Hong Kong protests; GDP data; Taiwan arms sales sanctions; Xinjiang; Party construction

Happy Monday from sweltering and swampy Washington DC.

China released GDP data and it was as weak as expected, with few positive signs. So far those hoping for a massive stimulus program are still left hoping…President Trump attributed the slowing growth to American tariffs:

There were more protests over the weekend in Hong Kong that involved clashes with police. Regular protests look to be the new normal in the city, and while I doubt Beijing will use force for a major crackdown do not be surprised if we see PRC officials start to use their many levers to squeeze the Hong Kong economy, with the goal of turning enough Hong Kongers against the protestors to spark a backlash. I am not saying that will work, just that it is one of the likely tactics the mainland authorities may use, along with much more underground Party work in the city.

The KMT selected Han Kuo-yu over Foxconn founder Terry Gou to run as its candidate against President Tsai Ing-wen in the upcoming Taiwan elections.

The Chinese government is again threatening sanctions against US firms involved in the latest arms sale to Taiwan. They have threatened sanctions before but this time the overall US-China relationship is in a much worse state and there appears to be a broader propaganda campaign around the threats, so I think the likelihood of them happening is much higher. Given United Technologies’ operations in China any significant sanctions against Raytheon could complicate the announced UT-Raytheon merger.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Economy

China Growth at Its Slowest Since 1992 as Beijing Struggles to Juice Economy - WSJ $$

The economy grew by 6.2% in the second quarter, down from 6.4% in the period before, official statistics showed Monday. Growth was slower than the 6.3% year-over-year rate forecast by economists.

Investments remained weak on a quarterly basis, even though the month of June saw the beginning of a potential recovery as Beijing encouraged banks to lend more. Exports fell in June from a year earlier after trade talks with Washington broke down and President Trump applied higher tariffs to Chinese goods.

The figures show how Beijing’s strategy to stimulate the economy by cutting 2 trillion yuan ($291 billion) in taxes and fees is falling short.

上半年国民经济运行总体平稳、稳中有进

NBS release of the GDP data

China’s Growth Dips to Lowest in Nearly Three Decades - Caixin

“Any small improvement in recent data should be more like a blip than a trend,” Larry Hu and Irene Wu, economists with consulting firm Macquarie Capital Ltd., said in a note, citing the softening export and property sectors. They added that this June has three more working days than last June...

Economists with Nomura International (Hong Kong) Ltd. also said that June’s upbeat economic data will be short-lived. “We believe activity data could drop again in the next few months and assign a high probability to an escalation of US/China trade tensions despite the recent agreement to renew trade negotiations,” they said in a note.

Commentary: Navigating headwinds, China remains anchor for world economy - Xinhua

While the headline data offered a broad measure on growth, simply dwelling on the figure would be understating the challenges and hardships the country had undergone to keep the economy on the right track.

Domestically, downward pressures still loomed large and policymakers were tasked with fostering new growth drivers, containing debt levels, stabilizing trade and avoiding drastic fluctuations in the financial market.

Worse still, China and the United States have been locked in drawn-out trade tensions since last year,

我国营商环境越来越好

Monday July 15 People's Daily page 1 piece "Our nation's business environment is getting better and better"

China unveils new measures to boost graduates' employment - ECNS

China has introduced a slew of measures to boost the employment prospects of graduates in the country, including relaxing residency curbs, promoting multi-channel employment and facilitating the establishment of startups.

Residency curbs on the settlement of college graduates, vocational college graduates, and graduates from overseas institutions will be fully relaxed at provincial capitals and other cities, the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said in a statement on Friday. The household registration process for graduates will be further simplified.

China drafts plan to make it easier to do business - Reuters

The draft guidelines published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) include better protection of intellectual property, equal market access and more support for private businesses and small companies as part of wider plans to stimulate the economy.

China's Private Companies Still Aren't Getting Enough Credit - Bloomberg OpEd - Dinny MacMahon

While bankers’ acceptances exist the world over, they play an outsized role in China’s financial system...

For the past year, growth in bank lending to nonfinancial companies has been driven solely by bankers’ acceptance discounting. At the end of April 2019, the outstanding volume of discounted bankers’ acceptances -- what the People’s Bank of China refers to as “paper financing” -- was up 2.92 trillion yuan ($425 billion), or 76%, from a year earlier, accounting for 32% of all new credit created in that period...

While acceptances are useful as a way of getting cash to companies that are otherwise struggling to stay alive, therefore, they don’t provide either the investment capital or working capital needed to stimulate growth.


2.Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protesters Clash With Police Inside Shopping Mall - The New York Times

By 10 p.m., as the police tried to clear the streets in the mostly residential neighborhood, the demonstrators had scattered and many ended up regrouping in a shopping mall. Soon after, the police moved into the mall and were met with protesters who had filled the floors overlooking the atrium and were throwing bottles and umbrellas at the officers on the ground floor.

The police struck at the protesters with batons and pushed them with shields, and officers were seen dragging several of them away. Local television footage showed some protesters surrounding and kicking a police officer who appeared to be on the ground. Other protesters were being treated by medics.

