China News - 1 March 2021
Hong Kong charges 47 activists in largest use yet of new security law. Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have gathered at a court in Hong Kong where 47 activists face charges of "conspiracy to commit subversion". “The decision to charge 47 Hong Kong politicians and activists for conspiracy to commit subversion under the National Security Law is another deeply disturbing step,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. Antony Blinken has also called for their release. BBC, Reuters, The Times, HKFP, 1 March
'Inferior' women: Beijing counters Uyghur criticism with explicit PR attacks on women who have made claims of abuse. Chinese officials have disclosed private medical data and allegations of infidelity as part of their pushback campaign, saying the information was evidence of bad character that invalidates the women’s accounts of abuse in Xinjiang. Reuters, 28 February
UN rights chief decries arrests in China, abuses in Xinjiang. Reuters, 26 February
Foreign journalists in China see 'rapid decline in media freedom'. For the third year in a row, no journalists said working conditions had improved, according to a new survey from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC). Reuters, SCMP, full report, 1 March
UK not prepared for Hong Kong migration, say MPs. Three Labour shadow ministers have written to the government to express their concern that “there appears to have been little or no planning done for the integration of BNO visa holders into British society.” Politico, 1 March
Royal Navy to defy Beijing with patrols in South China Sea. General Sir Nick Carter says the forthcoming integrated review will outline how more military engagement in the Asia-Pacific region is a “no-brainer”. France is also preparing an increased presence. The Times, SCMP, 27 February
Blinken says U.S. stands in solidarity with Canada in calling for release of two Canadians detained in China. The FT also reports on the pressure on Biden to respond to China over Xinjiang. Republicans have introduced a slew of resolutions calling on the International Olympic Committee to rebid the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. FT, Reuters, 1 March
University of Southampton lecturer 'beaten up in racist attack'. A Chinese lecturer said four white men shouted at him to “go home” in Southampton, amid a rise in reports of anti-Asian racism. BBC, 27 February
Jiangsu FC: Chinese football in chaos as Super League champions cease operations. Sky News, 27 February
Chinese ministry calls for supply chain resiliency, without mentioning chip production targets. CNBC, 1 March
Xi Focus: Senior CPC officials report work to CPC Central Committee, Xi. Xinhua, 28 February
Economy & tech
Chinese enterprises expand in UK. The release of this year’s Tou Ying Tracker shows an increase in the number of Chinses businesses in the UK, up to 838. China Daily, 27 February
Chinese investors turn away from Australia after Canberra crackdown. Chinese investment in Australia fell by 61% in 2020 to A$1bn - and down from a peak of A$16.5bn in 2016. FT, 28 February
NYSE begins move to delist Chinese state oil producer CNOOC, in response to Trump executive order. Reuters, 1 March
China says under-pricing rare earths will lead to race to bottom. Reuters, 1 March
Longer reads & opinion
Meet China’s best British friends: the Johnson clan. His father and half-brother have both used diplomatic channels to advance co-operation between London and Beijing in recent years. Sunday Times, 28 February
Boycott questions over Beijing Winter Olympics raise eerie echoes of 1936. The Guardian, 1 March
Because of its colonial past, the UK has a duty to help residents of Hong Kong. Insider, 28 February
Event: Developing a Balanced Relationship with China on 4 March, with Kerry Brown, George Magnus and Matthew Rous. Asia Scotland Institute.
The week ahead
Commons: At 11:30am, questions to the FCDO. At 2:30pm, the Foreign Affairs Committee hears further evidence on Xinjiang detention camp. Also at 2:30pm, the Defence Committee hears evidence on NATO, US and UK defence relations.
The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opens.
Annual meeting of Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) begins in Beijing, where the new five-year economic plan will be approved.