Li Qiang Gets Shanghai, Revised Party Constitution Released, "The Centralized, Unified Leadership Of The Central Committee With Comrade Xi Jinping As The Core" - Sinocism 10.30.17

As expected Li Qiang is the new Party Secretary of Shanghai, replacing Han Zheng. Several other appointments were made over the weekend, most if not all are members of Team Xi. Xi has placed key allies into all the direct-controlled municipalities of the PRC--Chen Min'er in Chongqing, Cai Qi in Beijing, Li Qiang in Shanghai, and Li Hongzhong in Tianjin. Li was among the first provincial leaders to refer to Xi as the "core" before the 2016 Sixth Plenum.

The full text of the revised Party Constitution was released over the weekend. There is only an official Chinese version at this point 中国共产党章程-人民网. For those who want to take a propaganda dive the People's Daily explains how the amendments came about in 建设马克思主义执政党的光辉指引——《中国共产党章程(修正案)》诞生记.

Xinhua offers some English highlights in Inclusion of Xi's thought highlight of amendment to CPC Constitution - Xinhua:

Apart from Xi's thought, a wide range of new ideas, thinking and strategies put forward by the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, have been added to the Constitution, including giving play to the decisive role of market forces in resource allocation, advancing supply-side structural reform and enhancing the country's cultural soft power.

Congress delegates also agreed to write the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the Party Constitution, along with its path, theory and system.

In addition, the amendment included an assessment of the change in the "principal contradiction" facing Chinese society.

The number and scope of the revisions are striking, perhaps unprecedented. Fortunately scholar Flora Sapio has translated the new Constitution and highlighted the amendments in red online here--General Program and Constitution of the Communist Party of China - 2017 Revisions | China Social Credit System or here in a PDF that has a side-by-side comparison of the 2012 and 2017 Constitutions.

Beyond the inclusion of Xi Thought, some of the revisions that jumped out at me include:

  • consolidate the political consciousness, the consciousness of the general situation, the consciousness of the core, the consciousness of following a model, uphold and protect the authority and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, guarantee the unity in thinking and action of the whole Party

  • promote the creative evolution and development of fine traditional Chinese culture

  • continuously consolidate the leading position of Marxism in the field of ideology, consolidate the common ideological basis of the struggle of the entire Party, the entire country, and the entire People...

  • pursue a holistic approach to national security, and uphold the protection of national sovereignty, security, and development interest...

  • raise the awareness that that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets..

  • The Communist Party of China shall uphold its absolute leadership over the People’s Liberation Army and other people’s armed forces; implement Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the military; strengthen the construction of the People’s Liberation Army; strengthening it through politics ruling the Army, through reform and technology, and running it in accordance with the law; build people’s forces that obey the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct; ensure that the People’s Liberation Army accomplishes its missions and tasks in the new era...

  • By placing the Party’s political construction in command, the Party must comprehensively promote its political construction, ideological construction, organizational construction, the construction of its conduct, and of its discipline, link them to systems construction, deepen the struggle against corruption...

  • The Party follows the mass line in its work, doing everything for the masses, relying on the masses in every task, carrying out the principle of “from the masses, to the masses”, and translating its correct views into action by the masses of their own accord....

  • The Party’s Central Committee, and committees of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government implement the system of inspection tours

I would love to hear from readers about other key revisions.

We are barely a week away from Trump's arrival in Beijing. Axios' Jonathan Swan reports in “Trump Goes To China” that:

The consensus view at the highest level of the Trump administration is that multiple U.S. administrations have pursued the same failed China strategy and that the economic relationship between the two countries is getting worse not better.

The way Trump sees it: China already knows what the U.S. needs because every time an American president visits Beijing he announces the same litany of complaints and demands. China, in Trump's view, does the bare minimum to stop American complaining for a while, only to continue to take advantage of the U.S. economically.

But, but, but: That all sounds nice, but I still have no idea what Trump plans to do to change the situation with China. Nobody I've spoken to inside the White House will tell me.

This jibes with what I am hearing, as I noted in the October 26 newsletter:

A source with knowledge of the trade preparations for the visit tells me that the US does not have large, specific asks but instead is taking a “you know what you need to do” approach with Beijing. That is unlikely to go over well but may be part of a strategy to set up much harsher enforcement actions. Expect some deals to be announced, those are easy, but structural movement looks much less likely right now and the US may have less leverage than it had even a few months ago.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Don't Expect The CCDI To Weaken With Wang Qishan's Retirement

China's new top graft buster vows "sweeping victory" against corruption - Xinhua:

Addressing the first meeting of the Standing Committee of the 19th CCDI, Zhao Leji, secretary of the CCDI, said the Party's graft busters must take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as their guide for work.

