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Thread: Three Investigating Ivanka & Jenners' Chinese Suppilers Disappeared Or Detained

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Three Investigating Ivanka & Jenners' Chinese Suppilers Disappeared Or Detained



    Two men have disappeared, and a third was detained by police, while investigating workers' rights violations at a Chinese company that manufactures products for high-profile retail brands including those of Ivanka Trump and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.

    Hua Haifeng, Li Zhao, and Su Heng all disappeared while in the province of Jiangxi, according to Bill Hurst, a member of the board of directors for non-profit advocacy group China Labor Watch (CLW), and a professor at Northwestern University. Su was investigating a factory in the city of Ganzhou when he disappeared, while Li and Hua had been investigating another factory several hundred miles away before traveling to Ganzhou, where they also disappeared.

    Officials later told Hua he was being detained as part of a criminal investigation, Hurst told BuzzFeed News, but "no one has yet been able to ascertain the exact situation or whereabouts of" the other two men. According to Hurst, CLW has been in touch with the men's family and friends, as well as Chinese government officials.

    The Associated Press first reported the the men's disappearances and detention Tuesday, saying CLW had lost contact with them over the weekend. Hua's wife, Deng Guilian, told the AP that police called her Tuesday afternoon to say Hua was accused of illegal surveillance. Deng was not allowed to speak with Hua.

    Huajian Group owns the factories the men were investigating. CLW Executive Director Li Qiang told BuzzFeed News the facilities supply products for the Jenner sisters' Kendall+Kylie brand. It also produces goods for the brands of Ivanka Trump and Karl Lagerfeld, as well as Easy Spirit, Nine West, Mark Fisher, and others.

    A Huajian spokesman told the AP in January that the company makes 20 million shoes annually, between 10,000 and 20,000 of which are for Trump's brand.

    In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for Mark Fisher said "we were unaware of the allegations and will look into them immediately." Trump's brand declined to comment for this story, and Trump herself is taking a leave of absence from the company while she advises her father, President Donald Trump.

    Other clothing brands did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment Tuesday. Huajian Group also did not respond to BuzzFeed News request for comment.

    According to Li, the three men had discovered a number of workers' rights violations at the factory, including forced overtime, sub-minimum wage pay, verbal abuse by managers, and women's rights violations.

    Trump's brand, in particular, has raised eyebrows in the past. The brand bills itself as being "dedicated to the mission of inspiring and empowering women to create the lives they want to lead." However, an investigation by Project Just, a consumer advocacy and research organization, was unable to find a code of ethics or human rights policies for the company.

    Jacinta Fitzgerald, Project Just’s head of research, told BuzzFeed News Tuesday that her organization had looked at the same factory CLW was investigating and tried to find information on working conditions. But, surprisingly companies of this scale, they found nothing.

    “This Huajian facility came up in our research as one of the brands footwear suppliers, but we were unable to find any information on conditions beyond that,” Fitzgerald said.Last year, Trump's brand was also the target of a boycott, and over the ensuing months multiple retailers abandoned the line — though several cited lagging sales as the cause.

    Trump's brand has also drawn attention for being manufactured overseas, given that her father campaigned for president on a platform of moving manufacturing jobs back to the US.

    According to Li, CLW has conducted hundreds of investigations over 17 years, but has never had a situation like the one unfolding now with two missing men and a third being detained.

    "This is the first time any our investigators have been detained under a criminal process," he said. "The accusation from Jiangxi police has no factual basis."
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/jimdalrympl...BEg#.eovJkGJ64

    It appears from the Toronto Star article excerpted below that these three men are Chinese citizens However, they were employed by a US Human Rights' Advocacy Group, and the involvement of the Trumps in this story is likely one reason the Chinese government "disappeared' them, as has apparently happened.

    That means diplomatic pressure by the US is most likely an effective means to free then, and failing to except that pressure is an endorsement by POTUS Trump of the horrible, repressive human rights violations that the Communist Chinese have been known to employ against dissidents there -- ever moreso in recent years, a China apparently makes ready to begin its Campaign for World Domination.

    Are Americans willing to tolerate the Trumps using the Communist Chinese government to help cover up possible US trade law violations?

