More foreign capital wanted; Pigs stressing the Party; George Soros sounds another warning about China
|Bill Bishop||Sep 10, 2019||7||1|
China needs dollars and pork.
Investment quota restrictions for Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII) and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (RQFII) are going away, officially to “boost financial reforms and opening-up” but in reality also because China needs to increase the inflow of foreign capital.
The Asian Swine Flue epidemic, combined with policy errors, have turned pigs into one of the most pressing struggles for Xi and the Party. The latest inflation data shows the average pork price just jumped 46.7% Y/Y, and in the wake of Hu Chunhua’s August speech stating that fixing the pig problems is an important political task, the State Council today issued a circular outlining several steps to stabilize hog production. Even if those measures work it is going to take a while, and probably a lot of chicken, before this round of pork price inflation moderates.
Hu Chunhua, once seen as a possible future General Secretary, and currently the Vice Premier with responsibility for agriculture, must really hate pigs now. The personal political price of this pork panic may be high for Hu.
Thanks for reading.
1. China ends quotas for QFII and RFQII
China's forex regulator Tuesday announced it will abolish the investment quota restriction for Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII) and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (RQFII) to boost financial reforms and opening-up.
The QFII and RQFII programs, implemented in 2002 and 2011 respectively, allow overseas institutional investors to move money into China's capital account for investment.
China has already eased restrictions on outward remittance of funds — or money that foreign investors send out of the country. Since 2018, China has ended the lock-up period on the principal of investments made through the QFII and RQFII programs and has abolished the monthly limit on outbound remittances.
In addition, Wang said that the RQFII program, which allows overseas institutions to invest in Chinese securities using the offshore yuan, will now be open to overseas institutional investors that meet certain requirements. Before this, the program was only available to those from certain countries or regions on a pilot basis.
The SAFE statement - 国家外汇管理局：取消合格境外投资者（QFII/RQFII）投资额度限制 扩大金融市场对外开放
Scrapping the quota is less a confident liberalization by a maturing economy and financial system than an overt admission that the country needs money. China has been edging dangerously close to twin deficits in its fiscal and current accounts. It needs as much foreign capital as it can get – even in the form of hot portfolio flows – to keep control over the balance of payments and avoid a further buildup of debt.
2. Pork Panic?
China’s consumer inflation remained at a 17-month high in August, fueled by pork prices that surged at their fastest pace in more than eight years, even as factory gate prices continued to fall due to falling raw material prices, official data showed Tuesday...
The average pork price increased 46.7% year-on-year amid fallout from the country’s ongoing African swine fever outbreak, contributing 1.08 percentage points to the CPI growth. The increase in pork prices was the highest since July 2011 when the price grew 56.7% year-on-year.
According to the circular, 95 percent of pork should be supplied by the domestic market, and large-scale hog farming should exceed 65 percent with a manure utilization rate of 85 percent by 2025.
Provincial-level governments were urged to offer preferential policies in farming land, funding and financing and grassroots epidemic-prevention teams.
The circular detailed an extension of subsidized loans for pig breeding farms and large-scale pig farms to Dec 31, 2020, and asked banks and financial institutions to support the hog industry.
Areas where hog raising is not permitted should be strictly marked in line with laws and regulations, the circular also read...
The reserve of frozen pork should be supplied at a proper pace, and the production of poultry, beef, mutton and other alternatives should be accelerated to ensure meat supply.
In addition, a mechanism to link social assistance with rising consumer prices will be established to ensure the livelihood of people in need, it said.
However analysts at Dutch bank Rabobank have said that farms producing more than 10,000 pigs a year only accounted for 18% of the total in 2016.
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, a top national agricultural research institute, told CCTV that one potential vaccine has completed lab safety and efficiency tests, paving the way for large-scale production. The treatment is now awaiting biosafety tests at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs with a view to launching clinical trials in the near future, according to CCTV.
It must be pointed out with deep sorrow that human factors played a role in this round of pork shortages. The unreasonable regulations prohibiting and restricting the breeding of live pigs is responsible for the result to some degree. It is said that the original intention of designating hog-raising zones and pig-free zones was to protect the environment, but the complex relationship between them should be supported by convincing scientific research. What is more serious is that during implementation, the restrictions are constantly being strengthened. In some places, land for new farms is basically never approved and they just keep demolishing and never building. Even standardized large-scale pig-raising enterprises are banned. What should be reconsidered is why the motivating force of “rule by prohibition” is so strong. Even when the supply of pigs was reduced, such behavior was not weakened. On Aug. 21, the State Council made clear that the local governments should immediately abolish the prohibitions and restrictions on pig-raising beyond laws and regulations. We look forward to the immediate effects of this request. Environmental pollution caused by pig farming does occur, but there is no need to resort to blanket bans with the level of science and technology available in China today...
