Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act; Simon Cheng says he was tortured; Small rate cuts; Sacklers selling Opioids to China

Happy Wednesday

Quick Hits: What You Need to Know:

  • The US Senate passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The House of Representatives passed a slightly different version earlier, now the two likely have to be reconciled before being sent to President Trump for signature, but it is close to a done deal and should have a veto-proof majority. PRC officials are not happy, as they have made clear with strident denunciations and threats of countermeasures;

  • The bill and China’s anger over it may add more complications to the phase one US-China trade deal, which is still not done;

  • Hong Kong citizen and former HK British consulate employee Simon Cheng has gone public about his 15 day detention in the mainland in an explosive Facebook post and series of interviews alleging torture;

  • The PBoC slightly reduced key interest rates in a widely expected move, and while some analysts hope this is the start of a loosening cycle there are still no signs of a retreat from the relative financial discipline of the last few quarters, so those hoping for a big stimulus may still be disappointed.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

US Senate passes Hong Kong rights bill, sending legislation to House - Reuters

Under the ...Senate bill, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to qualify for special U.S. trading consideration that bolsters its status as a world financial center. It also would provide for sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

China summons U.S. Embassy official to lodge protest against U.S. Senate's passing of HK-related bill - Xinhua

"China hereby warns the United States that any attempt to destroy Hong Kong's prosperity and stability or obstruct China's development is doomed to fail and will only end up hurting itself,"

China's top legislature strongly condemns U.S. Senate approval of bill on Hong Kong - Xinhua

Instead of condemning heinous violent crimes in Hong Kong, the U.S. Senate, at the urging of a handful of anti-China lawmakers, continued to bolster violent criminals in the name of "human rights" and "democracy," fully exposing the U.S. Congress' extreme hypocrisy, stark double standards and its evil intentions to oppose China and create turmoil in Hong Kong, it read.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Remarks on US Senate Passing Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

his act neglects facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China's other internal affairs. It is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China condemns and firmly opposes it...

The US should immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's other internal affairs, or the negative consequences will boomerang on itself. China will have to take strong countermeasures to defend our national sovereignty, security and development interests if the US insists on making the wrong decisions.

Geng Shuang's statement on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act - 外交部发言人耿爽就美国国会参议院通过“香港人权与民主法案”发表谈话 — 中华人民共和国外交部

我们正告美方认清形势,悬崖勒马,立即采取措施阻止该案成法,立即停止插手香港事务、干涉中国内政,以免引火烧身、自食苦果。如果美方一意孤行,中方必将采取有力措施予以坚决反制,坚定维护国家主权、安全、发展利益。

《新闻联播》 20191120 19:00_CCTV

Wednesday CCTV Evening News had 11 segments criticizing the US Senate's passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

Call it ‘Support HK Violence Act’ - Global Times

Passing the act is the US attempt to disrupt the People's Republic of China's governance over Hong Kong, weaken the HKSAR government, and compel the police to be afraid of cracking down on radical rioters in accordance with the law.

The US is hoping that Hong Kong falls into disorder for a long time. If we take this US bill seriously and shrink from tackling riots, Hong Kong will suffer from an accelerated collapse of the rule of law and be erased from the modern world.

Hong Kong has long acted as an interface linking China and the West. The US move will undermine that function of the city. But no matter what challenges Hong Kong will have to face, it will be far better than what it faces now

社评:美参院通过的应叫“支持香港暴力法案”

香港的一些反对派人士傻乎乎地恨不能跪下给华盛顿磕头,感谢美方对激进示威者“民主反抗”的支持。殊不知,如果美国对香港实施经济制裁,产生的实际后果将苦了全体香港人。这形同一支传统轰炸机队在漆黑的深夜飞临城市上空,激进反对派作为内奸打开手电筒照向天空,指导炸弹的落下。

美国国会搞这个法案,就是想要瓦解中华人民共和国对香港的管治权,同时迫使香港政府变得软弱,警队不敢依法打击暴徒。它希望看到哪怕暴徒组成“斧头帮”血洗警察署,警察也只能用烧火棍招架,决不敢动枪。

美方这是希望香港长期陷入混乱状态,逼着香港身患重症却不能服药,直到病死。

UN Human Rights Office | Press briefing on China/Hong Kong SAR

The resort to extreme violence - including against the police force – by some engaged in the protests is therefore deeply regretted and cannot be condoned. We would appeal to all engaging in protests to renounce and condemn the use of violence...

