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The Essential Eight
1. Party Shares For Key China Tech Firms?
The Chinese government is pushing some of its biggest tech companies—including Tencent, Weibo and a unit of Alibaba—to offer the state a stake in them and a direct role in corporate decisions.
Wary of the increasing power of private businesses, internet regulators have discussed taking 1% stakes with social-media powers Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Weibo Corp. and with Youku Tudou, a YouTube-like video platform owned by e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA , according to people close to the companies…
A document released by China’s leadership last month to encourage entrepreneurship instructs entrepreneurs to put patriotism first and follow the party’s guidance. At Mr. Xi’s urging, a campaign is under way to set up party units in private companies.
Comment: If I were Xi I would just force them to each issue a “red share” with special rights and powers to the Party. The market will see this news as a positive because party ownership in these firms will mean regulatory risk is reduced. It will likely cause them more problems in US and Western markets at least. But frankly they were already going to have a lot more problems in those markets.
2. Party Congress Reading
Comment: And so we wait. It is striking how little we know, less than we did days before previous recent Party Congress. Xi has dramatically changed information distribution and flows.
In this Q&A, initiated by the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center, scholars explore how China’s policies and role in the world could change after the Nineteenth Party Congress
Schooled in Marxist determinism, CCP cadres have assiduously studied a vast number of historical cases of economic and political development. In particular, the Soviet Union’s political decline has commanded immense attention within the CCP since 1991 for obvious reasons of preserving regime longevity. But these other cases of economic growth and modes of governance, and their associated challenges, have also been deeply examined and dissected throughout the Party-state’s vast network of policy and research think tanks. Beijing ends up adding a pinch of this and generous helpings of that to its approaches to development, including from strategic competitors like the United States. But the one fixed ingredient in this mish mash of a “development recipe” is a gradualist approach to reforms…
But if Chinese leaders and the CCP never intended to fully embrace Western ideas and principles, they were also pragmatic enough to adopt best practices for economic development. These ideas have been accepted and utilized but always filtered through the sieve of “Chinese characteristics”—a sieve that includes Marxist tenets and Leninist organizational principles too.
3. The Pens Behind Xi’s Propaganda
The call came in 2015. He Yiting, a vice-chairman of the training ground for top Communist Party cadres, was given a mission that would take up the next two years of his life…
His new job: to research and define Xi’s approach to governing the country and put it in a digestible form for 90 million members of the party’s rank and file to absorb and apply.
He was aided in his two-year task by nine other academics from the Central Party School and together the team of ghostwriters built a propaganda campaign to try to win hearts and minds over to Xi’ s way of thinking.
4. Winter Smog Crackdown Looks Real
Comment: Positive that Ma Jun is impressed
A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains…
Penalties imposed on polluters have also been toughened. “It used to be just fines, but now it is suspensions or shutting down production. That has a much greater impact because to the manufacturer it is life or death,” said prominent Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun. “It’s the first time I feel companies are becoming motivated to take a greener path.”
Northern China’s Shanxi province, the country’s top coal producing region, will aim to cut concentrations of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 by 40 percent over the winter months, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
5. More Money For Made in China 2025
Comment: You have to give credit to Beijing for not hiding its aspirations, though I wonder if they would have been better served in economic relations with the West by keeping quiet about it.
Sectors that boost manufacturing innovation, including the Internet of Things, smart appliances and high-end consumer electronics, are the major priority for funding, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The total funding is likely to exceed 10 billion yuan (1.5 billion U.S. dollars), Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily reported…
The MIIT will also cooperate with China Development Bank to provide financial services including loans, bonds, leasing to support major projects, with an estimated 300 billion yuan of financing in place in the 2016-2020 period.
The Economic Information Daily Report-中国制造2025添百亿专项资金 重点项目将获贷款投资债券租赁等综合金融服务支持
6. Insurance Sector Tightening
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) is soliciting opinions on a new draft guideline covering internal controls over the use of insurance funds. The new guideline mainly targets investments in equities, real estate and some financial products. The new rules, expected to take effect by the end of this year, would establish an anti-corruption system aimed at curbing the transfer of illegitimate interests. The CIRC would also set standards and procedures for the affiliated transactions of insurance companies.
