THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. Beijing Pushes Back on Trump Admin Over Disputed Islands in South China Sea – NBC News Interview With Lu Kang the government here clearly now wants to respond, and to do so with carefully crafted diplomatic language. Lu, who is the spokesperson and director-general for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ department of information, spoke to NBC News at the foreign ministry headquarters in central Beijing and agreed to answer questions, in English, on a wide range of issues. Ordinarily, Chinese government officials refrain from granting such interviews to American reporters, preferring instead to read carefully prepared statements in Chinese. //Comment: The fact that Lu gave NBC that rare on camera interview is a sign of 1 they are trying to get Trump to understand how serious they are and 2 they have been reading the coverage that the way to get a message to the president is to go on TV…does Fox News have a correspondent in Beijing?
Related: 陆慷接受美媒英文专访：“一中”原则不能谈判_凤凰资讯 Comment: Thepaper on Lu Kang’s NBC News interview
Related: Trump Injects High Risk Into Relations With China – The New York Times “The signals are very clear: If this is going to be a trade war, China will reduce imports of American aircraft from Boeing and agricultural products,” said Wu Xinbo, director of American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. “We can turn to Europe, Australia and Canada for those products. And we know that 20 to 30 of the states in the United States with big agricultural lobbies and Boeing plants will be putting pressure on Congress.”…But for now, at least, the increased contention with Washington is likely to strengthen Mr. Xi’s political hand at home by rallying public and elite support against a foreign threat, said Minxin Pei, a professor at Claremont McKenna College in California who studies Chinese politics and Chinese-American relations. “Short term, it will almost certainly give the Chinese government a boost in its public support,” Dr. Pei said in a telephone interview. “It helps Xi, because whenever there is such pressure from outside, Chinese officials tend to rally around the top leader.” // Comment: Not often I agree with Dr. Pei. See next item below
Related: The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.19.17–Might Tensions With the US Benefit Xi Politically? Any significant moves by the US to push back on trade, South China Sea, East China Sea or Taiwan could feed the “foreigners, especially the Americans, are trying to contain China and keep us down” narrative and be used to underscore the need for deepening PLA reform and modernization and for the importance of a strong, unified leadership in the face of an “enemy”. The PRC policies about which the US is so upset—mercantilism, rapid PLA modernization and growth, maritime territorial assertiveness, Taiwan to name a few—are Chinese Communist Party policies whose formulation and in some cases implementation predated Xi’s ascension to General Secretary. It seems possible that any substantive US challenges may very well be seen as an attack against the Party and the PRC, not Xi Jinping solely, and therefore the CCP response may be to coalesce around Xi and strengthen him rather than to go against Xi and weaken the Party and the state.
Related: China foreign minister says wants to manage disputes with U.S. | Reuters Speaking at a reception for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the future direction of Sino-U.S. ties had “attracted attention”. “We are willing, on the basis of strictly abiding by the ‘one China’ principle and respect of each other’s core interests, to have dialogue with the new U.S. government,” Wang said, in comments posted on the ministry’s website late Tuesday.
Related: 海外版望海楼：该跟TPP说再见了–观点–人民网 事实上，在许多重要的多边场合，中国领导人都提出中国方案，为世界发展注入了正能量。在亚太经济一体化进程中，相比某些国家念念不忘的“领导”作用，中国更为重视“责任”和“担当”，真诚地为解决当前世界面临的各种问题、为促进世界的共同发展繁荣贡献力量。 （作者苏晓晖为中国国际问题研究院国际战略研究所副所长）
Related: China’s Forbearance Has Limits: Chinese Threat and Retaliation Signaling and Its Implications for a Sino-American Military Confrontation > National Defense University Press -2013-Paul Godwin and Alice Miller Although China’s military capabilities are continuing to improve and its standing and involvement in the world have changed quite dramatically, this study concludes that the traditional calculus of threat and retaliation statements remains a central tool in Beijing’s array of foreign policy and security instruments for responding to and managing tensions and disputes.
