Hi everyone, today’s issue is light on commentary.
There will be an issue tomorrow, Thursday December 20, and then I will not be back until January unless something really big happens.
In case any of you have procrastinated over holiday gifts, Sinocism gift subscriptions make great last-minute Christmas presents and are available here.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. More on Xi's reform speech
There were no surprises in Xi Jinping’s speech today commemorating the 40th anniversary of “reform and opening” in China. Many observers closely following the live broadcast of the speech on state television were in agreement that its main points closely tracked Xi’s political report to the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party last year...
What lesson has China’s process of reform and opening left most indelibly? As Xi Jinping summed it up in today’s speech, the primary lesson of the reform period is that “[we] must adhere to the Party’s leadership of all work”...
Xi Jinping also used a more hardline phrase now rarely seen in the state media, the “Four Basic Principles” (四项基本原则), the third and most core of which is the need to uphold the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. This, said Xi must be “adhered to over the long term, and absolutely not shaken.”..
Xi’s reference here to “calming storms,” short for “calming political storms,” or pingxi zhengzhi fengbo (平息政治风波), should be read as a direct reference to June 4, 1989.
But beyond the coolness on the issue of political reform, Xi’s speech today bears a tough and sobering message for intellectuals and those within the Party who might support such an agenda...
These words may perplex those who are unfamiliar with the political discourse of the Chinese Communist Party. But they essentially mean that political reform in China is off the table.
The four basic (some translate as four cardinal principles) principles:
We must keep to the socialist road;
We must uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat;
We must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party;
We must uphold Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.
Despite the most repressive political climate in Beijing since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre put Deng’s reforms on hold for three years, an increasing number of Chinese economists have dared to disagree openly with policies associated with Mr Xi.
Most have, however, been careful not to criticise the president directly. Their voices are also useful for powerful officials, such as Vice Premier Liu He, who do worry about market distortions and trade frictions caused by powerful state-owned enterprises and rigid industrial polices
“China’s rapid growth over the past 40 years has come from marketisation, entrepreneurship and technological [learning] from the west rather than the so-called ‘China model’,” Zhang Weiying, an economics professor at Peking University said in a speech in October.
“Emphasising a China model will lead to strengthened state-owned enterprises, expanded government power and reliance on industrial policies, reversing the reform process. The economy will eventually descend into stagnation,” he added.
From yesterday's speech it seems pretty clear which side in this debate Xi has chosen.
2. China does want to rewrite the global order
“The practice of reform and opening-up over the past 40 years has shown that openness brings progress, while seclusion leads to backwardness,” Xi said.
The president pledged to support the building of an open, transparent, inclusive and nondiscriminatory multilateral trading system, facilitate trade and investment, and promote more openness amid ongoing economic globalization...
The country will focus on jointly building the Belt and Road with other nations and establish a new platform for international cooperation while continuing opening-up measures, Xi said...
China’s development provides successful experience and offers bright prospects for other developing countries as they strive for modernization, and it represents China’s great contribution to the progress of human civilization, Xi said.
The Xi thought center at the Center Party School argues that reform and opening up offers a China solution to nations around the world who want to accelerate development and remain independent at the same time-纪念改革开放四十周年——从世界层面看中国改革开放的启示-中新网. Three takeaways:
1) The superiority of socialism;
2) A "market economy" has greater potential and vitality in socialism than capitalism;
3) Developing countries can contribute to economic globalization and global governance
The Xi thought center of CASS: the United States is implementing many unilateral, isolationist and protectionist policies and that its pragmatic view towards international rules and norms hurts other countries’ interests, and its double standards can only lead the world economy into chaos..It is time for us to jointly rewrite the existing international order.--人民日报：国际规则应由国际社会共同制定_新浪财经_新浪网:
China's stunning development sparked by reform and opening-up policies 40 years ago has enabled promising possibilities for nearly 20 percent of the world's population and for the creation of new theoretical contribution -- "Sinomics."
Li Daokui, a former advisor to the World Bank and China's central bank, believes that contemporary Chinese economists are obligated to summarize the past few decades and come up with new theories in language understood by the world to contribute to the understanding of economic development globally.