The new requirements could pose compliance challenges to insurers. Most insurance companies should be able to meet the guidelines after minor adjustments in their risk management. Insurers whose internal controls were already considered poor by the CIRC would need to make big improvements to meet the requirements, according to people close to the CIRC.
HNA’s Bohai Life Insurance Corp. failed to report some related-party transactions, made some untimely disclosures and had a compensation system that didn’t meet regulatory requirements, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said on its website late Wednesday. That led the regulator to order the insurer to stop direct and indirect transactions — including loans and financial aid — with HNA companies for six months.
7. Legal Assistance Pilot Program
The pilot program, which will run for one year, was launched in eight provincial-level regions — Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Guangdong, Sichuan and Shaanxi. 8个省市试点刑事案件律师辩护全覆盖
8. Beijing Bicycle: Back To The Future
Construction of the closed bicycle speed-way, a trial project that would link Tiantongyuan, in Changping district, and Zhongguancun, the so-called Silicon Valley of Beijing, in Haidian, would start next year, said Gan Feng, a deputy director with Beijing’s road maintenance and management center in a radio program on the city’s traffic congestion problems.
Bonus: The heading refers to the excellent 2001 movie “Beijing Bicycle”. From different era.. Beijing Bicycle – Wikipedia:
Beijing Bicycle revolves around a seventeen-year-old boy Guei (Cui) from the countryside who came to Beijing to seek work. He finds a job with a courier company, which assigns him a brand-new bicycle. After it is stolen one day, the stubborn Guei goes on a search for his missing bicycle. At the other end of the city, Jian (Li) is a schoolboy who buys Guei’s stolen bicycle from a second-hand market. When Guei’s search brings the two boys together, more than the ownership of the bicycle is brought into question. The film explores the theme of youth as well as several social issues, including class, youth delinquency, theft, and rural-urban socio-economic divisions and change.
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Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Tech and Real Estate Lift the Fortunes of China’s Richest – The New York Times Xu Jiayin — an entrepreneur behind China Evergrande Group, one of the country’s most aggressive property developers — has become the country’s richest person, according to a survey released on Thursday by The Hurun Report, which tracks wealth in the country. //Hurun Report Releases China Rich List 2017
PPP rules tightened to reduce fiscal risk – China Daily “Strengthened supervision over local governments’ financing for PPP projects, which began earlier this year, marks a new starting point (in PPP management),” said Han Zhifeng, deputy head of the Fixed-Asset Investment Department of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Train Giant CRRC to Trim Freight-Car Manufacturing Capacity – Caixin Global Sources close to the company told Caixin that CRRC has worked out a plan to consolidate its 10 freight-car manufacturing subsidiaries, reducing overcapacity and optimizing resource allocation. CRRC will consolidate most of the freight-car production in its two strongest subsidiaries, CRRC Qiqihar Rolling Stock Co. and CRRC Yangtze Co., sources from CRRC said.
Politics, Law And Ideology
Party loyalty of armed forces essential to stability: senior official – Global Times As the armed forces under the CPC, the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) is tasked to maintain national security and social stability … and must follow the orders of the CPC Central Committee, Central Military Commission (CMC) and Chinese President Xi Jinping, since it faces both domestic and international challenges, PAPF commander Gen. Wang Ning said in an article published on Wednesday. “Only when the CMC chairman responsibility system is fully implemented and the Party’s absolute leadership over the army is realized that the Party and nation would not fall into chaos, the army would not run away and schemers would not succeed,” Wang wrote in the Study Times, a newspaper affiliated with the CPC Central Committee Party School. 坚决维护和贯彻军委主席负责制确保党对武警部队绝对领导
China’s top paper warns party officials against ‘spiritual anesthesia’ “In fact, some officials often go to monasteries, pray to God and worship Buddha,” it said. “Some officials are obsessed with rubbing shoulders with masters, fraternizing with them as brothers and becoming their lackeys and their money-trees.” 信马列岂能拜鬼神（人民论坛）
Chinese prosecutors to use AI in investigation – Xinhua The application is intended to promote justice, said the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP). The SPP said more modern technology will also be used in pre-court preparation, court trials and back office support.