    Or even just merely to avoid embarrassment?


    Last edited by Madeline; 31st May 2017 at 02:22 AM.
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    *Snip*

    The arrest and disappearances come amid a crackdown on perceived threats to the stability of China's ruling Communist Party, particularly from sources with foreign ties such as China Labor Watch. Faced with rising labor unrest and a slowing economy, Beijing has taken a stern approach to activism in southern China's manufacturing belt and to human rights advocates generally, sparking a wave of critical reports about disappearances, public confessions, forced repatriation and torture in custody.

    China Labor Watch's investigation also had an unusual target: a brand owned by the daughter of the president of the United States.

    "Ivanka's brand should immediately cease its work with this supplier, and the Trump administration should reverse its current course and confront China on its human rights abuses," Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in a Wednesday email. Ivanka Trump must decide, she added, "whether she can ignore the Chinese government's apparent attempt to silence an investigation into those worker abuses."

    Ivanka Trump's lifestyle brand imports most of its merchandise from China, trade data show. She and her father both have extensive trademark portfolios in China, though neither has managed to build up a large retail or real estate presence here. The sister of Jared Kushner, a Trump adviser and husband of Ivanka, travelled to China this past month to court investment from Chinese families for a real estate project in New Jersey.

    "The eagerness of members of the family to do business in China while airbrushing very troubling human rights and labor rights records of the country is troubling," said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for Amnesty International. We'll have to wait and see, he added, "to what extent business is trumping any kind of consideration of the diplomatic capital of the U.S. in promoting human rights, labor rights and democracy." Amnesty International called for the release of Hua Haifeng on Wednesday, as well as his two colleagues, who are feared to have been detained.

    White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks referred questions to Ivanka Trump's brand. The Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment.

    Abigail Klem, who took over day-to-day management when the first daughter became a White House presidential adviser, has said the brand requires licensees and their manufacturers to "comply with all applicable laws and to maintain acceptable working conditions."

    China tightened control over foreign NGOs starting this year by requiring them to register with state security. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing Wednesday that she was not aware of the arrest and disappearances. She said China welcomed international NGOs to carry out research, but added, "we also hope that NGOs can also observe Chinese laws and regulations and don't engage in any illegal actions or behavior."

    Hua Haifeng was accused of illegal surveillance, according to his wife, Deng Guilian, who said the police called her Tuesday afternoon. Deng said the caller told her she didn't need to know the details, only that she would not be able to see, speak with or receive money from her husband, the family's breadwinner.

    Li said China Labor Watch asked police about the Deng and the two other investigators, Li Zhao and Su Heng, on Monday but received no reply. Li added that a friend had tried to file a missing person report on Li Zhao in Jiangxi province, but was told he had to do so in the man's hometown.

    AP was unable to reach the other investigators' families. China's Ministry of Public Security and police could not be reached for comment Tuesday, which was a national holiday in China. Calls went unanswered Wednesday morning.

    The men were investigating Huajian Group factories in the southern Chinese cities of Ganzhou and Dongguan. Su Heng had been working undercover at the Ganzhou factory since April, Li said.

    *Snip*

    Li Zhao and Hua Haifeng were blocked from leaving mainland China for Hong Kong in April and May - something that had never happened to his colleagues before, Li said. Hua Haifeng was stopped at the border May 25 and later questioned by police, Li said. During their final phone conversation on Saturday, Hua told Li that police had asked him to stop investigating the Huajian factory - another turn of events that Li said was unprecedented.

    Li said the men had documented excessive overtime, with working days sometimes stretching longer than 18 hours, and a base salary below minimum wage. They were working to confirm evidence suggesting that student interns - some of whom allegedly quit in protest - were putting in excessive hours on work unrelated to their field of study, in violation of Chinese law, Li said.

    Hua's wife, Deng, meanwhile, has yet to tell the couple's children, ages 3 and 7, about their father's plight. But they seem to know anyway, she said.

    "My son suddenly burst into tears. He said he missed Papa," Deng said by phone from her home in central China's Hubei province. "I said Papa would come home soon and buy you toys."

