China-Russia "Comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era"; Rare earths; US-China

Xi Jinping has arrived in Russia and the two countries have agreed to upgrade their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era 新时代中俄全面战略协作伙伴关系.

Sinocism intern Huang Yufan has been keeping a chart of the types of relations China keeps with foreign countries. This “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era 新时代中俄全面战略协作伙伴关系” seems to be new, and at the pinnacle of the PRC’s classification of foreign relations:

Yes I know there are lots of historical reasons that should cause friction in the China-Russia relationship, but they both see tremendous utility in cooperating against a common enemy-The United States.

CNBC’s Kayla Tausche reports that VP Pence’s next China speech is now scheduled for June 24:

Can Spence breathe more fire on China on the eve of a possible Trump-Xi G-20 meeting, or will he be pulling punches?

Sinocism now offers full-text search of the archives back to October 2017. You can search here.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Sino-Russia relations

China, Russia lift ties to comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for new area - Global Times

China and Russia agreed on Wednesday to upgrade their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. 

The decision was made at a meeting between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

中俄元首5日决定将两国关系提升为“新时代中俄全面战略协作伙伴关系”-新华网

Chinese president arrives in Moscow for state visit to Russia - Xinhua

Xi's visit to Russia, the eighth since 2013 when he was elected Chinese president, comes as the two countries are embracing the historic moment of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Thanks to the joint efforts from both sides, China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is now at its best in history, serving as a model of living in harmony and win-win cooperation between major countries and neighboring countries, Xi said.

China and Russia enjoy strong political trust, maintain sound mechanisms of high-level exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and keep close coordination in global affairs, playing a positive and constructive role in safeguarding peace and stability of the region and the world as well as international fairness and justice, Xi said.

Russia strengthens China ties in defiance of bellicose Trump | Financial Times $$

The two leaders are building ties of increasing significance, defying many analysts' expectations that theirs would be a shortlived marriage of convenience. The summit is expected to add more heft to a developing alliance that already spans energy and defence co-operation...

The strongman leaders are expected to release two statements. One will address their countries’ ties. The other will denounce “hegemonic dominance of the international system” — a reference to US trade practices and sanctions, according to Zhang Xin, a Russian studies professor at Shanghai's East China Normal University.

China Daily: Russia, China are key and close partners - Dmitri Trenin - director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

As Beijing and Moscow look to the future, they understand not only the potential of their cooperation, but also its safe limits. Both countries insist on full sovereignty and freedom of maneuver. They see each other as a key and close partner. All this provides each party with a combination of reassurance and flexibility.

The essence of the Sino-Russian relationship can be summarized thus: Russia and China will never be against each other, but they will not necessarily always be with each other.

China and Russia to close ranks in united front against American pressure | South China Morning Post

Shi Yinhong, an adviser to the State Council and a US specialist at Renmin University, said Xi’s visit was set to give China more leverage in its competition with the US.

“China’s announcement that its ties with Russia have entered a new era, its emphasis on Xi’s personal ties with Putin, and calling out the US on Iran are all set against the background of unprecedented tensions between the US and China, and the lasting confrontation between Russia and the US,” Shi said.

“There is a major strategic need to strengthen the ties between Russia and China ... and China will continue to team up with Russia against the US on international issues.”

Xi Jinping’s Visit to Russia Accents Ties in Face of Tensions with U.S. - The New York Times

The Kremlin released figures showing that trade between Russia and China grew almost 25 percent last year, reaching $108 billion — finally breaking the $100 billion milestone sought for years, even if partly based on higher oil prices...

Russian officials pointed to the 1,000-strong delegation that Mr. Xi is bringing to the forum as a sign of healthy relations at a time when the United States is officially boycotting the event.

Xi tells Russian media he cherishes deep friendship with Putin - Global Times

"I have had closer interactions with President Putin than with any other foreign colleagues. He is my best and bosom friend. I cherish dearly our deep friendship," Xi said in a joint interview with TASS Russian News Agency and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper. 

Xi said that since 2013, he had met with President Vladimir Putin almost 30 times on various occasions and talked by phone, adding that both leaders have written to each other many times. 

