Hong Kong; Party turns 99; Xinjiang sanctions coming?

Hong Kong police made the first arrests under the new National Security Law as several thousand people protested on July 1:

And just like in the rest of the PRC you can now be arrested for speech:

It is one thing for people who grew up in mainland China and understand from a young age what the political limits are. It is another to overnight be encased in the PRC authoritarian bubble.

Even if you want to push forward with engagement with China this sad tweet exchange of two American professors encapsulates where we are:

Up in Beijing there is a bit of triumphalism as the Communist Party celebrated its 99th birthday. Hong Kong looks to be firmly under control, the pandemic inside China looks mostly contained for now, and the contrast between the PRC/CCP governance model and American democracy in the current state of the US is quite an easy propaganda win for Xi and the CCP. It is risky to underestimate the support Xi and the CCP in China right now given the state of the rest of the world.

But triumphalism can be premature, and it is remarkable how over the last several months Xi and the CCP have managed to anger so many countries, including at least four of the “five eyes” - the US, the UK, Canada and Australia - as well as India. Xi and the Party keep talking about risks and the complicated environment, and yet they keep making it riskier and more complicated.

I will be taking tomorrow, Thursday, off for the July 4 US Independence Day Holiday.

Today’s Essential Eight:

  1. Hong Kong

  2. UK reacts to Hong Kong Law

  3. US-China

  4. Xinjiang

  5. Party construction and some triumphalism as the CCP turns 99

  6. India-China

  7. Silent Contest 较量无声

  8. A documentary from Wuhan

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

Police use water cannon during protests over Hong Kong's new security laws – video report | The Guardian

Hong Kong police have arrested more than 300 protesters on the first day of life under the controversial national security laws imposed by Beijing, as China confirmed that some suspects could be extradited to the mainland under the new rules. Police were said to have used water cannon and pepper spray on activists and journalists during the demonstrations.

With Hong Kong security law, China writes broad international powers for itself - The Washington Post

Equally striking in China’s move was the realpolitik logic underlying the new law: It signaled that China sees no need to abide by international agreements it made from a position of weakness in earlier years as a poorer nation. The law asserted extraterritorial jurisdiction over critics of Beijing anywhere in the world — potentially ensnaring those who set foot in Hong Kong...

“Of course we’re not afraid,” Zhang Xiaoming, executive director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said of Washington’s retaliatory sanctions. “The era when the Chinese cared what others thought and looked up to others is in the past, never to return.”

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, he called the law a “birthday present” for Hong Kong — it took effect exactly 23 years after China regained the territory from Britain — and said it would serve as a “guardian angel” that would restore the protest-racked city’s prosperity and stability.

Highlights of press briefing on national security law for HK - China Daily

The law is a "perfect combination" of adhering to the "one country" prerequisite and respecting the differences between the "two systems"...

The new national security law will not replace Hong Kong's need to enact its own anti-subversion laws stipulated in Article 23 of its Basic Law...

The national security law for Hong Kong will not be retroactively applied, meaning it will not apply to acts which happened before it came into force...

Common and normal foreign connections and exchanges shall not constitute a crime under the new national security law for Hong Kong

Xinhua Headlines: Law and order dawns in Hong Kong as new law takes effect - Xinhua

The unrest exposed the tremendous risks Hong Kong faces in safeguarding national security and posed a grave challenge to "one country, two systems," Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said Wednesday at an opening ceremony of the activities to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return.

Echoing Lam's words, Luo said the promulgation of the law marks a significant turning point for Hong Kong to move from turmoil to stability, and a major milestone for the practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong.

Xi’s Hong Kong Power Play Puts China Ever More at Odds With West - Bloomberg

“The bill reflects Xi’s steely determination to draw a bright red line on the inviolability of Chinese sovereignty, and that he views Western governments at best as easily divided and at worst as paper tigers,” said Chris Johnson, a former CIA China analyst who now heads China Strategies Group, a consulting firm. “If Xi is proven right in that judgment, it will increase his dialectical, almost millenarian certainty that the West’s decline is both permanent and accelerating, perhaps emboldening him to take greater risks on other points of tension with the U.S.”..

Michael Tien, a pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong, said multinational companies would be fine if they just focused on business and avoided the four areas specified in the law, including speaking about the Communist Party’s legitimacy in China.

“When it comes to these four areas, you guys had better think more about ‘one country,’ forget about your ‘two systems,’” he told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “You can still go on dancing, you can still go on horse racing, you can innovate, you can trade, you can do all those things. But just stay away from these four areas.”

Hong Kong's Security Law Brings the Beijing Treatment - The New York Times - Li Yuan

With the passage of the national security law, pro-democracy activists face the same dilemma as their mainland counterparts: choosing between fear and their ideals.

US-China spat puts future of Hong Kong dollar in the spotlight | Financial Times $$

One person close to the HKMA said that it could turn to the People’s Bank of China, rather than the Fed, if the system really needed an external source of US dollars.

That Hong Kong would rely on China rather than the US for support in maintaining the level of the Hong Kong dollar is a sign of the politicisation of central banks, as the stand-off between Beijing and Washington endures.

Hong Kong’s New Weapon Against Protesters: A Purple Warning Flag - The New York Times

The flag warned protesters against “displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans/or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offenses” under the new law. “You may be arrested and prosecuted,” it read.

Hong Kong National Security Law Promulgated, Came into Effect June 30, 2020 | Morrison & Foerster

This alert provides links to related resources, a brief summary of a number of key provisions of the HKNSL, and an overview of some of the policy responses being discussed in Washington, D.C. that will be relevant to U.S. companies doing business in China and to Hong Kong and mainland China companies doing business in the United States.

Landslide support for HK law at UNHRC - Global Times

A total of 53 countries supported China's national security law for Hong Kong at the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday, triumphing over 27 members that attacked and called for harsh measures against China over issues involving Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

The landslide victory was seen by experts as showing that China's achievements in human rights have won more supporters and become known by wider audiences. The double standards of some Western countries that tried to politicize the UNHRC and to use human rights-related issues as weapons to attack China, brought themselves more criticism within the international community.

Senior Hong Kong education figures back national security law - Global Times

The heads of the governing councils of Hong Kong's eight publicly funded universities announced their support of the newly enacted national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), amid celebrations Wednesday for the 23rd anniversary of return to the motherland.

Council chairmen of renowned universities such as the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, all expressed their endorsed positions on the new law.

Legislation Summary: Hong Kong National Security Law – NPC Observer

Three aspects of the Law are particularly problematic: (1) its criminal provisions are worded in such a broad manner as to encompass a swath of what has so far been considered protected speech; (2) it provides for the direct application of mainland Chinese law—the notoriously restrictive Criminal Procedure Law [刑事诉讼法] no less—in Hong Kong in certain circumstances, outside the Annex III mechanism; and (3) it displaces certain core protections for the accused under Hong Kong law and grants the police sweeping investigative powers without judicial oversight.

