The world’s two biggest economies have traded blows over the coronavirus pandemic, trade and technology competition, espionage, human rights and media freedoms under US President Donald Trump’s tenure.
Beijing on Friday lashed out at a claim by the US intelligence chief that China is the “greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide”, calling it a “hodgepodge of lies”.
The war of words comes as relations between the two superpowers have spiralled to their lowest point in decades and as Washington unveiled travel restrictions for members of the Chinese Communist Party.
US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Thursday that Chinese spies were using economic pressure to influence or undermine US legislators.
“The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” he wrote.
Beijing hit back angrily on Friday.
“[Ratcliffe] only continues to repeat lies and rumours to slander and discredit China, and wantonly play up the Chinese threat,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
“I think this is yet another hodgepodge of lies that the US government has been cooking up lately.”
Hua also accused the US of being “engaged in a Cold War mindset, advocating major power competition, and wantonly expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal”.
The US has repeatedly stressed that China is a grave threat to national security and Western democratic values, while China has accused the US of seeking to contain its rise through unlawful means.
Under the new US travel rules, visas issued to party members and their immediate family will remain valid for just one month, and for a single entry.
Previously some visas were issued that permitted unlimited entries and could remain valid for as long as 10 years.
The United States shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston in July, calling it a centre of espionage and harassment of Chinese nationals in the US.
In retaliation, Beijing ordered the US to vacate its consulate in Chengdu.
Hua on Friday called for the United States to “stop damaging US-China relations and US-China mutual trust and cooperation”.
The explosion, sparked by a fire in Tianjiayi’s fertiliser factory, flattened the surrounding industrial park, blew out windows and dented metal garage doors of buildings as far as four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the site.
A Chinese court jailed 53 people on Monday after convicting them on charges including bribery and negligence over a massive chemical factory explosion in eastern China last year that killed 78 people.
The blast in Jiangsu province in March 2019 was one of the worst industrial accidents in the country in recent years and led to the closure of the plant.
Executives and employees of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical company received sentences ranging from 18 months to twenty years in prison, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
A handful of local officials also received jail terms.
The court in Jiangsu’s Yancheng city found that the company knowingly produced and stored hazardous chemicals and waste material despite “storage venues that did not meet safety requirements”.
It also found that six local government agencies — including the city’s environmental protection authorities — had falsified documents in order to hide the risk posed by Tianjiayi’s activities, with some officials accepting bribes.
Deadly industrial accidents are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced.
In 2015, massive chemical blasts in the northern port city of Tianjin killed at least 165 people.
Chinese government debt is set to be included on a key global bonds index, which could see tens of billions of dollars of foreign investment in the country’s increasingly internationalised financial markets.
The move by FTSE Russell comes as trading in China becomes an increasingly controversial move in Washington as relations between the superpowers grow increasingly fraught.
But analysts said the attraction of higher yields — the yield on 10-year Chinese government bonds is 2.4 percentage points higher than US Treasuries — and a relatively stable currency have made the country an attractive prospect for investors.
Inclusion in the World Government Bond index, which could begin next October if approved, means CGBs will be a must-have asset for investment giants such as pension funds desperate for good returns as the global bond market is battered by the virus pandemic.
Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor at the central People’s Bank of China said international investments in the Chinese market had grown more than 40 percent over the past three years, with 2.8 trillion yuan ($410 billion) of Chinese bonds currently held by international investors.
Goldman Sachs said inclusion could see up to $140 billion floods into the debt market.
AxiCorp strategist Stephen Innes said the move was “big news” which would open up China’s bond market to “a broader band of passive investors”.
FTSE Russell, which is owned by the London Stock Exchange, decided against including Chinese debt in the index last year owing to several worries such as liquidity and the settlement of transactions, but it said the concerns had been addressed.
In the statement its CEO Waqas Samad said authorities had “worked hard to enhance the infrastructure of their government bond market”.
