More On The Constitution Changes; Liu He The "Super-Regulator"; Minority Region, Minority Report; Class Struggle In Beijing
In the last couple of years before we left Beijing in 2015 I started hearing jokes, in the dark humor cynical Beijingers have mastered, that Xi's vision for China meant that in a few years the only people left in the country would be "poor people and slaves 穷人和奴才". After the announcement of the scrapping of term limits it seems from PRC social media that more people are coming around to that very depressing view. I hope it is all a big overreaction, but hope has never been a great strategy, especially when it comes to the PRC.
The process to get to the term-limit announcement raises several questions. I mentioned some yesterday, but it is also worth asking why the notice of the proposed amendments (（受权发布）中国共产党中央委员会关于修改宪法部分内容的建议) was signed by the Central Committee and dated January 26 (中国共产党中央委员会 2018年1月26日) when the Second Plenum was held January 18-19?
I doubt there will be many “no” votes at the National People's Congress in a few days but we can't totally dismiss that possibility, even if dissenting delegates would be committing political suicide...
I will probably regret putting this in writing but I do not agree with the interpretation that the removal of term limits is a sign of weakness. Getting Xi thought into the Party and State Constitutions and removing the presidential term limit looks to me like signs of strength by Xi, not of weakness or brittleness, and I think that the political system itself was far more brittle in 2012 at the end of the disastrous Hu-Wen era than it is now.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Did Xi Anticipate The Reaction To The Abolition Of Term Limits?
There are other important and possibly positive Constitution changes announced, but the focus has been on the term limits, The censors are busy, many netizens and some intellectuals are not happy, but the PLA is behind it, and given how Xi has so intentionally and demonstratively raised the costs of dissent over the last five years I would not expect there to be any meaningful or effective resistance in the near-term.
The planned constitutional revisions – including removing the phrase about term limits for the president and vice-president – “are in line with the major theoretical views and key policies made during the Communist Party’s 19th congress ... and reflect the new achievements, experience and demands of the party and the country’s development”, the PLA Daily said in a front-page report [坚决拥护修改宪法部分内容的建议 ] on Tuesday.
The military mouthpiece also described the move as “very necessary and timely”.
Wang Ying, a businesswoman who has advocated government reforms, wrote on WeChat that the Communist Party’s proposal was “an outright betrayal” and “against the tides.”
“I know that you (the government) will dare to do anything,” she wrote, “and one ordinary person’s voice is certainly useless. But I am a Chinese citizen, and I don’t plan on leaving. This is my motherland too!”
In a message that was swiftly deleted, sociologist Li Yinhe called the removal of term limits “unfeasible” and would “return China to the era of Mao.”
Li added, however, that delegates to the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, are likely to pass the amendment unanimously since “they aren’t really elected by the people, therefore they don’t represent the people in voting, but will vote according to the leadership’s design.”
Li Datong's letter is in this article- 前《冰點》主編緊急呼籲人大代表否決領導人任期修憲建議
Quite the list of censored terms--Sensitive Words: Emperor Xi Jinping to Ascend His Throne - China Digital Times (CDT). Some examples:
ascend the throne (登基)
to board a plane (登机) — Homophonous with 登基, “to ascend the throne.”
praise the emperor (称帝)
urge a power figure to formally seize the throne (劝进)
The letter N was even censored...
The authorities temporarily censored the letter "N" on social media in China as Chinese netizens were trying to calculate how long Xi Jinping might stay in power. pic.twitter.com/aeNuVo5VrIFebruary 27, 2018
21st Century China Center faculty reflect on Sunday's announcement by Chinese Communist Party to end term limits on the presidency, clearing the way for President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely. Even in the context of the party's authoritarian rule, it is a significant break from rules established in the 1980s to prevent the country from returning to the days when Mao Zedong dominated every sphere of the political system.
“China emerged from the chaos of the Maoist era precisely because it moved away from one-man rule and toward collective leadership,” Carl Minzner, a China specialist at Fordham Law School, and the author of “End of an Era,” a new book on China’s authoritarian revival, told me. Even without meaningful popular voting, China’s political turmoil was curtailed by term and age limits and informal rules that require consensus. “Start pulling out those very building blocks on which the entire edifice is built, and what is China left with?” Minzner asked.
