Lighthizer-Liu dinner; Urban Party building; China stressing US-UK relationship

Liu He is back in DC today, best case outcome I can see is an agreement to delay the increased tariffs to keep talking for a specified period of time, but clearly the US side is ready to pull the trigger in just about 12 hours, and if that happens there are few brakes to keep the relationship from deteriorating rapidly.

I was on CNBC Squawk Box for about 5 minutes this morning talking about the trade deal. You can watch the clip here, my thoughts have not changed since a few hours ago.

Liu’s dinner with USTR head Robert Lighthizer tonight should be interesting, and perhaps one of the more important meals in US-China relations in a long time.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade talks

Why China Decided to Play Hardball in Trade Talks - WSJ $$

The new hard line taken by China in trade talks—surprising the White House and threatening to derail negotiations—came after Beijing interpreted recent statements and actions by President Trump as a sign the U.S. was ready to make concessions, said people familiar with the thinking of the Chinese side...

In particular, these people said, Mr. Trump’s hectoring of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to cut interest rates was seen in Beijing as evidence that the president thought the U.S. economy was more fragile than he claimed.

Beijing was further encouraged by Mr. Trump’s frequent claim of friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and by Mr. Trump’s praise for Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for pledging to buy more U.S. soybeans...

[Liu] is scheduled to have a one-on-one dinner with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Thursday.

Trump Says China ‘Broke’ Trade Deal as Hawks Cheer Tough Stance - Bloomberg

At a campaign rally Wednesday night in Panama City Beach, Florida, the president noted that top Chinese trade negotiator Liu He was traveling to Washington for further talks. “Good man,” Trump said, “but they broke the deal,” leading him to raise tariffs...

Trump and his trade team discussed the next steps in the dispute and who should meet with Liu while he’s in Washington in a heated debate at the White House on Tuesday, people familiar with the internal deliberations said. The meeting became contentious when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made his case for putting trust in Liu that China would come back with a satisfactory offer to close the deal.

The president and his advisers concluded that he should only meet with Liu if the two sides make progress in the talks and that the decision would be made on short notice, the people said.

As tariff hike looms, China asks U.S. to meet it halfway, denies backtracking - Reuters

“The U.S. side has given many labels recently, ‘backtracking’, ‘betraying’ etc...China sets great store on trustworthiness and keeps its promises, and this has never changed,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday.

Hu Xijin of the Global Times says the US is preparing a "Hongmen Feast" [Think Game of Thrones “Red Wedding”] for Liu He and his team, but they will be coming to DC armed... - 胡锡进:华盛顿将办“鸿门宴”,中国人佩剑入席_国际新闻_环球网

China makes statement on U.S. planned measures to raise tariffs - Xinhua

"China deeply regrets this, and will be forced to take necessary countermeasures if the U.S. side puts the tariff measures into effect," says a statement released Wednesday.

Trump Could Raise Tariffs on China. Here’s How China Could Respond. - The New York Times

“We expect China to quickly retaliate with matching tariffs,” said Jake Parker, a vice president in Beijing for the U.S.-China Business Council, a business advocacy group representing 200 mostly large American companies that do business with China. “We are also advising our members to prepare for increased customs scrutiny, regulatory enforcement at the local level, and diversification away from U.S. products.”

US tariffs threat strikes raw nerve on 20th anniversary of Nato bombing of Chinese embassy in Serbia | South China Morning Post

Nationalist sentiment is brewing on Chinese social media after the Office of the US Trade Representative chose Wednesday – the 20th anniversary of the lethal US-led Nato bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, during the Kosovo War – to announce increased tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Trade War Only Getting Worse for Soy Farmers Fearful for their Future | American Soybean Association

“After so many threats and missed deadlines for concluding negotiations, this ongoing uncertainty is unacceptable to U.S. farmers,” Stephens continued. “With depressed prices and unsold stocks forecast to double before the 2019 harvest begins in September, we need the China market reopened to U.S. soybean exports within weeks, not months or longer.”

Voracious pest threatens China's crops, could boost need for imports - CNBC

A crop-eating pest first detected in China about five months ago is spreading rapidly and could hurt production of key crops critical to the populous nation's food supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Damage from the so-called fall armyworm, which gorges on corn, soybeans, cotton, rice, and dozens of other crops, could force China to import more corn, rice or soy to makeup for the shortfall.