Hong Kong's National Security Law: a first look | The China Collection - Donald Clarke

An important point: I’m not going to talk much about the substantive offenses and their definitions. There’s a reason for that. If mainland practice to date is any guide—and it is—then the definitions don’t matter that much. Anything can be stretched as necessary to cover something done by the person being targeted. As the old cliché goes, 欲加之罪何患无辞 (roughly, “if you are determined to convict, you needn’t worry about the lack of grounds”). The key is in the institutions and procedures the law establishes and empowers. Who has power to do what? What are the procedures under which they operate? Who appoints and pays for them? To whom are they responsible? Etc.

Hong Kong PLA garrison troops chase fugitives in drill as national security law is passed | South China Morning Post

Special troops, air defence soldiers, warships and aircraft carried out maritime and island searches to “comprehensively test the Hong Kong garrison’s defence capabilities”, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“We aimed to track down the fugitive in the first attempt and intercept the suspect,” one of the PLA soldiers told the broadcaster.


2. UK reacts to Hong Kong Law

Britain to give millions of Hongkongers residency rights and path to citizenship after national security law passed | South China Morning Post

The British government has agreed to allow around 3 million Hongkongers eligible for British National (Overseas) passports and their dependents to resettle in the UK with a path to citizenship.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Parliament the law was a “clear and serious breach” of the 1984 Joint Declaration, that provided for the colony’s return to Chinese rule and was supposed to guarantee the city’s autonomy.

Raab said holders of BN(O) passports would have the right to remain for five years after which they can apply for settled status, effectively permanent residency.

China is breaking Hong Kong treaty with UK, says Boris Johnson | The Guardian

Boris Johnson denounced China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong as a “clear and serious” violation of its treaty with Britain, vowing to introduce a bespoke five-year visa for as many as 2.9 million Hong Kong citizens with British national (overseas) status.

Speaking at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday he said the law introduced by the Chinese government constituted a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984 and aimed at smoothing the transition when the territory was handed back to China in 1997.

UK offers British citizenship to nearly 3m people living in Hong Kong after China's security crackdown

Senior Tory MPs said the Government must now reset its relationship with China, including banning Huawei from the UK’s 5G network. Downing Street said that Britain wanted a good relationship with China, but it “does not come at any price”.

The Chinese ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office today to explain why China went ahead with the security law, after President Xi Jinping appeared to snub Boris Johnson.

Comment: Huawei is unlikely to be able to lobby away this issue

A Statement from the President | Wolfson - Cambridge University

"Wolfson College strongly supports the protection of human rights and the freedom of expression of all its members. Accordingly, it is deeply concerned by recent events in Hong Kong following the enactment of the National Security Law. The Governing Body will be considering Mrs Lam's position as an Honorary Fellow of the College."

Tony Blair drawn into row over pro-China lobbying group - The Australian

Tony Blair has been dragged into a row over a mysterious pro-Beijing lobbying group accused of using Chinese propaganda to groom British elites.

On Tuesday Mr Blair denied claims that he is a fellow of the 48 Group Club as new details emerged about the body’s links to business and political figures.

A spokeswoman for the former prime minister said he was “not linked” to the group, which a new book claims is seeking to influence British politicians with Chinese propaganda and strengthen ties between London and Beijing.

The club, which includes Lord Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister, as a founding patron, took down its website after Hidden Hand, an expose of Chinese influence networks, was published in Australia.


3. US-China

On Beijing’s Imposition of National Security Legislation on Hong Kong - United States Department of State

The CCP’s action demonstrates once again that Beijing’s commitments – in this case, the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law – are empty words. The CCP promised 50 years of freedom to the Hong Kong people, and gave them only 23. Within the past few years, Beijing has also violated its agreements with the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations. This is a pattern the world cannot ignore.

The United States will not stand idly by while China swallows Hong Kong into its authoritarian maw. Last week, we imposed visa restrictions on CCP officials responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. We are ending defense and dual-use technology exports to the territory. Per President Trump’s instruction, we will eliminate policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment, with few exceptions.

Menendez, Rubio, Young, Cardin, Merkley Introduce the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

“As the people of Hong Kong continue to face Beijing’s tightening grip on their autonomy, freedoms and basic human rights, the United States must hold its torch high and proud for the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Ranking Member Menendez said. “We are introducing this bipartisan legislation to reiterate to the Chinese Communist Party that we stand resolutely with Hong Kong and its residents, and we will ensure they don’t fall through the cracks of our broken immigration system just because they were forced to flee for standing up for their rights.”

Congress Launches Bipartisan Bill to Give Refugee Status to Certain Hong Kong Residents - WSJ $$

The legislation would require the State Department to designate as refugees of special humanitarian concern Hong Kong residents who suffered persecution, or have a well-founded fear of it, due to their expression of political opinions or peaceful participation in political activities. The privileges would extend to those individuals’ spouses, children and parents, provided the parents are Chinese citizens, the text says...

The introduction of the legislation, called the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act, follows the Senate’s passage last week of a bipartisan bill that would put sanctions on Chinese officials who erode Hong Kong’s limited autonomy from Beijing, as well as the banks and firms that do business with them.

Another People’s Daily Zhongsheng attack on Pompeo - 政治操弄成不了救命稻草(钟声)--观点--人民网

蓬佩奥为中国罗织的种种所谓“罪名”,恰恰呈现出美国一些政客在应对疫情上的价值取向——自利短见、任性低效、不负责任。英国《经济学人》杂志指出,蓬佩奥在胡说八道方面有着悠久历史,他针对中国的言论“显然是为了分散人们对美方抗击疫情的注意力”。美国《华盛顿邮报》批评道,蓬佩奥公然将疫情政治化,这使他成为人们记忆中最黯淡、最低效的国务卿,“他就像又一个美国政府雇佣的政治黑客——专注于政治利益,对道德不当充耳不闻”。

Comment: When was the last time the propaganda organs got so nasty and personal with a US official? Party media are still under orders to not attack Trump by name, but Pompeo is fair game. If/when Party media starts attacking Trump by name then the US-China relationship has really gone off the rails

US delays diplomats’ return to China amid concerns over testing and quarantine | Reuters

The United States has postponed flights for dozens of diplomats who had planned to return to China later this month, after failing to reach agreement with Beijing over issues including Covid-19 testing and quarantine.

Biden says new China national security law a 'death blow,' weighs sanctions - Reuters

The Democratic presidential nominee said he would “prohibit U.S. companies from abetting repression and supporting the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state” and “impose swift economic sanctions” if Beijing “tries to silence U.S. citizens, companies, and institutions for exercising their First Amendment rights.”