2. More On Liu He and His DC Visit
Lingling Wei of the Wall Street Journal has a terrific article on Liu He, and she confirms that Liu will become a super-regulator with oversight of the PBoC among his many responsibilities.
If Liu He gets all these jobs what exactly will Li Keqiang be doing as Premier?
Remember the arguments after the 19th Party Congress that Xi was forced to compromise because the Standing Committee seemed to have some kind of factional balance, even though Xi got the ultimate prize with Xi Thought going into the Constitution and was able to stack the Politburo, Central Military Commission and Central Committee with members of Team Xi? Substantively Xi not only ran the table he renovated the entire room, while giving some face to Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao with some of the PBSC appointments, slots that in reality are far less important in the Xi Era than they were earlier. And then there is the expected appointment next week of Wang Qishan as Vice President with a broad portfolio, one that if it includes more than US-China relations but also the National Supervisory Commission would make things really interesting…
Proposed constitutional changes, made public Sunday, that would allow Mr. Xi to stay in power indefinitely would also shift more influence to his inner circle. Few are more central than Mr. Xi’s behind-the-scenes economic steward, Liu He, who will be named vice premier in charge of a wide swath of the economy—the financial system and the industrial sector—at the annual meeting of China’s legislature that starts next week, according to officials involved in policy-making.
Mr. Liu’s broad remit will include oversight of regulators including the central bank. “He will be the superregulator,” said a senior official close to the leadership...
As a Communist Party loyalist, Mr. Liu is likely to push forward with gradual market-oriented changes within the state-led model, as opposed to drastic shifts that could prove destabilizing and hurt the party.
People with knowledge of the situation said that Mr Liu was expected to meet President Donald Trump, and was scheduled to meet senior US officials including Gary Cohn, chief economic adviser, trade representative Robert Lighthizer, and Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary. Mr Liu will also meet a group of top US businesspeople at a roundtable event...
Robert Holleyman, who oversaw trade discussions with China as deputy US trade representative in the Obama administration, said Mr Liu would likely face an uphill battle in his visit to Washington this week.
“The promises of reforms out of China have been made for a long time . . . and we haven’t seen China ready to embrace those reforms in any meaningful way,” he said. “I would be surprised if the Trump administration would accept that without having the Chinese actually deliver.”
Is this one of the big promises Liu He is bringing to DC?--Economic Watch: China steady in opening up finance industry - Xinhua:
Following eased controls on foreign-owned shares in financial institutions last year, China has forged ahead with opening up its finance industry with measures to expand the scope of business and market access for foreign banks.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) published policies (中国银监会发布《中国银监会关于修改〈中国银监会外资银行行政许可事项实施办法〉的决定》; 银监会有关部门负责人就《中国银监会关于修改〈中国银监会外资银行行政许可事项实施办法〉的决定》答记者问 ) over the weekend for overseas lenders to invest in domestic banks, establish new branches, and follow the same standards as domestic players...
The CBRC also cut red tape for foreign banks, scrapping approval procedures for four items including overseas wealth management products and portfolio investment funds. Banks only need to report their services to authorities rather than obtaining approval in advance.
3. How Many Senior Diplomats Does It Take To Manage The US-China Relationship?
The sources, including foreign diplomats, told Reuters that Wang Qishan, a close ally of President Xi Jinping, will likely become vice president with a portfolio specifically focused on handling ties with Washington. He would report directly to Xi.
Current Foreign Minister Wang Yi will probably become a state councillor, replacing current top diplomat and State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who has been promoted to the Communist Party’s 25-member politburo, the sources said...
Another possibility was that Song Tao, head of the Communist Party’s international affairs department and close to Xi, could become foreign minister, the sources said. Song is a career diplomat who has worked in India and the Philippines and speaks good English, diplomats who have met him say...
Effectively Wang Qishan will be China’s senior-most diplomat, then Yang and then Wang Yi.
“There will be three top diplomats,” one of the sources told Reuters, referring to the three officials. “The United States will be a focus.”
