More love for private business; Hukou relaxation; G7; Chen Quanguo; CCP interference in Australia
Happy Monday, no commentary up top today.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. More policy and propaganda love for private business
Comment: Not much new, more a reiteration of recently announced measures, but another sign of how much the Party Center wants to raise the confidence of the private sector. It may work, as if entrepreneurs start seeing ways to make more money many will happily put up with everything else going on politically...
the guideline jointly released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council...
the guideline called for more attention to the problems impeding further growth of SMEs, such as rising costs, financing difficulties and inadequate innovation capability..
To solve such problems, the country will improve the business environment for SMEs by further broadening market access, simplifying administrative procedures and strengthening market supervision and regulation..
..more measures will be launched to relieve SMEs’ financing difficulties..
While readjusting tax policies to support the financing of SMEs and reducing their tax burdens, the country will increase financial support for innovation and entrepreneurship and consolidate the protection of intellectual property.
The circular - 中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《关于促进中小企业健康发展的指导意见》_中央有关文件_中国政府网
The State Council, China’s cabinet, said last week that the country would implement a series of incentives aimed at boosting the country’s slowing economy. As part of the incentive package, an electricity surcharge paid to the Fund for the Construction of Major National Water Conservancy Projects will be cut in half starting from July 1.
2. Relaxing some Hukou regulations
Comment: Another stimulus by another name? This should should support the property market in some of these cities, and other consumption activity. But no indications the hukou restrictions will be loosened in the most developed cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it aims to increase China’s urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year...
The NDRC will scrap restrictions in cities of 1 to 3 million on coveted household registration permits for out-of-towners, which include migrant workers and college graduates. For cities of 3 to 5 million, which include many provincial capitals, such restrictions will be “comprehensively relaxed”, although the NDRC did not provide specifics on such moves...
The NDRC added Beijing will guide policy banks to step up credit support to fund key urban projects, as well as encourage commercial banks to “properly boost” their credit support for such projects.
China aims to add 100 million registered permanent urban residents from 2016 to 2020.
By the end of 2018, the share of such residents in the country's total population stood at 43.37 percent, up 1.02 percentage points from a year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The circular - 国家发展改革委关于印发《2019年新型城镇化建设重点任务》的通知
Serious reform of China’s so-called “hukou” system for housing registration was called for in a new government report released this week, which examined the integration of the migrant population into 50 major cities.
“The social integration of the floating population has made positive progress, but there is still a big gap from the ideal level,” said Xiao Zihua, director of the National Health Commission’s Migrant Population Service Center, at a seminar releasing the report.
3. Chinese Americans and Espionage in the US
US attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling and US assistant attorney general John Demers said on Friday they met officials at local companies and colleges this week to encourage them to bring suspected instances of espionage to the attention of federal investigators.
Demers said Massachusetts was a focus of the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative ” announced last November because its research universities and biotech, cybersecurity and defence companies made it a “target-rich environment” for Chinese nationals seeking to steal intellectual property.
“Boston is a target-rich environment for anyone who is interested in intellectual property,” John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said at a media roundtable discussion here. “And 90 percent of our cases involving economic espionage originates from the Chinese government.”..
“We want to encourage people to come here and study,” Lelling said. “This isn’t about targeting everyone who’s a Chinese national. But there are thousands who are directly linked to a state-sponsored effort to steal intellectual property.”
Federal prosecutors in Illinois charged Weiyun “Kelly” Huang with conspiracy to commit visa fraud in an 18-page criminal complaint filed last week. She’s accused of exploiting the “Optional Practical Training” (OPT) program for foreign students with F-1 visas, which allows visa-holders to stay in the country for at least 12 months of additional temporary employment directly related to a student’s area of study...
Of the 1,900 F-1 visa holders who listed Findream as their employer, one name in particular stands out: Ji Chaoqun, who was arrested last year and accused of spying on behalf of China.
