CCDI Plenary Session Opens In Beijing; Li Keqiang Reveals 2017 GDP Growth Was 6.9%; Marriott In Trouble For Survey Splittism; Officials Blow Up A Shanxi Church

Good Morning. Next Monday is a national holiday in the US in honor of Martin Luther King, unless something important about China has happened over the weekend there will likely be no newsletter Monday.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) did not like yesterday’s Bloomberg story that US Treasury purchases were under review.

Report on China slowing US bond purchases may be 'fake,' regulator says - Reuters:

"The news could quote the wrong source of information, or may be fake news," the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement published on its website.

The market reaction to that story, whether it was true or not, was briefly overblown before it was mostly dismissed. If someone in Beijing was trying to communicate a “threat” they failed.

Sadly “fake news” is now a common reaction from governments to stories they do not like, even ones which have entire bureaucratic systems to disseminate propaganda.


The Essential Eight

1. Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Plenary Session Opens In Beijing

Comment: Xi opened the plenum with a speech that again reminds everyone that the CCDI's mission is not only fighting corruption but also enforcing ideological, political and policy discipline among officials. 

Next up after this CCDI Plenum will be the 19th Party Congress 2nd Plenum, which is expected to finalize the planning and Constitutional amendment for the new National Supervisory Commission, which will then be stood up around the March National People's Congress. Lots of speculation about staffing of the NSC, much should be revealed in the next several weeks. 

Xi asks officials to remain loyal to Party "at any time, and under any circumstance" - Xinhua:

Xi said Party officials should "always be reliable, align themselves to the Party's central leadership in thinking and deeds, follow the Party's instructions and fulfil their responsibilities."

"Decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee should be implemented in full, by each and every Party organization," Xi said...

Xi said Party members should "understand the dialectical relationship between the grand vision of Communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics."

"We cannot indulge ourselves in empty talk without working for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and national rejuvenation. We can neither afford to lose the grand vision because realizing Communism is a long process," he said.

Comment: But don't call them Communist, some foreign observers continue to insist. It is what they call themselves, and while many Party members may not believe it are we really sure that Xi Jinping himself does not?

Xi vows "fighting spirit" to safeguard Party's purity - Xinhua:

He said that "the Party itself and its members have gone through essential and profound changes," which required higher quality of Party management and enhanced political and organizational functions of Party organs.

"We should push forward the campaign with heroism that takes the bull by the horns and a fighting spirit that never steps aside in face of an enemy," he said.

Safeguarding the authority of CPC Central Committee and under its centralized and unified leadership, the CPC should develop itself into a vigorous Marxist ruling party that is always riding with the trend of times, supported by the people, brave in self-reform and survives all challenges and hardship, he said.

The CPC will not only foster faith among its members but also introduce institutional measures, not only address specific problems but also make top-down designs, Xi said.

习近平在十九届中央纪委二次全会上发表重要讲话—中央纪委监察部网站

Top 12 minutes of 1.11 CCTV Evening News on Xi's speech at the CCDI PLenum-- [视频]习近平在十九届中央纪委二次全会上发表重要讲话强调 全面贯彻落实党的十九大精神 以永远在路上的执着把从严治党引向深入_CCTV

Anti-graft supervisory reform set - China Daily:

A key meeting of the country's top discipline watchdog, scheduled to open on Thursday, will further consolidate China's anti-corruption efforts and push forward the reform of the supervisory system, experts said.

The 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China will hold its second plenary session through Saturday, as decided at a meeting of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau on Dec. 27.

Participants in the session are expected to discuss deepening reform of the national supervision system, which will centralize power to fight corruption and be crucial for China's future anti-graft deployment, according to Jiang Laiyong, a senior researcher at the China Anti-Corruption Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

全面从严治党再出发 写在十九届中央纪委二次全会召开之际 


2. Li Keqiang Reveals 2017 GDP Growth Was 6.9%

Comment: Official release date not until January 18 but the calculations are done. Does this upside "surprise" give the leadership a little more room to press on structural supply side reform and financial risk reduction in 2018? Or did they already know the number at the December Central Economic Work Conference and still blinked a bit over deleveraging?