Some scenes from the protest:

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam condemns 'rioters' at Sunday Sha Tin protest; denies she tried to quit post | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

More than ten police officers were injured amid scuffles between anti-extradition law protesters and police as officers in full riot gear entered New Town Plaza on Sunday night. Pro-Beijing politicians have condemned the violence, whilst democrats and civil rights group criticised the force for “kettling” protesters and blocking paths for them to disperse...

Lam and Secretary for Security John Lee appeared at the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po on Monday afternoon to visit the injured police officers.

“I believe [the violent protesters] can be described as rioters,” Lam said.

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam offered to step down over protests | Financial Times $$

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has offered to resign on several occasions in recent weeks over mass protests in the territory but Beijing has refused to let her stand down, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation...

Beijing, however, has insisted that Ms Lam “has to stay to clean up the mess she created”, according to one person with direct knowledge of the situation. “No one else can clean up the mess and no one else wants the job.”

外交部驻港公署发言人就个别外媒失实报道提出严正交涉

Foreign Ministry’s office in HK said the Financial Times report is “false information”, and that Beijing firmly supports Carrie Lam.

港独暴徒钳断香港警察手指,这是CIA惯用手段

A widely circulated WeChat article said the Hong Kong protesters were using CIA tactics to attack policemen, in a bid to prompt harsher response from the authority

'Don't mess with us': the spirit of rebellion spreads in Hong Kong | The Guardian

Many interviewed by the Observer in the Sheung Shui protest on Saturday said the millions-strong anti-extradition protests last month had become a lightning rod for them. Many have been accumulating pent-up anger against the government for policies they felt they had endured long enough...

“The anti-extradition protests have heightened our awareness over community issues. Instead of waiting for the government to do something, we may as well take it into our own hands,” said Vincent Yeung, a man in his 20s.


3. US-China

U.S. firms may get nod to restart Huawei sales in two-four weeks - official - Reuters

The U.S. may approve licenses for companies to re-start new sales to Huawei in as little as two weeks, according to a senior U.S. official, in a sign President Donald Trump’s recent effort to ease restrictions on the Chinese company could move forward quickly.

Question: And the Chinese will restart ag buys then?

连拿美国“免死金牌”的银行,中国网友呼吁对它制裁

Beijing Daily says Chinese netizens are urging the government to sanction FedEx and HSBC, for their involvement in the Huawei case.

Peter Thiel alleges Google is compromised by China - Axios

The tech industry's highest profile Trump supporter spoke at the National Conservatism Conference, a new event that bills itself as being focused on Trump-era nationalism.

Part of his speech focused on "three questions that should be asked" of Google:

"No. 1, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?"

"No. 2, does Google's senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?"

"No. 3, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military ... because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn't go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?"

Thiel Urges U.S. Probe of Google’s ‘Seemingly Treasonous’ Acts - Bloomberg

Thiel spoke at the first iteration of a Washington conference conceived as a look at the importance of nationalism. Speeches in coming days will include “The Nationalist Awakening” and “American Greatness and Immigration: the Case for Low and Slow.” John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, will also speak.

Google not patriotic, says Palantir co-founder on Peter Thiel - CNBC 

“Google is not a patriotic company,” said Lonsdale, also a founding partner of technology investment firm 8VC... 

“Everyone in the Valley knows that the Chinese government is very involved,” Lonsdale told “Squawk Alley” in an interview. “It’s something we don’t talk about a lot. It was very courageous of [Thiel] to talk about it.”

Secretary Pompeo Interview With Sebastian Gorka of America First - United States Department of State

SECRETARY POMPEO: Sebastian, it’s tough to do in just a minute, but it is absolutely the case that China is a nation that has a set of values that are so deeply at odds with the American way that we think about the world. You see it in President Trump’s efforts on trade. You see it in our efforts in the South China Sea. It’s a country that has emerged in a way that is not good for global trade, not good for freedom and the very values that the United States sets.

Our mission set in the State Department today is to execute the President’s vision, which is that if China is prepared to compete on a fair and reciprocal and transparent basis, that is perfectly reasonable. We hold no grudge against that. But if they’re going to do so in ways that are inconsistent with those fundamental freedoms, then the United States is going to respond in a way that is appropriate to try and deliver on that outcome on behalf of the American people.

Pentagon races to track U.S. rare earths output amid China trade dispute - Reuters

The Pentagon is rapidly assessing the United States’ rare earths capability in a race to secure stable supply of the specialized material amid the country’s trade conflict with China, which controls the rare earths industry, according to a government document seen by Reuters...

The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27.

Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon’s urgency. The U.S. government’s fiscal year ends in September.


4. Taiwan

Populist Mayor Is Picked to Run Against Taiwan’s President - The New York Times

Mr. Han, the mayor of the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, was selected by the opposition Kuomintang based on the results of public opinion and phone surveys taken over the last week that showed he was backed by 45 percent of respondents compared with 28 percent for Mr. Gou.