    She said the child looked at her and answered: "Papa was taken away by a monster."
    Arrested, missing China activists spark criticism of Trump - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

    Is Trump or is he not the POTUS first and the (putative) CEO of Trump Industries second?
    Last edited by Madeline; 31st May 2017 at 02:11 AM.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    [

    Activists Hua Haifeng, left, and Li Zhao, were investigating conditions at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump-branded shoes. Hua's wife said on Tuesday that police told her he had been arrested. Meanwhile, Li and another man, Su Heng, are missing. (DENG GUILIAN VIA AP)

    *Snip*

    Walt Disney Co. stopped working with a toy maker in Shenzhen last year after the group exposed labour violations. China Labor Watch has also published reports on child labour at Samsung suppliers and spent years investigating Apple Inc.’s China factories. In the past, the worst thing Li feared was having investigators kicked out of a factory or face a short police detention.

    That has changed.

    The arrest and disappearances come amid a crackdown on perceived threats to the stability of China’s ruling Communist Party, particularly from sources with foreign ties such as China Labor Watch. Faced with rising labour unrest and a slowing economy, Beijing has also taken a stern approach to activism in southern China’s manufacturing belt and to human rights advocates generally, sparking a wave of critical reports about disappearances, public confessions, forced repatriation and torture in custody.

    *Snip*

    White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks referred questions to Ivanka Trump’s brand. The Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment for this story.


    Li said China Labor Watch asked police about the three missing investigators on Monday but received no reply. Li added that a friend had tried to file a missing-person report on Li Zhao in Jiangxi, where the factory is located, but was told he had to do so in the man’s hometown.

    The Associated Press was unable to reach the other investigators’ families. China’s Ministry of Public Security and police in Ganzhou city and Jiangxi province could not be reached for comment Tuesday, which was a national holiday in China.

    *Snip*

    Li Zhao and Hua Haifeng were blocked from leaving mainland China for Hong Kong in April and May — something that had never happened to his colleagues before, Li said. Hua Haifeng was stopped at the border May 25 and later questioned by police, Li said. During their final phone conversation on Saturday, Hua told Li that police had asked him to stop investigating the Huajian factory — another turn of events that Li said was unprecedented.

    *Snip*

    Li said the men had documented excessive overtime, with working days sometimes stretching longer than 18 hours, and a base salary below minimum wage. They were working to confirm evidence suggesting that student interns — some of whom allegedly quit in protest — were putting in excessive hours on work unrelated to their field of study, in violation of Chinese law, Li said. The use of student workers in China is legal, but meant to be strictly regulated. Rights groups and journalists have documented widespread abuse of the system over the years.

    “It is the role of the police to prevent that kind of independent investigation,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for Amnesty International. “The threshold is much lower today than it was one year ago, two years ago, and if this is something that has a foreign diplomacy dimension, that would make national security personnel even more willing to stop it.”
    https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2...ump-shoes.html

    Why is the CEO of Ivanka's brand handling a matter of international diplomacy such as this? Why is the White House apparently trying to sweep this under the rug as a mere commercial dispute in another country?

    Well, okay. "Why" is obvious.

    Will Americans tolerate a POTUS and his staff putting their private commercial interests above their duty to the country like this?
    Last edited by Madeline; 31st May 2017 at 02:12 AM.

  4. #4
    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    They probably aren't commenting because they don't have all the facts yet.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    When the report is issued on the 2017, what will it say about Trump?

  6. #6
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    China has a "strong leader". He doesn't abide constant negative press covfefe.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    China has a "strong leader". He doesn't abide constant negative press covfefe.
    Funny! I know I should not laugh with my mistakes, but that is funny!
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member DebateDrone's Avatar
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    Trump has gone out of his way to call out then make deals with China. Why the mega rich have to use Chinese labor for their products is mind boggling.

    No one can tell me Ivanka's profit margins are so slim that she needs to use almost slave labor to make money.

    The activists are being detained for using recording devices 'under-cover'. To China this is spying as China is part owners in businesses.

    Maybe the attention will keep pressure on both China and Mega rich celebrities.

    No comment from Ivanka Trump Inc.
    Last edited by DebateDrone; 31st May 2017 at 05:56 AM.
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