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HRIC Weekly Brief
November 14, 2023
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Top News 头条
This Wednesday, Biden and Xi have been scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in San Francisco. Reestablishing military communications channels is reportedly high priority for Biden, but it is unclear whether human rights issues are on the table. In the lead-up to the meeting, activists are holding anti-CCP protests and actions in San Francisco.
In China, the death of Li Keqiang sparked nationwide displays of mourning, but authorities are cracking down on gatherings and online speech. Reportedly, a man from Anhui Province has been forcibly placed in a mental institution for participating in mourning activities for Li Keqiang on October 31. Forcing political critics into mental hospitals is a known strategy used by the CCP to silence dissenters.
Law & Policy 法律与政策
HRIC on Twitter/X: China’s Ministry of Public Security has issued a draft regulation on “Joint Punishment Measures for Telecommunications Network Fraud and Related Violations and Crimes,” in a follow-up measure to September’s Law on Countering Telecommunications Network Fraud. Punitive measures will include publicizing information on “untrustworthy entities.” The draft is open for comment until December 12.
Beijing’s data and spy laws threaten to spur decoupling with Europe, says business group: The Confederation of European Business points to China’s new anti-espionage and personal privacy laws as a significant barrier for foreign businesses in China.
Cyber Security & Digital Rights 网络安全与数字权利
HRIC on Twitter/X: Police in Jilin Province posted a video showing how resetting a Huawei phone to factory settings is not enough to wipe the data—the police have the capability to restore photos, address books, call logs and more from a wiped phone.
Essay Warning Against Self-Censorship Censored at WeChat: The article argued that it is in fact a legal right to discuss politics in China.
Huawei and Tencent spearhead China's hold on cybersecurity patents: New data compiled by Nikkei and Tencent show that Chinese companies make up six of the top ten holders of cybersecurity patents worldwide. There has been a “dramatic increase” in filings from Chinese companies since 2018.
Diaspora Community & Transnational Repression 海外社群和跨国镇压
Transnational Civil Society and Authoritarian Politics in China and Russia: A new report evaluates China’s crackdown on civil society through increasingly restrictive laws and transnational repression, and concludes that despite the challenges, transnational engagement is still possible and necessary.
Thailand’s Plan to Deploy Chinese Police Patrol Sparks Outcry: Thailand is considering bringing in Chinese police to patrol popular tourist areas, raising serious sovereignty and jurisdictional concerns. Activists fear the move could make Thailand more unsafe for those seeking asylum from China.
Human Rights Defenders & Civil Society 人权捍卫者与公民社会
Veteran dissident Guo Min arrives in US to rejoin family: Chinese dissident Guo Min has successfully reached the United States after fleeing through Southeast Asia. Guo has previously been prevented from leaving the country, following years of intense surveillance and harassment from the police.
Uyghur film-maker claims he was tortured by authorities in China: “I was held in a dark room for 20 days and physically tortured,” said Uyghur filmmaker Ikram Nurmehmet during his “terrorism” trial in Xinjiang, explaining he was forced to give false confessions under duress.
Washington ‘denied’ Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong’s asylum bid: New reports indicate that the U.S. State Department denied Joshua Wong’s requests for asylum with full knowledge that it would lead to his detention, out of “realpolitik” concerns over Beijing’s response.
China’s Reach & Internal Control 中国: 内控与外扩
Li Keqiang's death fueling distrust, opposition toward Xi Jinping: Experts say that even younger Chinese people, who know little about Li Keqiang’s policies, are drawn to the symbol of the reformer premier—and that symbolism makes Li a greater threat to Xi now than he was while alive.
BP and Spotify bought carbon credits at risk of link to forced Uyghur labour in China: An investigation found that carbon consultancy South Pole sold carbon credits sourced from the Bachu carbon project, which involved burning cotton stalks for power from fields linked to potential forced labor involving hundreds of people, which South Pole had been aware of since at least 2021.
The people of Hong Kong are growing more tolerant: … but the government is not. While 80% of Hongkongers support gay marriage and attitudes towards LGBT+ rights overall have grown more positive, some lawmakers believe the games were “funded by foreigners, violating the city’s national-security law.” As Mainland China has grown more repressive towards LGBT+ groups, Hong Kong’s future remains uncertain.
International Responses 国际反应
Senators propose China disclosure rule for private equity: A new piece of legislation proposed by Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) would require private investment funds to disclose to the SEC any assets invested in China, which the SEC would then use to create reports on the private investment firms.
U.S. reports sharp rise in people fleeing China amid 'run' movement: The United States reports that the number of Chinese asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border has spiked sharply in recent months. According to one asylum-seeker: "Today's China is no place for humans – it's chaos, with no fair treatment and no human rights."
Catholic bishops sign letter demanding release of Hong Kong ‘pro-democracy’ campaigner: An international group of Catholic Bishops has signed on to a letter demanding that Hong Kong release Jimmy Lai, decrying his imprisonment for “standing up for his beliefs and committing himself through his faith to challenge autocracy and repression.”
Current Events 热点新闻
Hospital director in China's Hubei under investigation for selling birth certificates: A hospital in Hubei is under investigation for selling birth certificates, which are required in China for household registration, vaccinations, medical insurance, and social security cards. Some expressed concern that the certificates are being used to hide abducted children.
As Hong Kong stood up for democracy, a neighborhood was brutalized: “Among the Braves: Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battle for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy,” a new book by Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, tells the story of the 2019 Hong Kong protests from the front lines, including the Yuen Long attacks on July 27.