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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 16/10/2020

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 16/10/2020

The Economist / The persecution of the Uyghurs is a crime against humanity

  • The evidence of a campaign against the Uyghurs at home and abroad becomes more shocking with each scouring of the satellite evidence, each leak of official documents and each survivor’s pitiful account.
  • In 2018 the government pivoted from denying the camps’ existence to calling them “vocational education and training centres”—a kindly effort to help backward people gain marketable skills. The world should instead heed Uyghur victims of China’s coercive indoctrination.
  • Month after month, inmates say, they are drilled to renounce extremism and put their faith in “Xi Jinping Thought” rather than the Koran. One told us that guards ask prisoners if there is a God, and beat those who say there is.
  • And the camps are only part of a vast system of social control. Even those outside the camps have to attend indoctrination sessions. Any who fail to gush about China’s president risk internment. Families must watch other families, and report suspicious behaviour.
  • Foreign Affairs – Julian Gewirtz / China thinks America is losing

The New York Times – Alexander Burns and Katie Glueck / A combative Trump and a deliberate Biden spar from afar at town halls

  • President Trump spoke positively about an extremist conspiracy-theory group, expressed skepticism about mask-wearing, rebuked his own F.B.I. director and attacked the legitimacy of the 2020 election in a televised town hall forum on Thursday, veering far away from a focused campaign appeal.
  • Mr. Trump’s defensive and combative performance came on a night that was supposed to feature a debate between him and Mr. Biden, but that morphed into a long-distance study in contrasts on different television networks after the president declined to participate in a virtual debate.
  • On the central issue of the election, the coronavirus pandemic, the two candidates appeared to inhabit not just different television sets but different universes. Mr. Biden has made the full embrace of strict public health guidelines the centerpiece of his candidacy, while Mr. Trump has continued to defy even the recommendations of his own government.
  • “The words of a president matter,” Mr. Biden said. “When a president doesn’t wear a mask or makes fun of folks like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then, you know, people say, ‘Well, it mustn’t be that important.’”
  • The Washington Post – Aaron Blake and Eugene Scott / 5 takeaways from the dueling Trump and Biden town halls

Foreign Policy – Tyler Roney / Thai protesters defy new state of emergency

  • A little over 12 hours after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a severe state of emergency on Thursday to quell the peaceful protests in Bangkok, protesters were pushing police out of Ratchaprasong intersection, in the heart of the city.
  • After a raucous march on Wednesday evening to Government House, the seat of the Thai government, Thai citizens woke to find protesters forced off government grounds, a state of emergency declared, and protest leaders arrested—further galvanizing the protesters.
  • Among the protesters’ demands are Prayuth’s resignation, drafting of a new constitution, and the reform of the monarchy. Prayuth, who took power in a 2014 coup, has maintained his grip with the aid of the military.
  • Thai protests usually avoid the taboo issue of the royal family. But in the last few months, protests have included calls for reform of the monarchy and have not shied away from criticizing the king, who is far less popular than his father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016.
  • Financial Times – John Reed / Thailand declares state of emergency and cracks down on demonstrators

Politico – Charlie Cooper / UK Brexit negotiator ‘disappointed’ by EU summit

  • U.K. chief negotiator David Frost has given his initial response to the European Council summit conclusions on Brexit — and it’s not positive.
  • “Disappointed by the EUCO conclusions on UK/EU negotiations. Surprised EU is no longer committed to working ‘intensively’ to reach a future partnership,” Frost tweeted.
  • He pointed out that intensive talks had been agreed with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on October 3. “Also surprised by suggestion that to get an agreement all future moves must come from UK. It’s an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation,” he added.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out the U.K.’s full “reactions and approach” on Friday, Frost said. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said at the summit that he has suggested to the U.K. that his team come to London on Monday to continue the negotiations. The week after the U.K. negotiators could come to Brussels.
  • The Guardian – Daniel Boffey / Brexit: No 10 startled by EU insistence that UK accept trade terms

Further reading for the weekend:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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