Accountability for violence is also key – both in the case of individuals who have broken the law and committed acts of violence, but also in the case of allegations of excessive use of force by the police.

Alibaba Raises $11 Billion in Biggest HK Listing Since 2010 - Bloomberg

The company confirmed that it has priced 500 million new shares at HK$176 each..

Alibaba has allocated more shares for individual investors, raising the ratio to 10% from 2.5% of the total offering, people familiar with the matter said, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. The company has an over-allotment option to sell an additional 75 million shares.

The firm is planning to have its shares start trading Nov. 26 on the Hong Kong exchange under the ticker 9988.

Options running out for last Hong Kong protesters trapped in PolyU campus but some radicals would rather ‘die than surrender’ | South China Morning Post

Only about 100 remained on campus, after more than 1,000 escaped, surrendered, had their details recorded or were caught and arrested.

Some of those still holding out, refusing to heed police orders to vacate, said they now worked in smaller groups, unlike earlier, when radicals and their supporters tried getting away in bigger numbers.

Western media shifts tone on HK riots - Global Times

Some Western media have been reviewing the nature of the entire incident, as BBC quietly changed its description of the months-long protests from "pro-democracy protest" to "anti-government protest" in their recent stories.


2. Simon Cheng’s allegations

'I didn't think I would ever be let out': How China tortured a UK consulate worker over Britain's role in Hong Kong- The Telegraph

On the evening of August 8, Mr Cheng at first thought the gate had malfunctioned when it failed to open after he swiped his identification card to exit the mainland side of the West Kowloon rail station.

Panic set in when a phalanx of officers approached him, taking his phone, bag and glasses – blurring his vision. They had received orders from “up top” to detain him, he was told, getting escorted to a police station as it neared midnight.

There, they locked him in a “tiger chair,” a metal torture contraption that prohibits movement, and began the first of many interrogations...

“We suspect you are a British spy… we aren’t arresting you, we’ve captured you,” he was told by nameless men, one of whom said he would never be released, Mr Cheng recalled.

Another threatened to throw him in China’s “re-education” camp system..

While guards spoon-fed him – as he was always handcuffed and shackled – he was forced to listen to lectures about why China as a country was “not suitable” for democracy.

He was also asked repeatedly to provide information, such as the layout of the consulate building, where classified information was stored, what staff passes looked like, and the names of people secretly working as MI5 and MI6 agents.

For the Record: An Enemy of the State | Facebook - Simon Cheng's statement

One new secret police came over and behaved very rudely, he pointed at my face and shouted in Mandarin: “you are a traitor to the motherland!” He also quoted Maoism theory - “People’s Democratic Dictatorship” that: “we noted you are a so-called pro-democrat, but you should know we rule democratically to most of the Chinese people, however, we rule autocratically on you because you are our ‘state enemy”...

The secret police clearly stated that batches after batches of Hong Kong protestors had been caught, delivered and detained in Mainland China, so they collected and mutually verified the information amongst different sources and detainees.

Simon Cheng: Former UK consulate worker says he was tortured in China - BBC News

Following our interview, the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has summoned the Chinese ambassador.

"We are outraged by the disgraceful mistreatment that Mr Cheng faced when he was in detention in mainland China... and we've made clear that we expect the Chinese authorities to review and hold to account those responsible," Mr Raab told the BBC.