Premier Li Signals 2017 Growth Beat Target - Caixin Global:

China’s Premier Li Keqiang has revealed the economy grew by around 6.9% last year, just days before the government is due to officially release the numbers. The growth rate, if confirmed next week, would be the first acceleration in seven years.

The rate is way ahead of the official target of an increase of around 6.5% set in March, and is likely to give leaders more confidence in the economy and greater leeway to push ahead with the overhauls they promised...

Key fourth-quarter economic data including the GDP growth rate are scheduled to be announced by the National Bureau of Statistics on Jan. 18.


3. It Is Only Historical Nihilism If The Party Says It Is

Publisher denies axing Cultural Revolution chapter from school textbooks - Global Times:

People's Education Press on Wednesday refuted rumors that the chapter on Cultural Revolution was deleted from eighth-grade history textbooks, saying the contents would be included in the spring semester textbook, to be published in March.  

"Someone posted online claiming the new history textbook will delete the chapter on Cultural Revolution which drew attention from internet users. The situation is that the second volume of the national history textbook for the eighth grade will teach the Cultural Revolution as a main theme in a chapter called 'arduous exploration and development achievement.' The textbook will be put into use in the spring semester in March," read a statement released by People's Education Press late on Wednesday.

Controversy over Chinese textbook’s Cultural Revolution chapter as state publisher denies censorship | South China Morning Post:

The textbook’s publisher, the People’s Education Press, issued a statement on Wednesday saying the new edition of the textbook, meant for Grade 8 pupils aged about 14, still contained content on the Cultural Revolution.

One chapter’s original title “The 10 years of the Cultural Revolution” had now been changed to “Arduous Exploration and Development Achievements” in the new version, the publisher said.

The chapter had also been made the sixth rather than seventh lesson in the book and the number of paragraphs boiled down to six rather than nine, the statement said.


4. Officials Blow Up A Shanxi Church

China church demolition sparks fears of campaign against Christians | The Guardian:

A church in northern China was demolished this week, the second in less than a month, sparking fears of a wider campaign against Christians as authorities prepare to enforce new laws on religion.

Police cordoned off the area around the Golden Lampstand Church church in Linfen, Shanxi province, on Sunday before construction workers detonated explosives inside, according to witnesses and the head pastor. After the initial explosion, crews broke apart the remaining pieces with diggers and jackhammers.

A Catholic church in the neighbouring province of Shaanxi was also reportedly demolished last month, 20 years after it originally opened.

A video of the destruction


5. Marriott In Trouble For Survey Splittism

Comment: Once the company gets through its ritual prostrations it should offer PRC passport holders a special discount for the next few months. Business will recover quickly.

Shanghai temporarily closes Marriott website in China after questionnaire gaffe - Reuters:

Authorities in Shanghai on Thursday closed down Marriott International Inc’s (MAR.O) Chinese website for a week, punishing the world’s biggest hotel chain for listing Chinese-claimed regions such as Tibet and Taiwan as separate countries in a customer questionnaire.

Marriott Draws Fire Over Geography Slip-Up - Caixin Global:

Marriott made three posts on the matter Tuesday and Wednesday before making a more strongly worded one on Thursday. “Marriott International respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said. “We absolutely do not support any separatist organizations undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We deeply apologize for any actions that may have caused misunderstandings about the above position.”


6. Xinjiang Officials Assigned Uyghur "Relatives"

Comment: How would Confucius have viewed government-mandated relatives?

Xinjiang officials assigned as relatives to Uyghur villagers for ethnic unity campaign - Global Times:

In December of 2017, officials and government employees at various levels in Xinjiang were required to live, eat and study with a local family whom officials are now under directive to consider and treat as "relatives."

