More bad economic data; US-China talks; Another Xi inspection tour and speech

A new batch of economic data shows China’s economy is struggling, and while the possibility of an interim, small US-China trade deal may lift confidence it would do little to help the PRC economy. It is struggling not because of US policies but because of its own structural problems, and Beijing’s policies.

The bad data has spurred another wave of hope for new stimulus policies from Beijing. So far the government seems to be holding the line against any major efforts, but it is going to become increasingly difficult politically to stay the course.

Vice Minister of Finance Liao Min and Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen are leading the PRC delegation to DC this week, with talks I hear scheduled to start Wednesday the 18th. There is increasing chatter about an interim deal by October that relieves some of the political pressures on both sides, but I am still very skeptical of any major breakthroughs. China did announce last week that it would exclude soybeans and pork from additional tariffs, and while that is a goodwill gesture to the US it is also worth remembering that China is in the midst of a pork crisis and so desperately needs to import more of the meat.

The attack on the Saudi Arabia oil facilities can not have pleased Beijing, both because a sustained spike in oil prices would exert even more pressure on the PRC economy and also because if as the US alleges Iran was behind the attacks then China, as a key Iranian ally, may come under uncomfortable diplomatic pressure.

Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, met last week in Beijing with Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC). Per the readout of their meeting:

China always views China-Iran relations from a strategic perspective, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Iran, deepen cooperation in all areas, jointly safeguard the fundamental interests of the two countries and regional peace and stability, and work together to build a community of shared future for mankind.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. More bad economic data

China’s Economic Activity Slowed Further in August - Caixin

It’s becoming less likely that China will see a GDP growth rate higher than 6% in the third quarter of the year given that year-on-year growth rates of industrial output in July and August were both below 5%, according to analysts with investment bank China International Capital Corp. Ltd. The country’s GDP grew 6.2% year-on-year in the second quarter, when industrial output rose more than 5%...

Retail sales, which include spending by governments, businesses and households, grew 7.5% (link in Chinese) year-on-year in August, down from 7.6% growth the month before. The reading marked the lowest point since April and the second lowest since May 2003, when the growth rate was 4.3%. Excluding car-related sales, which dropped 8.1% from a year earlier, retail sales grew 9.3% from a year earlier, up from 8.8% growth in July, NBS data showed.

'Very difficult' for China's economy to grow 6% or faster: Premier Li - Reuters

“For China to maintain growth of 6% or more is very difficult against the current backdrop of a complicated international situation and a relatively high base, and this rate is at the forefront of the world’s leading economies,” Li was quoted as saying.

His exact words - 李克强接受俄罗斯塔斯社书面采访:

在当前国际形势错综复杂的背景下,在较高的基数上,中国经济还能够保持6%以上的中高速增长,是十分不容易的,这一速度仍然位居世界主要经济体前列。

Yicai Global - China's Infrastructure Spending Picked Up in August as Property Investment Eased

Industrial output gained just 4.4 percent in August from a year earlier, slipping from 4.8 percent in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That is the gentlest pace in 17 1/2 years.

Pressures on the economy were partly to blame, NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui said at a press conference in Beijing today. The headline figure was also hit by one-off factors such as one fewer working day in August compared with the same month last year and three typhoons, 1.2 more than the average number, making landfall...

Fu also said that China's infrastructure development still has great potential on the whole. Data show that the current per capita level of fixed asset stock is equivalent to just 20 percent to 30 percent of developed countries, and in the areas of livelihood and regional development there is strong demand for investment.

Meanwhile, the focus on financial risks does not appear to be lessening - 更大力度金融防风险政策酝酿出台 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站

Economic Information Daily says it has learned that several departments are planning a package of financial risk prevention measures. Among those measures are ones targeted at six types of financial institutions, including small and medium-sized bank. In addition, the crackdown on illegal financial activities such as illegal fund-raising will continue to be upgraded, and the construction of a unified national financial risk monitoring platform is being accelerated.

《经济参考报》记者获悉,多部门正密集谋划一揽子金融防风险新举措。其中,针对六类金融机构、中小银行风险等一批监管补短板政策酝酿出台。此外,针对非法集资等非法金融活动的整治也将持续升级,全国统一的金融风险监控平台正在加快建设中。

China to Impose Nationwide Ratings System on Online Microlenders - Caixin

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) is drafting national online microlending regulations and planning a nationwide ratings-based management mechanism, according to a Tuesday report published by the official newspaper of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body.

Veteran banker and CPPCC member Xiao Gang proposed similar policies at the annual CPPCC session in March. Xiao was formerly China’s top securities regulator, head of Bank of China Ltd. and a central bank deputy governor.


2. US-China

China adds some U.S. farm products for additional tariff exemption - Xinhua

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council will exclude some agricultural products such as soybeans and pork from the additional tariffs on U.S. goods, official sources said Friday.