But on Wednesday a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told the BBC they would "definitely not accept" the summons - and would instead summon the UK ambassador to "express their indignation".

Ex-UK consulate employee’s legal rights protected in custody: Chinese FM - Global Times

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday stressed that the Chinese public security department guaranteed former British Consulate General employee Simon Cheng Man-kit's legal rights during his administrative detention in August and he has confessed his guilt, after media reports alleged Cheng was tortured by police.

Nato leaders to discuss security threats from China for the first time says US ambassador, as Dominic Raab calls China’s treatment of British consulate employee 'torture'

Security threats from China will be discussed by Nato leaders at a forthcoming summit for the first time, according to the US ambassador to the alliance, as Dominic Raab has said China’s treatment of a British consulate employee amounted to “torture”.

Hong Kong minister says she has no opinion on torture claim against China - Reuters

Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, speaking to reporters at the Chinese embassy in London, said he should report the matter to the relevant Chinese authorities.


3. US-China trade

Trump says U.S. is still talking to China on trade - Reuters

“We continue to talk to China. China wants to make a deal. The question is: Do I want to make a deal? Because I like what’s happening now,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump’s China Trade Deal Edges Ahead as Risk of Collapse Looms - Bloomberg

During that call and others in recent days, officials from the two sides have made some progress on issues ranging from the parameters of a Chinese crackdown on intellectual-property theft to how a deal might be enforced, according to officials and other people briefed on the discussions.

They have struggled, however, to find agreement over the details of other commitments that Trump wants to be part of an initial agreement including the schedule of agricultural purchases he is demanding and exactly which tariffs to remove, those people say.

Beijing tariff demands may expand U.S.-China 'phase one' trade deal significantly - Reuters

The US should immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's other internal affairs, or the negative consequences will boomerang on itself. China will have to take strong countermeasures to defend our national sovereignty, security and development interests if the US insists on making the wrong decisions.

China’s new industrial policy dismissed as ‘Made in China 2025’ rehash by critics in Washington | South China Morning Post

Last Friday, Beijing announced a policy to upgrade and integrate China’s manufacturing sector with a “modern” service sector to respond to rapidly changing demand, according to an official document.

The new plan will single out a group of companies to become “sector champions” by 2025. That echoes the “Made in China 2025” plan to upgrade the mainland’s industrial economy, which has been quietly dropped from official communiqués, but which analysts say is alive and well on the ground.

The document provides further evidence that US President Donald Trump’s bruising trade war and aggressive tactics have done little to change China’s drive to dominate new technology with state support


4. LPR rates cut but no signs of big loosening or stimulus

China Trims Key Lending Rates to Support Economy - Caixin

The five basis-point reduction in both the one-year and five-year-plus national loan prime rate (LPR) was widely expected by the markets after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) shaved five basis points off the rate it charges banks to borrow under its medium-term lending facility (MLF) on Nov. 5 and cut the same amount from the interest rate on seven-day reverse repurchase agreements on Nov. 18.

The central bank announces the national LPR on the 20th of every month and the rate is determined by submissions from 18 commercial banks of their own internal LPRs. The one-year national LPR now stands at 4.15% and the five-year-plus national LPR is 4.8%, according to data from the China National Interbank Funding Center, an entity under the PBOC...

In a statement ( 人民银行召开金融机构货币信贷形势分析座谈会) Tuesday summarizing a meeting Governor Yi Gang held with bankers, the PBOC said there was still downward pressure on credit growth...

Yi said regulators and banks should give “full play” to the LPR as a reference for guiding interest rates and urged lenders to use it to price their loans so as to lower borrowing costs, according to Tuesday’s PBOC statement. The central bank’s third-quarter monetary policy implementation report issued on Saturday showed that in September 46.8% of new loans were priced based on the LPR

China trims new benchmark lending rate again to shore up sputtering economy - Reuters

The PBOC’s third-quarter policy statement released on Saturday had stirred speculation authorities may ease restrictions on the sector to boost economic activity.

