Hong Kong; RRR cuts and more bad data; Pork problems; Yang Jiechi on great power diplomacy
|Bill Bishop||Sep 9, 2019||7||1|
Cat has my tongue, struggling to find anything insightful to write up top, so just some comments in the Essential Eight below.
Friday is a holiday for 中秋节 the mid-autumn festival. Sinocism HQ has people who do like mooncakes, but good ones are hard to find here.
Thanks for reading
The Essential Eight
1. Hong Kong
Tens of thousands of protesters, many waving American flags, gathered peacefully on Sunday at a park in the main business district and played the U.S. national anthem before making their way up a hill to the sprawling consular complex.
Many of the protesters called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would impose penalties on Hong Kong or Chinese officials who suppress basic freedoms in the city. The bill, if passed, would demand more scrutiny of Hong Kong’s status as a separate trading partner, a designation that has helped the city thrive as a finance and business hub.
The US bill supporting Hong Kong’s democracy and human rights will not help the city out of its political crisis, according to the president of the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Stephen Orlins, who has led the New York-based body that promotes unofficial exchanges between China and the US since 2005, also said the proposed legislation “risks being counterproductive”.
The wildcat demonstrations came after a planned “stress test” traffic jam at Hong Kong’s airport was largely thwarted by a heavy police presence and vehicle searches. Scuffles nevertheless broke out in nearby Tung Chung during the afternoon.
The commentaries on Monday came a day after thousands of protesters joined a peaceful march to the US consulate in Hong Kong, urging American officials and politicians to support their cause by taking diplomatic action against the city’s government.
Hong Kong Executive Councilor Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun told the Global Times on Monday that she had "trusted" sources to prove that young girls have been misled into offering free sex to frontline protesters.
Her comments came after she said earlier on Monday on RTHK's "Backchat" radio program that there were "confirmed reports" of young girls offering free sex to frontline protesters.
Comment: No bottom line in smears
At around 7am on Monday, students from at least 100 schools linked hands, held placards and chanted slogans such as “All five demands, not one fewer.” The human chain event came after class boycotts last week at the start of the school term.
At around 10pm on Saturday, police fired multiple bursts of pepper spray at journalists outside Pioneer Centre mall on Nathan Road, Mong Kok. Protesters had gathered after police largely thwarted a planned “stress test” of Hong Kong’s airport transportation. Multiple journalists were doused with the chemical including an HKFP reporter who was hit face-on whilst live-streaming the event.
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung was on Monday bailed and cleared to travel abroad as he seeks to boost global support for the Hong Kong democracy movement, after a court acknowledged an administrative blunder led to him being detained for a day.
Wong, 22, was arrested at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday morning for breaching the bail conditions imposed after he was charged over an anti-government protest on June 21.
But Eastern Court heard on Monday the apparent breach had been the result of inaccurate documentation of Wong’s bail terms
In July, at a meeting that has not been publicly disclosed, Mr. Xi met with other senior officials to discuss the protests. The range of options discussed is unclear, but the leaders agreed that the central government should not intervene forcefully, at least for now, several people familiar with the issue said in interviews in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Comment: Short of making existentially risky concessions or orchestrating a massively damaging crackdown I am not sure what Xi and the Party could do. Waiting as long as possible to see how things develop, while ramping up propaganda work and no doubt doing lots of things sub rosa to influence outcomes may not be the least bad approach from Beijing's perspective.
Two Hong Kong businesswomen are expected to defend the government’s handling of protests in the city when the UN’s top human rights body meets in Geneva this week.
Macau casino heiress Pansy Ho Chiu-king and Annie Wu Suk-ching, daughter of catering group Maxim’s founder James Tak Wu, will speak at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
It comes as Beijing is ramping up efforts to sway international opinion on the months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
Comment: They have had some success with their campaign to influence international opinion about Xinjiang.
2. RRR cuts and more bad data
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points (bps) for all banks, with an additional 100 bps cut for qualified city commercial banks. The RRR for large banks will be lowered to 13.0%...
The broad-based cut, which will release 800 billion yuan in liquidity, is effective Sept. 16. The additional targeted cut will release 100 billion yuan, in two phases effective Oct. 15 and Nov. 15.
Comment: Still not clear the additional liquidity will reach SMEs
The cut “doesn’t reflect an aggressive easing,” said Zhou Hao, a senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank AG in Singapore. “In fact, China has recently massively tightened property financing. Hence this is still a re-balancing -- to lower the funding costs for the manufacturing sector but tighten liquidity in the property sector due to asset bubble concerns.”
Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, described the 900 billion yuan capital release as a "moderate stimulus." But he pointed out that compared with the past, the effects of the RRR cuts on the domestic economy will be more evident.
"In the past, liquidity release moves often resulted in incremental capital flows to the real estate sector. Now that the government has 'tightened the gate' for the real estate sector with policies like purchase restrictions, I believe new capital released by the RRR cuts will mostly benefit the real economy," he told the Global Times on Sunday.
