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China

China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists, CPJ says

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China is the worst jailer of journalists in the world, a report by a New York-based watchdog said, and nearly half of the journalists behind bars in the country are Uyghurs who reported on the persecution of the mostly Muslim group in Xinjiang.

In its 2023 prison census, conducted on Dec. 1, the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, found that there was a spike in arrested journalists, with 320 believed to be behind bars – close to a record high.

More than half of those jailed journalists were charged with false news, anti-state or terrorism charges in retaliation for their coverage, the group’s research found.

China led all countries, with 44 journalists in prison, accounting for 32% of the worldwide total. Following closely behind was Myanmar, with 43. Vietnam was fifth on the list with 19, ahead of Iran and just behind Russia.

Hong Kong media mogul and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai, is escorted by Correctional Services officers to a Hong Kong court appearance, Dec. 12, 2020. (Kin Cheung/AP)

“China has long ranked as one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists,” the report said. “Censorship makes the exact number of journalists jailed there notoriously difficult to determine, but Beijing’s media crackdown has widened in recent years, with 2021 marking the first time journalists from Hong Kong were in jail at the time of CPJ’s census.” 

In addition to Hong Kong, Xinjiang was another chief area of concern, according to the report. Of the 44 imprisoned journalists in China, 19 are Uyghurs.

Among them is Ilham Tohti, a professor who was also the founder of the news website Uighurbiz. Tohti was arrested almost exactly 10 years ago, and later sentenced to life in prison on charges of separatism.

Another is Qurban Mamut, the former editor-in-chief of the popular Uyghur journal Xinjiang Civilization. Mamut went missing in November 2017 and RFA learned in 2022 that he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for “political crimes.”

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Media gather outside the offices of Stand News in Hong Kong on December 29, 2021, after police raided the office of the local media outlet and arrested six current and former staff. (Daniel Suen/AFP)

“Chinese authorities are also ramping up the use of anti-state charges to hold journalists, with three out of the five new China cases in CPJ’s 2023 database consisting of journalists accused of espionage, inciting separatism, or subverting state power,” the report said. 

“Many journalists charged are ethnic Uighurs from Xinjiang, where Beijing has been accused of crimes against humanity for its mass detentions and harsh repression of the region’s mostly Muslim ethnic groups,” it said.

‘Silencing minority voices’

The disproportionate number of jailed Uyghur journalists mirrors the situation in Xinjiang, Beh Lih Yi, the CPJ’s Asia program coordinator told RFA Uyghur.

“Nearly half of the journalists behind bars in China in 2023 were Uighur journalists. They have been targeted under vague charges such as inciting separatism or being ‘two-faced,’ a loose term Chinese authorities often use to punish those they see as publicly supporting government policy but secretly opposing it,” said Yi. 

“The media repression highlights the Chinese government’s harsh attempt to silence minority voices and independent reporting – even as Beijing repeatedly rejected claims of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang,” he said.

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A giant screen in Beijing shows Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region July 15, 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

He said that long-term sentences for Uyghur journalists were “outrageous and cruel,” and called on the Chinese government to release all its imprisoned journalists and allow all journalists to freely report in Xinjiang.

The report proves the importance of the work of Uyghur journalists, Zubayra Shamseden of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project said.

“It is clear from the imprisonment of Uyghur journalists that China doesn’t want the international community to know anything about Uyghurs,” said Shamseden. “Uyghur journalists report on Uyghur issues. They are the voices of the Uyghur people in the world. By imprisoning Uyghur journalists, China is attempting to crush the voices of Uyghurs.”

The report also noted that Israel saw a huge spike of journalist jailings last year, with all those known to be behind bars on the date of the census having been arrested in the West Bank.

Additional reporting by Mamatjan Juma. Edited by Malcolm Foster.

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A Timeline of EU-China Relations Post-2024 European Elections

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EU-China relations are crucial in global business, with geopolitical shifts and technological competition shaping the dynamic. The recent EU Parliament elections have brought a political realignment, leading to a more assertive stance towards China. Strategic discussions and new working groups aim to navigate the evolving relationship.


EU-China relations play a crucial role in the global business landscape. The current circumstances, marked by geopolitical shifts, economic interdependence, and technological competition, contribute to the volatility and frequent adjustments in this relationship. In this timeline, we aim to capture key milestones and developments that shape EU-China ties.

The European Parliament elections, held between June 6 and June 9, 2024, have ushered in a new era for EU-China relations. The election results revealed a significant shift in the political landscape, with centrist parties losing ground to far-right groups like the Identity and Democracy (ID) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). This political realignment is poised to influence the EU’s approach to China, introducing more varied and potentially conflicting perspectives on policy.

Traditionally, the EU has maintained a cautious stance toward China, epitomized by the 2019 publication of the EU-China Strategic Outlook, which framed the relationship as one of “partnership, competition, and systemic rivalry.” This tripartite approach was later reiterated in the European Council’s Conclusion on China. However, the narrative toward China has taken a decisive turn with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech delivered on March 30, 2023. This speech marked a shift towards a more assertive stance, further strengthened by the release of the European Economic Security Strategy in June of the same year.

