Capital crime in Zhejiang; Disorderly expansion of capital; Hong Kong spies; Lithuania
The outbreak in Beijing is slowing and it is only Delta now, according to local officials. That is really a remarkable achievement if they have been able to stamp out Omicron with just a handful of confirmed cases.
The most interesting news overnight is the language in the announcement of the expulsion from the Party and firing from his position of the former Hangzhou Party Secretary Zhou Jiangyong, who fell last August.
Zhou “colluded with some capital elements and backed the disorderly expansion of capital 与资本勾连，支持资本无序扩张”.
That is new language in a CCDI “charge sheet” and marks a deepening of the whole of government and whole of Party efforts to better regulate capital and rectify the relationship between officials and capital and private enterprises. The allegations against Zhou align with one of the key messages from last week’s 6th Plenum of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI):
Efforts will be made to investigate and deal with corruption behind disorderly expansion of capital and platform monopolies, and cut off the link between power and capital 着力查处资本无序扩张、平台垄断等背后腐败行为，斩断权力与资本勾连纽带.
There is no reason to believe that Zhou will be the only official with this problem.
Will the investigators also go after the “capital elements” and private enterprises that corrupt officials? That could be quite disruptive, especially if any of those firms are publicly listed.
Today’s Essential Eight:
Beijing outbreak officially slowing
Zhou Jiangyong’s capital offense
Disorderly expansion of capital remains a focus
US embassy may withdraw some diplomats
Proposed US legislation
More reforms for Shenzhen
Hong Kong Article 23 to target foreign spies
Lithuania backing down under PRC pressure?
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Beijing outbreak officially slowing
Beijing officials say there were 6 new symptomatic and 2 asymptomatic cases between Tuesday and Wednesday, all Delta, city has now gone three consecutive days with no Omicron cases.
Beijing's close neighbor locks down communities as city's Delta-related outbreak continues to rise - Global Times
While Beijing reported eight more new COVID-19 infections who were all from already-controlled populations with the Delta strain, one more city - neighboring Sanhe in North China's Hebei Province - reported a case in relation to Beijing's outbreak.
The patient worked in Beijing's Fengtai district and commuted between Sanhe and Beijing. This confirmation led the city to suspend all bus lines and close communities in seven regions on Wednesday morning. The city is conducting mass nucleic acid testing of local residents.
Seven towns, districts and streets in the city have been categorized as "controlled areas" or "prevention areas," including Yanjiao town, which is about 30 kilometers from Beijing's Central Business District
Translation: Backlash Over Official's Warning Against New Year “Malicious Homecomings” - China Digital Times (CDT)
As the Chinese New Year holiday approaches, social media is buzzing with “malicious” comments about “malicious” activities like “malicious homecomings.” This miasma of malice materialized on January 20 thanks to a viral video clip of Dong Hong, county magistrate of Dancheng county in Henan province, warning that residents returning to his county from medium and high COVID risk areas would be subject to quarantine followed by immediate arrest, even if they could show a vaccination certificate or proof of a negative nucleic-acid COVID test taken within the previous 48 hours.
2. Zhou Jiangyong’s capital offense
Former senior official of Zhejiang expelled from CPC, office-Xinhua
It also found that Zhou had colluded with some capital elements and backed the runaway expansion of capital...
Zhou was also found to have violated relevant rules to accept gifts and money and committed irregularities in official selection and appointment at the request of some private enterprise owners.
He also failed to report his personal information in accordance with relevant regulations. Other violations included intervening in market economy and judicial and law enforcement activities, trading power for money, and taking advantage of his posts to seek benefits for others in regard to project contracting, land use and tax returns.
He had colluded with his relatives in illegally accepting a huge amount of money and gifts, the statement said.
The official statement - 浙江省委原常委、杭州市委原书记周江勇严重违纪违法被开除党籍和公职——中央纪委国家监委网站
China Communist Party Expels Hangzhou Chief Over Bribes, Abuse of Power - Bloomberg
“Zhou Jiangyong has lost his ideals and beliefs,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said. “He covertly opposed central government plans, colluded with capital, supported the disorderly expansion of capital, engaged in superstitious activities and deliberately resisted probes.”
That marked the first citation of “disorderly capital” in a CCDI corruption case, according to a Bloomberg News review of the body’s statements.
Former Party Boss of Alibaba’s Home Town Expelled Over Business Ties - Caixin
Zhou is believed to be the first former senior official accused of supporting the “disorderly expansion of capital,” a major focus of Beijing’s crackdown on illegal ties between government and businesses. The CCDI statement did not elaborate on this account.
August 2021 - China warns thousands of officials over links with businesses | Financial Times
The watchdog said 25,000 local officials and their family members were the focus of “self-examination and self-correction” reviews focused on their relationships with local businesses, including “illegal borrowing”. This will include probing those who have retired within the past three years.
Comment: This was announced just after Zhou Jiangyong was put under investigation, no word yet on what was discovered in this "self-examination and self-correction" process.
3. Disorderly expansion of capital remains a focus
China’s Banking Sector Dumps Record $490 Billion of Bad Assets in 2021 - Caixin Global
As of the end of last year, off-balance sheet forms of financing — or shadow banking that exists outside the conventional bank lending system — decreased by 4.2 trillion yuan ($663 billion) from the beginning of last year, China's Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in a statement summarizing the regulator’s 2022 work meeting a day earlier.
