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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 11.08.2023

UK considers tighter rules on investment in China after US clampdown

The British government is considering tightening rules on investment in China after the US president announced new measures aimed at limiting the dollars and expertise flowing into sensitive technologies in the country. Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that authorises the US treasury secretary to prohibit or restrict US investments in Chinese entities in three sectors: semiconductors and microelectronics; quantum information technologies; and certain artificial intelligence systems.

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HSBC exec apologizes after calling the UK ‘weak’ for following US lead over China

A top executive at HSBC has apologized after reportedly calling the UK government “weak” for caving to US pressure over doing business with China, in another sign of the political tightrope the British bank has to walk. Sherard Cowper-Coles, HSBC’s head of public affairs, inadvertently caused a firestorm Monday when Bloomberg reported his criticism of both the United Kingdom and the United States over their approaches to the world’s second largest economy.

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How MIT Helped Develop Tech for a Chinese Company That Surveils Uyghurs

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology used funding from a twice-sanctioned Chinese company to advance components of facial recognition technology, which its Chinese benefactor has reportedly used to track and imprison Uyghurs, a Washington Free Beacon review found. China’s largest facial recognition company, SenseTime, donated an undisclosed amount of money to MIT in 2018. Twenty of the 22 research papers that donation funded, the Free Beacon found, focused on or mentioned "neural networks," which are used in facial recognition technology.

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Why You Should Worry About China’s Missing Minister

The disappearance of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has generated a torrent of speculation about what might have happened to him. The mystery points to a larger, and disconcerting, truth: We understand very little about the inner workings of Chinese politics at a moment when we need to know more than ever. China’s Communist regime has always been opaque. But the more China’s global power rises, the more problematic the Communist Party’s secrecy becomes. The decisions made in Beijing influence the wealth and welfare of billions of people, the health of the planet, and war and peace itself.

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Center for Uyghur Studies releases new book on Uyghur genocide

The Center for Uyghur Studies (CFU) has announced the release of the book “Menace: China’s Colonization of the Islamic World & Uyghur Genocide” from an Uyghur perspective on the neocolonialism that the Chinese regime is bringing to the world, and the Uyghur genocide. The book was published by the newly established Center for Uyghur Studies, the release marks what CFU hopes will be the beginning of a widespread push to include the voices of Uyghur scholars on the crisis facing their own people. The book is written by Mr. Abdulhakim Idris, Inspector General of the World Uyghur Congress and an Islamic scholar.

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US Widens Blacklist of China-Based Firms Over Uyghur Forced Labor Concerns

Washington added more China-based companies to a blacklist Tuesday, barring their goods from entering the United States as officials seek to remove forced labor — especially involving minorities such as the Uyghur people — from supply chains. Battery maker Camel Group, along with spice and extract company Chenguang Biotech Group, are the latest to be included in the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) entity list, according to U.S. authorities. The firms were targeted over accusations of working with China's government to recruit, transport or receive forced labor or members of persecuted groups such as Uyghur minorities out of the Xinjiang region.

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Hikvision Continues to Supply Uyghur Recognition Software Despite Denials

More than one out of every five surveillance cameras in the world is manufactured by Hikvision, and chances are you have one in your city, if not in your home, Bitter Winter wrote. As the report highlights though, Hikvision is controlled by the Chinese Communist government. Although it does not exactly advertise these facts, its controlling share belongs to China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which is in turn controlled by the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, an entity under the direct supervision of the CCP’s Politburo.

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