"China's economics deserves an entry in mainstream textbooks," Li told Xinhua in an interview. He is currently the director of the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management.
COMMENT: "Sinomics", "Xiplomacy"...
3. US-China trade
“We’re in the process of confirming the logistics of several meetings and we’re determined to make sure that we use the time wisely, to try to resolve this,” Mnuchin said. Both sides are now focused on trying “to document an agreement” by a March 1 deadline for their current tariffs truce to run out. “We expect there will be meetings in January,” he said. Previously the administration hadn’t been specific on the timing of talks.
The two sides are planning to meet in January, according to Chinese officials with knowledge of the discussions who asked not to be named as the talks were private. China’s Ministry of Commerce didn’t respond to a faxed request for comment.
China and the U.S. held a "vice-ministerial level" telephone call on trade and other economic issues, according to a statement by China's ministry of commerce released on Wednesday.
China moved a step closer to launching a formal World Trade Organization inquiry into whether President Donald Trump’s $250 billion in tariffs against Chinese goods violate international trade rules, a process that could move forward next month.
The U.S. rejected China’s first request for a WTO inquiry in the matter, according to a participant at Tuesday’s dispute-settlement meeting. The trade body’s rules prevent the U.S. from blocking a dispute inquiry if China returns with a second request at the next WTO dispute-settlement meeting. The next such meeting is set for Jan. 28; the WTO could hold a special session before then to hear China’s second request.
U.S. Ambassador Dennis Shea also rejected a comment made by the European Union (EU) on Monday that Washington was at the “epicenter” of the crisis.
“The crisis is caused by the fundamental incompatibility of China’s trade-distorting, non-market economic regime with an open, transparent and predictable international trading system,” Shea said. “It is compounded by (WTO) members’ collective failure over many years to address this problem.”..
Hu Yingzhi, deputy director general of the department of WTO affairs at China’s ministry of commerce, said “reckless actions” by the Trump administration were the root of the crisis.
International frustration over America’s protectionist stance boiled over during a closed-door review of U.S. trade policy at the World Trade Organization, according to an official in Geneva. India called America unpopular. Japan made reference to Old Glory, urging the U.S. never to take down “the flag of the free.” And China invoked the spirit of legendary comic book creator Stan Lee to scold the U.S.
Ambassador Zhang Xiangchen said Spider-Man is his favorite of Lee’s creations and cited the superhero’s famous philosophy: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Then he took the United States to task.
“It is unfortunate that we are seeing now, especially during the last year, a different America with severe mismatched power and responsibility,” Zhang said.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed on Tuesday that a third Canadian citizen has been detained by Chinese authorities, but did not connect the incident to Canada’s high-profile arrest last month of a Chinese tech executive.
A spokesperson with Global Affairs said it was “aware of a Canadian citizen” who has been detained, but did not provide further details, citing the Privacy Act.
The Canadian embassy in Beijing yesterday (Dec. 18) posted a message (link in Chinese) marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10 on its account on social network Weibo. But the post—which comes amid a particularly tense time in relations between Ottawa and Beijing—went on to say that Dec. 10 also marked the 10th anniversary of “an equally important document” that was “drafted by a writer who later won the Nobel Peace Prize.” The embassy invited Chinese readers to guess whether they knew who that figure was, with an added hint: “The person drew his inspiration from the works of [Czech dissident] Vaclav Havel, the person pictured here.”
China has been viewed as one of the biggest prizes by Trudeau’s trade negotiators.
As recently as November, Canada’s outlook on the prospects of free trade was rosy. The minister for international trade diversification, Jim Carr, called a free trade deal with China an “essential component” in the search for new markets and trading partners.
Part of Canada’s goal was to ambitiously increase agricultural exports to C$75 billion (US$55.7 billion) by 2025, a substantial increase over total exports – in all sectors – of C$18 billion (US$13.4 billion) last year and a testament to the value Canada saw in courting China.
Beijing is behaving in ways that should remind every democracy just how much it will hate living in a Chinese-dominated world. It is showing that an increasingly empowered China will be a China that feels unconstrained in seizing foreigners on even the most dubious pretexts, and in subjecting them to the same arbitrary justice to which it subjects its own citizens. It is making democratic countries (Canada especially) think very hard about whether China is a plausible partner after all.