U.S. lawmaker seeks to ban Chinese firms from U.S. capital markets - Reuters

Republican Marco Rubio, a prominent China hardliner, said he plans to unveil the legislation in the coming weeks after the U.S. Department of Defense released a list of 20 companies that it alleges are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

Trends in U.S. Multinational Enterprise Activity in China, 2000–2017 | U.S.- CHINA | ECONOMIC and SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION

The report analyzes nearly two decades of data compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis to profile U.S. commercial activity in China. It finds that the vast expansion of U.S. multinational enterprise (MNE) activity in China may challenge U.S. industrial competitiveness and long-term tech leadership. Since 2000, U.S. companies’ operations in China have been among the fastest growing globally for all foreign subsidiaries, with total U.S. commercial assets in China surging 15-fold. The rapid evolution of U.S. business operations in China away from manufacturing and toward higher value-added activity such as research and development, often coerced by Beijing, increases the risk that U.S. firms are unwittingly enabling China to achieve its industrial policy objectives.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on July 1, 2020

On June 22, the US issued a new determination to designate four additional Chinese media agencies, namely, China Central Television, the People's Daily, the Global Times and China News Service, as foreign missions. China demands in retaliation that the Associated Press, United Press International, Columbia Broadcasting System, and National Public Radio declare in written form information about their staff, finance, operation and real estate in China within seven days starting from today.

I need to point out that the above-mentioned measures are entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the US. They are legitimate and justified self-defense in every sense. What the US has done is driven by a Cold War mentality and ideological bias. It has seriously tarnished the reputation and image of Chinese media organizations, seriously affected their normal operation in the US, and seriously disrupted people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries. It has therefore exposed the hypocrisy of the self-styled advocate of press freedom. China urges the US to immediately change course, undo the damage, and stop its political oppression and arbitrary restrictions on Chinese media organizations.

China’s reciprocal action against US media outlets ‘self-defense’, more to follow, experts warn - Global Times

This is an equal countermeasure after the US launched sanctions on Chinese media outlets in the US, said Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, warning that more measures, such as visa restrictions and expulsion of journalists from those agencies may follow if the US does not stop its baseless crackdown on Chinese media.

The US needs to calm down and stop picking small fights with China, as the friction will mount and diminish mutual trust between the two countries, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Commentary: Smearing CPC won't whitewash U.S. politicians' incompetence - Xinhua

Wednesday marks the 99th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). After weathering the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese people believe more firmly that the CPC leadership is the most reliable shelter against storms. The slander game, played by some U.S. politicians, will never manage to hide this fact, and whitewash their own incompetence.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other like-minded American politicians, recently kept uttering slanderous remarks about China's response to COVID-19, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong policies. With a deep-seated Cold-War mindset and ideological bias, they turn a blind eye to China's stunning development achievements, while ignoring their severe problems at home.

Intel Halts Chip Supply to Leading Chinese Server-Maker - Caixin

U.S. chip giant Intel confirmed to Caixin that it has stopped supplying its products to Inspur, China’s largest maker of computer servers.

An Intel representative described the move as temporary and estimated the suspension would last for about two weeks. Intel took the step to allow the company time to make adjustments to comply with relevant U.S. laws, the person said.

Question: Does "make adjustments" mean find a way to sell the products through an offshore entity that Intel and its lawyers believe is not covered by US restrictions?

The Real Reason for the U.S.-China Cold War Has Nothing to Do With Trump or Xi - Foreign Policy - Stephen Walt

Thus, the roots of the present Sino-American rivalry have less to do with particular leaders or regime types and more to do with the distribution of power and the particular strategies that the two sides are pursuing. This is not to say that domestic politics or individual leadership do not matter at all, either in influencing the intensity of the competition or the skill with which each side wages it. Some leaders are more (or less) risk acceptant, and Americans are currently getting (another) painful demonstration of the harm that incompetent leadership can inflict. But the more important point is that new leaders or profound domestic changes are not going to alter the inherently competitive nature of U.S.-Chinese relations.


4. Xinjiang

U.S. Readies Sanctions on China Over Rights Abuses in Xinjiang - Bloomberg

The administration is acting under the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which give the U.S. broad authority to impose human-rights sanctions on foreign officials. The sanctions were delayed amid negotiations over a U.S.-China trade deal, but President Donald Trump signed a law last month requiring him to punish officials responsible for oppression of Uighurs and members of other minority groups...

The two people cautioned that Trump would still need to give final sign-off for any sanctions to go ahead. In the past, he has delayed or frozen sanctions for fear they would jeopardize trade talks or sour his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin or North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

This would be a big move if it does happen, and if it targets Politburo member and Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo. Of course the decisions about Xinjiang policy are made at a higher level than Chen, but how high would the Trump administration dare go?

Issuance of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory - United States Department of State

Today, the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is issuing an advisory to caution businesses about the risks of supply chain links to entities that engage in human rights abuses, including forced labor in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China.

Text of the full advisory (PDF)

U.S. seizes $800,000 shipment of Xinjiang products made with human hair - Axios

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers detained a shipment of almost 13 tons of wigs and other human hair products suspected of being made through forced labor in Xinjiang, China, U.S. government officials tell Axios...

CBP officials at the Port of New York/Newark subsequently detained the shipment of Meixin Hair Product goods, which included wigs and other human hair products.

Multiyear Surveillance Campaigns Discovered Targeting Uyghurs - Lookout

The Lookout Threat Intelligence team has discovered four Android surveillanceware tools, which we named SilkBean, DoubleAgent, CarbonSteal, and GoldenEagle. These four interconnected malware tools are elements of much larger mAPT (mobile advanced persistent threat) campaigns originating in China, and primarily targeting the Uyghur ethnic minority. Activity of these surveillance campaigns has been observed as far back as 2013...

Lookout has found evidence that the malware predominantly targeted Uyghurs, but also, to a lesser extent, Tibetans.

The full report - Mobile APT Surveillance Campaigns Targeting Uyghurs: A collection of long-running Android tooling connected to a Chinese mAPT actor

China’s Software Stalked Uighurs Earlier and More Widely, Researchers Learn - The New York Times

The timeline suggests the hacking campaign was an early cornerstone in China’s Uighur surveillance efforts that would later extend to collecting blood samples, voice prints, facial scans and other personal data to transform Xinjiang into a virtual police state. It also shows the lengths to which China’s minders were determined to follow Uighurs as they fled China for as many as 15 other countries...

“Wherever China’s Uighurs are going, however far they go, whether it was Turkey, Indonesia or Syria, the malware followed them there,” said Apurva Kumar, a threat intelligence engineer at Lookout who helped unravel the campaign. “It was like watching a predator stalk its prey throughout the world.”


