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President Xi’s plan for the next five years
The China Letter: October 16, 2022
This week’s newsletter has the first recaps from Xi Jinping’s third term, how the U.S. crackdown on Chinese technology is taking shape, how combat drones are part of a plan to protect Taiwan, the UN’s harsh response to the Hong Kong security law being enforced on teens, and the latest from the investigations into unconfirmed secret police stations.
The signs via President Xi
Xi Jinping doubled down on his zero-COVID policy at the Communist Party congress in Beijing, at which he’s been anointed as president for life. Similar ceremonies may still happen once every five years, but the takeaway of his speech signalled accelerating military development, greater control, and more of the policies that rankle the West.
The growing war on chips
Dutch firm ASML stating any U.S. staff are prohibited from servicing Chinese customers was a significant signal of how the White House is enacting restrictions on semiconductor technology exports. In turn, Joe Biden’s administration is pushing a domestic manufacturing boom through the newly enacted CHIPS and Science Act.
The cost of fighting back
Robert Tsao wants to help Taiwan fight back against China and he’s got the cash to back the endeavour. His idea for the creation of a civilian fighting force would come with the creation of one billion combat drones in the event of war. Tsao also says normalizing the name Taiwan would be good for defence.
Five detained teenagers
The United Nations human rights office raised alarm about the sentencing of five Hong Kong teenagers for pro-democracy activism that included calling for an “armed uprising.” But the government defended its decision in response, furthering Hong Kong’s belief that the law is restoring civility and peace.
Secrets staying secretive
Sunday’s edition of the Daily Mail contained an investigation into three U.K. locations listed as “service centres,” which resemble other European sites where Chinese dissidents are apparently tracked down and compelled to return. Reports of similar sites in Canada won’t be probed locally until they’re verified.