The cleaning up of banks’ wealth management products was basically completed, and disposal of high-risk banks and insurers and rectification of internet platforms’ fintech business have been pushed forward in an orderly manner, the regulator said.
In 2022, the CBIRC will continue to guard against and defuse financial risks and firmly hold the bottom line of preventing systemic risks, the regulator said at the meeting.
The regulator also reiterated the policy that “houses are for living in, not for speculation” and vowed to continue to improve the long-term mechanism of stabilizing land and housing prices and to promote a virtuous cycle and healthy development of the real estate industry..
The meeting called for “accelerating the digital transformation of the financial sector,” a new focus not mentioned in previous meetings
The readout - 银保监会：坚决防止资本在金融领域无序扩张-证券日报网
No divergences from the December CEWC. concludes with:
The meeting stressed that we should resolutely prevent the disorderly expansion of capital in the financial field and set up "traffic lights" for capital in the financial field. Adhere to the "Two Unwaverings" and give full play to the positive role of capital in financial activities. Promote small and medium-sized bank insurance institutions to replenish capital through multiple channels according to laws and regulations. Strengthen effective supervision of capital according to law, build a "firewall" between industrial capital and financial capital, strengthen penetrating supervision of shareholders, and prevent bank insurance funds from being used blindly to "leverage". Improve the corporate governance mechanism of effective checks and balances, and guide the in-depth integration of party leadership and corporate governance. Promote the role of China's financial talent pool. Strengthen financial anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition. Adhere to the licensing rules of financial business and severely crack down on "driving without a license".
4. US embassy may withdraw some diplomats
US Embassy in China asks State Department to let diplomats leave over Covid restrictions - CNN
The US diplomatic mission in China has formally requested the State Department grant American diplomats "authorized departure," allowing them and their families to leave the country amid increasingly strict Covid-19 containment measures, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
A US diplomatic source familiar with the discussions told CNN the request was made after several diplomats and their families expressed fears over China's tightening anti-Covid measures in recent months, including snap lockdowns and quarantines that could potentially separate underage children from parents.
Currently, the US diplomatic mission in China has an agreement with the Chinese Foreign Ministry to allow parents to stay with minor children in case of quarantine. However, there is growing concern China's national health agency could potentially override that agreement.
Exclusive: China blasts US plot of ‘authorized exit’ of diplomats ahead of Olympics - Global Times
Following its announcement of a "diplomatic boycott" of Beijing Winter Olympic Games in December, the plan is the latest trick played in less than 10 days before the Games, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on late Tuesday.
"What the US wants is, when you are preparing for a happy occasion, it is purposely making chaos," Li said
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on January 26, 2022
TASS: Reuters has published an article saying that the US Embassy in Beijing is waiting for government approval to evacuate diplomats and dependents because of the implementation of strict pandemic regulations. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment on the publication?
Zhao Lijian: China’s epidemic prevention and control protocols are rigorous and science-based. Our effective measures have well protected foreign nationals in China. They are in line with provisions in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. We have made diplomatic and consular staff in China feel comfortable and protected their legitimate rights and interests. China is undoubtedly the safest country at present. Evacuating from the safest place in the world will only expose US personnel to much greater risks of infection. The logic behind the US’ decision is confusing and hardly justifiable. China has expressed grave concern and dissatisfaction over this to the US side. We hope the US can observe China’s COVID-19 protocols, take China’s position and concerns seriously and think carefully about the so-called “authorized departure” of diplomatic and consular staff.
5. Proposed US legislation
House China bill includes aggressive trade provisions - POLITICO
House lawmakers released their bill — dubbed the America COMPETES Act — on Tuesday evening as they pushed to finalize a version to compete with Senate legislation passed last year...
The House will also include a contentious provision to set up a government screening protocol for American investments in unfriendly nations like China. That bill, the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act, was left out of the Senate bill
US House finalises bill to confront China, including provisions on semiconductors and Taiwan ties | South China Morning Post
The America Competes Act of 2022, which runs to nearly 3,000 pages, was made public on Tuesday evening...
The bill also directs America’s secretary of state to move toward changing the name of Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, to the “Taiwan Representative Office in the United States” – a move certain to infuriate Beijing, which views the self-governed island as its own territory...
it would authorize $10 million to fund language learning centers that would replace China’s controversial Confucius Institutes, which came under scrutiny in the US in recent years because of their ties to the Chinese government.
The program – named after the late Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was imprisoned by China until shortly before his death – would support Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, Uyghur, Mongolian “and other contemporary spoken languages of China”.
House Committee Chairs Statement on Unveiling of the America COMPETES Act of 2022 | Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Today, the House posted text of the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength Act of 2022. The America COMPETES Act of 2022 includes a historic investment to surge production of American-made semiconductors, tackles supply chain vulnerabilities to make more goods in America, turbocharges America’s scientific research and technological leadership, and strengthens America’s economic and national security at home and abroad.
More investment restrictions are likely - Two Way Street - An Outbound Investment Screening Regime for the United States? | Rhodium Group
The intensifying competition between the United States and China is forcing changes in the way the global economy is governed. After a significant overhaul of inward foreign investment screening rules globally, legislative proposals are being considered in Washington that would create a regime to review US outbound investment to China and other countries of concern. This report by Rhodium Group for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations provides background on the genesis of this legislation and discusses its implications...