5. Party construction and some triumphalism as the CCP turns 99

Chinese Communist Party celebrates 99th anniversary by praising coronavirus success | South China Morning Post

People’s Daily, the party’s official mouthpiece, said in an editorial: “This great struggle has fully demonstrated the clear political excellence of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and our socialist system.

“Under the resolute leadership of the party central with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, China has fought a sound people’s war ... the Chinese people united together to fight the pandemic, made heavy sacrifices, and achieved great strategic results.”..

The short video - "Travel through time to the original aspiration", is on top of all the main media sites now. Here it is on Youtube

人民日报社论:永远把人民放在最高位置——热烈庆祝中国共产党成立九十九周年-新华网

People's Daily editorial on the occasion of the Party's 99th birthday - "Always put the people in the highest position"

At 99, CPC governance legitimacy shines brighter in time of global uncertainty - Xinhua

The Party has no special interests of its own. It has never been afraid of breaking the shelters of vested interests, and sweeping out obstacles hampering development...

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds China tops the 2019 global rankings in terms of the levels of satisfaction with government performance, with over 86 percent of Chinese surveyed expressing satisfaction, far above the global average of 47 percent.

This wide public support is the key to the CPC's strength and confidence in long-term governance...

China is now moving closer to the world's center stage, and closer than ever before to national rejuvenation.

The unique political OS that powers China - People's Daily Online

Not only is the Western operating system unstable but it is also prone to crashes. Political parties rise or fall with each election cycle, but the cycle just continues all over again and nothing really moves forward.

China is determined to develop its operating system. In November 2019, the Communist Party of China held a key meeting to map out a clearer top-level design for upholding and improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing China’s system and capacity for governance.

This shows that China is constantly upgrading and optimizing its system and institutions in response to changes. While in the West, what we see is frequent dysfunction and regular resets of their operating systems, rather than upgrading.

This is a long piece by Li Jingtian 李景田,a retired cadre who is now the President of the National Party Construction Association 作者为全国党建研究会会长, in the the "theory" section on page 10 of today's People's Daily on Party Construction as the Party's important "magic weapon" helping it go from victory to victory. Yes I know some will just say this is meaningless Party speak that of course they will say on the Party's birthday. But Party Construction is near and dear to Xi, and what matters to Xi is something we should pay attention to, and Li Jingtian, though technically retired, is also someone who is worth paying attention to.

中国共产党从胜利走向胜利的重要法宝(深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想)

习近平总书记指出:“实现中华民族伟大复兴,关键在党。”重视加强党的建设是中国共产党的优良传统和宝贵经验。我们党成立99年来,之所以能够从小到大、由弱到强,带领中国人民不懈奋斗,取得民族独立、人民解放,实现国家富强、人民幸福,一个重要原因就在于不断加强党的建设,充分发挥党的领导核心作用、基层党组织的战斗堡垒作用和广大党员的先锋模范作用。实践证明,不断加强党的建设是我们党从胜利走向胜利的重要法宝。

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: "The key to realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation lies in the party." It is the fine tradition and valuable experience of the CPC to attach importance to strengthening party building. An important reason why our party has been able to lead the Chinese people to make unremitting efforts to achieve national independence and liberation and achieve national prosperity and prosperity and happiness for the people since our party was established 99 years ago is the continuously strengthening of party building. Give play to the core role of the party's leadership, the role of the battle fortress of grassroots party organizations, and the vanguard role of the majority of party members. Practice has proved that continuously strengthening party building is an important magic weapon for our party from victory to victory.

习近平总书记指出:“马克思主义是我们立党立国的根本指导思想。背离或放弃马克思主义,我们党就会失去灵魂、迷失方向。”马克思主义是中国共产党始终高举的理论旗帜。我们党作为一个先进思想孕育催生、用科学理论武装起来的马克思主义政党,高度重视科学理论对党的建设和党的事业发展的引领作用。注重思想建党、理论强党,是我们党的鲜明特色和光荣传统。1921年,我们党诞生时就把马克思列宁主义确立为指导思想。此后,我们党根据我国国情和时代条件的变化,不断推进马克思主义中国化,形成了毛泽东思想、邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想、科学发展观。党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央深刻回答新时代坚持和发展什么样的中国特色社会主义、怎样坚持和发展中国特色社会主义这个重大时代课题,形成了习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,实现了党的指导思想又一次与时俱进。长期以来,我们党坚持理论创新每前进一步,理论武装就跟进一步。从延安整风到真理标准大讨论,再到改革开放以来我们党开展的多次党内集中教育,都是坚持以理论学习为先导,确保全党统一思想、统一步调,团结一致向前进。我们党99年的实践证明,对马克思主义的坚定信仰,成为一代代中国共产党人的政治灵魂、精神支柱和最鲜明的身份标识。坚持以马克思主义为指导,党的建设就有正确方向,党的事业就蓬勃发展。

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: "Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology of our party and nation. If we deviate from or give up Marxism, our party will lose its soul and lose its direction." Marxism is the theoretical banner that the Communist Party of China has always held high. As a Marxist political party bred by advanced ideas and armed with scientific theory, our party attaches great importance to the leading role of scientific theory in party building and the development of the party's cause. Paying attention to building the party ideologically and strengthening the party in theory is the distinctive feature and glorious tradition of our party. When our party was born in 1921, Marxism-Leninism was established as the guiding ideology. Since then, our party has continuously promoted the Sinicization of Marxism according to the changes in my country's national conditions and the conditions of the times, and has formed Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thinking of the "Three Represents", and the scientific concept of development. Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Party, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has profoundly answered the major era issues of what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics and how to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, forming the Chinese characteristics of Xi Jinping in the new era Socialist ideology has realized that the party's guiding ideology is advancing with the times again. For a long time, our party has insisted that every step forward in theoretical innovation, the theoretical armament will follow. From the Yan'an rectification to the discussion on the standards of truth, to the many concentrated intra-party educations carried out by our party since the reform and opening up, we have insisted on taking theoretical study as the guide to ensure that the whole party is unified in thinking, pace, and unity. The 99-year practice of our party has proved that the firm belief in Marxism has become the political soul, spiritual pillar and the most distinctive identity of the Chinese Communists from generation to generation. Adhering to the guidance of Marxism, party building will have the right direction, and the party's cause will flourish.

Li Jingtian - Wikipedia

Xi was President of the Central Party School when Li was executive vice president the school.


6. India-China

India, China hold inconclusive talks on ending army face-off - AP

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi quit Chinese social media platform Weibo to send a strong message to China on the border issue, economic front and at ``personal level too,” the Press Trust of India news agency cited his party leader B.L. Santhosh as saying. Modi had joined Weibo in 2015.

