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Awful flooding in and around Beijing; MSS on counter-espionage; More signals of real estate support; Wang Yi invited to visit US
Our power is back, and as bad as things were in parts of DC they look like nothing compared to some of the awful scenes from the flooding in Beijing, Tianjin and parts of Hebei.
Summary of today’s top items:
Terrible flooding in and around Beijing - Beijing and its surrounding areas have received a massive amount of rain over the last few days, leading to terrible flooding and at least 20 deaths so far. Will Li Qiang interrupt the usual Beidaihe break to visit affected areas, as a Premier usually does in the wake of large natural disasters?
MSS opens WeChat account, calls for mobilization of entire society in counter-espionage work - The Ministry of State Security has opened a WeChat account. Its first post is “Counter-espionage requires the mobilization of the entire society! 反间防谍需要全社会动员!”, which I have translated and included at the end of this section. The post concludes with “creatively carry out various forms of national security enemy situation [敌情] education and rule of law propaganda, strengthen case law interpretation, educate the masses through typical cases [典型案例], enhance the awareness of counter-espionage of the whole society, and form a strong joint force to maintain national security 创造性开展多种形式的国家安全敌情教育和法治宣传，加强以案释法，通过典型案例教育群众，增强全社会反间防谍意识，形成维护国家安全的强大合力” which likely means we will be hearing much more about “typical cases”. It is unclear if said typical cases will be of either PRC or foreign citizens previously arrested, or if the authorities will detain a new batch of people as examples of counter-espionage law violations, but either way this may be be a bit chilling.
More signals of support for real estate - Pan Gongsheng, currently head of both the PBoC and SAFE, chaired a a work meeting for the second half of 2023 for the two institutions. According to the official readout among the tasks for the second half of 2023 are “implement differentiated housing credit policies according to the city, continue to guide the downward trend of personal housing loan interest rates and down payment ratios, and better meet the rigid and improved housing needs of residents. Guide commercial banks to adjust the interest rate of existing personal housing loans in an orderly manner according to law.” So as someone told Caixin “It seems that a rate cut for existing home mortgages is really coming”.
US-China visits - Yang Tao, Director General of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Department of the of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited DC, and the US issued an invitation for Wang Yi to visit, a trip that was originally supposed to be made by Qin Gang to reciprocate Secretary of State Blinken’s June visit to Beijing.
More Party building and Xi Thought study for the PLA - On the occasion of the August 1 birthday of the PLA, the Central Military Commission (CMC) “released a guideline on fully enhancing Party building while centering on the goals set for the centenary of the People's Liberation Army” and the Political Work Department of the CMC edited a revised study outline on Xi Jinping's Thought on Strengthening the Military. I doubt these were issued in response to the mess in the PLA Rocket Force, as these things take a while to plan and were timed for release on August 1, but perhaps they will be pushed with even more intensity now?
Xinjiang - US bans good from two PRC firms over concerns of use of forced labor in Xinjiang, a new report says that the solar supply chain is still heavily exposed to Xinjiang, and Penguin has released the translated memoir “Waiting to Be Arrested at Night” by Tahir Hamut Izgil.
This week’s episode of the Sharp China podcast will come out on Friday, as my co-host’s Internet is still down from the storm so we can not record until Thursday. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I will publish the June political discourse report from China Media Project.
Otherwise Sinocism will be on its own version of the Beidaihe break, from August 2nd until August 15th, unless something really important happens.
Thanks for reading.
1. Terrible flooding in and around Beijing
water resource departments in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei have cooperated in executing flood control, adopting measures such as pre-discharge of floodwaters and coordinating upstream and downstream to minimize the overall impact of flooding across the region.
Beijing for the first time used the Beijing Zhaitang Reservoir built in 1998 to pre-discharge floodwaters on Sunday before diverting runoff to the reservoir on Monday, maximizing the effect of flood control.
Huairou Reservoir also began flood discharge on Tuesday afternoon. In the early hours of Tuesday, its maximum downward flow was more than four times the average amount recorded in previous years.
An average of 261 mm of rainfall inundated Beijing in 60 hours between Saturday night and Tuesday morning, with maximum rainfall exceeding 740 mm in a reservoir in Changping District.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday demanded all-out search and rescue efforts to find people missing or trapped in floods and geological disasters in an instruction issued on work concerning flood prevention and disaster relief.
Affected by Typhoon Doksuri, extreme rainfall has been recorded in north China and the regions along the Yellow and Huaihe rivers, triggering floods and geological disasters and causing heavy casualties in Beijing and Hebei.
It is crucial to ensure medical treatment for the injured and provide comfort to the families of the deceased, Xi said.
Some astounding rain totals:
More than 600 people were trapped in Zhuozhou after heavy rainfall caused a collapse in the basement of a residential community, the members from the Rescue Team of Ramunion, based in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province have participated in the rescue efforts, according to media reports...
In many parts of Hebei, the disaster was extremely serious, among which the flow of many rivers in Zhuozhou increased significantly, with newly added flood waters covering an area of about 20 square kilometers.
Yicai - Zhuozhou rescue is quite difficult: the deepest water in the urban area exceeds three meters, urgently need assault boats and other materials. Summary:
The article discusses the severe flooding situation in Zhuozhou, Hebei, China. The rescue efforts are challenging due to the depth of the floodwaters, which exceed three meters in the deepest parts of the city. The city is divided in half by the water, and many areas have become isolated islands. The People's Hospital has also lost power, increasing the difficulty of rescue efforts. Regular assault boats cannot enter, and only boats can go in.
"Hu Xijin: Zhuozhou was flooded due to "diverting floods to protect Beijing"? Don't believe such counter-intuitive rumors."
there is an unconventional claim circulating online: Zhuozhou was flooded because it was "diverting floods to protect Beijing". This may be some people's presumptuous assumption without knowing the full story, but the spread of such a claim at this time is damaging to the unity of flood control and is also an instigation of regional barriers. Therefore, I urge everyone not to believe this rumor, and certainly not to add fuel to the fire.
In Beijing, Mentougou and Fangshan District were hit especially hard as torrential rains, amounting to an average of 300 mm rainfall in just 42 hours, caused various problems (hashtag “Mentougou Torrential Rain” #门头沟暴雨#, 320 million clicks).