“Han’s primary victory was quite convincing,” said Austin Wang, an associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who studies Taiwan politics. “The gap between Han and Gou was huge.”

Mr. Han has accused Ms. Tsai’s government of failing to improve people’s lives, while suggesting that some recent authoritarian East Asian leaders offer a model for Taiwan, which democratized in the early 1990s after nearly four decades of brutal martial law.

China repeats threat to sanction US companies over Taiwan arms sales | South China Morning Post

China’s government and companies will cut ties with US firms involved in selling arms to Taiwan, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

China can effectively sanction US companies who sell weapons to Taiwan: experts - People's Daily Online

Citing data released by the US Department of Defense, Chinese state-owned media identified these firms as Raytheon that provides Stinger missiles, General Dynamics that provides M1A2T tanks, and BAE and Oshkosh that provide tanks equipment...

By criticizing China's sanctions on US arms firms as foolish action, the US is obviously applying a double standard as the US has imposed sanctions on China that are even more useless and stupid, the analysts said.

In September 2018, the US imposed sanctions on China's Equipment Development Department, the military branch responsible for weapons and equipment, and its director, Li Shangfu, for buying Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia, claiming this was against a US sanctions law punishing Russian government for meddling in the 2016 US election

《新闻联播》《中国新闻》连续刊发评论:对台军售美企要为短视付出代价

Saturday CCTV Evening News reiterated that the sanctions will show China is resolute in safeguarding its national interests.

对台军售一时爽,哪些美企将面临中国制裁?

Global Times cited US media in saying that these companies could be sanctioned:
Raytheon, and United Technologies if it merges with Raytheon; 
UT sells aircraft engines in China and it owns Otis who sells elevators in China; 
General Dynamics, who sells Gulfstream jets in China;
BAE Systems;
Oshkosh, who sells rescue and firefighting vehicles in China.

After Taiwan buys arms, China holds military drills on southeast coast - Reuters

In a brief statement, and without giving an exact geographical location, the ministry said that the People’s Liberation Army had in “recent days” held the exercises.

“These drills were routine arrangements in accordance with annual plans for the military,” it said, without elaborating.

这非常可能是解放军一则重大消息的预报

Global Times cited a source in saying that the exercise will be larger than usual, and could involve the army, navy, air force, rocket force and the strategic support force. It also said that the exercise is mean to deter the separatists in Taiwan and foreign country that support them. The article suggested exercise is a response to US’ arms sales and Tsai Ing-wen’s stopover in New York.

Forum on peaceful reunification of China to be held in San Francisco - Xinhua 

Youyi Wu, president of Western America Chinese Peaceful Unification, a U.S.-based grassroots organization that advocates China's reunification, said the forum will draw representatives from overseas Chinese groups, various pro-Chinese reunification organizations in the United States and government officials, scholars and business people from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

The gathering will review the current situation in Taiwan, explore a "two systems" solution to the Taiwan question, and discuss the impact of China-U.S. ties on cross-Straits relations, said Wu.


5. Xinjiang

North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar among 37 signatories in letter defending China's actions in Xinjiang - CNN

Ambassadors representing 37 countries praised China for its "remarkable achievements in the field of human rights," just a day after a group of 22 other countries formally condemned Beijing for the mass detention of ethnic and religious minorities in the country's Xinjiang region...

n their letter, the 37 envoys commended China's efforts in "protecting human and promoting human rights through development," echoing a common refrain used in Chinese state media.

"The past three consecutive years has seen not a single terrorist attack in Xinjiang and people there enjoy a stronger sense of happiness, fulfillment and security," the envoys said.

China appreciates 37 foreign ambassadors' joint letter supporting Xinjiang policy - Xinhua

China appreciates these countries' objectivity and fairness, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing.

In the letter, the ambassadors said they noted "with appreciation" that human rights are respected and protected in China in the process of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization.

"China has invited a number of diplomats, international organizations officials and journalists to Xinjiang to witness the progress of the human rights cause and the outcomes of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization there," they said, adding that what they saw and heard in Xinjiang completely contradicted what was reported in Western media.

Cotton On and Target investigate suppliers after forced labour of Uyghurs exposed in China's Xinjiang - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Official government notices and state media found by Dr Zenz describe the process of funnelling camp detainees into factory work.

Other reports detail how detainee labour is being used to attract companies to set up shop in Xinjiang....

Four Corners can reveal that the following brands sold in Australia source cotton from Xinjiang: Target, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Dangerfield, Ikea and H&M.

Cotton On and Target Australia are now investigating their relationships with suppliers in Xinjiang.

China hints at Xinjiang policy shift ahead of key summit chaired by Xi Jinping | South China Morning Post

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua published a review on June 27 of the past five years in a move described as “preparing the ground” for the next Central Xinjiang Work Conference, which sets policy direction for the region.

Describing Xinjiang as “the main battleground in China’s anti-terror war”, Xinhua hailed current policy as “an interim success”, a term which has been common among the region’s Xinjiang officials of late. The Xinhua report said the fight against terrorism and extremism had been effective, with no terror attacks in the region for the past 30 months.

