Mass casualties in China-India border fight; Beijing outbreak; Enemies of the people in HK; China-Africa summit on solidarity against COVID-19
|Jun 16, 2020||8||1|
India and China have had the bloodiest border clash in decades, with the Indian government confirming 20 of its soldiers have died. There is no confirmation from the Chinese side of any PLA casualties.
The raucous Indian press has lots of stories on the tragedy, though it is hard to figure out how accurate they are. There seems to be consensus that no shots were fired, and instead they just beat each other with fists, stones and rods. One version I have heard is that two groups of soldiers met on a steep slope and during the clashes many fell down into a deep ravine, leading to dozens of casualties on both sides. I hope it is wrong.
Beijing may want to control news of any casualties from the skirmish, but Indian media will have no such restraints.
Rahul Kanwal @rahulkanwalIndian intel agencies looking carefully at audio intercepts, visuals, survivor reports to assess casualties on Chinese side. Preliminary reports indicate heavy fatalities acc to Indian Govt briefing. India doesn’t except China to own up to because of track record of hiding deaths
If there are a significant number of PLA casualties how will the PRC government keep it quiet in the social media era? Considering the PRC reaction to the killing of three PRC citizens in the 1999 US bombing of the PRC embassy in Belgrade, and the death of PLA pilot Wang Wei when he ran into a US Navy plane in 2001 and then plunged into the sea, how might people in China be allowed to react to an incident that resulted in even more casualties?
Let’s hope this was an accidental escalation and that both Xi and Modi want to keep this under control. The domestic politics in both countries may make it difficult to avoid an escalation as more details come out though.
The new outbreak in Beijing has caused the municipal government to upgrade city’s emergency response level from level three to level two, meaning while many more checks and controls are in place the city is still not in full lockdown. They still have not figured out the source of the new cases. Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi is close to Xi Jinping, and this is a massive political failure by Cai.
In a small silver lining from the new outbreak, perhaps the upgraded restrictions in Beijing mean it is far less likely that any protesters will be allowed to express their anger over the border clash in front of the Indian embassy, for the next couple of weeks at least?
In yesterday’s newsletter I added an extra 8 to my Signal number. Good luck in China I guess, not so good though for getting in touch. The correct number is 3012460858. Apologies.
Today’s Essential Eight:
Outbreak in Beijing
India-China border fight
China-Africa summit on solidarity against COVID-19
China giving up on trying to get WTO market-economy status?
“Socialism is indeed better than capitalism”
First meeting of the municipal social governance sub-group of the Safe China Construction Coordinating Small Group
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Outbreak in Beijing
Of the domestically transmitted cases, 27 were reported in Beijing, four in Hebei province and one in Sichuan province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.
Among the imported cases, three were reported in Shanghai, three in Guangdong province, one in Liaoning province and one in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, according to the commission.
Beijing government said on Thursday that it has raised the city’s emergency response level from level three to level two. The city reported a total 106 cases of COV19 since last Thursday. The Beijing CCP meeting earlier declared this is “a battle with its back against the river,” meaning it will fight or die.
On Tuesday, another five neighborhoods/townships in Beijing increased their COV19 alert level. Now in Beijing there is a total of 27 neighborhoods in “mid-level risk”, and one in “high-level risk”. All of them are in Southern Beijing.
The Beijing government said their preliminary study suggests this outbreak is caused by “human-to-human transmission” or “objects contaminated by environment”.
Beijing party boss Cai Qi visited the Xinfadi market, urging officials to “resolutely contain the virus spread”, meanwhile keeping the food price stable
Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with China’s CDC, told reporters that the Chinese scientists still have not determined the source of transmission of this new outbreak, despite rumors suggesting it was the salmon imported from Norway. Xu Ying, a spokesperson for the Beijing government, said the authorities have tracked down the 200 thousand people who went to the market in the past two weeks, and they all will be tested.
Beijing Administration for Market Regulation said it has sent more than 20 thousand officials to monitor the disinfection work in markets, restaurants, and grocery stores across the city.
The decision to impose fresh curbs and raise the city’s emergency response level back to II from III came as Beijing’s current outbreak rose to 106 infections since Thursday...
As of Tuesday, Beijing had designated 27 neighbourhoods as medium-risk areas, subjecting people entering to temperature checks and registration. Only one neighbourhood, near the wholesale food centre, is marked high-risk.
Residents in high-risk areas are not allowed to leave their neighbourhoods and must undergo tests, state media reported, citing a senior Beijing city official.
