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Week Commencing 11th September 2017

Updated: May 9, 2020

Xinjiang ‘Political Education’ Detainees China Imprisons Muslim Man US Concerns Over Debt Burdens for OBOR Partners

1. China: Free Xinjiang ‘Political Education’ Detainees A Human Rights Watch piece that declares that China is arbitrarily holding prisoners in the Xinjiang region based on religious or political motives. It details reports of people being held without arrest warrants or charges for months at a time. Chinese state media has reported on these facilities, calling them “counter-extremism training centers” (去极端化培训班) and “education and transformation training centers” (教育转化培训中心).       Comment: This kind of report will make it tougher for China and Kazakhstan elites to collaborate on the OBOR, as local objections could be realistically seen to be fueled by these allegations.


2. Chinese imprisoned for 2 years after teaching about Islam A Chinese national from Xinjiang has been imprisoned for two years after being arrested in 2016 for setting up a WeChat group that discussed the Quran.  The group, which had 100 members, was accused of disturbing “normal religious activity”.         Comment: A key phrase in the article is “Arabization,” a kickback by hardline ethnic policymakers against a perceived trend occurring among Chinese Muslims. Related: China Jails Muslim Man

________________________________________________________ 3. US concerned over unsustainable debt burdens to Lanka by China The inability of Sri Lanka to pay back non-concessional loans from China worries the US. Recently, the Sri Lankan government concluded a USD 1.1 billion deal for a Chinese company to develop the deep-sea port of Hambantota. Comment: China’s thirst for deep sea ports and its ability to seduce with loans is paving the way for the MSR.

Related: What the World’s Emptiest International Airport Says About China’s Influence ________________________________________________________

4. China, Kazakhstan hold first local cooperation forum Held in Nanning recently, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Kazakhstan First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin attended a forum dedicated to celebrating Kazakhstan’s relationship as China’s largest trading partner and increasing financial ties and business tie-ups.        Comment:

Frequent business and cultural ties are confirming Kazakhstan’s importance for the Chinese OBOR.   Related: Good China-Kazakhstan Relations Promise Growth in Economic Co-op Zhang Gaoli Attends and Addresses the Opening Ceremony of China-ASEAN Expo


5.China’s manipulation of UN human rights efforts must be stopped An opinion piece that argues China’s reach has interrupted the work of the Human Rights part of the UN. It details several examples, including an accredited Uyghur representative being forced to leave the New York headquarters.   Related: China is Planning for the Future While the West Bickers


6.China to cover Belt and Road countries with Beidou navigation system by 2018 An article detailing how complex systems in space will overlook the OBOR. The Beidou navigation system has 17 satellites in orbit and can cover tele communications 30 countries. Comment:

An oft-overlooked part of the OBOR is the space coverage that China is promoting along with the New Silk Road. ________________________________________________________

7.Citi expert talks OBOR, Kazakhstan’s opportunities for growth An interview with Citi Research’s (investment portfolio group) Chief Economist and Managing Director for China Li-Gang Liu. He talks up the advantages for Kazakhstan by participating in the OBOR. He is at pains to mention how he believes it can encourage cultural and religious understanding, as well as economic development. Comment:

The current situation in Xinjiang will make encouraging cultural and religious understanding more difficult. Key Quotes:

“Obviously from the geographic point of view, Kazakhstan is very important in the One Belt, One Road programme. The old Silk Road went through China, Central Asia and eventually to Europe. I think that Kazakhstan is an integral part of this OBOR programme”. ________________________________________________________

8.Expecting Major Geopolitical Shifts in Asia A discussion on how the admission of India and Pakistan provides new challenges to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, especially in regards to Russia and China’s perceived differing ambitions for the project.    Related: China-sponsored Globalisation Rising


9.Chinese, Kazakhstani writers stress power of literary exchanges A meeting in Xi’an attended by Kazakh and Chinese authors. Comment:

Chinese ‘soft power’ exchanges are increasing and becoming more sophisticated. Related: Silk Road Museums Alliance Gains New Members Oxford launches program on Belt and Road Initiative


10.China’s Uighurs: Life in Pictures A photo story.


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