A senior lecturer from the Central Party School, which trains senior party cadres, told the South China Morning Post the term “major interim success”, usually meant the “top leadership believes the policy has achieved its desired goal, and it is time to revisit the issue and fine-tune the policy if necessary”. He requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Question: Really?

China top economic planner approves new airport in Xinjiang - Xinhua

Yutian county, on the southern edge of the Taklimakan Desert, is a major stopping off point on the ancient Silk Road. The county is 1,300 km away from the regional capital Urumqi.


6. Chinese diplomats engage with global social media

Chinese diplomat Lijian Zhao condemns racial segregation in Washington - The Washington Post

In a series of tweets that began on Saturday, the deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Islamabad issued condemnations of the United States’ legacy of racism, religious intolerance, gun violence, Internet surveillance, income inequality, the problem of sexual harassment and more.

Lijian Zhao took specific aim at the American capital, suggesting that white residents of Washington would never go to the Southwest part of the city — an area that includes luxury property developments as well as the city’s baseball and soccer stadiums — due to racial segregation...

On Sunday, Susan E. Rice, formerly President Obama’s national security adviser, responded to Zhao, dubbing him a “racist disgrace” and suggested that he should be made persona non grata by the U.S. government. The Chinese diplomat returned the insult in kind, arguing she too was a “disgrace” and that the “truth hurts.”

Comment: Zhao's Twitter account.

And current Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai has joined Twitter. His third tweet:

华春莹:占据道义制高点 提升国际话语权_国内新闻_环球网

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying wrote in Study Times on how to do better in the PR work for the CCP, saying the government should engage in “sincere and open communication” with the outside world, and also be more aggressive in responding to criticisms and setting agenda. It is interesting that she said the government should “explore and promote the development of media integration and make foray into overseas social media”. This coincides with the ministry’s new Tiktok account and Ambo Cui’s new Twitter account. Zaobao reported last week that Hua will soon become the new head of the Foreign Ministry information department.


7. Party Construction

Xi's article on CPC political work to be published - Xinhua

The article by Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for a more conscientious and firm stance in advancing the Party's political work.

增强推进党的政治建设的自觉性和坚定性 - 求是网

Xi's Qiushi article is from a speech he gave in a Politburo study session June 29 2018. Xi wrote that party building is essential to keep the party pure and steadfast with its goals of achieving communism and building China into a modern major power. The article again emphasizes that at this moment the primary task is to “uphold the CCP Central’s authority and its leadership”. 

Xi emphasized 7 points:
第一,把准政治方向。First. Correctly grasp the political situation;
第二,坚持党的政治领导. Second, uphold the political leadership of the party;
第三,夯实政治根基. Third, consolidate the political foundation;
第四,涵养政治生态. Fourth, nourish the political ecology;
第五,防范政治风险. Fifth, prevent political risks;
第六,永葆政治本色. Sixth, always keep the political essence;
第七,提高政治能力 Seventh, improve political ability

不做政治麻木、办事糊涂的昏官(人民论坛) - 人民日报-任 平

Comment in the Monday People's Daily by "Ren Ping" on Party Construction, says some officials think "talking about politics" is leftist

何谓“办事糊涂”?贯彻落实党中央决策部署重表面、轻实效,“传达不过夜、过夜就完事”,以文件会议落实会议文件,形式主义成顽疾;重业务、轻政治,讲业务谈半天,讲政治不沾边,甚至觉得讲政治就是“左”;

Circular issued to encourage study on Xi's speech on Party building - Xinhua

All Communist Party of China (CPC) organizations should earnestly study and implement the spirit of a recent speech made by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on Party building in central Party and state institutions, said a newly-issued circular.

映照中国共产党人初心使命的指导思想 黄坤明 《 人民日报 》Huang Kunming weighs in on the guiding thought for the current “remember our original aspirations” campaign


8. Kai-Fu Lee on AI and China

60 Minutes: Facial and emotional recognition; how one man is advancing artificial intelligence - CBS News

With a pliant public, the leader of the Communist Party has made a national priority of achieving AI dominance in ten years. This is where Kai-Fu Lee becomes uncharacteristically shy. Even though he's a former Apple, Microsoft and Google executive, he knows who's boss in China.

Scott Pelley: President Xi has called technology the sharp weapon of the modern state. What does he mean by that?

Kai-Fu Lee: I am not an expert in interpreting his thoughts. I don't know.

Scott Pelley: There are those, particularly people in the west who worry about this AI technology as being something that governments will use to control their people and to crush dissent.

Kai-Fu Lee: As a venture capitalist, we don't invest in this area, and we're not studying deeply this particular problem.

Scott Pelley: But governments do.

Kai-Fu Lee: It's certainly possible for governments to use the technologies, just like companies.