The highest rainfall was recorded at the Miaofengshan scenic area in Mentougou, where a staggering 580.9 mm rainfall was recorded between 8pm on the 29th to 2pm on the 31st.
Comment: Mentougou is quite mountainous, and beautiful. We went to the top of Miaofengshan in 2014. As you can see from my picture at the top the area is quite rugged. 580.9 mm rainfall in less than two days would create lots of areas of raging waters.
As of Tuesday, more than 50,000 local residents had been evacuated from their homes. The suburban districts of Mentougou and Fangshan on the western edge of Beijing were among the most severely affected, according to the state-owned Beijing Daily, with some locations reporting power and communications outages.
By 6 a.m., the two districts had received over 16 inches of precipitation in the past four days, according to a local official from the flood control and drought relief office. That is more than half of the level they would expect in an average year, and exceeds the level from the last major flood disaster in the city back in 2012, when 79 people died.
On Tuesday, the Beijing government announced that, in addition to the 11 killed in the flooding — including two rescue workers — another 27 were missing, implying that the death toll could rise significantly.
Most of the fatalities were in the outer parts of Beijing, including Mentougou District, where video shared by local news outlets on Monday showed cars being swept down a swollen river. Chinese television later showed footage of residents in the district walking through muddy streets strewn with cars that had been washed away. The Beijing government said 13 of the missing were in Mentougou, and another 10 were in Changping, another semi-rural district...
The Chinese capital’s high vigilance over the rains appears to partly reflect memories of flash floods in 2012, when officials seemed ill-prepared. The government ultimately announced a count of 79 dead, mostly from drownings in the southern parts of the city where drainage was poor, but some in the city believed the actual death toll was even higher.
Zhuozhou, about 75 kilometers southwest off Beijing, is a renowned logistics hub for the publishing industry. It's home to the capital's largest book logistics center -- Beijing southwest logistics center, where hundreds of publishing houses and dealers stockpile their inventory.
Due to its low-lying geography , Zhuozhou has been one of the hardest-hit areas by recent flooding. Some of the warehouses in the center have seen books soaked in the water reaching as high as two meters
BEIJING, July 18 -- A book on studying and implementing the important discourses on the management of water resources by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has been published.
The book elaborates on the background, significance, rich implications, essence and other contents of Xi's discourses concerning the management of water resources.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi has been personally involved in the planning, arrangement and advancement of the cause of managing water resources in the country, and has put forward a series of new ideas, new thoughts and new strategies in this regard.
Xi's remarks chart the course and serve as fundamental guidance for the work on the management of water resources in the new era.
The book, compiled by the Ministry of Water Resources, has been published by the People's Publishing House.
2. MSS opens WeChat account, calls for mobilization of entire society in counter-espionage work
China is now facing a very severe and complex situation in preventing espionage activities, as some countries use both traditional and non-traditional means in some emerging areas such as science and technology, the environment and biology, as the fields involving state secrets become broader, Li Wei, an expert on national security at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Tuesday...
The MSS' WeChat account effectively provides a great channel for the public to maintain an understanding of the national security landscape and engage in counter-espionage work, including reporting any suspicious activities. "Sometimes, we may notice some suspicious activities around us, but we don't know who to report to or how to report to professional agencies. In my opinion, through this platform, our citizens can better understand this process," Li said, noting that the social media account could play a promoting role in maintaining a robust counter-espionage environment.
China should encourage its citizens to join counter-espionage work, including creating channels for individuals to report suspicious activity as well as commending and rewarding them, the state security ministry said on Tuesday.
A system that makes it "normal" for the masses to participate in counter-espionage must be established, wrote the Ministry of State Security, the main agency overlooking foreign intelligence and anti-spying, in its first post on its WeChat account, which went live on Monday.
The call to popularise anti-spying work among the masses follows an expansion of China's counter-espionage law that took effect in July.
China’s top state security body has called on the public to join the fight against spying and support implementation of the country’s new anti-espionage law.
China’s Ministry of State Security said in a WeChat article published on Tuesday that security agencies must thoroughly implement the law and would need help from the general public, calling the current state of anti-espionage efforts “grim and complex”.
The article said espionage is a serious crime that “requires not only security agencies to play the role of special anti-espionage organs, but also the broad participation of the people and their joint prevention”.
A full, lightly edited machine translation of the MSS’ first WeChat post “Counter-espionage requires the mobilization of the entire society! 反间防谍需要全社会动员!
National security is the foundation of national rejuvenation, and social stability is the prerequisite for national strength. Starting from July 1, the "Counter-Espionage Law of the People's Republic of China" revised and passed at the second session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress has officially been implemented. As the first specialized legislation in the field of national security after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party, the revision of this law fully reflects the high attention paid by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core to national security work. It is an institutional innovation to deeply practice Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law and the overall national security concept, and it is of great significance to deepen the counter-espionage struggle in the new era and journey, and to solidify the national security barrier. It provides important guarantees for accelerating the construction of a new pattern of work for national security agencies on the track of rule of law.
The national security organs are the main body responsible for counter-espionage work. At present, the situation of counter-espionage struggle is severe and complex, and national security agencies must earnestly implement the "Counter-Espionage Law" and effectively fulfill the sacred mission entrusted by the Party and the people. Espionage activities are serious illegal and criminal acts with high concealment, professionalism, and harm. They not only require national security organs to play the role of specialized counter-espionage agencies, but also require the broad participation and joint prevention of the masses to build a solid national security people's defense line against espionage.
The revised "Counter-Espionage Law" deeply implements Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law and the overall national security concept, adheres to the principle that everything for national security is for the people and relies on the people, and based on the current severe and complex situation of counter-espionage struggle, it makes a series of regulations to build a solid national security people's defense line against espionage: in terms of legislative purpose, it clarifies that counter-espionage work is for "maintaining national security and protecting people's interests"; in terms of work principles, it clarifies that counter-espionage work should adhere to "combining open work and secret work" and "combining specialized work with mass line"; in terms of legal obligations, it clarifies that "all state organs and armed forces, all political parties and people's groups, enterprises and institutions and other social organizations, have the obligation to prevent and stop espionage activities, and maintain national security", and at the same time requires "national security agencies must rely on the support of the people in counter-espionage work, mobilize and organize the people to prevent and stop espionage activities"; in terms of rights protection, it clarifies that "the state protects individuals and organizations that support and assist in counter-espionage work", and "commends and rewards individuals and organizations that report espionage activities or make significant contributions in counter-espionage work"; in terms of work system, it adds a chapter on "security prevention", clarifies the main responsibilities of state organs, people's groups, enterprises and institutions and other social organizations for counter-espionage security prevention, the management responsibilities of people's governments and industry authorities for counter-espionage security prevention, the coordination, guidance and supervision and inspection responsibilities of national security agencies for counter-espionage security prevention, and establishes a complete set of counter-espionage security prevention system mechanism according to law, jointly building a three-dimensional protection network against espionage.