Xi said he often happily recalls every interaction he has had with Putin. The two have had in-depth communications on most wide-ranging subjects, including the international situation, bilateral relations and governance, and light-hearted topics involving literature, art and sports, Xi said.

China and Russia to reinforce ties with cross-border highway bridge | South China Morning Post

Construction workers have put the last bolts in a highway bridge over the Heilongjiang River, connecting China and Russia in a flagship project to boost economic links between the two countries.

The bridge, the first of its kind between the two countries, will link the twin trading cities of Heihe in northern China and Blagoveshchensk in Russia’s Far East.


2. US-China

Trade tensions have had a 'significant' impact on China, IMF says - CNBC

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its 2019 growth forecast for the world’s second-largest economy to 6.2% from 6.3% on Wednesday.

“The trade tensions have had an impact, significant, but in our view, so far contained,” Kenneth Kang, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Department at the IMF and leader of the visiting team, told CNBC in an interview Wednesday.

Morgan Stanley economists also lowered their growth forecasts for China in a report dated Tuesday, down to 6.4% from a previous forecast of 6.5%.

China-U.S. trade row hurts foreign manufacturers in China: state planning official - Reuters

Among foreign companies, manufacturers bore the brunt of the trade friction, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) vice chairman Ning Jizhe said during a meeting with foreign firms, according to Xinhua.

Mnuchin's Deadlocked China Trade Talks Hang Over Pivotal G-20 - Bloomberg

Mnuchin is set to meet Chinese central bank Governor Yi Gang during a gathering of G-20 finance ministers from June 7 to 9 in Fukuoka, according to a Treasury department statement on Tuesday.

First FedEx, Now Ford. China Clamps Down on U.S. Companies - Bloomberg

Changan Ford Automobile Co. will be fined 162.8 million yuan ($23.6 million) for restricting retailers’ sale prices in the southwestern city of Chongqing since 2013, according to a statement on the State Administration for Market Regulation’s website. The fine amount is equivalent to 4% of Changan Ford’s annual sales in Chongqing

真相面前,美方推卸不掉责任(国际论坛)

More commentary in People's Daily from different authors with the same message on trade: China will not compromise, the US is responsible for the problems

和气致祥 乖气致异

Another 五月荷 article in People’s Daily, this one says the recent travel warning issued by Chinese government is a response to the US hostile moves against China and Chinese people and it is the US’ fault if bilateral exchanges are affected.

Commentary: U.S. should stop distorting facts after China's white paper - Xinhua

One of the most frustrating and disappointing parts in the China-U.S. trade war has been the U.S. side's distortion of facts, which most recently came after China issued a white paper on bilateral trade consultations...

It takes mutual respect to conduct the bilateral consultations, which is the only right track to solve the trade frictions. China is open to negotiation, but will also fight to the end if needed.

Zhong Sheng is still angry at the US - 钟声:留下玫瑰,授人荆棘--新闻报道-人民网

美方见不得别人也好。为了保持世界领先地位、保证一家独大,甚至不惜动用国家行政力量,以各种“莫须有”的罪名,打压别国科技企业,为美国企业在全球抢夺高科技领域市场、维持在国际产业分工中的垄断地位赢得空间和时间。

Huawei Partners With State-Owned China Post - Caixin Global

“China Post shoulders the responsibility as a member of China’s ‘national team’ in the industry, and is dedicated to providing comprehensive and diverse services to clients,” the statement said.

The announcement also comes only days after the Chinese government launched a probe into U.S. courier FedEx for its “misdelivery” of parcels sent by Huawei.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: China has not targeted Apple in trade war with US

“The Chinese have not targeted Apple at all, and, I don’t anticipate that happening, to be honest,” Cook said in an interview with CBS News Tuesday, where he also spoke on a number of other subjects including immigration, fake news and how much time consumers spend on their iPhones.

China slams US global bully tactics - Global Times

At the forum, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country's top think tank, experts highlighted how the US undermined its global credibility by bullying other countries and flip-flopping on many global issues, from climate change to the Iran nuclear deal.

