Li Peng dies; US "black hands" in Hong Kong; UAE crown prince in China; Is Guo Wengui a PRC spy?

Li Peng died in Beijing at the age of 91 at 11:11 p.m. Monday according (Xinhua). Li was Premier during the 1989 protests and is widely disliked as the face of the crackdown. His two main legacies are June 4 and the Three Gorges Dam.

I don't think his death will have any political impact. Jiang Zemin or Zeng Qinghong may be the only remaining Party elders whose passing has the potential for interesting political impacts. In Beijing at least do not be surprised if some people try to let of fireworks tonight. Li was widely hated for his role in the 1989 crackdown.

So far nothing concrete has come out of the Monday White House meeting about Huawei with tech execs, but it sure looks like President Trump is very eager to trade technology for soybeans.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Li Peng has died

中共中央 全国人大常委会 国务院 全国政协讣告 李鹏同志逝世--时政--人民网

The official announcement of Li Peng's death. Here is the bit about 1989:

”In the political turmoil at the turn of the spring and summer of 1989, with the firm support of the older generation of proletarian revolutionaries represented by Comrade Deng Xiaoping, Comrade Li Peng took a clear-cut stand and, together with most comrades of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, took decisive measures to stop the turmoil, quell the counter-revolutionary riots, stabilized the domestic situation and played an important role in this major struggle concerning the future and destiny of the Party and the country.”

1989年春夏之交的政治风波中,在以邓小平同志为代表的老一辈无产阶级革命家坚决支持下,李鹏同志旗帜鲜明,和中央政治局大多数同志一道,采取果断措施制止动乱,平息反革命暴乱,稳定了国内局势,在这场关系党和国家前途命运的重大斗争中发挥了重要作用。

中共中央 全国人大常委会 国务院 全国政协讣告 李鹏同志逝世_CCTV

Tuesday CCTV Evening News announcement of his death. 10 minutes to read his official obituary, the 4th item on the boradcast

Li Peng, Chinese Leader Derided for Role in Tiananmen Crackdown, Dies at 90 - The New York Times

the official tribute to Mr. Li — at a time when fervent protests against Beijing’s rule are underway in Hong Kong, the semiautonomous Chinese territory — indicated that China’s official position on 1989 remained unchanged.

“Comrade Li Peng took a firm position and together with the majority of comrades in the Politburo adopted resolute measures to halt the turmoil and quell the counterrevolutionary rebellion,” Xinhua said.

It said his actions had “played an important role in a great struggle concerning the fate of the party and the country.

Li Peng, former Chinese premier, 1928-2019 | Financial Times $$

In memoirs penned some time after his term ended in 1998 — and only published online — he portrayed himself as simply carrying out the will of the elderly Deng Xiaoping, China’s most powerful leader at the time and the man credited with the nation’s spectacular economic reforms. 

“Li Peng became Deng Xiaoping’s scapegoat,” said Bao Pu, publisher of Hong Kong-based New Century Press and son of the most senior official jailed after the protests. “I do not really know, personally, morally, how much he was a bad person, but I do know he was playing a role on behalf of the system and ultimately, the decision was Deng Xiaoping’s.”

Former Chinese premier Li Peng dies aged 90 | South China Morning Post

Li trained as an electrical engineer and was a major advocate of the controversial Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project. The project has been criticised for forced mass evictions of residents along the Yangtze River, as well as environmental risks. 

Li is survived by two sons and a daughter. His eldest son, Li Xiaopeng, is China’s minister of transport and his daughter, Li Xiaolin, was vice-president of China Datang Corporation, one of the country’s biggest power companies, until she retired in 2018. [Bill: This sentence is missing a "was" before retired]


2. Hong Kong

China tells U.S. to remove 'black hands' from Hong Kong - Reuters

“We can see that U.S. officials are even behind such incidents,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

She was referring to violence related to weeks of protests spearheaded by pro-democracy activists against a bill that would allow people to be extradited from the city to stand trial in courts in mainland China.