Comment: The Findream-Ji connection may be relevant to the current Mar-a-Lago mess. In perhaps the most charitable explanation the PRC intelligence services may be using unwitting or compliant grifters in America to pursue espionage goals
There are legitimate concerns that the United States, and we, as Americans, can have and express about China's policies and practices. There also are instances of inappropriate, even illegal, conduct by persons of Chinese heritage. The American ideal, however, is the presumption of innocence, due process, and the right of all individuals to express themselves without fear of guilt by association, especially on a racial basis.
New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe tweeted on Saturday that he had been disinvited from a Committee of 100 panel:
Comment: The Committee of 100 really should explain why, as given Mike's reporting on high-level corruption in China the revocation of his invitation could be interpreted as censoring to avoid upsetting Beijing.
As Stanford historian Gordon H. Chang writes in his forthcoming book “Ghosts of Gold Mountain,” these workers have been rendered “all but invisible…. In fact, in some instances Chinese are written out of the story altogether.”
4. New report on CCP interference in Australia
In 2017, Four Corners, in a joint investigation with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, revealed the lengths the Chinese Communist Party was going to, to influence Australia's politicians. In response, the federal government passed new laws to ban foreign interference…
Now, in a new investigation, the joint reporting team can reveal fresh and compelling evidence of covert Beijing-backed political activity taking place in Australia.
"Chinese foreign policy is now following a much more assertive and, in some cases, aggressive approach." China analyst.
The investigation has uncovered secret information gathering operations targeting sensitive Australian intelligence analysis. And despite the new laws, there is evidence that Australian politicians have not listened to the warnings issued by Australia's own intelligence agencies.
The joint investigation can reveal that in 2018, Mr Yang [Hengjun] — who is also an Australian citizen — was allegedly intercepted and questioned by Chinese officials in Sydney when he was on his way to meet Mr Garnaut.
Mr Garnaut says the officials were intensely interested in his activities on behalf of the ASIO investigation.
"[They questioned Mr Yang] about me, what was the nature of our relationship, what was I doing, what was I working on," Mr Garnaut said.
Question: So PRC officials operating on Australian soil questioned Yang? That seems quite a provocative move…
Officials from the Chinese consulate in Sydney told the Georges River Council in Sydney’s south last year that if it did not abandon a sponsorship deal with the Australian Chinese-language media organisation, Vision China Times, it risked harming relations between NSW and Beijing.
Comment: A common CCP tactic globally to control Chinese-language discourse
Chinese Communist Party-aligned billionaire Huang Xiangmo paid tens of thousands of dollars to a former Liberal minister to secure a one-on-one meeting with Peter Dutton as Mr Huang mounted a back-room campaign to win Australian citizenship...
The short answer is electoral math. Several marginal seats with large numbers of Chinese-Australian voters are up for grabs at the upcoming federal election, which could be called any day now.
5. China unhappy with the G7 communique
We reiterate our commitment to the freedom of the high seas, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, and to other rights and freedoms, including the rights and jurisdiction of coastal states and other internationally lawful uses of the seas. In this context, we stress the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on the rule of law through promoting a wide range of activities to advance towards that goal, and express our intention to work together with ASEAN and other countries in this endeavor...
We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China seas. We reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based maritime order, such as the threat or use of force, large-scale land reclamation and development of outposts, as well as their use for military purposes...
We encourage China to participate responsibly in the free and open international rules-based system and note its capacity to make important contributions to global public goods and international security, such as environmental protection and peacekeeping…We also stress the need for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. We are concerned about the situation in Xinjiang, the existence of a large scale network of internment camps, the lack of fundamental rights and freedoms, especially for members of ethnic minorities and some religious groups in China, and the situation in Tibet. We are also concerned about the lack of rule of law and fair trial guarantees, arbitrary detentions, harassment and reported cases of mistreatment and torture of human rights defenders and their families..We share concerns around China's industrial strategy, investment practices, inadequate intellectual property protection and restrictions on foreign direct investment, technology licensing and a range of administrative regulations and informal practices, which create challenges for foreign businesses. We encourage China to uphold its commitments not to engage in malicious cyber activity, including cyber-enabled intellectual property theft with the intent of providing advantages, including to commercial sectors.