To implement the "Counter-Espionage Law" and build a solid national security people's defense line against espionage, we need to take multiple measures and manage together: first, state organs, people's groups, enterprises and institutions and other social organizations, especially key units for counter-espionage security prevention, should implement various counter-espionage security prevention measures, strengthen the education of their personnel to maintain national security, and mobilize and organize their personnel to prevent and stop espionage activities. Second, people's governments at all levels and relevant departments should organize counter-espionage security prevention propaganda and education, include counter-espionage security prevention knowledge in education, training, and legal propaganda content, enhance the awareness of counter-espionage security prevention and national security literacy of all people; news, broadcasting, television, culture, Internet information service units, should carry out targeted counter-espionage propaganda and education for the whole society. At the same time, national security agencies should guide relevant units to carry out counter-espionage propaganda and education activities according to the situation of counter-espionage security prevention, and improve their prevention capabilities. Third, channels for citizens and organizations to report behaviors endangering national security should be unblocked. National security agencies should publicize the telephone numbers, mailboxes, and online platforms for accepting reports to the society, handle report information in a timely manner according to law, and keep the reporters confidential; a guarantee mechanism encouraging citizens to participate in counter-espionage work should be improved, and individuals and organizations that report espionage activities or make significant contributions in counter-espionage work should be commended, rewarded, and protected according to law, forming a normalized mechanism for the participation of the masses in counter-espionage work. Finally, national security agencies should implement the "who enforces the law, who popularizes the law" popularization of law responsibility system, widely use all media, creatively carry out various forms of national security enemy situation education and rule of law propaganda, strengthen case law interpretation, educate the masses through typical cases, enhance the awareness of counter-espionage of the whole society, and form a strong joint force to maintain national security.
You can follow the MSS WeChat account by scanning this in Wechat:
You can report suspected national security threats through the MSS reporting platform here, which lets you toggle between Chinese and English interfaces (in case someone wants to inform on fellow expats?). Here is what the reporting form looks like in English:
3. More signals of support for real estate
Officials of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange vowed Tuesday to implement precise and differentiated housing credit policies based on the specific conditions of each city and continue guiding commercial banks to relax residential mortgage rules.
Lenders should adjust mortgage rates for existing loans in an orderly manner to support people’s housing needs, the officials said at a meeting to outline their agenda for the second half of the year.
“It seems that a rate cut for existing home mortgages is really coming,” a market source said.
According to the website of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the PBOC and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) held a work meeting for the second half of 2023....Pan Gongsheng, Secretary of the Party Committee and Governor of the People's Bank of China, and Secretary of the Party Group and Director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, attended the meeting and delivered speeches. Members of the Party Committee of the People's Bank of China and members of the Party Group of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange attended the meeting. Lu Xi, Deputy Head of the 33rd Central Guidance Group for Thematic Education, attended the meeting for guidance.
Among the tasks for the 2H 2023:
Third, support the stable and healthy development of the real estate market. Implement the "Financial 16 Articles" well, extend the implementation period of the loan support plan for the delivery of buildings, maintain the stable and orderly financing of real estate, and increase the financial support for housing leasing, urban village transformation, and the construction of affordable housing. Implement differentiated housing credit policies according to the city, continue to guide the downward trend of personal housing loan interest rates and down payment ratios, and better meet the rigid and improved housing needs of residents. Guide commercial banks to adjust the interest rate of existing personal housing loans in an orderly manner according to law.
Last month, new property sales by China’s 100 biggest property developers totaled 350.4 billion yuan ($49 billion), down 33.1% year-on-year and 33.5% month-on-month, according to data provided Monday by consultancy China Real Estate Information Corp. (CRIC). Total sales in the first seven months of this year dropped 4.7% from a year earlier to 3.4 trillion yuan...
In the 30 major cities that CRIC tracks, property supply plunged 44% month-on-month by floor space in July, CRIC said. Some developers do not have the land reserves to start new projects, a source working for an overseas financial consultancy previously told Caixin. That means when all the current projects are completed and sold, they will not have a stream of new projects.
Meanwhile, property sales in the 30 major cities dropped 32% month-on-month by floor space last month, which CRIC primarily blamed on a lack of consumer confidence in purchasing homes caused by uncertainties in deliveries, shrinking personal incomes and declining home prices.
In July, home prices among the 100 cities being monitored continued to slide, the Paper reported, citing a housing data provider. In these cities, second-hand home prices declined for 15 consecutive months. In first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, new home prices in July rose 0.02% compared to a month ago, while new home prices in second-tier, third-tier and fourth-tier cities extended their declines month on month.
Shares of Country Garden Holdings Co., one of China’s largest private-sector developers, fell as much as 11% in their biggest drop this year, and ended down 7.6%. Its closely watched dollar bond due January next year, its nearest such maturity, dropped 2.3 cents Tuesday to 32.5 cents, a level that indicates high uncertainty on repayment.
The firm scrapped a primary share placement of HK$2.34 billion ($300 million) after offering shares at HK$1.30 apiece, a person with knowledge of the matter said, attributing the move to internal considerations. The company later said in a filing that no definitive agreement had been reached and added it’s not considering the proposed transaction at this stage. ..
“Country Garden is at high risk of defaulting, unless there is imminent policy support from the government to aid the developer’s access to financing at the enterprise level,” said Leonard Law, senior credit analyst with Lucror Analytics, a provider of research on the high-yield bond market. “The survivability of Country Garden hinges on the policy. Currently, it is uncertain if such support would come.”