The pork crisis also reflects some of the challenges facing the national governance system and governance capacity, which will be the themes of the Fourth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to be held in Beijing next month.
China's State Council issued new guidelines on Tuesday urging local governments and various government departments to boost pork supply...
There were 69 times more mainland media articles related to “pork” than “China-US trade” as of the end of last week, according to the Baidu Index, a Chinese online search tracking service equivalent to Google Trends. Online search traffic for the keyword “pig” also overtook searches for “China-US trade” and “Hong Kong issue” during the week ending September 8.
Beijing has imposed a 72 per cent tariff on US pork as part of its trade war with Washington, so China has turned to farmers in Europe and Latin America to step up their supplies. Analysts project that China will import more than 2m tonnes of the meat this year.
“China’s need for pork and protein substitutes will disrupt traditional meat trade flows,” said Ricardo Santin, chief executive of the Brazilian Animal Protein Association. “The sales outlook to China is positive for the entire international market, but is especially valuable for Brazil.”
China’s pork prices are soaring so quickly that an internet meme has emerged suggesting the newest way to show off wealth: a necklace made of pork belly...
3. Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform
The measures sound good, and include more support for private businesses, but promise fatigue seems to have set in long ago.
The meeting stressed the need to support the development of private business, and to ensure the equal utilization of production factors by various kinds of business ownerships and their participation in market competition in an open, fair and just manner, and equally enjoying protection by law.
To pursue high-quality trade development, technical and institutional innovation and new types of business shall be encouraged, it said.
The meeting stressed the need to remove institutional obstacles and make efforts to secure a much easier flow of labor and talent in various sectors through broader channels.
It also made arrangements on establishing a rational, safe and highly-efficient key farm produce supply system which takes ensuring national food security as its bottom line.
The meeting urged efforts to strengthen overall supervision and control over key financial infrastructure and promote the formation of a well-organized, effective, advanced, reliable and flexible financial infrastructure system.
Stressing smart development and enhancing social governance capacity, the meeting also demanded efforts to advocate a simple, moderate, green and low-carbon lifestyle.
A meeting of the Central Comprehensive Reform Deepening Committee (中央全面深化改革委员会) convened by President Xi Jinping on 9 September called for “strengthening of the coordinated regulation of key financial infrastructure and unified regulatory standardisation,” as well as “driving the formation of an advanced, reliable, highly flexible financial infrastructure system.’
4. Hong Kong
Question: Is the best case outcome for Hong Kong a slow decline into just another mainland PRC city?
Carrie Lam hits back at foreign interference in HK affairs, calls for end of infrastructure - Xinhua [Yes, this is the headline]
During the press briefing, Lam also said she was deeply saddened by the violence at Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations of Central and Prince Edward, calling for an end of the vandalism of infrastructure.
Both the airport and the railway system are the lifeblood of Hong Kong, closely related to the daily life of local residents, Lam said, adding that the escalated violence will not solve social problems but exacerbate conflicts, rifts and hatred.
On Tuesday, Lam expressed “strong regret” over the proposed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would require the US government to make annual assessments on the level of political autonomy in the city.
“Any form of intervention from foreign legislatures into Hong Kong’s internal affairs is most inappropriate. And we will not let [the US Congress] become… a stakeholder in Hong Kong’s affairs,” Lam told reporters ahead of an Executive Council meeting.
“I hope that there will be no more local figures, especially those in certain positions, actively asking the US government or Congress to pass this bill.
The billionaire described the situation as “the worst blow dealt to Hong Kong except the second world war”.
“We hope Hong Kong will be able to ride out the storm,” he said. “We hope the young people can take the big picture into consideration. For those at the helm, we hope they can give the masters of our future a way out.
“It’s a leaderless movement, as we all say. But clearly, someone is doing a damn better job than the government or police,” [Bernard] Chan said. “I bet there’s somebody, somewhere there. Whether they’re foreign or not, I really have no idea. But I have to say, you cannot just say that this is just a people’s movement. This has got to be way more than that.”
China’s ambassador to the UK has accused British politicians of exhibiting a “colonial mindset” when they express support for demonstrators in Hong Kong or raise concerns about Huawei or freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
Liu Xiaoming said British MPs were free to express their opinion about the Hong Kong crisis but needed to recognise there were limits. Critical comments were not a problem “as long as you do not interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs,” he said.
In an internal memo leaked online, the force said it gave “blanket approval” for officers to be issued batons “for the purpose of executing constabulary duties whilst off duty.” The decision was also meant to tie in with the needs of an operation targeting violent protesters, codenamed Operation TIDERIDER.