“So can the officials tell the world what role did they play and what are their aims?” Hua asked.

Mainland Chinese sentiment on protests ‘may spur tougher line on Hong Kong’ following violence in wake of extradition bill controversy | South China Morning Post

News of Sunday night’s brutal attacks on protesters and journalists in suburban Hong Kong has been censored on the mainland, but vandalism at Beijing’s liaison office received blanket coverage.

As a result, while Hongkongers focused on an armed mob attacking civilians in Yuen Long, there was uproar on the mainland over protesters laying siege to the central government’s liaison office, where the national emblem was defaced and anti-Chinese obscenities spray-painted on the building.

Many on the mainland were angered by the protesters’ actions, questioning whether they had lost their purpose.

Comment: Which is the goal of the propaganda efforts..

Trump Says China’s Xi ‘Acted Responsibly’ in Hong Kong Protests - Bloomberg

“I think President Xi of China has acted responsibly, very responsibly -- they’ve been out there protesting for a long time,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House. “I hope that President Xi will do the right thing,” he said, adding that China could stop the protests “if they wanted.”

German politicians blasted on China visit over Hong Kong unrest | South China Morning Post

A senior Chinese official has accused Germany of inciting the storming of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, according to German magazine Der Spiegel.
The magazine reported that a delegation of parliamentarians from Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) was given a frosty reception by Guo Yezhou, vice-minister of the international department of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, during a meeting last week in Beijing.

胡锡进:香港乱了,有人希望北京出手,这可行吗?

Hu Xijin wrote on his WeChat account that Beijing must not use PLA in Hong Kong for, and the best it could do at the moment is to support the HK government.

是谁偷走了我们熟悉的香港?-中国长安网

"Who stole the Hong Kong we know?" - Central Politics and Law Commission Wechat account

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho calls for protest ban, blames democrats for violence, storms off TV show | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Pro-Beijing firebrand Junius Ho has called for a temporary ban on protests in Hong Kong, claiming that his pro-democracy rivals were behind the latest violent incidents that rocked the city over the weekend.

Ho made his comments on an RTHK televised forum on Tuesday, before calling democrat Eddie Chu “scum” and storming off the set.

Former U.S. Envoy Says America Should Defend Hong Kong - Bloomberg - Kurt Tong

Most important, U.S. leaders should always remember that the city isn’t a card to be played against Beijing -- neither a means of highlighting flaws in the mainland’s governance when it suits us, nor a token to be exchanged for concessions in trade talks. Rather, Hong Kong is a vision of what we should want China, and indeed much of the rest of Asia, to look like. We should seek ways to bolster its strengths.


3. US-China

China's bid for Asian domination: The view from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command - Yahoo News

In his expansive office on a hillside high above Pearl Harbor, Adm. Philip Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spends much of his time contemplating the increasing assertiveness of another rising power in Asia. His office displays a large, scale model of Fiery Cross Reef, one of seven artificial islands built on shallow reefs that China has constructed in international waters in the South China Sea. At the time of their construction in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly promised not to militarize the manmade islands. As the model in Adm. Davidson’s office makes clear, however, Fiery Cross bristles with military facilities, which now include an airstrip, a protective harbor large enough to accommodate an aircraft carrier and anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles...

“You can also see that divergence of values in how China is treating Muslim Uighurs in western China (by interning them in “reeducation” camps), and in the recent democracy protests by the people of Hong Kong,” said Davidson. “All of that evidence suggests that China is looking to supplant the rules-based international order with one with Chinese characteristics that favors authoritarianism, which has a very chilling effect on the rest of the world. So that does represent a fundamental divergence in our vision of a free and open international order.”..

“I’m trying to understand if China is letting down the mask based out of confidence, or hubris, because certainly the Chinese defense minister’s speech at the Shagari-La Dialogue was stunning,” said Davidson. “Basically he said that Asia is not for the Asians, but rather for the Chinese. Everyone who listened to that speech had that same takeaway. So yes, ever since Xi Jinping became president, I think China has become increasingly transparent and open about its ambitions.”