4. US-China visits
Assistant Secretary Daniel J. Kritenbrink and Senior Director Sarah Beran’s Meeting with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Department Yang Tao
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel J. Kritenbrink and National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs Sarah Beran hosted PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Department Yang Tao on July 31 at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
The two sides held a candid, substantive, and productive discussion as part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the bilateral relationship. The two sides also exchanged views on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including Russia’s war against Ukraine and cross-Strait issues. The meeting followed Secretary Blinken’s travel to Beijing and meeting in Jakarta with Director Wang Yi, among other recent bilateral engagements.
The United States has formally invited China's newly reappointed foreign minister Wang Yi to Washington, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said on Tuesday..
The invitation was extended on Monday during a meeting at the State Department between U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink and Yang Tao, Director General of the North American and Oceanian Affairs at China's Foreign Ministry, Miller said in a press briefing.
"In the meeting yesterday, we extended the invitation that had previously been made to foreign minister Qin Gang and made clear that invitation did transfer over," Miller said.
In late June, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had indicted two Chinese nationals for dealing the precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl after conducting an undercover sting operation. The pair was apprehended in Fiji, American officials said, and then extradited to Hawaii.
Chinese officials tell Semafor they have now sent a formal diplomatic complaint to the U.S., charging that the Biden administration conducted an illegal rendition by spiriting the suspects away from Fiji in an American plane before they could get access to Chinese consular officials or lawyers.
Question: Did Fiji hand over the two PRC suspects to the US without going through proper procedures? Will the PRC retaliate?
Tan Kefei, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks in response to a question from the media on the White House's recent announcement of military assistance to Taiwan, which will include equipment, training and other forms of assistance.
Such military assistance to Taiwan flagrantly interferes in China's domestic affairs, severely undermines China's sovereignty and security interests, and seriously jeopardizes peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, Tan said.
"We firmly oppose the act and have lodged stern representations with the U.S. side," he continued, adding that the Taiwan question concerns China's core interests and is a red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations.
5. More Party building and Xi Thought study for the PLA
China's Central Military Commission (CMC) has released a guideline on fully enhancing Party building while centering on the goals set for the centenary of the People's Liberation Army.
Stressing upholding absolute Party leadership over the people's armed forces, the guideline focused on the key tasks in building the military and laid out requirements for strengthening Party building in the military.
The system of ultimate responsibility resting with the CMC chairman should be implemented by higher standards and stricter requirements, the guideline read. It called for efforts to regularize and institutionalize political education.
The unified and collective leadership of Communist Party of China committees should be strengthened, and the work in planning and conducting combats should be deepened and solidified, according to the guideline.
Party building guideline 中央军委印发《关于围绕实现建军一百年奋斗目标全面加强军队党的建设的意见》-新华网
The "Opinions" emphasize the need to unswervingly use Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to unite hearts and cast souls, to implement the responsibility system of the chairman of the military commission with higher standards and stricter requirements, to promote the normalization and institutionalization of political training, and to improve political judgment, political comprehension, and political execution. It is necessary to focus on improving the quality and effectiveness of leadership in preparing for war, strengthen the unified and collective leadership of the party committee, deeply and practically plan for war, urgently improve strategic planning and command capabilities, deepen training and preparation for war, strengthen military governance, and promote high-quality development with a spirit of reform and innovation. It is necessary to implement the party's organizational line in the new era, enhance the political function and organizational function of party organizations, adhere to the focus on the grassroots to solidify the foundation, forge a high-quality, specialized cadre team and talent team, strengthen the practical responsibility and initiative of party members, and strengthen the party's organizational system of the People's Army. It is necessary to implement the requirements of comprehensively strict governance of the party, press down and implement the political responsibility of governing the party, adhere to the strict tone unswervingly, deeply rectify the "Four Winds", especially formalism and bureaucracy, promote the integration of not daring to be corrupt, unable to be corrupt, and not wanting to be corrupt, and provide a strong political guarantee for achieving the goal of building the army for a hundred years.
The Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC) organized the compilation work of the new edition based on the original version of the study outline published in 2019.
This edition of the study outline expounds on the significance, scientific system, essence and practical requirements of the thinking. It fully demonstrates the thinking's latest development and will serve as fundamental material for its study, according to an official statement.
The CMC recently issued a circular calling for careful study and utilization of the new edition of the study outline
Brief report on the new study outline - 经中央军委批准 《习近平强军思想学习纲要（2023年版）》印发全军-新华网
he United States will ban goods from two China-based companies as part of its effort to eliminate the use of forced labor practices in the U.S. supply chain, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.
The action targets Camel Group Co., a battery manufacturer, Ltd. and Chenguang Biotech Group Co., Ltd., a spice and extract manufacturer.
The move aims to promote accountability for "the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity" against Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the department said.
a new report by experts in human rights and the solar industry found that the vast majority of solar panels made globally continue to have significant exposure to China and Xinjiang.
The report, released Tuesday, also faulted the solar industry for becoming less transparent about the origin of its products. That has made it more difficult for buyers to determine whether solar panels purchased to power homes and electricity grids were made without forced labor.
"Over-Exposed" creates a new model of assessment for the solar industry and its supply chains to identify exposure to state-imposed forced labour in the Uyghur Region as supply chains become increasingly opaque
A memoir by Tahir Hamut Izgil, a Uyghur intellectual who escaped China, explores the corrosive effect of repression and surveillance on his community...
In his memoir, “Waiting to Be Arrested at Night,” published this week by Penguin Press, Izgil brings his discerning eye for detail to describe the impact of China’s policies on the people who live under them.
A poet's account of one of the world's most urgent humanitarian crises, and a harrowing tale of a family's escape from genocide
One by one, Tahir Hamut Izgil's friends disappeared. The Chinese government's brutal persecution of the Uyghur people had continued for years, but in 2017 it assumed a terrifying new scale. The Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim minority group in western China, were experiencing an echo of the worst horrors of the twentieth century, amplified by China's establishment of an all-seeing high-tech surveillance state. Over a million people have vanished into China’s internment camps for Muslim minorities.
Tahir, a prominent poet and intellectual, had been no stranger to persecution. After he attempted to travel abroad in 1996, police tortured him until he confessed to fabricated charges and sent him to a re-education through labor camp. But even having endured three years in the camp, he could never have predicted the Chinese government’s radical solution to the Uyghur question two decades later. Was the first sign when Tahir was interrogated for hours after a phone call with a fellow poet in the Netherlands? Or when his old friend was sentenced to life in prison simply for calling for Uyghurs' legal rights to be enforced? Perhaps it was when the police seized Uyghurs’ radios and installed jamming equipment to cut them off from the outside world.