China supports domestic companies in purchasing a certain amount of U.S. farm produce in line with the rules of the market and the World Trade Organization, according to sources with the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce.

The move came after the United States decided to make adjustments to the additional tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods on Oct. 1.

Ahead of trade talks, China makes biggest U.S. soybean purchases since June - traders - Reuters

Privately run Chinese firms bought at least 10 boatloads of U.S. soybeans on Thursday, the country’s most significant purchases since at least June, traders said, ahead of high-level talks next month aimed at ending a bilateral trade war that has lasted more than a year.

Trump team rushes to find escape hatch for China tariffs - POLITICO

The goal of the internal administration discussions is to forestall October tariff increases and the next tariffs set to take effect in December, with some advisers arguing that the economic hit is real and must be mitigated prior to the election year. But the discussions remain fluid and Trump has yet to endorse an approach.

The internal discussions were confirmed by two other people close to the talks, who cautioned that nothing has been finalized.

What’s different now is that administration officials are hoping to leverage a possible stalling of additional tariffs to get China to make commitments on intellectual property, said one of the people.

“We are looking for the Chinese to give us what we asked for in May,” the person said.

China stays rational to cope with external uncertainties - People's Daily Zhong Sheng

some people in the US distorted the exemption lists unveiled by China, saying the lists are a signal that China is not able to take the impacts of the trade friction.

What these people said is one-sided and is intended to make hypes. Chinese economy is resilient and China is not afraid of any external challenge. China has the only complete industrial chain in the world, and this chain cannot be easily destroyed by the US tariff rise. In the short term, the US tariffs will only highlight the value of China in the global industrial chain.

外交部:美应客观理性看待中国

China’s foreign ministry said US assistant sec of state Christopher Ford’s speech on China “discredited and distorted China's domestic and foreign policies, fully exposing some U.S. officials' Cold-War mentality and zero-sum game mindset.”

华春莹:确保网络安全,要防备的不是华为而是思科和苹果

The foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also singled out Cisco, Apple and Facebook for the backdoors in their products, and said the US should pay more attention looking into these companies instead of Huawei.

Fearing ‘Spy Trains,’ Congress May Ban a Chinese Maker of Subway Cars - The New York Times

Lawmakers — along with CRRC’s competitors — say they are concerned that subway cars made by a Chinese company might make it easier for Beijing to spy on Americans and could pose a sabotage threat to American infrastructure, though CRRC says it surrenders control of all technology in the cars to its buyers.

Senators Urge F.C.C. to Review Licenses of 2 Chinese Telecom Companies - The New York Times

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, along with Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, will cite national security concerns in a letter asking the commission to review the licenses that give the two companies, China Telecom and China Unicom, the right to use networks in the United States.

In the letter, they will say that the two Chinese government-linked telecom operators could use that access to “target” Americans’ communications. And they will warn that the companies could reroute communications traveling on their networks through China.

Senator Mark R. Warner Speech on U.S.-China Competition | United States Institute of Peace - Monday, September 23, 2019

Sen. Warner will discuss the importance of U.S. leadership at home, through public-private partnerships, and abroad, with partners and allies. He will also discuss the strategies and tactics used by Beijing to control technologies of the future and dominate specific economic sectors, the meaning of Beijing’s growing influence, and how the U.S. can respond to China’s undermining of open, competitive economies and democratic values.

South China Sea: US Navy Warship Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation Near Paracel Islands | The Diplomat

According to the U.S. Navy, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer sailed near unspecified Chinese-held islands in the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

China said the U.S. warship had entered its territorial waters without permission. Beijing maintains straight baselines around the Paracel Islands, which the U.S. sees as not valid under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

USS vessel breaks into Xisha Islands again, becoming PLA's best training partner - China Military

It is obvious that the US military has the intentions of making trouble when China is celebrating a happy event at home. However, from another point of view, since the PLA used to keep especially high vigilance during holidays and festivals, it goes without saying that the US military as the most powerful army in the world becomes the best training partner of the PLA.

VPR deletes, responds to op-ed questioning Chinese international students in America – The Vanderbilt Hustler

Vanderbilt Political Review (VPR) removed an op-ed from their website that was titled “What Do We Gain from Allowing Chinese Espionage” Sept. 10. The editorial decision to remove the piece followed what they called “strong responses” from the Vanderbilt community, particularly from international students.

The op-ed, written by two VPR contributors and published on April 8, took the position that the United States must stop allowing “the wholesale import” of Chinese nationals into American educational institutions purportedly because students are a known form of Chinese espionage. The piece did not make reference to Vanderbilt, but rather called for increased visa screening particularly for students interested in research or STEM fields.


3. Another Xi inspection tour and speech

Xi is on an inspection tour of Henan. The full propaganda rollout has not begun but they are dribbling the first bits out, starting with his visit to the Revolutionary Martyrs’ cemetery in the capital of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet in Xinxian, Henan.

