China responds to US trade demands; African Swine Fever; Reform and Opening History; Internet controls
It is a snow/sleet day here in DC, a bit early if you ask me…
Reuters broke the news that China sent the US a written response to US demands; follow-on reporting says the two sides held a call but that they are, unsurprisingly, still far apart. There are only 14 days until Trump and Xi are to meet.
Asset Management firm Miller Tabak I think nailed it in their prediction of how Trump might communicate with the markets between now and the meeting:
At some point won’t there be Presidential China Deal Tweet Fatigue?
A new set of rules on Internet services and companies that provide “public opinion or social mobilization capacity 具有舆论属性或社会动员能力” is yet another sign the authorities continue to try to harden the system. This move certainly looks related to the crackdown against labor activists and students, and is another sign that at least from now until June 5, 2019, after we have passed the 100th anniversary of the May 4 movement and the 30th anniversary of June 4, the political atmosphere will likely tighten even more.
But if you are a pessimist you might wonder why they would loosen up then, especially if US-China relations and the PRC economy continue in downward trajectories?
Thanks for reading, time to go shovel some sleet.
The Essential Eight
1. US-China trade—a call and a written response
Three U.S. government sources told Reuters on Wednesday that China had sent a response to U.S. demands on those and other issues, but gave no further details on its contents. It was unclear if the response contained concessions that would satisfy Trump’s demands for change.
While two industry sources familiar with the contents of the response said it was largely a restatement of previous Chinese commitments, it was seen as a necessary starting point for continued negotiations.
Following the call, China responded to US requests to address a range of sticking points, and the possibility of concessions was discussed in several telephone negotiations between senior officials in Beijing and Washington.
But expectations of a broad deal being agreed in Argentina remain low, with the US viewing the overture as too late and short on substance.
One US executive briefed on the talks said the White House National Economic Council (NEC), which co-ordinates economic policy, was exploring options that could lead to a trade truce but that core issues remained intractable.
Chinese officials have outlined a series of potential concessions to the Trump administration for the first time since the summer as they continue to try to resolve a trade war, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
The commitments for now fall short of the type of major structural reforms that President Donald Trump has been demanding, two of the people said, cautioning that a long road lies ahead in negotiations. One person said that talks between the world’s two largest economies are continuing and constructive.
China and the United States have resumed high-level talks on trade, the Chinese commerce ministry’s spokesman Gao Feng said at a weekly press briefing in Beijing on Thursday, without giving details.
“We all agree that empire and aggression has no place in the Indo-Pacific,” Pence said as he addressed the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Singapore on Thursday.
“Let me be clear, though: our vision for the Indo-Pacific excludes no nation. It only requires that nations treat their neighbours with respect, and respect the sovereignty of our nations and international rules and order.”
Official transcript of Pence’s speech, with China mentions:
The United States will continue to stand with our allies and partners to uphold the order that we helped build, and we will defend freedom of the seas and skies. This is especially important in the South China Sea.
Let me be clear: China’s militarization and territorial expansion in the South China Sea is illegal and dangerous. It threatens the sovereignty of many nations and endangers the prosperity of the world.
For our part, the United States will continue to fly and sail wherever international law allows and our national interests demand. Harassment will not deter us; it only strengthens our resolve.
As I said during our summit with ASEAN today, it’s time to adopt a meaningful and binding Code of Conduct for the South China Sea – one that protects the freedoms of navigation and overflight, resource exploration and development, and nations’ ability to establish partnerships of choice, as well as respects the rights of third parties…
The United States seeks a relationship with China that is based on fairness, reciprocity, and respect for sovereignty. We have documented the difficulties that the United States and other nations face with China, and China knows where we stand.
Nevertheless, President Trump is looking forward to his meeting with President Xi at the G-20 Summit in Argentina. He believes that progress could be made, but either way, we are confident that the United States remains in a strong position. And the United States will continue to work with our allies and partners to promote our vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The White House has deliberately curtailed trade advisor Peter Navarro's public profile amid a clash with top economic advisor Larry Kudlow, a person with knowledge of the matter told CNBC on condition of anonymity.
Despite the tensions, neither official is expected to leave the administration soon, said the source, who declined to be named. President Donald Trump could also change his mind at any time about Navarro's role.