Port authorities are conducting nucleic acid tests on all shipments of imported meat, said a trading executive with a major supplier, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. Customs officials have also started testing every consignment within shipments, instead of just taking some samples, he said.
the decision to raise the level of alert and shut schools was a potentially embarrassing and disruptive reversal for the government. Beijing had lowered its alert level for public health threats just 10 days earlier. Many grades had restarted over previous weeks, while others were just about to resume when this outbreak prompted authorities to postpone a restart.
Multiple cities have warned local residents not to travel to Beijing. Tongliao in Inner Mongolia requires people coming from Beijing to undergo 14 days of quarantine and COVID-19 tests. The northeastern Chinese city of Daqing is imposing a 21-day quarantine on people returning from Beijing.
Beijing is now carrying out large-scale nucleic acid tests, especially for people who have been to the Xinfadi Market, with nearly 100 nucleic acid testing centers ready with a daily capacity of up to 90,000 people.
The CCDI published an article revealing details of punishment against the three officials in Beijing Fengtai district for not doing good enough to prevent the outbreak. It said the outbreak was due to “loopholes in (their) work” and the three lowered their guard after five months of fight against COV19. The article urged cadres to take this as a lesson and always stay on high alert.
Some hospitals in Beijing have sent out medical teams to Beijing Ditan Hospital, where all newly confirmed COVID-19 cases are treated.
Since Thursday, Beijing has reported 106 newly locally transmitted cases of novel coronavirus, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. All are being treated at Beijing Ditan Hospital.
Up to 90,000 residents living in 21 communities near Xinfadi and Yuquandong-another market whose operations have been suspended due to the new COVID-19 infections in the capital-are receiving nucleic acid tests. All those communities are closed and under strict management.
Around 200,000 people had been to Xinfadi since May 30 based on a citywide data collection campaign. Those people will get nucleic acid tests and, meanwhile, must stay at home for self-observation.
"By 2 pm on Sunday, we had completed nucleic acid testing for 29,386 people who had visited the Xinfadi market in the past 14 days," said Gao Xiaojun, a spokesman for the Beijing Health Commission. "Out of all the samples, 12,973 came negative and the rest are awaiting results."
A total of 33,173 catering service providers have also been disinfected
2. India-China border fight
Twenty Indian Army troops were killed by Chinese soldiers late Monday in a clash along the disputed India-China border, Indian officials said, raising tensions between the two nuclear-armed nations...
An Indian military spokesman said that three Indian troops were killed during the fighting and 17 others later succumbed to injuries. Others were missing and feared captured...
Indian television channels reported that several Chinese soldiers had been killed, as well, citing high-level Indian government sources. But Chinese officials did not comment on that...
Indian military analysts said that the fight had erupted on Indian territory and it had involved a large number of troops from each side battling with rocks, clubs and their hands.
China’s foreign ministry confirmed there had been a “violent physical confrontation” on Monday in the border area. It made no mention of casualties but India’s foreign ministry said there had been casualties on both sides.
An Indian government source said the troops had fought with iron rods and stones, and that no shots had been fired.
The face-off Monday night is the first time in 45 years that a soldier has died along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which remains undefined in Ladakh. It marks bilateral tensions of an intensity not seen since the 1962 war.
While the Western Theatre Command of the PLA has blamed the face-off on India, claiming Galwan Valley as Chinese territory, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has accused Beijing of trying to unilaterally change the status quo in the area.
The MEA cited the 6 June meeting between senior commanders of the two sides and noted that they had agreed on a process for de-escalation. Subsequently, ground commanders had a series of meetings to implement the consensus reached at a higher level, the ministry said.
“While it was our expectation that this would unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley,” it added.
Global Times’ Hu Xijin weighed in:
In the coming hours and days, it’s likely that more details will emerge about the severity of Monday’s clashes, with possible upward revisions to the Indian death toll and more clarity on Chinese casualties as well. In the meantime, one of the primary effects of Monday’s clash will be that the domestic discourse within India on the border situation will likely transform. The Indian political leadership spent weeks messaging restraint and underemphasizing the severity of the ongoing standoffs, despite multiple reports in the Indian press suggesting serious Chinese incursions onto territory that New Delhi claimed. That will likely no longer be possible.
India’s Modi government may also find itself with few credible — or desirable — options to retaliate against China. Despite having established a reputation for resolve vis-a-vis its other major rival, Pakistan, where the Indian government authorized a prominent cross-border strike in 2016 and airstrikes last year, the potential for costly inadvertent escalation is much greater with China.
Zhang Shuili, spokesperson for the Western Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), made the remarks in a statement in response to a fierce physical fight that broke out between the Chinese and Indian border defense troops Monday night after Indian troops crossed the Line of Actual Control for illegal activities and deliberately launched provocative attacks.
The statement was published by the official Weibo account of the PLA Daily.