2. Taoran Notes 陶然笔记

Today’s installment of "Taoran Notes" says China is willing to talk if the US is, also willing to fight a trade war if that is what the US wants. It also notes that in two of the nearly three years of the “war to resist US aggression and aid Korea” the US and Chinese sides were both talking and fighting... - 陶然笔记 - 愿谈则谈 要打便打

其实抗美援朝近三年,有整整两年的时间,是在边打边谈。

What Is Taoran Notes? Mysterious WeChat Intrigues China Watchers - Bloomberg

As most of China’s media fell into collective silence Monday following Trump’s threat to escalate the trade war, Taoran Notes, a once obscure account on Tencent Holdings’ WeChat platform, somehow escaped the intensified censorship...

The blog is associated with the Economic Daily, an official newspaper backed by the State Council, according to people in various state media organisations. Taoran might refer to the Taoranting Park, which is a short walk from the newspaper’s headquarters in Beijing.


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3. Weaker April credit

China’s Credit Growth Slows After March Surge - Caixin

China's new loans and overall credit rose by less than analysts estimated last month, bolstering expectations that the central bank will have to further loosen monetary policy amid slowing economic growth and the risk that the trade dispute with the U.S. will intensify.

China’s total social financing (TSF), the broadest official measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, grew by a net 1.36 trillion yuan ($200 billion) in April, below analysts' expectations and less than half the 2.86 trillion yuan increase the previous month, data from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) showed Thursday. New bank loans also missed expectations, and growth in M2, a measure of money supply, slipped slightly...

Seasonal factors account for some of the decrease and after a record first-quarter a slowdown in April was expected — the median forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg was for an increase of 1.65 trillion yuan. But the figure was more than 400 billion yuan lower than the 1.78 trillion yuan increase in April 2018.

Comment: If the trade war deepens Beijing clearly we will need to push out more credit 


4. Urban Party building

CPC stresses improving Party building in urban communities - Xinhua

Stressing the importance and urgency of the work, the document calls for stronger and more powerful community-level Party organizations.

Community-level Party committees should improve their ability to coordinate various aspects and focus on fulfilling the main duties and responsibilities of Party building, social governance and providing services, it says...

The document also expects support for communities to be beefed up to ensure that community-level Party organizations have the resources and ability to serve the people.

China will expand effective coverage of Party building in emerging areas through innovations in the way Party organizations are set up and operated and establish building-based, business area and market-based Party organizations, the circular says.

中共中央办公厅印发《关于加强和改进城市基层党的建设工作的意见》_中央有关文件_中国政府网

Comment: "Government, military, society and schools, north, south, east and west — the party is the leader of all”, and clearly Party organizations have lost some of their focus and efficacy and impact in the rapid urbanization.


5. Former Yunnan Party Secretary under investigation

Former Provincial Party Chief Under Investigation For Law Violations - Caixin Global

Qin Guangrong, former Communist Party chief of Southwest China’s Yunnan province, is now under investigation on suspicion of “serious violations of laws and discipline” after giving himself up to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the ruling party’s top anti-graft watchdog announced late Thursday...

Qin’s predecessor, Bai Enpei, who served as Yunnan’s party chief from 2001 to 2011, was sentenced in 2016 to death with two years reprieve for taking bribes and possessing a large amount of assets that could not be accounted for.

Caixin says the investigation of Qin Guangrong is related to the trouble his son Qin Ling got into while working at Huarong and the Lai Xiaomin case, and that Qin Guangrong turned himself in, the first provincial level official to do so...clearly deep waters around this and the Huarong case - 独家|云南省委原书记秦光荣主动投案 概因其子涉案被查_财新网:

据财新记者多方确认,秦光荣主要是因为其独子秦岭在华融履职期间犯下严重案件而被查(参见财新我闻|金融人·事2019年4月16日“秦光荣父子共犯案 华融投资秦岭因何被查|华融案调查之十八”);此案势必牵涉秦光荣的其它违法情节,还需等待调查结果的进一步披露。


6. Huawei CFO and US-Canada stress

Huawei CFO extradition case: Canada arrested Meng for the U.S. As China retaliates, it’s on its own - The Washington Post

The U.S. officials seeking to extradite Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, offered Canada a polite “thanks” for arresting her. But as China punishes Canada for fulfilling the U.S. request, there has been little help from the White House, which is focused, for now, on cutting a trade deal with China...

“Not only are we navigating around a hostile China, but we need to do that without all the guarantees and protections that we have had in the past,” said David Mulroney, who served as Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

The Canadian conundrum raises a question familiar to small countries that have found themselves in China’s bad books: How do you stand up to a soon-to-be-superpower, particularly without clear, consistent U.S. support?

