Liu He to Germany 11.25-28; APEC tales; Tax relief and bailout funds for private firms

Time is running short for Liu He to meet with US negotiators before the Trump-Xi G20 meeting. Xinhua announced today that he will visit Germany just before the G20:

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Germany from Nov. 25 to 28 at the invitation of German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang announced Tuesday.

Liu will also attend the eighth "Hamburg Summit: China Meets Europe" on his Germany tour.

That will leave little time between the 28th and 29th for Liu to show up in Argentina to negotiate with the US, if that is/was the latest plan as reported by the South China Morning Post. There is still time for a DC trip "after Thanksgiving" and before going to Germany, but it increasingly sounds like that is not happening.

And what about the 4th Plenum some sources said would be held in November? Is it still happening between Xi's return to Beijing on 11.21 and Liu's departure on 11.25? Were those sources wrong? Or was it "delayed" for some reason? If it is not held in the next few days I will guess there will be much speculation it was "delayed" due to pressure on Xi. CCP elite politics are never dull even if they are mostly impenetrable…

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade

Trump’s trade hawk prepares to swoop on Beijing | Financial Times - $$:

A senior business lobbyist closely following the talks added: “He’s made it very clear that dialogue with China hasn’t worked over the years. He’s going to be very sceptical of any commitments or future promises he’s going to see. And if he’s not going to get a good deal he’ll be content keeping the tariffs on.”

Mr Lighthizer hails from the protectionist, economic nationalist wing of the Republican party that was crowded out by free-traders for most of his career but is in the ascendant in the Trump era...

Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senator from Ohio who is weighing a presidential bid in 2020, said in a statement to the FT that he had “worked closely” with Mr Lighthizer to “crack down on countries like China that cheat the rules”, and seemed satisfied with the path taken by the administration.

Trump Wants Soybeans Included in Any U.S.-China Trade Accord - Bloomberg:

While the U.S. has been pushing for higher sales of agricultural products generally, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky said any trade pact would also address the resumption of soybean sales specifically, since that was targeted in the trade war.

Cramer: Odds of no US-China trade deal just got higher - CNBC:

"It's hard not to get the impression that this administration cares more about trying to destabilize or even topple the Chinese Communist regime than it does about negotiating a fairer trade deal," Cramer said on "Mad Money."

Comment: A dropping US stock market may be the best hope for Beijing to get Trump to cave into a squishy deal at the G20.

How a Trade War With China Creates Security Risks for Washington - Ali Wyne - Foreign Affairs:

Given the breadth, complexity, and interconnectedness of global supply chains, the United States and China would only be able to unwind their current interdependence very slowly. In 2013, when two-way trade totaled $562.2 billion, the Brookings Institution’s Thomas Wright concluded that Washington and Beijing “have no way of significantly reducing trade with each other through protectionism without setting in motion a general unraveling of the global trading system that each relies upon.” That judgment holds even truer today, given that two-way trade was 13 percent higher in 2017 than it was in 2013.

Still, China’s economic strength relative to the United States has increased significantly over the past decade, and it will continue to grow. Xi declared this past October, moreover, that “no one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its interests.” In other words, expect an increase in both Beijing’s ability and willingness to absorb the pain of economic decoupling with the United States. Trump may well want to accelerate this trend, but the potential security consequences of doing so should give his administration pause


2. US tech powering China's surveillance state and AI ambitions

Nvidia and its investors should be worried.

A Silicon Valley Tech Leader Walks a High Wire Between the U.S. and China - WSJ $$:

In the U.S., Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia Corp. NVDA , which makes advanced computer chips key to artificial intelligence, sells to Uber Technologies Inc. for self-driving cars and to Microsoft Corp. for cloud-computing services.

Nvidia gets even more revenue from China. Chinese tech giants including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc. use its products. So do companies developing facial-recognition and other domestic police and surveillance technologies, along with a university lab that worked with Chinese military researchers.

With a new Cold War brewing between the U.S. and China...Nvidia’s dominance of the market for the highest-end artificial-intelligence chips make it the most striking example of how Silicon Valley is contributing to China’s technological rise...

At a company event in Beijing in 2016, Nvidia touted Hikvision’s use of its products to build artificial-intelligence capabilities into its cameras. On its Chinese website, Nvidia showcases how a Shanghai-based police research institute used Nvidia GPUs to shorten the time needed to sift through surveillance data from months to days...

Nvidia GPUs enable facial-recognition systems at the core of China’s national-surveillance network. Officials at SenseTime said the company uses Nvidia chips to help build software, hardware and other services it sells to financial firms and Chinese police.

