Boao Propaganda In Overdrive; Trump Winging China Tariffs? ; US Taiwan Policy; Censorship And Core Socialist Values; SARS-like Virus Killing Pigs

Happy Monday, no doubt you are waiting as I am with great anticipation for Xi’s heavily hyped speech at the Boao Forum Tuesday. Expect it to occupy at least as high a spot in the propaganda pantheon as his 2017 Davos speech, and for his message to show a sharp contrast to Trump and “America First”.

Today’s is John Bolton’s first day as US National Security Advisor.

There now appear to be no brakes in the Trump Administration against a much tougher approach to China. Plan accordingly.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Boao Propaganda In Overdrive--"Xi's 'Southern Tour'"?

Op-ed: 2018 Boao Forum sets new starting line for peaceful development, win-win cooperation - People's Daily Online - Zhong Sheng:

His attendance of China’s first big home-field diplomatic event this year is of great significance to promote major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, build the community with a shared future for Asia and mankind, and advance peace and development for mankind, as 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, and the first year to implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC)...

However, with rising populism and protectionism, some countries have become reluctant to offer international public products and even undermined the multilateral international system.

The trend of anti-globalization indicates the existence of the old-fashioned mentality that goes against the times, such as superpowers and zero-sum games. Such mentality poses a threat to the world view and value that encourages consensus and common actions.

Can President Xi Jinping succeed in ‘China’s Hawaii’ where Deng Xiaoping failed? | South China Morning Post:

At the annual Boao Forum for Asia, which opens on Sunday at a beach and golf resort town on the island’s east coast, Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to announce plans for new free-trade ports with greater autonomy, economic freedom and market access, and Hainan could be among the locations chosen, sources told the South China Morning Post...

“It will be Xi’s own ‘southern tour’,” a government researcher said, referring to the famous trip made by China’s former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1992.

Senior Chinese official hails community with shared future for Asia, humanity - Xinhua:

Huang Kunming, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the Media Leaders Summit for Asia in south China's Sanya Monday, during the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia.

With the dramatic development and restructuring of the world, Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, put forward a series of thoughts that concern the destiny of humanity, including the call for building a community with a shared future for Asia and humanity, which offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to promoting the peace and development of the world, and the prosperity and progress of Asia, according to Huang.

Xinhua on Huang's speech 亚洲媒体高峰会议在海南三亚举行 黄坤明出席并发表主旨演讲 

Chinese President Xi Jinping may announce reforms at Boao Forum speech- CNBC:

It's hoped Xi will say something "specific enough and tangible enough to give us confidence that the market access reforms that have been on the table for some time are being pushed," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business-oriented lobbying group.

People's Daily short video "The Open Door Will Not Be Closed"--人民日报微视频:开放的大门不会关上

Ban Ki-moon elected BFA chairman - Xinhua:

Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday was elected chairman of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), replacing former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong was appointed BFA secretary-general, said a statement released after the meeting of the newly elected Board of Directors of BFA, which was held during the ongoing BFA annual conference.

Former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was designated as China's chief representative to BFA. According to the BFA Charter, Zhou is ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and vice chair of BFA.

Top UK Banker Praises Xi’s ‘Authoritarian’ Leadership - Bloomberg:

At the Boao Forum for Asia, taking place on the tropical island of Hainan, China, Barclays Plc Deputy Chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone endorsed the host nation as a “beacon of stability.” Grimstone, who is also chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, called China “wonderful” for U.K. business in helping to stabilize a “very troubled world,” in a Bloomberg TV interview with Stephen Engle on Monday..

“The fact that Xi is prepared to give such strong authoritarian guidance within the context of a market economy is great for companies like mine,” Grimstone, 68, said. Standard Life will launch its first onshore fund in China next month, he said.

Gushing Grimstone, just reinforcing Beijing's approach to barbarian management...

2. Not Sure Why Anyone Optimistic US-China Tensions Will Lessen

On the threat of tariffs on another $100 Billion--Axios Sneak Peek - 1 big thing: Winging a trade war:

There wasn’t one single deliberative meeting in which senior officials sat down to debate the pros and cons of this historic threat. Trump didn’t even ask for advice from his new top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, instead presenting the tariffs as a fait accompli. Chief of Staff John Kelly knew Trump wanted more tariffs but was blindsided by the speed of the announcement. And Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short — the White House’s liaison to Capitol Hill — was totally in the dark.