When asked if the claim was factually accurate and whether it was ethical to publish it, the state-run outlet sent a screenshot which it said came from a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram where a post said protesters should start killing people if their demands were not met.
“This is not an internal matter,” Mattis said in remarks likely to irritate Beijing, which has denounced the sometimes violent protests and accused the United States and Britain of fomenting unrest in the former British colony.
The Berlin zoo said it wishes to "fundamentally distance itself" from reports on naming of the panda cubs "Hong" and "Kong" as enraged Chinese netizens called on the country's panda institute to terminate its cooperation with Germany.
Far from the utopian ideals of the Umbrella Movement, demonstrators here are now fighting what they see as their city sliding into a nightmare of police brutality, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial punishment. Raymond Chan, a pro-democracy lawmaker, sums up the prevailing sentiment: “If we lose, it may be the end of Hong Kong as we know it.”
Hong Kong visitor arrivals plunged nearly 40% in August from a year earlier, deepening from July’s 5% fall, the finance secretary said as sometimes violent anti-government protests take a rising toll on the city’s tourism, retail and hotel businesses.
Almost two-thirds of the seats at the park’s food courts and restaurants were empty during lunchtime on Thursday. Several shops were closed. People had to line up for only a few popular attractions, with many having no wait time at all.
Question: Will there be any official or unofficial restrictions on mainland travel to Hong Kong during the upcoming October holiday?
“Any plots to rely on foreigners to build oneself up or acts or words to split the country are doomed to failure.”
Hua said that during her trip last week, Merkel clearly said that she opposes violence and supports “one country, two systems”.
“People, particularly the young, are just not interested in China. They don’t care,” Lee Yee, the 83-year-old founding editor of that now defunct magazine, known first as “The Seventies” and later as “The Nineties,” said over coffee in a Hong Kong retirement home. China, he added, doesn’t stir excited discussion these days, only indifference or contempt...
“Loving China,” he said, became synonymous with “loving the party,” something he and most people in Hong Kong don’t want to do. “I used to be a patriot. But of course I am not a patriot now.”
5. International Discourse Power
Comment: I expect we will be seeing a lot of more of this, about Hong Kong, Xinjiang and other issues, as the CCP ramps up its efforts in its battle to increase its share of international discourse power.
From the United States to Mongolia and Nigeria to Costa Rica, Chinese envoys to more than 70 countries, regions and international organisations wrote opinion pieces for local news outlets, granted interviews, held media briefings and made speeches in a flurry of public relations activity.
They spread Beijing’s word in more than 10 languages, not only condemning violent protesters but also accusing the West of trying to foment a “colour revolution” in Hong Kong.
Comment: A good summary of Xi's hugely important visit to the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television on February 19, 2016. And reading it again 40 months later you can see a pretty clear roadmap to where we are today in propaganda.
[We] must strengthen the building of our international transmission capacity, and enhance our international discourse power, telling China’s story properly in a centralised manner. At the same time we must optimise our strategic deployments, working hard to create flagship media for external propaganda that have relatively strong international influence. — February 19, 2016, Speech to the Party’s News and Public Opinion Work Conference
Recently updated records on the foreign ministry’s website indicate that Zhao Lijian 赵立坚 , who left his position as deputy chief of mission in Islamabad earlier this month, now serves as deputy director general of the ministry’s information department.
In his new role, Zhao serves directly beneath the department’s newly appointed director general, Hua Chunying, and alongside fellow deputies Geng Shuang and Yu Dunhai.
Worth revisiting this, noted in the July 15 newsletter:
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying wrote in Study Times on how to do better in the PR work for the CCP, saying the government should engage in “sincere and open communication” with the outside world, and also be more aggressive in responding to criticisms and setting agenda. It is interesting that she said the government should “explore and promote the development of media integration and make foray into overseas social media”. This coincides with the ministry’s new Tiktok account and Ambo Cui’s new Twitter account. Zaobao reported last week that Hua will soon become the new head of the Foreign Ministry information department.
Here is Zhao's Twitter account
The recent mild pushback on PRC propaganda and disinformation efforts on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube may have an impact on the efforts to improve China’s discourse power on global social media, but unless more restrictions come on the effect should be slight. And they still have TikTok and, for the global Chinese diaspora, Wechat, which is out of reach for regulators outside of China.
Trump’s handling of trade negotiations with China is a particularly weak spot, with 35 percent in the new poll approving of him on this issue and 56 percent disapproving.
Comment: Music to Zhongnanhai's ears...
Senior government officials, including some in the White House, privately expressed concern that the Trump administration’s nearly $30 billion bailout for farmers needed stronger legal backing, according to multiple people who participated in the planning.
