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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 03.02.2023

Hong Kongers fear a great firewall, TikTokers arrested in Egypt, spyware in Central America

In Hong Kong, forms of censorship that once seemed unthinkable now feel like a clear and present threat as Beijing tightens its grip on the city-state and its once-lively public sphere. Last week, I met a democracy activist who said Hong Kongers are worried that something like China’s so-called “Great Firewall” — the world’s most robust state-run internet censorship machine — could soon be erected to prevent free information flows in and out of Hong Kong.

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The Fate of Tibet After the Inevitable: A Tibetan Opinion

Now even after hundreds of self immolations inside of Tibet, ecological catastrophe, destruction of monasteries, and deteriorating human rights, Tibet is failing to make it to the global headlines and is often intentionally ignored and thrown in the back burner of hypocrisy and anonymity. As of late, whenever we hear of the Chinese Communist Party and the condemnations thereof, Xinjiang has replaced Tibet as their Achilles heels that the west led by the U.S is keen on poking at.

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Canadian lawmakers pass motion to accept 10,000 Uyghur refugees

Canada’s parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed a motion to resettle 10,000 Uyghur refugees to Canada in response to the Chinese government’s efforts to forcibly return members of the mostly Muslim group back to China, where they are at risk of persecution. The nonbinding motion calls on the Canadian government to develop a plan within four months to resettle 10,000 Uyghurs in the country over two years beginning in 2024, with a focus on Uyghurs from other countries rather than directly from China.

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Ngaba Prefecture, Sichuan: Massive Re-Education to Prevent Tibetan Self-Immolations

In the “world capital of self-immolation,” the CCP wrongly believes that more repression and “patriotic education” may solve the problem. In a way, the situation in Ngaba Prefecture is worse than in the TAR. It has been under Chinese occupation for a longer period, and Communism was brought by the Red Army together with famine already in the 1930s. In 1958, Chairman Mao launched a brutal Sinicization program, a forerunner of the Cultural Revolution, in which monasteries were destroyed, lamas were killed, imprisoned, or forced to take secular jobs, and traditional family agriculture was replaced by collective farms.

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Lawmakers, rights lawyer urge additional pressure on China to end Uyghur repression

The United States must ramp up pressure on the Chinese government to stop the severe repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and do more to enforce recent laws passed by U.S. lawmakers addressing the forced labor of the predominantly Muslim minority group, two U.S. congressmen and a human rights lawyer told RFA. The comments were made Tuesday on the sidelines of the two-day International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., where politicians, religious leaders, and human rights advocates gathered to draw attention to global religious persecution.

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US scrutinizing imports from China’s Xinjiang under Uyghur Labor Prevention Act

Washington [US], January 29 (ANI): US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is scrutinizing imports from China’s Xinjiang region under a recent law that aims to block goods made with Uyghur forced labour. Shipments of solar panels and related components have been the most commonly flagged product to date, Fox Business reported. “Between June 2022 and January 2023, 2,692 shipments were identified as potentially violating the terms of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” a spokesperson for CBP told FOX Business.

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TikTok Is Bad, but WeChat Is Worse

WeChat is the most popular communications platform in the world for Chinese speakers. It’s also a preferred vehicle for China’s Communist Party to steal data, censor, propagandize and spread disinformation in the U.S., where the app has an average of 19 million daily users. Congress banned the use of TikTok on government devices recently, and the Biden administration is reportedly seeking to go further by, for instance, limiting access to user data to mitigate the app’s dangers. Given the zeal to address threats emanating from a Chinese app, why is WeChat being ignored?

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