5. PRC espionage in Europe
Hackers infiltrated the European Union’s diplomatic communications network for years, downloading thousands of cables that reveal concerns about an unpredictable Trump administration and struggles to deal with Russia and China and the risk that Iran would revive its nuclear program...
The techniques that the hackers deployed over a three-year period resembled those long used by an elite unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army. The cables were copied from the secure network and posted to an open internet site that the hackers set up in the course of their attack, according to Area 1, the firm that discovered the breach...
The trove of European cables is reminiscent of the WikiLeaks publication of 250,000 State Department cables in 2010. But they are not as extensive and consist of low-level classified documents that were labeled limited and restricted.
one cable dated 16 July 2018, gave an insight into what happens behind the scenes at EU-China summits.
The EU diplomat who drafted the memo noted that Chinese leader Xi Jinping told EU Council chief Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that he was prepared to fight a trade war with the US if need be.
"Caving in would embolden the bully. The Chinese people would not accept this, even if a trade war would hurt everybody. China was not a backward country anymore," Xi said, referring to "bullying" on tariffs by US leader Donald Trump.
Chinese spies are believed to be targeting UK secrets - but the British government has been far less willing to speak out about it.
Those working in national security in the UK confirm privately that they see the same range of activity as in the US. But while there have been a string of indictments in America and statements from senior figures in the Trump administration, the UK government so far has been far less vocal.
US officials privately say they want the UK to take a tougher line but so far British officials have been careful...
British security officials are particularly concerned about universities being targeted for research and intellectual property.
6. Deep dive into CRSIPR baby mastermind He Jiankui
In the three weeks since the remarkable announcement about Nana and Lulu, STAT has pieced together the story of the years leading up to that fateful Monday. With details reported for the first time, it describes the many times He met with and spoke before some of the world’s leading genome-editing experts, the low opinion they had of his research, and the hints he dropped about his grandiose aspirations. It is based on interviews in Hong Kong and with experts on four continents, with scientists and others who have crossed paths with He, as well as on documents and published accounts. He did not reply to requests for an interview...
He, whose lab is at Southern (sometimes translated “South”) University of Science and Technology in the tech-booming city of Shenzhen, had sought to insert himself into the CRISPR elite. But they viewed his science as second-rate.
A good read on science in the PRC - Science vs. the state: a family saga at the Caltech of China - MIT Technology Review - by Yangyang Cheng:
Three generations of personal and political history show the tensions between the Communist Party’s need for knowledge and its need for ideological control.
7. Ofo circling the drain
With its yellow dockless bikes, Ofo — which has raised more than $2.2bn since it was founded in 2014 — exemplified the Chinese start-up model of growing quickly by raising money and burning through cash. Earlier this year, an industry insider estimated that rival Mobike spent $50m a month, while Ofo burnt through roughly $25m.
But cash flow problems for the company have become acute, Ofo founder Dai Wei wrote in a letter to employees on Wednesday.
“I’ve thought countless times . . . of even dissolving the company and applying for bankruptcy,” he said. “For the whole of this year we’ve borne immense cash flow pressure. Returning deposits to users, paying debts to suppliers, in order to keep the company running we have to turn every renminbi into three.”
More than 10 million users of bike-rental firm ofo have requested deposit refunds, with the company possibly owing in excess of RMB 1 billion ($145 million) to its riders.
Yesterday, an ofo user posted a screenshot on microblogging platform Weibo informing them that they were number 10,000,001 on the refund waiting list. The screenshot was picked up by Chinese media outlet AllWeather TMT. As of 4 p.m. today, more than 11 million people have requested their money back.
8. Gender inequality increasing in China
China is becoming a more unequal place for women, a new report says.
The nation ranks 103rd out of 149 countries for gender equality, slipping from last year’s 100 out of 144, according to an annual report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Friday.
That puts China behind Myanmar, Romania and Russia...
