The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.13.16

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. PBOC Orders 17 Banks to Curb Housing Loans-Caixin Sources told Caixin that regulatory authorities will take measures to keep commercial bank lending from going to the housing market, and the government will conduct more supervision and inspections of financial institutions over their issuance of home loans. New loans in August reached 948 billion yuan ($141 billion), more than double the figure a month before, data from the People’s Bank of China showed. Over 71 percent of the loans went to households. During the weeklong National Day holiday at the beginning of this month, more than a dozen cities rolled out stringent measures to cool the housing market, including increasing the minimum down payment required for both first- and second-home purchasers. In Beijing, for example, families that already own a unit must provide a 50 percent down payment for a second home, up from 30 percent. The next step may be to increase the interest rates on mortgage loans, a bank source told Caixin // original Chinese 独家|央行召集17家银行就房地产调控开会 

Related: China Cracking Down on Rumor-Mongering in Property Market – Bloomberg right, this will solve the issue…in the playbook every time it seems //  The ministry said local authorities should follow the example of local police in Hangzhou and Shenzhen, which have taken “restrictive measures” against a local developer and an Internet user who spread rumors or untrue information related to property prices. Such steps will ensure a “stable and healthy” home market, the ministry said.

Related: China’s property bulls keep running hard-FT Many analysts consider the most leveraged mainland developers vulnerable to a financial blow-up at any time. Some of them, such as China Evergrande Group, have debt loads of upwards of $60bn (according to its first-half interim unaudited results). Moreover, Hong Kong has seen an influx of mainland development activity, suggesting these players are not particularly bullish on their prospects at home. But as so often is the case with China, the doomsayers may well be wrong. Property as an asset class has become important in China — maybe too important

Related: China bank regulator: ‘Little to worry about’ from mortgage loans | Reuters China’s banking sector has “little to worry about” from its fast growing mortgage lending business, an official with the China Banking Regulatory Commission said on Thursday. “The real estate market has limited direct impact on banks,” Wang Shengbang told reporters at a briefing.

Related: 首付一夜涨几百万 北京部分二手房买主违约弃购_凤凰资讯 new real estate restrictions already starting to wreak havoc in Beijing

Related: 中央党校周天勇:打房豪,分房子 几十年前无数英雄烈士抛头颅洒热血,为了中国的解放运动而献出生命,终于消灭了地主阶级,让所有农民翻了身做了主。可几十年后,经济虽然发展起来了,但老百姓地阶层分化又出现了,再度倒退到了以前那个地主和农民的时代——只不过这一次是以房豪和房客的形式。虽然形式不同,但本质是一样的。那就是有少数群体可以依靠房(地)不劳而获,赚取大量财富,而底层群体则要艰辛的劳动着,并将自己的辛苦钱双手送给这群房主(地主)。 几十年前可以打土豪分田地,现在也许该打房豪,分房子了!// Central Party School’s Zhou Tianyong calls for redistributing homes owned by the rich (or at least this wechat post claims he does, kind of hope it is fake…), would be funny but for the history…

2. John Kasich: Refusing to ratify TPP risks America’s role as the world leader – The Washington Post The last thing we need is for these thriving markets to come to believe they can’t count on U.S. support, pushing them instead into economic and geopolitical relationships with China or Russia. In the event of our inaction and loss of resolve, the United States will surrender global leadership to our most aggressive rivals, dictators who have the most to gain: Vladimir Putin, Russia’s latter-day Stalin; and Xi Jinping, the most repressive Communist Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. That’s why the TPP agreement enjoys full-throated, bipartisan support from America’s most respected national-security leaders, including former defense secretaries Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Donald Rumsfeld and former secretaries of state Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and James Baker.

Related: S’pore and Australia urge the US to stay engaged in Asia, ratify TPP | TODAYonline During the press conference, Mr Lee also urged the US Congress to ratify the TPP soon, saying it is of vital importance to the region. Both Singapore and Australia are signatories of the 12 nation trade pact, which would account for around 40 per cent of global economic output if it comes into effect. Mr Turnbull added: “The ratification of the TPP by the US Congress, would be of enormous importance to the region and certainly we see it. Both Prime Minister Lee and I see it and the region sees it as a profoundly strategically important commitment and that is the argument that we have been making.”