在“中美经贸摩擦问题与出路”智库论坛上,与会专家指出:贸易战没有赢家 妥协退让没有出路

Taiwanese chip maker TSMC set to gain as others cut supplies to Huawei | South China Morning Post

The company on Tuesday reiterated that its shipments to the mainland Chinese telecoms giant “abide by the rules”, after Washington blacklisted Huawei in a bid to cut off its access to American technology amid a deepening trade war between the two countries. 

Question: Did the White House ask for a halt to TSMC sales to Huawei when the Taiwan National Security Adviser was in DC?

China’s push for self-reliance meets reality of global trade networks | South China Morning Post

“It’s a wake-up call to the mindset prevailing in China for decades that globalisation is the main theme,” Wang Yiwei, professor with Renmin University said. “The environment has changed tremendously. The US wants to contain China’s technological development and China will not wait to be beaten. It will strive to develop its own core technologies.”

Sen. Cruz, Rep. Rooney Reintroduce Bill to Counter Chinese Espionage Efforts in American Universities | Ted Cruz | U.S. Senator for Texas

The Communist Party is infiltrating American society to censor free speech and steal sensitive research. Groups like Confucius Institutes, China Student Scholars Association, and the Thousand Talents program threaten the integrity of our universities and research. We must counter these efforts, and I am proud to reintroduce the SHEET Act."

As trade war rages, U.S. lawmakers seek new limits on Chinese scholars - Reuters

The members of Congress, mostly President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, have introduced bills that would require more reporting from colleges and universities about funds they receive from China, prohibit students or scholars with ties to the Chinese military from entering the United States or set new limits on access to sensitive academic research...

The individual bills face little chance of passing despite growing bipartisan concern in Congress over security risks from China.


3. Rare earths

China moves to shut spigot on rare earths for first time in 5 years - Nikkei Asian Review

At a meeting of China's National Development and Reform Commission on Tuesday, rare-earth experts recommended greater controls on exports of the metals, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. The recommendation calls for a centralized system to manage their mining and processing, and the commission said it will soon launch a policy reflecting the proposal.

稀土企业建议:强化稀土产品出口管控,保护珍贵资源

In a conference held by the National Development and Reform Commission, Chinese experts advised the government to tighten regulation on the rare earth industry and “strengthen control on export”.

参会企业建议,要坚决严厉打击非法开采,强化稀土产品出口管控,加大行业经营秩序整顿力度,保护珍贵资源。加强知识产权保护,严禁我优势核心技术外流。加强政、产、学、研、用相结合,支持稀土绿色开采冶炼新技术开发与应用,整合中高端应用产业链,加快稀土新材料及高端应用产业发展。

U.S. report urges steps to reduce reliance on foreign critical minerals - Reuters

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday recommended urgent steps to boost domestic production of rare earths and other critical minerals, warning that a halt in Chinese or Russian exports could cause “significant shocks” in global supply chains.

The report includes 61 specific recommendations - including low-interest loans and “Buy American” requirements for defence companies - to boost domestic production of minerals essential for the manufacture of mobile phones and a host of other consumer goods, as well as fighter jets.

The report - A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals | U.S. Department of Commerce


4. More praise for the Korean War

China paper cites drawn-out Korean War talks as reason not to bow to U.S. - Reuters

In a front page commentary, the Study Times, published by the Central Party School which trains rising officials, said China’s spirit and determination during talks to end the Korean War, which took two years, were relevant today.

While the piece made no direct mention of the current trade war, the message in it left little doubt as to the intention of the article, China having repeatedly blasted the United States for trying to bully it into submission over trade.

“The Chinese People’s Volunteers, in the face of the world’s top military and economic power and diplomatic blackmail, made full use of the Communist Party’s spirit of not being afraid of pressure, daring to fight and being good at fighting,” it said.

The original - 争取停 不怕拖 准备打——回顾抗美援朝期间的停战谈判

中央电视台重播纪录片《伟大的抗美援朝》|伟大的抗美援朝_新浪财经_新浪网

CCTV-4 (Asia channel) has been rebroadcasting the documentary 伟大的抗美援朝 The Great "War to Resist America and Aid Korea). You can watch it on Youtube here:

As I wrote yesterday, does the Chinese side think they can use increasingly vitriolic propaganda for domestic purposes without also angering the Trump Administration and even further reducing the prospects for a near-term return to negotiations?