To be sure, the president wasn’t completely freelancing. The topic came up at the senior staff meeting the morning of the announcement. And he personally ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to put together the threat and to get it done by Thursday. Trump said he had to protect American farmers, whom the Chinese were threatening with billions in tariffs.

But for some White House officials, the moment was jarring: Trump had melted down Capitol Hill and roiled the markets with zero substantive internal debate.

Reports of a lack of a coherent, deliberated strategy will reinforce Beijing’s view that it can target various US interest groups to water down Trump’s threats.

Trump calls China's tariffs on U.S. cars 'stupid trade' - POLITICO:

“When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%. When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%,” Trump wrote on Twitter just after 6 a.m. Monday morning. “Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE - going on for years!”

The propaganda ban on criticizing Trump has been lifted as of the end of last week --China blames U.S for trade frictions, says negotiations currently impossible - Reuters:

Chinese state researchers and media talked down the likely impact of U.S. trade measures on the world’s second largest economy and described the Trump administration’s posturing on trade as the product of an “anxiety disorder”.

“Under the current circumstances, both sides even more cannot have talks on these issues,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular news briefing.

Donald Trump is standing up for American interests - FT $$ - Peter Navarro OpEd:

Nothing less than the US’s economic future is at risk from China’s assault on American technology and IP, and its mercantilist bid to capture emerging high-tech industries. In its Made in China 2025 policy manifesto, the Chinese government has explicitly targeted industries ranging from artificial intelligence, robotics and quantum computing to self-driving vehicles, automated machine tooling and advanced medical devices. If China captures these industries, the US simply will not have an economic future...

Mr Trump seeks only a shared prosperity based on trade peace. His vision is that of a global trading system free of the imbalances and unfair practices that now hold growth back, not just in the US but around the world. To realise this vision, trade must first be fair and reciprocal. China’s policies have distorted markets and harmed producers around the world. Others have long shared US concerns, and we welcome like-minded countries in taking concrete action with us to fight market-distorting policies.

The Architect of Trump’s Threatened China Trade War - WSJ:

Mr. Lighthizer’s role became clear to the Chinese when the Trump economic team landed in Beijing in November for a round of discussions. Mr. Trump made sure the U.S. trade representative met with top Chinese leaders while some others waited outside.

In a session with President Xi Jinping, Mr. Lighthizer laid out how fruitless the U.S. considered past negotiations and how the president was concerned the U.S. trade deficit continued to expand. While US officials saw Mr. Lighthizer’s comments as a lawyerly argument, Chinese officials described their reaction as shocked.

Donald Trump trade threats lack credibility - FT $$ - Larry Summers OpEd:

Fifth, threats have to be credible to be effective. In recent weeks, every time the US has pushed its strategy markets have had mini-collapses, and every time it has appeared to pull back markets have rallied. How in such a world can it seem credible that the US will actually carry through on its threats? And without credibility why should one expect strong responses from China? I return from a recent meeting with senior Chinese officials with the clear sense that they are more bemused than alarmed by what they see as a boomeranging US approach.

This seems like an empty and self-defeating threat--China Is Studying Yuan Devaluation as a Tool in Trade Spat - Bloomberg:

Senior Chinese officials are studying a two-pronged analysis of the yuan that was prepared by the government, the people said. One part looks at the effect of using the currency as a tool in trade negotiations with the U.S., while a second part examines what would happen if China devalues the yuan to offset the impact of any trade deal that curbs exports.

The analysis doesn’t mean officials will carry out a devaluation, which would require approval from top leaders, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private.

3. US-China Trade Tensions Could Pale Next To Taiwan Policy Shift

US gives boost to Taiwan’s plans to build submarines | South China Morning Post:

Taiwan last year launched a plan to manufacture its own submarines amid deteriorating cross-strait relations after its hopes of buying them from the US came to nothing.

The US State Department has approved granting the licence necessary to sell Taiwan the technology needed for its submarine project.

The approval was a “breakthrough”, Taiwanese defence ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said on Sunday.

Submarine license needs technical backing: experts - Taipei Times:

The marketing license could indeed facilitate the building of domestic submarines, but there could still be a long way to go, because the US might not supply all the technology or equipment needed for the submarine project, such as weapons, sonar and underwater communication systems, Asia-Pacific Defense magazine editor-in-chief Kevin Cheng (鄭繼文) said.

