Free Issue: China aligns deal messaging with the US; LeBron James and the NBA's China mess; Pig problems
|Bill Bishop||Oct 15, 2019||15|
Hi everyone, I decided to make today’s issue of the newsletter free. If you like what you see please sign up for the Sinocism China Newsletter here. Group and education discounts are available. —Bill
The Chinese clarified Tuesday that they are on the same page with the US about achieving a “phase one” deal. I believe the clarification came after US pressure on China to align its messaging with the Trump Administration’s.
Bloomberg reported that the Chinese may not buy all the agricultural products President Trump expects them to unless he rolls back at least some of the existing tariffs. I am not sure that will be a dealbreaker for the Chinese side, but why wouldn’t they ask for it in case Trump might agree?
The Chinese would be crazy though not to close the small deal and declare victory. The political environment in the US may make it impossible for Trump to agree to a deal past January.
There is still no further news about the NBA’s prospects in China, so perhaps that should be considered positive. The fallout continues though, and now LeBron James is getting a lot of criticism for his comments Monday night:
Last night I joined the Dunc’d On Basketball NBA podcast to discuss the NBA-China situation. You can listen to episode here. Among the issues we discussed is how effective China is at pressuring individual actors like a LeBron James to avoid saying anything that may harm their personal interests, or those of their teammates and fellow NBA players.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. US-China trade
Asked if the two countries agreed on the degree of progress from two days of high-level talks in Washington last week, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: “China and the US are on the same page and have no difference in the stance on reaching a trade deal.
“This trade deal is going to carry very important meaning to China, the US and the world, it will be beneficial for world trade and world peace.”
Monday Taoran Notes also says that the US and China did strike a deal:
The Taoran Notes author, whom I hear travels in Liu He's delegation, says the reason China did not use the term "deal" like the US did is due to different political cultures and expressions, with an emphasis on being careful with public statements and making sure they go through a rigorous process before being released. [So Xi doesn't tweet...]
"Based on domestic market demand and on their own initiatives, Chinese companies have purchased U.S. agricultural products following a market-oriented approach," spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing.
The purchase of U.S. agricultural products so far this year include 20 million tonnes of soybeans, 700,000 tonnes of pork, 700,000 tonnes of sorghum, 230,000 tonnes of wheat and 320,000 tonnes of cotton, according to Geng.
"China will speed up purchasing U.S. agricultural goods," Geng said.
Comment: Beijing may want this but I am hearing they have to make this specific demand in exchange for these new ag purchases
Beijing wants a rollback in tariffs in its trade war with the U.S. before China can feasibly agree to buy as much as $50 billion of American agriculture products that President Donald Trump claims are part of an initial deal, people familiar with the matter said...
Chinese officials are willing to start purchasing more U.S. agricultural products as part of the “phase one” trade deal, but it is not likely to reach the $40 billion to $50 billion touted by Trump under current circumstances, the people said.
“We’ve seen slowdowns and unexpected rejections for China” since Trump took office, said Dan Fisher-Owens, an attorney at Berliner Corcoran & Rowe. “We’re seeing more rejections of national security–controlled items that would have been licensed to China two years ago, including clients who have received the same items in the past.”
A number of different exports appear to have been affected by Trump’s policies on China. Approvals of certain semiconductors and chip-related intellectual property, for example, dipped in 2018. Many of these items are at the heart of China’s “Made in China 2025” plan, which aims to have lucrative technology the country currently imports be made at home.
A failure to bring the trade war to a final conclusion significantly increases the risk of recession next year in the United States, Europe, Japan and other developed and emerging economies. It would also seriously undermine China’s near-term growth prospects.
That’s why, as representatives of a group of 10 former prime ministers and presidents from center-left and center-right governments that have enjoyed close relations with both the United States and China, we are writing to urge Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to reach a substantive trade agreement by year’s end. It’s time to bring this source of global economic uncertainty to a close.
Tessa Morris-Suzuki views Navarro’s rhetoric on China with alarm. An emeritus professor of Japanese and Korean history at the Australian National University, she has been working on an essay examining the heated language that Navarro employs, noting its similarity to talk of a "yellow peril" at the turn of the 20th century.
In her research, she kept running across a name she didn't recognize: Ron Vara. Navarro has quoted Vara a dozen or so times in six books, usually as an epigraph before a chapter. In Death by China, published in 2011, Vara offers this sweeping assessment of the country’s roughly 1.4 billion people: “Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel.”
