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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 09.06.2023

US House panel reviewing university with Pentagon contract for ties to Chinese programmes

A university in up-state New York receiving millions of dollars in federal funds for hypersonic missile research has come under congressional scrutiny for hosting a Confucius Institute and partnering with a Chinese university that allegedly conducts classified research for the Chinese military. “You are funding advanced hypersonic weapons-related research at an American university that actively partners with a Chinese university that performs similar research for the PLA,” Representative Mike Gallagher, the chairman of the House select committee on China, said in a letter to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on May 31.

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China seeking to spy on the U.S. from a base in Cuba

China is in talks with Cuba to establish a foothold there to spy on the United States, two senior U.S. officials said, a provocative move that already has lawmakers warning about parallels to the Cold War. The officials, granted anonymity to discuss an extremely sensitive intelligence matter, said that China was in direct conversations with Cuba to set up a base on the island nation just 100 miles from the United States. It would allow Beijing to collect signals intelligence on southeastern portions of America, home to many military facilities and major industries. Evidence of the negotiations came to light in recent weeks, the officials said.

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Chinese CCTV cameras that caught Matt Hancock affair kiss to be banned

Chinese CCTV cameras that captured Matt Hancock’s affair with a senior aide are to be banned from Government buildings under new national security rules. New laws on public sector procurement will see providers including Hikvision and Dahua, two leading Chinese CCTV manufacturers, blocked from the British state. Under the new Procurement Bill, companies subject to China’s National Security Law will be banned from bidding on public contracts.

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Chinese dissident artist Badiucao’s works to be presented in Warsaw

The thought-provoking artwork of Chinese artist and activist Badiucao has garnered a lot of attention on social media platforms. His works provide a critique of ideological control by political authorities in China and elsewhere by skilfully incorporating the visual language of communist propaganda. Badiucao’s online campaigns, research projects, and calls to action resonate with his offline work, which includes painting, drawing, and captivating visual and sound installations showcased in the exhibition “Tell China’s Story Well”.

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China’s “Query System for Islamic, Catholic, and Christian Clergy,” Another Tool for Repression

Earlier this year, Bitter Winter reported that the “Buddhist and Taoist Clerical Personnel Information Query System” had been launched in Beijing. It was presented as a tool to “unmask” false and fraudulent Taoist priests and Buddhist monks. Where frauds are not unknown, the main reason for the creation of the data base was to identify, expose as illegitimate, and persecute Buddhist and Taoist clergy not subservient to the CCP nor part of the government-controlled China Buddhist Association and China Taoist Association.


Hong Kong Authorities Seek Ban of Protest Song Online, in Public

Hong Kong is aiming to ban digital and public performances of a song that was widely used during the pro-democracy protests four years ago, a move critics say is part of a broader trend to stamp out dissent. The ban, if implemented, would present new challenges for tech companies operating in Hong Kong, analysts add. During the political unrest of 2019, "Glory to Hong Kong" became the unofficial anthem of the pro-democracy movement.

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Shaanxi court jails tortured rights lawyer Chang Weiping for three-and-a-half years

A court in the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi has jailed prominent rights lawyer Chang Weiping for three-and-a-half years after he attended a gathering of dissidents in the southeastern city of Xiamen in December 2019. The Feng County People’s Court handed down the sentence to Chang – whose lawyers say he has suffered torture in incommunicado detention – after finding him guilty of “incitement to subvert state power” at a secret trial.

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