Business, Economy and Trade
The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives an independent snapshot of the sector, dropped to 49.2 from 50.5 in June, the second consecutive monthly decline and the first contraction in three months...
The July PMI survey indicates that overall manufacturing conditions worsened, “with supply, demand, exports and employment all deteriorating,” said Wang Zhe, a senior economist at Caixin Insight Group. “The market has been lukewarm, with sluggish demand, and supply has shrunk in tandem.”
The PMI’s output subindex dropped for the second straight month in July and fell below 50 for the first time since January, with muted foreign demand noted as a key factor weighing on sales. Total new orders also contracted for the first time since April and dropped to their lowest reading since December. The gauge of new export orders fell below 50 for the first time since March and showed the lowest reading since September as the risks of recession overseas mounted, Wang said.
Exclusive: China asks some banks to reduce or delay dollar buying to ease pressure on yuan -sources | Reuters The informal instruction, or the so-called window guidance, was meant to slow the pace of yuan depreciation, the sources said. One source said the regulators were emphatic banks should hold off dollar purchases under their proprietary trading accounts.
五部门开展“一链一策一批”中小微企业融资促进行动 A number of Chinese ministries and China’s central bank announced that they would start a campaign to improve financing for small and medium-sized firms, especially those that specialize in manufacturing. To do so, these ministries will identify a list of such firms by various industrial sectors, vowing to offer “one policy per industrial chain 一链一策“ aimed at improving the “convenience and accessibility” of financing.
Eight Chinese ministries on Tuesday issued 28 measures to support the private economy, vowing to provide fair access for private firms to participate in major national projects and technological undertakings, increasing financial and land support, and strengthening legal protection of the private firms, sending another resounding signal that the country will further ratchet up support for the private sector...
The 28 measures were released in a notice issued Tuesday by eight ministerial agencies, including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the nation's top economic planning agency, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the People's Bank of China (PBC), the central bank. The measures cover five areas: fair market access, stronger financial and land support, greater legal protection, better government services, and better business environment.
China blocks more than 8,000 social media accounts in latest ‘clean up’ campaign | South China Morning Post The Cyberspace Administration of China is targeting the dissemination of false and misleading information about companies and entrepreneurs in its latest “clean up” campaign. “Some accounts have been fabricating facts, spreading false news reports, maliciously associating negative industry information with certain companies or making up enterprise-related rumours under the disguise of ‘patriotism’,” the CAC said in a post on its WeChat account on Tuesday
Yicai - Changan Ford Takes Over US Carmaker’s Electric Mustang Business in China Ford Mustang Mach-E, the electric vehicle unit of Ford Motor in China, was officially taken over by one of the US auto giant's two joint ventures in the country as part of its strategic transformation and business adjustment in the world’s biggest auto market. Changan Ford, a JV with Changan Automobile, has allowed nearly 300 dealers to sell the Mustang Mach-E in a first batch, it announced today with Ford Electric Mach Technologies Nanjing, Ford's other EV unit in China
Marriott lifts annual profit forecast on China rebound | Reuters International room revenue rose 39%, led by China, which surpassed 2019 levels once travel restrictions were lifted in January, the company said. "With the region's international airlift still only around 40% of 2019 capacity at the end of the second quarter, we believe there is still meaningful growth opportunity in and from Greater China," said CEO Anthony Capuano.
Estée Lauder Gets Four Analyst Downgrades in Two Weeks on China Recovery - Bloomberg Channel checks from Citi’s China consumer team have found that Chinese shoppers continue to trade down from premium to mass-market brands, and Estée Lauder’s inventories in some travel retail locations remain elevated. Falorni added that peer L’Oreal recently called out deteriorating trends in popular travel destination Hainan.
China audits reveal consumption vouchers did not work and were misused, as cash handouts remain elusive | South China Morning Post Several Chinese provinces have uncovered that local consumption vouchers issued in recent years were not only misused, they did little to increase spending – revelations that seem to undermine Beijing’s refusal to give out cold, hard cash.
China Set Up Massive State Iron Ore Buyer But Questions on Operations Remain - Bloomberg Ranked as the 36th most important state-owned company by Chinese authorities, the firm that’s poised to upend the $160 billion global trade in the steel-making staple still doesn’t have a website, or any public contacts. So there was a lot of interest when the state-run China Metallurgical News published the first strategic plan for CMRG last week. But those hoping for some insight into how the company intended to challenge the pricing dominance of the top three iron ore miners — Rio Tinto Group, Vale SA and BHP Group Ltd. — were left disappointed.
Caterpillar (CAT) Says China Demand Slowdown Even Worse Than Thought - Bloomberg Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby said during Tuesday’s earnings call that the company anticipates further weakness in sales of the machines most used for Chinese construction projects. The view follows the CEO’s downbeat comments on April 27, when he said the total share of sales from the Asian nation would be below its normal expected range of 5% to 10%.
Tech cold war: South Korea pivots from China to US | Financial Times According to data released by the Bank of Korea in June, South Korea exported more goods to the US in 2022 than it did to China for the first time since 2004, when China’s nominal gross domestic product was still less than that of the UK. Korea’s trade minister Ahn Duk-geun has said Beijing’s policy to “arbitrarily interfere with businesses” as well as its “dual circulation” import substitution policies were driving Korean companies to reduce their exposure to China...As China’s own technological expertise has grown, so Chinese demand for Korean companies specialising in complex manufacturing has declined dramatically. “Many Chinese businesses are manufacturing intermediate goods, which we mainly export,” Rhee Chang-yong, the governor of the Bank of Korea, told lawmakers in May. “The decade-long support from the Chinese economic boom has disappeared.”
China’s overseas investment in metals and mining set to hit record | Financial Times In the first half of this year, Chinese investments and new contracts in the mining and metals sector topped $10bn, according to a report from the Green Finance & Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai reviewed by the Financial Times. That figure is more than the 2022 full-year total, and puts this year’s investments on track to exceed the previous record of $17bn in 2018. China’s investment in the sector includes nickel, lithium and copper projects as well as uranium, steel and iron, highlighting intensifying efforts by Chinese companies across the clean technology supply chain to lock up access to resources amid forecasts of booming long-term demand as the world fights climate change.