Nitin Gadkari, India’s minister for road transport and highways, said India will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects and will not let Chinese invest in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

China-India commander-level talks make progress: spokesperson - Xinhua

Chinese and Indian military commanders on Tuesday held the third round talks, and made progress on deescalating the situation along the border, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.

Zhao said the two sides continued working towards implementing the consensus reached at the two earlier rounds of commander-level talks. They had made progress in the effective measures by frontline troops to disengage and deescalate the situation.

India Bans TikTok of China, Tightening Digital Borders - The New York Times

Dev Khare, a partner at the venture firm Lightspeed India, acknowledged that India’s app ban was a populist, “feel-good” step in some ways. He does not, however, see it as a bolt out of the blue.

“It’s something that China did a long time ago,” Mr. Khare said. “If this is what China does to the rest of the world, then the rest of the world has the right to do it to China.”

India Seeks to Dissuade Wireless Firms From Buying Chinese Gear - Bloomberg

India may advise local telecom operators to shun equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said, as relations between the neighbors deteriorated amid a border dispute.

The government is also planning to review existing contracts of state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd with Chinese companies, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is under discussion. The telecom ministry has approached private companies including Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., and Vodafone Idea Ltd. on their use of Chinese network equipment, they said. A telecom ministry spokesperson was not immediately available for a comment.

Beijing troops write 'China' in giant letters on disputed border with India | Daily Mail Online

Satellite images show what appears to be Mandarin letters spelling 'China' (left) and a map of the country (right) scrawled on the shoreline of Pangong lake

Satellite images show what appears to be Mandarin letters spelling 'China' (left) and a map of the country (right) scrawled on the shoreline of a lake near the disputed border with India

7. Silent Contest 较量无声

This film from 2013, by the General Staff Department of the People’s Liberation Army, the National Defense University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences leaked onto the Internet in 2013. It is a disturbing look at the US-China relationship, and was dismissed by some as the work of a small group of hawks who were mostly on the margins. Seven years into Xi’s rule and it looks like the less work of marginal crazies but more like a playbook for much of what has unfolded under Xi, from the ideological tightening, the corruption crackdown and Hong Kong. It was made long before Trump came onto the scene. If this reflects Xi's view of the US-China relationship then it almost doesn't matter who the US President is?

Silent Contest 较量无声( 国防大学信息管理中心制作) 标清 - YouTube

Strident Video by Chinese Military Casts U.S. as Menace - The New York Times 2013

Its heavy ideological content and propaganda style suggest it may have been produced to support the work of the military’s political commissars, who are charged with the ideological indoctrination of troops and maintaining their morale, discipline and loyalty. As such, the film appears to offer a remarkably straightforward glimpse into the Cold War mind-set of the Chinese military leadership, as well as the deep suspicions of the United States festering inside one of the most influential institutions in the Chinese political system...

The film depicts the United States and British consulates in Hong Kong as nests of spies, without actually using the word. “A lot of information suggests that the functions of the two consulates extend to more than what is described on paper,” the narrator says, noting that the consulates together employ more than 900 staff members and accusing them of supporting “subversive” pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong.

“Silent Contest”: Liu Yazhou’s warmed-over McCarthyism | southseaconversations 讨论南海-2013

The video itself is really quite a masterpiece in my view, produced by a master of political warfare, PLA National Defense University Political Commissar Liu Yazhou. It details how America is waging a smokeless war of “political genetic modification” against China, utilizing the permeation (渗透) and “peaceful evolution” strategy that brought down the Soviet Union.

This is far from a radical new attack on America; it elucidates a longstanding politically correct view of US-China relations. For evidence we need only look to the words of the last two Chairmen, Hu and Xi, who have both repeatedly raised the issue of “hostile western forces” trying to undermine CCP rule. The carefully rehearsed on-camera comments from the leaders of important CCP organs including the directors of the MFA and MSS think tanks and CASS, as well as General Liu Yazhou himself, are further testimony to the mainstream nature of the tale being told...

The film’s most important point is to stress the importance of guarding against ideological infiltration as the reform and opening policies continue (and perhaps deepen after this month’s Third Plenum). It does not oppose reform and opening — in fact, on the contrary, it praises it lavishly. So it’s not an attack from the far left, or from a hardline faction, aimed at influencing upcoming major policy decisions.

The most heavily stressed line was this one:

This [USSR collapse] occurred after the end of the Cold War, not before. This is a detail that absolutely must not be overlooked or misread.


8. A documentary from Wuhan

Very poignant, mostly in Chinese, with English subtitles

一位日本导演的武汉十日纪实 -- 好久不见,武汉| A Japanese Director's 10-day documentary on Wuhan |日本人監督が見た武漢「 お久しぶりです、武漢」 - YouTube

Japanese documentary director Takeuchi Ryo and his team went to Wuhan after the lockdown has been lifted for the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the stories of 10 families in Wuhan, we get to see what it was like during the lockdown, what Wuhan is really like now and how life has been changed forever for the 11 million residents in Wuhan.


Business, Economy and Trade

Yicai - China's Caixin Manufacturing PMI Hit Six-Month High in June The Caixin purchasing managers' index for manufacturing, which covers 500 mainly small and private businesses, rose 0.5 point to 51.2 last month from May, according to figures released today..That reinforces the official PMI manufacturing data the National Bureau of Statistics published yesterday. That index, which encompasses 3,000 mostly state-run companies, rose for a fourth month in a row in June, increasing 0.3 point to 50.9.

Yu Chuxin: The Mysterious "Senior Scholar" Who's Been Gripping Chinese Financial Professionals - Pekingnology 余初心 Yu Chuxin, who has been identified only as a 资深学者 Senior Scholar, has been gripping Chinese financial professionals since Yu's short essay was published on the evening of Sunday, June 28. Yu asked readers - now effectively a large chunk of participants in the Chinese monetary market - to 正确认识应对非常事件的货币政策 Properly Understand the Monetary Policy in Response to an Extraordinary Event, apparently referring to China's monetary relaxation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In scholarly but still accessible languages, Yu revisited the monetary relaxation's positive effects in shoring up the Chinese economy but also underlined the latest 灵活调整了政策操作 flexible adjustment of policy - in effect, a tightening of the relaxation and a withdrawal of stimulus monetary policies in due course. There are words that could even be understood as a warning. // Comment: This is from a new newsletter started by Wang Zichen, a Xinhua reporter based in Brussels. He is active on Twitter @zichenwanghere

Yicai - China’s Cuts to Refinancing, Rediscount Rates Targets SMEs, Analysts Say The People’s Bank of China has trimmed the refinancing interest rate for farmers, micro and small businesses by 0.25 percentage point, it said late yesterday. The rates for three-month, six-month, and one-year refinancing loans now stand at 1.95 percent, 2.15 percent, and 2.25 percent. The rediscount rate was cut by the same amount to 2 percent. The bank also clipped the financial stability re-lending interest rate by 0.5 point to 1.75 percent, and 3.77 percent in the extension period.