习近平在河南考察调研--时政--人民网

他首先来到位于新县的鄂豫皖苏区首府烈士陵园,向革命烈士纪念碑敬献花篮,瞻仰革命烈士纪念堂

CCTV has published a short highlight video of the visit, Liu He is at his side.

The September 15th issue of Qiushi leads with a speech gave in 2014 for the 60th anniversary of the founding anniversary of the National People’s Congress. In the speech Xi praised the NPC for “making decisive progress” on leadership succession, rule of law and checks and balances. Xi said the progress includes “essentially abolishing the de facto lifelong tenure of leading cadres, and in general adopting the term limit of leading cadres, which led to the orderly succession of national government and leadership.” Of course four years later he pushed through the end of term limits for the State President and Vice President.

Xi's speech on celebrating NPC's 60th founding anniversary to be published - Xinhua

Xi...said in the speech that China must promote socialist democracy through the improvement of the system of people's congresses. While hailing the system of people's congresses as China's fundamental political system, Xi said, "In new situations, we should hold high the banner of people's democracy, while adhering to and improving the system of people's congresses as required by the times."...The founding anniversary of the NPC falls on Sept. 15. Xi delivered the speech at a conference on Sept. 5, 2014, to mark the NPC's 60th anniversary.

The speech published in Qiushi 在庆祝全国人民代表大会成立六十周年大会上的讲话. The bits on lifelong tenure:

经过长期努力,我们在解决这些重点问题上都取得了决定性进展。我们废除了实际上存在的领导干部职务终身制,普遍实行领导干部任期制度,实现了国家机关和领导层的有序更替。

This seems interesting, both for how he changed his views between 2014 and 2018, and for why something seemingly so contradictory would reappear now.


4. Another rough weekend in Hong Kong

Battles and brawls in Hong Kong’s commercial heart as peaceful protest turns ugly | South China Morning Post

What started as an illegal but peaceful march descended into chaos and violence on Sunday as radical protesters battled riot police in the commercial heart of Hong Kong.

Masked mobs hurled petrol bombs at police, set the exit of one railway station ablaze and vandalised the facilities of another station. Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in return and called in water cannons to disperse the crowds.

Throughout the evening, the two sides clashed in Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay in some of the world’s busiest and most expensive commercial streets.

Hong Kong police group warns live ammo may be used against protesters who throw petrol bombs at officers | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

A Hong Kong police association has warned that officers may shoot “live ammunition” if protesters throw petrol bombs at them.

Lam Chi-wai, chair of the Junior Police Officers’ Association, said in a statement issued on Monday that the association was extremely angered by the violent protests over the weekend, giving its “strongest condemnation.”

Hong Kong protests: man seriously hurt after attack by anti-government demonstrators as street fights between rival groups erupt | South China Morning Post

The ugliest incident, recorded on a video that went viral online, showed an unarmed man dressed in a blue shirt and trousers being attacked by a mob of black-clad masked protesters.

HK roiled by another weekend of violence - People's Daily

Radical protesters refused to stop the violence on Sunday, pushing Hong Kong through its 15th consecutive weekend of disturbances that began over an extradition bill in June, even though the bill was officially withdrawn by the government two weeks ago.

As of press time, eight people had been injured, with one sent to the hospital in critical condition, after protesters engaged in brawls in several locations during the day, according to a source at Hong Kong's Hospital Authority.

Remarkable results of Hong Kong poll | The China Collection 

The drop in trust in the police since May is really stunning and shows the degree to which Hong Kong citizens are alienated from the government.

Exclusive: China prods state firms to boost investment in crisis-hit Hong Kong - Reuters

At a meeting this week in Shenzhen, the city bordering Hong Kong, senior representatives from nearly 100 of China’s largest state-run companies were urged to do their part to help cool China’s biggest political crisis in years, three executives, including one who was present, told Reuters.

At the meeting, the SOEs pledged to invest more in key Hong Kong industries including real estate and tourism in a bid to create jobs for local citizens and stabilize financial markets, two of the executives said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. No specific investments were discussed or agreed upon, they said.

What Chinese Students Abroad Really Think About Hong Kong’s Protests - The New York Times

Many Chinese students sympathetic to the Hong Kong protesters said they were worried that they would face abuse from their peers, and that their opinions would be reported to the Chinese government. Some who support the Chinese government said they were afraid of being exposed to xenophobia in Australia.

Facebook blocks HK media account - Global Times

Facebook faced outrage in China over the weekend for suspending a Hong Kong media account and Hong Kong police's anti-violence WhatsApp hotlines, as the Chinese public slammed it for falling victim to US bullying and double standards, and for becoming an "accomplice" of Hong Kong rioters.