This sounds like a recipe for confusion and miscommunication. Meanwhile, I hear the PRC Ambassador the US Cui Tiankai will be in his job for at least another year. What will Zheng Zeguang do? And will Yang Jiechi be named a Vice Premier? There are usually four Vice Premiers, the three nearly certain ones are Han Zheng in the Chinese political equivalent of the human appendix role of Executive Vice Premier, and Liu He and Sun Chunlan. Unless there will be five this time either Yang Jiechi or Hu Chunhua may be left out.
宋涛会见美国前总统国家安全事务助理哈德利-新华网 -Song Tao meets with former US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley in Beijing
4. Xinjiang: Minority Region, Minority Report
It only gets worse...is there any reason to think this capacity will not be extended nationwide?
Since August 2016, the Xinjiang Bureau of Public Security has posted procurement notices confirming the establishment of the “Integrated Joint Operations Platform” (IJOP, 一体化联合作战平台), a system that receives data on individuals from many different sources. Kashgar Prefecture appears to be one of the first areas where the system is complete and in regular use.
These notices reveal that the IJOP gathers information from multiple sources or “sensors.” One source is CCTV cameras, some of which have facial recognition or infrared capabilities (giving them “night vision”). Some cameras are positioned in locations police consider sensitive: entertainment venues, supermarkets, schools, and homes of religious figures. Another source is “wifi sniffers,” which collect the unique identifying addresses of computers, smartphones, and other networked devices. The IJOP also receives information such as license plate numbers and citizen ID card numbers from some of the region’s countless security checkpoints and from “visitors’ management systems” in access-controlled communities. The vehicle checkpoints transmit information to IJOP, and “receive, in real time, predictive warnings pushed by the IJOP” so they can “identify targets… for checks and control.”
The IJOP also draws on existing information, such as one’s vehicle ownership, health, family planning, banking, and legal records, according to official reports. Police and local officials are also required to submit to IJOP information on any activity they deem “unusual” and anything “related to stability” they have spotted during home visits and policing. One interviewee said that possession of many books, for example, would be reported to IJOP, if there is no ready explanation, such as having teaching as one’s profession.
5. HNA Stand For Hiding Numerous Assets?
The airline-to-finance conglomerate built up a 9.9 per cent stake then worth nearly $4bn in Deutsche last year, just shy of the 10 per cent threshold above which stake purchases must be approved by Germany’s financial watchdog. While this has fallen to 8.8 per cent in recent weeks, HNA should still be the largest single shareholder on paper.
But, anyone with even a cursory interest in the deeply unusual Chinese company will realise things are a little bit more complicated than that. To get closer to the real answer we first have to tell the story of the medical ‘magic mushroom’ investor, the opaque equity derivatives, and the mysterious Bermuda entity about which Deutsche says it has no information...
So in summary: an opaque Chinese conglomerate says that it is the largest shareholder of Germany’s biggest bank, and has claimed a seat on the board. But the publicly available trail of information ends in Bermuda, obscuring a crucial link in its convoluted chain of ownership, and the parties involved seem reluctant to say anything about it.
Comment: When the dust finally settles some of the HNA creditors may wonder if they had been taking shrooms when deciding to lend to HNA...
HNA Capital Group Co., which owns aircraft leasing firm Bohai Capital Holding Co. and online financial platform Jubaohui, will back infrastructure and financial services projects in Greater China and Southeast Asia, the company said in an emailed statement Tuesday. It will also introduce investors from Asean nations to invest in the projects, it said.
Make sure you get the money from this fund before you start spending it...
6. Good Thing Xi Has Not Made Class Struggle The Key Link Again
Otherwise it would get ugly quickly in many cities, and especially Beijing and Shanghai.
A new kind of class struggle between the rich and poor is playing out in an increasingly wealthy China.
Homeowners living in an upscale Beijing estate have taken a district government to court over an order to dismantle a wall separating their homes from neighboring affordable apartments that the developer was required to build for low-income families.
Wealthy residents who attended a court hearing at the Fengtai District People’s Court in the Chinese capital on Monday demanded the Fengtai government and a government unit known as “chengguan” withdraw the demolition order...
