The China Debrief – Original Newsletter

View this email in your browserMarch 23, 2023U.S.-China RelationsU.S. Seeks to Prevent China from Benefitting from $52 Billion Chips Funding
The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday released proposed rules to prevent $52 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research funding from being used by China and other countries deemed of concern. The proposal limits recipients of U.S. funding from investing in the expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in foreign countries of concern such as China and Russia, and limits recipients of incentive funds from engaging in joint research or technology licensing efforts with a foreign entity of concern. ReutersU.S. Rejects China’s Claim that its Warship Illegally Entered Waters in the South China Sea
Washington has rejected Beijing’s claims that a U.S. warship was driven out of waters it illegally entered in the disputed South China Sea on Thursday. China’s military said that the USS Milius, a guided missile destroyer, had “illegally intruded into China’s Xisha territorial waters without the approval of the Chinese government.” NBC NewsUS Firms ‘More Negative’ About Doing Business in China
US companies are “more negative than they’ve been in a long time” about doing business in China, according to the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China). As tensions continue to grow between the world’s two biggest economies, Michael Hart says that the rivalry has “made business very challenging”. The governments of President Xi and President Biden have been disagreeing on what seems like an ever-increasing number of issues; ranging from Ukraine, to coronavirus, and Taiwan, to Tiktok, and semiconductors.  That is reflected in AmCham China’s latest annual survey of its more than 900 members. For the first time it shows that a majority, 55%, no longer regard China as a top-three investment priority – a place where they should spend money to grow their business. BBCRussia-China RelationsPutin and Xi Pose as Peacemakers While Moscow’s War in Ukraine Rages on
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin posed as peacebrokers during a friendly visit in Moscow on Tuesday, again touting a supposed plan to end Russia’s raging war in Ukraine that has been panned by the United States as a one-sided attempt to hand the Kremlin leader cover as he presses on with his invasion. Putin on Tuesday backed the Chinese leader’s proposal for a “peaceful settlement in Ukraine,” in a show of unity at the Kremlin that raised the prospect of a strengthened anti-Western bulwark at the international level. But those overtures have been roundly ignored as a serious framework for peace. China’s plan – which calls for a ceasefire and talks, but includes no provision that Moscow withdraw its troops from Ukrainian land – was drawn up without any involvement from Kyiv. CNNCCP Foreign InfluenceState-Sponsored Matchmaking app Launched in China
Guixi, a city of about 640,000 people, has launched an app that uses data on single residents to build a matchmaking platform. The app is known as “Palm Guixi” and includes a platform for organising blind dates, according to China Youth Daily, a state-run newspaper. The app is part of a province-wide initiative to boost the marriage rate, which has been falling nationwide for the past decade. In 2021 there were 5.4 marriages per 1,000 people, compared with six in the US. The GuardianYoung Adults in Europe Are Critical of the U.S. and China – but for Different Reasons
Young people ages 18 to 29 in British, French and German focus groups have few positive things to say about the United States or China as major players on the world stage. The U.S. is seen as the “world’s policeman” with a self-interested history of interventionism that is disappointing to Western allies, while China is labeled the “world’s factory,” respected for its economic dominance but strongly criticized for its expansionism and record of human rights violations. Pew ResearchVietnam May Resist Diplomatic Upgrade with Washington as U.S.-China Tensions Simmer
A push by the United States to upgrade ties with Vietnam this year is facing resistance in Hanoi, over what experts say are concerns that China could see the move as hostile at a time of tension between superpowers Beijing and Washington. The United States is hoping for an upgrade in the relations this year, ideally to coincide with the 10th anniversary in July of its comprehensive partnership with Vietnam. ReutersChina Eyes Global South, not West, to Expand Influence: Expert
China recently mediated a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia for restoring diplomatic ties, and Beijing also shows eagerness to be the peacemaker for Russia’s war in Ukraine. What is China’s aim in doing so, and what does it mean for American diplomatic strategy? Moritz Rudolf, Yale Law School’s research scholar in law and fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center, says Beijing seeks to win over the Global South, including countries in the backyard of the U.S., rather than the West. The U.S. should reach out to countries that are unaligned within the U.N. system, he said, though identifying these nations may vary depending on issues such as defense, climate change or trade policy. NikkeiCOVID-19W.H.O Accuses China of Hiding Data That May Link Covid’s Origins to Animals