Zhao, also member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said it is the Party's primary political task to study and implement the spirit of the just concluded 19th CPC National Congress which enshrined Xi Jinping Thought as a new component of the Party's guide for action.

赵乐际在十九届中央纪委常委会第一次会议上强调 深入学习贯彻党的十九大精神 忠诚履行党中央赋予的重大政治责任

Graft-Fighting Veterans, Newcomers Join Nationwide Campaign - Caixin Global:

Newly appointed as one of CCDI's eight deputy secretaries was Chen Xiaojiang, who distinguished himself last year by leading an investigation in China's northeastern Liaoning province that targeted a vote-buying scandal. More than four-fifths of the region's 619 legislators were accused of wrongdoing.

After returning to Beijing in April, Chen served as a vice minister at a corruption-fighting agency attached to China’s cabinet, the State Council, called the Ministry of Supervision.

China to extend pilot corruption supervision program nationwide - Xinhua:

By the end of this year or early 2018, supervisory commissions will be set up by the People's Congress at provincial, city and county-levels across the country, to ensure that "all public servants exercising public power" are subject to supervision, according to a plan circulated by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. 中共中央办公厅印发《关于在全国各地推开国家监察体制改革试点方案》

Comment: People betting on a relaxation of the corruption and discipline crackdowns may be disappointed...

2. Official Text Of CCDI Work Report Released, Some Fun Accusations

CPC Central Committee defuses 'major political pitfalls' since 2012 - Xinhua:

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee had since 2012 "timely detected, decidedly handled, and resolutely eradicated" careerists and conspirators such as Zhou Yongkang, Sun Zhengcai and Ling Jihua, a report from the Party anti-graft body read...

"Interest groups formed by intertwining political corruption and economic corruption have severely undermined political security of the Party and the country," it read.

"Zhou Yongkang, Sun Zhengcai, Ling Jihua and others had seriously breached Party disciplines and political rules and, with ballooning political ambitions, resorted to conspiracy," the report continued.

But the CPC Central Committee "timely detected, decidedly handled, and resolutely eradicated" these careerists and conspirators and defused "major political pitfalls."


3. And Don't Expect Tightening Financial Supervision And Moves Towards Eventual Deleveraging To Decrease

China Central Bank Names New Anti-Corruption Head - Caixin Global:

Xu Jia’ai, 51, has already started his new role as head of the disciplinary inspection unit at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank said. Xu’s last job was a two-month stint as the secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of Zhejiang province, which he started in July.

China Bond Selloff Spreads to Stocks as Deleveraging Risks Mount - Bloomberg:

While China’s equity market was subdued for most of this month amid state efforts to limit volatility during the twice-a-decade Party gathering, sovereign yields have been climbing. There’s more than 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion) of funding provided by the central bank that matures this week, the most since February.

Analysts See Deleveraging Concerns Behind China's Equity Selloff - Bloomberg:

"The surge in China’s government bond yield last week and expectations for tighter financial regulation have triggered concerns over tighter liquidity"

Maxed-out China needs a strong leader to fix its debt mess, economist Michael Pettis says | South China Morning Post:

Michael Pettis, a professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, said President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power at the Communist Party’s national congress last week was necessary to put growth on the right track.

“China does not really need a more liberalised economy, doesn’t need to eliminate capital control. It does not need a larger degree of market role in the decision-making process. What it needs is a significant transfer of wealth, and for that we need to centralise the decision-making process,” he said.

Comment: But so far deleveraging is not really happening...

Pimco Sees China Refraining From Broad-Based Deleveraging - Bloomberg:

Pacific Investment Management Co. predicts that Chinese companies will be able to refinance most of their borrowings in the next 12 months as the authorities refrain from carrying out broad-based deleveraging. This will contribute to debt expanding faster than nominal gross domestic product, said Luke Spajic, head of portfolio management for emerging Asia at Pimco, which manages $1.7 trillion.

4. Crackdown On Internet Finance and Consumer Micro-loans

China Regulator Considers Tightening Grip on Microlenders - Caixin Global:

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) is discussing internally the possibility of a standardized regulatory framework of the country’s microlending industry, sources told Caixin. Meanwhile, some local banking regulators are considering rules that will cap the annualized interest rates on short-term unsecured loans, Caixin learnt.

