6th Plenum Communique and historical resolution
The 6th Plenum is over and the 20th Party Congress is officially scheduled for the second half of 2022.
There is a new historical resolution but the full text has not been released. The Communique that was issued after the meeting likely contains the key points of the resolution but we do not know for sure what the resolution really says until we see the full text. The Central Committee is hosting a press conference in a few hours so we may learn more then, though it is unclear when that resolution will become public.
From my read of the Communique, my facile TL;DR summary would be "Mao was the Man, Xi is the Man, the others helped in the transition". By that I mean that there is language in there that reads to me as a bit of a diminution of Deng Xiaoping and there are some passages that look to be throwing shade on Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
The Communique is very positive and triumphalist. There should be no doubt that it further advances Xi’s “leadership supremacy”, as Chris Johnson called it in the podcast last week, and that the base case for everyone should be that Xi will be large and in charge for as long as he wants to be. Anyone who is still engaging in wishful thinking that perhaps he will be removed from power and the PRC will change course, please cast aside your fantasies and seek truth from facts.
The Chinese-language version is the one to read, as the English-language one has some translation quirks. For example, the English-language one translates “飞跃” as “step” when it really means “leap”. I go into the potential significance of “leap” in item #1.
Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era was not truncated in the communique to “Xi Jinping Thought”. As the propaganda and education campaigns for the Plenum and the historical resolution roll out in the coming days it will be important to watch which officials and provincial leaders get out ahead of others in the hagiography and sycophancy, and as part of that process we may see some truncation. Then again, maybe we will not, and maybe it will not happen until the 20th Party Congress, or maybe it will never happen. I hope it will, mostly because I am sick of writing the full version.
I hope we can discuss it in more detail on the Sinocism Discord server and in the weekly thread that starts tomorrow.
Today’s Essential Eight items:
Official media on the Plenum
Foreign media coverage
Hopes for real estate loosening
Blinken’s Taiwan comments touched a nerve
Xi’s APEC speech
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Official media on the Plenum
The Communique - 中国共产党第十九届中央委员会第六次全体会议公报--时政--人民网
It was stressed at the session that Chinese communists, with Comrade Xi Jinping as their chief representative, have established Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era on the basis of adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture, upholding Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, thoroughly reviewing and fully applying the historical experience gained since the founding of the Party, and proceeding from new realities. Comrade Xi Jinping, through meticulous assessment and deep reflection on a number of major theoretical and practical questions regarding the cause of the Party and the country in the new era, has set forth a series of original new ideas, thoughts, and strategies on national governance revolving around the major questions of our times: what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics we should uphold and develop in this new era, what kind of great modern socialist country we should build, and what kind of Marxist party exercising long-term governance we should develop, as well as how we should go about achieving these tasks. He is thus the principal founder of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This is the Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st century. It embodies the best of the Chinese culture and ethos in our times and represents a new breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. The Party has established Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and defined the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This reflects the common will of the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and is of decisive significance for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era and for driving forward the historic process of national rejuvenation.
Comment: Calling Xi “the principal founder of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” and declaring that “This is the Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st century” strikes me as an elevation.
Some other areas where he may be throwing shade:
It was stated at the session that the Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, has demonstrated great historical initiative, tremendous political courage, and a powerful sense of mission. Keeping in mind both domestic and international imperatives, the Central Committee has implemented the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy and provided unified leadership for advancing our great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream. Acting on the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, it has introduced a raft of major principles and policies, launched a host of major initiatives, pushed ahead with many major tasks, and overcome a number of major risks and challenges. It has solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved and accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done. With this, it has prompted historic achievements and historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country.
With regard to full and rigorous self-governance, the Party’s ability to improve and reform itself and maintain its integrity has been significantly strengthened, and the problem of lax and weak governance over Party organizations has been addressed at the fundamental level. An overwhelming victory has been achieved in the fight against corruption, and this has been consolidated across the board. Through revolutionary tempering, our Party has grown stronger.
With regard to cultural advancement, we have seen a sweeping and fundamental shift in the ideological domain, a notable boost in confidence in our culture among all Party members and all Chinese people, and a major increase in cohesiveness throughout society. All of this has provided solid ideological guarantees and powerful inspiration for opening up new horizons for the cause of the Party and the country in the new era.