On Tuesday, Kudlow slammed Navarro for his remarks on the White House's ongoing trade negotiations with China.
The dispute between the U.S. and China over trade deficits and surpluses is rather trivial compared to the broader philosophical differences between the world's two biggest economic superpowers, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio told CNBC on Thursday.
"The trade war, I think, can be worked out," the billionaire investor Dalio said in a "Squawk Box" interview on CNBC. But he argued the conflict goes "way beyond the trade war."
Dalio, co-CIO and co-chairman at Bridgewater, said the two nations' polar opposite methods of governing is the broader, more difficult issue to reconcile. "It goes back to Confucius in 500 B.C.," he said.
U.S. defense officials tell Breitbart News that as U.S.-China economic relations flounder, China has grasped onto the defense relationship with the U.S. in hopes of making the relationship a source of stability with Washington.
“The Chinese have been nervous,” the senior defense official said. “They are under a lot of pressure right now.”
Comment: Don’t they always try to be nicer on military side whenever there is tension on the trade side?
And some historical context..this article is from 1997. But we are now in a different, New Era - China Becomes Easy Target As Relations With U.S. Sour - WSJ
When Washington looked at China as recently as a few months ago, it saw the promise of a vast emerging market. These days, it tends to see Reds. Also copyright pirates, sweatshop operators, unfair traders, expansionist generals and assorted other villains. And anyone with a kind word to say about China risks being branded a "Sinopologist."
Accurate or not, this view isn't likely to change soon. That spells turbulent times ahead for U.S. relations with China, and the rest of Asia.
Just listen to the Cold War language resurrected recently by the Republican National Senatorial Committee. "Thousands of American soldiers have lost their lives in the fight against the evil system of Communism," it said in a fund-raising letter, playing on allegations that the Democrats and the White House indiscriminately accepted foreign funds for campaigning. "And now the FBI is investigating a sitting U.S. president's National Party Committee for accepting ILLEGAL FOREIGN CASH from the world's strongest remaining Communist regime!"
2. Insurers join the stock market plunge protection party
The participation of Chinese insurers could potentially bring the industry’s trillions of dollars in assets to bear on a problem that has helped make China one of the world’s worst performing stock markets this year, despite efforts by the central bank, brokerages and local governments to shore up financially struggling listed companies.
Over the last two weeks, four Chinese insurers have rolled out investment products to raise funds to support cash-strapped listed companies. The launch of these products followed a regulatory notice issued last month that encouraged insurers to invest in “quality” private companies to help ease liquidity risks.
3. More Internet tightening
China’s cyber regulator will require detailed logs of user activity and personal information from all technology companies and online service providers with “public opinion or social mobilisation capacity” before the month’s end, the latest sign of how far Beijing is willing to go to tighten its control over the domestic internet.
The Cyberspace Administration of China laid out the new rules, due to come into effect on November 30, in a notice published on Thursday. The new requirements will apply to services including online forums, blogs, microblogs, chat rooms, news providers, short or streaming video platforms and information-sharing apps, among others.
This regulation perfectly explains the logic behind recent crackdown on internet information services including self-media and streaming sites etc. Everything in China inevitably comes down to whether it can be used to mobilize the masses to get on the street. The entire regulation is worth reading. Some key parts:-具有舆论属性或社会动员能力的互联网信息服务安全评估规定-中共中央网络安全和信息化委员会办公室:
（四）对用户账号和通讯群组名称、昵称、简介、备注、标识，信息发布、转发、评论和通讯群组等服务功能中违法有害信息的防范处置和有关记录保存措施； 第九条 网信部门和公安机关根据对安全评估报告的书面审查情况，认为有必要的，应当依据各自职责对互联网信息服务提供者开展现场检查。
Chinese Twitter users are also under pressure to delete their tweets; the Party's quest to control the Chinese-language narrative is global in scope:
余很猛 @xmyhm@lifetimeuscn 最近大面积约谈恐吓，要求大陆网友推特删帖删号，@congweiyonghu 被厦门警方控制在派出所24小时，连我这样在国外的也电话骚扰，还骚扰恐吓我房子的租户 #中国梦 #人类命运共同体 #渗透新西兰
A group of 15 Western ambassadors in Beijing, spearheaded by Canada, are seeking a meeting with the top official in China’s restive, heavily Muslim Xinjiang region for an explanation of alleged rights abuses against ethnic Uighurs...