In the aftermath of the 2024 elections, the increased fragmentation within the EU Parliament suggests a more complex and uncertain path to forming a cohesive strategy toward China. This uncertainty poses challenges for European companies conducting business with China, as well as Chinese and global businesses operating in Europe, who must now navigate a more unpredictable regulatory environment.

Amid these developments, the Chinese government is keenly observing the evolving dynamics within the EU. China aims to cultivate allies within the European bloc, and this intent was evident during President Xi Jinping’s recent European tour, which included official visits to France, Serbia, and Hungary. During his visit, President Xi reiterated the EU’s significance as China’s major trading partner.

As the new EU Parliament begins its work, strategic discussions have been underway to address key issues, including the EU’s technological and strategic autonomy. To manage different views and promote collaboration on shared interests with China, new cross-regional working groups have been established. These groups are focusing on sectors such as agriculture, aviation, artificial intelligence, energy, and finance, aiming to enhance resilience and foster dialogue.

In this article, we present a timeline of EU-China relations following the EU Parliament elections, reflecting the complexities and opportunities presented by this new chapter in bilateral relations.

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 china@dezshira.com.

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Economic Update: Consumption and Trade in China See Strong Recovery Despite Decrease in Industrial Output by May 2024

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Industrial output growth in China has slowed, with robust performance in some manufacturing sectors but an increase in consumption driven by services, retail sales, and imports. Despite a slowdown, equipment manufacturing has been crucial in stabilizing overall industrial growth. Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors have shown strong performance, while the automobile manufacturing sector has decelerated due to falling domestic demand.


The data indicates a slowdown in industrial output growth, despite some manufacturing sectors still showing robust performance. In contrast, consumption is on the rise, driven by growth in services, retail sales, and imports. The uptick in these areas suggests a strengthening of domestic demand, spurred by a stabilizing global economic situation and the boost from the Labor Day Holiday at the beginning of May.

China’s foreign trade also continued to show marked improvement, reflecting the country’s strong export capabilities and increasing imports.

Year-on-year growth in China’s industrial sector slowed in May from the previous month but remained relatively strong. Total industrial value-added output grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in May, a month-on-month increase of 0.3 percent but a deceleration from 6.7 percent year-on-year growth recorded in April. Value-added output of the manufacturing industry grew 6 percent year-on-year, a deceleration from the 7.5 percent year-on-year in April.

According to NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua, equipment manufacturing played a crucial role in stabilizing overall industrial growth. The sector’s added value increased by 7.5 percent from the previous year, contributing 2.6 percentage points to the growth of all industries above the designated size and accounting for 45.7 percent of the total growth. Within this sector:

Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors exhibited particularly strong performance:

However, the automobile manufacturing sector decelerated significantly from a 16.3 percent year-on-year jump in April to 7.6 percent year-on-year growth in May, possibly due to falling domestic demand.

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 china@dezshira.com.

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Outlook for China’s Wine Market: Current Trends and Opportunities

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China’s wine market faces challenges like declining consumption and imports, but remains resilient. Adapting to consumer preferences, focusing on quality and sustainability, and using digital platforms for sales are key strategies. Despite setbacks, the market is promising for foreign producers.


Despite challenges such as declining consumption and import figures, China’s wine market remains resilient and promising. Strategic adaptation to evolving consumer preferences, emphasis on quality and sustainability, and leveraging digital platforms for sales are pivotal strategies for success in this dynamic and competitive landscape.

In recent years, China’s wine market has faced significant challenges marked by declines in key metrics such as consumption, imports, and domestic production. These difficulties were further compounded by the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these setbacks, the market retains its allure, presenting opportunities for foreign wine producers and exporters who are willing to adapt and strategically engage.

As consumer preferences evolve and government policies increasingly emphasize quality and sustainability, understanding these complexities becomes crucial for stakeholders navigating China’s evolving wine landscape. By staying attuned to shifting trends and regulatory developments, stakeholders can position themselves effectively to capitalize on the market’s enduring potential.

The wine sector in China has experienced dramatic shifts over the last two decades, initially reflecting rapid growth and then gradually declining. In the early 2000s, China emerged as a lucrative market for global wineries seeking expansion due to soaring wine imports driven by rising consumer wealth and the perception of wine as a symbol of sophistication. However, per capita consumption peaked around 2012, and imports have since plateaued, with recent years showing significant market contraction. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges, particularly affecting wine sales due to its association with social gatherings, which were restricted during lockdowns.

Following this trend, in 2023, China saw a significant decline in wine consumption, with a 24.7 percent decrease compared to 2022. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), China’s wine consumption has been falling since 2018, averaging a loss of 2 million hectoliters annually.

Nevertheless, China remains the ninth-largest wine-consuming nation worldwide.

Looking forward to 2024, China’s wine market is poised for dynamic activity, delineated primarily by consumption settings: at-home and out-of-home. According to Statista, revenue from wine sales in supermarkets and convenience stores (at-home) is forecast to reach US$9.7 billion. In contrast, revenue generated from wine consumed in restaurants and bars (out-of-home) is expected to be substantially higher, totaling US$17.2 billion. This projects the total revenue from the wine market to reach US$26.8 billion by the end of 2024.

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 china@dezshira.com.

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