So who is Ron Vara? He didn’t seem to exist except in the work of Peter Navarro.
2. Pig problems persist
China needs to buy all the pork it can from the US, so increased purchases should not be seen as a concession
The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the prices of a select basket of consumer goods and services, edged up 0.2 percentage points to a 3% year-on-year rise in September, according to data (link in Chinese) released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The reading has not been this high since November 2013 (link in Chinese) and exceeded the average forecast of 2.8% growth by a Caixin poll of economists.
Faster-rising food prices, especially pork, were the major drivers of CPI growth. The average pork price rose 69.3% year-on-year in September, up from 46.7% the previous month and the fastest growth since August 2007. That contributed 1.65 percentage points to CPI growth, NBS data shows.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited a roadside food stall on Monday to discuss the impact of rising pork prices, highlighting the country’s ongoing struggle to secure supplies of the staple meat after African swine fever devastated domestic herds...
Pan Chenjun, senior analyst at Rabobank in Hong Kong, said that the country’s pork shortages have a symbolic impact, but were unlikely to threaten the country’s food security.
“Chinese people already consume a lot of meat, so a decline in meat supply by 20-25 per cent cannot cause starvation, although it will impact happiness level of consumers who love meat,” she said.
Su Wei, a deputy secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's economic planner, told reporters on Monday that the commission has taken steps to guarantee pork supplies and stabilize prices, while also supporting the production of live hogs.
"The NDRC and relevant departments are closely watching pork price changes. We will announce new measures to stabilize pork prices if needed," he said.
Meanwhile, Su said that supplies are guaranteed.
The most seminal moment of a week full of chaos, volatility and confusion came on Oct. 9, when NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with both teams and that meeting was immediately followed by a players-only discussion among both teams....
Lakers star LeBron James spoke up in front of everyone in the room and stated he believed that Silver and the NBA needed to explain and articulate the situation first, before the players would have to, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting told The Athletic. James expressed concern that without the league being able to speak to media to address all of the questions and dynamics about China and the NBA, it was unfair for solely players to bear that responsibility.
Multiple league front-office and ownership sources tell The Athletic that they believe Silver will be able to regain a foothold in the NBA-China relationship but fear irreparable losses for the Rockets in the indefinite future. The NBA and Rockets have supported Morey’s freedom of expression, and both decided not to discipline him.
“I think it’s absolutely unfair,” one agent said. “Players typically want to speak out against social injustices, but because this isn’t happening here in the U.S., the players don’t necessarily know what is going on in China or in Hong Kong and they don’t understand the human-rights violations involved. And if these players aren’t knowledgeable on this subject, they shouldn’t speak out.”
“After Klay Thompson rolls out of bed and fixes a 300-year debate in China via Twitter, should he then move on to fixing Palestine?” another agent wondered. “[Brooklyn Nets owner] Joe Tsai said it perfectly: It’s just one of those things that exist that is beyond comprehension and debate; it’s a third rail.”
James has openly spoken about his ambition to be a billionaire, and he risked the consequences of losing business in China if his comments made him an enemy of Beijing.
In addition to his production credit and starring role in “Space Jam 2,” which has enormous commercial appeal and is considered a likely candidate for Chinese distribution, James has the deepest ties of any player to another industry that relies on China’s gusher of money: sneakers.
James has a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, and China is the biggest source of growth for shoe companies. Nike recently announced its plans to release an apparel line based on the motto of James’s media company: “More Than an Athlete.”
Here’s the money sentence from LeBron’s comments, courtesy of Silver Screen and Roll: “I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke, and so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and what we say, and what we do.”
LeBron followed up with two tweets, the first clarifying he wasn’t explicitly standing with China on the substance of Morey’s tweet and the second reiterating that Morey’s timing on the tweet is his issue. If you have to issue clarifying tweets after your first comment in a week, you’re in a bad spot...
This episode doesn’t diminish LeBron’s social advocacy on domestic issues. He’s made real, positive change for kids in Akron and beyond. But this is something that will stick with LeBron and change the way a certain segment of people who have championed him see him.
4. Hong Kong
Lam said on Tuesday her annual address will focus on land and housing, although she did not elaborate. Some economists also expect measures to support the retail sector, which has been battered as the demonstrations scare away tourists.