This Company Is Helping Build China’s Panopticon. It Won’t Stop There - Bloomberg:

SenseTime sells artificial intelligence software that recognizes things, especially people...Various Chinese police departments use its SenseTotem and SenseFace systems to analyze security footage and bust suspects...

Backed by investors including Alibaba, Fidelity International, Qualcomm, Silver Lake, and Tiger Global Management, SenseTime is adding to its staff of 2,200 as it pitches a host of industries on both sides of the Pacific. It expects to triple revenue this year, to $300 million, say two people familiar with its finances. ..

In September, China named SenseTime one of five “national champions” in AI alongside internet powerhouses such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., a distinction that means critics and U.S. officials will be watching its expansion more closely.

Trump Threatens High-Tech Export Curbs in Latest Swipe at China - Bloomberg:

A request for public comment, published Monday on the U.S. government’s Federal Register, asks if a list of new technologies that have national security applications -- from artificial intelligence to microprocessors and robotics -- should be subject to more stringent export-control rules. That would affect U.S. manufacturers as well as purchasers in China.

The news added to bearish sentiment in China’s stock market on Tuesday, with two manufacturers of surveillance equipment -- Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. -- leading large-cap losses.

Beyond the U.S–Chinese AI Arms Race - Foreign Affairs - By Remco Zwetsloot, Helen Toner, and Jeffrey Ding:

One of the most in-depth discussions of U.S.–Chinese AI competition can be found in AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, a recent book by the Taiwanese-American venture capitalist and AI expert Kai-Fu Lee. Drawing on his in-depth knowledge of—and personal experience with—the Chinese and U.S. tech sectors, Lee, like Schmidt and Work, concludes that “China will soon match or even overtake the United States in developing and deploying artificial intelligence.”

There is much to like about AI Superpowers. Lee persuasively counters many common misperceptions about China and AI, and he offers thoughtful personal reflections. Unfortunately, the parts of the book that inform his core thesis about China’s relative advantages over the United States are the parts that leave the most to be desired. In the end, Lee’s overly rosy portrayal of China’s AI capabilities both detracts from the book’s other contributions and risks feeding the zero-sum arms race thinking that he himself warns could hurt humanity’s ability to harness AI for good.

Comment: Kai-Fu Lee's book is still worth reading. Full disclosure, he sent me a free review copy.


3. Tax relief and bailout funds for private firms

China to ease tax burdens for private enterprises - Xinhua:

The burden of taxes and fees on private enterprises will be further eased, according to a guideline released by the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) on supporting the private sector.

The detailed guideline outlined 26 measures to facilitate the development of private businesses, including advancing substantial tax cuts, especially the reduction of value-added taxes, working on tax exemptions for micro and small firms as well as technology startups, and promoting the reduction of nominal rates for social security contributions.

Measures will also be taken to address the difficulty and high costs of financing for private firms, simplify tax payment procedures and level the playing field for private businesses.

国家税务总局印发《关于实施进一步支持和服务民营经济发展若干措施的通知》

China Lets Struggling Private Companies Delay Tax Payments - Caixin:

Local taxation bureaus should develop practical tax policies to support distressed companies (link in Chinese) with a good record of paying their taxes on time, according to the administration’s notice, implying further tax cuts and simplified tax reporting procedures could be on the way.

Tax deferrals have long existed in the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Tax Collection (link in Chinese), which was last revised in 2001. Taxpayers experiencing “special difficulties” are allowed to request a tax deferral of up to three months, according to the tax collection law. The “special difficulties” are defined (link in Chinese) as taxpayers who suffer great loss due to circumstances outside of their control. It also applied to companies whose current capital is insufficient to pay the tax after covering their employees’ wages and social insurance payments.

Caixin View: China’s Dilemma — Lower Tax Burden or Bigger Pension Hole - Caixin Global:

The Jan. 1 change is likely to lead to much stricter enforcement and a higher collection rate as local governments try to bolster their pension and welfare funds as economic growth slows. This means more pressure on businesses at a time when many, especially those in the private sector, are struggling. If all companies met their social insurance payment obligations, average labor costs for businesses would increase by 30%, according to Wang Dehua, a financial analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a top state-backed think tank.

However laudable the government’s aims — after all, why should some companies get away with not paying? — this enforcement action is coming as private companies are being hammered by the slowdown in the economy; the impact of the financial deleveraging campaign, which has exacerbated the lack of access to financing; and deteriorating confidence fueled by the trade war with the U.S.