Qudian Rushes Earnings Release as Stock Slumps Below IPO Price - Caixin Global:

Qudian also addressed questions that it might be charging interest rates that were higher than those allowed under Chinese law. It said “the annualized fee rates charged in all credit drawdowns do not exceed 36%” since April — a situation that complies with Chinese law.

China harnesses big data to buttress the power of the state - FT $$:

But Beijing is hoping data can have evolutionary applications. A senior financial official, who declined to be identified, explained how the mass of personal information collected through digital transactions allows China to check individuals’ behaviour and penalise those who step out of line.

First of all, he said, the big ecommerce companies, such as Alibaba, Tencent and, are obliged to share their data with central authorities such as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the central bank.

Then the PBoC shares the data with about 50 state-owned banks, creating a database that covers about 400m people, detailing their payment history, creditworthiness and even networks of social contacts, the official said.

5. North Korea Developments Ahead Of Trump's China Visit

Comment: North Korea’s lack of provocations around China’s national day and then Party Congress seem noteworthy. What did China do to get Kim to “behave”? And what if Xi now backs away from some of the hysteria about THAAD and pursues fixing the PRC-South Korea relationship? Could Xi drive a wedge between the US and South Korea over policy towards North Korea?

Will THAAD Feud be Settled? Seoul-Beijing Ties Reach 'New Starting Point' | HuffPost:

According to Cheong Wa Dae on Sunday, South Korea and China are working to settle the THAAD feud before a possible summit between their leaders during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held in Vietnam on Nov. 10-11.

“We are making various efforts to settle the THAAD problem smoothly before President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet during the APEC conference,” a presidential official said. “Active working-level coordination is under way.”

Another official said, “The smooth resolution of the THAAD dispute can be said to be necessary and sufficient condition for a Korea-China summit.”

South Korea, China nuclear envoys to meet in Beijing: South Korea government-Reuters:

The meeting will be the first since the two officials took office and is an extension of recent meetings between nuclear envoys from South Korea, the United States and Japan, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Beijing rejects unilateral sanctions as US targets North Korean diplomat in China | South China Morning Post:

Beijing has repeated its opposition to unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang after Washington took rare action against a China-based North Korean diplomat accused of human rights abuses.

The US sanctions on Ku Sung-sop, North Korea’s consul general in Shenyang, come as the United States presses China to put more pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korean Businesses in China Start Countdown As Deadline for Closure Looms - Caixin Global:

China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Sept. 28 that it was giving North Korean businesses and individuals in China, as well as joint ventures between Chinese and North Korean companies, 120 days to close. The countdown started Sept. 11, the date the United Nations Security Council imposed a tough new round of sanctions against Pyongyang. But, some joint ventures that have a Chinese company as the majority stakeholder have said the sanctions won’t affect them.

6. Xi Wants The Party Everywhere, And Resistance By Foreign Firms Is Futile

Foreign Companies in China Get a New Partner: the Communist Party - WSJ:

Comment: And they are going to be very busy over the next few weeks studying the outcomes of the 19th Party Connress

Rejuvenating the party as a force in people’s lives is a priority for President Xi. The Communist Party now numbers about 89 million—about 6.5% of China’s population. Among them are corporate leaders and entrepreneurs, who were officially welcomed into the party in the early 2000s.

A May 2015 edict from the Politburo led by Mr. Xi ordered organizations and businesses to set up party cells to strengthen the party’s leadership across Chinese society. Last year, Mr. Xi told a group of business leaders to guide staff to honor the “glorious tradition of listening to the party’s words and following the party’s path.”

Officials stepped up enforcement of a decades-old rule saying all organizations with three or more party members should set up party cells. Chinese law requires eligible businesses to set up party organizations and facilitate their activities, which mainly involve study sessions on Beijing’s latest directives and collection of membership fees.

7. Australian Media Digging Into PRC Connections, Reports On Research Projects That May Help the PLA

Australian universities are helping China's military surpass the United States - Sydney Morning Herald:

The man at the centre of many exchanges with Australian universities is Lieutenant-General Yang Xuejun, who has been a Communist Party member since the 1980s and was a promoted to the party's powerful Central Committee at this week's 19th Party Congress....

The contributions by Xue and Tao to Chinese military research are only the tip of the iceberg. Scientists from CSIRO, ANU, Curtin University and the University of Wollongong have also recently engaged in similar work with the PLA.

The optics of Australian scientists working closely with researchers linked to the PLA are a matter of deep concern. The head of the ANU's National Security College, Rory Medcalf, notes that these PLA links may jeopardise future research partnerships with the US defence industry.