A major driver of the growing gender gap has been a widening disparity between men’s and women’s economic participation. While nearly 70% of countries have narrowed the economic gender gap in the past 10 years, China’s gap actually widened over the same period, a WEF spokesperson told Caixin.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
China central bank unveils targeted tool to spur lending to small firms | Reuters The targeted medium-term lending facility (TMLF) will provide “long-term stable source of funding for financial institutions based on growth of their loans for small and private firms”, the central bank said on its website. Large commercial banks, joint-stock banks and big city commercial banks showing strong support for the real economy and meeting macro-prudential requirements will be allowed to apply for the lending facility, the central bank said.
Projects Worth $51 Billion Approved as China Changes Track on Urban Rail Investment - Caixin China’s top economic planner has approved urban rail projects in two wealthy eastern cities worth a combined 354 billion yuan ($51.3 billion), as Beijing relaxes rules on infrastructure development to counteract slowing economic growth. Shanghai will get six new subway lines and 286 kilometers (178 miles) of new rail, costing a planned total of 298.35 billion yuan, the National Development and Reform Commission said in statement on Wednesday. The projects are expected to be completed by 2023. Hangzhou, a city about 160 kilometers southwest of Shanghai, will see two existing railways get expansions costing a planned total of 14 billion yuan, according to a separate statement. The commission also approved a new airport rail link for 41.98 billion yuan in the city.
China’s subway building binge is back on track | Financial Times $$ “Infrastructure investment fell seriously short of the mark in the first half of this year. Many projects that should have been built weren’t built and others were half-built and then ran out of funding. So we’ll do what we must,” said Zhao Quanhou, director of the financial research centre at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, a think-tank that advises the finance ministry. “But the current infrastructure acceleration can’t possibly be a return to the red hot pace of the post-2008 period. That was an excessive response, and we’ve endured hardship in the aftermath.”
China to boost crackdown on IPR infringement - Xinhua Thirty-eight governmental departments including the National Development and Reform Commission, the People's Bank of China and the NIPA have jointly signed a memorandum to strengthen cooperation in the crackdown on IPR infringement. The memorandum listed six types of infractions regarding intellectual property including repeated patent infringements, declining to execute punishments on patent violations and using fake documents in patent applications.
Beijing Says It Suspended Guangdong Economic Indicator Over Paperwork - Caixin Global The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on Tuesday that it ordered the suspension because the department failed to apply for a new approval to conduct the surveys after the old one expired. It also criticized the province’s statistics bureau for jointly releasing the PMI without seeking its approval.
Chinese Central Bank Undertakes 180B Yuan in Reverse Repos on 19 December - China Banking News According to PBOC the moves are intended to “offset the impact of factors including the tax period, government bond issuance deposits and the payment of statutory reserves by financial institutions, in order to keep banking system liquidity rationally ample.”
Old Revolutionary Base's Quest for New Life Could Be a Long March Cash-strapped private companies and their shareholders have been rushing into the arms of deep-pocketed state-owned enterprises and local governments this year as they seek out white knights to rescue them from a severe credit and liquidity squeeze. But it's been a money-losing venture for some local authorities, including Yan'an, an impoverished city in the northwestern province of Shaanxi which gained fame as the revolutionary base of the Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s. The city's latest brush with capitalism through an investment in debt-laden Jiangsu Bicon Pharmaceutical Listed Co. is already in the red
Small City Becomes First to Roll Back Curbs on Home Purchases - Caixin The cancellation of the rule in Heze, Shandong province, could herald property market deregulation elsewhere in the country, analysts said, sparking speculation that government efforts to cool the market may have outlived their usefulness as the economy slows.
China Watchers Split on Yuan Outlook; It Comes Down to Trade - Bloomberg The most optimistic forecaster sees the yuan climbing next year to 6.25 per dollar, while the biggest bear expects a slide to as weak as 7.4, according to a Bloomberg survey of 22 analysts and traders. It was at 6.8955 in Shanghai Wednesday afternoon -- weaker than all but four of 43 projections as of a year ago for its end-2018 level.