Provincial and ministerial bosses pledging support for private sector thing is still ongoing. This time it is the party secretary of Shandong Liu Jiayi’s turn to talk about how Shandong has helped private sector to grow. - 刘家义:推动民营经济走向更加广阔的舞台 

Editorial: Use Lessons From Cultural Revolution to Right Wrongs Against Business - Caixin:

Obviously, there are great obstacles to identifying and correcting injustices committed against enterprises. However, this is by no means a reason to hesitate. The current stalemate brings to mind the much more difficult task of redressing injustice that China faced around 1978. If today’s relevant departments can muster the same courage and wisdom to bring order out of chaos that their predecessors had, and have the same resolve to rehabilitate the wronged, the process of making amends to wronged enterprises will not be as slow as it is currently. On the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, we believe that it is crucial for China to regain the spirit of distinguished past reformers, and open up a new phase of correcting injustices against enterprises.

China Deploys over 300 Billion Yuan in Bailout Funds for Private Enterprise - China Banking News:

Calculations by the state-owned Economic Information Daily put the volume of bailout funds that are currently entering the market at over 300 billion yuan, provided by financial institutions as well as Chinese local governments.

Analysts say that these funds will be directed at “establishing long-term effective mechanisms for financing by private enterprise.”

Either the regulators have not fully thought this through or they are using this to help connected firms, or both? - Bailout Bandwagon Poses Threat to Private Sector Rescue - Caixin:

The share sale bodes poorly for the government’s recent efforts to bolster confidence in a stock market battered by a vicious cycle of falling prices thanks to the pledged-share crisis. Government efforts have included the creation of a several local government-sponsored bailout funds, such as the one that provided funding to Poten. However, such measures could run into problems if shareholders of other companies benefiting from the bailouts follow the lead of Poten’s investors. Rampant share dumping would undermine the government’s goals of stabilizing the country’s $7 trillion stock market and aiding struggling private companies...

Based in Beijing’s tech hub of Haidian district, Poten received 50 million yuan in rescue loans on Nov. 14 from Haidian’s state-owned assets supervision and administration committee and the Bank of Jiangsu, the state-backed People’s Daily reported.

Beijing Deputy Mayor Touts Market’s Role in Pledged-Share Bailouts - Caixin:

“There are more than 300 listed companies in Beijing, and over half of them are private companies. Most of the private companies have engaged in this kind of financing,” said Yin Yong, who was deputy governor of the country’s central bank before being appointed Beijing’s deputy mayor in January.


4. APEC stories

Wang Yi turns spotlight on United States with claim China’s Apec amendment was vetoed | South China Morning Post:

Wang Yi said China had suggested the amendment at the weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Papua New Guinea, but that other countries “insisted on imposing their own text”...

“It is by no means accidental that the meeting did not release the communiqué,” Wang said in a statement.

“It is mainly because some individual economies insisted on imposing their own text for a communiqué on other parties, excusing protectionism and unilateralism, and refused to accept reasonable advice for revision proposed by China and other parties.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on November 19, 2018:

Q: First, the 26th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting failed to issue a leaders' communique at the end of the meeting. The US officials said that it was China's objection that led to the failure in reaching consensus. What is your comment? Second, reports say that Chinese delegates allegedly tried to barge into the office of the Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister and even the police were called to the scene. Can you confirm that and comment on it?

A: Do you believe this story? Polite and well-behaved Chinese diplomats barging into the office of the Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister?

Comment: “Polite and well-behaved” is not a description I have recently heard other diplomats use when describing the PRC ones…

I will take this question first. As the host, Papua New Guinea has made well-thought and meticulous efforts for the organization and arrangement of the APEC meeting. China commends that. In fact, China has been in smooth and effective communication with Papua New Guinea. The so-called barging into the PNG Foreign Minister's office is purely a rumor from someone with ulterior motives. The PNG has made clarifications on that. Any plot to undermine China-Papua New Guinea relations will not succeed.

Back to your first question, the APEC meeting indeed failed to adopt the final communique. But the reason for that is not the one given by the US side.

Inside China’s ‘tantrum diplomacy’ at APEC - The Washington Post - Josh Rogin:

“This is becoming a bit of a routine in China’s official relations: tantrum diplomacy,” a senior U.S. official involved in the negotiations told me. “Them walking around like they own the place and trying to get what they want through bullying.”..

Even before the summit started, and continuing right up to its end, Chinese officials used every opportunity to strong-arm or undermine the host nation government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the other summit members. Chinese tactics included being thuggish with the international media, busting into government buildings uninvited, papering the capital city of Port Moresby with pro-Beijing propaganda and possibly even using cyberattacks to stifle the message of Vice President Pence, the U.S. delegation leader...

