The Essential Eight
1. RIP Liu Xiaobo
“Xiaobo was wedded both psychically and physically to China and its fate,” Geremie R. Barmé, an Australian Sinologist and a close friend of Mr. Liu’s, wrote in a tribute before Mr. Liu’s death. “In the end, his words and deeds may have garnered him a Nobel Prize, yet in an authoritarian system, one that since 1989 has oscillated merely between the poles of the cruel and the pitiless, they sealed his fate.”
China’s Charter 08 | Translated by Perry Link | The New York Review of Books The Chinese document calls not for ameliorative reform of the current political system but for an end to some of its essential features, including one-party rule, and their replacement with a system based on human rights and democracy.
We find it deeply disturbing that Liu Xiaobo was not transferred to a facility where he could receive adequate medical treatment before he became terminally ill. The Chinese Government bears a heavy responsibility for his premature death.
Comparisons with the human rights record and propaganda efforts of Nazi Germany are particularly dismaying for Beijing after a period in which it feels it has successfully legitimised its one-party state on the world stage. At the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month, no world leader publicly challenged President Xi over Liu Xiaobo’s treatment. With China increasingly powerful abroad and punitive at home, there are few voices raised on behalf of its political dissidents.
President Obama is expected to veto a bill that would change the address of the embassy in Washington from 3505 International Place NW to 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza after the Nobel Peace laureate imprisoned in China.
Ted Cruz, the Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate, introduced the legislation, which passed the Senate on Friday. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House.
Comment: Expect this to be revived, might be an easy bipartisan win for Congress and the embattled President
2. Good China Trade Data May Also Increase US-China Tensions
Chinese exports to the U.S. surged 19.8% in June, the fastest pace since 2015, while its overall exports only rose 11.3%. That has driven a 23% on-year rise in the U.S.-China trade deficit to its widest level since late 2015.
China’s June exports rose 11.3 percent, better than expected, on global demand recovery China’s June imports rose 17.2 percent, also better than expected China trade surplus was $42.77 billion, higher than expected
Overseas sales of steel over the first six months of the year dropped 28 percent to 41 million metric tons, according to customs data Thursday. That’s the lowest half-year volume since the first six months of 2014, prior to an unprecedented export surge that roiled global steel markets and triggered dozens of trade suits worldwide. The Trump administration has pledged stringent new measures to protect U.S. producers against overseas rivals.
3. Party Like It Is 1965?
“The whole Party is making all-out efforts in Party work and Party-building, to welcome the 19th CPC National Congress,” Zhang Xixian, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times.
To Zhang, the newfound busyness of the millions of Party branches is also a result of the education campaign which kicked off in February 2016. The campaign sought to encourage all Party members to study theoretical and practical issues related to Party-building.
4. No More Producing And Broadcasting “Cultural Smog”?
Website Bilibili says British hits such as Yes Minister and The IT Crowd were removed due to copyright issues, but viewers believe it has more to do with Beijing’s campaign to ‘clean up’ the internet
5. Actresses To Sue Guo Wengui In The US; Guo Says He Has A New, Bigger Manhattan Apartment
Comment: Fan Bingbing issues statement, says will sue Guo Wengui in US for malicious slander. Guo alleges an improper relationship between her and Wang Qishan, is promising to release more details in his upcoming July 17 webcast…feels like a flashback to the 2012 claims Zhang Ziyi slept with Bo Xilai, over which Zhang sued Boxun and won
Xu Qing, another Chinese actress targeted by Guo, has also said she will sue Guo.
Fan, who starred in X-Men: Days of Future Past, is the latest in a string of public figures to sue Guo for defamation, joining journalist Hu Shuli and SOHO China Chief Pan Shiyi.
Guo claims in his video that his unit is 16,000 sq ft. A marketing website for the building shows seven residences available for purchase, ranging from a 3,575 sq ft two-bedroom unit for $17 million to the $82 million penthouse.
Comment: Article includes the video Gup posted to Twitter.