China to strengthen financial support for enterprises - Xinhua China will focus on improving financial services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in an effort to ensure their sound development, according to a State Council executive meeting on Wednesday. The meeting, presided over by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, said that special local government bonds will be allowed to appropriately support medium and small banks in replenishing capital

Yicai - China Rules Out Deflation, Hyperinflation in Central Bank Report “Price increases are expected to remain within a reasonable range this year, with neither hyperinflation nor deflation occurring,” a team in the monetary policy department of the People’s Bank of China said in an article published today in China Finance, the bank’s own magazine.

China’s consumption upgrade hits coronavirus hurdle as consumers want more bang for their buck amid slowdown | South China Morning Post The coronavirus pandemic has set back China’s consumption upgrade as people become increasingly price conscious amid falling household income due to the economic slowdown, with spending on fast-moving consumer goods likely to fall for the first time ever this year, according to a joint study by global consultancy Bain & Co and market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Yicai - Chinese Police Arrest Three Over Fake Chilli Sauce Maker’s Seal on Tencent Contract An ongoing dispute between Guiyang Nanming Laoganma Food and Tencent Holdings took another twist today with the arrest of three people suspected of forging the famed Chinese chilli sauce producer’s corporate stamp to seal an advertising deal with the internet giant.

Luckin’s Scandal Leads to Internal Power Struggle; Source Says Chairman Faces Criminal Charges - Pandaily Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee’s Chairman Charles Zhengyao Lu has faced criminal charges based on evidence of his involvement in financial scandals and the company’s internal investigation, local media Tencent Shenwang reported Wednesday, citing an executive board member who is familiar with the matter.

Shanghai Gets Back to Business With Resumption of Major Trade Shows - Caixin The Shanghai New International Expo Centre’s website shows it held four exhibitions at the end of June, all on June 27-29, including Semicon China, a major semiconductor event. The site includes 14 events scheduled for July, including the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference, or ChinaJoy — the nation’s largest show for gamers and game companies set for July 31 to Aug. 3.

In Depth: China Prepares to Tear Down 25-Year Bank-Brokerage Divide - Caixin Caixin reported earlier this week that at least two large state-owned commercial banks are likely to be granted securities licenses by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to test the waters. Sources familiar with the matter said the pilot program will initially involve allowing the lenders to offer only investment banking activities, rather than the full range of securities services that would include asset management, proprietary equity trading, and allowing customers to buy and sell shares.

Overseas Demand Pushes Some Chinese Stocks to Their Limit - Caixin The Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Wednesday issued alerts for five listed companies whose foreign ownership was approaching the upper limit of 30% of the total number of shares in issue. When holdings reach 28%, a suspension is automatically imposed on any further purchases by overseas investors, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

China to promote high-quality development of national hi-tech zones to catalyze entrepreneurship, innovation - Xinhua China is ready to roll out policies to deepen the reform and opening up of national high-tech zones to boost high-quality development, the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday...Applicable policies tried and tested in pilot free trade zones and national innovation demonstration zones will be extended to national high-tech zones, where more pro-innovation policies will be piloted. Regulations on long-term multiple-entry visa and residence permit for overseas talent will be relaxed

Chess great Kasparov slams NBA over ignoring China human rights violation - The Jerusalem Post “The NBA’s concern for human rights stops right at the bank,” Kasparov tweeted. “China has Uyghur concentration camps and is preparing to crush Hong Kong and he talks of ‘mutual respect’? What a joke.”

MIIT: China's Internet Companies Realized CNY471.9 Billion Revenue In First Five Months Of 2020 - ChinaTechNews.com According to statistics from MIIT, China's Internet business revenue saw a significant growth rate recovery during the reporting period. From January to May 2020, China's Internet and related service companies realized revenue of CNY471.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 14.9%. The growth rate was ten percentage points higher than that of the first four months of 2020; however, it was 4.5 percentage points lower than the same period of last year.

U.S. senator sends letter to Adam Silver about NBA's relationship with China - Sports Illustrated Blackburn is giving Silver a July 21 deadline to respond to three questions she poses at the letter’s end regarding China Central Television’s ban on NBA games, the league’s relationship with Chinese state-owned enterprise Alibaba and the league’s training center in the controversial region of Xinjiang. The relationship between China and the United States is at a “pivotal moment,” she writes, and it could eventually lead to a new Cold War.

This is from an interview Silver gave to Time that is not yet fully online:

Beyond Meat Makes Grocery Debut in China with Freshippo | Alizila.com Beyond Meat has teamed up with Freshippo to launch its products in the Alibaba Group-owned New Retail supermarket as the plant-based market heats up in China. Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat is launching its flagship Beyond Burger – a plant-based meat burger designed to replicate the flavor and texture of a hamburger patty – in 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai this weekend.

The Wanda Warning - The Wire China Behind Wang Jianlin's global aspirations was a comedy of errors — one that China's next generation of entrepreneurs may want to avoid.

Chinese electric car maker Byton suspends operations | Financial Times $$ Byton, which has about 800 employees in China, has faced protests from staff over lack of pay and has vacated offices in Beijing and Shanghai in recent weeks, according to employees and local media reports. Founded in 2017 by former Nissan and BMW executives, Byton had become a leading name among hundreds of electric vehicle start-ups seeking to capitalise on a shift away from traditional fuel-burning cars in the world’s largest automotive market.

Chinese Oil Futures Draw More International Interest - WSJ $$ There are now more than 60 overseas brokers through which foreign investors can trade, up from 45 in 2018. These include units of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Japan’s Mizuho Securities, and France’s BNP Paribas and Société Générale, plus numerous Hong Kong and Singaporean institutions.

Politics and Law

Shandong Investigating 242 Cases of ‘Gaokao’ Score Theft - SixthTone The standing committee of the National People’s Congress began deliberating a new draft of the country’s criminal law on Sunday. In response to a public outcry over the identity theft cases in the eastern Shandong province, many of the committee’s 175 members suggested there should be criminal punishment for those who would jeopardize others’ futures.

Fugitive Accused of Helping Illegally Raise Billions Extradited From Greece to China - Caixin The case is just the latest development in one of the largest illegal fundraising cases in China’s fast-growing internet finance industry. Qbao.com’s website has been shut down, and police believe millions of investors across China may have fallen prey to its Ponzi-style scam.