Many Chinese netizens also urged Hong Kong media dotdotnews to sue Facebook for blocking the account twice in a week, and offered to help with the lawsuit.

LSE Snub of HKEX Shows Doubts Over Hong Kong: People’s Daily - Bloomberg

LSE’s letter to HKEX, which says its partnership with the Shanghai Stock Exchange is its “preferred and direct channel to access the many opportunities with China,” illustrates how the world views the prospects between the financial centers of Shanghai and Hong Kong, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party said late Saturday.

Netizens slam BNP Paribas for ‘perfunctory’ statement on HK employee - Global Times

Chinese netizens urged a boycott of BNP Paribas and demanded that it dismiss one of its Hong Kong-based employees for supporting Hong Kong riots and secessionism, following a previous statement from the bank that was widely deemed as "not sincere and perfunctory."

Calvin Klein sparks controversy as employee wears black mask in apparent support of HK rioters - Global Times

US clothier Calvin Klein is again in trouble on Chinese social media after posts showing one of its employees wearing a black mask during work hours in apparent support of Hong Kong rioters went viral over the weekend.

How Hong Kong got to this point - Richard Bush - Brookings

America's Role in Hong Kong - The Atlantic

Rubio said he expects the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to easily pass in Congress and be signed into law by the president. The legislation, which has bipartisan support in the Senate and the House of Representatives...

Rubio said he could envision the Senate passing the act, perhaps by unanimous consent, in mid-October when it returns from a break, and the House passing its version in short order as well...

Rubio said he has personally spoken with Trump about the bill and has not encountered resistance. “The White House has indicated that they would sign it,” he noted.


5. Did Australia keep quiet about a major PRC hack?

Exclusive: Australia concluded China was behind hack on parliament, political parties – sources    - Reuters

Australian intelligence determined China was responsible for a cyber-attack on its national parliament and three largest political parties before the general election in May, five people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters...

The report, which also included input from the Department of Foreign Affairs, recommended keeping the findings secret in order to avoid disrupting trade relations with Beijing, two of the people said. The Australian government has not disclosed who it believes was behind the attack or any details of the report.

China’s Foreign Ministry denied involvement in any sort of hacking attacks and said the internet was full of theories that were hard to trace.

Comment: My experiences in China are no doubt micro-level but in life and business there one of the worst things you can do is let someone screw you and then do or say nothing about it. If that is your approach then the other party assumes you are weak relative to them and you will take whatever they want to do to you.


6. Solomon Islands dump Taipei for Beijing

The R.O.C. (Taiwan) government terminates diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands with immediate effect to uphold national dignity -Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)

The government of China has once again resorted to dollar diplomacy and false promises of large amounts of foreign assistance to buy off a small number of politicians, so as to ensure that the government of Solomon Islands adopted a resolution to terminate relations with Taiwan before China’s National Day on October 1. Beijing’s purpose is to diminish Taiwan’s international presence, hurt the Taiwanese people, and gradually suppress and eliminate Taiwan’s sovereignty. It is absolutely evident that China, through this case, deliberately seeks to influence Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and legislative elections. The government strongly condemns China’s attempts to suppress Taiwan, and calls on the people of Taiwan to continue to uphold our national sovereignty, champion the principles of freedom and democracy, reach out to the international community, and serve as a force for good in the world.

Taiwan says China meddling with elections after Solomon Islands cuts ties - Reuters

Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said Taipei would immediately close its embassy in the Solomon Islands and recall all its diplomats.

“The Chinese government attacked Taiwan purposely before our presidential and legislative elections, obviously aiming to meddle with the voting. The government strongly condemns this and urges people to hold on to its sovereignty and the value of freedom and democracy,” said Wu, whose resignation was rejected by Tsai.

China lures Solomon Islands away from Taiwan | Financial Times $$

In a highly unusual move, the Solomon Islands’ Central Bank warned on Monday that establishing diplomatic ties with China could drive the country into a debt trap similar to that seen in other nations that accepted loans for infrastructure projects from Beijing.

Beijing had up its campaign over the past two weeks, pushing for the diplomatic move to be announced before China’s national day on October 1, according to two Solomon Islands lawmakers contacted by phone from Taipei. 

China extends influence in Pacific as Solomon Islands break with Taiwan | The Guardian

The diplomatic switch reduces the number of countries that recognise Taiwan to 16.

The south Pacific has been a diplomatic stronghold for Taiwan, where formal ties with six island nations made up more than a third of its total alliances, though China has in recent years been expanding its influence in the region.

The Solomon Islands was by far the largest remaining Pacific ally for Taiwan. The nation has had diplomatic relations with Taiwan for 36 years

Question: If the US and Australia really care about the Solomon Islands and likely other Pacific Island nations switching recognition from Taiwan to the PRC, why haven’t they put together a package of incentives to try to forestall the switch?