Huawei Executive Seeks Dismissal of U.S. Extradition Request - WSJ $$

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court said she would hear evidence from prosecutors and Ms. Meng’s lawyers about the extradition case starting Sept. 23. In the meantime, she said she would allow Ms. Meng to move from her current residence in Vancouver’s West Side neighborhood into a more secluded and secure mansion she owns with her husband on the same block as the residence of the U.S. consul general.

Comment: This sucks for Kovrig and Spavor, it seems clear they will be held hostage so long as the Meng case is unresolved, and they don’t get to spend their days in a multimillion dollar villa.

China ignores overtures from Ottawa amid Huawei dispute - The Globe and Mail

Canadian leaders have been unable to communicate with Chinese decision-makers in the midst of the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries in decades, with Beijing not responding to Ottawa’s entreaties to talk amid mounting damage to trade with the world’s second-largest economy.

Five different Canadian federal ministers have requested conversations with top-level Chinese officials since the Vancouver arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1. None has been successful.

China has not refused those approaches, four sources with knowledge of the situation told The Globe and Mail. It has merely ignored them

Huawei case puts two-way strain on Canada-China business confidence | South China Morning Post

More than half of Canadian companies operating in China have changed, postponed or cancelled their business plans in the wake of the arrest of Huawei executive Sabrina Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver six months ago, according to a new report into business sentiment by Canada’s de facto chamber of commerce in Beijing.

Chinese court delays ruling on Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg’s death penalty appeal | AFP

A Chinese court adjourned a hearing of a Canadian man’s appeal against his death sentence for drug smuggling without a decision on Thursday in a case that has deepened a diplomatic spat between Beijing and Ottawa.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, 36, was sentenced to death in January after a court deemed his previous 15-year prison sentence too lenient.


7. China stressing US-UK relationship

No time to go 'wobbly': Pompeo scolds Britain over China and Huawei - Reuters

“Now is not the time for either of us to go wobbly,” Pompeo said in a speech of the so-called special relationship, paraphrasing what Thatcher once famously told late U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

“In China, we face a new kind of challenge; an authoritarian regime that’s integrated economically into the West in ways that the Soviet Union never was,” Pompeo said..

“Ask yourself: would the Iron Lady be silent when China violates the sovereignty of nations through corruption or coercion? Would she allow China to control the internet of the future?” Pompeo said.

“Insufficient security will impede the United States’ ability to share certain information within trusted networks. This is just what China wants – to divide Western alliances through bits and bytes, not bullets and bombs.”

Full text of Pompeo's remarks - The Special Relationship - Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Lancaster House

UK has concerns about 'significant and widespread' Chinese cyber intrusion - Reuters

“We have a strong relationship with China in many areas but there are several areas where we have expressed our concerns about China’s behavior and that includes significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and our allies,” a spokesman for Theresa May told reporters.

Senior Chinese official meets British cabinet secretary - Xinhua

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with British Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill here on Thursday...

Sedwill, who is also the national security advisor to the British prime minister, said Britain attaches great importance to developing relations with China, supports the Belt and Road Initiative, and stands ready to deepen cooperation with China to promote the "golden era" relationship.


8. More details in Jerry Lee spy case

The saga of the Chinese mole reads like a spy thriller - The Washington Post - David Ignatius

The hunt for a Chinese mole began after the CIA started losing its key sources in China in 2010. [Jerry Chun Shing] Lee, who first met with Chinese intelligence officers in April 2010, according to prosecutors, soon came under suspicion. Another suspect was a former senior case officer who had served in China when the blown network of spies was recruited.

The senior case officer was eventually cleared, thanks to Chinese tradecraft mistakes that revealed their contact with Lee, a source said. The bungling came in Thailand in 2013, when Chinese spies made a sudden recruitment pitch to a former CIA operative who had worked with the senior case officer. She figured that someone had given the Chinese operative her name and told him it must have been Lee.

Her Chinese would-be recruiter then foolishly blurted out: “No, I’m not handling Jerry. It’s another team,” according to a knowledgeable source...

The damage from this case still makes the intelligence community wince. “They wiped us out in China. All the networks we had were gone,” one former official said...

Experts say that in the Thailand meeting, the Chinese operative asked the former CIA officer about cases that Lee shouldn’t have known about. Which leads to an eerie question: Was there another Chinese mole, buried even deeper?