If enacted, the proposed regime could have serious implications for the US-China investment relationship: While the final language of the bill and details around implementation are still pending, our analysis suggests that up to 43% of US FDI to China over the past two decades would have been covered under the broad categories set out in the NCCDA. In addition to slowing new investment, a new regime could also pressure US businesses to reassess existing operations in China because of potential effects on revenue, profits, and market share. The proposed mechanism could accelerate the already visible shift in US-China investment relations away from “active” channels (long-term direct investment) toward more “passive” channels (securities investment and the sourcing of non-sensitive inputs).
6. More reforms for Shenzhen
China issues opinion to ease market access in Shenzhen -Xinhua
China on Wednesday unveiled an opinion on relaxing market access in the country's southern metropolis Shenzhen, as part of efforts to further promote reform and opening-up of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The opinion, jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce, detailed 24 special measures that would ease market access in sectors including the application of advanced technologies and their industrial development, financial investment, medicine and health, education and culture, and transportation.
The opinion - 【关于深圳建设中国特色社会主义先行示范区放宽市场准入若干特别措施的意见(发改体改〔2022〕135号)】
Medical equipment, integrated circuits, vocational education and aviation are among the sectors to be granted greater market access in Shenzhen.
“Openness is the most pronounced characteristic of this platform. All kinds of innovators, investors and application developers at home and abroad can participate in the construction and development of the center,” says a media report, in reference to how the proposed measures are part of a broader plan to foster an innovation and technology hub.
China's Shenzhen gets green light for next wave of reforms | Reuters
China's state planner has given its blessing for the southern city of Shenzhen to pursue reforms in areas such as relaxed market access for cross border data trading and an electronics trading platform, guidelines published on Wednesday show.
Shenzhen May Allow Citywide Unmanned Driving Trials - Caixin
Shenzhen, one of China’s wealthiest cities with more than 17 million people, will allow citywide tests of unmanned driving, including main roads, highways, ports and railway logistics facilities, according to a guideline issued Wednesday by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce.
Beijing Urges Integration of Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macao Insurance Markets - Caixin
Financial and health authorities should ramp up their efforts to connect the insurance market of Shenzhen with those in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, according to the guidelines released Wednesday by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce. The guidelines are part of a wider plan to push for reforms in the Guangdong province financial hub.
7. Hong Kong Article 23 to target foreign spies
Hong Kong security chief says new laws will reflect "importance of spies" | Reuters
Secretary for Security Chris Tang told the city's legislature that Hong Kong's existing laws against spying, contained in the British-era Official Secrets Ordinance, could not reflect the "importance" of the crime.
"We will reflect the importance of spies in the legislation," said Tang, the city's former top policeman...
Some diplomats, legal scholars and activists say the Article 23 legislation will significantly extend the scope and reach of a national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in 2020...
As well as espionage, Tang said the legislation would outline specific crimes of treason, sedition, theft of state secrets as well as forbidding activities by foreign political groups inside Hong Kong and ties between such groups and local organisations.
Hong Kong to 'enhance' spy law to prevent acts of 'espionage and theft of state secrets,' security chief says - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP
Security Secretary Chris Tang said in a Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday that an amended ordinance would prepare Hong Kong to face “the kinds of things we have seen since 2019.”
“The Hong Kong SAR government must handle espionage acts and offences in a targeted manner to prevent incidents endangering national security,” Tang said. He made reference to “certain countries” that attempted “to foment a ‘colour revolution’ in Hong Kong,” adding that the “serious violence since June 2019 is a vivid example of this.”..
“We are now actively studying with the Department of Justice on enhancing the Official Secrets Ordinance in the context of legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law, so as to better prevent acts of espionage and theft of state secrets,” Tang said...
Tang was reponding to a question posed by lawmaker Lee Chun-keung, a member of the pro-Beijing party Liberal Party.
Lee said there was reportedly a “large number of foreign spies” who were “doing their work” in Hong Kong, and asked if the government would amend the relevant legislation to combat espionage.
Comment: If they enact article 23 and one of the reasons given is that there are a "large number of foreign spies" in Hong Kong then they will likely have to arrest a few to make the point
8. Lithuania backing down under PRC pressure?
Lithuania considers modifying Taiwan representation name to defuse row with China | Reuters
Lithuanian officials, seeking to defuse a row with China, are discussing whether to ask their Taiwanese counterparts to modify the Chinese translation of the name of Taiwan's de-facto embassy in Vilnius, two sources told Reuters...
Comment: If Lithuania does back down, China will be confident it did a good job teaching Lithuania, the EU and everyone else a lesson over Taiwan, and it will be further confirmation to PRC officials that economics determine everything, and especially when it comes to Germany.
EU officials and diplomats tell Playbook and POLITICO’s Stuart Lau that Berlin has been working behind the scenes to undermine a common position against China. Officials said Scholz’s office feared the EU was becoming too aggressive in its defense of Lithuania against Beijing’s economic coercion.
The chancellery has been “calling everyone who speaks German in the Commission” to tone down the pressure on China, after France last week said Beijing had gone too far with its attacks on the single market, one of the officials said. If anyone believed Berlin was actually following the odd strategy of now-former Navy Chief Kay-Achim Schönbach who said Europe needed Russia as an ally against China shortly before losing his job, clearly that’s not the thinking in the chancellery. Berlin has no strategy, but favors the path of least resistance — and its allies are starting to notice.