Related: China Announces Deployment of New Long Range Nuclear Missile-Popular Mechanics The DF-41 is described by Global Times as the most advanced ICBM in the world. It reportedly has a range of 8,699 miles, enough to hit any target on Earth with the exception of South America and parts of Antarctica. It can carry up to 12 nuclear warheads, and travels on China’s nationwide network of roads to make it difficult to track down and destroy. // Comment: Coincidental timing? Or are there no coincidences like this?
Related: China Can Thrive in the Trump Era – The New York Times – Yan Xuetong OpEd Relations between China and the United States will inevitably deteriorate with Mr. Trump at the helm. The nuclear deterrent should still prevent an all-out war, but confrontation will be the core of these two giants’ relationship for the foreseeable future.
Related: Trump’s Climate Stance Threatens to Worsen China Relations – Bloomberg The one-two punch of abandoning climate efforts while tightening screws on other fronts could pose significant diplomatic challenges, said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “You have to think that leads to an overall deterioration of the U.S.-China relationship,” he said. “There are not that many positives to offset the negatives.”
Related: Follow the Money » Chicken Feet And China: Back to the Future – Brad Setser Welcome to the glamorous world of tit-for-tat trade spats. The biggest trade case of 2009 was the tires “421 safeguards” case, which prompted China to respond with duties on U.S. exports of chicken parts. The possibility that the U.S. and China could embark on a cycle of sanction and counter-sanction will, I expect, force a new group of people to explore the nooks and crannies hiding in the data on U.S. exports to China.
2. One Man’s Daring Escape from Mao’s Darkest Prison – Narratively In 1958, as part of China’s Anti-Rightist Campaign, 550,000 Chinese citizens were convicted of crimes against the state. One of them was Xu Hongci, a medical student arrested for speaking out against the Soviet Union, who was sentenced to a camp called White Grass Ridge. For eight months, Xu worked up to nineteen hours a day on a starvation ration, each day growing closer to death. Finally, he and his young friend Chen Xiangzai attempted the impossible: escape. More than one thousand miles from the nearest land border, in a country as tightly controlled as any prison, it was an impossible journey, and one they had no choice but to make. Xu, who died in 2008, told his story in an unpublished manuscript that was discovered in 2012 by journalist Erling Hoh. This month, “No Wall Too High” was published in English by Sarah Crichton books. The following is an excerpt.
Related: No Wall Too High: One Man’s Daring Escape from Mao’s Darkest Prison: Xu Hongci, Erling Hoh: Amazon “Xu Hongci is China’s Louis Zamperini, an ordinary man who simply refused to be broken. To understand the deepest source of China’s rise, read Xu Hongci’s astonishing epic, a tale of ingenuity, bravery, and, most important, unshakable determination. His chronicle, masterfully translated by Erling Hoh, is the story of modern China itself: the struggle for freedom of body and mind.” ―Evan Osnos, National Book Award–winning author of Age of Ambition
Related: When Tyranny Takes Hold – The New Yorker Xu Hongci’s experiences in China show that autocracy demands collaborators. By Evan Osnos
Related: 坚决抵制与克服历史虚无主义-来源：《红旗文稿》2017/2 Comment: CASS Scholar Gao Xizhong in latest issue of Red Flag Manuscript on resolutely resisting and overcoming historical nihilism // 作者：高希中 （作者单位：中国社会科学院历史研究所） 历史虚无主义思潮是自20世纪90年代中期有人提出所谓“告别革命”论以来，在中国社会，尤其是在学术理论界具有很大影响的一种政治思潮。近几年来，历史虚无主义思潮甚嚣尘上，波及史学、文学、艺术、教育等多个领域。习近平总书记多次对历史虚无主义思潮提出批评。这充分说明党和国家对批判历史虚无主义思潮的高度重视，也为新形势下社会各界抵制和克服这一错误思潮指明了方向。
3. White House Echoes Beijing in Treatment of U.S. Press | Foreign Policy – Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian I have spent years covering the media landscape in China, an illiberal one-party state with notorious and worsening censorship. In Spicer’s hostile remarks, I immediately recognized what I have come to know very well — an explicit government demand for media censorship. I was far from alone in my alarm. The New York Times reported that the “news media world found itself in a state of shock” after the day’s remarks. Social media teemed with jokes at Spicer’s expense, juxtaposing his photo with outlandish claims like “the world is flat.”
