Hong Kong; Re-evaluating religious classics; Coal; More trade deal teasing

All indications are that Beijing is still trying hard to keep trade and Hong Kong tensions separate in the relationship with the US. There are more official denunciations of the US over Hong Kong, as well as a dressing down of the US Ambassador to the PRC on the topic, while at the same time there was yet another call between the two trade negotiating teams and official messaging around the possibility of that elusive phase one trade deal remains fairly positive.

Religious classics look to be in line for a reinterpretation for the New Era, in another reminder that the Party sees itself above all deities. Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Yang addressed a symposium and called “the interpretation of religious doctrines and rules important and fundamental work.” Reinterpretations and retranslations may be coming, per the official report on the meeting:

It is necessary to organize the forces of the religious circles and academic circles to systematically study the thoughts of various religions, and to make accurate and authoritative interpretations of the classical doctrines in order to effectively resist the erosion of extreme thoughts and heresy. It is necessary to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the existing religious classics, aiming at the contents that do not conform to the progress of the times, such as the annotation, the revision and the retranslation.

Speaking of translations, one thing we may be hearing about soon is a freeze on publishing works by US-citizen authors. I heard from a friend a couple of months ago that PRC relevant organs had stopped issuing new book numbers for books by US citizens, and am now several other people say they are seeing it as well. Why would the PRC have put a stop to books by US citizens in late August/early September?

Housekeeping note: Thursday is the Thanksgiving holiday in the US and so there will be no newsletter that day.

Thanks for reading.

1. Hong Kong

Quite the scoop by Reuters, does make one wonder how Beijing was still surprised by the election results if they had set up a new channel to go around the Liaison Office.

Exclusive: China sets up Hong Kong crisis center in mainland, considers replacing chief liaison - Reuters

As violent protests roil Hong Kong, top Chinese leaders in recent months have been managing their response from a villa on the outskirts of Shenzhen, bypassing the formal bureaucracy through which Beijing has supervised the financial hub for two decades.

Ordinarily, communications between Beijing and Hong Kong are conducted through a Chinese government body: the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong...

In a sign of dissatisfaction with the Liaison Office’s handling of the crisis, Beijing is considering potential replacements for the body’s director, Wang Zhimin, two people familiar with the situation said. Wang is the most senior mainland political official stationed in Hong Kong.

The office has come in for criticism in Hong Kong and China for misjudging the situation in the city. “The Liaison Office has been mingling with the rich people and mainland elites in the city and isolated itself from the people,” a Chinese official said. “This needs to be changed.”..

In an indication of the operation’s importance, Chinese President Xi Jinping is receiving daily written briefings from Bauhinia Villa, said two officials and another person familiar with the operation.

China lodges 'solemn representation' with Reuters - CGTN

"We urge Reuters to adhere to attitudes of truth, professionalism, and responsibility and immediately stop spreading false information," the spokesperson said in a statement published Tuesday on its website, which did not refer to the specific Reuters report.

Beijing's Hong Kong Delusions Come Crashing Down - Foreign Policy - James Palmer

What caused such an enormous misjudgment? The biggest single problem is this: The people in charge of manipulating Hong Kong public opinion for the CCP are also the people charged with reporting on their own success. The chief channel is the Hong Kong Liaison Office, a government organ that, officially, is in charge of pushing mainland-Hong Kong integration and that in reality acts as the coordinator for United Front policies, coordinating pro-Beijing politicians, CCP-backed newsletters, and the co-option of patronage and business networks. At the same time, it also provides intelligence to the central government.

Lam Offers Nothing New After Hong Kong Loss, Risking More Chaos - Bloomberg

While Lam acknowledged the vote reflected “unhappiness” and vowed to “seriously reflect on these views,” she continued to advocate a plan she outlined more than two months ago calling for peaceful dialogue with “people from all walks of life.” Protesters have already rejected those suggestions, which also included several reviews of the police and greater societal issues that demonstrators don’t consider fully independent

Beijing Was Confident Its Hong Kong Allies Would Win. After the Election, It Went Silent. - The New York Times

“Beijing knows very well that they lost the game in the election,” said Willy Lam, a political analyst who teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Beijing had to blame somebody, so in this case it is blaming outside foreign forces, particularly in the United States, for interfering in the elections.”