...five minutes into Pence’s remarks, the Internet in the media center crashed for most of the reporters there, meaning they couldn’t hear or report on it in real time...

Just as Pence was finishing his speech, the media center’s Internet mysteriously came back on. U.S. officials told me — although they couldn’t be sure China was responsible — they were investigating what happened.

Comment: Quite provocative if this is what happened.


5. Local police harassed the wrong publication's reporter

Police Barged Into My Room While I Was Covering Fujian Chemical Spill - Caixin Global:

As a science and environment reporter, I have rarely been threatened while conducting interviews.

But in the past two years, with the Chinese public’s awareness of environmental issues growing and anti-pollution efforts being elevated to top-level policy, environmental incidents have become a major issue for government officials, and I have now experienced firsthand how lawless and unscrupulous official power can be when it is abused.

On Nov. 4, a petrochemical leak occurred in the city of Quanzhou, in Fujian province. I quickly rushed to the scene to conduct interviews...

I was looking at my phone in bed at around 11:30 p.m. when I heard someone swipe a key-card on my door and walk into my room. Four men in police uniforms suddenly appeared before my bed. Their leader, a bald officer holding the key card in his hand, said they were from the police station and ordered me to show my identity card

Comment: "Tackling pollution" is one of the three tough battles launched by the Party Center. Local government performance is also a key focus of the center. The Quanzhou incident is an example of local officials not fighting that battle well, either through negligence or corruption, and abusing their power. So the fact that this story is made public may not be sign of some sort of opening or loosening but rather that it fits quite nicely into the sweet spot of Beijing priorities. The Quanzhou local government officials must be sweating hard about now, as the odds of a bigger investigation and firings/arrests has gone up...

The story was all over Chinese media 惊魂!女记者进行碳九事故采访深夜被"例行查房" 

The Quanzhou police have apologized, suspended one officer and say they are investigating 泉州市公安局关于对泉港区公安执法相关人员问责处理的情况通报 

More Tales Emerge of Local Officials Following Chinese Journalists - Caixin Global:

Zhou isn’t the only reporter to have been shadowed and harassed by local governments in China. It’s now “normal” for journalists to have “company” on reporting trips, Liang Yingfei, another reporter for Caixin writes ( 被泄漏的碳九,被查房的记者,与被围合的渔村):

“Once, when I was out interviewing a source in Changbai, Jilin province, staff at my hotel told me to return immediately to the hotel because there was a leak in my room. When I got there, I found local government officials waiting for me in the lobby.”

Another time, Liang was in Jiangxi reporting on local funeral reforms that had resulted in thousands of coffins being destroyed, with some elderly people committing suicide because they wanted to die before a ban on traditional funerals came into effect. “I interviewed some elderly residents in their homes. Afterwards, local officials followed me from the village back to the city, which was 30 kilometers away,” she wrote.


6. Xi goes to the Philippines

From South China Sea deals to loosening ties with the US: five things to look out for on Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines | South China Morning Post:

Efforts to reach a deal on the joint oil and gas exploration of the South China Sea are at the heart of the renewed cooperation between the two sides.

In January, the Philippines identified two areas to be searched for oil and gas, and the following month the two sides set up a special panel to work out how to how to explore disputed areas both sides claim.

Duterte’s stance is in sharp contrast to that of the previous government, which took the territorial dispute to an international tribunal and secured a ruling in its favour.

Xi Visits Philippines to Celebrate ‘Rainbow After the Rain’ With Duterte - The New York Times:

Mr. Xi’s trip, the first to the Philippines by a Chinese leader in 13 years, will most likely result in multibillion dollar pledges. But some economists wonder whether the money will actually materialize...

Nearly 85 percent of Filipinos canvassed for a survey by Social Weather Stations, a respected local polling firm, said they opposed the Philippine government’s inaction on China’s movements in the South China Sea.

Two years ago, soon after he replaced a Philippine president harshly critical of China, Mr. Duterte traveled to Beijing and signed a slew of high-profile investment deals. He told his hosts that “America has lost” in the military and economic spheres, in a blunt rejection of the Philippines’ longtime ally.

Yet China’s investment in the Philippines remains more promise than reality. Only a fraction of the $24 billion in Chinese projects and financing that were agreed on two years ago has been approved for implementation.

China Telecom's Philippines plan under scrutiny - Nikkei Asian Review:

The opposition senators also raised concerns over the president's ties to China Telecom's local partner, Uy. "The selection of the joint venture of a Davao-based businessman and state-owned China Telecom as the provisional new major telecommunications player should be examined carefully," they said.

Uy and his wife Cherylyn were major contributors to Duterte's 2016 election campaign, contributing 31 million pesos in cash, according to Duterte's official contributions statement.