Exclusive: German, Chinese firms abandon Lithuania over mistake on Taiwan question - Global Times
Among businesses that have borne the brunt are Germany-based Klasmann-Deilmann Group, a globally active manufacturer of substrates for professional horticulture, with around 5 percent of the company's output sold to Chinese customers via its local subsidiary Klasmann-Deilmann China.
Usually, Klasmann-Deilmann produces the substrates for Chinese customers in a modern factory in Lithuania. "However, in view of the strained relations between China and Lithuania, we have stopped supplying Lithuanian substrates to China," explained CEO Moritz Böcking in an e-mail sent to the Global Times on Wednesday...
It is within expectations that the impact is expanding to a broader field with more economic, trade and supply chains involved, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
"Market investment is all about seeking profits and avoiding disadvantages… this is a reflection of the fact that Lithuania's allegation that China is making 'economic coercion' is simply not true, but rather a natural market response," Cui said.
Lithuania should take real actions to correct mistakes: Taiwan Affairs Office - Global Times
Spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office Zhu Fenglian made the remarks at Wednesday's press conference in response to foreign media reports saying Lithuanian foreign minister proposed to change the Chinese name of the island of Taiwan's representative office in Lithuania while keeping the names in English and Lithuanian.
They will have to do a lot of humiliating groveling if they want to undo the damage - Lithuania won’t smoothen China ties by mere name change - Global Times
It does not matter if Lithuania seeks to change the name, because it is daydreaming to think that a mere name change would soothe bilateral ties. It failed or deliberately turned a blind eye to realize the fundamental blunder it made, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times...
Lithuania's action defied the one-China principle. It needs more than an "opportunistic" tactic of a name change to fix the cracks, said Cui, noting that Lithuania needs to first acknowledge its mistakes, take real action to show its sincerity, and eliminate the negative impact on international society caused by Lithuania's own bungling act.
Economic coercion works when you have an irresistibly large economy.
Business, Economy and Trade
China Evergrande aims for restructuring plan within six months as creditor talks begin | Reuters China Evergrande Group said it aimed to have an initial restructuring plan within six months during a long-awaited call with creditors on Wednesday, its first communication with them since the property giant's finances began to unravel last year.
几大AMC有望助力出险房企风险化解_中证网 China’s financial regulator has summoned a number of national asset management firms (AMC) recently to study a plan for their involvement in debt management and project acquisitions in the property sector, China Securities Daily has learned, citing sources familiar with the matter. The newspaper said the AMCs have deep experience in such deals but did not provide names.
China’s Troubled Developers May Find Solace in Managing Peers’ Projects, Analysts Say - Caixin Unlike traditional property development, project managers, also known in the market as “entrusted builders (代建),” do not have to buy land. They instead build and operate projects on land owned by other entities and charge service fees. Some project management companies also share in the profits from the eventual sales...Project management will also give private developers a new role in an industry in which state-owned developers are gaining an increasingly large market share, Zhang Shihong, the CEO of the project management arm of Modern Land (China) Co. Ltd., said at a forum on the industry last week.
Investors seek refuge in China as Fed, inflation roil other markets | Reuters For David Dali, head of portfolio strategy at Matthews Asia, China is the "single favourite country" in 2022 among the roughly 30 investible emerging equity markets. "We believe Chinese valuations are some of the least risky and most attractive of all major markets," Dali said. He cited factors including lesser regulatory headwinds, government readiness to stimulate the economy, and a political mandate to maintain stability in a year widely expected to confirm President Xi Jinping's unprecedented third term.
WTO lets China impose tariffs on U.S. in Obama-era case | Reuters The World Trade Organization (WTO) authorised China on Wednesday to impose $645 million of compensatory tariffs against the United States in a ruling immediately blasted by Washington. China went to the WTO in 2012 to challenge anti-subsidy tariffs the United States imposed between 2008 and 2012, mainly during the term of U.S. President Barack Obama, on 22 Chinese products ranging from solar panels to steel wire.
Global banks push back against Beijing’s new overseas listing rules | Financial Times $$ Asia’s top banking lobby group, whose members include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, has written to Chinese regulators pleading for clarity about rules that were proposed after the calamitous listing of ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing in New York last year, according to two people familiar with the matter. The Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Asifma) sent the letter on Sunday to highlight its “great concern” that the planned framework is “completely unclear” and raises the prospect of greater regulatory risks and higher costs for banks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
China issues guideline to promote high-quality RCEP implementation-Xinhua The country will align the opportunities provided by the trade pact with local development strategies, and help enterprises adapt to a more open and competitive environment, according to the guideline issued by the Ministry of Commerce and other five departments on high-quality RCEP implementation. The guideline outlines measures in six areas -- high-quality development in trade and investment, manufacturing upgrade, standards cooperation, financial support, business environment and supporting services for enterprises.
China's spending on R&D reaches new high in 2021-Xinhua China's spending on research and development (R&D) hit a new high of 2.44 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, up 0.03 percentage points from the previous year, official data showed Wednesday. The country's total expenditure on R&D amounted to about 2.79 trillion yuan (about 441.13 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 14.2 percent year on year, according to a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Guizhou to scale new heights in western development - State Council The State Council issued a circular on Jan 26, aimed at supporting Southwest China’s Guizhou province to blaze a new trail during the development of the western regions. Guizhou, according to the circular, is marked as a demonstration zone for comprehensive reform of the western regions’ development, sample plot for consolidating poverty alleviation achievements, exemplar for inland open economy, innovation zone for digital economic development, and pilot zone for ecological progress. // The circular - 国务院印发《关于支持贵州在新时代西部大开发上闯新路的意见》
PBOC to Lead China’s Three-Year Crackdown on Money Laundering - Bloomberg Eleven government agencies will carry out the campaign, which is aimed to “stop the spreading trend of money laundering and other related crimes,” the People’s Bank of China said in a statement Wednesday...The PBOC and the Ministry of Public Security will take a lead in the crackdown, while customs authorities and the regulators securities, foreign exchange as well as banking and insurance will also participate.