The letter carries the names of 15 Western ambassadors, including the Canadian, British, French, Swiss, European Union, German, Dutch and Australian envoys. The other countries’ ambassadors names in the letter are Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Estonia, Finland and Denmark.
Comment: Why did the US ambassador not sign the letter? The Trump Administration and the US Congress seem out of step on Xinjiang
The latest white paper does not make any mention of the camps, but trumpets the government’s wide-ranging protection of ethnic cultures, including their languages, religions, cultural heritage and cultural industries. “China’s government is committed to protecting its citizens’ freedom of religious belief while respecting and protecting religious cultures,” according to the document, which cites examples such as how the state has translated, published and distributed religious texts and protected religious heritage.
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China published a white paper titled "Cultural Protection and Development in Xinjiang" on Thursday.
The white paper in Chinese - 国务院新闻办发表《新疆的文化保护与发展》白皮书
Last year, the Chinese wife of a Pakistani man traveled back home to China with their two children. She wanted to introduce her younger boy, 18 months old, to her mom.
But after she landed in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, she was detained, says her husband, a doctor named Rehman. His wife is a Uighur Muslim, a member of a minority group that has been targeted in a Chinese crackdown.
Security officials left their sons at their grandmother's house. Weeks later, they returned and took away the older boy, age 6.
The security officials "admitted him to a Chinese orphanage school," says Rehman. From what he's understood, the orphanage is meant to raise the children in Chinese culture.
5. African Swine Fever keeps spreading
Unhygienic transportation of pigs and “lawless elements” that ignore restrictions on swine movement are to blame for the spread of deadly African swine fever across China, authorities said Wednesday.
Seventeen provincial-level areas have been hit by the disease, which does not affect humans but can be fatal to infected pigs, the Agriculture, Transport and Public Security ministries said in a rare joint statement.
A government survey has found that long-distance transportation was the main cause for the virus-borne fever’s wide reach, the ministries said. They blamed vehicles that “do not meet epizootic prevention requirements” or that hadn’t been cleaned or disinfected.
“I remain very skeptical of any notion that China has this under control,” Arlan Suderman, the chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone Financial, said in an email to Asia Times. “It doesn’t fit with the continued rise in cases over a broad area. There are too many ways in which this long-living virus can survive in the environment to declare it under control this soon.”
6. New series on the history of Reform & Opening
Anniversaries tend to elicit sweeping retrospectives. We at MacroPolo, however, will refrain from retracing the broad yet familiar arc of China’s economic development. Instead, we offer a unique analytical series that examines specific key elements that made the Chinese economy what it is today. We approach each element, whether foreign investment or industrialization, through a single case—a company, a commodity, or a bureaucracy.
In the first essay, we analyze foreign investment through the twists and turns of Qualcomm’s tenure in the China market. Not only does Qualcomm illuminate China’s evolving FDI regime but it is possibly the company that epitomizes US-China competition over technology and standards.
7. Controlling the official history of Reform & Opening
As China prepares for the 40th anniversary of the reforms next month, Shenzhen has found itself at the centre of a proxy battle between China’s two most powerful families that combines politics, history and power. The battle has played out in galleries like the one in the Shekou district of the city, which was the launch point for the “reform and opening” era.
For Mr Xi and his family, the anniversary is an opportunity to set the historical record straight about the role that his father, Xi Zhongxun, played in pushing the reforms that transformed China from a poor and isolated backwater into the world’s second-largest economy. The elder Mr Xi was at one stage the senior official in charge of Guangdong, the southern Chinese province which includes Shenzhen.
COMMENT: I am not sure how powerful the Deng family is these days. I think the direct descendants are still untouchable but their opportunities have narrowed, their power base is significantly weakened and fading by the day. Deng Pufang's speech was interesting, it remains to be seen what if any impact it will have, and what if any consequences there will be for him...to quote a very well-connected Chinese friend on this article "Xi邓两家现在影响力不是一个层次的 [“The Xi and Deng families are not on the same level of influence now"]. But taking credit away from Deng would upset many elders who had pegged their careers to him and the prior Deng Era.
