‘Path of error and danger’: China angry and confused over Aukus deal

Deal is designed to counter perceived threat from Beijing but analysts in China say it could push region closer to conflict

When the UK, the US and Australia announced the details of their multibillion-dollar deal to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines on Monday, the reaction in China was both outrage and confusion.

The allies were “walking further and further down the path of error and danger”, said Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, on Tuesday. The Chinese mission to the UN accused the three countries of fuelling an arms race.

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UK aid to India does little for human rights and democracy, watchdog finds

Programme spent £2.7bn between 2016 and 2021 but is fragmented and lacks a clear rationale, report says

Britain’s aid programme to India is fragmented, lacks a clear rationale and does little to counter the negative trends in human rights and democracy in the country, the government’s aid watchdog has found.

The findings are likely to be used by those who claim the UK government risks using its aid programme to deepen its relationship with India, including seeking free trade deals, rather than attempting to reduce poverty, which is the statutory purpose of UK aid.

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Anger grows over Afghan journalists still stranded by Home Office inaction

Press members living under the Taliban, and living uncertain lives in Pakistan, must be given clarity say campaign groups

Hundreds of Afghan journalists remain stranded in increasingly “dire” circumstances as frustration mounts over the UK government’s refusal to share the latest entry criteria for its flagship resettlement programme.

This weekend, a coalition of press freedom and free expression organisations, including Index on Censorship, the National Union of Journalists, PEN International and English PEN, have written to home secretary Suella Braverman asking why details of the next phase of the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS) have yet to be revealed.

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Chinese peace plan for Ukraine greeted cautiously by the west

China’s senior diplomat Wang Yi speaks of need to uphold principle of territorial integrity but also of respecting Russia’s ‘legitimate security interests’

Western leaders have reacted nervously to a Chinese peace plan for Ukraine due to be revealed this week, but cautiously welcomed the move as a first sign that China recognises the war cannot be regarded solely as a European affair.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, China’s senior diplomat Wang Yi, one of the few external politicians able to influence Russia, announced that China would launch its peace initiative on the anniversary of the war, and has already been consulting Germany, Italy and France on its proposals. He said the peace plan would underscore the need to uphold the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the UN Charter. But at the same time he said the legitimate security interests of Russia needed to be respected.

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UK rehearsing economic fallout scenarios if China invades Taiwan

Exclusive: Whitehall officials planning strategy to tackle disruption to global supply chains in the aftermath of an attack

Whitehall officials have strategised a series of scenarios about the economic fallout that could follow if China were to invade Taiwan, sources have told the Guardian.

Concerns about the major disruption to global supply chains and consequences of any coordinated western response have been examined by civil servants as part of what is said to be routine “forward-scanning” exercises.

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Governor of China’s Xinjiang region cancels UK visit after backlash

Foreign Office says officials would have been prepared to meet with Erkin Tuniyaz to raise human rights concerns

The governor of China’s western region of Xinjiang will not be visiting Britain this week, according to the UK Foreign Office, after a backlash from MPs over alleged human rights abuses in the region.

British officials had said if Erkin Tuniyaz visited this week, they would have been prepared to meet with him to raise concern over the human rights situation in Xinjiang. But those plans faced backlash from politicians who highlighted human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in the region.

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Iain Duncan Smith accuses Xinjiang governor of ‘murder’ at Uyghur protest

Demonstrators gathered in Westminster after reports Erkin Tuniyaz was to meet UK officials

Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Chinese governor of Xinjiang of murder as he joined Uyghur activists protesting against his reported visit to Britain.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on Monday after it emerged that Erkin Tuniyaz, the chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, could meet UK officials, a scenario Duncan Smith branded “unacceptable”. Tuniyaz was expected to come to the UK this week, according to the reports, with some speculating he has already arrived.

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Iain Duncan Smith calls for arrest of Chinese governor for ‘crimes against humanity’

Erkin Tuniyaz is head of the Xinjiang region, where human rights abuses are alleged to be taking place

The former Conservative party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has joined calls for a governor from a region of China where the UN has said crimes against humanity may be taking place to be arrested during a potential visit this week.