The central bank removed a line saying “housing is for living in, not for speculation”, but kept a phrase that “the property sector should not be used as a short-term stimulus for the economy”, which appeared in its second-quarter report.

China's central bank urges financial sector to serve real economy - Xinhua

At a PBOC meeting presided over by central bank governor Yi Gang, participants of the conference agreed that the financial sector had offered steady support to the real economy in 2019...

Yi said continued efforts should be made to strengthen counter-cyclical adjustments and beef up credit support for the real economy. He underscored that the increases in M2 money supply and aggregate financing should be in keeping with nominal GDP growth.

Inside the PBOC’s Struggle to Balance China’s Growth and Debt - Bloomberg

The cabinet meeting in Zhongnanhai, a walled expanse of ornamental lakes and pavilions adjacent to the Forbidden City, took place late in May, days after U.S. President Donald Trump heaped yet more tariffs on China’s exports and restricted the sale of goods to Huawei...

An official from the National Development and Reform Commission, the modern-day incarnation of the once-mighty State Planning Commission, was suggesting that the People’s Bank of China should release a bolt of cash that could be used by banks to buy stakes in companies, which would then use those funds to repay some of their debt...

The central bank governor Yi Gang was present at the meeting, but before he could speak, Premier Li Keqiang dismissed the proposal on the grounds that yet more central bank liquidity wasn’t the answer...

Yi is building on the work of his predecessor, Zhou Xiaochuan, who in the latter years of his tenure argued that controlling debt had become more important than hitting sky-high economic growth rates. That insight appears to have become internalized at the highest levels.

Is There a Method Behind Beijing’s Bank Rescue Madness? - MacroPolo - Dinny McMahon

Regardless of where Beijing draws the line in the sand, it seems that in general, larger banks will be on the short list for central government bailouts, while more mergers are likely to come for small banks under distress.

Not the kind of big stimulus some are hoping for - China to further lower tax burden on individuals - Xinhua

China will continue to reduce the tax burden on individuals by improving and better implementing the special individual income tax deduction mechanism.

The mechanism had slashed taxes by over 440 billion yuan (about 62.5 billion U.S. dollars) for 250 million taxpayers in the first nine months of this year, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday.


5. Sacklers selling Opioids to China

This is evil stuff, and given the history I wonder if China will now shut down Mundipharma operations in the country, and if they do how would that affect the potential settlement the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma are negotiating with US state attorneys general?

AP: Oxy sales in China driven by misleading addiction claims -AP

Thousands of lawsuits across the United States have accused a drug company owned by the billionaire Sackler family of using false claims to push highly addictive opioids on an unsuspecting nation, fueling the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history.

Yet, even as its U.S. drugmaker collapses under the charges, another company owned by the family has used the same tactics to peddle its signature painkiller, OxyContin, in China, according to interviews with current and former employees and documents obtained by the Associated Press.

The documents and interviews indicate that representatives from the Sacklers’ Chinese affiliate, Mundipharma, tell doctors that time-release painkillers like OxyContin are less addictive than other opioids—the same pitch that Purdue Pharma, the U.S. company owned by the family, admitted was false in court more than a decade ago.

And when will this Sackler Museum have its name changed?

Mundipharma China was born in 1993 in a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square. Just as in the U.S., the Sackler family’s business interests in China coincided with their philanthropy.

The month after Mundipharma’s creation, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archeology opened its doors at Peking University in Beijing. Outside the museum is a statue dedicated to Arthur Sackler and his wife by the China Medical Tribune, a journal he helped found that now claims a readership of more than a million Chinese doctors.

AP key findings about Mundipharma’s OxyContin sales in China - AP

— Purdue and its executives paid a historic $635 million in legal penalties in the U.S. for misrepresenting OxyContin as less addictive than other opioids and pledged never to do it again. That didn’t stop Mundipharma sales reps from making the same pitch to doctors in China more than a decade later.