A: What the vast majority of the international community believe in is the basic norms guiding international relations with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at the basis, the multilateral system with the UN at the center, and the multilateral trading system with the WTO rules at the core, which I can assure you is also what China upholds. If such international rules and international system are also what the G7 members have been standing for and if the G7 members also explicitly oppose unilateral actions outside the UN framework, then the international community, China included, will warmly welcome their efforts.
6. Chen Quanguo and Xinjiang
Chen Quanguo, the official directing China’s clampdown in its restive Xinjiang region, has emerged as a pioneer of aggressive policing techniques—setting the tone for the country’s shift toward harsher, technology-driven authoritarian rule.
As Communist Party chief for Xinjiang for the past 2½ years, Mr. Chen has created a policing regime unmatched in scale and sophistication. He brought some of his techniques from earlier provincial posts, including in Tibet, and expanded them with new technology and tactics...
U.S. lawmakers from both parties have asked President Trump’s administration to place Mr. Chen on a sanctions list, most recently on Wednesday...
To counter these threats, party theorists including Wang Huning, now a member of the party leadership and an adviser to Mr. Xi, called for a stronger centralized state. As ethnic strife flared in Xinjiang and Tibet in the late 2000s, experts advocating forced assimilation and ideological indoctrination gained influence.
Comment: It does not seem fair to single out Chen for sanctions. He is implementing policies that clearly have the approval of the highest levels of the government. And from what I hear there is basically consensus within the White House to impose sanctions over Xinjiang, except for President Trump.
The United Front Work Department reported that the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region held a symposium on cultivating “religious patriots.” Xinjiang’s Party Committee Secretary Chen Quanguo (陈全国) presided over the meeting and gave a speech in which he laid out five tasks for religious work in Xinjiang going forward
Shawn Zhang, who did pioneering work revealing the existence of the massive network of detention camps for Muslims in Xinjiang, posted “before and after” satellite images of Keriya mosque in the southern region of Hotan. This towering architectural monument, thought to date back to 1237 and extensively renovated in the 1980s and 1990s, was photographed on a festival day in 2016 with thousands of worshippers spilling out on to the streets. By 2018 the site where it had stood was a smooth patch of earth.
China's attempt of religious sinicization is rational and lawful based on its history and national conditions. There are various branches of Islam in the world, so there must be one fitting Chinese culture and national conditions. Chinese Muslims have made efforts in this field and they should be encouraged to carry them forward
China can no longer be regarded as an authoritarian country that is perhaps moving in the right direction. No, we are witnessing a monstrous mass assault on human dignity. It is an intentional, well-planned, multipronged genocide, targeting the dignity of whole peoples and cultures by humiliating their best and brightest, including our fellow scholars. Just as it was under Hitler and Stalin, the logic of mass extermination of those defending their culture may not be far off. If our colleges and universities are really bulwarks defending human dignity -- not just corporations in search of profit-generating, apolitical "excellence" -- they cannot be silent and pretend as if we can have business as usual in the third year of this horrific Chinese genocide.
7. Managing Internet Content
Inke agreed to show the Post how its content moderation operations work, the first time that the Hong Kong-listed company has given an interview about a topic that is usually regarded as sensitive by companies and regulators...
AI is employed to handle the grunt work of labelling, rating and sorting content into different risk categories. This classification system then allows the company to devote resources in ascending order of risk. A single reviewer can monitor more low-risk content at one time, say cooking shows, while high-risk content is flagged for closer scrutiny....
The team is the biggest in Inke, accounting for about 60 per cent of its workforce. The content moderators work to detailed regulations on what is allowed and what has to be removed...
Comment: Will foreign regulators and Internet firms send teams to China to learn from its experiences in managing Internet content?
New York Times - Britain Proposes Broad New Powers to Regulate Internet Content:
The recommendations, backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, take direct aim at Facebook, Google and other large internet platforms that policymakers believe have made growth and profits a priority over curbing harmful material. The government called for naming an internet regulator with the power to issue fines, block access to websites if necessary and make individual executives legally liable for harmful content spread on their platforms.