Comment: The destruction of the CIA networks in China, just as Xi started his rule, could not have come at a worse time for the US.


Business, Economy and Trade

Yicai Global - Yicai Chief Economist Confidence Index Hits Yearly High This Month The Yicai Chief Economist Confidence Index was 50.23 this month, above the halfway mark in the highest reading thus far this year. Over 90 percent of economists were optimistic about economic performance over the next month, the Yicai Chief Survey unveiled yesterday shows.

Cyberattack Strikes Investors as Too Well-Timed to Be ‘Accident’ - Caixin Global After battery-maker Pride Power reported a hack into its servers of parent manufacturer Dongfang Precision, the parent company released a statement Wednesday saying it feared that accounting data may have been lost. The announcement raised suspicion among investors that the attack’s timing was too perfect to be coincidental, as the companies are embroiled in financial disputes.

China to bid on D.C. Metro rail deal as national security hawks circle - Reuters It plans to bid this month on the D.C. Metro rail car contract, worth more than $500 million, Dave Smolensky, a spokesman for the company’s Chicago-based CRRC Sifang subsidiary told Reuters. And it has also set its sights on winning an order to supply 1,500 cars as part of New York City’s massive subway system upgrade, according to an industry source familiar with the matter.

China inflation: March PPI and CPI released amid trade tiff with US - CNBC China's April consumer inflation was in line with expectations, but a spike in pork prices contributed to higher food prices, the National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Thursday.

China Slams Brakes on Electric Bus Subsidies - Caixin Several ministries and state planner the National Development and Reform Commission announced this week that bus subsidies will be dramatically reduced later this year, with a view to possibly phase them out entirely in 2020. According to the notice, the ministries of finance, transportation and industry and information should prepare to introduce subsidy cuts for electric buses that match subsidy rules for general electric vehicles that were published in March.

China launches green subsidies to spur investment in hinterland provinces - Reuters China is to provide subsidies of up to 60 percent for some “green” investment projects in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the latest measure to underpin growth while spearheading an anti-pollution drive.

China to Host WTO Mini-Ministerial Meeting in Shanghai in November - Caixin Global Representatives from different parties will discuss the multilateral trading system and WTO reforms, according to the spokesperson. Beijing is keen to push for reforms at the WTO, as well as maintain an effective multilateral trading system for what it calls an open world economy, Gao said.

Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor reports first-quarter earnings - CNBC In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Thursday, Dialog Semiconductor CEO Jalal Bagherli expressed optimism in his outlook for the Chinese mobile phone market.

Chinese bank employee convicted of ‘leaking state secrets’ after sharing policy draft on WeChat | South China Morning Post The draft was widely circulated on social media and later reported by Bloomberg and “had a disastrous impact on China’s financial regulation,” the court’s written ruling said. The document, drafted by the central bank and titled “Guidance on Regulating the Asset Management Business of Financial Institutions”, aimed to apply macroprudential oversight to China’s unwieldy asset management industry, which controls over 100 trillion yuan in assets. Specifically, it banned financial institutions from guaranteeing that investments would break even or offering excessively high returns on wealth management products. // She got a one-year suspended sentence

Moutai Maker’s Shares Plunge on Direct-Sales Plan - Caixin Kweichow Moutai Co., the publicly traded maker of Moutai liquor, received a letter from the Shanghai Stock Exchange Tuesday night asking for an explanation of why the state-run parent company, Kweichow Moutai Winery Group, established a direct sales unit. Investors and analysts said they are worried that the move could siphon off profits from the listed company.

Exclusive: Private Equity Firm Fuxing Mired in $2.9 Billion Black Hole - Caixin Five more senior executives at Shanghai-based private equity firm Fuxing Group have been detained by police on charges of fundraising fraud as investigators found a black hole of more than 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) left by the defunct conglomerate...Fuxing’s downfall unfolding since last summer has turned into a financial scandal that has become one of the biggest crises ever to hit China’s private equity industry. The company controls four private equity funds that have registered 160 asset management products that took in money from private investors and banks.

China to extend tax preferences for IC, software companies - Xinhua The State Council, China's cabinet, on Wednesday decided to continue the preferential corporate income tax policies for integrated circuit (IC) and software companies. The country will also attract more investment from home and abroad to participate in and promote the development of the two sectors, according to a statement made public after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang

New measures to boost national development zones for further opening up - Xinhua The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. The Chinese government puts high importance on the innovation-driven development of the national economic and technological development zones. Premier Li Keqiang required that the demonstrative role of the national economic development zones be fully harnessed for better use of foreign investment and relevant policies consistent with law be rolled out to make these zones pacesetters in attracting foreign investment.

