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China News - 11 March 2021
New China Research Group paper on the Belt and Road
New research. As covered in Politico’s China Direct newsletter, today we are publishing our new paper on the Belt and Road Initiative, and how the UK could respond, written by Eyck Freymann. Read the full report on our website.
This bold report diagnoses the challenge posed by the future of the Belt and Road, while setting out three potential strategic options for the UK - cooperation, hedging and containment.
Join us at 5pm today for a session discussing the paper and the future of the Belt and Road with Jonathan Hillman, Meia Nouwens, Eyck Freymann and Tom Tugendhat MP. Register here.
China adopts new laws to ensure only 'patriots' can govern Hong Kong. The NPC has unanimously – bar one abstention - approved new laws ensuring that only people it deems “patriots” can govern Hong Kong. The law is the “latest step by Beijing to hollow out the space for democratic debate in Hong Kong, contrary to the promises made by China itself”, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said. BBC, The Guardian, FT, 11 March
Chinese embassy in UK: Don't underestimate our strong will defend our interests. Reuters, 11 March
Boris Johnson takes passage to India to support ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’. Boris Johnson is planning a spring trip to India as part of Britain’s new “Indo-Pacific tilt” strategy, in the first major bilateral visit by a UK prime minister since Theresa May toured Africa in 2018. FT, 11 March
Confirmed: Top U.S., China diplomats to hold first in-person talks of Biden presidency. And the NYT reports that Blinken will meet Chinese officials after his Asia tour next week. NYT, Reuters, 10 March
UK laws to prevent foreign influence in pipeline. Ex MI6 officer Christopher Steele called for a foreign agent registration scheme, like the US and Canada. The Home Office says such a scheme will be part of forthcoming legislation. BBC, 11 March
Myanmar: UN calls for 'utmost restraint' from military as more deaths reported. British-drafted UN statement watered down by China, Russia, India and Vietnam, as Amnesty says military using battlefield weapons on protesters. The Guardian, 11 March
China approves $1.5 billion currency swap with Sri Lanka. Reuters, 10 March
Economy & tech
Premier Li Keqiang defends modest 2021 economic growth target, says rate could exceed 6 per cent. SCMP, 11 March
China’s tech push includes plans to lure more skilled migrants. Five-year plan calls for talent to be brought in to help drive areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, life sciences, space and aviation. SCMP, 10 March
China leads world's biggest increase in wind power capacity. The Guardian, 10 March
Australia to scrutinise foreign research collaboration on 'emerging' technology. Reuters, 11 March
Longer reads & opinion
UK’s policy towards China is riddled with contradictions. Robert Shrimsley in the FT, 11 March
Europe needs to wake up to the microchip crunch. The Telegraph, 10 March
56,000 Greenlanders Could Shape the Future of Rare Earths. Foreign Policy, 10 March
Sino-UK relationship has chance to rekindle. China Daily, 11 March