国之大者 matter(s) of national importance; Real estate; Biden-Xi

Has the central government’s resolve in keeping the pressure on the real estate industry been surprising? Are there signs the pressure is leading to so many problems that the government may need to loosen up a bit?

I discussed the real estate market in the recent Sinocism podcast with Chen Long of Plenum. You can listen to it here.

This excerpt from our conversation on the current regulatory cycle is relevant to some of today’s news, highlighted in item #3:

I tend to believe that this time is not that much different from previous episodes. I mean, I know there's the argument there, saying, "Xi really wants to reduce the share of the real estate in the economy, and wants to curb housing prices." But I don't think this is new. We have this episode, like you just mentioned, multiple times in the last 15 years. Basically every three years, we have a property cycle, from trough to peak to trough. Right? And the Chinese government, in both central and local, that will change policies very, very quickly.

And this time is no different, right? Because you talk about the three red lines, the three red lines really were just introduced a year ago, last August. Right? And, well, the background of that was the PBOC, along with other policy makers, the property market recovered too quickly, and think they're doing too well. And housing prices in cities, especially big cities like Shenzhen or Shanghai, were rising too fast. And that was a little bit unanticipated. So they said, "No, we have to restrict the area, this kind of bull run."

And now a year after Beijing and many local governments introduced restrictive policies, finally, we had three months in a row of property sales volume falling by double digits, on a year on year basis. But this is just three months, right? If you look at the previous cycles, especially 2015, 16, we could have the down cycle for 15 months. But this is just three, right? So Beijing has not blinked yet, because it's only three months. Right?

And we are seeing a little bit some early signs, like PBOC two weeks ago said, "Oh, some banks misunderstood our intention, when we told them to restrict the lending. And some of the normal projects would not be restricted," blah, blah, blah. And then I think today, or yesterday, one of the state-owned media, Economic Daily again published article about these housing regulations. So I think we're seeing some signs that those things are easing a little bit. So it's not like they are just letting the market die.

You can listen to Chen Long and two other discussion here on the new podcast site.

You can also find the podcast on Apple Podcasts here and Spotify here, or you can add it to most podcast apps/players using this link to the RSS feed.

A transcript is available for each podcast.

I also have a long commentary about the phrase “国之大者” in the first item below. It is a bit of a head scratcher, would love feedback, as many of you remember we have discussed it several times here. Its appearance on the front page of today’s People’s Daily, during the 6th Plenum, is very noteworthy.

Today’s Essential Eight items:

  1. People’s Daily on 国之大者 matter of national importance

  2. More Plenum propaganda pieces

  3. Real estate

  4. Outbreak

  5. Zero-covid discussion

  6. Biden-Xi meeting next week?

  7. Taiwan

  8. Third aircraft carrier and the PLAAF’s 72nd birthday

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. People’s Daily on 国之大者 matter of national importance

The Tuesday People’s Daily has a nearly 10,000 character page 1 piece on the "matters of national importance the General Secretary has on his mind". I have some longer commentary on the likely meaning “matter(s) of national importance” just after this first entry.

总书记心中的“国之大者”--时政--人民网

Excerpts:

Seeking happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation is the "matter of national importance" of generations of communists, the historical echo of vast China, and the original aspirations that span a hundred years.

为人民谋幸福、为民族谋复兴,这是一代代共产党人的“国之大者”,这是莽莽神州的历史回响,这是跨越百年的初心传承。

Reform, development and stability, internal affairs, foreign affairs, national defense, ruling the party, the country and the army, great plans for the major Party and major country, resoundingly walking along the great path [Note: translation needs work, suggestions welcome]. "Based on the overall situation of the great rejuvenation strategy of the Chinese nation and the great changes that have never happened in the world in the past century, we should constantly improve our political judgment, political understanding and political execution with the 'matter(s) of national importance' in mind", General Secretary Xi Jinping has meaningfully said. . .

改革发展稳定、内政外交国防、治党治国治军,大党大国大擘画,大道之行步履铿锵。“立足中华民族伟大复兴战略全局和世界百年未有之大变局,心怀‘国之大者’,不断提高政治判断力、政治领悟力、政治执行力”,习近平总书记语重心长。。。

The "matter(s) of national importance" is about the long-term. Standing at the historical intersection of the "two centenary goals", we can only foresee the future as far as we see the past.

“国之大者”关乎长远。站在“两个一百年”历史交汇点上,看见多远的过去,才可能预见多远的未来。

When you open the vast history books, the different meanings of "matters of national importance" contain the deep logic and value trade-offs of different periods of governance. According to "Zuo Zhuan", "The great matters of the state are sacrifices and military affairs". [The second sentence I gave up trying to translate for time reasons. Suggestions welcome]

翻开浩瀚史书,不同含义的“国之大者”,蕴含着不同时期执政的深层逻辑和价值取舍。《左传》记载,“国之大事,在祀与戎”。此后数千年,朝代更迭,兴衰成败,国之大纲、国之大柄、国之大政,有“惟刑与政”,有“莫先择士”,也有“财赋者”。

China's civilization has a long history of more than 5,000 years; it has achieved remarkable progress through hardships in the past 180 years; it has achieved remarkable progress in the past 100 years; it has achieved development in the past 70 years; and it has pursued reform and opening-up in the past 40 years."Only in the long history of human development can we see the essence of historical movement and the direction of development of the times." Only by thinking about the future-oriented "matter(s) of national importance" with a big historical view can we understand why it is called "national" and how it becomes "important".

5000多年文明源远流长、180多年历经坎坷成大道、100年峥嵘岁月、70多年建设发展、40多年改革开放……“只有在整个人类发展的历史长河中,才能透视出历史运动的本质和时代发展的方向。”用大历史观思考面向未来的“国之大者”,才能理解何以称为“国”,何以成其“大”。

An expert on Chinese politics, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me this earlier this year about this phrase:

The phrase “matter(s) of national importance” or guo zhi dazhe (国之大者), has appeared rarely throughout the history of the media under the Chinese Communist Party. Over a period of 73 years in the People’s Daily, from the newspaper’s creation in 1946 up through the end of 2019, the phrase appeared only twice. But in 2020, “matter(s) of national importance” featured strong in the Chinese media, with 50 articles in the People’s Daily

What was the reason for the phrase’s astonishing breakout? Not surprisingly, it was an utterance by Xi Jinping.

“国之大者”一语,中国传媒上罕见。人民日报自创刊到2019年的73年间,仅出现过两次。2020年,人民日报上有50篇文章使用。其缘起,是习近平的讲话。

On April 20, 2020, as Xi was on an inspection tour of Qinling in southern Shaanxi province, he reportedly turned to a cadre at his side and said, in a mouthful of buzzwords (bolded below) that will require careful picking apart: 

We must conscientiously talk politics [讲政治】, having the matter(s) of national importance in mind, noting where the Central Committee of the CCP is focusing its concern, what it is emphasizing, profoundly understanding what are the most important interests of the Party and the country, and what position must be firmly maintained. [We must] effectively put into action the enhancement of the “Four Consciousnesses'' and adherence to the “Four Self-Confidences,” achieving in our actions the realization of the “Two Upholds,” and we must stop at mere slogans.

