U.S. — Balochistan Liberation Army is terrorist organization

Access Archive


Dear Access member,

We’ve got a really short one for you today. Have a great weekend and we’ll be back on Monday with our usual summary of the weekend’s news. 

—Jeremy Goldkorn and team


1. ‘Terrorism’: The only field where Beijing and Washington cooperate

Nikkei Asian Review reports (porous paywall):

The decision this week by the U.S. to name a Pakistani separatist group as a terrorist organization is seen by analysts as part of a backdoor deal between Washington and Beijing, after China allowed a United Nations Security Council resolution against a Pakistan-based militant leader.

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday issued the terrorist designation on the Balochistan Liberation Army, or BLA, following attacks on Chinese-funded Belt and Road Initiative projects in Pakistan’s southern Balochistan province. The move will expose and isolate organizations and individuals associated with the insurgent group and deny them access to the U.S. financial system.

Pakistan is home to the largest BRI infrastructure projects in South Asia, and the U.S. decision is seen as a victory for China.

Earlier on SupChina: 

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Our whole team really appreciates your support as Access members. Please chat with us on our Slack channel or contact me anytime at jeremy@supchina.com

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief


Here are the stories that caught our eye this week:

  • Trump tweeted a truce in the U.S.-China techno-trade war last weekend. As Bloomberg notes (porous paywall): “The White House has yet to reveal details of Trump’s arrangement with Xi, leaving uncertainty about how the two countries will proceed.” 

  • Hong Kong continues to seethe as young protestors — frustrated by lack of government action — turn to more destructive tactics.

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited China on Tuesday. State media cited him praising the “happy lives” of people of all ethnicities in Xinjiang. In recent years, Turkey has never seemed to be able to really make up its mind over whether to firmly stand with the Uyghurs, which Turks consider their kin, or whether to sweep its current existential cultural crisis at the hands of Beijing under the rug — in favor of better ties with Beijing. 

  • David Bandurski of the China Media Project writes: Reading the official propaganda from Beijing in the wake of last week’s G20 Summit in Osaka, one might have the impression that the Group of Twenty is actually now the “1+19,” and that this “premier forum for international economic cooperation” relies on the forcefulness, grace, and wisdom of China’s top leader, Xí Jìnpíng 习近平.

  • Scholar Adrian Zenz has published a new paper on the internment camps in Xinjiang, which he says is “packed with strongly incriminating evidence on the nature and extent of the internment campaign,” and based on detailed government sources. It’s titled “Brainwashing, police guards and coercive internment: Evidence from Chinese government documents about the nature and extent of Xinjiang’s ‘Vocational Training Internment Camps.’”

  • A series of recent cancellations of Chinese movies has sparked speculation that there is growing pressure on filmmakers from forces outside of SAPPRFT

  • The family of Zhōu Yǒngkāng 周永康 is back in the news: The wife of his son Zhōu Bīn 周滨, Huáng Wǎn 黄婉, has been tweeting up a storm. Since as early as June 22, she has been protesting her treatment by the Chinese government. She says she was detained, sometimes in a cell, for more than two years after police raided a family apartment in 2013, and is now subject to an exit ban on what she describes as trumped-up charges.   

  • A crackdown on the spread of “weed culture” is happening in China. This week, China Youth Daily published an article titled Don’t use “cannabis culture” to absolve yourself of law violations and crimes, warning Chinese young people of the health risks and legal consequences of weed use.

  • Chinese billionaire Wáng Zhènhuá 王振华, the chairman of real estate enterprise Future Land, has been detained by Shanghai police on charges of child rape.

  • The appearance of Baidu CEO Robin Li 李彦宏 at the company’s annual Create AI developer conference in Beijing on Wednesday morning was interrupted by a man who stormed the stage and emptied a bottle of water on his head. Li calmly took a step back and uttered in English, “What’s your problem?”


BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

A private importer in China last week bought U.S. rice for the first time ever, in the midst of a trade war between the two nations, a rice industry group said on Wednesday.

The Chinese importer bought two containers, about 40 tonnes, of medium-grain rice from California-based Sun Valley Rice, said Michael Klein, a spokesman for USA Rice, a trade group that promotes the sale of the U.S. grain.

Global consumer electronics makers HP, Dell, Microsoft and Amazon are all looking to shift substantial production capacity out of China, joining a growing exodus that threatens to undermine the country’s position as the world’s powerhouse for tech gadgets.

HP and Dell, the world’s No. 1 and No. 3 personal computer makers who together command around 40% of the global market, are planning to reallocate up to 30% of their notebook production out of China, several sources told the Nikkei Asian Review.

“If there’s going to be an American rare earths industry, it’s gonna be led by us. We’re it,” said James Litinksy, the co-chairman of MP Materials, which owns the mine in Mountain Pass, California.

The market for rare earths is expected to grow substantially over the next decade as the world becomes more and more dependent on high-tech products. With Washington and Beijing locked in a trade dispute, some in the U.S. government and private industry want to see the United States develop an alternative supply of these essential elements — first to increase mining of the minerals — and eventually develop refining and production.

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:


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Requiem for the ‘Living Dead’: Ten years after 7-5

Most people who know anything about Xinjiang know that on July 5, 2009, a student protest turned into a bloody conflict with Uyghurs attacking Han civilians, killing more than 130 with clubs, cleavers, and bricks. Fewer know that police opened fire on Uyghurs later that day, that they supported Han Chinese retribution in the streets, and that this escalated a process of “disappearing” Uyghur suspects. What is clear, 10 years later, is that the course of Xinjiang history changed forever on that date. The lives of Uyghurs in China have never been the same.

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This week, Kaiser and Jeremy chat with Taylor Fravel, one of the world’s leading authorities on the People’s Liberation Army. Taylor has a brand-new book out called Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy Since 1949, which examines the changes to the PLA’s strategy, why they happen, and why, just as importantly, in some moments when we’d expect major changes in strategy, they don’t happen. Join us for this deep dive into the drivers of strategic change in this emerging superpower.