Why I think the use of “leap 飞跃“ may be significant - June 30 2021 Xinhua on the CCP and Sinicization of Marxism - 中国共产党与马克思主义中国化-新华网
The second historic leap of Marxism in China is marked by the formation of Deng Xiaoping Theory. Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of "Three Represents" and the scientific concept of development put forward on this basis, systematically and scientifically answered a series of important questions such as "What is socialism, how to build socialism, what kind of party to build, what kind of development to achieve and how to develop", which laid a theoretical foundation for China's reform, opening up and socialist modernization, and defined the target framework.
But the communique does not refer to the "The second historic leap of Marxism in China is marked by the formation of Deng Xiaoping Theory", nor does it describe it as a "leap".
Only Mao Zedong Thought is described as "historic leap of Marxism in China" in the 6th Plenum Communique, in this case as always as the "first leap 是马克思主义中国化的第一次历史性飞跃.
In the Plenum Communique there are two other descriptions of "leaps" in the Sinicization of Marxism in addition to the one for Mao.
The second is the period of the 16th and 17th Party Congresses, when Hu Jintao was Party Secretary - "全会提出，党的十六大以后，以胡锦涛同志为主要代表的中国共产党人...实现了马克思主义中国化新的飞跃". Xi was on the Standing Committee in the 17th and was in charge of Party History and the Party School. It reads like they lump Deng, Jiang and Hu together for this leap, which would seem to be a diminution of Deng.
The third comes when discussing the Xi Era:
Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is contemporary Chinese Marxism, 21st century Marxism, the essence of Chinese culture and Chinese spirit, and it has achieved a new leap in the sinicization of Marxism. The party's establishment of the core position of Comrade Xi Jinping's Party Central Committee and the whole party and the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era reflects the common aspiration of the whole party, the whole army and the people of all ethnic groups in China, and is of decisive significance to the development of the party and the country in the new era and the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Perhaps I am over-reading things, but I will bet I am not.
If you prefer to listen to the Communique, the Thursday CCTV Evening News spends the first 32 minutes of the broadcast reading it out, while showing scenes from the meeting.
The plenum is "a milestone meeting not only for the history of the CPC and the People's Republic of China, it also officially unveiled a new historical journey in the country's great rejuvenation," Zhang Shuhua, director of the institute of political sciences of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Yang Xuedong, a professor of political science at Tsinghua University, pointed out that the most prominent feature of this communiqué is the summary of the main tasks in the four historical periods and the important experiences in ten aspects accumulated over the past 100 years.
Compared to the previous six plenary sessions, the meeting this week summarized experiences on why we succeeded, boosting confidence, and those experiences will also be very meaningful to the world, Zhang said, noting that "Given the complex situation globally, those experiences are highly valuable, underscoring China's power, theory, consistency, and spirit, as the CPC is also the world's largest political party and the most powerful political force."...
According to the released communiqué, while summarizing the key achievements in the 100-year history of the Party, the session has divided history into four different periods in which Chinese communists, with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping as chief representatives, achieved a series of historic achievements - the period of the new-democratic revolution (Mao); the period of socialist revolution and construction (Mao); the new period of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization (Deng, Jiang and Hu); and the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics (Xi)...
According to the communiqué, "the Party has led the people in great endeavors and accumulated valuable historical experience over the past century. This covers the following ten aspects: upholding the Party's leadership, putting the people first, advancing theoretical innovation, staying independent, following the Chinese path, maintaining a global vision, breaking new ground, standing up for ourselves, promoting the united front, and remaining committed to self-reform."
People's Daily editorial that will run in the Friday paper - "Win greater victories and glory in the new era and on the new journey"
Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a teleconference...
Huang said the resolution, a Marxist guiding document, will have a profound impact on promoting the whole Party to unify their thinking, will, and action, as well as achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Huang asked publicity organs to take the lead in studying and implementing the spirit of the session as well as deepen and expand the education campaign on Party history
Comment: The propaganda and study sessions around the Plenum and the resolution are going to be very interesting. There will probably be some competition in the provinces to see who can be the most sycophantic to Xi
As for my TL;DR summary "Mao was the Man, Xi is the Man, the others helped in the transition", this from the Tuesday newsletter seems to fit:
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. "
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!"
