Tactics Security Bulletin 8: China-US/UK Relations

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20th June

Judge approves publication of former US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book, in which he alleges Trump directly asked for China’s help getting re-elected.

22nd June

China suspends Tyson chicken imports from US due to COVID-19 infections among company workers.

24th June

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway defends President Trump’s use of the racist term “kung flu” to describe COVID-19 at campaign rallies in Tulsa and Phoenix: “had China been more transparent and honest with the United States and the world, we wouldn’t have all the death and destruction that unfortunately we’ve suffered.”

26th June

US says it will restrict US visas for a number of unspecified Chinese officials for infringing on the autonomy of Hong Kong.

29th June

Chinese foreign ministry announces that it will “impose visa restrictions against American individuals who have behaved egregiously on matters concerning Hong Kong”.

30th June

Scientists in China report that a strain of flu virus found in pigs has become more infectious to humans, warning it has the potential to become a pandemic virus. Other scientists downplay the risk, which has circulated for five years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signs a controversial new security law giving China extended powers over Hong Kong. Reports say the law will criminalise secession, subversion against the central government and collusion with foreign forces. Free speech and protests are expected to be outlawed and Hong Kong’s autonomy reduced significantly. The bill’s signing comes nearly one year after pro-democracy protesters stormed and occupied the Hong Kong legislature as part of a mass uprising to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy, which brought millions onto the streets.

A report from the Associated Press says that China is engaging in a “demographic genocide” of Uyghurs in Xinjiang by forcing Uyghur Muslims and other minority populations to undergo forced sterilizations, abortions and various types of birth control. The report alleges Chinese officials force imprisoned Uyghurs to submit to IUDs and shots which prevent pregnancy; raid homes and imprison people with three or more children; and threaten imprisonment to coerce people into submitting to population control measures. Birth rates fell by one-quarter last year in Xinjiang.

1st July

Chief Executive Carrie Lam marked the 23rd anniversary of the formal handover of Hong Kong from the UK to China with a flag-raising ceremony. Utilising the new security law, officials banned Honk Kong’s annual pro-democracy march, arresting at least 200 unauthorised protesters.

In the House of Commons, UK PM Johnson offers three million Hong Kong residents the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship. Currently, Hong Kong residents only have Visa-free access to the UK for six months, but this will change to five years, with citizenship granted after a further year. Johnson called the Chinese security law a "clear and serious breach" of the 1985 Sino-British joint declaration.

The US House of Representatives passes, without opposition, a bill penalising banks doing business with Chinese officials responsible for the security law.

2nd July

US Congress also approves the bill penalising banks doing business with Chinese officials, securing bi-partisan support for the measure against Beijing.

US customs officials in New York seize 13 tons of products made from human hair from China. Authorities believe the products come from imprisoned Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities held in camps in China’s Xinjiang province.

The Chinese embassy in London stresses that all "Chinese compatriots residing in Hong Kong are Chinese nationals", adding that the UK's offer of residence to the population of Hong Kong was a violation of past communications between the two sides.

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