8. Hangzhou's City Brain And Exporting "Smart City" And Surveillance

A smart city in China tracks every citizen and yours could too | New Scientist:

For the past 12 months, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been slurping up video feeds, social media data, traffic information and other data from Hangzhou city for its City Brain project. The stated goal was to improve life in Hangzhou by letting artificial intelligence process this data and use it to control aspects of urban life. It seems to have worked. The trial has been so successful that the company is now packaging the system for export to other places in China – and eventually the rest of the world.

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Is China Creating New Rules for Sovereign Debt Market? - Caixin Global Head of Asia bond syndicate at Standard Chartered Bank, Li Chao, told Caixin that more than 70% of the bond investors were foreign asset managers, including some sovereign wealth funds. “It might be a challenge for some investors to buy unrated bonds, but to this dollar sovereign bond, rating is not a big concern,” said Jethro Goodchild, head of Asian Credit at Aviva Investors Asia, an asset management company.

How an Aircraft Trader Became an Ally of China’s HNA - WSJ As the airline blossomed into a powerful conglomerate now known as HNA Group Co., the trader, Bharat Sharatchandra Bhise, an India-born U.S. citizen, aligned himself with the Chinese business and eventually came to personally control about one-sixth of its shares...Mr. Bhise gave up his stake around two years ago. Through a spokesman, he said he never had full ownership of the stock, worth billions of dollars, and merely held it on behalf of the company. // Comment: Has HNA been "asked" to reduce its overseas holdings and returns assets to China?

Quick Take: Former Central Bank Chief Economist to Head Research Center at Tsinghua - Caixin Global Former central bank chief economist Ma Jun revealed to Caixin he is now the head of Tsinghua University’s Finance and Development Research Center

China’s statistics bureau to take over accounting of provincial GDP data to combat fraud | South China Morning Post China’s National Bureau of Statistics will take over data collection at the regional level from 2019, a government official said, replacing the current system in which the combined economic output of the nation’s provinces has long exceeded the official total for the country as a whole.

BTC China halts withdrawal services - CGTN BTC China, the largest Bitcoin trading platform in the country, suspended its withdrawal services on Monday. That means a complete shut down of all the exchange business on the platform.

Regulator’s Retraction Throws Light on Internet Insurance Rules - Caixin Global A provincial-level regulator recently retracted a statement on its website that said ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance Co. had been engaging in offline activities not covered by its online-only license. The statement, issued by the Hainan bureau of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, stayed online for only two days last week.

China, U.S. Agree on Standards for Aviation Design - Caixin Global China and the U.S said they have reached an agreement to recognize each other’s aircraft product-safety systems. The move reflects Beijing’s success in upgrading its regulatory standards, which could also give the country’s nascent air industry a boost.

[视频]习近平会见清华大学经济管理学院顾问委员会海外委员和中方企业家委员_CCTV CCTV Evening News report on Xi meeting with the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, which includes Steve Schwarzman, Hank Paulson, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg among other luminaries

Politics, Law And Ideology

决胜全面建成小康社会 夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利-——在中国共产党第十九次全国代表大会上的报告 (2017年10月18日-人民网 Full text of Work Report to the 19th Party Congress released

5 men, 10 months and 1 long speech: the cadres behind Xi Jinping’s marathon address | South China Morning Post The five ranged in expertise from industrial policy to party history and were responsible for drafting the 68-page speech forming the backbone of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, the latest dogma to be added to the organisation’s constitution. The drafting took 10 months and began on January 13 when Xi assembled a team to prepare the document, Xinhua reported on Saturday. 面向新时代的政治宣言和行动纲领——党的十九大报告诞生记 

Chinese universities race to establish Xi Jinping Thought institutes to help leader’s ideas ‘enter students’ hearts and minds’ | South China Morning Post “We will gather many experts and professors to disseminate and preach Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in businesses, neighbourhoods and villages,” Jiang Hongxin, head of Hunan Normal University’s newly founded Xi Thought research centre, told People’s Daily, the party mouthpiece.