2. Foreign media coverage
The communique’s portrayal of Xi’s achievements go beyond his political leadership and extends to the ideological front by presenting him as the architect of a series of “original theories and strategies” that direct the party to continue its rule and mission of building a socialist China.
It said his theories are a combination of the best of 21st century Marxist-Leninist theory and Chinese culture and spirit, adding that rallying behind Xi and upholding his thoughts as the guiding principles of the party and nation are crucial to the country’s rejuvenation.
The communique also lists a series of challenges China has faced since 2012 and how they were overcome. It describes Xi as a great leader who can solve problems his predecessors could not...
It further states that China’s diplomatic influence and soft power, as well as its ability to shape the world, has grown under Xi, adding that China has turned crisis into opportunity
The official designation of Mr. Xi as a historical figure on par with Mao and Deng was approved at the annual fall gathering, or plenum, of nearly 350 full and alternate members of the Communist Party’s Central Committee in Beijing. The resolution lends Mr. Xi’s policies added longevity and armors him against criticism in the future from successors, because it would require challenging the party’s narrative of history.
“Not everyone in the party is convinced that this centralization authority and the valorization of a supreme leader is the best way to build the party and strengthen China,” said Timothy Cheek, a professor at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. “The historical resolution will decidedly answer those concerns, claim the moral high ground and, importantly, define political disagreement or dissent as disloyalty and treachery.”
Comment: As Chris Johnson noted in our podcast last week:
“this ideological crowning, obviously, the significance of it lies in the codification and probably the legitimization then of the sum of all of his actions and pronouncements since he came to power and the equating of those developments and those statements with the party's line. And as you and I have discussed many times, to criticize Xi now then is not just to attack the man, but to attack the party itself. That's very dangerous. And if you're going to do it, you better get it right.
Premier Li Keqiang is expected to retire next year due to term limits. Possible successors including Wang Yang, a committee member and the current head of the top political advisory body, and Li Qiang, the current Shanghai party chief and widely considered to be among Mr. Xi’s political favorites, having worked as his assistant in the 2000s in the eastern province of Zhejiang, according to the political insiders.
Comment: I am not sure it is correct that Li Keqiang has to retire due to term limits. He will be 67 next July, there is a scenario in which he stays on the Standing Committee for a fourth term but moves over to head the National People's Congress. Is that likely, would Xi want that? we will find out
As for the size or the makeup of the 20th Standing Committee, not sure why Xi would expand it to 9, seems just as likely he might go to 5, my baseline assumption is 7. One thing that I think is quite likely is massive turnover in the central committee. As Chris Johnson said in the same podcast " I think, my sense is he views the model of the changeover next year as being the ninth party Congress where I believe there was something like 80% turnover in the central committee."
It was 82% turnover. I would not be surprised if that Xi believes the Party leadership needs a similar amount of "cleansing" given that so many of the officials who are in the age cohort for promotion to the central Committee made their way up the ranks when the political ecology was swampier and ideological discipline was much looser.
3. Hopes for real estate loosening
Shares in Chinese property developers booked their best two-day gain in six years, joined by a jump in technology stocks, as investors speculated Beijing may soften regulatory crackdowns on the two industries.
Currently, rules put in place late last year to restrict how much property firms can borrow, dubbed the “three red lines” on leverage ratios, are so strict that they have hurt the ability of developers like China Evergrande Group to sell assets to repay debts.
According to people with knowledge of the discussions, the People’s Bank of China is considering opening a pathway for financially strained property firms to unload projects by allowing the buyers, likely state-owned firms, to take over the assets without having the projects’ associated debt affect their own debt ratios...
Right now, state firms are unwilling to pounce mainly because such acquisitions would add any acquired projects’ associated debts to their balance sheets, potentially hurting their ability to borrow. That has hampered the attempts by many strained developers to unload assets and repay their creditors.
The People’s Bank of China is now considering loosening the borrowing limits by enabling such acquisitions, the people said.
Comment: Central SOEs are very useful
The gains follow figures from the People’s Bank of China yesterday showing that lenders have stepped up the issuance of real estate loans. The balance of personal mortgages with banks was CNY37.7 trillion (USD5.9 trillion) last month, an increase of CNY348.1 billion over the month and CNY101.3 billion from September.