“It (policy support) will mainly come from increasing the housing stock. Housing seems to be the big issue at the moment,” said Carie Li, an economist at OCBC Wing Hang Bank. “There may also be relief for retailers, the tourism and catering sectors, which have been most affected.”
Ho, paragon of maturity and equanimity that he is, responded by suggesting that Mo was “used to eating foreign sausage” — which, in addition to being patently gross on its face, is a common Cantonese insult for women who have intimate relations with foreign males. Mo’s husband is Briton Philip Bowring, a prominent Hong Kong-based journalist who has written extensively about Asia, and with whom Mo has two sons.
The global businesses — Starbucks, Yoshinoya and Activision Blizzard — would seem far removed from the political discontent in Hong Kong. But to some of the pro-democracy protesters there, and a growing number of their global allies, the companies are seen, rightly or wrongly, as sympathizers with the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, and as legitimate targets for boycotts or even vandalism.
Protesters are documenting what they see as the companies’ ties to China, then circulating the information on mobile apps and websites — sometimes based on mere rumor, or on comments made by executives or their family members.
“The Chinese government has subverted pro-democratic demonstrators with fake social media posts, providing us a snapshot of how Beijing weaponizes information,” Gen. Paul Nakasone said while delivering remarks at FireEye’s Cyber Defense Summit in Washington, D.C.
5. Industrial espionage and China’s new passenger jet
This is Part I of a three-part blog series that will take a look at how Beijing used a mixture of cyber actors – sourced from China’s underground hacking scene, Ministry of State Security (MSS/国安部) officers, company insiders, and state directives – to fill key technology and intelligence gaps in a bid to bolster production of dual-use turbine engines. Such engines could be used for both energy generation and to enable its narrow-body twinjet airliner, the C919, to compete against western aerospace firms. ..
…the C919 can hardly be seen as a complete domestic triumph, because it is reliant on a plethora of foreign-manufactured components. Likely in an effort to bridge those gaps, the Chinese state-aligned adversary TURBINE PANDA conducted cyber intrusions from roughly 2010 to 2015 against several of the companies that make the C919’s various components.
Crowdstrike claims that the Ministry of State Security (MSS) tasked the Jiangsu Bureau (MSS JSSD) to carry out these attacks.
The Jiangsu Bureau, in turn, tasked two lead officers to coordinate these efforts. One was in charge of the actual hacking team, while the second was tasked with recruiting insiders working at aviation and aerospace companies.
6. The censors come for Douban
Surprised it took so long, sadly.
Users last week found that Douban’s “broadcast” function—a way for users to follow one another directly, similar to Facebook’s news feed—had been disabled. The site now automatically turns user updates into private posts, which can’t be seen by anyone else. Users described the change in terms of a disaster: an “earthquake,” “massive power outage,” or the “collapse of a building.”..
“It doesn’t matter what kind of views Douban users have. What really matters is the act of them talking about politics itself is highly sensitive,” commented (link in Chinese) Douban user Zi Wendong under a report on the suspension published by Hong Kong-based news website the Initium. “Previously, discussions about the government were scattered among different Douban users, but now, with the emergence of those fan girls who are highly concentrated [in certain groups], coupled with the relatively weak censorship on Douban, the regulators might have finally noticed.”
7. A Chinese El Chapo?
He is Asia’s most-wanted man. He is protected by a guard of Thai kickboxers. He flies by private jet. And, police say, he once lost $66 million in a single night at a Macau casino.
Tse Chi Lop, a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate formed out of an alliance of five of Asia’s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. Its members call it simply “The Company.” Police, in a nod to one of Tse’s nicknames, have dubbed it Sam Gor, Cantonese for “Brother Number Three.”..
Tse Chi Lop was born in Guangdong Province, in southern China, and grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution. Amid the bloody purges, forced labor camps and mass starvation, a group of imprisoned members of Mao’s Red Guard in the southern city of Guangzhou formed a triad-like criminal enterprise called the Big Circle Gang. Tse later became a member of the group, say police, and like many of his Big Circle Gang brethren moved to Hong Kong, then further afield as they sought sanctuaries for their criminal activities. He arrived in Canada in 1988.
8. Two worthwhile translations
Sometimes we need a break from the daily news flow, and I am happy Sinocism has been able to help support some of the translations at the LA Review of Books over the last year.
