MSS goes with "People's Leader 人民领袖"; Dual circulation; US South China Sanctions; Missile tests; TikTok

The 5th Plenum is just about two months away, and the period before a Plenum tends to be fertile rumor season. The Financial Times published an interesting article speculating on whether or not Xi would add another title, perhaps the “Party Chairman 党主席” that Mao once held - Xi Jinping sets stage to resurrect ‘chairman’ title created by Mao:

An intensifying purge of disloyal Chinese Communist party law and order officials is setting the stage for President Xi Jinping to become party chairman and hold on to power beyond his second term, experts have warned…

The latest stage in his multiyear, anti-graft battle could play a similar role in concentrating his considerable power in the lead-up to the 20th Party Congress in 2022, said Wu Qiang, a Beijing-based independent political commentator. 

“It’s preparation to establish Xi’s total authority over the party,” Mr Wu said. “We cannot rule out that there will be further changes to the party charter or that Xi will get a new title to further emphasise his status above other leaders on the politburo standing committee.”

I wonder if he needs Party Chairman given that there are already no term limits for General Secretary of the Party or Chairman of the Central Military Commission. I also wonder if enshrining Xi as "People's Leader" might have a similar effect.

The big news across the propaganda apparatus is a ceremony Wednesday in which Xi conferred the police flag to Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi and Minister of State Security Chen Wenqing. In the Xinhua readout of the Ministry of State Security Party Committee meeting after the ceremony the MSS Party Committee refers to Xi as “People's Leader 人民领袖”, with no qualifiers.

PLA statements often refer to Xi as the People's Leader, now the MSS is doing it. If the sources of hard power are going with this title can the rest of the system be far behind?

Long-time readers know I have a bit of an obsession with Xi and the title “People's Leader 人民领袖”, as over the last couple of years he has several times seemed to be on the cusp of getting it and then it kind of faded away. This is what I wrote in the January 6, 2020 Newsletter:

You all know my obsession with Xi and “People’s Leader 人民领袖” over the last several months. He got what I believe is the first Politburo endorsement of that appellation at the annual Politburo Democratic Life Meeting at the end of December. The official release from the meeting did not use “人民领袖习近平 People’s Leader Xi Jinping” but rather the more indirect “人民领袖深切的为民情怀 “people’s leader’s heartfelt feelings for the people”, in a long section fulsomely praising Xi and his genius. Now we need to watch for how the phrase is used in meetings and reports in the New Year and whether it morphs from this somewhat indirect phrasing into “People’s Leader Xi Jinping”…

There had been some talk since the Third Plenum in early 2018 of pushback against Xi, and perhaps that we had already reached “peak Xi”. Given the appearance, disappearance and then reappearance of “People’s Leader” since early 2018, discussed in some detail in the November 25, 2019 newsletter, it does look like there was some pushback going on, but whatever it was it now appears to have been thoroughly quashed. 2018 “peak Xi” looks more like a false peak, and 2020 may be quite a year for Xi hagiography.

Perhaps Xi will add a new title like “Party Chairman” or “People’s Leader”, and from all indications he wants “People’s Leader”, but does he really need one or both to cement power?

It is worth remembering the brilliance of Xi's move to get "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想" enshrined in the Constitution at the 2017 19th Party Congress.. So long as he is alive he will be above all other politicians, and it will be very hard to repudiate "Xi Jinping Thought" without a broader repudiation of the CCP.

Note I used the term "Xi Jinping Thought". Any official shortening of the longer term to "习近平新思想 Xi Jinping Thought" would also be a very powerful move by Xi. As I wrote above we are now entering into prime rumor season, so I expect there to be increasing speculation about the Fifth Plenum scheduled for October. My guess is that whatever moves we see around personnel moves and/or titles, they will not be related to Xi being weakened or under pressure.

Let the speculation begin!

Today’s Essential Eight:

  1. Xi confers police flag

  2. A useful explainer of dual circulation

  3. Nice aircraft carriers you have, shame if they hit one of our missiles

  4. US sanctions over South China Sea activities

  5. More US-China

  6. Wang Yi in Europe

  7. Australia-China

  8. TikTok

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Xi confers police flag

Xi Focus: Xi confers flag on China's police force - Xinhua

Xi Jinping…on Wednesday conferred the police flag on China's police force, ordering them to be loyal to the Party, serve the people and be impartial in law enforcement and strict in discipline.

