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CHINA: POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS

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Summary

South African Belt and Road corruption
China, the Pondo king and Namaqualand: In pursuit of the ‘Disney playground’ deal / Daily Maverick (South Africa)
Without informing his subjects, King Mangaliso Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase of Western Pondoland has signed a contract to lease a pristine stretch of the Wild Coast to a Chinese company.

Xinjiang concentration camps
Without papers, Uighurs fear for their future in Turkey / Reuters
“Without work or residency permits in Turkey and unable to renew their Chinese passports, Qurbanjan Nourmuhammed and his family live in uncertainty in Istanbul, cut off from their son who returned to Xinjiang three years ago.”
Secretary Pompeo's meeting with Uyghur Muslims impacted by human rights crisis in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China / U.S. Department of State
“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met yesterday with Mihrigul Tursun, a Uyghur Muslim who survived horrific conditions and abuse in a Chinese internment camp in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region [and] three other members of the Uyghur Muslim community.”

The EU, China, and Italy’s Belt and Road deal 
Choking on spaghetti: What went wrong in Xi's Italian visit / Bitter Winter
“Italy did join Belt and Road, but Xi’s visit to Italy was not as smooth and successful as some claimed.”
Opinion: The EU’s China strategy, while avoiding Trump-style confrontation, puts European unity to the test / by Emanuele Scimia in SCMP
“While it won’t challenge China as Trump has done, the grouping wants to address its concerns over some Chinese policies through a united front. Italy’s lone endorsement of the Belt and Road shows the challenge it now faces.”
Is Italy playing with fire when it comes to China? / CNBC

Fraud in Hong Kong
Hong Kong crime family who stole more than HK$40 million from cosmetics retailer Bonjour jailed for total of 24½ years / SCMP
“A family of fraudsters who swindled one of Hong Kong’s biggest cosmetic retailers out of more than HK$40 million ($5.1 million) were jailed for a total of 24½ years on Wednesday.”

On a Tsinghua law professor under investigation for writing essays
J’accuse, Tsinghua University! / China Heritage
A translation by Geremie Barmé of an essay in support of Xǔ Zhāngrùn 许章润, a law professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing who was relieved of his teaching duties and placed under investigation because of a series of critical essays. The essay, originally published by the Financial Times Chinese website, is by Xu’s friend and colleague Guō Yúhuá 郭于华.
Essays by Zhang that are translated by Geremie Barmé:Imminent fears, immediate hopes — A Beijing jeremiadHumble recognition, boundless possibilityAnd teachers, then? They just do their thing!To summon a wandering soulChina’s Red empire — to be or not to be?

Beijing evaded taxes in Hong Kong 
'We need an answer': Hong Kong lawmakers slam government for waiving HK$129.7 million worth of stamp duties for Beijing's proxies in property market / SCMP
“Beijing's liaison office and other mainland agencies in Hong Kong had HK$129.7 million ($16.5 million) worth of stamp duties waived for the 77 local properties they snapped up over the last seven years, government figures revealed on Wednesday.”

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