Analysts at Citic Securities believe that property sales receipts are expected to improve significantly as mortgage lending continues to rise from this month. Sales are likely to increase across the market next March, it said.
Following online reports that the government of Shenyang city in northeastern China was planning to relax restrictions on property sales, a local official said his department had not yet received notice to that effect.
“Open the gates!” the crowd chanted outside a government building where residents can lodge complaints to local authorities...
The focus of anger that late October day in Beijing: China Oceanwide Holdings Ltd...
The cracks that have appeared in China’s property market have panicked not only homeowners but also the many investors who were lured to developers’ wealth-management products, or WMPs. At least 70 billion yuan ($10.9 billion) of WMPs linked to the firms have missed payments or faced revised maturity schedules.
4. Blinken’s Taiwan comments touched a nerve
As noted in yesterday’s newsletter - Secretary Antony J. Blinken with Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times DealBook Summit - United States Department of State
Most of the questions were about China and on Taiwan Blinken said:
QUESTION: Right. So much of the world and so much of the business world is looking at Taiwan as the neck, as the centerpiece, as the chess piece in what happens next. And there seems to be still so much confusion about what the United States will or will not do, and what it’s required to do or not, if in fact China were to quote-unquote “breach” Taiwan.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Hmm. Look, we stand strongly against anyone taking unilateral action to disrupt the status quo by force. And we have commitments – longstanding commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act – to make sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself. We’re committed to the Taiwan Relations Act, and our responsibility is to do just that.
Similarly, we continue to adhere to the “one China” policy, but that is based on the Taiwan Relations Act. It’s based on various assurances —
SECRETARY BLINKEN: — and commitments that have been made. But we will make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself, because the purpose here is never to get to that point, where anyone is actually trying to disrupt the status quo by force, to make sure that deterrence is there, and that no one engages in actions that could be profoundly, profoundly disruptive, dangerous to world peace and security.
On Blinken's comments yesterday:
On your second question, I want to stress that relevant remarks by the US side disregard facts and violate international law. The one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques are the foundation for the establishment of diplomatic ties and the sound development of China-US relations. The Taiwan Relations Act unilaterally formulated by the US is illegal, null and void, as it goes against the commitment the US made in the three joint communiques and puts its domestic laws above international obligations. China never allows the US to wantonly violate China's sovereignty and interfere in China's internal affairs citing any reasons or with any excuses. The US should take real actions to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiques, speak and act prudently and stop sending any wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" forces.
We urge US politicians not to play "edge ball" on the one China issue or go their own way in playing the "Taiwan card". This will not only pose a huge risk to China-US relations and seriously undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, but also seriously damage the interests of the US side. We hope us politicians can recognize the reality, honor their commitments, adhere to the One-China principle and the three China-Us joint communiques, stop saying and doing wrong things, and take concrete actions to safeguard the overall interests of China-Us relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
5. More US-China
President Xi Jinping is expected to use the discussion, expected next week, to extend a personal invitation to President Biden attend the events in Beijing in February, sources said.
Comment: Bad idea unless Xi wants to get rejected. He is not being advised well, unless he knows Biden will say no and this is some sort of a "trap"/"test"?
Responding to questions, Sullivan sought to downplay fears about the risk of a new Cold War developing with China.
"All of this talk of the United States and China going into a new cold war and we are on our way to conflict... we have the choice not to do that," Sullivan said.
"We have the choice instead to move forward with what President Biden says is stiff competition, where we are going to compete vigorously across multiple dimensions, including economics and technology, where we are going to stand up for our values, but we also recognise China is going to be a factor in the international system for the forseeable future."
MICHAEL FULLILOVE: Can I ask you about how America will compete with China on economics and trade? As you know, when President Trump withdrew from the TPP, he did a lot to undermine US credibility in this part of the world. For many countries in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific more generally, they like the US presence in security terms, but they find that China is the more important economic partner. What can you do to compete with the magnetic effect of the Chinese economy? You've spoken about an Indo-Pacific framework? What would that look like, Jake?