China Shutters Islamic Bookstore in Beijing, Detains Owner on ‘Terrorism’ Charges – RFA An employee who answered the phone at the Qingzhen Bookstore in Beijing’s Haidian district on Tuesday confirmed the move. “We, the bookstore, have closed,” the former employee said. “We are no longer in operation and I am no longer an employee here.” “I don’t know the details of the situation, though.” Store owner Ma Yinglong, a member of the Dongxiang ethnic group from the northwestern region of Xinjiang, is currently being detained on suspicion of “terrorist activities,” U.S.-based rights activist Suleiman Gu told RFA.
The 18th Party Congress Work Report: Policy Blueprint for the Xi Administration – Jamestown Comment: a good primer, useful in advance of the work report to the 19th next week//The Work Report is significant for analysis of Chinese strategy and policy in several ways. First, it presents the functional equivalents of a desired strategic end state and interim strategic objectives to support the end state along with timelines for each. To ensure the country remains on course to meet these goals, the Work Report provides guidance on the topics of economics, politics and governance, culture, defense, social welfare, resources, Taiwan and international relations. The Work Report also provides the theoretical logic in the form of updates to the CCP’s socialist theory that intellectually links these elements together .
China bans top judges from working for law firms after resignation – Xinhua China’s top court has forbidden its judges from work for any law firm within three years of resignation. The ban includes officials at division-level or above, according to the Supreme People’s Court.
Foreign and Military Affairs
China calls for better bilateral ties with South Korea amid missile dispute – People’s Daily Online Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, said that Noh Young-min, the new ROK ambassador to China who arrives in Beijing Tuesday, could promote a resolution for the current problems in China-ROK relations and enhances mutual understanding. Hua’s response comes on the heels of the expiration of the two countries bilateral currency swap deal on Tuesday. According to The Korea Herald, the $56-billion Seoul-Beijing swap agreement accounts for nearly half of the total amount of Korea’s currency arrangements with other nations, serving as a crucial safety net for the country’s financial stability. // Comment: Might Xi after the 19th Party Congress decide to find an offramp from the THAAD hysteria to pry some more space between the Moon government and the US? Sources have suggested that the initial briefing to Xi on THAAD overstated its capabilities, leading Xi to set off a response throughout the system that has been hard to walk back from. That could change soon, and from Beijing’s perspective they are missing an opportunity with the Moon administration so long as they keep up the THAAD histrionics.
中央军民融合发展委员会办公室下发通知 规范以“军民融合”名义开展有关活动 – 中国军网 Comment: Central Office of Military and Civil Development Committee issues a notice on regulating activities in the name of “military-civil integration // 新华社北京10月11日电 中央军民融合发展委员会办公室近日印发《关于规范以“军民融合”名义开展有关活动的通知》。《通知》要求各地区和军地各部门、各单位深刻认识军民融合发展战略的重要意义，切实把思想和行动统一到以习近平同志为核心的党中央决策部署上来，站在维护国家安全与发展利益的高度，严格规范以“军民融合”名义开展的有关活动，务求实效，切实保障军民融合发展战略顺利实施。
中央军委批准发布《中国人民解放军军营开放办法》_网易新闻 Comment: CMC approves opening barracks to the public on certain holidays // 《办法》规定，驻大中城市市区或者郊区的师、旅、团级单位，以及具有独立营区的建制营、连级单位，经批准可以组织军营向社会开放；军营开放活动主要面向中国公民，一般在国庆节、建军节、国际劳动节、全民国防教育日、全民国家安全教育日、抗日战争胜利纪念日、烈士纪念日和军兵种成立纪念日等时机组织进行。《办法》明确，军营开放的内容包括：军史馆、荣誉室等场所，部队可以公开的军事训练课目和武器装备，基层官兵学习、生活、文化活动等设施。
Woroni | The Truth About the Chinese Students and Scholars Association The CSSA currently calls itself ‘The only Chinese student organisation in Canberra officially approved by the Chinese government.’ Last year a Woroni investigation revealed that CSSA executives from across the country are flown to Canberra each year for meetings with embassy officials. It found that two years ago the ANU pharmacy inspired the CSSA’s rage for stocking copies of the Epoch Times, the only Chinese newspaper in Canberra that dares publish content critical of the Chinese government. CSSA President Tao Pinru intimidated staff at the pharmacy until he was allowed to throw out all copies of the newspaper. Perhaps this is what Jack Wang meant when he said, ‘We do have freedom of speech, but not in the Australian way’. This year the embassy used the CSSA to drown out protestors when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Canberra. Ahead of the event, embassy officials arrived at the ANU to train hundreds of CSSA members. Students at these training sessions were divided into ‘security squads’ and told: ‘Male comrades must protect female comrades.’ They were instructed to watch out for the ‘five poisons’ – meaning activists for Tibetan independence, Xinjiang independence, Taiwanese independence, the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners and democracy.