Slow Brew: China’s Coffee Revival and Globalization - MacroPolo - Damien Ma Another good installment in Macro Polo's series on 40 years of reform// a new generation of aspirational Chinese consumers has helped coffee boom across the country for more than a decade. And from 2011 to 2017, the coffee market (both roasted and instant) saw average revenue growth of 37% over that period. As the number of Chinese coffee-drinkers is estimated to be 200 to 250 million and rising, it is no surprise that Starbucks, which entered China in 1999, plans to nearly double the number of stores there to over 6,000 by 2022.
Politics, Law And Ideology
Central Asians cry out over China's secret detention camps - AFP Asyla Alymkulova fights back tears in her home in Kyrgyzstan as she recalls the first time she heard her husband was whisked away to one of the notorious internment camps in neighbouring China's troubled Xinjiang region. Shairbek Doolotkhan, a Chinese-born Muslim and mining executive, had told his wife everything was fine when he travelled to his company's office in Xinjiang to deal with "some problems". But then his phone went dead in October last year.
Xinjiang Authorities Arrest Uyghur Court Official Who Denounced Political Re-education Camps - RFA Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have arrested a Uyghur senior court official for “two-faced” tendencies after he expressed concern over the mass incarceration of members of his ethnic group in recent years, according to official sources. Ghalip Qurban (in Chinese, Alifu Kuerban), the deputy head of the Intermediate People’s Court in the XUAR capital Urumqi, was arrested after returning to the region from China’s capital Beijing, where he had attended a conference in April, a source recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.
全国人大常务委员会原副委员长铁木尔·达瓦买提逝世 享年92岁 Former chairman of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Tömür Dawamat dead at 92
Special police in anti-terrorism drill in Tibet - ECNS Members of the special police take part in an anti-terrorism drill in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Dec. 15, 2018. The drill was comprised of more than 50 training programs covering 15 areas aimed at improving the rapid response of police in complicated scenarios
China produces Karl Marx cartoon series to mark 200th anniversary of his birth | South China Morning Post The Leader, which recounts the story of the German philosopher and socialist revolutionary, will be broadcast by Bilibili.com “soon”, the company said on Tuesday. The production was commissioned by the central government’s Marxism office, in cooperation with authorities in Inner Mongolia, Weiming Culture Media, which is based in the region, and animation company Dongmantang, Bilibili said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service.
Foreign and Military Affairs
China in 2018: Creating an elite combat force - China Military The priorities of China's military work in 2018 can be summarized in three key aspects: CPC's absolute leadership; Military-civilian integration; Real combat training
10 foreigners given medals for roles in reform, opening-up- China Daily "As I look at my participation among the 10 foreigners who have received the China Reform Friendship Medal, I see my role as representing the importance of international communication. It's not so much personal as it is representing the importance that China places on communication with the world so as to learn about the world and tell the world the true story of China," Kuhn said in a live report by China Global Television Network. Conferring the China Reform Friendship Medal on foreigners demonstrates again that China's reform and opening-up are closely connected with the international community, Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president and senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said in an interview with China Daily.
China’s interference in the 2018 elections succeeded — in Taiwan - The Washington Post “CCP attempts to erode democratic processes and norms around the world threaten U.S. partnerships and prosperity,” six U.S. senators, led by Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), wrote last week in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Allegations such as those surrounding Taiwan’s recent elections must therefore be pursued with seriousness and urgency.”... The senators asked the Trump administration to work with Taiwanese authorities to investigate events leading up to the November elections that saw sweeping losses for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its leader President Tsai Ing-wen. Beijing carried out a massive propaganda and social media campaign that spread false news designed to undermine Tsai’s government.
Popular Chinese drone CH-4 to upgrade engine - Global Times The Chinese CH-4, one of the best-selling armed reconnaissance drones on the international market, will be fitted with a new and stronger engine that would allow it to fly higher than the world's highest peak. The CH-4 will soon see its old piston engine that burns gasoline replaced with a domestically made next-generation heavy-fuel engine that burns kerosene, a spokesperson of the Chinese Academy of Aerospace and Aerodynamics (CAAA) under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), the drone's manufacturer, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Poll shows America less respected worldwide - Xinhua The United States has become less respected abroad today than in the past, both from the views of international relations experts and the overall U.S. public, according to a latest survey by U.S. research center Pew. Of the foreign affairs experts interviewed, 93 percent said the United States is less respected by other countries today compared with the past, according to the report released on Monday. The report, authored by Kat Devlin, a research associate focusing on global attitudes at the center, also shows merely 4 percent of respondents believed America has received as much respect as before, and two percent said that the leading power in the world has got more respect from abroad
Indonesia opens military base on edge of South China Sea to ‘deter security threats’ | South China Morning Post Indonesia this week opened a military base with more than 1,000 personnel on the southern tip of the disputed South China Sea, where the territorial claims of China and several other countries overlap.
