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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 12.05.2023

U.S. Sen. Rubio introduces bill to beef up air bases that would defend Taiwan

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill Thursday that seeks to strengthen American air bases in the Indo-Pacific region to better respond to mainland Chinese aggression against Taiwan. The Deterring Chinese Preemptive Strikes Act “direct[s] the U.S. Department of Defense to harden U.S. facilities in the Indo-Pacific to help further deter a preemptive strike against U.S. forces and assets in the region by China ahead of an invasion of Taiwan.” War games conducted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies showed that Beijing’s strategy if it were to mount such an invasion would be to attack U.S. bases in the region with missiles, a statement by Rubio’s office said.

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The CCP Against Juliet: Why King Charles’ Coronation Concert Angered the Party

Nationalist netizens, some of them with official positions in the Hong Kong government, are demanding that award-winning actress Mei Mac should be sanctioned by the Chinese authorities after her performance as Juliet at King Charles III’s Coronation Concert in Windsor Castle. King Charles is a Shakespeare fan, and Mac performed excerpts from “Romeo and Juliet” together with Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa, who played Romeo and stars in the BBC TV series “Doctor Who.”

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China Hands Eight-Year Jail Term to Activist at Trial Barred to Diplomats

China sentenced lawyer and prominent rights activist Guo Feixiong to a prison term of eight years on Thursday, with diplomats from several countries saying they were barred from the trial in the southern city of Guangzhou. The sentence follows terms of more than a decade in jail each handed to two prominent rights lawyers, Ding Jiaxi and Xu Zhiyong in April, amid China's clampdown on dissent since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

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Blinken remarks on mass DNA collection in Tibet, Xinjiang spark backlash from China

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concern over the collection of DNA from Tibetans and Uyghurs by Chinese authorities, sparking a vehement reply from Beijing. Speaking at a Freedom House awards event in Washington on Tuesday, Blinken said access to human genomic data opens up more human rights concerns because advances in biotechnology have enabled genomic surveillance based on DNA, potentially facilitating rights abuses. He is the senior-most U.S. official to raise the issue.

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China Says It's Willing to Work With US on Audit Deal as Challenges Loom

China's securities watchdog on Thursday said it was willing to work with its counterparts in the United States to promote audit regulatory cooperation and safeguard the rights and interests of global investors. The comment from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or CSRC, came a day after a U.S. accounting watchdog said it had found unacceptable deficiencies in audits of U.S.-listed Chinese companies.


Chinese court jails veteran activist Guo Feixiong for eight years

Chinese authorities have handed down an eight-year jail term to a veteran rights activist after he set up a website calling for constitutional democracy, his sister said on Thursday. The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court sentenced Yang Maodong, better known by his pen name Guo Feixiong, to eight years' imprisonment after finding him guilty of "incitement to subvert state power," his sister Yang Maoping said. The court said Guo, 56, had set up a website titled the "World Forum for Constitutional Democracy" in 2020, where he had published and reposted "inflammatory articles," she said.

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Doing business in Hong Kong is 'risky,' Jimmy Lai's son warns investors, companies

The suppression of Hong Kong's promised freedoms under Chinese rule should serve as a warning to the international community that Beijing will continue to export its authoritarian rule far beyond its borders, says the son of jailed Hong Kong media magnate Jimmy Lai. "Hong Kong is a litmus test for how China views the world," Sebastien Lai told journalists during a visit to Washington. "If they aren't willing to respect those freedoms in Hong Kong, then the long arm of China is basically everywhere."

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