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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 27.01.2023

FBI Raids NYC Building Where Communist China Is Accused Of ‘Conducting’ Secret ‘Police Operations’

Federal law enforcement officials reportedly raided a building in New York’s Chinatown late last year as part of the FBI’s efforts to rein in a secretive Chinese police force accused of collecting intelligence on Chinese diaspora and harrassing dissidents. The New York Times reported that on the third floor of the six-story office building was a Chinese outpost that the feds say was conducting police operations without jurisdiction or diplomatic approval from U.S. officials.

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Switzerland still hesitating over China sanctions

Bern has since March 2021 left open whether or not it would follow EU sanctions on Beijing, says the paper. After waiting a year and a half, the federal government discussed the issue for a second time in December but still did not reach a decision, and Brussels is getting impatient. Asked about the December 9 meeting, the economics ministry told NZZ am Sonntag that the government had decided to examine “more deeply” the existing legal bases for sanctions. But the paper says the ministry’s words are at odds with the “meticulous groundwork of the federal administration where the legal clarifications regarding the sanctions have been ready for quite some time”.

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Tech giants’ pivot out of China can usher in a human rights reset

In late November, protests erupted in a factory manufacturing Apple products in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou amid workers’ discontent about pay. Footage and images from the site showed police beating protesters and arresting them. The turmoil in Zhengzhou was the latest in a series of challenges that have delayed the manufacturing of Apple products in China and led to the company accelerating its plans to move its production elsewhere.

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The Times view on British universities’ links with China: Security Threats on Campus

More and more British universities depend on China for money. More than 140,000 Chinese students are now studying in Britain, a record number and greater than the total from any other country. Some universities rely on China for a quarter of all income from fees. Not only is this unhealthy and unbalanced: it is also increasingly undesirable, politically and morally. Some 42 have links with Chinese institutions connected to the repression of the Uighurs, espionage, nuclear weapons research or hacking. Many of these have had links with Chinese universities carrying out military work, according to data gathered by The Times.

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US Uyghurs urge China to release 19-year-old sister

Kamile Wayit, a 19-year-old college student in China's Hebei province, was arrested by police in December after returning to Xinjiang for the winter vacation. A Uighur working as an engineer in the United States has urged Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang to release his 19-year-old sister, who was arrested in December after she shared a video of the "White Paper" protests China had published November.

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Tale of a Uyghur mum who fled Chinese persecution in East Turkestan

In part three of this mini-series, Maira shares a Uyghur mother's personal account, where she provides insight into her challenging journey from East Turkestan to Türkiye. How do you manage and survive through this struggle? Not seeing your child, how do you deal with this?”, I asked. “It is very painful for me. In the beginning, I would cry every time I remembered him”, she replied

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For Tibetans, Getting Information Past China’s Barriers is Harder Than Ever

On Feb. 25, 2022, Tibetan pop star Tsewang Norbu walked to a monument in central Lhasa near the Potala Palace, former home of the Dalai Lama. Amid a crowd of tourists and commuters, he doused his body in fuel and set himself on fire. Mr. Norbu, who had appeared on China’s version of The Voice, reportedly died in a hospital in the Tibetan capital a few days later, amid heavy security and an information blackout by Chinese media. Much about the 25-year-old’s self-immolation and death remains shrouded in mystery almost a year later.

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