Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Malpass (L) with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has requested a meeting with the World Bank over a $50 million loan approved for China's Xinjiang region, where upwards of one million ethnic minorities have been detained, in a letter obtained exclusively by Axios.

Why it matters: Congress is ramping up scrutiny of China's mass internment in Xinjiang — with a special eye on any U.S.-based organization that might be complicit.

Context: In 2015, the World Bank launched a $50 million loan program to fund technical and vocational training schools in Xinjiang.

  • In early 2017, Chinese authorities in Xinjiang began detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslim ethnic minorities in mass internment camps that Beijing now refers to as "vocational education and training centers."
  • At least one World Bank-funded school purchased thousands of dollars in riot gear and tear gas launchers.
  • The World Bank scaled back but did not cancel the program after news reports and a U.S. government commission drew attention to it in August.

In a letter dated Nov. 22, 2019 and addressed to World Bank President David Malpass, Grassley wrote, "I have concerns over the breakdown in World Bank's internal controls and oversight processes designed to prevent its loans from being used for potentially nefarious purposes."

  • Grassley wrote, "It is hard to see how any project in that region could meet World Bank's social framework standards."
  • Grassley requested that Malpass's office "make itself available for a meeting with my staff as soon as possible" to discuss oversight over future loans.

Driving the news: Yesterday the House passed a bill calling for "targeted sanctions" on Chinese officials responsible for implementing mass detentions in Xinjiang.

What's next: This is only going to get bigger. Watch for even more Congressional scrutiny of the World Bank on this issue.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.