Jingoistic attacks on public intellectuals; Blockchain aspirations; WSJ in crosshairs; US supply chain task force

Xi Jinping is still on his Qinghai inspection tour, the full propaganda package is not out, but we do have some pictures:

From the initial propaganda bulletins ethnic unity, grassroots governance, and ecological civilization are among the themes of this tour. Any guesses about where his last trip will be before the July 1st 100th birthday celebration?

Today’s Essential Eight items:

  1. Jingoistic attacks on public intellectual “traitors”

  2. China will likely not be pleased by the upcoming NATO and G-7 summits

  3. WSJ in crosshairs over reporting on lab leak hypothesis

  4. Heretical report on Xi’s signature achievement: victory in war on poverty

  5. US supply chain task force

  6. Plan to become the global blockchain leader

  7. Socialism, China have not failed each other

  8. Gaokao

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Jingoistic attacks on public intellectual “traitors”

In yesterday’s newsletter I briefly mentioned the xenophobic attacks on author Jiang Fangzhou:

获日方资助写书宣传日本?@蒋方舟 :是公开正常的文化交流 Jiang Fangzhou attacked online for taking money from the Japanese government for a cultural exchange trip to Japan, accused of taking funding to do propaganda for Japan in China

These attacks are worthy of much more attention, as they are a sign of the intensifying jingoistic atmosphere, and the attacks are spreading to other prominent people who participated in similar programs.

Attacks on prominent individuals with overseas ties, like on Fang Fang and her Wuhan Diary last year as one recent example, look to be officially permitted if not actively fostered and amplified, especially on Weibo, WeChat and Guancha, as part of the broader push to fan anti-foreign and especially anti-Western/American sentiment. It may be couched as aggrieved, defensive responses to Western and especially American aggression and predation and “liberal hegemony” (sound familiar from previous Eras of China’s history?) but is nasty regardless and getting nastier.

We are 22 days away from the CCP’s 100th birthday Party and it seems like we are reliving bits of the CCP’s history. I hope we will not start seeing Cultural Revolution-era accusations like “里通外国 having illicit ties for a foreign country” and “偷听敌台 secretly listening to enemy radio”.

The push for more selective decoupling from the West has intensified in recent years under Xi, both in the information sphere and in permitted public opinion efforts, as well as in broader, top-level policy initiatives like “dual circulation”, and the disconnect from the external propaganda messaging and what is permitted/fostered/amplified inside the PRC appears to be growing.

Chinese intellectuals called traitors online for Japan exchange visits | South China Morning Post

Nearly 200 Chinese intellectuals who took part in a Japanese government-affiliated exchange programme have been branded “traitors” on Chinese social media, reflecting rising nationalistic sentiment in China.

They were sponsored to visit Japan by the Japan Foundation, which is overseen by the Japanese foreign ministry and funded by government subsidies, investment revenue and private sector donations.

The programme was started in 2008 to improve exchanges between the two countries, with 196 Chinese intellectuals having been sponsored as of 2019, the ministry said.

But participants have been criticised by some people online, after the visits recently came to their attention. He Bing, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, writers Jiang Fangzhou and Xiong Peiyun, and journalist Duan Hongqing were among those targeted...

A funding programme announced last month by the US embassy in China was described by Chinese state media as “recruiting traitors”. The programme offered funding of up to US$30,000 each to NGOs and individuals carrying out programmes in support of civil society, museums, national parks, nature reserves and community organisations.

This anonymous Twitter account, which I have found very accurate over the years (they have been on and off Twitter, I have a level of comfort with their information sources), has more details in the full thread here. Here are the first two tweets on what is going on:

Some state/Party media workers seem to understand the risks:

Though the folks at the Global Times and Xinhua may have forgotten the idiom “骑虎难下 if you ride a tiger it is hard to get off”.

Hu Xijin had to defend his initial light criticism of the attacks on Jiang, explaining that he really was not criticizing the critics of Jiang and other public intellectuals, and that her work about Japan after she went there was too "pro-Japanese". This is not the first time Hu, someone has profited mightily from stoking and exploiting rising nationalist sentiments, has had to defend his comments after he was attacked for being too "soft". - 对于一些人批评公知接受日本出资访日,老胡... 来自胡锡进 - 微博

对于一些人批评公知接受日本出资访日,老胡可没有指责这些网友的意思,这一点必须说明。有人在微博上以讹传讹,说我帮那些公知洗地,不客观了啊。 我写的环时锐评意思很清楚,网友们批评那些人,首先不是因为他们花了日方的钱访问日本(中外都有这样的资助项目),而是他们一些人前后写出的文章太亲日了,我文中的原话是:他们的创作与“日方邀请他们的目标太过吻合”。我在文中特别强调,任何人在参与信息交流的同时,“决不能离开中国和中国人民利益的本位”。

Guancha has also dug up an interview Jiang did with the NHK last year in which she criticized the pandemic response. She says she was "quoted of context" -蒋方舟接受日本NHK采访时谈及疫情下的“制度” 蒋方舟回应:遭断章取义

“净网”集中行动启动!6部门合力整治网上有害信息--新闻报道-中国共产党新闻网

Recently, the national "anti-vice and pornography" working group made arrangements, and the Central Propaganda Department, the Central Network Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the State Administration of Radio and Television launched a "net-cleaning" campaign from now until the National Day to rectify harmful information and bad content on the Internet.

The national "anti-vice and pornography" office pointed out that the "purify the Internet" centralized action will be carried out by the relevant central departments according to their supervisory duties and division of tasks, and they will cooperate with each other, concentrate their efforts, and act quickly, focusing on rectifying online historical nihilism, pornography, vulgarity and other harmful information, in a deep cleaning of network content that violates core socialist values

Comment: If these attacks on Jiang and others were deemed problematic, or a violation of core socialist values, they would be censored quickly.


2. PRC officials will likely not be pleased by the NATO and G-7 summits

G-7 plans steps to defend academic research with eye on China - Nikkei Asia

The Group of Seven nations will agree on creating guidelines to prevent leaks of sensitive research data when leaders meet this week, Nikkei has learned, looking to protect joint projects amid growing concerns about the risk of theft by China.

The U.S. and fellow major economies will discuss including this in a statement to be released after the three-day summit that begins Friday. The statement will underscore the view that the science and technology cannot be expected to progress without measures to prevent research from being stolen by other countries.