Comment: Lee had a near brush with death a few years ago from cancer that coincided with political problems in China over his Weibo activity. Since then he has made a remarkable comeback inside China


Business, Economy and Trade

In Depth: Camsing Fraud Allegations Spotlight Supply-Chain Finance - Caixin The opaque transactions at the center of the dispute may suggest some non-existent business that retailers often use to inflate sales figures by round-tripping shipments through Camsing affiliates, separate sources said. They declined to be identified because the discussions are private. Sources told Caixin that police detained more than 10 Camsing employees and a staffer from Noah who was in charge of business with Camsing. Investigators are calling it “a massive case,” sources said. The investigation set off finger-pointing among fund managers and Camsing’s business partners related to the fundraising. More asset managers may be caught up in risks related to Camsing’s financing. Yunnan International Trust Co. Ltd. followed Noah in reporting to police about 1.5 billion yuan of outstanding products it managed for Camsing that are backed by accounts receivable from e-retailer Suning.

Exclusive: Huawei Smartphone Manufacturer Halts Production at Changsha Plant, Sources Says The facility operated by U.S. contract manufacturing giant Flex Ltd. had started production in July 2018, but began running into unspecified difficulties earlier this year, a source close to the industrial park where the project is located. “From this March, the first stage of Flex’s manufacturing program began to experience difficulties,” the source said. “As early as May, Flextronics had already halted production,” he told Caixin without giving details.

Huawei Plans Extensive Layoffs in the U.S. - WSJ $$ The layoffs are expected to affect workers at Huawei’s U.S.-based research and development subsidiary, Futurewei Technologies, according to these people. The unit employs about 850 people in research labs across the U.S., including in Texas, California and Washington state.

Yicai Global - PBOC Targets Rural Commercial Banks With USD1.7 Billion MLF Loans China's central bank has conducted CNY200 billion (USD29.1 billion) worth of one-year medium-term lending facility loans today as a sum of CNY188.5 billion in such loans matured. The liquidity boost of CNY11.5 billion (USD1.7 billion) targets rural commercial banks.

More Trusts Face Clampdown in Effort to Curtail Real Estate Speculation - Caixin Financial regulators have instructed 12 more trust companies to keep their investments in real estate in check and stop illegally funding developers, in an effort to stave off speculation in the rebounding property market. The widening clampdown on trust financing of real estate projects is a sign of regulators’ unease that the rapid growth in a key source of early funding for the industry might be exacerbating risks in the market. The 12 trust companies come on top of 10 others that were summoned to meet with China’s banking regulator on July 3.

Manufacturers Move Supply Chains Out of China - WSJ $$ The moves by U.S. companies add up to a reordering of global manufacturing supply chains as they prepare for an extended period of uneven trade relations. Executives at companies that are moving operations outside China said they expect to keep them that way because of the time and money invested in setting up new facilities and shifting shipping arrangements...More than 100 companies have asked the Commerce Department to waive the latest 25% tariff on their imports because they said they can’t find suppliers outside of China.

Malaysia seizes $240 million from Chinese state firm's bank account: paper - Reuters Malaysia has seized more than 1 billion ringgit ($243.25 million) from a bank account of state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Ltd (CPP)

China Bars Some Developers From Selling Bonds to Curb Risks - Caixin The measures are on top of tightened restrictions on offshore bond offerings released by the state planner Friday, highlighting Beijing’s increasing concerns about potential financial risks. Five property companies were banned from selling any new domestic bonds, while 15 others were warned of debt risks and told to restrict the size of offerings, a senior corporate bond market participant told Caixin... The list of the 20 companies banned or restricted from bond offerings was not disclosed, but many market participants speculated that developers that recently sold bonds and bought land aggressively could be among them, such as Evergrande Group, Country Garden and Sunac China Holdings Ltd

Politics and Law

New phase of expulsions at important Buddhist institute leads to rounding up of monks and nuns for “re-education” - International Campaign for Tibet A new phase of thousands of expulsions of nuns and monks has begun at the well-known religious institute of Yachen Gar in eastern Tibet, with reports that those evicted are now being subjected to “political re-education” in detention in extra-legal facilities where there is a high risk of torture.

天安门广场景观工程今开工 Xinhua said Tiananmen is now under renovation till end of September, to be ready for the 70th anniversary celebrations

中国青少年发展基金会原党委书记、理事长王剑接受审查调查-新华网 Wang Jian, an official worked long time at the Communist Youth League, is investigated for corruption.

独家|工行上海分行高管被查 与谁同案_金融频道_财新网 据财新记者了解,警示大会上,王林也点名了顾国明案,但未提及案发具体原因及其他相关涉案人员。在较短时间内,行长、副行长接连被查,不禁让外界猜测二者之间是否有所关联。近期有不止一位知情人士告诉财新记者,吕虹和顾国明的有关问题是被监管部门检查时发现的,与他们安排了违规集资购买理财有关,而参与者包括了一位被查金融高官的一位何姓关系人。// Caixin hints at deep waters bhind the investigations into the top two officials at the Shaghai branch of ICBC

独家视频丨习近平在内蒙古考察调研_央视新闻客户端_央视网(cctv.com) Xi Jinping is on an inspection tour in Inner Mongolia...just propaganda snippets so far...He asked about the party building works there, as well as the “the unity and integration of ethnic groups”.

一个小人,廖亦武 An Untold Story of Liao Yiwu | Badiucao 巴丢草 Today, I want to write about Liao Yiwu—— a Chinese dissident who tried to leak my personal info to Beijing in order to stop me criticizing his pro-Trump tweet...2017,December 31th,Liao sends a tweet for critcizing New York Times due to a article about some Trump scandal. I reply him that NYT did nothing wrong about watch its president,it is not China.Then the nightmare begins. liao tweets,“Badiucao,I know you are working for Aiweiwei in his studio. That's why you are slandering me.”(Liao had a big bad beef with Ai earlier this year.)

China issues protocol to regulate supervisory agencies - Xinhua The protocol was issued by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the National Supervisory Commission (NSC) as an implementation code of the supervision law, said a press release on the CCDI and NSC website Monday. The document clarified the procedures and documents needed for supervisory commissions to conduct regular supervision, initiate interviews and written inquiries, verify leads and investigate cases.

Political advisors discuss temple, church management - Xinhua The seminar held by the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, was presided over by Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the CPPCC National Committee. Wang called for efforts to improve and make innovations in the management of temples and churches in accordance with the law, and to provide guidance for religions so that they can better adapt themselves to socialist society.

中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《党政主要领导干部和国有企事业单位主要领导人员经济责任审计规定》-新华网

Former senior provincial legislator arrested for taking bribes - Xinhua Zhang Maocai, a former senior legislator of north China's Shanxi Province, has been arrested for suspected bribe taking, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Friday. Zhang was the former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of Shanxi Provincial People's Congress, the SPP said in a statement.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Chinese researcher escorted from infectious disease lab amidst RCMP investigation | CBC News Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and an unknown number of her students from China were removed from Canada's only level-4 lab on July 5, CBC News has learned. The students didn't speak much English and kept to themselves in a group.  A Level 4 virology facility is a lab equipped to work with the most serious and deadly human and animal diseases. That makes the Arlington Street lab one of only a handful in North America capable of handling pathogens requiring the highest level of containment, such as Ebola. Security access for the couple and the Chinese students was revoked, according to sources who work at the lab and do not want to be identified because they fear consequences for speaking out. Sources say this comes several months after IT specialists for the NML entered Qiu's office after-hours and replaced her computer. Her regular trips to China also started being denied.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy a guideline for China’s diplomatic work in the new era: IDCPC Minister - Global Times Co-hosted by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) and the Guangming Daily Press, the symposium on the theory of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy was held in Beijing on Thursday. Universities, research institutes and media from all over China were invited to participate in the conference, and about 60 experts and scholars held in-depth exchanges...Song Tao, minister of IDCPC, pointed out at the opening of the symposium that Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy profoundly answered major theoretical and practical issues of China's diplomatic work in the new era, and is also the fundamental principle and guideline of China's diplomatic work in the new era.

1st China-Africa Peace and Security Forum kicks off in Beijing - China Military he first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum hosted by China's Ministry of National Defense kicked off on Monday in Beijing. Representatives of the Chinese military and nearly 100 senior representatives from the defense departments of 50 African countries and the African Union, including 15 defense ministers and chiefs of general staff attended the forum.

Safety concerns prompt Chinese parents to rethink sending their kids on US study tours - Global Times Visa restrictions in the US and safety warnings from different Chinese ministries have made some Chinese parents, especially parents of young children, reluctant to send their children on study tours to the US.

原常驻联合国代表马朝旭任外交部副部长_凤凰网资讯 Ma Zhaoxu is promoted to a vice minister of Foreign Affairs, overseeing International organizations and meetings, international economy and arms control

Royal Navy warship deployed to Chinese destroyer in English Channel - Plymouth Live Commander John Cromie, the Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, said: “HMS St Albans, conducting routine maritime security operations, is monitoring the progress of the Xian as she transits close to the UK coastline.

China Focus: Xi calls on China, Vietnam to lift ties to new level - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met with visiting Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, calling on the two countries to promote friendship and deepen cooperation to lift bilateral ties to a new level...Calling the two countries "comrades and brothers," Xi said that they form a community of shared future with strategic significance.

New Delhi and Beijing cannot let differences turn into disputes: India’s ambassador to China | South China Morning Post Both nations are still engaged in the second of a three-stage process to settle their border dispute – the world’s largest in terms of area, he said. The first stage was an agreement on the political parameters for a boundary settlement in 2005. The current stage involves agreeing on a framework for a boundary settlement, which Misri said would be translated “into a delineated and demarcated boundary” in the final stage.

China to be main US challenger over next century, military chief says - INSIDER "They're outspending us in research and development and procurement ... We, the United States, need to make sure that we do not lose our advantages that we have relative to other countries, specifically relative to China."

Galileo system’s woes may provide opening for China’s BeiDou - Global Times "It's an opportunity for China to promote the coverage of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)," another insider from the downstream business of BDS told the Global Times on Sunday.  "We have an increasing number of satellites and experts. If the BDS succeeds in entering the European markets, it will be helpful to enhance China's confidence in competing with the GPS system in other developed markets," he added.

DPRK’s open-sea transfers thwart heightened patrols - The Japan News Increasingly, North Korean tankers are fleeing to Chinese territorial waters, a senior SDF officer said. SDF intelligence-gathering aircraft that monitor boat movements have had to turn back after being approached by Chinese military fighters, government sources said.

AIIB expands membership to 100 in three years - People's Daily The three-year-old Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Saturday further expanded its membership to 100 with the approval of the African newcomers of Benin, Djibouti and Rwanda. The decision was made unanimously by AIIB's Board of Governors at its fourth annual meeting held in Luxembourg. The three prospective non-regional members will officially join the AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first capital installment with the bank.

Senior official stresses efforts to fully eliminate military paid services - Xinhua Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday called for continued efforts to further advance the campaign on terminating all paid services provided by the armed forces. After three years of hard work, the mission of the campaign has been basically completed, and the goal that the military no longer engages in commercial activities has been basically achieved, according to Han

Chinese vice premier stresses improving services for veterans - Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has called for more efforts to ensure services and support for veterans during an investigation and research tour in east China's Jiangxi Province from Thursday to Friday.

China and Vietnam in stand-off over Chinese survey ship mission to disputed reef in South China Sea | South China Morning Post Chinese and Vietnamese coastguard vessels have been involved in a week-long confrontation over a reef in the South China Sea, risking the biggest clash between the two nations in five years. The stand-off may trigger a wave of anti-China sentiment in Vietnam not seen since 2014, when a Chinese oil rig arrived off the disputed Paracel Islands.

Middle East Dictators Buy Spy Tech From Company Linked to IBM and Google IT IS THE size of a small suitcase and can be placed discreetly in the back of a car. When the device is powered up, it begins secretly monitoring hundreds of cellphones in the vicinity, recording people’s private conversations and vacuuming up their text messages. The device is one of several spy tools manufactured by a Chinese company called Semptian, which has supplied the equipment to authoritarian governments in the Middle East and North Africa, according to two sources with knowledge of the company’s operations.

Exiled Chinese Billionaire Wins Defamation Suit Over False Tweets - FreeBeacon A federal jury in Alexandria, Va., awarded Guo $100,000 he had sought as a result of an online dispute with former Chinese university professor Xia Yeliang, who describes himself as a "libertarian scholar advocating constitutional democracy and rule of law in China." The jury also awarded Xia $5,000 as part of a countersuit against Guo for defamation, although Xia had sought $17 million in damages. The countersuit involved retweets by Guo.

China's largesse in Tonga threatens future of Pacific nation - AP  Dozens of Tongan bureaucrats take all-expenses-paid training trips to Beijing each year, and China has laid out millions of dollars to bring 107 Tongan athletes and coaches to a training camp in China’s Sichuan province ahead of this month’s Pacific Games in Samoa...China also offered low-interest loans after pro-democracy rioters destroyed much of downtown Nuku’alofa in 2006, and analysts say those loans could prove Tonga’s undoing. The country of 106,000 people owes some $108 million to China’s Export-Import bank, equivalent to about 25% of GDP.

China's Influence Efforts in Germany Involve Students - The Atlantic A baseline count of groups in Germany linked to China’s United Front yields 230; the real number is almost certainly higher. These include German Chinese friendship, culture, and economic societies; Chinese chambers of commerce; professional groups for Chinese science and technology experts working in Germany; and a “public diplomacy” association that openly boasts of its influence with German and European politicians. And that’s before you add the student associations and 20 Confucius Institutes, both of which are consistent with United Front goals. (Multiple emails and phone calls seeking comment from the Chinese embassy in Berlin, and Chinese student and professional associations in Germany, went unanswered.)

Taiwan

The US Is Inadvertently Threatening Taiwan's Central American Alliances - Ketagalan Media Honduras and Guatemala are developing countries that still rely on international aid to execute a significant number of projects for low-income people in rural areas. If the United States were to suspend its aid, it is almost certain that this pair of Taiwanese allies will look to fill that void with assistance from other countries—and this gives China a great opportunity to further reduce the number of countries that still recognize Taiwan as an independent nation.

Tech and Media

JD, Meituan's Plan for Delivery Robots Crushed by Mapping Rebuke - Caixin Caixin has been told regulators took issue with the fact their complex ownership structures — in which they are legally registered overseas — bring them into conflict with rules that forbid China-based mapping servers from sharing data with those overseas. Both companies use the variable interest entity (VIE) structure widely employed by overseas-listed Chinese companies to skirt rigid financial rules that limit overseas investment and ownership in some sectors, especially the internet business.

Tencent Wants to be the Good Guy - ChinaEconTalk After the government took a huge bite out of Tencent’s earnings by freezing video game monetization approvals, Tencent CEO Pony Ma caught the Corporate Social Responsibility bug. This article, translated in full below, delightfully wanders from online dispute resolution to AI chess and GDPR, all the while meditating on what responsibility tech giants have to society more broadly.

Inside the Chinese Tesla Challenger’s Failed U.S. Plans — The Information $$ The Information’s interviews with current and former managers and employees reveal that the company’s efforts to assemble and sell cars in the U.S. had been stalled for nearly a year—even though Seres kept saying publicly it was making progress. Moreover, Seres and its Chinese parent never seemed to have a feasible roadmap for building a real business in the U.S., according to those people. For months preceding last week’s layoffs, Seres kept paying its U.S.-based employees even though many of them had little or no work to do.

Former Tesla employee admits uploading Autopilot source code to his iCloud - The Verge Cao denied stealing sensitive information from the automaker in the same filing. His legal team argued he “made extensive efforts to delete and/or remove any such Tesla files prior to his separation from Tesla.” Cao is now the “head of perception” at XPeng, where he is “[d]eveloping and delivering autonomous driving technologies for production cars,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

The Longest Day in Chang'an: Chinese web-drama depicts Tang Dynasty in detail - SHINE News A new Chinese web-series "The Longest Day in Chang'an" has become a hit for its elaborate production and authentic representation of life in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Based on a Ma Boyong's novel of the same name, the series follows the characters Zhang Xiaojing and Li Bi, and their efforts to foil an terrorist attack on the imperial capital of Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty. // Started watching this on Youtube over the weekend

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Chinese socialite Guo Meimei is freed from jail but few report release and some stories vanish | South China Morning Post Guo Meimei, a 28-year-old socialite and online celebrity, was at the centre of a nationwide scandal back in 2011 when she flaunted her flashy lifestyle on social media to millions of followers, while falsely claiming that she worked at a firm linked to the state-backed Red Cross Society of China.

Australian newspaper obtains full FINA doping panel report on Chinese Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang | South China Morning Post FINA doping panel accused the swimmer of taking a “foolish gamble” with his career for destroying blood vials with hammer Sun was cleared by swimming’s governing body FINA on a technicality to compete at this month’s world championships in South Korea

Missing 9-Year-Old Found Dead After Search That Captivated Nation - Caixin Zhang Zixin was taken away from her grandparents’ home on the outskirts of Hangzhou on July 4 by two tenants living at the family’s property, according to a statement by local authorities (link in Chinese) Sunday. The tenants, a man surnamed Liang and a woman surnamed Xie, had claimed they wanted to take the girl to a wedding in Shanghai. But, investigators found, Liang and Xie took Zhang to several southern Chinese cities before returning to Ningbo in Zhejiang, where security video footage showed that Liang and Xie killed themselves on July 8 by jumping into a lake. On the same day, Zhang’s grandmother reported the disappearance of her granddaughter. Zhang’s body was eventually found in the sea off the coast of Ningbo on Saturday.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

China’s Renewables Investment Sinks to Six-Year Low - Caixin The country saw $28.8 billion invested in new solar and wind projects in the first six months of 2019 in what marks the lowest half-year figure in China in six years, according to BloombergNEF, Bloomberg’s renewables research arm. China’s reduced contribution brought down global investment to $117.6 billion, down 14% from a year earlier.

China issues new documents to implement Healthy China initiative - Xinhua The State Council, China's cabinet, has issued new guideline to implement the country's Healthy China initiative and promote people's health. With a focus on disease prevention and health promotion, the guideline proposed 15 special campaigns to "intervene in health influencing factors, protect full-life-cycle health and prevent and control major diseases." 国务院办公厅关于印发健康中国行动组织实施和考核方案的通知

What trade war? How China and US bonded over soccer and a nuclear ‘man-made sun’ | South China Morning Post Both countries are considering building industrial-scale prototype reactors to test the applications of fusion – power generated by blending hydrogen atoms in plasma, an extremely hot gas, in a chamber 10 times hotter than the core of the sun. And now, for the first time, Chinese and American physicists have managed to confine plasma in a powerful magnetic field and prevent it escaping, according to a paper they published in the latest issue of journal Physical Review Letters.

Education

Foreign teacher rules tighten amid scandals - Global Times Documents showing the qualifications of teachers employed by online agencies are among the materials that must be submitted to the relevant authorities, and foreign staff will be required to provide additional documents to prove their education and work experience, their teaching qualifications and abilities, according to the notice released on the website of MOE on Monday.

Rural and Agricultural Issues

China to investigate local authorities' efforts to control African swine fever - Reuters Vice agriculture minister Yu Kangzhen said recently the ministry was looking into reports of underreporting. He also said some places lacked the people and money to prevent and control the disease.

China's first-half pork output falls amid disease outbreak - Reuters China produced 24.7 million tonnes of pork in the first six months of 2019, down 5.5% from a year earlier, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, amid a severe epidemic of African swine fever. China’s hog herd - the world’s largest - declined 15% from a year ago to 347.61 million head, the bureau said, as pigs died from the virus and farmers held back from restocking. But figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on the same day said the herd had shrunk 25.8% in June from a year earlier, with the number of sows down 26.7%