— Mundipharma managers required sales reps to copy patients’ private medical records without consent to better target sales, in apparent violation of Chinese law.

— Faced with fast-rising sales targets, OxyContin reps in China sometimes disguised themselves as medical staff, putting on white coats and lying about their identity to visit patients in the hospital.


6. Australian media on China in the South Pacific

'Where is Australia?' China makes a bold play for the south Pacific's 'Treasure Islands' - Sydney Morning Herald

Bougainville: Chinese agents have offered MPs in the Solomon Islands $SD1 million ($A200,000) in bribes to switch diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to Beijing, according to one Solomons politician.

It comes as China is proposing up to $1 billion in infrastructure and resource extraction in what it calls an "early harvest" operation to extend its influence in the Pacific...

China is also showing considerable interest in Bougainville, offering $US1 billion ($1.47 billion) worth of infrastructure and seeking Bougainville’s mineral wealth in “collateral” as part of the deal...

Also revealed is the scale of a Chinese master plan for Bougainville as it heads towards a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. It’s expected a clear majority of Bougainvilleans will vote in the next few weeks for independence, and if PNG’s Parliament ratifies the outcome, then Bougainville is on track to become the newest nation in our region since Timor Leste.

A public presentation by former Bougainville Revolutionary Army general Sam Kauona, filmed by a crew from 60 Minutes in recent weeks, shows Mr Kauona unfurling a large satellite map of Bougainville with Chinese script

60 Minutes: China staging 'soft invasion' of South Pacific - 9News

As 60 Minutes correspondent Liam Bartlett reports, China's expansion in the South Pacific seems part of a grand strategic plan to extend its alliances further and further south, edging closer to Australia and New Zealand…

Former intelligence chief of the US Navy's Pacific Fleet, Captain Jim Fanell says China's fast-moving plans should sound a warning to other Pacific nations and even Australia.

"They say they want to be your economic partner, the end result is they become your economic master," he tells 60 Minutes.

"They believe that they're supposed to be the rightful leaders of this new global order, and that we're going to have the Chinese century."

The broadcast, on Youtube:


7. DNA testing to unlock your kids’ talents

China Baby DNA Tests Used by Parents to Check for Prodigy Kids - Bloomberg

Gene Discovery is among a wave of companies seeking to cater to that rising demand, playing the role of modern-day fortune tellers, with DNA as their crystal ball. A search of Chinese online shopping platform JD.com and the internet in Mandarin throw up dozens of firms offering genetic talent testing for babies and newborns. Their promises are similarly lofty, vowing to help parents uncover their children’s “potential talents” in everything from logic and math to sports and even emotional intelligence. Help your child “win at the starting line” is a common marketing refrain...

After her baby’s birth in 2017, Zhou Xiaoying checked into a postpartum center where she was taken care of by a staff of women, cooks and traditional healers—as is the custom in China for upwardly mobile mothers. There, a sales representative from a genetic testing firm made her a tantalizing offer: For about $1,500, the company would swab saliva from her son’s mouth to offer a peek into his future.

The test, which also analyzed the baby’s predisposition to genetic diseases, told Zhou her son was likely to be gifted in music and the arts—but weak in sports. Zhou says her now two-year-old son can hum a song in tune after hearing it once, and the family is moving into a bigger house where she intends to cultivate his talents. Zhou pulled the boy out of running and swimming classes and instead plans to buy a piano and start him soon on lessons.


8. New reading lists for kids

Quantum Computing, CRISPR, Drones, Are Put on Chinese Kids’ Reading List - Caixin Global

Chinese students should learn about quantum computing, drones, military equipment, artificial intelligence and even gene editing, based on a new national list of book recommendations for elementary, middle and high school libraries issued by the Ministry of Education.