Hong Kong Polytechnic vice president says he thinks all protesters have left campus after weeklong police siege - AP

US ambassador Terry Branstad expressed ‘grave concerns’ about Hong Kong after Chinese protest over human rights act | South China Morning Post

US ambassador to China Terry Branstad told Chinese foreign ministry officials that Washington is seriously concerned about Hong Kong’s status and rejects all forms of intimidation against the city, according to a US Embassy spokesman in Beijing.

Brandstad was summoned to the ministry on Monday by foreign vice-minister Zheng Zeguang who lodged a protest over what he called US “meddling” in Beijing’s internal affairs. This was in reference to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which has just passed the US Congress.

Commentary: Lion Rock Spirit needed for Hong Kong to stop violence, secure revival - Xinhua

The voice of the majority for stability and development should be heard, and various sectors of Hong Kong should work together for a better future. As long as Hong Kong residents straighten out their thoughts and find the right direction, the dust on the Pearl of the Orient will eventually be wiped away.

International law does not allow U.S. to point fingers at Hong Kong affairs - People's Daily Zhong Sheng

The passage of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 by the U.S. Congress showed a total disregard of the ravages committed by the violent criminals in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)...

Now it’s clear to all that some U.S. politicians, as members of the U.S. Congress, glorify violent crimes, openly act in bad faith, ignore principles of international conventions, and trifle with commitments. They have challenged the international order and brought to the world enormous risks.

American democracy group takes aim at Beijing’s ‘black hand’ claims | South China Morning Post

National Democratic Institute head says suggestions that it is promoting Hong Kong independence are false and amount to misinformation

Hong Kong crisis: Beat Edinburgh University student to death, Chinese citizens told | The Times

Chinese citizens were urged to beat an Edinburgh University student to death for demonstrating in support of Hong Kong democracy.

Hong Kong students in UK call for action over pro-China threats and harassment | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Chow is one of a number of Hong Kong students studying in the UK who have been targeted by pro-China individuals or groups in recent weeks for their political views. They are calling on their universities to act against those responsible, with some students saying they no longer feel safe on their campuses.

Chinese students in South Korea investigated for vandalism of pro-Hong Kong posters | South China Morning Post

South Korean students from five universities allege Chinese students damaged Lennon Walls supporting Hong Kong’s protests

President Xi Jinping to arrive on December 18, government sources say | Macau News

President Xi Jinping will visit Macau between December 18 and 20, sources familiar with the matter have revealed to Macau Daily Times, notwithstanding the unrest in the neighbouring special administration region which cast doubt on whether the pre-planned and widely-anticipated visit would go ahead...

President Xi will join the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the handover of Macau to Chinese sovereignty

Alibaba Shares Enjoy a Strong Start in Hong Kong - WSJ $$

The company raised about $11.2 billion from the secondary listing, though that sum could rise to about $13 billion if banks underwriting the deal exercise an option by mid-December to buy more shares

Hong Kong elections: why victorious opposition camp has to keep wary eye on swing voters – and has no room for complacency despite massive haul of seats | South China Morning Post

Poll watchers pointed out that while the pro-democracy bloc won 86 per cent of the 452 seats up for grabs across the city, their share of the votes was not as stunningly huge as the proportion of seats they swept suggested. The bloc garnered a total of 1.6 million votes, or 55 per cent of the valid votes cast; while the pro-establishment camp got 1.2 million votes, or 41 per cent. The remaining 4 per cent went to the non-affiliated independents.

In the 2015 district council polls, the average share of votes garnered by pan-democrats in the constituencies they contested was 47 per cent. They won 116 seats, compared with 292 grabbed by the pro-establishment camp that year...

Former transport and housing minister Anthony Cheung Bing-leung noted the magnifying effect of the first-past-the-post system.

“Public sentiment is actually not that one-sided as the election results indicated. From Beijing’s perspective, it need not spell the end of the world although there is cause for concern,” said Cheung, who is also a political scientist.

2. US-China

Trump says near deal with China, but U.S. also has eye on Hong Kong - Reuters

At an Oval Office event to sign an executive order to address violence against Native American women, Trump was asked by a reporter if he had a message for the people of Hong Kong..

“We’re with them,” Trump said. “I have a very good relationship, as you know, with President Xi. We’re in the final throes of a very important deal, I guess you could say one of the most important deals in trade ever. It’s going very well but at the same time we want to see it go well in Hong Kong.

“And I think it will. I think that President Xi can make that happen. I know him and I know he’d like to make it happen.”