When Mr Xi returned to Shenzhen this October, critics noted that he had failed to mention Deng in his speeches.
“I don’t see it as such a big snub because Deng’s policies have been snubbed for a decade already,” says Victor Shih, an expert in Chinese politics at the University of California San Diego.
From Tuesday's newsletter on the opening of the new reform and opening exhibit in Beijing:
Xi took the entire Politburo Standing Committee except Li Keqiang (who is overseas) plus Wang Qishan and a large group of senior officials and PLA officers to the exhibition in Beijing. This 4 minute report ( 习近平在参观“伟大的变革——庆祝改革开放40周年大型展览”时强调 统一思想凝聚共识鼓舞斗志团结奋斗 坚定全国各族人民跟党走中国特色社会主义道路改革开放道路的信心和决心) on the top of the Tuesday CCTV Evening News showed them inside the exhibition, at about the 2:25 mark Xi is shown standing next to an exhibit on the December 1978 3rd plenum of the 11th party congress with a nice picture of Deng Xiaoping; the report shows at least two other pictures of Deng, one each of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.
8. Reports we are in the Chinese Century are premature
Edel and Mohandas most recently served on the US Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff in the last years of the Obama Administration.
Now, precisely at the moment that China appears to have entered a new, more assertive phase, Donald Trump seems to be systematically dismantling the pillars of American power in Asia. He questions the value of longstanding U.S. alliances in the region, wants to remove America’s forward military presence in Asia, and has walked away from the commitment to free trade that made the United States the indispensable market for Asia. It’s enough to give anyone pause about the future of America in Asia.
The problem with much of the analysis is that, while it quite correctly points out the weaknesses of the current U.S. approach, it tends to assume that China will seamlessly fill the void created by American missteps. China has clearly set about energetically seeking to enhance its position in Asia, but the task has not been easy. China has shown imagination and ambition in its approach to foreign policy, but it has also overreached, provoking a backlash in local communities and governments, and prompting intense efforts at balancing by regional competitors. When one looks at specific Chinese policy objectives, the record of outcomes is decidedly mixed. An analysis that counts only American weaknesses and Chinese strengths will lead to flawed conclusions. A better, more honest, and realistic accounting must take into account the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. Only by doing this can the United States and its allies understand what options they have going forward.
“If you are friends with two countries which are on different sides, sometimes it is possible to get along with both, sometimes it’s more awkward when you try to get along with both,” Lee said as he wrapped up the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.
“I think it’s very desirable for us not to have to take sides, but the circumstances may come when Asean may have to choose one or the other. I am hoping that it’s not coming soon.”
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
U.S. Said to Hold Off on Car Tariffs After Trade Meeting - Bloomberg President Donald Trump met with his top trade advisers on Tuesday at the White House to discuss a draft report on a Commerce Department investigation into the impact of car imports. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting wasn’t publicly announced, said the administration wasn’t ready to act on tariffs and that the report would be subject to further changes.
China's top economic planner denies proposing tax cut for car purchases - Xinhua China's top economic planner denied proposing to reduce car purchase tax by half on Thursday while noting that there remains huge room for development for the auto industry. "We have not studied or made the proposal of reducing the auto purchase tax to 5 percent," said Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference.
Property Market Continues to Cool in October - Caixin New-home prices in the four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — remained flat month-on-month in October, while the growth rate for prices for existing homes dropped to 0.2%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday. The growth rates for new- and existing-home prices in second-tier cities declined to 1% and 0.3% respectively, while the rates in 35 third-tier cities grew to 1.1% and 0.5%, the data show.
China's house prices stable amid tight regulations - People's Daily Online Among the 70 cities, new house prices only fell in four cities in October, including Xiamen in Fujian Province, Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province, and Sanya in Hainan Province. Average growth in new house prices slowed down in the first 10 months, compared with the same period in 2017.
红黄蓝股价暴跌：国务院新规遏制民办幼儿园“过度逐利”_政经频道_财新网 new rules limit profits of private kindergartens...another mixed message to private firms...RYB Education shares drop 50%+ in US trading
地方政府债将上柜台 向中小投资者开放_金融频道_财新网 个人投资者需满足年收入不低于50万元，名下金融资产不少于300万元，具有两年以上证券投资经验的要求 // Accredited individual investors can now buy logal government bonds...annual income has to be at least 500k rmb, financial assets at least 3m rmb, and at least 2 years experience investing in securities required...