‘Why Is This So Cheap?’ Chinese Shopping App Falls for American Bargains - WSJ ShopShops, which works on a commission basis with many of its partner stores, now hosts 220 streams a month—from various cities in the U.S., as well as a handful of others, including Dubai and London—averaging about $6,000 in sales each session. ShopShops then facilitates delivery to China.


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Politics and Law

Chinese University Staff 'Must Study' Marxism, Maoist and Xi Jinping Ideology - RFA The Ministry of Education released on Monday a five-year training plan for teachers via a series of "political theory" courses in colleges and universities. According to the ministry, "it is necessary to train dozens of ideological and political scholars with extensive influence ... as well as hundreds of leaders in ideological and political education."

China tries to thwart CNN probe into detention camps - CNN Video CNN's Matt Rivers explains why his investigation into Chinese facilities that the US says are detention camps is so difficult and why it's important

Security cameras and barbed wire: Living amid fear and oppression in Xinjiang - CNN In late March, CNN traveled to Xinjiang for six days to get a first-hand look at the camps, attempting to see three different facilities in three cities hundreds of miles apart.

Tiananmen Square: China steps up curbs on activists for 30th anniversary | The Guardian Some expect the campaign to last longer than usual this year because of the significance of the anniversary. Gao Yu, a journalist who attended the protests in 1989, said controls on her had been more severe than in previous years. She was placed under house arrest for almost three months from 17 January, the anniversary of the death of the reformist leader Zhao Ziyang, who opposed sending tanks into Beijing, and she expects to be “travelled” next week and again over 4 June, probably for a week.

‘A taste of freedom in China’: Tiananmen Square crackdown commemorated in New York | South China Morning Post Hundreds gathered in a New York cathedral on Tuesday to pay tribute to the protesters that were brutally suppressed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square crackdown three decades ago, kick-starting commemoration of its approaching anniversary in the United States. At the Cathedral of St John the Divine near Columbia University, around 300 people assembled for an evening of poetry, music and speeches to celebrate the courage - and mourn the sacrifice - of students who led a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations that swept China in 1989.

China detains 3 social workers in widening crackdown | Financial Times $$ Police on Wednesday arrived unannounced at the offices of Hope college, a community centre in the southern city of Guangzhou that helps migrants attending vocational schools and detained social worker Liang Zicun, the group’s founder. They also took away documents, computers, hard disks. Similar raids were carried out at the offices and homes of two more social workers, Li Changjiang in Shenzhen and Li Dajun in Beijing, both of whom were detained, according to the friends and colleagues of the three.

Xi Focus: Xi stresses police loyalty, competence, discipline - Xinhua The police should ensure that the Party's lines, principles, policies, and major decisions and plans are implemented to the letter, he said. He also noted the need to proactively prevent and properly defuse various kinds of social contradictions to guarantee a society of vitality, stability and order...Big data should be used as an engine to power the innovative development of public security work and a new growth point for nurturing combat capabilities, said Xi.

Buddhist statue with Confucius head to be redesigned: local government - Global Times A Buddhist statue with the head of Confucius is being renovated and will become a statue of Confucius after completion, a municipal authority in East China's Shandong Province said, after the statue with Confucius' head and a Buddhist body sparked controversy. Chinese experts hailed it as promoting religious equality, as regulating religious statues in public gives every religion the opportunity to develop equally in accordance with laws and regulations.  The 21-meter Buddhist statue in Chengdongbu village, Pingdu, East China's Shandong Province, which was built eight years ago by the village committee, is undergoing renovation after it violated a newly revised religious regulation

Foreign and Defense Affairs

U.S., partner navies sail together in South China Sea | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer joined ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the Philippine Navy to sail through the South China Sea, May 2-8.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Chinese Expansion in Southeast Asia - Charles Edel Beijing’s geopolitical moves continue to obfuscate its larger designs, surprise observers, and render the United States and its allies reactive. The prospect of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia offers a case in point...For Beijing, the strategic dividends of acquiring a military base in southeast Asia are numerous: a more favorable operational environment in the waters ringing southeast Asia, a military perimeter ringing and potentially enclosing mainland southeast Asia, and potentially easier and less restricted access to the Indian Ocean. These benefits are not all of equal value to Chinese strategists, nor does China need any of them immediately. But the logic of Chinese expansion suggests that sooner or later, Beijing will need such a military outpost in southeast Asia, and Hun Sen’s Cambodia presents especially fertile geographic and political soil.

