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September 12, 2020

  • ​Reframing the Ground Rules

    The United States has revoked over 1,000 Chinese graduate student visas, citing concerns over military espionage and intellectual property theft. In a speech Wednesday, the acting head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security accused China of engaging in unjust business practices and industrial espionage, including attempts to steal coronavirus research; as well as abusing student visas to exploit U.S. academia. The move is the latest in a series of threats from the Trump administration against Chinese international students. "The measures taken by the U.S. government blatantly harm the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students," foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing. For more on U.S.-China educational exchange, read Is the Statue of Liberty Turning Her Back on Foreign Students?, by Philip Cunningham on China-US Focus. 

    The Trump administration also criticized China this week over the People's Daily's refusal to publish an op-ed written by the United States Ambassador to China. The newspaper claimed that the op-ed was "full of loopholes and seriously inconsistent with the facts," whereas Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision is yet further evidence that China fears free speech and serious intellectual debate. The U.S. embassy had submitted the opinion article under condition that no edits be made to the original version, however the People's Daily said substantial changes were needed.

  • ​An Escalation in Tensions

    Tensions flared once again on the China-India border, with shots fired for the first time since the two neighbors fought a border war in the 1970's. Both of the nuclear-armed nations claimed that the other's troops crossed into their territory and fired warning shots, violating agreements that they would not use weapons in disputed areas. No injuries were reported in this clash, although twenty Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a June confrontation.

    The foreign ministers for both countries met later in the week on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Moscow, in hopes of diffusing the situation. Analysts claim that China's extensive military preparation is signaling that it is preparing for conflict with its neighbor.

  • ​Mulan Backlash

    Disney's Mulan will debut in Chinese theaters this Friday, despite cinema capacity restrictions and controversies surrounding the film's ties to Xinjiang. The film's credits included thanks to the authorities in Xinjiang, which led to a call to boycott the movie overseas. China's alleged treatment of Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang has been criticized by the United States. Before it hit theaters, the $200 million live-action remake already received orders from Chinese authorities not to promote the film, according to reporting by Reuters.

About China This Week

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.

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