Related: If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech | South China Morning Post In the paid speech to Goldman Sachs, Clinton said she confronted Chinese officials about the South China Sea during her tenure as secretary. “I said, by that argument, you know, the United States should claim all of the Pacific. We liberated it; we defended it. We have as much claim to all of the Pacific. And we could call it the American Sea, and it could go from the West Coast of California all the way to the Philippines.” She said in the speech that she had told her Beijing counterparts the Chinese claims to the South China Sea were based on “pottery shards” from “some fishing vessel that ran aground in an atoll somewhere”, whereas the US claim to the Pacific would be based on “convoys of military strength” in the second world war and the claim Americans “discovered Japan”. // sad that political expediency trumps strategic importance when it comes to TPP

3. 魏少军:中国发展存储器芯片应以市场为主导公司频道财新网 清华大学微电子研究所所长魏少军认为,要淡化“政府主导”的思路,谁的市场能力强,就由谁来主导  //  Interview with Wei Shaojun, director of the Institute of Microelectronics at Tsinghua University, who just led the recent Politburo study session, “deglobalization” of China’s IT stack only gaining momentum

Related: 军报:护好网络命门 最好的方法是“用上中国芯”-中新网 call in PLA Daily for domestic chips as best way to ensure cyber security  //  自1994年4月20日通过一条64K的国际专线接入国际互联网后,我国网络发展飞奔在信息的高速路上,目前已拥有世界上数量最多的网民和规模最大的网络市场,成为名副其实的网络大国。然而,相对于信息技术的快速发展和广泛应用,我们的网络安全整体防护能力不强,基础信息技术水平较为薄弱,特别是核心芯片、操作系统、数据库等基础软硬件大部分采用国外产品,存在着重大安全隐患。正因如此,习主席在网络安全和信息化工作座谈会上指出:“互联网核心技术是我们最大的‘命门’,核心技术受制于人是我们最大的隐患”。

4. The Road To The 19th Party Congress-Alice Miller | Hoover Institution The Politburo’s scheduling of a Central Committee plenum for October signals the start of formal preparations to convene the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Congress in the fall of next year.  This article lays out the successive procedures and processes that will lead to the congress and that will charge leadership politics over the coming year. // oversight yesterday, should have included this in the essential eight item about the 6th plenum and speculation about Xi’s successor. Dr. Miller, my advisor at SAIS, is very much the embodiment of the “institutionalizer” school of elite China politics analysis. There is the quite the debate raging about whether Xi is rolling back institutionalization 

Related: 央地交流 九“京官”跻身各省份党政领导政经频道财新网 60多位下派“京官”如今仕途各异,三分之一晋升省部级:九人跻身各省党政领导层,12人回京担任副部级职务;一人辞官下海,一人落马 // interesting Caixin story looking at officials who have served in Beijing then cycled out into the provinces

5. China: Risky bets and ‘red elephants’-FT A Chinese official with the influential National Development and Reform Commission, the government ministry responsible for economic planning, says frustration is mounting in Beijing over poor returns from unsatisfactory projects and a sense that state lenders have in the past taken on too much risk in unstable countries. “China had no choice but to lend a lot to risky countries because they had the commodities we needed and because the western multilateral organisations already dominated the rest of the world,” the official says. “These days we need viable projects and a good return. We don’t want to back losers.” // Venezuela not going so well…

6. “前首富”牟其中:欠的人情太多要保命来还新闻腾讯网 Mou Qizhong out of jail, once China’s richest man, one of the crazy stories from the early days of reform…NYT in 2000 on Mou-China’s High-Flying Capitalist Crashes to Earth

7. China has now eclipsed us in AI research – The Washington Post The chart above was published Wednesday by the Obama administration as part of a new strategic plan aimed at spurring U.S. development of artificial intelligence. What’s striking about it is that although the United States was an early leader on deep-learning research, China has effectively eclipsed it in terms of the number of papers published annually on the subject. The rate of increase is remarkably steep, reflecting how quickly China’s research priorities have shifted. The quality of China’s research is also striking. The chart below narrows the research to include only those papers that were cited at least once by other researchers, an indication that the papers were influential in the field. // still surprised there has yet to be any outcry over PRC Internet national champion Baidu’s AI research lab in San Jose, CA and its employment of some of the top American AI researchers

Related: Sinica Podcast: Andrew Ng on artificial intelligence and startup culture from Beijing to Silicon Valley  September 2016 interview // What is the state of the art of artificial intelligence (AI) in China and the United States? How does language recognition differ for Chinese and English? And what’s up with self-driving cars? To answer these and many other questions, Kaiser and Jeremy talk to Andrew Ng, founder and chairman of Coursera, an associate professor in the department of computer science at Stanford University, and the chief scientist of Baidu, where he heads up the company’s research on deep learning and AI. The discussion delves into the differences between Chinese and American engineers, entrepreneurial culture in China, artificial neural networks, augmented reality, and the role big internet companies and their resources play in advancing AI. Check out the SupChina backgrounder on their conversation here.

8. In Syngenta Bid, ChemChina Follows Buyout Formula-Caixin As with previous takeovers, ChemChina’s Syngenta strategy hinges on a high degree of leverage and the use of special financing vehicles (SPVs). But questions have been raised about whether leveraging the mega-acquisition makes sense. And Beijing authorities have lately turned ambivalent. Borrowing is key because ChemChina, which according to a company document had a debt-to-assets ratio exceeding 80 percent at the end of March, might get away with providing none of its own money toward the buyout, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and agreements signed between the company and its lenders.

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China issues details of rules to tackle online financial risk | Reuters The State Council document, which dates from April, provides guidelines and more far-reaching oversight for regulation of online financial activity, including peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, crowd-funding and third-party payments. The goal is to provide “market order” and safeguard the “vital interests” and “legitimate rights” of financial consumers, an unnamed senior official told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

国务院:2017年3月底前完成互联网金融风险专项整治_证券时报网 专项整治工作已于2016年4月开始,计划至2017年3月底前完成。各有关部门、各地方人民政府要充分认识互联网金融风险专项整治的重要性、紧迫性和复杂性,把专项整治工作作为当前和今后一个时期的一项重要任务,坚持从实际出发,认真按照《实施方案》和各分领域整治方案要求,精心组织,压实责任,协同配合,讲求方法策略,有序有效推进专项整治工作,牢牢守住底线,维护社会稳定。

NDRC Promises Program to Encourage Local Governments to Repay Debts-Caixin Beijing has vowed to draft a plan to urge local governments to repay their overdue debts to private companies in a bid to help revitalize dwindling private investment. The plan, if enacted and enforced, could enhance the confidence of private investors and encourage more funds from the private sector, experts said Thursday. This plan to address the debt issue is part of a series of measures by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s economic planner. It issued a statement Wednesday outlining ways to boost private investment. These include improved access to various sectors, promoting government and private partnerships and repaying debts to private companies.

MERICS China Monitor No. 35  – Mercator Institute for China Studies China’s service sector has grown significantly in recent years. According to official data, services in finance, real estate, IT and private health care contributed more than 50 per cent of GDP in 2015. Therefore, the Chinese government is pinning its hopes on the service sector to reach annual GDP growth of at least 6.5 per cent until 2020. But expectations are too high; the service sector is not as strong as it seems. In this new China Monitor, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) presents Max J. Zenglein’s research on the service sector.

China announces one trillion yuan PPP demonstration projects – People’s Daily Online China’s Ministry of Finance on Thursday published a new group of public-private partnership (PPP) demonstration projects with a total investment value of 1.17 trillion yuan (174.6 billion U.S. dollars). This is the third batch of such demonstration projects following two groups of projects worth 658.9 billion yuan in 2015 and 180 billion yuan in 2014, as the country tries to stimulate social capital to battle the economic downturn.

Carlyle’s ESG Nexus Fund Falls 43% as Bearish China Bet Sours – Bloomberg A hedge fund managed by Carlyle Group LP’s Emerging Sovereign Group plunged 43 percent this year through August as its wager against China soured. Brian McCarthy’s Nexus fund saw assets erode to $125 million from roughly $500 million at the start of 2016, according to an investor document viewed by Bloomberg. This year’s loss marks a reversal from 2015, when the fund rose 35 percent…ESG is preparing for what it believes will be a “precipitous fall” in Chinese asset prices or the yuan by taking short positions on credit and the currency, the firm wrote in an investor document..Nexus stayed hot at the start of the year, climbing 24 percent in January as the yuan sank to its lowest level in five years. That was followed by losses in February and March of 14 percent and 33 percent // Brutal. How are Kyle Bass and Mark Hart doing this year? The China collapse trade has not served investors well, and so far I have met no proponent of it who has convincingly been able to lay out how exactly a collapse might happen given the PRC political economy…I know I know, collapse triggers are never the same, but…

Wanda Recruits Former Executives at Google China, Guangfa Bank – Bloomberg Dong’s predecessor will run the internet arm, which will become Wanda’s fourth major business group — the other three being finance, culture and property. Wanda has also hired John Liu, former president at Google Greater China, as vice president at the business, according to Liu’s LinkedIn page.

China Steel Exports at Seven-Month Low as Frictions Escalate – Bloomberg Steel exports from China shrank for a third month to the lowest since February after governments around the world sought to dam the flow of metal from the top producing nation.

China Trade: Another Weak Signal for Global Economy – WSJ Chinese trade data for September was surprisingly dour. Exports contracted 10% from a year earlier. Imports of things like coal, iron ore and oil didn’t fall in volume terms, which should provide some solace to commodities bulls. But in value terms, as measured in U.S. dollars, overall imports shrank 2%. The hoped-for rebound in Chinese demand for global goods remains elusive.

China corporate raider’s wealth soars ninefold to $17bn-FT The secretive billionaire who launched a hostile takeover bid for China’s largest property developer has emerged as one of the country’s richest people, illustrating how leveraged financial investments are propelling huge increases in private wealth. According to the Hurun Report’s annual China Rich List, Yao Zhenhua’s net worth surged more than nine times to $17.2bn last year, making him the country’s fourth richest person. Last year he was ranked 204th.

China Rail Freight Shows Signs of Recovery in September-Caixin China Railway Corp. (CRC), the country’s railway operator, saw a 4.6 percent year-on-year increase in cargo volumes in September, the first time in more than two years that the CRC has seen back-to-back months of growth, the company said Wednesday. Rail freight volumes at 15 out of the 18 CRC subsidiaries increased in September, compared to the same period last year, a CRC employee told Caixin. From Sept. 23-25, more than 130,000 cars per day were loaded with goods, the first time the figure has risen above the benchmark since December 2014.

Ping An Bank Announces Changes in Top Leadership-Caixin Speculation about possible management changes first arose in early August when Liu Shuyun, assistant to the president and head of the bank’s Beijing branch, was arrested. Caixin learned from sources close to the investigation that Liu may have violated regulations related to the bank’s investment-banking businesses. Several of Liu’s subordinates were also detained, sources said. Liu joined Ping An Bank in April 2015. Previously, he was the head of Minsheng Bank’s Chongqing branch. No official statement of the investigation has yet been released.

New Debt-for-Equity Program to Be Market-Driven, Top Official Says-Caixin A new loan-relief plan for struggling state-owned enterprises unveiled Monday will allow asset management companies to decide who qualifies for the program, with the government playing only a supporting role, to avoid mistakes made during the previous state-led attempt to defuse a debt bubble in the late 1990s, a top official said.

互联网跨界资管被踩刹车金融频道财新网 10月13日下午,一行三会、财政部、中央维稳办、公安部等17部委联合发文《通过互联网开展资产管理及跨界从事金融业务风险专项整治工作实施方案》(下称《方案》)。由于通过互联网开展资产管理及跨界从事金融业务涉及领域交织、部门众多、地域广泛,需要金融管理部门和地方政府协同配合,《方案》旨在强化功能监管和综合监管,防范监管套利,消除监管真空。

重磅 | 一锤定音,中央大赦民企历史原罪! “严格遵循法不溯及既往、罪刑法定、在新旧法之间从旧兼从轻等原则,以发展眼光客观看待和依法妥善处理改革开放以来各类企业特别是民营企业经营过程中存在的不规范问题。” 中国民营企业发展中的历史原罪,一直是中国商业发展史上无法忽略的焦点。日前,中央全面深化改革领导小组通过了《关于完善产权保护制度依法保护产权的意见》,一锤定音,决定大赦民企历史原罪,为下一步经济改革注入新动力。

What Fake Bank Documents Say About China M&A Risks – Bloomberg Provided by a little-known Chinese investor group during early-stage acquisition talks with AC Milan, the document was among paperwork purporting to show the consortium’s ability to buy Silvio Berlusconi’s storied Italian soccer club, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The only problem? The statement wasn’t true, according to Bank of Jiangsu. The lender told Bloomberg News last month that it hadn’t issued any such record. The consortium, known as Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co., said in a Sept. 20 e-mail that it “does not confirm it has ever sent such a document.”

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW

China jails associate of former security chief for life for graft | Reuters A court in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou jailed an associate of disgraced former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang for life on Thursday after finding him guilty of corruption. Tan Li was a vice governor of the island province of Hainan, which China likes to style as its answer to Hawaii or Bali, until he was put under investigation by the ruling Communist Party in 2014.

A Crack of Daylight Enters Chinese Court Proceedings | Foreign Policy A growing number of trials will be live-streamed in HD. What might that mean for justice in a black-box judiciary?

《炎黄春秋》事件继续发酵 近日,国内各大媒体纷纷以转载消息的方式“声援”《炎黄春秋》,共同质疑中宣部驱使中国艺术研究院抽换、霸占独立媒体的粗暴做法。

Chinoiresie | Made in China The core of this issue is dedicated to a special section on Chinese labour and investment in Africa, with a specific focus on Ghana and Zambia. You will also find an analysis of the current situation of the Chinese working classes and the prospects for the political representation of labour in China, as well as an analysis of the struggles that Chinese workers face when they attempt to access the legal system. The issue also includes an analysis of recent worker struggles in India and an essay on Zhao Liang’s Behemoth.

Opinions concerning Accelerating the Construction of Credit Supervision, Warning and Punishment Mechanisms for Persons Subject to Enforcement for Trust-Breaking « China Copyright and Media CCP Central Committee General Office, State Council General Office Information concerning people who are subject to enforcement for trust-breaking through a judicial procedure by a People’s Court is an important component of social credit information. Conducting credit supervision, warning and punishment of people subject to enforcement for trust-breaking, benefits stimulating persons subject to enforcement to consciously implement their duties established in valid legal documents, raises judicial credibility, and moves forward the construction of the social credit system. In order to accelerate the construction of credit supervision, warning and punishment mechanisms for people subject to enforcement for trust-breaking, the following Opinions are hereby formulated.

习近平自述:我的文学情缘中南海澎湃新闻-The Paper 2016年10月15日,是习近平总书记在文艺工作座谈会上发表重要讲话两周年。在那次座谈会上,总书记鲜明提出“坚持以人民为中心的创作导向,创作更多无愧于时代的优秀作品”,吹响了推动文艺创作繁荣发展的集结号。两年来,总书记当时与文艺工作者亲切互动的感人场景历历在目;两年来,文艺战线以学习贯彻总书记重要讲话精神为契机,乘势前进、变化喜人,涌现出一批优秀文艺作品。在这一刻,重温总书记讲述过的他熟读文学经典、心系文艺工作的动人往事,愈加感受到总书记重要讲话的思想力量,体会到总书记那份深深的文学情缘。

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

‘Lot Of Noise’, Little Change In Philippine-US Relationship: State « Breaking Defense –  “The point to stress is this: no one is stopping a US Navy warship. The Chinese are not stopping US Navy warships,” Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told me during a Defense Writers Group breakfast. Sen. John McCain and other lawmakers have pressed hard for the Obama Administration to execute more visible Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) in the region to demonstrate American resolve and ensure the sea lanes are free for all nations to use. Russel made the intriguing point that the Seventh Fleet and its Pentagon leaders do not necessarily “announce every FONOPs, so some things are visible; some things are only visible to people with radar and tracking.”

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte trip to China negotiations – Business Insider Duterte’s simultaneous spurning of the US and embrace of China is “doubly concerning from a more practical standpoint, because if … he really expects to have fruitful negotiations with China on the thorny issues of the South China Sea and try to reach a deal, why is he giving up his only leverage, which is the US treaty commitment?” Poling asked. “Duterte’s bid to downgrade the U.S. alliance,” Poling told Business Insider, will damage the Philippines’ negotiating position when Duterte sits down to talk with China. “The threat of U.S. intervention is what has prevented more overt Chinese aggression at Second Thomas Shoal or Scarborough Shoal,” Poling added. “Now Duterte is throwing that leverage overboard before he has even gotten into a room with Xi Jinping.”

Commentary: Richard McGregor — The price tag of China’s threats- Nikkei Asian Review In the region, Beijing has tried to split South Korea from its alliance with the U.S.; intimidate Japan; persuade Taiwan to commit to reunification; neutralize Hong Kong; ensure acquiescence in Southeast Asia to its territorial claims and regional supremacy; and dilute Australia’s ties with America. So far, it has failed in all these objectives. Chinese diplomats say privately that such discord with the neighbors is unavoidable while surrounding countries’ adjust to the inevitability of the Middle Kingdom’s rise.

China urges Australia to be ‘cautious’ on South China Sea | Reuters Meeting in Beijing, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong told Australia’s Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin that China hopes to push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral military ties, China’s Defence Ministry said late on Wednesday. China “hopes that on the South China Sea issue the Australian side can speak and act cautiously, and that its words and deeds match”, the ministry paraphrased Fan as saying.

China berates visiting New Zealand defense minister over South China Sea stance | Reuters China rebuked New Zealand’s defense minister at the opening of a high-profile security forum in Beijing on Tuesday, criticizing his stance on tension in the disputed South China Sea, saying countries “not involved” should not interfere.

China and South Korea’s Path to Consensus on THAAD-Carnegie-Tsinghua Center – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace In July 2016, the United States and South Korea agreed to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the southeastern county of Seongju. Both countries believe THAAD is a necessary response to North Korea’s continued development and testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology. However, Chinese observers have repeatedly questioned the utility and security implications of introducing THAAD, claiming that it would “destabilize the security balance in the region.” Since the deployment was announced, their arguments have intensified, posing an increasing threat to China-South Korea relations. Both sides must reach a consensus on the technical aspects of the system and identify ways to address China’s security concerns.  // why must the US and ROK “address China’s security concerns”? The PRC is clearly not addressing the ROK and US security concerns over North Korea…

China angered as U.N. rights chief attends ceremony for jailed academic | Reuters Asked about U.N. High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein’s attendance at the event in Geneva, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Zeid had ignored the facts, confused right with wrong and “boosted the arrogance of separatists”. “This is a serious breach of the aims and principles and United Nations charter. It is an interference in China’s internal affairs,” Geng told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Chinese president arrives in Cambodia for state visit – Xinhua On the economic front, China is now Cambodia’s largest trading partner and source of foreign investment, with bilateral collaboration expanding in such areas as trade, investment, connectivity, energy resources and infrastructure construction. Two-way trade between China and Cambodia reached 4.43 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, an annual growth of 17.95 percent, according to China’s Commerce Ministry. In a joint interview with Chinese media outlets in Cambodia ahead of the visit, Hun Sen said that Xi’s trip will make the traditional friendship between the two countries closer and stronger and lift bilateral relations to new heights. After Cambodia, Xi will travel to Bangladesh and the western Indian state of Goa, where he will attend a summit of the emerging-market bloc of BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

China, Cambodia sign agreements during Xi’s visit – China Daily Witnessed by Xi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the two countries signed a number of agreements covering areas such as agriculture, oceanic, energy, telecommunication, investment and infrastructure. The two sides also agreed to jointly implement the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and enhance cooperation in production capacity. The initiative, consisting of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by Xi in 2013 with a focus on infrastructure.

Japan protests over signs of renewed Chinese gas exploration | Reuters The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the two countries, but Japan accuses China of ignoring a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in an area where no official border has been drawn.

Japan to expand Djibouti military base to counter Chinese influence | Reuters “China is putting money into new infrastructure and raising its presence in Djibouti, and it is necessary for Japan gain more influence,” said one of the sources, with knowledge of the plan. China in February began construction in Djibouti of its first overseas military facility, a coastal logistics base that will resupply naval vessels taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.

Beijing deploys sensors in South China Sea to boost scientific data in disputed waters | South China Morning Post Every five days, the Argo sensors would automatically dive to a depth of 2km to collect ocean data, which was relayed to China’s Beidou navigation satellites once they had returned to the surface, Xu said. After the completion of the South China Sea observation network next year, the team planned to deploy about 10 new sensors across the area every year to replace those that had depleted batteries. Antony Wong Dong, Macau-based military analyst, said these sensors could benefit China’s People Liberation Army Navy indirectly as the operation of submarines required a large amount of data about water temperatures, pressure and currents.

The EU, the South China Sea, and China’s Successful Wedge Strategy | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative  The European Union’s response to the arbitral tribunal decision was deeply disappointing from an organization that considers itself one of the strongest supporters of international law. As Europe slouches toward pragmatism, rather than upholding its founding principle of a rules-based order, its watered-down and weak statement on the arbitral tribunal decision reminds us that the EU is unable to speak with one voice on important matters related to China.

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

A Taiwan Museum Featuring All of Asia – The New York Times Taiwan has a new National Palace Museum. This time around, it is not just about China. Reflecting 16 years of political changes and concomitant rising Taiwan identity, the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum opened its doors to the public in September as Taiwan’s new government looks to play down its connections to China while moving toward greater engagement with the rest of Asia.

The absurd face of China’s censorship: Bookstore tears out Taiwan page from Webster’s – The Washington Post “I bought a dictionary two days ago in Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore. I’ve noticed that the plastic wrapping on all the copies had been removed and the shop assistant told me, ‘There are some problem, and we removed the wrapping to deal with them.’ I bought the books and carefully examined it, only to find that two pages have been torn out. I wonder what could be the words that irritate the authorities.”

China urges Britain to stop interfering in HK affairs – People’s Daily Online Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to a half-year report on Hong Kong released by the British government recently. “Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs belong to China’s domestic affairs and any foreign countries has no right to interfere,” said Geng. “We demand that the British side be cautious in words and deeds, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs.”

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA

Bad Boy Cop Show Disappears From Internet – China Film Insider In another reminder that web series in China are subject to the same scrutiny as their television counterparts, popular police drama Yu Zui has disappeared from the internet. The show, which first aired on Netflix-like video platform iQIYI in May, told the story of undercover bad boy cop Shameless Yu, whose disregard for social and professional norms won the series almost a billion views within a month. // China Film Insider is an excellent resource, a big fan of their daily newsletter

Talent Show Forgets Taiwan, Breaks the Internet | Sixth Tone The map was produced by a Beijing-based media company, the statement said, though blame for the “grave broadcasting error” was attributed to a lapse in oversight by the show’s directors and producers. The apology, posted Tuesday evening, said that those responsible were “at once subjected to severe criticism, required to carry out deep self-reflection, and delivered appropriate punishment.”  The statement also assured upset audiences of the station’s “strict, unified, and firm attitude regarding the completeness of the motherland’s territories and the unity of the nation.” Following the incident, Hunan TV would continuously strive to “strengthen awareness of politics, duty, and ideology,” the statement said. Hunan TV did not respond to requests from Sixth Tone for comment.

China’s internet censors target video viewers’ live comments | South China Morning Post Internet security authorities in Shanghai said on Tuesday they would step up oversight of the content published on video streaming sites, including live comments from viewers, which are known as danmu – meaning “barrage” or “bullet screen”.

China’s Twitter Is Actually Doing Just Fine as Stock Soars 175% – Bloomberg While Twitter has slumped more than 20 percent this year, Weibo’s shares have almost tripled as the company’s unrivaled dominance in the Chinese market bolsters it sales outlook. At about $11 billion, the Beijing-based social media platform’s market value is now fast approaching Twitter’s $12.6 billion.

a16z Podcast: Stickers! Filters! Memes! Livestreams! by a16z In this episode of the a16z Podcast, ROFLCon co-founder and human-centered researcher/writer Christina Xu and Connie Chan in conversation with Sonal Chokshi take us on a wild tour of cultural messaging memes and messaging tech in China and beyond.

Alibaba backs PlaceIQ, a provider of location tools and data | TechCrunch  PlaceIQ combines location data with “first-party” data from marketers to provide a fuller understanding of consumer behavior — not just whether someone’s visited a car dealership, for example, but whether they’re actually shopping for a car, and what kinds of TV stations they’re likely to watch. McCall said Alibaba could use PlaceIQ’s technology in a variety of ways, including marketing, product recommendations and providing data for broader decision-making. // will Alibaba have access to any US user data?

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

‘Kiss the Boss’ Video Highlights Risks of a ‘Post-Truth’ China – The New York Times What the video does reveal, though, is how this tech-savvy country, where 688 million people have internet access, is grappling with a digitally driven “post-truth” environment, just as other nations are. But complicating the situation in China is an underlying “pre-truth,” the result of state censorship that manipulates and directs reporting.

