State Department

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that the State Department has downgraded China to the lowest possible ranking in this year's human trafficking report in part because "it has not taken serious steps to end its complicity in trafficking," and also because it has allowed forced labor to continue in North Korea.

Tillerson also stressed that human trafficking can present a national security threat, and explained how North Korea (another of world's worst offenders) uses profits from human trafficking to fund its nuclear and missile weapons program.

Other changes in the 2017 report, per AP:

  • Myanmar: The State Dept. has taken Myanmar off the list of the world's worst human trafficking offenders.
  • Myanmar and Iraq: Both countries were removed from the list of nations that use child soldiers.
  • Afghanistan was recognized for its efforts to curb human trafficking, while Iraq was seen as making "insufficient progress."

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U.S. sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur human rights abuses

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the U.S. has sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The sanctions designations, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act passed by Congress in 2016, mark a significant escalation in the Trump administration's response to the Chinese government's detainment of over 1 million Uighurs in internment camps.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,118,667 — Total deaths: 551,271 — Total recoveries — 6,649,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,081,383 — Total deaths: 132,570 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,431,666Map.
  3. Public health: Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day coronavirus death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. Travel: Young adults are most likely to have moved due to coronavirus.
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China's extraterritorial threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All multinational companies and executives need to worry about breaking U.S. law, no matter where they're based or doing business. Now, they need to worry about Chinese law, too.

Why it matters: The projection of U.S. norms and laws around the world has been an integral (and much resented) part of America's "soft power" since 1945. As China positions itself to replace the USA as global hegemon, expect it to become increasingly assertive along similar lines.