Espionage Charge Added To Jerry Lee Case; Social Credit 101; ZTE Out Of Phones; Communist Party Leaving The Vatican At The Altar?

Happy Wednesday, having some logistical issues today so apologies for no commentary at the top.

One correction from yesterday's newsletter: I co-mingled the readouts of two different Xi-Trump phone calls. Sorry about that. 

Thanks for reading. 


The Essential Eight

1. Espionage Charge Added To Jerry Lee Case

Ex-C.I.A. Officer Indicted in Dismantling of U.S. Informant Network in China - The New York Times:

A former C.I.A. officer suspected of helping China unravel the agency’s spy network in that country was indicted on Tuesday on a charge of conspiring to commit espionage.

The officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested by F.B.I. agents in January after federal prosecutors accused him of illegally possessing classified information. But the new charge reflected a willingness of prosecutors to disclose sensitive details they might have been reluctant to acknowledge publicly.

DOJ Release - Former CIA Case Officer Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Espionage and Retention of National Defense Information 

Then there is this tweet Tuesday from a journalist who covers national security issues:

Zach Dorfman@zachsdorfman

A former U.S. intel official told me that Chinese officials broadcast the live execution of a suspected spy, and his pregnant wife, on closed-circuit tv in one of its national laboratories, and forced all of the employees to watch. This is how they responded to the CIA. https://t.co/RKMKGSoeFf

May 8, 2018

CIA nominee: U.S. must do more vs. China efforts to 'steal' technology | Reuters:

Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked Haspel if she would use products from Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp, two companies that U.S. officials have described as having links to the Chinese Communist party’s intelligence apparatus.

Haspel, who joked that she does not have a social media account, said she would not.


2. Golden Thucydides Shower On The Road To A New Era Of Mankind's Shared Future Of Belts And Traps

No, the Department of Propaganda wouldn't hire me to write slogans...

We should always pay attention to what Charles Parton writes.

Hackneyed language hampers the west’s ties with China - FT $$ 

Please, when it comes to the west’s relations with China, can we stop talking about the Thucydides Trap, the Golden Era, Belt and Road and “a shared future for mankind”?...

It is not just that some language is bad history. Google the ‘Thucydides Trap’ and you get 73,000 hits. Conferences are held on it.

The phrase is supposed to suggest that conflict is inevitable between a rising power (Athens/China) and an established one (Sparta/the US).

But Graham Allison, the Harvard professor who invented the phrase, is no classical scholar. He seems unaware that many scholars consider the one sentence upon which the idea is based to be a late insertion by Thucydides, and one not raised in the rest of his history of the Peloponnesian War.

Rather, Thucydides makes clear that Athens had already risen, had the biggest navy long before war broke out, and had been quarrelling with Sparta for nearly 50 years.


3. Social Credit 101

China's Social Credit System: An Evolving Practice of Control by Rogier Creemers :: SSRN:

The Social Credit System (SCS) is perhaps the most prominent manifestation of the Chinese government's intention to reinforce legal, regulatory and policy processes through the application of information technology. Yet its organizational specifics have not yet received academic scrutiny. This paper will identify the objectives, perspectives and mechanisms through which the Chinese government has sought to realise its vision of "social credit". Reviewing the system's historical evolution, institutional structure, central and local implementation, and relationship with the private sector, this paper concludes that it is perhaps more accurate to conceive of the SCS as an ecosystem of initiatives broadly sharing a similar underlying logic, than a fully unified and integrated machine for social control. It also finds that, intentions with regards to big data and artificial intelligence notwithstanding, the SCS remains a relatively crude tool. This may change in the future, and this paper suggests the dimensions to be studied in order to assess this evolution.

Rogier summarized his paper in a long thread on Twitter earlier today, starting here:

China Media@ChinaMedia1

Major takeaways: (1) The Social Credit System is not, in fact, one system. It is an ecosystem of initiatives at the central and local level, within State and private actors, that largely share a fundamental logic.

