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China’s Outrage over Forced Labor Charges Targets H&M, Adidas and Nike

H&M faces a boycott. Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Nike, Converse and Calvin Klein have lost their brand ambassadors. Burberry has had to give up an online video game partnership.Western brands are suddenly feeling the wrath of the Chinese consumer, the very shoppers who for years have clamored for their products and paid them vast amounts of money. Egged on by the ruling Communist Party, Chinese online activists are punishing foreign companies who have joined a call to avoid using cotton produced in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, where the authorities are waging a broad campaign of repression against ethnic …

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Biden and China: Administration Rethinks Relations

WASHINGTON — Biden administration officials have tried to project a tough line on China in their first weeks in office, depicting the authoritarian government as an economic and security challenge to the United States that requires a far more strategic and calculated approach than that of the Trump administration.They have also tried to send a message: While the administration will be staffed by many familiar faces from the Obama administration, China policy will not revert to what it was a decade ago.These early efforts have not concealed the enormous challenge President Biden faces in trying to formulate a strategy …

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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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Has China Done Too Well Against Covid-19?

A columnist for The Paper, on online publication that takes on controversial subjects, recently argued that Chinese people’s intent to get vaccinated would only drop further as vaccination is rolled out, because they would feel even safer.Also remarkable: Only 16 percent of the Chinese respondents in the Ipsos-World Economic Forum survey who were vaccine-skeptics said they were skeptical because of concerns over the vaccines’ effectiveness — that was the lowest such percentage among all the groups surveyed.This fact is all the more noteworthy that China has been rocked by major food- and health-safety scandals over the years: involving rice …

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A Year After Wuhan, China Tells a Tale of Triumph (and No Mistakes)

At a museum in Wuhan, China, a sprawling exhibition paints a stirring tale of how the city’s sacrifices in a brutal 76-day lockdown led to triumph over the coronavirus and, ultimately, rebirth.No costs appear to have been spared for the show, which features a hologram of medical staff members moving around a hospital room, heart-rending letters from frontline health workers and a replica of a mass quarantine site, complete with beds, miniature Chinese flags and toothbrush cups.But the exhibition is also striking for what is not included. There is no mention of the whistle-blowing role of Ai …

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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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Jobs, Houses and Cows: China’s Costly Drive to Erase Extreme Poverty

JIEYUAN VILLAGE, China — When the Chinese government offered free cows to farmers in Jieyuan, villagers in the remote mountain community were skeptical. They worried officials would ask them to return the cattle later, along with any calves they managed to raise.But the farmers kept the cows, and the money they brought. Others received small flocks of sheep. Government workers also paved a road into the town, built new houses for the village’s poorest residents and repurposed an old school as a community center.Jia Huanwen, a 58-year-old farmer in the village in Gansu Province, was given a large …

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25 Days That Changed the World: How Covid-19 Slipped China’s Grasp

Politically, it was a perilous situation for both men.As its trade war with China escalated, the Trump administration had all but eliminated a public health partnership with Beijing that had begun after the debacle of SARS and was intended to help prevent potential pandemics. By pulling out, current and former agency officials say, Washington cut itself off from potential intelligence about the virus, and lost a chance to work with China against it.Under the partnership, teams of American doctors were stationed in China and, over time, helped train more than 2,500 Chinese public health staff. More than 15 traveled to …

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How China Censored Covid-19

This article is copublished with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom.In the early hours of Feb. 7, China’s powerful internet censors experienced an unfamiliar and deeply unsettling sensation. They felt they were losing control.The news was spreading quickly that Li Wenliang, a doctor who had warned about a strange new viral outbreak only to be threatened by the police and accused of peddling rumors, had died of Covid-19. Grief and fury coursed through social media. To people at home and abroad, Dr. Li’s death showed the terrible cost of the Chinese government’s instinct to suppress inconvenient information. …

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