Jason Pang of JP Morgan Asset Management said that while foreign ownership of CGBs had risen to around nine percent from two percent in recent years, it is still well below the 15-30 percent seen in other Asian markets.
But he added: “It is increasingly clear that China bonds’ globalisation is simply a matter of time, further accelerated by increasingly accessible hedging options that enable investors to manage risk.
“Over the past 20 years, China’s bond market has grown more than sixtyfold to nearly $14 trillion.”
The Chinese economy has largely bounced back after a virus-induced sharp economic shock seen earlier in the year, with most people back to work after the government brought the disease largely under control through lockdowns and mass testing.
Thousands of people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease after a leak from a state-owned biopharmaceutical plant making animal vaccines last year.
Health officials in Lanzhou city said 3,245 people had contracted brucellosis, a disease often caused by close contact with infected animals or animal products that can bring about fevers, joint pain and headaches.
Another 1,401 people tested as an early positive for the disease, and health authorities said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission so far.
Chinese authorities found a biopharmaceutical plant had used expired disinfectant in its production of Brucella vaccines for animals between July and August last year — meaning the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.
Contaminated gas from the China Animal Husbandry Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory in Lanzhou formed aerosols containing the bacteria, and this was then carried by wind to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, infecting nearly 200 people there as of December last year.
More than 20 students and faculty members of Lanzhou University, some of whom had been to the institute, subsequently tested positive as well, according to Xinhua news agency.
Lanzhou’s health commission said Friday that sheep, cattle and pigs were most commonly involved in the spread of the bacteria.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.
These include recurrent fevers, chronic fatigue, swelling of the heart or arthritis.
The factory — which apologised earlier this year — has had its brucellosis vaccine production licence revoked, Lanzhou authorities said.
Compensation for patients would start in batches from October, according to local authorities.
Hundreds take to the streets to demonstrate against the postponement of legislative election and the new security law.
More than 30 people have been arrested by Hong Kong police as riot officers swoop in on pro-democracy protesters – opposed to the postponement of the local legislative election – with rounds of pepper balls.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets on Sunday in the Asian financial hub to demonstrate against a new national security law imposed by China and the postponement of the legislative poll.
Sunday was meant to be voting day for the city’s partially elected legislature, one of the few instances where Hong Kong voters get to cast ballots.
But Chief Executive Carrie Lam on July 31 postponed the election for one year, citing a surge in novel coronavirus cases. Critics say her government worried the opposition would gain seats if voting was held as scheduled.
The poll would have been the former British colony’s first official vote since Beijing imposed the new security legislation in late June, which critics say aims to quash dissent in the city.
Anti-government protests have been held in Hong Kong almost every weekend since June 2019. They erupted over opposition to a proposed extradition law and spread to include demands for greater democracy and criticism of Beijing’s efforts to tighten control over the city.
Police fire pepper balls Thousands of police were stationed around the bustling Kowloon Peninsula on Sunday as marchers waved placards and chanted popular anti-government slogans such as, “liberate Hong Kong”.
One woman was arrested during a protest in the Kowloon district of Yau Ma Tei on charges of assault and spreading pro-independence slogans, the police department said on its Facebook page. It said such slogans are illegal under the newly enacted National Security Act.
Police fired pepper balls at protesters in Kowloon’s Mong Kong neighbourhood, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.
Some 30 other people were arrested on suspicion of illegal assembly and two were arrested for disorderly conduct, police said.
In the Jordan neighbourhood, protesters raised a banner criticising the election delay, the Post said. It put the number of arrests at 33.
“I want my right to vote,” activist Leung Kwok-hung, popularly known as Long Hair, was quoted as saying. The newspaper said Leung was later arrested.
Reporting from the city, Noble Reporters Media said many people were also carrying out individual acts of defiance across the city, carrying banners or chanting slogans, to protest the new law.
“These acts are remarkable because these individuals are doing that in the face of the sweeping national security law, which makes chants like that, saying things like that illegal,” he said.
