Businessman She Zhijiang Questions Government Motivations Behind his Persecution in Connection with Yatai Zone
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Businessman She Zhijiang Questions Government Motivations Behind his Persecution in Connection with Yatai Zone

Two private companies are building similar cities near Thailand – Laos’s GoldenTriangle Economic Zone, with a casino opened by Chinese businessman Zhao Wei; and Yatai Zone in Myanmar, opened by Chinese businessman She Zhijiang. She Zhijiang, currently imprisoned in Thailand and appealing the Thailand government’s decision to extradite him to China, questions why China government is singling him out for persecution.

Yatai Zone is only 80 kilometres away from the Kunming-Bangkok expressway and 130 kilometres away from the estuary of the port of Indian. India’s India-Thai expressway also passes through Yatai City and the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, which is less than 10 kilometres away. She Zhijiang says controlling him means controlling Yatai Sone, which is a strategic point of land simultaneously containing India’s Indian Ocean and the Indian-Thai expressway. The Chinese government is trying to extradite She Zhijiang to China with a general economic case, and She Zhijiang questions its motivations. He says that as long as he is controlled by the Chinese government, it is equivalent to China controlling the strategic location of Yatai Zone.

According to She Zhijiang, In November 2018, the Chinese government arranged personnel and company to negotiate with him several times, expecting him to use the advantages of the Yatai Zone to cooperate with China’s Southeast Asian political strategy. As a businessman, he says he did not want to be involved with politics. After repeated negotiations failed, China put She Zhijiang on a red notice in 2021 and had him arrested in Thailand in 2022; according to She Zhijiang, to force him to accept the Chinese government’s demands.

Furthermore, She Zhijiang says the China government began a political strategy to seize the Yatai Zone using the 88th China domestic law, which enables the right of recourse against Chinese citizens. She Zhijiang, however, no longer holds a Chinese passport, as he is already a Cambodian citizen. Chinese law does not allow suing a foreigner using China’s domestic law.

During She Zhijiang’s 2017-2019 trip to China (staying more thirty days in a single stay), the Chinese authorities did not arrest him in China. When he went to Guangxi Guilin in 2019 to cancel his original registered residence, he completed the procedure of cancelling his Chinese nationality. However, the Chinese authorities still used Article 88 domestic law to prosecute him – a Cambodian citizen – in 2021.

She Zhijiang says when he cooperated with the China Federation of Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs (CFOCE) in China, the Chinese government did not arrest him – only arresting him when he changed to Cambodian nationality. According to She Zhijiang, despite this being completely unreasonable and illegal, the Chinese authorities have now deceived Thailand’s government and security in securing his arrest.

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