Links for Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.


More important China news and analysis from around the web:

“The Uyghurs’ suffering deserves targeted solutions, not anti-Chinese posturing,” writes the scholar James Millward in the Guardian. Noting that what Beijing is doing to the Uyghurs fits two of the five parts of the UN definition of genocide, Millward praises international pushback, including from the U.S., but cautions about “pointlessly antagonistic actions against China and the Chinese people,” namely:

…broad tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods; using a racist term to refer to COVID-19 rather than collaborating to defeat a global pandemic; cancelling Peace Corps and Fulbright exchanges; calling Chinese students and scholars “spies”; threatening to block CCP members and their families (a group estimated at more than 200 million, the vast majority with no role in policy-making); or shutting down the PRC consulate in Houston, Texas, at short notice.

Millward urges people outside just the U.S. and China to “think and act with agility to help stop the genocide but also head off a cold war,” to investigate Xinjiang-connected supply chains, to shame and sanction “corporations and officials linked to the Xinjiang gulag,” and to provide “support and legal refuge to Uyghur, Kazakh and other Xinjiang exiles.”

  • Worth noting and emphasizing: The Trump administration makes no exception to its anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant stances when it comes to Uyghurs. The Wall Street Journal reports today that “a few hundred Uyghurs” are part of a 340,000-strong backlog of cases in front of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). One Uyghur, Kalbinur Awut, applied for political asylum in the U.S., and her case “has been pending with USCIS for 1,796 days, not including delays.”

Banning Chinese companies is not a viable solution to data security problems, writes Financial Times deputy Beijing bureau chief Yuan Yang, in response to the American government’s “attempt to kill [Huawei’s] global telecoms equipment business” and potential ban on TikTok. She argues:

We cannot hermetically seal ourselves off from China and its companies — nor should we try to. Instead, we need to figure out practical ways to meet a challenge that has been with us since long before the rise of China: our need to coexist in a world with people we don’t trust.

Yang suggests that some of those “practical ways” to address problems are to increase digital literacy — since “the most common data leaks don’t stem from the high-tech machinations of the Chinese security services or U.S. companies” — mandate end-to-end encryption, conduct regular audits for operators, and increase accountability and transparency for the algorithms that power apps like TikTok.

See also Samm Sacks on SupChina: Banning TikTok is a terrible idea.