8. Reading propaganda slogans
A fun read, especially if are masochistic enough to try to master the Chinese language…
I will try to make some sense of the whole thing and speculate on why it is written in such a strange fashion, plus show with other examples of equally bewildering signs that it is not an isolated specimen in the PRC nowadays. -有黑扫黑 无黑除恶; 无恶治乱 无乱打吵; 无吵防闹 无闹管狂; 无狂控跳
Business, Economy and Trade
China's March forex reserves rise to seven-month high - Reuters Chinese reserves, the world’s largest, rose by nearly $9 billion in March to $3.099 trillion
Yicai Global - China Crafts Credit System to Scotch Sham Divorce Housing Scam The People's Bank of China's Credit Reference Center has tested the system and will begin rolling it out soon, state-backed media the Economic Daily said yesterday.
Gold Bullion Latest News: China PBOC Adds for 4th Month -Bloomberg The People’s Bank of China raised reserves to 60.62 million ounces in March from 60.26 million a month earlier, according to data on its website on Sunday.
China cuts tax rates on inbound consumer goods - Xinhua Starting Tuesday, the tax rate on inbound articles included on the No.1 taxable item list, which includes books, computers, food, furniture and medicines, will be reduced to 13 percent from the previous 15 percent, the commission said in an online statement.
Zhenjiang, Trump and China's still-expanding local government debt problem - Youshu And this is the essential knot of the problem. One needs to hem local governments in tightly, and enforce a hard budget constraint, so that they have to sell assets and repay their debts. But local governments’ first reaction to the pressure is to slow capex, and growth slows. Throw in an external shock (Trump), Beijing blinks, the pressure eases, credit becomes available again, and the budget constraint turns to doufu.
Chinese Real Estate Companies Have 1.8T Yuan in Debt to Pay off over Next Three Years - China Banking News The Chinese real estate sector has around 1.8 trillion yuan in bond repayments to make during the period from 2019 to 2021 according to data from Shenzhen Worldunion Properties Consultancy.
Red tourism booms during Qingming holidays - Global Times During the three-day Qingming Festival holiday, China's tourism sector recorded revenue of 47.89 billion yuan ($7.13 billion), up 13.7 percent year-on-year. Online ticket booking for red tourism(traditional Revolutionary sites) registered year-on-year growth of 55.2 percent, according to the China Tourism Academy.
Chinese city calls in riot police as angry investors protest outside P2P lender’s headquarters | South China Morning Post Collapse of online lending platform Tuandi.com prompts investors from across country to travel to Guangdong province to demand their money back Police have detained 44 people associated with the platform after it went out of business with US$2.2bn invested in it
JD.com belt-tightening continues as it cuts salary for delivery fleet · TechNode JD.com will replace its couriers’ fixed base salaries with commission-based compensation starting in June, according to Chinese media reports. In the meantime, it will lower contributions to employee housing funds to 7% from 12%, which still meets the minimum 5% set by the government.
How students with counterfeit iPhones from China allegedly scammed Apple — Quartz Under the alleged scheme, a collaborator in China would regularly ship packets of 20 to 30 fake iPhones to Yangyang Zhou and Quan Jiang, who were in the US on student visas. The duo would then send those knockoffs with repair requests to Apple. If the company determined a bogus device was eligible under warranty, it would repair it or, more often, replace it with a genuine model—usually a new phone—which the students would then send to China to be resold for a profit.
United States sets sights on China in new electric vehicle push - Reuters “We need to find ways to more efficiently develop our nation’s domestic critical mineral supply because these resources are vital to both our national security and our economy,” North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement to Reuters when asked about the meeting.
Politics and Law
Opinion - Wang Xiangwei | Xi Jinping’s speech shows China’s Communist Party is still haunted by the fall of the Soviet Union | South China Morning Post As with previous leadership changes, when Xi first assumed the mantle there were people on the right of the political spectrum at home and abroad who hoped he would be more liberal minded and politically progressive. Xi’s speech put paid to any such thoughts and set the foundation for what has happened in the past six years.