A quarter of the 422-page list of 7,000 books focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, though it further breaks down this field into specializations such as agricultural and environmental sciences, industrial technology, transport and logistics, and aerospace...

The list also includes about seven titles on quantum science, 50 entries categorized under “military affairs” and 50 on aerospace. Those totals are dwarfed by 2,200 literary titles, more than 1,000 under “culture, pedagogy, physical education,” more than 700 under history and geography, 300 on industrial technology, and more than 200 on communist ideology and philosophy.


Business, Economy and Trade

China to revise GDP data based on fourth economic census | South China Morning Post Revised 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) estimates would be published in the near future, Li Xiaochao, deputy commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a press conference announcing the results of the fourth National Economic Census. If data for previous years is revised up, it could help the government meet its ambitious goal to create a “moderately prosperous society” by doubling the size of the economy and per capita income between 2010 and 2020.

Exclusive: State Grid Connects With Insurance Giant on $3.3 Billion Power Project - Caixin The deal marks a major step forward in the state-owned power company’s move to carry out “mixed ownership reform,” a government strategy aimed at bringing in outside investors to try to reinvigorate the country’s state sector. For the project, the State Grid has partnered with state-owned People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) to build the 1,587-kilometer (986 miles) line, which will transmit solar- and wind- generated electricity from Northwest China’s Qinghai province to Central China’s Henan province, the company said Tuesday. The UHV will also traverse the northwestern provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.

王思聪限制消费令被取消 Thepaper reports that Wang Sicong, son of billionaire Wang Jianlin, is now off the bad debtor list and has had his consumption restrictions removed

Regulator offers rewards for reporting crypto-related activities: report · TechNode Chinese media reported that a government division under the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) issued a letter urging provincial and municipal government officials to ramp up efforts against illegal fundraising, a euphemism for cryptocurrency trading as well as scams that use “blockchain” and “crypto” terms to lure victims.

China’s trade dominance dealt a blow after US gains | Financial Times $$ America became the bigger supplier out of the two superpowers to eight countries over the first half, including France, Austria, Zimbabwe and Lebanon. China added just three entries to the list of countries where its exports eclipse the US: Bhutan, Luxembourg and Venezuela.

China's Megvii seeks approval for Hong Kong IPO despite U.S. blacklist: sources - Reuters Chinese artificial intelligence firm Megvii Technology Ltd plans to seek listing approval on Thursday for a Hong Kong IPO of at least $500 million, people with knowledge of the matter said, despite being blacklisted by the U.S. government.

Politics and Law

Executive of China’s Largest Bank Accused of Taking Enormous Amount of Bribes Gu Guoming, a former party chief and president of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s (ICBC) Shanghai branch, was found to have been involved in serious corruption, including taking an “extremely huge amount” of bribes and taking advantage of his positions to seek benefits for his relatives and friends// And his case has been handed over to prosecutors. Quite a litany of problems in the CCDI announcement 中国工商银行上海市分行原党委书记、行长顾国明严重违纪违法被开除党籍和公职

独家|顾国明被“双开”背后:案涉金额上亿元及 “卖官”生意 _金融频道_财新网 谁是“不法商人”?据此前财新独家报道,顾国明与原证监会主席刘士余同案,双方均涉及一位关系人何敏华,该女商人与上海金融圈织就了庞大的关系网,涉嫌利益输送巨大。何敏华旗下拥有上海东方华发企业发展有限公司,主营酒店业务,资质不佳。但是,工行上海分行曾给该公司贷款数十亿元,现仍有几亿元的贷款余额。(参见财新我闻|金融人·事2019年7月15日“工行上海分行高管被查 与刘士余同案”)// Caixin reinds readers that Gu's case is tied to He Minhua, a Shanghai businesswoman who "wove an enormous relationship network in Shanghai financial circles". So who above Gu may be implicated?

董存瑞、黄继光,这次“赢”了 - 中央政法委长安剑 Central Politics and Law Commission wechat account on the case of an online store operator who sold posters defaming revolutionary martyrs (Dong Cunrui and Huang Jiguang). The owner was ordered to make an apology in state-level media within 10 days. According to this account the significance is that the case was brought not by relatives of the defamed martyrs but by the procuratorate.

漫画新中国史:新中国“反腐第一大案”--时政--人民网 New China's history in cartoons, interesting series on People's Daily site/. This one is on the the "first big corruption case" after liberation

深刻认识党的领导制度在国家制度中的统领地位(深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神) Deeply understand the leading position of the party's leadership system in the national system (thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee) - Zhan Zhanmin of the Central Party School on page 9 of Wednesday's People's Daily

坚持马克思主义在意识形态领域指导地位的根本制度(深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神) Huang Kunming on page 6 of the Wednesday People's Daily - Adhere to the fundamental system of guiding the position of marxism in the field of ideology (thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee)

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Esper accuses China of intimidating smaller Asian nations - AP in remarks at Vietnam’s Communist Party headquarters, Esper said, “We strongly oppose violations of international law by China and excessive claims in the South China Sea.”

U.S. to provide ship to Vietnam to boost South China Sea patrols | Article [AMP] | Reuters The United States announced on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coast guard cutter for its growing fleet of ships, boosting Hanoi's ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with China. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper disclosed the decision during an address in Vietnam

Commentary: China's governance system offers wisdom to the world - Xinhua A forum held in eastern China's Zhejiang Province offers an opportunity for foreign experts to communicate with their Chinese counterparts as they observed grassroots reality to gain better understanding of China's governance system. Many are deeply impressed with China's coordinated development of economy, society and environment as well as the improved administrative efficiency...In a fast-changing world, China is ready to share with other countries its experience and work together for common development and a shared future.

Chinese VP meets U.S. delegates - Xinhua The 11th China-U.S. Political Party Leaders Dialogue, which concluded Tuesday, was attended by some 50 representatives from political parties, think tanks and businesses of the two countries

China signs defence agreement with South Korea as US angers Seoul with demand for $5bn troop payment On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said.

010 Chinese-language media in Australia: with Maree Ma by On China Podcast Join Maree Ma and me as we discuss the evolution of Australia's Chinese-language media landscape.

Carleton student group warns members to avoid upsetting Chinese officials in upcoming embassy visit - The Globe and Mail A Carleton University student’s group is warning members to avoid upsetting Chinese officials during a coming visit to the country’s embassy in Ottawa by making comments that are not “respectful of our hosts” on topics such as the Hong Kong protests, mistreatment of Uyghurs or the sovereignty of Taiwan. The Carleton International Relations Society even provided a list of subjects where students should exercise caution when talking to Chinese diplomats.

Tech and Media

Chinese State Media Runs Facebook Ad With Bill Gates Talking About How Great China Is Doing Xinhua News, China’s largest state-run news agency, is currently buying ads on Facebook that feature a video of Bill Gates talking about China.

China memory chip output zooms from zero to 5% of world total - Nikkei Asian Review Beijing's push for technological self-sufficiency is on the verge of a major breakthrough, with the country's nascent chip industry on track to produce around 5% of the world's memory chips by the end of 2020 from virtually zero last year, sources familiar with the matter told the Nikkei Asian Review... "It's a milestone for China," said an executive at Lite-On Technology, which has a joint venture with Yangtze Memory's parent company, Tsinghua Unigroup. "Yangtze Memory's shipments may look like small peanuts compared to larger players like Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Toshiba [now Kioxia]. But China is a real threat because its concept of making profits is different from others." // What a concept...

Tencent unveils audio social app ‘Echo’ on its way to figure out what Gen Z wants - KrAsia The app, named Huiyin, meaning Echo in English, allows users to log in via their QQ or WeChat account in a way to tap into Tencent’s huge social network. On its home page, there are three tabs Follow, Trending, and Nearby, for checking out streamers one followed, the most popular content on the platform, and other users nearby

Yicai Global - Chinese Video App Kuaishou Bags Exclusive Deal for 2020 Spring Festival Gala Chinese short video platform Kuaishou has reached an agreement with China Media Group to become the exclusive partner for the world's most watched annual television broadcast, CCTV's Spring Festival Gala, in 2020. Kuaishou will use artificial intelligence and big data to give digital red packets to the audience during the event, it said in a statement today

Pinduoduo shares drop on Q3 earnings miss as growth slows · TechNode After a strong Q2, the social e-commerce upstart’s rapid growth is slowing in the face of intensifying competition from rivals which are pushing aggressively into China’s lower-tier markets, Pinduoduo’s core customer base

Chinese tech firms look to senior “digital refugees” for new growth in a rapidly aging nation - KrAsia Only 6.9% of China’s 854 million internet users—less than 60 million—are over 60 years old, according to a report released by the China Internet Network Information Center. That means more than three-quarters of people in China who are over 60 years old are not online. By comparison, a recent Pew survey found that 73% of the US’s pensioners are internet users.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Yicai Global - Chinese Soccer Body Orders Halt to Player Signings After World Cup Qualifier Defeats The CFA said it was working on a document to further spur development of China's professional football league after soliciting opinions and suggestions from clubs and experts. It aims to promote soccer's healthy evolution, rein in the financial burden on clubs, standardize the pay system, and regulate the transfer market.

6 Arrested for Allegedly Raping 11-Year-Old Girl at Karaoke Club - SixthTone The public security bureau in Qidong County announced the arrests of six suspects — Liu, Wang, Zou, Jiang, and two surnamed Zhou — after the father of the 11-year-old alleged victim posted public letters Saturday and Monday on microblogging platform Weibo to accuse local authorities of delaying their investigation and appeal to the public to help draw attention to the case.

Railroads and the Transformation of China: A Q&A with Historian Elisabeth Köll - Association for Asian Studies University of Notre Dame historian Elisabeth Köll traces these stops and starts in her new Harvard University Press book, Railroads and the Transformation of China. Though her chief interest is in the development of railroads as business and administrative institutions, Köll sprinkles the book’s lively prose with many enjoyable anecdotes and interviews with former railroad employees that demonstrate how trains increasingly became an integral part of life in China during the twentieth century.

For Yiyun Li, All Writing Is Autobiographical | The Nation a wide ranging conversation with Li about her feelings on autofiction, bad readers, and why her work has yet to be translated into Chinese

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

China to promote centralized medicine procurement, use to ease patients' burden - Xinhua China will improve its mechanism for centralized medicine procurement and use in a steady and orderly manner as part of its efforts to deepen healthcare reform and provide better medical services to the people, the State Council decided at its executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

China's efforts against pollution have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, study says - CNN Fine particle pollution declined rapidly following the implementation of new rules on industrial emissions and the promotion of clean fuels, according to the study Drivers of improved PM2.5 air quality in China from 2013 to 2017, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

China ramps up coal power in face of emissions efforts | Financial Times $$ Across the country, 148GW of coal-fired plants are either being built or are about to begin construction, according to a report from Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that monitors coal stations. The current capacity of the entire EU coal fleet is 149GW. While the rest of the world has been largely reducing coal-powered capacity over the past two years, China is building so much coal power that it more than offsets the decline elsewhere.

President of Prestigious College Linked to Fake Data Concerns - Caixin In an interview with Caixin on Tuesday, Bik said that Cao’s response is mainly aimed at some of the easier-to-explain image reproductions. “However, they have yet to answer more complex questions about image reproduction, such as the repetitive features in flow cytometry plots,” she said, referring to a technique that plots data relating to many parameters from a fluid mixture containing live cells.