The bailout was created by the Trump administration as a way to try to calm outrage from farmers who complained they were caught in the middle of the White House’s trade war with China. In an attempt to pacify farmers, the Department of Agriculture created an expansive new program without precedent.
The U.S. Agriculture Department’s top trade official called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “communist zealot,” as he warned farmers the Asian leader is a tough adversary in negotiations.
Ted McKinney, the department’s undersecretary for trade, offered the provocative characterization of the Chinese leader Monday
Question: Would Xi be offended to be called a “Communist zealot”? He certainly would not be offended to be called a “Communist”.
“China will never trust the United States again, and it will achieve its technology independence within seven years,” David Roche, Independent Strategy’s president and global strategist, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Comment: I do not know about 7 years, seems optimistic, but I 100% agree that the damage has already done in the relationship and so the PRC government now wants to do everything it can to delay US restrictions to bridge their tech gaps as it dramatically accelerates efforts to become self-sufficient in core technologies, by any means necessary
"They are already working in the farm states," Gertz said Friday on Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson Tonight. "They are working against the whiskey industry in the United States to undermine Trump. They want a different president."
Discussing his new book, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy, Gertz explained that China poses a grave threat not just to American elections, but also to U.S. leadership around the globe. He argued Democratic presidential candidates were wrong to say climate change is the greatest "existential threat" to the United States when China is fast accumulating more military and economic power.
Comment: Buckle up for China in the 2020 US elections
A 10 per cent decline in new international student enrolments at US universities — which rely heavily on revenue from Chinese and Indian students — over the past two academic years has already cost the US economy $5.5bn, according to a report from Nafsa, previously known as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers.
"I can't believe what President Trump says" concerning trade negotiations, Xi was quoted as telling Abe during a meeting on the fringe of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka.
Although Abe told Xi that Trump trusts the Chinese president, Xi continued to air his grievances about his U.S. counterpart, the diplomatic source told Kyodo News.
7. George Soros sounds another warning about China
The greatest—and perhaps only—foreign policy accomplishment of the Trump administration has been the development of a coherent and genuinely bipartisan policy toward Xi Jinping ’s China. The administration rightly declared Beijing a strategic rival and placed Huawei, China’s multinational telecommunications giant, on the Commerce Department’s so-called “entity list” as a national-security threat. This prevents U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei...
As founder of the Open Society Foundations, my interest in defeating Xi Jinping’s China goes beyond U.S. national interests. As I explained in a speech in Davos earlier this year, I believe that the social-credit system Beijing is building, if allowed to expand, could sound the death knell of open societies not only in China but also around the globe. Despots will be eager to buy the know-how of Chinese companies, making them politically and financially dependent on China and expanding Beijing’s systems of political control world-wide.
Comment: Soros' in January - Remarks delivered at the World Economic Forum:
Tonight I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.
A lot of things have happened since last year and I’ve learned a lot about the shape that totalitarian control is going to take in China...
China isn’t the only authoritarian regime in the world, but it’s undoubtedly the wealthiest, strongest and most developed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of those who believe in the concept of open society. But Xi isn’t alone. Authoritarian regimes are proliferating all over the world and if they succeed, they will become totalitarian.
“The people have sharp eyes.” (“群众的眼睛是雪亮的.”)
This Communist Party slogan was heavily used during the Cultural Revolution, an era in which citizens were incentivized to spy on and even falsely accuse family and neighbors of being disloyal to authority. More than 50 years after that tumultuous era began, the slogan has been reincarnated in an ambitious and highly invasive surveillance program called Sharp Eyes (雪亮工程), one of the newer additions to China’s increasingly omnipresent surveillance state. This rural-focused initiative marries cutting-edge technology with Mao-era, crowd-sourced efforts by encouraging residents to surveil public video feeds and report suspicious incidents using their TVs and mobile devices...
We aim to shed light on this surveillance program in particular because it has been overshadowed by other programs such as the social credit system and the use of facial recognition to shame rule-breakers. In addition, by extending surveillance into rural areas, the program demonstrates how expansive Beijing’s aims are: to create a truly omnipresent surveillance state.
8. Survey of European NGOs in China
The following 17 case studies are based on 24 in-depth interviews with leaders and co-workers of European non-governmental organisations in Germany, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom and Italy...