少年版学习强国上线_中国-多维新闻网 primary and secondary school version of "Study Xi Strengthen the Nation" platform looks to be coming
Was Singer Li Zhi Censored in Sichuan? | China Media Project Recently the China Media Group (中央广播电视总台), also known as “Voice of China,” issued a public call for the hiring of 300 personnel, including 150 people who would be responsible for content operations for the “Study Xi Strong Nation” (学习强国) app, a new platform that seeks to push engagement with official Party ideology and the speeches and statements of Xi Jinping.
Series of books on Xi Jinping thought published - Xinhua Divided into 12 topics, the books illustrate the significance, key viewpoints and essence of the thought, as well as the contribution it has made to the development of Marxism. The books also analyze the Marxist standpoint and methodology contained in the thought
Ceremony to worship 'Yellow Emperor' held in Zhengzhou | english.scio.gov.cn On the third day of every third month of the Chinese lunar calendar, a grand ceremony is held in a small town in central China, where people would gather to worship Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, who in the Chinese culture is considered to be the common ancestor of all Han Chinese people.
十九届中央第三轮巡视有哪些看点--中国纪检监察杂志 Article in latest issue of the China Discipline Inspection and Supervision Magazine lists supervising the implementation of the decision-making of the Party Central Committee in state-owned enterprises
着眼防范化解重大风险 加快推动媒体融合发展--理论-人民网 Xu Baojian 许宝健 in People’s Daily - Focusing on political security and ideological security, we should answer the question of why we should promote the development of media integration. Focus on making the mainstream public opinion bigger and stronger, and answer the question of how to promote the development of media integration. Let the Party's voice spread more widely and deeply, and answer the question of how to use it well.
Flagging up success - Global Times Students from 17 schools in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province participate in a national flag guard ceremony on Monday. The ceremony aims to show the success of Guangzhou's national defense education on students
Why the Chinese government has blocked the nation’s most popular soap operas - The Washington Post Two of the three most successful Chinese television series in 2018 — “Story of Yanxi Palace” and “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” — revolved around Emperor Qianlong, an 18th-century ruler who oversaw expanding territories and a flourishing economy.. Then in late January 2019, they vanished from TV screens around the country — both were suddenly taken off air after the state-owned newspaper, Beijing Daily, accused such dramas of being “incompatible with core socialist values.”
Made in China Yearbook 2018: Dog Days – Made in China Journal a collection of 50 original essays on labour, civil society, and human rights in China and beyond, penned by leading scholars and practitioners from around the world.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
China, EU leaders’ plan for joint statement in Brussels hits snag over market access row, EU sources say | South China Morning Post Germany, France, Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands are understood to be among the countries strongly opposed to putting their names on a final deal, despite Chinese efforts to conclude an agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council leader Donald Tusk. An EU source with direct knowledge of the preliminary negotiations with China expressed discontent over the new foreign investment bill that Beijing passed in a move that was widely viewed as an effort to placate Washington amid trade talks.
Huawei's 'shoddy' work prompts talk of a Westminster ban - BBC News GCHQ's Dr Ian Levy told BBC Panorama the Chinese telecom giant also faced being barred from what he described as the "brains" of the 5G networks.
Is Huawei a ‘Foreign Power’ or an ‘Agent of a Foreign Power’ Under FISA? Insights from the Sanctions Case - Lawfare The bottom line is this: It appears that the U.S. government has persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that both these Huawei entities either are under the direction and control of the Chinese government, or that they have in any event engaged in clandestine intelligence gathering on China’s behalf.
Duterte Stakes Rare Claim, Tells China to ‘Lay Off’ Thitu Island - Bloomberg In a rare rebuke of China, President Rodrigo Duterte told Beijing to “lay off” from the Philippines-occupied Thitu Island in South China Sea or he will order his soldiers to defend the nation’s claim with "suicide missions."