4. Chinese Divorcée Fights to Be Free of Ex-Husband’s Debt | Sixth Tone Earlier that year, Chen had divorced her husband after five years of living apart, and she’d worked hard to establish a new life for herself. Yet a single letter to her employer from the court had lost her a large portion of her salary, and her secure life seemed to be on the brink of destruction. In China, both husband and wife are liable for debts accrued during a marriage — even if they divorce — according to Article 24 in the second of three judicial interpretations clarifying China’s marriage law. Chen had never heard of the clause until four years ago, when she discovered she was being pursued for debts allegedly run up by estranged husband Liu Yi, whom she divorced in 2012. The money in the disputes amounted to a combined 3.4 million yuan ($496,000) — about 20 times Chen’s annual income.
5. Beijing Says Multinationals Need Not Fear VPN Crackdown – Caixin The statement said the crackdown is aimed at service providers that have not been approved by the ministry, including companies and individuals who were unauthorized to offer international telecom services. China tightly regulates such services, which are mostly confined to the nation’s three big state-run carriers — China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. It said foreign trade companies and multinationals that require such private services can turn to officially authorized offerings, adding the new action “won’t have any impact on their general business.” 工信部：清理VPN不影响跨国企业正常运营 // Comment: What are the “officially authorized offerings”?
6. Cashless Society, Cached Data: Security Considerations for a Chinese Social Credit System – The Citizen Lab Key Findings The Chinese government has approved pilot testing of a social credit system that draws upon citizens’ personal data to assign unofficial credit scores, which come with benefits and penalties that private companies and government bureaus manage. The five dimensions of credit score data are “users’ credit history, behavioral habits, ability to pay off debts, personal information, and social networks.” The algorithms that derive the credit scores are trade secrets, prohibiting forms of testing that can determine how they work. Government blacklists of debtors are being shared with private and public credit scoring services to prohibit individuals from making certain transactions.
Related: 湖南邵阳曝光10名失信公职人员国内新京报网 1月23日，湖南《邵阳日报》刊登了一份由邵阳市大祥区法院公布的“失信被执行人”名单，引发社会关注。在这份34人的名单中，有10名公职人员，其中包括邵阳市原人大常委会正处级干部郭晓宏。同日，大祥区法院的官方微信公号“邵阳市大祥区人民法院”同步公布了这份名单。
7. Bitcoin’s Price Unfazed as China’s Exchanges Add Fees – CoinDesk As previously announced, BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin implemented 0.2% trading fees for both buy and sell trades today, a policy change that, coupled with their recent decision to end margin trading at the request of China’s central bank, seems to be making for a different market. Market data suggests that all three bitcoin exchanges have seen a drop in volume after instituting the new pricing policy. // Comment: And the PboC says on-site inspections of the exchanges will continue 央行：对比特币交易平台的现场检查将继续进行
8. Star Tech Entrepreneur Convicted of Insider Trading – Caixin Li Yinan, 47, is the founder of Niu Technologies Group Ltd., a luxury electric scooter manufacturer. He was convicted by Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court for insider trading in another company’s shares in 2014, in which Li made around 7 million yuan in illegal gains. Li will appeal the court’s decision, a source close to the case told Caixin. According to prosecutors, in April 2014 Li was working at the venture capital firm GSR Ventures. He learned from Li Xiaotao, a college friend and former colleague, that Shenzhen-listed Wuhan Huazhong Numerical Control Co. Ltd., a machine tool manufacturer in the central province of Hubei, was in talks about a merger. Li Xiaotao was then the president of Wuhan Huazhong.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
Steady On Wins in China – Bloomberg Gadfly Rules released late Tuesday by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission are aimed squarely at reining in the industry’s fast-growing upstarts and making it harder for them to sell the sort of high-risk policies that helped fund acquisitions at home and abroad. // Comment: The rules 中国保监会发布《关于进一步加强保险资金股票投资监管有关事项的通知》
China Bond Yields Near Highest Level Since 2015 – WSJ Chinese government bond yields are approaching their highest level since September 2015, after authorities overnight tightened a key rate on loans to financial institutions.