Exclusive: German prosecutors charge Chinese-born engineer in industrial espionage case | Reuters State prosecutors in the city of Cologne, where the company is headquartered, told Reuters they had brought criminal charges in June against a Chinese-born German national based on a complaint filed with police by Lanxess about two years ago. There have been several reports in Germany of manufacturers with operations in China catching local staff doing work for copycat rivals. But the alleged data theft at Lanxess is a rare case in which a suspected leak has been identified at home.
China's Top Bank Cancels Sale of Dollar Bonds to U.S. Buyers - Bloomberg Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. had been marketing three-year and five-year floating-rate notes through its New York branch, then decided not to proceed with pricing, according to people familiar with the matter. A call to ICBC’s press officer in Beijing went unanswered.
Chinese phenom Pinduoduo has some explaining to do - Reuters The boss of a leading Chinese e-commerce group was asked recently what job other than the current one, would be most interesting to consider. The answer: receptionist at rival Pinduoduo, "because I'd like to know how they do it." Investors may have a similar response following a report from an American fund betting against the $19 billion three-year-old firm, once dubbed the world's fastest-growing internet seller, that claims it has been fiddling with its numbers. // The full report in PDF
Qudian reportedly forces employees to relocate to Xiamen or leave company · TechNode At the end of September, the company told its Beijing-based employees that they would be required travel to Xiamen for two months, after which time they could return home to work in the country’s capital. However, after a month of arriving employees were informed that there was no longer an office in the country’s capital and that they could either work in Xiamen or leave the company, according to local media.
Coordinated moves boost Hainan FTZ - China Daily Coordinated efforts must be stepped up to promote construction of the Hainan pilot free trade zone as the nation advances reform and opening-up, a meeting of the Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform decided on Wednesday. The meeting, presided over by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for more efforts to advance reform and opening-up based on experiences and achievements in the past four decades.
Politics, Law And Ideology
中办对陕西省委批评极为罕见 各省将有个新动作_网易新闻 CCP Central Office sent out a notice criticizing the Shaanxi provincial party committee and Xian municipal Party committee for their handling of the villa scandal in the Qinling mountains // 这则通报的名称是《关于陕西省委、西安市委在秦岭北麓西安境内违建别墅问题上严重违反政治纪律以及开展违建别墅专项整治情况的通报》。 中央办公厅发通报对一个省进行批评的情况极为罕见，政知圈（ID：wepoliics）注意到，目前天津、云南、黑龙江、浙江、甘肃、青海、安徽、山东等地已经开会传达了中办通报，不少省（市、区）都提到，将习近平作出的重要指示批示在本省的贯彻落实情况开展“回头看”。
China's anti-corruption achievements on display at National Museum - Global Times China is displaying the outcome of its anti-corruption campaign at the National Museum starting from Wednesday, including many official transcripts, as part of the achievements on the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Transcripts and decisions, including those against Lu Wei, former deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Wang Sanyun, former chief of the Gansu provincial committee of the CPC and Xiang Junbo, former chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, are on display at the exhibition hall of the National Museum in Beijing. Lu wrote in his transcripts, "I have made unforgivable mistakes politically, economically at work and in life, severely lost the principle and bottom line as a member of the Communist Party of China."// “改革开放与我们每个人息息相关”
What does China’s trade war with the United States have to do with the Boxer rebellion a century ago? | South China Morning Post In a commentary on Tuesday night, Xinhua lauded the 1900 Boxer rebellion as a key element in the “anti-imperialist patriotic movement in China’s modern history”, saying it “showed the determination of the Chinese people to unite to resist foreign aggression”...The commentary’s description of the Boxer movement is in line with the narrative taught in the Chinese education system, where high school history textbooks frame the rebellion as “a brave battle with the aggressor” and an attempt to “prevent a plot by foreign powers to divide China”
Xi presides over 5th meeting of central committee for deepening overall reform - Xinhua The meeting reviewed and approved a series of official documents: -- a plan to implement an innovation-driven growth strategy in Hainan Province; -- a plan to develop Hainan into an international tourism and consumption center; -- a plan to implement fiscal and taxation policies to support Hainan in deepening reform and opening-up; -- a regulation on the management of the fiscal subsidy fund to support Hainan in deepening reform and opening-up; -- a plan to adjust policies on duty-free shopping for tourists leaving Hainan; -- a plan to accelerate the improvement of the reform on the exit mechanism of market entities; -- a plan to deepen the reform on the government procurement mechanism; -- a plan to implement the reform on vocational education; -- a guideline on enhancing the development of county-level media convergence centers; -- a guideline on deepening reform for fostering world-class science journals; -- a guideline on integrating law enforcement and approval services at grassroot levels; -- a guideline on enhancing and improving the publishing sector; -- a plan to pilot collective medicine procurement; -- a guideline on improving administrative law enforcement; -- a document on Beijing's exploration on innovative CPC-led grassroots governance.