广东出手了！推动广州、深圳放宽“限牌”！还有购车补贴、以旧换新…… | 每经网 Guangdong is looking to relax car plate restrictions in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, part of a broader plan to stimulate car consumption, National Business Daily reported, citing local media reports. Guangdong has been leading car production for the last six years. Its new-energy car production accounts for 18% of the national production.
国家发改委：支持长三角、粤港澳大湾区、京津冀等加大营商环境改革力度-中新网 The National Development and Reform Commission will work with various departments to improve the business environment in three key economic regions, said the NDRC spokesperson Meng Wei. The three regions include the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and Jing-Jin-Ji. According to Meng, the measures will include scrapping practices that hinder market competition and fairness, encouraging foreign investments, and expansion of the scope of such investments. As for the next steps, Meng said the NDRC will unveil policies in “batches and various stages.”
China Broadens Program Bringing Local Debt Out of Hiding - Caixin A new round of audits of local hidden debt is being carried out, and how to resolve the debts remains to be clarified, Caixin learned from people familiar with the matter. // 多地争取隐性债务化解试点 新一轮申报已启动_经济频道_财新网 7月24日中央政治局会议继续强调要有效防范化解地方债务风险，首次提出“制定实施一揽子化债方案”。 据财新了解，新一轮地方隐性债务审计正在开展，后续如何化解仍待明确
China Investors Sell Tencent Stock as Outlook Darkens: Tech Watch - Bloomberg For the first time since 2021, onshore investors have sold Tencent shares on a net basis for two months in a row, according to Bloomberg’s calculations of exchange data. In July, mainland investors offloaded HK$2.9 billion ($375 million) through trading links between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges.
China’s Big Tech companies revive expansion plans after Beijing vows to give the green light on more deals, ends regulatory crackdown | South China Morning Post On-demand local services giant Meituan, which runs the country’s leading food delivery platform, on Monday announced 6,000 new positions in the firm that are open to fresh graduates. This marked a 20 per cent increase from the 5,000 vacancies it had last year.
Southern China firms refraining from big investments amid ‘cautious’ confidence, AmCham finds | South China Morning Post In the south of China – a region fuelled by manufacturing and exports – companies that still haven’t fully shaken off the rust of Covid remain cautious in their reinvestment plans, according to findings by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in South China. More than two-thirds, or 68 per cent, of 185 companies polled from May to June said they were sticking with their budgeted reinvestment plans for 2023 that had been made before Beijing ended the restrictive zero-Covid policy late last year.
Politics and Law
Why China’s students now face a longer long march to join the Communist Party | South China Morning Post A Beijing-based political researcher said the screening of prospective party members was going to be further tightened after a slew of Chinese universities saw students protesting against the country’s strict Covid-19 controls in November. “This is regarded as a political struggle as Beijing indicated there are elements of ‘colour revolution’. Those who are found to have taken part in the protests will have problems to clear their political review,” said the researcher, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Shanghai Lawmaker Booted From Top Legislature Following Graft Probe - Caixin Global What’s new: Shanghai lawmaker Dong Yunhu has been removed from his position as a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, after becoming the target of a graft probe. Dong is the first representative to be publicly booted from the 14th NPC, whose members were confirmed in February. He has also been dismissed from his post as chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress, according to a Tuesday report published on the Shanghai government-backed Jiefang Daily.
Active Justice: Resolving Real Estate and Construction Disputes at Source | Supreme People's Court Monitor In late May of this year (2023), the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a set of typical cases on resolving real estate and construction disputes at their source provided by the SPC’s #6 Circuit Court (the circuit court covering the northwest provinces and autonomous regions), entitled “Typical Cases of Litigation Source Governance in the field of Real Estate and Construction Projects in the Circuit Courts area (巡回区房地产及建设工程领域诉源治理典型案例). These typical cases have not received their due attention outside the Chinese court system. They are helpful for understanding how the Chinese court system is evolving under the leadership of SPC President Zhang Jun. These ten typical cases are examples of court practices that the SPC has provided to lower courts for guidance. The guidance focuses on two principal areas: how to implement properly the requirements of President Zhang Jun and the SPC’s Party group to serve national and social governance by resolving disputes at their source (linking to the General Secretary’s important instructions and related documents; and second, how to use “active justice” (能动司法) to achieve these objectives.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Caixin 人事观察｜海军上将刘青松已转任东部战区政委_政经频道_财新网 Admiral Liu Qingsong, who has served in the Air Force and Navy and has been the Political Commissar of the Northern and Eastern Theaters since 2022, has been transferred to the Political Commissar of the Eastern Theater. He is a member of the 20th Central Committee. His predecessor, He Ping, has reached the age of 65.
Caixin 人事观察｜北大女博士孙海燕升任中联部副部长_政经频道_财新网 Sun Haiyan, who recently served as China's ambassador to Singapore and is the first "post-70s" deputy department in the foreign affairs system, has been promoted to Deputy Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China.
The US wants Japan and South Korea to agree that each nation has a duty to consult the others in the event of an attack, as Washington pushes for a historic joint statement when the leaders hold a trilateral summit at Camp David this month.
Washington has bilateral alliances with Tokyo and Seoul, which have a history of turbulent relations over Japan’s wartime practices. But the White House wants to bring its two Pacific allies closer to boost deterrence against North Korea and China, according to four people familiar with the situation...
In addition to pressing for the language on consultations, the White House is urging Tokyo and Seoul to state that the countries have mutual vulnerabilities — a reference to North Korea and China — that would enhance deterrence and facilitate defence co-operation.
The three sides are also discussing installing a trilateral leader-level hotline and are expected to unveil other measures at the summit, including strengthening trilateral exercises, cyber security, missile defence and economic security.
Pakistan and China ink six agreements to expedite cooperation under CPEC - The Hindu Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng witnessed the signing ceremony held to mark 10 years of the CPEC, a collection of infrastructure and other projects under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013
Berlin’s Delicate Balance With Beijing | Foreign Affairs Germany’s new China strategy is, at its core, an economic security strategy, in which hard security issues are given only secondary consideration. This underscores the gulf between German and American priorities when it comes to China. The strategy is most explicit about security concerns when it discusses Russian-Chinese cooperation, threatening consequences if China delivers weapons to Russia and calling China’s defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty “not credible.” It also promises greater military cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners and a temporary military presence in that region. Otherwise, the strategy avoids outlining actions or a role for Germany in a geopolitical confrontation with China—for example, over Taiwan.