Chinese Defense Minister meets with Zimbabwean counterpart - China Military Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe met with visiting Oppah Muchinguri, chairperson of Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and Zimbabwean Defense Minister in Beijing on Wednesday.

Dialogue of civilizations can iron out cultural creases - Global Times The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations will kick off in Beijing soon. It is China's attempt to promote understanding among different civilizations, inclusive development, and to respond to the theory of the Clash of Civilizations with the philosophy of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Beijing blasts U.S. Congress for Taiwan defense bill - China Daily Yuan Zheng, director of U.S. foreign relations research at the Institute of American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the recent passage of U.S. naval vessels through the Taiwan Straits, arms sales and political support to Taiwan are meant to help Taiwan separatists and pressure Beijing.

American siblings trapped in China make public plea for help: "We wake up every morning terrified" - CBS News Their estranged father, Liu Changming, is one of China's most wanted fugitives. Liu, who fled the country in 2007, is the former executive of a state-owned bank and is linked to a $1.4 billion fraud case.

China says 'fed up' with hearing U.S. complaints on Belt and Road - Reuters In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said various people in the United States had been making “irresponsible comments” on the program, especially before the summit when, he said, such criticism reached a crescendo...“But what was the result? One hundred and fifty countries, 92 international organizations and more than 6,000 delegates from various countries attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, including 50 delegates from the United States,” Geng told reporters.

Nepal Inching Toward China | The Diplomat Two significant developments in recent weeks clearly show that Nepal wants to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and use Chinese routes and ports in order to lessen its heavy dependence on India. Though there has been some delay in the selection of specific projects under BRI, with the exception of the cross-border Kerung-Kathmandu railway, Nepal has shown unwavering attraction to BRI.

Xi to address Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations- China.org.cn Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations to be held on May 15 in Beijing, a senior official said Thursday.

Taiwan

Taiwan delegation led by Hung Hsiu-chu to visit Beijing - Xinhua Hung Hsiu-chu, former chairperson of the Chinese Kuomintang party, will lead a delegation of personages from various circles in Taiwan to visit Beijing from May 12 to 15, a Chinese mainland spokesperson said Thursday.

Tech and Media

Proposed Guidelines Highlight China's Fragmented Protection of Online Privacy The guidelines from the National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee (TC260), which were released for public comment this week, state that mobile apps should not collect and use personal information without user consent, collect and use personal information unrelated to the services they provide, or provide personal information to third parties without user consent. While the guidelines are not legally binding, they provide a baseline that future privacy laws from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) can be built on. However, there is a concern that the decentralized nature of China’s current system for managing online privacy — divided between the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the Ministry of Public Security, and the CAC — will hinder its ability to enforce user protections.

Co-chiefs of China’s top chipmaker SMIC fighting over strategy | Financial Times $$ Zhao Haijun, co-CEO of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, is considering leaving the company because Beijing policymakers are prioritising the work of co-CEO Liang Mong-song to develop more advanced chip production at 14-nanometre resolution (14 billionths of a metre) and smaller.  This is taking priority over Mr Zhao’s own efforts to expand commercially viable operations using older generations of process technology, according to seven people familiar with the situation. Scores of executives are being replaced to align management more closely with Mr Liang’s goals, the people said.

Headlines from China: China to Remake War Classics 'The Bridge’ and ‘Walter Defends Sarajevo’ | China Film Insider Recently, Chinese film production company Huahua Media, Sarajevo Film Center, and a Serbian production company signed a deal to remake 1969 war classic The Bridge. The three parties have also reached an agreement to remake Walter Defends Sarajevo together. Ambassador of Serbian to China Milan Bacevic and ambassador of Bosnia Herzegovina Anton Rill attended the deal-signing event

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

China issues plan to protect, inherit Grand Canal heritage - Xinhua A cultural belt will be built along the canal’s existing main river course and those used in recent history, according to the plan’s outline, which was issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

Rural and Agricultural Issues

Slaughterhouse Test Blitz Ordered to Stem China's Pig Contagion - Bloomberg From July 1, abattoirs must routinely test all batches of hogs representative of the property from which they came. The order Tuesday adds to a suite of measures the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has instituted to arrest an increase this year in the number of villages reporting cases of the viral disease.


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