Those from Xichen Yuanzhu, who paid 100,000 yuan ($15,825) to 160,000 yuan per square meter for their homes when they hit the market in 2014 and dole out 9.8 yuan per square meter in monthly property management fees, want the wall to stay up so they can keep their community’s leafy trees and open space to themselves.
On the other side, homeowners in Yupu Home Garden, who paid 21,000 yuan for each square meter and now fork out 3.3 yuan in monthly management fees, have campaigned for the removal of the wall because they believe both sides make up a single residential community.
7. Countries Worried About China's Rise As A Maritime Power Are Going To Need Bigger Boats, And More Of Them
As a friend’s five-year-old puts it, “China has three navies: the regular navy, the police navy and the sneaky navy.” Each of these three sea forces is the world’s largest of its type by number of ships—at least by some measures. China is truly a maritime power in its own right, and its sea forces’ numbers matter in important ways. In maritime “gray zone” operations, Beijing employs its enormous coast guard and maritime militia to further its disputed Yellow, East and South China Sea sovereignty claims using coercion short of warfare. This article, which is part one in a series, will focus on these quantitatively superior second and third sea forces.
More formally, China’s Armed Forces comprise three major organizations, each with a maritime subcomponent. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) contains the PLA Navy (PLAN); the People’s Armed Police (PAP) increasingly leads China’s Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) forces, including the China Coast Guard (CCG); and the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) contains a growing proportion of seagoing units. The CCG and PAFMM, clearly the world’s most numerous by any logical measure, are the focus of this article.
Douglas H. Paal says China’s military moves since the 19th party congress should be a warning to its neighbours to stop thinking about their relationship with the rising power individually and start grappling collectively with the new regional geopolitical dynamics
"The India-led 2018 Milan exercise will have a larger scale than ever. India is provoking China, which will not benefit the development of Sino-Indian relations," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.
"Now it's possible that the conflict between China and India will extend beyond land to the sea," Hu said.
China should "also be prepared for a military response at the same time to any unreasonable provocation," he said.
8. Is China Exporting Its Coal Overcapacity?
The plan embodies a contradiction of Chinese global climate leadership: The country’s huge coal sector is turning outward in search of new markets as coal projects contract at home. A Chinese multinational is tapped to build the $2 billion, 975-acre project, and a Chinese bank is helping to finance it. The project is among hundreds of coal-fired power plants that Chinese companies are helping to build or finance around the world...
“As China has reduced its dependence on coal domestically it has expanded overseas, to relieve excess domestic capacity,” said Katharine Lu, who researches energy investments at Friends of the Earth, an environmental lobby group.
Beyond excess coal, geopolitics is also a key factor in that expansion. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a central part of President Xi Jinping’s strategy to increase his country’s global influence through infrastructure projects abroad. The United States, for its part, continues to export coal, as coal-fired power plants shrink at home.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Home Sales Wane During Lunar New Year - Caixin Global Home sales in 21 major cities surveyed fell 28.6% year-on-year in February as the Lunar New Year holiday threw cold water on property transactions across the country, state media reported. On a monthly basis, the average number of sales plunged 38.2% from January in 21 surveyed cities, according to the official Economic Information Daily, which cited data released Monday by the China Index Academy, a property research firm. The drop in transactions was more pronounced in first-tier cities than in second-tier cities.
China’s VPN Crackdown May Violate WTO Rules, U.S. Says | Bloomberg Law The U.S. on Feb. 23 criticized a new regulatory proposal from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology titled “Cleaning up and Regulating the Internet Access Service Market,” which would impose new restrictions on the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) and leased lines. “The potential impact of the [proposed regulation] both on foreign service suppliers and their customers in China appears to be quite severe,” the U.S. said in a notice published by the WTO.
China's Export Machine Is Taking On a Stronger Yuan, and Winning - Bloomberg Growth in outbound shipments is expected to build on January’s double-digit increase to climb 6 percent in 2018, though the yuan has posted a 9 percent gain over the past year. While a rising domestic currency over time makes exports more expensive, trade isn’t suffering yet. Things that can explain trade’s robust performance despite the relative costliness of the yuan: strong external demand, active hedging and a shift toward more high-tech products. Resilience in exports is much needed, as a deleveraging drive and deteriorating China-U.S. trade relations still threaten the sustained expansion of the world’s second-largest economy.