7. National Day parade is going to be lit

Second rehearsal for National Day celebrations concludes - Xinhua

The rehearsal was held from Saturday afternoon to the wee hours on Monday in Tian'anmen Square and areas along the Chang'an Avenue in downtown Beijing. About 280,000 people were involved in the rehearsal and related supporting services.

A total of six parts of the celebrations were rehearsed, including a ceremony marking the celebrations, a grand military parade, a mass pageant and performances as well as emergency response, according to the media center for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the PRC.

Second parade rehearsal held; new weapons spotted - People's Daily Online

Type 15 tanks were also sighted on the streets of the capital city, suggesting that the lightweight tank will make its debut to the general public on October 1.

Military observers identified Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of carrying 10 independently targetable nuclear warheads and hitting anywhere on Earth, according to Hong Kong Economic Times.

They also spotted the DF-17 ballistic missile, said to be carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle similar to Russia's Avangard, moving along the highway into Beijing.

Meanwhile online videos and photos captured two types of drone: one aerodynamic design believed to be high supersonic and stealthy, the other with a fly wing stealth design: probably the Sharp Sword stealth attack drone seen test flying back in 2013.

More mysterious was an image of a large autonomous underwater vehicle. Its mission remains unknown.

China unveils supersonic spy drone during National Day military parade rehearsal | South China Morning Post

China’s supersonic spy drone was unveiled for the first time during a weekend rehearsal for the National Day military parade on October 1, according to photos circulating on social media.

The photographs, which have prompted discussion among military enthusiasts, showed at least two types of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – identified as the DR-8 or Wuzhen 8, and the Sharp Sword stealth attack drone.

State Councilor stresses implementation of anti-terrorism measures - Xinhua

tate Councilor Zhao Kezhi Monday told officials to fully implement various counter-terrorism measures to create a secure and stable political and social environment for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Addressing a national anti-terrorism conference here, Zhao, also chief of a national anti-terrorism leading group, demanded the use of the most stringent requirements and most meticulous measures to prevent violent and terrorist-related incidents and ensure social stability.

Beijing bars flying pet birds, kites, drones for National Day parade - Global Times

Drones, kites, balloons and lanterns are not allowed in seven downtown districts in Beijing from midnight of Saturday to midnight of October 1 to guarantee the safety of flight rehearsals and the military parade in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Residents are also not permitted to release homing pigeons during the two weeks, said the Beijing municipal government notice released on Sunday.

TV documentary series dedicated to PRC founding anniversary to be aired - Xinhua

The documentary centers on China's achievements and experiences in the past seven decades, presenting touching stories and major events from the country's development and offering audiences a panoramic view.

The documentary is jointly produced by several departments and organizations, including the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the National Development and Reform Commission and the China Media Group.


8. US crackdown clock now ticking for TikTok?

This article is in the center of the front page of Monday's Washington Post. If people in Congress and other agencies in DC were not paying attention to TikTok they will now.

China's TikTok social media app has captured the NFL, but not Hong Kong protesters - The Washington Post

TikTok has quickly become one of America’s most popular mobile apps, a flashy, frenetic, video playground beloved by teens and downloaded more than 110 million times across the U.S...

researchers have grown worried that the app could also prove to be one of China’s most effective weapons in the global information war, bringing Chinese-style censorship to mainstream U.S. audiences and shaping how they understand real-world events. Compounding researchers’ concerns are TikTok’s limited public comments about the content it removes and its purported independence from censors in Beijing.


Business, Economy and Trade

Drone strikes in Saudi Arabia may push China to diversify oil supply, analysts say | South China Morning Post The gulf state – which was the victim of attacks on the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oilfield on Saturday, claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels – is China’s second largest source of crude oil after Russia, supplying the fuel-hungry country with over a million barrels a day.

‘American Factory’ Boss Argues Case Against Labor Unions - SixthTone Describing labor unions as the biggest cultural difference Chinese businesses face when they expand into Europe or North America, Cao said he would rather incur losses than be “messed around” by unions. “Mental distress is worse than financial loss,” he said. The 73-year-old billionaire also complained that some of the scenes in the documentary “vilified” his company. Addressing backlash over the depiction of some of his American employees working extended hours at the Ohio factory, Cao said such work schedules were common in China.

China Mengniu Dairy Agrees to Buy Bellamy’s for $1 Billion - Bloomberg The Hong Kong-based firm offered A$13.25 per share Monday for Bellamy’s, a sizable 59% premium to the stock’s last closing price. The Launceston, Tasmania-based company’s board unanimously recommended the offer.

Yicai Global - Beijing, Shanghai Are Unlikely to Fully Lift Car Buying Curbs, Experts Say Pent up demand in the Beijing and Shanghai markets means that their authorities are unlikely to fully lift restrictions and will follow Guangzhou and Shenzhen's lead in taking a step-by-step approach, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association.

