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With a Big Tax Break, Hong Kong Tries to Soothe the Rich

HONG KONG — Political opposition has been quashed. Free speech has been stifled. The independent court system may be next.But while Hong Kong’s top leaders take a tougher line on the city of more than seven million people, they are courting a crucial constituency: the rich. Top officials are preparing a new tax break and other sweeteners to portray Hong Kong as the premier place in Asia to make money, despite the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly autocratic rule.So far, the pitch is working. Cambridge Associates, a $30 billion investment fund, said in March it planned to open an …

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Japan Is Finding It Harder to Stay Quiet on China’s Abuse of Uyghurs

TOKYO — Last summer, Halmat Rozi, a Uyghur Muslim living in Japan, received a video call from his brother in China’s western Xinjiang region. His brother said he had someone he wanted Mr. Rozi to meet: a Chinese security officer.China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, had been invited to Japan, and the officer had some questions. Were Mr. Rozi and his fellow Uyghur activists planning protests? Who were the group’s leaders? What work were they doing? If Mr. Rozi cooperated, his family in China would be well cared for, the officer assured him on a second video call. …

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Xi’s Gambit: China Plans for a World Without American Technology

China is freeing up tens of billions of dollars for its tech industry to borrow. It is cataloging the sectors where the United States or others could cut off access to crucial technologies. And when its leaders released their most important economic plans last week, they laid out their ambitions to become an innovation superpower beholden to none.Anticipating efforts by the Biden administration to continue to challenge China’s technological rise, the country’s leaders are accelerating plans to go it alone, seeking to address vulnerabilities in the country’s economy that could thwart its ambitions in a wide …

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China’s Plan to Win in a Post-Pandemic World

China unveiled a road map for cementing its rise in a post-Covid world as it opened one of its biggest political events of the year on Friday, casting its success against the coronavirus as evidence of the superiority of its top-down leadership while warning of threats at home and abroad.The tightly scripted political pageant that is the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, is largely ceremonial. But the gathering offers a glimpse into the priorities of China’s leaders and their vision for the future.The message on Friday was one of optimism …

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Your Monday Briefing

Europe’s ‘mental health pandemic’With coronavirus restrictions in European countries set to drag into the spring or perhaps longer, health professionals fear the deteriorating mental state of young people, who they say have been among the most badly affected by a world with a foreshortened sense of the future.Last in line for vaccines, young people have borne much of the burden of sacrifices made largely to protect more vulnerable older people. Hospitalizations of young Italians who harmed themselves or attempted suicide have increased 30 percent in the second wave of the virus, while a French survey of 30,000 people found …

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With Pig Parades and Youth Camps, Taiwan’s Ailing Kuomintang Tries a Revamp

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s main opposition party, once a widely feared political force, now parades through the streets in a pink pickup truck decked out with pig’s ears and a snout. It brings life-size pig models to rallies. On the floor of the island’s legislature, its members recently flung pig intestines at rival lawmakers.The garishly porcine displays by the party, the Kuomintang, are meant to highlight one of its pet issues, the importation of American pork containing a controversial additive. But in the eyes of critics, the antics signal the identity crisis that the party, once Asia’ …

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What Sun Dawu’s Prosecution Says About China

Under Mr. Xi, the party’s traditionally suspicious stance against businesspeople who are politically active or outspoken has worsened. Wang Gongquan, a former venture capitalist who financed advocacy for more liberal social and political policies, was among the first high-profile individuals jailed after Mr. Xi came to power. Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real estate tycoon, was sentenced last year to 18 years in prison after he repeatedly criticized Mr. Xi’s policies, including the government’s mishandling of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.In private chatrooms and behind closed doors, some people are asking what signal Beijing is sending …

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How Beijing Turned China’s Covid-19 Tragedy to Its Advantage

No publisher is willing or able to publish her works in China. The social media posts and articles that support her are often censored. A few people who spoke up for her publicly were punished, including a literature professor in Wuhan who lost her Communist Party membership and her right to teach.“I think Fang Fang wrote about what happened,” said Amy Ye, the organizer of a volunteer group for disabled people in Wuhan. “In fact, I don’t think she included the most serious situations. Her diary is very moderate. I don’t understand why even something like that …

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In a Topsy-Turvy Pandemic World, China Offers Its Version of Freedom

Duncan Clark’s flight was rolling down the runway in Paris in late October when President Emmanuel Macron announced a second national lockdown in France. The country had nearly 50,000 new Covid-19 infections that day. The United States had almost 100,000.He sighed with relief. He was headed to China. That day, it had reported 25 new infections, all but one originating abroad.Mr. Clark, a businessman and author, returned to China after spending nine months in the United States and France, his longest time away from the country since he moved to Beijing in 1994. He had been spending more time outside China …

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With Concessions and Deals, China’s Leader Tries to Box Out Biden

A trade pact with 14 other Asian nations. A pledge to join other countries in reducing carbon emissions to fight global warming. Now, an investment agreement with the European Union.China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has in recent weeks made deals and pledges that he hopes will position his country as an indispensable global leader, even after its handling of the coronavirus and increased belligerence at home and abroad have damaged its international standing.In doing so, he has underlined how difficult it will be for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to forge a united front with allies against China’s …

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