5. Steel vs environment

Winter Steel Production Surges Under Slackened Controls and Economic Pressure

The floodgates burst open on steel production in China last winter due to a relaxation of environmental controls that had reined in output during the winter of 2017...

Hebei’s steel output hit 57.53 million tons in the first quarter of this year, up almost 19% on the same period of 2018, Wu Jingjing, a deputy director of the China Iron and Steel Association, said at an industry event on Tuesday...

Steelmakers have also been flouting production caps and restrictions, according to an internal document Caixin obtained from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. It accused the city of Tangshan, which accounts for 12% of China’s steel production capacity and 14% of total output, of allowing its factories to operate through winter to avoid financial losses.

They maintained production under the false premise of providing central heating to local residents and were in clear breach of central government’s environmental protection policies.

China vows solid efforts in ecological environment protection: vice premier - Xinhua

Han [Zheng] stressed that China would establish a modern economic system guided by green development, accelerate the development of energy-saving and environment protection sectors, promote green energy and strive to win the battle against pollution to fulfill ecological environment protection targets by 2020.


6. Chinese cancer drugs

China’s Churning Out Revolutionary Cancer Drugs Much Cheaper Than the U.S. - Bloomberg

Western companies last year began selling some of their hottest cancer drugs, called PD-1 inhibitors, with much fanfare in China. But rather than quickly conquering the mainland market, American drugmakers Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. have found themselves facing a surprising challenge: local competitors. Chinese companies are introducing patented cancer therapies in their home market based on PD-1 inhibitors, which use the body’s immune system to fight tumors. They’re doing it at far lower prices—sometimes a third of what U.S. drugmakers charge—which will likely give them a leg up at home. And their ambitions go far beyond the mainland, with several already preparing to sell their medicines in the U.S. and worldwide.


7. Fight for Landing slots at the new Beijing airport

In Depth: Beijing’s New Airport Offers Leveler Playing Field for Air China’s Rivals

China Eastern and China Southern’s ambitions have always been stymied by one of the industry’s unspoken rules: Beijing-based Air China takes priority in the routes assigned at Beijing Capital, one of the world’s busiest airports. For their part, Shanghai-based China Eastern and Guangzhou-based China Southern are the main players in their respective hometowns...

The source said China Southern had created a team to outline an operational strategy for the airport as early as 2013. In June 2018, it announced it would invest 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) in a new airline, Xiongan Airlines Co. Ltd., which will operate out of Daxing as part of China Southern’s “dual hub” strategy for Beijing...

In January, the CAAC directed China Eastern and China Southern to relocate all of their Beijing flights to Daxing, allocating each airline 40% of the takeoff and landing slots at the new airport. Air China was initially asked to keep running all of its flights out of Beijing Capital.

That plans was adjusted in April, however, when the CAAC decided that China Eastern could keep its Beijing-Shanghai route at the Beijing Capital, and Air China should get 10% of the takeoff and landing slots that it had allocated to China Eastern.


8. Taiwan about to lose another diplomatic ally?

Solomon Islands to decide soon on whether to cut ties with Taiwan |The Guardian

The Solomon Islands, one of the few remaining countries to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, will make a decision about whether to transfer its allegiance to China within 100 days, the Guardian has learned...

The Solomon Islands is one of six Pacific nations, and 17 countries worldwide that recognise Taiwan, precluding them from having diplomatic relations with China.

Decision to Switch or Remain with Taiwan in 100 Days - Solomon Times Online

Solomon Islands Planning Minister Rick Hou said he favored sticking with Taiwan in terms of the country's diplomatic relations.

Mr Hou, who is the former prime minister, raised the idea of reviewing the relationship. But he said any decision needed to be done very cautiously and with awareness about the current geopolitical climate.

"Personally I think remaining with people that we know would be the best option for us in terms of our long term interests.