It was Ni Jingxiong who sent me. She was Lin Zhao’s classmate at Southern Jiangsu School of Journalism and Zhou Peitong’s at the Central Academy of Drama. The last time she was in Beijing was the university’s 90th anniversary and she went to see Lin Zhao’s statue while here. She’d hoped to see Zhou Peitong as well but heard that he had already moved into a nursing home on the city outskirts...
After being declared a rightist, Zhou was demoted from the Ministry of Culture and sent to work in Qinghai, divorced by the wife that he had met at the Zhongnanhai student dance, then banished to Babao labor reform and re-education farm up the side of the Qilian Mountains. His fellow “rightists” and he were responsible for driving carts full of barrels of water from the glacier down to the farm site. On one occasion, while descending the slope, a large barrel tipped over and crushed Zhou’s left leg. He lost consciousness. When he came to, he got right back to work but his leg was useless after that.
One weekend while in Shanghai, I accompany some volunteers to Red Buds Foster Home for Children in the suburban Baoshan District.
Red Buds is in an old two-storey building surrounded by an iron fence. I shout through the railings for someone to open the gate and am greeted by a big beaming smile from the middle-aged man who comes to let us in. He’s great, the head of our group, Donkey explains – very welcoming whenever he sees us...
The second floor turns out to be where the foster children are – all together in a large room that resembles my middle school classroom. There are piles of bedclothes on the rear desks which in the evening will be laid out for sleeping on. One unmistakable difference from the classroom of my youth, itself not the cleanest space, hits me straight through the door: a whiff of something I can’t immediately pinpoint. The riddle is solved when I notice the potties lining one side of the room. Each is a plastic seat attached to a bedpan beneath and, although empty now, there is no doubt where the stench is coming from.
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Business, Economy and Trade
China Places Cap on Private Corporate Bonds to Stem Credit Risks - Bloomberg The China Securities Regulatory Commission and stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen have sent a window guidance to some brokerages to keep the outstanding value of privately sold corporate bonds on exchanges at or below 40% of issuers’ net assets, according to people familiar with the matter. New bond sales exceeding this ratio should only be used to repay old debt.
Amendments to regulations in finance sector - Gov.cn The newly added article 40 states that foreign insurance group companies are allowed to establish foreign-invested insurance companies in China. The newly added article 41 stipulates that overseas financial institutions are allowed to become shareholders of foreign insurance companies....Article 25 has also been revised. Foreign banks are allowed to set up foreign-owned banks and foreign bank branches in China, and they are also entitled to establish joint-venture banks and foreign bank branches.
Citigroup plans to set up wholly-owned securities business in China: sources - Reuters Last week, China announced a firm timetable for opening its futures, brokerage and mutual fund sectors fully to foreign investors next year, the latest step to deregulate the country’s trillions of dollars worth of financial industry.
Controversial Crypto Coin’s Rise Fueled by China Trading Ban - Bloomberg In recent months, over-the-counter crypto trading in China has exploded, just as Chinese spot traders began buying nearly all of their Bitcoin with the stablecoin Tether, according to a study by researcher Chainalysis Inc. Tether was used in 99% of Bitcoin spot trades in China this year, almost completely displacing the yuan
China Credit Growth Accelerates in September on Seasonal Boost - Bloomberg Aggregate financing was 2.27 trillion yuan ($321 billion) last month, compared to about 1.98 trillion yuan in August, the People’s Bank of China said Friday. The median estimate by economists was 1.9 trillion yuan. The central bank added exchange-traded asset-backed securities based on corporate bonds to the data from September, the PBOC said in a statement.
U.S. pension funds took positions in blacklisted Chinese surveillance company - Reuters “Hikvision has emerged as the corporate poster child for enabling Chinese human rights abuses, with its surveillance cameras visible atop the walls of detention camps incarcerating some one million or more Uighurs in Xinjiang,” said Roger Robinson, president and CEO of Washington DC-based risk consultancy RWR Advisory Group.
Why the renminbi’s challenge to the dollar has faded | Financial Times The dollar is still used on one side of 88 per cent of all foreign exchange trades, according to the latest triennial survey by the Bank for International Settlements, while the renminbi’s share is just 4 per cent, with a rise in turnover “only slightly faster” than the overall market. The currency amounts for about 2 per cent of total foreign exchange reserves, according to the IMF.