Carpio fact-checks Xi Jinping on 14th-century Chinese explorer - Rappler:

Not even Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is now in the Philippines for a two-day state visit, escaped the scrutiny of Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, a leading advocate of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Carpio on Tuesday, November 20, fact-checked the claim of Xi that the 14th-century Chinese explorer Zheng He visited the Philippines more than 600 years ago. Zheng He, who lived from 1371 to 1433, was a diplomat and admiral who helped in boosting China's maritime influence, and is remembered for commanding 7 historic naval expeditions.

"Zheng He never visited the Philippines," Carpio said on Tuesday, hours before Xi landed in Manila.

5 ways Duterte made good on his pivot to China - Rappler:

Heaped praises on Xi, China in public speeches;

Refrained from asserting the Philippines’ legal victory against China on the South China Sea;

Announced changes to military activities that have angered China;

Allowed Chinese planes, ships to land or dock in Davao City;

Welcomed Chinese businessmen, investments


7. Greenpeace on melting China glaciers

Greenpeace survey reveals impact of climate change on glaciers in China | Greenpeace East Asia:

The rate of glacier melt at key sites in western China has increased dramatically in recent decades, new research from Greenpeace East Asia shows. Satellite data shows rapid glacier retreat at locations in Qinghai, Gansu and Xinjiang, and reveals how glacier melt caused two major disasters in western China over the past four months...

Chinese Academy of Sciences research fellow Professor Shen Yongping said:

"I first visited these glaciers in 1983, and since then, have witnessed dramatic changes. Glacier melt has accelerated, and the frequency and intensity of glacial flooding have increased. The risk of glacial disasters is on track to increase sharply in the future, and there is a critical need for more glacial monitoring and protection for affected communities.”

Collection of photos and videos 


8. New York Times on the rise of China

Quite the package by the New York Times on China. This is the first in the series, more coming this weekend.

The Land That Failed to Fail - The New York Times

For decades, the United States encouraged and aided China’s rise, working with its leaders and its people to build the most important economic partnership in the world, one that has lifted both nations.

During this time, eight American presidents assumed, or hoped, that China would eventually bend to what were considered the established rules of modernization: Prosperity would fuel popular demands for political freedom and bring China into the fold of democratic nations. Or the Chinese economy would falter under the weight of authoritarian rule and bureaucratic rot.

But neither happened. Instead, China’s Communist leaders have defied expectations again and again. They embraced capitalism even as they continued to call themselves Marxists. They used repression to maintain power but without stifling entrepreneurship or innovation. Surrounded by foes and rivals, they avoided war, with one brief exception, even as they fanned nationalist sentiment at home. And they presided over 40 years of uninterrupted growth, often with unorthodox policies the textbooks said would fail.

Comment: I am still hoping James Mann releases a new edition of his 2007 book “the China Fantasy”:

What if China manages to continue on its current economic path, yet its political system does not change in any fundamental way? What if, twenty-five or thirty years from now, a wealthier, more powerful China continues to be run by a one-party regime that still represses organized political dissent much as it does today, while at the same time China is also open to the outside world and, indeed, is deeply intertwined with the rest of the world through trade, investment and other economic ties? Everyone assumes that the Chinese political system is going to open up—but what if it doesn’t? What if, in other words, China becomes fully integrated into the world’s economy, yet it remains also entirely undemocratic?


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Ant Financial Chief Blasts 'Fake' Fintech, Says His Company Helps Economy - Caixin The head of Ant Financial Services Group, the online payment behemoth affiliated to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., distanced his company from dangerous “fake” fintech while touting its support for small businesses and the economy, amid increasing government suspicion of tech giants' expansion into finance.

EU closes in on system to screen foreign investment | Reuters Under the plan, being developed following a flurry of Chinese investments, the Commission would investigate foreign investments in critical sectors to protect Europe’s strategic interests in some fields of technology. Lawmakers in the European Parliament want tougher screening than initially proposed by the EU executive, such as obliging the Commission to start screening deals and requiring EU countries to cooperate.

Yicai Global - China May Have Reached the Limit of Selling 30 Million Cars Per Year, Firm Bosses Say A slowdown in car sales this year is  almost inevitable, and low growth will become the new normal, several  executives said to Yicai Global during interviews at the Guangzhou  International Automobile Exhibition which continues until Nov. 25.  Sales dropped almost 12 percent to 2.4  million in October, data from the China Association of Automobile  Manufacturers show. This makes 2018 as the first year when the annual  growth of the Chinese auto market has been negative in nearly two  decades since 2000. Institutions once estimated that the  annual sales will reach about 35 million units by 2025, but the number  may reduce to 30 million, Wang Yongqing, the general manager at  SAIC General Motors said, adding that this means that the annual growth  rate may be as low as 2 percent.