Fidelity ‘Very Confused’ by China’s Monetary Policy Changes – Bloomberg “I’m very confused,” Tim Orchard, Fidelity’s chief investment officer for Asia Pacific excluding Japan, said at a briefing in Hong Kong. “They’re trying to send signals the whole time and trying to micromanage the economy. That looks like a bit of a muddle sometimes when you’re looking at it from the outside.”
FedEx CEO: Decision to pull out of TPP is unfortunate | Fox Business Video FedEx CEO Fred Smith on the Trump Administration’s trade policy and the fallout from Trump’s decision to withdrawal from TPP.
China’s Tech Hub Stocks Are Being Left Behind by Its New Economy – Bloomberg the ChiNext market set up in 2009 is proving a dud, at least when measured against the old-economy heavy Shanghai Composite Index in recent months. That’s in face of economic data that show how the new growth drivers — consumption and services, where private companies dominate — are in good shape.
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’s battle over globalisation-Martin Wolf-FT Once the hegemon attacks a system it created, only two outcomes seem at all likely — its collapse or recreation of the system around a new hegemon. Mr Xi’s China cannot replace the US: that would take co-operation with Europeans and other Asian powers. The more likely outcome is collapse into a trade policy free-for-all. Mr Xi’s vision is the right one. But, without Mr Trump’s support, it may now be unworkable. That would benefit nobody, including the US.
Xi tells Hebei to hasten reduction of overcapacity – China Daily There should be zero tolerance for allowing “zombie” factories and enterprises previously shut down to restart operations, he said. Cheating must not be permitted, the president said. Zhang Jiehui, deputy governor of the province, was given administrative punishment by the State Council in December for allowing steel mills that were previously shut down to start up again. Xi made the comments while he visited Zhangjiakou, the co-host with Beijing of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
China issues guideline encouraging college grads to work in grassroots-SCIO The guideline, which was jointly issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and the General Office of the State Council, has been designed to involve college graduates in economic and social development.
Speak Chinese and Know What Basel III Means? Global Banks Want You – Bloomberg Even as investment banks cut jobs across Asia, they’re hiring staff to help China’s lenders reinforce buffers against a financial crisis. Difficulty finding bankers with Chinese language skills and relevant expertise is also forcing firms to “re-tool” existing employees with training, global headhunting firm Sheffield Haworth said
China’s New Year Cash Boom Wanes as Red Packets Go Digital: Chart – Bloomberg Instead of withdrawing large amounts of money to fill red gift packets for kids, pay migrant workers, and buy food for banquets, Chinese are now doing those transactions on their smartphones.
It’s more expensive to hail a Didi in China because of Chinese New Year and anti-migrant rules — Quartz Behind such frustration is a bigger problem for the ride-hailing industry in China: new anti-migrant rules starting to be implemented. Didi offers two types of service: One lets users hail traditional taxis, while the other connects them to the average Joe who operates his own car. The new rules regulate the latter type of driver.
China questions U.S. duties on Chinese truck, bus tires – Xinhua The comments came after the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to slap anti-dumping duties of up to 22.57 percent and countervailing duties of up to 65.46 percent on certain truck and bus tires imported from China.
POLITICS AND LAW *
Top political advisor stresses CPC’s leadership on religions – Xinhua Top Chinese political advisor Yu Zhengsheng Tuesday called on religious groups in China to uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and national unity. Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks at a symposium with leaders of national religious groups ahead of the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year.
China corruption prosecutions drop for first time in five years-FT $$ Fall of 20% in party officials handed to courts marks change of tack in campaign
NGOs in China: Implementing the Overseas NGO Law – Six NGOs Manage to Register in Shanghai hose six NGOs were Project HOPE (美国世界健康基金会), the Hong Kong Yin Shin Leung Charitable Foundation(香港应善良基金会), the U.S.-China Business Council (美国美中贸易全国委员会), the Canada China Business Council (加拿大加中贸易理事会), the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (俄罗斯联邦工商会), and the Confederation of Indian Industry (上海代表处和印度工业联合会).
坚决维护党中央权威不动摇-来源：《求是》2017/2 作者：郑 平 学习贯彻六中全会精神，就要牢固树立“四个意识”，坚持“四个服从”，反对“四个主义”，坚决维护党中央权威，保证全党令行禁止。
中国梦是不忘初心继续前进的一面时代旗帜-《求是》2017/2 作者：郑 平 “Autumn Stone” in latest issue of Qiushi on the China Dream
Former Sinopec Executive Gets 15 Years for Corruption – Caixin Wang Tianpu, a former top executive with leading oil refiner Sinopec, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption that netted him 33.5 million yuan ($4.9 million), making him the latest victim of President Xi Jinping’s 3-year-old campaign against graft. A court in the central city of Nanchang, Jiangxi province, handed down the verdict Tuesday, wrapping up a case that began nearly two years ago.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
Why China will be able to sell itself as the last liberal great power – The Washington Post Opinion- Danial Drezner Comment: The author should give more credit to other nations in Asia, who will likely work more with each other, and not necessarily “turn to China” // It is possible that China lacks the material capabilities to substitute for American economic power. But it is likely that many countries will not care only about that. A large fraction of the world still believes in the liberal order that the United States helped to erect 70 years ago, even if the current U.S. administration does not. They will look to any country willing to publicly defend that power. The bipartisan approach to China for the past 30 years has been to do everything possible to get Beijing to want to preserve the global rules of the game, as designed by the United States. China has not always complied in practice, but it has mostly done so in its rhetoric. The final outcome of this approach is a cruel irony: As America turns inward, the rest of the world turns to China.
South Korea Reaffirms THAAD Deployment Despite Growing Opposition-VOA Amid reports that China may be bringing economic retribution against South Korea for the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Seoul vowed a swift deployment of the U.S. anti-missile system. Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn said Monday his country will move ahead with the THAAD deployment plan because the anti-missile system is a “prerequisite” to enhance the country’s defensive capabilities.
Creating a Stable Asia: An Agenda for a U.S.-China Balance of Power – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Michael Swaine, Wenyan Deng, Aube Rey Lescure- The Western Pacific is experiencing a fundamental and potentially destabilizing military and economic power transition driven primarily by China’s economic and military rise and a corresponding relative decline in American power
China says it hopes Mongolia learned lesson after Dalai Lama visit | South China Morning Post Beijing asks its neighbour to abide by its pledge not to host the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader after rift caused by November trip
A U.S.-China Role Switch: Who’s the Globalist Now? – Andrew Browne – WSJ China sees an America squandering its most precious global asset—soft power. The party propagandists, so often the target of scorn on the Chinese internet, can hardly believe their good fortune.
US defense chief eyes trip to Japan, South Korea in early February- Nikkei Asian Review U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis plans to visit Japan and South Korea in early February in a move to show that the administration of President Donald Trump attaches importance to Asia, government officials said Tuesday.
Ex-diplomat: ‘I’ve known that there was no future for North Korea for a long time’ – The Washington Post Instead, his misgivings had been simmering for two decades, even as he went around Europe espousing the superiority of the North Korean system. They finally reached a boiling point when Thae Yong-ho realized that this regime, to which he had been so loyal, expected him to lie to his children. “I’ve known that there was no future for North Korea for a long time,” Thae told The Washington Post in his first interview with the foreign media since his escape from the North Korean Embassy in London, where he served as deputy ambassador.
海军原副司令员王海出任南海舰队司令员 接替沈金龙新闻腾讯网 Wang Hai the new commander of the South Sea Fleet
Thai junta gives go-ahead to buy Chinese submarine and tanks | Reuters Thailand’s military government has approved 13.5 billion baht ($380 million) to buy a submarine from China after putting the purchase on hold last year, Thai officials said on Wednesday. While the Thai army will purchase 10 tanks and auxiliary vehicles from China, in addition to 28 main battle tanks ordered from China last year.
