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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 31.03.2023

Staying On Top of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

The past couple of weeks have seen a flurry of important Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act (UFLPA) developments. This post flags the things importers need to know now in a way that links back into the bigger picture of what importers need to be doing to achieve UFLPA compliance. Having laid out the latest developments, let’s tie it all together by linking back into the bigger picture of what importers need to be doing to achieve UFLPA compliance. Forced labor is now, per FLETF, a “top tier” compliance and enforcement issue for CBP and the trade.

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Kazakhstan keeps lid tight on Xinjiang activism in pursuit of trade boom

As China seeks to pursue a policy of normalization in its Xinjiang province, where it has embarked on years of repression against the native Uyghur population and other mainly Muslim Turkic minorities, Kazakhstan is hoping to reap the economic dividends. Astana appears to believe that doing so will require keeping a tight lid on the vocal protests of the relatives of ethnic Kazakhs imprisoned by the Chinese authorities. They have shown no hesitation in doing that.

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Asian Americans are anxious about hate crimes. TikTok ban rhetoric isn’t helping

Ellen Min doesn’t go to the grocery store anymore. She avoids bars and going out to eat with her friends; festivals and community events are out, too. This year, she opted not to take her kids to the local St. Patrick’s Day parade. Min isn’t a shut-in. She’s just a Korean American from central Pennsylvania. Ever since the US government shot down a Chinese spy balloon last month, Min has withdrawn from her normal routine out of a concern she or her family may become targeted in one of the hundreds of anti-Asian hate crimes the FBI now says are occurring every year.

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Children Turning to Social Media for News, UK Regulator Finds

Children are increasingly turning to social media for news and “generally believe” what they discover online is true, according to a new study by Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom. Many children watch CBBC Newsround at school but very few watch mainstream news programmes at home, the study found. CBBC Newsround is a BBC news channel for children. Instead, they turn to social media for information and many found out about the death of Queen Elizabeth II through TikTok or YouTube.

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China must practise the multilateral security it preaches in its disputed borders and seas

The United States has faced criticism for its military interventions and coercive tactics to garner support for the world order it dominates. Nations that oppose the US hegemony risk military and economic repercussions. China projects an alternative model. It has established itself as a partner mostly with a hands-off approach to others’ domestic politics. Its Global Security Initiative, which opposes military alliances, hegemony and unilateralism, has gained traction in regions in South America, Africa and the Arab world.

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China’s growing influence threatens to undermine global human rights, new research finds

China’s growing global influence poses a serious threat to international human rights, according to a new report, which suggests that the United Nations Human Rights Council — the body established to safeguard such international protections — is failing to counter the risks. The UNHRC is an inter-governmental body made up of 47 U.N. member states, which are elected on a three-year rotational basis with the stated aim of strengthening the “promotion and protection of human rights” globally.

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In Istanbul, the last Uyghur bookshops struggle to survive

Located a few feet below street level in the busy Sefakoy district of Istanbul, the Kutadgu Bilik bookshop is a trove of Uyghur culture. If you visit late on a weekday afternoon, you’ll find children whizzing down the aisles, occasionally stopping to flick through the glossy Uyghur-language books that line the walls. It is close to an idyllic scene. As a people subject to ongoing repression in China — or genocide, as a U.S. congressional committee heard in Washington, D.C. last week — it could appear the Uyghurs have found peace in Turkey, a space where they can preserve and even revive their language and literature.

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