Instant noodles make comeback after five-year slump - ECNS Some analysts ascribe the downturn to the rise of online food services supported by Internet giants in the online-to-offline (O2O) market as the country saw an increasing use of QR codes, mobile payments and booming smart startups. Food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng said growth in the instant noodle market picked up in the fourth quarter of 2016 as manufactures increased efforts to woo younger consumers.

Removal of QFII/RQFII caps to attract long-term investment: official - Xinhua "The removal of investment caps will attract more long-term investors, promote stability of the yuan exchange rate and help maintain the balance of international payments," said Zhang Xin, deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Yicai Global - New iPhone Pre-Orders in China Are Triple Last Year's, But Lack of 5G May Damp Sales Within the first minute of pre-orders starting on Sept. 13, CNY100 million (USD14 million) worth of the smartphones had been purchased on Tmall, data obtained by Yicai Global showed. The iPhone 11 Pro series sold out within five minutes, according to e-commerce platform JD.com.

Bloomberg New Economy Forum Announces Preliminary Speaker and Participant Line-Up for the Second Annual Event in Beijing on Nov 20-22, 2019 "We are assembling a world-class community of global leaders from new economy nations, including the most influential titans in business and finance from China, India, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East," said Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media. "This unique community has a common vision: to apply their expertise and perspective to tackle the world's most critical challenges, deliver concrete solutions and build a pathway to progress." // Comment: I will be there, assuming no visa issues

Amid U.S. vaping crackdown, Juul enters China with online store openings - Reuters A notice published on Juul’s official virtual store on Tmall, an Alibaba e-commerce site, said it had opened on Sept. 9. Juul also had a similar store on JD.com, another major Chinese online retailer.

Politics and Law

CPC issues revised, new regulations on Party rules - Xinhua The regulations include revised versions of the regulation on formulating Party rules and the regulation on putting on record and examining Party rules and normative documents, as well as a newly drafted regulation on accountability of the implementation of Party rules. It also issued a circular, which was published on Sunday, on the implementation of the regulations, asking CPC organizations at all levels to uphold the fundamental role of the Party Constitution... The above-mentioned three regulations along with other documents on Party regulations released in recent years have formed a complete chain of norms governing the work on Party rules, according to the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. // 中共中央印发最新三部党内法规(内附全文)

Ministry asks ideology, politics professors to focus more on teaching - Xinhua China's Ministry of Education has asked ideology and politics professors in universities to attach more importance to teaching in their work.Ideology and politics professors in higher learning institutions should increase the proportion of teaching in their work and focus on teaching in their scientific research, according to a work plan drawn up by the ministry to make reforms in ideology and politics courses.

Provincial Party Chief Calls On Xiongan to Become Tech Powerhouse - Caixin Global Wang Dongfeng, the Communist Party secretary of North China’s Hebei province, where Xiong an is located, made the comments at a series of meetings held Friday and Saturday in the area, local paper Hebei News reported. Wang name-checked a slew of technologies, including 5G telecommunications bases, satellite-information transmission, sensor systems, and broadband, that will “establish standard systems for a healthy smart city,” the report said. //Wang and other officials must be feeling the pressure from Xi to make things happen faster for Xiong’an

Commentary: Reliving revolutionary history, CPC resolved to pass test of new era - Xinhua On March 23, 1949, when the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee left Xibaipo in Hebei Province for Beijing, Chairman Mao Zedong uttered what later became a widely quoted phrase: "Today is the day to enter the capital to sit for a test." The test was referred to whether the CPC, as a revolutionary party, could successfully govern China.

Xi underlines security, openness in cyberspace - Xinhua | Efforts should be made to raise people's sense of fulfillment, happiness and security in cyberspace, said Xi...in an instruction to a week-long national awareness campaign on cybersecurity that opened in the northern Chinese municipality of Tianjin Monday. Xi said the country will safeguard the security of personal information and citizens' legal rights and interests in cyberspace. Efforts should be made not only to develop new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and the new generation of communication networks but also guide the application of the new technologies with laws, administrative rules and standards, he said...First launched in 2014, the week-long campaign is an annual event that promotes national awareness on cybersecurity. // 网络安全宣传周

China: Xinjiang Children Separated from Families | Human Rights Watch Various indicators suggest that Xinjiang authorities have been putting more resources into child welfare institutions and boarding schools since the start of the “Strike Hard Campaign.” There have been many policy directives on the institutionalization of children whose parents are in detention facilities, government documents on the management of children in child welfare institutions and boarding schools, and procurement notices for the construction of these facilities, which Human Rights Watch, independent researchers, and international media organizations have uncovered.