Notwithstanding Xi Jinping’s caution against the empty parroting of political slogans, the CCP attaches great importance to phrases like those bolded above. The phrase “speaking politics” (讲政治), or “talking politics,” despite its almost casual meaning in English, refers specifically here to firm obedience to the Chinese Communist Party, and in particular to Xi Jinping

Concerning the etymology of guo zhi dazhe (国之大者), it’s worth noting that in fact the phrase derives not from the idea of “major national matters,” or guo zhi dashi (国之大事), but from the notion of the “great man of chivalry” (侠之大者), this being a person who acts with courage and fights injustices. It is not about an agenda or agendas, in other words, but about a personality…

As trifling as this game of discourse may seem to outsiders, the process of transformation, of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” into “Xi Jinping Thought,” is regarded within the CCP, certainly among Xi’s acolytes, as a matter of utmost importance. And when cadres are reminded to bear in mind the “matter(s) of national importance”, this process of coalescing around the “core” is what is really meant, and what is really at stake. It is also the ultimate political goal intended by talk of the “Two Upholds” (safeguarding Xi’s “core” status and the centralized leadership of the CCP). 

12.29.2020 explainer of the term by Qiushi Web site- 习近平总书记谈“国之大者习近平总书记谈“国之大者”

Understanding "matter(s) of national importance" can't be confined to concrete work.

理解“国之大者”,并不能局限于具体的工作

"What is the concern and emphasis of the Party Central Committee", "What is the most important interest of the Party and the country, what is the stand that needs to be firmly maintained", "Central decision-making arrangements and policies and measures", "Make more big calculations and calculate big accounts" and so on, all of which require us to understand and grasp from the height of "stressing politics".

“党中央在关心什么、强调什么”,“什么是党和国家最重要的利益、什么是最需要坚定维护的立场”,“中央决策部署和政策措施”,“多打大算盘、算大账”,等等,这些都需要我们从“讲政治”的高度来理解把握。

The piece concludes with:

“讲政治”正是准确领会把握“国之大者”的关键所在,也是对广大党员干部一以贯之的根本要求。

"Talking politics" is the key to accurately grasp the "matter(s) of national importance", and it is also the fundamental requirement for the majority of party members and cadres.

Comment: I have to say I was still a bit unclear after reading this, but I think some of the ambiguity may be another signal that this is really about Xi and his leadership supremacy.

Some earlier discussions of this concept on Sinocism:

China’s Political Discourse July 2021: Floods in Henan; Matter of national importance 国之大者 - by Bill Bishop - Sinocism

The phrase "matter of national importance" was first mentioned by Xi Jinping in April 2020, during an inspection tour of Shaanxi, and from that point became a term used with relatively high frequency. It essentially calls on CCP cadres and officials to vigilantly “speak politics” (讲政治), being fully mindful of the priorities and directives of the CCP Central Committee, and strengthening the so-called “Four Consciousnesses” (四个意识), “Four Confidences” (四个自信) and “Two Upholds” (两个维护). But these three terms, which can be referred to collectively as the “442 Formula,” are used also to signal loyalty to Xi Jinping. The first of the “Two Upholds” is to protect the core status of General Secretary Xi Jinping, while the second is to protect the unified leadership of the Central Committee. For this reason, “matter of national importance,” or guozhi dazhe, points not just to policy priorities but to the role and power of Xi himself.

March 10 Sinocism - Two Sessions and the "国之大者 the big national priority"

"国之大者 the big national priority" [Note: I have evolved that translation] is a phrase that is appearing with more frequency starting last year. Sinocism’s first discussion of it was in the January 4, 2021 issue, when it appeared in the readout of the 2020 year-end Politburo Standing Committee meeting. I translated it as the "big issues" but I think that is wrong. It looks more like it is really about the elevation of Xi and the consolidation of his power.

March 12 Weekly Open Thread 2021 #7: Two Sessions; Hong Kong; US-China; 国之大者

I thought this was an interesting guess at the meaning, almost like multiple concentric circles with the central--core--circle as the core - Xi Jinping:

近日,领导视察某地的讲话,带火了一个不常见的词汇——国之大者。何谓“国之大者”?我们看一下通稿:

要自觉讲政治,对国之大者要心中有数,关注党中央在关心什么、强调什么,深刻领会什么是党和国家最重要的利益、什么是最需要坚定维护的立场,切实把增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”落到行动上,不能只停留在口号上。

从这段话,我们可以看出,“国之大者”分为以下几个层次:

一、从权力结构看,党中央是“国之大者”,党中央和全党的核心是“国之大者”;

二、从党国利益看,政治是“国之大者”;

三、从政治角度看,人心是最大的政治,人心是“国之大者”;

四、从历史角度看,中华民族长盛不衰,中华文化源远流长,是“国之大者”;

五、从现实角度看,“两个维护”的落地见效,是“国之大者”;

六、从发展角度看,实现“可持续发展”,是“国之大者”

内圣外王。从全世界范围以及人类历史的经纬来看,“国之大者”应该在独善其身的基础上,兼济天下。不以中国为世界,但以中国为世界!

This post comes from Guancha

April 23 2020 Sinocism - Xi’s visit to Shaanxi; "6 stabilities" and "6 ensures"; Virus origin

Top 21:25 of the Thursday CCTV Evening News is the official report on Xi's Shaanxi inspection tour-“During his visit to Shaanxi province, Xi Jinping stressed that the "six stabilities" work should be done well and the "six ensures" should be implemented; Strive to write a new chapter for Shaanxi to catch up and surpass in the New Era”-习近平在陕西考察时强调 扎实做好“六稳”工作落实“六保”任务 奋力谱写陕西新时代追赶超越新篇章_CCTV

During the visit he told officials that they must “be political”, that is to “pay attention to what the party central cares about, and deeply understand what are the most important interests to the party and the country.” Xi urged them to be confident of China’s political system and safeguard his authority in local levels (四个意识&四个自信&两个维护). “They must be put into practice. You can’t just sing the slogans,” he said.

要自觉讲政治,对国之大者要心中有数,关注党中央在关心什么、强调什么,深刻领会什么是党和国家最重要的利益、什么是最需要坚定维护的立场,切实把增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”落到行动上,不能只停留在口号上。

Comment: The first public mention of 国之大者 I believe. I didn't pick up on the coming significance at the time.


2. More Plenum propaganda pieces

Likely useful as highlighting some of the key themes that are in the historical resolution.

Page 1 Tuesday People's Daily - "Irreversible historical process —— Realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation from the revolutionary practice of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core leading the new era". 12,000+ characters long... - 不可逆转的历史进程——从以习近平同志为核心的党中央引领新时代变革性实践看实现中华民族伟大复兴

Concludes with a likely not subtle jump directly from Mao to Xi:

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Comrade Mao Zedong declared to the world with confidence: "We are doing an extremely glorious and great cause that our predecessors have never done before. Our goal must be achieved. Our goal will certainly be achieved. "

新中国成立后,毛泽东同志满怀信心向世人宣告:“我们正在做我们的前人从来没有做过的极其光荣伟大的事业。我们的目的一定要达到。我们的目的一定能够达到。”

On the new journey, General Secretary Xi Jinping's declaration became more firm and heroic: "With the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China(CPC) and the close unity of people of all ethnic groups in the country, the goal of building a socialist modernization power in an all-round way will surely be realized, and the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will surely be realized!"

新征程上,习近平总书记的宣示愈发坚定而豪迈:“有中国共产党的坚强领导,有全国各族人民的紧密团结,全面建成社会主义现代化强国的目标一定能够实现,中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦一定能够实现!”

共同建设更加美好的世界——以习近平同志为核心的党中央推动构建人类命运共同体述评(新时代的关键抉择)

Number 9 in the "Crucial choices in the New Era" series in the People's Daily - "Build a better world together-A Review of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the Core Promoting the Construction of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind."

