glimpse(China) – Weekly Newsletter about China

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Photo by Wu Yi/Unsplash

Lausky Liu, Contributor

I.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Biden held a virtual summit on Nov. 16, the first formal meeting since Biden became president. White House officials said to expect no deliverables, but a few agreements came out of the meeting. Both countries have agreed to ease restrictions on journalist visas to one-year, multi-entry visa terms, as opposed to three months, single-entry before and to hold talks on easing concerns about China’s arms control.
For more: The White House; NYT; Reuters

II.

Hours before the summit, Daniel Hsu, a Chinese American man who has been restricted from leaving China for more than four years, was allowed to return to the United States. The U.S. also released seven Chinese citizens who had been sentenced to prison, but U.S. officials denied that it was an exchange between two countries.
For more: Reuters

III.

The Central Committee of China’s Communist Party released the third resolution in the party’s history. The previous two were delivered by Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in 1945 and 1981 respectively. The new resolution, focusing on “the major achievements and historical experience of the CCP’s 100 years of endeavors,” appeared to be aimed at consolidating Xi Jinping’s position and paving the way for his third five-year term.
For more: English full text; NYT

IV.

China is leading the development of hypersonic weapons by successfully testing a missile with at least five times the speed of sound. Scientists in the Pentagon were shocked by this advance and people from the DARPA were still unsure about how China tackled the constraints of physics, noting that the U.S. is behind China and Russia in this field.
For more: FT

V.

Peng Shuai, a former top-ranked Chinese tennis player, has not made a public appearance since she accused retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. The state-run English broadcaster CGTN released an email via Twitter that was allegedly sent by Peng, but the letter only prompted further doubt. The WTA chairman called for a thorough investigation and said he was willing to pull out of China over Peng’s disappearance. Many prominent athletes have spoken out on this issue, including Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka and Billie Jean King.
Latest: The IOC President Thomas Bach spoke with Peng by video call yesterday, but it didn’t stop the criticism as they haven’t talked about her allegations.
For more: WTA statement; SupChina; Vice; CNN

VI.

Biden said that the U.S. was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Jen Psaki, the White House spokesperson, told the press that the U.S. was considering it in response to China’s human rights situation. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also revealed that the U.S. was discussing the boycott with other countries to see their opinions.
For more: Politico; Reuters

VII.

Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist and former lawyer who was sentenced to four years in prison for her reporting of the pandemic outbreak in Wuhan, was awarded the Prize for Courage by the 2021 RSF Press Freedom Awards. A week ago,  America urged China to release Zhang Zhan, who has a debilitated health condition and conducted a hunger strike before.
For more: The Guardian; NYT; RSF

VIII.

Hong Kong immigration authorities turned down renewing the employment visa for Sue-Lin Wong of the Economist, further highlighting concern over press freedom under the National Security Law. A week ago, the survey conducted by Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club showed that almost half of journalists considered leaving the city.
For more: The Economist; HKFP; Reuters

IX.

Zhou Guanyu has become Formula One’s first Chinese driver after signing with Alfa Romeo. The 22-year-old Shanghai native was previously a test driver for the Alpine and has won three times in the current F2 season for UNI-Virtuosi Racing.
More reading: BBC Sport; AP News