The unity week campaign, launched in December by the Xinjiang government to enhance ethnic unity and practice the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has witnessed over one million government staff living together with their "relatives," the Xinjiang Daily reported.

The move is a follow-up to the ethnic unity campaign launched by the Xinjiang government in 2016, during which government staff were first paired with local villagers, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

A series of ethnic unity activities over the past two years has not only deepened mutual understanding and feelings between governments and grass-roots villagers of ethnic groups, but more importantly, as a soft policy approach, greatly contributed to the long-term stability of the northwestern region which observers said had been plagued by sabotage activities of the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism, observers said.


7. Ma Xiaohong Case A Test Of Beijing's Seriousness About North Korea Sanctions

Businesswoman’s Fate a Test of China’s Resolve on North Korea - The New York Times:

Ms. Ma’s fate has become a test of China’s willingness to support President Trump’s efforts to throttle North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Last year, American prosecutors indicted Ms. Ma on charges of using her companies to help North Korea evade international sanctions. After a briefing by American diplomats in Beijing, the Chinese announced their own investigation into Ms. Ma’s main company...

In the government’s first statement on the case in a year, the State Council Information Office responded to questions from The New York Times by saying that Ms. Ma and others face investigation for “economic crimes.”

However, the statement went on to say, referring to Ms. Ma’s main company, investigators “have not yet found evidence that the Dandong Hongxiang company and Ma Xiaohong et al are directly involved in North Korea’s nuclear missile development activities.”


8. Chinese Talent Leaving Silicon Valley For China

Comment: It is a real trend, as is successful Chinese IT executives with families moving their family to the US and/or pushing the larger PRC tech firms to set up R&D centers in Seattle or the Bay Area, as much for attracting talent as for keeping it...One of the jokes going around in 2015 was if you want to meet a Chinese VC during the summer you have to go to Palo Alto, as they spend the summer there with their families...

Chinese Workers Abandon Silicon Valley for Riches Back Home - Bloomberg:

U.S.-trained Chinese-born talent is becoming a key force in driving Chinese companies’ global expansion and the country’s efforts to dominate next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Where college graduates once coveted a prestigious overseas job and foreign citizenship, many today gravitate toward career opportunities at home, where venture capital is now plentiful and the government dangles financial incentives for cutting-edge research.


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

监管继续封堵非标 投向贷款的集合资管产品禁止备案_金融频道_财新网 继银监会下发《商业银行委托贷款管理办法》限制非标(非标准化债权类资产)资金来源后,证监会也限制了其辖内资产管理产品通过通道流向非标。财新记者从多位知情人士处确认,证监会近日已窗口指导,要求集合资产管理产品(一对多)不得新增参与银行委托贷款、信托贷款等贷款类业务;停止对投向贷款项目的集合资产管理产品备案。// Comment: Caixin says more off-balance sheet restrictions coming, this time around collective asset management products

One way or another: China's yuan policy tweak a warning shot in old battle - Reuters “Whenever there’s a one-way trade and one-way expectation, they tend to do something,” said Zhou Hao, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank. “If you don’t defend this (6.5 yuan) level, maybe the currency sees another leg of rapid appreciation.”

Ant Financial to Review Privacy Policy After Receiving Slap on Wrist - Caixin Global Ant Financial has taken immediate measure and will conduct a complete review of its business lines with regards to privacy protection, Nie Zhengjun, chief privacy officer at Ant Financial, told Caixin. Ant Financial has also created a new department that specifically oversees personal information protection following the incident. However, some have said that they think Ant Financial got off easy. “Alipay’s and Zhima Credit’s public relations teams responded to this promptly, and avoided administrative and other types of penalties through their comprehensive apology,” a legal professor told Caixin.

2018 State of American Business Address | U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas J. Donohue President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: · “Trade with China will also be high on the agenda this year. The White House is right to focus on China’s industrial policies and their challenge to the global economy.”;· “This includes Chinese market access restrictions, subsidies, data and cyber policies, forced tech transfer, and IP theft.”;· “The status quo is not sustainable, but we need a smart approach. We need to work with allies in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere to forge a common response to China’s state capitalism.

