The news flow today about the state of US-China trade talks still gives little reason to think a deal is coming any time soon, though there is always a chance for a surprise in either direction. President Trump could cave on Huawei, he could also just as plausibly decide to move forward with additional tariffs, though not necessarily on the full remaining amount of imports from China that are not yet subject to tariffs, and not at a rate of 25%. I do not know, and I am not sure anyone else in DC does either.
On Thursday President Trump met with Jewher Ilham, the daughter of imprisoned Uygur scholar Ilham Tohti. According to the South China Morning Post report on the meeting (see item 4), Trump did not seem to know much about the Xinjiang camps and asked “where in China the camps were located.”
Magnitsky Act sanctions against PRC officials over Xinjiang have been held back, but Beijing should worry that Trump might decide to go forward if he thinks they have backed away from trade talks promises again. Remember we saw a similar dynamic with Huawei and the long-rumored actions that he only signed after the talks collapsed in May.
For tomorrow’s free newsletter I will send out an excerpt from Richard McGregor’s new mini-book Xi Jinping: The Backlash.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Hong Kong
China scrambles to deliver new Hong Kong strategy –but military response not an option | South China Morning Post
Mainland Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on a comprehensive strategy to solve the city’s political crisis that will be presented to the top leadership for deliberation soon, according to people familiar with the discussion, but resorting to military force is not on the table....
“Obviously the system has not been working well. Voices that really reflect the mood of the public were not getting heard,” said a government-affiliated adviser who asked to remain anonymous. “The central leadership wasn’t alerted until the situation went out of control … There will surely be a revamp and overhaul of the system afterwards.”...
Another adviser familiar with the situation said the approach right now was to “lure the snake from its hole” – meaning to taking a defensive position and wait for the opposition to fully expose its intention and strategy.
This seems to indicate that Beijing is convinced the unrest in Hong Kong is not an isolated local incident and that foreign agents are at work with an aim to destabilise China’s overall development. The key response to prevent further escalation is to avoid bloodshed while uniting and strengthening the pro-establishment camp.
Question: Will Han Zheng come under pressure for mishandling Hong Kong?
European Parliament adopts resolution calling for export controls on tech ‘used to violate basic rights’ in Hong Kong | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP
“calls for the EU, its Member States and the international community to work towards the imposition of appropriate export control mechanisms to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies used to violate basic rights.”
Mnuchin says U.S., Chinese call could lead to in-person talks - Reuters
Mnuchin, speaking from the G7 meeting in Chantilly, France, said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will participate in the call [later today] with their Chinese counterparts, adding that it follows an earlier discussion with their staffs.
“We’ll see where we get,” he said in an interview. “We continue to make progress. I would expect Ambassador Lighthizer and I to travel over there to have an in-person meeting.”
Trump And Xi Are Struggling to Find Path Forward in Trade Talks - Bloomberg
There are clear differences in how the two sides talk about what was agreed at the Group of 20 summit in late June. Trump boasted at a press conference after his meeting with Xi that the Chinese had agreed to buy “tremendous” amounts of agricultural goods. But a member of the Chinese delegation told the U.S. team that Beijing won’t make concessions on agriculture regardless of what Trump announced publicly, a person familiar with the exchange said.
According to that person, Beijing wants to see the Trump administration issue special licenses for U.S. suppliers to resume shipments to Huawei before buying more crops.
However, people familiar with Chinese side of the talks say that China will not buy large amounts until it sees concrete progress in the talks. Since the May breakdown in talks, Chinese officials have repeatedly insisted that any deal must meet their three conditions of removing all tariffs, realistic purchase targets, and a proper balance and equality for the two sides.
U.S.-China Talks Stuck in Rut Over Huawei - WSJ $$
Progress toward a U.S.-China trade deal has stalled while the Trump administration determines how to address Beijing’s demands that it ease restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co., people familiar with the talks said...
…administration officials haven’t reached consensus on which semiconductor chips and other products can be provided to Huawei without triggering security concerns or giving the company a strategic edge.
U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators spoke by phone last week to discuss next steps but officials didn’t cite any progress afterward. Though another call is expected this week, Beijing is waiting to see what the U.S. does on Huawei before making commitments, according to the people familiar with the talks.
Comment: Does Beijing expect a unilateral cave from Trump to get the talks back to where they were?
Huawei says Hongmeng operating system not for smartphones, intends to continue with Android - Xinhua
Huawei board member and senior Vice President Catherine Chen said here on Thursday that the company's Hongmeng operating system is not for smartphones and the company intends to continue to use Google's Android operating system for its smartphones.
The Hongmeng system has previously been widely reported in the media as a potential alternative to Android on smartphones, but Chen, when asked at a media roundtable in Brussels, was unequivocal that it is not designed for that.
Question: Is this an admission Huawei has no viable near-term replacement for Android?
Kudlow stings China - POLITICO
Via tweet thread from Sinclair’s James Risen, NEC Director Larry Kudlow said of China “They’re not the Soviet Union; but this kind of government control, statism, never works for long.” He also said the prospect that China could collapse like the Soviet Union did has “always been an undercurrent in’ the talks to resolve the trade war.”
Stay the Course on China: An Open Letter to President Trump
Author of Letter James E. Fanell Captain, USN (Ret) Former Director of Intelligence & Information Operations U.S. Pacific Fleet, 130 signatures so far
Nikki Haley's Vision for How to Win Against China: Getting Tough on Trade Is Just the First Step Toward Countering China - Foreign Affairs
Americans look with deep regret on the choices Chinese leaders have made. For decades, the United States strove to cultivate friendship. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both worked to forge cooperative ties through the transfer of high technology to support modernization and economic growth. The United States helped China enter the World Trade Organization on lenient terms. We gave it access to our markets even though China did not reciprocate. China’s increasingly hostile policies cannot be explained as a reaction to unfriendliness from our side.
Trump vs China: America's Greatest Challenge: Newt Gingrich Book coming 10.2019
Newt Gingrich's TRUMP VS CHINA will serve as a rallying cry for the American people and a plan of action for our leaders in government and the private sector. Written in a language that every American can understand, but still rich in detail and accurate in fact, TRUMP VS CHINA will lay out China's multi-pronged attack against the United States and what we must do to combat it.
Comment: Don’t underestimate just how nasty the discourse about China is going to get between now and the 2020 election.
Looking before we leap: Weighing the risks of US-China disengagement - Jonathan D. Pollack and Jeffrey A. Bader - Brookings
Amidst the torrent of grievances voiced in the United States, there has been very little attention to where an adversarial stance toward China could lead....
Should the Chinese elite and mass opinion conclude that the United States is intent on denying the China its rightful place in global affairs, no one should expect Beijing to be compliant or submissive.[Bill: I am confident they already have concluded this]
At the same time, none of China’s neighbors, even those uneasy about the growth of Chinese power, want to be caught in a struggle between the U.S. and China.
From the official Politics and Law Commission Wechat account today - "The Chinese have never had the naive illusion of marching only in applause". All about how other countries are trying to keep China down
3. China market for US soybeans may never fully return
ADM Sees Tariff War Changing China’s Soy Trade Pattern for Good - Bloomberg
The tit-for-tat tariff spat, which has already shrunk purchases of American beans, probably will mean China will try to reduce its dependence on the U.S. by buying from elsewhere and improving yields of its own production, ADM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young said.
“We should not be naive to assume that longer term, China will not want to become more self-reliant on their own supply of agriculture products,” he said at the Kansas Fed Ag Symposium Tuesday. “I think this has been a wake-up call for China in terms of understanding the relationship between the U.S. and China and how they will view food security in the future.”
Comment: And technology security...
China Expands Soybean Production as Imports Decline - Caixin
In the first half of 2019, China’s imports of soybeans fell 14.7% from a year earlier to 38.27 million tons, according to official customs data. China’s annual soybean imports fell in 2018 for the first time since 2011. Market participants project that this year’s soybean imports will decline further as a result of the trade dispute.
Meanwhile, Chinese farmers are gearing up to plant the key crop for making cooking oil and animal feed as “a political priority” in response to central and local governments’ calls on farmers to grow more soybeans.
China to boost imports of Russian soybeans, cutting out US crop exports — RT Business News
Commerce Minister Zhong Shan met with Russian Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin this week. They agreed to “deepen trade in soybeans” as China looks to diversify supplies away from the United States.
Donald Trump hears ‘tough’ details of China’s Xinjiang camps as he meets detained Uygur scholar Ilham Tohti’s daughter | South China Morning Post
United States President Donald Trump met victims of religious persecution from around the world on Wednesday, including one Uygur woman and three other people from China.
The Oval Office meeting with 27 individuals from 17 countries marked the first time in his presidency that Trump has publicly met anyone from China’s Uygur community, or made open remarks about their mass internment in the country’s western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region...
“That’s tough stuff,” said Trump on Wednesday in response to an account by Jewher Ilham of the network of camps in Xinjiang and the ongoing imprisonment of her father, the prominent Uygur scholar Ilham Tohti...
Trump appeared not to know in detail about the internment camps in Xinjiang – which are believed to have begun in early 2017 – asking Ilham where in China the camps were located.
Pompeo calls China's treatment of Uighurs 'stain of the century' - Reuters
“China is home to one of the worst human rights crises of our time; it is truly the stain of the century,” Pompeo told the final day of the international conference in Washington.
Pompeo said Chinese government officials had sought to discourage countries from attending the three-day event he has hosted.
“Is that consistent with the guarantee of religious belief that is found directly in the Chinese constitution?” he asked.
Pompeo’s speech at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. China’s broad crackdown on all religions may be used a rally cry for many voters in the US in the 202 election.
‘Liberal’ policy chief unlikely to mean a softening on Xinjiang from China | South China Morning Post
A senior Chinese leader known for his relatively liberal style of governance has been named the ruling Communist Party’s handler of Xinjiang policy, amid increasing international criticism over the mass detention of Muslim minorities in the far western region.
Wang Yang, a member of the party’s policymaking Politburo Standing Committee, attended a high-level three-day conference in Xinjiang as head of the Central Committee’s Xinjiang Work Coordination Small Group, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported after the meeting ended on Tuesday...
Wang’s new role was largely expected since he is chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – China’s top political advisory body.
Comment: Wang Yang is only a political liberal in a fantasy in a different universe.
Wang Yang recently inspected Tibetan areas of Qinghai, per this Thursday CCTV Evening News report.
Top political advisor Wang Yang stresses ethnic, religious affairs, poverty alleviation - Xinhua
He instructed the province, home to a large number of ethnic Tibetan people, to uphold the Party's principles on religious affairs, streamline the management of temples and monasteries and stand firm against the infiltration of foreign forces.
5. Local governments looking for revenue
As Tax Cuts Bite, Officials Hunt for New Revenue Sources - Caixin
In the first half of 2019, tax revenue rose by just 0.4% to 9.24 trillion yuan ($1.34 trillion), down from a 13.9% increase in the same period last year as economic growth slowed and the government rolled out a program to slash taxes and fees by almost 2 trillion yuan, on top of the 1.3 trillion yuan of reductions in 2018. Some provincial-level governments, including Guizhou, Xinjiang, Beijing and Gansu, even reported an outright drop in fiscal revenue.
In contrast, revenue from nontax sources surged by 21.4% to 1.54 trillion yuan, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance. The central government alone collected 168.5 billion yuan more from SOE profits in the first half of 2019 than during the equivalent period last year, accounting for 62% of the growth in nontax revenue, Liu Jinyun, an official at the Ministry of Finance, said at a briefing Tuesday...
In addition to selling assets, local authorities in the coast province of Fujian are being encouraged to increase the profits of local state-owned financial institutions and SOEs and hand over the gains to the provincial government.
6. Belt & Road
China to embed anti-corruption officers in BRI projects | Financial Times $$
“We are trying to gather these practices into a standard format and copy it for other mega projects to follow suit,” said La Yifan, director-general for international co-operation at the CCDI...
Plans to expand CCDI’s reach across Belt and Road countries is an extension of China’s domestic anti-corruption campaign, Mr La said.
“How can you strike hard on corruption here at home and give a free hand to Chinese people and business groups [that are] reckless abroad,” Mr La said. “Part of the campaign is to go after corruption and stolen assets abroad.”
Assessing China’s most comprehensive repost to the “debt trap”: the Belt and Road ‘Debt Sustainability Framework’ – Panda Paw Dragon Claw
The shared conclusion from these reports is that BRI will not likely be plagued with widescale debt sustainability problems, even though it is also unlikely that the initiative will avoid any instances of debt problems among its participating countries. A more recent working paper published by the World Bank also attempted to evaluate the long term debt dynamics impact of China’s loans, taking BRI investment related growth into account. Availability of credible data remains a constraint for these papers. Yet of the 30 countries included in their long-term debt dynamic simulations, in only in 2 countries BRI debt financing would result in increasing debt vulnerability.
China’s international lending is much higher than previously known - Kiel Working Paper
China's lending to other countries is significantly larger than previously known and reported in official statistics. As of 2017, the world owed more than five trillion USD to the government of China, or around six percent of global economic output. Lending to developing and emerging countries, in particular, has multiplied over the past 10 years. Half of these loans are not publicly recorded, according to a new study conducted with the participation of the Kiel Institute. This poses considerable risks to financial stability.
Chinese Loans Hold Developing World in Thrall - Bloomberg
recent work from a team of researchers based out of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy suggests we may not be worried enough. They discovered that half of all foreign debt to Chinese state-run banks and institutions is “hidden” from the normal databases. Consequently, “debt levels and the debt service burdens in two dozen developing countries are much higher than previously thought.”
7. Will Libra prompt early release of a PRC digital currency?
Who Likes Facebook's Libra Currency? Not the Chinese | PIIE - Martin Chorzempa
Former governor Zhou Xiaochuan of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), who is one of the foremost cheerleaders of fintech in China, framed Libra as indicative of a larger movement to create a “currency that's more conducive to globalization.” Globally Facebook has the same strengths that Chinese tech had domestically, so China knows Libra could rapidly make Facebook a financial powerhouse.
That is why Chinese officials see Libra as an economic and geopolitical threat. They have long been unhappy about the dollar’s dominance in the global financial system and are frightened by the prospect of an American company dominating the future world of digital money. Wang Xin, research bureau director at PBOC, said Libra has lent greater urgency to the central bank’s own plans for a digital currency, which have been in the works since 2014, in partnership with Ant Financial. He noted, “We had an early start…but lots of work is needed to consolidate our lead,” and he lumped Facebook in with the US government, warning that Libra could lead to a world with “one boss, the Dollar, America.”..
If Libra were to lead China to innovate even more in financial services, the impact could be healthy. But if the Libra challenge leads China to prematurely adopt a still buggy and risky digital currency/blockchain side of fintech, the damage could be significant.
Facebook’s regulation dodge: Let us, or China will | TechCrunch
Facebook is leaning on fears of China exporting its authoritarian social values to counter arguments that it should be broken up or slowed down. Its top executives have each claimed that if the U.S. limits its size, blocks its acquisitions or bans its cryptocurrency, Chinese company’s absent these restrictions will win abroad, bringing more power and data to their government. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and VP of communications Nick Clegg have all expressed this position.
8. Yellow peril and loss of talent
U.S. Targeting of Chinese Scientists Fuels a Brain Drain - Bloomberg
It was a big opportunity for a small research university. In 2013, Xin Zhao, a prize-winning Ph.D. from the College of William & Mary, landed venture funding to commercialize some of the school’s patented nanotechnology....
Six years later, Yick Xin Technology Development Ltd. is up and running, but not in Virginia. The company’s R&D and new patent registrations—the lifeblood of any technology startup—have moved to China. The planned William & Mary spinout left the U.S. after federal agents hounded its founder, Zhao, for two years, and prosecutors accused him of trying to smuggle a robotic arm from Florida to a university in China that U.S. officials had linked to the nation’s top nuclear weapons lab. The charges were dismissed in December 2017—but Zhao, shaken by the ordeal, gave up his U.S. research operations...
“My dream was defeated,” says Zhao, whose crew-cut and boyish face belie the brash candor with which he tells his story. “I came here for freedom and security. Now fear is pushing us back to China.”..
“By cracking down so aggressively, we’re pushing them into China’s arms,” says Zhao’s attorney, Peter Zeidenberg of Arent Fox in Washington, a former federal prosecutor who has become the go-to defense lawyer for Chinese researchers facing suspicions of disloyalty.
Tech's modern-day 'Yellow Peril' scare is just the same old racism | Frank H Wu OpEd | The Guardian
Claims of a Chinese fifth column within Google stoke paranoia against Asian Americans and threaten to ruin the economy – and our democracy...
Civil rights and national interest are compatible. For those who fear Chinese will help China in achieving global dominance, there is a remedy: turn those Chinese into Chinese Americans who will contribute to the United States, or who will embrace a conception of belonging that is cosmopolitan instead of nationalistic. There could be no greater gift for Shenzhen and Shanghai, the perceived usurpers of western centers of technology and finance, respectively, than to drive out Chinese who otherwise would be stakeholders on this side of the Pacific Ocean.
--Frank H Wu is the William L Prosser distinguished professor at the University of California and the President of the Committee of 100
Business, Economy and Trade
Ping An-backed Lufax to ditch P2P lending on regulatory woes - sources - Reuters The move by Lufax to exit P2P, in which companies gather funds from retail investors and loan the money to small corporate and individual borrowers, is due to regulatory hurdles, two of the sources said, and comes amid China’s crackdown on the business to contain broader financial risks.
Vice premier calls for advancing household registration system reforms - Xinhua Vice Premier Han Zheng on Thursday stressed more efforts to accomplish the goal of helping 100 million migrants obtain urban household registration...made the remarks at a teleconference on advancing household registration system reforms held in Beijing.
Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee - CNBC The Chinese were the leading buyers for the seventh consecutive year, purchasing an estimated $13.4 billion worth of residential property. Yet that was a 56% decline from the previous 12 months and comparatively the biggest percentage drop of all foreign buyers.
Yicai Global - Chinese Real Estate Giant Yinyi Group Files for Bankruptcy Yinyi Group, a real estate company founded by Xiong Xuqiang, the richest man in East China's affluent port city of Ningbo, has filed for bankruptcy reorganization, it announced yesterday. With a fortune of CNY29.5 billion (USD42.6 billion), Xiong ranked 95th on last year's 'Hurun China Rich List' compiled by Luxembourger researcher Rupert Hoogewerf and was dubbed Ningbo's wealthiest resident.
China mulls launching personal bankruptcy system - ECNS China plans to establish a personal bankruptcy system to address the problem of joint debt liability faced by natural persons in the case of enterprise bankruptcy, according to a document from the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner.
Moutai’s Growth Wobbles as Distiller Battles Internal Graft - Caixin Since 2018, Moutai has banned some 536 dealers from selling its flagship liquor — a quarter of all intermediaries once authorized to do so. Ninety-nine dealers were culled in the first half of 2019 alone, according to the financial report. The significant cut came as Yuan Renguo, Moutai’s chairman from 2011 to 2018, was arrested in May
In Depth: How China’s Freeze on Insurance Licenses Has Impacted the Market - Caixin There was a time when Chinese regulators handed out insurance company licenses like candy. It began in October 2011, when Xiang Junbo became head of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission — then China’s insurance regulator. Xiang approved 48 licenses during his tenure, up until authorities began investigating him in April 2017. He was later charged with accepting bribes worth 19.4 million yuan ($2.8 million). A crackdown followed. Not a single insurance license has been issued for any Chinese company since, according to records seen by Caixin.
China’s New Shipbuilding Giant to Challenge Global Leader After Blockbuster Merger - Caixin Global Subsidiaries of China State Shipbuilding Corp. Ltd. (CSSC) announced in various filings that their parent is planning a restructuring that will result in its merger with China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. (CSIC)…The pair’s shipbuilding empires accounted for 49% of shipbuilding or repair work orders from Chinese companies last year, and 20.85% of orders globally, according to a Caixin credit report.
Beijing's Per Capita Disposable Income Hits 33,860 Yuan in First Half - China Banking News
China’s Didi Seeks Up to $2 Billion as Ride-Hailing Firms Want Investors to Fund Growth - WSJ $$
Politics and Law
Xi urges local legislatures to be practical, creative in their work - Xinhua Over the past 40 years, the local people's congresses and their standing committees have been committed to the organic unity of Party leadership, the running of the country by the people and law-based governance and have made important contributions to local reform, development and stability, Xi said. Local legislatures should consciously follow the leadership of the Party committees at the corresponding level, maintain close ties with the people, ensure deputies play their roles better, strengthen legal protection for the people's rights and interests and improve their well-being, Xi said.
人民代表大会制度的正定实践 long People's Daily piece looking at the innovations and practice of the Zhending, Hebei people's congress. Xi was the Secretary of the Zhending County Party Committee between 1983 and 1985 and according to this he made significant contributions to the innovations and practice.
人民日报“任平”连续发声：不做昏官、懒官、庸官、贪官--观点--人民网 series of 4 commentaries by "Ren Ping" in People's Daily calling on cadres to implement Xi's directives, not be muddle-headed, lazy, corrupt officials
贵州原副省长蒲波一审被判无期 被控受贿7126万_网易新闻 life in prison for former Guizhou deputy governor Pu Bo, for corruption during his time in Sichuan
Dui Hua Human Rights Journal: From Hu to Xi: China’s Grip on Environmental Activism PART I: Mass Protests and the Threat to Activists Dui Hua’s research into Chinese-language judgment websites has uncovered approximately 20 criminal cases involving criminalization of anti-pollution protests since 2014. Some of them involved violence and did not receive any media coverage. While the offense of picking quarrels and provoking troubles is commonly used against protesters, other offenses include gathering a crowd to disturb social order, gathering a crowd to attack an organ of the state, and holding an illegal assembly
China's narcotics control chief calls for intensified battle against drugs - Xinhua State Councilor Zhao Kezhi, also chief of the National Narcotics Control Commission, on Wednesday called for efforts to step up the crackdown on drug-related crimes and push forward the battle against drugs.
CPC urges real action to handle problems in education campaign - Xinhua he leading group of the ongoing Communist Party of China education campaign themed "staying true to our founding mission" has called for "real swords and spears" in handling major problems highlighted in the campaign. The group made the urge in a newly released circular, asking all regions and departments to address problems with proactivity and courage..According to the circular, major problems include violation of the eight-point code on improving Party and government conduct, the practice of formalities for formalities' sake and bureaucratism at primary levels, and infringement of people's interests.
Regulators Issue Warning on Misuse of Poverty Allocation Loans - Caixin An internal notice issued in May by four institutions involved in the poverty loan system — China’s banking regulator, the finance ministry, the central bank and the poverty alleviation office under the State Council — hinted at debt concerns from the misappropriation of funds, and also from the use of such loans for non-productive purposes like bankrolling home construction and wedding ceremonies.
Religious reporting hotline launches in China - ucanews.com Officials in charge of religious affairs in the city of Xingtai of China's northern Hebei province have urged members of the public to report banned religious activities.
Li Rui Papers Open For Research | Hoover Institution
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang to take over US and Canada affairs office | South China Morning Post The sources said the director of the ministry’s information department Lu Kang was expected to succeed Cong Peiwu, the current head of North America and Oceania affairs, “very soon”. Lu told a regular press conference on Thursday that he would step down as the head of the ministry’s information department without elaborating further.
Yang Hengjun: Australian writer detained in China expected to be charged, lawyer says | The Guardian Yang’s lawyer, Mo Shao Ping, said Yang’s family in Shanghai has been told to come to Beijing to receive a formal notice of the writer’s criminal detention, indicating formal charges are forthcoming. The maximum punishment for endangering national security is life in prison or in serious cases, the death penalty.
Mohammad Bin Zayed to visit China next week His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is expected to make a state visit to China next week.
‘See, They Are So Happy with Our Generosity!’ | ChinaFile Chinese Businesses Are Changing Cambodia. And Not for the Better
Regulation issued to alleviate burdens on primary-level military units - Xinhua Such burdens were summarized as the "five excesses," which refer to excessive and unnecessary meetings, activities, files/documentations, working groups and inspections.
The Rise of the Chinese-American Right | National Review Zang has helped form New York Residents Alliance, a grassroots organization that is able to reach as many as 2,000 Chinese New Yorkers via WeChat, the social media platform popular among Chinese people around the world…His organization has endorsed candidates in several elections, mostly Republicans or conservative Democrats...David Wang, an independent investor in Los Angeles, founded Chinese Americans for Trump (CAFT) on WeChat during the last election season. He told me it evolved from a three-member chat group that he formed in the summer of 2015 to an 8,000-member network // Comment: Notice that Wechat is the key communications channel?
Taiwan prepares expanded blacklist of Chinese telecom products | Taiwan News On Thursday (July 18), Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka announced that Taiwan’s government will be introducing a blacklist of Chinese telecom products at the end of July prohibiting public agencies from purchasing or using designated Chinese ICT products. The news of the blacklist follows after the introduction new guidelines in April, which govern use of ICT products among government agencies in Taiwan
Taiwan's Tsai shoots down Xi's unification road map - Nikkei Asian Review "That Tsai issued a strong rejection of Xi's proposal, at the home of freedom and democracy, the U.S., is significant," said a Taiwanese scholar specializing in international politics. The intellectual went on: "It is becoming increasingly clear that the presidential election in Taiwan in January 2020 will become a proxy war that will be a mirror of the fierce U.S.-China battle for hegemony."
Tech and Media
Personal ID may replace postal code in China - SA A unique personal identification tag may replace the traditional 6-digit postal code in China in future, according to a plan advocated by State Post Bureau Development Research Center and the Shikong Big Data Innovation Center at Peking University. As a way to cope with explosive growth in express delivery, the plan envisions assigning each person a unique code for their personal address and each package with an ID tag that includes information about the courier and tracking.
Two Top Chinese E-Commerce Giants Are Now In Each Other’s Backyard- PingWest Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is making a few major upgrades to its B2C marketplace including Tmall and Juhuasuan, in an effort to guard its leadership status against rivals such as mobile shopping upstart Pinduoduo.
短视频，如何走得长（一线探民生·短视频防沉迷（下））--社会--人民网 Article in Thursday's People's Daily on youth addiction to short video, need for the providers to take more responsibility to fight the problem
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Google software engineer Sun Ling shares her story of upward mobility, from rural China to New York City, and social media lights up | South China Morning Post Born in a rural hamlet in central China’s Hunan province, Sun shot to Chinese social media stardom for her rags-to-relative-comfort career trajectory. Her story begins in a household of such modest means that her mother had to sell blood to make ends meet and a primary school education interrupted by the need for her hands in the family’s fields.
Capitals' Alex Ovechkin to make summer trip to China - AP Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will go to China as part of the NHL’s continued outreach in that country. Ovechkin will visit Beijing in early August as a league ambassador. He’s expected to take part in youth hockey clinics, interviews and business development meetings.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Professional drug-inspection teams to be established - State Council According to the circular, drug inspectors will be recognized by drug authorities and authorized to conduct compliance verification and risk judgment on places where drugs are developed and produced, as well as ensure that drugs are produced in accordance with laws and regulations.
Rural and Agricultural Issues
Jack Ma: Rural Education Integral to China’s Future | Alizila.com Rural education is the hope and the future of China,” Ma said at a graduation ceremony for 220 rural educators, both teachers and headmasters who completed a three-year training program offered by Hangzhou Normal University and the Jack Ma Foundation.
Booming Demand for CBD Is Making Hemp the Cannabis Cash Crop - Bloomberg In June, CannAcubed leased two factories in Yunnan, one of only three Chinese provinces that allows the production of hemp; it plans to expand them into CBD research and extraction facilities.
I don't read Chinese so I'm not clued in on the latest in Beijing social media, but my previously apolitical wife has become a raging Mao supporting Red Commie Nationalist blaming the US for HK's unrest and pretty much every other ill in the world. If that's the effect of local social media, then I predict there won't be a trade agreement anytime soon, if at all during the Trump period.