Hong Kong, Macao
Why the world must wake up to China’s threat to freedom in Hong Kong | Benedict Rogers | Opinion | The Guardian By barring me entry to the former colony, Beijing has shown that it is the danger to Sino-British relations, not me
China says it has right to bar people from Hong Kong after British activist turned away – Reuters Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the central government had a responsibility for foreign matters related to Hong Kong. “The central Chinese government and the special administrative region government handle the relevant issue in accordance with the law,” Hua said. “Allowing or not allowing people in is China’s sovereignty … Hong Kong affairs are a purely internal matter for China.”
China’s former U.N. ambassador moved to Taiwan role – Reuters Veteran diplomat Liu Jieyi served as China’s ambassador to the United Nations from August 2013 until last month when he was recalled to Beijing to await a new role. Liu has now taken up the position as the top ranked of four deputy heads of the Taiwan Affairs Office, according to an updated list of the office’s leadership positions posted on its website. Chinese media reported on the change on Wednesday.
Ma acquitted by High Court in tape leak case – Taipei Times The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld a lower court ruling acquitting former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of abetting a leak of classified information related to an investigation into an opposition lawmaker in 2013.
Tech And Media
Huawei Hosts Private AI Confab in Vancouver — The Information $$: The conference, which Huawei kept confidential and didn’t announce, reflects the Chinese company’s eagerness to work more closely with American tech giants in key areas such as AI. Such efforts are becoming more important as the world’s third-largest smartphone maker is preparing its biggest push to crack open the U.S. market. While the conference is held annually, this is the first time Huawei is hosting it in North America, people familiar with the matter said. More U.S. executives from large tech firms are attending the conference than in previous years, the people said. Many top AI researchers, and some of Huawei’s key business partners, are located in North America.
The Random Forest Based Detection of Shadowsock’s Traffic – IEEE Conference Publication Comment: AI to help the Great Firewall? Which tech firms/ tech firm employees have worked on this for Beijing?
Tencent Wants Its Fare Share in India – Caixin Global Tencent Holdings Ltd. is leading a $1.1 billion round of investment for the popular Indian ride-hailing company Ola — the internet giant’s latest foray into the massive South Asian market.
LeEco’s Listed Arm Extends Trading Halt for Restructuring Plan | CFI Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp., the listed arm of embattled tech giant LeEco, extended its share-trading halt after a six-month suspension, citing uncertainties in a restructuring plan
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
WeChat Apologizes for Translating ‘Black Foreigner’ as N-Word – Sixth Tone “We’re very sorry for the inappropriate translation,” a WeChat spokesperson told Sixth Tone. “After receiving users’ feedback, we immediately fixed the problem.” The issue was discovered by Shanghai-based theater director Ann James, who texted her Chinese colleagues in their messaging group this morning to say she was running late. As usual, the black American typed in English, using WeChat’s in-app translation feature to read the Chinese responses. She gasped when she saw that the next message contained a racist obscenity: “The n—– is late.”