“The demonstration was also an unconventional one as people tried hard to blend in with regular shoppers in the heart of the city, and occasionally chanted slogans or make the hand sign of the opposition.”
Limited gatherings Anti-government demonstrations have declined this year mainly because of limits on group gatherings and the security law that punishes actions China sees as subversive, secessionist, “terrorist” or colluding with foreign forces.
Hong Kong has reported about 4,800 coronavirus cases since January, far lower than in other large cities around the world. The number of new daily infections has fallen substantially from triple digits in July to single digits currently.
While street protests have largely lost momentum, anti-government and anti-Beijing sentiment persists, with China’s offer of mass coronavirus testing for Hong Kong residents prompting calls for a boycott amid public distrust.
Gatherings are currently limited to two people. Police have cited such restrictions in rejecting applications for protests in recent months, effectively preventing demonstrations.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a guarantee of autonomy but critics say the new law undermines that promise and puts the territory on a more authoritarian path.
Supporters of the new security law say it will bring more stability after a year of often-violent anti-government and anti-China unrest and it plugs loopholes in national security left by the city’s inability to fulfil a constitutional requirement to pass such laws on its own.
Facing pressure from the US, China wants to develop its own chip-making technology, sources tell Bloomberg.
China is planning a sweeping set of new government policies to develop its domestic semiconductor industry and counter Trump administration restrictions, conferring the same kind of priority on the effort it accorded to building its atomic capability, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Beijing is preparing broad support for so-called third-generation semiconductors for the five years through 2025, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing government deliberations. A suite of measures to bolster research, education and financing for the industry has been added to a draft of the country’s 14th five-year plan, which will be presented to the country’s top leaders in October, the people said.
China’s top leaders will gather next month to lay out their economic strategy for the next half decade, including efforts to ramp up domestic consumption and make critical technology at home. President Xi Jinping has pledged an estimated $1.4 trillion through 2025 for technologies ranging from wireless networks to artificial intelligence. Semiconductors are fundamental to virtually every component of China’s technology ambitions — and an increasingly aggressive Trump administration threatens to cut off their supply from abroad.
“The Chinese leadership realizes that semiconductors underpin all advanced technologies, and that it can no longer dependably rely on American supplies,” said Dan Wang, technology analyst at research firm Gavekal Dragonomics. “In the face of stricter U.S. restrictions on chip access, China’s response can only be to keep pushing its own industry to develop.”
Shares in several major Chinese chipmakers gained. Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Group Co. finished 4.3% higher in Hong Kong. On mainland bourses, Will Semiconductor Ltd. — the second most valuable listed Chinese chip firm — rose almost 10%. Xiamen Changelight Co. closed 14% up while Focus Lightings Tech Co. jumped 5.6%.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is responsible for drafting the tech-related goals, did not reply to a request for comment.
China imports more than $300 billion worth of integrated circuits each year and its semiconductor developers rely on U.S.-made chip design tools and patents, as well as critical manufacturing technologies from U.S. allies. But deteriorating ties between Beijing and Washington have made it increasingly difficult for Chinese companies to source components and chipmaking technologies from overseas.
The U.S. government has blacklisted dozens of China’s tech companies so they can’t buy American parts, and slapped bans on ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat. In the case of technology giant Huawei Technologies Co., the Trump administration sanctioned the company and pressed allies to ban the company’s equipment from their telecom networks.
This month, Huawei, the country’s largest handset maker, will even lose access to chips from the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. under new American regulations that prohibit suppliers anywhere in the world from working with the company if those suppliers use American equipment. The tighter rules have raised the urgency of building domestic alternatives in Beijing.
Third-generation semiconductors are mainly chipsets made of materials such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride. They can operate at high frequency and in higher power and temperature environments, and are widely used in fifth-generation radio frequency chips, military-grade radars and electric vehicles.