陕西省委统战部副部长唐勇接受审查调查——中央纪委国家监委网站 Tang Yong, deputy head of the Shaanxi Provincial United Front Work Department, is under investigation

China’s urbanisation drive leaves some rural residents ‘heartbroken’ as local governments accused of unfair evictions | South China Morning Post The province of Shandong began “consolidating” villages 【合村并居】 a decade ago by removing peasants from traditional rural houses and shifting them into matchbox residential buildings, a process known as “forcing farmers to live upstairs”. But Shandong’s consolidation campaign has captured nationwide attention in recent months because it has been enacted on such a massive scale. The province had about 69,500 villages in June, according to Li Hu, director for the Shandong natural resources department. That marked a significant fall from March 2019, when Zhang Xinwen, the then-provincial economic planning commission chief, said the province had some 74,000 villages. Furthermore, the provincial government is intent on slashing that number further. Zhang said the ideal number of villages in Shandong should be “around 50,000”, implying more than 20,000 more will be destroyed...Wen Tiejun, a professor at Renmin University of China, said at a webinar in late May that village consolidation schemes were designed by local governments to abuse China’s land management system, with the ultimate purpose of “selling more land”.

NYU Law announces endowed chair and fall programs to honor Professor Jerome A. Cohen on his retirement | NYU School of Law For nearly 60 years—the past 30 at NYU School of Law—Professor Jerome A. Cohen has been a towering figure in the fields of Chinese law and East Asian legal studies. To celebrate him on the occasion of his retirement on June 30, the Law School is delighted to announce the establishment of an endowed chair in his name, as well as a series of virtual events this fall focused on critical legal issues in East Asia.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Australia’s Defense Spending to Surge Amid Indo-Pacific Contest - Bloomberg In a sign that Morrison’s defense and intelligence network sees the threat of actual military engagement with an enemy in its region growing, Australia will alter the focus of its 2016 Defence White Paper, which included an eye toward support around the globe for the rules-based order -- such as its aerial support of the U.S. coalition in Iraq and Syria. Instead, Australia will in the future limit its geographical focus to its immediate region -- “the area ranging from the north-east Indian Ocean, through maritime and mainland Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea and the South West Pacific.”

Home : Strategic Update 2020 : Department of Defence -Australia

Australia’s fake news fightback China’s political manipulation of social media sites has prompted a swift response from the Morrison government - The Australian In early 2019, a delegation of senior Australian government officials travelled to Shenzhen, China, where they were permitted into a gleaming, two-towered building in the city’s far west. The futuristic glass-and-aluminium structure was the recently opened home of tech giant Tencent, the company behind the omnipresent Chinese social media platform WeChat. Leading the delegation was Australia’s deputy electoral commissioner, Jeff Pope. He was accompanied by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade representatives, and other Australian government agency officials... The AEC’s idea was to open the lines of communication with the social media player, recognising the platform as a potential conduit for disinformation ahead of the May 18, 2019 federal election. “We pointed out what we thought their obligations were under Australian electoral laws,” AEC commissioner Tom Rogers tells The Australian.

Fears millions of Covid-19 testing kits Australia bought from Andrew Forrest could go to waste | The Guardian The 10m Covid-19 testing kits purchased from Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation have a shelf life of six months, prompting concerns the government’s massive acquisition may cause wastage. Australia has so far received 4.8m of the 10m Covid-19 tests that Minderoo, the philanthropic arm of the mining billionaire and philanthropist, secured for $200m from Chinese firm Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) on behalf of the government.

Mulroney urges ‘immediate and urgent rethink’ of relations with China - The Globe and Mail Brian Mulroney is calling for “an immediate and urgent rethink” of Canada-China relations and is praising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for rejecting domestic demands to free senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in exchange for the release of two imprisoned Canadians. The former Progressive Conservative prime minister also told The Globe and Mail that Canada should bar Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s gear from this country’s next-generation 5G mobile networks if it would jeopardize intelligence sharing with Canada’s Five Eyes alliance.

Canadian sentenced to eight years in jail by China, renounces citizenship - The Globe and Mail A Chinese court has sentenced a Falun Gong practitioner who held a Canadian passport to eight years in prison for belonging to a spiritual movement that Beijing calls a “cult.” Sun Qian also renounced her Canadian citizenship in the process – a move her supporters say she made under duress and torture

Chinese premier, Thai PM exchange congratulations on 45th anniversary of ties - Xinhua Li noted that China highly values developing relationship with Thailand, and is ready to work with the Thai side to strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation and advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation so as to contribute to economic recovery and sustainable development in China, Thailand, as well as ASEAN countries.

Is the US Military Giving Undue Prominence to Great Power Competition in the South China Sea? - Hu Bo | 南海战略态势感知计划 In an era of great power competition, the US military targets China strategically, tactically and operationally, and continuously plays up the situation. However, it should have realized that these actions will definitely invite a response from China, and that the “security dilemma” will only spiral up. China has neither the intention nor capacity to chase the US military out of the South China Sea; the US cannot maintain its hegemony in the waters either. As a result, it is not impossible to see the peaceful co-existence of forces from both sides. Yet, everything eventually boils down to one fact: if one seeks absolute security and dominance, then the other would never give in. Both the U.S. government and its military should learn how to treat China’s regime and the PLA as their equals or try to do so at least in the South China Sea and Western Pacific. Consider if China sent thousands of reconnaissance aircraft sorties to the East and West coasts of the United States every year and accused the US military of managing the situation unprofessionally, how would the White House, the Pentagon and the U.S public react? Actually, China doesn’t want much, but just equality.

Rift over Solomon Islands’ new ‘One China’ policy makes chaos of COVID-19 response · Global Voices At the heart of the confusion is a very recent diplomatic shift. After 36 years of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Solomon Islands recognized China and adopted a ‘One China’ policy in September 2019. But the Solomon Islands is an archipelago nation and not all the parts of its whole agreed with the decision. Pro-Taiwan Daniel Suidani, premier of Malaita province — the most populous province in the Solomon Islands — has consistently refused aid from the Chinese government.

China Threatens In Paracels; Three US Carrier Groups Sail The Philippine Sea « Breaking Defense  on Sunday, regional leaders backed up complaints by Vietnam that China has encroached on areas within its influence, issuing a statement saying they “reaffirmed that the 1982 [United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea] is the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and legitimate interests over maritime zones,” an ASEAN statement said.

Chinese-Filipino Businessman’s Curious Mainland Links - Asia Sentinel Much attention has rightly been paid internationally as well as locally to the criminal libel case brought against Maria Ressa, the founder and publisher of the respected on-line news portal Rappler. Less attention has however been paid so far to the suitor, businessman Wilfredo Keng, and what he and his mainland links say about the openness of the Philippines to mainland businessmen with controversial reputations and sources of upstart wealth. The ability of some of these persons to penetrate to the very top of the Philippine political structure is striking.