Announcement of the money laundering crackdown - 中国人民银行、公安部、国家监委等11部门联合开展打击治理洗钱违法犯罪三年行动 中央纪委国家监委网站讯 为依法打击治理洗钱违法犯罪活动，进一步健全洗钱违法犯罪风险防控体系，近日，中国人民银行、公安部、国家监察委员会、最高人民法院、最高人民检察院、国家安全部、海关总署、国家税务总局、银保监会、证监会、国家外汇管理局联合印发了《打击治理洗钱违法犯罪三年行动计划（2022-2024年）》，决定于2022年1月至2024年12月在全国范围内开展打击治理洗钱违法犯罪三年行动。三年行动的牵头单位为中国人民银行和公安部。
Yicai - China Should Increase Money Supply to Get Economy Out of Doldrums, Academic Says China should adopt a more expansionary fiscal and monetary policy, such as further tax cuts and rebates as well as increased government spending, to achieve the highest possible economic growth, according to a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. So long as inflation is not out of control and there is not a serious degree of financial vulnerability, China should look at increasing the money supply in the economy, Yu Yongding said. // Yu Yongding - 余永定：关于宏观经济问题的几点看法_爱思想
China cut another 1.1t yuan in taxes and fees in 2021 - CGTN China reduced taxes and fees by a further 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) last year for businesses and individuals to support economic stability and growth, Wang Daoshu, the deputy head of the State Taxation Administration, said at a new briefing in Beijing on Wednesday...The authorities also pledged to continue their crackdown on tax evaders
Yicai - Skier Eileen Gu Leads Sponsorship Rush Ahead of Beijing Winter Olympics Before 2021, Gu was paid around USD1 million for each endorsement, but the fee has now soared to USD2.5 million. Some insiders have estimated that her commercial earnings exceeded CNY100 million (USD15.8 million) last year...Before 2021, Gu was paid around USD1 million for each endorsement, but the fee has now soared to USD2.5 million. Some insiders have estimated that her commercial earnings exceeded CNY100 million (USD15.8 million) last year
Politics and Law
《决议》辅导读本 - 求是网 This is a list of all the essays in the official reader for the historical resolution...they have been running in People’s Daily. Included in this book is the essay from Qu Qingshan that has caused some mistaken analysis that somehow Qu was signaling opposition to Xi. As I wrote in the January 3rd Sinocism:
The following article was making the rounds over the holiday, with lots of comments that it is a sign Xi is somehow in trouble. It is based on a totally flawed premise, that a December 9 piece by Qu Qingshan, president of the Institute of Party History and Literature, that was part of the ongoing People's Daily series to study the spirit of the 6th Plenum, and is actually an essay by Qu in the official study reader issued after the Plenum, is somehow signaling opposition to Xi. I read the original piece and ignored it for the newsletter because it seemed to be a regurgitation of the relevant sections of the third historical resolution, of which Qu was one of the key drafters.
The fact that this piece, totally off base in its speculation, got so much traction is I guess a sign of lots of wishful thinking out there that somehow Xi will just go away and someone "nicer" will replace him. Hope is not a strategy, especially when it based on fundamental misreadings.
Analysis: When China's leading paper ignores Xi, all bets are off - Nikkei Asia
This became evident when a commentary was published in the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, without a single mention of Xi Jinping, the party's general secretary and nation's president. For an article titled "Learning deeply about the spirit of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party," one would assume Xi would be part of the discussion.
为加快建设世界重要人才中心和创新高地贡献力量（深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想）--理论-中国共产党新闻网 Huai Jinpeng, Minister of Education, has a page 9 piece in today's People's Daily - "contribute to accelerating the building of a major talent center and innovation highland in the world"
Senior Heilongjiang provincial legislator under investigation-Xinhua Song Xibin, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the Heilongjiang Provincial People's Congress, is being investigated for suspected severe violations of Party disciplines and laws.
Former Hebei provincial legislator under investigation-Xinhua Xie Jilai, a former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the Hebei Provincial People's Congress, is being investigated
“小圈子”破坏“大规矩”--反腐倡廉-中国共产党新闻网 吴荣生 2022年01月21日09:07 来源：学习时报
Winter Olympics: China restricts activists’ social media ahead of Beijing Games | South China Morning Post ight individuals have told of their WeChat accounts being restricted in some form since early December, with some unable to use their accounts entirely and forced to re-register...“I know many people who’ve been banned from posting in group chats or posting WeChat Moments lately,” a Beijing lawyer whose account was restricted last month said on condition of anonymity.