All European NGOs appreciate the legacy of often twenty or more years of fruitful, horizontal cooperation with their Chinese partners. From a European perspective there was a big break with this positive legacy during the past few years. This process started already before the implementation of the Law in January 2017. All of our interviewees perceive the law as a threat to fruitful, trustful and meaningful EU-China cooperation;
The future of Europe – China civil society cooperation is now uncertain and open. European NGOs would very much prefer to stay in China and even expand cooperation but, if forced, are prepared to leave;
Regardless of the current hardships the majority of European NGOs currently active in China are still willing to offer what could be termed a 'challenging' gift of future cooperation. The challenge is double: First of all, they believe, to survive in a meaningful way, European-Chinese friendship must mature from acquaintance to true friend. Secondly, they challenge the framework conditions created by the new law and strongly recommend that China reconsiders the institutional framework. To flourish, fruitful and meaningful civil society cooperation needs a brotherly spirit of reciprocity within horizontal, trustful relations and enough space for autonomous decisions. Without sufficient breathing space EU-China civil society cooperation will first degenerate and then be a thing of the past.
Business, Economy and Trade
China Factory Deflation Deepens, Consumer Price Gains Stabilize - Bloomberg “The confluence of positive CPI and negative PPI will be especially felt by both firms and workers in some of the export-intensive sectors such as machinery and IT equipment,” said Victor Shih a professor at the University of California in San Diego who studies China’s politics and finance. “At a time when the trade war lessens these firms’ pricing power, they are also under pressure to pay their workers more due to increasing food prices. This will lead to financial difficulties among some firms facing these pressures.”
China Readies for Digital Currency Launch - Caixin China’s central bank has appointed Mu Changchun, a deputy director of its payment and settlement department, as the new head of its digital currency research institute, a move widely interpreted as a sign of the imminent release of a digital currency by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Mu said last month that the central bank would soon release a digital currency of its own — the fruit of five years of research and development — although he did not give a date.
China LGFV Jilin Transportation Skips Call Option on Yuan Bond - Bloomberg A Chinese local government financing vehicle has for the first time opted to pay a higher interest rate on its local bond instead of fully repaying it, a surprise move that’s seen adding to investor concern over credit risks in the sector.
China Unicom, China Telecom Link Up on 5G Construction China Unicom said Monday that it signed a cooperation agreement with rival China Telecom to jointly build and share a 5G network nationwide. The accord followed the government’s call for major telecom carriers to collaborate on building, operating and maintaining the next-generation wireless networks to reduce costs.
Jack Ma retires from Alibaba as he turns 55. What comes next? - CNN Jack Ma, the billionaire who ushered e-commerce into China, is officially stepping down as Alibaba's executive chairman on Tuesday. He's celebrating his retirement with a big bash at an Olympic-sized stadium in the company's hometown of Hangzhou. After two decades building Alibaba into a $460 billion business, Ma is now pivoting full time to philanthropy.
Alibaba Marks 20th Anniversary with New Company Values | Alizila.com Customers First, Employees Second, Shareholders Third; Trust Makes Things Simple; Change Is the Only Constant; Today’s Best Performance Is Tomorrow’s Baseline; If Not Now, When? If Not Me, Who?; Work Happily, Live Seriously
China Exporters Cut Currency Hedges in Sign of Yuan Pessimism - Bloomberg The plunge in the yuan last month spurred some Chinese exporters to reduce their currency hedges amid bets weakness would continue, traders familiar with the matter said.
India-China Spat Delays [RCEP] Deal Covering a Third of Global Trade - Bloomberg The main source of tension is between India and China over the amount of goods with preferential tariffs, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be identified. The person said India was also unhappy with the position of Southeast Asian countries on the free movement of professionals, particularly in the IT sector, and is weighing whether to be part of the deal at all.
‘King of Africa’ Smartphone Maker Heads for Shanghai Star Board - Bloomberg Shenzhen Transsion Holdings Co., whose mobile handsets outsell iPhone and Galaxy smartphones in Africa, is planning an initial public offering on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style Star Board to raise about 3.01 billion yuan ($423 million).
China Revises Rules on Insurers’ Related-Party Transactions - Caixin China’s banking and insurance regulator issued new rules Monday on insurance companies’ related-party transactions, aiming to stop the use of insurers as “ATM machines.” The new rules define significant related-party transactions as a single transaction or annual cumulative transactions between an insurance company or its subsidiaries and an affiliated party amounting to more than 30 million yuan ($4.2 million) and accounting for more than 1% of the insurer’s net assets.
