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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 20.01.2023

World Uyghur Congress loses legal challenge against UK authorities

The World Uyghur Congress has said it is disappointed to have lost a legal challenge against UK authorities for not launching a criminal investigation into the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province but would continue to fight for accountability. The WUC took the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), to the high court, claiming an unlawful failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps used to detain Uyghurs and people from other Muslim minorities.

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FBI seeks victims of China's overseas pressure campaign

The FBI is using ads on Facebook to seek out Chinese language speakers in the U.S. who have been harassed or digitally stalked by malicious Chinese government actors, Axios has learned. It's the latest step in a months-long effort to root out what law enforcement calls "transnational repression" by Beijing. Over the last year, the FBI has arrested or charged a host of U.S. residents and Chinese intelligence officials as part of a nationwide crackdown.

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Tens of thousands of students pledge loyalty to Beijing before arriving abroad

Tens of thousands of Chinese students studying overseas on government-backed scholarships are required to sign a document pledging loyalty to the ruling Communist Party, as well as putting up guarantors who could be forced to repay their funding should they break the agreement, before arriving at overseas universities, Radio Free Asia has learned

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More universities are banning TikTok from their campus networks and devices

Public universities across a widening swath of U.S. states have banned TikTok in recent months, and two of the country’s largest colleges just followed suit. The University of Texas and Texas A&M University are two of the latest colleges to take action against the social app, which is owned by Beijing-based parent company ByteDance. The flurry of recent campus TikTok bans was inspired by executive orders issued by a number of state governors.

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China’s fading perception management in Xinjiang

At the time of the 1949 Revolution, Xinjiang was under the independent rule of the East Turkestan Republic, with a contested history and centrifugal tendencies. After getting control over the vast Muslim-dominated region of Xinjiang, the CCP, through its cadres, attacked the customs, ideas, and habits of Xinjiang natives and considered Uyghurs as “foreign invaders and aliens”.

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China does not let Uyghurs cross Xinjiang's borders: Uyghur man Jamal

An Uyghur man, Jamal, in an interview with Washington, D.C. based radio network Voice of America (VOA), said that the Chinese policy on passports in Xinjiang is to not let anyone cross borders and to keep everyone intact inside the region, Switzerland-based Geneva Daily reported. Jamal in the interview made it clear that China does not issue new passports to the Uyghurs. Uyghurs do not speak to the media even after leaving China due to the fear of retaliation by Chinese authorities, he said.

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China forces journalists to take exam to demonstrate loyalty, political correctness

China says it will require its journalists to take a national professional exam that will test their political correctness and allegiance to China’s rulers. Those who don’t toe the party line could have their press credentials revoked, mimicking a crackdown on the country's lawyers. From July 1, anyone engaged in newsgathering and editing work in news organizations across China will be required to take the same exam in order to get a "journalist certificate," according to a Dec. 30 directive issued by the country's media regulator, the National Press and Publication Administration.

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