Xi stressed that the Chinese police must work wholeheartedly to strengthen people's sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, and be determined to fulfill the missions and tasks entrusted to them by the Party and the people.

At the ceremony held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi presented Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi and Minister of State Security Chen Wenqing with the flag. Over 300 police officers present saluted the flag.

Addressing the ceremony, Xi lauded the major contributions made by the Chinese police to safeguarding national security, social stability and people's interests, calling them a mighty force that can be fully trusted by the Party and the people.

10 minute CCTV Evening News top story on the flag conferring ceremony - [视频]习近平向中国人民警察队伍授旗并致训词强调 对党忠诚服务人民执法公正纪律严明 坚决完成党和人民赋予的使命任务_CCTV

He presented it to Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi and Minister of State Security Chen Wenqing. Chen’s uniform looks like the MPS uniforms except in the badge on right arm it says 国安 instead of 公安. Here is Chen about to get the flag from Xi:

Wang Huning read out the decision to confer the flag, Han Zheng attended, Guo Shengkun presided over the event. The report listed 丁薛祥 Ding Xuexiang、张又侠 Zhang Youxia、陈希 Chen Xi、周强 Zhou Qiang、张军 Zhang Jun as attending. If anyone has an idea of why Han Zheng would have been there please let me know, he seems out of place.

国家安全部党委:忠诚践行领袖训词 坚决扛起光荣旗帜 The Party Committee of the Ministry of State Security: Loyally implement the leader's instruction and resolutely carry the glorious flag-新华网

I have included the full translation, done with machine learning and then edited a bit, because you don’t often get long readouts of MSS Party Committee meetings and the language they are using to talk about Xi is worth reading.

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, presented the flag to the Chinese People's Police and delivered a speech. After the flag-awarding ceremony, Chen Wenqing, Secretary of the Party Committee and Minister of the Ministry of State Security, presided over a meeting of the Party Committee of the Ministry to convey and study the spirit of Xi Jinping's important message, requesting all cadres to faithfully practice the leader's message and resolutely carry the glorious flag, adding glory to the Chinese People's Police flag and escorting the great cause of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.


The Party Committee of the Ministry of State Security considers that this flag-raising ceremony, a major review of the people's police team by the People's Leader, is the first time in the history of the Chinese People's Police, and also the first time in the history of the Party and the country, and has milestone significance. This historic moment is a glorious moment worthy of being forever remembered and never forgotten by all the cadres and policemen of the state security organs who participated in the flag-awarding ceremony. The police flag is an important symbol of the people's police force, a symbol of the people's police honor, responsibility and mission, and is of great significance in inspiring the people's police to faithfully carry out the new era's mission entrusted by the Party and the people. On the police flag, red is the dominant colour, reflecting the absolute and comprehensive leadership of the Party over the People's Police; the police badge is in the upper left corner of the flag, and blue is the basic colour of the colour system of the People's Police; these symbolize the sacred duties of the People's Police, highlight the professional characteristics of the People's Police, and represent the guardianship of the People's Police over national security and social peace.


The Party Committee of the Ministry of State Security said that to receive the leader's message is to accept the order of the times, and the state security organs should strengthen the political construction of the police, and always be absolutely loyal, pure and reliable with the Party's flag as the flag, the Party's direction as the direction, and the Party's will as the will. To receive the glorious flag is to receive the glorious mission, and the state security organs should strengthen the performance of their duties, carry forward the spirit of struggle, improve their skills in the new great struggle, resolutely protect the interests of national sovereignty, security and development, and be bold in struggle, good at struggle, willing to dedicate and sacrifice. To participate in the solemn ceremony is to take part in a political baptism, the state security organs should strengthen construction of the force, implement the requirement of comprehensive and strict control of the party and police, and refine a tough team with iron-clad ideals and beliefs, iron-clad responsibility, iron-clad skills and iron-clad disciplinary style.


The Party Committee of the Ministry of State Security stressed that the most important thing is to further enhance the "four consciousness", fortify the "four self-confidences" and accomplish "two upholds" by faithfully practicing the leader's motto and resolutely carrying the glorious flag. Looking ahead to a new journey to build a modernized and powerful socialist country, with the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core at the helm navigating, and the scientific guidance of Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will have the backbone and the direction.