Journal of Chinese Political Science, Volume 23, Issue 3 - Springer Special Issue on Ideology, Propaganda, and Political Discourse in the Xi Jinping Era
Chinese government official in hot water after missing phone calls | Reuters The inspection team in the eastern province of Anhui called the rural roads official on his mobile telephone four times between 7:31 p.m. and 7:35 p.m., to check on poverty alleviation efforts, state media said.
Communist Party cracks down on China's famous Peking University - CNN Peking University claimed to have uncovered and eliminated an "illegal organization" with a goal of subverting state power that had infiltrated the school's Marxist Society, according to a message sent to students Wednesday and shared with CNN... In a separate memo, the Peking University committee of China's ruling Communist Party declared the establishment of an "internal control and management" office to enforce discipline on campus, including day-to-day inspections and patrols on school grounds.
Wang Yang stresses implementation of CPC religious policy - Xinhua China's top political advisor Wang Yang has called for comprehensive and precise implementation of the religious policy of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks during a research tour to Jiangsu Province in east China.汪洋：全面贯彻党的宗教工作基本方针 为中华民族伟大复兴凝聚正能量
Chinese bishop ‘missing’ despite historic deal between Beijing and Vatican | AFP A bishop in eastern China belonging to the Vatican-aligned unofficial church has gone missing, sources told Agence France-Presse on Thursday, despite a historic accord reached between Beijing and the Holy See barely two months ago...They fear the repeated disappearance of Bishop Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou diocese in Zhejiang province is one sign of increasing governmental control on religious worship. Shao has not been reachable for at least a week, said a Chinese priest who previously worked in an underground church in China and returned to Rome last year.
Jiangsu vice-governor under investigation - China Daily Miao Ruilin, vice-governor of East China's Jiangsu province, is under investigation for alleged serious violations of discipline and law, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection website. // Any ties to Li Yuanchao?
Foreign and Military Affairs
China’s military must move beyond simple self-defence strategy, PLA says | South China Morning Post Better planning would allow the military to anticipate and control the course of land warfare, the PLA said in a commentary on its social media account. It called for greater recognition of the need for closer cooperation with the air force and the development of cyberwarfare capabilities in response to evolving threats on new battlefields. The Chinese military has long stuck to its credo of self-defence – a position seen as calming suspicions among overseas nations – but there are calls to adjust the directive as China is expanding its interest abroad and facing rising tensions over territorial disputes and from the United States.
Adjustment on military policies, institutions to deepen reform: spokesperson - Xinhua | Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks one day after a meeting by the Central Military Commission stressed building a socialist system of military policy and institution with Chinese characteristics. The system of military policy and institution should be adjusted in accordance with the changing times as socialism with Chinese characteristics and national defense and military building have entered the new era, Wu said...He said military theories and practice for building a strong army since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 should be established through military policies and institutions.
Trump to Raise North Korea Sanctions With Chinese Leader, Pence Says - The New York Times “We believe China is doing more than they’ve ever done before,” Mr. Pence said. “The president is grateful for that.” But he added that he expected Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi to discuss the issue of “enforcement of those sanctions — and really the unique role that China can play in ensuring” the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
'That's Reality': Duterte Tells US South China Sea is Now in 'Beijing's Hands' - Sputnik International [Yes I know the source...] // "China is already in possession [of the South China Sea]. It's now in their hands. So why do you have to create frictions […] that will prompt a response from China? That's a reality, and America and everybody should realise that China is there," Duterte told journalists on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore.