Politics and Law
Internet watchdog solicits public opinion on draft Internet management regulation - Xinhua The move aims to maintain good Internet order, protect the legal rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations and foster a clean cyberspace. Internet content creators are banned from generating illegal information that violates basic principles stipulated by China's Constitution and harms national honor and interests, according to the draft. They are also banned from spreading false information that disrupts economic and social order or information that instigates crimes - The draft- 国家互联网信息办公室关于《网络生态治理规定（征求意见稿）》公开征求意见的通知-中共中央网络安全和信息化委员会办公室
China's top legislature schedules new session on September 17 - Xinhua Legislators are expected to review a draft decision on conferring the national medal and honorary titles to outstanding individuals in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China
准确理解新时代斗争精神的核心要义 - 胡敏-理论-人民网 Hu Min of the Central Party School explains the essential points of the “struggle spirit for a New Era”, part of a series in People’s Daily on Xi’s speech last week on struggle
Film "Chairman Mao 1949" to hit Chinese screens - Xinhua "Chairman Mao 1949" will hit Chinese big screens on Sept. 20, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The film focuses on the history of 1949 from the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee moving to Fragrant Hills in northwest Beijing in March 1949 to the founding of the PRC on Oct. 1
Jiangsu Fugitive Betrayed by Hot Pot | Sixth Tone The man, surnamed Guo, is suspected of fraud and extortion and had been on the lam in the city of Nantong since police there cracked down on gang-related activity in late May, local media reported Tuesday. After months of searching, authorities located Guo’s apartment building but had not determined which unit he was living in. They noted that he went to a local market on Saturday afternoon and bought ingredients for hot pot — how they learned this was not disclosed in the report — and then went door to door that evening, following their noses to the distinctively savory aroma.
Chinese Government Tightens Grip On Rights Advocacy It Says 'Subverts' Its Power : NPR The arrested trio were working at Changsha Funeng, a nonprofit directed by Cheng Yuan that made a name for itself over the years as a successful advocate for anti-discrimination cases. Formed in 2016, it had become one of the more well-established public interest organizations left standing after the government of President Xi Jinping ramped up a purge of civil society groups across the country in recent years.
Using the Past to Legitimise the Present: The Portrayal of Good Governance in Chinese History Textbooks - Robert Weatherley, Coirle Magee, 2018 This article examines how Chinese middle-school history textbooks are written as a means of legitimising the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), by carefully utilising China's past. The authors identify (or perhaps “construct”) a sinified model of good governance in the textbooks that derives from the teachings of Confucius and Mencius, and the subsequent practises of certain revered Chinese emperors. This model is then applied to CCP leaders in the modern-era textbooks in order to cast them as diligently upholding a time-honoured Chinese tradition of legitimate rule. In a broader context, our analysis fits within the ongoing discussions about the continuing legacy of Confucianism in contemporary China and the CCP's efforts to locate itself within this as a way of fortifying its own legitimacy. We also note how some of the themes of good governance contained in the textbooks are closely linked to contemporary government policies and priorities, such as anti-corruption schemes and constitutionalism. The objective in so doing is to propagate the importance of these themes to a young audience.
Authoritarian Audiences, Rhetoric, and Propaganda in International Crises: Evidence from China | International Studies Quarterly | Oxford Academic - Jessica Chen Weiss, Allan Dafoe How do government rhetoric and propaganda affect mass reactions in international crises? Using two scenario-based survey experiments in China, one hypothetical and one that selectively reminds respondents of recent events, we assess how government statements and propaganda impact Chinese citizens’ approval of their government's performance in its territorial and maritime disputes. We find evidence that citizens disapprove more of inaction after explicit threats to use force, suggesting that leaders can face public opinion costs akin to audience costs in an authoritarian setting. However, we also find evidence that citizens approve of bluster—vague and ultimately empty threats—suggesting that talking tough can provide benefits, even in the absence of tough action. In addition, narratives that invoke future success to justify present restraint increase approval, along with frames that emphasize a shared history of injustice at the hands of foreign powers
Foreign and Defense Affairs
India seeks Australian input as it weighs Huawei ban - The Australian The Australian Financial Review has been told Indian officials were keen to get an understanding of how the Turnbull government arrived at the decision to ban Huawei, and multiple discussions have been held over the matter. A statement issued after last week's meeting by India's Foreign Ministry said both countries discussed "critical technologies" and agreed to deepen information sharing on cyber security.
Xi Jinping: Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping October informal to focus on keeping Line of Actual Control stable - Economic Times The Line of Actual Control (LAC) stability and trade ties are likely to be the focus of discussion when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for the informal summit on October 10-12 near Chennai.
China, India vow to deepen cooperation at 6th strategic economic dialogue held in India - Xinhua The Indian side stated that India-China cooperation will inject strong momentum into world prosperity and stability, strengthen interaction and exchanges between the governments, enterprises and people of the two countries, and help build a strong and dynamic bilateral relationship. The Indian side hopes to learn from Chinese companies' experience in manufacturing, human resources and management, and strengthen cooperation on manufacturing, service, tourism, and circular economy.
Chinese woman in Mar-a-Lago trespassing case: 'I don't know why I'm here' - Reuters Her unorthodox decision to serve as her own trial lawyer, while a public defender stood by only to advise her, clearly rankled the judge and slowed the pace of the proceedings. “I don’t know why I’m here ... I think the trial has been canceled,” Zhang said at one point through her translator, prompting a sharp retort from Altman.