China's Drive to Become the Detroit of Electric Cars - Bloomberg It tried with gasoline cars without success. But electric vehicles may be different, particularly since the industry’s youthfulness presents more of an even playing field. Combine that with the expected surge in Chinese demand (car sales actually fell in the U.S. in 2017) and the government’s support, and it’s possible to see a global industry with China much more than a bit player. South Korean manufacturers have shown how car markets can be upended with high-quality, well-priced products. Now, it’s up to China to deliver.
China to Crack Down on Cryptocurrency Trading Loophole - Bloomberg Regulators are planning to scrutinize the Chinese bank and online-payment accounts of businesses and individuals suspected of facilitating trades on offshore cryptocurrency venues, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The accounts’ owners could have their assets frozen or be blocked from the domestic financial system, the people said.
China's Yield Curve Steepest in 11 Months Ahead of Big Meeting - Bloomberg The strong liquidity situation contrasts with the shortage seen during most of last year, when a combination of monetary and regulatory tightening drove funding costs higher, resulting in a flat -- and sometimes even an inverted -- yield curve. The liquidity sweet spot will probably remain in place over the next couple of weeks as the Communist Party’s third plenary session and the National People’s Congress -- a meeting of the legislature held each year -- take place.
Strengthen Dynamic Monitoring of Market Liquidity Demand Fluctuations: PBOC - China Banking News The Chinese central bank has called for the stepping up of dynamic monitoring of fluctuations in liquidity demand in order to address the potential risk issues created by asset securitisation.On 26 February the People’s Bank of China released a working paper on risks that asset securitisation could bring to the financial system entitled “The Optimistic Mood of Banks, Information Accuracy Levels and Asset Securitisation” (银行乐观情绪、信息准确度及资产证券化).
China unveils policy for NEV battery recycling - Xinhua China encourages the research of NEV battery recycling and supports relevant cooperation between research institutions and industrial entities, according to a document jointly released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and six other government departments. "NEV battery producers should provide technical information on dismantling and restoring their products as well as necessary training to auto makers, while auto makers are encouraged to build maintenance network so as to better serve NEV owners," the document said
Politics, Law And Ideology
China's retiring central bank chief Zhou tipped for Boao Forum - Reuters Zhou, 70, will replace Zeng Peiyan, 79, in the post after Zhou steps down as governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) during the annual meeting of parliament next month, three sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
China Wants Police to Stop Locking Up Activists in Mental Hospitals - Caixin Global China’s top prosecutor has released new guidelines targeting the misuse of psychiatric hospitals by police and hospital managers to incarcerate political dissidents, activists, and petitioners. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate released a regulation on Monday detailing requirements for prosecutor’s offices around the country to closely scrutinize police use of mental hospitals for detention of suspects and references in police reports to suspects’ mental health condition.
China Focus: China to start action plans targeting "great modern socialist country" - Xinhua The two sessions, to be attended by more than 5,000 lawmakers and political advisors, will be the first national assembly after a two-step blueprint for China to become a "great modern socialist country" was announced last October at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). According to the blueprint, socialist modernization will be basically realized from 2020 to 2035. From 2035 to the middle of the century, China will become a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful. Major theoretical achievements, principles and policies adopted at the CPC congress, particularly Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, are expected to be reflected in state plans at the two sessions.
China to reveal details of public welfare undertakings - Xinhua Increased transparency will ensure that resource distribution in public welfare is more just and fair and conducted in an atmosphere of greater public concern, with more public support and participation, according to a guideline publicized Monday by the General Office of the State Council. The guideline defined seven major areas for increased transparency, including poverty alleviation, education and emergency relief.
China defends controversial detention measure of new anti-graft ministry - Reuters “Major crimes related to official duties are not the same as normal crimes and the investigations cannot be done in the same way,” said Zhang Shuofu, who heads the Beijing Supervision Commission, one of three bureaus set up in 2017 ahead of the agency’s nationwide roll-out. “That’s why the Central Committee of the party has adopted the detention measure,” he told reporters during a rare visit to the bureau, reading from a prepared statement.
