of the funds that Mr. Zhao and his wife had borrowed from Mr. Yuan to purchase a house in West Vancouver, and that Mr. Yuan would then use those funds and other money to purchase,” the land through Yuan’s company, State Agriculture.
According to Zhao’s claim, he and Yuan agreed that Zhao would purchase and manage the farm properties as a director for State Agriculture, and instead of receiving a salary, Zhao would eventually receive a third of the profits from the leasing or sale of the land.
In 2012, State Agriculture bought 47 parcels of land for $3.7 million in Saskatchewan, and also a condo in Regina for the administration of the venture, legal filings say. Zhao completed “all or the majority of the work,” related to the farm investment venture, his claim alleges.
In late February 2015, Yuan negotiated an agreement with an unidentified buyer that was to purchase the Saskatchewan farm properties from State Agricultural for $7.8 million, according to Zhao’s claim. The claim says the agreement was to be executed on or before May 25, 2015.
“Mr. Zhao understands that State Agriculture ended up selling the farmlands for significant profit,” Zhao’s claim states.
But the estate of Gang Yuan has not paid Zhao a third of the profits from the Saskatchewan land sales or leasing of the lands, Zhao’s claim alleges, arguing that is a breach of contract.
“As a result of the breach of contract, Mr. Zhao suffered and continues to suffer loss and damage,” the claim states.
Zhao’s name is the only one listed on B.C. registry filings for Green Land Agricultural. Zhao’s listed address on the company filings is 3333 The Crescent, a Shaughnessy mansion. The 11,000 square-foot property, which “was built for the former lieutenant-governor of B.C.” according to an MLS listing, is owned by the estate of Gang Yuan and a trust company. In June it was listed for sale at $17.88 million, according to MLS data, down from a previous listed price of $18.8 million.
Zhao is asking for a full accounting of the profits from the farmland venture, and asking for a trust interest in any of the land or properties in Saskatchewan owned by State Agriculture or the estate of Gang Yuan.
The estate of Gang Yuan has yet to respond to Zhao’s civil claim.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, left, and singer-songwriter Wanting Qu leave the field after Robertson presented the man of the match award after Canada and Japan played a rugby test match in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday June 11, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/CP)
Until recently, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has managed to mostly evade media focus on his relationship with Wanting Qu, a Chinese pop star two decades his junior. Robertson’s separation from his wife of 30 years was announced just before the 2014 election. Three months after election day, Robertson and Qu, whom he’d reportedly met when she was Tourism Vancouver’s “Ambassador to China” in 2013, issued matching Valentine’s messages on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter), proclaiming their love.
“Happy Valentines Day sweetheart! I’m so lucky you fill my life with love and happiness. Thanks for making my family happy too!,” the mayor, 51, wrote, confirming speculation about the relationship. Qu, 32, responded: “Thank you for loving me Gregor. Ps. U r a lucky man! Happy Valentines to all!”
Apart from the occasional photo-heavy online story featuring selfies and Instagram videos of the mayor and Qu, a minor celebrity in her native China, their romance was largely ignored. That changed with news last week that Qu’s mother, Qu Zhang Mingjie, 60, a former official in the northern Heilongjiang province, may face execution for graft. Zhang’s two-day trial, on charges of embezzling $69 million, and bribery and abuse of power for her role in a 2009 transfer of state land, ended July 20. She pleaded not guilty and her lawyer argued the case was built on an illegally obtained confession.
Qu Zhang Mingjie. (CTV News/W5)
A guilty verdict, however, is almost assured; China’s criminal conviction rate tops 99 per cent. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, which is undertaken when the accused refuses to show remorse or contrition, says Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute for Asian Studies at UBC.
Zhang, once described by her daughter as a workaholic, raised Qu, her only child, in the northern rustbelt province bordering Russia. When she was 16, Qu was sent to boarding school in Canada, first in Ontario, then British Columbia. Zhang, the former deputy director of the Harbin Municipal Development and Reform Commission, wanted her daughter to learn English, then earn a master’s degree in business, before returning to Harbin. But Qu rebelled. After withdrawing from Simon Fraser University in 2005, she used tuition money to fund the purchase of an electric piano, straining an already difficult relationship with her mother. Four years later, she became the first Chinese artist signed to Nettwerk, a Vancouver-based record label.
Qu has said she and her mom had managed to patch things up. On Zhang’s birthday last spring, shortly after charges against her were made public, Qu took to Instagram: “No one can replace her in my heart. I must admit I feel regretful for not being in her life for the past 15 years. I also feel somewhat resentful towards her for not being in mine since I was a teen. But over the years, she’s forgiven me because she’s found pride and joy in my success in life. And I’ve forgiven her because I’ve grown to understand fully that no one is perfect.”