The party committee of the Ministry of State Security demands that the national security organs should study and implement the important instruction of General Secretary Xi Jinping as a primary political task and top priority, learn the requirements of the instruction word by word, promote theoretical study, propaganda and interpretation, in-depth implementation of the work, the spirit of the instruction throughout all work and team building, deepen the reform process, and resolutely achieve "loyalty to the Party, serving the people, impartially execute the law, strict discipline", and resolutely achieve "firm and pure, let the Party rest assured, dedication, can go all out and win".



Commentary that will run in the Thursday People's Daily praising the police


Chen Yixin, secretary general at the Commission of Political and Legal Affairs and who has been leading the Yan’an-style rectification movement in the system, wrote on page nine of the People’s Daily talking about the importance of loyalty to Xi and strict discipline of the cadres in political and legal system. They should “see loyalty as the spirit,” he wrote, urging the officials to “resolutely safeguard general secretary Xi Jinping’s position as the core of the Party Center and core of the whole Party,” and to implement the Party Center's policies to the letter.


2. A useful explainer of dual circulation

Dual Circulation and China’s New Hedged Integration Strategy | Center for Strategic and International Studies - Jude Blanchette and Andrew Polk

The latest, and perhaps most consequential, development in the Xi administration’s ongoing efforts to position China to withstand volatile geopolitical exigencies is the new “dual circulation” strategy (DCS), first announced at the May Politburo meeting. The strategy, which envisions a new balance away from global integration (the first circulation) and toward increased domestic reliance (the second circulation), stems from Beijing’s belief that China has entered a new paradigm that combines rising global uncertainty and an increasingly hostile external environment with new opportunities afforded by a floundering and listless United States, which China has long viewed as its most important geopolitical rival. Ever the dialectician, Chinese leader Xi Jinping declared in April that China must “take the initiative to seek change, and successfully capture and create opportunities in the midst of the crises and difficulties before us."

This new worldview sees the continued decoupling of global supply chains as an enduring trend, and so Beijing now seeks to attempt a new “big thing”—balancing emphases on both internationalization and self-sufficiency (自力更生) that marks China’s own version of “hedged integration.” This model entails engaging international capital, financial, and technological markets when advantages can be gained while simultaneously bolstering indigenous capabilities to avoid overreliance on the global economy—due to national security concerns or the vagaries of global economic cycles...

If the DCS begins to bear fruit, the impacts on the global economy would be momentous. While Chinese policymakers and commentators have been clear that the DCS does not mean a full-scale pivot away from global economic integration or reliance on external demand, even a marginal shift by China away from its focus on mercantilist export practices could fundamentally reshape global trade and investment flows. But perhaps more importantly, Yu’s argument that China should renew its focus on high-end manufacturing—rather than services and consumer sectors—may mean that China will seek to replicate the German manufacturing model. If successful, such a move would represent a major challenge to industrialized economies. China’s scale of production could begin to disrupt a range of new market segments—as has happened with solar and lithium batteries in the past.

This is an interesting Twitter thread on Xi's Monday symposium:

3. Nice aircraft carriers you have, shame if they hit one of our missiles

Chinese military launches two missiles in South China Sea in ‘warning to the United States’ | South China Morning Post

One of the missiles, a DF-26B, was launched from the northwestern province of Qinghai, while the other, a DF-21D, lifted off from Zhejiang province in the east...

The DF-26 has a range of 4,000km (2,485 miles) and can be used in nuclear or conventional strikes against ground and naval targets.

The DF-21 has a range of around 1,800km, with state media describing the most advanced in the series, the DF-21D, as the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile.

Comment: They did it knowing the US would be watching and hoovering up all available data and intel from the tests, and so I think we may know what the U-2 spy plane was collecting data on.

China accuses U.S. of "naked act of provocation," test fires "aircraft carrier-killer" missile - CBS News

Chinese officials did not mention the test firing of two missiles on Wednesday, but a U.S. defense official confirmed to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin the report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that the two ballistic missiles had been launched.

China Says U-2 Spy Plane Entered No-Fly Zone | U-2 Spy Plane News

The incident reportedly took place on August 25 above the Yellow Sea off China’s north coast. According to the Chinese tabloid Global Times, China’s military was holding military exercises in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea. Another source narrows it to waters between the cities of Qingdao and Lianyunggang to the south. This places it in the People’s Liberation Army Navy's Northern Theater, which has its headquarters in Qingdao.