China demands halt of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan - Reuters:

Taiwan’s Central News Agency said on Saturday that Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence confirmed the U.S. Department of State had agreed to grant the license needed to sell the technology to Taiwan so the self-ruled island could build its own submarines.

China’s Defence Ministry, responding to a journalist’s question in an online statement about the issue, demanded that the United States “halt all forms of military links between the United States and Taiwan, as well as all forms of weapon sales to Taiwan”.

John Bolton could visit Taiwan in June | Taiwan News:

In an article titled "Taiwan is again becoming a flash point between China and America," the Economist cites rumors that Bolton may attend the opening in Taipei of the new complex housing the AIT, America's de facto embassy in Taiwan, which is slated for June.

If Bolton does indeed attend the opening, it would represent what appears to be a tilt in favor of Taiwan by the U.S., after years of adhering to an ambivalent "one China" policy in which Washington avoided publicly and directly referring to Taiwan as a separate country or sending high level officials to it.

From the Economist article Taiwan is again becoming a flashpoint between China and America:

a shift of sorts is under way. In January one pro-Taiwan China hawk, Randall Schriver, was put in charge of Asia-Pacific policy at the Pentagon. A more prominent hawk, John Bolton, is about to become Mr Trump’s national security adviser. And in March Alex Wong, the official in charge of Indo-Pacific strategy at the State Department, was in Taipei to deliver a speech. Taiwan, he said, “can no longer be excluded unjustly from international fora. [It] has much to share with the world.” With Taiwan barred from everything from the International Civil Aviation Organisation to Interpol, Mr Wong has a point. He assured Ms Tsai that American support for Taiwan has never been stronger.

Comment: I am surprised Beijing has never complained that The Economist puts all Taiwan-related articles in its Asia section, not its China section.

4. Pentagon Paper On China's Tech Challenge To The US

This Pentagon Paper Explains Why the Trump Administration Is Reining In Tech Trade with China - Defense One:

Initially written last year and circulated to a small audience of military officials and lawmakers, the so-called DIUx Paper (named for the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental outreach group), describes how technological progress fits into China’s long-term strategic plans. The paper’s authors conclude that keeping pace will require a comprehensive U.S. government response, including investments in science and technology and other measures that go well beyond punitive trade restrictions....

The paper, which contains no classified or sensitive information, was initially kept from the public. The Pentagon denied a June, 2017 Freedom of Information Act request by Defense One to release it. Its final version appeared on the DIUX website in March with no prior notification.

The paper, in PDF 

Forget the Trade War. China Wants to Win the Computing Arms Race - Bloomberg:

While overall spending by China is unknown, its government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences in Hefei, Anhui Province, which is slated to open in 2020. U.S.-funded research in quantum is about $200 million a year, according to a July 2016 government report, and some researchers and companies don’t believe that’s enough.

China’s SenseTime, the world’s highest valued AI startup, raises $600M | TechCrunch:

China now has the world’s highest-valued AI startup after SenseTime, a company founded in 2014, announced a $600 million Series C investment round. A source with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch that the round values the company at over $4.5 billion, while it is also raising an extension to this round. That marks a hefty increase on the company’s most recent $1.5 billion valuation when it raised a $410 million Series B last year.

SenseTime CEO Li Xu said the company plans to use the capital to expand its presence overseas and “widen the scope for more industrial application of AI.”

Ex-Google Executive Opens a School for AI, With China's Help | WIRED:

This week Kai-Fu Lee, onetime head of Google’s operations in China, launched a new project to help close the country’s AI talent gap. His helpers include the Chinese government and some of North America’s leading computer scientists. The project is an example of how US and Chinese efforts to progress in AI are entangled, despite recent rhetoric about superpower technology rivalry.

5. Expect More Censorship And Increasing Imposition Of Core Socialist Values 

Toutiao and 3 other news apps have been taken down from Chinese app stores · TechNode:

Jinri Toutiao 今日头条 will be suspended for three weeks, Phoenix News 凤凰新闻 for two weeks, NetEase News 网易新闻 for one week and Tiantian News 天天快报 for three days according to Sohu, which claims to have had the move verified by the Ali, Huawei, Xiaomi, 360 Mobile and OPPO app stores before the deadline. Tencent told them it didn’t have any comment...