Since no single country now dominates the fledgling, third-generation technology, China’s gamble is its corporations can compete if they accelerate research into the field now. Global leaders such as U.S.-based CREE Inc. and Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. are just beginning to grow this business, while Chinese tech giants such as Sanan Optoelectronics Co. Ltd. and state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corp. have made inroads on third-generation chipsets.
The country’s other chipmakers, which include Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., Will Semiconductor Ltd. and National Silicon Industry Group Co., may benefit more broadly from the state support.
“This is a sector about to see explosive growth,” Alan Zhou, managing partner of Fujian-based chip investment fund An Xin Capital Co., told an industry forum last week. Because of China’s increasing demand and investment, this is an area that could create a “world-class Chinese chip giant.”
Case against media tycoon dates back to 2017 and is not related to his arrest under China-imposed national security law.
A court in Hong Kong has declared media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai not guilty of criminal intimidation, ending one of several cases against him after his high-profile arrest under a new national security law.
Thursday’s verdict was for a case that dates back to 2017 and was unrelated to his arrest last month.
Lai, who is a key critic of Beijing, had used foul language when confronting a reporter from Oriental Daily News, a major competitor to Lai’s tabloid Apple Daily.
Police, however, only charged him in February this year.
The mainland-born media magnate had pleaded not guilty.
He smiled after the verdict was read out and shook hands with supporters who filled the courtroom.
Lai’s case comes after he was arrested for suspected collusion with foreign forces on August 10, making him the highest-profile person to be arrested under the Beijing-imposed law.
The 71-year-old had been a frequent visitor to Washington, where he met officials including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to rally support for Hong Kong democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a “traitor”.
After Lai’s August arrest about 200 police officers searched the office of his Apple Daily newspaper.
The national security law punishes any act China considers subversion, succession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. Critics say it crushes freedoms, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged anti-China, pro-democracy protests last year.
Lai’s Apple Daily has vied with pro-Beijing Oriental Daily for readership in the special administrative region. In 2014 the Oriental Daily published a fake obituary of Lai, claiming that he had died of AIDS and many types of cancer.
Prosecutors in the case said Lai had intimidated the Oriental Daily reporter.
Lai’s lawyers said Lai had been followed by reporters for three years and his comments were not intended to harm the reporter but expressed his exasperation.
Lai is also facing separate court cases for illegal assembly relating to anti-government protests last year.
Report says China aims to double its arsenal from current level of about 200 warheads in next decade, US has over 6,000
China is expected to at least double the number of its nuclear warheads over the next 10 years – from an estimated figure in the low 200s it has now – and is nearing the ability to launch nuclear attacks by land, air and sea, a capacity known as a triad, the Pentagon has revealed.
The annual report to Congress on China’s military marks the first time it has put a number to China’s nuclear warheads. The Federation of American Scientists has estimated that China has about 320.
The Pentagon said the growth projection was based on factors including Beijing having enough material to double its nuclear weapons stockpile without new fissile material production.
“We’re certainly concerned about the numbers … but also just the trajectory of China’s nuclear developments writ large,” Chad Sbragia, deputy assistant secretary of defence for China, told reporters.
The annual report comes as the US Congress debates the pending $700bn defence authorisation bill amid rising tensions between the two countries.
Reporting from Washington, DC, Noble Reporters Media learnt the bill amounts to three times China’s annual defence budget.
She said US President Donald Trump’s Republican allies want some of the money to cover potential nuclear testing, which is opposed by the Democrats.
Nuclear triad capacity In his statement, Sbragia said China was also nearing completion of its nuclear triad capacity, as it develops an air-launched ballistic missile that would have nuclear capability.
The report said that in October 2019, China publicly revealed the H-6N bomber as its first nuclear-capable air-to-air refuelling bomber.
Washington has repeatedly expressed its desire to expand an Obama-era nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia to include China instead of simply extending the pact, known as New START, when it expires in February.
China has shown no interest in joining the negotiation.
In July, a senior Chinese diplomat said Beijing would “be happy” to participate in trilateral arms control negotiations, but only if the US was willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China’s level.