The Tory backbencher said that the governor of Xinjiang, Erkin Tuniyaz, should be arrested if he arrives in the UK. The House of Commons heard this week that he was due to visit the UK next week and may meet Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) officials.

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Thousands of Afghans who helped British forces ‘remain stranded by UK’

Damning report by MPs urges government to ensure safe passage for interpreters and contractors at risk from Taliban

Several thousand Afghans who helped British forces before the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 remain stranded and at risk from the Taliban because of failures of the government’s settlement schemes, according to a damning report by MPs.

The defence select committee’s report urged the government to set out what action it is taking to ensure safe passage to the UK for at least 4,600 Afghans, including interpreters and contractors, who worked for UK forces.

A lack of preparedness for the number of potential applicants resulting in under-resourcing, backlogs in applications, and errors in decision making.

Poor communications with applicants causing stress to them and increasing correspondence to MPs and others.

Unclear and frequently changing eligibility criteria.

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Cross-party MPs shocked by Foreign Office talks with Xinjiang governor

Exclusive: Erkin Tuniyaz ‘played central role’ in persecution of Uyghurs, says inter-parliamentary alliance on China

The Foreign Office has shocked cross-party opponents of the Chinese treatment of Uyghur groups by revealing that it has asked the Xinjiang governor for talks.

MPs belonging to the inter-parliamentary alliance on China (Ipac) called it “incomprehensible” that “anybody within government would think it appropriate to meet with someone who has played a central role in the persecution of Uyghurs – crimes our own parliament has declared to be genocide”.

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Afghan refugee in London told to give up doctorate and move to Yorkshire

University asks home secretary to intervene in move that would deprive him of scholarship and teaching roles

A Chevening academic will be forced to give up a doctorate, a scholarship and teaching roles under Home Office plans to uproot Afghan refugees from London and move them to hotel rooms in Yorkshire, a university has said.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, has been asked by a senior official at his university to intervene after Ahmad, a PhD student in engineering, and his young family were told to relocate 200 miles away to Wetherby near Leeds.

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Jo Johnson resigns as director of firm linked to Adani allegations

Former UK PM’s brother quits board of Elara Capital days after it was accused of using funds to manipulate share prices

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of the former prime minister Boris Johnson, has resigned as a director of a London-based investment bank allegedly linked to the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s crisis-ridden business empire.

Lord Johnson, a former Conservative minister who was given a peerage by his brother in 2020, resigned from the board of Elara Capital on Wednesday just days after Elara was accused of using Mauritius-based funds to manipulate the share price of Adani-linked companies and obscure their ultimate ownership.

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Tory peer withdraws ‘racially charged’ comments

Exclusive: Rami Ranger criticised over comments about Pakistani journalists

A Conservative peer has apologised and withdrawn comments that were criticised for being “racially charged”, as a second referral about his conduct was made to the House of Lords standards watchdog.

Rami Ranger, a major Conservative party donor, admitted that remarks unearthed by the Guardian that he made in a letter regarding Pakistani journalists and a later TV interview about grooming and drug dealing had “caused offence”.

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Tory peer accused of ‘racially charged’ attack on BBC Modi documentary

Exclusive: Rami Ranger faces criticism over ‘deplorable’ comments about Pakistani journalists at the corporation

A Conservative peer has been accused of using “deplorable” and “racially charged language” in a scathing attack on the BBC’s recent documentary about the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.

Rami Ranger, who is already under investigation by the standards commissioners in the Lords, was criticised for comments made about Pakistani journalists at the corporation.

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Hongkongers in UK ask Suella Braverman to ditch ‘repressive’ anti-protest bill

Exclusive: Letter to home secretary says bill echoes ‘dangerously broad laws’ that result in jailing of protesters

Hongkongers in Britain have called on Suella Braverman to reconsider controversial measures in her public order bill, which they likened to the repressive measures used to crack down on democratic opposition in their home city.

In a letter to the UK home secretary, aspects of the bill were described as “repressive measures that threaten to paralyse entire social movement” and posed a threat to their right to protest in Britain, including against Chinese communist repression in Hong Kong.

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