Resolution set to chart nation's path to future - China Daily

The resolution, a touchstone document that will be only the third of its kind in the Party's 100-year history, marks the Party's efforts to draw on its historical experiences and lay out the road map for the future at a new historical starting point for the nation, said Han Qiang, dean of the School of Marxism at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

"The adoption of the third historic resolution will help the Party see goals and a clearer course of action going forward," he said. "It will also help the Party and the nation to shore up their confidence in the theories, paths, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics."

The historic resolution will serve as a shield for the Party and people against historical nihilism and enhance the Party's capacity to guard against unhealthy ideological trends, he said.

The resolution will also be significant for the nation to seize the period of strategic opportunity as it faces unprecedentedly complicated external environments, he added.

People's Daily commentator, page 1 of the Tuesday PD - "A clear banner guiding the trend of the times and the progress of human civilization" - 引领时代潮流和人类文明进步方向的鲜明旗帜--新闻报道-中国共产党新闻网

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), we have lived in an era of rapid changes and a world that is changing with each passing day. On the one hand, peace and development are still the themes of today's era, with the deepening of world multipolarization and economic globalization, the continuous advancement of cultural diversity and social informatization, and the accelerated adjustment and evolution of the international pattern and order. On the other hand, the world economy is in a downturn, economic globalization is facing headwinds, unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise, the contradictions between fairness and efficiency, growth and distribution, technology and employment are more prominent, the gap between the rich and the poor is still widespread, and the global governance system is facing new challenges. "What's wrong with the world? What shall we do?" This is a crossroads that concerns the future of human society, and it is also a key choice that concerns the future and destiny of mankind.

党的十八大以来,我们所处的是一个风云变幻的时代,面对的是一个日新月异的世界。一方面,和平与发展仍是当今时代的主题,世界多极化、经济全球化深入发展,文化多样化、社会信息化持续推进,国际格局和国际秩序加速调整演变。另一方面,世界经济陷入低迷,经济全球化遭遇逆风,单边主义、保护主义抬头,公平和效率、增长和分配、技术和就业等矛盾更加突出,贫富差距仍普遍存在,全球治理体系面临新的挑战。“世界怎么了、我们怎么办?”这是关乎人类社会何去何从的十字路口,也是关系人类前途命运的关键抉择...

At the meeting to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China(CPC), General Secretary Xi Jinping solemnly declared: "On the new journey, we must hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win, pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, adhere to the path of peaceful development, promote the construction of new international relations, promote the construction of Community of Shared Future for Mankind, promote the high-quality development of' the belt and road initiative' and provide new opportunities for the world with the new development of China." Adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping's diplomatic thought, stand on the right side of history, stand on the side of human progress, uphold the concept of sustainable development, reflect Community of Shared Future for Mankind's responsibility, and always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public goods, and we will surely make the sunshine of peace and development shine all over the world and push the historical wheel towards a bright goal.

在庆祝中国共产党成立100周年大会上,习近平总书记庄严宣示:“新的征程上,我们必须高举和平、发展、合作、共赢旗帜,奉行独立自主的和平外交政策,坚持走和平发展道路,推动建设新型国际关系,推动构建人类命运共同体,推动共建‘一带一路’高质量发展,以中国的新发展为世界提供新机遇。”坚持以习近平外交思想为指导,站在历史正确的一边,站在人类进步的一边,秉持可持续发展理念,体现人类命运共同体担当,始终做世界和平的建设者、全球发展的贡献者、国际秩序的维护者、公共产品的提供者,我们就一定能让和平与发展的阳光普照全球,推动历史车轮向着光明的目标前进。


3. Real estate

China property dives as Kaisa pleads for help, Fed warns of contagion | Reuters

It attended a meeting on Monday with the Development Research Center of the State Council, other developers and lenders in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, one well-placed source told Reuters.

The think-tank makes policy proposals on China's national development and its economy, but is not a decision-making body.

At the meeting, Shenzhen-based Kaisa urged state companies to help struggling privately run peers by buying some of their projects and making other strategic purchases, the source added.

Cached version of now deleted story on the meeting 深圳召开房地产形势座谈会 万科等房企和金融单位代表参加_看法

The article embeds what purports to be a screen shot of the agenda. Among the topics was the property tax and the concerns that developers have about its impacts on prices and financing, as well as asking for more help in terms of easier mortgages and no more property restrictions tightening

Goldman Bets That Fears of Chinese Real Estate Debt Are Overdone - Bloomberg

The firm has been adding a “modest amount of risk” through high-yield bonds issued by China property developers and denominated in U.S. dollars, said Angus Bell, a member of Goldman’s portfolio-management team.

Yicai - Chinese Developer Kaisa Regrets Overdue Repayment, Vows Fast Asset Disposal

Kaisa is now negotiating with investors over the repayment plan, the report said, citing an anonymous source, adding that they had asked for a 30 percent repayment and the redemption of both principal and interest within a year. Kaisa will offer three high-quality assets -- the Dongjiaotou and Dongshan residential communities in Shenzhen and its headquarters in the city -- to guarantee redemption of the products.

Caijing - 北京史上最严预售金监管新政 业内:夯实银行监管责任,不敢配合房企违规_凤凰网

"The strictest supervision of pre-sale funds in Beijing's history, the new policy industry: consolidate the responsibility of bank supervision, and dare not cooperate with housing enterprises in violation of regulations."

China Tightens Use of Property Proceeds as Fed Sees Risks - Bloomberg

the policies are set to worsen the cash shortage for some developers and make it more challenging for them to repay debts, because the companies would have less access to those proceeds at project levels, the report cited unidentified industry sources as saying. Official data show presale proceeds generally account for almost half of developers’ cash inflows.

China Bond Selloff Spreads to High-Grade Tencent, Banks - Bloomberg

Signs are spreading of contagion from debt crises in China’s property sector, which has been grappling with a clampdown on excessive leverage and liquidity woes at real estate giant China Evergrande Group. The fallout had until recent days been largely contained to junk-rated developers. But investors have since grown increasingly concerned about the impact on larger property firms and the broader economy.

China’s harsh medicine for property sector, local government debt could cause chaos, economists warn | South China Morning Post

Beijing’s stricter regulation of local government borrowing and real estate developers increases the risk that some of them may run out of cash, result in much weaker infrastructure and property investment and significantly aggravate the economic slowdown, Xu Gao, assistant president and chief economist of Bank of China International, warned in a note on Sunday.
“[The crackdowns] cannot truly defuse the risks in the macroeconomy, but instead will likely force the Chinese economy to give up its own special strengths and abandon an important economic growth engine,” warned Xu.

China struggles to regulate house prices despite glut of controls | Financial Times $$

Prices of newly constructed residential buildings in Wuhan have risen 6 per cent in the past year. But in October, there were signs of a more concerning trajectory taking hold in the central Chinese city.

A group of homebuyers protested last month after a developer cut prices by up to 30 per cent at a project where they had already made purchases. Several demonstrators were detained, state-backed media reported last week.

The issues in Wuhan are the latest sign that a crisis across the country’s real estate developers is putting pressure on house prices, heightening sensitivities around a property slowdown that already poses a threat to the wider Chinese economy.

Some investors have not received Evergrande unit's bond interest due Nov 6, say sources | Reuters

Scenery Journey Ltd was due to make semi-annual coupon payments on Saturday worth a combined $82.49 million on its 13% November 2022 and 13.75% November 2023 U.S. dollar bonds.