Earlier this year, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said the U.S. “is not a safe haven for fugitives from any nation.” But Guo, also known as Miles Kwok, remains safe in the U.S., where he continues to launch unproven but gripping allegations against China. “He’s fugitive, a dissident. He’s trying to make a point by saying that he knows a lot, so as to increase his own value in the eyes of America,” said an expert who wants to remain anonymous.
If there is a lesson to be taken away from all this drama, it is that Guo seems to be adept at taking advantage of the West’s ingrained bias against China for his own personal benefit, an important fact often overlooked in the Western media, which tends to support Chinese dissidents. While his outlandish claims make for good headlines and fit into the “China threat theory,” the focus should be on facts rather than rumors.
6. Government Intervention In Real Estate Increasing, Makes Mockery Of Claims Of Market Reforms
In an annual white paper released on Wednesday, Beijing Municipal Commission for Housing and Urban-rural Development vowed to block issuance of presale permits to developers if they apply to sell at a price “conspicuously higher than previous ones and surrounding projects’ price”, putting off any room for developers to raise prices.
Beijing’s municipal government has imposed the command economy-style practise throughout this year, but this is the first time the government officially acknowledged the policy, sending a clear signal to the market.
北京住房和城乡建设发展白皮书（2017） The Beijing White White Paper
In Shenzhen, the average home sells for 44 times average annual household income, compared with around 12 times for homes in New York City, according to an analysis by Zhang Ming, a senior economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Chinese government data show that prices across 70 Chinese cities were 9.7% higher in May than a year earlier, a larger year-over-year increase than the 9.3% last September, when the current round of housing controls were instituted.
7. China-India Border Tensions
If you’re struggling to make sense of the latest standoff between the Chinese and Indian militaries 10,000 feet in the Himalayas, don’t fret: You’re in good company. The showdown at Doka La is the product of a multi-layered, multi-party dispute steeped in centuries-old treaties and ambiguous territorial claims. Only recently have sufficient details emerged to piece together a coherent picture of the crisis and we’re still left with more questions than answers. However, one thing is clear: While stare-downs at the disputed China-India border are a common affair, the episode now underway is an altogether different, potentially far more dangerous, beast.
India considers Jampheri ridge, which lies in Bhutan, to be of military importance and is insistent on denying China access to it. There is a single Bhutanese Army post at Jampheri ridge called Chela Post. Indian and Bhutanese military patrols link at Jampheri ridge every month.
Trying to provoke India further, the Chinese ministry also offered to mediate in Kashmir, saying the situation there has drawn international focus. Saying it was ready to play a constructive role, the ministry said the conflict along the line of control (LoC) was not conducive to the South Asia region.
A day after China today they are willing to play a “constructive role” in improving relations between India and Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs today rejected any third party mediation on the Kashmir issue.
“We are ready to have a dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir under a bilateral framework,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay. “We are ready to talk Kashmir with Pakistan, but no third party mediation.”
Comment: Xinhua warns India
8. Will The Masks And Purifiers That Filter PM 2.5 Also Protect Against Ozone?
Ozone has passed PM2.5 as the top pollutant in many northern cities recently. In July, Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and Xi’an witnessed more than five days of medium or high levels of ozone pollution. Xi’an, the capital city of northwestern China’s Shaanxi province, recorded 15 polluted days in June, with ozone being the top pollutant for all 15 days.
Business, Economy And Trade
MIT post-doctoral associate arrested for insider trading | Reuters Authorities said that beginning in August, Yan’s wife became involved in working on the Stillwater deal in her role as an associate in the New York offices of the law firm retained by Sibanye to represent it in the negotiations. She continued to work on the deal through the time it was announced in December. By then, Yan had made multiple profitable trades in Stillwater’s stock using a brokerage account he established in the name of his mother in China, the criminal complaint said.
China financial ‘windstorm’ eases as central bank injects cash – FT $$ Analysts say that regulators previously underestimated the impact of the double whammy from tighter liquidity and stricter macro-prudential supervision. The result was that the forceful deleveraging push threatened to spark the very crisis it was intended to prevent.
One Billion Tons of Iron Ore Headed for China as Miners Jump – Bloomberg Iron ore imports by China this year are on course to exceed 1 billion metric tons by a comfortable margin, breaking 2016’s record, after first-half figures showed another jump in cargoes and highlighted the ability of the top steelmaker to absorb rising supplies
Meet the Chinese investor who says female bosses are bad for business | South China Morning Post After days in the spotlight for saying female CEOs are bad for business, Luo Mingxiong, a Chinese investor in Beijing, does not regret what he said. “If I could have had a chance to say it again, I would still list this as my investment principle,” said Luo. He was referring to his statement at a public presentation in Beijing this month that “we usually don’t invest in female chief executive officers”.
U.S. firms’ profits up, China losing its appeal – Shanghai Daily U.S. businesses in China reported better profitability for the past year but are less likely to make the country their top investment priority, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said in a report yesterday.
China takes new steps to defuse local debt risks – People’s Daily Online On Wednesday, in its latest move to standardize local government debt issues, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced a program that allows local governments to issue special bonds to support the construction of toll roads. Similar to a program on land reserve bonds rolled out in June, the toll road bonds program offers local governments a low-cost financing alternative after the country banned them from borrowing through local government financing vehicles (LGFV), an off-budget financing channel.
Behind China’s Boldest Dealmaker, Billions in Pledged Shares – Bloomberg Now China’s boldest dealmaker, with more than $40 billion of acquisitions spanning six continents, faces growing regulatory scrutiny from Beijing that threatens to spook bond investors and raise HNA’s financing costs when most of the shares pledged to fund its buying spree are declining. If the value of its collateral falls enough, HNA could be forced to sell its holdings to repay debt.
SEC.gov | SEC Files Insider Trading Charges Against Research Scientist Aiming to Avoid SEC Detection According to the SEC’s complaint, Yan made approximately $120,000 in illicit profits by selling his holdings in Mattress Firm Holding Corp. and Stillwater Mining Company following public announcements that they would be acquired by other companies. Yan allegedly attempted to conceal his illegal activity by placing the illicit trades in a brokerage account bearing the name of his mother, who lives in China. Among the internet searches he conducted was “insider trading in an international account.”
Law and Disorder: Chinese Tech Star’s Troubles Go From Bad to Worse – WSJ The troubles roiling China’s once-soaring technology company LeEco Holdings deepened after U.S. television maker Vizio Inc. sued the Chinese firm over a failed $2 billion acquisition, arguing that the deal was a ruse to boost the buyer’s financial standing. // Comment: LeEco founder Jia Yueting is supposedly in the US. Will he return to China?
贾跃亭妻子甘薇回应“跑路论”：我们全家老小都在北京_科技_腾讯网 LeEco founder Jue Yueting’s wife issues statement that the entire family is in Beijing, decries rumors Jia has fled overseas….
妥善处置僵尸企业 Comment: Huang Yiping on page 7 of the 7.13.17 People’s Daily on properly handling zombie enterprises…he makes it sound so easy…
Massive Metropolis condo complex ushers in a new era of residential development in downtown L.A. – LA Times The long-anticipated $1-billion luxury condo-and-hotel complex rising along the Harbor Freeway is one of a handful of mega projects being built by Chinese real estate companies looking to make a splash in Los Angeles and establish themselves as global brands.
Politics And Law
Senior official stresses use of big data, AI in policing – Xinhua Meng Jianzhu, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during a two-day inspection in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, which concluded Wednesday.
Ministry set to toughen guns, explosive control ahead of CPC national congress – People’s Daily Online Speaking at a symposium which gathered police chief from across the country, Guo said campaigns on management of explosives and hazardous items, improved courier and logistics security as well as fire safety of high-rise buildings will also be staged.
中央纪委机关加强临时党支部建设 打造坚强战斗堡垒————要闻——中央纪委监察部网站 2016年开展3轮巡视，每轮成立了15个巡视组党支部，在29个审查组建立临时党支部，全年共有超过2400人次党员加入临时党支部……这是以临时党支部建设带动巡视和纪律审查工作的一组数据。
China investigates 30,538 for duty crimes in first half of 2017 – Xinhua The number came from 29 provinces, with Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang, the pilot provinces and regions for the reform of the monitoring system excluded, marking a 19.6-percent year-on-year increase from last year.
Foreign And Defense Affairs
China trade with sanctions-struck North Korea up 10.5 percent in first half – Reuters Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping told a briefing on China’s overall trade figures that total trade with North Korea expanded by 10.5 percent to $2.55 billion in the first six months of the year. While China’s imports from North Korea dropped 13.2 percent to $880 million in the period from January to June, exports to North Korea rose 29.1 percent to $1.67 billion, he said.
More Uyghurs Detained in Cairo as Students Appeal to Al-Azhar For Help – RFA Egyptian authorities continued this week to round up and deport ethnic Uyghurs studying at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Islamic University, prompting some to appeal directly to the university’s senior imam for his help in preventing their forced return to China, sources said.
Mythbuster: Beijing’s Relationship with Pyongyang | Wilson Center the relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang, even under Mao, was never consistently cordial. Instead, both countries have oscillated from ‘brotherhood’ to hostility over economic, ideological, and political disputes.
Hong Kong, Macao And Taiwan
AIT’s chairman isn’t optimistic that ‘dangerous’ US navy port calls will happen: report – The China Post American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty said Tuesday that it would be ‘dangerous’ for U.S. naval vessels to visit Taiwan, according to the Central News Agency.
Hong Kong Broadcaster Under Fire For “Anti-China” Sentiment on Handover Anniversary – RFA The round-table format Sunday politics show, featuring newsmakers, politicians and questions from the audience, has been broadcasting live to the people of Hong Kong from Victoria Park since its inception in 1980. But the edition of RTHK’s City Forum that marked the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule was slated by pro-Beijing voices for its title: “One country, two systems: a 20-year sham?”
Tech And Media
Lights Out: China’s Summer Import Blackout about to Return | China Film Insider Despite imported product being the bright spot of China’s 1H2017 box office, it will be all about domestic movies for most of the summer, if new release dates are any indication
China’s Bike-Share Upstarts Face Tough Road in U.S. — The Information $$ in interviews with The Information, transportation officials in major cities across the U.S. expressed reservations about allowing multiple bike-share companies to compete for business. Part of their concern is that Ofo and other startups, like Andreessen Horowitz-backed Limebike, use technology that allows bikes to be locked and left anywhere.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Inside a fading Chinese culture ruled by women – The Washington Post Life around Lugu Lake — high up in the Himalayas, straddling China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces — has been changing rapidly. Until quite recently, the Mosuo, a Chinese ethnic minority of about 40,000 people, enjoyed hundreds of years of relative stability in a complex matriarchal structure that values female power and decision-making.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Beijing raid seizes thousands of suspected ivory products – Xinhua The products — weighing 48.3 kg combined — were on display at seven stalls in the Guanxin Market in Chaoyang District. Ten people have been held for questioning.
The Truth about China’s Cash-for-Publication Policy – MIT Technology Review The first study of payments to Chinese scientists for publishing in high-impact journals has serious implications for the future of research
Agriculture And Rural Issues
U.S. Farmers Have a Lot to Gain From China’s Flagging Production – WSJ Growers from Brazil to the U.S. and Thailand stand to benefit as Beijing rolls back farm supports
Bringing Creativity to Middle China’s Stifled Classrooms – SixthTone While the games might seem too childish for soon-to-be teenagers, they belong to a range of creative activities that have been added to the traditional school curriculum with the help of nongovernmental organization Adream Foundation. School 702 is just one of 2,500 schools around the country that are taking part in activities initiated by Adream, which focuses on addressing inequality in China’s education system.
Food And Travel
China’s Secret Foodie Destination | WildChina Blog WildChina is about to give you a 6-dish tour of Xinjiang
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund Leads $14M Round In Cooking Video Producer DayDayCook – China Money Network Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, an investment unit of Alibaba Group supporting start-ups in Hong Kong and Taiwan, has teamed up with Hong Kong businessman Adrian Cheng to lead a RMB100 million (US$14 million) series B round in DayDayCook, a Hong Kong-based start-up providing cooking videos and recipes.
DayDayCook looks very useful