Chinese, U.S. chief trade negotiators hold phone talks - Xinhua

During their talks, the two sides discussed solving issues regarding each other's core concerns, reached consensus on properly resolving related issues, and agreed to maintain communication on remaining issues in consultations on the "phase one" deal.

Lighthizer, Mnuchin and Liu play telephone - POLITICO

Trump’s tough talk that China wants a deal more than the U.S. conceals a real desire in the administration to get a market-calming agreement, as he is being pushed by Mnuchin and senior adviser Jared Kushner to do so, said another person close to the talks. Trump has said he will impose tariffs on almost all remaining Chinese imports, including many consumer goods, on Dec. 15.

“The deal is largely there if Trump offers the substantial tariff relief the Chinese want,” the person said, adding that the depth of any tariff rollback the president agrees to will reveal the extent to which Trump wants to seriously engage in subsequent phases of trade talks.

China deal gets closer - POLITICO

MM is told by a senior White House official that despite all the drama a phase one deal remains “very close.” This person believes the Chinese will come through with significant concessions on intellectual property protections and that the two sides are not that far apart on exactly which tariffs will come off and when.

China Stays Upbeat About Trade Deal With U.S. - WSJ $$

China offered its most positive message in recent weeks that trade talks with the U.S. are going smoothly after a phone call Tuesday between the countries’ top negotiators, raising the prospects for a limited deal...

The upbeat language comes after the Chinese Communist Party’s top policy-making body and the state’s cabinet over the weekend issued guidelines for stronger protection of intellectual-property rights, a core concern for Washington in the long-running trade dispute.

China hopes Trump will be reelected: He’s easy to read and easy to buy off. - The Washington Post

Another influential voice in Beijing, Tsinghua University international relations professor Yan Xuetong, wrote recently that, thanks to Trump, China was facing “the best strategic opportunity” since the Cold War.

“Trump has undermined the U.S.-led alliance system, which has improved China's international environment,” Yan said in Southern Review. [当前是冷战结束以来中国最好的战略机遇 —专访清华大学国际关系研究院院长阎学通教授]

US floats approval process for tech that poses security threat | Financial Times $$

Anyone wanting to import technology into the US which is deemed to pose a potential national security threat will have to secure the personal approval of the commerce secretary, under new rules being proposed by the Trump administration.

New CPC and State Council Opinions on Improving IP Protection | China IPR - Intellectual Property Developments in China

This document arguably goes part-way in establishing an outline for addressing US concerns about IP theft.  However, it offers little to address such concerns as ensuring greater transparency in the courts, publishing foreign-related cases, or addressing certain trade-sensitive topics outlined in USTR’s Section 301 report, such as cyber intrusions or criminal trade secret misappropriation.

3. Wang Yang calls for comprehensive evaluation of the existing religious classics

Political advisors discuss advancing religious doctrines' interpretation - Xinhua

Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, attended and addressed the discussion.

Calling the interpretation of religious doctrines and rules important and fundamental work, Wang stressed gradually forming a religious ideological system with Chinese characteristics in line with the requirements of the times.

The symposium was held by the committee for ethnic and religious affairs of the CPPCC National Committee.

全国政协民宗委召开宗教界主题协商座谈会 汪洋出席并讲话-新华网 The committee of civil and religious affairs of the CPPCC national committee held a symposium on religious consultation



It is believed that the new interpretation of religious doctrines and regulations on the basis of inheriting and carrying forward the fine traditions and in combination with the requirements of social development and the progress of The Times is a historical choice of the secularism's sinicization and modernization, and a manifestation of religious circles' responsibility for their beliefs.

It is necessary to organize the forces of the religious circles and academic circles to systematically study the thoughts of various religions, and to make accurate and authoritative interpretations of the classical doctrines in order to effectively resist the erosion of extreme thoughts and heresy. It is necessary to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the existing religious classics, aiming at the contents that do not conform to the progress of The Times, such as the annotation, the revision and the retranslation.

5. More evidence of WeChat’s global censorship

WeChat keeps banning Chinese Americans for talking about Hong Kong - The Verge

Pro-democracy candidates won a landslide victory in Hong Kong yesterday, but many Chinese Americans have been unable to express their approval online. WeChat, a popular social media messaging app, has been censoring political messages and disabling people’s accounts if they voice their support for the movement — even if they’re in the United States.