China Evergrande Scrapes Together More Cash From Tech Company Stake Sale - WSJ $$

The troubled property giant sold a roughly 5.7% stake in HengTen Networks, raising $145 million

China’s Economy Faces Risk of Yearslong Real-Estate Hangover - WSJ $$

Michael Pettis, a professor of finance at Peking University, said it is clear that Beijing wants to promote more high-quality growth, but it remains to be seen whether China will be willing to stomach much lower GDP next year, when growth momentum in both exports and consumption are expected to level off.

No purchase restrictions yet in the metaverse - Chinese retail investors rush to buy virtual real estate as metaverse is getting hotter in China - PingWest

Chinese retail investors have rushed to buy virtual real estate as Chinese metaverse concept stocks leap in price after Facebook rebranded to Meta and Microsoft announced its metaverse plan.

Driven by investors' passion, the price of an oceanfront house in the virtual world "Honnverse" has soared to around 600,000 yuan (USD94,000) from an opening price of 88 yuan on the secondary market.


4. Outbreak

One COVID-19 patient in Southwest China’s Sichuan infects 13 others - Global Times

One confirmed COVID-19 patient in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, was found to have transmitted the virus to 13 other people who share space with the patient. Elevators and offices have great risk for viral transmission.

NE China’s Dalian suspends schools to prevent COVID-19 cluster infections - Global Times

Schools in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, were suspended on Tuesday to prevent cluster infections. Dalian also required people to hold negative nucleic acid test reports within 24 hours before leaving the city, as it reported 32 new local infections on Tuesday, including five confirmed cases and 27 silent carriers.

North Korean trade with China halted by COVID outbreak in Chinese border city — Radio Free Asia

The spread of coronavirus in a key Chinese city bordering North Korea put an abrupt halt to rail freight between the two countries only eight days after they lifted an almost two-year-long trade cut-off, sources in China told RFA.

Shanghai Marathon postponed due to pandemic - SHINE News

The event was scheduled for November 28, with a total of 18,000 runners signing up for the race.

Chinese mainland reports 43 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases - Xinhua

The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 43 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Tuesday.

Of the new local cases, 12 were reported in Hebei, eight in Heilongjiang, seven in Sichuan, five in Liaoning, four in Gansu, three in Jiangxi, and two each in Henan and Yunnan.

Also reported were 19 new imported cases, of which four each were reported in Guangdong and Guangxi, two each in Tianjin, Shanghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, and one each in Beijing, Fujian and Shaanxi, according to the commission.

China’s census accuracy faces reality check in Covid-19 vaccination and testing | South China Morning Post

The anecdote lent credence to a long-standing suspicion that local governments tend to over-report their populations in censuses by including people who no longer reside there, because certain government subsidies are allocated based on the number of local people. If a village or town reports a larger number of “permanent residents”, it can receive more subsidies.

But with vaccination rates being so closely monitored, over-reported populations can become unbearable burdens. This is because there are simply not enough people to receive the vaccines that were allocated for areas based on their reported populations


5. Zero-covid discussion

Zero chance for China’s zero-Covid aim now virus has adapted, Sars expert says | South China Morning Post

A “zero tolerance” approach to Covid-19 will not succeed now that the coronavirus has fully adapted to people and cannot be eliminated, according to a renowned scientist whose work helped China avert a second Sars outbreak in 2004.

China should focus on building a shield of protection using vaccines, and should test its population’s immunity level after vaccination to determine which jabs to administer, Guan Yi told Phoenix TV in an interview aired on Monday...

“Local governments are adopting zero tolerance to these scattered cases,” Guan told Phoenix TV. “But if that remains the case, I think our economy will collapse … I think there is no chance if we set a goal to eliminate all cases.

“Just like influenza, this virus already has a foothold in mankind and it will stay with us for the long term – it is a fact, whether we like it or not. This virus has already fully adapted itself in humans...

Guan said it was difficult for scientists from different countries to cooperate to build a global surveillance network similar to the one for flu, because of tension between nations and politicising of research.

Without a global network to monitor the virus’ mutations and determine the appropriate vaccines, it would be difficult to develop effective vaccines in advance as has been possible for flu, he said.

Comment: The timing, on the eve of the Plenum, and substance of this interview with a PRC-controlled media entity are a head scratcher, but too obviously contrary to the official public line to have been a mistake/misunderstanding. Yesterday’s newsletter also discussed Guan’s comments, the video links I used have been scrubbed from Weibo but the full interview is still here on Youtube.

Keep Zero-Covid Strategy Intact Until ‘Barrier of Immunity’ Established, Top Epidemiologist Says-Caixin

China will need to continue its “zero tolerance” strategy against Covid-19 with nationwide emergency responses, including maintaining long quarantines and vigorous contact tracing, until a “barrier of immunity” has been established, a top Chinese epidemiologist said.

Zeng Guang, former chief epidemiologist of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), made the remarks in a speech delivered at a forum during the China International Import Expo. He added that after establishing the immunologic barrier, China will then enter the next phase of normalizing its disease control and prevention work, which will last for a period of one or two years. “During this period, not as many compulsory quarantines and lockdowns would be needed,” he said.

More on Zeng’s comments - 曾光:我们国家需要一个最强的疫苗组合构成免疫屏障

Zero-COVID policy will lead China to reopen borders at lower cost in the end - Global Times

the Chinese people must step up the development of special medications, step up the optimization of dynamic zero-case measures, and effectively control the cost of organizational epidemic prevention. We adhere to humanitarianism, but a dynamic zero-case policy should be economically effective in the future, with advantages outweighing that of a full lifting of a travel ban, to be sustainable in the long run.

West reopens its borders, but will that affect China's 'zero COVID' policy? - Global Times

Some epidemiologists told the Global Times that China has gained huge benefits in insisting on this approach including public health benefits, economic recovery and employment, and it's not yet the right time to change the approach.

"We can't abandon the zero-tolerance now, as given the global pandemic situation, changing our epidemic prevention policies and lifting strict controls would lead to a catastrophic outcome," a senior public health expert close to the National Health Commission (NHC) told the Global Times on condition of anonymity in a recent interview.

Trials: China's new COVID drugs showing good results - China Daily

Sunney Xie, director of the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics at Peking University and a world-renowned biochemist, said his team has discovered a "full-spectrum neutralizing antibody" that has tackled all known emerging variants in laboratory experiments.

The antibody, known as DXP-604, is so potent that it will likely treat any mutations, he said at an academic conference in Shanghai last week.

Xie added that a new drug based on DXP-604 has demonstrated good efficacy in Phase 2 clinical trials. As of Nov 2, the medication had been administered to 14 patients with COVID-19 at Beijing Ditan Hospital through the compassionate use program, which expands access to experimental drugs for critical patients.


6. Biden-Xi meeting next week?

Biden's Virtual Summit With China's Xi Is Now Planned for Next Week, Sources Say - Bloomberg

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to hold a virtual summit next week, according to people familiar with the matter...

The exact date of the summit is still being negotiated, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The summit won’t address the issue of whether the U.S. consulate in Chengdu and Chinese consulate in Houston will reopen, one of the people added.

Comment: From Sinocism yesterday "should help with the preparations for the upcoming Biden-Xi virtual meeting, which I am now hearing will happen before the November 25th US Thanksgiving Holiday."