The reason behind the takedown, as ascertained by Sohu, is “In order to regulate the dissemination [of news] in a legal manner, all online application stores must suspend the downloading of the four mobile applications”.

Streaming site to 'purify' videos, bans youngsters - Global Times:

A popular Chinese livestreaming app plans to ban online 'hosts' under 18 and build a 5,000-person team to "purify" its video content after it and similar platforms were ordered to clean up their content by the government's internet watchdog.

"To reinforce our supervision team, we will enlarge the team from the current 2,000 to 5,000, and strengthen training in order to upgrade employees' sense of social responsibility and build a team with firm political awareness," announced Kuaishou, a popular social video-sharing app, on its official Sina Weibo account Friday.

China Isn’t Happy About Its Newest Internet Stars: Teenage Moms - The New York Times:

Two of China’s most popular video platforms disappeared from app stores this week after the state broadcaster CCTV accused them of promoting underage pregnancy. A segment last week on CCTV featured what it said were teenage women whose videos — chronicling the joys and tribulations of motherhood, complete with images of swollen bellies — had attracted millions of followers and viewers. A stern but unspecific rebuke from China’s top media regulator followed a few days later.

TV programs should emphasize social benefits: official - Xinhua:

TV programs should promote social benefits instead of self-centered values, said Gao Changli, an official of the State Administration of Radio and Television.

Gao made the comment Sunday at a seminar for officials of TV and radio stations and regulators, held in Ningbo of east China's Zhejiang Province.

China launches campaigns to clean up cultural environment - Xinhua:

The campaigns, spearheaded by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications, will run until November. Administrative organs in the areas of cyberspace management, public security, culture, media, and publications were ordered to step up efforts to combat illegal publications, pornography, copyright infringement, and other cultural wrongdoings.

Chen Hua, deputy director of the Beijing Cyberspace Administration, is under investigation., likely tied to Lu Wei case--北京市网信办副主任陈华接受调查-千龙网·中国首都网

6. Academic Exploitation And #MeToo

Another Woman Accuses Peking University Professor of Misconduct - Caixin Global:

Shen has been accused by multiple people of having assaulted female student Gao Yan, who entered Peking University in 1995 and died at the age of 21 in 1998. Gao Yan’s case attracted national attention after a former classmate published a blog post denouncing Shen, in the wake of the global ‘Me Too’ movement, which has resulted in accusations against other Chinese academics.

北大公布20年前处理沈阳文件 高母称校方未听取家属意见

A Young Woman’s Rallying Cry for #MeToo in China, 20 Years After Her Death - The New York Times:

Peking University, where Mr. Shen taught until 2011, vowed over the weekend to do more to prevent sexual harassment, saying it had “zero tolerance” for violations of students’ rights. The university also revealed that it had given a warning to Mr. Shen over suspicion of inappropriate behavior after the police investigated the case in 1998.

Academic Exploitation in China: Online Voices Help Three Victims Speak from beyond the Grave | What's on Weibo:

on Chinese social media, rather than a ‘#metoo’ movement, netizens link the story with that of two other recent university suicides and the bigger problem of exploitation of students in Chinese universities. More than sexual abuse, it is also about emotional and verbal abuse, and official misconduct in academic circles – regardless of gender.

7. Bloomberg Interview With The Head Of The AIIB

China’s Answer to the World Bank Wants Green, Clean Asian Infrastructure:

Jin Liqun may not be a household name (yet), even though he has one of the most challenging and important jobs in global finance. Jin, 68, is the inaugural president and chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The AIIB, a Beijing-based multilateral development bank that opened for business in January 2016, is an embodiment of China’s aspirations to play a major role in the international financial system. Because the Chinese government is the bank’s biggest shareholder, policymakers in Washington, Tokyo, and elsewhere question whether China is trying to displace the longtime heavyweights in the field—the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank—and pursue its own geopolitical interests in Asia. Jin insists the AIIB is independent...

It takes time to convince the world that this is a great institution operating by the highest standard. I have reiterated on numerous occasions that we should not expect trust from the outside world without earning it. The whole world will judge us by how we perform, not by what we claim. Therefore, I do not mind if the jury is still out. The jury may linger outside the court as long as they see fit. But I am confident that we are already building up our credibility. The AIIB is now a well-recognized MDB with a high level of integrity from the very beginning.