China's Ping An invests in Berlin fintech start-up Finleap Ping An Insurance Group's Global Voyager Investment Fund is leading the latest funding round worth 41.5 million euros ($47 million) for Finleap, a Berlin-based financial technology (fintech) company. Finleap provides technology to build digital solutions in Europe's banking, insurance and asset management industries.

Yicai Global - Puerto Rico Eyes Chinese Investment via Tariff-Free US Trade Puerto Rico aims to leverage its position as an unincorporated US territory to encourage investment from Chinese companies seeking tariff-free entry into the American market. Products from factories set up by Chinese companies in the Caribbean territory would enjoy the same rights as those set up in the US, Luis Fortuno, former governor of Puerto Rico, told Yicai Global in an interview at the 2018 Puerto Rico Investment Forum held in Shanghai on Nov. 14.

Disney Gets China Approval for Fox Acquisition | Hollywood Reporter China has given unconditional approval to Walt Disney's $71.3 billion planned takeover of large parts of 21st Century Fox, Disney said Monday.  //  Comment: But still no word from Beijing on approving the UTC-Rockwell Collins deal

Trade War, Slowing Economy Test China’s Biggest Travel Site — The Information $$ n an interview with The Information, Ctrip’s chief executive, Jane Jie Sun, acknowledged that the company had felt the pinch from China’s slowdown, but said she remains upbeat about the company’s long-term prospects. In a wide-ranging discussion last month, Ms. Sun, who joined Ctrip as CFO in 2005, discussed how the company wants to tap China’s rising middle class while continuing to expand overseas. She also left the door open to taking the company private.

China bars actress Zhao Wei from holding key positions in companies for five years | Reuters In November 2017, China’s securities regulator fined and barred Zhao, who became a household name in China for starring in popular TV dramas, and Huang from trading in the mainland stock market for five years due to the takeover case. “Due to the celebrity effect, Tibet Longwei has severely misled the market and its investors. This has seriously disrupted normal market operations and order,” the exchange said on Tuesday.

China will propose WTO reforms, but don't try to trap us: Beijing's WTO envoy | Reuters China plans to propose reforms of the World Trade Organization, China’s ambassador to the WTO Zhang Xiangchen said, while warning fellow WTO members against seeing reform as a chance to put China in a straitjacket.

Yuan Exposed to Vanishing U.S.-China Yield Gap as Much as Trade - Bloomberg The yuan could face more weakness and not only because of rising trade tensions between China and the U.S., or currency manipulation. For the first time in at least a decade, one-year Treasuries yield more than short-term Chinese debt, and BMO Capital Markets says that spells trouble for China’s currency. A relentless slump in 12-month Treasury bills has pushed the yield to 2.66 percent, edging above the 2.56 percent yield on similar-maturity Chinese securities for the first time since at least 2008. At the start of 2018, the Chinese securities yielded about 200 basis points more than the T-bills.

The Trade War Whisperer Battling Trump, One Factory at a Time - Bloomberg From a Hong Kong apartment, entrepreneur Ben Chu runs contract negotiation lessons online for Chinese factory owners and businesses to give them a leg up with American buyers. The 40-year-old is emerging as a resistance leader among small local manufacturers grappling with U.S. tariffs -- and he’s beaming a clear message to his followers. China has the upper hand so get out there and cut a better deal, he tells his classes...After working for years at one end of the supply chain, Chu concluded that in many industries Chinese manufacturers held U.S. customers over a barrel. They just didn’t have the skills or the language to turn that power into money.


Politics, Law And Ideology

邓小平女婿、邓林丈夫吴建常去世 丧事从简_手机网易网 Wu Jianchang, husband of deng xiaping’s daughter deng lin, dead at 79

西安原市委书记魏民洲被判无期 受贿超亿元_政经频道_财新网 former Xian Party Secretary andShaanxi provincial Party official Wei Minzhou gets life in prison for corruption

Hu Ping - The Ideological Continuum Between Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping « China Change As I said earlier, China’s reform is not one but two reforms. June 4th, 1989, was a turning point. Deng Xiaoping ruthlessly suppressed China’s democratic forces and led Chinese reforms in the wrong direction. There is no essential difference between the Xi Jinping route and the Deng Xiaoping route. Xi Jinping’s actions are basically an extension of Deng Xiaoping’s political line, but he has deviated from it by bringing the pernicious elements inherent to Deng’s policy to extremity. In this regard, it is something of a positive sign that there are people in the system who oppose the Xi route in the name of returning to the Deng route and promoting Deng. The Xi route is indeed worse than the Deng route.

Fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui ‘has US$1.1 billion of assets frozen by Hong Kong court’ | South China Morning Post The report by online news outlet HK01 came as Guo, also known as Miles Kwok, was expected to hold a press conference in New York on Tuesday, claimed to be with an introduction by former US presidential adviser Steve Bannon. A restraint order issued on October 23 includes prohibition of sales of 510 million shares – or 14.98 per cent – of Hong Kong-listed Haitong Securities “effectively controlled” by Guo under his alias Kwok Ho-wan through three offshore companies, the report said.

Detained and in danger: The tortured Australian families who fear for their missing loved ones Increasingly helpless and desperate, Uighurs building new lives in Australian suburbs feel compelled to go public with their stories and identities despite the risks.

学习时报 - 改革开放与马克思主义中国化 Study Times running a series of theoretical articles commemorating the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up. This one is a recap of the sinicization of Marxism.

学习时报 - 习仲勋与广东改革开放 Study Times emphasizes Xi Zhongxun’s role in proposing reform and opening up in Guangdong to Deng

全国首位“70后”副部 跨省调整|上海市|时光辉|奉贤_新浪新闻 The Beijing News looks at the first "post 70s" official to reach vice-ministerial level--Shi Guanghui 时光辉, now a member of the Guizhou provincial standing committee after being a vice mayor in Shanghai..looks like someone to watch


Foreign and Military Affairs

PLA Daily: Make bilateral military ties a stabilizer of China-US relations - China Military In the present situation where certain negative factors are challenging China-US relations, the two militaries are resolute on maintaining exchanges at all levels, conducting dialogue and negotiation through the China-US Defense Departments’ consultations on defense, the Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue and other mechanisms, so as to continuously deepen the construction of two confidence-building mechanisms, namely “the confidence-building measure (CBM) mechanism for notification of major military activities” and “the rules of behavior for safety of air and maritime encounters”.

Japan-based carrier USS Ronald Reagan set to make port call in Hong Kong amid U.S.-China tensions | The Japan Times The U.S. Navy’s Kanagawa-based aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, is due to make a port call in Hong Kong on Wednesday, a notice posted to the website of the city’s maritime authority said, nearly two months after China denied a request by another U.S. warship to visit the city amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington over trade and the South China Sea.  //  hope the PRC allows the docking to happen, rather than pulling the plug just before, after the relatives of the crew have paid to fly to hk to see their family members for thanksgiving

China’s latest Beidou satellite launch clears way for Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission - SpaceNews.com The launch means China is now able proceed with its pioneering Chang’e-4 lunar mission, which will attempt the first ever soft-landing on the far side of the moon, with launch expected Dec. 7...The pair of one-metric-ton Beidou-3 satellites are the 42ndand 43rdlaunched for the Beidou system, China’s answer to the U.S. GPS precision timing and navigation system, and the 18thand 19thof the third-phase satellites for global coverage.

Hun Sen: No China naval base in Gulf of Thailand | Bangkok Post in comments during a cabinet meeting, broadcast on Facebook live, Hun Sen denied military bases of any kind have - or will be - built on Cambodian territory. "I have received a letter from Mike Pence, US Vice President, regarding concerns that there will be a China naval base in Cambodia," he said. "The Constitution of Cambodia bans the presence of foreign troops or military bases in its territory.... whether naval forces, infantry forces or air forces."

Spain’s role in Chinese infrastructure drive tops agenda for Xi Jinping’s visit to Madrid | South China Morning Post Spain’s royal palace announced Xi will stop in Madrid on November 28 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Chinese-Spanish relations, and will meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was sworn into office in June. Xi is also expected to visit Portugal. The trip will precede Xi’s arrival in Argentina for the G20 summit, where he will meet Trump to discuss China-US tensions triggered by their trade war and security confrontations such as South China Sea disputes.

CIDCA issues Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid draft - China Aid Blog On 13 November 2013, China’s new aid agency CIDCA issued the draft of the Measures for the Administration of Foreign Aid. The draft has adapted a substantial part of the 2014 Aid Measures of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), that was then in charge of Chinese foreign aid. At the same time, it clearly shows where the aid competencies of CIDCA go beyond the ones MOFCOM had. In the text and my translation below, the text parts that were taken over from the 2014 MOFCOM as marked in black, the new additions are marked in red. (

解放军中将何雷:不希望这代人等台湾回归,再把头发等白_凤凰资讯 “我记得一位老元帅曾讲过,我们等台湾回归、祖国统一,等到头发都白了。如今,老元帅已去世多年,我作为一个后来人,一个入伍50年的老兵,现在也把头发等白了,但我不希望你们这代人再把头发等白。”何雷说,希望在不久的将来,台湾宝岛能够回到祖国的怀抱,台湾同胞能够回到祖国的怀抱 // PLA General He Lei says it would be shme of this generation also grew old before returning Taiwan to the motherland...