I also hear the Biden will give a speech on policy towards China before the end of the year. I imagine it will not be right after the meeting with Xi.

【中美研究】时殷弘:拜登政府对华态势考察:非战略军事阵线

In a new journal article, Shi Yinhong of Renmin University review Biden’s China policy and concluded that Washington has determined that China is a long-term rival and that it wants not only a victory but a “total victory” in this competition. That includes the decoupling in supply chain and tech sector, a competition in ideology, and a campaign to unite allies and isolate China. Shi urged Beijing not to underestimate the capacity of the Biden administration to do these things and the progress it could achieve.

补壹刀: 此刻,美国高官正在日本密谋!这个“中国通”一上任竟先见“台湾代表”

Global Times WeChat account Buyidao did a small profile of US assistant secretary of state Daniel Kritenbrink. It described Kritenbrink, a long-time China hand, as some anti-China US elite who works diligently to promote ties with Taiwan and to hype the threat of China.


7. Taiwan

US lawmakers including John Cornyn, Mike Crapo make surprise trip to Taiwan | South China Morning Post

The presence of Cornyn and Tuberville was confirmed by two sources familiar with the trip. One of those sources, who said that six lawmakers were in the traveling group, said it also included senators Mike Crapo of Idaho and Mike Lee of Utah, as well as Representative Jake Ellzey of Texas, also all Republicans.

【獨家】【有片】美國祕密訪團乘軍機抵台 6議員2軍官陣仗達13人

this report makes Lee and Cornyn as two of the 4 Senators on the trip, as well as two congressmen and two military officers.

Jet carrying US senators, congressmen makes surprise visit to Taiwan | Taiwan News | 2021-11-09 21:54:00

Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) was cited by CNA as saying that the visit by "U.S. senators and congressmen was based on mutual trust and coordination between Taiwan and the U.S." Chang stated that out of respect for the wishes of the guests, no further explanation will be given at this time but that MOFA will provide relevant information "in due course."

China firmly opposes U.S. lawmakers' visit to Taiwan: defense spokesperson - Xinhua

A Chinese defense spokesperson on Tuesday expressed strong opposition to and condemnation of a visit to Taiwan by members of the U.S. Congress who arrived in a military airplane.

"The U.S. act has wantonly interfered in China's internal affairs, seriously undermined China's territorial sovereignty and posed a severe threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan region," Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, said while reiterating that Taiwan is a sacred and inalienable part of Chinese territory.

PLA Eastern Theater Command conducts combat readiness patrol near Taiwan Straits in response to secessionist activities - Global Times

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command and the Chinese Defense Ministry consecutively issued coping measures and warnings from both military and informational aspects, after media reported that some US congressmen and senators flew to Taiwan island on a military plane, which experts said shows the PLA's high combat readiness and well-prepared contingency plan.

The PLA Eastern Theater Command conducted a joint combat readiness patrol near the Taiwan Straits to further improve the joint combat capability of multiple military services and branches, said Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command, on Tuesday.

Taiwan says China can blockade its key harbours, warns of 'grave' threat | Reuters

Taiwan's defence ministry, in a report it issues every two years, said China had launched what it called "gray zone" warfare, citing 554 "intrusions" by Chinese war planes into its southwestern theatre of air defence identification zone between September last year and the end of August.

The Pentagon's Strategy to Turn Taiwan Into a Defensive Porcupine - Foreign Policy

U.S. military forces have been present in Taiwan for more than a decade, according to multiple people familiar with the deployments and a review of Defense Department data by Foreign Policy.

According to a Foreign Policy review of Pentagon data produced by the Defense Manpower Data Center, an in-house Pentagon organization, the United States has kept small contingents of troops on the island dating back to at least September 2008—the last year of the George W. Bush administration. The numbers also show a small surge of U.S. Marines to Taiwan earlier this year, consistent with the Wall Street Journal’s earlier reporting about American training of Taiwanese boat patrols.

Taiwan's Combat Readiness Week to start Monday - Focus Taiwan

With Chinese military aircraft frequently entering Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and flying near the median line of the Taiwan Strait, this year's drills focus on the country's defense capabilities, according to the military.

央视军事:轰-6K飞行员谈巡航台湾:自家院子转一转

CCTV published another propaganda video of the PLA Air Force featuring the bomber pilots who flew near Taiwan. One of the pilots, Lu Yu, said as they conducted such missions more often, he feels like flying close to Taiwan is as easy as taking a stroll in his backyard.


8. Third aircraft carrier and the PLAAF’s 72nd birthday

Signs Point to China's Third Aircraft Carrier Launching Soon | Center for Strategic and International Studies

Steady progress on the construction of China’s third aircraft carrier has continued throughout 2021, and the vessel—commonly known as the Type 003—may launch in the coming months. Commercial satellite imagery of Jiangnan Shipyard captured on October 23, 2021, reveals that the installation of the carrier’s main external components is nearing completion...

The inclusion of catapults on the Type 003 is a major leap forward for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). China’s two existing aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and Shandong, rely on less advanced ski jump-style takeoff systems. The Type 003’s new Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) launch system will enable the PLAN to launch fixed-wing aircraft with heavier payloads and more fuel, as well as larger aircraft that have a lower thrust-to-weight ratio. Most CATOBAR systems are steam driven, but it is widely rumored that China has developed an electromagnetic launch system similar to the one developed for the U.S. Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford class of carriers

Comment: It is unclear how many carriers China will build, but my guess will be XI

New PLA Air Force propaganda video, on the occasion of the November 11 72th anniversary of the creation of the PLAAF - 重磅!人民空軍成立72周年最新官方宣傳片《天空之上》震撼發布 - YouTube

It features the new J-20 jets and Y-20 transporters.



Business, Economy and Trade

China’s Factory Inflation Seen Quickening to 26-Year High - Bloomberg The producer price index is expected to have climbed 12.3% last month from a year earlier, according to the median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists, the fastest pace since late 1995. Producer prices in China have been rising rapidly in the past few months, first due to the global commodity price rally and then output curbs caused by a power crunch nationwide. While the impact of higher PPI on global inflation is small, faster inflation is likely to worsen the situation for domestic businesses, especially smaller ones which were already facing higher costs and weak domestic demand

China power crisis: Zhejiang scraps rationing as electricity crunch shows signs of easing | South China Morning Post The Zhejiang Energy Bureau announced rationing would end on Monday, but said cities in the province must continue to watch consumption and reduce energy use, while remaining vigilant about further power cuts in the future.

Yicai - Chinese Investors Get Cold Feet as Increasing Number of IPOs Fall Below Offer Price The number of Chinese investors abandoning their pre-listing share subscriptions is on the rise as a big proportion of initial public offerings on the two mainland bourses that offer a more relaxed listing system fall below their issue price, the Securities Times reported today.

Global holdings of Chinese stocks and bonds rise by $120bn in 2021 | Financial Times $$ International investors held Rmb7.5tn ($1.1tn) of equity and fixed income securities priced in renminbi as of the end of September, up about Rmb760bn from the end of 2020, according to Financial Times calculations.

Chinese police seize $62 million in alleged Filecoin miner Ponzi scheme The Chinese police in the city of Xuzhou have arrested 31 people under allegations of conducting Ponzi schemes, who are associated with a Shanghai-based Filecoin miner maker IPFSUnion.

Yum China, Jollibee Said to Mull Bids for China Chain Wagas - Bloomberg The closely held company has also drawn interest from private equity firms, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The owners of the business, whose sales are expected to reach close to 1.2 billion yuan ($188 million) this year, are seeking a valuation of $800 million to $1 billion or more, based on previous transactions in the industry as well as initial interest, the people said.

Recruitment Specialist 51job’s Shares Slump Amid Regulatory Hullabaloo - Caixin Nasdaq-listed shares of 51job Inc. lost as much as a quarter of their value Monday, closing down 19.2%, after the human resources company signaled that Chinese regulatory scrutiny could delay its plan to go private. In a statement released before U.S. markets opened on Monday, the Shanghai-based company disclosed that a buyout group formed to take it private has been in talks with Chinese authorities over recent regulatory changes that may affect the deal.

China's railways increase coal transport to ensure supply - Xinhua China's railways sent 157 million tonnes of coal for power generation from Oct. 1 to Nov. 8, up 26.8 percent from the same period last year. Due to improving coal transport capacity, coal stockpiles at 363 power plants were sufficient for 21.8 days of consumption on Monday, up 7.8 days from the end of September.

Jack Ma, Trump and Xi: How Chinese billionaire flew close to the sun | Reuters In a sign of how life has changed for one of China's most successful and influential businessmen, Ma requested an audience with at least two people in Xi's inner circle in the weeks following the blocking of Ant's listing, but his requests were turned down by both, said two separate sources briefed by those people. The billionaire subsequently wrote directly to Xi earlier this year offering to devote the rest of his life to China's rural education, according to a government source who said the president spoke about the letter at a meeting of the country's senior leaders in May. Reuters could not determine whether Xi approved of or responded to the offer, which has not been previously reported, or precisely when Ma, a former English teacher, penned the missive.

China to Make Digital Yuan and Payment Apps More Connected - Bloomberg The People’s Bank of China will push to increase the digital yuan’s “interoperability with existing payment tools” and “improve the e-CNY ecosystem”, Governor Yi Gang said Tuesday during a virtual panel organized by the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies. E-CNY is the bank’s official name for its digital currency.

China Bans Mutual Fund Recommendations by Unlicensed Firms, Individuals - Bloomberg Chinese regulators moved to tighten oversight of the nation’s 23.9 trillion yuan ($3.7 trillion) mutual fund market, banning product recommendations by unlicensed firms and individuals.

China cracks down on ‘characteristic towns’ that misused land, real estate while racking up massive debt | South China Morning Post Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission – the state planner – announced that these “characteristic towns” will be assessed and could be closed down if they fail to meet a set of criteria, including proper usage of land, preservation of the ecological environment, associated debt, necessity and safety.


Politics and Law

举报检举成风 湖南大学教师赞日本人被逐下讲台 — 普通话主页 A lecturer in a college in Hunan who teaches architecture was demoted and sent to work in the library after he praised the Japanese for their working ethics. The students reported him to the school authority for what he said.

“一人一把刀,到过去扎你”,脱口秀演员池子发文退出微博_百闻-多维客 Standup comedian Chi Zi quits Weibo, complaining that the Chinese internet has become too toxic with zealots attacking sensible people with all kinds of crazy labels like “pro-Taiwan independence”. Those who used to speak up now stay silent, there is no more debates or discussion, just fights and hatred against each other meaningless subjects.

The Beijing News - 10个副省级城市“一把手”今年调整到位-新京报 Ten sub-provincial cities in China have new party secretaries this year, making them vice-minister level officials. The cities include Ningbo, Xiamen, Nanjing, Changchun, Dalian, Chengdu, Qingdao, Wuhan, Shenyang and Xi’an.

海南调研基层干群关系:近1/4村干部表示与村民有过冲突_中国政库_澎湃新闻-The Paper Hainan CCP policy research office said they found in a recent survey that, a quarter of the CCP cadres in the villages had clashes with the villagers. About 22% of the villagers complained the cadres were sent there and know nothing about their villages, and more than 40% of the villagers complained about corruption of the local cadres, especially on things like designating poor families for subsidies, housing project and land rights. // Comment: Still lots of "flies" and problems with grassroots governance

南昌警方深夜通报女子醉驾喊“yu wei”事件 A woman in Nanchang, Jiangxi was caught drunk driving by local police. She boasted about her connections with some local police chief and tried to get away, but the whole conversation was broadcast in real-time online, and the police department had to investigate the matter. It turns out that she has no ties with the police whatsoever.

中纪委评豪车女醉驾:找谁说情就是坑谁-评论频道-和讯网 CCDI weighs in on the Nanchang case, reminds officials everywhere that if someone comes to you for intervening in a case they will be creating a huge problem for you

警方继续通缉脱逃罪犯朱贤健:已逃22天,悬赏金增至20万_直击现场_澎湃新闻-The Paper The North Korean who broke out of a Chinese prison in Jilin province 22 days ago is still at large. The local police raised the reward to 200 thousand RMB for reports of his whereabouts. He was sentenced for assault and robbery.

3 arrested for organizing unapproved gathering with more than 2,000 people to watch LoL global final - Global Times Three people have been arrested for organizing an unapproved large-scale party livestreaming the popular esports League of Legends (LoL) World Championship with more than 2,000 participants on Saturday in a square of a main street in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province, media reported. Citing a decision by the local police, Chinese media outlet The Paper reported that the three organizers have been arrested for holding the event without permission from the public security authorities, which caused security risks.

“To Make Us Slowly Disappear”: The Chinese Government’s Assault on the Uyghurs — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide released a report in November 2021, “To Make Us Slowly Disappear”: The Chinese Government’s Assault on the Uyghurs. The Chinese government’s attacks on the Uyghur community is alarming in scale and severity.


Foreign and Defense Affairs

Xi, Lebanese president exchange congratulations on 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun, on Tuesday exchanged congratulations on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

回顾光辉历程,指明前进方向,携手构建人类命运共同体 ——学习领会习近平主席在中华人民共和国恢复联合国合法席位50周年纪念会议上重要讲话 王 毅 Wang Yi on page 6 of the Tuesday People's Daily - "Looking back on the glorious course, pointing out the way forward, and working together to build Community of Shared Future for Mankind —— Learn and understand President Xi Jinping's important speech at the 50th anniversary meeting of the People's Republic of China's restoration of its legitimate seat in the United Nations."

China calls for building maritime community with shared future - Xinhua Wang made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the symposium on global maritime cooperation and ocean governance 2021 held via video link...China opposes some countries flexing their muscles for maritime hegemony, and ganging up to form military cliques at sea and continuously infringing upon the rightful and lawful rights and interests of other countries, Wang said. All nations should unite to hold high the banner of multilateralism, safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and safeguard the maritime order based on international law.

All countries welcome to join Global Development Initiative - China Daily

China welcomes all countries to join the Global Development Initiative and is ready to work with them to follow the ideas of extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits and "practice true multilateralism", according to the Foreign Ministry.

Dozens of countries and many international organizations have voiced their support for or spoken positively of the initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video link in September, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

The initiative has received a warm reaction in the international community, Wang said. He added that developing countries support it, and developed nations have welcomed it and expressed their approval of the ideas and fields of cooperation put forward.

Countries and organizations said it created impetus for the faster growth of developing nations, and they hope to communicate and work with China to implement the initiative together, Wang said at a news conference.

China to promote Chinese as working language in more international organizations and meetings - Global Times China's Ministry of Education said on Tuesday that it will promote Chinese to become the official or working language in more international organizations and international conventions. Replying to the proposal to deal with the challenges and risks faced by Chinese international education, the Ministry of Education released what it has done to further promote the spread of Chinese language worldwide.

Thailand to further enhance ties, cooperation with China: Thai King - Xinhua Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn has said that Thailand and China are friendly neighbors and Thailand is willing to further enhance the friendly relations and cooperation with China. The King made the remarks when he recently received the credential presented by new Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Han Zhiqiang in the Dusit Palace in Bangkok.

Europe considering adopting Australia’s foreign interference laws to counter China - Sydney Morning Herald Liberal senator James Paterson, chair of the Australian Parliament’s intelligence and security committee, urged European nations to work together with like-minded democratic nations such as Australia to counter foreign interference.

PLA Daily - We must strengthen the great unity of Chinese sons and daughters 必须加强中华儿女大团结 - 中华人民共和国国防部

The patriotic United front is an important magic weapon for the Communist Party of China(CPC) to unite all Chinese people at home and abroad to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Our party's adherence to great unity and unity has a solid and heavy foundation. To strengthen the great unity of Chinese sons and daughters, we must consolidate and develop the broadest patriotic United front.

爱国统一战线是中国共产党团结海内外全体中华儿女实现中华民族伟大复兴的重要法宝。我们党坚持大团结大联合具有坚实厚重的根基。加强中华儿女大团结,必须巩固和发展最广泛的爱国统一战线。

With China, Pakistan's absence, India-hosted Afghan meeting unlikely to yield tangible results: expert - Global Times India, which stood by the US-backed former Kabul government and has been losing influence in the country since the US withdrawal, is about to host a regional security dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday. But with China and Pakistan's absence, experts believe the meeting is unlikely to yield anything tangible for the war-torn country.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that it is not convenient for China to attend the meeting due to scheduling issues

US hype about ‘mock-ups of US warships’ should be ignored: Global Times editorial - Global Times All major countries are developing new types of missiles. They all improve their long-range precision strike capabilities through training. The US military has often taken mock-ups of combat aircraft of the PLA air force and Chinese maritime items as imaginary targets. Even if the US media reports that mock-ups in the shape of a US aircraft carrier and other US warships appear in the desert of Xinjiang for target practice are true, it is by no means proof to accuse China of being militaristic

US’ B3W infrastructure projects financially unfeasible, bound to fail: experts - Global Times A successful global infrastructure construction plan needs at least three elements - sustainable and massive funding, unshakable determination and the spirit of inclusiveness and mutual respect for partners, and the certainty of internal politics, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "The US has none, and the only thing it's good at is to tell a good story by talking big."

Ex-defense chief Nakatani to be Japan's adviser on human rights - The Mainichi Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decided Monday to name former Defense Minister Gen Nakatani as his special adviser on human rights issues to address China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims in its far-western Xinjiang region and pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong.

U.S. Tests Israel’s Iron Dome in Guam as Defense Against Chinese Cruise Missiles - WSJ Israel has used it to intercept thousands of Palestinian rockets and mortars. Now the Iron Dome missile-defense system is being tested in Guam by U.S. military planners concerned about possible Chinese attacks. The dome can protect only against limited types of missiles, and the U.S. is pursuing separate plans to beef up defenses against Chinese ballistic missiles that descend from space.

U.S. Urges Release of Chinese Citizen Journalist Who Documented Covid - The New York Times The first known person to be prosecuted for documenting China’s coronavirus crisis is seriously ill in a Shanghai prison and could die if she does not receive treatment, her family and friends say — a disclosure that has drawn renewed attention to China’s efforts to whitewash its early handling of the pandemic. On Monday, the U.S. State Department called on the Chinese government to immediately release the woman, Zhang Zhan. Human Rights Watch has called for the same.


Hong Kong

Concerns Rising Over Weakening Media Freedoms in Hong Kong, FCC Press Freedom Survey Shows Journalists and correspondents in Hong Kong say working conditions have deteriorated significantly since the introduction of the National Security Law, while large numbers report growing concern about the possibility of a “fake news” law that could further erode press freedoms in the city, according to a new survey from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong. In a wide-ranging survey of the FCC’s correspondent and journalist members, 84% of respondents said the working environment for journalism has “changed for the worse” since the law’s introduction in June 2020.

President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology steps down - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP The president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has resigned and will leave his post next October, almost a year before his five-year term is due to end. The HKUST said on Tuesday that Professor Wei Shyy had informed the University Council that he would end his presidency on October 19, 2022, after assuming the role in September 2018.

‘Be careful you don’t die in an accident’: Hong Kong protester living in Canada receives daily threats - The Globe and Mail She is the first Hong Kong refugee to allow The Globe and Mail to publish their name and city of residence, hoping to draw attention to what is happening to critics of China’s authoritarian government who now live in Canada. As the spokesperson for the group, Ms. Lai is the main target of the anonymous harassers. She receives dozens of missives daily full of foul words and misogynistic attacks. She has been sent video clips of beheadings. “You are such a shame for a Hong Konger. ... Be careful you don’t die in an accident,” one recent message said.


Taiwan

Chinese media continues tirade against Taipei for letting chip maker TSMC comply with US request for semiconductor supply data | South China Morning Post Chinese state-run media on Tuesday continued its tirade against the decision by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) to hand over chip supply chain information to the US government, blaming Taipei for being soft on Washington. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, and other major companies directly involved in the semiconductor industry this week responded to a survey by the US Department of Commerce, which requested information about their product inventories, demand and delivery dynamics to better understand the ongoing global chip shortage.

China's Belligerence Is Turning Democracies to Taiwan - The Atlantic “The Chinese Communist Party’s espionage, interference in Europe’s political affairs, and coercive behavior made many countries become more cautious about China,” the Lithuanian lawmaker Matas Maldeikis, who will lead a government delegation to Taiwan in December, told me. “The human-rights situation in China and growing control under Xi Jinping is very negatively seen by many in our society, which still remembers similar persecutions under Soviet rule in our own country.”

With Taiwan blocked from U.N. climate talks, its emissions go uncounted - The Washington Post It is home to the world’s high-tech chip industry. It is in the top 25 economies, with output of about $700 billion a year. Its per capita carbon dioxide emissions are more than twice the global average, and higher than China’s, the largest emitter...Its greenhouse gas emissions, which account for an estimated 0.75 percent of the planet’s total, about the equivalent of Spain’s, have not been counted in global data submitted to the U.N. “You cannot ignore 0.75 percent, and we are a crucial hub of the global supply chain,” said Chia-Wei Chao, chair of the Taiwan Environment & Planning Association, who focuses on climate policy. // Comment: Surprised the PRC didn’t include Taiwan data in its submission

China institute at NTHU raises concern - Taipei Times A Chinese-funded research institute had set up an office at Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), the National Security Bureau (NSB) said yesterday, adding that Beijing could have used it to attract talent to its semiconductor industry, which is short of workers. The Ministry of Education has ordered the office to shut immediately, NTHU said, adding that the office’s personnel should depart without delay. Yesterday, the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported that the Cross-Strait Tsinghua Research Institute (清華海峽研究院) had established an office at NTHU’s main campus in Hsinchu City without securing approval from the government.


Tech and Media

国家电影局“十四五”规划:票房过亿国产影片每年达50部 The China Film Administration said as part of the 14th 5 year plan it will continue to promote China-made movies and ensure their share of the box office is above 55%. Every year, it will make sure there are at least 50 Chinese movies each with sales over 100 million RMB

China’s first guidelines on celebrity commercial endorsements issued - Global Times The guidelines, which summarize current advertising law and add some details that current laws do not cover, were posted to the official website of Zhejiang's Market Administration on Tuesday. According to the post, the guidelines aim to protect the legal rights of consumers, celebrities and companies. Two of the 20 articles in the guidelines stipulate that celebrities must use products before they endorse them and that stars will be held jointly and severally liable with advertisers if they endorse false advertisements that harm consumers' legal rights.

Anita Mui biopic arouses nostalgia for legendary Hong Kong star ahead of Chinese mainland premiere - Global Times Anita, a biopic on legendary Hong Kong star Anita Mui, is set to premiere in the Chinese mainland on Friday. The film's eminent arrival has aroused strong nostalgia for the "daughter of Hong Kong" among Chinese moviegoers and many celebrities in Chinese entertainment circles.

Chinese social e-commerce app Xiaohongshu raises US$500 million as IPO plans hit roadblock amid regulatory tightening | South China Morning Post The new funding for Shanghai-based Xiaohongshu, which means “little red book”, boosted the company’s valuation to US$20 billion, according to the source, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The round was led by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and Tencent Holdings. Genesis Capital, Tiantu, and Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Post, also invested.

Supchina Raising Funds At A $45 Million Pre-Money Valuation With Claimed $900K "2021 Run-Rate"

Singer Namewee made $1.1m in virtual currency from selling song as NFTs - The Straits Times Malaysian singer Namewee, who courted controversy with his satirical song Fragile, has become a millionaire overnight from the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Last month, his duet with Australian singer Kimberley Chen went viral due to its barbed references to Chinese leader Xi Jinping and sensitive topics such as censorship, Covid-19 and the Uighurs. Its pink-themed music video, which featured a panda, is seen as a dig at Little Pinks, or nationalistic Chinese netizens.


Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

NBA Woos Chinese Sports Fans With Immersive ‘DreamCourts’ Project - SixthTone The first phase of the project dubbed “NBA DreamCourts Preview Center” is expected to open in May 2022 in the eastern city of Suzhou, the league announced Monday at the ongoing China International Import Expo (CIIE). It will be the first of six centers across China for the professional basketball league, according to its China team.

Esports Fans Shave Heads, Drink From Toilets to Celebrate China Win - SixthTone Fans ran outside in impromptu parades, with the most fervent running naked and carrying team banners. Others posted videos of themselves having their heads shaved or drinking from toilet bowls — any outlet for the joy of victory.

China gender-based violence, victim-blaming in the spotlight after man arrested over alleged murder of woman jogging | South China Morning Post A man in central China has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman while she was on a morning run, in a case that has renewed debate in China over gender-based violence and sexist attitudes. The 21-year-old woman, surnamed Zhu, was reported missing by her family on November 1. Police mounted a search and found her body on November 5, the local police in Zhushan township, Hubei province, central China, said in an official notice on Monday night.

Uyghurs Seek Emotional Help as Families in China Suffer - The New York Times As Uyghurs grapple with the emotional trauma of their families suffering back in Xinjiang, some are overcoming a cultural stigma to seek out counseling.


Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Caixin In Depth: China’s Sponge City Failings Show the ‘Arduous’ Task of Adapting to Climate Change

Insufficient funding for pilot programs and the lack of a scientific system to assess adaptation results are two of the main reasons for China’s slow progress in adapting to climate change.

The country released its National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation in 2013 and selected 28 cities across 18 provinces to pilot adaptation measures in 2017.

However, as most of these cities are less economically developed and none of them have special national funds to support them, it’s a stretch to fully implement the adaptation programs, according to the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

An expert told Caixin that China’s fiscal budget hasn’t included measures for climate adaption. Although the government has allocated some funding for flood control and drought relief, it is not enough in a changing climate.

Caixin - China to Plug Gaps in Extreme Weather Plans After Deadly Floods

China is revising its extreme weather contingency plans after devastating flooding earlier this year exposed problems in provincial response systems, a deputy emergency management minster said Monday.

The Ministry of Emergency Management is currently evaluating and revising plans for extreme weather events, Deputy Minister Zhou Xuewen told a State Council press conference. The plans are expected to quantify warning criteria and emergency response systems, refine prevention and response measures, and increase relevance, practicality and operability.

‘It’s alarming’: intense rainfall and extreme weather become the norm in northern China | The Guardian “This year, in particular, extreme weather in the north of China’s Yangtze River has been common,” said Prof Faith Chan of the University of Nottingham in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo. “In Shanxi, monthly rainfall is normally about 31mm in October, but this year [it is] at least three times more than usual, reaching 119.5mm, to be precise. It’s alarming. “Although we still need more scientific research into this phenomenon, so far it all indicates a trend that extreme weather and intense rainfall will be a norm in northern China. China has to act fast.”

China issues major clean energy plan for industries amid push to meet carbon goals - Global Times The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, along with nine other government departments, on Tuesday issued a national plan for promoting clean production in several energy-intensive sectors, including industrial, agriculture, services, construction and transportation...A total of 100 enterprises in sectors, including steel, petrochemicals, nonferrous metals and building materials, which generate the most carbon emissions and pollution, will be selected to take part in a pilot clean production rectification project

The plan - 【关于印发《“十四五”全国清洁生产推行方案》的通知】-国家发展和改革委员会

Caixin - PBOC’s Carbon-Reduction Lending Program Has Modest Start, but Great Potential, Analysts Say The policy is equivalent to an interest rate cut of 72 basis points to the cost of qualified green loans, as the annual interest rate on the PBOC’s medium-term lending facility loans is 2.95%, analysts at brokerage China International Capital Corp. Ltd. estimated in a Tuesday note.

China unveils regulation on groundwater management - Xinhua The new regulation, which will take effect on Dec. 1, has set out specific rules for groundwater in the areas of survey and planning, conservation and protection, over-exploitation treatment, pollution control, and supervision and management. Local water administrations and natural resource and ecological environment authorities should conduct survey and evaluations on groundwater conditions, and make underground protection and pollution control arrangements accordingly, it said. // 地下水管理条例(国令第748号)_政府信息公开专栏

Committees established for COP14 to Ramsar Convention - Gov.cn The State Council approved setting up the organizing committee and executive committee for the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, according to a circular released by the General Office of the State Council on Nov 9.

China to include screening for depression in student health checks - Xinhua China will include screening for depression in student health checks amid efforts to prevent the mental disorder among teenagers, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Ministry of Education.


Jobs and Events

Intern, China and NE Asia at Eurasia Group We are seeking interns to support our coverage of China. One research stream of research will focus on assembling novel datasets to build innovative databases on Chinese politics. Another research stream will focus on collecting and analyzing high-value data on the Chinese economy and financial system.


Education

China reiterates ban on online and offline advertising for off-campus tutoring as it keeps up pressure on industry | South China Morning Post The Chinese government has doubled down with its crackdown on private tutoring, ordering a complete ban on all online and offline advertising of off-campus education programmes that target kids in kindergarten, primary and middle schools. A group of eight regulators, including the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party, issued a notice earlier this month to make sure a July ban is strictly implemented - namely that “news outlets, social media, public places and residences shall not publish ads for after-school training”. // The notice - 八部门:媒体、公交地铁等不刊发校外培训广告

Determined Chinese man sits for gaokao university test 13 times in attempt to get into Tsinghua University | South China Morning Post A man aged 33 has tried and failed 13 times to enter one of China’s most prestigious universities His story has generated intense online debate in China about the pressure society places on people to achieve academically