中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《关于加强知识产权审判领域改革创新若干问题的意见》_中央有关文件_中国政府网 Central Committee General Office and State Council Genera Office issue opinion on reforms and innovations in trials of intellectual property cases
Foreign and Military Affairs
Gov't admits China surveyed Benham Rise without permit - Rappler National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) admitted on Monday, February 26, that Chinese survey ships have a record of illegal entry in Benham Rise. This came up during the Senate science and technology committee hearing on exploration of Benham Rise, a 13-million-hectare underwater plateau off the eastern coast of northern Luzon.
China's Flagship Port in Pakistan Shackled by Heavy Security - Bloomberg For the thousands of attendees it was meant to be a conference to showcase China’s flagship Belt and Road project in Pakistan -- the port in southwestern Gwadar that gives Beijing access to the Arabian sea. In the evenings the almost 8,000 delegates were wowed with cultural shows and a firework display at the newly opened five-story Gwadar Exhibition Center which was host to about 100 companies last month. Yet what really caught the attention of some investors were the hundreds of Pakistani troops patrolling the roads and guarding high-end hotel lobbies.
Joseph Yun, US' top North Korea diplomat, announces surprise retirement - CNN Joseph Yun, who is in his early 60s, told CNN Tuesday: "It was completely my decision to retire at this time." He said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accepted his resignation "with regret."
China’s rise helped by historical conditions - Global Times In China, as early as 2,000 years ago, the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC) achieved a grand unification of the country and started a transformation from the feudal system to the county system. Anyone who wants to understand the rise of China needs to understand the grand unification theory that has been transformed into the collective sense of stability. It is a historical gene deeply rooted in Chinese national feeling. This feeling may change gradually as the country moves to a postmodern society, but for the foreseeable future, it will still profoundly affect the interaction between China and the rest of the world.--Ding Gang, a senior editor with People's Daily, and currently a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China
国家国防教育办公室部署今年全民国防教育工作 - 中华人民共和国国防部 国家国防教育办公室日前下发通知，对2018年全民国防教育工作作出部署。通知要求各地各部队要全面贯彻党的十九大精神，以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想和习近平强军思想为指导，紧紧围绕维护国家主权、安全、发展利益，坚持突出工作重点，拓展教育领域，创新方式方法，着力推动实现教育对象、时间、地域、内容、手段“五个全覆盖”，不断强化广大干部群众全民国防观念和爱军拥军意识，为实现中国梦强军梦凝聚强大力量。
China investment must not undermine EU joint policy, warns Merkel - Reuters European Union member states that participate in Chinese government-led infrastructure initiatives should be aware of the risk of undermining the bloc’s common foreign policy stance toward China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
Hong Kong, Macao
Chinese investor pulls out of $5.2 billion Hong Kong skyscraper deal - Reuters The reason was not immediately clear, but the pullout underscores the difficulty little-known Chinese companies face raising capital offshore, as Chinese regulators restrict capital outflows, including “irrational” outbound investments in sectors such as property.
Taiwan and HK fear China’s harder line after Xi Jinping power play - FT $$ Analysts believe that the proposal to scrap the two-term limit for China’s president will further embolden Mr Xi and weaken the will of officials, domestic critics and outside countries to challenge his power. “For the foreseeable future, Taiwan will face a more difficult, more inflexible and more determined policy from Beijing,” said Alexander Huang, a former Taiwanese official who handled cross-strait relations.
Toilet Paper Shortage Strikes Taiwan Amid Pricing Panic - The New York Times From Taipei in the north to Tainan in the south, retailers are having difficulty keeping it on their shelves, as reports of imminent price increases have sent consumers rushing to stores to stock up on the household staple, which in Taiwan is sold folded in packs rather than as rolls. Taiwan’s toilet paper producers notified retailers on Friday that prices would increase 10 to 30 percent as soon as mid-March as a result of rising pulp prices on the global market, according to a report by Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
Tech And Media
Chinese capital dangles carrots to lure foreign talent to its Silicon Valley - Reuters New foreign hires at Zhongguancun Science Park will enjoy generous visa terms and more will also get the coveted permanent residence certificate, which confers greater freedom of cross-border travel as well as local economic benefits. Foreigners with permanent residence will also be allowed to head national-level innovation projects, and serve as the legal representative of new scientific research institutions in China, the Beijing municipal government said in a statement at a media briefing on Tuesday.
