Hong Kong; Still no US-China phase one deal; Weak economic data

No commentary today, thanks for your patience this week.

The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

Xi says HK's most pressing task is to end violence, chaos and restore order - Xinhua

Xi said the continuous radical violent activities in Hong Kong seriously trample rule of law and the social order, seriously disturb Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and seriously challenge the "one country, two systems" bottom line.

He reiterated that it remains the most pressing task for Hong Kong to bring violence and chaos to an end and restore order.

"We will continue to firmly support the chief executive in leading the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government to govern in accordance with the law, firmly support the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing the law, and firmly support the Hong Kong judicial bodies in severely punishing the violent criminals in accordance with the law," Xi said.

Xi's comments - 习近平:止暴制乱 恢复秩序是香港当前最紧迫的任务--法制网


China to oppose external forces interfering in HK affairs: Xi - Global Times

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, a member of the Hong Kong government's Executive Council, told the Global Times on Thursday that as violence continues to escalate, the government could consider other options, including hiring "mercenaries" to strengthen the police force, and come up with other more effective measures more quickly.

"For example, appointing special constables should have been done three months ago," she said. The police force needs 5,000 additional officers considering the current chaos, Ip said. ..

Interesting conclusion:

Many experts agree, however, that it's still not yet time to introduce national security related laws in Hong Kong or dispatch Chinese People's Liberation Army or Armed Police Forces to the city, although it's possible and would be legal under the Basic Law.

Hong Kong curfew rumours sweep cyberspace as ‘exclusive’ from China’s Global Times fuels the fire | South China Morning Post

Local TV station Now had already denied being source of claim before tweet from state-owned tabloid sparked media frenzy

Tweet was later deleted – but international news media had already picked it up and stock market taken a hit

Marco Rubio, sponsor of Hong Kong pro-democracy bill, claims ‘very significant progress’ on the pending legislation | South China Morning Post

Senator Marco Rubio, sponsor of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, posted the comment on Twitter shortly after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who would make the call on whether to put the bill to a vote, and Senator Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Chinese law professor falls foul of online backlash over posts defending Hong Kong protesters | South China Morning Post

Niu Jie, a law professor at Nanchang Hangkong University in eastern China, was targeted by angry Weibo users, some of whom published his personal details, on Wednesday for his messages, which appeared to have been written in a private WeChat group.

The university in Jiangxi province acknowledged in an official Weibo post on Wednesday that it had investigated Niu’s “inappropriate remarks” and pledged “serious punishment” for the professor.

2. US-China trade talks

US-China trade talks hit snag - CNBC

The U.S. is trying to secure stronger concessions from China to regulate intellectual property protections and to stop the practice of forced technology transfer in exchange for rolling back some of the tariffs, CNBC’s Kayla Tausche reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The two sides are at a stalemate even though the U.S. and China said they had an agreement in principle less than a month ago.

China drives hard bargain for ‘skinny’ trade deal - POLITICO

The United States and China have made progress toward concluding a “phase one” trade agreement, but Beijing continues to resist making commitments on a “handful of issues that separate the skinny from the invisible,” a person familiar with the negotiations said.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Hit Snag Over Farm Purchases - WSJ $$

The dispute over farm purchases is one of several issues that have delayed completion of the limited trade accord announced by Mr. Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Oct. 11. Both sides are also at odds over whether—and by how much—the U.S. would agree to lift tariffs on Chinese imports, Beijing’s core demand that is linked to its offers on other issues.

Chinese officials also have resisted U.S. demands for a strong enforcement mechanism for the deal and curbs on the forced transfer of technology for companies seeking to do business in China—all of top importance to the international business community—according to people familiar with the talks...

Some former U.S. trade officials and people briefed on the talks in Washington worry that China is demanding too much in talks when an agreement appears to be close.

China says holding 'in-depth' talks with U.S. on interim trade deal - Reuters

The degree of tariff cancellation should fully reflect the importance of a ‘phase one’ agreement, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular briefing.

“China has emphasized many times that the trade war began with additional tariffs and should end with the cancellation of additional tariffs,” said Gao.

American Poultry Farmers Regain Access to China | USDA

China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China.  Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”

How Trump’s Trade War Went From Method to Madness - Bloomberg - Shawn Donnan and Jenny Leonard

The picture that emerges from dozens of interviews over the past year with officials and other people close to negotiations is one in which one man’s impetuousness has confounded attempts at strategy. It’s the story of a president caught between his instincts as a dealmaker, his place in history, and a contentious band of aides, some of whom goad him into more radical action and others who tease him into restraint...

The events of the past few weeks fit a pattern of false dawns in the trade war. At least three other times a pact seemed within reach, only to collapse in a back-and-forth of recriminations...

Democrats looking to challenge Trump in 2020 will likely portray a phase one deal as caving. Yet, for better or worse, he has embedded the view of a malign China in Washington. Candidates from former Vice President Joe Biden to Senator Elizabeth Warren agree the U.S. has to take on Beijing, though they find fault in Trump’s tactics. Notably, none of the front-runners have committed to removing tariffs on China.

3. US-China

U.S.-China Commission annual report advises Congress to get tough on Beijing - The Washington Post

In an annual report released Thursday, the influential U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission advised Congress to restrict some Chinese companies’ access to U.S. stock markets, heighten oversight of university research to prevent academic espionage, and pass legislation to discourage mainland China’s military or police from engaging in an armed intervention in Hong Kong.

The commission also advised Congress to take steps to ensure the security of medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients imported from China, warning that growing U.S. reliance on these imports poses “economic and national security risks.”

2019 Annual Report | U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission

If China puts troops in Hong Kong, Washington should suspend the city’s trade status, US commission says | South China Morning Post

Washington should suspend the special economic status granted to Hong Kong if China deploys its military forces in the city, a congressional body warned on Thursday.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission also called for US export control measures on mainland Chinese companies to be extended to their Hong Kong subsidiaries.

Stop Calling China’s Xi Jinping ‘President,’ U.S. Panel Says - WSJ $$

The title implies Mr. Xi is elected by a popular democratic vote and not the winner of an internal power contest in the Chinese Communist Party, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its annual report released Thursday.

The group believes Mr. Xi should be known by his party title, general secretary, as a more accurate description of his role.

“China is not a democracy, and its citizens have no right to vote, assemble, or speak freely,” according to the influential panel, which provides recommendations to Congress. “Giving General Secretary Xi the unearned title of ‘President’ lends a veneer of democratic legitimacy to the CCP and Xi’s authoritarian rule.”

PacNet #58 - The US and Taiwan embrace despite China’s objections, but will it last? - Robert Sutter

Intensifying US rivalry with China generally supports closer US-Taiwan ties. The Trump administration’s improved ties with Taiwan depart from the practice of most US presidents since Nixon, which have sought to improve relations with Beijing and limit ties with Taiwan. Nevertheless, there were similar departures in the past.

Commentary: Pompeo's remarks on China fools no clear mind - Xinhua

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent China-smearing remarks were just another display of the hubris and bias of some Washington politicians when it comes to the differences between the two countries.

In an Oct. 30 speech at the Hudson Institute in New York and on multiple other occasions, Pompeo repeatedly hyped up the so-called "China challenge." He defamed China's political system and policies, bombarded China on human rights, and attempted to drive a wedge between the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

4. More weak economic data

Key China Economic Measures Grow at Slowest Pace in a Decade or More - Caixin

Fixed-asset investment, a key driver of domestic demand that includes infrastructure investment, increased 5.2% year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year,...The cumulative reading marked the fourth straight monthly deceleration, and the lowest growth rate since the whole of 1995, according to NBS data compiled by economic data provider CEIC. It missed a median forecast of 5.3% growth by a Caixin poll of economists.

Government-driven infrastructure investment rose 4.2% year-on-year in the first 10 months of the year, down from a 4.5% pace in the first nine months and falling behind market expectations that growth in infrastructure investment could rise moderately as authorities channel more funds to the sector...

Weakness in the October data was mainly due to “less aggressive” policy support as the nation’s anniversary celebration had finished and consumer inflation rose further after reaching the 3% threshold, economists from Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Beijing Gao Hua Securities Co. Ltd. said in a Thursday note.

China fall in fixed-asset investment growth sparks stimulus doubt | Financial Times $$

Asked about whether the most recent figures reflected growing downwards pressure on the economy, Liu Aihua, a spokesperson for the statistics bureau, said October’s poor numbers were caused by “short-term factors”, adding that, despite the slump, fixed-asset investment in technology sectors had grown at about 14 per cent.

“Destabilising and uncertain factors from outside the country are currently continuing to grow,” said Ms Liu. “The risks and challenges facing the economy are still relatively numerous, so we cannot underestimate them.”

China's main growth engines falter in October on trade frictions - Reuters

China’s property investment and sales growth both eased to three-months low in October, suggesting a critical pillar of the economy is softening.

Retail sales rose 7.2% year-on-year in October, missing expected growth of 7.9% and matching the more than 16-year low hit in April.

Chinese premier stresses steady economic development, people's livelihood - Xinhua

Li made the remarks while presiding over a symposium on the economic situation and basic livelihood of some provincial-level regions held in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province...

Local governments should make good use of national policies, promote effective investment and industrial upgrades and introduce more targeted measures for enterprises, Li said.

Li stressed that the impetus of development must be enhanced by further releasing the potentials of systematic innovation, in order to delegate power to lower levels and provide better services.

More efforts should be made to strengthen new driving forces and further unleash the potential of the Chinese market by supporting advanced manufacturing industries and emerging service industries, Li said.

Comment: The Central Economic Work Conference next month will be interesting. Lots of people hoping the policymakers makers finally cave and roll out bigger stimulus measures

Chinese GDP growth to fall below 6% in 2020, says think tank - Inkstone

The Beijing-based National Institution for Finance and Development (NIFD) was the first government-linked think tank to make a prediction of sub-6% growth. It said on Wednesday that China’s economic growth rate would slow to 5.8% in 2020 from an estimated 6.1% this year

5. BRICS summit

Xi urges business sector's active participation in BRICS cooperation - People's Daily Online

The president told the forum that China's development is an opportunity for the world. China's commitment to opening up more widely and the long-term positive trend of its economy have not changed, Xi stressed.

China will further open its market, expand import and constantly improve business environment to create better conditions for companies' development, he added.

The joint building of the Belt and Road has entered a new high-quality period, Xi said, calling on the entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity and actively participate to reap more fruit of cooperation

China to announce billion-dollar investment in Brazilian port of Sao Luis: sources - Reuters

China will make a billion-dollar investment in the Brazilian port of Sao Luis via China Communications Construction Company (601800.SS), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said the announcement will be made at the summit of leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the so-called BRICS group of emerging nations, who are meeting in the Brazilian capital for a two-day summit.

Bolsonaro says wants no role for Brazil in U.S.-China trade war - Reuters

China is Brazil’s biggest trade partner, but since taking power in January, Bolsonaro has cozied up to U.S. President Donald Trump, raising questions of whether he might pick a side in the trade war...

“I am not in this trade war, Brazil is trading with the whole world,” Bolsonaro told reporters.

Xi Jinping underscores multilateralism at BRICS summit - CGTN

Uncertainties in world economy are increasing, hot issues are emerging, and global challenges are more prominent. We should advocate multilateralism, safeguard the system which takes the United Nations as the core, and oppose hegemony, Xi added.

6. China serious about a national park system

China aims to build its own Yellowstone on Tibetan plateau - AP

Ringed by the world’s tallest mountain ranges, the region long known as “the rooftop of the world” is now in the crosshairs of China’s latest modernization push, marked by multiplying skyscrapers and expanding high-speed rail lines.

But this time, there’s a difference: The Chinese government also wants to set limits on the region’s growth in order to design its own version of one of the U.S.’s proudest legacies — a national park system...

One of the first pilot parks will be in Qinghai, a vast region in western China abutting Tibet and sharing much of its cultural legacy. The area also is home to such iconic and threatened species as the snow leopard and Chinese mountain cat, and encompasses the headwaters of three of Asia’s great waterways: the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong Rivers.

7. Plague unlikely to spread in Beijing

Plague unlikely to spread in Beijing, say authorities- China.org.cn

There is an extremely low risk for the spread of plague in Beijing after two cases were confirmed, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday...

The center said it is safe for people to go to medical institutions as usual.

It also said Beijing is not a source of the plague epidemic, and there is no plague bacillus in its natural environment, so residents would not be infected through contact with animals including mice.

The center said residents don't need to take special protective measures, and suggested people wash their hands regularly and avoid going to crowded places.

Beijing Plague Patients Were Medically Transferred From Inner Mongolia - Caixin

Fear gripped the capital this week amid rumors of an outbreak of the deadly disease which conjured images of the medieval Black Plague and earned comparisons to the southern Chinese SARS crisis of 2003. Now the authorities have quietly sought to reassure the public that the two patients were in fact transferred by ambulance from an ill-equipped treatment center in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and that the risk they had infected others in Beijing was minimal.

A source at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told Caixin the couple was transferred for specialist treatment after they were initially misdiagnosed in their home region. “We have these cases in Inner Mongolia,” said the source, who has knowledge of the case and asked not to be identified, citing its sensitivity...

China has officially recorded more than 1,000 cases of plague in the past 50 years, including 183 deaths. The Yersinia pestis bacteria that causes it is most common China’s northwest and southwest, with about half of all diagnosed cases being in Southwest China’s Yunnan province and the largest number of recorded deaths being in Northwest China’s Qinghai province.

Incidence of the disease has peaked thrice since 1969 — once in 1994 with 74 cases, again in 1996 when there were 95 cases, and more recently from 2000 to 2001 when there were a total of 343 cases.

8. Huawei

Huawei chip mission shows Taiwan economy gaining from trade war - Nikkei Asian Review

A small group of high-ranking Huawei executives went to Taiwan last month on a mission to ensure that a crucial supplier could continue delivering cutting-edge chips to the Chinese tech giant amid the protracted trade war between Beijing and Washington.

Huawei's talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. were also aimed at persuading the world's biggest contract chipmaker to allocate more advanced production to China, according to people familiar with the matter. Huawei is seeking to secure key components for its smartphones, as well as networking equipment -- both vital to it surviving the U.S. clampdown on the company...

An executive from Taipei-based WPG Holding, the world's leading chip distributor, also said that China's de-Americanization campaign is a catalyst that can help sustain growth in the second half of 2019 through early next year. "We find our Taiwanese partners have secured several projects that previously belonged to U.S. companies," said CFO and spokesman Cliff Yuan.

Huawei’s Google Problem Runs Deep — The Information $$

Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, has been scrambling for months to figure out how to sell its phones in international markets since U.S. sanctions blocked it from using Google’s mobile services. Huawei executives underestimated the consequences of the Google ban. While the challenges of losing access to Google’s app store and maps were obvious, the executives hadn’t fully appreciated that most Android apps rely on Google’s services for everything from notifications to analytics to in-app purchases, said employees familiar with Huawei’s internal discussions.

A BBC Division Made Sponsored Content For Huawei - Buzzfeed

BBC News reporters have expressed strong dismay after the UK public broadcaster’s in-house commercial team posted sponsored content it produced for Huawei, the controversial Chinese telecommunications giant.

Videos and a stand-alone website WhoIsHuawei.com to promote the “real story” of the company have been made by the BBC’s sponsored content team, StoryWorks. The new BBC campaign was announced in July this year in what the company admitted at the time was an effort to rebrand Huawei and "prevent misinformation".

This week, Huawei and BBC StoryWorks began posting the content to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, beginning with a five-minute video introducing the company.

Taiwan halts sales of three Huawei phones in wording row - AFP

Taiwan has suspended sales of three Huawei smartphone models that listed it as "Taiwan, China" for timezones and contacts -- a designation the self-ruled, democratic island bristles at.

Business, Economy and Trade

Beijing’s Latest Effort to Get Its Numbers Taken Seriously - WSJ $$ The combined sizes of China’s local economies, calculated separately from the national gross domestic product since 1985, have long exceeded that of the national economy. That has raised doubts about the credibility of China’s economic data and sent Wall Street investors on a hunt for alternative measures. The announcement of the new policy, made earlier this week and reaffirmed Thursday by Liu Aihua, a spokeswoman for the National Bureau of Statistics

Yicai Global - Ping An Insurance to Take Fintech Unit Public in US OneConnect will become the Shenzhen-based insurer's second tech spin-off to list since Ping An Healthcare and Technology went public in Hong Kong in May 2018.

Yicai Global - Bridgewater Invested Further Into China-Focused ETFs in Third Quarter Bridgewater Associates significantly cut its holdings of emerging market exchange-traded funds in the third quarter and purchased more of those targeting China and the US, China Securities Journal reported.

Lips Don’t Lie? China’s Livestreamers Provoke Sales, Scrutiny - SixthTone More than 36 million people tuned in to watch Li sell his wares that evening. Zhong Tianhua, Alibaba’s senior vice president, estimated that Li’s shows drove over 1 billion yuan ($142 million) of the sales on Alibaba’s platforms in the month leading up to Singles’ Day. Companies have been using online influencers to promote products on Chinese e-commerce platforms for a few years, but the popularity of commercial livestreaming has surged over the past 12 months

China's supreme court assists judges on civil, commercial disputes - Xinhua China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Thursday published a reference document to help judges handle complicated civil and commercial disputes. It is the latest move of the SPC to improve the legal environment for business operation in China. The document dealt with the most difficult and controversial issues and incorporated the latest progress in legislation, administration and academic research, the statement said.

Former Financial Services Executive Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids for Financial Instruments in Violation of Antitrust Law | OPA | Department of Justice Peter Volino, a former vice president at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services LLC (ICBCFS), pleaded guilty to a criminal antitrust charge for his involvement in a bid-rigging conspiracy for certain financial instruments, the Department of Justice announced. Volino admitted that, from at least as early as May 2012 until at least August 2014, he and his counterparts at other broker-dealers conspired to submit rigged bids to borrow pre-release American Depository Receipts (ADRs). // Headquartered in New York City, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services (“ICBCFS”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (“ICBC”), per its website

As Revenue Surges Sixfold, Luckin Loses Even More Money - Caixin Luckin’s sales expenses are high due to frequent promotions in which it offers its beverages at steep discounts. In the third quarter of this year, it spent 557.7 million yuan on sales and marketing, an increase of 147.6% year-on-year. Luckin opened 717 new stores in the quarter, taking its total to 3,680. The company said previously that it aims to open 4,500 stores by the end of this year, which would put it past Starbucks to become the largest chain in China.

Beijing Sets Up Second ‘Bad Bank’ in Partnership With JD.com - Caixin The creation of the Chinese capital’s second local AMC, Beijing Asset Management Co. (Beijing AMC), underscores the trouble that China’s local governments have had getting the current crop of local AMCs to do the job they were created to do — cleaning up bad assets.

China Prize Still Too Big to Ignore as Foreign Cash Keeps Coming - Bloomberg Foreign direct investment into China rose nearly 3% in the first nine months of 2019 from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Commerce, the same pace as 2018’s increase. While the U.S. outstripped that increase last year, investment has dropped off since Trump became president.

No More Easy Profits as China’s Venture-Capital Boom Fizzles - WSJ $$ Some 61 China-focused venture-capital funds completed fundraising this year through October, raising $12.6 billion, according to Preqin, a financial data provider. Without a surge in activity in the last two months of 2019, the tally—which includes both U.S. dollar- and yuan-denominated fundraising—will likely fall far short of the $25.6 billion raised last year by 170 funds.

China Greenlights Perpetual Bonds for Municipal Banks - China Banking News Bank of Taizhou (台州银行) and Huis­hang Bank (徽商银行) both re­cently an­nounced that they have ob­tained ap­proval from reg­u­la­tors for their plans to is­sue per­pet­ual bonds.  Bank of Taizhou plans to is­sue up to 5 bil­lion yuan of the in­stru­ments, while Huis­hang Bank seeks to is­sue 10 bil­lion yuan, ac­cord­ing to an­nounce­ments made by both mu­nic­i­pal lenders on 7 No­vem­ber.

Politics and Law

北京市学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神宣讲团成立 杜飞进为宣讲团作动员-千龙网·中国首都网  would love to find a copy of this outline for publicly explaining the spirit of the 4th Plenum 党的十九届四中全会精神宣讲提纲

福建省水利厅党组传达学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神// Fujian Water Resources Department meeting on transmitting the spirit of the 4th Plenum uses "People's Leader" for Xi, specifically "deep love and respect for the People's Leader", a formulation that has appeared in a few reports of these 4th Plenum spirit transmission meetings around the country // 始终在思想上政治上行动上同以习近平同志为核心的党中央保持高度一致,把对人民领袖的深厚爱戴之情转化为践行“两个维护”的高度自觉

Huang Kunming urges press to keep original aspiration SCIO 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 the award ceremony of this year's China News Award, the country's top journalism award, in Beijing.

陈一新赴湖南督办“操场埋尸案”:加快查深查透 依法办成铁案-中国长安网 Chen Yixin, secretary general of the central politics and law commission, goes to Hunan to hear a report on the 16 year old case of the body buried under a school track, using it as part of the ongoing campaign to crackdown on organized crime

中国书法家协会原副会长赵长青:任期内发生千万贿选风波 - 深度 - 新京报网 The Beijing News digs into the corruption case surrounding former head of the Chinese Calligraphy Association Zhao Changqing. Valuable paintings have long been a bribery tool, some of the best cases though involve people bribing officials with valuable paintings that the officials first take to get authenticated and then return because they are forgeries.

Action plan on reform of SOEs in pipeline - China Daily China may announce a three-year action plan on reforming China's State-owned enterprises next year to promote mixed-ownership reform, cut government subsidies and improve earnings at home and abroad, experts and business executives said on Wednesday. Their remarks came after the Leading Group for State-Owned Enterprises Reform of the State Council decided the day before that a three-year action plan will be formulated for SOE reform with a clear timetable and road map.

Chinese police shut down over 5,000 fake websites of central authorities - Xinhua China has closed over 5,000 websites, 20,000 online accounts and 16,000 online groups faking central authorities to commit illegal activities since 2016, according to the Ministry of Public Security on Thursday.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

China's 2nd aircraft carrier holds likely 9th sea trial, could feature fighter jets: report - Global Times China's second aircraft carrier, the first to be domestically built, appears to have left the Dalian Shipyard on Thursday for its ninth sea trial, where it might receive fighter jets before its official commissioning, reports said. The carrier set out on Thursday morning, according to videos and photos posted on Chinese social media and a report by Hong Kong-based news website wenweipo.com.

Japan-China forum suspended following detention of Hokkaido University professor | The Japan Times After the fortysomething professor from Hokkaido University was arrested in China for alleged spying, Japanese experts decided against visiting Beijing, the source said, adding it is uncertain when the forum will take place. Since 2015, at least 14 Japanese citizens, including the professor, have been detained in China on various charges such as espionage.

Despite Kashmir Anger, China's Xi Invites India's Modi to Visit Again Next Year - Reuters Meeting in Brazil on the sidelines of a meeting the BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - Xi told Modi he was willing to maintain close communication "to guide a better and more stable development of China-India relations."


Han says no to cross-strait peace treaty unless Beijing renounces force - CNA Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said Thursday that he will not sign a peace treaty with China unless Beijing first renounces the use of force against Taiwan.

Tech and Media

Microsoft AI Chief Harry Shum Resigns - Caixin Microsoft Corp. Executive Vice President Harry Shum is one of few Chinese computer scientists widely known in the U.S. tech world. But now he is set to leave the world’s largest software company after 23 years. Shum, whose given name is Heung-Yeung in Chinese, will leave the company early next year, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

Chinese Podcast Startup Ximalaya Seeks $3.5 Billion Value - Bloomberg The Shanghai-based company has 600 million users who spend an average 170 minutes listening to its shows as of October, the company said in a statement on Thursday

China’s Internet Is Flowering. And It Might Be Our Future. - The New York Times In early 2017, it [WeChat] introduced miniprograms. In the two years since then, businesses have created more than a million of them, equal to half the number of iOS apps available in Apple’s App Store. They come from global conglomerates like McDonald’s and Tesla and from local businesses like restaurants, hair salons and gyms. All of them are drawn in by the gravitational pull of WeChat’s enormous number of users and its standardized software infrastructure.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Lippi resigns after China lose first World Cup qualifier - AP Marcello Lippi resigned as coach of China straight after they lost to Syria 2-1 in Dubai in Asia World Cup qualifying on Thursday.

Olympic champ Sun Yang faces public hearing in doping case - AP One of China’s biggest Olympic stars will undergo a rare public hearing in a doping case on Friday with his 2020 Tokyo Games place at stake. Three-time gold medalist swimmer Sun Yang is facing a World Anti-Doping Agency appeal in Switzerland that seeks to ban him for up to eight years for allegedly refusing to give samples voluntarily.

Tencent Sports Interrupted Live Broadcast of NBA Game because of Taiwan National Flag – Chinascope China Tencent Sports suddenly interrupted a live broadcast of an important NBA game on Saturday November 9. The reason was that a member of the audience was wearing clothing with the Taiwan national flag printed on it.

No shelter for some - Homelessness has become a problem in China’s cities | The Economist The 800-odd “custody and repatriation” centres, where homeless people were once detained, have been turned into “relief stations”. The police are no longer involved in managing them. That work is now entirely undertaken by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, which is responsible for aid and charitable work. The stations—now numbering about 1,500—offer food, clothing and temporary accommodation, without charge. They are prohibited from doing anything to street-sleepers against their will. Admission is supposed to be voluntary.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Chinese government may have falsified organ donation numbers, study says | The Guardian a study led by Australian National University PhD student Matthew Robertson, published in the BMC Medical Ethics journal on Friday, says Chinese-government supplied datasets on organ donations show “highly compelling evidence they are being falsified”.

China’s Largest Dump Fills Up 20 Years Ahead of Schedule - SixthTone Opened in 1994, the Jiangcungou Landfill in Shaanxi province takes in 10,000 tons of waste per day. The site has the largest storage capacity of any dump in the country, occupying an area of 1,000 mu, or around 100 soccer fields. Trash at the site is piled 50 stories high , according to CCTV. “Waste (delivered to the landfill) has increased nearly tenfold in the past 25 years, from 1,200 tons per day to around 10,000 tons per day,” said Shen, whose department is in charge of the dump. The Jiangcungou Landfill is massively overburdened, handling four times as much trash daily as was originally intended. Xi’an, the city it serves, generates over 9,000 tons of household waste each day, 10 times more than it produced 25 years ago.

China Focus: China unveils experiment for landing on Mars - Xinhua China on Thursday unveiled an experiment simulating the process of a probe hovering, avoiding obstacles and descending to land on Mars. The experiment was held on a trial ground, the largest in Asia for test landing on extraterrestrial bodies, in Huailai County, north China's Hebei Province.


Officials probe bullying of grade school girl - Global Times A Chinese education ministry official called for efforts to prevent school bullying after a seven-year-old girl's eyes were stuffed with paper by classmates, which the school principal said "meant no harm," triggering a strong backlash online.

Education official against "sweeping approaches" to reduce schoolwork - Xinhua "To cut students' burdens is not to eliminate them, but to optimize the structure of schoolwork," said Lyu Yugang, a senior official with the Ministry of Education (MOE) at a press briefing Thursday when addressing the issue of reducing students' workload, which has recently aroused great concern in the public lately. Unnecessary and unreasonable burdens brought by factors such as the overemphasis on exams, rigid overload of exercises and precocious extracurricular courses should be the ones to be cut, he continued.

Jobs and Events

Careers - Obama Foundation - Associate, International Programming (Asia-Pacific) - DC

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Executive Level 1 - Assistant Director - North Asia Policy (Multiple roles) Australian readers might be interested to know the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra is recruiting North Asia experts with at least a few years of policy-relevant work experience