China concerned over U.S. restrictions on Chinese investment - Xinhua "As far as the Ant Financial case is concerned, we feel sorry to see that normal business investment and merger made by a Chinese enterprise in the U.S. was once again blocked due to the so-called national security reasons," said Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng. "We do not oppose normal security review by relevant countries over foreign investment, but we are concerned about the acts of setting up glass door and swing door to restrict foreign investment citing national security," Gao said.

Investment heaven or hell? - Global Times Is Northeast China a good place for investment? Public discussions on the topic have been heated in recent days following accusations by a prominent Chinese entrepreneur that a local committee in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province improperly intervened in his business and illegally occupied his land. The Global Times recently spoke with several investors in the region as well as a number of experts to find out their views on the local business environment and the future prospects of investing there.

Chinese Retailer JD.com’s Latest Gig: Supplying Restaurants - WSJ As one of China’s fastest-growing online retailers, JD.com built an in-house delivery and logistics operation to serve its primary business. It is now turning that know-how into a business delivering goods to restaurants and other merchants. “The tough part was building our huge logistics capabilities for our own use,” said Song Chunzheng, vice president of JD.com’s enterprise department. “Implementing them to help other industries is the easy part. That’s what we’re doing now.”

Developers Still on the Hunt for Money Overseas - Caixin Global In the first two weeks of this year, at least four major real estate companies have unveiled plans to issue bonds or medium-term notes at overseas markets, to raise a combined $2.6 billion. That burst is on top of soaring overseas financing seen in 2017. 

Politics, Law And Ideology

China investigates 23 former senior officials in 2017 - Xinhua A total of 23 former officials at provincial level or above were put under investigation by Chinese prosecution authorities in 2017, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Wednesday. 中央纪委通报2017年全国纪检监察机关纪律审查情况 

中纪委再点名!孙政才是两面人,王三运“驴粪蛋外面光”_凤凰资讯 “有的干部重表态轻行动、言行不一,调子飙得高不见落地,程度更严重者,就是阳奉阴违的‘两面人’。”最近一期出版的《中国纪检监察》杂志,再次点了副国级“大老虎”孙政才的名。 同时,文章还指出:十八大以来查处的不收敛、不收手的党员干部尤其是一把手,如黄兴国、周本顺、万庆良、王敏等,都是言行不一、光说不练的典型。要推动作风建设深入开展,“开刀”形式主义、官僚主义问题,必须深挖根源,找准“病灶”。

Foreign and Military Affairs

China, Japan trade accusations after Chinese warship seen near disputed Diaoyu Islands | South China Morning Post Japan’s vice foreign minister Shinsuke Sugiyama summoned Chinese ambassador Cheng Yonghua to voice Tokyo’s concerns over Beijing’s military deployment in the disputed waters. The Chinese vessel, identified as a Jiangkai 2-class frigate, was spotted on Thursday just beyond Japanese waters near the contested islands that are known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China, Japan’s defence ministry said. A foreign submarine was also detected in the area on Wednesday, in the so-called contiguous zone near Miyako Island, southeast of the Senkakus, the ministry said, without identifying the nation involved.

Chinese naval ship, sub spotted near Japanese waters around Senkakus - Kyodo News t is the first known time that a submerged foreign submarine has entered the contiguous zone, or area just outside Japanese waters around the Japan-controlled, China-claimed islands. The ministry believes the submarine is also from China. A ministry official also said this was only the second confirmed instance of a Chinese frigate entering the contiguous zone around the Senkakus. The first was in June 2016.

China's island building not directed at any particular country: FM spokesman - Xinhua China said Tuesday that its construction of defense equipment on Yongshu Jiao in the Nansha islands is not directed at any particular country. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the remarks at a daily press conference. According to Reuters, the Philippines has made a diplomatic protest to China over its build-up of military facilities on the island. Lu said China has carried out work in its own territory to ensure the security of peaceful navigation in the region; disaster prevention and mitigation; maritime search, rescue and research.