Earlier this year, the Communist Party-backed tabloid Global Times said Beijing needed to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time.
In an interview with Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) on Wednesday, China analyst Andrew Leung said China’s nuclear posture was “largely defensive”, adding that even if China doubled its nuclear warheads, from 300 to 600, it would still be only a tiny fraction of the US arsenal.
“The US is said to possess something like 6,000 nuclear warheads, and the US has much more extensive military bases, with about 800 bases in more than 20 to 30 countries around the world. And so, even if China built some bases, it’s still way behind the US.”
Russia has roughly 4,300 warheads, according to the Federation of American Scientists.
Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association advocacy group, said China’s growing nuclear arsenal should not be used as an excuse for the US and Russia to not extend New START.
It “further reinforces the importance of extending New START and the folly of conditioning extension on China and China’s participation in arms control,” Reif added.
Tensions have been simmering between China and the US for months.
Washington has taken issue with China’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and moves to curb freedoms in Hong Kong. The increasingly aggressive posture comes as President Donald Trump bids for re-election in November.
Another source of tension has been Taiwan. China has stepped up its military activity around the democratic island Beijing claims as sovereign Chinese territory, sending fighter jets and warships on exercises nearby.
The Pentagon report, based on 2019 information, said China’s military continued to “enhance its readiness” to prevent Taiwan’s independence and carry out an invasion if needed.
Washington declassifies six Reagan-era security assurances given to Taiwan, vows new economic dialogue with Taipei.
The United States said on Monday that it was establishing a new bilateral economic dialogue with Taiwan, an initiative it said was aimed at strengthening ties with Taipei and supporting it in the face of increasing pressure from Beijing.
Washington also said it had declassified six security assurances given to Taiwan during the era of US President Ronald Reagan – a move analysts said appeared intended to show further support for Taipei.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, David Stilwell, made the announcements on Monday, amid a continued deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing and increasing pressure from China on democratically-ruled Taiwan, which it considers part of its territory.
Stilwell said the US is intensifying support to the island because of the “increasing threat posed by Beijing to peace and stability in the region” and its “deepening ties of friendship, trade, and productivity” with Taiwan.
Taiwan flexes military might amid China tensions Washington broke off formal diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979 in favour of Beijing, but the US is bound by law to help Taiwan defend itself and is the main arms supplier to the island.
The administration of current US President Donald Trump has made strengthening its support for the island a priority, and has also boosted weapons and equipment sales.
Trump is campaigning for re-election in November with a tough approach to China among his key foreign policy platforms, accusing his rival, Democrat Joe Biden, of being weak on China.
In August, Trump also dispatched his health secretary, Alex Azar, to Taipei – the highest-ranking US official to travel to the island in years – angering Beijing.
‘Significant adjustments’ Stilwell told a virtual forum hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation that the latest US moves were not a policy shift, but part of a set of “significant adjustments” within Washington’s long-standing “one-China” policy.
“We will continue to help Taipei resist the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign to pressure, intimidate, and marginalise Taiwan,” Stilwell said.
“With a population of 23 million, Taiwan continues to punch above its weight in economics as well as governance, thereby making the world a better place.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed thanks for the show of support at a time when it said China was using military intimidation to damage peace and stability near Taiwan, and said it would continue to strengthen its defence capabilities.
Earlier on Monday, Beijing said that the anti-China pronouncements by certain US politicians are destined to fail, after another Trump official, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, said on Friday that the US should use its alliance in the region to cope with “challenges” posed by China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing on Monday that some officials in the US were “driven by their zero-sum game mindset” and “Cold War mentality and personal gains.”
‘Six Assurances’ U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, both wearing face masks, pose for photos during their meeting at the presidential office, in Taipei
Daniel Russel, a predecessor of Stilwell until early in the Trump administration, said the “Six Assurances” made to Taipei by the Reagan administration in 1982 had been a “loosely kept secret” at best.
