Owen Churchill

Owen Churchill

US correspondent 

Owen is a contributor to Inkstone. He is a US correspondent for the South China Morning Post based in Washington DC.

Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
US-China relations and trade, Chinese society, Chinese culture
Trade war: US and China said to agree on interim deal
The US and China have reached consensus on the terms of a “phase one” trade deal, multiple US media outlets have reported. Intended to be the first in a series of incremental agreements to resolve the trade war, the deal has the approval of US President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported, citing several unnamed people briefed on the matter. As part of the agreement, the US would not only postpone tariffs on around $160 billion of Chinese goods scheduled to go into effect on Sunday, but also make cuts in duties already in place, Myron Brilliant of the US Chamber of Commerce told CNBC, citing US administration sources who had briefed him on the plans. Neither the White House nor the Office of th
Trade war: US and China said to agree on interim deal
US lawmakers not swayed by China's Xinjiang policy defense
As Beijing steps up its defense of its mass internment measures targeting Muslims in China’s far west, one key target of its messaging campaign remains decidedly unconvinced: the US Congress. On Monday, representatives of the regional government in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region said that all “trainees” in what China calls vocational training centers have “graduated” and found stable employment. Foreign governments and international human rights watchdogs remain skeptical of China’s efforts to ward off accusations of a campaign to forcibly bring ethnic minority groups in the region into line. And Uygurs living overseas point to silence from their relatives in Xinjiang as proof they a
US lawmakers not swayed by China's Xinjiang policy defense
Publisher warns of ‘fictional’ expert in Trump advisor’s anti-China book
President Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro faked an expert in his anti-China books, and the volumes’ publisher wants readers to know it. All reprints of Navarro’s supposedly non-fiction Death by China will “alert” readers that the Harvard-educated economist Ron Vara quoted within its pages is fabricated, according to Pearson, which owns the book’s publisher Prentice Hall. The 2011 book, which levels a laundry list of accusations against China’s trade practices, including deliberately harming Americans with dangerous consumer goods, came under renewed scrutiny this week following a report that one of its sources does not exist. The move follows a report by The Chronicle Review citing Death
Publisher warns of ‘fictional’ expert in Trump advisor’s anti-China book
US puts visa restrictions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang 
The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government officials suspected of repressing Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in China. The sanctions target Chinese officials “who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the detention or abuse of Uygurs, Kazakhs or other members of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, China,” said the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  The announcement came a day after the Commerce Department decided to blacklist 28 Chinese entities and firms allegedly linked to abuses in Xinjiang. The organizations are blocked from buying products from US companies without approval from Washington. China has forcibly detained over one mil
US puts visa restrictions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang 
First NBA, now Apple: US firms caught in dilemmas in China
Apple has come under fire in China after approving an app that allows protesters to report and monitor police movement in Hong Kong. The People’s Daily, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, on Tuesday published a commentary that ridicules the iPhone maker for protecting “rioters” in Hong Kong by making the HKmap.live software available on its app store. Does Apple “not worry about damaging its reputation and hurting the feelings of consumers?” the article reads. The criticism puts Apple in a long line of foreign companies that have been forced to either bow to populist pressure in China or risk losing access to 1.4 billion customers. Compounding their troubles, the political pressur
First NBA, now Apple: US firms caught in dilemmas in China
After Uygur row, Chinese student group loses status at Canadian college
A Chinese student association at a Canadian university has lost its club status over concerns about its alleged links to the Chinese government. Objections to the Chinese Students and Scholars Association’s (CSSA) official status at McMaster University, near Canada’s largest city Toronto, stemmed from a protest campaign it had spearheaded in February in response to a talk given on campus by Rukiye Turdush, a Uygur activist. More than 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic minority groups are believed to be detained in mass internment camps in China’s northwest and subject to political indoctrination. Beijing describes the facilities as vocational training centers. The association issued an open l
After Uygur row, Chinese student group loses status at Canadian college
US lawmakers seek to ban tear gas exports to Hong Kong
US congressional representatives on Tuesday introduced a bill seeking to ban sales of riot control equipment to Hong Kong, following accusations that the city’s police have used excessive force against anti-government protesters.  If passed, the bill would prohibit US companies from exporting so-called non-lethal crowd control items such as tear gas, as well as defense articles and services, to Hong Kong police.  Since mass demonstrations began in June over a proposed extradition bill, violent clashes involving police, protesters and counterprotesters have led to dozens of injuries.  Hong Kong government announced a withdrawal of the bill last week, but protesters continued to demand an inde
US lawmakers seek to ban tear gas exports to Hong Kong
How WeChat users unwittingly aid censorship
Chinese messaging app WeChat relies on the input of unwitting users to autonomously expand its blacklist of sensitive images, according to a new study by a Canadian internet watchdog group. Research released this week by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab focused on how WeChat, owned by tech giant Tencent and boasting an active monthly user base of more than 1 billion people, uses a number of censorship mechanisms to screen picture files sent between users in one-to-one and group chats. The study found that the app, without requiring human involvement, can expand its own blacklist of prohibited images by subjecting files to both real-time and retroactive analyses. “Users using the platf
How WeChat users unwittingly aid censorship
US calls off ex-diplomat’s tough speech on Hong Kong
In his three years as the top American diplomat in Hong Kong, Kurt Tong had repeatedly warned that the former British colony’s autonomy was increasingly at risk of being eroded. On Wednesday, he was expected to once again deliver a speech to address Hong Kong’s relationship with China. Until the gag order came. Tong, who recently left his post as the US consul general in Hong Kong, was ordered by the State Department to postpone his speech, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told the South China Morning Post. He had prepared to address Hong Kong’s relationship with China and comment on US economic policy in the region at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washing
US calls off ex-diplomat’s tough speech on Hong Kong
US is close to sanctioning Chinese officials over Muslim camps
The US government is poised to punish Chinese officials over the mass detention of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. A sanctions package has gained consensus across several government departments, according to a US official and two other individuals briefed on the matter. However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is said to have held up its implementation due to concerns that it could disrupt the ongoing trade negotiations. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uygurs and other Muslim minorities are being held in internment camps in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, prompting a growing global outcry. Washington has called on Beijing to stop the detention program, and US lawmakers have been pus
US is close to sanctioning Chinese officials over Muslim camps