JAKE SULLIVAN: Well, what I can say is that we have been working hard in the past few months and will continue to through the end of this year and into early next year. To put together what we see as being a vision for America's economic engagement in the region, with a framework that addresses the kinds of modern challenges that COVID-19 exposed, and that we are all dealing with. Whether it's in the realm of supply chains, or the intersection of climate and trade, or digital, or investment screening and export controls. Across a number of areas that have not traditionally been part of trade agreements. We believe that there is the possibility of putting together a comprehensive vision and getting a whole bunch of countries aligned around that. And so in the months ahead, we will be coming forward with that effort. But we're not going to do that, kind of baking it by ourselves in, you know, our little policy kitchen. We're going to have intense consultations and both Ambassador Tai, and Secretary Raimondo will be in the region in the weeks ahead to talk with our partners - including Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Southeast Asia, as well as in Northeast Asia, about what the elements and components of this could look like, and how we can have a full, robust, attractive economic agenda to go along with our security and geopolitical agenda in the Indo-Pacific.
Comment: Interesting, no mention in speech of Q&A of Taiwan, Hong Kong or Xinjiang
The Secure Equipment Act, the latest effort by the U.S. government to crack down on Chinese telecom and tech companies, was approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 28 and earlier in the month by the U.S. House on a 420-4 vote...
The new law requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to no longer review or approve any authorization application for equipment that poses an unacceptable risk to national security.
She told reporters in Washington the administration aims to hold China accountable to the two-year phase one trade deal signed in January 2020 and is exploring all weaknesses in China’s performance, including its lack of purchases of commercial aircraft...
Asked if she was pushing in the talks for China to take steps to allow for purchases of Boeing commercial aircraft – a purchase category identified in the phase one agreement – Tai said: “If you’re looking at where the weaknesses might be, in terms of phase one, you should expect that we are talking through it and exploring all of it.”
Things sound bad in Dalian and the CNPC Beijing may have hosted a superspreader meeting.
Authorities in Beijing city imposed new curbs on conferences and events after confirming on Thursday six locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, including individuals who had attended conferences in person in the city.
Based in Beijing, the state-owned giant immediately started to conduct nucleic acid testing for all employees in the capital, Liu Shengyao, deputy director of the Integrated Management Department of the CNPC, said at a press conference addressing epidemic prevention and control on Thursday.
The move came after 111 employees attended meetings in Beijing sharing conference rooms with a company employee from Northeast China's Jilin Province, who was later found to be COVID-19 positive.
A chart of the spread from the CNPC conference. The CNPC building is at Dongzhimen, across from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on top of major subway station
Since November 4 Dalian has had 83 confirmed symptomatic cases and 80 asymptomatic ones
21 new cases in Dalian, two days in a row has had the most new caes in the country, head of the National Health Commission Ma Xiaowei leads a team to investigate
6. Xi’s APEC speech
Calling for rejecting practices of discrimination and exclusion of others, Xi stressed that attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail. "The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era," the Chinese president said.
The remarks targeted some countries that embrace protectionism, unilateralism and "small circles" under the cover of multilateralism, which does not conform to the common benefits of the region, Jiang Yuechun, director of the Department for World Economy and Development Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday.
China will stay committed to promoting win-win cooperation and contribute to the economic development of the Asia-Pacific. China has all along been actively involved in regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, and it has endeavored to advance openness and cooperation in the region. China will continue to practice true multilateralism, uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, take an active part in global economic governance and promote the building of an open world economy. China will steadfastly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, facilitate connectivity in the Asia-Pacific, ensure stable and smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains in the region, and deepen cooperation with all stakeholders in such areas as e-commerce and digital logistics. With these efforts, we can inject impetus into economic recovery and sustainable development in our region.
At this year's United Nations General Assembly, I proposed a Global Development Initiative, calling for meeting the development needs of developing countries, ensuring their development opportunities and thus achieving a more robust, greener and more balanced global development. China will continue playing its role as a responsible major country. It will promote closer cooperation in areas such as global poverty reduction, food security and development financing, and earnestly implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, thus building a global community of development with a shared future.