Donald Trump's trade war hurting China more than US, says IMF | The Guardian

The Fund’s country-by-country breakdown upgraded its forecast of US growth this year from 2.3% to 2.6% but downgraded China from 6.3% to 6.2%.

“In China, the negative effects of escalating tariffs and weakening external demand have added pressure to an economy already in the midst of a structural slowdown and needed regulatory strengthening to rein in high dependence on debt.”

China urges US to stop unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies - Global Times

"It is legal and reasonable for the international community including China to develop energy cooperation with Iran within the framework of international law and it must be respected and protected," spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular briefing.

The US is randomly brandishing its sanctions stick and neglecting other parties' legal rights, which means it is breaking international laws and basic rules on international relations, said Hua.

“冷战活化石”注定难阻历史前行-新华网

People's Daily does not like the second open letter that supports Trump's approach to China, per this commentary by Shen Yi of Fudan

一段时间以来,美国一些不识时务的“冷战活化石”频频跳出来,为了一己之私,企图将历史车轮引向战争与冲突的歧途。日前,号称由美国130名所谓对华鹰派人士联署的信件,在名为《政治风险杂志》的网站上首发,明确要求美国当局采取对抗中国的政策。明眼人一看便知,这些人思维还停留在殖民扩张的时代,散发着令人厌恶的陈腐气息。

For a period of time, some "cold war living fossils" in the United States, who are ignorant of the times, have frequently jumped out to try to lead the wheel of history to the wrong path of war and conflict for their own benefit. A few days ago, a letter purporting to be jointly signed by 130 so-called hawks against China in the United States started on a website called "Political Risk Magazine" and explicitly requested the United States authorities to adopt policies against China. A clear-sighted person can see at a glance that these people's thinking is still in the era of colonial expansion, emitting a disgusting stale flavor.

[专家学者驳斥美对华认知错误 呼吁美方理性看待中美关系_CCTV

CCTV Evening News cited Chinese scholars in urging the US government to remain cool-headed, and not adopt the zero-sum mindset and cold war tactics put forward in the second open letter. The Chinese scholars said China’s rise is simply unstoppable, but China will not seek hegemony as it rises. In comments to CCTV Gao Fei, vice president of The China Foreign Affairs University, says America has become a "hooligan state 流氓国家"

The United States To Impose Sanctions on Chinese Firm Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited for Purchasing Oil From Iran - United States Department of State

Today, the United States is taking further action as part of our maximum economic pressure campaign against the Iranian regime by imposing sanctions on the Chinese firm Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited and its chief executive for knowingly purchasing or acquiring oil from Iran, contrary to U.S. sanctions...

the Department of the Treasury is adding Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited and Youmin Li to its List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.

U.S. Punishes Chinese Company Over Iranian Oil - The New York Times

It is the first time the Trump administration has penalized a Chinese company and executive for defying recent United States sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

The Mysterious China State Oil Trader Hit by U.S. Sanctions - Bloomberg

Even so, Zhuhai Zhenrong Co.’s reputation for doing business with Iran is well known. The company was set up in the mid-1990s by a legendary Chinese trader, Yang Qinglong, with support from the Chinese military. The armed forces were still receiving shipments from the Islamic Republic at the time as payment for weapons during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Congress Moves Toward Ban on Buying Chinese Buses, Railcars Over Spy Fears - WSJ $$

Lawmakers will soon start talks behind closed doors to reconcile the two versions of the bill, with Republican and Democratic proponents of the ban optimistic the bus and rail measures will survive. Their intent is to shut China out of the U.S. market, since about a third of capital expenditures by local transit agencies come from the federal government.