习近平视察驻张家口部队 向全军和武警官兵民兵预备役人员致以新春祝福 – 中国军网 在集团军指挥训练中心，习近平听取第65集团军工作情况汇报后发表重要讲话。他指出，要深入抓好思想政治建设，持续抓好古田全军政治工作会议精神贯彻落实，全面彻底肃清郭伯雄、徐才厚流毒影响，落实全面从严治党要求，确保部队在任何时候任何情况下都坚决维护党中央权威，坚决听从党中央和中央军委指挥。要抓好改革任务落实，拿出立行立改的精神，发扬战斗作风，坚决打赢这场硬仗。// Comment: 1.25.17 CCTV Evening News on Xi’s visit to the troops in Zhangjiakou 习近平春节前夕视察驻张家口部队 向全军指战员武警部队官兵民兵预备役人员致以新春祝福
西部战区走马换将 原政委神秘“失踪”_中国-多维新闻网 Comment: Duowei says rumors flying that Gen. Zhu Fuxi has been detained for corruption
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
军媒批“港独”艺人：决不允许吃中国饭砸中国锅_凤凰资讯 近日，香港歌手张敬轩在湖南卫视《歌手》节目开播前因“港独”言论被除名。人民日报微信公众号强势推出《国家面前无偶像，张敬轩被踢出〈歌手〉》微文，不到1小时就达到“10万+”阅读量，网友纷纷点赞叫好。成为传播好声音、凝聚正能量的战斗檄文。 被推到舆论风口的张敬轩，很快被网友扒掉“外衣”：这个在微博上声称“爱国”的歌手，不仅支持“港独”，还公开支持“台独”，其“两面三刀”的行径遭到网友怒斥、抵制。 // Comment: Hins Cheung under attack for his “Pro-Hong Kong independence” comments
台“移民署”严审大陆游客 不准参访蓝营执政八县市台海环球网 《旺报》进一步披露称，当局甚至传出为了严审陆客来台，新成立了一个特别小组，“只要小组摇头，陆客别想来台湾”。旅游业界传闻只要是仅来“蓝八县市”的一律不准，“移民署”常常要求大陆团所有团员补在职证明的法院公证书，“鸡蛋里挑骨头”。由于接待参访团的社团大多偏蓝，目前严审的动作被视为“清蓝”(清扫蓝营)。
Chinese Billions Fail to Sway Taiwan’s Last Two Allies in Africa – Bloomberg Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Sundance: Netflix Nabs China Doc ‘Joshua: Teenager Vs. Superpower’ (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter Comment: So Netflix has really given up on getting into the PRC // Directed by Joe Piscatella, the film centers on unlikely hero Joshua Wong. When the Chinese Communist Party backtracks on its promise of autonomy to Hong Kong, the teenager decides to save his city. Rallying thousands of kids to skip school and occupy the streets, Joshua becomes an unlikely leader in Hong Kong and one of China’s most notorious dissidents.
This Xiaomi fitness tracker doesn’t seem to work on black people-TheNextWeb Black users across the web have complained that the device can’t pick up accurate heart rates with its sensor unless it’s placed on lighter parts of their skin — like the palm of the hand — or you place a white sheet of paper under it (between the band and your skin). There’s an entire multi-page forum post of black fitness buffs complaining about this very problem, and it seems to have been an issue since at least October 2016 (with its previous model).
China Phonemakers Are Taking Over World’s Fastest-Growing Market India – Bloomberg Chinese labels occupied four of the top five spots in 2016’s final quarter, shoving aside Micromax and Intex, according to a Counterpoint Research report released Tuesday. Samsung held onto top spot but saw its share of nationwide sales slide to 24 percent from 29 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Vivo, Xiaomi, Lenovo/Motorola, Oppo and other Chinese vendors captured a collective 46 percent of the market, the research outfit estimates.