The Jins are an influential family. His daughter is Keyu JIn, an economics professor at the London School of Economics. Last week she published How the West misread Xi: China abolished term limits to ensure effective governance, not one-man rule in the South China Morning Post.

8. SADS Sounds Bad

Study Links Bat-Borne Virus to Deadly Pig Disease - Caixin Global:

Chinese scientists have discovered that a bat-borne virus was responsible for killing 24,000 pigs in southern China last year in an outbreak with “striking similarities” to the SARS epidemic nearly 16 years ago, a new study has found...

A novel bat coronavirus was the aetiological agent responsible for the outbreak of a fatal disease in hogs that killed 24,000 piglets on four farms from October 2016 through May 2017, according to a recent study published in the science journal Nature...

The scientists said that “there were striking similarities” between the latest disease, named swine acute diarrhea syndrome (SADS), and SARS outbreaks “in geographical, temporal, ecological and aetiological settings.”

SADS began just 100 kilometers (62 miles) away from ground zero of the SARS pandemic, said Zhou Peng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the lead author of the study, according to domestic media The Paper.

Nature-Fatal swine acute diarrhoea syndrome caused by an HKU2-related coronavirus of bat origin

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Asset-Backed Securities: A Niche, Not A Cure-All - MacroPolo Banks initially used ABS as a tool with which they could dispose of bad corporate loans, which account for the lion’s share of China’s bad debt. Of the first ten NPL ABS issued (a period spanning from May to November in 2016), seven were backed by loans to companies. However, things have since turned on their head. Since December 2016, only three newly issued NPL ABS have been backed with corporate loans. The rest—20 in total—have been backed by retail loans. That includes home mortgages, small business loans, consumer loans, ‘micro’ loans, and combinations thereof. But the most important subset has been delinquent credit card debt, which has been the underlying asset for 12 ABS since December 2016. [1] Over that period, credit card debt represented 42.8% of the face value (that is outstanding principal and unpaid interest) of all NPLs packaged into ABS. Other types of retail loans made up a further 44.2% of all NPLs.

Failed Hostile Takeover for Vanke Leaves Baoneng in a Fix - Caixin Global China’s crackdown on financial risks and highly leveraged investments has caught Shenzhen Jushenghua Industrial Development Co., a subsidiary of corporate raider Baoneng Group, in its crosshairs. It has also left investors worried that part of the investment management firm’s stake in China Vanke Co., the country’s biggest listed property developer by assets, could be dumped onto the stock market to comply with new regulations on leveraged share purchases.

China’s Property Tycoons Bet Big on Gambling in Hainan - Bloomberg Xi will speak at the island’s Boao Forum and mark the 40th anniversary of China’s economic opening. While Hainan’s elite aren’t expecting him to immediately announce any wholesale legalization of gambling, they are hopeful the policies he unveils will help draw more tourists. And in doing so set off a policy roadmap that eventually ends with regulated casinos.

China’s top dairy firm says CEO too ill to attend Asia’s Davos, squashes rumours of police probe | South China Morning Post Communist Party officials in Inner Mongolia, where Yili has its headquarters, and its regional capital Hohhot, had been notified of Pan’s movements and remained in contact with him, it said. The statement said also that six people had been arrested by police in Hohhot for spreading rumours that Pan had been “taken away” by the authorities for investigation.Two of the six were journalists Zou Guangxiang and Liu Chengkun, both of whom live in Beijing. Zou, who used to work for the Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald, was arrested in Hohhot on March 28, two days after publishing an article on his personal blog claiming Pan had been detained on his return from the United States, from where he had been running Yili for the past six months.

Regulators Take Aim at Maverick PE Fund - Caixin Global Another high-flying private financial company has been placed in the regulatory spotlight amid China’s sweeping campaign to crack down on market irregularities. Jiuding Capital Co., a Beijing-based private equity firm, announced in a regulatory filing in late March that it was under investigation by the China Securities Regulatory Commission for possibly violating securities laws. The news sparked a 75% decline of Jiuding’s shares in two days right after its trading resumed from a suspension since June 2015 due to acquisition and restructuring deals.