Dui Hua Human Rights Journal: “Two Restraints, One Leniency”: Part I, China’s Ethnic Minorities and Criminal Law China’s criminal policy of “Two Restraints, One Leniency” (liangshao yikuan 两少一宽) was enacted during the administration of reformist leader Hu Yaobang (1982-1987). Derived from a Soviet-era policy that granted regional autonomy and preferential protection to ethnic minorities, the policy had the intended purpose of strengthening the political loyalty of ethnic minorities in the multi-national country....This article, the first of two on this topic, serves to provide an overview of public opinion from the two opposing camps in the liangshao yikuan controversy. Despite being a national criminal policy, liangshao yikuan has been enforced only to varying degrees across the country. In matters relating to state security, today the policy is largely disregarded. The instrumental use of the policy to further the interests of the state has left the treatment of ethnic minority offenders highly unpredictable, and dependent on the political climate of the day.

In Depth: The Violence Behind ‘Shantytown’ Redevelopment - Caixin “To go through the entire (official) process of expropriation would take more than a year, or even a few years,” Yin Qingli, a lawyer at Beijing Fuli Law Firm, told Caixin. Local governments unwilling to wait for such a long time would go straight to village-level authorities and directly receive approval from village representatives and party branch officials, in a process referred to in Chinese as “4+2” after the four official procedures and two committees it involves...“It’s a crime to abuse power to carry out forced demolitions,” Yin said, “But when regular people go straight to the supervisory authorities to sue the people responsible in the local government for abuse of power, there is usually no effect.”

官场腐败、奴才得志、酷烈虐民…却又粉饰太平,吏治危机让统治岌岌可危_李毓昌 Overseas Chinese media getting excited about the reappearance online of a 2013 article that appeared on the CCDI website about the crisis of official governance in the Jiaqing and Daoguang eras of the Qing Dynasty. It was quickly deleted from Bytedance's "Jinri Toutiao" but is still online elsewhere. Why again now? I don't know but, but this will spur more rumors and conspiracy theories, mostly centered on Wang Huning. The original article was《清代嘉庆道光时期的吏治危机》

中国前副主席李源潮现身上海复旦大学 Li Yuanchao, the former vice president that rumors said in house arrest, resurfaced as a WeChat account put out of a picture him attending an event in Fudan University that was dedicated to commemorating his teacher. Li also resurfaced in June with a picture of People’s Daily that day, after rumors said he had committed suicide under the pressure of investigation against him.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Japan and China to hold infrastructure forum during Xi visit - Nikkei Asian Review Japan and China will hold a forum on infrastructure investment in third countries next spring, during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan, looking to promote cross-border cooperation among businesses and financial institutions, Nikkei has learned.

Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane has links to China's Communist Party - Sydney Morning Herald A NSW Labor MP linked to pro-China community organisations hired a staffer who completed a propaganda training course in Beijing run by the Chinese Communist Party. Upper house MLC Shaoquett Moselmane, who controversially gave a speech last year proclaiming a "new world order" was needed for China to reach its potential, appointed John Zhang to his parliamentary office at the beginning of 2019.

Former Ontario minister sides with Beijing, pins Hong Kong protests on ‘outside’ forces - The Globe and Mail Former MPP Michael Chan, in a recent interview with Chinanews, a Chinese state-backed news site, condemned the city’s anti-government protesters and applauded Hong Kong police for showing restraint in the crisis. His assertions echo the statements by Chinese officials as the protest movement in Hong Kong gathered steam. China has blamed “foreign forces” for manipulating the protests and interfering in Hong Kong affairs.

Auckland Uni using Communist Party-backed staff to liaise with Chinese Consulate | Stuff.co.nz The Auckland Confucius Institute – which has strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party – has been acting as a conduit between the University of Auckland and the Chinese Consulate-General, documents obtained under the Official Information Act reveal.

China's Leadership and Authoritarian Values Are Coming Soon to the United Nations-Foreign Affairs Eager to expand its influence on the world stage in ways that serve its interests, China has placed considerable resources behind an effort to present its leadership at the UN as a nimbler, more dynamic alternative to that of the United States. In the past few years alone, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has positioned its officials to head up four of the UN’s 15 specialized agencies, while the United States leads only one.

China To Help Bangladesh Build Submarine Base, Senior Official Says - RFA Beijing will help Bangladesh construct its first submarine base, but Chinese subs will not use the facility, a leading member of parliamentary committees on foreign policy and defense told BenarNews on Thursday. The future base will house two Chinese-made submarines purchased by Dhaka from Beijing in 2016, retired Col. Faruk Khan said, adding that Bangladesh was not taking sides in a regional rivalry between India and China

军营Rap丨帅气兵哥告诉你军营生活是啥样 累也快乐 - 八一电视·中国军网 "Barracks Rap" video--interesting propaganda move by PLA, I assume to make enlistment more attractive, a soldier rapping about life in the PLA