Cambodia at the center of a new Cold War | Asia Times Diplomatic sources have told Asia Times that an emerging Chinese naval base in Cambodia could soon be critically raised by US Vice President Mike Pence, who is currently in Singapore for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit and on next to Papua New Guinea for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.
Debt-trap allegations push China to tighten reins on foreign aid programme | South China Morning Post The document, titled “Measure for the Administration of Foreign Aid”, was published on the website of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), which was set up earlier this year to evaluate and administer the nation’s aid programme. It will remain available for public comment until late December. The document calls for the CIDCA and other government agencies involved in overseas investment to fully evaluate the projects with which they are involved. Its publication comes amid growing criticism of Beijing’s massive infrastructure investment across Asia, Africa and parts of eastern and central Europe that some observers have said has burdened recipient nations with debts they will never be able to repa
Liberal Party recruitment drive linked to Chinese mogul - The Australian NSW Liberal Party president Philip Ruddock, a former immigration minister, spoke at the event this month as patron of the Liberal Party Chinese Council. The lunch was linked to Tommy Jiang, who operates a major Australian-based Chinese-language media network. As well as operating the network, which is majority-owned by Chinese state radio, Mr Jiang has donated to both parties and is a supporter of Liberal Bennelong MP John Alexander.
China’s as-yet unveiled stealth bomber could alter US defense calculus in Pacific - Stripes Although little is known about its specifications, some Western defense analysts suggest the introduction of this new generation of stealth bomber could usher in a sea change for U.S. military operations in the Pacific region. “I think it’s indicative of their larger strategy and their desire to continue to develop capabilities that could significantly impact how we conduct operations if need be in the Pacific region and eventually in other regions as well,” said Mark Gunzinger, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington-based think tank.
SAR remote sensing experiment site unveiled in northern China - Xinhua A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing experiment site was unveiled in Zhangjiakou, northern China's Hebei Province, according to the China Science Daily. The experiment site, covering an area of 46,000 square meters, has a comprehensive remote sensing experiment center and a remote sensing information center.
Hong Kong, Macao
PLA border row: Mainland officials had 'different understanding' of the Hong Kong boundary, says Carrie Lam | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Factwire first reported on Monday that Chinese border guards had turned a site on the Hong Kong side of the border into a “green garden.” The land tract measured 21,000 sq ft and was adjacent to the Sha Tau Kok river. Lam told lawmakers that the Hong Kong and Shenzhen governments “had a different understanding of the boundary along the Sha Tau Kok river.”
University in Hong Kong ‘surprised’ as mainland Chinese judges hold Communist Party meeting on its campus | South China Morning Post Eyebrows were raised after local media discovered the National Judges College under the Supreme People’s Court had uploaded an article to its website about a meeting held by “temporary branches of the Chinese Communist Party” on October 20 at CityU in Kowloon Tong.
Report on Ruling Chinese Communist Party Cell at Hong Kong University Deleted - RFA According to an Oct. 25 article on the official website of mainland China's National Judges College, its party chief Huang Wenjun attended a meeting of the party branch that was set up for Chinese judges studying at Hong Kong's City University. However, only a cached copy of the article was available through Google on Wednesday, with the original link returning an error code for "empty" content.
Beijing objects to contacts with Taiwan by foreign officials - China Daily "We strongly oppose any form of official or military exchanges between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic relations with Beijing," Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a news conference in Beijing. "The United States should be clear about who is unilaterally undermining the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations," he said, urging the U.S. to adhere to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques, and to prudently handle Taiwan-related issues.
Taiwan Is Building Long Range Cruise Missiles That Aim Deep Inside China - The News Lens International Edition Upmedia of Taiwan reported that the Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E), the Taiwanese military’s indigenous-produced surface-to-surface cruise missile, is about to conclude the first phase of its production, which started in 2008 with at least 240 missiles built. The second production phase of HF-2E missiles will begin in 2019, with the newest batch of HF-2Es capable of hitting targets up to 1,200 kilometers away.