Naive tourist? Bumbling spy? Months after her arrest at Mar-a-Lago, Zhang Yujing remains a cipher | South China Morning Post Commentary on her case has been limited to perfunctory remarks by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in April confirming that Zhang was receiving consular support, and an April article in Global Times, a state media tabloid, playing down suspicions she was a spy and portraying her instead as merely a “naive” victim of a scam. Yao, the man Zhang dated briefly in 2013, agreed – albeit in blunter terms. “Spies are very professional,” he said. “There are no spies that are this stupid.”
Washington Is Sleeping Through the Japanese-Korean Dispute. China Isn’t. - Foreign Affairs - Bonnie S. Glaser And Oriana Skylar Mastro instead of seeking to actively mediate between its allies, Washington has largely watched from the sidelines—leaving the field to China, which has moved quickly to benefit from U.S. inaction. At a trilateral summit with the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers in late August, for instance, China encouraged the two sides to at least put aside their differences long enough to make progress on a trilateral trade deal. This should give Washington pause. If, in the years ahead, the U.S. alliance system collapses, it is moments like this that will mark the beginning of the end: moments when Beijing, long intent on breaking U.S. alliances in Asia, proved more capable of managing and reinforcing regional order than a distracted United States.
Huawei drops lawsuit against U.S. over seized equipment: court filing - Reuters China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government after Washington released telecommunications equipment it had seized on suspicion of violations of export controls, according to a court filing on Monday.
The Third Taihe Civilizations Forum was concluded on September 8 in Beijing - People's Daily Online On September 8, 2019, Taihe Civilizations Forum initiated by Taihe Institute was successfully concluded in Beijing. This forum upheld the fundamental purpose of “exploring common values, seeking harmonious development”, and the theme of “Science and Culture, Future Ethics and Common Values”. ..In the session of The International Relations, when discussing “the present and future of Sino-US relations”, Cui Liru, senior researcher at Taihe Institute, believes that the domestic political and economic development of China and the United States has an important impact on the development of Sino-US relations.
Navy sends its most capable combat ship on escort mission - China Military he Navy has decided to dispatch a Type 052D to take part in its latest escort mission. The CNS Xining, the fifth in the Type 052D class, is sailing toward the Gulf of Aden.
Beijing deploys drones for South China Sea surveillance | South China Morning Post A network of drones has been deployed by Beijing to watch over the islands and reefs of the disputed South China Sea. The network, run by the Ministry of Natural Resources, covers the uninhabited, hard-to-reach islands as well as the vast open waters of the area, according to the ministry’s South Sea Bureau.
Symantec finds that a 'new' Chinese hacking group has actually been around for a decade A Chinese cyber-espionage group that Symantec first exposed last June may actually be part of another group that has already been discovered, according to the company’s researchers.
Europe buys Chinese drones, even as US expresses data concerns – POLITICO While U.S. government agencies remain extremely wary in their use of DJI drones, that debate is not being mirrored in Europe.
China, Uruguay agree to greater defence co-operation | Jane's 360 The agreement, signed on 2 September, calls for the establishment of a framework for future co-operation and a specific Chinese commitment to donate a naval vessel to Uruguay. The agreement framework establishes the general conditions for both countries to co-operate for defence operations, including training, exercises, investigation, science and technology, humanitarian assistance, fighting terrorism, and transfers of matériel.
Gwadar Port: Pakistan-China Gwadar Port runs into rough weather - Economic Times China's COSCO Shipping Lines recently terminated its container liner services between Karachi and Gwadar due to slow construction of Gwadar Free Trade Zone leading to insufficient pick up in export and import volume at the port terminal, ET has learnt. Insufficient functioning of Gwadar customs, high inland shipping cost and non-acceptance of transit items by the Karachi Port have further contributed to the decision by COSCO, ET has learnt.
Simon Bridges rejects claim he met with China's head of 'secret police' | Newshub National leader Simon Bridges is rejecting the claim he met with the head of China's "secret police", saying that is an "unfair characterisation" of the man he met. Bridges was back in Wellington on Tuesday following his five-day visit to the superpower, where he met with Guo Shengkun who is responsible for the Ministry of State Security (MSS). .."Of course, we disagree with them on human rights. Of course, we'll push for rule of law. Of course, we don't like what's happening in Hong Kong and we want a peaceful resolution."But to run the woke line that some of you love so much on Twitter that that somehow means we shouldn't be visiting and we shouldn't be having a relationship with a superpower that we trade with more than any other country in the world, I think is pretty irresponsible."