May 9, 2018

Social credit system China’s answer to credit crisis - Global Times:

On Monday's The Late Show, a US late-night talk show on CBS, host Stephen Colbert made fun of China's plan to launch its social credit system in 2020. He took aim at "China's growing network of surveillance cameras," which, according to Colbert, is what "makes all of this - rating Chinese citizens' trustworthiness - possible. In the West's regular routine, they don't bother to analyze why China does something or see the actual situation of the country. They simply relate everything to the "totalitarian regime."

In April, Foreign Policy commented on China's system to assess a people's creditworthiness as a "step in the tightening of China's already scant freedoms." Earlier this month, Newsweek claimed "1.4 billion citizens to be monitored through social credit system."..

Governance has never been easy in China, the most populous country on Earth. So the nation has to explore the path that suits it the most. Judging China by Western standards is therefore biased. When it comes to the social credit system, countries everywhere are exploring. Why can't China use modern techniques to try out this system? Doesn't the US track traffic violators with surveillance cameras?


4. Another Attempt To Control Local Debt

Will Beijing try to use liberalization and foreign money to offload some of this debt to foreigners?

Local Governments Given More Options for Issuing Bonds_Caixin

Local governments can now issue two-year, 15-year, and 20-year ordinary bonds and 15-year and 20-year special purpose bonds, which are repaid through project proceeds, according to a notice from the Ministry of Finance published on Tuesday. Local governments already have many options to issue bonds with maturities of 10 years or less. The ministry also encouraged banks, securities firms, insurers and individuals to invest in local government bonds...

As local governments get more bond issuance options, regulators continue to clamp down on alternative financing methods through local government financing vehicles (LGFV) and public private partnerships (PPP). Local authorities have scrapped PPP projects worth 1.8 trillion yuan ($282 billion) since mid-November, when regulators announced an overhaul to eliminate unqualified projects, China’s finance ministry said Wednesday.


5. More on China's Maritime Strategy

Wind in the Sails: China Accelerates Its Maritime Strategy - War On The Rocks:

According to none other than Xi Jinping, if Beijing hopes to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by the middle of the 21st century, it is necessary that it become a “maritime great power” (海洋强国). What does this goal mean to China’s leaders, and what are the implications of Beijing’s latest round of institutional reforms to make it so? The Communist Party of China has an all-encompassing strategy to enlarge its maritime power. As I have written elsewhere, this strategy includes several major areas of focus: developing the “blue economy,” preserving marine environments, exploiting maritime resources, and protecting China’s “rights and interests” in near and distant seas...

All three institutional changes highlight areas where Beijing sees a need to refine execution of its maritime strategy to take on “a larger role on the global stage.” If the reforms achieve what Beijing intends, we should expect China’s maritime strategy to become a more explicit element of its foreign policy, in particular, Xi’s promotion of a “community with a shared future for mankind.” For Xi, building this “community” means the party’s interests and values will gain greater traction in global governance. Second, U.S. observers should see clearer command and control of China’s maritime law enforcement forces under the Central Military Commission as serving the party’s strategic goal of rejuvenating China. Lastly, we should watch for a more effective balance between the party’s aspirations to use the ocean to make China rich and beautiful. Beijing’s success in each of these endeavors is uncertain, but its intentions are clear. America needs equally clear objectives.-Liza Tobin works at the U.S. Pacific Command as a China specialist

China's J-20 stealth jets conduct first over-the-sea combat training - Xinhua:

China's J-20 stealth fighter jets have begun their first-ever combat training over the ocean, a spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

"It will help the air force better fulfill its sacred duty of safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity," said Shen Jinke, spokesman for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force.


6. ZTE Out Of Phones?

That was fast, such a stark reminder of the PRC's tech achilles heel in its reliance on US technology.

US-China tech war forces Chinese smartphone maker ZTE to halt production — Quartz:

The company’s page on Tmall (link in Chinese), one of China’s major e-commerce sites, doesn’t link to any product listings. Instead, it states that the page is “undergoing maintenance,” and shows a photo of rowers alongside text that roughly translates to “Youth is a time for fighting.”..

Links to the company’s official online page for its phone catalogs direct users to the same image. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that some carriers in China are continuing to sell ZTE phones in their retail outlets but are nearly out of stock (paywall), with one employee saying production was stalled. The company’s page on JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce site, remains up and running. ZTE could not be reached for comment.

UK, Japan Companies Help China to Counter US's Tech Leverage - Jamestown:

At the announcement of the JV, Rene Haas, president of Arm’s intellectual property products group, explained the business rationale behind the move, saying, “The intent is for that joint venture to develop products for the Chinese market for China partners, and specifically around the areas of technology that a Western company might not be able to do.” He singled out China’s security services and military as potential buyers, adding, “the security has to be at a very high clearance in such a way that China wants to have it only inside China. With this kind of new joint venture, this company can develop that. In the past, this is something we couldn’t do.” (Nikkei Asia, June 1 2017).

Although Chinese analysts are divided as to whether the JV will result in the transfer of core IP, Nikkei Asia Review quoted a source familiar with the JV’s planning as saying it could help allay Chinese chip designers’ fears they might be shut out of access to Arm IP, adding that “with this joint venture, which is now a Chinese company, [the designers] are expected to secure sources of Arm’s fundamental IPs that are foundations of their chip products.”

In Drive for Tech Independence, Xi Doubles Down on Civil-Military Fusion - Jamestown

As has become abundantly clear, Xi has a muscular vision of “self-reliance” in digital and emerging technologies that involves turning inward to harness internal capacity for innovation and production for objectives like turning the PLA into a ‘world class fighting force.’ Analysts, however, should contextualize CMF as part of a larger trend of the state imposing control over China’s tech sectors. 

More broadly, with private sector innovation increasingly powering advances in military technology, China’s leadership sees the interweaving of the two domains as a national priority. 

Xi’s vision also includes greater control over China’s hi-tech unicorns through internal party committees and privileged access to capital, which goes hand-in-hand with involving private sector firms in sensitive defense work (see New America, April 17). As the chances of a U.S.-China tech cold war grow more likely, it’s increasingly clear that CMF is here to stay.

“大国重器”,习近平为何如此重视-新华网:

科技是国家强盛之基,创新是民族进步之魂。“一个国家是否强大不能单就经济总量大小而定,一个民族是否强盛也不能单凭人口规模、领土幅员多寡而定。近代史上,我国落后挨打的根子之一就是科技落后。”习近平说,这是历史告诉我们的真理。

纵目全球,16世纪以来,世界发生了多次科技革命,每一次都深刻影响了世界力量格局。习近平指出:“近代以来,西方国家之所以能称雄世界,一个重要原因就是掌握了高端科技。”“从某种意义上说,科技实力决定着世界政治经济力量对比的变化,也决定着各国各民族的前途命运。”

虽然我国经济总量已居世界第二,但不少领域大而不强、大而不优。我国的发展正处于动力转换、方式转变、结构调整的关键时期,我们需要依靠更多更好的科技创新为经济发展注入新动力,需要依靠更多更好的科技创新实现经济社会协调发展,需要依靠更多更好的科技创新建设天蓝、地绿、水清的美丽中国,需要依靠更多更好的科技创新保障国家安全


7. More On CCP Influence and Interference

Another piece by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian at Foreign Policy.

How China Managed to Play Censor at a Conference on U.S. Soil – Foreign Policy:

Taiwan was scrubbed from my biography.

I’d been invited to give a keynote speech and accept an award at Savannah State University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. In a description of my background, I’d listed the self-governing island as one of the places where I’d reported. But in the printed materials for the event, the reference to Taiwan had been removed...

In a banquet hall full of journalism students, I spoke on issues I’d been writing about for years: the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Chinese government repression of Uighurs and Tibetans, and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on news outlets and the internet.

I could tell I was making at least one person uncomfortable — the Chinese co-director of the university’s Confucius Institute, Luo Qijuan.

When the event ended, Luo came over to scold me. Speaking in Chinese, she asked why I had criticized China. I should have given students a good impression of China, she said. Didn’t I know that Xi had done so much for the country, that his anti-corruption campaign was working?..

