Connect with us
// (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});


Beijing’s BRI influence over the UN Human Rights Council



A woman takes part in a demonstration against China during its Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, on 6 November 2018. (Photo: Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Author: Anna Hayes, JCU

As a United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) member state, China has a responsibility to promote and protect human rights globally. Yet through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing has used economic coercion, inducement, harassment and manipulation to undermine the international human rights framework. This poses a serious threat to the effectiveness of the HRC.

Beijing prioritises ‘people-centred development’ over universally recognised human rights. But China’s high-modernist development at home involves human rights violations that have disempowering impacts on marginalised peoples. This is evident in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in the unfolding genocide in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Focussing on XUAR, calls for a UN investigation into allegations of mass human rights violations in the region were first raised in 2018. But action was delayed by Beijing’s unwillingness to allow entry and then by COVID-19.

These delays prompted 22 states to present a letter to the HRC in July 2019 expressing their concerns about human rights violations in the XUAR. They urged Beijing to accept the inspectors and called on China to uphold its obligations to protect human rights.

In response, Beijing mobilised 37 states to write a second letter defending China’s record in XUAR and praising its ‘counter-terrorism’ efforts. Almost all signatories of Beijing’s letter were BRI partner states, including several authoritarian states with dubious human rights records.

In May 2022, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet gained access to the XUAR, but her tour was greatly restricted. There was a long delay in the release of the official report and allegations surfaced that Beijing attempted to pressure her into not releasing the report. The report was released on her last day in office.

Bachelet’s report found that China’s anti-terrorist legislation had resulted in serious human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity. It documented the use of ethnic profiling, arbitrary detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including rape and sexual abuse. It also reported the denial of reproductive rights, the eradication of rights to privacy and free movement for Uyghurs, enforced disappearances and the targeted eradication of Islam and religious sites.

The report also identified the transnational reach of China’s human rights violations, arguing that the Chinese state has been threatening and intimidating members of the diaspora community and has severed contact within families.

In response to the report, the 51st session of the HRC considered a motion seeking a debate on the situation of human rights in the XUAR. Prior to the vote, China’s ambassador to the United Nations deployed wedge politics to divide member states by alleging that the motion was a ‘US plot’ and warning developing states that they ‘could be targeted’ next.

While the vote was close, the motion was defeated. Beijing claimed this outcome as a victory against ‘Western human rights’ being ‘imposed’ on the rest of the world. These statements call into question China’s suitability as a member of the HRC given its objections to the universal human rights framework that underpins the HRC.

Of the 19 states that voted against the motion, excluding China, all states have BRI agreements. Of those states that abstained from voting, 8 out of the 11 have BRI agreements with China.

This vote raises questions about the extent of China’s influence over international forums and the possible emergence of a Chinese-led bloc of BRI states. Given that BRI agreements are not made public, it is difficult to identify specific economic promises and rewards that may be jeopardised if state leaders displease Beijing in international forums like the HRC.

Beijing’s coercive diplomacy and economic sanctions against Australia may be viewed by BRI partner states as a cautionary tale even though Australia is not a BRI partner state. Beijing has also used economic coercion against BRI partners states such as Lithuania and South Korea, demonstrating that Beijing is prepared to flex its muscle against BRI partners to get what it wants.

Of the 47 member states on the HRC, only 13 states do not have a BRI agreement with China. Given Beijing’s track record of deploying economic punishment to achieve its goals, BRI partner states are more susceptible to economic coercion and may not be willing to support votes unfavourable to Beijing.

The XUAR situation…

Read the rest of this article on East Asia Forum

Continue Reading


China Unveils Plan to Upgrade Industrial Equipment



China unveiled a comprehensive action plan for upgrading industrial equipment, with a focus on driving technological innovation and economic growth. The plan, released on April 9, 2024, aims to enhance competitiveness and sustainability within the manufacturing sector through extensive investment and regulatory support.

China announced an ambitious action plan for industrial equipment upgrading, which aims to drive technological innovation and economic growth through extensive investment and regulatory support.

On April 9, 2024, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and six other departments jointly released a notice introducing the Implementation Plan for Promoting Equipment Renewal in the Industrial Sector (hereafter referred to as the “action plan”).

Finalized earlier on March 23, 2024, this comprehensive action plan addresses critical issues related to technological innovation and economic development. It reflects China’s proactive stance in enhancing competitiveness and sustainability within its manufacturing sector. The initiative underscores the recognition of industrial equipment upgrading as a top policy priority.

The scope of China’s action plan to upgrade industrial equipment in manufacturing, is extensive, covering various aspects such as:

In line with China’s ambitious goals for industrial modernization and sustainable development, the action plan outlines several key objectives aimed at driving substantial advancements in the industrial sector by 2027.

These objectives encompass a wide range of areas, from increasing investment to enhancing digitalization and promoting innovation, including:

The objectives and key actions proposed in the action plan are summarized below.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at

Continue Reading


China deepens engagement with new Indonesian president as top diplomat visits Jakarta



China’s top diplomat met the outgoing Indonesian president and his successor in Jakarta on Thursday, as Beijing deepened its engagement with future leader Prabowo Subianto, amid a competition for regional influence with the United States.

The meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was part of a joint commitment to advance the partnership between the two countries, said Prabowo, who visited Beijing in early April after his landslide win in the February general election.

“It is a great honor for me to welcome him [Wang] today. Thank you for the kind reception I received in Beijing a few weeks ago,” Prabowo said, according to an Indonesian defense ministry statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had invited Prabowo to visit, and the latter accepting the invitation raised eyebrows in Indonesia because no president-elect had made a foreign visit such as this one without being sworn in. China is Indonesia’s largest trading partner.

Wang, too, mentioned Prabowo’s Beijing trip, according to the same statement.

“We really appreciate and welcome Defense Minister Prabowo’s visit to China,” he said.

“We are committed to continuing to increase bilateral cooperation with Indonesia, both in the defense sector and other fields such as economic, social and cultural.”

Wang is scheduled to go to East Nusa Tenggara province on Friday to attend the China-Indonesia High-Level Dialogue Cooperation Mechanism, a process to support more effective bilateral cooperation. His Jakarta stop was the first of a six-day tour that also includes Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attend a press conference after their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, April 18, 2024. (Eko Siswono Toyudho/ BenarNews)

Prabowo and Wang discussed cooperation in the defense industry and sector, with potential measures such as educational and training collaboration, as well as joint exercises, said Brig. Gen. Edwin Adrian Sumantha, spokesman at the Indonesian defense ministry.

In fact, the ministry statement said that “China is Indonesia’s close partner and has had close bilateral relations, especially in the defense sector, for a long time.”

Of course, China has also invested billions of U.S. dollars in infrastructure projects in Indonesia, including as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative – the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, which began commercial operations in October 2023, is one such BRI project.

The two countries have drawn closer during outgoing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s two terms, and Beijing would like that to continue as the U.S. tries to catch up with China’s gargantuan influence in Southeast Asia, analysts have said.

Indonesia, China call for ceasefire in Gaza

Both Indonesia and China shared the same position on Israel’s devastating attacks on Gaza, said Wang’s Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi.

Israel’s air and ground strikes have killed more than 33,000 Palestinians following the Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state by Palestinian militant group Hamas, which killed around 1,100 Israelis.

“We … have the same view regarding the importance of a ceasefire in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian problem fairly through two state solutions,” Retno told reporters in a joint press conference after meeting with Wang. 

“Indonesia will support full Palestinian membership in the U.N. Middle East stability will not be realized without resolving the Palestinian issue.”

For his part, Wang slammed Washington for repeatedly vetoing resolutions calling for Israel to end the attacks on the Palestinian territory it occupies.

“The conflict in Gaza has lasted for half a year and caused a rare humanitarian tragedy in the 21st century,” Wang told the media at the same press conference, according to the Associated Press.

“The United Nations Security Council responded to the call of the international community and continued to review the resolution draft on the cease-fire in Gaza, but it was repeatedly vetoed by the United States.”

The conflict in the Middle East offered a strategic opportunity for China to further expand its influence in Southeast Asia, said Muhamad Arif, a lecturer in international relations at the University of Indonesia.

“China is trying to strengthen its position as a key player in the region,” Arief told BenarNews.

China could present an alternative approach to the conflict in Gaza, he said, which may find approval in Southeast Asia’s largest country, Indonesia, and other Mulism-majority states in the region, such as Malaysia and Brunei.

BenarNews is an RFA-affiliated online news organization.

Read the rest of this article here >>> China deepens engagement with new Indonesian president as top diplomat visits Jakarta

Continue Reading


New Publication: A Guide for Foreign Investors on Navigating China’s New Company Law



The sixth revision of China’s Company Law is the most extensive amendment in history, impacting foreign invested enterprises with stricter rules on capital injection and corporate governance. Most FIEs must align with the New Company Law by July 1, 2024, with a deadline of December 31, 2024 for adjustments. Contact Dezan Shira & Associates for assistance.

The sixth revision of China’s Company Law represents the most extensive amendment in its history. From stricter capital injection rules to enhanced corporate governance, the changes introduced in the New Company Law have far-reaching implications for businesses, including foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) operating in or entering the China market.

Since January 1, 2020, the Company Law has governed both wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) and joint ventures (JVs), following the enactment of the Foreign Investment Law (FIL). Most FIEs must align with the provisions of the New Company Law from July 1, 2024, while those established before January 1, 2020 have bit more time for adjustments due to the five-year grace period provided by the FIL. The final deadline for their alignment is December 31, 2024.

In this publication, we guide foreign investors through the implications of the New Company Law for existing and new FIEs and relevant stakeholders. We begin with an overview of the revision’s background and objectives, followed by a summary of key changes. Our in-depth analysis, from a foreign stakeholder perspective, illuminates the practical implications. Lastly, we explore tax impacts alongside the revisions, demonstrating how the New Company Law may shape future business transactions and arrangements.

If you or your company require assistance with Company Law adjustments in China, please do not hesitate to contact Dezan Shira & Associates. For more information, feel free to reach us via email at


This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at

Continue Reading