Bridges’ CGTN interview:
Questions raised about Liberal MP Gladys Liu amid claims of links to Chinese political influence operations - Australian Broadcasting Corporation) New claims connecting Liberal backbencher Gladys Liu to the highest echelons of China's covert political influence operations are raising questions about her eligibility to sit in Parliament.
'Racist' decision bans Chinese students from running in university election - Sydney Morning Herald Leaders of Monash University's Caulfield campus student body last week passed a new rule that students wishing to run at next week's election must be eligible to work 22 hours per week. Foreigners on student visas are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week, meaning more than half the campus' students are barred from running for election. The rules were passed by Monash Student Association Caulfield's student council to thwart the election hopes of a rival group led by and consisting mainly of Chinese international students. Advertisement
Hong Kong and Macao
Hong Kong-China ‘insurance connect’ plan on hold as trade war, protests hit business environment | South China Morning Post A proposed new “insurance connect” scheme to allow cross-border sales of insurance products between Hong Kong and mainland China is on hold because of economic uncertainties arising from the trade war and the unprecedented social unrest that has rocked Hong Kong for the last three months.
Capital surges into Hong Kong stocks from the mainland | Financial Times $$ Since the start of the year, net purchases of Hong Kong stocks by mainland Chinese investors — made through stock connect programmes with bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen — had climbed to almost HK$160bn ($20bn) by market close on Friday, close to double net inflows of HK$82.7bn for all of 2018.
Tuvalu election puts Taiwan ties in play - Reuters Incumbent Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, a strong supporter of Taiwan, retained his seat at a general election on Monday, voting results show, and any move by the new lawmakers to replace him will be closely watched in Beijing and Taipei. The South Pacific has been a diplomatic stronghold for Taiwan, where formal ties with six of the 16 island nations make up more than a third of its total alliances.
Mainland clients seeking IVF services in Taiwan probably to halve after suspension of individual trips - Global Times Mainland residents must now spend up to about one month applying for a medical visa to Taiwan whereas previously they could use a three-to-five day exit-entry permit for IVF treatment in Taiwan. The change hit Taiwan IVF providers with mainland clients, especially smaller hospitals and clinics that specialize in IVF treatment but cannot help mainland clients with a medical visa, a staff member told the Global Times reporter who pretended to be a potential client.
KMT presidential candidate finishes last in poll of local Taiwan leaders | Taiwan News Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) finished last in an opinion poll ranking 22 city mayors and county magistrates released by CommonWealth Magazine Tuesday (September 10). Another mayor sometimes mentioned as a presidential hopeful, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), ended up in 20th place, while the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Pingtung County Magistrate, Pan Men-an (潘孟安), surged to the top of the survey for the first time.
Tech and Media
China Tech Investor 36: E-sports in China with Bloomberg’s Zheping Huang (Also Meituan’s earnings) · TechNode In this episode of the China Tech Investor Podcast powered by TechNode, the guys are joined by Bloomberg’s Zheping Huang to talk about the unique environment of e-sports in China, and why the business models of platforms like Huya and Douyu are not easily comparable to that of Twitch
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
作家何伟在川大的第一堂课 Petter Hessler is teaching at Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute (SCUPI) this Fall and this Wechat account offers a look at his first day of teaching.
Chinese parents struggle with Teacher’s Day gift etiquette | South China Morning Post What gift, how expensive it should be, and how to deliver it have become the biggest questions for many parents in the run-up to September 10 each year, even though the education ministry and its subordinate bodies have repeatedly issued directives over the past decade to ban teachers accepting gifts.
New York Times apologizes for sharing previous obituary referring to China's Mao as 'one of history's great revolutionary figures' | Fox News The Times’ shared its obituary to Mao -- who died on Sept. 9, 1976 -- to mark the anniversary of the People's Republic of China founder’s death.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Giant Radio Telescope in China Just Detected Repeating Signals From Across Space What's exciting about the detection by FAST is that this fast radio burst is a repeater. The burst is officially known as FRB 121102: first picked up in 2012 at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, it's appeared several times since. Researchers note that the signal has travelled around 3 billion light-years across the Universe to reach us.
China CNPC skips Venezuelan oil loading for second month: sources - Reuters China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a leading buyer of Venezuelan oil, will skip cargo loadings for a second month in September as the state oil giant looks to avoid breaching U.S. sanctions, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Food and Travel
China-made cruiser sets sail for polar tour - Xinhua The Greg Mortimer, China's first self-made cruise ship for polar expeditions, set sail for the southern Argentine city of Ushuaia Monday before launching its South Pole voyage. Constructed by China Merchants Industry Holdings, a subsidiary of the China Merchants Group, the cruise ship was delivered to the U.S.-based cruise vessel provider Sunstone Friday.