Ambassador Yan attends the Virtual Panel held by the Association for Barbados-China Friendship In the evening of June 26, 2020, Ambassador Yan Xiusheng attended the virtual panel discussion on "Globalisation After Covid-19: the Role of the ABCF" held by the Association for Barbados-China Friendship (ABCF). The panel was moderated by Dr. Delisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. 35 participants joined the event including H.E. Francois Jackman, Ambassador of Barbados to the People's Republic of China, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, Former Ambassador of Barbados to the People's Republic of China, Dr. Che Leon Corbin, President of the Barbados China Returned Scholars Association and Mr. Albert Christopher Lee, the Public Relations Officer of the Chinese Association of Barbados together as the panelists.

10,800 Assault Weapons Parts Seized by CBP in Louisville | U.S. Customs and Border Protection At the Express Consignment Operations hubs in Louisville U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a shipment from China that contained over 10,000 Assault Weapons parts being smuggled into the country. The shipment was seized on May 22. Officers inspected the item, which was arriving from Shenzhen, China, destined for a residence in Melbourne, Florida.

Watching China in Europe Newsletter | July 2020 Remember the embarrassing April leak that showed officials close to Josep Borrell had softened a report on Chinese disinformation after coming under pressure from Beijing? I was told by three EU sources this week that the European External Action Service is close to wrapping up its investigation into the leak and that the preliminary results are not good for Borrell. He had publicly blamed a young EEAS analyst before the investigation had even begun. Word is that the investigation has not yielded any evidence that the analyst, Monika Richter, provided the details of an internal email exchange to the New York Times. That email exchange showed Richter warning her colleagues in strong terms against changing the report in response to Chinese pressure—a warning they ignored. Two months after the incident, Richter has decided to leave the EEAS for another job. I was told that another colleague who objected to Borrell’s handling of the episode has also submitted his resignation

Taiwan

As China Strengthens Grip on Hong Kong, Taiwan Sees a Threat - The New York Times The sweeping new security law in Hong Kong has further eroded what little support there was in Taiwan for unifying with the mainland.

Outflanked by China in Africa, Taiwan eyes unrecognised Somaliland - Reuters Wu said Taiwan’s contacts with Somaliland, which declared independence in 1991 but is recognised internationally only as an autonomous region of Somalia, dated back to 2009. He told reporters in Taipei that eight other nations or international bodies had representative offices in Somaliland, including Ethiopia.

Confrontation Looms Over Taiwan-Held South China Sea Islands - Asia Sentinel Taiwan’s ministry of defense has confirmed that it has redeployed marines to a Taiwanese-controlled set of specks about 170 km southeast of Hong Kong – only one above water – ending 10 years of demilitarization and setting up a possible confrontation with China’s People’s Liberation Army. The three are a pair of shoals 11 meters underwater and the third, the 240-ha Pratas Island, also known as Dongshan, is just barely above i

Watching Over the Taiwan Strait: The Role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Taiwan’s Defense Strategy – Project 2049 Institute This report examines the current state and trajectory of Taiwan’s indigenous UAV capabilities, and illuminates the role UAVs play within both Taiwan’s defense strategy and the American-led Indo-Pacific security network more broadly. In addition, this report evaluates the PLA’s organizational infrastructure designed for a Taiwan campaign, discusses cross-Strait political-military challenges, and highlights future opportunities to expand U.S.-Taiwan military and security cooperation as part of long-term strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Tech and Media

Did China Steal Canada’s Edge in 5G From Nortel? - Bloomberg Nortel was once a world leader in wireless technology. Then came a hack and the rise of Huawei.

Why China’s Tencent Is Buying Stakes in Universal and Warner Music – Variety “The top management at Tencent group level are all super smart. They are never just looking at the next move. They are always looking two or three moves over the horizon,” one executive outside Tencent, but who has had business dealings with the group, tells Variety. “The endgame for Tencent, of course, is a merger with Spotify, and to take on Apple.”

Yicai - ByteDance Plans to Triple Shanghai Workforce to 20,000 by 2023 The Beijing-based tech firm will increase the number of jobs at its Shanghai office to 20,000 from 6,000, The Paper reported today. That will include more than 10,000 new technical positions.

Advertising Industry Body Seeks to Rein In E-Commerce Livestreaming - Caixin The standards are the latest attempt to regulate e-commerce livestreaming since it exploded in popularity last year, with gross merchandise volume sold via livestreams more than tripling to over 400 billion yuan ($56.5 billion) in 2019, according to a Tuesday report compiled by consulting firm Bain & Co.

Pinduoduo Founder Huang Zheng Resigns As the CEO – China Internet Watch Huang Zheng, an ex-Googler and the founder of the Pinduoduo, has just resigned as CEO. Chen Lei, the former CTO of the company, is taking over the post of CEO.

Zoom misses its own deadline to publish its first transparency report | TechCrunch How many government demands for user data has Zoom received? We won’t know until “later this year,” an updated Zoom blog post now says. The video conferencing giant previously said it would release the number of government demands it has received by June 30. But the company said it’s missed that target and has given no firm new date for releasing the figures.

Beijing opens more roads for testing self-driving cars - Xinhua Beijing opened 52 additional roads on Tuesday in Haidian District, the capital's tech hub, for the testing of autonomous vehicles to push the speedy development of self-driving technology, local authorities said Wednesday.

Apple freezes updates for thousands of mobile games on China App Store | Financial Times $$ Until now, Apple has allowed Chinese games to be downloaded from the App Store while their developers wait for an official licence from Chinese regulators. But in February, the US company warned game developers they would need to show proof their game had a licence by June 30. On Wednesday, Apple said developers would not be able to update their games without a licence.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Experts predict zero new infections next week as Beijing’s cases decrease - Global Times The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Beijing went down to three on Tuesday, the lowest in the past 19 days, prompting experts to predict that the capital may report zero new confirmed cases in about one week. Since the latest outbreak on June 11, Beijing reported a total of 328 COVID-19 patients and 26 asymptomatic infections under medical observation. The situation in Beijing gradually stabilized after the implementation of epidemic prevention and control measures, Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Axios Generate - China's coal problem is youth IEA's analysis this week warns that while newer facilities are far more efficient than older models, the average plant age "potentially locks in large amounts of CO2 emissions" for decades..."More than 88% of CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants in 2018 came from plants less than 20 years old," they find.

The report - China’s Emissions Trading Scheme – Analysis - IEA

11 Guangzhou Tea Shops Closed Over Pharmaceutical Ingredients - SixthTone Several local businesses had been adding acetaminophen, antihistamines, and antibiotics to their “cooling tea” products in violation of China’s food safety law.

Jobs and Events

Digital Sources for Chinese Studies | School of Social Sciences | UCI Social Sciences The Long US-China Institute and Yale University's Council on East Asian Studies present a series of three webinars for graduate students and other researchers in Chinese history and Chinese studies, broadly defined. The first webinar will introduce scholars to new open access databases for Chinese studies. The event is free and open to the public