Tech And Media

58同城原高级副总裁宋波等涉嫌受贿被刑拘_公司频道_财新网 Two former executives of 58.com have been arrested for taking bribes  //  互联网公司内部自查反腐成常态。11月19日,58同城合规监察部发布内部通报称,原渠道事业部高级副总裁宋波、原渠道事业部总监郭冬等人,利用职务便利非法收受代理商财物,涉嫌非国家工作人员受贿罪,目前已被海淀警方刑事拘留。

Axios Media Trends - November 20, 2018 - TikTok rising in the U.S Traffic to TikTok in the U.S. is still small compared to social media rivals like Facebook and Instagram. But its footprint has more than doubled in the past year, according to comScore. It's currently ranked in the top five in both Apple's App Store and in the Google Play store downloads. Worldwide, TikTok, is a massive phenomenon. In total, Apptopia estimates that TikTok has more 130 million monthly active users, with most originating in China.

China has more than one billion 4G subscriptions: MIIT · TechNode China is home to more than 1.1 billion 4G users, accounting for 74.6 % of mobile connections according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The MIIT also noted that mobile internet users—which include users of both 3G and 4G—reached 1.3 billion at the end of October.


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Tao Te Ching — a new translation of a Chinese classic - China Heritage: The Tao and the Power 道德經, attributed to Laozi 老子 (5th or 4th century BCE), is one of the most famous Chinese works. Previously, China Heritage has introduced chapters from a new translation of this classical text by John Minford. The full work, introduced, translated and annotated by John, with extensive commentaries is published by Viking Random House in New York under the title Tao Te Ching — The essential translation of the ancient Chinese book of the Tao by Lao Tzu. The translator has granted us permission to quote material from the introduction to this new version of what is a timeless work, as well as the first chapter of the translation — ‘Gateway to All Marvels’ 眾妙之門 — and the Florilegium, or Glossary. In reproducing this material we have followed the design, and style, of the book. We have also included the calligraphic titles done by Liao Hsin-t’ien 廖新田.//The book on Amazon 

The NBA is China's most popular sports league. Here's how it happened - CNBC The NBA has grown to become China's most popular sports league. It's formed partnerships with some of the country's biggest tech companies and opened NBA stores and new experience concept stores inside malls. According to the league, more than 300 million people in China play basketball. Meanwhile, the NBA is the most followed sports league on social media with more than 150 million followers.

UFC building $13 million Performance Institute in Shanghai - MMA Fighting A new UFC Performance Institute — the second of its kind — is currently being built in Shanghai, officials told MMA Fighting. The facility, which will be more than 93,000-square feet, will cost $13 million with an annual operating budget in the millions. An official announcement is expected to be made this week, in accordance with the UFC’s card Saturday in Beijing.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

District's Coal Ban Lifted After Shanxi Households Left Out in the Cold | Sixth Tone A district in Shanxi province reversed its coal ban Monday after hundreds of households were found to lack adequate heating amid plummeting temperatures, The Beijing News reported. The local government distributed bags of coal to over 400 households in Yingze District after the country’s top environmental watchdog criticized the blanket prohibition as a hasty move in the absence of feasible alternatives. More than 1,500 district residents were living under frigid conditions, unable to use gas or electric heaters.


Agriculture And Rural Issues

Yuan Longping, 88, shares major Chinese science prize - CGTN Yuan Longping, known as the "world father of hybrid rice," has jointly won the life science section of the Future Science Prize with two other scientists. "There is no limit to scientific research, and I still have a dream – which is hybrid rice going global and covering the whole world," Yuan said in a video address at the 2018 award ceremony in Beijing on Sunday.


Food And Travel

Yicai Global - [Exclusive] Industry Group to Seek Public Comment on China's First Craft Beer Standards The China Alcoholic Drinks Association will soon solicit public feedback on the country's first standards proposed for craft beers, Yicai Global has learned. The industry group will seek public input by the end of this month or the start of December, Deputy Secretary-General He Yong said during the China International Alcoholic Drinks Expo Autumn held in Shanghai between Nov. 16 and 18. A lot of discussion and internal opinions went into the draft proposal, he added.