Question: Wishful thinking?
Exports decreased 1% in dollar terms from a year earlier, while imports declined 5.6%, leaving a trade surplus of $34.84 billion, the customs administration said Sunday. Economists had forecast that exports would grow 2.2%, while imports would shrink by 6.4%. Shipments to the U.S. fell 16% from a year earlier.
Sales of sedans, sport utility vehicles, minivans and multipurpose vehicles in August fell 9.9% from a year earlier to 1.59 million units, the China Passenger Car Association said Monday.
The proposals aim to provide regulations and procedures for payment terms including delayed payments to stop the coercion of SMEs to accept unreasonable terms of business. They are the latest measures in a long-standing government strategy to promote the development and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Payment arrears have been a major worry for China’s small businesses for years but the problems have been exacerbated by slowing economic growth and increasing financial difficulties faced by both companies and local governments.
Beneath China’s stable headline economic numbers, there is a growing belief among economists, companies and investors around the world that the real picture is worse than the official data. That has analysts and researchers crunching an array of alternative data—from energy consumption to photos taken from space—for a more accurate reading.
Their conclusion: China’s economy isn’t tanking, but it is almost certainly weaker than advertised. Some economists who have dissected China’s GDP numbers say more accurate figures could be up to 3 percentage points lower, based on their analysis of corporate profits, tax revenue, rail freight, property sales and other measures of activity that they believe are harder for the government to fudge...
China made a peace proposal in a phone call this week with top U.S. trade officials with an offer to buy a modest amount of U.S. agricultural goods, according to two people briefed on the call.
That offer, however, could be contingent on the United States easing up export restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei and delaying an Oct. 1 tariff escalation on roughly $250 billion in goods, the people said.
Comment: As Sinocism suggested in Thursday’s note.
“I think the enforcement area we at least have a conceptual, an agreement on,” Mnuchin told Fox Business Network.
He also had a warning: President Donald Trump has no problem keeping heavy tariffs on Beijing if a deal can’t be reached.
“I expect the governor of the People’s Bank of China to come over for these talks,” Mnuchin told reporters Monday. “So part of the conversations we will be having with them is around currency and currency manipulation.”
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the U.S. and China will focus on "significant structural issues" and "market access" in trade talks scheduled for October during an appearance on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Monday's CCTV Evening News previews a Zhong Sheng commentary appearing in Tuesday's People's Daily that attacks Peter Navarro for his comments Sunday
“Renlixuan”, the ideology and propaganda department of People’s Daily, wrote an editorial last Friday reiterating that Chinese economy is doing extremely well despite the trade war, because of the party’s wonderful policies to encourage innovations, reforms and help small companies. As a result, China will not surrender to US pressure.
This article on Monday’s Study Times reviews the bloody battle against Americans in Shangganling during the Korean War. It said with the “steel-like combat spirit” the Chinese soldiers beat the Americans and forced them back to the negotiation table
Economist Fan Gang warned at the China Development Forum that if the decoupling with the US is inevitable, China’s industrial policies must focus on not just eye-catching things like chips but also a wide range of other technologies for which China still heavily depends on the US.
China has already agreed to 80 per cent of demands for a trade deal, but the final portion of Washington’s demands are seen by Beijing as an infringement on its sovereignty, said Jin Canrong, an international relations professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, on his social media account...
According to Jin, who did not reveal the source of his information but is known to be well-connected in Beijing, the final 20 per cent includes completely abandoning the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy programme, a plan to cut the share of the state in the overall economy from 38 per cent to 20 per cent, as well as an implementing an enforcement check mechanism that would allow the US to dig into the books of different levels of the Chinese government.
“The Politburo would never agree to these terms,” Jin said, referring to China’s supreme decision-making body. “It would be forfeiting sovereignty and humiliating the nation.”
“For the US, the choice is zero or 80 per cent [of what it wants],” Jin said. “The option of getting 100 per cent doesn’t exist … my conclusion is that the US has to give up the final 20 per cent [of its demands].”
Jin Canrong’s post - 音频 | 金灿荣：贸易战短期对我们挺痛苦的，但是长期可能是个好事（20190907珠海分享-2）
Without naming Liu He, he also criticized China’s negotiators for being too “bookish” for agreeing to the US demands too fast, and now China should learn from the Japanese in the 1980s and just wait. He also said China sees the demands of abolishing MIC2025 and reducing the SOE role to less than 20% unacceptable because they violate China’s rights to develop and they challenge the CCP regime.
As former China development Bank head Chen Yuan again talks about a possible US-China “financial war”:
CCTV WeChat account about China Development Forum experts meeting, Michael Swaine and Susan Thornton there, account praises the open letter they spearheaded. The author also praises praises Steve Orlins for his comments at the event, and notes that Orlins quotes Mao.
Saturday CCTV Evening News on the experts meeting. Kissinger joined with a recorded video.
The U.S.-Soviet relationship was almost entirely a political and military rivalry. The U.S.-China relationship is far more complex. Trade between the two countries was more than $700 billion last year. Some 350,000 Chinese students study at American universities. Large numbers of tourists jet between the two countries daily.
All this helps reduce the likelihood of a full-fledged conflict, said Susan Thornton, a senior State Department official for Asian affairs until her retirement last year. She thinks the Cold War analogy is overblown, but she is concerned.
"I do fear that we are headed into an era of unceasing confrontation, where the U.S. is seeking to challenge China on every front, from military to economic to technological to ideological to soft power," said Thornton, who now teaches at Yale Law School.
The fear-mongering rhetoric about China made by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his recent European tour is a futile attempt to drive a wedge between China and Europe.
In a trip that took him to Poland, Ireland, Iceland and Britain, Pence went to great lengths to smear China on almost each and every occasion, touching upon issues concerning China's telecommunication giant Huawei, trade as well as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But unfortunately, Pence's allegations are too absurd to withstand any serious fact check.
Politico reports Pence's second China speech is back on the schedule:
"“During the flight, a WH official said VPOTUS has rescheduled a major speech on China for this fall, date to be announced, at a think tank in Washington.”"
“It’s a little tricky,” said Jared Bernstein, who served as the top economic adviser to Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner, when Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president.
“The challenge is to distance yourself from what has been a pretty disastrous set of policies from the Trump administration, while signaling you are not going to be soft on China.”
4. Pork problems
It sure sounds like the Asian Swine Flu mess was worsened by poor policies out of Beijing. Is this a bit of a rerun of the 2017 policies to force conversion to gas heating that led to so many shivering through the winter? Is centralization hurting the policy formulation process?
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua has urged the country's main hog production areas to step up efforts in stabilizing and recovering production.
Ensuring stable pork supply is one of the most urgent tasks for the country's work on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, Hu made the remarks on Friday after an inspection to northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, one of the country's main hog production areas.
All main hog production areas should develop hog production and pork supply plans and fulfill related targets, Hu said.
Local authorities are also promoting modern and large scale pig farms, to secure pork supplies in the region in the long run, the paper said.
China’s state planner said on Monday it will issue subsidies of up to 5 million yuan ($700,000) to support the construction of large-scale pig farms.
Local media have toured the government freezers in recent days to assure the public that a reserve of 50 grams of pork per person would last four days even if no new supply came in. So Friday's Mid-Autumn Festival meal is safe.
Across China, pork prices have doubled since July, reaching record highs of 30 yuan (US$4.20) to 33 yuan per kilogram, surpassing analyst expectations. The last time pork prices reached similar levels, in June 2016, they peaked at 31.56 yuan per kilogram, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
But on this occasion, prices are expected to continue to rise until the end of the year and into the Lunar New Year holiday season at the end of January, when pork is traditionally at the centre of family feasts. And while the government is implementing policies to offset the price increases, it will take years to build the supply of pigs back up to their previous levels after the outbreak of African swine fever
Life Times, a publication under the Global Times has a front page headline in its 9.10 edition telling readers that is better for their health to eat less pork. You know it must be bad when they resort to such obvious propaganda tricks…
5. National Day preparations
The rehearsal was held from 11 p.m. Saturday to the wee hours on Sunday in Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing. About 90,000 people were involved in the rehearsal and related supporting services.
A total of six parts of the celebrations were rehearsed, including a grand military parade, a mass pageant and performances as well as the on-site test of the control system of fireworks display, according to the media center for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the PRC.
One of the gold coins, with a diameter of 60 mm, contains 150 grams of gold and has a denomination of 2,000 yuan (about 281.29 U.S. dollars). The other gold coins, 22 mm in diameter, contains 8 grams of gold and has a denomination of 100 yuan, according to the central bank.
A campaign was launched in January to invite members of the public to contribute works that showcase the development of the country as well as the changes in people's lives over the decades. As of June, when the event concluded, the organizers had received about 140,000 articles, 130,000 photos and 3,000 short videos.
Video of the first rehearsal around Tiananmen for the 70th anniversary parade. [中国新闻] 中华人民共和国成立70周年 天安门举行庆祝活动首次联合演练 | CCTV中文国际 - YouTube
6. Merkel visits China
The current era is full of challenges and increasing risks, Xi said, adding that unilateralism and protectionism pose a serious threat to world peace and stability, and no country can be immune from it.
As two responsible major countries, China and Germany need to strengthen strategic communication, coordination and cooperation to address the common challenges facing mankind more than ever.
“Not every assessment means that every investment is blocked, rather in strategic or sensitive areas that have to be looked after -- still, Chinese investors are welcome,” Merkel said. She also urged an end to the China-U.S. trade war to return calm to global markets...
The German leader said her goal is for trade relations with China to be an example for multilateral trade amid tensions in the global order. She cited the “urgency” of clenching an investment accord by the second half of 2020. That’s when Germany plans to host a an EU-Chinese leaders’ summit.
Merkel said she discussed Hong Kong with Premier Li and that there needed to be a peaceful solution for the city. "I indicated during the talks that the rights and freedoms agreed upon in Hong Kong's Basic Law should be safeguarded," she said.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina signed the Beijing Declaration on Monday, pledging to step up basic research and promote communication among young researchers from the two countries.
Was the latest Germany-China summit a success? Judging by the number of signed deals and how often "human rights" were mentioned, yes. But while German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly and privately commented on the ongoing Hong Kong protests, and will now be returning to Germany with no less than 11 cooperation agreements, her recent visit to China will satisfy neither business representatives nor human rights activists.
7. Yang Jiechi on great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics
With the spirit of partnership in mind, Xi has guided the nation to build friendly relations with various countries by expanding the convergence of interests with them, said Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the committee's Foreign Affairs Commission office, in a signed article in the most recent issue of the Qiushi Journal, the committee's flagship magazine.
Acting on Xi's Thought on Diplomacy, China has been expanding its all-around strategic posture in foreign relations and is striving to develop global partnerships, Yang said.
As of June, China had forged partnerships with 110 countries and regional organizations in various forms, including 60 comprehensive strategic partnerships, the Foreign Ministry said.
Besides neighborly relations and partnerships with developing countries, China also emphasizes connections with major countries...
Xi proposed the idea of developing global partnerships in November 2014 at the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs. At the meeting, he underlined the need for China to make more friends while abiding by the principle of nonalignment and to build a global network of partners.
Yang's article - 在习近平外交思想指引下奋力推进中国特色大国外交
Interesting that the article includes photos of Mao, Deng and Xi, but none of Jiang and Hu? Three Era's three leaders ...
The second section argued that China “has set out on a new path of great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.” It offered eight recommendations: 1) “To accurately grasp the development trends of China and the world in a new era, advance the important conclusion that the world is facing profound changes unseen in a century”; 2) “To adhere to promoting the creation of a community of shared future for mankind, specify the goals and orientation of external work in a new era”; 3) “To advocate and promote the joint building of the ‘Belt and Road,’ found a new model of all-around external openness and new platform for international cooperation in a new era”; 4) “To deepen and expand the overall external strategic layout, develop a network of global partnerships”; 5) “To actively provide Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach, thoroughly lead the way in transforming the global governance system”; 6) “To firmly defend national sovereignty, security, and development interests, safeguard reform-based development and national rejuvenation”; 7) “To strengthen exchange and mutual learning with all the world’s countries, firmly hold the high ground of international justice”; and 8) “To persevere with diplomatic authority residing at the party center, strengthen the Party’s centralized and unified leadership over external work.”
John Sullivan, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, and David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, touched on those issues during a closed-door town hall meeting on Aug. 29 with IO staffers. But they expressed particular concern about China’s strategic goal of deepening its influence in the U.N. and other international organizations.
As a direct expression of ‘reform of the global governance system’, a major topic of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy, Beijing is committing resources and diplomatic effort to sending more of its nationals to work at the UN and other multilateral agencies.
The drive started well before Xi came to power, but his ‘global governance’ ambitions give it a major boost. At a Politburo study session in September 2016, Xi stressed that China needs to build a talent pool in order to project its presence in rule-making, agenda setting, publicity and coordination in global governance.
8. Next round of discipline inspections
Many foreign affairs organs on the list, sounds like it is more about political correctness and ideological enforcement than corruption
Among the organs on the list are the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, the Supreme People's Court, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Party School of CPC Central Committee (National Academy of Governance), the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the All-China Women's Federation and the China Writers Association, according to the statement.
The full list - 十九届中央第四轮巡视将对37个中央和国家机关单位开展常规巡视————头条——中央纪委国家监委网站
Business, Economy and Trade
Xi stresses synergy, coordination, efficiency in advancing reform - Xinhua the 10th meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform Monday... The meeting reviewed and approved a series of documents concerning promoting the integrated development of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries, creating a better environment to support the reform and development of private enterprises, promoting high-quality development of trade, implementing the strategy for ensuring the supply of major farm produce, coordinating supervision of financial infrastructure and intensifying fight against plastic pollution. The meeting demanded efforts to promote the integration and co-existence of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries.
In Depth: With Bank Lifelines, Regulators Weigh Stability Against Accountability - Caixin Like the source close to the PBOC’s financial stability bureau said, the central bank will put financial stability ahead of preventing moral hazard — at least for the time being. “Of course, moral hazard will also need to be firmly dealt with,” the source said.
Huawei is laying off workers in China as US sanctions bite · TechNode Huawei is reportedly laying off thousands of employees in China as the Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment maker continues to struggle with a US trade ban that has cut it off from American suppliers. Rumors about the layoffs have been circulating on an anonymous message board on Chinese professional networking platform Maimai over the past week.
U.S. charges Chinese professor in latest shot at Huawei - Reuters the complaint accuses an unidentified Chinese telecommunications conglomerate, which sources say is Huawei, of trying to steal the technology, and alleges Mao played a role in its alleged scheme. A court document also indicates the case is related to Huawei. Mao, an associate professor at Xiamen University in China who also became a visiting professor at a Texas university last fall, first gained attention as part of a Texas civil case between Huawei and Silicon Valley startup CNEX Labs Inc.
Microsoft Says Trump Is Treating Huawei Unfairly - Bloomberg Such actions shouldn’t be taken without a “sound basis in fact, logic, and the rule of law,” says Smith in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, adding that Microsoft has asked U.S. regulators to explain themselves. “Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us,’” he says. “And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works.’
伟创力被踢出后，比亚迪长沙工厂首批华为手机下线 Chinese company BYD has replaced Flex as the new manufacturing contractor for Huawei cellphones and it has started production. Flex terminated the contract with Huawei for fear of being caught in sanctions.
China's 2018 government procurement up 11.7 pct - Xinhua China's government procurement went up 11.7 percent year on year to 3.59 trillion yuan (about 507 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, official data showed. The figure is equivalent to 10.5 percent of the country's fiscal expenditures, or 4 percent of GDP, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The growth of the procurement scale slowed down compared with the 24.8-percent rise in 2017.
Yicai Global - Two Firms Are Investigated as China's Online Loan Regulations Extend to Big Data Employees of two Chinese big data risk management firms have been asked to assist in police investigations as the country's regulations on internet-based financing extend to big data, Yicai Global has learned from an industry insider. // Moxie Data and Shanghai Xinyan Artificial Intelligence Technology
VTB in talks with Chinese companies over potential EN+ investment | Financial Times $$ Russian bank VTB is in talks with Chinese companies over a potential investment in energy-to-aluminium group EN+, people with knowledge of the talks told the Financial Times. London-listed EN+, which was under US sanctions until January this year, controls Rusal, Russia’s largest aluminium producer and the world’s largest outside China.
Value of Credit Card Balance Transfers Drops at Major Internet Platform - Caixin The drop in balance transfers is likely connected to regulatory tightening in the credit card sector and online lending, amid increasing concerns about growth in borrowing taken on by individuals over the past few years and about more and more people borrowing new debt to repay old borrowing.
Alibaba set for 'big challenge' as flamboyant chairman Ma departs - Reuters As Ma, who turns 55 on Tuesday, holds centerstage at his farewell party in the 80,000-capacity Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center stadium to the accompaniment of music and celebrity performances, attendees will be hoping to get clues on how Alibaba (BABA.N) will be run under his heir Daniel Zhang.
Politics and Law
Senior CPC official demands concrete results in following stage of education campaign - Xinhua Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Wang Huning on Saturday called for consolidation of the achievements in the first stage of the ongoing Party education campaign and elaborate planning for the next stage to ensure concrete results. Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a meeting concluding the first stage of the education campaign themed "staying true to our founding mission" and making arrangements for the second phase.
How to Lose Friends and Influence People: Upsetting the Balance in Xi Jinping’s China | RUSI - Charles Parton Through his clampdown on corruption, dissent and relative freedoms, Chinese President Xi Jinping has alienated various groups within society. However, in the absence of a serious economic downturn and a rift within the Party’s leadership, discontent is unlikely to unseat him for the foreseeable future.
以党内法规建设新成效推动宣传思想工作开创新局面 - 求是网 《求是》2019/17 作者：黄坤明 - Huang Kunming in the latest Qiushi on progress in promoting publicity and ideological work with new achievements in building party regulations
China issues circular on National Defense Education Day celebration - Xinhua The theme of this year's National Defense Education Day, which falls on Sept. 21, will be closely associated with the upcoming festivities celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, said the office in the circular. It asked related agencies to schedule activities including symposiums, lectures, exhibitions, screenings of military-themed films, and tours to military museums and martyrs' cemeteries.
School principal honored as role model - Xinhua The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has honored high school principal Chen Liqun as "role model of the times." Chen, formerly an experienced teacher, had been working as principal of high schools in east China's Zhejiang Province. After his retirement in 2016, Chen went to work voluntarily at a high school in a poverty-stricken area in southwest China's Guizhou Province, declining high-paying job offers from private schools.
Xi urges national library to stick to correct political direction, promote traditional culture - Xinhua Xi...made the remarks in a reply letter to eight senior experts from the library. The library celebrates the 110th anniversary of its founding this year. Xi extended greetings to the staff of the library, expressing the hope that the library will make new contributions to the building of socialist country with great cultural strength.
Patriotic Shift for China’s ‘First Class of School’ TV Program | The Diplomat Last weekend, as 185 million schoolchildren in China prepared for the first day of school, they had to complete an unusual task: watching TV. Since 2008, CCTV’s the “First Class of School” has been required watching for primary and secondary school students, and the Global Times (a media organization associated with the Chinese government) reported Sunday that the hashtag associated with this year’s show had been viewed nearly 2 billion times
The Party is Struggling | China Media Project Xi’s talk of “struggle” this week was an important sign, and one to continue watching. This is true, however, not because these remarks are unusual or surprising, but because they have been normalized as part of the fabric of politics in the Xi Jinping era. The Chinese Communist Party is once again the party of struggle, turning on itself as much as on the problems the country faces.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
As Prepared Remarks by Secretary Esper at the Royal United Services Institute in London > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Speech As we look out across the global security environment today, we see a landscape that continues to grow in complexity. It is increasingly clear that Russia and China want to disrupt the international order by gaining a veto over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.
Chinese premier to visit Russia Sept. 16 to 18- Xinhua During the visit, Li and Medvedev will hold the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government, according to spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
Putin pushes idea of Russian gas supplies to China via Mongolia - Reuters Russian President Vladimir Putin told the head of state-controlled Gazprom (GAZP.MM) to consider making Russian gas exports to China via Mongolia, the Kremlin said on Monday.
Xi congratulates Kim on DPRK's founding anniversary - Xinhua The Chinese president said he believes that guided by the WPK led by Chairman Kim, the DPRK will definitely make new great achievements in its socialist cause. Xi stressed that he is willing to join hands with Kim to inherit and carry on the China-DPRK traditional friendship, push for greater development of bilateral friendly and cooperative relations in the new era, and better serve the two countries and two peoples.
Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Brazil in November for BRICS summit - Reuters The visit is expected to take place during a summit of BRICS countries, a grouping of nations including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Mourao said during a conference in Sao Paulo hosted by the Brazil-China Business Council.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Pakistan amid tensions over Kashmir | South China Morning Post Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi began a four-day trip to Pakistan and Nepal on Saturday, amid escalating tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over Kashmir. Wang was expected to join a trilateral dialogue with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan in Islamabad, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday. He will also travel to Nepal.
Rejecting Retreat | Chicago Council on Global Affairs While climate change and immigration are longstanding disagreements between Republicans and Democrats, polling has only recently revealed a growing partisan divide on the threat of China. Less than half of Americans overall (42%) say that the development of China as a world power represents a critical threat, whereas the share of Republicans who view China’s rise as such has increased twelve percentage points in the past year (Figure F). In fact, for the first time since 2002 a majority (54%) of Republicans say China’s rise represents a critical threat to the United States, compared with 36 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Independents.
China pays tribute to Mugabe - Global Times "Mugabe was an outstanding national liberation movement leader and statesman of Zimbabwe," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang at a press briefing in Beijing on Friday. "Throughout his life, he has firmly defended the sovereignty of his country, opposed foreign interference, and actively promoted China-Zimbabwe and China-Africa friendship and cooperation," said Geng.
China slams US ‘lies’ about treatment of Uygurs in Xinjiang region | Reuters China has hit back at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s pledge to take its treatment of ethnic Uygurs to the United Nations, saying US “lies” about the western region of Xinjiang would not deceive anyone. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference in Beijing on Monday that Pompeo was not the first US official to make irresponsible remarks about Xinjiang.
Digital Crackdown: Large-Scale Surveillance and Exploitation of Uyghurs | Volexity Key highlights from these most recent series of attacks against the Uyghur diaspora include: A wide-ranging series of digital surveillance and exploitation campaigns identified via multiple strategically compromised websites; Mobile device users running Android OS targeted via an exploit that will deliver a 64-bit ARM executable; Website visitors tracked and targeted via Scanbox profiling and exploitation framework
Attacker’s arsenal includes Google Applications for gaining access to e-mails and contact lists of Gmail accounts via OAuth; Doppelganger domains emulating Google, the Turkistan Times, and the Uyghur Academy leveraged by attackers; At least two separate Chinese APT groups responsible for ongoing campaigns against Uyghurs
Apple Versus Project Zero, Apple’s Poor Response, The China Paradox – Stratechery by Ben Thompson What makes Apple’s dismissive attitude about these vulnerabilities so striking is its regular insistence that “privacy is a human right”; what, precisely, is Apple’s definition of human? It certainly seems that a vulnerability that allowed the Chinese government to view every piece of information on someone’s iPhone, including encrypted conversations, likely leading to the imprisonment of some number of people who thought their conversations were private, is a pretty big problem! Then again, by far the biggest paradox about modern Apple is the fact that the company is increasingly building its reputation around protecting privacy even as it is the tech company that is by far the most invested in China, whose government is more aggressive than any other in ensuring that on the Internet in particular, but also in day-to-day life, there is no privacy at all.
Massive iPhone Hack Targets Uyghurs - Schneier on Security This upends pretty much everything we know about iPhone hacking. We believed that it was hard. We believed that effective zero-day exploits cost $2M or $3M, and were used sparingly by governments only against high-value targets. We believed that if an exploit was used too frequently, it would be quickly discovered and patched. None of that is true here. This operation used fourteen zero-days exploits. It used them indiscriminately. And it remained undetected for two years.
中国新疆文化交流团访问德国 A Xinjiang “cultural exchange delegation” led by the State Council information office is touring Europe to explain the “vocational training” policies in Xinjiang to journalists and local officials. They just went to France and Germany, and will go to UK as well.
From Beijing to Hampstead: how tale of HIV whistleblower rattled Chinese state | The Guardian Dr Shuping Wang, who exposed the spread of hepatitis and HIV infection through contaminated blood and plasma in China two decades ago, has said her relatives and former colleagues in Henan province are being told they should persuade her to drop the show at the London’s Hampstead Theatre.
Under pressure, US universities start the year seeking to curb foreign influence fears | South China Morning Post Universities have responded with measures that include offering pre-travel security briefings and providing laptops and cellphones free of sensitive data for researchers travelling to “high-risk countries”, updating protocols for screening and welcoming foreign visitors to campuses, and building relationships with their regional Federal Bureau of Investigation offices.
Squeezed by debt and the US, Pakistan slows Belt and Road projects - Nikkei Asian Review "There can't be any progress with China. Even Beijing knows that CPEC is on hold at the moment," said Kaiser Bengali, an economist and former policy adviser to the Sindh provincial government. "The U.S. doesn't want China's influence to grow, ... [so] control of our economy is in the hands of the U.S. and its affiliated institutions," such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
2018 China Conference in Beijing | Committee 100 wonder why the Committee of 100 release on their 2018 gala in Beijing makes no mention of the attendance of the UFWD deputy director Xu Yousheng, while Fuyao and other Chinese organizations whose leaders attended do. The Fuyao release on the event - 曹德旺荣膺“2018中美关系杰出领袖奖”_福耀动态_新闻资讯_福耀集团 12月1日，美国华裔精英组织百人会中国年会在北京举行，福耀集团董事长曹德旺荣膺“2018中美关系杰出领袖奖”。十二届全国政协副主席李海峰，中央统战部副部长、国务院侨务办公室主任许又声，现任美国驻华大使特里·布兰斯塔德（Terry Branstad），美国前驻华大使马克斯·博卡斯（Max Baucus），百度公司总裁张亚勤，百人会理事会主席王恒，百人会会长吴华扬，中国美国商会主席蔡瑞德，中金公司前首席执行官朱云来，羽西品牌化妆品创始人靳羽西、行知丝路研究院校长李小琳等来自中美两国的逾400位政治、商业和学术界领袖及青年精英出席本次活动，并见证了这一时刻。
The Strategy Bridge - In Military-Civil Fusion, China is Learning Lessons from the United States and Starting to Innovate Xi Jinping has taken these initiatives and antecedents to a new level. The recent transition from civil-military integration (junmin jiehe, 军民结合) to military-civil fusion (junmin ronghe, 军民融合) occurring under Xi Jinping’s leadership could be dismissed as semantic, but it is also profound. These concepts are often confused in American discourse and writings, not least because the official Chinese language reporting and translations often conflate the two through using the same translation for both phrases. However, the literal translation of “fusion,” which is often favored by analysts of these policies—and now admitted to be accurate and appropriate by Chinese scholars—comes closer to conveying the full meaning and significance of the shift. This paradigm is applied not only to research and armaments development but also to contexts including logistics, human capital, and national defense mobilization.
全军科研“航空母舰”高层调整, 履新者曾为中央政治局授课 “Military-civil fusion”: China names Mei Hong, a top computer engineer and former vice president of the Shanghai Communication University, as the new vice president of the PLA Academy of Military Science. In 2017, Mei gave a lecture in a Politburo study session on big data.
Satellite images show China road runs deep into Arunachal: Defence expert Abhijit Iyer-Mitra When the Indian Army Wednesday denied BJP MP Tapir Gao’s claim that China was intruding into the Chaglagam and Bishing area of Arunachal Pradesh, I decided to look for anything that might hold as evidence of intrusion. I found no discernible evidence of intrusion in the Chaglagam region of the state. However, based on help from various open-source intelligence, or OSINT, handles, what we ended up detecting is far more serious: not only have the Chinese intruded in the northern region at Bishing about 175 km from Chaglagam, but they have also built a road approximately 1 kilometre deep into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control. This road enters from the east where the border runs north-south, and runs parallel to the east-west orientation of the border.
Mamallapuram to host Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping meeting in October - The Hindu Mr. Modi will host Mr. Xi for two days — October 11 and 13 — in Mamallapuram, informed sources in the government said.
China hackers reverse engineered NSA spy tools, researchers say · TechNode “We believe that this artifact was collected during an attack conducted by the Equation Group against a network monitored by APT3, allowing it to enhance its exploit arsenal with a fraction of the resources required to build the original tool.”
PLA conducts joint land assault exercises near Taiwan - Global Times The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted a joint land assault exercise featuring multiple military branches near the island of Taiwan, which military experts said on Sunday shows the Chinese military is ready to unleash its full potential against Taiwan secessionist forces and intends to send a stern warning to countries that intervene in China's internal affairs. The 74th Group Army of the PLA recently held a joint land assault exercise off the eastern coast of South China's Guangdong Province, with the navy and air force joining the simulated attack, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.
President Tsai meets Jeremiah Manele, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Solomon Islands, and Mrs. Manele Taiwan and the Solomon Islands share values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the fight against climate change, and we are mutually supportive partners. Over the past three years, we have continued to cooperate across agriculture, healthcare, education, and human resources development, reaching new milestones in cooperation together. // Comment: So is there any hope left for Taiwan to retain the Solomons Islands?
Taiwan makes last-ditch appeal to ‘solid friend’ Solomon Islands to not cut diplomatic ties | South China Morning Post Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen made a last-ditch attempt on Monday to stop the Solomon Islands from switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing, describing the Pacific island nation as a “solid friend” of Taipei. In a meeting with Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele, Tsai promised to do more to improve ties, and asked for support for Taiwan on the world stage.
Tech and Media
For China’s Tech Giants, Success Stops at the Border - WSJ $$ Sounds like the mistakes many of the US tech firms made trying to enter China // He abruptly halted most free shipping—a move that pummeled sales as customers moved to other platforms like Shopee that were still subsidizing. The move upset merchants in Vietnam, who were already perplexed by elements of Lazada’s tech overhaul, and many moved to rival sites, said a person familiar with what happened.
China’s Sohu Makes $500 Million Bid for Games Firm Changyou – Variety Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million.
In the Race to Dominate 5G, China Sprints Ahead - WSJ $$ “Beijing can snap its fingers and put up untold cellular towers overnight, but in the long run, I have more faith in the U.S. system,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, the organization’s point person on wireless infrastructure. “Beijing is known for wasteful, debt-fueled spending on massive infrastructure projects. You don’t have to look further than some of the ghost cities across China.”... 4G was available across 97.3% of Guizhou in the first half of 2019, according to Ookla, a Seattle internet-speed research firm. West Virginia had 85.3%.
Apple, Foxconn Broke a Chinese Labor Law for IPhone Production - Bloomberg Apple Inc. and manufacturing partner Foxconn violated a Chinese labor rule by using too many temporary staff in the world’s largest iPhone factory, the companies confirmed following a report that also alleged harsh working conditions.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
CASS approves ‘superstitious’ postgraduate course on Book of Changes - Global Times The ancient Chinese classic Book of Changes, or I Ching, has been officially deemed a research direction for doctoral students at the nation's highest academic research organization in philosophy and social sciences this year, triggering debate among internet users over whether the course amounted to a real philosophy or mere feudal superstition.
Coach of Jiangsu female youth soccer team accused of molesting players - Global Times An employee at the football training base in Jiangsu where the coach works confirmed with the Global Times on Monday that the coach is under investigation by the police and his punishment by the base will be decided after the investigation. A Weibo user posted photos of a letter of accusation from several parents on Monday, which said that coach Chen Guanghong molested one of the players in the female youth soccer team, which consists of 13 to 15-year-old teenage girls.
Vice premier stresses aesthetic education - Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan on Friday stressed intensified efforts in promoting aesthetic education in the new era. Sun, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during a research tour to the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China Data Centers Guzzle Electricity, Boosting Carbon Emissions - Bloomberg Environment That bump in electricity consumption is expected to boost carbon emissions to 163 million metric tons by 2023, from 99 million metric tons currently—unless the centers greatly increase their use of renewable energy as a power source, according to a joint report from North China Electric Power University, a national research institution in Beijing, and Greenpeace East Asia.
Food and Travel
Yicai Global - CSSC to Spend USD7 Billion on Shanghai Base for Cruise Shipbuilding Subsidiary CSSC Cruise Technology Development will develop and operate a Chinese-funded fleet consisting of eight to 10 cruise ships for different brands, the Shanghai-based firm said last week
Cambridge and Peking universities in talks about partnership plan for ‘role model’ Shenzhen | South China Morning Post PKU and Cambridge Judge Business School plan programme in Qianhai special economic zone as southern city sets sights on building academic presence