4. Huawei

Huawei to get ‘timely’ licensing decisions - POLITICO

The meeting, planned by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, was initially set up without the knowledge of the national security community since its purpose was to show Trump how the U.S. could be flexible toward Huawei, a source familiar with the meeting. Commerce and National Security Council officials were invited only after raising complaints following news of meeting leaking last week, the source said.

Trump Touts Tech Industry Support for Huawei Exemptions - WSJ

“The CEOs expressed strong support of the president’s policies, including national security restrictions on United States telecom equipment purchases and sales to Huawei,” the White House said. “They requested timely licensing decisions from the Department of Commerce, and the president agreed.”

Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said the White House action suggests Mr. Trump sees the company mainly as leverage against Beijing and not a genuine threat.

Government delays decision on whether to restrict Huawei | The Guardian

“The government is not yet in a position to decide what involvement Huawei should have in the provision of the UK’s 5G network,” Wright said. “Since the US government’s announcement, we have sought clarity on the extent and implications, but the position is not yet entirely clear. Until it is, we have concluded it would be wrong to make specific decisions in relation to Huawei.”

Huawei Rewards Staff for Accelerating Revenue Despite a U.S. Ban - Bloomberg

Huawei Technologies Co. quickened revenue growth to roughly 30% in the first half after select teams secured critical supplies to keep production going despite U.S. technology export restrictions, people familiar with the matter said...

Meanwhile, the company is boosting internal morale, granting awards to a number of employees for helping it avert an immediate crisis, they said. The recipients were mainly responsible for hoarding components ahead of the ban, identifying replacements for American parts or negotiating with suppliers to keep up the flow of materials, the people added.

Huawei's U.S. research arm slashes jobs as trade ban bites - Reuters

Futurewei, which has offices in Silicon Valley and the greater Seattle, Chicago and Dallas areas, said it cut more than 600 jobs. The unit, set up in part to work with universities and researchers, recorded $510 million in operating costs last year.

Chinese surveillance giant Hikvision stockpiles crucial parts to guard against potential US ban | South China Morning Post

Hikvision Digital Technology, China’s top surveillance camera provider, has sharply increased its stockpile of components and finished products amid concerns that the US may bar it from doing business with American suppliers like it did with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies.

The Hangzhou-based company reported an over 90 per cent surge in holdings of components and 30 per cent in finished goods over the past six months, saying that such a move was meant to ensure “sustained and stable” production.

Question: So which tech firms earnings may be inflated by demand pulled forward due to the sanctions threats against Hikvision, Huawei and other PRC firms?

Former Huawei employees say client information was discussed at Chinese embassy | Radio Prague

“Access to the information, which is stored in this customer relationship management system, is managed exclusively from the headquarters in China. It is very hard to find and prove who has access to this data and what they use it for.” 

Furthermore, it was allegedly common practice for Huawei employees to discuss the gathered information at meetings with Chinese Embassy employees. The source was unable to say whether these were spies. 

The other source told Radiožurnál that their task was to gather information on state officials, who were then invited to a conference, or on a trip to China.


5. UAE Crown Prince has a good China visit

China, UAE pledge to boost comprehensive strategic partnership - Xinhua

According to Xi, the two sides will issue a joint statement on strengthening the China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership during the crown prince's visit, "which will be another important guideline document in the history of China-UAE relations."..

Calling for further political mutual trust and strategic communication, Xi said China regards the UAE as an important strategic cooperative partner in the Middle East and supports the latter's efforts to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests as well as its increasing role in regional and international affairs.

The Chinese side stands ready to step up coordination and cooperation with the UAE to safeguard the international system with the United Nations at the core, uphold the international order based on international laws and multilateralism, fairness and justice, and advance the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

On Belt and Road cooperation, Xi called on both sides to strengthen the alignment of development strategies, make sure the Khalifa Port Container Terminal Two and the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone a success and play an exemplary role, and consolidate and expand strategic cooperation in the energy sector...

The Chinese president voiced the hope to realize the goal of 200 billion U.S. dollars of the two-way trade by 2030.