Alipay Racks Up More Penalties for Rule Violations - Caixin Global Alipay, China’s largest mobile payment provider and an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has been fined yet again, this time for misleading advertising and failing to protect its customers’ privacy. The company was slapped with a 180,000 yuan ($28,545) penalty for violations found during an inspection last year by the Hangzhou branch of China’s central bank as part of an ongoing campaign by regulators to step up enforcement of consumer protection laws and stop companies from abusing their positions as holders of customer data.

China's economic growth to remain above 5% in next decade: PBOC ex-governor - ECNS Dai Xianglong, former governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), said China's economy can maintain an effective growth rate of around 6 percent in the next 10 years. Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, Dai stated even a conservative estimate puts the figure above 5 percent  // Comment: Guess those rumors over the years that Dai was in trouble were not so accurate...

China to create national financial database to fend off systemic risk - Reuters The State Council added it will also create a balance sheet for the entire financial system covering banking, securities and insurance institutions and use it as the foundation for macro-economy leverage estimation, according to a guidance released online late on Monday. The existing system lacks sufficient monitoring and risk warning of certain key areas that “operate beyond the statistics system”, such as cross-sector financial activity, systematically important financial institutions and financial holding companies, the cabinet said in the statement.


Politics, Law And Ideology

Eleven Villagers Seek Exoneration in Decade-Old Rape Case - Caixin Global A dozen police cars swooped in on a remote village in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang on Oct. 28, 2008, turning the sleepy community upside down. Officers took away 16 villagers who were linked to the alleged repeated rape — in some cases, gang rape — of Tang Lanlan, who was 14 at the time of the raid. Eleven of the villagers, including Tang’s parents, were charged and later handed sentences ranging from five years to life in prison in 2010 on charges of raping the girl since she was 6 and forcing her into prostitution.

INFOGRAPHIC: China’s Leaders of Party and State after the 13th NPC and CPPCC The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies presents a visual guide to China’s leadership after the “Two Meetings” of March 2018, and the new leaders’ ties to Xi Jinping.

It’s now open season on ‘big crocs’: why Xi targets China’s particular breed of oligarchs | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post - Wang Xiangwei The rich and powerful who pull strings behind the scenes in Beijing have much in common with their Russian counterparts, but the government seems intent on trying to halt their clandestine activities

Sunset for China’s “Sunshine Boy” | China Media Project Zhou Xiaoping’s praise for Xi Jinping was never faint, but his enthusiasm may have damned him nonetheless. The young internet writer, once praised by state-run Chinese media as a great disseminator of “positive energy,” or zhengnengliang (正能量), through his professions of love for China and a profound sense of grievance directed toward the West, seems now to be fading into the wings. A report on March 22 noted in an otherwise unremarkable account of the minutes of a conference of the Sichuan Online Writers Association held the previous day that “[the] conference accepted Comrade Zhou Xiaoping’s resignation as chairman of the Sichuan Online Writers Association.”.. Chinese-language media outside of China had offered a credible explanation for Zhou Xiaoping’s not-entirely-unexpected exit: his close connection to ousted internet czar Lu Wei.

舆情进城后的社会治理:如何构筑社会舆论的缓冲地带?--舆情频道--人民网 前些年网络舆情往往涉及弱势群体,主要发生在城乡接合部,如湖北石首事件、贵州瓮安事件,均在县城。邓玉娇案发生在湖北巴东野三关镇;而钱云会非正常死亡引发的群体性事件,在浙江乐清寨桥村,甚至连虹桥镇都没有波及。 近年来,舆情热点进城了,反映中等收入群体的诉求,涉及教育、医疗、规范执法等问题,他们希望有高品质的发展、高品质的生活。特别是幼儿园、学区房、高考等话题,关系到下一代的社会流动,更能牵动这个群体的思绪和情感。这部分人群包括知识分子、职场人群、公职人员,他们是最会表达的一群人。

4位新任副总理认领新任务 分工与上一届有何不同?—a look at the coverage areas for each of the 4 new vice premiers


Foreign and Military Affairs

China bans tech exports to North Korea with potential to develop weapons of mass destruction | South China Morning Post The Ministry of Commerce in Beijing released a list of 32 banned materials, technologies and equipment on Monday, amid international concerns over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.The list includes particle accelerators, centrifuges, seismic monitoring equipment, ring-shaped magnets and radiation-detection devices.