Incredibly racist Chinese museum exhibit displays photos of Africans alongside animals: Shanghaiist The video was originally uploaded by Nigerian Instagram user Edward E. Duke. “首都博物馆 the capital museum in Wuhan, China put pictures of a particular race next to wild animals why? Are they the only race to have impoverished looking,” Duke wrote in the post that has since been deleted for reasons unknown.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Why China is seeing a huge increase is breast cancer rates | The Independent Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in China, according to the latest data from China’s national cancer registry. An analysis of the data reveals that the cancer has increased at a rate of around 3.5% a year from 2000 to 2013, compared with a drop of 0.4% a year over the same period in the US.
American teacher donates kidney, corneas in China after death – Xinhua Amery Scott from Washington was an English teacher in Changshu City. He suffered a stroke on the night of Oct. 1 and was pronounced brain death on Tuesday.
ExxonMobil opens third cogeneration power plant in Singapore – Reuters A key part of the plan is to issue subsidies to energy storage companies to spur the construction of new power-saving facilities, according to a statement issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday. Details of the subsidy were not disclosed.
Agriculture And Rural Issues
Chinese Farmers Turn to Crop-Dusting Drones – Caixin Global Chinese farmers faced with labor shortages are turning to crop-dusting drones. But this newfound love for the cost-saving devices may not be good news for farmers and consumers as a lack of regulations and industry standards may lead to the abuse of pesticides and fertilizers, experts warned.
Evan Medeiros Joins SFS as Cling Family Distinguished Fellow in U.S.-China Studies – School of Foreign Service – Georgetown University The Asian Studies Program in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Evan Medeiros as the Cling Family Distinguished Fellow in U.S.-China Studies for the 2017-2018 academic year. Medeiros will use his time on campus to advance Georgetown’s research and teaching on China. He is scheduled to offer special lectures on key issues in contemporary U.S.-China relations and Asian affairs.
How children’s education became the new luxury status symbol for Chinese parents | Style Magazine | South China Morning Post This summer, an article titled, “A Monthly Salary of 30,000 RMB (US$4,493) is Not Enough for My Child’s Summer Vacation” went viral on WeChat Moments. Written by a high-paid executive mom, it tells the story of how she can hardly keep up with the extravagant overseas summer programmes that she lines up for her daughter.
Books And Literature
Writing Disability into Modern Chinese Fiction: Chinese Literature Today: Vol 6, No 1 A “pantheon of deformity” emerged in Chinese literature in the 1980s, when writers consciously began exploiting the metaphorical potential of disability to produce subversive literary works. Shi Tiesheng, by contrast, continued to write about disability as an embodied experience that is both personal and humanistic. Sarah Dauncey examines and compares two of Shi’s early novellas to show the writer’s unique contribution to the transformation of disability from a narrative tool into an important literary subject.
Beijing’s Network of Informants – Chinascope Chaoyang District has about 3.84 million residents. The Chaoyang Qun Zhong group claims to have about 190,000 participants, with over 130,000 registered using their real names. The average number is about 277 per square kilometer. Active members are around 60,000. They provide over 20,000 tips to the police every month. For example, the Huayanbeili West Neighborhood has 7,000 residents. Nearly 1,000 participate in the voluntary patrol or watch. The Chaoyang District government pays these activists 300 to 500 yuan (US$50–$80) per month.
“党员idol”引热议 展示国有企业崭新形象-千龙网·中国首都网Comment: If you are in Beijing look for the “Party Member Idols” public service ads running this month, to highlight model Party members
Jobs And Events
Book Launch: Crashback, The Power Clash Between the U.S. and China in the Pacific | Center for Strategic and International Studies Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm CSIS Headquarters.
This book looks very interesting–Crashback: The Power Clash Between the U.S. and China in the Pacific: Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Michael Fabey has had unprecedented access to the Navy’s most exotic aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft, and submarines, as well as those who command them. He was among the only journalists allowed to board a Chinese war vessel and observe its operations. In Crashback, Fabey describes how every year the US is “losing sea.” He predicts the next great struggle between military superpowers will play out in the Pacific, and his book, more than any other, is an accurate preview of how that conflict might unfold.
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