Dui Hua Human Rights Journal: Decoding State Security Trials, Part I: ESS Cases in Tibet Rose Sharply in 2020 From 2017-2020, Chinese courts concluded 1,330 trials of endangering state security (ESS), dereliction of military duty, and pre-1997 offenses, according to Dui Hua’s analysis of data published annually in China Statistical Yearbooks (中国统计年鉴) by the National Bureau of Statistics...This post, the first of two, looks at the number of ESS trials in Tibetan areas as well as in Xinjiang. Part II details case numbers for “other” trials such as dereliction of military duty as well as ESS trials in Han-majority provinces and Guangdong...Tibetans stand accused of ESS for sharing news and opinions on social media and for contacting relatives living in exile, sometimes with news of anti-government protests.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
F-35C’s crash on carrier in S.China Sea exposes US exhaustion in containing China: experts - Global Times If the aircraft, or even only parts of the aircraft, fell into the ocean, the US must be very nervous and would race to recover the wreckage before anyone else finds it, since it could contain many technological secrets, another Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Tuesday.
U.S. Navy working to recover F-35 warplane that fell into South China Sea | Reuters "I can confirm the aircraft impacted the flight deck during landing and subsequently fell to the water," said Lieutenant Nicholas Lingo, spokesperson for the U.S. 7th Fleet.
Xi extends congratulations on "Icebreakers" 2022 Chinese New Year celebration - China Military Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday sent a congratulatory message to the "Icebreakers" 2022 Chinese New Year celebration hosted by British trade organization the 48 Group Club in London. The event was supported by the China-Britain Business Council and the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK. Xi pointed out that in the 1950s, British entrepreneurs, represented by Jack Perry, started the "Icebreaking Mission," which broke the ice in the West's trade with China.
Beijing Olympics could affect Russian thinking about Ukraine invasion - U.S. diplomat | Reuters "We all are aware that the Beijing Olympics are beginning on February 4th, the opening ceremony, and President Putin expects to be there. I think that probably President Xi Jinping would not be ecstatic if Putin chose that moment to invade Ukraine," Sherman said during a virtual conversation hosted by Yalta European Strategy.
China urges NATO to abandon outdated Cold War mentality-Xinhua Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked to comment on U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman's remarks that Russia's proposed limit on the expansion of NATO further into Eastern Europe is a "non-starter," and that the U.S. "will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO's open door policy." Zhao said NATO is a Cold War remnant and its expansion is typical bloc politics, noting that China firmly opposes all kinds of small cliques, and rejects the beggar-thy-neighbor approach and efforts to stoke geopolitical conflicts.
Argentine president to attend Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony - Xinhua Argentine President Alberto Fernandez will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics and visit China from Feb. 4 to 6, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday. Noting that Argentina has repeatedly expressed its firm support for China's hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Zhao expressed the confidence that with the joint efforts of both sides, President Fernandez's visit to China will be a complete success.
Ecuador's president wants to untie oil output from debt on China visit | Reuters Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso said on Tuesday he will seek to disconnect the handover of crude from outstanding debt to China during a visit to the Asian country next month, part of his plan to renegotiate some $4.1 billion in debt.
Concerns as China builds bridge on lake at disputed India border | Border Disputes News | Al Jazeera China is building a bridge across the Pangong Lake in the frontier region of Ladakh in Indian-administered Kashmir, raising fresh security concerns in India. The 400-metre-long and 8-metre-wide bridge being constructed near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the two nuclear powers, was spotted through high resolution satellite images, Indian media reports said last week.
Canadian government report accuses China of widespread campaign of espionage, manipulation - National | Globalnews.ca In the report obtained by Global News, Canadian officials alleged the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office was tasked with “influencing or manipulating” community members, and using “coercive tactics” against dissidents and minorities. “This involves intimidation of OC (Overseas Chinese) at every level of society,” the report said. “The managing of their behaviour is accomplished through incentive or disincentive, as well as intelligence-gathering, surveillance, and subversion against OC communities.”
Chinese hackers target German pharma and tech firms | Reuters Chinese hacker group APT 27, long suspected of launching attacks on Western government agencies, has started targeting German companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and technology, Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said on Wednesday. In addition to stealing trade secrets and intellectual property, the hackers may be trying to penetrate customers' and service providers' networks to infiltrate several companies at once, the BfV said in a circular to companies.
China, Russia take another step closer, agreeing to strengthen coordination on Asian affairs | South China Morning Post The agreement was reached on Tuesday during a virtual meeting between Liu Jinsong, head of the Asian affairs unit at China’s foreign ministry, and Ovchinnikov Alexey Mikhailovich, who heads the Russian foreign ministry’s Asia-Pacific department. “The two sides had a friendly and in-depth exchange of views on the current situation in Asia, their respective regional and national policies, regional cooperation and regional hotspot issues, and reached broad consensus,” according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement on Wednesday.
China, Saudi Arabia vow to boost military cooperation - China Military Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe held talks via video link with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman on January 26, 2022..The Chinese side thanks Saudi Arabian side for its strong support on Xinjiang-related, Hong Kong-related and Taiwan-related issues, and fully respects Saudi Arabia's sovereignty, and firmly supports its independent choice on the development path, Wei said. Wei suggested that the two sides should reinforce coordination and cooperation, jointly oppose hegemonic, peremptory and bullying acts, and jointly protect international fairness and justice and the interests of developing countries.
China eyes substantial progress in modernization of military personnel-Xinhua China's Central Military Commission recently issued a decision ordering greater efforts to improve work related to military talent to bring about substantial progress in the modernization of military personnel. The decision stressed the need to upgrade the capabilities, composition, as well as development and management of military personnel, and cultivate high-quality and professional military personnel.