During the talks, Xi said China supports the UAE in opening Chinese-language teaching in its 200 schools…

The UAE is highly appreciative of China's efforts to protect the rights of ethnic minorities, and promote ethnic unity and harmony, Sheikh Mohammed said, adding that his country will boost security cooperation with China, and jointly fight terrorist and extremist forces including "East Turkestan" to safeguard national security and regional tranquility.

习近平再次会见阿联酋阿布扎比王储_CCTV

Tuesday CCTV Evening News on the meeting

China thanks UAE for backing Beijing's Xinjiang policies - AFP

During his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Beijing, Xi thanked the UAE for its "valuable support" on Xinjiang and urged the two countries to strengthen cooperation on anti-terrorism, said state-broadcaster CCTV.

In return, Abu Dhabi's crown prince said the UAE "highly appreciates China's efforts to protect the rights and interests of ethnic minorities", according to CCTV's readout.


6. Xinjiang

China's police state goes global, leaving Xinjiang refugees in fear | AFP

With menacing text and voice messages, and explicit threats to relatives still living in Xinjiang, China’s powerful state security apparatus has extended its reach to Uighurs living in liberal democracies as far away as New Zealand and the United States, in a bid to silence activists and recruit informants...

Mahsut is one of more than a dozen Uighur exiles AFP interviewed across four continents that gave access to scores of text and voice messages — purportedly from Chinese security operatives — demanding their silence or cooperation.

Together they point to a systemic effort to infiltrate diaspora communities, recruit informants, sow mistrust and stifle criticism of the regime...

One former senior U.S. national security official confirmed the issue of China pursuing so-called “fugitives” abroad had been raised with Beijing “through law enforcement channels and also at the top level.”

Current U.S. officials acknowledged reports of Uighur intimidation in America but declined requests to comment on the record.

感受社会稳定民生改善 认可去极端化成就

China sent another group of foreign reporters from 24 countries to visit Xinjiang’s “vocational training centers”, citing reporters from Russia, Uzbekistan, Italy, Saudi, Turkey, Iran, India, Thailand and Pakistan to praise China’s great achievement in protecting human rights.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘happy Xinjiang’ comments ‘mistranslated’ in China | South China Morning Post

Ankara has sought to distance itself from Chinese state media reports suggesting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang, according to diplomatic sources.

At a closed-door gathering of diplomats at the Turkish embassy in Beijing last week, Turkish officials said Erdogan’s comments about the troubled region in China’s far west were mistranslated and Beijing refused to correct them.

According to a report by Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Erdogan told Chinese President Xi Jinping during a trip to Beijing on July 2 that people in Xinjiang “live happily”.


7. United Front leading small group

The Central United Front Work Leading Small Group: Institutionalising united front work - Sinopsis - Alex Joske

The United Front has undergone a rejuvenation in its political status and importance since General Secretary Xi Jinping initiated reforms in 2015.1 Alongside the first-ever set of trial regulations on united front work and the Central United Front Work Conference, a Central United Front Work Leading Small Group (LSG, 中央统战工作领导小组) was created in 2015. The LSG helps realise the concept of the “Great United Front” (大统战) that characterises the United Front’s direction under Xi by increasing the party’s leadership over united front work, ensuring all relevant agencies are involved and their activities coordinated.

While the LSG should be central to understanding united front work today, it has received little attention. This paper will examine its background, activities and membership in the context of the increasing centralisation of united front work. As an important mechanism for increasing the United Front’s centralisation and coordination, the LSG helps demonstrate the breadth of agencies carrying out united front work, and indicates that their activities are likely to grow in efficiency.

