During an international religious freedom conference in Washington, President Trump met with 27 religious activists from around the world, including four from China. Religious freedom counts as one of Trump's top foreign policy priorities.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the oppression of Uighurs in China "the worst human rights crises of our time." Alleging mass detentions of Muslims and other minorities, Pompeo said China is responsible for the "stain of the century." The attacks come as trade talks between the two countries have once again stalled,
Chinese officials call the centers "vocational training centers" that are designed to curb religious extremism, however activists accuse China of installing hi-tech surveillance in the Xinjiang province, and unnecessarily clamping down on the minority as a "national security threat."
Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and adviser to President Trump that sits on Facebook's board, has accused Google of working with the Chinese military, a charge that Google adamantly denies. Thiel has advised that the CIA and FBI should open an investigation into the tech giant to determine whether it has committed treason. President Trump has said that his administration will "take a look" at Google, to see whether the company has been infiltrated by the Chinese.
During a Senate hearing, a Google executive denied any ties to the military, and said that Google has had very little business in China since it shut down its Middle Kingdom operations in 2010. The hearing took place in the wake of President Trump accusing the search firm of silencing conservative media, and attempting to rig elections in favor of democrats.
A bipartisan group of United States lawmakers have proposed a law that would prevent the removal of Huawei from the Trump administration's "technology blacklist" without an act of Congress. Out of concern that President Trump could trade away "legitimate security concerns" during the U.S.-China trade negotiations, a group of six Senators introduced the legislation to "reinforce" efforts to prevent Huawei from harming U.S. national security interests.
Following his meeting with President Xi Jinping of China, President Trump faced an immense political backlash over his expressed intent to lift the sales ban of U.S. equipment to Huawei. The proposed law would serve as a "death sentence" for Huawei according to US media outlet The Hill, and comes as U.S. companies prepared to restore their trading ties with the tech company. Some analysts, such as Daniel Ikenson, director of the Cato Institute's Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, caution against a total Huawei blacklist. His full take on banning Huawei is available on China-US Focus.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.