'Polishing the gun': China, U.S. tensions raise Taiwan conflict fears - Reuters

Chinese military expert Ni Lexiong, a retired professor at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said it was very rare and possibly the first time multiple Chinese exercises were taking place at the same time.

“By simultaneously conducting drills in the three seas, it means China is testing its ability to fight enemies coming from three directions at the same time - for example from Taiwan, from Japan and from the U.S. from the south,” he said.

“Historically, frequent drills are a clear predictor of war.”

4. US sanctions over South China Sea activities

U.S. Imposes Visa, Export Restrictions on Chinese Firms and Executives Active in Contested South China Sea - WSJ $$

The U.S. unveiled a set of visa and export restrictions targeting Chinese state-owned companies and their executives involved in advancing Beijing’s territorial claims in the contested South China Sea, a new challenge to China involving the strategic waters.

Wednesday’s actions by the State and Commerce departments apply to a variety of state-owned enterprises, including units of China Communications Construction Co., a leading contractor for Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative to develop infrastructure and trade links across Asia, Africa and beyond.

The U.S. said it will add 24 Chinese companies in the South China Sea dredging business—including five CCCC subsidiaries—to a list that restricts U.S. companies from supplying U.S.-origin technology to them without a license...

The U.S. actions are part of an attempt to label CCCC “the Huawei of infrastructure," according to a senior administration official

U.S. Imposes Restrictions on Certain PRC State-Owned Enterprises and Executives for Malign Activities in the South China Sea - United States Department of State

Today, the Department of State will begin imposing visa restrictions on People’s Republic of China (PRC) individuals responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or the PRC’s use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.  These individuals will now be inadmissible into the United States, and their immediate family members may be subject to these visa restrictions as well.  In addition, the Department of Commerce has added 24 PRC state-owned enterprises to the Entity List, including several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

Since 2013, the PRC has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation. CCCC led the destructive dredging of the PRC’s South China Sea outposts and is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global “One Belt One Road” strategy. CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world.

Commerce Department Adds 24 Chinese Companies to the Entity List for Helping Build Military Islands in the South China Sea | U.S. Department of Commerce

The Entity List is a tool utilized by BIS to restrict the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to persons (individuals, organizations, companies) reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.  Additional license requirements apply to exports, re-exports, and transfers (in-country) of items subject to the EAR to listed entities, and the availability of most license exceptions is limited.

Briefing With Senior State Department and Commerce Officials On State Department Visa Restrictions Placed on Individuals from the People’s Republic of China and Commerce Department Restrictions Placed on Chinese Corporate Entities - United States Department of State

Over the last five years, there’s been a relatively small amount – $5 million roughly, total – of U.S. exports to these parties, but certainly going forward this will address any proposed exports. We also know from experience that even when there are transactions that don’t involve items subject to the EAR, typically many companies tend to stay away from doing business with parties on the entity list, either just for reputational purposes or to further ensure that they don’t run afoul of the Export Administration Regulations. And this requirement applies whether these parties are the end user of the proposed export, the ultimate consignee, the intermediate consignee, or even the purchaser. So basically any way that they might be materially involved in a transaction, this license requirement applies to them. So that’s a summary of what the consequences of placing these parties on the entity list does.

China Communications construction company Ltd.-Home Page

The Chinese version of the CCCC site - 中国交建首页

5. More US-China

As I wrote yesterday the trade deal may be the last substantive thread of the US-China relationship, and that at least part of their recent restraint and willingness to ignore all the other problems in the relationship as they understand that without the trade deal things might really go off the rails between now and the November US election.

China-US ties: phase one trade deal must be separate from other parts of relationship to succeed, Beijing says | South China Morning Post

Taoran Notes, which is affiliated with the official Economic Daily newspaper used by Beijing to signal trade talk developments and manage expectations, published an article under the title “China-US talks were smooth and harmonious” on Wednesday.

Despite the positive headline – which toes the official government line about the phone call between Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday – it cautioned that the deal was “just the first round” of a much bigger “game” and highlighted underlying challenges...

“Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought challenges to the implementation of the trade deal, it was not the biggest challenge we face,” the article said.

It noted that the challenges included the need for both sides of the deal to take part, and urged “involved parties” not to leave responsibility with just one side.

