Daily Archives: May 15, 2017

Sinocism May 15, 2017 17-OBOR, BARF, DPRK, I Almost WannaCry

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Today’s Links:

AnchorThe Essential Eight

1. Full text of President Xi’s speech at opening of Belt and Road forum – Xinhua China will put in place the following mechanisms to boost Belt and Road cooperation: a liaison office for the Forum’s follow-up activities, the Research Center for the Belt and Road Financial and Economic Development, the Facilitating Center for Building the Belt and Road, the Multilateral Development Financial Cooperation Center in cooperation with multilateral development banks, and an IMF-China Capacity Building Center. We will also develop a network for cooperation among the NGOs in countries along the Belt and Road as well as new people-to-people exchange platforms such as a Belt and Road news alliance and a music education alliance. // Comment: China successfully held the Belt and Road Forum (BARF for short, unfortunately) for the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative. There is a lot of skepticism about OBOR, some of it justified, but at least China is offering a vision for development, even if the concepts have been mooted for many years, that is nicely packaged and very attractive to countries that desperately need development. Meanwhile America under President Trump is not offering much of a competing vision.

Related: Full text: Joint communique of leaders roundtable of Belt and Road forum – Xinhua // Comment: Xi announced the next summit will be in 2019

Related: EU backs away from trade statement in blow to China’s ‘modern Silk Road’ plan | The Guardian The EU has dealt a blow to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s bid to lead a global infrastructure revolution, after its members refused to endorse part of the multibillion-dollar plan because it did not include commitments to social and environmental sustainability and transparency.

Related: US warms up to ‘Belt and Road’ business potential | South China Morning Post Matt Pottinger, US National Security Council senior director for East Asia, said the US embassy in Beijing and US companies had teamed up to form the American Belt and Road Working Group. “US firms have a long and successful track record in global infrastructure development, and are ready to participate in belt and road projects,” Pottinger said. // Comment: Item 10 of the trade deal announced least week (see item 3 below) stated: The United States recognizes the importance of China’s One Belt and One Road initiative and is to send delegates to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing May 14-15. Originally Eric Branstad, a Department of Commerce political appointee and the son of the incoming Ambassador to Beijing Terry Branstad, was to lead the US participation but the delegation was upgraded. 

Related: U.S. Firms Want In on China’s Global ‘One Belt, One Road’ Spending – The New York Times In 2014, Chinese construction and engineering companies ordered just $400 million worth of equipment from G.E. to install overseas, overwhelmingly in the region that encompasses the effort, known as “One Belt, One Road.” Last year, those orders totaled $2.3 billion, and G.E. plans to bid for an additional $7 billion in orders for natural-gas turbines and other power equipment in roughly the next 18 months. “We have a laser focus on winning these,” said Rachel Duan, the chief executive of General Electric China.

Related: India skips China’s Silk Road summit, warns of ‘unsustainable’ debt | Reuters Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay, asked whether New Delhi was participating in the summit, said India could not accept a project that compromised its sovereignty. India is incensed that one of the key Belt and Road projects passes through Kashmir and Pakistan

Related: Liberal economics think tank Unirule locked out of its office for ‘security reasons’ ahead of forum | South China Morning Post “Police officers nearby and a department director from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences came to my house early this morning,” Mao said. “They told me not to go to the seminar, but did not state their reason.” Mao, an 88-year-old liberal economist, is a retired CASS researcher. He won the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty in 2012 .


2. North Korea’s Kim celebrates test of ‘perfect weapon system’ – The Washington Post “North Korea’s latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile,” said John Schilling, an aerospace engineer who specializes in rockets. This means North Korea might be only one year, rather than the expected five, from having an ICBM, he said.  The latest launch was widely condemned, with the White House calling North Korea a “flagrant menace” and urging allies to impose stronger sanctions. South Korea and Japan also condemned the launch. // Comment: Thoughtful of Kim to do this during the Belt and Road Forum, and while his country’s delegation was in Beijing...

Related: China says all welcome at Silk Road forum after U.S. complains over North Korea | Reuters Two sources with knowledge of the situation said the U.S. embassy in Beijing had submitted a diplomatic note to China’s foreign ministry, saying inviting North Korea sent the wrong message at a time when the world was trying to pressure it over its repeated missile and nuclear tests. // Comment: This does not look like the kind of effort to deal with the DPRK that President Trump expects from his friend Xi Jinping.

Related: Beijing Cozies Up to Leftist South Korean President: ‘Join Hands with China’ – Breitbart The Chinese government has reached out to new South Korean President Moon Jae-in seeking a closer bond with Seoul, likely at Washington’s expense, urging Moon to “join hands with China” economically and scale back military expansion under his predecessor, Park Geun-hye.

Related: Inside North Korea’s Accelerated Plan to Build a Viable Missile – WSJ Kim Jong Un has modernized the weapons program, sped test launches and forced Western leaders to worry more about Pyongyang’s intentions than ever

Related: Even Through Decades of Sanctions, North Korea Finds Avenues of Trade – The New York Times “We can and should go after these targets, but turning this into a game of financial cat-and-mouse will never achieve the level of pressure needed,” said Daniel L. Glaser, a former Treasury Department official involved in sanctions enforcement. Ultimately, he argued, that pressure will come only if China makes a strategic decision to truly squeeze the North. “Though China has taken helpful steps at times,” he said, “it has never been willing to go all in.”


3. JOINT RELEASE: Initial Results of the 100-Day Action Plan of the U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue | Department of Commerce

Related: The U.S.-China Trade Deal, Annotated – WSJ Comment: A useful summary

Related: Commerce Sec Wilbur Ross: 10 U.S.-China Trade Agreements ’Herculean Accomplishment’ – Breitbart Ross said there would be another set of prioritizations in the one-year plan. He called this a “Herculean accomplishment to get this done. This is more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China relations on trade.” // The official, hyperbolic spin

Related: Critics pan Trump’s ‘early harvest’ trade deal with China FT $$ This is disappointing on many levels, says Dan DiMicco, former chief executive of US steelmaker Nucor and a campaign adviser to Mr Trump who has long advocated a tough approach on Beijing. We are rewarding China before stopping their massive trade cheating. “They got played,” was the blunter assessment of one former US official. // Comment:  My understanding is that much of what is in this deal was agreed to during the last few months of the Obama administration but then held back by Beijing, both to show displeasure towards Obama as well has keep in reserve a “gift” for his successor. This looks like less progress than the administration would like us to believe, but it is not nothing and with the confirmation of the new USTR head we may see an intensification of efforts to negotiate some real “wins”. In the meantime, it does look like Xi is playing Trump like an erhu, even as Trump continues to call “Jinping” a “great guy”, as he did in this recent interview with The Economist. (transcript). But when Trump realizes he is being played, and he will eventually, the backlash could be swift and nasty, so enjoy the current, relative calm in the US-China relationship.

Related: Trump can finally get rolling on trade – Axios Comment: On the confirmation of Robert Lighthizer as the US Trade Represenative // Lighthizer’s creds: Served as deputy U.S. trade rep under President Reagan and in his private sector career as a trade litigator represented major U.S. corporations and coalitions. Steve Bannon loves Lighthizer and views him as an economic nationalist in lockstep with Trump’s “America First” campaign platform.

Related: Commerce’s Ross: China’s plans threaten U.S. semiconductor dominance | Reuters Ross told Reuters in an interview this week that his agency is considering a national security review of semiconductors under a 1962 trade law because of their “huge defense implications” including their use in military hardware and proliferation in devices throughout the economy. He has launched similar “Section 232” reviews of the U.S. steel and aluminum sectors

Related:  Sinica Podcast: The negotiator: Charlene Barshefsky She recounted stories about the WTO negotiations, and about her relationship with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, who was her Chinese counterpart in negotiations (see SupChina’s video on Zhu). We asked her how the hopes and expectations behind China’s WTO accession look in retrospect, and how she sees China’s role in global trade in the second decade of the 21st century.


4. Kushner Real Estate Project Still Seeking First Chinese Investor – Bloomberg Du Guanchao, general manager assistant with QWOS Group, which also is called Qiaowai in Chinese, said so far no Chinese had committed funds to the project in New Jersey after the four presentations. He added that it’s too soon to see any investments, and that people in southern China care more about hard facts related to the project rather than the brand name.

Related: Behind Kushner Companies, a Chinese agency skirts visa-for-investment rules | Reuters  Under the rules of the program, promoters should never promise green cards to investors or guarantee that their investments will pay off. However, an examination by Reuters of some of Qiaowai’s online marketing materials show the firm has skirted those rules.

Related: Changes to visa program could set back Kushner family’s real estate company – The Washington Post  The changes Kelly is considering, which have already gone through extensive review and public comment, would make it much more difficult to attract foreign money to projects in relatively prosperous areas, such as the one in Jersey City, experts said. Kushner’s sister Nicole Kushner Meyer generated criticism for the Trump White House on Saturday when she pitched her company’s project to investors in China, mentioning her brother’s name and featuring a photograph of President Trump. Potential investors were urged to sign up before the rules change.

Related: Chasing After the Kushners in China – The New York Times After the meeting, we ran after Ms. Meyer, asking whether she worried her business activities in China might create ethical issues for her brother. She wouldn’t answer but tried to calm down her irritated husband, Joseph Meyer, chairman and publisher of Observer Media, who shouted three times, “Please leave us alone!” // Comment: So the chairman of Observer Media also shills for EB-5 money and does not believe in the free press?


5. China’s Economy Slowed in April in ‘Turning Point’ – WSJ “The data was all weaker than in March,” said Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. economist Ding Shuang, “April is likely to be the turning point for the rest of the year.” The weaker April data dovetails with other signs that China’s massive economic engine is losing steam after achieving 6.9% growth in the first quarter. Industrial metal prices have fallen in recent weeks; auto sales declined in April after rising in March; Official purchasing managers’ indexes weakened last month; and inventory restocking has slowed.

Related: Speculative Ventures Threaten China’s Financial System, Tsinghua Report Says – Caixin Global Chinese joint-stock commercial lenders’ aggressive expansion in off-balance-sheet activities is creating a serious risk to the financial system that requires regulatory attention, a new report by the Tsinghua University National Institute of Financial Research says.

Related: China launches emergency probe on banks to check risky lending: sources | Reuters The CBRC’s latest investigation will probe how lenders are using proceeds from negotiable certificates of deposit (NCDs), as well as their bond investments and outsourced investment businesses, two sources with direct knowledge of the plan said. The watchdog is also looking into possible violations of lending and investing rules, for example, by banks that invest in stocks via wealth management schemes or lend to their own shareholders, they said.

Related: China banking regulator softens tone amid financial crackdown | South China Morning Post In an extraordinary briefing Friday afternoon, Xiao Yuanqi, director of the prudential regulation bureau under the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said that banks are now undertaking “self-examination” into whether their activities have amounted to “arbitrages” that the regulator vowed to crackdown. They will be given sufficient time to eliminate any practices found to be in violation of the rules eventually, he told them. // Comment: Are they really softening already, in face of the face of the first batch of weaker data? This time it feels like there is more resolve than during previous attempts, but the financial system is such a mess that the abyss could be closer than regulators first thought, as it was at the end of Q2 2013?

Related: 银监会拟一年立法46项 涉银行破产处置金融频道财新网 5月15日,银监会公布2017年立法工作计划,称将于今年完成46项立法项目,其中含4项行政法规、11项规章和31项规范性文件。除债转股、资本管理、理财、P2P等具体内容外,银监会还将制定《商业银行破产风险处置条例》。

Related: China Watchers Caught Off Guard as Bond Rout Just Won’t End – Bloomberg The tumble comes amid intensifying efforts to crack down on excessive borrowing, a drive that has beaten down stocks and pressured the yuan. “No one knows what kind of indicator would suggest the campaign is over, and no one knows how long this process will last,” said Shan Kun, head of China markets strategy at BNP Paribas (China) Ltd. in Shanghai.


6. China, Addicted to Bootleg Software, Reels From Ransomware Attack – The New York Times Zhu Huanjie, who is studying network engineering in the city of Hangzhou, blamed a number of ills for the spread of the attack, like the lack of security on school networks. But he said piracy was also a factor. Many users, he said, did not update their software to get the latest safety features because of a fear that their copies would be damaged or locked, while universities offered only older, pirated versions. // Comment: This episode is another reminder to those in Beijing focused on security that the country’s reliance on American software like Windows carries risks, and it will not help foreign efforts like Monday’s appeal by 54 global business groups to postpone enforcement of the Cybersecurity Law (Bloomberg: Trade Groups Appeal to Beijing to Postpone Cybersecurity Law) that goes into effect June 1.

Related: ‘WannaCry’ Ransomware Hijacks China’s Schools, Government Agencies – Caixin Global “Public and company-owned computers are not frequently maintained and upgraded, and that is why they are more vulnerable,” said Tan Jianfeng, president of the Shanghai Information Security Trade Association, a nonprofit IT industry organization. “The easiest form of prevention is to continuously back up files, and this is rarely done by the majority of users in China because people are not aware of the risks and consequences of a malware attack.”

Related: Qihoo 360 cracks ransomware virus – China Daily Qihoo 360, a major internet security company in China, issued a software patch at 3 am on Sunday that can recover the data encrypted by the unidentified attackers. The software can operate without internet access, and customers do not need to pay for it.


7. 当好贴心人 成为实干家 凝聚侨心侨力同圆共享中国梦—— 深入学习贯彻习近平总书记关于侨务工作的重要指示 2017年05月15日 来源:《求是》2017/10 作者:杨洁篪  // Comment: Yang Jiechi has the lead essay in the latest issue of Qiushi on study and implementing Xi Jinping’s important directives for undertaking Overseas Chinese Affairs Work to help achieve the Chinese Dream. Ramping up these efforts will not be helpful in reducing suspicions about Overseas Chinese in some countries, and the CCP will deserve much of the blame if suspicions increase

Related: China and America: Australia is friends with both, ally of one – The Australian Comment: from edited extract of a National Press Club speech yesterday by outgoing Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson  // Likewise, the Chinese government keeps a watchful eye on Australian-Chinese communities and effectively controls some Chinese-language media in Australia. Australia and China do not always share similar perspectives. We have substantive concerns about China’s activities in the South China Sea, and look to China to do much more on North Korea.

Related: Indonesian Islamist leader says ethnic Chinese wealth is next target | Reuters In a rare interview, Bachtiar Nasir said the wealth of Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese minority was a problem and advocated an affirmative action programme for native Indonesians, comments that could stoke tensions already running high in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. “It seems they do not become more generous, more fair,” the cleric said, referring to Chinese Indonesians, in the interview in an Islamic centre in South Jakarta. “That’s the biggest problem.”

Related: Former Espionage Suspect Sues, Accusing F.B.I. of Falsifying Evidence – The New York Times Prosecutors view Chinese espionage as a major threat, both to government secrets and valuable corporate information. Experts say the government in Beijing has an official policy encouraging the theft of trade secrets. Prosecutors have charged Chinese workers in the United States with stealing Boeing aircraft information, specialty seeds and even the pigment used to whiten Oreo cookie cream. But the Justice Department has made several mistakes


8. Rogue Tycoon Guo Wengui “Lets The Bullets Fly For A While” – China Digital Times (CDT) For now, Guo is holding back promised evidence in order to “let the bullets fly for a while.” In the absence of such proof, English-language coverage has been relatively sparse in recent weeks // Comment: Some fun allegations against people in Beijing real estate circles, including SOHO China’s Pan Shiyi, seems to be backing away from higher level attacks beyond those on Wang Qishan, has repeatedly expressed support for Xi Jinping and said he does not want to topple the Communist Party, otherwise there would be chaos. It looks like he will disappoint many of the overseas opponents of the CCP who had placed their hopes in Guo.


AnchorBusiness, Economy And Trade

China’s $246 Billion Foreign Buying Spree Is Unraveling – Bloomberg After stunning the world with a record $246 billion of announced outbound takeovers in 2016, Chinese dealmakers are now struggling to cope with tighter capital controls and increasingly wary counterparties. Cross-border purchases plunged 67 percent during the first four months of this year, the biggest drop for a comparable period since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Follow the Money » China’s Q1 Import Surge, Disaggregated With commodity prices down and China’s policy tightening likely to have an impact on import volumes, it looks possible that the (very welcome) fall in China’s overall trade surplus over the last few quarters may be coming to an end.

Follow the Money » China Still Wants To Import Commodities, Not Manufactures (Judging From The “Early Harvest” Trade Deal) The new, highly touted “early harvest” deal with China doesn’t try to change this pattern. It focuses on commodity exports (beef, natural gas) and increasing the ability of U.S. financial services firms to compete in China—not on opening new opportunities to export manufactures to China.

Money From Chinese State Giants Helped Fund Aluminum Stockpile – WSJ A complex web of deals shows how aluminum firm China Zhongwang was able to route metal around the globe

China’s Bond Market Dilemma: Where Are the Traders? – Bloomberg  The problem stems from the dominant role played by banks, which have less reason to make trades than money managers. Trading volumes on corporate notes in China are only about 7 percent of that in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A Robot Revolution, This Time in China – The New York Times Robots are critical to China’s economic ambitions, as Chinese companies look to move up the manufacturing chain. The Ford assembly plant is across the street from a robot-producing factory owned by Kuka, the big German manufacturer of industrial robots that a Chinese company bought last summer.

China central bank’s net FX sales fall to nearly two-year low in April | Reuters The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) sold a net 42 billion yuan ($6.09 billion) worth of foreign exchange in April, down from 54.7 billion yuan in March, according to Reuters calculations based on central bank data released on Monday. The last time the central bank sold less foreign exchange was in June 2015

US lawmakers sharpen criticism of $1.2bn MoneyGram deal In letters addressed to Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, obtained by the Financial Times, Republican senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran said the Beijing-backed acquisition of MoneyGram could hurt America’s financial infrastructure.

China Gives Little Credit to Companies Handpicked to Develop Credit-Reporting Sector – Caixin Global “The preparation the eight companies have made for running the personal credit reporting business is far below market demand and regulatory standards,” said Wan Cunzhi, the director of the PBOC’s Credit Information System Bureau, during a conference about credit reporting held in Beijing in April. “It’s fallen short of our expectations that none of them has made it yet.”

Silk Ventures Spins $500 Million Fund to Aid China-Bound Western Startups – Caixin Global Silk Ventures announced the fund at  the Belt and Road Forum, held over the weekend in Beijing, and said the first investment will be in July. Based in London but with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing as well, Silk Ventures has carved out a niche as a business intermediary, helping foreign technology companies invest and move into China.

Villagers in Myanmar Describe the Destructive Power of China’s Building Frenzy – The New York Times Other foreign investors and nations, however, would be wise to consider what happened in the area around Kyaukphyu — a poor town of dilapidated wooden houses and deeply rutted roads in desperately poor Rakhine State, on Myanmar’s western coast — before participating in the huge venture. It is a tale of promises not kept, corruption and the trampling of farmers’ rights in the stampede for natural resources and profits.

Sears CEO Blasts Chinese Power Tool Vendor One World Over Contract Dispute – WSJ In a post on the Sears company blog on Monday, Mr. Lampert wrote that a subsidiary of China-based Techtronic Industries Co. intends to file a lawsuit against Sears over the terms of their supply agreement. The supplier had threatened to repudiate the contract unless Sears agreed to “what we believe are unreasonable demands,” he said.


AnchorPolitics And Law

Ring of Life: Former Chinese Leader’s Phone Call Dispels Death Rumors – WSJ A surprise report about a phone call placed by Mr. Jiang appeared intended to break the recent wave of speculation. In an article circulated Wednesday on the WeChat social-messaging platform, the Shanghai Experimental School said its principal received a call from Mr. Jiang at 1 p.m. offering his congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the school’s founding.

China upgrades website of judicial case database – China Daily The upgraded website, anli.court.gov.cn, will use big data to help users locate cases, provide standard rules for compiling files and offer customized information selection, said the SPC.

How Chinese Writers Capture the Voices of the Corrupt-Sixth Tone A new wave of controversy swept across the country last month, centering around two pieces of literature. The first was Zhou Meisen’s “In the Name of the People,” a work of fiction whose wildly popular TV adaptation has brought the intricacies of corruption to mainstream audiences. The second is a work of nonfiction, Ding Jie’s “Zhui Wen,” which literally means “to question closely.” The works are unique, as they expose and dissect the complex nature of corruption and deliberately avoid black-and-white depictions of graft. They assume the viewpoint of the corrupt officials themselves, a type of narrative that has always been extremely scarce.

China to enhance CPC leadership in cultural organizations-Xinhua The guideline, issued by the general offices of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, pointed out that overall development of cultural organizations lacks vitality, with some organizations weak in CPC leadership or internal management, and some unclear about their responsibilities.

中国茉莉花行动部落: 北大校友联名讨伐前校长王恩哥的公开信 郭文贵刚刚在视频中揭露前北大校长王恩哥的腐败丑闻,其中包括让李友用购买专利的方式给王恩哥输送几亿元的利益,王恩哥和北大党委书记朱善璐还动辄给郭文贵、李友等富豪选送上百北京大学美女,让北大美女任人糟蹋蹂躏! 作为北大校友,特别是作为王恩哥的老朋友、老同学,我听到王恩哥、朱善璐居然将北京大学改造成全球最大的妓院,最走俏的淫窝,我怒发冲冠,怒不可遏! 我相信郭文贵对王恩哥和朱善璐的揭露。但我也相信王恩哥或许是被诽谤诬陷。我要求王恩哥尽快出面发表声明,澄清真相。


AnchorForeign And Defense Affairs

Chinese rappers take to Youtube, Twitter with anti-THAAD song – Global Times The nearly 3-minute Chinese-English bilingual rap titled “No to THAAD” was made by the Sichuan-based rap group CD Rev and took a tough stance against the system. The lyrics read, “This time kid [South Korea] you going too far. The things you doing now are gonna rip you apart.”..The song also pours scorn on the “Mu Yalans” who smear China’s dignity by livestreaming their stupid acts under the name of patriotism, saying that “you steal things in Lotte mall and you break down Korean phones and cars. You don’t even love the people of China, so how can we call this patriotism?” // Comment: The video, mostly in English, is here

What is Known and Unknown about Changes to the PLA’s Ground Combat Units – Jamestown No matter how functionally proficient these organizational changes and increased levels of training make the PLA’s operational and tactical units, the quality of its joint TC, service headquarters, and unit staffs will be crucial for the planning, command, and control of campaigns. Success boils down to leadership in units and headquarters at all levels. Therefore, even as more changes to PLA organization are announced, it is likely there will be many more official references to the critical self-evaluation first published in 2015: Some commanders 1) cannot judge the situation, 2) cannot understand the intention of higher authorities, 3) cannot make operational decisions, 4) cannot deploy troops, and 5) cannot deal with unexpected situations (81.cn, January 22). As the PLA continues its modernization and reform, the greatest unknown is whether its leadership is ready for the new challenges ahead. Dennis J. Blasko

The CMC General Office: Recentralizing Power in the PLA – Jamestown An important test of the CMC General Office’s ability to manage the CMC bureaucracy will come over the next few years as PLA reform deepens, including through a planned 300,000-person downsizing, force structure adjustments, and a major PLA leadership turnover. Those changes will place added burdens on Xi and his fellow CMC members not only to effectively communicate with the larger PLA, but also to understand and break through any bureaucratic logjams. The CMC-GO will place a key role in this respect by providing advice, reinforcing Xi’s status as CMC chairman, and managing the enlarged CMC bureaucracy. However, given its constraints, it is unclear that the office has the ability to fight and win battles against committed bureaucratic foes. Dr. Joel Wuthnow

砥砺前行始如初 樽俎折冲谋开拓-—— 党的十八大以来中国军事外交回顾 2017年05月15日 《求是》2017/10 作者:中央军委国际军事合作办公室  //  Comment: In the latest issue of Qiushi the CMC International Military Affairs Cooperation Office looks at the achievements of the PLA’s foreign military diplomacy since the 18th Party Congress

Xi calls for healthy, stable development of China-Philippines ties – Xinhua Friendly cooperation for win-win results is the right track for China-Philippines ties, Xi said, noting that China is willing to work with the Philippines to align their development strategies to benefit people of both countries. The Chinese president said the two countries need to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure construction, combating cross-border maritime crime, joint rescue operations, poverty alleviation, drug control and improving people’s well-being.

China, Philippines to start South China Sea talks: ambassador | Reuters Philippine ambassador to China Jose Santiago Santa Romana told reporters late on Saturday that the consultations between the two countries would take place in China. He added that the dispute between the two countries “cannot be resolved overnight”.

PH to shop for Chinese, Russian arms due to strict US conditions | ABS-CBN News The Philippines has been forced to turn to China and Russia for arms supplies because of conditions imposed by its long-time ally and former colonial ruler the United States, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday.

Sri Lanka rejects Chinese request for submarine visit – sources | Reuters A senior Sri Lankan government official said China’s request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month had been rejected. He said Sri Lanka was “unlikely” to agree to China’s request to dock the submarine at any time, given India’s concerns. The official asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.


AnchorTech And Media

In China, Fake (Business) News Makes the Truth Hard to Find — The Information All of that leads one of the foremost observers of China’s internet scratching his head. Keso Hong Bo has been writing about tech companies for more than a decade before launching his own site. “If you pay less attention to the numbers that these companies present, you will see that the Chinese internet industry is doing quite well,” Mr. Keso said. “The only explanation to the habit of faking might be national tradition.”

Can Xiaomi Make Comeback With International And Offline Push? – China Money Network Comment: Is Xiaomi launching US sales through Amazon in June?  //  Xiaomi opened its first Mi Store in India last week. In the past three years, Xiaomi has expanded into over 20 countries

Peter Loehr to Exit as Legendary Entertainment’s China Chief | Variety Longtime China hand Peter Loehr will exit Beijing-based Legendary East at the end of the month, leaving another senior post to be filled at Dalian Wanda-owned Legendary Entertainment after the recent departure of founder Thomas Tull

Starbucks China thrives with WeChat partnership – Inside Retail Asia Starbucks China launched a strategic partnership with WeChat parent Tencent last December, including offering the popular WeChat Pay as a digital payment option in all of its stores. “In its first quarter, WeChat Pay has already reached a remarkable 29 per cent of tende

Two billion numbers, including those of Hong Kong officials, leaked by Chinese phone app | South China Morning Post The app, DU Caller, developed by DU Group, a subsidiary of Baidu, was initially for users to blacklist nuisance callers and filter them out.

‘Dangal’ Sells Bollywood Feminism at China Box Office “It has set a benchmark in China — it’s a trendsetter,” Taran Adarsh, one of India’s leading movie critics and trade analysts, told Sixth Tone. “Universally, a good movie with emotions brings in the audience. And ‘Dangal’ is heavily reliant on a solid plot that showcases the relationship between a father and his daughters, and the struggles they go through.”


AnchorSociety, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Qian Qichen, Pragmatic Chinese Envoy, Dies at 89 – The New York Times “Deng Xiaoping was the architect of China’s pragmatic foreign policy, but Qian Qichen was the diplomat who carried it out,” said Susan L. Shirk, who worked with Mr. Qian when she was a deputy assistant secretary of state under President Bill Clinton and is now a professor at the University of California, San Diego.

Anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise in China. We found that the Internet fuels — and fights — this. – The Washington Post – Rose Luqiu and Fan Yang We analyzed 10 years of news reporting related to Islam on Chinese Central Television (CCTV), the largest of China’s state media outlets. We looked at reporting from 2005 to 2015 to determine how the Chinese government shapes public perception of Muslims in China. To examine the attitude of Chinese non-Muslims toward Islam and Muslims, we also analyzed more than 10,000 posts related to Islam and Muslims on Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, before and after Europe’s 2015 refugee crisis.

The curious rise of the ‘white left’ as a Chinese internet insult | openDemocracy Although the emphasis varies, baizuo 白左 is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.


AnchorEnergy, Environment, Science And Health

Solarworld files for insolvency | Reuters Germany’s Solarworld has filed for insolvency proceedings, defeated by Chinese competition which has flooded the market with cheap solar panels.

Beijing’s battle against pollution takes toll on truck drivers at coal port | Reuters Once one of the busiest places close to Tianjin’s sprawling port, the storage facility was now silent as activity had ground to a halt after the port operator last month announced a ban on trucking in coal or storing it there. The announcement was sooner than expected. It is a sign that Beijing’s years-long war on pollution is disrupting the logistics of the market for coal – one of China’s crucial commodities – as well as the lives of what trucking industry insiders estimate are 60,000 drivers who carry coal to and from the port.

Sighting of Yangtze River Dolphin Believed ‘Functionally Extinct’ The team didn’t manage to capture conclusive evidence that what they saw was a baiji dolphin. Song said the camera they were recording with wasn’t able to capture the animal in detail because it was wide-angle. Specialists from CAS’s Institute of Biology are currently examining sonar signals that were recorded by the team on the expedition to look for evidence of the animal.


AnchorEducation

China’s Autism Schools a Last Resort for Youth on the Spectrum-Sixth Tone Private institutions grapple with lack of funding, teachers, and experience to provide education for ‘children of the stars.’


AnchorFood And Travel

Airbnb’s China Challenge: Difficult Guests — The Information As Airbnb tries to replicate its global success in China, the U.S. company is struggling to adapt to cultural differences. A key problem is that locals are reluctant to open their homes to strangers, particularly their own countrymen, said a person who helped study the country’s market opportunity for Airbnb. And when they do, guests sometimes have expectations that hosts can’t meet

Henry Chung, Who Helped Bring Hunan’s Flavors to America, Dies at 98 – NYTimes.com Finally, in 1974, when he was in his mid-50s, he started Hunan, a tiny restaurant on Kearny Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where he introduced diners to hot, peppery Hunanese food, a departure from the milder Cantonese cuisine that many Americans were more accustomed to. One diner dazzled by Mr. Chung was Tony Hiss, a staff writer for The New Yorker, who was walking by the restaurant on Thanksgiving in 1976 and lured in by its rich aromas. A few weeks after eating Mr. Chung’s onion cakes and chicken and garlic sauce, he declared in the magazine that Hunan was “the best Chinese restaurant in the world.”

China spent $507 billion eating out in 2016, greater than the GDP of Sweden — Quartz A new report by Beijing-based Dianping and Meituan, which offers food-ordering and delivery services, estimates the country spent 3.5 trillion yuan ($507 billion) dining out in 2016. The report also revealed China’s favorite food: hot pot, which had 22% of the restaurant market share.


AnchorBeijing

特稿| 调控政策后,谁还在买北京学区房?政经频道财新网 Comment: Beijing changed its school entry policies again, to crack down on real estate speculation around the top schools in the city. Caixin looks at the impact on the market. Sucks for those people who paid up thinking they were buying their kid a slot at a top school


AnchorJobs And Events

On the Road to the 19th Party Congress: Elite Politics in China under Xi Jinping | Center for Strategic and International Studies Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, DC, with Chris Johnson, Dr. Joe Fewsmith and yours truly

Last chance to register for the Two Way Street Washington D.C., & New York Launch Events, May 17 & 18 On May 17 and 18, 2017, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Rhodium Group will host a conference in Washington, D.C. and a briefing in New York City to release the latest data from the U.S.-China FDI Project and discuss the implications of recent policy changes and the outlook for the future of two-way U.S.-China FDI.

The Fat Tech Dragon: Baseline Trends in China’s Innovation Drive | Center for Strategic and International Studies Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm 2nd Floor Conference Room, CSIS Headquarters, Washington DC