7. Speech and social media crimes in Hong Kong
Ma Chun-man, a 31-year-old man dubbed as the "Captain America 2.0" who repeatedly advocated for "Hong Kong independence" in anti-government movements two years ago, was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison on Thursday, which was hailed by local legal experts as a "rightful sentence" compatible with the Basic Law...I
n Ma Chun-man's case, there was no use of force, inflicting of physical injury or property damage. All he did was verbal dissemination of secession messages
The two men and one woman, aged 29 to 65, were arrested by Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) officers on suspicion of breaching the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance by “inciting another person not to vote, or to cast invalid vote, by activity in public during [an] election period”.
“The three arrestees have allegedly breached Section 27A of the [ordinance] during the election period of the 2021 Legislative Council General Election … by reposting an online post which appealed to members of the public to cast blank votes at the election,” a statement from the graft-buster read, adding that officers had seized several mobile phones and did not rule out further arrests.
8. Population shrinking?
China’s population may already be shrinking, with data so far this year showing a continued drop in the number of births, an independent Chinese demographer has predicted.
There will be between 9.5 million to 10.5 million newborn babies this year, independent demographer He Yafu wrote on his personal social media account Thursday. “If the number of newborns is near the lower limit of the prediction, that means the population will register negative growth” as there’s been an average of about 10 million deaths a year recently, He wrote.
Business, Economy and Trade
Feud at Smithfield Foods’ Parent Company Shows Messy Underside of Chinese Takeover - WSJ $$ The 81-year-old Mr. Wan, who transformed a state-owned factory into a meat empire called WH Group Ltd. , saw the acquisition as a way to supply more raw meat and American-style bacon and sausage to China’s giant pork market. But his eldest son, Wan Hongjian, to whom he had signaled he could one day bequeath the business, had long disputed whether American pork products would ever fit in with Chinese tastes. Those underlying tensions over strategy exploded into an ugly public clash after Wan Hongjian was dismissed by the company in June. The son, 52 years old, recently told The Wall Street Journal he hasn’t seen his father since.
Beijing Stock Exchange to Debut Monday With at Least 81 Listings - Caixin All of the companies have been trading on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, an over-the-counter market.
Opinion: How China Can Meet the CPTPP’s Data Requirements (Part 2) - Caixin To sum up, China rarely bans cross-border data transfers, except for extremely important data that may be potentially identified as national core data. Despite other so-called prohibitions of cross-border data transfers or local storage requirements, a cross-border data transfer is allowed nevertheless after passing the cross-border transfer security assessment or data security review, meeting the requirements of personal information protection certification or the standard contract, conforming to the jurisdiction of the regulators, or passing export control license approval. There is a relatively special situation in which China can unilaterally take measures for restricting cross-border data transfer, and this is when an overseas subject engages in discriminatory and improper conduct. Xu Chengjin is a researcher at the Center for International Economic and Technological Cooperation.
South China Cities Ease Vehicle Purchase Limits to Shift Sales Into High Gear - Caixin Guangzhou and Shenzhen, two megacities in South China’s Guangdong province, will gradually relax restrictions imposed on purchasing hybrid gas guzzlers as part of efforts to stimulate auto sales — one of the country’s key economic growth drivers.
Alibaba reports slower sales growth for its Singles Day shopping event. - The New York Times The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said $84.5 billion in merchandise was sold on its platforms during the Singles Day shopping festival that ended on Thursday, an 8.5 percent increase over last year..the growth in sales was down from the 26 percent increase that the company reported in 2020 compared with the year before...The number Alibaba announces each year after its big retail bonanza is gross merchandise volume, which is meant to represent the total value of orders. There is no standardized way of calculating this metric // A nice way of saying take this figure with a large block of salt
China’s Double 11 loses glamour, focuses on high-quality growth amid tight regulations - Global Times Alibaba, one of the first Chinese e-commerce platforms that started the shopping festival a decade ago, held a very low-profile evening party without a live studio audience to celebrate the event - a sharp contrast to previous years when global celebrities, including Taylor Swift, were invited to perform at live events.
Chinese Stocks Soar in the U.S. After Singles’ Day, Didi Report - Bloomberg The Nasdaq Golden Dragon Index jumped as much as 5.2%, the biggest intraday climb since Oct. 7, after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Singles’ Day shopping festival posted record sales. A report that ride-hailing company Didi Global is getting ready to launch its apps in China by the end of the year also gave stocks mired in Beijing’s regulatory clampdown earlier this year a boost.