Erdogan sees China as a partner for the future - Asia Times e are facing an economic war. Do not worry, we will win it,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the presentation of his 100-day action plan in August, as a currency crisis and economic showdown with the United States reached its height. Erdogan declared that China was the country’s economic partner of the future.
URI ending relationship with controversial Confucius Institute - WPRI Linda Acciardo, a spokesperson for the University of Rhode Island, said in a statement the school didn't want to risk losing out on federal funding, so it decided to "dissolve the relationship" with the institute by the end of May. "We have learned that continuing with the Confucius Institute could jeopardize federal funding for the University’s Chinese Language Flagship Program, which is a highly successful language academic program funded by the U.S. Department of Defense," Acciardo said. "URI is in the process of notifying other partners and stakeholders that it is terminating the Confucius Institute agreement."
China Flight Tests New Submarine-Launched Missile - Freebeacon China carried out a flight test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile last month that will carry multiple nuclear warheads capable of targeting most of the United States, according to American defense officials. The launch in late November was the first time the Chinese military flight tested the Julong-3, or JL-3 missile that will be deployed with the next generation of ballistic missile submarines, said officials familiar with the test who said it appeared successful
Diplomacy with Chinese characteristics: The case of Denmark – Asia Dialogue When in June 2012 China’s President Hu Jintao made a first-ever official Chinese state visit to Denmark, Chinese diplomats put strong pressure on the Danish government ahead of the planned visit. Their main concern? That Hu would be confronted with any activists or manifestations critical of China. The message was somehow transmitted all the way to the patrolling Danish police forces, who systematically prevented peaceful pro-Tibet demonstrators from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech when Hu’s motorcade toured the streets of Copenhagen. Last year, an official investigatory commission – the Tibet Commission – stated in a report that the activities by the Danish police amounted to a constitutional breach, which was largely orchestrated by commanding police officers
The US and Chinese armies struggle to learn how to talk to each other - Parleying with the PLA Relations between the Chinese and American defence establishments are not as rocky as they once were. It used to be that communications were routinely broken off just when they were needed most—during crises such as those over Taiwan in 1996, America’s bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade in 1999 and the ep-3 incident in 2001. Since then there have been fewer disruptions. This is partly because there have been fewer flare-ups on such a scale. But the two armed forces have also been trying harder to keep their relations steady. After Xi Jinping became China’s leader in 2012 he stepped up the country’s push into the South China Sea. But Mr Xi also ordered officers to strengthen ties with their American counterparts
Cambodia hails opening of country's largest dam despite opposition - Channel NewsAsia Cambodian premier Hun Sen on Monday opened the country's largest hydropower scheme, swatting aside dire warnings about the environmental impact of the US$780 million project and its effect on local communities. Backed by Chinese funding, the impoverished Southeast Asian nation has embarked on a dam-building spree in recent years, as it tries to boost its energy capacity and jump-start its economy.
Chinese views on European defense integration | Mercator Institute for China Studies In a new China Monitor, Scott W. Harold, political scientist at RAND corporation and MERICS visiting fellow, explores five scenarios for how China’s interaction with the new initiative might develop. China has traditionally viewed the EU as an “important strategic partner” in the promotion of a “multi-polar international order.” Harold notes the potential value of the integration efforts to China as a “reinsurance policy” against the United States. Should the project deepen trans-Atlantic divisions, “Beijing may seek to encourage breakdowns in trust between Washington and Brussels,” Harold writes.