"The Indian troops had violated their promises and once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for illegal activities, and deliberately provoked and attacked the Chinese forces, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts between the two sides and causing casualties," said Zhang.
"We demand that the Indian side strictly restrain its frontline troops, immediately stop all infringement and provocative actions, and work together with China to return to the correct track of dialogue and negotiations to resolve the differences," said Zhang
The PLA statement - 军方回应中印边防人员冲突:印军蓄意挑衅攻击--军事--人民网
Breaking their promises, Indian troops had again crossed the line of actual control in the Galwan Valley region on Monday evening and purposefully launched provocative attacks, leading to severe physical clashes, causing casualties, said Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command, on Tuesday.
China has always maintained sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region, and the words of Indian border defense troops are inconsistent and seriously violate the agreements both countries have reached, seriously infringe upon the consensus made in the army commander-level talks and seriously harm the relations of the two militaries and the sentiment of the people in both nations, Zhang said.
The murderous clash on the Galwan River which claimed the lives of 16 Bihar regiment commanding officer Colonel Santosh Babu and two other soldiers broke out after troops moved to remove a People’s Liberation Army tent set up near a position code-named Patrolling Point 14, inside territory on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control, highly placed government sources have told News18.
Few details have emerged on how the fighting began, but government sources familiar with events said PLA soldiers responded to the Indian action by throwing stones from the high ground above Point 14, and then staged an assault using iron rods and clubs...
In 1975, the PLA had ambushed an Assam Rifles patrol at the Tulung La pass in Arunachal Pradesh and killed four. Earlier, in 1967, 88 Indian soldiers — and perhaps as many as 340 PLA troops — were killed in the course of skirmishes near Nathu La and Cho La, the gateways to the strategically-vital Chumbi valley.
Though both countries now disarm troops and border guards engaged in patrolling the LAC — one of the outcomes of a series of border-management measures agreed on over the decades — violent clashes have become increasingly common since 2013.
Chinese analysts perceive the Indo-Pacific strategy as a form of containment based on stronger U.S. relations with Japan, India, and Australia. They assess that, if left unchecked, the strategy will reduce China’s influence and increase regional tensions.
Chinese observers identify weak regional support as the primary constraint on U.S. strategy in Asia and advocate responding by improving China’s own relations throughout the neighborhood.
3. Carrie Lam criticizes enemies of the people
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday urged opponents of Beijing’s plan to impose national security legislation in the financial hub to stop “smearing” the effort, saying those who did were “the enemy of the people”...
The government has mounted a campaign to rally public support for the legislation, with billboards, a booklet with questions and answers and a video of Lam defending the law “in the public interest”.
Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office，also said while Beijing must be able to have jurisdiction over the most serious national security cases, the financial hub should be responsible for most enforcement work.
The Standing Committee of NPC made adjustments to its 2020 legislative work plan, adding “accelerate the formulation of relevant laws to safeguard national security in Hong Kong” into the plan.
The jobless rate rose to 5.9% for the March-to-May period, compared with the 5.5% median forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The underemployment rate climbed to 3.5%, the highest in almost 17 years, according to the government release.
The State Department said Pompeo and his deputy Stephen Biegun left Tuesday for Hawaii but offered no additional detail about his plans. People familiar with the trip said Pompeo and Biegun will meet on Wednesday with a Chinese delegation led by Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Communist Party’s top foreign affairs official.
The private discussions are set to take place at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu and will cover the wide range of issues that have set the world’s two largest economies on a collision path, according to the people familiar with the trip, who were not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
There is little doubt that the talks between China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday – their first meeting since August – are aimed at de-escalating tensions ahead of the US presidential election. But few details have been given, including why it was hastily arranged in the middle of a global health crisis.
Neither side has publicly confirmed the face-to-face meeting at Hickam Air Force Base will even take place, while observers and people familiar with the arrangements have given contradictory versions of which side initiated the rare face-to-face talks amid the pandemic.
“My understanding is that the Chinese want to continue to appear being constructive and trying ‘normal diplomacy,’” a former State Department official said. “Pompeo can hardly reject a request for a meeting from his Chinese counterpart, especially if they are willing to agree to have it for the second time in the U.S. and outside Washington D.C., a pretty big protocol affront.”
The European Union plans to set up a bilateral dialogue with the US to deal with China’s “growing assertiveness”, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said after a call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday.
“I suggested to launch a distinct bilateral dialogue focusing on China and the challenges its actions and ambitions mean for us – the United States and the European Union,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell told reporters.