Founder of autonomous car startup JingChi steps down amid Baidu suit · TechNode Wang Jing, founder and CEO of JingChi, has left his position in the company. JingChi defines itself as a mobility company powered by artificial intelligence. The company is currently being sued by Baidu for RMB 50 million over claims of autonomous driving trade secret theft.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Missing Chinese masterpieces ‘worth at least US$60m’ have family of art collector C.C. Wang at war | South China Morning Post With “stolen” artefacts, family feuds and claims of underhanded dealing, the battle for control over C.C. Wang's multimillion-dollar Chinese painting collection has the epic sweep and raw human drama of an Amy Tan novel. And despite a recent court ruling, the saga shows no ends of stopping.
Disagreement Between Chinese Celebrities Sparks Accusations of Gender Inequality As seen from a video posted online, actor Chen Daoming rejected director Feng Xiaogang’s request to have Miao Miao, the star of his latest film Youth, perform a dance during the informal get-together. Chen had just finished accompanying singer Zhang Yan on the piano when he attempted to tacitly refuse Feng’s request. Chen attempted to give all parties a face-saving way out of the predicament by saying it wasn’t convenient for the highheel wearing- Miao. When someone off-camera jokingly suggested that Miao just “gesticulate with her hands,” Chen swore at him. Eventually, under Feng’s insistance and with other men physically dragging Chen back to the piano, Miao performed the dance with Chen’s accompaniment.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Fishing Company Punished for Vessel Caught With Dead Sharks - Caixin Global The Ministry of Agriculture has temporarily halted the operations of all 78 distant-water fishing vessels owned by Fujian-based Fuzhou Honglong Ocean Aquatic Products. The move comes six months after a refrigerator ship owned by the company was caught in the Galapagos Marine Reserve with thousands of shark carcasses onboard, according to a document seen by Caixin.
China urges regions to take responsibility after Yangtze smog surge - Reuters While nationwide air pollution fell thanks to a tough winter crackdown in smog-prone northern regions, concentrations of small, breathable particles known as PM2.5 surged 20 percent in the Yangtze delta in eastern China, which includes Shanghai as well as the highly industrialized province of Jiangsu. A 3.9-percent increase in PM2.5 in the Pearl river delta near Hong Kong also raised fears that polluting heavy industrial output had moved to eastern and southern regions as a result of a crackdown in the north, which forced thousands of factories to curb production.
Environmentalists Sue Developers of Yunnan Hydropower Station - Sixth Tone A Beijing-based NGO filed a lawsuit on Friday against the companies responsible for developing a hydropower station near a nature reserve in southwestern China, citing numerous environmental violations. Construction of the Huilong Mountain Hydropower Station, in Yunnan’s verdant Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, commenced in October 2015 and is slated for completion by 2019. But a group called Friends of Nature says the project has destroyed the rain forest, threatens fish, and will submerge part of the Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve.
How Dyslexia Remains Invisible in Chinese Schools - Sixth Tone The need for recognition of the learning disability in China is pressing: An estimated 11 percent of the country’s primary school students have dyslexia, a total of about 10 million children, according to research published in 2016 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Despite this staggering number, there is little understanding of and barely any support for dyslexic students on the Chinese mainland — the Weining center, located in southern tech hub Shenzhen, is one of few organizations dedicated to the cause. Dyslexia is well-known and well-researched in many Western countries, but awareness of the disability remains low across the Chinese mainland; without support, those affected are unable to compete in school, stifling their future potential.
Beijing has fewer hukou holders - Xinhua The number of people holding Beijing's hukou, a crucial document entitling residents to social welfare in a given city, fell to 13.59 million at the end of 2017, down 37,000 compared with the same period of 2016, it said. Beijing's permanent population fell to 21.7 million at the end of 2017, down 22,000 year on year. Around 86.5 percent of them live in urban areas.