China to pay more for delivering outbound small packets in next five years - Xinhua From 2020 to 2025, China's outbound small packets will see their postal remuneration rates rise by 164 percent compared with 2019, according to the country's postal service regulator. The prediction was based on the reform plan of postal remuneration rates passed at the third extraordinary congress of Universal Postal Union (UPU).
Chinese Ham Company Sees Stock Soar After Announcing Plant-Based Product | Sixth Tone On Oct. 11, Jinzi announced a partnership with American chemical giant DuPont to make synthetic meat with non-GMO soy protein. The Chinese company also said it had begun preselling its first faux-beef patties on e-commerce site Tmall: A special two-box deal with four patties is priced at 118 yuan and slated to begin shipping in late October.
China's Huawei says open to "no backdoor" agreement with India - Reuters China’s Huawei Technologies is ready to enter into a “no backdoor” agreement with India to allay security concerns, the telecom group’s local head said on Monday, as the giant South Asian country prepares to launch next generation 5G networks. // But if you don't this agreement does that mean there is a "backdoor"? It seems strange you'd have to sign an agreement to ensure there is no backdoor...
Charts of the Day: Industrial Profits Shrivel in China’s Wealthy Eastern Regions - Caixin Global Of the 10 provincial-level regions, six saw industrial firm profits decline year-on-year in the period from January to August, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)... China’s producer price index (PPI), which tracks the prices of goods circulated among manufacturers and mining companies, fell 1.2% year-on-year in September, marking the third consecutive month of factory deflation and the lowest since July 2016, NBS data showed Tuesday.
Weather Forecaster Moji’s Listing Plan Rejected - Caixin In a statement late last week, China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said the company, known for its popular Moji Weather app, would need to resolve the issues, which also include questions about its business model, before it could be approved for a listing. Citing a government probe into how the country’s mobile apps collect user data — which singled out Moji for poor practice — CSRC said the company needed to prove that its collection policy complied with current rules and regulations.
Banks Get Clarity Over Looming Wealth Management Changes - Caixin Although the rules were originally due to go into effect at the end of June 2019, the authorities pushed the deadline back until the end of 2020 in order to give financial institutions more time to comply. The regulatory campaign has resulted in a 14.5 trillion yuan drop in assets classified by the CBIRC as high-risk since the beginning of 2017 and an 85% decline in outstanding wealth management products traded on the interbank market.
Blind Box, the Latest Trend Taking Over China by Storm- PingWest Pop Mart is one of the most famous blind box brands/retailers in China. The Beijing-based company started just like hundreds, if not thousands creative lifestyle brands, but later on saw the sales of its designer toys increased dramatically. In 2015, the company switched gears to compete in the designer toys market almost exclusively, with a focus on the blind box model, and became the first home-grown brands to ever capitalize on people's growing toys collecting addiction.
Politics and Law
China's top legislature schedules bi-monthly session - XinhuaChina's top legislature will convene its bi-monthly session from Oct. 21 to 26, according to a statement issued after a chairpersons' meeting Monday. // So that likely means the 4th Plenum will be held October 27th at the earliest
More patriotic films debut in Beijing - Xinhua The movies "Towards the River Glorious" and "The Moment of the Sunrise" recall two important battles in 1949, focusing on the ordinary soldiers and young people during the Liberation War.
Center for Advanced China Research Weekly Report 3|2 10.5.2019-10.11.2019 Politburo member and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孙春兰) and Organization Department Head Chen Xi (陈希) both attended a conference on party construction and ideological and political work on university and college campuses. In a speech, Sun Chunlan stressed the role of universities in breeding “the constructors and successors of socialism.” She called on “incorporating Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into and textbooks and coursework” and “cultivating talent for the Party and the country.”
Mother of Girl Who Drowned During Night Out Pleads for Answers - Sixth Tone According to a previous media report, police in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, said Li Xincao fell into the Panlong River “by accident” and the case was “not criminal” in nature. That media report — published by the state-run People’s Daily — has since been deleted. The Panlong District police issued an official statement Saturday, a day after Li’s mother, Chen Meilian, posted a letter [here on weibo] detailing the events of her daughter’s final night on microblogging platform Weibo, along with screenshots from the security footage recorded at a local bar. The police statement said that a team of investigators had been tasked with verifying the details of Chen’s statement.