"Getting on with someone that we are not very familiar with, given what we know has happened in other regions, namely Africa and Asia and a number of countries in the region, I would be hesitant."


Business, Economy and Trade

China’s Services Sector Growth Slows: Caixin Survey $$ The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which provides a snapshot of operating conditions in the country’s services sector, fell to 52.7 in May from a 15-month high of 54.5 in April. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below that signals a contraction. The slower growth in the services sector dragged down the Caixin China Composite Output Index, covering both manufacturers and service providers, to 51.5 in May from 52.7 in the previous month.

China central bank says no sign of abnormality in small, mid-sized banks - Reuters here are no signs of abnormality in China’s small- and mid-sized banks, the central bank’s Shanghai Head Office said on Wednesday, in latest remarks to calm market sentiment after the surprise seizure of Baoshang Bank due to credit risks

Investors face $647bn China banking blind spot | Financial Times $$ Baoshang was one of 19 banks with a combined Rmb4.47tn ($647bn) in assets that have yet to publish 2018 financial results, according to a list compiled by Barclays.  The delays are a potential sign of a build-up in non-performing loans and leave investors blind to how many of those assets may have turned into bad debt, as was the case with Baoshang, analysts said.

China to increase examination of Canadian pork imports | CBC News China's customs agency plans to increase inspections of Canadian pork and pork product imports, Ottawa said in a notice to the industry on Tuesday, a move that could seriously damage the country's industry.

Foreign Investors Snap Up Most China Policy Bank Notes on Record - Bloomberg Foreign inflows have been spurred by efforts to open up the debt market, such as the recent index inclusion, said Raymond Yeung, chief economist for Greater China at ANZ Banking Group.

Trade war sparks record foreign outflow from China equities | Financial Times $$ A total of about $12bn left the market during April and May, according to data from CEIC and Morgan Stanley, the largest exodus since the launch five years ago of a “stock connect” programme that provides global investors with access to Chinese shares, via Hong Kong.

Yicai Global - China's Central Bank Extends RQFII Program to the Netherlands China's central bank has extended a key yuan-denominated inbound investment scheme to include the Netherlands, with an annual quota of CNY50 billion (USD7.24 billion).

Yicai Global - A Sneak Peek at Shanghai Sci-Tech Board's First Listing Review Session The Shanghai Stock Exchange's Sci-Tech and Innovation Board Stock Listing Committee held its first ever application review meeting today, eventually deciding that the three companies it assessed -- Chipscreen Biosciences, Anji Microelectronics and Tianzhun Technology -- were all eligible to go public thanks to their leading position in the medicine, semiconductor and artificial intelligence fields.

China announces new measures to support mass entrepreneurship, innovation - Xinhua China will take various measures to push mass entrepreneurship and innovation, according to a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. The costs for mass entrepreneurship and innovation should be lowered via more streamlined administration while implementation of tax incentives for research and development will be accelerated, according to the meeting.

Xi confident in stable, healthy, sustainable development of Chinese economy - Xinhua China's economy will have enough factors of support to maintain stable, healthy and sustainable development, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian media Tuesday. Xi made the remarks during a joint interview with TASS Russian News Agency and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on the eve of his state visit to Russia.

China's fruit prices expected to fall: ministry - Xinhua Fruit prices are expected to drop to a reasonable range after a recent price hike, thanks to rising temperature and increasing market supply of seasonal fruits, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday. Certain kinds of cherry, watermelon and litchi in Beijing Xinfadi Wholesale Market saw their prices fall over 40 percent on Tuesday compared with their prices from the beginning of May.

Chinese Auto Group Asks Government Stimulus to Spur Car Sales - Bloomberg The state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers asked authorities to relax limits on license plates issued in some cities and lower levies paid by vehicle buyers in rural areas, according to Xu Haidong, an assistant secretary general at the group.

LVMH Lifts Luxury Shares on Vuitton's `Unheard Of' China Growth - Bloomberg The label is experiencing “unheard of growth rates” in China, Vuitton Chief Executive Officer Michael Burke said in a meeting with analysts in Paris, according to a note from Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet.

The Chinese Crypto Mogul Paying Millions To Woo Warren Buffett - Sixth Tone Justin Sun — creator of the Tron cryptocurrency, also known as Tronix or TRX, as well as the Tron Foundation cryptocurrency platform — announced on Twitter this week that he had tendered the hefty sum to attend a lunch with the American businessman

You Can’t Trust a Chinese Audit - WSJ - Marco Rubio OpEd $$ The U.S. can no longer accept a two-tiered system, which is why I’m introducing the Equitable Act—an acronym for Ensuring Quality Information and Transparency for Abroad-Based Listings on our Exchanges—to ensure that all companies on American stock exchanges are subject to the same standards and regulations..If they don’t comply within three years they’ll be delisted from American stock exchanges.

Top Manager of Tianjin Trust Company Under Probe - Caixin Global Bao Lijie, general manager and deputy party chief of Tianjin-based Northern International Trust Co., has been placed under investigation on suspicion of “severe violation in law and discipline,” the Communist Party’s top graft buster said in a brief statement Tuesday.

China Curbs Property Developers' Funding to Cool Land Prices - Bloomberg The curbs have affected companies including Sunac China Holdings Ltd. and Gemdale Corp., said people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named. In some cases, developers’ underwriters were asked by regulators not to tap unused quotas for selling yuan bonds or asset-backed securities, according to the people.

China: Challenges and Prospects from an Industrial and Innovation Powerhouse | EU Science Hub This report analyses China's approach to attain a dominant position in international markets through a combination of industrial, R&I, trade and foreign direct investment policies. It offers an assessment of China's current position compared to the EU and US innovation systems across a range of dimensions. It concludes that China has become a major industrial competitor in several rapidly expanding high tech sectors, which may well result in attaining China's goal of becoming an innovation leader in specific areas.

China's top steelmaking city Tangshan extends output curbs in June: local media - Reuters Steel mills in Tangshan have been asked to cut sintering operations by as much as 50%, and enforce the same production curbs as during the winter season on their shaft furnaces and converters, the Huanbohai News website said, citing a government statement.

China's Public Diplomacy: International companies face increasing reputational risks | Mercator Institute for China Studies Beijing‘s efforts to use China’s economic power to enforce its standards internationally are a new challenge companies have to take seriously.

Politics and Law

Death for Chinese businessman who raped 25 young girls | South China Morning Post Former company chairman coerced woman into finding girls, including 14 under the age of 14, for sex Some of his victims recruited more girls from four schools in central China

National WeChat mini-program launched to promote e-government services - Xinhua A national WeChat mini-program was launched Wednesday to enable users to enjoy over 200 e-government services via the cross-region and cross-department digital platform. The mini-program, a small application embedded within China's popular social media platform WeChat, connects users with services offered by six government agencies including the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, according to a statement from WeChat's developer Tencent.

After 23 Years Wrongfully Jailed, Jilin Man Seeks $3.1 Million - Caixin Global How much is 23 years of life worth? For Jin Zhehong, who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1996 and exonerated last year, the answer is 21.3 million yuan ($3.1 million) — that’s the sum he is seeking from the government for nearly a quarter-century of wrongful imprisonment that he said has left him physically disabled and unable to work.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

中国特色社会主义:解决人类问题的中国方案 _光明网 Wang Qiang from PLA National Defense University writes in Guangming Daily that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is a role model for developing countries

赵小兰驳斥《纽约时报》“通中”指控:纯粹是谎言|纽约时报|赵小兰|麦康奈尔_新浪新闻 Global Times reports that Elaine Chao dismissed the recent New York Times on her family's China ties as "complete lies"

China to complete BeiDou-3 satellite system by 2020 - Xinhua China's BeiDou-3 system, a global geolocation network, is expected to be completed in 2020, with a total of 35 satellites, researchers at a conference on the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) said.

China, Russia block UN action on Sudan - AFP China firmly objected to the proposed text while Russia insisted that the council should await a response from the African Union, diplomats said. Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said the proposed statement was "unbalanced" and stressed the need to be "very cautious in this situation."

China’s ambassador to Canada to leave post later this month - The Globe and Mail Lu Shaye, 54, will leave Ottawa later this month, four people with knowledge of his departure confirmed to The Globe and Mail. China’s Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment. A fluent French speaker whose rhetoric has been called “strikingly undiplomatic,” Mr. Lu has been nominated as China’s ambassador to Paris, according to multiple diplomatic sources in Beijing, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

China showcases cluster of ‘aircraft carrier killer’ missiles - Global Times In a rare move, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force displayed 10 DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles in a recent video, as China reaffirmed the weapon's capability of attacking medium- to large-sized vessels. The 10 DF-21D missiles can be seen erected into launch positions in a promotional video of the PLA Rocket Force, Weihutang, a column on the military affiliated with China Central Television, reported on Wednesday.

Laos and Huawei enhance nation ICT development - Huawei Press Center Lao President H.E. Bounnhang Vorachit met with Huawei Southeast Asia Region President James Wu in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. The two parties exchanged views about further cooperation for information communication technology (ICT) development in Laos.

China rockets to forefront of global space race with sea launch success | South China Morning Post China successfully launched a rocket into space from a civilian cargo ship at sea on Wednesday, becoming the first nation to fully own and operate a floating sea launch platform, a technology expected to significantly reduce the cost and risk of space missions.

Nominee to Head Space Command Warns of Threats to U.S. Power - WSJ $$ He told senators that China has shown the ability to jam systems like U.S. global positioning equipment, which helps troops find their way on the battlefield and helps smart weapons hit their targets. China also can shoot down a satellite in orbit and has been developing “directed energy” systems, better known as lasers.

China's quest for human rights and democracy - Washington Times - Amb Cui Tiankai OpEd The assumption that China is not a democracy reflects a large misunderstanding. Democracy is a means to deliver a happy life to the people by constantly improving the governance of the country and society. For decades, China has been committed to upholding the Party’s leadership, ensuring that the people run the country and practice law-based governance. The people can have their voices heard in local and state affairs and can freely claim their rights. Anti-corruption campaigns have been successful. State power is now exercised with checks and balances, and the people enjoy higher standards of living. Indeed, it is those countries who masquerade as democracies but flout the will of the people who should think about the condition of their democracy.

Hong Kong and Macao

Beijing confirms nomination of ex-Hong Kong police chief Andy Tsang to lead UN agency fighting drug crimes, terrorism and political corruption | South China Morning Post Nomination is China’s first attempt to fill a top position at a major international body since it detained Meng Hongwei, then head of Interpol, last year Tsang, 61, led the Hong Kong Police Force during the Occupy protests of 2014

Tech and Media

百度“自杀”了_凤凰网资讯 "Global Figure", a magazine affiliated with People’s Daily, said Baidu has committed suicide in business as it focus too much on reaping profits from advertisement and failed to innovate and adjust its business over the past decade

Yicai Global - Baidu Takes First Step Toward Younger Leadership Team as Top Execs Jump Ship Jackson He, a former investment director at Warburg Pincus, has joined Baidu as vice president of strategic investments...Baidu confirmed today that Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Search Zheng Zibin would leave the company, becoming the fourth VP to exit in the past three months

Yicai Global - Meituan Rolls Out Ride-Hailing Services to Beijing and Nine Other Cities China's app-for-everything Meituan-Dianping has made its ride-hailing services available in 10 new cities, including Beijing, following through on a pledge it made last month to trial a new service model in more locations nationwide.

Tencent Counts on Smash Hit Call of Duty to Quicken Global Push - Bloomberg The world’s largest game developer plans to tap the marketing and distribution network it built when rolling out hack-and-slash hit Arena of Valor. Tencent now plans to expand that team by hiring more developers abroad, and also explore other genres to target international gaming aficionados, said Palo Alto-based Vincent Gao, overseas marketing director for Tencent’s TiMi Studio Group and Arena of Valor.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Is the Chengdu music scene being boiled alive? - Kiwese As of March 2019, permits are now technically compulsory for all ticketed live performances in Chengdu, which require artists to submit their ID, lyrics, recordings, setlist and general description of the show content. I use the word technically because there are still shows happening without permits, trying to discreetly fly beneath the radar.