EXCLUSIVE Didi prepares to relaunch apps in China, anticipates data probe will end soon -sources | Reuters Didi Global is preparing to relaunch its ride-hailing and other apps in China by the end of the year in anticipation that Beijing's cybersecurity investigation into the company will be wrapped up by then, three people directly involved in the relaunch said. The people, who declined to be identified as the information was private, said they expected China's cyberspace regulator to finalise any penalties on the company in December.
Politics and Law
【404文库】一只猫的折叠花筒｜同学，还有新闻理想吗？ - 中国数字时代 Piece on aspiring journalists in China giving up journalism, censored.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
EU to Lay Out $46 Billion Infrastructure Plan to Counter China - Bloomberg The EU’s “Global Gateway” strategy will focus on digital, transport, energy and trade projects, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg. The plan is aimed at boosting Europe’s interests and competitiveness around the world, while also promoting sustainable environmental standards and values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
U.S. Sanctions Cambodian Officials Over China-Linked Base - Bloomberg Chau Phirun, director-general of the Defense Ministry’s material and technical services department, and Royal Cambodian Navy Commander Tea Vinh were blacklisted by the U.S. for conspiring to profit from the construction and updating of Ream Naval Base facilities along the Gulf of Thailand.
Chinese president appoints new ambassadors - Xinhua Chen Zhihong was appointed ambassador to Mali, replacing Zhu Liying. Lin Xianjiang was appointed ambassador to Dominica, replacing Lu Kun. Guo Haiyan was appointed ambassador to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, replacing Cui Jianc
Consulate General in Chicago urges US to protect Chinese citizens, slamming violence that killed a Chinese student - Global Times Surnamed Zheng, the recent graduate from the University of Chicago was killed among a series of violent attacks in Chicago on Tuesday, China Central Television (CCTV) reported. Media reported that Zheng was robbed by an armed man, who shot Zheng in the chest and fled in a car. Three people including Zheng were killed and another five were injured in a series of shootings in Chicago on Tuesday.
PLA Air Force celebrates 72nd anniversary as Taiwan island patrol becomes more frequent - Global Times Just before its anniversary, the PLA Air Force released a short video on patrols around the island of Taiwan, in which the pilots of an H-6K bomber led the audience to view the island from over 10,000 meters in the air, and showed the rivers and mountains, China Military Online reported on Wednesday. // Comment: But no H-20 bomber as many were hoping for, leading to disappointment online. Did they hold it back since the meeting with Biden is 4 days away? Or still not ready to make any sort of public appearance?
PLA Air Force's new combat equipment put into realistic combat training - China Military During a recent exercise involving multi-type aircraft, by giving full play to its advantages of high-altitude and long-endurance capability, the WZ-7 recon drone quickly captured target traces based on battlefield situation, and uploaded the acquired information to the command post, thus provided strong support for the airborne fighter groups to carry out penetration and assault operations.
CNN请演员扮演新疆警察，一人分饰多角，结果翻车了...... China Daily creates a video claiming the Xinjiang police officer interviewed in a recent CNN report was actually an actor...one of the people they cite for evidence is Brian Berletic, whom they identify as a former US Marine who is now a geoplitical analyst
First a fake US aircraft carrier and now China has models of F-35 fighter jets | South China Morning Post Recent satellite imagery showed at least four mock-ups of F-35 Lighting II jets at the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force’s Korla Shooting Range in Xinjiang, the latest edition of monthly military magazine Kanwa International Journal reported. Andrei Chang, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, said the models, made to scale, might be targets for the rocket force’s DF-16 and DF-21C medium-range ballistic missiles, and therefore a message to US Air Force bases in Japan.
International Space Station Dodges Chinese Space Junk - The New York Times On Wednesday, about six hours before NASA’s Crew-3 mission launched to orbit, the International Space Station was forced to maneuver itself to avoid a piece of debris spawned by a Chinese antisatellite weapon test in 2007.
“研究军事、研究战争、研究打仗”专论丨掌控打赢未来战争主动权 - 中华人民共和国国防部 随着新兴技术的快速发展及其在军事领域的广泛应用，战争形态呈加速演变趋势。制胜未来战争，既要登高望远，又须细致入微，把准战争形态演变的脉搏，把未来可能要打的仗弄明白，把新制胜机理搞清楚，方能有针对性地做好军事斗争准备，有效掌控打赢未来战争主动权。
U.S. Warning Europe That Russia May Invade Ukraine - Bloomberg The U.S. is raising the alarm with European Union allies that Russia may be weighing a potential invasion of Ukraine as tensions flare between Moscow and the bloc over migrants and energy supplies. // Question: How would us react if timing synchronized with another invasion on the other side of the world? Is that even in the realm of considered possible scenarios?
China may have 1,000 warheads by 2030. - The Washington Post - Fiona Cunningham and Taylor Fravel Two shifts in China’s nuclear thinking may be happening. First, Chinese leaders believe that they now need to threaten the United States with greater nuclear damage to deter a U.S. nuclear first-strike: a handful of warheads is no longer enough...Second, China’s leaders may be finding Beijing’s promises not to engage in a nuclear arms race increasingly difficult to fulfill — or less of a priority than deterring U.S. nuclear use with more confidence...How this new nuclear environment affects U.S. nuclear modernization plans and future strategic arms control with Russia will depend on whether planners decide the U.S. could face major conflicts with both rivals at once or in quick succession
Hong Kong and Macao
City University president will not renew his contract in 2023, becomes second top Hong Kong academic to leave in past two days | South China Morning Post The news that Professor Way Kuo will be leaving his post comes just two days after HKUST president Wei Shyy said he would be stepping down early
Hong Kong’s new M+ museum will display works by Ai Weiwei, but exhibitions will also ‘comply with the law’, arts hub official says | South China Morning Post Arts hub authority chairman reveals some of Ai’s works will be shown in the opening exhibitions, but a photo of his that sparked controversy will not be
Mainland Korean War-themed blockbuster hugely popular in HK, reminds youths of their hard-won prosperous life - Global Times Chinese mainland's Korean War-themed blockbuster The Battle at Lake Changjin, the highest-grossing film worldwide in 2021, has debuted in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions on Thursday. The film was immediately met with full bookings throughout the following weekend, drawing tremendous popularity among the local communities, especially the youths.
Tech and Media
China’s Top Chipmaker SMIC Sees Abrupt Departure of Senior Executive Chiang - Bloomberg Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. said its Vice-Chairman Chiang Shang-Yi resigned less than a year after joining China’s biggest chipmaker, the second departure of a senior executive in two months. Chiang, who is in his mid-70s, has left the Shanghai-based company to spend more time with his family, according to a company filing Thursday. The chip industry veteran joined SMIC in December last year, after having helped to turn Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. into the world’s most influential contract chip manufacturer more than a decade ago.
Tencent Buys Wake Up Studio Game Maker of Ninjala, Travis Strikes Again - Bloomberg The Shenzhen-based entertainment giant has taken about a 90% stake in Wake Up Interactive Ltd. for more than 5 billion yen ($44 million), the people said, asking not to be identified because the transaction is not yet public. Wake Up owns Tokyo-based Soleil Ltd., which developed Nintendo Switch hit Ninjala and helped create Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. Taking over almost the entire company is unusual for Tencent in Japan, which has so far made smaller investments and mainly aimed to secure international publishing rights for future games.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
China's World Cup qualifying hopes hit as Oman claim point | Reuters hina's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup suffered another blow on Thursday as a header from Oman's Amjad Al Harthi 15 minutes from time earned a 1-1 draw with Li Tie's side.
'Ice Cube' expected to hold 20% of audience capacity during Winter Games due to epidemic concerns - Global Times the Ice Cube became the first arena in the world that can switch "between water and ice." Its pool and ice rink can be switched with each other in a short 19 days.
Sign of the Times: Why Young Chinese Are Removing Their Tattoos - SixthTone Tattoo removals are becoming a common choice for a generation that has rejected centuries-old prejudices against body art — only to realize the rest of the country doesn’t plan to follow their lead.
Universities tell stranded international students to prepare for return to campus in China | South China Morning Post While there has been no official announcement on when China’s borders will reopen to foreign students, Duke Kunshan University in Suzhou and New York University Shanghai have both sent out emails saying they could be allowed back on campus in time for the next semester.