Workers at scandal-hit Chinese shipbuilder CSIC given lessons in keeping state secrets | South China Morning Post More than 200 employees lectured on need for confidentiality just days after former general manager is charged with taking bribes Despite its key role in development of naval vessels, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp has poor record on protecting classified information, source says
DPP to have two-person race in chairman by-election | FocusTaiwan Mobile - CNA English News The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will have a two-person race in its upcoming chairman by-election after two heavyweight members signed up to run for the post by the registration deadline on Friday, according to the DPP. You Ying-lung (游盈隆), chairman of the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation, completed his registration Friday morning after paying a NT$1.5 million (US$48,606) fee. Cabinet Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) followed, registering his bid in the afternoon.
The Anti-Elitist with a Common Touch: How Kaohsiung Residents Got Swept Up in the “Han Kuo-yu Wave” — The Taiwan Gazette As for the Han Kuoyu Wave that has swept across the country, Chen believes his explosive popularity is a result of people releasing the feelings they had bottled up inside, and have found a means of expression through Han. This isn’t limited to Kaohsiung, in other cities and counties, there are hopes that their own version of Han will appear. “To be specific, it seems Han’s candidacy has stirred up a long unsettled feeling within society. Han’s appearance is a reminder to those in power that they need to have a broad understanding of each social class, and try break away from politics-as-usual.”
Tech And Media
Gionee’s fate in balance, may affect trademark value in India - Global Times Shenzhen-based smartphone producer Gionee, whose bankruptcy is being considered by a local court in South China's Guangdong Province, may go into liquidation, according to some media reports. An analyst told the Global Times on Tuesday that such an outcome would be a huge loss because the company's trademarks, which are also recognized in India, could disappear.
TikTok Has a Nazi Problem - Motherboard Motherboard found the content on the Chinese-made app, which is used by hundreds of millions people, many including teenagers and children in the United States, within minutes of starting a basic search. “We’ve never talked to Tik Tok, but clearly we need to,” Heidi Beirich, director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told Motherboard in an email. “They need the site to be cleaned up—and now.”.. TikTok merged with the app Music.ly in August, after ByteDance purchased the latter in 2017. The app has garnered wide praise both from its army of users and media outlets; the New York Times recently described TikTok as “the only good app,” and the Verge called it “joyful.”
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
China’s Efforts to Promote Garbage-Sorting Have Gone to Waste - Caixin China’s efforts to get citizens to sort their garbage seem to have gone to waste, as nearly three-quarters of urban residents were unable to correctly identify how to sort their trash, according to a survey of 3,600 people living in major Chinese cities. The survey, conducted by the Vanke Foundation and data consultancy Dataway, involved 102 residential communities in 17 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The Vanke Foundation is affiliated with China Vanke Co. Ltd., one of China’s largest real estate developers.
China Drug Regulator Transforms to World's Fastest Within Months - Bloomberg Tuesday’s announcement that China has approved an anemia treatment from AstraZeneca Plc and FibroGen Inc. ahead of the U.S. and other markets is the latest high-water mark from a regulator that started the year with a backlog of foreign drugs that were available elsewhere globally.
Chinese scientist ranked in top 10 - China Daily British science journal Nature has ranked a young Chinese scientist among its top-10 people for 2018. The scientist received the award for his work on how the properties of two-layer graphene stacks change in certain conditions. Cao Yuan, 22, graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province, at the age of 18, and joined Pablo Jarillo-Herrero's group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, United States.
Agriculture And Rural Issues
China’s Agriculture Ministry Denies Accusations That It Avoids GMO Food - Caixin Global China’s agriculture ministry has responded to reports that its cafeteria doesn’t serve genetically-modified food by denying that it gives staff special treatment, Voice of China reports. “To my understanding, we don’t have a special supply channel. We eat what everyone else eats. It’s all purchased from the market,” Zhang Taolin, vice-minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said Wednesday, according to Voice of China. Zhang also reiterated that genetically modified organisms that pass international food safety standards pose no additional risk to consumers.
As UC Santa Barbara enrolls more students from China, professors complain about cheating and English skills - Los Angeles Times Cheating is a major concern for some other faculty members too. A few years ago, UC Santa Barbara faculty were told at a meeting that Chinese students made up 6% of the student body but accounted for one-third of plagiarism cases, according to Paul Spickard, a history professor on the faculty admissions committee.