【人民舆情】女大学生溺亡 警方如何在负面舆情中找回公信力？ This article from the People’s Daily Online Public Opinion Monitoring Center looks at how the news of the Li Xincao case blew up, which online channels were most influential (Weibo far more than Wechat), and how the police reacted to the surge in negative public opinion.
人民网评：敬畏事实，等待李心草之死迷雾散开--观点--人民网 People's Daily Online commentary on the Li Xincao case, headline "Revere the truth, awaiting the fog around the death of Li Xincao to disperse"
Foreign and Defense Affairs
China-Russia missile defense cooperation needed - China Military The possibility that the US launches a new round of strategic operations to infringe on core national interests of China and Russia cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it is more urgent than before for Beijing and Moscow to be prepared. They need to establish reliable strategic deterrence capability and prevent the breakout of war. Meanwhile, the two countries should have a powerful voice and the will to express their strategic demand. - The author is a professor at the National Defense University of People's Liberation Army.
Top military officials of N. Korea, China highlight bilateral ties - China Military Kim Su-gil, director of the General Political Bureau of the North's army, met with Miao Hua, director of the political affairs department of China's Central Military Commission, in Pyongyang on Monday, according to the Korean Central News Agency. During the meeting, Kim emphasized that defending their friendly ties is a "noble duty" of the armies of the two countries. Hua said their relations "sealed in blood are the valuable wealth common to the peoples of the two countries."
China, Pakistan differ on Turkey's military offensive in Syria - Times of India In a rare foreign policy disagreement, "iron brothers" China and Pakistan have ended up on the opposite sides of Turkey's military action in northern Syria as Beijing asked Ankara to stop its offensive against Kurdish forces while Islamabad backed the assault.
Calls for Crown casino inquiry after leaked video of bricks of cash in junket room | The Guardian The footage, shot on Crown’s own security cameras, shows an unknown man handing over hundreds of thousands of dollars in Australian currency inside the Suncity junket room at Crown. He pulls the money, wrapped in elastic bands, from a freezer shopping bag, and waits, and appears to speak with friends and casino staff while it is exchanged for high-value casino chips. Suncity is a Macau-based gambling tour operator that flies in wealthy Chinese gamblers to Australian casinos
Vietnam urges restraint amid maritime tensions with China - Reuters “On the subject of foreign policy, including the East Sea issue, the General Secretary stressed the importance of maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, and resolutely fighting to protect Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the state-run Voice of Vietnam (VOV) said on its website.
Chinese in New Zealand's capital celebrate PRC's 70th founding anniversary - Xinhua Twenty-one Chinese communities in New Zealand's capital Wellington jointly held a gala on Tuesday evening to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), with the theme of "praising the motherland and love the hometown"...Huo Jianqiang, Member of the New Zealand Parliament, delegating the ruling Labour Party, stressed that in the past 70 years, the average life expectancy of Chinese people has more than doubled from 35 to 75. Over the past four decades, 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, showing a miracle to the world. "It is worthy of the pride of every overseas Chinese."
Initial research on rocket ends successfully - China Daily The preliminary research on China's new generation of manned spacecraft-carrying rocket has concluded successfully, paving the way for the program's next steps, according to China Space News, the flagship newspaper in the country's space industry...The gigantic craft will boast liftoff weight of about 2,200 metric tons, nearly triple that of the Long March 5. This will enable the rocket to place a 25-ton spacecraft in a lunar transfer trajectory, the newspaper said.
Chinese vice premier to visit Samoa, the Philippines - Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua will attend the 3rd China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, and visit Samoa and the Philippines, according to the Ministry of Commerce
Xi's special envoy Wang Qishan to visit Indonesia, Japan - CGTN to attend the inauguration ceremony of Indonesian President Joco Widodo on October 20, and then pay a visit to Tokyo for the Japanese Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony on October 22
Beyond Investment Screening Expanding Europe’s toolbox to address economic risks from Chinese state capitalism The European Union (EU) and China have entered a new stage in their relationship. China now appears as a “systemic competitor” in assessments by major European business federations and EU institutions, and the EU Commission has launched a work program to assess ways to deal with the country’s economic impact on the EU. There is a growing belief across Europe that the balance of challenges and opportunities China presents has shifted, and that European policy-making needs to adapt to new long-term challenges arising from the competition between economic systems. This study explores how Europe could expand its toolbox to address those challenges.
