China and the World in 2021 #102

Deepnews Digest #102

China and the World in 2021

Editor: Christopher Brennan
Readers in North America and Europe may have been distracted by news closer to home, but last week the government of Hong Kong arrested dozens of pro-democracy politicians in the latest round of a crackdown with a national security law. The move drew condemnation around the world, putting renewed focus on other countries’ approaches to China, from a deal with Europe to tension with Australia to the arrival of a WHO team. This week our Digest pulls in articles from all over that touch on the subject of Hong Kong and the world’s relations with Beijing.

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Published every Friday


Exclusive: China plans further Hong Kong crackdown after mass arrest – sources

The arrest of more than 50 democrats in Hong Kong last week intensifies a drive by Beijing to stifle any return of a populist challenge to Chinese rule and more measures are likely, according to two individuals with direct knowledge of China’s plans.

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The Guardian

‘Our souls are dead’: how I survived a Chinese ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs

After 10 years living in France, I returned to China to sign some papers and I was locked up. For the next two years, I was systematically dehumanised, humiliated and brainwashed

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Australia offers Europe a warning on a trade deal with China

SYDNEY — The EU and China have struck their long-awaited investment deal — but what is Beijing’s signature worth when it comes to trade pacts, and what does it cost?

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South China Morning Post

How China’s food safety is threatened by its political system

As China has ‘lifted’ its citizens out of poverty, anxiety has shifted from food security to food safety. But the task of improving what goes on the table is hampered by a system hungry to cling to power

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Policy Forum

The geopolitical economy of sport

The pandemic and its economic effects are accelerating the ascent of global sport to a place it has flirted with for some time – the geopolitical arena, Simon Chadwick and Paul Widdop write.

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Editor’s Note:

Geopolitical questions can find themselves in places you might not expect, such as sport. Here our algorithm highlighted an article from Emlyon Business School’s Prof. Simon Chadwick and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Dr. Paul Widdop on what has changed. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Wall Street Journal ($)

China’s Economy Powers Ahead While the Rest of the World Reels

China is the only major economy expected to report growth for 2020, helping it close the gap with the U.S. Lifted by its quick recovery from Covid-19, it has also expanded its role in global trade and shored up its position as the world’s factory floor.

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Caixin Global

Exclusive: Fosun and Germany’s BioNTech to Make Vaccine in China

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd. will join with vaccine-maker BioNTech SE to produce the German company’s mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine in China, Caixin learned from individuals with knowledge of the matter.

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New York Times

Two Members of W.H.O. Team on Trail of Virus Are Denied Entry to China

More than a year after a new coronavirus first emerged in China, a team of experts from the World Health Organization finally arrived on Thursday in the central city of Wuhan to begin hunting for its source.

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Financial Times ($)

Jack Ma vs Xi Jinping: the future of private business in China

The crackdown on Alibaba and Ant Group amounts to an unprecedented squeeze on a ubiquitous ecommerce empire

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Analysis: Hong Kong’s new chief justice has vowed to uphold the city’s judicial independence. Can he?

The ceremonial beginning to Hong Kong’s new legal year took place, as everything does these days, over video. Sat in the city’s Court of Final Appeal, wearing a black robe, ruffed white collar and white face mask, Chief Justice Andrew Cheung acknowledged the strangeness of the circumstances as he addressed a small audience of judicial officials and others watching online

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The Conversation

What’s at stake for NZ in Australia’s case against China at the World Trade Organisation?

With the relationship between China and Australia souring in the past six months, New Zealand’s response will need to be nuanced and careful, but also principled.

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Editor’s Note:

As mentioned above, one of the countries tangling most with China has been Australia. Here Alexander Gillespie takes the perspective from neighboring New Zealand as Canberra takes its case to international authorities. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Straits Times

Worsening ties with Australia, Japan seen as obstacle for China

China’s worsening relationship with Australia and Japan is an obstacle to its foreign policy goal of building stronger ties with Asean and the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region, an adviser to its Cabinet said yesterday.

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Hong Kong Free Press

In a first under security law, Hong Kong police order telecom firms to block anti-gov’t doxing website – report

Hong Kong police have ordered the city’s major telecoms providers to block access to an anti-government website, according to local media citing sources over the weekend.

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South China Morning Post

Coronavirus: Chinese media champion Sinovac’s vaccine but not everybody is convinced

News reports focus on company’s line of ‘100 per cent’ effectiveness in preventing severe cases

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Human Rights Watch

China: Global Resistance to Deepening Repression

The Chinese government’s heightened repression in Hong Kong and Xinjiang are emblematic of the worsening human rights situation under President Xi Jinping, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. These crackdowns, along with the authorities’ initial coverup of Covid-19, which contributed to the global pandemic, have generated growing international mobilization against Beijing’s rights record.

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The Gray Market: Why a New Raid on Activists Means Hong Kong’s Days as an International Art Market Are Numbered (and Other Insights)

Our columnist sees trouble approaching Western art businesses after a recent spate of political arrests in Hong Kong.

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Editor’s Note:

Another sphere where you can find unique angles on what is happening in Hong Kong is art. Here our algorithm highlighted a piece that asks whether the threat to art trade in the city will come from censorship or economic nationalism. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Wall Street Journal ($)

Chinese Media Liken Capitol Riot to Hong Kong Protests

Chinese and Russian state media criticized the U.S. following the storming of Congress, calling out what they described as hypocrisy from a country whose leaders have long denounced Moscow and Beijing for undermining democratic values.

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China wants to open up its financial markets to foreigners — but it’s a long road ahead

Chinese and foreign financial institutions are betting on more business opportunities in one industry in which Beijing is still eager to crack open: finance.

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

China’s “Blocking Statute” – New Chinese Rules to Counter the Application of Extraterritorial Foreign Laws

On January 9, 2021, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (the “MOFCOM”) issued the MOFCOM Order No. 1 of 2021 on Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extraterritorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures (the “Chinese Blocking Statute”). The Chinese Blocking Statute establishes the first sanctions blocking regime in China to counteract the impact of foreign sanctions on Chinese persons.[1] While the law is effective immediately, as noted below, it currently only establishes a legal framework. The law will become enforceable once the Chinese government denotes the specific extraterritorial measures—likely sanctions and export controls the United States is increasingly levying against Chinese companies—to which it then will apply.

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Meng Wanzhou claims security detail placing her at risk of contracting COVID-19

Head of security firm tasked with guarding Meng claims Huawei executive is breaking guidelines

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