Hong Kong; Xinjiang papers; Xi on Marxism; Still no US-China trade deal

Hong Kong appears to have descended into chaos in certain areas over the weekend and Carrie Lam is nowhere to be seen. The weekend protests and the siege at the Polytechnic University had some of the ugliest violence so far. The propaganda rhetoric out of Beijing is ratcheting up in the wake of Xi’s tough comments last week, and the pressure on the Hong Kong police to use any means necessary to end the protests is clearly increasing.

Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley of the New York Times have an absolute blockbuster of a story on the crackdowns in Xinjiang, based on hundreds of internal documents leaked by “a member of the Chinese political establishment”. These documents are damning evidence of the Stalin-esque program to reengineer Xinjiang and its residents.

The most recent issue of Qiushi (Seeking Truth) leads with the speech “Learning basic Marxist theory is a compulsory course for Communists” that Xi Jinping gave at Politburo study session in April 2018.

I know a lot of people think the CCP is really just Communist in name only, and that there are few Marxists left in China, but I will wager a lot of money that Xi sees himself as a true Marxist and Communist, albeit a Sinified one, and that is why paying attention to these speeches is important.

The elusive phase one US-China trade deal does not appear any closer, even after another phone call between the principal negotiators over the weekend. Cutting a good deal between diverging systems is tough.

Thanks for reading.

Top Issues

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests: Last stand under way as police close in on besieged Polytechnic University - The Washington Post

Thousands of Hong Kong protesters flocked to a besieged Hong Kong college campus on Monday evening, accompanied by political leaders and school principals acting as mediators, hoping to help hundreds of students trapped inside leave safely as a standoff with authorities dragged late into the night.

Police blocked exits and told exhausted protesters to come out of the Polytechnic University on Monday to be arrested.

How Universities Became the New Battlegrounds in the Hong Kong Protests - The New York Times

Lots of video

Chinese troops that cleaned up Hong Kong were from top counterterrorism brigade | South China Morning Post

Among the Chinese soldiers who “volunteered” to help clean up Hong Kong’s streets on Saturday were several dressed in colourful basketball jerseys.

While that might not have meant much to the casual observer, those with a grounding in military matters would have noticed that besides shirt numbers, the fluorescent orange and blue tops also carried a name: “Xuefeng Special Operations Brigade”.

Part of the Western Theatre Command, which oversees a vast area in the west of China, including Xinjiang and Tibet, Xuefeng – according to earlier reports by the PLA Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s military – is one of the country’s leading counterterrorism brigades.

No room for compromise with Hong Kong protesters, People’s Daily says | South China Morning Post

Hong Kong’s future is at a crisis point and there is “no room” for compromise in the “struggle” with anti-government protesters, said a hard-hitting commentary published on the front page of People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, on Monday.

“What we are faced with today is a struggle between safeguarding ‘one country, two systems’ and destroying it,” the commentary said.

The Page 1 Monday People’s Daily commentary - 人民日报评论员:绝不允许任何人挑战“一国两制”原则底线 "No one is allowed to challenge the bottom line of the principle of "one country, two systems":


Today, we are confronted with a struggle to uphold and undermine the principle of "one country, two systems". On this issue concerning national sovereignty and the future of Hong Kong, there is no middle ground or room for compromise.


CCTV commentary Monday - "Any attempt to oppose China and cause chaos in Hong Kong will never succeed"

"The recent escalation of violent criminal activities and methods in Hong Kong is entirely the act of terrorists, leaving Hong Kong shrouded in "black terror"..

"Hong Kong citizens with a conscience have seen clearly that the current situation has completely deteriorated. It is a confrontation between violence and anti-violence, subversion and anti-subversion"


Monday CCTV Evening News highlights a commentary in tomorrow's People's Daily "Attempts by outside forces to interfere in Hong Kong's affairs are doomed to failure"-

Hong Kong police arrest 51 who 'claimed to be medics or journalists' near besieged PolyU campus | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Michael Cheuk, regional commander of Kowloon West, said that 12 of purported medics had no first aid qualifications. Another three people wearing press vests were also unable to provide credentials, he said. All of the suspects were arrested in relation to rioting.

Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped at Polytechnic University as Court Overturns Mask Ban - The New York Times

For days, the protesters have held the police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks and bows and arrows.

At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university on Sunday, the city’s Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire.

Commentary: End of violence, chaos vital to Hong Kong's future - People's Daily Online

An editorial published by the People's Daily on Sunday said the combat against violence has evolved into a fight between standing for and against "one country, two systems" principle, a fight between support and infringement of the rule of law, and a fight between protection and disturbance of Hong Kong's prosperity.

Polytechnic University war zone: how Hong Kong radicals got boxed in by police after two days of ferocious clashes | South China Morning Post

Anti-mask law to quell Hong Kong protests ruled unconstitutional by High Court | South China Morning Post

Legal experts were divided, some calling the judgment an important recognition of Hong Kong’s constitutional framework, while those on the mainland expressed concerns that the court might have sent the wrong signal to the radical protesters, floating the idea of Beijing interpreting the Basic Law again.

Commentary: Pompeo's hypocritical face on Hong Kong - Xinhua

For those Pompeos and Pelosis, their most constructive contribution to returning peace and stability to Hong Kong can only be ending China-smearing and getting their hands off China's domestic affairs.

2. Xinjiang

‘Absolutely No Mercy’: Leaked Files Expose How China Organized Mass Detentions of Muslims - The New York Times - Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley

The directive was among 403 pages of internal documents that have been shared with The New York Times in one of the most significant leaks of government papers from inside China’s ruling Communist Party in decades. They provide an unprecedented inside view of the continuing clampdown in Xinjiang, in which the authorities have corralled as many as a million ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and others into internment camps and prisons over the past three years...

Even as the government presented its efforts in Xinjiang to the public as benevolent and unexceptional, it discussed and organized a ruthless and extraordinary campaign in these internal communications. Senior party leaders are recorded ordering drastic and urgent action against extremist violence, including the mass detentions, and discussing the consequences with cool detachment...

Though it is unclear how the documents were gathered and selected, the leak suggests greater discontent inside the party apparatus over the crackdown than previously known. The papers were brought to light by a member of the Chinese political establishment who requested anonymity and expressed hope that their disclosure would prevent party leaders, including Mr. Xi, from escaping culpability for the mass detentions.

And officials get in trouble for being too soft, as happened to Wang Yongzhi who was in southern Xinjiang:

Mr. Wang quietly disappeared from public view after September 2017.

About six months later, the party made an example of him, announcing that he was being investigated for “gravely disobeying the party central leadership’s strategy for governing Xinjiang.”..

Mr. Wang’s greatest political sin was not revealed to the public. Instead, the authorities hid it in the internal report.

“He refused,” it said, “to round up everyone who should be rounded up.”

China sees online tributes to official who freed Uyghurs in Xinjiang — Quartz

One way that these dissenters were able to post about Wang without drawing too much attention from censors was by sharing a news report about the investigation into Wang published in 2017.  A Weibo user even compared Wang [Yongzhi] to Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved the lives of around 1,200 Jews during World War II. Another shared a screenshot of the internal report on Wang that was cited in the New York Times story, saying that “history will not forget this person and this piece of paper.”

After Times Report, China Defends Its Crackdown on Muslims - The New York Times

Mr. Geng, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Xinjiang had become a model for counterterrorism efforts.

“The New York Times not only shut its eyes and ears to the above-mentioned facts,” he said, “but even use the clumsy tricks of grafting flowers and twigs to taking out of context and hyping the so-called internal documents to smear and discredit China’s antiterrorism and de-extremism capabilities in Xinjiang.”

China criticizes NYT's Xinjiang article, calls it 'deaf and blind' to facts - CGTN

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday criticized a document released by The New York Times (NYT) on Xinjiang, saying the NYT turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the Xinjiang's current situation and smears China's efforts in the region.

Geng Shuang, a spokesperson from the ministry, made the remarks at a regular press conference, reiterating that Xinjiang affairs are purely China's internal affairs.

Western media report on Xinjiang lacks morality - Global Times

The New York Times on Saturday disclosed more than 400 pages of "leaked files" from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and maliciously attacked China's governance in Xinjiang. Western public opinion used their value system to criticize the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. Some Western elites are eager to see Xinjiang engulfed in extreme violence and chaos, but they hate it when the situation in Xinjiang has fundamentally improved.

The dispute over Xinjiang is a clash between not only two value systems, but also two interest systems. All Chinese people, including people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, hope for peace and prosperity in the region. Measures that help reach this goal are in line with morality and justice. The vocational education and training centers have actualized the goal with the minimum social cost.

‘They want the extinction of the Uighurs’: A survivor of Chinese crackdowns appeals for U.S. asylum - The Washington Post

Not many Uighurs escape the checkpoints and security cameras. Fewer still make it all the way to the United States.

But Zumrat Dawut, her husband, Imran Muhammad, and their three children got out. Dawut, who survived internment and an unwanted sterilization, fled first with her family to her husband’s native Pakistan. The next leg of their journey took them to a basement apartment in Virginia outside Washington...

She decided to go public. In September, she shared her story at a State Department panel discussion on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In October, in a speech at the Vatican, Pompeo cited Dawut case as an example of religious persecution in China.

On Oct. 12, a former neighbor sent a message saying that Dawut’s father, who had been interrogated many times, had died. The circumstances of his death are still not clear.

The next day, the Global Times, a Communist Party-controlled news outlet, published a story rebutting Pompeo’s testimony with a social media post featuring another of Dawut’s brothers.

Global Times put out another video over the weekend:

3. Speech by Xi on Marxism

Xi's article on study of Marxist theories to be published in Qiushi- Xinhua

The article is a transcript of a speech by Xi...at the fifth group study session of the Political Bureau of the 19th CPC Central Committee...

The speech was about "The Communist Manifesto" and its profound significance, according to a statement given to Xinhua.

It is a must for a Communist Party member to study the essential theories of Marxism, the article stressed, noting that the purpose of reviewing "The Communist Manifesto" is to understand and grasp the power of the truth of Marxism and write a new chapter of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

In the article, Xi called for efforts to develop a profound understanding of the major theoretical contributions of "The Communist Manifesto" and its influence on the world's socialist movements, as well as uphold its principles and spirit.

The speech - 学习马克思主义基本理论是共产党人的必修课 - 求是网

Learning basic Marxist theory is a compulsory course for Communists


Some highlights:

The article points out that the scientific principle and scientific spirit of the communist manifesto should be upheld. First, unswervingly strive for the great ideal of communism and the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Second, we should faithfully follow the people-centered development philosophy. Third, we need to build a community of Shared future for mankind in keeping with the trend of world development. Fourth, strengthen party building in accordance with the new era and new requirements. Fifth, constantly open up new frontiers of marxism in China. Sixth, strengthen the study of marxist classics.



Renmin University professor Chen Xianda comment in Peoples Daily on the speech:

Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that Marxism is the "sutra" of our communists. If we do not read the "sutra" properly, we will always think of "seeking sutras from the west" [A reference to Journey to the west]. It emphasizes that Marxism is the "sutra" of our Communists and requires them to read their own "sutra", which fully embodies the relationship between Communists and Marxism's "body" and "soul". We must, in accordance with comrade Xi Jinping's requirements, profoundly comprehend and grasp the truth and power of Marxism and write a new chapter of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.


念好共产党人的“真经” - 求是网

Read the Communists' "Sutra" - Qiushi editorial on Xi's speech


This piece from the CCP News website lists the 12 key phrases from the speech


Qiushi notes that Xi has held five Politburo study sessions on Marxism since the 18th Party Congress

4. US-China

US-China trade deal mood is pessimistic in Beijing, according to government source

The mood in Beijing about a trade deal is pessimistic due to President Donald Trump’s reluctance to roll back tariffs, which China believed the U.S. had agreed to, a government source told CNBC’s Eunice Yoon

Ministry: China, US trade negotiators in close contact - China Daily

Top trade negotiators for China and the United States agreed in their latest phone call to remain in close communication after "constructive" discussions on each other's core concerns for a phase-one deal, the Ministry of Commerce said on Sunday...

The call was arranged at the request of the US negotiators, the ministry said.

Esper’s Asia visit meant to appeal to allies - Global Times OpEd - Xin Qiang

Trump has been cranking up "America First." Its allies have realized that if they annoy China by doing the US bidding, Washington will not come to their rescue, letting them suffer the consequences.

Therefore, these Asian allies are distancing themselves from the US, and drawing closer to China. They will decrease their cooperation with Washington, but increase cooperation with Beijing to maintain balanced bilateral relations.

The author is deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University

Federal officials document international threats to U.S. science security - Inside Higher Ed

Several people in the audience said they appreciated the federal officials' collaborative nature, which they said showed a marked change from the much more confrontational approach Trump administration officials took on this issue a year ago.

But it wasn't the officials' attitude that most changed the direction of the session: it was the information they presented, which, taken together, seemed to dispel any doubts anyone in the room harbored about whether there is a security threat to American science...

Black said that NIH had identified "at least 120 scientists at 70 institutions" that had in some way failed to "fully disclose substantial contributions from other organizations, including foreign governments," failed to disclose financial conflicts of interest, diverted proprietary information or sent information gleaned by participating in the peer-review process to other countries.

"They were not all ethnically Chinese," she said, directly addressing Wakimoto's assertions that the intensified government scrutiny is, intentionally or not, singling out Chinese scholars -- many of whom are U.S. citizens. "We are not trying to racially profile anybody."

5. Huawei

U.S. Department of Commerce Extends Huawei Temporary General License | U.S. Department of Commerce

Today, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will extend for 90 days the Temporary General License (TGL) authorizing specific, limited engagements in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items – under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) – to Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates which are subject to the Entity List.

Huawei ‘calm’ over US supply chain reprieve - Global Times

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has reportedly expressed a "who cares?" attitude toward the development of the US ban, and offered an overture toward European companies by saying that they should further invest in their chip plants and Huawei will increase the amount of purchases, according to financial news portal yicai.com on Sunday.

Merkel to Ratchet up Huawei Restrictions in Concession to Hawks - Bloomberg:

A draft of security measures being rolled out by the German government aims to block Huawei components from entering the core network of the country’s ultra high-speed fifth-generation technology, the people said on condition of anonymity. The new rules may assuage officials in Merkel’s intelligence services and the U.S. administration who have warned about the risks of Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government and 5G’s susceptibility to sabotage or espionage.

BT, O2 and Vodafone ‘exploit’ delays in security review to use Huawei in Britain | The Times

Censure was heaped on O2, Vodafone, BT and Three for their decision to use the kit while the government verdict on its security status was still pending, and they were accused of attempting to force the government’s hand. O2 was also accused of having misled consumers after it announced partnerships with Ericsson and Nokia last month, but omitted to mention Huawei.

Yicai Global - Scalpers More Than Triple Price of Huawei's Mate X After Foldable Phone Sells Out

Huawei Technologies retails its Mate X at CNY16,999 (USD2,424), but after the foldable smartphones quickly sold out on the first days of sales scalpers marked up the price by more than three times, the Beijing News reported today.

6. TikTok

TikTok is going on a PR offensive in the US and got an interview with Alex Zhu, the head of TikTok, into the New York Times. Zhu says the right things until he says he would turn down a personal request from Xi Jinping to censor content or hand over data. Perhaps he is being cute here, knowing that such a request would go to his direct boss, the founder of ByteDance Zhang Yinming. Either way, it is just not believable, especially given Zhang Yiming's abject, groveling apology for content problems in 2018 that led to the shuttering of Neihuan Duanzi. And didn’t Huawei’s Ren Zhengfei say something similar about turning down a request from Xi?

TikTok’s Chief Is on a Mission to Prove It’s Not a Menace - The New York Times

Even if TikTok’s policies are clear on paper, what if Chinese authorities decided they didn’t like them and pressured ByteDance? What if China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, personally asked Mr. Zhu to take down a video or hand over user data?

“I would turn him down,” Mr. Zhu said, after barely a moment’s thought...

…as TikTok’s boss, he reports to ByteDance’s 36-year-old founder, Zhang Yiming.

China Media Project on Zhang Yiming’s 2018 apology:

At one point, Zhang confesses that the “deep-level causes” of the problems at Toutiao included “a weak [understanding and implementation of] the “four consciousnesses”. This is a unique Xi Jinping buzzword, introduced in January 2016, that refers to 1) “political consciousness” (政治意识), namely primary consideration of political priorities when addressing issues, 2) consciousness of the overall situation (大局意识), or of the overarching priorities of the Party and government, 3) “core consciousness” (核心意识), meaning to follow and protect Xi Jinping as the leadership “core,” and 4) “integrity consciousness” (看齐意识), referring to the need to fall in line with the Party. Next, Zhang mentions the service’s failure to respect “socialist core values,” and its “deviation from public opinion guidance” — this latter term being a Party buzzword (dating back to the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests) synonymous with information and press controls as a means of maintaining Party dominance.

Zhang also explicitly references Xi Jinping’s notion of the “New Era,” and writes: “All along, we have placed excessive emphasis on the role of technology, and we have not acknowledged that technology must be led by the socialist core value system, broadcasting positive energy, suiting the demands of the era, and respecting common convention.”

In that apology Zhang also promises to strengthen "the work of Party construction, carrying out education among our entire staff on the “four consciousnesses,” socialist core values, [correct] guidance of public opinion, and laws and regulations, truly acting on the company’s social responsibility."

Hawley bill targets Apple and TikTok over China - Axios

Hawley's bill takes aim Apple and TikTok by prohibiting American companies from storing user data or encryption keys in China, and preventing Chinese companies from collecting more information on American users than necessary to provide service here.

ByteDance CEO urges TikTok diversification as U.S. pressure mounts: internal note - Reuters

The founder and CEO of TikTok owner ByteDance will focus on adding users of the popular video app in countries outside of its strongest markets, according to an internal staff note seen by Reuters, as it faces political pressure in the United States...

Zhang did not mention the pressure in the U.S. but urged the firm to enhance its capabilities in “handling global public affairs” and strengthening user data protection.

Business, Economy and Trade

China’s central bank cuts short-term lending rate | Financial Times $$ The People’s Bank of China said on Monday that it would lower the seven-day reverse repurchase rate from 2.55 per cent to 2.5 per cent. Economists noted that the slight adjustment to the rate, which had not been lowered since 2015, was a sign that China’s policymakers had moved into a new easing cycle

China Central Bank Warns on Growth Pressure, Inflation Views - Bloomberg China’s central bank said it will “increase counter-cyclical adjustment” to ward off downward pressure on the economy, while staying vigilant on the possibility of expectations that inflation may spread.

稳健货币政策基调不变 继续加大逆周期调节力度_深度报道_中国金融新闻网 PBoC released its Q3 monetary policy report over the weekend, says the "main key" of monetary policy will not change, so people probably should not get too excited about the 5 basis point rate cut. We should know more in a few weeks after the annual Central Economic Work Conference

Bloomberg to Skip His Own China Forum Next Week as He Mulls Presidential Run - The New York Times The billionaire media mogul was originally slated to appear at the New Economy Forum in Beijing, a gathering of world business leaders that he launched in 2018 to promote cooperation with China...The Bloomberg LP spokesman declined to explain why its founder had canceled his scheduled appearance.// Comment: Hard to see his host being anything but angry over this decision. Full disclosure, I was invited to attend this year's forum, had everything booked, then decided to cancel a couple of weeks ago

China Crypto Crackdown Elicits Binance, Tron Weibo Appeal - Bloomberg The official accounts of exchange operator Binance and blockchain platform Tron were suspended by Twitter-like Weibo last week. At the same time watchdogs in Shanghai issued notices calling for a cleanup of companies involved in cryptocurrency trading, while one in Beijing warned against illegal exchange operations.

China anti-graft agency says Bank of Jilin's ex-chief under probe - Reuters Zhang Baoxiang, the bank’s ex-chairman and ex-party chief, is suspected of serious violation of laws and regulations, CCDI said, without elaborating.

Yicai Global - NetEase Founder Plans Fourth China Pig Farm Amid Higher Pork Prices Internet tycoon Ding Lei, also known as William Ding, has revealed that he will expand his hog farming business by building a pig farm in his home city of Fenghua in China's eastern Zhejiang province with a production capacity of 100,000 piglets, Qianjiang Evening News reported. It will be NetEase's fourth.

Yicai Global - Chinese NEV Makers Bribe Third-Party Data Management Platform Staffers from 15 Chinese new energy vehicle companies gave bribes to an employee of a third-party data management platform to gain NEV subsidy approvals as soon as possible, a recently released court judgment shows.

Regulator Unlocks Unlisted Shares of Hong Kong-Listed Mainland Firms - Caixin China’s securities regulator has allowed Chinese mainland companies listed in Hong Kong to convert their unlisted holdings into shares that can be freely bought and sold on the city’s stock exchange.

Chinese Professor Claims Bank Harassed Him Over ‘Incomplete Map’ - SixthTone When Jason Chu posted a photo on social media involving an informational poster at an Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) branch in Shanghai, he just wanted to highlight the English translation errors. However, what bank officials saw rattled them — it had an “incomplete map” of China. The map didn’t include Taiwan or the “nine-dash line” that demarcates China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Alibaba Takes Legal Action Against Singles’ Day Sales Skeptics - SixthTone The world’s largest shopping event, also known as 11.11 or Double 11, concluded at the stroke of midnight Tuesday, setting a new one-day sales record of 268.4 billion yuan ($38.3 billion). But as consumers oohed and aahed over the astronomical figure, a months-old Weibo post was being widely circulated online. The April 24 post by Yin Liqing, a department manager at Beijing Infobird Software Co. Ltd., said that Tmall’s Singles’ Day sales records from the past decade fit almost perfectly into a linear model, with more than a 99% overlap.

The 2019 Global Mercantilist Index: Ranking Nations’ Distortive Trade Policies | ITIF The Global Mercantilist Index, ranking 60 nations on 18 variables ranging from market access and forced localization to currency manipulation and intellectual property protections, finds that China is the world’s most innovation-mercantilist nation.

Two Former Executives of the China Subsidiary of a Multi-Level Marketing Company Charged for Scheme to Pay Foreign Bribes and Circumvent Internal Accounting Controls | OPA | Department of Justice - Herbalife

Politics and Law

完善坚定维护党中央权威和集中统一领导的各项制度(深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神) Ding Xuexiang, director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China, on page 6 of the Monday People's Daily - "Improve the systems for firmly upholding the authority of the CPC Central Committee and for centralized and unified leadership"...brings up disputes between Marx-Engels and Bakunin over centralized leadership (Bakunin lost), then reminds his cadre leaders that one of the reasons the USSR collapsed was that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union gave up on unified, centralized leadership.

深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神 让中国特色社会主义制度优势在西藏充分展现 - 四中,九届,结合起来,我区,要在 - 西藏日报 - 汉丰网 对人民领袖的衷心拥护转化为增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”的高度自觉 // another mention of "People's Leader", this time in a report on the Tibet Party Committee meeting last week to on studying the spirit of the 4th Plenum, among other things.

From Hong Kong to the military: the Communist Party’s top new talking points | South China Morning Post Two weeks after China’s ruling Communist Party held its top policy-setting meeting, a group of hand-picked officials were sent out on a mission to promote the “spirits” of the secretive session to bureaucrats across the country.

What Did Xi Jinping Accomplish at the CCP's Fourth Plenum? - Macro Polo Institutional reforms may not be as appealing as “liberalizing” economic reforms but, from Beijing’s perspective, it is the key to China’s future. While the Fourth Plenum’s Decision did not offer many concrete policies—not unusual for such high-level statements—it consolidated many developing strands of Xi’s agenda into one authoritative document. In that vein, the Decision offers a revealing overview of the CCP’s overarching policy priorities. The following analysis provides context for and analyzes major pillars of this governance reform program.

陈一新应邀在中央党校作专题报告-加快社会治理现代化 夯实“中国之治”基石-中国长安网 Central Politics and Law Commission Secretary General Chen Yixin expounds on what the Fourth Plenum decision means for social governance modernization in a talk at the Central Party School

Liang Zhiping, "Tianxia and Ideology" - Reading the China Dream The text translated here, a long overview, or review article, of recent studies of the idea of tianxia 天下 (“all under heaven,” China’s idea of “universalism” before this was displaced by the arrival of the modern West), reflects Liang’s exploration of China’s tradition (and his reflections on who is doing what with it).

Chinese Bishop 'On The Run' After Pressure to Join Beijing's Catholic Church: Report - RFA Catholic bishop Guo Xijin is on the run from Chinese police after refusing to bring his church into a Catholic association approved by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Guo, 61, fled the custody of state security police who had him under close guard since Nov. 9 in a bid to pressure him into joining a Catholic body that Beijing says is "independent" of Rome, the Catholic AsiaNews website reported.

China Battles Wave of Online Criminal Activity - Caixin The case was revealed by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) during a briefing last week to highlight criminal activity on the internet that’s become so pervasive it prompted the authorities to start a special campaign in January called “Internet Cleanup 2019.” Part of the offensive involves cracking down on entities that infringe on citizens’ privacy through the acquisition of personal information and data. As of the end of October, the police have investigated almost 46,000 cases of internet crimes and arrested nearly 66,000 suspects for offenses including computer hacking, internet fraud, online gambling and cybersex, the MPS said.

Chinese vice president addresses international conference to commemorate Confucius's birth - Xinhua Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan addressed the opening ceremony of the international conference in commemorating the 2,570th anniversary of Confucius' birth and the sixth Congress of the International Confucian Association (ICA) Saturday

Foreign and Defense Affairs

China suspends human rights programme with Australia | Financial Times $$ The suspension, which was first reported by The Australian newspaper on Monday, follows a decision by Beijing to bar two Australian government MPs, Andrew Hastie and James Paterson, from attending a study tour to China next month due to their previous criticism of the Chinese government.

Sweden honours imprisoned writer despite Chinese threats - The Local Sweden's culture minister on Friday defied a Chinese threat of "counter-measures" by awarding a Swedish rights prize to detained Chinese-Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai...The Swedish section of free speech organisation PEN International gave its Tucholsky Prize to the 55-year-old Gui, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen currently in detention at an unknown location in China.

Chinese Embassy Spokesperson: No Countries, Organizations or Individuals should expect 1.4 billion Chinese People to Swallow the Bitter Fruits of Damaging the National Interests and Dignity of China Gui Minhai is a criminal that committed serious crimes in both China and Sweden. Giving an award to such a criminal is an outright political farce. It is instigating crimes and sheltering criminals. It also constitutes a gross interference in China's judicial sovereignty. As a Chinese saying goes, good deeds will be rewarded with good results, whereas wrong deeds will only meet bad consequences. The serious mistake by the Swedish side undoubtedly creates serious difficulties to normal friendly exchanges and cooperation between China and Sweden. No countries, organizations or individuals should expect the 1.4 billion Chinese people to swallow bitter fruits of damaging the national interests and dignity of China.

China welcomes new Sri Lankan president, and old friend, Gotabaya Rajapaksa - world news - Hindustan Times The Rajapaksa family, including the new president and his elder brother, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, are considered close to Beijing. It was under the elder Rajapaksa’s presidential reign between 2005 and 2015 that Beijing emerged as a key economic ally and major investor of the war-torn country.

Xinhua president calls for media innovation at meeting of World Media Summit presidium - Xinhua Cai Mingzhao, executive president of the World Media Summit (WMS) and president of Xinhua News Agency, on Monday called for active innovation from media organizations around the world to cope with the profound changes in the global media landscape caused by mushrooming new technologies, mechanisms and applications. He made the remarks at the fourth meeting of the WMS presidium held in Shanghai. Senior executives of 13 media organizations from 11 countries, namely, the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Al Jazeera Media Network, the Associated Press, BBC, Kyodo News, Naspers South Africa, Reuters, Folha de S. Paulo Press Group of Brazil, International News Agency and Radio Sputnik, TASS Russian News Agency, the Hindu Group, Xinhua and ANSA, attended the meeting.

Senior CPC official meets overseas Chinese entrepreneurs - Xinhua Wang Huning Monday met with representatives to the fifth general congress of the China Federation of Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs (CFOCE) in Beijing..The CFOCE, founded in 2003, is a non-profit national organization composed of well-known overseas Chinese entrepreneurs who invest and start businesses in China. 王沪宁会见中国侨商联合会第五次会员代表大会代表-新华网

Chinese, US defense ministers talk HK, Taiwan, S.China Sea during meeting - Global Times Global Times learned from the Chinese National Defense spokesperson Wu Qian, via an official statement on Monday, that the meeting between the two defense ministers was "positive and constructive," as they exchanged views on the relations between the militaries, including international and regional hot-spot issues of common interests. The two sides agreed that the military relations are an integral part of the China-US relations, the healthy development and stability of which is to the advancement not only for the two countries' defense but also for the international and regional peace and stability.

Ghost ships, crop circles, and soft gold: A GPS mystery in Shanghai - Technology Review Nobody knows who is behind this spoofing, or what its ultimate purpose might be. These ships could be unwilling test subjects for a sophisticated electronic warfare system, or collateral damage in a conflict between environmental criminals and the Chinese state that has already claimed dozens of ships and lives. But one thing is for certain: there is an invisible electronic war over the future of navigation in Shanghai, and GPS is losing.

CMC issues guideline on strengthening Party's political buildup in the military - China Military The guideline underlined the need of implementing the CMC Chairman responsibility system, called for enhancing the training of political competencies and the political function of Party organizations, and highlighted the improvement of military preparedness and combat capabilities of leaders of Party committees. It said that the military should purify political atmosphere, take the responsibility of strengthening the political buildup of the Party, and comprehensively enhancing the quality of work on Party leadership and Party building in the military. 中央军委印发《关于加强军队党的政治建设的意见》


Tsai picks William Lai as running mate - Taipei Times Lai has proclaimed himself a “pragmatic Taiwanese independence activist,” so Tsai’s decision to pick him suggests that “under Tsai’s ineffectual governance, she could only try to entice pro-Taiwan independence groups and seek support from the extremist edge of Taiwan’s political spectrum,” the party said in a statement.

China’s 2nd aircraft carrier to conduct testing and training in South China Sea - Global Times China's second aircraft carrier successfully sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Sunday and headed toward a designated area in the South China Sea for testing and training, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy announced on Monday, with experts saying the long voyage from Northeast China could be the last step in the trials phase of the warship which is expected to enter naval service soon....

Tech and Media

Apple iPhone 11 Scores Early China Success, Official Data Shows - Bloomberg Apple Inc. shipped 10 million iPhones in China during September and October, based on Bloomberg’s calculations from government data on overall and Android device shipments. That’s the first indication of the company’s performance following the autumn release of its latest gadgets, and it shows iPhone shipments up 6% from a year earlier

Lazada, Shopee Battle It out as Backer Alibaba, Tencent Shift Power in Southeast Asia- PingWest Although not a native holiday in Southeast Asia, the past Nov. 11, known as the Singles' Day originally "imported" from China has been highly celebrated in the region--well, not by the desperate single people really. The holiday has become a shopping festival ambitious e-commerce websites would not ignore. And that is very much the making of Lazada and Shopee, two most powerful local players in the business, backed by two of China's largest internet conglomerates.

Chinese netizens think Mark Zuckerberg betrayed China | South China Morning Post Since most people don’t have access to the US-based social network, Zuckerberg’s toughening stance on China hasn’t triggered widespread reactions. But the people who have noticed haven’t been taking it very well. The WeChat article claiming Zuckerberg stabbed China in the back drew more than 100,000 views (WeChat caps article view counts at 100,000) and dozens of comments voicing agreement.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

A Star Swimmer’s Doping Hearing Gets Lost in Translation - The New York Times Friday’s hearing ended with additional translation confusion when the president of the three-judge panel suddenly spotted a man in a blue shirt to the right of Sun as he gave his closing remarks in Chinese. "Excuse me, who are you?” asked the president, Franco Frattini. The man identified himself as a translator beckoned over by the swimmer, to make sure his words had been captured accurately. Frattini, visibly angry, told Sun he could not randomly choose people to participate.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

CAS to investigate Nankai University president for academic misconduct - Global Times Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Monday said they will investigate the alleged academic misconduct of its researcher Cao Xuetao, who also serves as the president of Nankai University in North China's Tianjin Municipality...The employee's comments came after Elisabeth Bik, a former research fellow with Stanford University, suspected some papers of "inappropriate duplications in figures" which Cao, an esteemed immunologist in China, co-authored. Bik published her inquiries on Pubpeer, a website that allows users to discuss and review scientific research, last week.

Chinese man, 55, contracts bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit in Inner Mongolia | South China Morning PostA man from Inner Mongolia has been diagnosed with bubonic plague after eating a wild rabbit, the local health authority said on Sunday, less than a week after two other people from the region were reported to have contracted the pneumonic form of the disease. The latest casualty is a 55-year-old from Xilingol league in the north China region, who is being treated at a hospital in Huade county, the health commission said.

US regulator issues first approval for a Chinese cancer treatment | Financial Times $$ The US Food and Drug Administration approved zanubrutinib, a treatment for mantle cell lymphoma, a rare kind of blood cancer, produced by BeiGene in Beijing under the name Brukinsa. The drug can be used by patients who have received one prior therapy for the disease.