Announcement of the CMC decision, don't think the full text has been publicly released - 经中央军委主席习近平批准 中央军委印发《关于加强新时代军队人才工作的决定》 中央军委办公厅印发相关配套政策措施 - 中国军网
New Chinese ambassador to Australia sends 'goodwill' to reset bilateral ties - Global Times Xiao Qian, former Chinese ambassador to Indonesia and a veteran diplomat, assumed office of Chinese Ambassador to Australia on Wednesday
Japanese aid to Tonga aimed at countering China’s influence - The Japan News Japan announced an emergency aid package of more than $1 million (about ¥114 million) on Jan. 19, the day after receiving a request from Tonga. A decision was made to dispatch a Self-Defense Forces plane on the morning of Jan. 20, and it left Japan that evening. On Saturday, the SDF aircraft delivered its first batch of relief supplies, about 3 tons of drinking water — the third fastest delivery after Australia and New Zealand.
PLA aircraft, vessels to deliver much-needed supplies to tsunami-hit Tonga - Global Times Overcoming challenges including volcanic ash, the Chinese military has dispatched transport aircraft of the PLA Air Force and vessels of the PLA Navy at Tonga's request for volcanic eruption disaster relief, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson from the Ministry of National Defense, said on Wednesday in a statement. The missions will arrive in Tonga on Thursday and Monday respectively,
习近平向英国48家集团俱乐部“破冰者”2022新春庆祝活动致贺电 1月26日，国家主席习近平向英国48家集团俱乐部同英中贸协、英国中国商会在伦敦举办的“破冰者”2022新春庆祝活动致贺电。 习近平指出，上世纪50年代，以杰克·佩里先生为代表的英国企业家开启“破冰之旅”，打破了西方对华贸易的坚冰。
Biden’s China policy needs to be more than just Trump lite - Jeff Bader Biden’s team have continued and mimicked Trump’s destructive approach. This has prompted glee among departed Trump officials, who proudly declare themselves innovators and the Biden administration unimaginative and dutiful implementers...Since its establishment in 1949, the PRC has undergone dramatic swings in policy and governance, from isolation to opening, from extreme repression to opening and back toward oppression. To assume its current oppressive incarnation is permanent is to ignore the lessons of the past 70 years and to turn our backs on a worldly younger generation that could support a positive relationship with the U.S. if given a chance to do so.
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng Meets with New SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming On January 25, 2022, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng met with Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Zhang Ming (Chinese nationality). The two sides exchanged views on the development of the SCO and other issues. Le Yucheng congratulated Zhang Ming on taking up his new post and said that at present, the development of the SCO is facing new opportunities. All parties look forward to working with the Secretariat to carry forward the "Shanghai Spirit", implement the consensus among the heads of states of the SCO members, enhance solidarity and mutual trust, deepen exchanges and cooperation in fields such as security and economy, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to create more benefits for the people of regional countries. As the host country of the Secretariat, China stands ready to continue to actively support the work of the Secretary-General and the Secretariat, and contribute to the further development of the SCO.
Global tensions grow as Chinese rocket scientist defects to the West | Express.co.uk A bombshell story if true. A big IF at this point // Described as a rocket technician, the Chinese national was attached to the stateowned Aviation Industry Corp of China, where he helped develop a mid-range hypersonic boost-glide vehicle capable of carrying DF-17 missiles to a range of up to 2,000 miles. Sources say the scientist, in his 30s, is connected with a more recent hypersonic missile delivery system that can circle the globe before descending from space and use heat-seeking technology to strike any target on Earth.
Ambassador Qin Gang sends Chinese new year greetings to NBA teams - ECNS The game attracted thousands of fans in the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. During the first timeout, Ambassador Qin's video speech was broadcast on the stadium’s big screen. He congratulated NBA on its legendary 75th anniversary, hoping it would keep getting greater in the years to come. He said both the Wizards and the Clippers were special in the hearts of Chinese fans, as famous Chinese players had once played for the two teams respectively. Ambassador Qin pointed out that the Washington Wizards, formerly known as Washington Bullets, was the first-ever NBA team to visit China in 1979, shortly after the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations.
How China is losing the information war to the West | Wang Huiyao on Talking Post with Yonden Lhatoo | South China Morning Post In a world dominated by an anti-China narrative, telling China’s side of the story can be a losing battle. On the front line of the struggle is Dr Wang Huiyao, founder of Beijing-based non-governmental think tank Centre for China and Globalisation. In the seventh episode of Talking Post, the Beijing government adviser speaks to SCMP chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo about China's credibility problem, human rights and more.
駱惠寧發表2022年新春致辭 Luo Huining's Lunar New Year's speech to Hong Kong residents. Given in Mandarin, with English subtitles
2022年对台工作会议在京召开 汪洋出席并讲话_CCTV "新时代党解决台湾问题的总体方略 A comprehensive plan for resolving the Taiwan issue in the New Era" I think first appeared at the 6th Plenum? Do we know what it is exactly? This is from Wang Yang's meeting Tuesday for Taiwan work
DPP using language distinctions to split Chinese nation: spokesperson-Xinhua At a Wednesday press conference, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said that such attempts will lead nowhere. Zhu made the remarks when commenting on the DPP authority labelling the Minnan dialect and other Chinese dialects widely used in Taiwan as "indigenous languages" in its laws, so as to differentiate them from Mandarin Chinese, which is used more on the mainland.