Bin Xie, an information security analyst at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, wrote “The pro-China candidates totally lost” in a WeChat group before having his account shut down.

Xie is now part of a WhatsApp group for Chinese Americans who’ve recently been censored on WeChat. He joined the group to talk about what is happening and discuss what can be done to make it stop. “If you have censorship in China — fine,” he told The Verge. “But in this country? I’m a Republican but on WeChat I suffer the same as Democrats [using WeChat]— we are all censored.”...

The WeChat user in Minnesota says he’s surprised Congress still hasn’t acted. “I came to the US for freedom and democracy,” he adds. “But over the last few years, I feel that even though I’m an American, I’m monitored. I can’t speak freely like I used to, even though I live in the US.”

6. New report on CCP influence in Europe

Repurposing democracy: The European Parliament China Friendship Cluster - Sinopsis

While the CCP’s influence operations in Europe are vast and remain largely unscrutinised, some of the tactics, agencies and targets involved can be usefully summarised through case studies of organisations at the intersection of multiple aspects of such influence activity. An informal “China friendship group” in the European Parliament enjoys diverse links in China and Europe, warranting its use as such a case study. The group effectively functions as a proxy for CCP domestic and external propaganda: in China, the presentation of statements by its members helps engineer the perception of a global endorsement of the party-state’s rule; abroad, it conveys support for CCP initiatives through credible voices. A systematic overview of the group and its activities is presented here for the first time, along with its links to a wider network of CCP-aligned organisations that are best analysed as constituting a cluster...Contrary to views of totalitarian power projection as primarily disruptive, this paper adds to a growing body of research that establishes the focus of CCP influence activity as repurposing democratic governance structures to serve as tools of extraterritorial influence, rather than destroy them.

Business leaders, former senior officials urge closer China-EU ties - Xinhua

Attendees of the 3rd China-EU CEO and Former Senior Officials' Dialogue, which concluded Tuesday in Beijing, called for efforts to comprehensively strengthen bilateral ties.

Chinese representatives stressed that China and the EU, two anchors of stability with global influences, should enhance cooperation to improve the rules-based multilateral system and global governance framework, and jointly seek solutions to problems.

7. Pork crisis bottoming?

China Breeding Sow Stock Rises in October for First Time Since Swine Fever Outbreak - Caixin

The country’s stock of breeding sows rose 0.6% in October from the previous month, the first growth since April 2018, Yang Zhenhai, chief of the animal husbandry and veterinary medicine bureau under China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said at a news conference on Friday...

At the same time, the overall stock of pigs fell 0.6% month-on-month in October, with the decline slowing from declines of 3% in September and 9.8% in August, said Yang...

Yang said given the progress has been made in disease prevention and control, the government expects the domestic stock of pigs to return to 80% of normal levels by the end of next year.

China's hog prices soften as production rebounds - Xinhua

The national hog price came in at 33.6 yuan (about 4.78 U.S. dollars) per kg on Nov. 20, down 8.25 percent from a week earlier, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission...

"Overall, the policy effects are showing up," said Yang Zhenhai, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, adding hog production will further improve in the first half of 2020, but a significant rise in supply may not happen until the latter half of the year.

China pork crisis far from over, despite green shoots of recovery in pig inventory, analysts say | South China Morning Post

hog inventory is unlikely to return to growth over the last two months of this year, said Pan Chenjun, senior analyst for animal protein at Rabobank, which means any “steady increase” would not come until mid-2020.

The analysis came after director of animal husbandry and veterinary bureau at China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Yang Zhenhai, projected that the decline in pig production was bottoming out.

U.S. Pork Industry Sees $25 Billion China Market Without Tariffs - Bloomberg

The National Pork Producers Council released the forecast on Tuesday as they pressed the Trump administration to emphasize access for pork products in ongoing talks with Beijing for a partial trade agreement.

The spread of African swine fever has ravaged China’s hog herd and by September had driven up the price of pork more than 69% from a year earlier. The meat is a staple in the Chinese diet. While American exports have climbed amid the Chinese protein gap, meat suppliers in Brazil have seen even stronger demand.

8. Coal

Climate Experts Raise Alarm on China’s Coal Power Plans - Caixin 

Chinese environmental experts have warned that the country’s planned expansion of coal power projects risks hindering global efforts to fight climate change even as the nation remains on track to meet its own international emissions pledges

The assessment followed last week’s publication of two reports savaging countries’ continued reliance on fossil fuels and questioning China’s credentials as a green leader.

On Thursday, environmental research network Global Energy Monitor (GEM) published a report showing that growth in China’s coal-fired power capacity more than offsets reductions made elsewhere in the world...

The report also said that China’s proposed coal power expansion through 2035 means that its coal power capacity alone could “far exceed” the total capacity allotted to the entire world under the Paris Agreement…

That conclusion echoes another report, published Wednesday and co-authored by U.N. Environment Program and other environmental organizations, which showed that the world’s fossil fuel production plans mean that the amount of the polluting fuel produced by 2030 could be 50% greater than a figure consistent with the 2 C target and 120% greater than a 1.5 C pathway…

Li Shuo, a policy advisor at Greenpeace East Asia who was not involved in either study, told Caixin that last week’s reports once again reiterated the need for China to rapidly wean itself off coal. “It is not an exaggeration to say coal is the source of all evil,” Li said. “Unfortunately, after a few years of cleaner development, China is coming back to its old path of coal dependence.”

‘Bleak’ U.N. Report Finds World Heading to Climate Catastrophes - The New York Times 

Four years after countries struck a landmark deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global warming, humanity is headed toward those very climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued Tuesday, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, having expanded their carbon footprints last year.

In Depth: Shanxi’s ‘Hydrogen Valley’ Plans Built on a Dirty Secret - Caixin 

Shanxi produces about one-quarter of China’s coal, and its reliance on this massive industry has ensnared the province in a resource trap. Local economic development relies on the combustible black rock, and the province’s fortunes are closely tied to it. Weaning the province off coal dependence and finding new economic drivers has become a necessity for the local government. But Shanxi’s plan is to make hydrogen out of coal…

Extracting it from coal is a dirty process that produces a massive amount of carbon dioxide and other pollution…

Fu Guanyun, assistant researcher of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, explained that if hydrogen comes from coal, the carbon emissions are simply built into the production process.

Business, Economy and Trade

China will keep economic growth within a reasonable range over next five years: Premier - Reuters Li made the comments at a government meeting on Monday as Beijing studies the 14th five-year economic plan for the 2021-2025 period, featuring key policy support measures to further open up its economy, according to a statement on the State Council’s website.

China's Guo Shuqing Has the Toughest Job in Global Finance - Bloomberg Two months into his tenure as China’s top banking regulator, Guo Shuqing did something his staffers had never witnessed from a senior Communist Party leader. Speaking in Beijing to officials and industry executives from across the country, he pledged to resign if he failed to snuff out the excesses that had been accumulating in China’s $40 trillion banking system for almost a decade. “This is a leader’s responsibility,” Guo said, according to people familiar with the April 2017 speech who asked not to be named discussing an internal matter.

Banks in Shenzhen Halt Mortgage Lending - Caixin Shenzhen branches of two of the “big four” state-owned commercial banks halted mortgage lending to homebuyers in mid-November, Caixin learned..Banks are caught between the year-end depletion of quotas covering household credit imposed by the central bank and pressure from so-called “window guidance” from the central bank and local banking regulators to curb real estate-related credits, multiple bankers told Caixin

More A-shares to join MSCI indexes - China Daily One positive development is the inclusion of additional A-shares into the MSCI indexes, which will officially occur after the closing bell on Tuesday. The latest expansion of the MSCI representation will mean that more than 200 A-shares will be added to the MSCI China Index and the inclusion factor for the existing constituents will be increased from 15 percent to 20 percent.

China central bank warns over rising household debt levels | Financial Times $$ Household leverage hit 60 per cent of China’s gross domestic product as of the end of 2018, with total debt now equal to total household income, the People’s Bank of China said in its annual financial stability report. “The debt risks of the household sector and some low-income households in some regions are relatively prominent and should be paid attention to,” the PBOC said, calling for tougher policies to “guard against household sector debt”.

China’s $6 Billion Bond in U.S. Currency Gets Big Offers - Bloomberg The nation sold $1.5 billion of three-year notes, $2 billion apiece of five and 10-year notes and a $500 million 20-year tranche. The strong demand allowed the sovereign to cut pricing by 25 basis points on the shortest tranche to 35 basis points above U.S. Treasuries

Politics and Law

Xi stresses implementing major measures of key CPC session - Xinhua the 11th meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform..The meeting reviewed and approved a series of documents concerning market-based allocation of factors of production, systems for supporting and protecting agriculture, medical insurance system reform, labor education in primary and secondary schools and colleges, modernization of the environmental governance system, education supervision system reform, and agricultural technology services. The meeting also reviewed and approved an action plan on implementing the important measures adopted at the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, and an evaluation report on China's overall reform progress in recent years. CCTV Evening News report on the meeting 习近平主持召开中央全面深化改革委员会第十一次会议强调 落实党的十九届四中全会重要举措 继续全面深化改革实现有机衔接融会贯通

Senior CPC official stresses civic morality, patriotic education - Xinhua Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a teleconference on implementing the outlines for boosting civic morality and patriotic education. Both outlines were issued by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council recently. 黄坤明在宣传贯彻《新时代公民道德建设实施纲要》《新时代爱国主义教育实施纲要》电视电话会议上强调 凝心聚力 立德铸魂 推动思想道德建设和爱国主义教育开创新局面

China’s cold case playground murder nets 19 officials in corruption cover-up | South China Morning Post Nineteen officials in China’s central Hunan province – including 11 from the police force and six from the county government – have been sacked or are waiting to be charged for their roles in covering up a murder 16 years ago. The remains of Deng Shiping, who was 53 when he disappeared in 2003, were uncovered in June this year, buried beneath a playground at Xinhuang No 1 Middle School in Huaihua city.

践行初心使命的力量之源--理论-人民网 - "The source of power to fulfill the mission of staying true to our original aspiration" One participant in a recent study tour for 78 cadres to Yanan for the "stay true to our original aspiration" campaign writes in People's Daily Online about his experiences, and their pilgramage to Liangjiahe, where Xi spent formative years during the Cultural Revolution

Foreign and Defense Affairs

尤权:坚持大统战工作格局--中国统一战线新闻网--人民网 United Front Work Department Head You Quan leads session to study spirit of the Fourth Plenum. Among his exhortations: We should focus on the theme of overseas Chinese affairs in this new era, which is that overseas Chinese should be united in their efforts to share the Chinese dream. We should establish a sound working mechanism that unites and guides overseas Chinese, returned overseas Chinese and their relatives, and give full play to their active role in supporting the development of the motherland, containing separatist forces, passing on Chinese culture and facilitating foreign exchanges.

Huawei affair: German 'insult' on spying angers US - BBC News The US ambassador to Berlin has sharply criticised German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier for suggesting a parallel between Chinese and US spying. The row flared up over Germany's decision not to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from participation in the German 5G mobile phone network. "There is no moral equivalency between China and the United States and anyone suggesting it ignores history," US Ambassador Richard Grenell said. // Comment: NATO alliance infighting must make Beijing very happy

Germany steps up criticism over China’s Xinjiang policies with call for it to ‘meet its international human rights obligations’ | South China Morning Post German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made a rare intervention on the topic on Tuesday after a consortium of international journalists published scores of documents that they said had come from the Chinese government. “China has to grant access to Xinjiang for independent assessments of the human rights situation on the ground,” Maas told a policy forum in Berlin.

Hong Kong and the Uighurs: How far will China go? | UpFront (Full) - YouTube In this episode of UpFront, we ask Beijing-based commentator Victor Gao about the protests in Hong Kong and challenge him on China's mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. // Comment: Victor Gao does not come of of this looking good

Teen's TikTok video about China's Muslim camps goes viral - BBC News The post appears to be about beauty tips at its start - but the young woman then changes tack to ask her viewers to raise awareness of what she describes as a "another Holocaust".

CPEC News: US criticism of CPEC aimed at driving wedge between China - Times of India "The US ignores the facts and continues to use the so-called debt issue to disrupt the CPEC development and drive a wedge between China and Pakistan. This is so malicious and ill-intentioned," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here while responding to US's top diplomat for South and Central Asia Alice Wells criticising the CPEC and China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

China and Russia to turn on gas pipeline tap as neighbours forge stronger energy ties | South China Morning Post Natural gas is set to begin flowing from Siberia into northeastern China early next month, opening up a new supply route between Russia and its energy-hungry neighbour...In Moscow on Monday, Chinese vice foreign minister Le Yucheng called the project a “major achievement”, marking both the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the “entry into a new era of China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership”.

China, Russia agree to enhance investment cooperation - Xinhua The agreement came after the sixth meeting of the China-Russia Investment Cooperation Committee co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov in Beijing...Han called on the two sides to encourage enterprises investment cooperation in technological innovation, digital economy, agriculture and financial services, and continue to create a more stable, transparent, convenient and fairer business environment to better protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors.

China rising: Beijing has world's biggest network of diplomatic posts - Sydney Morning Herald In a sign of Beijing’s determined quest to boost its international influence, China is outstripping the United States in diplomatic reach for the first time, boasting more embassies and consulates around the world than Washington. China has jumped from third to first in the Lowy Institute’s “Global Diplomacy Index” over the last three years with a net gain of five embassies, making a total of 276 posts.

China, Russia, South Africa kick off joint maritime exercise - China Military RDML Liu Zongcheng said in his speech that the first multilateral joint exercise of Chinese, Russian and South African navies in the southern waters off Africa was of great importance for developing the relations among the countries and the militaries

Chinese dream is by no means hegemonic - People's Daily Zhong Sheng Some people in the U.S. are too narrow-minded to understand why the Chinese dream is never hegemonistic and too ignorant to realize that the Chinese people will never allow anyone to apply hegemony in China. No external force can stop China from growing and developing, which is an irreversible trend...It is universally acknowledged that China has unswervingly worked with global partners to build a community with a shared future for mankind, becoming a positive force in response to the call of the times and conforming to the general trend of the world.

3 U.S. universities see decrease in enrollments of Chinese students - Xinhua Last week, the "Open Doors" report by the Institute of International Education, an organization that focuses on international student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security, showed that the growth rate for Chinese students at US universities continued to decline in the 2018-19 academic year.

World's largest shipbuilder established in China - ECNS China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited, both centrally administered state-owned enterprises, implemented a joint reorganization and merged into one corporation. Approved by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the merger creates the largest shipbuilder in the world.

China releases article exposing serious gender discrimination in U.S. - Xinhua The China Society for Human Rights Studies Tuesday issued an article titled "The Long-Standing Issue of Gender Discrimination in the United States Seriously Hinders the Realization of Women's Human Rights within the Country." The United States has not yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which is one of the United Nations' core human rights conventions, nor has it solved its own increasingly serious problem of gender discrimination, said the article, adding that this has significantly hampered the realization of women's human rights in the United States.

U.S. tramples on human rights at will - People's Daily Zhong Sheng An unprecedented amount of 69,550 unaccompanied migrant children were held in U.S. government custody between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, up 42 percent year on year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Chinese defense minister meets foreign guests - Xinhua Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Tuesday met with representatives of various countries attending the first forum of military academies' presidents from the member states of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

China wants to build deeper educational links with Britain | Financial Times - Liu Xiaoming Since becoming the Chinese ambassador in London more than nine years ago, I have attended hundreds of education-related events. And I am convinced that flourishing educational co-operation is an important source of strength for relations between China and the UK. Recently, however, the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee issued a report accusing China of “interfering” with academic freedom in British universities. The charge is groundless and highly misleading.

Taiwan probes two executives for security law breaches over China meddling claims - Reuters Taiwan is investigating two executives at a Hong Kong-listed company on suspicion of violating the country’s National Security Act, prosecutors said on Tuesday, after they were named in a report about Chinese meddling. The company, China Innovation Investment Ltd, said on Monday executive director Xiang Xin and alternate director Kung Ching had been stopped at Taipei’s main airport and asked to cooperate in a probe into Australian media reports about Chinese interference in Hong Kong and Taiwan. //Question: If Wang had gone on the lam months before his public claims, and part of his tasking was to go to Taiwan and undertake missions there, would his alleged bosses travel to Taiwan when one of their agents had disappeared?

Hayward man tells court he served as agent for China | APA former San Francisco Bay Area tour operator agreed Monday to plead guilty to serving as an unregistered agent for China in exchange for a possible reduced prison sentence. Xuehua Edward Peng agreed in court to a four-year prison term and a fine of $30,000 in a plea deal negotiated with prosecutors after they charged him with being an illegal foreign agent who delivered U.S. national security information to officials in China...

Judge gives sentencing break to Mar-a-Lago intruder | Miami HeraldOn Monday, the 33-year-old Chinese woman appeared in a Fort Lauderdale federal courtroom, where she was sentenced to eight months behind bars — essentially time served. She had been found guilty in September of entering a restricted area and lying to federal agents about it...Her sentence, likely to be followed by Zhang’s deportation to China, writes an end to a bizarre court case in which the defendant, a woman with limited English skills and no legal training, represented herself — clumsily and ineffectively, for the most part.

Hong Kong and Macao

Activist jailed for 46 months over Mong Kok riot - RTHK Amy Pat was earlier found guilty of two counts of rioting – for digging up bricks from the pavements and setting cardboard boxes on fire.


Number of Chinese Visitors to Taiwan Plunges by Most Since 2008 - Bloomberg The number of mainlanders traveling to Taiwan plunged by 52.5% year-on-year in October, according to data from its Tourism Bureau. This followed a big dip in September. October’s monthly drop was the biggest since Taiwan relaxed rules in 2008 to let Chinese tourists visit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Taiwan presidential challenger's wife skips Singapore after being told no campaigning - Reuters Lee Chia-fen, the wife of Han Kuo-yu from Taiwan’s Kuomintang party, which favors close ties with China, had been due in Singapore this week to stump for support for her husband from Taiwanese electors in the island state. Media in Singapore estimate there are around 50,000 Taiwanese living there.

Tech and Media

This Professor Is Using AI to Save Lives--On Weibo- PingWest Developed by Professor Huang Zhisheng, a senior AI researcher and faculty member at the Department of Computer Science, Vrije University of Amsterdam, the tree-hole robot (树洞机器人) is a program launched in July, 2018 that uses AI algorithm to detect Weibo posts that may contain or represent suicidal thoughts, followed by immediate actions carried out by volunteers who are local to or near the original poster to save them from death or severe injury.

Tech companies vie for spotlight, pledge support for former NetEase employee · TechNode Executives from several Chinese internet companies are jumping onto a public bandwagon to convey support for a former NetEase employee who publicized his termination from the company over the weekend in an effort to share the spotlight on a top trending topic on Chinese social media.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

"Living a Nightmare" - Chinese Beauty Guru Yuya Mika Shares Shocking Story of Domestic Abuse | What's on Weibo Chinese famous makeup vlogger Yuya Mika has come out and shared her experience of being physically abused by her former boyfriend. Yuya’s story – told in a documentary-style video that is now going viral – does not just raise online awareness about the problem of domestic violence, it also shows the raw realness behind the glamorous facade of China’s KOLs’ social media life

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

In Depth: North China Region Scrambles to Prevent Plague’s Spread After Scare in Beijing - Caixin Emergency measures also include bolstering epidemic early warning systems, medical screenings and outbound traffic inspections, said a plague prevention plan released by the Inner Mongolia autonomous region’s emergency leading group...Documents obtained by Caixin show there were early warnings of a “fierce” plague epidemic in rodents, starting as early as in mid-August in the Sonid Left Banner region, where the couple contracted pneumoic plague.

Once again, a Chinese rocket has doused a village with toxic fuel | Ars Technica On Friday, a Long March 3B rocket launched a pair of Beidou satellites into orbit. The rocket's ascent was normal, but its first stage booster tumbled into a village down range from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in the South-Central part of the country.

Rural and Agricultural Issues

中共中央 国务院 关于保持土地承包关系稳定并长久不变的意见--时政--人民网 At the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), it was proposed to keep the land contracting relationship stable and stable for a long time, and extend the second round of land contracting for another 30 years after its expiration. In order to fully protect farmers' rights and interests in land contracts, further improve the rural land contract management system, and promote the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy, the following opinions are put forward on keeping the rural land contract relationship stable and unchanged for a long time

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Ag Bank Pumps Funds to Keep Farms Afloat The Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) has been pumping money into China's agricultural sector by financing most of the grain and cotton marketed this year and lending for poverty alleviation, land improvement, marketing infrastructure, agricultural industry parks, "leading enterprises," and agricultural science and technology. The bank is one more seldom-noticed example of a Chinese economy increasingly propped up by debt.

Rural land reform upsets China’s villagers | Financial Times $$ Under the new system, villages are allowed to sell business-oriented rural land, which accounts for 0.5 per cent of the total. Decisions on sales of farmland and grassland will still be taken at a higher level...“We know the village has made tens of millions of yuan from selling land, but we didn’t get a dime,” said one villager in his 50s. Although the shares have risen in value, he pointed out there was “no way to cash them out”.