Data from Cheetah Global Lab reinforces that WeChat IS the Chinese internet-Technode WeChat is continually compared to Facebook. However, AOL might be a better comparison. While booking a cab through Didi over the weekend, my father-in-law remarked, “What’s Didi? I just use WeChat to book a cab.” The implication, of course, is that he almost never has to exit WeChat to get something done in the physical world.
鸡年央视春晚主会场5位主持人敲定，语言类节目近十几年最多有戏澎湃新闻-The Paper Comment: details of the upcoming CCTV Spring Gala program
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
China’s Booming Marathon Industry Leaves Kenyan Runner Hanging | Sixth Tone A growing race calendar offers easy profits for professional race chasers, but unpaid checks suggest teething problems remain
牢记使命 不忘初心 扎实有序推进妇联改革-来源：《求是》2017/2 作者：宋秀岩 (作者：全国妇联党组书记、副主席、书记处第一书记)
China issues national plan on population development-SCIO The State Council has released a plan for the development of the national population to be implemented during the 2016-2030 period. According to the plan, China’s total population will reach 1.45 billion, and life expectancy will reach 79 by 2030. // Comment: The plan 国务院关于印发国家人口发展规划（2016—2030年）的通知 国发〔2016〕87号
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
$1.84 Billion Earmarked to Train Family Doctors in China – Caixin Authorities want to double the number of GPs working across the country to at least 300,000 by 2020, according to a five-year plan for improving the health care system released in early January. China has 170,000 registered GPs at present, the commission said. Many young medical graduates choose to become specialists given the much lower pay for being a GP, leading to a dearth of physicians at community clinics and low-level hospitals. Instead of addressing the pay gap, the government hopes trained GPs will be able to attract more patients and earn more through consultation fees.
Air pollution in London passes levels in Beijing… and wood burners are making problem worse-The Telegraph Readings at 3pm on Monday showed that air at locations in the capital were worse than in notoriously smoggy Beijing, hitting a peak 197 micrograms per cubic metre for particulate matter on the Air Quality Index. Pollution in the Chinese city only reached 190, which is still deemed ‘unhealthy.’
Why a Crackdown on Private Tutoring Will Benefit Students | Sixth Tone “There are many tutoring agencies in the marketplace — some qualified and legal, others shoddy and illicit,” Han told congressional deputies, adding that “the government is duty bound to step in and purify the private tutoring market, or we will be sorry for our citizens and their kids.” Han emphasized that Shanghai’s schoolchildren have to work longer hours than their parents and often don’t get enough sleep or exercise. He described how many parents help their kids with homework after work and take them to tutoring programs on weekends or during school vacations.
FOOD AND TRAVEL *
A Chinese Nuclear Site, Hidden in a Mountain, Is Reborn as a Tourist Draw – The New York Times On the peak of Jinzi Mountain in Fuling, a single chimney stands sentinel over the adjacent Wu River. The chimney has been idle since it was built decades ago. Only in recent years has the public learned why. Fifteen years ago, the local government announced that inside the hollowed-out mountain lay the remnants of what was once one of China’s most ambitious military infrastructure projects: the top-secret 816 nuclear plant.
“黑救护车”盘踞北京大医院 无资质自称活人死人都能拉 The Beijing News investigates the problem of “black” illegal ambulances in Beijing
Beijing’s Plan for Cleaner Heat Leaves Villagers Cold – WSJ “Electric heating has become our family’s biggest expense,” Ms. Gao said. She said she may seek a job to help pay the bill. Despite electricity subsidies for residential consumers, villagers interviewed about their state-supplied heaters said their overall costs had risen substantially. Several said it costs around $300 to heat their homes for the winter, compared with about $200 with coal.
JOBS AND EVENTS *
CSIS Careers-Program Coordinator & Research Assistant – Freeman Chair- DC Based Responsible for the successful administration of all aspects of the Freeman Chair in China Studies. Responsibilities cross all program components, including project organization development, internal and external relations, correspondence, and research and administrative support.
Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters
Send comments/tips/complaints to [email protected]
If you like Sinocism please spread the word here.
And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to send along some money, securely with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.
Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.