Situational awareness: I'm looking forward to a big Axios foreign policy event tomorrow at 8am.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
China has enlisted some of the world’s foremost human rights abusers to defend its mass detention of more than 1 million Muslims.
Why it matters: A letter supporting China — with signatures from Saudi Arabia, Russia, North Korea and 34 other mostly authoritarian states — comes after 22 countries formally condemned abuses in the Xinjiang region. It reveals growing frustration and defensiveness over the issue from Beijing, says Sophie Richardson, China director for Human Rights Watch.
From the letter: “We express our firm opposition to… politicizing human rights issues, by naming and shaming, and by publicly exerting pressures on other countries. We commend China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.”
Between the lines: “What surprises me is that they don’t see just what damage it does to their own credibility to draft a self-justifying letter about human rights that’s signed by North Korea,” Richardson says.
The big picture: An estimated 1 million to 2 million people in Xinjiang, most of them Uighur Muslims, are held in detention camps that activists say are designed to erase the Uighur identity and instill fear and obedience to the Communist Party.
Where things stand: The general response from countries and corporations over the past 2 years has been an uncomfortable silence. That makes the recent criticism at the U.N. significant, Richardson says.
What to watch: Much of the world sits in the middle, neither condemning nor defending China. That includes big majority-Muslim countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey; European countries including Italy; and Asian powers like India.
The bottom line: China has showed it can rally support, or at the very least silence, from dozens of countries who care more about its checkbook than its human rights record. But that hasn’t made this issue go away.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The 2020 Democratic front-runners have accepted President Trump's Jerusalem embassy move, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
The bottom line: Over the last week, Axios reached out to all of the top tier candidates, and not one of them said they'd move the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv.
But, but, but: The Democrats generally say they'd take a number of steps to re-establish diplomatic relations with, and resume funding to, the Palestinians.
Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
Bobi Wine, the pop star-turned-opposition icon, confirmed today that he'll challenge Yoweri Museveni for Uganda's presidency in 2021.
Why it matters: Wine, who was viciously beaten by soldiers last year and says Museveni's regime "wants me dead as soon as possible," told the AP: “there has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation.”
The FT's David Pilling spent a recent afternoon in the slum where Wine was raised. Some excerpts from his great piece:
What to watch: "Assuming Wine is alive by 2021, I wonder how he can possibly prevail in an electoral system where intimidation and rigging have been rife. His answer is to get millions of young people to register so that, he hopes, victory will be so decisive Museveni’s resolve will crumble."
1. Turkey has received “the first group of equipment” from a Russian S-400 air defense system despite warnings from the U.S. and other NATO allies who say the system could compromise the alliance's security.
2. India's government wants to extend to the rest of the country a "Kafkaesque" system that requires residents of Assam to prove their citizenship, the Economist reports.
3. Eduardo Bolsonaro is the son of Brazil's president, a congressman, an ally of Steve Bannon's and a vocal Trump backer. He may soon be Brazil's ambassador to Washington.
Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis/Getty
"By one measure, coffee has rarely had a better day," begins a fascinating piece from Axios' Steve LeVine in his Future newsletter:
What to watch: Jonathan Morris, author of "Coffee: A global history," says people in places that are not currently quaffing down coffee need to start. He singles out China, India, Vietnam, and much of Africa.
A monumental "Land'Art" fresque by artist Saype in Les Crosets, Switzerland. Photo: Harold Cunningham/WireImage
"On the 17th day of December, 1951, at Wilmslow, being a male person, committed an act of gross indecency..."— From the charges against Alan Turing, two years prior to his death.
"Alan Turing's pioneering work in mathematics and computer science played a crucial part in ending the Second World War. It is only fitting that we remember his legacy and the brilliant contribution LGBT people have made to our country on the new £50 note."— PM Theresa May, today. Read more.
Thanks for reading — see you Thursday evening