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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 08.09.2023

China’s concerning new strategy on human rights: unite the world behind a ‘selective’ approach Election

For more than three decades, China has struggled to contain criticism of its human rights record. It faced a storm of outrage over the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and condemnation of its mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs in recent years. Each time, the Chinese government has had to deal with the diplomatic fallout of its own repression. To deflect this criticism, Chinese diplomats and propagandists have promulgated a series of different claims.

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Startup investors are fueling a boom in U.S. defense tech as China standoff opens doors at home

When President Joe Biden announced an executive order last month limiting U.S. investment in critical technologies in China, the venture capital community hardly blinked. That’s because many U.S. startup investors have already retreated from China, after years of political mudslinging between the world’s two largest economies led to increased sanctions and trade restrictions. But with the door to the Chinese tech market closing, VCs are seeing new opportunities on their home turf.

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China wants to ban clothes that 'hurt nation's feelings'

A draft law banning speech and dressing "detrimental to the spirit of Chinese people" has sparked debate in China. If the law comes into force, people found guilty could be fined or jailed but the proposal does not yet spell out what constitutes a violation. Social media users and legal experts have called for more clarity to avoid excessive enforcement. China recently released a swathe of proposed changes to its public security laws - the first reforms in decades.

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Beijing keeps exiled Uyghurs in the dark about relatives in China

Dilnaz Kerim, a Uyghur math student at Queen Mary University in London, has lived with her immediate family in the U.K. for eight years. Recently, the Chinese Embassy there told her that, according to its records, an uncle, an aunt and their families back in China, “did not exist.” These members of China’s largest Turkic Muslim minority are but a few of the 30 of Kerim’s relatives on her father’s side who have disappeared into the black hole of internment centers and prisons that the Communist Party set up in northwest China starting in 2016 to “cure the mental illness” of Islam.

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Betrayal of China’s Muslims Undermines the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Credibility

Once again, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has shown its unconditional support to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), despite the CCP’s massive persecution of Muslim people in Xinjiang – chiefly Uyghurs but also other Turkic minorities. On August 17, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li met with an OIC delegation, saying the organization “symbolizes the unity and independence of Islamic countries and functions as the bridge for China to develop its relations with Islamic countries.”

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US raises alarm as Chinese platform corners market on global shipping logistics

US lawmakers and experts in the field are raising alarms about China’s dominance in accessing and managing global shipping logistics and data, describing such control as a security risk and “a recipe for disaster”. The latest in a series of warnings is a report published in July by the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank. The research highlights the Chinese commercial logistics platform Logink, which collects information on shipping and cargo movement worldwide and provides tracking, data management and other services free of charge.

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UN labor organization discussed forced labor during Xinjiang visit

A delegation from the U.N.’s International Labor Organization made an unannounced visit to China’s Xinjiang region last week, saying it discussed the issue of Uyghur forced labor but drawing criticism from rights groups that said it should have consulted with them beforehand. The organization engaged in “technical discussions about the implementation of China’s laws and practice of ratified international labor conventions concerning discrimination in employment and occupation, as well as forced labor,” the ILO told RFA in a statement on Tuesday.

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