Official translation of the Zhong Sheng article from Monday. Certainly a nicer tone, and a reduction in attacks on the US in the last week, just in time for Pompeo-Yang meeting in Hawaii. And importantly, official media have refrained from attacking President Trump by name - Nothing can stem people-to-people friendly ties between China, U.S. - People's Daily Zhong Sheng
It’s not news that these U.S. politicians take the Confucius Institutes as a thorn in their flesh. They have constantly resorted to political manipulation to fabricate groundless allegations against the institutes, claiming that the institutes are established to serve China’s so-called “influence operations” in foreign countries, pose the risk of espionage, and interfere with U.S. academic freedom. They even threatened to close all the Confucius Institutes on American campuses...
The people in the two countries has a traditional and well-established friendship. No matter how hard certain U.S. politicians try to make troubles for the relations between the two countries, they will never alter the development of friendship between the two peoples.
Nothing can stem the people-to-people friendly ties between China and the U.S. Anyone who attempts to reverse history will finally be abandoned.
Miles Yu began life in rural China amid the madness of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, when Red Guard zealots roamed the country trashing and killing all vestiges of tradition and capitalism in the country.
Today, he is the principal China policy and planning adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a key part of the storied Policy Planning Staff on the seventh floor of the State Department..
“Miles Yu is a national treasure,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs. “He understands the difference between democratic and authoritarian governance and can explain it better than anyone I know.”
At the White House, Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, also a low-key but influential power player on China policy, calls Mr. Yu “an invaluable resource” for the Trump administration’s foreign policy team.
“His experience growing up under totalitarianism made him one of its most potent foes,” Mr. Pottinger said.
Mr. Stilwell said he is most impressed by Mr. Yu’s encyclopedic knowledge of U.S. and Chinese doctrine, not only from an academic perspective but also as a policy practitioner...
“Unfortunately, too often we fell for this CCP sophistry and made our China policies to appease CCP sensitivities and fake outrage to avoid an often imagined and exaggerated direct confrontation with the seemingly enraged CCP. By doing so, we also failed to realize the enormous reputational and realistic advantages and leverage the U.S. has over a dictatorship,” Mr. Yu said.
In all, a record amount of the pork produced in the United States — 129,000 tons — was exported to China in April.
The 100-year-old Harbin Institute of Technology has had its access to critical engineering software cut off, a joint education plan with the University of Arizona is now in limbo, and academic exchange programs with the University of California, Berkeley, are no longer available, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.
To explore these questions, Rep. Gallagher is joined by Bill Bishop, who publishes the highly-regarded China newsletter, Sinocism. Bill spent more than a decade living in China, and has as good a pulse as anyone on how the U.S. relationship with the CCP has evolved over time. And while the majority of the conversation focuses on General Secretary Xi Jinping’s ambitions and the administration's posture towards China, Bill also gives Rep. Gallagher a few pop culture tips, including a compelling way to get Tom Cruise to testify before Congress.
5. China-Africa summit on solidarity against COVID-19
Question: Will Xi announce any sort of debt relief for the African nations?
Chinese President Xi Jinping will preside over an extraordinary China-Africa summit on solidarity against COVID-19 in Beijing on Wednesday, and deliver a keynote speech, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Tuesday.
The summit is jointly proposed by China; South Africa, the rotating chair of the African Union (AU); and Senegal, co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. It will be held via video link.
Leaders of African countries, including members of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government and rotating chairs of major African subregional organizations, and the chairperson of the AU Commission, will attend the summit upon invitation.
The secretary-general of the United Nations and the director-general of the World Health Organization will attend the meeting as special guests.
At the height of China's battle with COVID-19, African countries extended precious support to China, with over 50 African leaders expressing solidarity and support in phone calls with Chinese leaders or public statements.
In return, when the virus was ravaging Africa, China was doing its utmost to provide its African brothers with various forms of support and assistance. From offering urgently needed supplies and sending medical teams, to holding virtual exchanges with medical experts and conducting training sessions for health personnel in Africa, China's endeavors helped the continent effectively and properly respond to the pandemic...
China held nearly 400 training programs for tens of thousands of African medical workers, and has also been taking care of Africans in China, treating them like its family members. Among more than 3,000 African students in Wuhan and in Hubei Province, only one person got infected and was soon cured, while others have all been safe and sound.
An old Chinese saying goes that when brothers are of the same mind, they have the power to cut through metal. China and Africa, as good brothers sharing weal and woe together, have fought shoulder to shoulder on many international fronts and made their friendship a model for international relations and South-South cooperation.
Global Times: Foreign media reported that with the rapid increase of new COVID-19 cases in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions, more than 20 international aid organizations and some African countries expressed their “growing concern” that there was “little or no” US assistance on the front lines. The US has pledged $10 billion for vaccine research, humanitarian assistance and emergency response, but much of it has not been delivered. People say that the US is not walking the talk. What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: I have also read relevant reports. I believe that you should ask the US side about how much of its promise of assistance has been acted upon.