Forced Demolition Behind Building Collapse that Killed 22: Residents-Caixin The four buildings in a slum area that collapsed Monday — killing 22 — in the eastern city of Wenzhou had already been “partially damaged” by government-backed demolition operations aimed at forcing out tenants, several local residents told Caixin. The six-story buildings, which offered cramped quarters for factory workers at a nearby industrial park, collapsed around 4 a.m. on Monday, state-run China Central Television reported. Six survivors were pulled out of the rubble before the rescue was called off, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Sinica Podcast: Lines of fracture in Chinese public opinion: A conversation with Ma Tianjie On this week’s episode, our guest Ma Tianjie, editor of the bilingual environmental website China Dialogue and the blogger behind Chublic Opinion, untangles the complexities and contradictions of online discussions in China. Tianjie shares insights into three key events in China’s public-opinion landscape that inflamed hordes of online commentators: a shocking family murder-suicide; a famous actor’s cheating spouse; and a mass online action in the name of patriotism against a popular film director and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Mixed Blood on the Black Dragon | Sixth Tone On the banks of the Heilong-Amur River, the biracial descendants of Russian refugees navigate the slippery edges of what it takes to be Chinese.

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China to launch spacecraft with two astronauts on Monday – People’s Daily Online The spacecraft was transported to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Aug 13. It will take two male astronauts into space and dock with the Tiangong-2, the country’s second space lab that was launched in mid-September. Shenzhou-11 and Tiangong-2 will orbit together for 30 days, during which the astronauts will carry out some experiments. It will be the longest space flight of Chinese astronauts by far.

China Crude Imports Rise to Record High as Storage Expanded – Bloomberg The world’s biggest energy user imported 33.06 million metric tons of crude in September, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Thursday. That’s about 8.08 million barrels a day. China’s net fuel exports were at 2.37 million tons last month, near the record 2.49 million in July.

AnchorEDUCATION

Is China’s gaokao the world’s toughest school exam? | Alec Ash | World news | The Guardian Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam. The students who do best can look forward to glittering careers and even good marriage prospects. But for the less successful, the system is brutal

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL

Ban on Passenger X-ray Scans at Chengdu Airport After Outcry-Caixin Environmental protection authorities have ordered Chengdu’s international airport to stop using X-ray scanners to screen travelers during security checks amid rising public concern over radiation exposure.

Aviation Officials Attribute Shanghai Airport Near-Collision to Traffic Controller Error-Caixin A China Eastern Airbus A320 plane about to take off from Shanghai to the northern port city of Tianjin was taxiing along a runway at 200 kph when an Airbus A330, also from China Eastern, slowly crossed its path, according to the Beijing News. The pilots of the A320 were forced to perform an emergency takeoff to avoid a collision, although it is not clear how close the two jetliners were.

AnchorBOOKS AND LITERATURE

Liu Qibao calls for quality literary journals-SCIO Literary magazines in this new era should be vitalized by harnessing the Internet in a bid to expand their coverage and influence,” said Liu Qibao, head of the publicity department of the CPC Central Committee, on a visit to the Chinese Writers’ Publishing Group. Liu stressed that more attention should be given to writers of online literature, and literary journals should better communicate with readers and writers through the Internet.

AnchorBEIJING

宋冬野涉毒被警方抓获 疑似购买毒品短信流出娱乐腾讯网 腾讯娱乐讯(文/邵登)13日下午,网传“S姓”民谣歌手吸毒被抓,抓获地点在北京朝阳北路柏林爱乐三期,起获毒品80克,据网友推测,该歌手为曾创作演唱《董小姐》的宋冬野,之后自媒体影视风尚标及新京报先后表示确认了这一消息。// musician Song Dongye busted for drugs in Chaoyang District, Beijing

Biography project aims to revive Beijingers’ hutong memory | Asia Pacific Daily The biography project was initiated in the summer of 2015 as part of efforts for community revitalization, according to Li Xiaohui, Communist Party secretary of the neighborhood’s residents’ committee. The idea occurred to Li during a community revitalization training program that year. “I was impressed by the teacher’s idea of a community cultural map. I was struck by how it was perfect for my community, as Dashilar is a place full of stories, but only a handful of people know about its history,” Li says.

AnchorJOBS AND EVENTS

Career Opportunities – Council on Foreign Relations The Research Associate will work under the direction of Ira A. Lipman Chair in Emerging Technologies and National Security and Director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program-NYC based

2016 CHINA Town Hall | National Committee on United States – China Relations The national webcast will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. EDT on October 18.

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