Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act Histrionics; Plan to deal with aging population

Apologies the newsletter is a bit late today, I got caught up watching the impeachment hearings. I wish I could hear the briefings Xi gets about this whole process, perhaps it is explained to him as a kind of public, televised Democratic Life meeting and struggle session?

The US House of Representatives passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act Wednesday afternoon and now the bill will become law, either when President Trump signs it or after ten days. PRC officials, propaganda organs and proxies have gone into high histrionics but the demands that Trump veto it are unrealistic given that the unanimous support in the Senate makes it veto proof.

The threats for countermeasures are unlikely to include scuppering the struggling negotiations for the phase one trade deal. What those countermeasures may be however I do not know.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

China says Trump is on 'edge of precipice' as Hong Kong rights bill hits his desk - The Washington Post

The bill, which Trump has 10 days to sign, would require the secretary of state to certify annually whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its special trading status.

Failure to issue that certification would effectively deal a massive blow to Hong Kong’s role as a global financial and trading hub. The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has warned of possible “unintended, counterproductive” consequences that could undermine the territory’s unique position.

US’ Hong Kong democracy act slanders China to a level close to madness, Foreign Minister Wang Yi says | South China Morning Post

In a meeting with former US secretary of defence William Cohen in Beijing on Thursday, Wang said that such legislation had shaken the mutual trust between the two nations.

“Right now, the China-US relationship has reached a critical crossroads,” Wang said. “But we regret to see that some politicians in the United States are now smearing, attacking, slandering China to a level close to madness.”


p1 People's Daily commentary Thursday says the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is a piece of wastepaper that interferes in China's internal affairs


the entire page 4 of the thursday People's Daily is dedicated to condemnations of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act


Xinhua commentary - "It is a mistake for the us to play double standards on Hong Kong"


What needs to be pointed out is that the operation of double standards is a long-standing practice of the us side in dealing with dissidents. The so-called "human rights" and "democracy" are just a tool for American politicians, a ladder for them to occupy the high ground of public opinion. What is behind the passage of hong kong-related bills by the us congress? What is the real intention of fighting for human rights and democracy for Hong Kong people? In this regard, the vast number of Hong Kong people must not think, not to check.


People's Daily commentary on the law to run in the Friday People's Daily - "American double standard is through and through the logic of hegemony"

Commentary: Hong Kong bill will eventually bring disgrace to the US - People's Daily Online

The "performance art" action of the United States Senate passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 is a joke.

The bill is cloaked in the rhetoric of "human rights" and "democracy". However, its purpose is to preach "democracy" for the rioters, defending their "right" to violence...

For the international community, the bill is a farce in which the US justifies its wrongdoings under the banner of "human rights" and "democracy". One day, the show will come to an end, exposing to the world that the US is the black hand behind all chaos triggered by the revision of the extradition bill.

【国际锐评】玩弄双重标准 美方自取其辱 - 中国军网

"The United States is humiliating itself by playing double standards"

HKSAR gov't opposes passage of HK-related acts at U.S. Congress - Xinhua

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the other act on Hong Kong not only interfered in Hong Kong's internal affairs, but sent a wrong signal to violent protesters and would not help calm down the current situation in Hong Kong, the HKSAR government said in a statement.

Beijing’s Hong Kong Protest Strategy: Let ’Em Fight It Out - WSJ $$

“Hong Kong authorities have been completely reduced to becoming a puppet in Xi’s approach to governance,” said Wu Qiang, a Beijing-based commentator on Chinese politics and a former lecturer at Tsinghua University. “The central government doesn’t need a political solution in Hong Kong, nor is it interested in finding one.”

Text - S.1838 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 | Congress.gov | Library of Congres

2. US-China

Still no public progress on the phase one trade deal.

China, U.S. trade teams to maintain close communication: MOC - Xinhua

China is ready to work with the U.S. side to properly address each other's core concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect and strive to reach a "phase one" deal, which serves the interests of both countries and the rest of the world, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a press conference.

"There is no further information on details of the consultation over the deal, but hearsay about the issue is not accurate," he said.

China Invited U.S. Trade Negotiators for More Talks - WSJ $$

During a phone call late last week, Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s point person on trade negotiations with Washington, extended the invitation to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to hold the meeting in Beijing, the people said. U.S. negotiators have indicated they would be willing to meet in person, according to the people, but that they would be reluctant to trek across the Pacific unless China makes it clear that it would make commitments on intellectual-property protection, forced technology transfers and agricultural purchases...

On Thursday, Premier Li Keqiang scored a public-relations win while hosting leaders of international organizations at a high-level forum. Chiefs from the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and World Bank Group took turns praising China for its expanding role in global affairs, as they sat alongside Mr. Li at the 1+6 Roundtable, an annual event where Chinese leaders sit down with six international organizations.

Ángel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, called China a “champion of multilateralism.”

Trump says China isn't "stepping up" amid investor fears that trade deal is unraveling - The Washington Post

Privately, Trump is more eager to announce a finished agreement and is being counseled by his trade advisers to lower his expectations, according to a senior administration official who requested anonymity to describe internal deliberations...

Trump said he was “looking at” exempting Apple from the December tariffs. He said it was “not fair” that South Korea’s Samsung, an Apple rival, escaped import levies thanks to the U.S-Korea trade deal while Apple would pay on any products it imports from China.

US, China on ‘doorstep’ of trade war deal, but ‘phase one’ tariff removal holding up talks, sources say | South China Morning Post

It is understood neither side wants the 15 per cent tariff on US$156 billion of Chinese imports to go ahead, since they would hit popular consumer electronic products, including smartphones, for the first time, affecting US consumers and large swathes of China’s manufacturing base...

If an agreement is not reached before December 15, those tariffs will therefore probably be delayed “because they are on the doorstep of this” phase one deal, said a source close to the Trump administration.

China Cautiously Optimistic on Deal as Hong Kong Rift Looms - Bloomberg

Vice Premier Liu He made the comments in a speech in Beijing on Wednesday ahead of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, according to people who attended the dinner and asked not to be identified. He has also invited his U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, to travel to China for talks this month, but the invitation hasn’t yet been accepted, people familiar with the matter said.

15 U.S. senators urge Trump administration to halt Huawei license approvals - Reuters

In a letter on Thursday to President Donald Trump, the senators said the administration should halt issuing licenses until the administration provides Congress “a report outlining specific criteria for determining whether or not the approval of any license poses a national security threat.”

Kissinger in Beijing: U.S. and China Trade, Cold War Could Worsen - Bloomberg

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. and China were in the “foothills of a Cold War,” and warned that the conflict could be worse than World War I if left to run unconstrained.

Comment: Dr. K has been warning of this for a while now

Henry Paulson Sounds Alarm: U.S.-China Relations May Only Get Worse - The New York Times

“It is not in our interest to isolate ourselves when the rest of the world is not going to decouple from China,” he said.

Perhaps most provocatively, Mr. Paulson said the United States and China were creating divisions on technology standards in the name of national security.

Full Remarks by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., on the Delusions of Decoupling - Paulson Institute

After Hong Kong democracy act passes, US lawmakers still have 150 other China-related bills to deliberate | South China Morning Post

While the recent spotlight has been on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, there remain more than 150 other pending bills that aim to counter China on multiple fronts – from the economic to the ideological – that could wind up on Trump’s desk.

The glut of anti-China legislation underscores the enthusiasm for one of the few issues that the two US political parties agree on, and one that Republicans are willing to foist upon their leader, who has been trying to wrangle a trade agreement with Beijing for more than a year.

3. New plan to deal with aging population

China unveils plan for tackling population aging - Xinhua

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council have jointly unveiled a medium- and long-term plan for responding proactively to population aging.

The plan requires establishing the basic institutional framework for tackling population aging by 2022. By the middle of the century, a mature institutional arrangement that meets the needs of a great modern socialist country should be put into place.

The plan details the tasks to respond to population aging across five aspects.

It calls for improving the national income distribution system, steadily increasing the pension reserves and establish a fairer and more sustainable social security system.

It highlights improving the effective supply of labor in an aging society, which requires improving the quality of new members of the labor force, establishing a lifelong learning system for senior citizens, and striving to achieve fuller employment and create better quality jobs.

A high-quality health service system including health education, disease prevention and treatment, rehabilitation nursing, long-term nursing and hospice care should be established, according to the plan.

The plan also values the application of technology in responding to population aging including strengthening the development of assistive technologies for senior citizens.

It also calls for fostering a social environment in which senior citizens are respected, cared for, and live happily in their later years. The legal system will be improved to protect the lawful rights and interests of senior citizens.

中共中央 国务院印发《国家积极应对人口老龄化中长期规划》_中央有关文件_中国政府网

4. Smearing Simon Cheng

PRC/CCP media are engaged in a smear campaign against Simon Cheng in the wake of his allegations of torture in custody.

Chinese police release Simon Cheng Man-kit ‘confession’ tape amid accusations of torture | South China Morning Post

The video, which was released through the Weibo microblogging account of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily, showed Simon Cheng Man-kit, a Hong Kong resident who previously worked for the British consulate in Hong Kong as a trade and investment officer, “confessing” to his interrogators that he felt ashamed of his wrongdoings and promising not to repeat the mistakes.

Another video released by the police purportedly showed Cheng at a club in Luohu district in Shenzhen and later entering a room with a woman.

How Western media paints a prostitution solicitor as a political victim - Global Times

Cheng made up several unverified stories, accusing "China's national security police" of persecution. But two things have been proven: First, he solicited prostitutes, a fact that Cheng himself dared not deny; and second, he was released after being detained for 15 days, based on legal provisions.

In other words, Cheng was arrested and freed in accordance with the laws of the Chinese mainland. He is making up stories in an intermediate zone where the outside world cannot see, so that he can pick and choose the plots loved most by the Hong Kong opposition and Westerners.

People’s Daily report on the confessions - 警方公布英驻香港总领馆雇员嫖娼审讯视频:不存在刑讯逼供

It is quite possible that Mr. Cheng both visited prostitutes and was tortured in custody over the protests in Hong Kong and his knowledge of British consulate operations. He dodged the question in interviews Wednesday in a way that leaves an opening for this kind of smear campaign. But should we care? And has the massage parlor at the center of these allegations been closed and its owners and managers arrested?

5. Officials says economic census won’t be used for political goals

Remember, the official target is doubling GDP and per-capita income in 2020 from 2010 levels.

China Won’t Use Census to Raise GDP Growth: Statistics Official - Caixin

China will not arbitrarily adjust economic data from previous years to make it easier to hit its growth targets, a deputy head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday, seeking to squash speculation that officials will use the results of the latest national economic census to boost flagging gross domestic product (GDP)...

Nevertheless, the results of the census could give GDP a boost and ease pressure on the government to implement stimulus to ensure the 2020 targets are met.

Zhang Yu, chief macroeconomic analyst at Chinese securities firm Huachuang Securities, said that if the statistics bureau raises aggregate real GDP growth for 2010 to 2018 by 0.2 percentage points, the goal of doubling GDP can be achieved with growth of just 5.8% in 2020. If the revised GDP growth figure can ease the pressure on growth goals and employment is stable, policymakers could be more tolerant of the declining growth rate in the next few quarters, she said…

The 2003 census led to a massive revision in the size of the economy in 2004, with the NBS estimating it was 16.8% bigger than it had originally thought. ..

Subsequent censuses also led to upward revisions in the size of China’s economy, but by a much lower amount — 4.4% after the second census of 2008 and 3.4% after the third in 2013. The NBS also amended historical GDP growth data after each census, which, in most cases, led to higher growth rates.

6. Don’t publicize computer security issues

Making Reference to ‘State Secrets,’ China Moves to Restrict Vulnerability Disclosures - Caixin Global

The Ministry of Public Security and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) are seeking public comment on draft regulations that could restrict public vulnerability disclosures, requiring those who seek to expose computer security issues to instead report them to public security bureaus and the country's internet regulator first.

Though the authorities have previously cracked down on privacy violations, this marks the first time they have sought to limit discussion of Chinese networks’ vulnerability to hacking.

Spreading information on cybersecurity threats “should have the promotion of online safety awareness and technique as its purpose ... and must not harm national security and public interest,” the CAC said in its announcement. Disclosures that implicate state secrets and classified networks will be dealt with “according to relevant national regulations,” it said...

Not only must those in charge of public platforms—including publications, broadcasters, digital media, public speeches and even hackathons — delete disclosures that violate these regulations from the platform, they must also keep records and report such revelations to authorities.

Regulators are seeking comment until Dec 19.


New Chinese cybersecurity rules could delay release of threat alerts to business and public, tech specialists warn | South China Morning Post

The year before the law’s introduction Wooyun, one of the leading platforms for “white hats” – or ethical hackers who look for flaws in security systems to warn people of the risks – was shut down after several managers were reportedly detained.

The platform had faced numerous complaints after exposing security flaws in large companies’ websites although it was not clear whether anyone ever faced criminal charges.

However, the Wooyun archive had survived online until Wednesday’s announcement about the new rules.

7. Progress for China’s global mobile broadband project 虹云工程

Yicai Global - China to Demo Its First Space-Based Communications System Next Year

The Hongyun Project, which will eventually include over 100 satellites in orbit about 1,000 kilometers from earth, will offer broadband mobile internet all over the world, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

China will initially launch four satellites to offer regional coverage in the country before deploying the remaining satellites by 2022, the report added, citing information learned at the China International Commercial Aerospace Forum held in Wuhan yesterday.


promo video for the system



8. All not lost for Taiwan in the South Pacific

Tuvalu rejects China offer to build islands and retains ties with Taiwan - Reuters

Tuvalu foreign minister Simon Kofe instead explicitly expressed support for Taiwan and said his country was working to set up a group uniting Taiwan’s remaining four allies in the Pacific.

“Tuvalu and Taiwan diplomatic ties are strongest they’ve ever been,” Kofe told Reuters in an interview in Taipei.

“We believe in the power of grouping together and collaborating,” he added, referring to the Marshall Islands, Palau and Nauru as well as Tuvalu. “Together with our partners, we will be able to counter the influence from mainland China.”..

Kofe told Reuters that Chinese companies had recently approached local communities to help support a $400 million government plan to build artificial islands, saying he believed the companies were backed by the Chinese government.

“It’s a no from us,” Kofe said. “We are hearing a lot of information about debt, China buying our islands and looking at setting up military bases in our part of the world. Those are things that are concerning to us.”

Business, Economy and Trade

China’s state-owned enterprises help protect economy from foreign pressure and risks, says Communist Party economist | South China Morning Post China relies on its state-owned enterprises to help counter “international pressure and risks”, according to a leading Communist Party economist. Wang Xiaoguang, deputy director of the economics department at the Central Committee’s Party School, argued that the businesses – which attract frequent complaints from the United States and Europe about unfair competition – are a valuable way of protecting the country’s economy at a time when the US is seeking to do down China.

Yicai Global - Asset Manager's Counter to Jia Yueting's Insolvency Suit Could Tip Tycoon Into Liquidation Shanghai Lan Cai Asset Management is petitioning the Bankruptcy Court for the US District of Delaware to dismiss disgraced entrepreneur Jia Yueting's application for rehabilitation bankruptcy as it fights to reclaim CNY50 million (USD7.1 million) in monies lent.

Yicai Global - Walmart Plans to Expand China Footprint With 500 New Stores, Cloud-Based Depots Residential community stores will be a focus for future development, Ku added. Such shops have a smaller area, can be based in more locations and can reach more customers. The Arkansas-based firm also plans to upgrade 200 of its existing shops in China over the next three years.

China eyes Shanghai-Frankfurt stock link - Global Times The China Europe International Exchange (CEINEX) is preparing the Shanghai-Germany Stock Connect program, according to a report in the thepaper.cn. If implemented, it will be the first stock connect program that China launches on the European continent. 

China to establish multi-pronged mechanism for financial dispute resolution - Xinhua Chinese authorities have vowed to put in place a multi-pronged mechanism for financial dispute resolution to protect legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers and prevent and defuse financial risks, according to an official directive. Jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the People's Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the directive aims to promote the sustainable and healthy development of the financial sector. 加强金融纠纷多元化解机制建设 促进经济社会健康发展—最高人民法院、中国人民银行、中国银行保险监督管理委员会联合召开全国金融纠纷多元化解机制建设推进会

Meituan Revenue Beats Estimates on Expansion Beyond Food - Bloomberg Sales increased 44% to 27.5 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) in the three months ended September, compared with the 26 billion yuan average of analysts’ estimates. It reported net income of 1.33 billion yuan, including gains from investments, while analysts projected a 502 million yuan loss

Politics and Law

Senior CPC official calls for quality literary, art works - Xinhua Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a symposium marking the 70th founding anniversary of the literary and art gazette Wenyi Bao and the journal People's Literature.

Parsing "Xue Xi Qiang Guo" for the Deeper Meaning | Sinosplice In this parsing, the final meanining of 学 习 强 国 would be “Studying Xi Strengthens the Country.” Since cause-effect relationships are often implied in Mandarin, you could also make that a command: “Study Xi to Strengthen the Country.”

“现场评论”对党报新闻评论的创新与启示--传媒--人民网 A discussion of how to make Party newspaper commentaries more impactful and in line with the New Era, in this case the Xi Era and the digital era. You get the idea from the conclusion: "On-the-spot commentary" is the practice and response to general secretary Xi Jinping's spirit of strengthening the important instructions of "four forces", as well as an exploration and innovation of the production mechanism of party newspaper news commentary....strengthen the party newspaper's public opinion guiding force and transmission force, strengthen the mainstream sound, form online and offline concentric circles.

Cloned K-9s begin training in Beijing - Global Times Beijing's first cloned K-9 unit, consisting of six 3-month old dogs, began training at a police facility on Wednesday, making the city's Public Security Bureau (PSB) home to the largest cloned K-9 unit in China.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Two corrupt PLA generals may be spared prosecution if they show remorse: Source - The Straits Times Two People's Liberation Army (PLA) generals have resigned from Parliament after they were implicated in corruption scandals, but they could be spared prosecution as part of a leniency programme, a source with ties to the military told The Straits Times. The National People's Congress (NPC) accepted the resignations of Lieutenant-General Rao Kaixun, Major-General Xu Xianghua and four civilian officials last month for "serious disciplinary violations" - a euphemism for corruption - according to the lawmaking body's website.

The U.S.’s Quest for Military Unity on China Comes Up Short in Asia - WSJ $$ “The U.S. is competing for partners in the region with China,” said Kim Jina, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, a state-funded think tank. “That’s what the U.S.’s talk of a free and open Indo-Pacific is about. South Korea is one of the countries in the middle. Seoul is seeking to have good relations with both.”

Delegation from China's Xinjiang showcases anti-terrorism work in Kuwait - Xinhua A delegation from China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region concluded its two-day visit to Kuwait on Wednesday, where it introduced Xinjiang's achievements in delivering social stability, promoting religious harmony and anti-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts. During the visit, the delegation met with officials of Kuwait's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accepted interviews with Kuwaiti media, and held discussions with experts and scholars from Kuwait University on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, ethnic and religious policies and vocational and educational training work in Xinjiang.

For Spreading Propaganda for the CCP’s United Front, Swedish Christian Democrats Expel Chinese Councilor – Chinascope According to recent reports from the Swedish television station (SVT) and radio station Serige Radio, the Central Committee of the Christian Democrats (KD), a Christian-democratic political party in Sweden, decided to strip the party membership of a Swedish Chinese city councilor on the grounds that this person had generated propaganda to expand the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Sweden

Winning the Invisible War: Gaining an Enduring U.S. Advantage in the Electromagnetic Spectrum | CSBA Over the past decade, several government and external assessments found that the U.S. military is falling behind Chinese and Russian forces in elec­tronic warfare (EW) and that U.S. forces will be challenged to achieve EMS superiority in future conflicts.

Ex-Monsanto Researcher Accused of Taking Trade Secrets to China - Bloomberg A former researcher at Monsanto Co. has been arrested after U.S. prosecutors accused him of stealing software the company had developed to help farmers optimize crop output and taking the technology to a new job in China. Haitao Xiang, who was born in China but lived in the U.S. for years, was taken into custody Sunday at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, federal officials said in a court filing.

China demands explanation as Zimbabwe understates aid figure by US$133 million | South China Morning Post At a 2020 budget presentation last week, Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the country received a total of US$194 million from donor countries in the year through September, of which just US$3.6 million came from China. The Chinese embassy in Harare put the figure at close to US$137 million.

China's $2 billion Ghana deal: Fears over debt, influence, environment The Chinese government has released phase one of funding for a substantial road construction project in Ghana as part of a $2 billion infrastructure deal which gives Beijing access to the country’s reserves of bauxite — a crucial source of aluminum.

China could 'turn off power' in the Philippines, senate hears - BBC News The head of the National Transmission Corporation confirmed the possibility during a senate session. China has part-owned the Philippines' national grid since 2009 - leading one senator to question whether China's "hegemonic ambitions" posed a security threat to the Philippines.

Seeking "absolute advantage" can't overcome realistic dilemma - China Military The US has also continuously increased its military spending in the past two years. For example, the US military budget for fiscal year 2019 reached $716 billion, but it still cannot meet the needs of huge arms development and procurement. The contradiction between its “great ambition” of seeking the expansion of the navy and the relative national strength decline has become more prominent. (The author is a researcher at the college of International Relations of the PLA National University of Defense Technology)

Huawei asks Canadian court to stay extradition process for CFO to United States - Reuters Huawei spokesman Benjamin Howes said in an email that the company believes the extradition fails to meet the Canadian standard of double criminality. The standard means the alleged conduct for which Meng was arrested in 2018 has to be illegal in both countries for her to be extradited.

Civilian ship debuts underway replenishment to PLA naval ships - China Military Recently, the Chinese PLA Navy conducted a test to establish a modular underway replenishment system (UNREP) on a civilian ship, and successfully provided logistics support to battleships at sea. This breakthrough provides a strong logistics support for Chinese naval ships to go to the high seas.

39-year-old heads China’s 3rd carrier construction - Global Times China's third aircraft carrier is under construction at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, and its chief builder was born in 1980, Jin Yi'nan, a professor at National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), disclosed in a China Central Television (CCTV) program this week. Jin said he recently visited the shipyard, but did not reveal the name of the chief builder or anything on the new carrier's development.

Top Russian nuclear university eyes future cooperation with China - Global Times A top Russian institute on nuclear research has welcomed its first two Chinese students in recent years. The school also cooperates with Chinese universities and sees more chances for cooperation in the future. The National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) is Russia's top nuclear education institute and research center, and is acknowledged to be a leading one in the world.

Warheads up - China’s nuclear arsenal was strikingly modest, but that is changing | China | The Economist Such competition might be especially unstable because the two rivals have wildly different views of nuclear strategy, according to a recent paper by Ms Cunningham and Mr Fravel in the journal International Security. Chinese officials are overconfident about their ability to prevent a conventional war from turning nuclear, they argue, while American ones are overconfident about their subsequent ability to keep a nuclear war limited in scope. Making things worse, the two countries lack a dedicated nuclear dialogue, largely because China is wary of giving away too much information. For now, China’s parades are doing the talking

Study shows China not to blame for regional smog - People's Daily Online The study released by South Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research on Wednesday may end the long-lasting blame game that South Korea plays, and more importantly, it can help Northeast Asian countries identify the real causes of pollution and work together to combat it, experts told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Chinese VP addresses opening ceremony of New Economy Forum - Xinhua While recognizing the unprecedented global economic and trade prosperity, Wang noted multiple common threats facing mankind, including imbalanced and insufficient development, rising protectionism, unilateralism and populism...Wang urged upholding the international system with the United Nations at its core and building a more fair and reasonable global governance system.

坚持和完善党对人民军队的绝对领导制度(深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神) CMC vice chair Xu Qiliang weighs in on the 4th plenum on page 6 of the Thursday People's Daily - Uphold and improve the party's absolute leadership over the people's armed forces (thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee)

Hong Kong and Macao

Notre Dame suspends spring student programming in Hong Kong - AP because escalating violence in the territory poses an unacceptable risk to the 14 students who were slated to attend classes there.

The Iconic Crag at the Heart of the Hong Kong Protests | Outside Online Climbers at Lion Rock have joined the pro-democracy movement in the city's struggle with Beijing


China says Taiwan courting 'disaster' after pre-election comment on independence - Reuters In a Facebook post on Monday, Lai repeated that he was a “realistic worker for Taiwan independence”. He said Taiwan was already a sovereign nation called the Republic of China, its official name, and not “attached” to mainland China.

Tech and Media

Huawei turns to Japan as US blacklisting hits supply chain - Nikkei Asian Review Addressing a gathering of executives and researchers from Japan's top companies and universities at a luxury hotel in Tokyo on Thursday, Huawei Technologies Chairman Liang Hua spoke of technology, collaboration -- and cold hard cash. His company had already spent over $7 billion on procurement in Japan this year and said the total for the year would reach $11 billion, on par with what it spent in the U.S., its biggest supplier, last year.

In Depth: Southeast Asia Becomes Region’s Next Tech Battleground - Caixin Among the region’s 11 tech unicorns — startups with valuations exceeding $1 billion — 10 have backing from Chinese investors. In addition to Grab and Gojek, Singapore-based e-commerce company Lazada Group is 83% owned by Alibaba while major rival Shopee is backed by Tencent.

‘The Farewell’ China Release Delayed – Variety The company offered no explanation for the cancellation of Friday’s release – which would have put it up against “Frozen II” – but suggested that “The Farewell” would be given a slot at a different time. Sneak previews are continuing.

Internet Regulators Shut Down News Site for Defying Desist Order - Caixin The bilingual outlet’s parent company, whose name translates to Shanghai Leading News Information Technology, used the “Business Times” name to “illegally conduct interviews, publish, and reprint online news and information,” thereby disrupting the distribution of news on the internet and misleading the public, according to a Wednesday announcement by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

Authorities to Arcades: No Kids Under 18 Except on Holidays - SixthTone “There have been regulations banning minors from entering internet cafés for a long time, but those regulations have not been strictly enforced,” Xiong Bingqi, vice president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, a Beijing-based think tank, told Sixth Tone. “Children using the internet at home and playing games need more parental supervision and guidance.”

TikTok is the most downloaded social media app in Pakistan | Sci-Tech | thenews.com.pk | Chinese-owned social media app TikTok has become the most downloaded social media app in Pakistan in 2019, according to US-based market intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Many LGBT people in China forced into illegal 'conversion therapy': groups - Reuters Many LGBT people in China are being forced to undergo “conversion therapy”, often done by unscrupulous, unlicensed providers in a sector that operates with little oversight by the authorities, rights groups said.

More Chinese youth are obese, have poor eyesight - Global Times About 8.8 percent of fourth-grade primary school students were obese, and the percentage of r eighth-grade students was 9.7 percent in 2018, according to the 2018 compulsory education quality monitoring report, published by the Ministry of Education on Wednesday.  The report also showed that nearly 40 percent of fourth-grade students and 70 percent of eighth-grade students suffered from poor eyesight in 2018, up 2 and 3.5 percentage points respectively compared to 2015.

The New Face of the Terra-cotta Warriors - SixthTone The introduction of new soil analysis techniques has transformed researchers’ ability to restore the 2,200-year-old Terra-cotta Army over the past few years. Pigments and organic material that had leached from the clay figures over the centuries can now be accurately identified, and even in some cases reapplied, enabling restoration teams to recreate the warriors’ vivid paintwork and repair their original armor and weaponry.

2020 public holiday schedule - Gov.cn Spring Festival holiday week is 1.24-30

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Pneumonic plague contacts released from quarantine - ECNS By Nov. 18, a total of 42 people who had close contact with the patients, who hail from north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, were removed from medical observation in Beijing. From Nov. 19 to 21, another four were reported free of symptoms and released from quarantine, suggesting all close contacts have been removed from medical observation. The two patients are still receiving treatment as experts hold rounds of consultation, said the commission.

Q&A: Fake Scientific Data Crusader Says Journal Editors Need More Spine - Caixin As of the morning of Nov. 19, you’ve looked through 300 papers published by Cao’s lab — how many of them have problematic images? Yes, I think we have around 50 flagged on (academic peer review website) PubPeer (on Nov. 19). I’m not the only person doing this — there are some other people who have been sending me things, but they’re anonymous. So I think a lot of people are afraid to speak out, but there are other people searching his work.

Rural and Agricultural Issues

State Council urges high-standard farmland development - Gov.cn According to the document, the country aims to cultivate high-standard farmland covering up to 800 million mu (about 53 million hectares) by 2020, and increase the area to 1 billion mu — a level sufficient to ensure production capacity exceeding 1 trillion jin (500 billion kilograms), by 2022...To facilitate management, a farmland big data platform should be in place to ensure data traceability, whole-process monitoring, precise control and resource sharing, by putting all high-standard farmland into one “map”. The State Council urged local governments to speed up preparing the national map, said the circular 国务院办公厅印发《关于切实加强高标准农田建设提升国家粮食安全保障能力的意见》