Given concerns about interfering in free and independent research, the guidelines will only target projects on AI, quantum technologies and other areas that have military applications...

One proposal calls for creating a shared list with the names and nationalities of researchers at businesses, universities and research groups, as well as information about any foreign funding these entities receive. The G-7 also will discuss the need for individual members to expand legal protections such as patent frameworks.

G-7 prepares to write Taiwan Strait into summit statement - Nikkei Asia

Dealing with China-related issues -- including not only Taiwan, but also Hong Kong and alleged abuses in Xinjiang -- will be high on the agenda at the three-day event in the U.K. starting Friday, the first face-to-face meeting of leaders from the seven major economies since August 2019.

Washington and Tokyo look to persuade other members to follow the communique from May's meeting of G-7 foreign ministers, which said members "underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues."

Doing so would mark the first explicit mention of the strait in a G-7 summit statement. The document is also expected to express "concern" about human rights abuses against China's Uyghur Muslim minority and the crackdown on pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong.

The goal is to affirm attendees' basic stance toward Beijing

NATO's pivot to China - POLITICO

President Joe Biden hosts NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House this afternoon. The Norwegian has telegraphed his talking points in advance of the meeting and next week’s NATO summit in Brussels: China, China and China...

Stoltenberg promises “much more language on China than we have ever had before” in next week’s summit communique. China is not mentioned at all in NATO’s current strategy, which dates to 2010: “The first time we mentioned China in a NATO document was in December 2019. We have come a long way,” he said.“Almost all the proposals in NATO 2030 (a draft strategy document) are relevant for addressing the rise of China,” he told Constanze Stelzenmüller at a Brookings and German Council on Foreign Relations (GDAP) event.

Less convincingly, Stoltenberg promised “we will have consensus” on how to manage China. Why the skepticism? Hungary is happy to block EU consensus on speaking truth to China and is also a NATO member.

06/08/2021 China MFA Press Conference

Bloomberg: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says China and Russia's political and military links have been intensified. This poses a threat to the global order. Does the foreign minister have a comment on the NATO chief's comments?

Zhao Lijian: Peace, development and cooperation are the trend of the times. It's the common aspiration of all to pursue solidarity, multilateralism and cooperation, rather than division, unilateralism and confrontation. China has always been an advocate of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order. Committed to peaceful development, China will continue to make greater contribution to world peace and development. Deepening China-Russia relations are conducive to world peace and stability. As the largest military alliance, NATO should abandon Cold War mentality and ideological bias, view the development of China and China-Russia relations in an objective, positive and open manner, and do more to uphold international and regional peace and stability.



3. WSJ in crosshairs over reporting on lab leak hypothesis

U.S. Report Found It Plausible Covid-19 Leaked From Wuhan Lab - WSJ $$ - By Michael R. Gordon and Warren P. Strobel

A report on the origins of Covid-19 by a U.S. government national laboratory concluded that the hypothesis claiming the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is plausible and deserves further investigation, according to people familiar with the classified document.

The study was prepared in May 2020 by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and was drawn on by the State Department when it conducted an inquiry into the pandemic’s origins during the final months of the Trump administration.

GT exclusive: WSJ-cited lab report on COVID-19 origins provides no new info, just 'pathetic story to push political agenda' - Global Times

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Monday, citing a so-called national laboratory report, suggesting that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab, a hypothesis that has been rejected by preeminent scientists around the world and seen as "extremely unlikely" by the WHO study team after field research. It is a fresh move for the US media, without providing any new data or evidence, according to the source close to the WHO team, trying to turn the scientific question into a pure political game...

When the WSJ came up with another so-called exclusive report weeks ago citing a so-called Trump-era US intelligence report on sick staff at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, indicating those researchers shared symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and seasonable illness, Yuan Zhiming, director of the institute's Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, refuted the report and called it "an outright lie that came from nowhere."

How does America intensify disinformation war? - Xinhua

Passing through the U.S. government and mainstream media, there is a covert but efficient production line, along which raw materials of misinformation are processed into eye-popping headlines, and peddled to the public.

-- [Michael] Gordon's WSJ story on the COVID-19 origin is repeating the classic U.S. tactics deployed in its previous disinformation campaigns, like those against Iraq and Iran, in which the U.S. government leaked some deceptive information and the media acted as an amplifier.

-- From smearing China's policies in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan to stigmatizing China's efforts for equitable vaccine sharing and a prosperous Belt and Road, Washington has ganged up with media outlets in waging a comprehensive disinformation war against China...

"This is the usual trick used by the United States for its strategic needs," said Pu Ping, a professor on international relations at the Renmin University of China...

"A clear large-scale campaign is currently being carried out against China," Pavel Feldman, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, was quoted by Russian newspaper Saint-Petersburg Vedomosti as saying.

Cartoon - U.S. Intelligence Community refuses to accept facts: I just won't listen - ECNS

A conclusion from the joint WHO-China study mission has clarified that "a laboratory origin" of the pandemic is "extremely unlikely," yet some U.S. politicians and media are still hyping up this conspiracy theory. Their refusal to accept facts will turn out to be a farce of self-deception.


4. Heretical report on Xi’s signature achievement: victory in war on poverty

China’s boast of eradicating poverty challenged by new study | Financial Times

The Chinese Communist party’s claim that it had eliminated extreme poverty has been challenged by a new study by a former UN economist that argues Beijing used a limited and inflexible definition of what it means to be poor...

…research published on Tuesday by Bill Bikales, former senior economist for the UN in China, said that China has not done enough to claim final victory over poverty.

“China has not eradicated poverty — even extreme poverty. And it will not until it has viable systems in place that will identify poor people everywhere . . . and until the country provide a safety net for all its people [including] those who are hit by a death, serious illness, loss of work or other shock,” he wrote in the report, which was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The full report, in PDF:

China’s situation in 1978, on the eve of the Reform and of the Opening Up era, reflected this mixed Maoist legacy. Several key preconditions for rural growth and poverty reduction were in place. For one, land distribution was equitable. And, both life expectancy and school enrollment rates had improved greatly — exceeding those of other countries with the same or greater per capita income by large amounts. An effective state bureaucracy was in place. But, as a result of Mao’s income-suppressing economic ideology, poverty was very high in terms of income and the rural population still comprised over 82 per cent of the total.