Shortly after the LSG’s establishment was confirmed by the politburo in July 2015, the United Front Work Department’s (UFWD) drew attention to its origins.2 “Lots of people think the United Front Work Leading Small Group is a new thing. Actually, you’re wrong”3, the department stated in an article published on its WeChat account.4 The UFWD traces a line back from the LSG to a 1939 United Front Committee (统一战线委员会) headed by Mao Zedong, created at the same time as the UFWD’s formation.5

The last known united front work leading small group was established in 1986 under the leadership of Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun 习仲勋, then a member of the Politburo and the Party Secretariat. The elder Xi’s role in united front work is not widely known today. However, Yan Mingfu 阎明复, UFWD minister at the time, recounted that “[Xi] once said he spent 70 or 80 percent of his effort and time on united front work.”6..

the LSG is a useful demonstration of how united front work involves many agencies beyond UFWDs and other core united front bodies. At least 28 state and party agencies participated in the LSG’s activities, and it is likely that around a dozen of them are members of the LSG.


8. Is Guo Wengui a PRC spy?

Chinese Tycoon Holed Up in Manhattan Hotel Is Accused of Spying for Beijing - WSJ

Washington-area research firm Strategic Vision US LLC, in a commercial dispute with Mr. Guo, alleged in a federal court counterclaim Friday that he is a spy for the Chinese government.

“Strategic Vision’s claims that Mr. Guo is a Beijing-backed spy utterly lack credibility,” Daniel Podhaskie, an attorney for Mr. Guo, said in a written statement...

The filing said investigators determined the first 15 names provided by Mr. Guo had been designated by the U.S. as “Records Protected” individuals, for whom certain information wasn’t subject to disclosure. Such a designation is used in highly classified and access-restricted government databases, former intelligence officials said. The immigration status about such designees is often blocked in restricted government databases, and can suggest the person may be a foreigner who is assisting the U.S. government, experts said...

According to the filing, a group led by Messrs. Guo and Bannon allegedly discussed ways to provide “large amounts” of money to the Center for Security Policy—a conservative Washington think tank—and the newly formed “Committee on the Present Danger: China” that the center backs. Some people at the think tank viewed it as an attempt by Mr. Guo to take over the anti-China committee, the filing said.

Frank Gaffney, who leads the Center for Security Policy, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Brian Kennedy, chairman of the China committee, said Mr. Guo didn’t offer any donation to it.

Comment: Whether he not Guo is currently working with PRC intelligence is unclear, but what is clear that just about everyone who works with him ends up getting burned.


Business, Economy and Trade

Exclusive: Regulator to Inspect Banks’ Property Loans to Curb Risks - Caixin The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is set to launch special inspections of 75 banks in 30 cities later this year to crack down on violations by institutions in lending to property developers and home buyers, Caixin has learned. The inspection is likely to start with banks in Beijing. A joint-stock bank source in the capital city told Caixin that regulators are expected to arrive soon to examine banks’ property-related loans in all aspects. Banking and regulatory sources in several other regions including Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong and Sichuan said they haven’t received any order.

China tightens regulations on ownership of unlisted banks - Reuters Revised guidelines posted on Tuesday by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) on its website require unlisted commercial banks to register their stakeholders with qualified custodians by end-June 2020, and all commercial banks to identify their shareholders by the end of 2021.

外贸发展有韧劲有后劲(中国经济纵深谈⑦) People’s Daily front page article talked about why China’s trade situation is actually improving and why the government is so confident about the economy even though the numbers don’t look good.

Joint conference on promoting consumption to be established - Gov.cn The State Council approved setting up an inter-ministerial joint conference on promoting consumption on July 23. The duty of the conference is to coordinate efforts to expand and upgrade personal consumption, strengthen supervision and analysis of consumption trends, propose suggestions for consumption-related policies, and plan annual key work.

Premier Li stresses greater reform, opening-up - Xinhua Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during an inspection tour in Shanghai from Monday to Tuesday. His stops included a new section of the Shanghai pilot free trade zone and domestic and foreign firms

Private borrowers bear the brunt of China’s soaring bond defaults as slowing economy and trade war put the squeeze on finances | South China Morning Post Thirty private businesses missed payments on 89 bonds valued at a combined 60 billion yuan (US$8.7 billion) so far this year, a rise of 150 per cent from the same period in 2018 That’s more than the state-owned enterprises that missed eight bonds valued at 10 billion yuan, and topping last year’s 126 defaults worth 11.4 billion yuan

Entrepreneur cancels lunch with Buffett, denies reports of illegal fundraising - Global Times  // Is he banned from leaving China? Caixin says he is - 被限制出境 孙宇晨爽约巴菲特

Two More Private Firms Join China’s Growing Ranks of Defaulters - Caixin Two Nanjing companies have defaulted on a total of 2.7 billion yuan ($392 million) of debt, pushing the total size of corporate defaults this year beyond 56 billion yuan * Defaults will continue as the financial deleveraging campaign rolls on despite slowing economic growth, a fixed-income securities director of the proprietary trading desk of a securities company said

Transfer of State-owned Assets to Chinese Social Security Funds Expected to Hit 660B Yuan - China Banking News China’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) recently announced the completion of work on the transfer of state-owned assets from 24 central state-owned enterprises (SOE’s) to social security funds. MOF said that it planned to transfer state-owned assets from another 35 central SOE’s to Chinese social security funds, and that it was drafting a comprehensive transfer document for submission to the State Council for approval.

Hawaii's tourism industry latest victim of US-China trade fight - CNBC As of June, Chinese visitor arrivals have dropped by about 36% compared with the same period last year, according to figures provided by the Hawaiian Tourism Authority.

Zillow-Loving Chinese Billionaire Buys $75 Million Bel Air Mansion – Variety there are at least two main billionaire names currently being banded about, the majority of rumors say he may (or may not) be Liang “Johnson” Zhang, a man hailing from the Mainland Chinese city of Guangzhou. Zhang is the son of Zhang Li, a Chinese mining and real estate tycoon with a personal net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes

Semiconductor Shares Dip on New Board After Explosive First Trading Day - Caixin The Tuesday fall in semiconductor stocks is roughly in line with the average performance of the 25 firms currently listed on the high-tech board, 21 of which dropped Tuesday after adding around 305 billion yuan to their total market capitalization on Monday.

Opinion: The Growing Problems With China’s Total Social Financing Indicator  Given the increasing number of flaws in this data, can it truly reflect the real situation of the economy? The indicator is being used as a rigid target before it has been perfected and the consequences of this for the economy are as yet unknown. We need to bear in mind that having bad data is worse than having no data.—Zhang Tao holds a doctorate in economics and works in the financial markets department of China Construction Bank Co. Ltd.

Beijing Auto Buys Stake in Daimler, Deepening Their Alliance - The New York Times The Beijing-based company said it would acquire shares and voting rights equal to a 5 percent stake. The two companies are already partners in China

20 Bankers Have Been Placed Under Corruption Investigation This Year - Caixin 

Politics and Law

人民日报评论员:开展专项整治,集中治理突出问题--观点--人民网 The CCP party central issued another instruction telling local officials to get serious about the “staying true to the CCP founding mission” study campaign, to reflect their mistakes and improve their works.

Senior CPC official stresses further publicity work in 70th anniversary of PRC - Xinhua Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during an inspection tour to southwestern China's Guizhou Province from July 18 to 20. A wave of high spirits about striving in the new era should be aroused across society, he said.

37,000 officials punished for violating frugality rules in Jan.-June - Xinhua 

互联网信息服务严重失信主体或将被实施失信联合惩戒-新华网 China’s cyber administration publishes the draft of a new rule to blacklist companies and individuals who publish illegal contents online. Companies providing services enabling these behaviors will also be punished. Those blacklisted will be closely watched for at least three years. Blacklisted companies could be shut out of the market, and blacklisted individuals’ “online behaviors” will be limited. // So people on Twitter and companies providing VPNs could also be punished? 

互联网信息服务严重失信主体信用信息管理办法 (征求意见稿) Measures on Credit Administration for Seriously Untrustworthy Internet Information Services Entities (Draft for solicitation of comments) : China Law Translate

Foreign and Defense Affairs

英国新首相约翰逊接受凤凰专访 称看重与华关系 After he became the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson told Phoenix in an interview that, “We are very enthusiastic about the Belt and Road Initiative, we are very interested in the … what President Xi is doing, and don’t forget the United Kingdom is the first [western] country to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. We are the first country. We are very pro-China.”

2019年7月22日外交部发言人耿爽主持例行记者会 — 中华人民共和国外交部 The Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed that China’s ambassador to Russia Li Hui will return to Beijing after serving 10 years in Moscow. That leaves Cui Tiankai as the only Chinese ambassador who is above the 65-year-old retiring age, and from what I hear we should expect a replacement soon.

First Russian-Chinese air patrol in Asia-Pacific draws shots from South Korea - Reuters Russia carried out what it said was its first long-range joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region with China on Tuesday, a mission that triggered hundreds of warning shots, according to South Korean officials, and a strong protest from Japan.

我们的繁荣得益于一带一路(国际论坛) Yun Min, former governor of Sihanouk Province in Cambodia, wrote on People’s Daily praising China’s Belt and Road, saying the BRI has achieved great success in helping local economy and the Chinese and Cambodian people must not believe those biased reports by Western media that seek to sow discords. He did not mention anything about the naval base.

金灿荣:从中国“推特外交官”看外交“韬光养晦”的结束 Jin Canrong of Renmin Univ talked about the Twitter fight between Zhao Lijian and Susan Rice. Jin praised Zhao and other Chinese diplomats for using Twitter and said they should use it more often. But he also suggested that Beijing does not dictate what Zhao says, and that people should be more tolerant when these diplomats say something wrong.

Taiwan

High-profile US stopovers signal stronger ties with Taiwan, island’s leader says | South China Morning Post While in New York, Tsai attended a reception at Taiwan’s de facto consulate for a group of United Nations permanent representatives, most of them envoys from nations with which Taiwan still has diplomatic ties. It was the first event of its kind in four decades and – also unusually – open to US media. Washington – which switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing from Taipei in 1979 – previously prohibited Taiwan’s leaders from making public appearances during transits in the US.

出访随行人士走私600余万元香烟 蔡英文震怒 | 早报 A member of Tsai Ing-wen's delegation on her recent overseas trip tried to smuggle 9200 cartons of duty free cigarettes back into Taiwan

Tech and Media

In Depth: China’s Cinema Business Faces a Bad Scene - Caixin Huayi isn’t alone among China’s large number of cinema operators. Industry observers said the movie theater industry is likely approaching a period of consolidation as the business faces abundant challenges: a drop in viewership even as cinema chains have continued to add theater screens, insanely high rents that eat into profits, and a government-imposed limit on foreign titles.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Scott blanks Sun on podium after Chinese wins 200 freestyle - Reuters British bronze medallist Duncan Scott refused to shake hands with Sun Yang on the podium on Tuesday after the controversial Chinese swimmer’s victory in the 200 metres freestyle at the world championships in Gwangju.

'You're a loser, I'm a winner': Sun explodes at Scott over podium snub – video | The Guardian

FINA to send warning to Australian swimming body and Mack Horton - Xinhua 

Chinese county to punish ‘unfilial’ people it claims are holding back anti-poverty drive | South China Morning Post 

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Gallery: China’s Bin Boom - Caixin Global Shanghai’s new trash sorting rules — expected to roll out shortly in 45 other cities — have annoyed many. But for bin-makers they've been a boon. One Zhejiang province factory received a $3 million order for trashcans

Rural and Agricultural Issues

Alibaba's Juhuasuan opens farmer access to user data, tech tools · TechNode Alibaba’s flash sale and marketing platform Juhuasuan said on Monday that it has updated its virtual farming feature “Jutudi” allowing farmers access to consumer sales data so that they can more accurately plan crops based on current consumer trends