Links for Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

More important China news and analysis from around the web:

COVID-19: “Officials in Beijing were kept in the dark for weeks about the potential devastation of the virus by local officials in central China, according to American officials familiar with a new internal report by U.S. intelligence agencies,” the New York Times reports.

The report concluded that officials in the city of Wuhan and in Hubei Province, where the outbreak began late last year, tried to hide information from China’s central leadership. The finding is consistent with reporting by news organizations and with assessments by China experts of the country’s opaque governance system.

  • The news takes a bit of the air out of the Trump administration’s repeated public suggestion that Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 “and other top officials knew of the dangers of the new coronavirus in the early days and went to great lengths to hide them.” However, U.S. officials asserted that the new report did not “diminish China’s culpability [because] Communist Party leaders oversee an authoritarian system that inhibits local officials from freely sharing information with national-level officials [which] has had deadly consequences for the world.”

See also:

Another testimony about the Xinjiang reeducation camps has been published by the Diplomat. An excerpt from the story of Qelbinur Sedik, a refugee in Europe since October 2019:

On February 28, 2017, as Qelbinur recounted in her memoir, she was summoned to the town hall. She was told she would be teaching Chinese to “illiterates,” but strangely, for this mission she was made to sign a confidentiality agreement…

‪On March 20, the first floor of the camp filled with new arrivals. Whereas her first group had been religious and often elderly, the second group were intellectuals, business people, or students whose Chinese was perfect. Their crime, it seemed, was consulting Facebook, banned in China.

Her educational mission was now beginning to make no sense at all. Her task with this group was to teach them communist songs and the national anthem…

Of the 600 Uyghur residents of Qelbinur’s community, 190 disappeared in two years. Chinese migrants started to fill the empty apartments.

Back at the camp, new inmates kept arriving. After six months she estimated, there were more than 3,000 prisoners. They were crammed 50 or 60 per cell and groups of two or three, sometimes up to seven, were called out for interrogation during the day.

The torture room was in the basement.

Qelbinur says that she was “forcibly fitted with an IUD,” and that the second camp she was transferred to had “about 10,000 women with shaved heads.” For context, see two pieces on SupChina:

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