As I later learned, it was Luo who insisted that the word “Taiwan” be deleted from my bio before the programs were printed. Luo told university administrators that its inclusion challenged Chinese sovereignty. She threatened to boycott the event if it was not removed.

Comment: Confucius Institutes are fine if they are in commercial spaces but I think they have no business being integrated with American educational institutions. 

Chinese Influence Operations in the U.S.: Shedding Some Light on All the Heat | Wilson Center - Video of the event this morning. Wang Huiyao withdrew in the wake of the Rubio letter, leaving Sandy Pho as moderator and Kaiser Kuo and Robert Daly as the discussants.

Wang will be speaking Friday in DC at CSIS' Forty Years of U.S.-China Relations | Center for Strategic and International Studies 


8. Communist Party Leaving The Vatican At The Altar?

Abide in Darkness: China’s War on Religion Stalls Vatican Deal - WSJ:

A landmark agreement aimed at healing a nearly 70-year rift between Beijing and the Vatican is in limbo as the Chinese government tightens control over religion.

The Vatican had hoped to clear the biggest hurdle to the deal—intended to bring together China’s state-backed and unauthorized Catholic communities—at a meeting this month, people familiar with the talks said, but it has yet to be scheduled.

At that meeting, the people said, Vatican officials had planned to accede to China’s main precondition for a deal: the formal recognition of seven excommunicated Chinese bishops appointed by the government without the approval of the pope. That would clear the way for Beijing to give Pope Francis the right to veto its future bishop candidates...

One person familiar with the Vatican’s thinking voiced anger that China had continued to put restrictions on underground clerics—detaining some for several days during Holy Week in March. This person said the Vatican is unenthusiastic about the agreement but resigned to it as the best possibility on the table, and that Beijing is holding up the process for unknown reasons.

“We thought we had an agreement,” the person said.

A classic negotiating approach, the Vatican is so invested in a deal now that it may agree to even more compromises than it intended?


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Red light: Ford facing hold-ups at China ports amid trade friction - sources | Reuters Ford Motor Co’s imported vehicles are being held up at Chinese ports, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, underscoring how U.S. goods are facing increased customs scrutiny in China amid a tense trade stand-off.

商务部新闻发言人就中方应邀派团赴美进行经贸磋商作出回应 did the White House announce Liu He's visit next week before he had been formally invited and had been accepted?  //  中方已收到美国财政部长姆努钦先生的来信,正式邀请习近平主席特使、中共中央政治局委员、国务院副总理、中美全面经济对话牵头人刘鹤访美,就双边经贸问题继续磋商。中方已接受邀请,同意在适当时候赴美磋商,双方工作团队正在保持密切沟通。

Shanghai tops list of China’s highest earners, but national wealth gap continues to grow | South China Morning Post Shanghai retained the top spot on the list of 31 province-level jurisdictions, with residents of the financial hub earning an average of 17,277 yuan (US$2,700) over the January-March period, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Based on figures published for last year, that represents an increase of 9.1 per cent from the equivalent period of 2017. China’s capital Beijing ranked second on the list, with its residents seeing their average quarterly income rise 8.3 per cent from last year to 15,767 yuan

Bourse Demands More Disclosure by CEFC Unit Amid Debt Woes_Caixin The Shenzhen Stock Exchange gave CEFC Anhui International Holding a week to provide a detailed explanation of its debts and transactions with affiliated companies after auditors issued a disclaimer on the company’s 2017 annual financial report. The bourse issued a delisting warning to CEFC Anhui last week, reflecting the deepening financial woes of the company’s parent, the embattled oil giant CEFC China Energy. The private conglomerate’s founder, Ye Jianming, was put under investigation by Chinese authorities over suspected economic crimes earlier this year.

Banks Remove Guaranteed Principal WMP's Due to New Asset Management Rules - China Banking News Chinese banks are already suspending the sale of wealth management products (WMP’s) with guaranteed principals, following the launch of new asset management regulations that put an end to the “implicit guarantees” considered a source of acute risk in the financial system. On 27 April China’s central financial regulators officially launched the “Guidance Opinions Concerning Standardisation of Asset Management Operations by Financial Institutions” (关于规范金融机构资产管理业务的指导意见).

Two Foreign Banks Apply for Controlling Stakes in Joint-venture Securities Companies - China Banking News The official website of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has confirmed that Nomura Holdings submitted an application for the establishment of a foreign-invested share controlled securities company on 8 May. Swiss-investment bank UBS previously submitted an application to CSRC on 2 May to obtain a controlling stake in its Chinese joint-venture, UBS Securities, by lifting its equity share to 51% from 24.99%.

多部门酝酿一揽子新政促消费升级 有两大政策发力点-新华网 Economic Information says a "basket" of measures in the works to stimulate consumption  //  《经济参考报》从多个部门独家获悉,我国将在年内制定和出台旨在进一步扩大消费的一系列新政。据悉,将要出台的政策和措施将以培育和壮大消费增长点为目标,扩大信息消费、推广高技术产品应用将成为两大关键的政策发力点。

Trade row with US could push China to ‘consider new round of systemic reform’ | South China Morning Post “China may need to consider a new round of systemic reform like the one in the 1980s as a way to address concerns from the US and other developed countries about our economic policies,” he said, referring to late leader Deng Xiaoping’s move to open up the market to foreign investment. “In fact there are also different opinions in China about our industrial upgrade plan. While many people think we should strengthen government support, there are also some who think China should allow free competition in the market and protect intellectual property.”

 

Politics, Law And Ideology

Death in Custody Raises Questions About New Anti-Graft Oversight_Caixin Global_财新网 Chen Yong, a former government contract worker, had been held by authorities in Fujian province who were seeking information into a corruption investigation. But when his family arrived last week to visit him, they were taken to a dimly lit funeral parlor, where, in a morgue refrigerator, they found him dead and “with a disfigured face,” Chen’s sister told Caixin... Chen’s is the first reported death since the new National Supervisory Commission (NSC), with national and local-level offices, was set up in March to oversee China’s myriad cases of suspected government corruption... The Nanping branch of the commission did not respond to Caixin’s questions of whether Chen was tortured, saying that the case is still under investigation.// But the Chinese version on the Caixin article has been deleted. 福建南平一男子被留置期间死亡 家属称身体多处淤青_政经频道_财新网:  福建省南平市一名45岁的男子陈勇在被当地监察委留置、配合调查期间死亡,家属称尸体上有多处淤青,要求进行尸检并调查死因。财新记者了解到,陈勇曾给当地一名领导当过司机。Changing the name clearly is not the same as changing the essence..

Facial recognition at Jacky Cheung's concerts used to capture two fugitives · TechNode Chinese police have used facial recognition to identify and capture two fugitives at two different Jacky Cheung (张学友) performances (in Chinese), one in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province in May and one in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province in April. Jacky Cheung is a Hong Kong celebrity, once called Hong Kong’s “God of Songs”

China's Security Ministry Touts Blockchain for Evidence Storage - CoinDesk China's Ministry of Public Security has developed a blockchain system aimed to more securely store evidence collected during police investigations. According to data released by China's Intellectual Property Office on Tuesday, the ministry's research arm filed a patent application in November 2017 for a blockchain-based system that timestamps and stores data submitted to the cloud in a bid to provide a more transparent and tamper-proof deposition procedure.

Xi's speech commemorating Marx's birth anniversary published - Xinhua The booklet is available at Xinhua Book Store outlets across the country.

团中央:广大青年要争做新时代青年马克思主义者 _光明日报 _光明网 Communist Youth League central committee calls on youth to be "Marxists for the New Era"...expect the Marxist reeducation campaign to have a heavy focus on the younger generations

 

Foreign and Military Affairs

Vietnam asks China to withdraw military equipment from South China Sea | Reuters Vietnam has asked China to withdraw military equipment from the South China Sea, following media reports this month that China had installed missiles there. “Vietnam requests that China, as a large country, shows its responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea,” Vietnamese foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a Tuesday statement, referring to the South China Sea.

China to contribute to Africa's growth: vice president - Xinhua Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan attended the Third Forum on China-Africa Local Government Cooperation here on Tuesday, saying China is ready to contribute to Africa's development with its own development. In a speech at the opening ceremony, Wang said that China and Africa have always stuck with each other through thick and thin and supported each other. The local governments' exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation and sustainable development will help promote the comprehensive strategic cooperation partnerships between China and African nations.

新时代中国和新一轮经济全球化(人民要论)--观点--人民网 Zheng Bijian on page 7 of People's Daily on China in the New Era and a new round of economic globalization//当前,世界发生了并继续发生着多方面的历史性巨变。从东西方两极对峙冷战,到两极格局终结后出现“一超多强”,再到“G20”共治,直到形成“多极化”世界格局。国际社会正在按照这样的历史逻辑,一步一步向前推进。一个各国共商、共建、共享的第四轮经济全球化也正向我们走来。中国欢迎这样的历史性转折,并且提出了构建人类命运共同体的国际关系新理念。今天的世界,遇到的矛盾和问题那么多、那么深刻,越来越需要人们经过艰苦努力,不断扩大和深化各方利益的汇合点,形成全方位、多层次的利益共同体;越来越需要人们顺应时代发展潮流,齐心协力应对挑战,开展全球性协作,努力为构建人类命运共同体创造有利条件。

Concern Mounts in Beijing over Xi's Aggressive Tactics - Jamestown According to political scientist Wu Qiang, unorthodox views such as those expressed in the SASAC paper reflect the rise of new thinking not only on trade and Sino-U.S. relations but China’s relationship with the U.S.-led global order. “A number of technocrats and professionals are dissatisfied with the fact that ideological concerns such as nationalism have hijacked China’s economic and foreign policy,” said Wu, a former politics lecturer at Tsinghua University. He added that the recent clash with the U.S. has strengthened the view that China should return to the “keep a low profile” foreign policy mantra laid down by Deng Xiaoping – and that China should work with global norms and not circumvent or challenge them (Cable News Hong Kong, April 23). It remains to be seen whether President Xi, who has emphasized “brandishing the sword” in a full range of economic and geopolitical issues, might be amenable to at least toning down Beijing’s overarching policy of attaining superpower status by the 2040s. - Dr. Willy Wo-Lap Lam

Chinese premier calls on China, Japan, S. Korea to safeguard free trade, expand cooperation - Xinhua The business summit was held following a trilateral meeting between Li, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Tokyo. The Chinese premier urged the three countries to create a peaceful and stable environment for development, stick to the path of peaceful development, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and properly handle sensitive issues and disputes.

Flying-wing bomber unveiling forecast by aviation experts - China Daily China is likely to soon unveil one of its most anticipated weapons — a new-generation long-range bomber, aviation industry observers said amid disclosure of the plane's appearance by its developer on Tuesday. Aviation Industry Corp of China, the nation's leading aircraft maker, displayed a front view of what appears to be a flying-wing aircraft concept at the end of a promotional video. The video was published on its WeChat account to mark the 60th birthday of Xi'an Aircraft Industry, an AVIC subsidiary in Shaanxi province that is China's major builder of bomber aircraft.

China calls on Japan, S. Korea to speed up FTA, RCEP talks amid tide of protectionism - Xinhua Li stressed that under current circumstances, the three countries should stand together in an even more steadfast manner to safeguard the rule-based multilateral free trade system and take a firm position against acts of trade protectionism and unilateralism.

New Chinese satellite to monitor both air and land - Global Times The satellite, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, is China's first hyper-spectral imaging satellite that can monitor air and water pollution, survey geological resources and analyze climate changes, according to an official statement from the company website. The successful launch of Gaofen-5 will also free China from depending on foreign hyper-spectral remote sensing data, the statement said.

China's heavy military transport aircraft conducts first airborne training - Times of India China's Y-20 heavy military transport aircraft has undergone its first airborne and air delivery training, the Chinese air force said on Tuesday.

China's Tencent signs broad cultural deal with Britain | Reuters Tencent said the initial focus of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it has agreed with the UK Department of International Trade would be on film, video games and fashion, which it will bring to its large domestic audiences in China. It will cover digital, cultural and creative projects with the BBC, British Fashion Council, Visit Britain, the country’s tourist promotion board, and technical publisher Springer Nature, known for titles such as Nature and Scientific American.

 

Taiwan

Council paints over Taiwanese flag on children's art project ahead of beef expo | The Guardian The central Queensland region of Rockhampton has found itself at the centre of a diplomatic row after the council removed the Taiwanese flag from a children’s art project ahead of a major international beef expo.

Taiwan-China language: Taiwan's language policy is showing China what it means to be a modern, inclusive country — Quartz Legislators in Taiwan are preparing to redefine what constitutes a “national language.” If the new definition is enacted, which is likely, Taiwanese—the local variant of the Minnan language of southern China—will receive equal treatment with Mandarin. That would be unthinkable in China, where Mandarin’s status as the sole standard language is absolute.

 

Tech And Media

Alibaba Takes Magic Carpet Ride to Pakistan_Caixin E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has moved into Pakistan with its purchase of a leading local online seller, extending its South Asia footprint as it expands into other developing markets. No financial terms were given for Alibaba’s purchase of Daraz Group, which was announced by the Pakistani’s parent Rocket Internet on Tuesday. In the deal, Alibaba will acquire Daraz’s entire share capital.

中国网络社会组织联合会在京成立--时政--人民网 China Federation of Internet Societies set up, Ren Xianliang is the head, deputy heads (there are 14) include Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Robin Li: 中国网络社会组织联合会是我国首个由网络社会组织自愿结成的全国性、联合性、枢纽型社会组织,由10家全国性网络社会组织发起成立,国家网信办作为业务主管单位。联合会的宗旨是在党和政府的领导下,积极发挥桥梁纽带作用,统筹协调社会各方资源,促进网络社会组织发展,凝聚网络社会组织力量,强化网络社会组织的作用发挥

Marvel's first Chinese superheroes debut on NetEase Comics · TechNode The two comics, Warriors of Three Sovereigns (our translation; Chinese: 三皇斗战士) and Cyclone (our translation; Chinese:气旋), will have contemporary Chinese elements and reflect the spirit of the time. Warriors of Three Sovereigns tells a story of an 18-year old college student who picks up an ancient sword to fight against Chiyou (蚩尤), a tyrant roughly dating back to between 2,850 to 2,205 years ago. In comparison to Warriors of Three Sovereigns’ references to China’s ancient legends, Cyclone is about a talented female architect, who can control air currents, protecting an eastern city after a resettlement project goes awry.

 

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Child suicide covered up in China, says think tank as it calls on authorities to publish figures | South China Morning Post The 21st Century Education Research Institute urged the authorities to reveal suicide figures so that academics could obtain an accurate picture, including assessing the academic pressures placed on children. No authority on the mainland releases child suicide statistics, but there are signs that it is more widespread than was thought, said the institute’s director Yang Dongping. “It’s a serious issue that we can’t turn a blind eye to,” Yang told the South China Morning Post as the think tank published The China Educational Development Yearbook, a study that included an examination of child suicide cases.

After-Shocks of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake | The New York Review of Books by Ian Johnson--The state’s dominance is reflected in Beichuan’s memorials. Over the years, locals have tried to put up their own small places of remembrance, but only government memorials are allowed. Most locals refuse to visit them because they get so much tourist traffic. Instead, the bereaved burn incense or put flowers at the site of their loved ones’ demise—but these are quickly cleaned away by the authorities. It is little wonder that a local teenage girl told a team of visiting Chinese and foreign researchers that “the city is rebuilt, we are finally settled and life takes up its course again, and yet people haven’t found peace and serenity.”

 

Jobs And Events

Xi's Three Battles: China's Credit Risks | Center for Strategic and International Studies 5.14 in DC, Andrew Polk and Gene Ma