US hawks’ ‘China threat’ paranoia knows no bounds - Global Times OpEd - Clifford A. Kiracofe Congressional staffers, generally in their 20s and with no specialization and expertise, are easily influenced by hawkish think tanks. The members themselves are influenced by prominent academic, government, and military anti-China hawks who testify in various hearings before Congress. While over 100 experts recently signed a letter calling for a balanced China policy, Congress and the White House seem unmoved. There are few moderate voices on China in the Congress. The vocal bipartisan support for the riotous opposition and secessionists in Hong Kong underscores this reality. China hawks of all feathers are shrieking these days in the corridors of power in Washington.—The author is an educator and former senior professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Interview: China has made great achievements in human rights promotion over past 70 years, diplomat says - Xinhua Liu Hua, the special representative for human rights affairs of China's Foreign Ministry, who is here to attend the ongoing 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, made the remarks during an interview with Xinhua. "After 70 years of efforts, China has become the world's second largest economy. Last year, its GDP exceeded 90 trillion yuan (about 12.7 trillion U.S. dollars), contributing more than 30 percent to world economic growth for many years," she said. What's more, she said, China has solved the food and clothing problem for nearly 1.4 billion people, and reduced the number of poverty population by 850 million, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global poverty reduction.

Commentary: Premier Li's visit to inject new vitality into China-Russia ties - Xinhua During his stay in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, Li and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will co-chair the 24th regular meeting between the two countries' heads of government, a key mechanism and platform to promote cooperation and facilitate communication. They will exchange in-depth views on how to fully translate the consensus between Xi and Putin into win-win cooperation, and sign a series of agreements on trade, energy, technology and other areas, so as to demonstrate both countries' determination to strengthen their friendly and fruitful ties. In the face of rising unilateralism, protectionism and anti-globalization, China and Russia, both responsible major countries, share a similar view on building a more open world economy, improving global governance and promoting democracy in international relations.

'China Hands’ Got China Wrong, But Listen to Them Now - Bloomberg Opinion - Hal Brands A few China hands, as well as some journalists who had spent time in Beijing, were also alert to the emerging rivalry. But on the whole, one could have gotten a better sense of China's geopolitical future by reading the works of non-specialists than by perusing the pages of China Quarterly or other specialized journals. The great-power gurus, in other words, were China hawks before being a China hawk was cool. They understood that a rising China was unlikely to be less disruptive than earlier emerging powers…U.S. policy toward China needed to change, so at least some of this can be viewed as a healthy correction. It is important that this shift not go too far, however, because this moment calls for the expertise and influence of the China hands.

Hong Kong and Macao

Ho Iat Seng to CMG: 'One Country' first, then 'Two Systems' - CGTN "When we talk about 'One Country, Two Systems,' we cannot only focus on the 'Two Systems' and ignore that 'One Country' is the precondition," said Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), in an exclusive interview with China Media Group (CMG).

Tech and Media

Influential US scientist under fire for Xinjiang links - Coda Story As revealed by Coda Story last month, Anil K. Jain, the head of Michigan State University’s Biometrics Research Group, traveled to Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi in August 2018 and gave a speech about facial recognition at the Chinese Conference on Biometrics Recognition (CCBR). Jain was also on the CCBR’s advisory board and was pictured receiving an honorary certificate.

iFlytek Inks Exclusive Translation Agreement with Beijing 2022 Olympic Committee- PingWest iFlytek, a Chinese artificial intelligence company specializing in voice recognition has inked a partnership agreement with Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 winter Olympic. Under the agreement, iFlytek will be the exclusive translation partner for the Beijing 2022 winter Olympic.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Contemporary Chinese Masterpieces from the Gillion Crowet Collection | Expert Voices | Sotheby’s Housed for more than a decade in La Moutarderie Nationale – a former mustard factory in Brussels - the Gillion Crowet Collection captures one of the most important chapters in Chinese art history. In this episode of Expert Voices, learn how the collection was assembled by the discerning vision of Baroness Gillion Crowet and discover how works by Liu Ye, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang and Yue Minjun document a transformative period in Chinese society. The prestigious collection features 30 masterworks that will be offered in our upcoming auction Moutarderie Nationale: The Gillion Crowet Collection (6 October | Hong Kong) // Prices seem crazy

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Steel Giant in Polluted Hebei to Relocate Older Operations - Caixin The main steelmaker in the industrial city of Handan will move its older production operations from the city center to an area about 90 kilometers (56 miles) away, part of an ongoing national drive to improve air quality in one of China’s most polluted provinces.

Ministry rules on South Pole - Global Times All Chinese mainland travel agencies must submit applications before organizing trips to the South Pole scientific research station, according to a draft guideline issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Education

As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students — ProPublica This week, my NPR Illinois and ProPublica colleagues reported on a lawsuit filed by two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and a professor at another college against former Illinois professor Gary Gang Xu, alleging he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students — and specifically targeted female Chinese students.