The World Health Organization rebuked Chinese officials on Friday for withholding research that may link Covid’s origin to wild animals, asking why the data had not been made available three years ago and why it is now missing. Before the Chinese data disappeared, an international team of virus experts downloaded and began analyzing the research, which appeared online in January. They say it supports the idea that the pandemic could have begun when illegally traded raccoon dogs infected humans at a Wuhan seafood market. New York TimesHong Kong‘Winnie the Pooh’ Film Pulled from Hong Kong Cinemas
Public screenings of a slasher film that features Winnie the Pooh were scrapped abruptly in Hong Kong on Tuesday, sparking discussions over increasing censorship in the city. Film distributor VII Pillars Entertainment announced on Facebook that the release of “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” on Thursday had been canceled with “great regret” in Hong Kong and neighboring Macao. In an email reply to The Associated Press, the distributor said it was notified by cinemas that they could not show the film as scheduled, but it didn’t know why. The cinema chains involved did not immediately reply to a request for comment. AP NewsTaiwanTaiwan President to Visit US but no word on House Speaker Meeting
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will make sensitive stopovers in the United States on her way to and from Central America that China’s foreign ministry condemned on Tuesday, but Taipei would not confirm a meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Taiwanese presidents routinely pass through the United States while visiting diplomatic allies in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which, although not official visits, are often used by both sides for high-level meetings. ReutersMost Support US’ China Policies: Poll
A majority of Taiwanese aged 20 or older said they believe that supporting US policies that seek to diminish China’s global influence is necessary to meet national interests, a poll released yesterday showed. A majority of potential voters polled said they believe Taipei should make common cause with Washington, Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said in a statement. The survey showed that 61.1 percent of respondents said they believe Taiwan and the US share common interests and that US policies aimed at countering China are necessary for Taiwan. Taipei TimesTsai Welcomes British House of Commons Delegation
President Tsai Ing-wen said March 20 that Taiwan is committed to expanding cooperation and exchanges with the U.K. to safeguard regional peace and advance areas of mutual interest across the board. Tsai made the remarks while receiving a delegation from the U.K.’s House of Commons at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. Headed by Bob Stewart, chair of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, the delegation includes MPs Rob Butler, Sarah Atherton, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Afzal Khan and Marie Rimmer. Taiwan TodayXinjiangChina Culpable in ‘Significant’ Abuses Against Own People – U.S. Report
The United States this week renewed its determination that human rights abuses amounting to genocide were taking place against ethnic minorities in northwestern China, while Beijing countered the claim with its own report into the “state of democracy” in America. Predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region have been swept up in a yearslong crackdown China says is aimed at counterterrorism and deradicalization. Rights groups argue Beijing’s systematic mistreatment of ethnic minorities throughout the country targets cultural and religious erasure. NewsweekXinjiang’s US Exports Down 90 Percent in February, 8 Months After “Forced Labor” Law Came into Effect
Exports to the United States from China’s far west Xinjiang region tumbled to below US$1 million for the first time on record in February, eight months after a law effectively banning American imports over forced labour concerns came into effect. Companies from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region exported US$497,440 worth of goods to the US last month, representing a drop of almost 90 per cent compared with the same month last year, according to Chinese customs data. The reading was the lowest since 2017 – the earliest available data from China’s customs portal. South China Morning PostUyghur Propaganda Chief Confirmed Dead 5 Days After Being Released from Jail
A former Uyghur propaganda chief who was imprisoned on separatism charges despite being a mouthpiece for Beijing has died at age 57, according to a prefectural official and an activist who runs a nonprofit human rights advocacy group. Ilham Rozi was arrested in 2019 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for inviting prominent Uyghurs to give lectures in early 2010s. He died on March 7, only five days after he was released from jail, said Abduweli Ayup, founder of Norway-based Uyghur Hjelp, or Uyghuryar, which maintains a database of Uyghurs detained in Xinjiang. Radio Free AsiaThe Witness – Why is global outrage about the Uyghur genocide muted? Human rights advocate Nury Turkel has some ideas.
If you were looking for proof that the American dream is still alive and well, then Nury Turkel is pretty much it. The chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was born in a detention center in China’s Xinjiang region in 1970 amid the Cultural Revolution, which saw millions of people killed and millions more persecuted. Foreign PolicyThe China Debrief is a resource of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is an educational, research, and human rights nonprofit authorized in 1993 by a unanimous Act of Congress, which was signed as Public Law 103-199 by President William J. Clinton. On June 12, 2007, President George W. Bush dedicated the Victims of Communism Memorial statue in Washington, D.C