COVID-19 has posed grave challenges to many countries, especially those in vulnerable regions. We hope that all members of the international community, especially those in a more capable position, will pitch in more and do a better job in fulfilling responsibilities.
With more than 200,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, an impending continental recession, and international anti-racism protests, African governments are reassessing their roles in the international system. In the coming months, African leaders will almost certainly demand a bigger say on global issues in multilateral forums and more equitable ties with existing partners as well as step up as standard-bearers for multilateralism in an increasingly fragmented world. If the United States wants to repair and revive its links to the region in this new reality, it will need to rethink its approach to developing and sustaining its partnerships.
6. China giving up on trying to get WTO market-economy status?
China spent four years fighting for market-economy status, a designation that would give it stronger footing with commercial partners while also curtailing their ability to retaliate over trade disputes...
The Chinese government allowed a landmark World Trade Organization dispute -- aimed at forcing the European Union to recognize it as a market economy in trade investigations -- to lapse on June 15. The case was initially brought in 2016 and China lost an interim ruling on the matter last year...
The resolution is a major set-back for China as the EU steps up efforts to limit its expansionist practices into the continent. On the same day that China allowed the dispute to lapse, the EU announced an unprecedented attempt to block Beijing’s subsidies to exporters. The 27-nation bloc will also unveil a proposal this week to protect European companies from Chinese takeovers...
The move also bodes well for the U.S., which is engaged in a nearly identical Chinese dispute that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer previously called the WTO’s “most serious litigation.”
7. “Socialism is indeed better than capitalism”
More on He Yiting’s essay “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is Marxism for the 21st Century 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想是21世纪马克思主义” in the latest issue of Study Times.
Study Times, official newspaper of the Central Party School, where party officials are trained, published on its front page on Monday a commentary by a senior figure at the school that praised the ideas of President Xi Jinping and called the present era “the most wonderful chapter of world socialism in 500 years”.
He Yiting, executive vice-president of the school, said that under the guidance of Xi’s political thinking, “socialism with Chinese characteristics will clearly tell a great conclusion: socialism is indeed better than capitalism, as the decisive achievement of building a powerful socialist modern country will show”.
The article continued: “Today, the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics has written the most wonderful chapter of world socialism in 500 years. The world’s two ideologies, two doctrines and two systems are undergoing profound changes in favour of socialism.”..
Xie Maosong, a professor at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said a situation such as a pandemic could accelerate either the rise or fall of great powers.
“It can be the final blow to the failing state, or it may stimulate a rising country to renew and repair itself,” he said.
Question: We will start hearing “东风压倒西风 the East wind will prevail over the West wind" again?
8. First meeting of the municipal social governance sub-group of the Safe China Construction Coordinating Small Group
Comment: The website of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission (CPLAC) reports on the first meeting of the "municipal social governance" sub-group of the Safe China Construction Coordinating Small Group. CPLAC deputy secretary general Wang Hongxiang is the head of this sub-group.
This relates to the Fourth Plenum and the decisions to modernize social governance", as well as the increasing tensions and "contradictions" in society.
Here is a lightly edited Google translation of the report
"The meeting reviewed the special team system and other documents, and deployed key tasks for 2020. The meeting pointed out that the Fourth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party made important arrangements for accelerating the modernization of municipal social governance. General Secretary Xi Jinping gave important instructions on the pilot to promote the modernization of municipal social governance, which fully embodies the central government’s strategy to promote the modernization of municipal social governance. Consider. The practice of prevention and control of the epidemic has proved that the city area has increasingly become the birth place and gathering place of major contradictory risks, with the city area as the main position, establishing a "full cycle management" awareness, complementing the weaknesses of social governance shortcomings, and improving the level of social governance capabilities. It is normal to prepare for major risks, and early warning, handling, and control of all kinds of hidden dangers are the key links to prevent potential problems from becoming real risks and regional risks from becoming global risks. Each member unit of the special group should unify its thoughts and actions into the Party Central Committee's decision-making and deployment, and each should bear its responsibilities and take concerted efforts to continuously promote the municipal social governance to achieve new results."
The meeting pointed out that the special group and member units to promote the modernization of municipal social governance must clearly position and identify the carrier, take the organization of the national municipal social governance modernization pilot as the main starting point, and specifically perform the functions of sound system, guidance and supervision, acceptance assessment and other functions . The Central Political and Law Commission has issued a list of the first and second pilot areas, and the pilot work has been fully rolled out. Member units should strengthen cooperation and cooperation and jointly control the "strict exit" [把好“严出”关; not sure how best to translate]. In the second half of this year, the special group will organize member units to carry out sectional surveys, refine evaluation standards and evaluation methods, and combine pilot work to establish a comprehensive and long-term effective mechanism for social governance related difficulties to promote the steady improvement of social governance.
Modernizing social governance can bring a lot of benefits for citizens, along with the social control aspects -New platform streamlines grassroots community management - SHINE News
Zeng Qun, deputy director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, said the new system addresses calls for improved social management at the grassroots.
In the past, he said, “information disconnects between different government authorities hindered the sharing of data.”
He added: "There was no single information platform supporting grassroots management in the city. Multiple apps and platforms burdened management. The 'Community Cloud' can tackle that and break data and information barriers."...
The platform will be connected with 22 information systems of 13 government authorities, including those for civil affairs, police and health; and with various apps used by districts and subdistricts.
"It will be easy to use,” said Zeng. "At the same time, it is innovative and breaks the traditional model of governance at the community level.”
Business, Economy and Trade
Sichuan Trust Mobbed by Investors Demanding Their Money Back - Caixin The investors who showed up at Sichuan Trust’s office building in Chengdu, Sichuan province, had put money into a type of investment product called a “trust of trust” (TOT), Caixin has learned...A TOT is one step removed, with the proceeds from selling TOT products getting invested in other trust products. This structure creates an extra layer between TOT investors and the ultimate recipients of their funds. TOT products have become a means of “hiding dirt” because they can be used to secure funding for trust products that have problems with their underlying assets, said one former employee of Sichuan Trust...“About 10 billion yuan to 20 billion yuan worth of the TOT products are at risk,” a source with knowledge of the matter said.
Meng's case could be turning point for HSBC in China - Global Times HSBC needs to be aware of the potential impact of its choice and be prepared for it. With Meng's case proceeding, more details and evidence will be known by the public. If it turns out that HSBC has been cooperating with the US in Meng's case, it would be understandable that its image would bear an indelible stain and likely that its Chinese business would take a hit. Given its reliance on Chinese profits, it will be a life-or-death test for HSBC. And whether or not the bank can overcome its dilemma will really test the political wisdom of its management.
Chinese customs detect harmful organisms in logs imported from Canada - CGTN Chinese customs has detected live quarantine forest pests in imported Canadian logs, and has treated the logs in accordance with relevant Chinese quarantine laws and regulations, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday.
More Than 13,000 Film and TV Companies in China Have Closed in 2020 – Variety May has been the most brutal month for companies in 2020, seeing 26% of these closures.
Banks Face $300 Million Shortfall on Luckin Coffee Margin Loans - Bloomberg The lenders, which also include Haitong International Securities Group and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., raised about $210 million over the past two months selling Luckin shares that Chairman Lu Zhengyao had pledged as collateral, people familiar with the matter said. Lu defaulted on $518 million of margin debt in early April, Goldman said in a statement at the time, after revelations of accounting fraud caused the Chinese coffee chain’s stock to plunge
When China’s Aggressive Debt Collectors Come Knocking: ‘You Committed a Sin’ - WSJ $$ Total delinquent consumer loan receivables could reach 2.8 trillion yuan ($377 billion) this year, up 14% from the end of 2019 and more than doubling from five years ago, according to estimates from iResearch, a Chinese market-research firm. Half the delinquent loans are credit-card debt and the rest are from nonbank lenders, the data showed.
China’s Tech Capital Winter Deepens After VC Deals Tank - Bloomberg Funds that invest in the world’s No. 2 economy only managed to raise $3.7 billion as of June 15, down nearly 60% from a year earlier, according to research consultancy Preqin. The number of Chinese-focused vehicles that managed to complete their funding also fell 61% to 21 in that period. That helped slash the total number of existing Chinese-based venture capital funds by more than half to 345 as of mid-June, Preqin data showed. The total amount of deals stood at about $20 billion at half time, roughly 40% of 2019’s full-year total.
Tencent's WeChat Pay to support American Express credit card - Xinhua "Our cooperation is conducive to the more open and international development of China's payment and bank card clearing services," said Chen Qiru, vice president of Tencent Financial Technology.'
Politics and Law
China's top legislature to open session on June 18 - Xinhua The Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, will convene its 19th session from June 18 to 20 in Beijing. The legislators will deliberate draft laws, including the laws on administrative discipline for government employees, promoting rural vitalization, and support for veterans, Yue Zhongming, spokesperson for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, said Tuesday.
央视新闻：永远是黄土地的儿子 CCTV - “Always a son of the yellow earth”, describes Xi’s dedication to serve Chinese people, either when he worked as a sent-down youth or as the country’s president.
China’s Former Top Insurance Regulator Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Bribery - Caixin Xiang Junbo, a former chairman of the now-defunct China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars and fined 1.5 million yuan ($211,477) for taking bribes, a court ruled Tuesday.
Witness to discrimination: Confessions of a Han Chinese from Xinjiang | Amnesty International On one train journey home, I got talking to a man who worked for the Xinjiang regional government. He told me the policy now being implemented is to "sacrifice a generation", with social stability and counter-terrorism policies expected to cause Xinjiang’s economic development to stagnate. A generation of ethnic minorities and Han people will have to live through this ruthless transition, but tough measures now will supposedly build unity for the next generation.
公安部副部长孟庆丰卸任 - 综合 - 新京报网 The state council said in a statement that Meng Qingfeng is no longer a vice minister of public security. Meng is 63 so this looks like normal retirement. He led the fox hunt program that track corrupt officials who fled overseas. The program, started in 2014, has brought back more than 4300 corrupt officials from more than 120 countries. Meng worked in Zhejiang for more than more than 30 years
Speaking of the "fox hunt" program, I just finished the 44 episode drama " Hunting", a positive energy series on the MPS and the fox hunters. It was entertaining, all the episodes are free on Youtube:
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi signs order to publish revised regulations on education in military academies - Xinhua With 11 chapters and 90 provisions, the regulations have implemented the requirements of enhancing the political loyalty of the armed forces, defined the roles and tasks of the academies' teaching and scientific research work, and specified the requirements for the leaders, faculty members and cadets in the academies. The regulations will also help focus all teaching activities on improving the capabilities to fight and win, and offer a strong guarantee to cultivate revolutionary officers and soldiers of the new era with faith, ability, courage and integrity. // 中央军委主席习近平签署命令 发布新修订的《军队院校教育条例（试行）》--时政--人民网
Xi calls for joint efforts with Tajikistan to implement key Belt and Road projects - Xinhua China and Tajikistan should coordinate efforts to contain the COVID-19 epidemic and promote bilateral trade, and be open to new ideas to ensure the implementation of key projects in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a phone conversation with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon on Tuesday.
China pledges continous support for Ecuador in COVID-19 fight - Xinhua China will continue to firmly support Ecuador in the battle against COVID-19, do its best to provide necessary assistance and explore cooperation in areas such as vaccine and drug research and production, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a phone conversation with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Tuesday.
Universities under pressure to reveal details of Huawei funding - The Telegraph an employee at the University of Bristol wrote in response to a Freedom of Information request that revealing the amount of Huawei funding given to Professor Martin Kuball could hurt the university’s ability to receive future grants from Huawei. Prof Kuball, who teaches physics at the university, is the principal investigator of a five-year project researching a next-generation internet which is being carried out in partnership with Huawei and other technology companies.
Repsol transferred to three exploratory blocks in Vietnam to the pressures of China - Archyde Repsol has signed an agreement with PetroVietnam to transfer to the company’s asian its interests in three exploratory blocks in Vietnam, which were blocked for years by the pressures of China, among them the project of Ca Rong Do.
China's polar-observing satellite starts Arctic mission - Xinhua China's first polar-observing satellite has started its Arctic observation mission after orbiting Earth for nine months, sources in its operations team said Tuesday. The mission will test the observation capabilities of the satellite, which is expected to achieve full coverage of the Arctic in seven days, said the operations team leader Chen Zhuoqi, who is also an associate professor at the School of Geospatial Engineering and Science under the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou.
Delay to launch of final satellite in China’s BeiDou navigation network | South China Morning Post China delayed launching the last of the BeiDou-3 satellites into orbit after finding “technical problems” in the rocket carrier, state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Scientists make significant step toward quantum communication - Xinhua In the latest study published online by the journal Nature, the satellite Micius sent pairs of entangled photons to two ground stations 1,120 km apart; in Delingha in Qinghai Province, and Nanshan near Urumqi in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. A secured quantum link between the two ground stations was established with no trusted relays, and the satellite Micius had no information about the secure key.
Report: Corporate Intimidation & Censorship in China - Human Rights Foundation On the one-year anniversary of Hong Kong’s million-person march defending the city’s freedom, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has released a report that reveals how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has signaled that foreign companies operating in China must help advance the CCP’s agenda or face expulsion from the Chinese market. Since China’s ris
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization, to Speak at Tsinghua SEM Commencement 2020-Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM) will hold its Commencement 2020 on June 21. This year, Tsinghua SEM is honored to have Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to deliver the Commencement Speech online.
Exploring China's Unmanned Ocean Network | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative China has deployed a network of sensors and communications capabilities between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands in the northern South China Sea. These capabilities are part of a “Blue Ocean Information Network” (蓝海信息网络) developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state-owned company, to aid in the exploration and control of the maritime environment using information technology. The network constructed in the northern South China Sea between early 2016 and 2019 is referred to as a demonstration system. However, future plans for the Blue Ocean Information Network involve expanding the sensor and communications network to the rest of the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and other ocean areas far from Chinese territory. While the Blue Ocean Information Network is largely cast as an environmental monitoring and communications system, the military utility of its sensing and communications functions makes its development important to monitor.
Revising China's Strategic Culture: Contemporary Cherry-Picking of Ancient Strategic Thought | The China Quarterly 2018 | Andrea Ghiselli This article looks at the influence of ancient military thinkers, especially Sunzi, in Chinese strategic culture today to shed light on a critical aspect of Alastair Iain Johnston's work on strategic culture: the relationship between the foreign policy elites and the cultural artefacts and symbols at the origin of strategic culture. The empirical analysis revolves around a large number of articles published by Chinese military scholars and officers between 1992 and early 2016 in the PLA Academy of Military Science's journal, China Military Science. The conclusion is that some elements of Chinese ancient military thought are readily apparent in China's military doctrine and operations today. These elements clearly call for a realist vision of the world, especially within the PLA. Yet, the analysis also prompts reflection on how to positively engage China on non-traditional security issues. // Comment: Thanks to Andrea for sending this to me in response to my inclusion of another piece on Sun Tzu in the Monday newsletter.
Taiwan jets 'drive away' intruding Chinese fighter plane, third intrusion in days - Reuters Taiwan air force jets “drove away” a Chinese fighter plane that briefly entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Tuesday, the defence ministry said, reporting the third intrusion in a week.
Tech and Media
Yicai - Samsung China Ex-CEO Quits Chinese Chipmaker After Barely Four Months Chang Won-ki, a former chief executive of Samsung’s China business, has stepped down as vice chairman of Eswin Computing Technology less than four months after joining the Chinese chipmaker. His appointment had raised concerns in South Korea’s semiconductor sector about technology leaks.
Exclusive: Tencent aims to become biggest shareholder of video streaming rival iQIYI - sources - Reuters The Chinese social media and gaming leader has approached iQIYI’s 56.2% owner Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) to buy a stake of as-yet undetermined size, one of the people said. It was not immediately clear whether Tencent has approached iQIYI or what the full nature of any cooperation would entail.
Nearly a third of all online ads in China invalid: report | Advertising | Campaign Asia Chinese measurement firm analysed traffic from thousands of campaigns and discovered social media has among the highest invalid rate, with more than half (57.5%) of KOL fans fraudulent.
Chinese Live Streaming platforms ramp up Knowledge-Based Content- PingWest Although live streamed e-commerce has been all the buzz lately in China, garnering massive internet traffic, some platforms have been rethinking their strategy of heavy dependence on this lower end market after users develop fatigue watching internet streamed, minimally differentiated infomercials, and working up their content diversity. Chinese short video and live streaming apps Douyin and Kuaishou have both launched projects to promote knowledge-based content creation.
James Millward - Open letter to US (and other) universities in light of Zoom’s revelations about collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party we urgently need a Plan B — or multiple Plan Bs. There are other such platforms, both freely available and with more robust services through paid accounts: Microsoft Teams, Google Meeting, Webex, Bluejeans, Jitsi, etc. Our faculty and students need to have access to and get used to using one or more of those other than Zoom, at least for faculty teaching Chinese students and about China. Those platforms may or may not be accessible in China via VPNs — that access seems to vary by region and personal status within the PRC. But it’s very likely that Zoom is not yet banned in China precisely because it is collaborating with the CCP
China spends over 5t yuan on education in 2019 - Xinhua China spent about 5.01 trillion yuan ($706.6 billion) on education nationwide in 2019, up 8.74 percent from the previous year, the Ministry of Education said Monday.
Rural and Agricultural Issues
Fighting Against All Odds: Chinese Farmers Join Hands with Social E-commerce Company Pinduoduo to Sell Produce Online - Pandaily Through the rural poverty alleviation initiative “Duo Duo Farms” and the company’s COVID-19 response program “Help the Farmers”, Pinduoduo makes use of the power of livestreaming to connect manufacturers and consumers directly. The group purchase model can help drive cheaper prices for consumers while also generating higher returns for farmers, who can now sell directly to consumers across the country and cut out all the intermediaries. According to the company, “Help the Farmers” initiative has helped 180,000 farmers in nearly 400 agricultural areas who received a total of 27.5 million orders from February 10 to March 18, an equivalent of 120,000 metric tons of agricultural produce.