Tech and Media
Micron to Shut Down DRAM Chip Design Team in Shanghai - Caixin U.S. computer chip giant Micron Technology plans to shut down its DRAM design team in Shanghai by the end of this year, the company confirmed with Caixin. The move came after many of Micron’s DRAM engineering team members were poached by domestic competitors. It will serve as a precautionary measure to prevent technology leaks to competitors, several chip industry participants told Caixin.
Viewers Complain Over Hit Chinese Thriller’s ‘Positive’ Ending - SixthTone Despite amassing more than 1 billion views, many audiences of the hit Chinese drama “Reset” are asking if it’s part of the reset regulators are aiming to administer on the country’s entertainment industry. The story of a college student and a videogame designer trapped in a time loop on a soon-to-explode bus kept audiences hooked for the past two weeks, with many raving about the thriller for incorporating social issues such as cyberbullying, sexual harassment, and characters representing some of the country’s marginalized groups. However, the final episode Tuesday left audiences dissatisfied, with many accusing the producers and writers of deliberately opting for a “positive ending.” The 15-part series concluded with police arresting those portrayed as criminals, while the government rewarded people on board the bus for their bravery.
腾讯应届生怒怼“过度加班”，业务负责人回应：尽快优化调整 A Tencent employee, labeled as a recent college graduate, has complained via an internal forum about the tech firm’s punishing hours and excessive work culture as the firm scrambled to complete new product designs for Wechat. The person said he worked 20 hours nonstop and completed 200 product designs in just one week. The employee snapped after the company praised “20 hours of high intensity work” in an internal presentation. The rewards, the employee said, were thousands of rmb and a glass trophy. He has tendered his resignation.
China’s digital currency: Meituan expands e-CNY payments to offline merchants ahead of Lunar New Year | South China Morning Post China’s leading on-demand service provider Meituan on Wednesday began allowing more than 200 types of offline merchants – including restaurants, grocery stores, cinemas, and hotels – to accept payments in digital yuan, also known as e-CNY.
Apple (AAPL) Tops China for First Time in Six Years After Huawei Fades - Bloomberg The newly released iPhone 13 helped Apple out-sell Chinese rivals Vivo and Oppo after Huawei Technologies Co. plummeted down the rankings, Counterpoint Research said in a report Wednesday. Apple’s sales in the country surged 32% even while the overall domestic market shrank 9%
Yicai - SF Express Unit Gets China’s First Permit to Test Regional Logistics Drones SF UAS will trial commercial operations of regional logistics drones, carrying tonnage over long distances in Yulin city and other areas in the country’s northwest. The pilot area will be expanded later, with the aim of building an air transport network with SF Express consisting of large manned cargo planes, large branch UAVs, and end-delivery drones.
Yicai - Huawei Executive Who Said Tesla Was “Killing People” Leaves Firm The executive Huawei Technologies yanked from his role overseeing its smart driving unit after he claimed last summer that Tesla vehicles were “killing people” has now left the company, according to a media report. Huawei confirmed today that Jerry Su recently resigned from the Chinese tech giant, Sina Tech reported
China’s Tech Giants Take Stakes in More Companies as Crackdown Hits Growth - Caixin China’s tech giants Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance made more equity investments in 2021 compared to the previous year, as a sweeping regulatory crackdown hit their core businesses, industry data show.
中国信通院举办元宇宙安全研讨会 China Academy of Information and Communications Technology held a seminar about the Metaverse and security, representatives from Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu among the attendees.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Olympics China's new English language song for Beijing 2022 divides opinion | Reuters Starring 24-year-old Chinese actor and singer Zeng Shunxi, Xinhua journalist Lu Binqi, and patriotic rap group CDRev, known for their tunes targeting perceived enemies of the Chinese government, the cheery ballad urges listeners to attend the games and said whether athletes "win or lose, we cheer for you".
Comment: I think 2008's "Beijing Welcomes You" had much better lyrics and talent
Update: Naturalized player Luo Guofu apologizes to CFA for controversial remarks over flight cancellation - Global Times Naturalized player of the Chinese national football team Luo Guofu apologized on Tuesday to the Chinese Football Association (CFA) for his complaints about the association's arrangements after being stranded at an airport in the Netherlands due to a flight cancelation. "I was angry and anxious when I said some radical words without adequate appreciation of the facts, which is unfair to the CFA," Luo said on his Sina Weibo account.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China is building charging stations for 20 million EVs - Protocol — The people, power and politics of tech China plans to build enough charging stations for 20 million electric vehicles by 2025, according to a new document by the National Development and Reform Commission and nine other ministries. The government will offer direct financial subsidies and encourage favorable banking policies for companies to build charging facilities.
China Looks to Resell LNG as World Grapples With Gas Shortage - Bloomberg Two of China’s biggest state-owned LNG importers released tenders this week offering to sell dozens of cargoes for delivery through November. With the end of the peak winter demand season within sight, Chinese traders are betting that the nation will avoid a crippling supply crunch and can offload excess cargoes...milder weather has left its energy giants with a glut of scheduled shipments. Reselling the cargoes into the pricey spot market could provide a profitable windfall for traders.
中共中央办公厅印发《关于建立中小学校党组织领导的校长负责制的意见（试行）》--时政--人民网 General Office of the Central Committee issues an opinion on strengthening Party leadership over primary and middle schools