Politics

Politics

This global coronavirus alliance was spurned by the US
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. In early October, China decided to join a global initiative for the fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines called Covax.  The vaccine project had been struggling in part because major powers like China and the US were not participating. The US has refused to join the program, but Beijing’s participation might be what Covax needs to get the ball rolling.  But what exactly is it and how does it work? What is Covax? The Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax) alliance was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and F
How many Chinese soldiers died in the Korean War? 
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power 180,000 to 900,000: The wide-ranging estimation of the number of Chinese casualties during the Korean War.  Fought between 1950-1953, the Korean War is often forgotten in American discourse, overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. But across the Pacific, several countries in Asia are honoring the 70th anniversary of the start of the first major conflict of the Cold War, and the only one in modern history where American and Chinese troops fought against one another. An estimated 36,574 American troops were killed, according to the Korean War Veterans Memoria
Welcoming message for Hong Kong refugees adds to China’s tensions with US, Canada
The potential acceptance of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists as political refugees led to a war of words between Beijing and governments in countries including the United States and Canada.  A number of developed countries have pledged to open their doors to Hongkongers, but the Chinese government has attacked them for what it describes as foreign interference in its domestic affairs.  Some of those who took part in the anti-government protests in Hong Kong have fled the city or are trying to leave over fears that they could face prosecution.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week responded to a veiled threat made by a Chinese diplomat after US National Security Advisor Robert O’
Greta Thunberg declares support for ‘Hong Kong 12’
Greta Thunberg, the high-profile global environmental activist, has waded into sensitive Chinese politics by demanding the release of 12 Hong Kong fugitives detained in mainland China after being arrested at sea while fleeing to Taiwan.  The Swedish environmentalist shared on Twitter a picture of her holding a whiteboard bearing the message “#SAVE12HKYOUTHS” in response to a direct appeal to back the cause from Joshua Wong Chi-fung, the poster boy of Hong Kong’s protest movement. She also wrote, “12 is more than just a number” and called on three other environmental activists to join her in the cause. The arrest of 12 Hong Kong activists in August has made international headlines and turned
China ‘will keep its promise’ to share Covid-19 vaccines with countries in need
China’s promise to make its Covid-19 vaccines a “global public product” has been reiterated by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He made the comments after visits to China by envoys from Indonesia and the Philippines and his own tour of Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Singapore last week. “China will earnestly fulfil its commitment to make vaccines a global public product once they are successfully developed and put into use, and will contribute to the accessibility and affordability of the vaccines in developing countries,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency Xinhua. Several representatives of Southeast Asian countries had expressed an interest in working with China on vaccine resea
China opens arms to Thailand’s embattled government as protesters rally
Beijing’s foreign minister Wang Yi has offered support and much needed investment to Thailand’s embattled government of Prayuth Chan-ocha, as the kingdom slides deeper into political crisis and struggles to revive a flatlining economy hammered by the coronavirus. Wang, on his last meeting of a whistle-stop tour shoring up alliances in Southeast Asia, on Thursday promised to sell Thailand’s massive Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) infrastructure, tech and trade zone plan to Chinese companies and make the hub a key part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Thailand is desperate for good economic news and is hoping its largest overseas investor – trade between the two is worth nearly $80 billi
America’s wary eye on China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 73%: the share of Americans who hold negative views about China.  Negative views of China have reached record levels among the public in 14 developed countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from June to August.  In the United States, 73% of the respondents have an unfavorable view of China, up 13 percentage points since just last year. When the survey was first conducted in 2005, only 35% of Americans viewed China negatively.  Views toward China have also grown increasingly negative in all the countries surveyed over the past year, according to the pol
Germany calls on the world to accept China’s persecuted Muslims as refugees
In a United Nations speech on Tuesday supported by 38 other countries, Germany criticized China’s human rights record and called on the world to accept persecuted Uygur Muslims as refugees. The group of mostly Western countries, represented by Berlin’s ambassador to the United Nations, Christoph Heusgen, also expressed “deep concerns” over the national security law Beijing has imposed in Hong Kong, which allows people to be sent to mainland China for trials. Beijing and its UN allies fired back, rejecting what they deemed interference in “China’s internal affairs.” A million Uygurs are in Chinese detention in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to UN findings. President Xi Jinping
Why China’s liberals like Trump
On the night of April 25, 2012, a bright yellow phone in Hillary Clinton’s home in northwest Washington rang. An urgent crisis was unfolding in the streets of Beijing, the former secretary of state learned on the secure call, and she had to act fast. In a move that risked angering China, she authorized an operation to pick up a Chinese dissident and shelter him in the US embassy. “Go get him,” Hillary recalled telling her staff in her 2014 memoir. The decision, she wrote, demonstrated America as a “beacon of freedom and opportunity.” Eight years later, on August 26, Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese rights activist whom the Obama administration eventually helped escape to America, spoke at the Re
America closes immigration door to 91.9 million communists in China
The United States has released guidance on its immigration laws that will make it almost impossible for members of a communist party or similar to be granted permanent residence or citizenship of America. The announcement, made on Friday by the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), potentially makes it harder for at least 91.9 million members of the Chinese Communist Party to immigrate to the US. In a sign Washington is dusting off its Cold War-era legislation, the agency said: “In general, unless otherwise exempt, any intending immigrant who is a member or affiliate of the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party … domestic or foreign, is inadmissible to the United States.” T