US lawmakers make fools of themselves with Taiwan bills - China Daily Those US lawmakers who support the bills should first educate themselves instead of becoming a laugh stock. They should also realize that the days that they can willfully interfere in China's internal affairs are long gone. The writer is deputy editor of China Daily USA  // this kind of threatening rhetoric from the China Daily is not going to help the PRC's cause in DC. If anything it will anger Congress and make it more likely to push even harder on pro-Taiwan legislation...But perhaps the real audience for this piece is back in the PRC?

In space and cyber, China is closing in on the United States - SpaceNews.com This may not be a Sputnik moment, but the United States could soon be unpleasantly surprised as China continues to shore up its domestic capacity to produce high-end weapons, satellites and encryption technologies, a panel of analysts told the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee. At the Tuesday hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said lawmakers are not entirely convinced that China’s dominance in many technology sectors is a “foregone conclusion.” But the committee does believe that China’s technological accomplishments should inform U.S. policies and defense investments. // Comment: Video and prepared testimony from the hearing 

Spotlight: China makes five proposals on securing shared future for Lancang-Mekong nations - Xinhua He proposed to nail down plans for those countries' connectivity and action plans for capacity cooperation, and push forward the construction of economic and trade cooperation zones as well as cross-border economic cooperation zones.;To expand agricultural cooperation, Li said China backs its companies to tie up with their partners in Lancang-Mekong countries on the deep processing of agricultural products and the joint development of the third markets.;China is willing to deepen cooperation with Lancang-Mekong countries in agricultural technology and build platforms for technology exchange, joint research as well as investment and trade cooperation, said the premier.; Meanwhile, Li called for upgrading human resource cooperation. China will offer short-term training and in-service education for 2,000 people in Lancang-Mekong countries and 100 four-year scholarships for undergraduates in 2018, he said.;He also urged to facilitate medical and public health cooperation. China is willing to set up mechanism with relevant countries in prevention and control of infectious diseases, carry out cross-border projects on prevention and control of such diseases, and build a network for malaria elimination, Li said.

Spotlight: Chinese companies playing active role in Lancang-Mekong Cooperation - Xinhua "Huawei's vision is to bring a digital world to people," said Li Xiongwei, CEO of Huawei Cambodia. "On this exhibition, Huawei showed three aspects of contents, the most important of which is the submarine optical fiber cable (SOFC). We have been building a SOFC connecting Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. We are also planning with the Cambodian government on building a China-Cambodia SOFC."

China air force stages real combat training - Xinhua Air Force of the People's Liberation Army of China has carried out real combat training, with the involvement of the J-20 stealth fighter and the Y-20 military transport aircraft, according to a military statement. The J-20, China's fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet, made its maiden flight in 2011 and was officially commissioned into military service in September 2017. Several new fighter jets including the J-16, J-10C and H-6K bombers were also included in the training, the statement said.

China to fund base in Afghanistan - The Hindu China will fund construction of an Afghan counterterrorism base in Badakshan province to block cross-border infiltration of the ethnic Uyghur militants. Fergana News Agency (FNA) has quoted Gen. Dawlat Waziri of the Afghan Defence Ministry as saying that China will provide financial support to build the base, whose precise location inside Badakshan, in northern Afghanistan, is yet to the determined.

国防部新闻发言人吴谦就武警部队旗寓意答问-新华网 MoD spokesman explains the new People's Armed Police flag, says the three green stripes represent the PAP's duties, including safeguarding the nation's political security and social stability, protecting and enforcing maritime rights, and “defense and combat”

Taiwan

Taiwan plans to invest in advanced arms as China flexes its muscles - Reuters The left-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by President Tsai Ing-wen, is working on detailed spending plans through 2025, two officials with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Tsai and her team have met repeatedly with military leaders in a push for new investment in training and equipment, one of the officials said. Immediate priorities include new missiles, drones and electronic warfare systems, fighter aircraft and ballistic missile defenses, according to a separate statement from the Ministry of National Defence sent to Reuters 

Tech And Media

How A Reality TV Show Has Catalysed the Rise of Rap in China - Noisey With his skinny arms swinging and bleached tarantula dreadlocks hanging over mildly ludicrous oversized sunglasses, Cheng Jianqiao swaggers into a teahouse in the southwest Chinese city of Chongqing. We’re meeting shortly after one of his appearances on China’s ridiculously popular TV show The Rap of China where, under his stage name Bridge, he’d reached the sharp end of the X Factor-style competition. After performing his trademark song “Boss” the judges, unsubtly seated next to bottles of vitamin drinks they were promoting, quickly waved him through to the next round. Bridge held his microphone aloft like a shotgun, nodding arrogantly and miming gunfire shots.

Here's What Analysts Say on China's Mega Tech Backdoor Listing - Bloomberg Qihoo 360 Technology Co.’s imminent listing in mainland China is raising questions about whether the world’s second-biggest stock market is poised for a slew of backdoor listings, more than a year after a regulatory crackdown all but ended the practice.

China’s Designated Drinkers Now Out of Work - Sixth Tone Following criticism from People’s Daily, novel outsourcing service eDaihe apparently stopped registering stand-in drinkers. Beijing-based startup eDaijia, which provides chauffeurs for people who should not legally be driving their cars home, launched the drink-sharing service in Beijing, Shanghai, and another 34 cities across China in late December.

马化腾现身腾讯分公司年会 变身嘻哈Boy |  PingWest品玩 Tencent founder Pony Ma, one of the richest men in the world, takes the stage at one of the company's Lunar NewYear parties as a rapper

90后小时候用电子词典,00后现在用什么? creditors have set up tents in the lobby of the LeEco HQ in Beijing

This Vegetable-Selling Startup’s Just Been Valued at $2.8 Billion - Bloomberg Meicai, a China startup that helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, has raised $450 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management and China Media Capital, according to people familiar with the matter.

Stellar iPhone X performance in GB, China & Japan - Kantar Worldpanel iOS performance in urban China continues to impress, gaining 4.6 percentage points over the same time period to give it a market share of almost 25%.

6 Moments When China’s Internet Privacy Creeped Us Out – Elephant Room: Make China Relatable As two Chinese consumers living in Beijing, we personally experienced the country’s dramatic internet development over the past few years. We absolutely loved and celebrated it fanatically as every Chinese did, yet in a number of occasions, we were also discomforted and even creeped out by China’s now knowing-you-too-much internet. Those were such small and subtle moments – in most cases, we were not even bothered to feel annoyed, generously allowing the joy of convenience overwhelming our consciousness minds. But the truth is these moments do matter, and now is time to dig them out and let the uneasiness sink in.

 

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

The class allegiance of China’s de facto voters | Chublic Opinion Nothing captures the middle class psyche in the winter of 2017 better than a piece of satire: “The fence of the middle class has collapsed.” In an almost allegorical post, the author presents imagery that consists of a hellish blood pool, middle class garden and castle of high power. The child abuse scandal marks the fall of the garden’s fence, giving the complacent bourgeois a taste of the hell just outside. But in a dark twist of the allegory, those traumatized middle class people chose to pay slightly more to erect a stronger fence, while never courageous enough to challenge the Olympian puppet masters living in the high castle. Only history will tell if this characterization of the Chinese middle class is prophetically accurate or shortsightedly cynical. For now, those in power seem still reasonably willing to entertain the prevailing sentiments of their “de facto voters”. On November 27th, the Beijing Party Secretary instructed his subordinates to “leave sufficient time for the mass to relocate.”

建好“信用时代”的基础设施(人民时评)--观点--人民网 建立健全个人征信体系,不仅是在完善现代金融治理,也有利于推动治理能力和治理体系现代化。《社会信用体系建设规划纲要(2014—2020年)》指出,“社会信用体系是社会主义市场经济体制和社会治理体制的重要组成部分”“加快社会信用体系建设是加强和创新社会治理的重要手段”。事实上,信息社会本身就是信用社会。当个体在信息时代被高度“信用量化”,我们比任何时候都更接近“信用时代”。建立国家级的个人信用数据库,大踏步迈向信用时代,必将为国家治理提供更优质的资源、更有效的手段 //  People's Daily on the need to build the "credit era" to promote better citizen behavior, in the wake of the uproar over the passenger who blocked the door of a high speed train

“Snow boy” receives nationwide aid - People's Daily Online “Going to school isn’t hard. My classmates told me my hair was completely covered in snow and then I made a face at them,” said Wang Fuman, the boy who touched many hearts for trekking to school in freezing colder weather on Jan 8.

 

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Greenpeace says China is winning battle against pollution in big cities but other areas falling behind | South China Morning Post Although air pollution in Beijing, Tianjin and more than two dozen surrounding cities dropped dramatically in the fourth quarter of last year amid a government crackdown on foul air, the country saw only a small improvement in air quality for all of 2017, according to a Greenpeace report.

Chinese scientists discover microplastics in Antarctic waters - CRI Chinese scientists on the latest Antarctic expedition have - for the first time - discovered the presence of microplastics in Antarctic waters, reports cctv.com. Microplastic are pieces of plastic less than 5 mm in size. Microplatics are quickly becoming a major source of marine pollution.

着力解决突出环境问题(认真学习宣传贯彻党的十九大精神)--观点--人民网 Beijing Mayor Chen Jining on page 7 of the 1.11 People's Daily on reducing pollution

China to build world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope - People's Daily Online Chinese authorities have approved a plan to build a radio telescope in Qitai, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, noting that it will be the world’s largest fully steerable single-dish radio telescope upon completion. The construction of Xinjiang Qitai 110 Radio Telescope (QT), which intends to operate at 150MHz to 115 GHz, will be operated under the leadership of Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Explosion on Burning Oil Tanker Forces Back Rescue Teams - Caixin Global Firefighting crews on three Chinese ships managed to reach the accident site at about 11 p.m. Wednesday after being delayed by bad weather. But an explosion at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday cut short salvage operations and forced rescue vessels to retreat because of safety concerns, the ministry said.

 

Education

It Wasn’t Me: Professor Says Rags-to-Riches Story Is Fake News - Sixth Tone Two decades later, media outlets are still spreading the touching tales, portraying An in the style of Lei Feng, a soldier who became an almost mythical figure in the Mao era for his hard work and willingness to help others. A social media account affiliated with state news agency Xinhua posted An’s supposed story on Christmas Eve 2017. But An has repeatedly denied the stories as fabrications. “It’s so ridiculous,” he said in a recent interview with The Intellectual, an account on social media network WeChat that focuses on science and humanism. Most of the stories are based on a series of articles written by Zhang Youde, a former deputy cultural bureau chief of the district in Tianjin where An is from.

 

Food And Travel

DaDong Brings a Sophisticated Version of Beijing Roast Duck to NYC - Eater NY on’t let anyone tell you finding DaDong is easy. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, this much anticipated appearance of a upscale Chinese restaurant chain with 10 Beijing locations specializes in Peking duck, with some outposts boasting Michelin stars. The New York location, seating more than 400 on three floors and an outdoor terrace, flung open its doors in early December to show us how the dish should be done. We’ve long had restaurants specializing in Peking duck, and every tea shop in Chinatown offers its own elaborately prepared version, minus the pancakes. By comparison, DaDong makes a flashy show in its presentation of space and food, though it comes at a price. // Comment: Thinking we should have a Sinocism New York subscriber meal at this Dadong…

China's middle class is boosting demand for avocados - CNBC Avocado sales are expected to more than double this year as more health-conscious consumers in China show an interest in the "heart-healthy" avocados.