Chinese vice president meets Kazakh National Security Committee chairman - Xinhua The new President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has been an old friend and good friend of the Chinese people, said Wang, adding that he believes the China-Kazakhstan comprehensive strategic partnership will continue to maintain a vigorous development momentum under the guidance of the two heads of state
Fearing Chinese infiltration, Trump Administration considers publishing blacklist of supply chain threats - Yahoo News The Defense Department is considering a long-debated proposal for publicly blackballing companies with risky supply chains, multiple sources in government and the private sector told Yahoo News. However, the sources cautioned that the blacklist, at least as discussed, isn’t likely to be implemented anytime soon
Israel Election: Twitter Suspended Dozens Of Hebrew-Language Accounts Run By A Strange Chinese Religious Sect - Buzzfeed The accounts are affiliated with the Church of Almighty God (CAG), a Christian sect that’s banned in China and which believes that Jesus Christ has been reincarnated as a Chinese woman currently living in Queens, New York.
The Belt and Road Initiative: Views from Washington, Moscow, and Beijing - Carnegie-Tsinghua Center - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Paul Haenle from the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy examines the outlook from the United States. Dmitri Trenin and Alexander Gabuev from the Carnegie Moscow Center provide a Russian interpretation. Feng Yujun and Ma Bin from the Center for Russia and Central Asia Studies at Fudan University explain China’s perspective on the BRI.
CPEC Emboldens China and Pakistan’s Joint Effort to Manage Militancy | The Diplomat China is doubling down on Pakistan – and this time, it’s determined to keep militancy from damaging the relationship.
Taiwanese mayor Han Kuo-yu heads to US as he seeks to boost profile | South China Morning Post Taiwan’s popular mayor Han Kuo-yu will begin a nine-day visit to the United States on Tuesday as he seeks to raise his profile ahead of the island’s presidential elections next year.
Taiwan’s plan to buy 66 F-16 Viper fighter jets from US still on track, defence ministry says | South China Morning Post The notice came after Time magazine reported on Friday that the Trump administration had put the sale on ice while negotiators from the US and China ironed out the final details of their hard-fought trade agreement.
Tech and Media
Hunan TV Show Accused of Illegally Airing Queen Songs - SixthTone An American music publishing company has accused one of China’s biggest state-owned television networks of illegally using songs under its ownership, according to a statement published Saturday.
Beijing Fest Feels the Chill of China's "Cold Winter" | Hollywood Reporter And yet, there could be a silver lining for U.S. studios amid the current moment of gloom: China's recent playbook move during times of softening box office growth is to flood the market with Hollywood product to boost overall ticket revenue, even if it means exceeding the country's notorious quota on foreign imports.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Palace Museum chief retires - Global Times Shan, 65, director and curator of the Forbidden City, retired on Monday, and Wang Xudong, former director of the Dunhuang Academy, has been appointed Shan's successor, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Monday.
Why Dali’s Hippie Migrants Are a Model for Chinese Communities - Sixth Tone Xu spoke with Sixth Tone about how Dali’s migrant community formed, how it’s unique, and why it’s important to China as a whole. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Chinese governments clear rural tombs for farmland | Financial Times $$ Local governments have seized coffins, smashed headstones and levelled grave mounds across China in the past few years.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Tencent doubles down on healthcare, tests medical services on WeChat · TechNode Chinese media TMTPost reported on Monday that a mini-program dubbed “Tencent Health” has been undergoing testing on super messaging app WeChat since mid-March.
How green is China’s high-speed rail? | China Dialogue Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other institutions analysed the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line, which is China’s most highly trafficked. They found its carbon footprint to be much higher than high-speed railways in other countries.
Books and Literature
New literature festival to focus on rural life - Xinhua A new literature festival, initiated by award-winning director Jia Zhangke, will be held in north China's Shanxi Province from May 9 to 16 and focus on the writing of rural life.
African Swine Fever Spreads to Tibet - Caixin Authorities have confirmed the deaths of 55 pigs in southeast Tibet’s Linzhi (also known as Nyingchi) city, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said
China reports new African swine fever outbreak in Xinjiang region - Reuters The outbreak in Yecheng county in the northwestern province killed 39 animals on a farm of 341 pigs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on its website.