All China stories

Jun 30, 2020 - Science

China's commercial space industry charges ahead

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China’s commercial space ambitions stretch far beyond the industry’s current domestic focus, with plans to use private space capabilities to help bring Chinese influence to the world.

Why it matters: Space is a cornerstone of the global race for tech supremacy, and China wants to dominate from both a governmental and commercial standpoint.

New Hong Kong law sets harsh penalties for broadly defined political crimes

An advertisement from the government promoting the new law in Hong Kong. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong's government released the text of a new national security law imposed by Beijing just as the law came into force on Tuesday.

What it says: The law defines crimes such as terrorism and sedition broadly, but mandates harsh sentences — in many cases life imprisonment — for those found to have committed them. It will be enforced by a National Security Committee, headed by Hong Kong's chief executive, without any input from the judiciary.

Exclusive: Caterpillar sourced clothes from Xinjiang factory involved in coercive labor

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A China-based supplier of clothing items to U.S. construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar participates in a coercive labor program known as "Xinjiang Aid," according to documents and evidence reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: It is against U.S. federal law to import products made through forced labor.

China's influence operations are getting harder to hide

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Beijing's political influence operations — quiet attempts to sway public opinion and policy in foreign countries — are receiving intense scrutiny in the United States.

Why it matters: Scrutiny can bring transparency, which analysts say is key to combatting authoritarian influence.

Updated Jun 30, 2020 - World

China passes sweeping Hong Kong national security law

Pro-democracy supporters hold a Hong Kong Independence flag and shout slogans during a rally against the national security law as riot police secure an area in a shopping mall in the city on Tuesday. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers passed a sweeping national security law on Tuesday that gives China more powers over the territory, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Beijing's encroachment since 2019 on Hong Kong's independent legal system has prompted huge pro-democracy protests in the Asian financial hub. The law that bypassed Hong Kong's legislature criminalizes sedition, foreign influence and secession in the city. The U.S. is rescinding Hong Kong's special trade status in response to the move.

Jun 29, 2020 - World

AP: China engaging in campaign of forced birth control against Uighurs

Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

The Chinese government is engaging in a sweeping campaign of forced birth control and sterilization on Uighurs and other minorities that is "far more widespread and systematic" than was previously known, according to an AP investigation published Monday.

Why it matters: The draconian effort, which has been carried out in the western region of Xinjiang over the past four years, has been described by some experts as "demographic genocide." It coincides with years of restrictions and human rights abuses against Uighurs and other majority-Muslim ethnic groups in China under the authoritarian leadership of Xi Jinping.

Indian government bans 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok

Rickshaw driver in New Delhi wearing a TikTok sweatshirt. Photo: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Indian government announced Monday it would ban 59 apps developed by Chinese firms, citing national security and privacy concerns.

Why it matters: The applications blocked include ByteDance’s TikTok, a massively popular short-form video app that has come under scrutiny in the U.S. and elsewhere amid growing concerns about Chinese technological threats. India is TikTok's largest market, according to TechCrunch.

China's carbon emissions surge above pre-pandemic levels

Weihai in Shandong province, China in 2019. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Carbon dioxide emissions from China have "surged back from the coronavirus lockdown" last month, exceeding their level from May 2019, a new analysis shows.

Why it matters: China is by far the world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Its trajectory in the coming years and decades will play a key role in global efforts to rein in — or fail to rein in — heat-trapping emissions.

Wray: FBI has over 2,000 investigations that trace back to China

FBI director Christopher Wray said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday that the bureau has more than 2,000 active investigations that link back to the Chinese government.

Context: Wray said that amounts to a roughly 1,300% increase in terms of economic espionage probes focused on China over the past decade.

Defense Department produces list of Chinese military-linked companies

The logo of Chinese company Huawei. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

The Defense Department is making public for the first time a list of Chinese companies that are operating in the U.S. and are tied to the Chinese military. The list, obtained by Axios, includes Huawei, Hangzhou Hikvision, China Railway Construction Corporation, and China Telecommunications Corporation.

Why it matters: President Trump has the authority to invoke emergency economic powers, including sanctions, against the 20 companies on the list.