Zhang was arrested as part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption; in the last year 300,000 officials have been punished, according to the Communist Party’s official graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. Xi claims he’s taking on both “tigers and flies”—top officials and low-level bureaucrats. Some have managed to skirt prosecution by leaving China. Last year, Beijing announced that 26 of China’s 100 most wanted fugitives for economic crimes were in Canada, reportedly the world’s second-largest haven for corrupt Chinese officials, after the U.S. But whether they are being targeted primarily for graft or in an effort to shore up support for the Communist Party is far from clear.
Last month, Qu released the single Your Girl, and alluded to her mother in a statement released by Nettwerk: “Though I haven’t been able to talk to her, feel her or reach her in any way in the last two years, I know deep down in my heart, there’s a place that’s warm like the sun and bright like the moon . . . I hope she can hear the song and it gives her love and strength.”
In China, comments Qu made last year calling her mother her childhood hero, have incensed many who have taken her words to mean that the singer is overlooking the fact that her mother may have been involved in corruption, says Tiberghien. “There is a lot of anger over corruption right now in China, where young people are having a much harder time getting access to property,” he notes.
Robertson is not commenting on the case, nor is Qu, except on social media. “Woke up sobbing,” she wrote recently on Facebook. “She died in my dream. So real… My reality in the last 653 days has been a never-ending nightmare.”
The Post turns a spotlight on the ‘disgusting’ insect with apparently remarkable medicinal qualities at the world’s largest breeding facility, where the bugs outnumber the planet’s human population
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018
Long, narrowly spaced rows of shelves fill a multi-storey building about the size of two sports fields. The shelves are lined with open containers of food and water.
It is warm, humid and dark all year round, with freedom to roam to find food and reproduce. Fully sealed like a prison, it has strict limitations on access to visitors. From birth to death, inhabitants never see the sun.
The world’s largest cockroach farm is breeding 6 billion adult cockroaches a year and using artificial intelligence to manage a colony larger than the world’s human population – all for medicinal use.
It is part of the production process for a “healing potion” consumed by millions of patients in China, according to the government.
There are many cockroach breeding facilities in China, for use as an ingredient in medicine or as a source of protein for livestock feed. But no other facility can match the productivity of the farm in the city of Xichang, in southwestern Sichuan province.
Nearly 28,000 full-sized cockroaches per square foot are produced there annually, the Sichuan government said in a report submitted to Beijing early this year.
It is the first time in history so many cockroaches have been confined and bred in one space. The project had achieved so many “scientific and technological breakthroughs” that it deserved a national science award, the provincial government said.
The facility achieved its unrivalled efficiency partly by being controlled by a “smart manufacturing” system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, according to the report.
The system constantly collects and analyses more than 80 categories of “big data”, including humidity, temperature, food supply and consumption. It monitors changes such as genetic mutations and how these affect the growing rates of individual cockroaches.
AI is transforming China in many sectors, from powerful facial recognition systems capable of identifying 1.3 billion citizens in seconds to nuclear submarines that can help a captain make faster, more accurate decisions in combat.
In the cockroach farm, the AI system learns from past work, self-adjusting to improve cockroach production.
Dr Zhang Wei, former assistant researcher at the College of Mechanical Engineering at Zhejiang University, who was involved in the development of the system, told the South China Morning Post: “There is nothing like it in the world. It has used some unique solutions to address some unique issues.”
Rustling in the darkness
Zhang confirmed the use of AI technology in the project but declined to give details.
The farm is operated by the Gooddoctor Pharmaceutical Group of Chengdu, Sichuan, which confirmed the validity of the government document but could not answer the Post’s queries because the matter involved trade secrets.
According to a 2011 report by the government newspaper Guangming Daily, a visitor must change into a sanitised working suit to avoid bringing in pollutants or pathogens.
“There were very few human beings in the facility,” the article stated. On shelves, floors and ceiling, the cockroaches were “everywhere”.
“Hold your breath and (you) only hear a rustling sound,” it continued. “Whenever flashlights swept, the cockroaches fled. Wherever the beam landed, there was a sound like wind blowing through leaves.
“It was just like standing in the depths of a bamboo forest in late autumn. The cool breeze blows, and the leaves rustle.”
Could super-breed terrorise a city?
The sheer number of insects locked in the facility – the largest colony of cockroaches ever to have existed on the planet – conjures some nightmarish scenarios.
