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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 15.12.2023

Washington has Failed to Pressure China over Uyghur Human Rights

The plight of the Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region underscores the resilience of a community and the urgent call for an international response. In the last half-decade, more than two million Uyghurs, including a significant number of children, have been detained in internment camps. The existing policy of the United States in response to these human rights abuses in China falls short. The question remains: Will the United States take decisive steps to avert another genocide?

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No One Is Talking About the Plight of Uyghurs with Disabilities in Detention. The World Owes Them More.

In 2016, Chinese authorities began rounding up Uyghur intellectuals. Among those detained was Ababekri Muhtar, the founder of Misranim, a popular social media site used by Uyghurs to debate with and learn from each other. Muhtar relies on a wheelchair for mobility, but this did not exempt him from the brutal treatment authorities inflicted upon the Uyghurs they had detained. While he was later released without further explanation, his detention exposes an overlooked facet of China’s relentless persecution of Uyghurs.

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Jailed Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

More than 180 high-level officials and experts have nominated jailed Uyghur academic and blogger Ilham Tohti to receive the 2024 Nobel Peace Prize, citing his role as “the true symbol of the Uyghur people's fight for freedom” under Chinese rule in Xinjiang.The nomination includes signatures from ministers, parliamentarians, university rectors and professors from countries including Canada, Japan, Rwanda, Australia, Paraguay, Turkey and France.

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Seoul beefs up efforts to diversify supply chain amid China concerns

South Korea is intensifying its efforts to diversify the supply chain for its semiconductor industry, among others, in a move to reduce its reliance on China for importing crucial materials necessary for its key sectors. South Korea has “completed” forming an alternative “global chip supply chain alliance that spans from design to materials, components, equipment, and manufacturing,” the South’s Presidential Office said in a statement Thursday.

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Hong Kong Puts Bounties on 5 Activists, Alleging Security Crimes

Hong Kong police on Thursday issued bounties of $128,000 for each of five prominent activists currently living overseas, accusing them of national security crimes. All five are living abroad after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the financial hub in 2020 to quell dissent after massive, and at times violent, pro-democracy protests. The five "have fled overseas and are suspected of offences under the national security law," said Chief Superintendent Li Kwai-wah of Hong Kong's National Security Department.

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China’s short-sighted AI regulation

The Beijing Internet Court’s ruling that content generated by artificial intelligence can be covered by copyright has caused a stir in the AI community, not least because it clashes with the stances adopted in other major jurisdictions, including the United States. In fact, that is partly the point: the ruling advances a wider effort in China to surpass the US to become a global leader in AI. Not everyone views the ruling as all that consequential. Some commentators point out that the Beijing Internet Court is a relatively low-level institution, operating within a legal system where courts are not obligated to follow precedents.

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‘They took my sister’: Uyghur activist says her work led to sibling’s detention in China

All her life Rushan Abbas (56), a Uyghur from the mainly Turkic, Muslim northeast of present-day China, has lived with persecution. Her childhood memories, and the family stories she was told about her childhood, involve loved ones being taken away by the authorities. And now, today, she lives with the belief that, because of her activism in the West, her sister, Gulshan Abbas (61), is in detention in China and denied contact with the outside world.

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