For this reason, the frequent use of 1978 as a baseline to measure poverty reduction in China –and, specifically, reference to the 800+ million people lifted out of poverty — can be problematic. The implication is that this poverty reduction was entirely the result of post-78 government policy, whereas it was directly linked to the policies of the previous years in two ways. First, many conditions for poverty reduction were in place despite artificially low income, as just highlighted. Second, much of the poverty reduction in the first years after 1978 was simply a result of reversing bad Maoist policies. A great boost to rural incomes resulted from allowing peasants who worked harder to keep more of what they produced. Gradually increasing peasants’ freedom to grow what they wanted — and sell it for the best price they could get — and allowing them to move from rural areas where income earning prospects were limited to new jobs in nearby or faraway urban areas exacerbated this boost. One recent estimate is that two-thirds of the poverty reduction in the first decades after Mao was simply catching up to where China should have been if better economic policies had been followed before 1978. In addition, there are methodological questions that arise in attempting to apply one line — in this case, the current official Chinese poverty line — across a period of 42 years during which China grew and changed so dramatically. China’s official poverty lines were increased twice over this period as the country developed; the alternative approach of measuring poverty incidence over these years according to the lines that were used at the time gives quite different results.

Comment: Progress in eradicating poverty has been undeniably impressive, but the war is far from won.


5. US supply chain task force

Biden supply-chain ‘strike force’ to target China on trade | Reuters

Though not explicitly directed at China, the review is part of a broader Biden administration strategy to shore up U.S. competitiveness in the face of economic challenges posed by the world's second-largest economy.

"We’re trying to understand all of the logistics behind the supply chain” to loosen bottlenecks, Jared Bernstein, a White House economic adviser, told Reuters. “One of the best ways to do that is to talk to people in the industry and we’re doing a lot of that."..

"Obviously, a number of Chinese industrial policies have contributed to vulnerable U.S. supply chains," the official said. "I think you are going to see this strike force focusing in feeding into some of our China policy developments."

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to Address Short-Term Supply Chain Discontinuities | The White House

The specific mentions of China:

The Department of Defense (DOD) has announced an investment in the expansion of the largest rare earth element mining and processing company outside of China to provide the raw materials necessary to help combat the climate crisis...

Develop a comprehensive trade strategy to support fair and resilient supply chains: The Administration should develop a comprehensive trade strategy to support supply chain resilience and U.S. competitiveness. Supply chain resilience should be incorporated into the U.S. trade policy approach towards China, including in the ongoing review of U.S.-China trade policy. The Administration should also examine existing U.S. trade agreements to identify ways to strengthen collective supply chain resilience...

As demand for clean energy technology increases over the short- and medium-term, an increased supply of critical minerals and materials will be necessary to meet national and global climate goals. China, using state-led, non-market interventions, captured large portions of value chains in several critical minerals and materials necessary for national and economic security. China accounts for an outsized share of the world’s refining capacity, meaning that even if the United States were to diversify our sources of critical minerals or increase domestic extraction, we would still be reliant on China for processing before use in end-product manufacturing...

About 87 percent of API facilities for generic drugs are located overseas which has left U.S. supply chains of essential medicines vulnerable.

China and India are estimated to control substantial parts of the supply chain where there have been issues with shortages due to a range of disruptions that have impacted supply as well as quality and safety.

US targets China rare earth magnets for possible tariffs | Financial Times $$

The Biden administration is considering an investigation into whether imports of rare earth magnets made largely in China pose a national security threat that could warrant the imposition of tariffs.

The White House said the commerce department would examine whether to probe neodymium magnets, which are used to manufacture everything from smartphones to electric vehicle motors.

President Joe Biden is considering the move as part of measures the White House announced on Tuesday to boost the resilience of US supply chains in areas including rare earths, food and pharmaceuticals amid concerns about over-reliance on China.

Analysis: More Chinese firms could fall under Biden’s broader investment ban | Reuters

President Joe Biden’s order last week banning U.S. investment in certain Chinese companies is broader than a similar one signed by his predecessor Donald Trump and has a lower bar, making it easier to add more companies later.

Legal experts say it also may help the administration avoid embarrassing defeats in court after a ban imposed near the end of the Trump administration failed to hold up against legal challenges.


6. Plan to become the global blockchain leader

China plans to accelerate blockchain development and adoption in push to become a world leader in the technology by 2025 | South China Morning Post

The country plans to establish industrial standards, tax incentives and intellectual property protections to support the blockchain industry, for which it wants to become a world leader by 2025, according to a document released on Monday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the two agencies in charge of the world’s largest internet industry. The document also mentioned plans to enhance global cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“[The] recent guidance confirms policymakers’ long-standing commitment to blockchain technology as a key strategic technology,” said Matthew Graham, CEO of Sino Global Capital.

The document emphasises the necessity of cultivating national champions that can compete globally, as well as the importance of blockchain to the real economy

Telecoms, Cyber Regulators Urge More Government Support for Blockchain - Caixin Development

China’s telecoms and cyberspace regulators have issued a new document calling on local governments to promote the development of blockchain technology.

The document was released Monday on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and was jointly drafted with the Cyberspace Administration of China. It contained a lengthy discussion on the subject of blockchain, including reasons for promoting the technology and ways local governments can encourage such promotion.

The plan - 两部门关于加快推动区块链技术应用和产业发展的指导意见

(3) Development Goals

By 2025, the comprehensive strength of the blockchain industry will reach the world's advanced level, and the industry will begin to take shape. The application of blockchain has penetrated into many fields of economy and society. A batch of well-known products have been cultivated in the fields of product traceability, data circulation, supply chain management and so on, forming scenario-based demonstration applications. Cultivate 3-5 internationally competitive backbone enterprises and a number of innovation-leading enterprises, and build 3-5 blockchain industry development cluster areas. Blockchain standard system has been initially established. Forming a team of professional talents to support the development of the industry, the blockchain industry ecology is basically perfect. Blockchain effectively supports the strategy of making China a manufacturing power, making China a cyber power and making China a digital China, and plays an important role in promoting the modernization of China's governance system and capacity.

By 2030, the comprehensive strength of the blockchain industry will continue to improve and the industrial scale will further expand. Blockchain is deeply integrated with the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence and other new generation of information technologies, realizing universal application in various fields, fostering a number of world-leading enterprises and industrial clusters, and improving the industrial ecosystem. Blockchain has become an important support for building a manufacturing and network power, developing the digital economy, and modernizing the country's governance system and capacity.

(三)发展目标

到2025年,区块链产业综合实力达到世界先进水平,产业初具规模。区块链应用渗透到经济社会多个领域,在产品溯源、数据流通、供应链管理等领域培育一批知名产品,形成场景化示范应用。培育3~5家具有国际竞争力的骨干企业和一批创新引领型企业,打造3~5个区块链产业发展集聚区。区块链标准体系初步建立。形成支撑产业发展的专业人才队伍,区块链产业生态基本完善。区块链有效支撑制造强国、网络强国、数字中国战略,为推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化发挥重要作用。

到2030年,区块链产业综合实力持续提升,产业规模进一步壮大。区块链与互联网、大数据、人工智能等新一代信息技术深度融合,在各领域实现普遍应用,培育形成若干具有国际领先水平的企业和产业集群,产业生态体系趋于完善。区块链成为建设制造强国和网络强国,发展数字经济,实现国家治理体系和治理能力现代化的重要支撑。


7. Socialism, China have not failed each other

Socialism, China have not failed each other: commentaries - People's Daily

The People's Daily published two commentaries by-lined by Xuanyan on its front pages on Monday and Tuesday. The two commentaries, entitled Socialism has not failed China and China has not failed Socialism, outlined the inherent mission of Communist Party of China (CPC) to lift China from adversity to prosperity from a perspective of both history and reality...

Under the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese people are enjoying unprecedented democracy, freedom and human rights, and they are also benefiting from a sense of gain, happiness and security. Forged in the long history after several trials, China's modern state system and governance mechanism should be upheld as a major contribution to the human institutional and political civilizations.

China is now declaring to the rest of the world with irrefutable facts that history is not ended and won't end. Socialism shall embrace a promising future in the course of history since it has been proven full of vitality. China is on the right track as it stays on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and this path is bound to lead the country to an even brighter future.

The second "Xuanyan" commentary - China has not failed Socialism -中国没有辜负社会主义--党建-中国共产党新闻网

Crisis is the touchstone of institutions. In the face of the worst COVID - 19 outbreak, the Party leads the people to prevent the spread of epidemic chain at all costs, save life at all costs, in only three months or so won the decisive battle in Wuhan and Hubei, and with the fastest speed developed safe and effective vaccines, and ensured economic development and social stability while under great pressure, It has also provided strong support to countries around the world in their fight against the epidemic. Behind the Chinese speed and Chinese miracle are the socialist values of putting the people and life first, the institutional superiority of working together in times of difficulty and pooling resources to accomplish major tasks, and the internationalist spirit of caring for the safety and well-being of the people of the world.

危机是制度的试金石。面对百年不遇的新冠肺炎疫情,党领导人民不惜一切代价阻断疫情传播链条,不惜一切代价抢救生命,仅用3个月左右的时间取得了武汉保卫战、湖北保卫战的决定性成果,以最快速度研制出安全有效的疫苗,在压力巨大的情况下确保了经济发展、社会稳定,并为世界各国抗击疫情提供了有力支持。中国速度、中国奇迹的背后,是人民至上、生命至上的社会主义价值理念,是同舟共济、集中力量办大事的制度优越性,是心系世界人民安危福祉的国际主义精神!

Concludes with:

The socialist culture with Chinese characteristics has become the spiritual pillar for China to stand tall among the nations of the world in the new era, and the cultural treasure that the Chinese nation has contributed to mankind.

For five hundred years, on the road of mankind's pursuit of socialism, there are flowers and thorns. Over the past 100 years, the pursuit of socialism by the Chinese people has been full of glory and dreams, as well as struggles and sacrifices. The great Communist Party of China and the heroic Chinese people have never given up or wavered. History has proved eloquently that China has not failed socialism!

Looking ahead, China will surely make greater contribution to the progress of human civilization and the development of world socialism, and let this just and promising cause shine even more brightly.

中国特色社会主义文化,成为新时代中国屹立于世界民族之林的精神支柱,成为中华民族为人类贡献的文明瑰宝!

五百年来,人类追求社会主义的路途上,有鲜花芬芳,也有荆棘密布。一百年来,中国人追求社会主义的历程中,闪耀着光荣和梦想,也充满着奋斗和牺牲,伟大的中国共产党和英雄的中国人民从未退却、从未动摇。历史雄辩地证明:中国没有辜负社会主义!

面向未来,中国必将为人类文明进步、为世界社会主义发展作出更大贡献,让这个正义而充满前途的事业迸发出更加夺目的光芒!

Marxist System & Chinese Exceptionalism - Wang wants ASEAN to Push 'Asian Values' - 'Political Microbes' & Self-Revolution - Tracking People's Daily

The third section tells us a bit about what the Party is proud to put out as its achievements. “China's institutional exploration and practice on the road of socialism have achieved the ‘two miracles’ of rapid economic development and long-term social stability,” the author argues. And then we learn more about the approach today.

“In a new era, we are focussing on adhering to and improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, promoting the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, strengthening top-level design and strategic arrangements on the basis of practical exploration, and the ‘construction plan’ of the Party and state system construction is magnificently unfolding.” 进入新时代,我们聚焦坚持和完善中国特色社会主义制度、推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化,在实践探索的基础上加强顶层设计和战略安排,党和国家制度建设“施工图”恢弘展开.

The author then says that the success in controlling the pandemic is an example of the system’s success.

“Under the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese people enjoy unprecedented democracy, freedom and human rights, and feel an unprecedented sense of gain, happiness and security. The Chinese system and governance system are great achievements made by the Party and the people through untold hardships and at great cost, and stand as a monument in the history of human institutional civilization and political civilization.” 在中国特色社会主义制度下,中国人民享受着前所未有的民主、自由和人权,感受着前所未有的获得感、幸福感、安全感. 中国制度和治理体系是党和人民历尽千辛万苦、付出巨大代价取得的伟大成就,矗立起人类制度文明和政治文明发展史上的一座丰碑!


8. Gaokao

Testing for Devotion – China Media Project

The subject of National Paper A (全国甲卷) in yesterday’s exam was given as follows:

The Chinese Communist Party has gone through a century of history. The revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture nurtured in the great struggle carried out by the Party in uniting and leading the people has been deeply integrated into our bloodline and soul. We have celebrated holidays such as “May Fourth,” “July First,” “August First” and “October 1,” and we have sung songs such as “March of the Volunteers” (义勇军进行曲), and “Without the CCP There Would Be No New China” (没有共产党就没有新中国). We have read works such as “Serve the People” (为人民服务), “Qin Yuan Chun – Snow” (《沁园春·雪), “Lotus Creek” (荷花淀) and “Red Crag” (红岩). We have admired revolutionary martyrs such as Li Dazhao (李大钊), Xia Minghan, Fang Zhimin and Yang Jingyu. We study role models such as Lei Feng (雷锋), Jiao Yulu (焦裕禄), Qian Xuesen (钱学森), Huang Danian (黄大年) and others. All of them provide us with spiritual nourishment and inspiration. There is sunshine in our hearts, and there is power beneath our feet. Our future will merge with the new journey toward the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we are in the midst of an era of great promise . . . .

Assignment: Please compose an essay on the theme of “great possibilities and seizing opportunity” (可为与有为) on the basis of the material.

Patriotic Education | Center for Strategic and International Studies

In this episode of Pekingology, Freeman Chair in China Studies Jude Blanchette is joined by Karrie J. Koesel, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, to discuss her research on Beijing's campaign to instill regime loyalty amongst the Chinese population.



Business, Economy and Trade

Caixin - 东方资产原副总裁胡小钢被查 涉嫌严重违纪违法_金融频道_财新网 Hu Xiaogang, former deputy GM of China Orient Asset Management, is under investigation. // "Hu Xiaogang, 58 years old, has been the president of Great Wall Asset Management since November 2018, after working at China Orient Asset Management for nearly 20 years. When the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced its case, the title only said that he was the former Party Committee member and vice president of Orient Assets, indicating that his serious violations of law and discipline did occur during his tenure at China Orient Asset Management.

Sichuan Trust Boss Detained Amid Probe Into Missing Billions - Caixin A Chinese businessman with family links to the eldest son of jailed former security czar Zhou Yongkang, has been detained by police investigating the collapse of Sichuan Trust Co. Ltd., which was taken over by the provincial government and banking regulator last year amid concerns it couldn’t repay 25.3 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) of investors’ money...He is the cousin of Sichuan tycoon Liu Han, who was executed in 2015 after being convicted of a host of gang-related crimes including murder. Liu Han was a business partner of Zhou Bin, the eldest son of Zhou Yongkang who was jailed for life in 2015 for taking bribes, abusing his power and leaking state secrets.

国务院:鼓励有条件的地区探索开展“育儿假”试点 China is mulling introducing maternity leave as it steps up family support amid declining birth rate. The State Council, at a press conference this week, signaled its support for childcare, saying it would “encourage regions that have the right conditions to pilot maternity leave.” The goal, in the words of China’s cabinet, is to “enhance the ability for families to scientifically raise children.” The family support also covers adoption as well as easier access to rental units for families with minors.

China property: tax authorities’ enhanced oversight of land-sale revenue seen as ‘mixed bag’, and runaway prices may drop | South China Morning Post The revamped collection method, which will allow central authorities to better trace the flow of funds, will be rolled out in a pilot programme from July 1 in seven regions, including Shanghai, Inner Mongolia, Zhejiang, Hebei and Yunnan. And it will be extended nationwide from next year. The arrangement will force property developers to make land-purchase payments directly to tax bureaus instead of land agencies, thus making it harder for local authorities to play with the funds, such as by using them to shore up indebted local government financing vehicles (LGFVs).

土地出让收入划转改革用意深 _中国经济网——国家经济门户 Economic Daily - "The reform of transfer of land sales income has deep meaning"

Companies face logistics slowdowns, delayed shipments as COVID-19 cases weigh on Guangdong factories - Global Times The recent COVID-19 cases detected in South China's Guangdong Province are putting pressure on local manufacturing industry as shipments of raw materials are delayed, and logistics companies and ports are facing longer waiting times and obstacles to deliveries.

Virus-hit Guangzhou suspends entertainment venues, dine-in meals and markets in key areas amid rising infections - Global Times South China's Guangzhou on Tuesday suspended cinemas, theatres, KTVs, internet cafes and other entertainment venues amid rising infections with 10 new locally transmitted cases and four confirmed cases turning from asymptomatic cases on Monday.

Reima cuts ties to Chinese company after Yle probe of possible links to forced labour | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi A Finnish clothing firm is halting its partnership with a Chinese subcontractor discussed in an Yle investigative report on possible links to forced labour.

EXCLUSIVE China tells PetroChina to stop trading off oil quotas with teapots | Reuters Chinese authorities have ordered a unit of state-run PetroChina to stop trading off crude oil import quotas with local refineries as part of a crackdown on excessive fuel production, a move that could cut the country's crude imports by 3%, sources said.

China approves new IPR protection center - Xinhua China has approved the establishment of an intellectual property rights (IPR) protection center in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) said on Tuesday. The first of its kind in the north China region, the center will provide more efficient IPR protection services for enterprises in biology and new materials sectors.

Caixin Exclusive: Tencent Venture Wins License to Offer Reinsurance in Hong Kong A joint venture controlled by internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has won a license to offer reinsurance services in the financial hub of Hong Kong, marking a new move into the financial services realm outside its Chinese home market, a knowledgeable source told Caixin.

Some Apple Suppliers in China Tell Ethnic Minorities: Don’t Bother Applying For Jobs — The Information $$ The Information found more than 100 online ads for production line jobs containing discriminatory language across more than 30 companies in Apple’s supply chain, including ads that discouraged applications from those over 40 or people with tattoos...The ads explicitly say members of marginalized Chinese minority groups can’t apply, even though such discrimination is illegal under Chinese law and a violation of Apple’s rules for its suppliers. “Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hui, Yi, Dongxiang from Tibet or Xinjiang regions aren’t accepted,” read one April job ad from Biel Crystal, a company that makes iPhone cover glass.

Xinjiang: Chairs Issue Statement about Forced Labor in Apple’s Supply Chain | Congressional-Executive Commission on China Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA), the Chair and Cochair, respectively, of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China, in a statement today urged Apple CEO Tim Cook to transparently engage with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure that Apple’s supply chains are free of forced labor and to divest from Chinese suppliers who take part in the Chinese government’s “labor transfer” programs, particularly from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Apple has stated that they found no evidence of forced labor anywhere they operate.

March Exclusive: How US forces ‘Xinjiang forced labor’ narrative on enterprises, industry agencies - Global Times the BCI head office seemed less than "satisfied" with the results. The head office also invited Verité, an organization that "provides businesses with tools that help to eliminate labor abuses," to investigate cases in Xinjiang.   The Global Times has learned from sources that members of Verité who were responsible for the "investigation" never went to Xinjiang to carry out any surveys. Instead, they obtained all their information by searching online and citing information from the US Congress, anti-China forces, including the World Uyghur Congress, and biased US-based organization Human Rights Watch. The Verité report called this "flawless data," thus reaching "flawless" conclusions. // Comment: Verite is in a tough spot

Tesla China EV Deliveries Surge 29% in May After Production Suspended - Bloomberg Tesla Inc.’s China shipments rebounded in May from April -- when production was temporarily suspended for maintenance -- though analysts are watching to see if a run of bad publicity will translate into reduced demand in the months ahead. The electric-car pioneer reported wholesales of 33,463 locally made vehicles last month, compared with 25,845 in April, China’s Passenger Car Association data showed Tuesday.

Yicai - Beijing, Shanghai Auto Dealers Face Supply Shortages as Global Chip Scarcity Worsens Over the past week, Yicai Global visited the 4S stores of more than 20 brands in Beijing and Shanghai and found that almost all dealers are facing vehicle shortages, and dealers generally are under greater pressure.

China Bond-Selloff Fears Grow as Liquidity Begins to Tighten - Bloomberg China’s sovereign bonds have defied expectations for a selloff all year but their day of reckoning may be getting closer. The amount of cash in the banking system has been shrinking, while local government debt sales are set to double this week, hoovering up more funds. As a result, the overnight interbank interest rate rose to the highest level since February on Monday.

银保监会:各银行保险机构要重点加强股权管理等领域的内控合规建设_中证网 China still faces a daunting task of managing risks in its financial sector, underscoring a need to beef up “internal controls” in the banking and insurance sectors, the country’s securities watchdog said this week. Among the areas to be placed under intense scrutiny: equity management, loan businesses, shadow banking, and platform economies.重点加强股权管理、授信业务、影子银行和交叉金融、互联网业务等领域的内控合规建设

央行:稳健的货币政策要灵活精准、合理适度_中证网 The “prudent monetary policy” will be more flexible and precise, China’s central bank said this week, as it promised to deploy its toolkit to support the real economy. It said it would seek to further push down “ real interest rates.” 继续释放改革促进降低贷款利率的潜力,优化存款利率监管,推动实际贷款利率进一步降低。

贷款违规入楼市,北京4家银行10名工作人员被罚 Beijing’s banking regulator has published the names of ten bank employees for facilitating illegal home loans. They face a wide range of punishments from fines to disciplinary action.

《上海市综合交通发展“十四五”规划》出炉 未来60分钟可达毗邻城市-中新网 The municipal government in Shanghai is looking to upgrade its transportation networks during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, with the goal of reducing commuting times. One focus is railway links to adjacent regions. Once the upgrade is finished, passengers will be able to reach nearby cities within 60 mins and major metropolises along the Yangtze River Delta within 120 mins.

Tencent Applies for New Fintech Trademark for Consumer Finance Platform Similar to Ant Group's Huabei - China Banking News Tencent recently applied to register the “Fen Fu” (分付) trademark, which is a homonym for the Chinese term for commanding or instructing, and can also mean “share payment.”

China Tells Banks to Stress Test Their Evergrande Exposure - Bloomberg Authorities led by the Financial Stability and Development Committee, China’s top financial regulator, recently told lenders including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. to assess the potential hit to their capital and liquidity should Evergrande run into trouble, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter. It’s unclear whether the results will lead to any official action. While it’s not the first time regulators have required banks to report their Evergrande exposure, the directive suggests concerns about the company’s financial health have become serious enough to once again reach the upper levels of China’s government.

European Companies in China Navigate COVID-19, More Perilous Waters Lie Ahead as China’s reform agenda continues to lag, and external risks surge, it is imperative that reform efforts accelerate and long-standing regulatory challenges are resolved to offset emerging ones:

  • Market access barriers are reported by 45% of members, a marginal increase from the 44% that felt the same in 2020.

  • Unequal treatment persists for 47% of respondents.

  • SOE reform appears to have stalled, with only 15% of respondents expecting the private sector to gain opportunities at the expense of the state-owned sector, and 48% expecting the opposite.

  • Compelled technology transfers persisted for 16% of respondents, the same as 2020 despite the Foreign Investment Law coming into force.

  • A third of respondents have been negatively impacted by the new regulatory requirements related to “critical information infrastructure” and “autonomous and controllable technology”.

European Companies to Invest More in China After Pandemic - Bloomberg Nearly 60% of European companies plan to expand their China operations in 2021, up from 51% last year, according to an annual survey by the European Chamber of Commerce released Tuesday. About half of the 585 respondents reported profit margins in China higher than their global average, a jump from the 38% recorded a year earlier. “The resilience of China’s market provided much-needed shelter for European companies amidst the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the survey report


Politics and Law

习近平在海北州刚察县考察调研-新华网 General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Gangchak County, Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, Monday afternoon to listen to the Qilian Mountain and Qinghai Lake ecological and environmental protection in the Faiyinwan, and to see the progress of comprehensive environmental management and biodiversity conservation work in Qinghai Lake. Later, Xi Jinping visited the Tibetan people in Guoluo Zanggong Village, Shaliuhe Town, and visited their homes to learn about their production and living conditions.// 8日下午,习近平总书记来到青海省海北藏族自治州刚察县,在青海湖仙女湾听取祁连山和青海湖生态环境保护等情况介绍,并实地察看青海湖环境综合治理、生物多样性保护工作成效。随后,习近平来到沙柳河镇果洛藏贡麻村,看望慰问藏族群众,走进藏族群众家中了解生产生活情况。

Where did Xi go for his first leg in Northwest China's Qinghai? - People's Daily App He first visited Shengyuan Carpet Group, a carpet manufacturing company based in Xining...Xi pays particular attention to the development of industries in ethnic regions. When he took part in a deliberation with lawmakers from Qinghai Province in 2016, he noted that efforts needed to cultivate advantageous industries in ethnic areas, orderly develop advantageous resources with characteristics in ethnic areas, and enhance the capacity for self-development and sustainable development in ethnic areas.

Plan to Force College Mergers Sparks Campus Protests in China — Radio Free Asia Chinese police said on Tuesday they had dispersed a protest of thousands of angry students at the privately owned Zhongbei College, which has until now been affiliated with Nanjing Normal University. The students poured out onto the campus in the eastern province of Jiangsu on Sunday, detaining the college principal and trying to prevent police from getting close to him, the Danyang municipal police department said in a statement.

Fudan University Party Secretary's Murder Rocks Chinese Academia — Radio Free Asia Fudan's School of Mathematical Sciences confirmed on Tuesday the death of Wang Yongzhen, who was party secretary for the School, official media reported. Shanghai police said they had arrested a lecturer surnamed Jiang for allegedly stabbing a colleague, surnamed Wang, who died at the scene...A science professor who gave only the surname Luo blamed a recruitment policy among top Chinese universities, which try to attract overseas academics with jobs back home in China, but then fire them if they don't attract enough research funding.

In crackdown on fraud from Myanmar, China authorities target suspects' families | Reuters Chinese authorities are trying to lure back fugitive fraudsters operating across the border in Myanmar by threatening to cut off pensions and other benefits for family members, according to social media postings by public security bodies.

血与火:新中国是这样炼成的|第1集《开天辟地》 凤凰网资讯 凤凰网 - YouTube Anime short video series - "Blood and fire: this is how the new China was forged". 8 episodes so far, all on Youtube, here is the first one:

景俊海会见参加庆祝中国共产党成立100周年“传承红色基因、赓续红色血脉”思想铸魂高端论坛主要嘉宾 Li Jintian 李景田 visits Jilin - Inherit the revolutionary spirit and forge ahead: Jing Junhai met with major guests at the "Ideology and Spirit Forging" High-end Forum to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) "Inheriting Red Genes, Continuing Red Bloodlines"..."Li Jingtian, Chai Fangguo and other guests agreed to carry out in-depth discussion and systematic review of Jilin Party history resources to form more valuable achievements, give full play to the role of casting souls, guiding government, educating people and gathering strength through history, and contributing wisdom and strength to promote Jilin's all-round revitalization….Li Zhongjie, former deputy director of the Research Office of Party History of the CPC Central Committee and vice president of the Society of Party History of the CPC Central Committee, Feng Jun, former deputy director of the Research Office of Party History of the CPC Central Committee and former member of the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, provincial leaders Hu Jiafu and Zhang Eun attended the meeting."


Foreign and Defense Affairs

China-ASEAN ties ‘most successful and dynamic’ in Asia-Pacific; FMs agree to resume S. China Sea code of conduct talks - Global Times China and the ASEAN countries also held a senior officials' meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in Chongqing, agreeing to resume as soon as possible the second reading of the Single Draft Code of Conduct in the South China Sea Negotiating Text and working for the early conclusion of negotiations. When meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Wang said China has never attached any political conditions to aiding the Philippines, nor does it have any so-called "trap."

China pledges further COVID-19 aid to Southeast Asia - AP Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his counterparts from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations that China had already delivered 100 million vaccine doses to ASEAN nations along with other pandemic-fighting materials and technical help. Wang likened the challenge to earlier economic crises, the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, saying all were faced with “practical action arising from feelings of brotherly concern and the care of watchful neighbors.”

Wang Yi hails China's 'unbreakable ties' with Cambodia - CGTN Wang made the remarks when meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who is now in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality for a Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Dialogue Relations...Meanwhile, the Cambodian official first congratulated China on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and its achieving victory in the battle against poverty on schedule. That shows that the path China's taking is absolutely correct, he said.

Interview: CPC brings about China's development, plays greater role in int'l arenas, says Cambodian party official - Xinhua | The Communist Party of China (CPC) has brought about China's enormous development and played a greater role in international arenas, said Khuon Sodary, second vice-president of the Cambodian National Assembly and a member of the standing committee of the Cambodian People's Party. In a recent interview ahead of the CPC's centenary on July 1, Sodary said under the CPC's leadership, China has achieved great successes in such areas as economy, diplomacy, social security, science, technology and innovation.

Nepal resumes vaccination campaign with doses given by China - AP Nepal resumed its stalled coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday with 1 million doses given by China after the Himalayan nation made international pleas for help with a shortage of doses.

China-EU investment deal ‘huge step in the right direction’, European Council president Charles Michel says - AFP Charles Michel, president of the European Council, defended Brussels’ troubled effort to negotiate a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with Beijing Michel will meet US President Joe Biden at this weekend’s G7 summit in Cornwall, before hosting him in Brussels next week for EU-US talks

Coronavirus investigator highlights flaws in Wuhan virus laboratory-leak theory - Sydney Morning Herald Professor Dominic Dwyer, director of public health pathology in NSW, was among 17 international experts who travelled to Wuhan in January as part of a World Health Organisation study team investigating the source of the pandemic...“The laboratory leak, for that to be the origin ... meant they must have had the virus to begin with, and we don’t have evidence of that.

PLA conducts amphibious landing drills after latest US provocation on Taiwan question - Global Times To enhance the combat performance of combined arms battalions at sea and the amphibious capabilities of army troops, a combined arms brigade under the PLA 72nd Group Army recently conducted an exercise in the waters off South China's Fujian Province, where it practiced the loading and unloading of equipment and supplies to landing ships and steering of amphibious vehicles at sea, the PLA Eastern Theater Command announced in a statement on Monday. // Video:

Opening Remarks by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken Before the Senate Committee on Appropriations - United States Department of State It includes a budget request of 3.6 billion to pay our assessed contributions in full to international organizations, initiatives, peacekeeping efforts, including to restore our annual contributions to the World Health Organization.

As China and others work hard to bend international organizations to their worldview, we have to ensure that these organizations instead remain grounded in the values, principles, and rules of the road that have made our shared progress possible for so many decades.

Telephone conversation between Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov of the Russian Federation On 7 June, Liu Xiaoming, the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs, had a telephone conversation with Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov of the Russian Federation to exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Recognizing the cooperation on the Peninsula issue as a major component of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, Liu reaffirmed China's willingness to enhance communication and coordination with Russia in a joint effort to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula, and play constructive roles in promoting the political settlement of the Peninsula issue. Morgulov stressed that the two countries' positions are highly consistent, and the cooperation on the Peninsula issue has been fruitful. He also expressed the readiness of his country to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China through bilateral and multilateral channels to move the Peninsula situation to a more positive direction.

Chinese defense minister talks to Singaporean counterpart via video link - Ministry of National Defense Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen congratulated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and appreciated China's achievements in epidemic prevention and control, economic recovery, poverty reduction and alleviation, as well as its exemplary role for the world. "The Singaporean side is willing to strengthen practical cooperation with China in various fields including defense and security, and deepen the further development of relations between the two countries and two militaries," he said. The two sides also exchanged views on the international and regional situations and issues of common concern

The problem with China's nuclear plan in Essex | The New European Under a deal struck in 2015, at the height of David Cameron’s so-called ‘golden era’ of relations, China’s state-owned nuclear group CGN would be allowed to build its own nuclear power station at Bradwell in exchange for financially backing two French-led projects. This, in spite of CGN being accused by the US government of stealing US technology for military use and placed on the US ‘entity list’, which effectively bans US companies from doing business with it. Washington has warned against partnering with the company.

So-called "Uyghur Tribunal" an anti-China farce: FM spokesperson - Xinhua Spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a daily news briefing that the so-called "tribunal" is an orchestrated show rather than truth; predetermined conclusions rather than factual arguments; travesty of law rather than efforts to uphold justice.

Zhao said that the largest contributor to its fund is the anti-China organization "World Uyghur Congress" that has been instigating separatist thoughts.

Its "Chair" Geoffrey Nice is notorious around the world for filing frivolous lawsuits about human rights, and has close ties with anti-China forces, Zhao said.

The so-called "experts" include the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Adrian Zenz, who have long been weaving rumors to smear China, Zhao said, adding that the so-called "witnesses" are just "actors" who fabricate all sorts of "persecution" stories that never happened.

Strong China-UK ties are sought by new ambassador - China Daily Closer exchanges and cooperation between China and the United Kingdom will serve the interests of both sides, and contribute to world peace, stability and prosperity, Zheng Zeguang, China's new ambassador to Britain, said on Monday...Sino-UK relations have faced serious challenges recently in the wake of some British politicians politicizing and blocking economic and investment activities by some Chinese enterprises. Some politicians in the UK have also made unfounded accusations about China, including incorrect allegations about the situation in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.


Hong Kong

External forces have penetrated HK universities: CE - RTHK Lam said that based on the events of 2019, there should be no doubt in people's minds that "there are external forces quite active in Hong Kong for their ulterior motive". "Either they want to undermine the Chinese government, or they have ideological prejudices against China. So these external forces are at work, and how are they acting, penetrating into various institutions in Hong Kong including the universities is something that everyone in position should be very sensitive to," she said.


Taiwan

Coronavirus: Taiwan to roll out vaccines for hi-tech workers to protect chip industry | South China Morning Post Some 293,000 workers at three major science parks in Taiwan will be vaccinated to cut the risk of fallout from a Covid-19 outbreak on the island’s multibillion-dollar tech industry. The decision came as the island’s Central Epidemic Command Centre reported 219 infections and 22 deaths on Tuesday, taking Taiwan’s total since the pandemic began to 11,694 cases and 308 deaths.

U.S., Taiwan to Launch Trade Talks - WSJ $$ Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a House committee on Monday about the plans for trade talks. “We are engaged in conversations with Taiwan, or soon will be—on some kind of framework agreement,” Mr. Blinken said in response to a question from Rep. Andy Barr (R., Ky.) during the virtual hearing. Mr. Blinken declined to elaborate and referred questions about details to Katherine Tai, the U.S. trade representative, who wasn’t at the hearing.


Tech and Media

Apple’s new ‘private relay’ feature to be withheld in China | Reuters Apple’s new privacy feature designed to obscure a user’s web browsing from internet service providers and advertisers will not be available in China, Saudi Arabia or Belarus, the company has said.

Alibaba-Xinhua venture makes the news for video-hungry Chinese - Nikkei Asia Based in the historic eastern city of Hangzhou, four-year-old Xinhua Zhiyun Technologies has developed a solution for the country's news providers: an automated system powered by artificial intelligence to generate video news clips and known as Media Brain. Xinhua Zhiyun is hardly a struggling startup. The company's ultimate controlling shareholder is none other than state media group Xinhua News Agency. Just behind it on Xinhua Zhiyun's share register, with just over one-third ownership, is Alibaba Group Holding, which also has its headquarters in Hangzhou..."Presenting news through disruptive artificial intelligence technology is our competitive edge," Ye Jian, Xinhua Zhiyun's director of branding and communication told Nikkei Asia in a recent interview.

Alison Tudor-Ackroyd Joins Alibaba’s Newsroom Alizila as Managing Editor | Alizila Alison Tudor-Ackroyd has joined China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, as Managing Editor of its corporate newsroom Alizila. Alizila writes about Alibaba, the digital economy and China-specific insights for a global audience of businesses, investors and policymakers seeking information on the world’s second-largest economy. Alison is an award-winning multimedia editor with over two decades of experience in journalism at publications including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and most recently, the South China Morning Post.

Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Grew 26% in First Quarter of 2021 Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo were 3,4,5

Trailing Rivals, Tencent Short-Video App Pivots to Movies and TV - Caixin Tencent Holdings Ltd. said it will reposition its Weishi app to focus on film and TV content, as the short-video platform struggles to win users in an increasingly saturated domestic market dominated by Douyin and Kuaishou.


Energy, Environment, Science and Health

China tests new parachute system for rocket boosters - Xinhua The system was tested on June 3 when the meteorological satellite Fengyun-4B was sent into a geostationary orbit via a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. Developed by an institute under the corporation, a 300-square-meter parachute helped the rocket boosters to land in a predetermined location, narrowing the range of the landing area by 70 percent


Education

Cornell approves Peking University partnership over faculty, student protests Cornell University is moving ahead with plans for a dual degree program with a Chinese university despite vocal opposition from the Faculty Senate and the Student Assembly.


Rural and Agricultural Issues

Grain price rise unlikely to impact on Chinese market supply - Global Times As global food prices surge, Russia is reportedly considering tighter export controls on major food products. However, an expert said that this is unlikely to affect China too much, as the country has reached basic self-sufficiency in staple food.