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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 24.03.2023

We can’t lose China, EU leaders say

European leaders are suddenly falling over each other to get to China. Amid growing concern that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is hardening his support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Thursday he will fly to Beijing for talks next week. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will follow on a longer-planned trip on April 4. A succession of European Union leaders used a summit in Brussels to raise the alarm about China’s ostentatious backing for Vladimir Putin this week, warning that they could not stand by while Beijing and Moscow cement an alliance that risks tipping the world deeper into crisis.

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China Tries to Block Prominent Uyghur Speaker at UN

China attempted on Thursday to block a prominent Uyghur activist from speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where he demanded the body urgently address allegations of serious violations by Beijing. Dolkun Isa, a Uyghur activist based in Germany and president of the World Uyghur Congress, spoke up during a general debate about concerns around the world. Pointing to a number of recent reports, including one from former U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet warning of possible crimes against humanity being committed against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's far-western Xinjiang region, he said the allegations "require the immediate and urgent attention of the council."

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Thailand and Pakistan: No Friends of Uyghur Refugees

Recent cases highlight the danger of forced repatriation that Uyghur refugees face in Thailand and Pakistan, casting a disturbing shadow over Muslim states’ connivance with the CCP crimes. As Voice of America reported in late February 2022, Abdulaziz Abdullah, a 49-years old Uyghur refugee, died at the Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, allegedly due to police neglect. He had left Xinjiang, which its non-Han inhabitants call East Turkestan, to escape the persecution that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) inflicts to its people. His fate casts a disturbing shadow on the more than fifty other Uyghur refugees whom, reportedly, Thai authorities hold in similar facilities since 2014. Abdullah is in fact the fourth Uyghur to die in a Thai detention center.

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Tibetan Buddhist school requires students to obey Communist Party, oppose separatists

A Tibetan Buddhist school in southwestern China is requiring entering students to obey the ruling Chinese Communist Party and oppose “separatists,” according to an admissions notice issued Thursday and obtained by Radio Free Asia.The Tibetan Buddhist Institute in Sichuan province has made abiding by the CCP’s ideology and opposing those who advocate splitting the Tibet Autonomous Region from the rest of China conditions for being admitted to the school, which educates Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. “Though the institute claims that its aim is to provide an opportunity to study Tibetan Buddhism, in reality, the Chinese government is using such institutions as a tool to Sinicize Tibetan Buddhism,” said Pema Gyal, a researcher at London–based Tibet Watch, a rights group.

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Hong Kong orders takedown of protest artwork as police interrogate labor activists

The Hong Kong government has ordered the removal of a digital billboard installation containing the names of those who took part in the 2019 protest movement, while national security police have detained at least six former members of a now-disbanded pro-democracy labor union for questioning.A piece by U.S. digital artist Patrick Amadon titled "No Rioters" was taken down from a digital display screen on the Sogo department store in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay shopping district, the artist said via his Twitter account.

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TikTok CEO denies links to Chinese Communist Party

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on Thursday denied the popular social media app has links to the Chinese Communist Party, dismissing even the notion that its Beijing-based parent ByteDance is a Chinese company and arguing that it has no oversight over the app.Chew was appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in long-awaited testimony that was first announced Jan. 30, and which arrived after months of bipartisan and White House support for legislation to ban TikTok on national security grounds.

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UNESCO Made Ukraine a Priority, but Xinjiang Fell By the Wayside

When some cultures are protected more than others.Cultural destruction is playing a central role in China’s onslaught against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Since 2017, Chinese authorities have destroyed or damaged approximately 16,000 mosques—about 65 percent of the total—in Xinjiang, according to a 2020 report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

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