The world’s largest asset manager and a top stock-market-index compiler are being investigated by a congressional committee for facilitating American investment in Chinese companies the U.S. government has accused of bolstering China’s military and violating human rights.
The House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party notified BlackRock and MSCI on Monday of the probes into their activities, according to letters viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The panel told the firms that a review of just a sliver of their activities—which aren’t illegal—showed that they are causing Americans to fund more than 60 Chinese companies that U.S. agencies have flagged on security or human-rights grounds.
When index provider MSCI Inc. first considered including Chinese A-shares, which trade on the mainland, in its emerging-market indexes, which form the backbone of how many large institutions invest, institutional investors were apprehensive given the poor insight into Chinese companies and restrictions on the movement of capital.
The Chinese government lobbied heavily for the inclusion. The other strong voice that helped drive the shift was from BlackRock, people involved in the discussions say. The firm started out opposing the move but then threw its weight behind it after Beijing made it easier for foreign investors to trade Chinese stocks.
Soon after MSCI announced its decision in June 2017, BlackRock received approval for a prior application to start a private-fund business in China for select investors. “BlackRock’s support for the MSCI decision on China certainly helped,” recalls a Chinese regulatory official.
Gallagher, Hawley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Prevent Tax-Exempt Entities from Financing CCP Techno-Totalitarian State | Select Committee on the CCP Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), alongside Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Select Committee members Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), today, introduced the Dump Investments in Troublesome Communist Holdings Act (DITCH Act). This bill would force non-profits, university endowments, public pension plans, and any other tax-exempt entity to divest from Chinese companies or lose their tax-exempt status.
U.S. quest for minerals leads to a remote nation surrounded by adversaries - POLITICO Mongolia — nicknamed “Minegolia” by some academics due to its abundant reserves of copper, gold and coal — hosted a handful of American officials on a mission in June to ease the United States’ dependence on China for the natural resources at the heart of several clean energy technologies...“Mongolia is facing a generational opportunity. And that generational opportunity is a need for us to find critical minerals and rare earths in order to achieve our clean energy goals,” Jose Fernandez, undersecretary of State for economic growth, energy and the environment, who led the overseas trip, said in an interview with POLITICO’s E&E News.
Caught Between China and Russia, Mongolia Seeks Closer U.S. Ties - WSJ Sparsely populated and sandwiched between two authoritarian powers, Mongolia is positioning itself as a resource-rich, democratic partner for the U.S. in Asia amid growing competition between Washington and Beijing over the minerals needed to pursue cleaner energy. That push will be at the heart of a visit by Mongolia’s prime minister to Washington this week, as his country attempts to draw itself closer to the West in a bid to diversify its economy without angering its powerful neighbors Russia and China.
Inflection Point: How to Reverse the Erosion of U.S. and Allied Military Power and Influence | RAND The U.S. defense strategy and posture have become insolvent. The tasks that the nation expects its military forces and other elements of national power to do internationally exceed the means that are available to accomplish those tasks. Sustained, coordinated efforts by the United States and its allies are necessary to deter and defeat modern threats, including Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine and reconstituted forces and China's economic takeoff and concomitant military modernization. This report offers ideas on how to address shortcomings in defense preparations.
Heritage’s new natsec boss wants ‘everything’ to be about China - POLITICO When VICTORIA COATES takes over the Heritage Foundation’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy on Tuesday, she will push her team to consider the China angle to, well, “everything.” “My charge to the rest of Davis is that everything has to be filtered through the lens of what we’re dealing with, with the People’s Republic of China, and it’s going to be generational,” she told NatSec Daily in an interview.
TikTok ban on Australian government devices should also cover WeChat, parliamentary committee recommends | TikTok | The Guardian The ban on TikTok from government devices in Australia should be extended to the devices of government contractors, and should also cover WeChat, a parliamentary committee has recommended.
“Time travelers” in Vietnam | Panda Paw Dragon Claw the recent Tencent documentary series “Chasing the Tide” (出海) offers an interesting perspective on real-world Belt and Road exchanges by pointing the lens at Chinese entrepreneurs in Vietnam. The group of entrepreneurs are trying to transplant a successful and quintessentially 21st century Chinese business model to the Southeast Asian neighbor: Tiktok live-stream retail.
Former top State Department China official joins Eurasia Group | Reuters The U.S. State Department's former top China policy official, Rick Waters has joined Eurasia Group, the consulting firm said on Tuesday, after a nearly three-decade career as a diplomat. Waters, who in June stepped down from his role leading the State Department's "China House" policy division at a time of fraught relations between the two countries, will be based in Washington as Eurasia Group's managing director for China, the firm said in a statement.
In the Race to Mine the Seabed, China Takes a Hard Line - Bloomberg Friday marked the conclusion of three weeks of tense meetings at the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a United Nations-affiliated organization that regulates the nascent deep-sea mining industry. The ISA’s 36-nation policymaking body, known as the Council, convened at its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, to discuss whether the organization will act on any mining applications it receives from companies. Its conclusion was ‘not yet’...The summit’s final days were characterized by a clash between China, which favors seabed mining, and a growing alliance of countries calling for a moratorium or pause due to a lack of scientific knowledge about the deep ocean ecosystems being targeted.
Book Launch: Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World - YouTube The CSIS Australia Chair cordially invites you to a book launch—Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World In her new book Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, China Reporter at Axios, examines China's economic rise and how the Chinese Communist Party has leveraged its dominant role in the global economy to coerce companies and governments around the world to align with its political preferences.
Hong Kong gov't would face 'difficulty' if it appeals rejection of protest song ban, advisor says - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Speaking on Commercial Radio on Monday, lawyer and executive councillor Ronny Tong said that should the Department of Justice (DoJ) appeal the court ruling, it would face “considerable difficulty.” “If [the government] insists on appealing and loses the appeal, it will not be a good look for the government, politically it would not be a good look,” Tong said in Cantonese.
HK encourages taxi drivers to report suspected terrorism-related information - Global Times The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF)'s Inter-departmental Counter Terrorism Unit launched a citywide campaign on Tuesday encouraging taxi drivers to report suspicious messages related to terrorism and violence. If they successfully assist in solving a case and securing a conviction, they may receive a reward.
