A miscellany of news

It’s a slow news day, but here are some stories that caught my eye:

I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15,” tweeted Donald Trump this morning.

The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!

That should keep the markets calm. But the Chinese side has not confirmed, and based on past behavior of both sides, this tweet does not mean anything at all.

Just before Trump tweeted, his counterpart in Beijing gave a New Year’s address (see the Xinhua report, or watch it on YouTube with English subtitles if you need a soporific), while Xinhua News Agency slavishly sang his praises.

“The Communist Party wants to remold Xinjiang’s minorities into loyal blue-collar workers to supply Chinese factories with cheap labor,” says the New York Times (porous paywall) in a report that reveals further awful details of the social engineering that Beijing is implementing.

Al Jazeera has new testimony from victims of China’s internment camps: Ethnic Kazakhs ‘detained and tortured in Chinese camps.’ Agence France-Presse has a piece on Uyghur refugee children in Turkey whose parents have disappeared into the camps.

“Taiwan’s legislature on Tuesday passed a law aimed at blocking political interference from China, less than two weeks before presidential and legislative elections,” reports the Associated Press.

The approval of the the Anti-Infiltration Law follows accusations that China is strongly backing candidates from the main opposition Nationalist Party, including providing campaign funds and mobilizing support on social media.

Beijing rather hilariously accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of “creating ‘green terror’ with the law.”

“Relations between China and Sweden have taken a nosedive with threats, trade restrictions, and the indictment of an ambassador,” says Jojje Olsson in the Diplomat, explaining how relations between the two countries have gone from sunny to dark in just a few short years. Diplomats from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Czech Republic should perhaps particularly pay attention to this story.