“八个明确”和“十四个坚持”是什么关系?新思想有哪些重大意义?权威专家解读_央视新闻客户端_央视网( CCTV interviews several PRC experts on the meaning of Xi attention to the "8 definites" and the "14 persists"

新华社评论员:深刻认识主要矛盾的历史性变化——四论学习贯彻党的十九大精神-新华网 Xinhua Commentary on the importance of profoundly understanding the historical change in the principal contradiction

接班赵乐际 64岁陈希兼任中组部部长_政经频道_财新网 Chen Xi replaces Zhao Leji as head of the Organization department

China’s technocrats blast off: two more space engineers in new Central Committee | South China Morning Post Zhejiang governor Yuan Jiajun and former Comac chairman Jin Zhuanglong join seven existing members with similar background

China and the New World Order by Altamar Podcast--Your Truly Discusses the 19th Congress China has been steadily increasing its global footprint, and since January, the US has been rapidly scaling back its own. With that in mind, China's 19th Communist Party Congress had one overarching theme: China isn't emerging - it has emerged, and it's ready to be a leader. But what does that mean for the rest of us?

Forced Education for Parents of Chengdu’s Juvenile Delinquents - Sixth Tone Parents of children who commit crimes are to undergo compulsory parenting education in Chengdu, capital of southwestern Sichuan province, local media outlet Western China City Daily reported Sunday.

New era on the road to 2050 - Opinion - China Daily By Robert Lawrence Kuhn

Foreign and Military Affairs

Trump in China: One visit, two divergent goals - Ryan Haas Comment: Hass, the China person on the National Security Council at the end of the Obama years, on Trump's visit:

Uyghurs around the world feel new pressure as China increases its focus on those abroad - The Globe and Mail In a broad campaign to increase pressure on Uyghurs overseas, including those in Canada, Chinese authorities are using coercive measures on family members, recruiting people to spy and sending threats to get many from the ethnic minority group to return to China

Center for International Media Assistance-Beyond the Great Firewall: How China Became a Global Information Power China is no longer content to simply manage the information space within its borders...It has focused primarily on three avenues: shaping international news media, guiding the evolution of the global Internet, and influencing global culture through Hollywood. The cumulative effect of this global reach has yet to be fully dissected or understood.

Jiang Jianguo calls for increased media cooperation - SCIO Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and minister of the State Council Information Office of China, has called for strengthened media cooperation and exchanges between China and Latin America at the China-Latin America Media Forum

China to build 5th Antarctic research station - Xinhua Chinese researchers have selected the site for the station, which will be on Inexpressible Island in Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea, said Qin Weijia, director of the SOA Polar Expedition Office.

Xi encourages Tibetan herders to safeguard territory - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping has encouraged a herding family in Lhunze County, near the Himalayas in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, to set down roots in the border area, safeguard the Chinese territory and develop their hometown.// The Sunday CCTV Evening News on the letter 习近平回信勉励西藏牧民群众 像格桑花一样扎根在雪域边陲 做神圣国土的守护者幸福家园的建设者 

China successfully tests first submarine permanent magnet motor - Ministry of National Defense China successfully tested its first permanent magnet propulsion motor for vessels recently, according to the State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), which is known for manufacturing China's first aircraft carrier and the Jiaolong submersible vessel.

王者归“铼”:中国发现超级金属铼 造出航空发动机核心部件_腾讯网   CCTV on Rhenium discoveries in China, key for jet engines

Hong Kong, Macao

A brief taste of freedom reminds me not to give up the battle for Hong Kong | Joshua Wong | Opinion | The Guardian In the second of his regular columns, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong briefly emerges on bail after more than two months in prison

What a new era with Xi Jinping’s ‘dream team’ means for Hong Kong | South China Morning Post Tammy Tam says selection of core seven shows how officials are picked for ascension, while former liaison office head Zhang Xiaoming never really left

Tech And Media

Jack Ma in Star-Studded Film to Promote Tai Chi, Chinese Culture | The 53-year-old Alibaba Group Executive Chairman said Friday he’ll make his movie debut as a Tai Chi master in a short film, called “Gong Shou Dao,” due for a November release. The film will also appear on China’s Youku online video platform and features a veritable “Who’s Who” of Asian martial arts

World's Hottest PC Game Could Be Banned in China Due to Violence - Bloomberg PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds -- where competitors fight to be the last one alive -- is too bloody and violent, according to an announcement posted by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association.

China has 950 mln 4G users: ministry - Xinhua Also by the end of Q3, China had 280 million users of fiber-optic broadband

Tencent-Backed Sogou Aims for Up to $585 Million in U.S. IPO - Bloomberg Sogou’s filing follows a rush of cross-border listings that may make October the biggest month of the year for U.S. IPOs, with trans-Pacific share sales at a level not seen since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s record $25 billion IPO in September 2014.

iPhone 8 launch propels Apple to growth in China after 18 months of sales dips | TechCrunch The company has broken a run of sales decreases that stretches back six quarters thanks to promising early signs for the newly released iPhone 8, according to a new report from Canalys. The analyst firm recorded 40 percent annual growth for Apple in Q3 2017 with 11 million shipments during the three-month period. It noted also that the iPhone 8 accounted for a higher proportion of iPhone sales than the iPhone 7 did last year.

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai agrees to purchase 49 percent minority stake in Brooklyn Nets-ESPN Tsai was born in Taiwan, was educated at Yale -- both undergrad and law school -- and holds a Canadian citizenship. He has a rich personal history with athletics, including his days as a high school lacrosse and football player at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Tsai was an avid pickup basketball player at Yale and has been a significant NBA fan for years**.//Comment: The NBA is no doubt very pleased as China is its biggest market outside the US. And there should be no problems funding this deal as, thanks to VIEs and an overseas listing, the vast majority of Mr. Tsai's wealth is already outside of China and os is not subject to any capital controls.**

China's Lin too good in Asia-Pacific golf - ESPN Australia's Min Woo Lee had to settle for tied third as Chinese youngster Yuxin Lin stormed to the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship title, earning coveted starts in next year's Masters and British Open.

How a State Department Study Prevented Nuclear War With China | The Diplomat Given the possible disastrous consequences of a nuclear-armed PRC for the United States, both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations discussed the option of launching preventive strikes on Chinese nuclear weapon facilities. Amid these deliberations, a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Council, Robert H. Johnson, compiled two studies arguing that a nuclear China will not significantly alter the military balance of power in Asia and that, as a corollary, the United States would not need to take radical steps, including military action, in the foreseeable future.

BBC - Culture - Ruan Lingyu: The Greta Garbo of China It’s been 82 years since Ruan Lingyu took her own life but the legend of the silent screen goddess lives on. Despite the fact that many of her films were either lost or incomplete, Ruan’s surviving realist dramas, set against the backdrop of the golden age of China’s pre-war era, capture her legendary mystique, which was forever enshrined with her mysterious suicide at age 24.

How Could a Cancer Patient's 'Crazy Shopping Spree' Become the Subject of Ridicule on Weibo? | What's on Weibo A story that went trending on Chinese social media this week about a rich woman spending $600,000 during a shopping expedition in a Sichuan mall has taken an unexpected turn. Family members have stepped forward to deny the rumors, and say the woman is suffering from brain cancer. She went missing after photos of her shopping spree went viral.

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Air quality in Beijing, Tianjin worsens this year - Xinhua The 13 cities monitored in the area reported "good" air quality on 52.6 percent of days during the January-September period, down 8.7 percentage points from the ratio in the same period last year, according to Liu Zhiquan, head of environmental monitoring at the Ministry of Environmental Protection

As China Builds More on the Sea, Nature’s Beauty Gets Buried - Caixin Global International conventions and domestic laws officially protect China’s coastal habitats. But land reclaimed from coastal wetlands and the sea along China’s coast has grown rapidly. Since 2006, 13,000 hectares of land (32,123 acres) have been reclaimed on average each year, swallowing up beaches, islands and wetlands.

China's grand plan for the Brahmaputra: A 1,000km tunnel to divert water away from Tibet — Quartz Chinese engineers are testing techniques that could be used to build a 1,000-kilometre (km) tunnel—the world’s longest—to carry water from Tibet to Xinjiang..The project would divert water from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang.

China's Shanxi calls for gas supply 'guarantee' in switch from coal The statement highlights growing concerns that the country’s insufficient pipeline and storage infrastructure could cause power outages during the peak winter demand season.

China Warns Coal Producers Against Manipulation - Caixin Global “During the winter peak season, the stability of coal market prices is related to the security of heating, and to the vital interests of the people,” the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a notice on its website on Friday, the same day that two of the country’s biggest coal producers announced surging profits.

China’s air pollution is hindering its ability to produce solar power — Quartz The particulate matter lodging itself deep in people’s lungs is also reducing the amount of sun reaching solar arrays, according to a study published last week (paywall) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a US journal.

Agriculture And Rural Issues

Lease Extensions Pledged for Half-Billion Rural Residents - Caixin Global China’s top legislature is poised to amend a rural household land-lease law and thus fulfill a pledge from Xi Jinping, general secretary of the ruling Communist Party, to extend leases for 30 years beyond current expiration dates. The extensions would affect a vast number of households including farm families who lease property for village homes, grain farms, vegetable plots, vineyards and orchards from the government. Most of these leases are currently due to expire around 2027.