China's military speeds preparations to blockade Taiwan - Nikkei Asia China has greatly increased its conducting of military drills simulating the containment of Taiwan since then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island a year ago. Nikkei analyzed the possibility of China's invasion of Taiwan, using drone-taken images and views by experts. Even the range of activities by the Chinese military around Taiwan has changed. Before Pelosi's visit on Aug. 2 of last year, Chinese military planes and ships rarely moved around to the east of Taiwan. Instead, they primarily engaged in activities southwest of the island. Over the past year, they have become active in the Western Pacific, or the Philippine Sea, having Taiwan to the west.
Taiwan to test less robust eastern defences with month-long missile drills | South China Morning Post Taiwan’s military will stage a series of missile drills this month in waters off its eastern coastline to test combat readiness amid growing concerns that Beijing could send forces to attack the island from its less fortified east. The drills will involve air and naval forces firing air and ship-launched missiles at targets in three restricted zones in waters off the east and southeast coast of the self-ruled island, according to a notice issued by Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency.
The United States House of Representatives recently passed a so-called “Taiwan International Solidarity Act”. Being an important part of US attempts to set up a “pseudo-historical thinking” trap , all its rhetoric represents a calculated distortion of UNGA Resolution 2758, showing US’s deception in public opinion on the Taiwan question.
UNGA Resolution 2758 provides for the restoration of all the rights to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the expulsion of illegal representatives from Taiwan. Moreover, it recognizes the Government of the PRC as the only legitimate representative of China at the United Nations, and there is no such thing as “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”. It can be said that once and for all, Resolution 2758 resolved, politically, legally and procedurally, the issue of the representation of the whole of China, including Taiwan, in the United Nations.
There is a campaign underway by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to reinterpret UN Resolution 2758 as based on its “One China” Principle and spread the fallacy that, through the resolution, UN member states came to a determination that Taiwan is a part of the PRC.
Yet, in passing the resolution in 1971, the countries solely intended to grant the seat occupied by the Republic of China in the General Assembly and the Security Council to the PRC.
Tech and Media
Chinese firm expected to deliver 28nm chip machine at year-end: media report - Global Times According to the Securities Daily, Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment Group (SMEE) has been committed to developing a 28-nm immersion lithography machine, and it's expected the first domestically produced SSA/800-10W lithography machine will be delivered to the market by the end of 2023. It will be a major breakthrough for the industry and homegrown chips are to be produced that meet the requirements of commonly used devices, Zhang Hong, a Beijing-based semiconductor industry analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday. // Comment: I hear that this firm has promised this by end of year for several years…
Apple removes over a hundred ChatGPT-like apps in China as tighter regulations set to take effect | South China Morning Post Apple has removed more than a hundred apps offering ChatGPT-like services from its China store, as a regulation on generative artificial intelligence (AI) is set to take effect in the country in two weeks. The apps were all pulled off the shelves from China’s iOS app store on Tuesday, according to data on Chinese mobile app analytics platform Qimai. Spark, an app developed by iFlyTek that provides ChatGPT-style services, was among the removed apps even though it had a high-profile launch on June 29.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
The people said Beijing’s stance was backed up by Saudi Arabia, putting in jeopardy hopes of concluding an agreement on ending fossil fuel use and boosting renewable energy.
“I’ve never seen such wrecking tactics employed at a multilateral meeting before,” said one person at the negotiations in Chennai in India, the current holder of the G20 presidency.
Another person familiar with the talks described the Chinese negotiator at the talks, which ended on Friday, as a “one-man wrecking ball”.
China’s steel sector invests USD 100 billion in coal-based steel plants, despite low profitability, overcapacity and carbon commitments – Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA)’s latest briefing on the steel sector in China reveals that China’s crude steel output has declined since 2021 due to output control by the government and the decline in downstream demand. However, new investments in iron and steelmaking capacity have so far not adjusted to the new reality. The expansion of the Chinese steel industry demonstrates a close correlation with the nation’s economic development. Excessive investments have persistently inundated the industry, transforming the customary cyclical and short-term overcapacity situation into a protracted and persistent overcapacity issue, referred to as structural overcapacity.
Chinese Investment in Coal-Based Steel Mills Still Running Hot - Bloomberg Chinese steelmakers received approvals from provincial authorities to invest about $100 billion in new coal-based mills over the past two-and-a-half years, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Emissions from the plants, if fully operated, would be equal to the total from the Netherlands, the independent think-tank on air pollution said in a report released Tuesday.
Over 50 percent adults being overweight or obese in China; obesity brought a huge burden of disease and economy: experts - Global Times The population of obese people in China is increasing, with over 50 percent of adults being overweight or obese, with the proportion of obese people rising even faster than the overweight population, experts said recently at the second China Obesity Conference (COC2023), according to media reports on Tuesday.
China recommends XBB-specialized COVID vaccines for seniors - Global Times To better prepare for the potential COVID-19 surge during this year's autumn and winter seasons, China's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council issued a notice on Tuesday, calling for vaccinations for key sections of the population, such as senior citizens, recommending vaccines that contain the XBB variant antigen components as prioritized doses.
China is suddenly dealing with another public health crisis: mpox | MIT Technology Review While the Americas and Europe have mostly contained the mpox outbreak that started in mid-2022, Asia has emerged as the disease’s new hot spot. Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, which all saw sporadic imported cases last year, have reported weekly new case numbers in the double digits in 2023, meaning the virus has been spreading in the domestic population. But according to the latest data reported to the WHO, China has surpassed all other countries in the world, with 315 confirmed cases in just the past three months—though irregular case reporting from Beijing means it’s impossible to know the true scale of the disease at this point.
Rural and Agricultural Issues
Yicai - China’s Anti-Trust Law Puts End to Pig Breeders’ Idea of Talent Poaching Ban The four largest pig breeders in China, including Charoen Pokphand Group and Muyuan Foodstuff, have withdrawn a proposal made last month that aimed to put a stop to talent poaching in the industry because it violated the country’s anti-monopoly law. Part of the proposed initiative was not well expressed and contravened the anti-monopoly law, the four companies said in a statement yesterday, adding that they had accepted the criticism made by the State Administration for Market Regulation in talks and immediately rectified the problem.