The Political Fix: What did the Indo-China Elephant-Dragon tango in Mamallapuram achieve? As foreign policy commentator Brahma Chellaney put it, “The Indian media has given more details on the sumptuous dishes served to Xi at the Modi-hosted dinner or on his signature limousine, ‘Hongqi’ than on what the much-hyped summit achieved. One can’t blame the media, though: The summit was rich in symbolism and low on substance.” After six hours of discussion, the biggest outcome was the setting up of a high-level mechanism to discuss sticking points on trade and the deficit, led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the Indian side.
Yicai Global - China's State Grid to Pay USD2.23 Billion for Sempra Energy's Chilean Businesses State Grid has agreed to buy Chile's third-largest power distributor from Sempra Energy of the US as the operator of China's national power distribution network expands its presence in South America.
Taiwan sends presidential envoy to boost Czech ties after Prague moves to scrap sister city agreement with Beijing | South China Morning Post The self-ruled island’s deputy foreign minister, Hsu Szu-chien, met the capital’s mayor Zdenek Hrib and other politicians on Monday and discussed the rupture with Beijing, Taiwanese foreign ministry officials said. Hsu was representing President Tsai Ing-wen at the 23rd Forum 2000, an event to discuss democracy, human rights and civic development issues that runs from Sunday to Wednesday.
Tech and Media
Dahua Celebrates PRC 70th Wearing Communist Party Hammer and Sickle - IVPM Dahua has previously implied that, unlike state-owned Hikvision, it is independent of government influence - e.g., when the NDAA ban passed, Dahua said it is "not a government owned entity". Dahua's shares are indeed private. Its top shareholder by far is the founder and chairman Fu Liquan, who owns 36% of the company's shares.
Cash-Strapped Bike-Sharing App Ofo Says It “Hasn’t Given Up” - Caixin Beleaguered bike-sharing company Ofo is saying reports detailing some of its financial difficulties aren’t true. The company that was once a powerhouse but has been relegated to also-ran in China’s competitive shared bike business has issued a rare public statement refuting online rumors that it had borrowed more than 1.7 billion yuan ($240 million) in a bid to kick-start its moribund business.
TikTok has Mountain View office near Facebook, poaching employees - CNBC Since 2018, TikTok and its Chinese parent-company ByteDance have hired more than two dozen employees that came from Facebook. TikTok is offering competitive salaries, and sometimes paying up to 20% more.
China expands anti-addiction campaign on video platforms for juveniles - ECNS Another 24 live streaming sites and nine video platforms have launched anti-addiction efforts for juvenile users, according to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). The CAC introduced a unified standard for content providers that will restrict access for juveniles to online and video content. Underage users will also be barred from using certain features such as tipping or publishing content.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Rachel DeWoskin Reminisces About Being a Chinese Soap Opera Star - MacroPolo Rachel accidentally landed herself as a “foreign babe” in the eponymous Chinese soap opera in the 1990s. That experience has shaped her perspective and her work as a writer and teacher ever since
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Xi's article on ecological protection, development of Yellow River basin to be published - Xinhua The article is a transcript of a speech by Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, at a symposium during his inspection tour to central China's Henan Province in mid-September. The article stresses adherence to prioritizing ecological conservation and boosting green development, and calls for joint efforts from various sectors to protect the river and facilitate high-quality development of the basin. 在黄河流域生态保护和高质量发展座谈会上的讲话 http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2019-10/15/c_1125102357.htm
Air Pollution Is Linked to Miscarriages in China, Study Finds - The New York Times Among the women included in the study, 17,497, or 6.8 percent, experienced silent miscarriages in their first trimester. Taking into consideration different ages, occupations and air temperature, the researchers found that “in all groups, maternal exposure to each air pollutant was associated with the risk.”
Rural and Agricultural Issues
Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China's Farm Investment Fizzles The plateau in agricultural investment is at odds with the "rural revitalization" and other Chinese policies that call for boosting credit to new-type farmers, subsidizing upgrades of "medium and low standard fields", upgrading equipment, and building agricultural industrial parks. The decline in agricultural processing and textile investment is also at odds with policies to increase links between farmers and value-added processors and to build a new textile industry in Xinjiang Autonomous Region which now produces 80 percent of the country's cotton. The fizzling of agricultural investment is, however, consistent with reports of new-type farmers abandoning their leased land after finding farming tougher going than they had expected.