Every cockroach is a super-cockroach. Mother Nature has already done its job. There is little room left for us to make improvements
PROFESSOR ZHU CHAODONG, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Professor Zhu Chaodong, the Institute of Zoology’s lead scientist in insect evolution studies at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said it would be a “catastrophe” if billions of cockroaches were suddenly released into the environment – be it through human error or a natural disaster like an earthquake that damaged the building.
To Xichang’s near-800,000 inhabitants, one such accident could be “terrifying”, Zhu said. The farm is also located close to Xichang’s Qingshan airport.
“Multiple lines of defence must be in place and work properly to prevent the disaster of accidental release,” Zhu said.
Cockroaches multiply rapidly in a suitable environment, said Zhu. Given Xichang’s warm climate and ample rainfall, a dozen of them could infest an entire neighbourhood.
There are also concerns that the farm’s intensive reproduction and genetic screening would accelerate the insect’s evolution and produce “super-cockroaches”, of abnormal size and breeding capability, although Zhu said this was unlikely to happen.
Cockroaches are believed to have been around since the dinosaurs, surviving extreme environmental conditions that brought extinction for other species.
“Every cockroach is a super-cockroach,” Zhu said. “Mother Nature has already done its job. There is little room left for us to make improvements.”
Creating the potion
At the time of the government report, the farm had generated a total of 4.3 billion yuan (US$684 million) in revenue over the years by manufacturing a potion made entirely of cockroaches.
When they reach the desired weight and size, the cockroaches are fed into machines and crushed to make the potion, which had “remarkable effects” on stomach pain and other ailments, said the provincial government.
The potion has a tea-like colour, tastes “slightly sweet” and has “a slightly fishy smell”, according to the product’s packaging.
More than 40 million patients with respiratory, gastric and other diseases were cured after taking the potion on doctors’ prescriptions, according to the official report, which stated that the farm was selling it to more than 4,000 hospitals across the country.
The miracle-like cure
Cockroach has been an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In some rural areas in southern China, infants are still occasionally fed cockroaches mixed with garlic to treat fever caused by an infection or upset stomach.
The Chinese government financed nationwide studies into cockroaches’ medical value that, after more than two decades of laboratory investigation and clinical trials, had discovered or confirmed dozens of disease-fighting proteins and biochemical compounds with huge potential value in medicine.
Thousands of pages of Chinese medical journals have detailed findings suggesting the rejuvenating effect of the cockroach potion. It could stimulate regrowth of damaged tissues such as skin and mucosa, the sticky membrane on the surface of internal organs that is difficult to heal and causes chronic pain.
Patients suffering burns or serious stomach inflammations recovered faster with the potion treatment than without, according to numerous studies.
“The potion is not a panacea – it does not have a magic power against all diseases,” said a researcher experienced in cockroach-related medicines at the Institute of Materia Medica at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) in Beijing.
“But its effect on certain symptoms is well established, and confirmed by molecular science and large-scale hospital applications.”
Patients learn the Latin
There is a potentially major disadvantage to the potion, according to the CAMS researcher, who requested not to be named. “The source of raw material, to most people, is disgusting,” she said. “That is an important reason why the use of the potion is not found in other countries.
“Even in China, most patients might not know the liquid came from cockroaches.”
The potion is not for sale over the counter, but the Post has bought it in a drug store in Beijing without being asked for a doctor’s prescription.
A pack containing two bottles of 100ml cost a bit more than 50 yuan (US$8).
On the packaging and in the user instructions, only one ingredient was listed: Periplaneta americana, the Latin name of the American cockroach, one of the largest cockroach species.
The internet has played host to lively discussions about the medicine, known as kangfuxin ye, or “potion of recovery”.
“I searched for Periplaneta americana when drinking the potion. I saw the picture and spat it all on screen,” wrote one user on Baidu Tieba, the large Chinese online community run by search engine company Baidu.
Several patients who had consumed the potion told the Post they were not aware of its content when they drank it.
“This is knowledge I’d rather live without,” said a young mother in Beijing who was prescribed it to accelerate recovery after giving birth a year ago.
“I don’t know the effect, but I healed eventually,” said another patient, who took the potion to cure a back injury.
‘Disgusting but powerful’
Han Yijun, a representative of Gooddoctor Pharmaceutical Group in Beijing, has denied the company misleads patients by referring to the giant cockroach by its academic name.
“Our drug has been used in hospitals for many, many years and established an enormous number of fans,” she said.
Some patients with chronic stomach illness were taking the potion regularly because it could relieve their pain significantly, she said.
“They all know it’s made from cockroaches,” Han said. “It is a disgusting insect, but there are hardly any drugs on the shelves with the same effect.”