Tech And Media
Many free mobile VPN apps are based in China or have Chinese ownership | ZDNet Roughly 60 percent of the top free mobile VPN apps returned by Google Play Store and Apple Play Store searches are from developers based in China or with Chinese ownership, raising serious concerns about data privacy, a study published today has revealed. "Our investigation uncovered that over half of the top free VPN apps either had Chinese ownership or were actually based in China, which has aggressively clamped down on VPN services over the past year and maintains an iron grip on the internet within its borders," said Simon Migliano, Head of Research at Metric Labs, a company that runs the Top10VPN portal.
China to boost its ‘national team’ to meet goal of global AI leadership by 2030 | South China Morning Post The Chinese government is recruiting private companies and research institutions with “core technologies” to lead key projects in the development of next generation artificial intelligence technologies as part of its goal to close the AI tech gap with the US by 2030...According to the MIIT notice, called the “Work plan for key projects for the development of next generation of AI”, the Ministry will choose no more than three companies from each of the 17 priority areas and offer them “great support and promotion”.
China’s artificial intelligence ambitions hit hurdles | Financial Times $$ For early-stage investor ZhenFund, the high point for machine learning and other AI investments was around 2012-2015. “I don’t see too many innovative new AI start-ups at the moment,” said chief executive and partner Anna Fang. While many see industry specific applications as the next big leap forward, there are still opportunities in what Wei Zhou, who led the investments in China tech at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers before setting up China Creation Ventures, called “good enough” technolog
Tencent-Backed Mogu Is Said to Halve U.S. IPO Valuation Goal - Bloomberg Mogu is pressing ahead even though the IPO could mark a significant discount from the $3 billion the company said it was valued at when rivals Meilishuo and Mogujie merged in 2016. The company boasts 62.6 million monthly active users on mobile and generated 16.3 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) in transactions in the year ended September, according to its filing.
China Tech Investor 03: Bytedance - The most valued unicorn in the world with Jon Russell · TechNode In this episode of the China Tech Investor Podcast powered by TechNode, hosts Elliott Zaagman and James Hull discuss why investors should put 11.11 sales numbers in perspective and look at which companies on the watch list are most vulnerable to a recession or worsening trade tensions. They are also joined by TechCrunch reporter Jon Russell, with whom they talk about Bytedance, Xiaomi, and the trend of international user acquisition.
China games revenue projections revised downward due to China’s game approval freeze – Niko Niko Partners has published an updated market model and 5-year forecast through 2022 for China’s PC Online and Mobile games market in Mainland China. 2018 games revenue has been adjusted downwards due to the ongoing temporary game approval freeze that started in April 2018. We now project total games revenue in China to reach $30.8 billion in 2018, up 11% YoY, compared to our original projection of $31.8 billion, which would have been 15% YoY increase. Earnings from Tencent and NetEase, which were released after we published our update, back up our findings. Despite the temporary game approval freeze, combined gaming revenue from Tencent and NetEase for the first 9 months of 2018 was up 9.4% YoY. In line with our projected 11% increase in games revenue for the whole industry for the full year.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Scandals Catch Up to Private Chinese Hospitals, After Fortunes Are Made - The New York Times - By Sui-Lee Wee: Even in a country where multimillionaires are minted daily, Mr. Chen and his brethren are unlikely testaments to the Chinese dream. A middle school dropout turned martial arts performer turned itinerant salesman, Mr. Chen parlayed a remedy to treat scabies into a chain of clinics for sexually transmitted diseases and then into the country’s largest network of private hospitals. Along the way, his relatives and neighbors in Dongzhuang and the surrounding area of Putian got into the same business and also made lots of money...
Water rushes down from lake created by landslide - China Daily The collapse of the bridge, in Sichuan's Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture, disrupted traffic on a major highway connecting the province with Tibet, Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday, citing Sichuan's traffic and transportation department. Completed in 2007, the 270-meter bridge-on a primary route linking Sichuan and neighboring Tibet-had been reinforced with steel wire and weights before the flood, Xinhua said. Traffic is unlikely to be restored soon, and drivers heading to Tibet should find an alternative route, Sichuan Traffic Radio said.
Food And Travel
Divers find body of hiker at waterfall - AP Authorities say divers found the body of a missing Chinese businessman who disappeared while hiking near a waterfall in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle.