China "vicious" in targeting US farmers; Beijing's Anaconda approach to Taiwan; "Maximum Pressure" on North Korea looks over; Xinjiang arrests soar; Facebook China; Esports; Faye Wong

President Trump tweeted this morning about China being "vicious" in targeting tariffs against US farmers:

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

China is targeting our farmers, who they know I love & respect, as a way of getting me to continue allowing them to take advantage of the U.S. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice - until now! China made $517 Billion on us last year.

July 25, 2018
I wonder what the threat to no longer be “nice” will bring.

Other things on my radar today:

  • Trump's tweet is likely in response to criticism of his administration's decision to give $12 billion in subsides to farmers affected by tariffs imposed by China and other countries;

  • US airlines did bend to Beijing's will and change their designations of Taiwan, while PRC pressure led to Taiwan losing hosting rights to the 2019 East Asian Youth Games. Next up on Beijing's target list for suffocating Taiwan are the August Gay Games in Paris;

  • It does not look like Beijing will officially approve the Qualcomm-NXP deal before tonight’s deadline;

  • Facebook has registered a China company in Hangzhou but it is not clear it had approval from Beijing. 

Thanks for reading. 

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade

White House readies plan for $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in Trump’s escalating trade war - The Washington Post:

The aid is designed to help farmers facing tariffs in China, Mexico and other countries that imposed the levies on U.S. products in response to Trump’s new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. It is the latest sign that growing trade tensions between the United States and other countries are unlikely to end soon.

China already announced subsidies for its firms-China is ready to meet the costs of the trade war - People's Daily Online - July 10:

On Monday evening, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce announced new policies that aim to relieve the impact of China-U.S. trade frictions. The policies include continuously evaluating the impact on the dispute on different kinds of companies; using the income raised by China's countermeasure tariffs to relieve the impact on affected companies and their employees; encourage companies to restructure their imports; and, step up the implementation of the the State Council guidelines on thr effective use of foreign investment. Taken together, these measures demonstrate China's strong capabilities in risk control and underlines its determination when it comes to fighting the trade war.

China to retaliate against US’ $16b tariffs - Global Times:

China stood ready to retaliate on Tuesday as the US prepared to slap a second round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods in the escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

One of the largest acquisition deals in the semiconductor industry proposed by US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc could be jeopardized, experts said, as both sides showed no sign of backing down in a tussle centered on technology and intellectual property.

The US Trade Representative's office announced that it will start public hearings on a proposed list of Chinese goods worth $16 billion targeted by punitive tariffs on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The hearings on the previously announced list are the last step before tariffs go into effect.

China keeps Qualcomm guessing on NXP fate as bid enters final hours | Reuters:

A source close to the company said it was coming up against a “stone wall” in dealings with China’s anti-trust regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation, and that there had been no recent progress with them on the deal.

But the source added that it was still a toss-up whether the deal would be approved at the last minute.

A second source close to Qualcomm told Reuters it looks unlikely that approval from China would come on Wednesday and the company is making preparations to pay NXP the [$2B breakup] fee.

China Targets Economy, Not Trump, With Weaker Yuan - WSJ $$:

China is letting the yuan slide primarily to combat a slackening economy, as the government rolls out more pro-growth measures amid an intensifying trade feud with the U.S.

At the same time, government advisers and economists say the nation’s leaders will refrain from actively devaluing the currency to hit back at the Trump administration. “China has no intention to turn the trade war into a currency war,” said an official involved in policy-making.

At 6.7784 per dollar at the close of domestic trading on Wednesday, the yuan has lost 6.9% in three months, and isn’t far off one-year lows.

Many Chinese companies ‘will go bankrupt’, if US delivers on tariff threats, court newspaper warns | South China Morning Post

In an opinion piece published on Wednesday by People’s Court Daily, Du Wanhua, deputy director of an advisory committee to the Supreme People’s Court, said that courts needed to be aware of the potential harm the tariff row could cause.

“It’s hard to predict how this trade war will develop and to what extent,” he said. “But one thing is sure: if the US imposes tariffs on Chinese imports following an order of US$60 billion yuan, US$200 billion yuan, or even US$500 billion, many [He uses 不少] Chinese companies will go bankrupt.”

The original-中美贸易战背景下的我国破产审判工作:


Trade war's effect on manufacturing 'limited' - China Daily

China's efforts to upgrade its manufacturing sector are totally inclusive and open-ended, and ongoing Sino-U.S. trade frictions have "limited impacts" on its sprawling industrial economy, the country's top industry regulator said on Tuesday.

Huang Libin, spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said China's strategy to upgrade manufacturing is based on the philosophy of openness and win-win cooperation. It is absolutely in line with international practices, he said.

"We will gear up the steps to build China into an advanced manufacturing power … and we sincerely welcome foreign companies to take part in such efforts," Huang said.

The Chinese are wary of Donald Trump’s creative destruction | Financial Times - Mark Leonard $$:

My interlocutors say that Mr Trump is the US first president for more than 40 years to bash China on three fronts simultaneously: trade, military and ideology. They describe him as a master tactician, focusing on one issue at a time, and extracting as many concessions as he can. They speak of the skilful way Mr Trump has treated President Xi Jinping. “Look at how he handled North Korea,” one says. “He got Xi Jinping to agree to UN sanctions [half a dozen] times, creating an economic stranglehold on the country. China almost turned North Korea into a sworn enemy of the country.” But they also see him as a strategist, willing to declare a truce in each area when there are no more concessions to be had, and then start again with a new front.

For the Chinese, even Mr Trump’s sycophantic press conference with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in Helsinki had a strategic purpose. They see it as Henry Kissinger in reverse. In 1972, the US nudged China off the Soviet axis in order to put pressure on its real rival, the Soviet Union. Today Mr Trump is reaching out to Russia in order to isolate China.

2. "Maximum Pressure" on North Korea over and not returning?

From New York to Dandong: Maximum Pressure | Sino-NK:

There is a widely shared assumption in Washington DC that if the ongoing US-DPRK dialogue doesn’t bring about denuclearization in relatively short order, American foreign policy can simply be rotated on its axis and redirected toward the “maximum pressure” policy that has been missing in action since late 2017.

Serious doubts over the efficacy of that policy still linger in any case, but those have been amply articulated elsewhere. More importantly for us here; the idea of a return to maximum pressure is a fantasy.

Centering oneself on the Chinese-North Korean border, where Sino-NK spends much of its collective intellectual energy, insightful questions about American leverage in the region present themselves, and give the lie to this blithe Beltway illation. Developments along the border and further into the interior of both China and North Korea appear to be aligning to scuttle any American impetus to keep the semblance of economic pressure on the DPRK.

Chosun: China Strengthened Economic Support to North Korean – Chinascope:

South Korea’s largest newspaper Chosun recently published two reports in its Chinese Edition on significantly increased support from China to the North Korean economy. After Kim Jong-un’s third visit to China in June, China reopened its aid in the form of fertilizer, food, and cooking oil. It was part of China’s promise of “large scale” aid. The fertilizer volume could have set a record high already, surpassing the 200,000 tons peak volume in 2013. The crude oil supply from China to North Korea is now at the pace of 80,000 tons per month, which is the equivalent of an annual volume of 960,000 tons. The UN sanctions set the annual ceiling at 560,000 tons. Many people witnessed that a large number of iron ore trucks entered China in June.

3. Vaccine-gate

China censors social media posts about vaccine scandal, monitor says, as tabloid suggests issue has been overblown | South China Morning Post:

Meanwhile, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese tabloid Global Times, accused some social media users of exploiting the scandal to criticise the country.

“Many people feel unrest about the vaccine incident … but there is also a small number who are trying to break down the positive impacts of how the government is trying to deal with it,” he wrote on Weibo.

“The vaccine incident has made people anxious and angry, but the whole country is not as bad as how a small group of people are passionately promoting it to be.”

Zhang Kai (張凱律師(微信id:lawyerzhangkai)), a lawyer who first got into trouble after working with victims of the 2010 Shanxi Vaccine scandal, now writes for a living. He posted an essay on his Wechat titled "We are in the same boat" in response to the latest vaccine scandal. After getting several hundred thousand RMB in "tips" the piece was censored and his Wechat account closed...疫苗案受害人律師爆文《都在一條船上》瘋傳後被刪,作者獲網友打賞力挺。(附原文) | 微信上的中國

But Zhang's monetizing of this article has caused some controversy, though it is unclear how much is real vs manufactured to discredit him, and since his Wechat account was closed he can not access the money--蹭疫苗热点他文章收30万打赏 但接下来的举动引发争议_凤凰资讯:




Zhang Kai (张凯) | China Human Rights Laywers Concern Group:

In August 2015, Lawyer Zhang was detained in 709 Crackdown for the alleged crime of "assembling a crowd to disrput the social order crime and filching, poking, buging over, offering state privacy or intelligence to foreign power". In 2016, the public security bureau released Zhang Kai on bail pending for trial. In 2017, Zhang continued his release on bail.

He was also involved in the "My dad is Li Gang" case

4. PRC keeps squeezing Taiwan's international space

The US airlines did the right thing for their shareholders by caving to Beijing's demands. The White House on the other hand looks impotent if does nothing after making such a big deal of the pressure. 

U.S. airlines change Taiwan reference on websites ahead of Chinese deadline | Reuters:

The three biggest U.S. airlines changed how they refer to self-ruled Taiwan on their websites to avoid Chinese penalties ahead of a Wednesday deadline - revisions Beijing described as “positive developments”...

A check of all three airlines’ websites on Wednesday morning showed they now only list Taipei’s airport code and city, but not the name Taiwan...

Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it “most severely” condemned the Chinese government’s use of political power to “crudely and unreasonably interfere with private commercial activity and international companies’ operations”.

Chinese Pressure Causes Taiwan To Lose Hosting Rights For East Asian Youth Games-New Bloom:

Chinese pressure on Taiwanese participation in sporting events continues. This can be seen in two recent incidents, with China successfully forcing Taiwan out of hosting the East Asian Youth Games through pressure on the East Asian Olympic Committee and attempts to force Taiwan out of participating in the 2018 Gay Games in Paris next month under the name “Taiwan”.

The East Asian Youth Games were to be held in August 2019 in Taichung, the first time the event would take place. Taichung won the bid to host the East Asian Youth Games in October 2014 and had already spent 677 million NTD to construct a stadium for the games.

Cancellation of East Asian Youth Games the right decision: mainland spokesperson - Xinhua:

A Chinese mainland spokesperson said Wednesday that it was the right decision for the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) to cancel next year's East Asian Youth Games, originally scheduled to be held in Taiwan, due to some provocative actions by some groups on the island...

some political forces and "Taiwan independence" elements on the island, allowed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, have flagrantly challenged the "Olympic model," bringing huge risks of political disturbances to the games, according to An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

China is trying to ban the Taiwanese flag from the Gay Games in Paris  | Taiwan News:

As Team Taiwan's 25 person squad prepares to compete in the Gay Games being held in Paris from Aug. 4 through Aug. 28, it has been reported that China is maneuvering to ban the Taiwanese flag from the competition grounds.

Taiwanese activists on Monday, July 23 have criticized China for reportedly pressuring organizers in Paris to prohibit the venue and the athletes from displaying Taiwan’s flag at the competition.

China’s Great Squeeze Strategy Against Tsai Ing-wen – Taiwan Sentinel:

Beijing seeks to isolate Taiwan and condition its people and the international community to accept a ‘new normal.’ It also seeks to widen differences not only between the ‘blue’ and ‘green’ camps in Taiwan politics, but also between the ‘mainstream’ and ‘radical’ greens and thus spark a dangerous vicious circle.

RIP Taiwan? | The National Interest - John J. Mearsheimer:

It is my firm conviction that the continuing rise of China will have huge consequences for Taiwan, almost all of which will be bad. Not only will China be much more powerful than it is today, but it will also remain deeply committed to making Taiwan part of China. Moreover, China will try to dominate Asia the way the United States dominates the Western Hemisphere, which means it will seek to reduce, if not eliminate, the American military presence in Asia. The United States, of course, will resist mightily, and go to great lengths to contain China’s growing power. The ensuing security competition will not be good for Taiwan, no matter how it turns out in the end. Time is not on Taiwan’s side. Herewith, a guide to what is likely to ensue between the United States, China and Taiwan.

5. Xinjiang's re-education camps

Xinjiang educates, reforms imprisoned extremists in religious thought - Global Times:

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region educated religious extremists in prison, and invited religious experts to reform the extremists' thoughts, a Xinjiang-based expert said on Monday.

"Extremists in prison need to transform their thoughts. We have invited experts on religion to rectify their extremist thinking," Ma Pinyan, a research fellow at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Religious Studies, said on Monday.

Ma, also the Vice President of the Xinjiang Prison Association, told the Global Times that they also gave basic religion training to the prison guards.

"The prison guards and other management staff need to know about religions in order to properly educate these extremists," Ma said.

Criminal Arrests in Xinjiang Account for 21% of China’s Total in 2017 | Chinese Human Rights Defenders:

Chinese lawyers who spoke to us, and who have handled criminal cases in Xinjiang, have found that ethnic minority detainees have even fewer protections of their legal rights than detainees of Han majority background. For example, for cases in Xinjiang related to alleged “terrorism,” which virtually always involve ethnic minorities, defendants are not allowed to plead “not guilty,” and they tend to be quickly put on trial and sentenced to prison. In cases adjudicated in Xinjiang, the lawyers said that if they protested violations of their clients’ rights, they faced being dismissed from the cases. The lawyers believe that many so-called “terrorist” cases in Xinjiang do not go through appropriate court procedures. For instance, these verdicts have often been prepared before trials take place, with government or Party officials deciding the sentences, not judges.

This week in DC—Surveillance, Suppression, and Mass Detention: Xinjiang’s Human Rights Crisis | Congressional-Executive Commission on China:

The hearing will look at the serious and deteriorating human rights situation faced by Uyghurs; examine the Chinese government’s efforts to build the world’s most advanced police state in the XUAR, and explore policy options to address these issues within U.S.-China relations.

What can be done regarding Xinjiang’s mass detentions? — Jerome A. Cohen | 孔傑榮(柯恩):

We are purposely being kept in the dark about the unique, massive detentions in Xinjiang, which have confined many hundreds of thousands of closely-settled people on many specious charges. Perhaps the last time so many people have been detained outside the formal criminal process was in the 1957-59 “anti-rightist” campaign where RETL was first used..

Individual countries, of course, can take actions, which is why I recommend that the U.S. Government adopt Magnitsky Act sanctions against those responsible for Xinjiang, starting with Xi Jinping.

Returning Uighur Fighters and China's National Security Dilemma - Jamestown:

While it is known that a large number of Chinese Uighurs have travelled to Syria to fight, how many of them are still alive and will be returning to China is as of yet unknown. Many returnees may be arrested and imprisoned during their return; however there is still the potential for individuals to sneak back into Xinjiang via Central Asia. As they return, they may bring a newly Islamized narrative and motivation which will challenge the predominantly separatist ideology of traditional Uighur attacks. To be clear, China does not face a threat of thousands of fighters returning to wage an open battle. Rather, the risk of foreign fighters returning is in the potential for a small few to slip through the security cracks and re-enter their communities, or to exit detention programs without disengaging from violence. Once returned, they can become powerful force multipliers who may introduce leadership, technical and tactical knowledge, resources, and radicalization methods to the community

6. Facebook's China company

Facebook, Trying to Move Forward in China, Registers a Chinese Subsidiary - The New York Times:

Yet late Tuesday, in a sign of possible complications, the corporate registration was taken down from the Chinese government website, and some references to the new subsidiary appeared to be censored on social media in the country...

The legal representative for Facebook’s new China subsidiary was the same employee who registered the company that launched Colorful Balloons: Ivy Zhang, Facebook’s chief representative and head of business development in China.

Also on the board of the new subsidiary with Ms. Zhang is William Shuai, Facebook’s China government affairs representative and a former government relations executive at the Chinese search engine Baidu and LinkedIn. Before holding those positions, Mr. Shuai was briefly a low-level official in the Chinese government.

Multiple listed Chinese firms disclosed relationships with Facebook after news of its new China company hit...Blue Focus Communications says that in 2017 one of its marketing subsidiaries placed 2.8 Billion RMB in ads on Facebook--最新!多家上市公司在互动平台回应与脸书合作情况-上市公司-上海证券报·中国证券网



7. Esports boom

Inside Tencent's Gambit to Dominate a $13 Billion Esports Arena - Bloomberg:

Esports is taking off globally but nowhere more so than in China: a nation of over 400 million gamers fueling viewership comparable to U.S. pro sports. At the heart of the world’s biggest gaming market is Tencent Holdings Ltd., which is betting a billion yuan ($150 million) a year that slugfests like Honour of Kings will ensure its primacy in the burgeoning market.

Along with Activision Blizzard Inc., Tencent’s become one of the most aggressive promoters of pro-gaming. It’s hard to overstate the mania that’s gripped China in particular: at least 10,000 teams exist across the country despite just 12 spots in this year’s marquee King Pro League tournament. Last year’s matchups garnered as many as 240 million daily views -- double the U.S. audience of the Super Bowl -- on TVs, phones and computers with top players commanding multi-million dollar transfer fees.

And as the International Olympic Committee considers including esports in its ever-expanding roster, pro-gaming is an endeavor in which China is a prime contender.

Winners and Chicken Dinners: Inside a Shanghai Esports House - SixthTone:

The PUBG Global Invitational kicks off Wednesday in Berlin. At stake is $2 million, and, in the eyes of many esports fans, national pride: Zhang’s team, Oh My God (or OMG), is one of two representing China...

In the weeks leading up to the competition, OMG’s gamers — Zhang (in-game name: OMGxiaohaixxxx), Wang Yan (OMGsilentBT), Yao Hao (OMGlionkk), and Liao Liangguang (OMGxiaorong) — are going through their usual routines. Their lives are mostly confined to their apartment in suburban Shanghai, an office building that they call their “camp,” and the five minutes in between. At noon, team coordinator Huang Wen calls Zhang and his teammates out of bed. They start their training at 2 p.m., break for dinner, and don’t turn their computers off until well after midnight.

Their monthly salaries are around 10,000 yuan ($1,500), in line with what white-collar workers in the city earn. But added to that is income from livestreaming — the players all have thousands of online fans who sometimes show their appreciation with gifts — and the occasional tournament prize money. In June, OMG won the PUBG China Pro Invitational, which earned them 100,000 yuan per player and punched their ticket to Berlin.

8. One happy thing--Faye Wong video

Faye Wong’s breathtaking reprise of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” marks the return of a goddess – Shanghaiist:

Mandopop diva Faye Wong wowed fans last Friday with a reprise of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” in the debut of 《幻乐之城》 PhantaCity, an ambitious new variety show sponsored by dating app Momo on Hunan TV.

The show aims to celebrate creativity in original songs, all performed live by singers backstage in a ginormous 3,000 square-meter studio with the help of a cast of supporting actors and dancers. There is no editing, no retake, and singers need to get their act right in just one take to produce a music video-worthy performance.

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

The Finance 202: China exerts soft power in ZTE win - The Washington Post The company forked over what amounts to a princely K Street sum to snatch its victory from the jaws of defeat: It paid the law firm Hogan Lovells $1.3 million over the past quarter — pocket change for ZTE considering the stakes, yet the priciest single lobbying contract of the period, Politico Influence noted on Monday. Lobbyists working on the matter, including former Republican senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, pressed ZTE’s case on both sides of the Capitol, at the Commerce and Treasury departments, and within the White House, its latest lobbying disclosure report shows. A spokesman for the firm didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Beijing continues to play down ‘Made in China 2025’, saying world should take ‘objective’ view | South China Morning Post: At a half-yearly briefing on the country’s industrial developments, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology made only muted references to “Made in China 2025”, despite describing it just six months earlier as having witnessed a raft of “significant and symbolic achievements”.

Shanghai scraps land sales worth US$1.5 billion in 20 days as developers lost mood to shop amid tightened controls and glut | South China Morning Post Shanghai has cancelled five planned land sales worth a total of 10 billion yuan (US$1.47 billion) in 20 days, underscoring dampened appetite of developers weighed on by tightened funding and tepid sales.

China’s debt threat: time to rein in the spending boom | Financial Times $$ In the first piece of an FT series, Martin Wolf explains why the risks of a destructive slowdown are growing even within Beijing’s managed system

Embattled Liquor-Maker Looks for New Start - Caixin Global If liquor doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps going back to school will. That’s the message coming from traditional Chinese spirits maker Gansu Huangtai Wine-Marketing Industry Co. Ltd., which is hoping to turn over a new leaf to plug its recent stream of losses. Its new road map was laid out in a stock exchange filing this week, detailing plans to purchase online children’s education services provider Zhongyou International Education for up to 250 million yuan ($36.8 millio

In China's debt-laden Xiamen, real estate boom chokes consumption | Reuters Throughout China, home prices that are among the highest in the world relative to incomes have pushed millions of households to debt levels similar to those seen in the United States just before its housing crisis, according to a new study by the Institute for Advanced Research at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Economists are sounding the alarm that such debt has started to crimp consumption, undermining Bejing’s plan to lean on domestic demand to drive growth amid a heated trade dispute with the United States.

Unapproved Zhengzhou Bridge Now Dangerously Damaged - SixthTone A bridge in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou that cost hundreds of millions of yuan to build has been seriously damaged in just four months of use after it was opened to traffic without passing a mandatory government inspection, state broadcaster China National Radio (CNR) reported Wednesday. Located in Zhongmu County, Henan province, the Jialu River Bridge — which the local government boasts is the widest suspension bridge in Asia — has been under constant repair since it was opened on March 20. The three-year, nearly 300 million-yuan ($44.2 million) construction project was supposed to become Zhengzhou’s most prominent landmark.

Struggling South African Firms Handed $2.8 Billion Lifeline During Xi’s Visit - Caixin Global Two major Chinese lenders have offered nearly $3 billion in credit to struggling enterprises in South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit there, as China seeks to expand its influence on the continent with increased trade and investment.


Politics, Law And Ideology

Swept up in China’s anti-corruption campaign, and forsaken by a secretive, suspect legal system | South China Morning Post In China’s maximum security Qincheng prison, which holds the country’s highest-level disgraced officials, Sun Shanwu’s highly regimented days are filled with housekeeping and study sessions on clean politics, which he attends alongside former Communist Party elites with household names...Sun, 71, the former top political adviser in Henan province in central China who was jailed for corruption in 2010, is referred to by people around him as a workaholic with few hobbies.. Sun, who strongly maintains his innocence, desires freedom and a retrial. Given a de facto life sentence for taking bribes, he is among the very few, if not the only, inmate to have received help from the prison to petition for a retrial.

【渭南】学习梁家河大学问谱写追赶超越新篇章 - 地市 - 陕西省人民政府门户网站 Weinan officials didnt seem to get the rumored ordered to stop studying liangjiahe...or maybe the order never existed?

改革开放开创社会主义现代化道路--理论-人民网 Deng Xiaoping only gets a cameo in this People's Daily piece in the series on the 40th anniversary of reform and opening. 

What’s on the Supreme People’s judicial interpretation agenda (II)? | Supreme People's Court Monitor On 10 July, the SPC’s General Office issued the document above. It sets out a list of 48 judicial interpretation projects for 2018 (with several for 2019) for which the SPC judicial committee’s had given project initiation/approval (立项) designating one or more SPC divisions/offices with primary drafting responsibility (this process to be detailed in a forthcoming article).  It appears to be the first time this type of document was publicly released (please contact me with corrections).  If so, it is a concrete step in increasing the SPC’s transparency (addressed in part in one of my forthcoming academic articles). The projects, deadlines, and some brief comments (some longer than others) follow below.

New duties given to group on govt function transformation - The State Council’s original coordination group on government function transformation will take on responsibilities to coordinate administrative reform, according to a notice released on July 25. The group’s leadership panel also was reshuffled. Vice-Premier Han Zheng will assume duties as head of the coordination group. State Councilor Wang Yong was named deputy head, and Xiao Jie, state councilor and secretary-general of the State Council, was appointed deputy head and director of the group’s office.


Foreign and Military Affairs

Joint Statement Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations 2018 They emphasized that militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea is contrary to the region’s desire for peaceful development, and reiterated the obligation to respect freedom of navigation and overflight, and other lawful uses of the sea, in accordance with international law. Both sides called for the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea to be consistent with existing international law, as reflected in UNCLOS, to support existing regional architecture, to reinforce the parties’ commitment to cease actions that complicate disputes and not to prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights of all states under international law

Pompeo says South Pacific nations would choose U.S. over China | Reuters: “I think the South Pacific, like most places in the world, understands the enormity of having an American ally — a country that consistently over decades projects the democratic values,” Pompeo told a news conference after meetings with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. “The human dignity that comes with having an American partner is different from having partners that aren’t quite that way. I think over time that will ultimately prevail, not only in the South Pacific, but all across the world,” he added.

Analysis: Why will UK invite Australia to accompany its cruise in South China Sea? - China Military Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow from the Institute of International Studies of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), believes that one of the important reasons behind the UK’s proposal to expand its military presence in the South China Sea is to divert the British people’s attention amid overwhelming “Brexit” in order to create some space to buffer the disadvantageous strategic dilemma in the country. Hu said another reason is that once the former maritime hegemon, the UK, is still relishing its former glory. “The UK always wants to maintain the glory of the British Empire and stubbornly believes that the entire Pacific region should belong to the British territory and sphere of influence.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping promises to import more goods from South Africa | South China Morning Post Ramaphosa had earlier rolled out the red carpet for his visitor, who was greeted with a 21-gun salute on his arrival at Union Buildings, the seat of the South African government in its administrative capital, Pretoria. Ramaphosa said also that China would invest US$14.7 billion in South Africa, though did not release any details of the deals.

Premier Li calls for healthy, stable China-Japan ties - Xinhua | Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday met with Tadamori Oshima, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Japanese parliament, calling for a healthy and stable bilateral relationship. "Healthy and stable China-Japan ties are beneficial to the two countries and their peoples, as well as regional and global peace, stability and prosperity," Li said. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. 

Good neighborliness serves fundamental interests of China, the Philippines: FM - Xinhua "Cooperation between the two countries over the recent two years has shown that good neighborliness is the only choice serving the interests of the two countries and the two peoples," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte spoke highly of cooperation with China in the battle against transnational crimes and drug control at his annual State of the Union address on Monday. He also said an improved relationship with China did not mean the Philippines would waver in its commitment to defend its interests in the South China Sea and that the Philippines was trying to resolve disputes through bilateral and multilateral platforms.

China respects Bhutan to conduct independent, peaceful diplomatic policies: visiting vice foreign minister - Global Times Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said China respects Bhutan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity as he completed a three-day visit to the Himalayan country on Tuesday. During the visit, Kong met Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and the country's foreign minister, Damcho Dorji, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday. China attaches great importance to the traditional friendship with Bhutan and will continue to respect Bhutan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Kong said.

China, Sri Lanka vow to strengthen defense ties - China Military Sri Lanka and China have vowed to strengthen defense ties at a reception held here at the Chinese embassy to celebrate the 91st founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary, Kapila Waidyaratne, who was the chief guest at the Monday evening event, said China had always been a valuable partner of Sri Lanka and the two nations had enjoyed diplomatic relations for 61 years, supporting each other in the regional and international sphere while making efforts to deepen pragmatic cooperation.

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ court to challenge current US-led order | Financial Times $$ One recent move that warrants more attention is China’s decision to establish two international courts that will handle disputes around projects under the BRI. The Supreme People’s Court in Beijing announced the courts in January and passed provisions that came into effect on July 1. One court is based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and will handle disputes arising along the maritime “Road”, while another based in central Xi’an will handle cases along the overland “Belt”. There are plenty of outstanding questions, but the courts could eventually play a more serious role in advancing Chinese interests.

Why China's "Top Gun" Video is Better Than Tom Cruise's Movie | The National Interest The navy in this video appeared high-tech, professional, a real navy rather than a mere coastal defense force. Whether the video was aimed at foreign rivals or the Chinese public, the message was clear: China's navy is a force to be reckoned with.

Malaysia to be firmer in row over South China Sea - AP Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Wednesday that Malaysia’s new government will adopt a firmer stand in tackling a decades-old territorial row in the South China Sea amid China’s aggressive expansion in the disputed area. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who won a stunning electoral victory in May, has said warships should be removed from the South China Sea.

Beijing wary of 'Quad' agenda - India Today At Beijing's most prominent international relations conference on July 15 at Tsinghua University, Chinese strategic experts dismissed calls for an Asian security architecture as a ruse to contain Chinas rise. Much of their ire was directed at the Quad, referring to India, US, Japan and Australia starting a four-way dialogue. Wu Shicun, a leading Chinese strategist who heads the governments only think-tank dedicated to the South China Sea, declared that the Quad countries share suspicions about China and its Belt and Road Initiative.

German Spy Chief Says China’s Tech Takeovers Are a Security Risk - Bloomberg The head of Germany’s top domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, highlighted the issue in an annual report on security risks that included cyber attacks from China and Russia as well as a rise in threats from Islamist, far-right and far-left fringe groups. The report painted a picture of Chinese government influence through state companies that had the potential to jeopardize German economic and security interests by siphoning of technological know-how. Conventional cyber attacks on companies have ebbed in recent years and given way to targeted takeovers, Maassen said.

China And Pakistan Plan To Get Rich Together. The Price? Human Rights. | HuffPost: A $62 billion economic partnership between the two countries is set to enshrine the long-standing repression of Pakistan’s millions-strong Baloch minority..



China-based pair found guilty of spying for Beijing - Taipei Times Two businessmen were yesterday convicted of spying for China by attempting to obtain an advance copy of the president’s 2016 Double Ten National Day address, and sentenced to four months in prison, convertable to a fine.


Tech And Media

How Pinduoduo Works - Hans Tung With over 300 million active buyers, it has risen to become one of China’s top 3 shopping apps. In this deck, we explain how Pinduoduo works and what led to its rapid growth.//Useful PPT

China's $9 Billion Plan to Boost 5G Undermined By Trade War - Bloomberg A company that’s a key part of China’s ambitions to be a leader in cutting-edge wireless technology is preparing to go public to fund its expansion, but President Donald Trump’s trade war threatens to put a damper on what could be the world’s biggest initial public offering in almost four years. State-controlled China Tower Corp., which operates almost 99 percent of the country’s wireless towers and charges its three carriers leasing fees, is preparing to raise as much as $8.7 billion in a Hong Kong IPO expected to start trading next month. That would be the biggest IPO since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s 2014 offering.

Beijing’s Big Brother Tech Needs African Faces – Foreign Policy The latest is CloudWalk Technology, a Guangzhou-based start-up that has signed a deal with the Zimbabwean government to provide a mass facial recognition program. The agreement is currently on hold until Zimbabwe’s elections on July 30. But if it goes through, it will enable Zimbabwe, a country with a bleak record on human rights, to replicate parts of the surveillance infrastructure that have made freedoms so limited in China. And by gaining access to a population with a racial mix far different from China’s, CloudWalk will be better able to train racial biases out of its facial recognition systems—a problem that has beleaguered facial recognition companies around the world and which could give China a vital edge.

How this female CEO is changing the game for China’s women - Inkstone Jane Sun may be the head of a Nasdaq-listed Chinese tech company valued at $23 billion, but she’s not always treated like it. While attending a recent CEO conference in Silicon Valley, “people assumed I was there to accompany my husband,” said the 49-year-old head of Shanghai-based Ctrip, Asia’s biggest online travel platform. On a separate skiing trip to Canada, fellow skiers asked Sun’s husband what line of work he was in, but not her.

China to Strengthen Management of Online Live Broadcasting Services - Marbridge Consulting: A group of Chinese regulators are planning to release new rules aimed at strengthening management of online live broadcasting services.The regulations are intended to improve management of permissions and recording procedures related to online live broadcasting services, as well as to crack down on unlawful online live broadcasting services. The rules are being jointly drawn up by the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Piracy Office and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT), and State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Veteran Journalist Zhang Wen Denies Rape Allegation - Sixth Tone A rape accusation against veteran journalist Zhang Wen has sent shockwaves through China’s media sector, though he has denied the allegations.In an anonymous letter published early Wednesday morning, a woman said that Zhang raped her in May. The next day, she wrote, Zhang visited her and said: “You will never get away from being my woman … I have slept with over 100 girls … I have been a journalist for over a decade, and I know countless people in the industry.”Zhang is a prominent public intellectual who has worked at influential Chinese outlets such as China Newsweek. He has also written for international publications like The Guardian, which describes him as “a leading Chinese media commentator.”

对话举报雷闯性侵女生:“希望我是那个让雷闯得到惩罚的人”_一号专案_澎湃新闻-The Paper Thepaper interviews the woman who accused Lei Chuang, the founder of YiYou Charity Center, of sexually assaulting her. SixthTone has the original story--Prominent Activist Accused of Sexual Assault Apologizes, Resigns

北京警方回应是否介入雷闯性侵事件:正核实_凤凰资讯 now the Beijing police may get involved in the Lei Chuang case, and his accuser says she is not the only victim

Sexual Harassment Cuts Rural Volunteer Program Short - Sixth Tone A group of 16 university students who volunteered to teach underserved children in southwestern China over the summer have terminated their program early because of multiple instances of sexual harassment, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported Monday. According to a statement posted to social app WeChat on Monday morning, several female volunteers had been harassed by locals since their arrival in Zhenxiong County, Yunnan province, on July 13. “To prevent such sexual harassment incidents from recurring and taking into account the safety of the team members, the teachers decided to end this volunteering project ahead of schedule,” the statement read.

Ga. lawmaker who used racial slurs in TV show resigns The episode shows Cohen, who portrayed himself as an Israeli military expert, at a gym persuading Spencer to take part in what he was told was a counterterrorism video.  Cohen gets Spencer to yell racial epithets, make offensive remarks about Chinese tourists and pull down his pants

Access sought for single women to assisted reproductive technology - China Daily China will intensify research to improve laws and regulations to ensure the right of unmarried women to give birth, the top health authority said in response to appeals to give single women access to assisted reproductive technologies. The law does not ban unmarried women from giving birth, and children born out of wedlock have the same rights as those born of married couples, the National Health Commission said in a statement provided to China Daily.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China's water quality improves in first half of 2018: ministry | Reuters China’s overall water quality improved in the first half of this year, with 70 percent of groundwater samples taken from around the country deemed fit for human use, up from 67.9 percent a year ago, the environment ministry said on Wednesday.

China turns to science for effective treatments in war on smog | Reuters MIIT said local authorities must impose production restrictions “scientifically” and provide “detailed measures for each production line, process and piece of equipment,” adding that “one size fits all” measures were “strictly forbidden”. With much of the low-hanging fruit already taken, senior environmental officials have vowed to take advantage of gains made in data collection and analysis and rely more on science to cut smog further.



考了669分 “学霸”在工地上收北大通知书_资讯频道_凤凰网 17 year old in Yunnan gets accepted into Peking University, receives the acceptance letter while he is working on a construction site with his parents--slideshow. I did not know that Peking U sends out such a fancy acceptance package:

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