China Installed Military Jamming Equipment on Spratly Islands, U.S. Says - WSJ A U.S. Defense Department official, describing the finding, said: “China has deployed military jamming equipment to its Spratly Island outposts.”The U.S. assessment is supported by a photo taken last month by the commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe and provided to The Wall Street Journal. It shows a suspected jammer system with its antenna extended on Mischief Reef, one of seven Spratly outcrops where China has built fortified artificial islands since 2014, moving sand onto rocks and reefs and paving them over with concrete.

Blinding the Enemy: How the PRC Prepares for Radar Countermeasures - Jamestown Despite all this, the PLA’s EW capacity has been a neglected topic, primarily because of the lack of quality information. However, new sources, examined here for the first time in English-language PLA analysis, allow us a unique look at previously unexamined subjects. For the purposes of simplicity, this paper leaves aside issues such as sensors, communications equipment, and weapons systems to focus on one facet of EW, namely, how the PRC conceptualizes and prepares for radar countermeasure (RCM; 雷达对抗) [2]. Indispensable to modern wars, the “blinding” of enemy radars with EW complexes provides friendly forces a critical edge in combat. Therefore, the PLA thinking illuminated by the main text of analysis, including simulations of strikes against enemy carrier battle groups, deserves in-depth examination and assessment.

Exposing China’s Actions in the South China Sea | Council on Foreign Relations As part of a broader strategy for the South China Sea, the U.S. government should initiate information operations that hinder China’s ability to expand and consolidate its control of the waterway and the airspace above it. Specifically, the U.S. Congress should require the U.S. State Department to provide regular public reports on China’s military and coercive activities in the South China Sea. Greater transparency would help to counter China’s deceptive propaganda about its own behavior, elevate the issue in regional and international forums, and compel regional governments to respond more vigorously to China’s actions. The resultant collective international pressure and evident diplomatic and security costs for China could lead Beijing, as it has at times in the past, to recalibrate and adjust its actions in the South China Sea.

PLA unveils new border defense equipment - Global Times A satellite early-warning monitoring system is planned in some border areas that are in dispute or are difficult to enter and to patrol, the Beijing Evening News reported Sunday. A surveillance camera network has also been built in border zones, and the density of coverage is set to increase to cover blind spots, although the report did not mention which, or if all, of China's border regions are covered. The informatization and mechanization of equipment, vehicles and monitoring methods of PLA border defense will give an early-warning of any risks to security as well as overcoming previous blind spots, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Hong Kong cardinal seeks conservative help to block a Vatican-China deal - Reuters The plea on Saturday night by Cardinal Joseph Zen to a Rome conference on the limits of papal authority appeared to be the start of a new alliance that could help both sides bring their message of dissent across. China and the Vatican have been working out a framework accord on the appointment of bishops, which eventually could lead to diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Beijing. The Vatican has said the deal is not imminent.

China Premier Li to visit Hokkaido as Sino-Japan ties warm up | South China Morning Post Li is expected to attend a trilateral summit in Tokyo with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts early next month before heading north to join local political leaders for a conference. Li will be the first Chinese premier to make an official trip to Japan since Wen Jiabao visited in 2011. During his trip, Wen visited Fukushima prefecture and other areas hit by the deadly earthquake and tsunami in March that year.

Xi stresses need to improve global governance during meeting with UN chief - Global Times Xi said that there are a lot of problems in the world, which come down to the issue of international governance systems and capabilities. "We need to keep pushing for and improving global governance to deal with this challenge," he said. "Whether it is domestic governance or global governance, we must have people's sense of fulfillment as the objective and continue to provide confidence and expectations of stability for the people," he said. Xi said that the development China is pursuing should be with high quality, and a people-centered development vision should be put as a standard to measure the development. "We maintain that all countries, big or small, are equal, and we also advocate that major countries must shoulder their due responsibilities," said Xi.

Historic visit upgrades ties with Austria - China Daily The top leaders of China and Austria agreed on Sunday to upgrade bilateral ties to a friendly strategic partnership as the European country sends an unprecedented official delegation to China. President Xi Jinping noted in his talk with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen that the delegation includes Van der Bellen, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and federal ministers. Their visit marks the first of its kind in the history of bilateral exchanges and fully shows the president and his government value developing ties with China, Xi said.

China, Mongolia to promote synergy of development strategies - Xinhua China and Mongolia on Monday agreed to link the Belt and Road Initiative and Mongolia's Prairie Road development initiative to benefit the two peoples. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the remarks while holding talks with Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh in Beijing.