He said the decision to publish them looked like a compromise response to pressure from administration hawks to abandon “strategic ambiguity” – a long-standing policy of withholding a clear-cut US commitment to defend Taiwan while still showing sufficient support to deter any Chinese military adventurism.
Among the assurances made in 1982, but never formally made public, are statements that the US has not set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, nor agreed to prior consultation with Beijing on such sales, or to revise the Taiwan Relations Act that underpins US policy towards the island.
The arrival of the Czech delegation marks the second high-profile foreign visit to the democratic island in a fortnight.
Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said Czech senate speaker Milos Vystrcil would “pay a heavy price” for violating the so-called “One China” principle by making an official visit to Taiwan, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Vystrcil arrived in Taipei on Sunday with a delegation of 90 people including the mayor of Prague on a trip designed to promote business links with Taiwan, which China claims as its own and tries to isolate on the world stage.
He said the Czech Republic would not bow to objections from Beijing, which considers the democratically-ruled island a breakaway province.
China’s state media quoted Wang saying the visit was a “provocation” and that Taiwan was an “inseparable part of China”.
It is the second high-profile visit by a foreign delegation to the island in a fortnight, after a visit by US Health Secretary Alex Azar.
Vystrcil is expected to deliver a speech in Taiwan’s parliament and meet President Tsai Ing-wen during the five-day trip, which continues until September 4.
In a post on Twitter, Tsai noted that Taiwan and the Czech Republic shared “many core values”. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who met the delegation at the airport, thanked the Czechs for “putting friendship before politics” and used the hashtag #defenddemocracy.
China has sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, ramping up pressure since Tsai came to power in 2016. A number of countries that did have formal relations with Taiwan have shifted their allegiance to China and the island now has official ties with just 15 nations.
Tsai won a second term in office in January in a landslide victory.
Tsai has portrayed the island as a progressive democratic ally to other nations hoping to push back against Beijing’s authoritarianism, helped by Taiwan’s defeat of its coronavirus outbreak and its global shipments of personal protection equipment.
In a speech to an Australian think-tank last Thursday, Tsai described Taiwan as being “on the front line of freedom and democracy” as China cracks down on dissent in nearby Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Chinese leader tells senior Communist Party officials that Beijing must plant ‘seeds of loving China’ among Tibetans.
China must build an “impregnable fortress” to maintain stability in Tibet, protect national unity and educate the masses in the struggle against “splittism”, President Xi Jinping told senior leaders, according to state media.
China seized control over Tibet in 1950 in what it describes as a “peaceful liberation” that helped the remote Himalayan region throw off its “feudalist” past. But critics, led by exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, say Beijing’s rule amounts to “cultural genocide”.
At a senior Communist Party meeting on Tibet’s future governance, Xi lauded achievements made and praised front-line officials but said more efforts were needed to enrich, rejuvenate and strengthen unity in the region.
Political and ideological education needed to be strengthened in Tibet’s schools in order to “plant the seeds of loving China in the depths of the hearts of every youth”, Xi said in remarks published by state news agency Xinhua on Saturday.
Pledging to build a “united, prosperous, civilised, harmonious and beautiful new, modern, socialist Tibet”, Xi said China needed to strengthen the role of the Communist Party in the territory and better integrate its ethnic groups.
Tibetan Buddhism also needed to adapt to socialism and Chinese conditions, he added.
Advocacy group the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said Xi’s remarks showed Chinese rule still needed to be imposed with an “iron fist”.
In emailed comments, its president, Matteo Mecacci, said, “If Tibetans really benefitted as much from Chinese leadership as Xi and other officials claim, then China wouldn’t have to fear separatism and wouldn’t need to subject Tibetans to political re-education.”
China’s policies towards Tibet have come under the spotlight again this year amid worsening ties with the United States.
In July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would restrict visas for some Chinese officials involved in blocking diplomatic access to Tibet and engaging in “human rights abuses”, adding that Washington supported “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet.