Hong Kong; Is China cutting back on US ag purchases?; US unrest is manna for CCP propaganda; Xi on moderately prosperous goal
|Jun 1, 2020||6|
Happy Children’s Day! Sadly we are letting them down.
CCP officials and outlets are having a fun day talking about the current unrest in the US. Here is one image circulated by the People’s Daily, there is much more on this in Item 3. The title of this image is “Beneath Human Rights:
Sen. Tom Cotton earlier today calling on the US to send in the 101st Airborne Division to to end the “anarchy, rioting and looting”, and President Trump retweeting it, will resonate in Zhongnanhai as the 31st Anniversary of the June 4th crackdown is this Thursday:
Tom Cotton @TomCottonARAnarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight. If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division. We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.
Today’s curfew here in DC starts at 7PM.
Both Bloomberg and Reuters reported earlier today that some state-owned buyers had been ordered to suspend purchases of US agricultural goods. Then a few hours later Reuters reported that state-owned firms had bought at least 180,000 of US soybeans. If Beijing has really decided to suspend ag purchases then this may be used as the pretext for Trump to declare the trade deal dead, killed by Beijing, and roll out some of the much tougher measures that were under discussion last week, measures that would look much more like "financial war". However, it is not clear what is actually going on.
Today’s essential Eight:
US unrest makes easy propaganda pickings
Qiushi publishes 2019 Xi speech on moderately prosperous society
Xi on National Science and Technological Workers' Day
China-India border tensions
Employment is the most important of the “6 ensures”
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Hong Kong
Since 2003, the Communist Party has overseen the city’s matters through the Central Coordination Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, which has been led by Vice-Premier Han Zheng since last year.
Tam said the group had been elevated and renamed the Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, with HKMAO director Xia serving as its deputy chief...
Tian Feilong, a Hong Kong affairs expert at Beihang University in Beijing, said: “The ‘coordinating groups’ are usually tasked with collecting information and feedback from various parties and feeding the information to the Politburo Standing Committee.
“Once upgraded to a ‘leading group’, it will now have certain decision-making power. Some leading groups eventually become powerful commissions holding top decision-making and executive power, in the institutional reforms since 2018.”..
The leading group on Hong Kong-Macau affairs has Vice-Premier Han at the helm, and according to a Hong Kong source familiar with Beijing’s policy on the city, has four deputy leaders – HKMAO director Xia, foreign minister Wang Yi, public security minister Zhao Kezhi and China’s domestic security chief Guo Shengkun.
Here’s a statement [公安部：全力指导支持香港警队止暴制乱] on May 29 by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) vowing to “fully direct and support Hong Kong police” to stop violence and chaos. The timing is fascinating. At a time when some pro-Beijing elite in Hong Kong are seeking to assure the public that the establishment of national security organs in Hong Kong has minimal significance and that their offices there will only play a modest, quiet role similar to that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office, why does the MPS make a statement that, at least in the minds of millions, will maximize anxiety about the forthcoming national security legislation by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee?
According to People’s Daily, the ministry of state security had a meeting on Friday studying Xi Jinping’s speech at the two sessions and the new laws adopted at the NPC. The minister Chen Wenqing said the new national security law for HK shows the leader’s “strong will and firm determination to safeguard national security”, and “it sends the strong signal that the bottom-line of national security is untouchable.” Chen said new law suggests “national security affairs is in the domain of central government”, and his ministry will “resolutely carry out its duties strictly in accordance with the power given by the law”.
The Legal Daily reported that the ministry of public security had a meeting on Saturday to study the two sessions and Xi’s speech. The minister Zhao Kezhi said his ministry will do more to “resolutely safeguard national political security, strictly defend, prevent and crack down on the infiltration, subversive and sabotage activities by hostile force inside and outside of China.”
Zhao also said the public security system will “do its best to guide and support the HK police in stopping violence and chaos, and restoring order”.
The statement was issued by the presidents of Hong Kong University, Chinese University, Lingnan University, Polytechnic University and Education University.
The heads of the city's other publicly funded universities, the University of Science and Technology, Baptist University and City University, did not sign.
Lawyers, bankers, professors and other professionals interviewed by The New York Times described a growing culture of fear in offices across the city. Employees face pressure to support pro-Beijing candidates in local elections and echo the Chinese government’s official line. Those who speak out can be punished or even forced out.
In the post, he also lambasted HSBC, stating, "It's been one week, but HSBC still hasn't taken a stance on the national security legislation", adding that HSBC's profits mainly come from China, and the self-proclaimed British bank can't make money from China while following Western countries to do things that damage China's sovereignty, dignity, and people's feelings.
Hong Kong police have officially banned the city’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil for the first time in 30 years, citing ongoing social-distancing measures and health concerns amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The EU expresses its grave concern at the steps taken by China on 28 May, which are not in conformity with its international commitments (Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984) and the Hong Kong Basic Law. This risks to seriously undermine the 'One Country Two Systems' principle and the high degree of autonomy of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.
EU relations with China are based on mutual respect and trust. This decision further calls into question China’s will to uphold its international commitments. We will raise the issue in our continuing dialogue with China.
Comment: Did Xi get through reading this without a satisfied chuckle?
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday that China's move to strengthen its legal grip on Hong Kong didn't put "investment deals" at risk, flatly contradicting European business groups that say they are worried about commercial ties.
The EU's decision not to take a hard line on China, or use its leverage as the world's biggest trade bloc, comes in stark contrast to the U.S. which is threatening trade measures if Beijing proceeds with imposing national security laws on the former British colony of 7 million people.
On May 30, 2020, Ambassador Cui Tiankai's op-ed on NPC's decision to establish and improve a legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong SAR was published by Bloomberg...
Many Americans who live and work in Hong Kong may wonder what the legislation will mean for them. The answer is that it will provide a safer and more secure environment. The legislation is only targeted at actions that jeopardize China’s national security, such as splitting the country, subverting the government, committing terrorist activities and externally meddling in Hong Kong affairs. People who have nothing to do with these should have no worries.
The Hong Kong Financial Industry Employees General Union is seeking to garner support from 100,000 finance employees -- nearly one third of the industry’s workforce -- by June 12 to start a strike, Chairman Kwok Ka-wing said at a press briefing on Monday, without providing a date for planned action. Other measures will be considered if support is not achieved for the strike, he said.
People’s Daily front page commentary on Monday saying the new national security law and Beijing’s decision to hold the “black rioters” accountable is widely supported by the Hong Kong people.
People’s Daily’s Zhong Sheng on Sunday wrote that the US sanctions “extremely bullying, unreasonable and shameless” and they will won’t affect HK’s prosperity or stop Beijing from implementing the law. The sanctions will only harm the US interests, it said.
People’s Daily front page commentary by Wanghailou saying “People like Pompeo overestimate their strength” in their threats to sanction Hong Kong. It repeated Zhong Sheng’s saying that the US threat is “extremely bullying, unreasonable and shameless”.
Xinhua continued to attack the US politicians for shift blaming, smearing China and meddling with things in HK, urging them to drop cold war mentality and address their problems at home.
State-owned traders Cofco and Sinograin were ordered to suspend purchases, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. Chinese buyers have also canceled an unspecified number of U.S. pork orders, one of the people said. Private companies haven’t been told to halt imports, according to one of the people.
China has asked its state-owned firms to halt purchases of soybeans and pork from the United States, two people familiar with the matter said, after Washington said it would eliminate special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing.
But then a few hours later Reuters reports this - China buys at least three cargoes U.S. soybeans for Oct or Nov shipment: traders - Reuters
Chinese state-owned firms bought at least three bulk shipments of U.S. soybeans on Monday, or at least 180,000 tonnes, for shipment in October or November from U.S. Pacific Northwest ports, three U.S. traders familiar with the deals said.
Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing who closely follows the China-US trade conflict, described the reported measure as "technical fine-tuning."..
"The US has said something about what it is about to do [about Hong Kong], so it is unsurprising that we are hearing that the Chinese government is making some preparations accordingly," Gao told the Global Times on Monday.
China bought just $3.35 billion in American agricultural products in the first three months of the year, the lowest for that period since 2007, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s a fraction of the $36.5 billion it promised for 2020 under the partial trade deal reached in January.
The spread of the novel coronavirus has put China well behind the necessary pace to meet its phase one pledges. And while purchases of everything from pork to soybeans have picked up in the past two months, it’s “highly unlikely” the nation will reach the target given low commodity prices, according to Rabobank, one of the largest lenders to the agriculture industry.
The President’s proclamation suspends the entry into the United States of any People’s Republic of China national seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an F or J visa to study or conduct research in the United States, except for a student seeking to pursue undergraduate study, where the individual’s academic or research activities are likely to support a PRC entity that implements and supports the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “military-civil fusion” strategy.
CCTV commentary on Friday calling Pompeo “the worst secretary of state in history who is dragging the US into a black hole”, and how unpopular and immoral he is as “a rat running across the street”.
Representatives Mike Gallagher, Jim Banks and Doug LaMalfa plan to introduce the bill, which would require Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to submit a report to Congress listing foreign defense companies that have “substantial contracts with, ties to, or support from” the Chinese military.
As policymakers make decisions about U.S.-China interdependence in the months and years ahead, they should bear in mind several lessons that emerge from this study. First, China today feels profoundly vulnerable to its dependence on the United States. Despite its massive size and scale, its leaders’ belief in its own insecurity remains powerful. And they know that if the United States were to ramp up its disentanglement from the Chinese economy, or impose coercive measures in partnership with allies to limit China’s ability to diversify, the effect on China’s development would be severe.
Second, Xi Jinping’s remarkable assertiveness in seeking to address this problem is very much a process in motion, not a foregone conclusion; it simply may not be possible for China to achieve the degree of security that it desires, though Xi will not stop trying. And the more successful China’s indigenization and diversification efforts are, the more U.S. leverage will diminish.
Third, the astonishingly high level of U.S.-China interdependence today means that there is much room for adjustment on both sides. Interdependence has many benefits in terms of promoting economic growth and technological progress, upholding American ideals as an open society, and maintaining stability through deterrence—and these benefits can be obtained in many different configurations between total openness and total closure. As our countries consider the future after the COVID-19 pandemic, finding a sustainable new balance must be a top priority for our leaders.
Comment: Some argue that now is the time for the US to push much harder, given that US leverage will only decline from here.
3. US unrest makes easy propaganda pickings
CCTV Wechat account Yuyuantantian - Americans are now trapped in their own troubles why do they still think about “imposing sanctions” in Hong Kong? In response to the US statement to impose sanctions on Hong Kong in response to the passage of the national security law for HK, the account said there would be little affect on Hong Kong from the US sanctions while US companies would bear the brunt. Also, given what is happening in the US, they should better focus on their business back home.
CCTV Evening News commentary Saturday on the death of George Floyd and “double standards” of the Americans, saying the riots in the US are karma since the Trump administration has been ignoring what happened at home, too busy supporting protest in HK and pointing fingers at China for the virus outbreak.
CCTV commentary on Sunday saying the US threat to cancel Hong Kong’s special status is “absurd, ridiculous, laughable and narcissist,” since it won’t stop China from implementing the law, and the sanctions won’t undermine Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub.
CCTV commentary on the Evening News on Monday: “The American politicians who shot themselves in the foot are having a taste of the bitter fruit of encouraging riots in Hong Kong!”
As the pandemic unfolded, intensified partisan fights together with political polarization with an eye to general elections in November have also played an active role in brewing rage and tearing the country apart..
"Where people are broke, and there doesn't appear to be any assistance, there's no leadership, there's no clarity about what is going to happen, this creates the conditions for anger, rage, desperation and hopelessness, which can be a very volatile combination," said Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African American studies at Princeton University.
China Review News: We noted that Africa has reacted very strongly to the death of the African American due to the violent use of force by a white police officer in the US. Chairman of the AU Commission and political leaders of some African countries have publicly condemned this in various ways. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: African countries and people know what an unspeakable experience it is to be the subject of racial discrimination. They have never stopped their fight against racial discrimination and segregation. In response to the situation in the US, leaders of the AU and many African countries have called for justice against racial discrimination. Their voices represent the consensus of the international community and deserve the attention from the US side.
China stands with the African side in their just calls and will work with the African side to firmly oppose all forms of racial discrimination, including inflammatory comments of racial hostility and hatred.
The US is not there for ethnic minorities and poor people. Through the epidemic and the attitude of the ruling elites in the riots, people can see that these groups live in desperation. Because the poor have no way to unite under the US system and can easily be divided, their common dissatisfaction has a limited impact on elections, and they have never become the focus of attention of policymakers.
China's massive poverty alleviation program is just unthinkable in the US. The frosty attitude of capitalism against the vulnerable groups has been laid bare in the past few months. The poor in the US are experiencing a very bad 2020.
Weibo trending hashtag - "At least 15 US states have called in the National Guard"
“US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the violent protests in Hong Kong ‘a beautiful sight to behold.’… US politicians now can enjoy this sight from their own windows,” Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalist tabloid Global Times, wrote on Saturday...
On Sunday, Hu said Hong Kong protesters were “obviously” behind the American demonstrations. “I highly suspect that Hong Kong rioters have infiltrated American states,” he wrote, earning him accusations of peddling conspiracy theories.
Comment: He was gleefully trolling, not peddling conspiracy theories
On Saturday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry, tweeted "I can't breathe" -- among the final words uttered by Floyd before he died -- along with a statement by the US State Department on Hong Kong. Hua, one of a new breed of increasingly vociferous Chinese diplomats, also shared an article by RT, the Russian state-run broadcaster, accusing the US of hypocrisy for its reaction to the respective protests.
Her colleague, Zhao Lijian, who has previously accused Washington of supporting "Hong Kong independence forces and violent radicals," also shared tweets along the same lines, including one from Hu Xijin, editor of the nationalist Chinese tabloid the Global Times, crowing that "the 'beautiful sight' defined by US politicians has eventually extended from Hong Kong to the US."
"Now they can witness it by their home windows," Hu wrote. "I want to ask Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Pompeo: Should Beijing support protests in the US, like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?"
Chinese state and social media have been filled with reports highlighting the nationwide demonstrations against police brutality in the US and attacking American politicians who supported the Hong Kong protests.
State news agency Xinhua described the chaotic scenes as “Pelosi’s beautiful landscape”, a veiled reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments last year that the mass protests in Hong Kong were “a beautiful sight to behold”.
State broadcaster CCTV on Saturday referred to the protest cities as “warzones” and produced round-the-clock updates and analyses highlighting the racial divide in the US.
Caixin’s Zhang Qi gave more balanced reporting about the protest, saying in DC, she saw some policemen were talking with protesters and discussing in peace how to address the racism among the police troops.
Beijing News in a commentary on Monday critisized the Communist Youth League and state media like Global Times for calling the looting in the US protests “a beautiful sight”, even though Pelosi did call protest in HK “a beautiful sight”. The commentary said by no means should Chinese media say that, since if we
4. Qiushi publishes 2019 Xi speech on moderately prosperous society
State media on Sunday published a 13-month-old speech made by President Xi Jinping in which he said China has “basically achieved the goal of building up a comprehensive well-off society”, suggesting Beijing may declare victory this year in achieving one of its most-prized development goals despite the economic impact of the coronavirus...
Yang Weimin, deputy director of the economic affairs committee under the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said on Monday that the target has been basically achieved, as likely growth of 1 per cent to 3 per cent this year would mean GDP in 2020 was 1.95 times higher than in 2010.
“The key is to win people’s recognition and accomplish the poverty reduction campaign,” he said in an online symposium hosted by the think tank, China Centre for International Economic Exchanges.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, with efforts focused on people's aspirations to live a better life, the CPC has overcome difficulties to forge ahead, making historic achievements in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, says the article.
In general, China has basically achieved the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, with continuous efforts made by generations of people since the CPC Central Committee put forward the strategic vision of a moderately prosperous society in the early days of reform and opening up, says the article.
The results have been even better than expected, it says.
Noting that there are still some areas of weakness in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects that need to be strengthened with prompt efforts, the article calls for targeted measures to do away with the weak links.
Criterion for a moderately prosperous society in all respects should include not only quantitative indicators but also careful assessment of people's actual living standards and sense of fulfillment, according to the article.
Comment: And there is the way to still announce completion of the goal on time
From the perspective of people's living standards, the goal of doubling the per capita income of urban and rural residents in 2020, as determined by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, can be achieved on schedule
5. Xi on National Science and Technological Workers' Day
Xi extended greetings to sci-tech workers across the country ahead of China's fourth national sci-tech workers' day, which falls on May 30...
Xi hoped that sci-tech workers across the country strive to resolve problems with key and core technologies, promote the in-depth integration of application, education and scientific research, reach the peak of science and technology and make new and greater contributions to building China into a global power in science and technology....
Recently, 25 representatives of sci-tech workers, including agronomist Yuan Longping, respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan and space expert Ye Peijian, wrote to Xi to express their determination to make contributions in the new era of innovation and entrepreneurship
The urge from Beijing sends a clear signal that, in key and core technology supplies, China cannot and must not rely on imports, because some leading items of technology, such as semiconductor chips, cannot be bought.
The current Trump government's trade war against China and its relentless assault on 5G equipment maker Huawei Technologies and a host of other Chinese high-tech companies in AI, robotics and quantum computing, by blacklisting them and cutting off crucial component supplies, has taught this country a good lesson...
China has got a problem because the country has trusted the globalized trade regime and intertwined supply chains, wishfully thinking that all foreign technology products - specifically advanced wafer chips - could be purchased. The US technology blockage on Huawei and other Chinese firms is pouring a bucket of cool water on Chinese people.
Huawei's chip design company HiSilicon announced that it is recruiting talented young people from around the world, and offering competitive salaries and positions, according to media reports. The recruitment targets the world's outstanding post-graduate and doctoral students who have graduated or will graduate from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2021.
6. China-India border tensions
On the Chinese social media site WeChat, a Chinese soldier posted photos showing a number of Indian soldiers lying on the ground with a group of PLA soldiers standing nearby with sticks in their hands. The photos were accompanied by a Chinese caption saying the Chinese side “had just one injury but dozens of Indian soldiers were wounded”.
The report was published one day after the Indian side posted a video on YouTube showing that Indian troops had captured a Chinese officer, who appeared badly roughed up during the brawl at Pangong Lake, about 4,350 metres (14,300 feet) above sea level in the Himalayas.
The crudely made video, which did not include the date of the incident, also showed a damaged PLA military vehicle amid cheering Indian troops.
Two independent sources close to the PLA said “the wounded Chinese officer was an interpreter who was taken in by the Indian troops but was later released with minor injuries after the Chinese side called for reinforcements”.
The grim video:
Cropped carefully to include a bit of boat on the top-left corner, the image is likely to have been 'released' in response to the video from yesterday. While the images had been 'released' by a slew of anonymous Chinese handles -- most of which joined Twitter only a week or two ago -- they took more serious root with politicians like Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi sharing them, and calling for retaliation against the Chinese.
In the summer months, when the threat of Chinese intrusions is at its peak, the Indian Army conducts an excerise in Ladakh. The Chinese do the same. However, this year, because of Covid-19, the Army cancelled all its excerises with a result that there were no reserve acclamatized troops in the region when the Chinese intruded. The Chinese on the other hand came in the guise of their exercise.
When asked if this was an intelligence and operational failure, a senior officer said, "China stabbed us in the back. In the middle of a pandemic, this was not expected."
The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the Line of Actual Control or LAC in eastern Ladakh by rushing in artillery, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment, the sources said.
The Indian Army has also been moving in additional troops as well equipment and weapons like artillery to aggressively match up to the Chinese build-up, they said, adding that India will not relent till status quo is restored in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and a number of other areas.
If in a new Cold War, India leans toward the US or becomes a US pawn attacking China, the economic and trade ties between the two Asian neighbors will suffer a devastating blow. And it would be too much for the Indian economy to take such a hit at the current stage.
The latest episode in the China-India border dispute, which has seen troops face off in the Ladakh region, could be interpreted as a bid by Beijing to warn New Delhi against aligning with the United States on geopolitical matters, according to Shyam Saran, India’s former foreign secretary and a former head of the National Security Advisory Board.
Residents of Leh district say incursions by China are not new to them. “This has been happening for years but it didn’t get much attention,” said Rigzin Spalbar, who was Congress candidate for Ladakh in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “This time, the Chinese are showing more aggression.”
In what the army is recognizing as a repeat of Pakistan’s 1999 Kargil intrusions, but this time by China in eastern Ladakh, troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continue consolidating their defences in the Galwan River and Pangong Lake areas, up to three kilometres (km) inside territory that the Indian Army has patrolled and claimed for decades.
Just as the Kargil intrusions allowed Pakistani troops to dominate the Srinagar-Zojila-Kargil-Leh highway and threatened to cut off Ladakh from the north; the Chinese intrusion into the Galwan River valley allows PLA troops to overlook the strategic Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) highway and cut off the army’s lone year-round connection with its isolated “Sub-Sector North” (SSN), at the base of the Karakoram Pass.
7. Employment is the most important of the “6 ensures”
China will increase its deficit by 1 trillion yuan (about 140.2 billion U.S. dollars) this year. It will also issue 1 trillion yuan in government bonds for COVID-19 control, as part of the efforts to provide relief to businesses and unleash market vitality, Li said in a video conference in the northern port city of Qingdao.
Noting that the funds should be primarily used to ensure employment, meet basic living needs and protect market entities, Li stressed that a special transfer payment mechanism should be set up to ensure that funds go straight to primary-level governments. The funds must directly benefit businesses and people and mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that these funds are not withheld by provincial governments.
Monday CCTV Evening News report on Li's comments, Li emphasizes the funds are primarily for ensuring employment
Caixin on Li Keqiang's visit to an old neighbourhood in Yantai, Shandong, where he praised street vendors as the "smoke and fire of the world" and "the vitality of China".
Li Keqiang in Yantai, Shandong, visits with roadside stall owners, government now encouraging them again as a way to help with the unemployment issues and help people make money, a bit if a turnaround from recent crackdowns, wonder how the chenggaun will behave
Factories reduced headcount for the first time since they reopened, with a sub-index falling to 49.4 from 50.2 in April, the survey showed...
Zhao Qinghe, an official with the NBS, said more than 80% of factories have resumed production to 80% of levels prior to the coronavirus outbreak. However, indexes for imports and exports were at record lows as global demand continues to shrink...
New orders for the construction sector rose to 58, compared with 53.2 the previous month, while companies also added headcount at a faster clip.
The official non-manufacturing PMI rose to 53.6 in May, from 53.2 in April, suggesting the sector’s business and consumer confidence may slowly be improving.
While China’s official PMI, released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, showed continued expansion, the magnitude of the gains fell for a second straight month, and a subindex to measure production slipped to 53.2 from 53.7 in April—pointing to sluggish demand. Worryingly, the new-export-orders subindex, a gauge of external demand, continued to remain deep in contractionary territory, though it improved to 35.3 in May, from 33.5 in April.
Meanwhile, the Caixin PMI survey, which is tilted toward smaller private manufacturers, showed new export orders contracting at a historically sharp rate, Caixin Media Co. and research firm IHS Markit reported Monday.
The state council opened an online platform asking people if they see any problems in local governments’ implementation of the policies on “six stability” and “six ensures” that support small business and employment. The Xinhua article said this is to prevent the local officials from back pedaling the policies or being lazy.
8. The epidemic
Chinese health authority said today that it received reports of 16 new confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday, all of which were imported ones with 11 reported in Sichuan province, three in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and two in Guangdong province.
Dr. Zhang Wenhong tells CCTV there will be a second wave of of the COVID-19 outbreak for sure and it had already started outside China. He also pointed out that the epidemic control and prevention system in China is very well-established so China is ready for the second wave of the relapse.
The city conducted more than 60,000 nucleic acid tests on Sunday, finding no new asymptomatic cases, according to a statement issued Monday by the municipal health commission.
In identifying the city’s asymptomatic carriers, Wuhan’s testing blitz could allow the city where the virus first emerged to eradicate the pathogen from its population. But its method is likely out of reach for other countries and even bigger Chinese cities as it requires a massive mobilization of resources and the full cooperation of residents.
Students at their first and second grades of senior high schools, first and second grades of junior high schools and sixth grade of primary schools returned to school for this semester in Beijing on Monday.
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has stressed the importance of applying anti-COVID-19 measures amid the reopening of schools across the country.
She made the comments on Monday as she conducted inspection visits to a secondary school, a primary school, and a kindergarten in Beijing.
China Daily produced a documentary of how foreign media has been smearing China about the coronavirus
An international team of scientists, including a prominent researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has analyzed all known coronaviruses in Chinese bats and used genetic analysis to trace the likely origin of the novel coronavirus to horseshoe bats.
Two experimental vaccines for the novel coronavirus developed by research institutions run by China National Pharmaceutical Group, also known as Sinopharm, have shown positive signs of efficacy and safety, raising hopes that a vaccine could be available as soon as the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Sinopharm is ramping up its vaccine manufacturing capacity, aiming to produce at least 200 million doses of novel coronavirus vaccine a year to increase the accessibility of approved products
Xinhua interviewed a researcher from the Wuhan institute of virology, again saying the virus is not leaked from the lab, which has been subjected all kinds of international standards and inspections.
Business, Economy and Trade
China releases master plan for Hainan free trade port - Xinhua A free trade port system focusing on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation will be "basically established" in Hainan by 2025 and become "more mature" by 2035, according to the plan jointly issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. The authorities expect to make Hainan, China's largest special economic zone, the frontline of China's integration into the global economic system, according to the plan. // The plan 中共中央 国务院印发《海南自由贸易港建设总体方案》 Good for Hainan, but still playing around the edges with special zones rather than reforming the whole economy
iPhone Sales Exceed USD70 Million Over First Five Hours Into 618 Festival - Yicai Apple's first participation in Tmall's 618 shopping festival has borne fruit as its iPhone sales surpassed CNY500 million (USD70 million) once discounting began after midnight.
Gree Sells USD140 Million in Three-Hour Livestreaming Event - Yicai Gree took just CNY230,000 during its first three-hour livestreaming on Douyin on April 24, Chairwoman Dong Mingzhu told a shareholders meeting today, blaming that poor performance on a lack of preparation. The latest promotional offering went out on six e-commerce platforms, including JD.com, Tmall and Douyin.
Yicai - Shenzhen Offices Stood Empty as Rents Halved in First Quarter Due to Covid-19 Almost a quarter of high-end offices in the Chinese economic powerhouse of Shenzhen were unoccupied in the first quarter and some rents were cut by as much as half as the Covid-19 epidemic took its toll, the Securities Times reported today.
Yicai - Coffee Box Is Said to Be China’s Latest Troubled Beverage Brand Coffee Box is the latest Chinese coffeehouse chain to run into difficulties following Luckin Coffee’s dramatic fall from grace. The internet-based coffee brand is in financial distress and has shuttered many of its stores, Beijing Business Today reported.
New York-listed Weidai Withdraws from P2P Lending Operations Following 56.52% Drop in Net Profits – China Banking News On 31 May Weidai (微贷网) announced via its official WeChat account that it was withdrawing from the online lending sector prior to 30 June 2020 and will no longer be engaging in online loan intermediation operations.
China bets on $2tn high-tech infrastructure plan to spark economy - Nikkei Asian Review The initiative is not entirely new -- the concept was unveiled in December 2018 when Beijing set "the development of new infrastructure such as artificial intelligence, industrial internet and the Internet of Things" as a government priority for the following year.
Billions Flowing to China’s Quants Takes Fight to Global Funds - Bloomberg quant trading is at a nascent stage, said Qiu Huiming, who worked for Millennium Management LLC and HAP Capital Advisors LLC in the U.S. before returning to start Minghong in 2014. Funds like his manage only 250 billion yuan, he estimates, while the market can absorb more than a trillion yuan in high-frequency plays and five times that in strategies that rely on fundamentals and hold long-term positions.
China’s stimulus sceptics need not fear side-effects this time | Financial Times $$ A healthy dose of fiscal action serves both shorter-term stability and longer-term prosperity. Of course, stimulus alone is no panacea. The best way to overcome the sceptics is to build on a well-structured and carefully targeted spending plan. Further efforts to rejuvenate the post-pandemic economy — through measures such as rural land reform and a further opening-up of the financial sector — remain key to China’s sustained growth in an increasingly uncertain world. The writer is vice-president of JD.com and chief economist of JD Digits
Politics and Law
China's same-sex couples heartened by property protection rights in new civil code - Reuters with parliament’s Thursday passage of China’s first civil code, which seeks to better protect the rights of individuals, same-sex couples have been offered hope in property claims. Tucked away among the code’s 1,260 articles is a chapter on “the right to reside”. It gives a property owner the power to grant another individual the right to live on the property for a term or for life, offering far more legal protection than a will which can be challenged by family members.
习近平在中央政治局第二十次集体学习时强调 充分认识颁布实施民法典重大意义 依法更好保障人民合法权益_CCTV CCTV Evening News on the Friday Politburo study session on the new Civil Code, the discussant was Huang Wei. This new law is a big milestone. Everyone but Xi shown wearing masks
China: celebrity blogger gets 4 years in jail for criticizing Communist Party | RSF Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Beijing to release celebrity blogger Liu Yanli who was recently sentenced to a four-year prison term for publishing negative comments on Chinese leaders on social media.
Ex-Chinese official Qiao Jianjun extradited to US on money-laundering and fraud charges | Reuters A former Chinese official and fugitive has been extradited from Sweden to Los Angeles to face charges of money laundering and immigration fraud, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Monday.
Xi extends Int'l Children's Day greetings Xi...called on children to study hard, firm up their ideals and convictions and develop strong bodies and minds to prepare for realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Xi noted that children nationwide have experienced a special period during the country's fight against COVID-19 as all Chinese people stand united. Witnessing the great feats of Chinese people working together and rising to challenges, the children have followed the call of the Party and the government to support the anti-epidemic battle with their concrete actions, demonstrating the fine spirit of the country's children, Xi said.
你的党费应该交多少？怎么交？--党建-人民网 CCP News site publishes a guide to how much in membership fees Party members should pay. monthly income 3000 RMB or below, .5%, monthly income 3001-5000 RMB 1%, monthly income 5001-10000 RMB 1.5%, monthly income above 10000 RMB 2%. How much dos Jack Ma pay in his Party membership fees?
新疆维吾尔自治区副主席任华被查，今年已有5名中管干部落马_打虎记_澎湃新闻-The Paper Ren Hua, vice chair of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, is under investigation. She is Han
Frozen Assets of ‘China’s Carl Icahn’ May Soon Be Returned - Caixin Xu [Xiang]’s wife Ying Ying wrote Sunday in a social media post (link in Chinese) that a judge in the eastern city of Qingdao told her screening of the frozen assets is “coming to an end.” She said that the process should’ve been completed three years ago when Xu was sentenced, so legal assets of the family could have been properly returned. Ying, who is seeking a divorce from Xu, said that billions of yuan of legal assets belong to her.
Caixin Editorial: Pandemic Response Shows Need for Better Data Protection Laws Multiple state departments aim to provide more accurate, more efficient governance. Could they demand that no constraints be placed on personal data in order to achieve that? The answer, of course, should be no. Protecting personal information is the bottom line for societies run according to the rule of law. Without legal permission, no government department or agency has the authority to snatch this right from citizens. But at present, China is doing a far better job of curbing the virus than of safeguarding its people’s personal information.
Beijing begins banning uncivilized behaviors - Xinhua Starting on Monday, spitting in public, littering, throwing objects from high places, eating in subway carriages and walking dogs without a leash are among the 29 violations that will be restricted by the regulation. Individuals found guilty of these "uncivilized behaviors" will be held accountable. Meanwhile, righteous and courageous acts are encouraged by the rules.
Nationalism in China is running high. Here’s how Beijing reins it in. - The Washington Post But can we take these antiwar sentiments at face value? Perhaps not. Officials have sometimes used the same rhetoric of peace and stability, even when China is acting assertively. In our survey, many of the same people with strong antiwar sentiments also supported military spending in the abstract, although their support diminished when they perceived a domestic trade-off...A deep reserve of antiwar sentiments benefits Beijing, because it allows the government more room to contain nationalism, along with greater flexibility to de-escalate foreign crises. But diplomatic spats with foreign powers and narratives of victimization by foreigners can deplete this reserve.
How Chinese Nationalism Is Changing – The Diplomat Thus the effervescent, galvanizing nature of Chinese nationalism provided a convenient and powerful tool of public mollification – any and all criticisms of governmental responses to the crisis were framed as antithetical to the interests of the entire nation. What cannot be underestimated here is the extent to which such support genuinely emanates from the public; highly symbolic gestures of goodwill and high-level “concern” for citizens, exemplified best, perhaps, by second-in-command Li Keqiang’s leadership of the Crisis Response Team, have amplified both regime credibility and mass support in the eyes of an overwhelming majority of the country’s populace. Finally, the surge in racist xenophobia in the West has provided Beijing with significant ammunition to portray itself as the ultimate defender of all Chinese’s interests
Foreign and Defense Affairs
UK review of Huawei eyes impact of US sanctions | Financial Times $$ A UK government review into the impact of new US sanctions on Huawei will report back within weeks, officials have said, as they warned the curbs could have “very, very serious” implications for the Chinese company’s planned role in supplying 5G networks in Britain.
Revealed: the worrying links between Huawei, our universities and China - The Telegraph The Telegraph can disclose today that the controversial Chinese telecoms giant backed 17 scientific papers with UK universities, about cutting-edge “dual use” technologies – which can have civilian applications but can also be used in military technology. At least 15 of the papers focused on technology that experts claim could be used to communicate with swarms of drones or on highly advanced image recognition software that experts claim could be used for extreme levels of surveillance. All of them involve collaborations between British universities, including at Edinburgh and Exeter, and Chinese universities heavily involved in military research and named as "high risk" by an Australian think tank.
'D10' 5G club an outdated idea with Cold War mind-set - Global Times With the US ratcheting up its crackdown on Huawei and intensifying confrontation with China, the Huawei 5G issue has wide ramifications. If the UK allies with the US against Huawei, that means taking sides between the two biggest economies and blindly following the US in a technological Cold War with China. In that case, the UK cannot expect China to treat it the same as before in terms of economy and trade. Britain should avoid being manipulated by the US and serving the latter's interests as foolishly as Australia.
As Australia clashes with China, the EU lays low – POLITICO Australia was also the first country to call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic amid concerns about transparency from Beijing, leading to economic retribution as China slapped trade tariffs on Canberra. But the EU seems in no hurry to rush in behind its ally in engaging with Beijing. There could even be an upside for the bloc if Australia remains weakened, as Brussels and Canberra look to conclude a free-trade deal later this year.
China-linked Victorian government staffer Nancy’s coronavirus conspiracy - The Australian A long-serving Andrews government staffer with links to the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department has posted a series of articles and videos on social media suggesting coronavirus was created by the US and transported to China by the US Army. The comments from Nancy Yang, who has worked as an electorate officer for Andrews government MPs since 2013, come as Victoria seeks to defend its decision to sign up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative despite opposition from the federal government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Hun Sen Denies China’s Navy Granted Basing Rights in Cambodia – The Diplomat “If one country’s warship is allowed to dock at our navy base, the other countries’ warships will be able to dock, too. We are not going to close it to anyone,” he said.
China to send medical experts to Sao Tome and Principe on COVID-19 - Xinhua The Chinese government has decided to send a team of medical experts to Sao Tome and Principe to support the country in its response to COVID-19, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced Monday.
Laos' debt woes worsen as bills for China-funded dams loom - Nikkei Asian Review COVID-19 has rattled Laos' debut in selling a U.S. dollar bond in international markets, adding pressure on a country whose "Wild West of dam building" splurge has put it in a precarious repayment situation, especially in regard to China, its leading lender. Sources familiar with the banking system in Laos, one of Southeast Asia's poorest countries, say the government has adopted a "wait and see" stance before proceeding with the bond sale. "The central bank has still to confirm if the bond sale will go ahead this year," one source said.
Report of Chinese scramjet test a challenge to most-advanced missile defence systems | South China Morning Post In a ground test in Beijing, Dr Fan Xuejun and colleagues from the Institute of Mechanics fed extremely fast, super-hot air into the engine and took the burn to the maximum for 600 seconds, according to an article posted on the institute’s website last month.
USS Mustin Conducts FONOP Past Paracel Islands In South China Sea - USNI News Mustin‘s transit near the Paracel Islands “upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging the restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam and also by challenging China’s claim to straight baselines enclosing the Paracel Islands,” Lt. j.g. Rachel Maul told USNI News in an email.
WHO investigates Meghan's China TV friend over airing of 'forced confession' of British businessman | Daily Mail Online News anchor James Chau is being investigated by the World Health Organisation Chau is a British journalist who rose to stardom on China's state television The WHO are investigating his involvement in the confession of Peter Humphrey
China may scale back LatAm lending: experts - Global Times China has been rolling back lending to the region in recent years. According to a report compiled by the Global Development Policy Center, lending from China Development Bank and the Import-Export Bank stood at $11 billion in 2019, the lowest in a decade. "China is cutting lending to the region due to economic uncertainties, especially as Brazil has emerged from a recession a few years ago," Sun Yanfeng, a research fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times over the weekend.
Beijing’s plans for South China Sea air defence identification zone cover Pratas, Paracel and Spratly islands, PLA source says | South China Morning Post Beijing has been making plans for an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea since 2010, the same year it said it was considering the introduction of similar airspace controls over the East China Sea in a move that was widely criticised around the world, a military insider said. // Comment: So planning for 10 years, still not announced
Taiwan recall vote stirs acrimony, brings new problems for KMT - Reuters The Kuomintang (KMT) soundly lost the presidential and parliamentary polls. Since then, under a youthful new leader, Johnny Chiang, it has tried to rethink its unpopular policy of seeking closer ties with China. Now it faces further headaches if its defeated presidential candidate, Han Kuo-yu, loses a recall vote for mayor of the southern city of Kaohsiung, a major port whose leadership post he unexpectedly won in late 2018.
Chinese general says Beijing will ‘resolutely smash’ any separatist moves by Taiwan | South China Morning Post Li Zuocheng says collusion between independence and foreign forces is a ‘great and realistic threat’ to peaceful development of relations...At the same event, Li Zhanshu, the third most senior leader of the ruling Communist Party, said using force was a last resort and Beijing had not given up on peaceful reunification with the island, which it considers a part of China. They were speaking at a gathering in Beijing to mark the 15th anniversary of the Anti-Secession Law that gives the People’s Liberation Army a legal basis to take military action against Taiwan if it is deemed to have seceded.
栗战书：坚决反对“台独”分裂，坚定推进祖国和平统一 Full text of Li Zhanshu’s speech, warning to use force but still mention “peaceful reunification” and “1992 consensus”.
新华社：李作成：坚决扛起维护祖国统一的神圣职责 General Li Zuocheng’s speech at the meeting that celebrate anniversary of the anti-secession law. Li boasted about the increasing capacity of PLA under Xi Jinping and said China is keeping its option open to use force in Taiwan.
Tech and Media
观察者：不到一个月，中芯国际“回A”已获上交所受理 According to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the chipmaker SMIC has filed for listing to raise 20 billion RMB, one year after the company delisted from the US. Earlier this month the company has raised 2.25 billion USD from state investors. The money raised will be used to research and build 14nm chips, which is expected to cost 12 billion USD.
Huawei turns to mobile chip rivals to beat US pressure | Financial Times $$ Huawei is in talks with MediaTek, the world’s second-largest mobile chip developer after Qualcomm of the US, and Unisoc, China’s second-largest mobile chip designer after Huawei’s HiSilicon Technologies unit, to buy more chips as alternatives to keep its consumer electronics business afloat, the sources said.
New Didi Service Lets You Hail a Freight Van- PingWest Didi will probably not move your entire apartment, though. The company announced on May 18 that it is recruiting drivers for small and medium-sized vans that would provide intracity freight services in Hangzhou and Chengdu, two of southern China's most populous cities. It's sort of like U-Haul in the United States but instead professional drivers would be taking control of the vehicle and helping users with loading cargo.
"The Romance of Tiger and Rose" - Gender-Reversing Drama is a Big Hit - Radii China Gender-bending is taken to the extreme in China’s newest hit drama, The Romance of Tiger and Rose (传闻中的陈芊芊). The drama imagines a kingdom where women rule society and men take care of the home, putting an unprecedented spin on period drama tropes.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
仝卓自曝高考舞弊 Tong Zhuo, singer and actor, admits in a live-stream that he cheated to get into the Central Academy of Drama, uproar ensues, he has now withdrawn from the school.
Teacher reveals high price of coming out as gay in China | South China Morning Post When he came out as gay, teacher Cui Le made local news headlines and was subject to censorship and surveillance by his university in southern China. It took years – and a move to New Zealand – before he felt ready to tell his story. Cui was working as a linguistics lecturer at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou when he publicly identified as gay in 2015.
Shanghai Wants to Harmonize Its Signs. One Woman’s Pushing Back. - Sixth Tone The Chinese city has imposed strict controls over advertising displays. But critics complain the campaign is turning stores into “bald chickens.”
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China to Make Fossil Fuel Projects Ineligible for Green Bond Financing - Caixin Fossil fuel projects were missing from the latest draft list of projects eligible for green bond financing, which was jointly released Friday by the central bank, the country’s top securities watchdog and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).