Opinion | China’s Oppression Reaches Beyond Its Borders - The New York Times The first threatening phone call that Zhuang Liehong got in New York was in the fall of 2016, on a gloriously warm September morning. The call came from a jail where his father was being held following a protest in Mr. Zhuang’s home village in Southern China. “Is this Zhuang Liehong?” asked an unfamiliar voice. When Mr. Zhuang said yes, there was a pause and his father’s voice came on the line. “Son,” he said, “stop doing what you’re doing. It will be bad for your family.” What Mr. Zhuang had been doing, for the most part, was posting on Facebook. He was putting up photos that had been sent by friends and family, which recorded a police crackdown that had swept his home village, Wukan. Five years earlier, during the fall of 2011, Mr. Zhuang had been a ringleader in a series of protests that overtook the little seaside village.


Hong Kong, Macao

Calling for an end to communist rule in China ‘is a crime against Hong Kong’ | South China Morning Post Wang Zhimin, director of the central government’s liaison office in the city, said Hong Kong needs to encourage its residents to respect and understand the Chinese constitution, as it is the “root and foundation” of its future.


Tech And Media

Tencent rolls out credit system for online gamers · TechNode While its rival Alibaba is taking a lead in China’s social credit rating industry with Sesame Credit, Tencent is zooming in on the credit structure in a sector it’s dominating: gaming. The world’s largest game developer by revenue just launched a credit rating system for online game players, according to an announcement made on its Weibo.

Why Chinese Filmgoers Don’t Buy Hollywood’s Values Anymore - Sixth Tone The well-worn trope of the “American Dream” — an ideology built on an expression of Western individualism and liberalism — is simply not seductive to Chinese audiences, who are increasingly embracing a markedly different form of national pride. In China, the ideals of the American Dream are paling into significance as the country’s self-styled Chinese Dream produces the growing wealth and status of large numbers of people while promulgating different values: collective effort, patriotism, and self-sacrifice for the cause of national rejuvenation.

China Refuses Licenses to New Korean Online Games - The Chosun Ilbo China has refused to authorize the sale of any Korean online games over the past year as part of an unofficial boycott of Korean goods and services. During the same period, the Korean government licensed 111 Chinese online games. According to industry insiders on Thursday, China authorized the sale of 412 foreign online games from March 2017 until April of this year, but not a single Korean game was among them.


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Discovery of Cao Cao’s tomb turns focus onto search for Chinese warlord’s rivals | South China Morning Post Archaeologists may have confirmed the final resting place of one great general, but where his adversaries, Liu Bei and Sun Quan, were buried remains a mystery


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

For every $1 the US put into renewable energy last year, China put in $3 — Quartz Last year nearly half of the world’s new renewable energy investment of $279.8 billion (pdf, p.11) came from China, according to a report published April 5 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and the sustainable energy finance center run by the United Nations Environment Program and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. China’s investment in renewable energy—excluding large hydro projects—rose 30% compared with 2016, and was more than three times of that of the US, whose investment in the sector dropped 6% from 2016 to $40.5 billion last year.

The Un-Cuddly Truth About Pandas - WSJ We like to think of pandas as the hippie vegetarians of the ursine kingdom. But like most bears, they are opportunistic omnivores. The panda dines almost exclusively on bamboo, but it hasn’t lost its taste for flesh. When the eminent field biologist George Schaller studied pandas in the wild in the 1980s, he found that the best way to attract them was to bait their traps with goat meat. I’ve seen footage of a wild panda chowing down on a dead deer. “Panda eats Bambi” is decidedly not a Disney feature.



China's NetDragon acquires U.S. online learning community Edmodo - Xinhua Chinese online game developer NetDragon Websoft Inc. announced Sunday it had acquired 100-percent stake in Edmodo, a leading U.S. online learning community. The 137.5 million U.S. dollar acquisition, in a combination of cash and shares of an affiliated education company of NetDragon, shows NetDragon's commitment to building the world's largest online learning community.

Tencent partners with Age of Learning for English learning apps in China | GamesBeat Tencent, the biggest gaming company in the world, and educational games startup Age of Learning have teamed up to bring English learning apps to China. Tencent and Los Angeles-based Age of Learning will launch ABCmouse, an immersive English learning program for children in China. The aim is to make it more fun for Chinese kids to become fluent in English.