Taoran Notes - 陶然笔记:中美经贸会谈融洽顺畅 虽无定论事在人为_手机网易网

Concludes with:

To resolve differences, China and the United States need to have a deeper understanding of each other's strengths and intentions, and they need to form a more optimal way of getting along with each other based on the new situation.

But the problem now is that not only has China never faced such a situation before, but neither has the United States in its more than 200 years of development.

This is a path that no one has ever taken before - both China and the United States are faced with entirely new issues.

The jury is still out on how to find a new way of getting along between China and the United States, and what kind of relationship can be found.

The only certainty is that tomorrow's results will result from today's beliefs and actions.

Will we fall into the trap of confrontation and repeat the tragedy of history?

Or will we stick to the path of cooperation and make a whole new history?

The future of China-US relations is uncertain, but it all depends on the effort that is put in.









China to Buy Record Amount of American Soybeans in 2020 - Bloomberg

China is set to buy a record amount of American soybeans this year as lower prices help the Asian nation boost purchases pledged under the phase-one trade deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Soy futures in Chicago climbed to a seven-month high.

The total from the U.S. will probably reach about 40 million tons in 2020, the people said, asking not to be identified because the forecast isn’t public. That would be around 25% more than in 2017, the baseline year for the trade deal, and roughly 10% more than the record set in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The US Republican National Convention is going about as expected when it comes to rhetoric about China:

Pompeo uses controversial platform at Republican convention to praise Trump’s hard line on China | South China Morning Post

Trump had “pulled back the curtain on the predatory aggression of the Chinese Communist Party” said Pompeo, pointing to the administration’s expulsion of Chinese diplomats accused of carrying out espionage, its tearing up of a “ridiculously unfair trade agreement”, and the measures it has taken in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a pre-recorded message, Pompeo said Trump had held China accountable for “covering up” the virus and “allowing it to spread death and economic destruction in America and around the world. And he will not rest until justice is done.”

Opinion - Josh Rogin | The Republican National Convention highlights political abuse of the China challenge - The Washington Post

The effort to paint Biden and his party as weak on China similarly wasn’t presented with many concrete examples. Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, declared that Biden is “great for Communist China,” while Trump is “tough on China.” Campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle said Democrats “will selfishly send your jobs back to China while they get rich.” Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, said, “Nice guys like Joe cared more about countries like China and Iran than the United States of America.”

Some of the speakers mentioned specific issues in the U.S.-China relationship but left out crucial details. Conservative activist Charlie Kirk criticized major tech platforms for “promoting Chinese state-funded propaganda.” He was likely referring to the examples of Google, Facebook and Twitter selling ads or otherwise displaying Chinese state-media outlets and their content.

Biden campaign says China's treatment of Uighur Muslims is "genocide" - Axios

“The unspeakable oppression that Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered at the hands of China’s authoritarian government is genocide and Joe Biden stands against it in the strongest terms. If the Trump administration does indeed choose to call this out for what it is, as Joe Biden already did, the pressing question is what will Donald Trump do to take action. He must also apologize for condoning this horrifying treatment of Uighurs." — Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates

US election shamelessly exploits Xinjiang topic: Global Times editorial - Global Times

Genocide is a very serious crime. The United Nations has a clear definition of it, which has nothing to do with the situation in Xinjiang. Ethnic minorities in China have enjoyed protection and preferential treatment. A typical example is the one-child policy is relatively relaxed on them, and ethnic students can get additional points when they take the national college entrance examinations. Arranging the employment of ethnic minorities has also been a compulsory policy for companies in ethnic areas. Imposing the crime of genocide on China is as absurd as saying Capitol Hill is a camp of money.

Historically, the Nazi holocaust was genocide. The tragedy of the American Indians is another example. The North American continent, which used to be home to the Indians, is now occupied by migrants from Europe. American Indians can only be seen in Indian reservations or films.

Republicans support industrial policy to challenge China - The Washington Post

Concerned that the U.S. is losing its edge in tech competition, some U.S. conservatives are embracing more government intervention in the economy

Mauricio Claver-Carone Wants Inter-American Development Bank to Counter China - Bloomberg

A senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump said he would build the Inter-American Development Bank into a financial heavyweight to counter China’s influence in the Western Hemisphere should he win the presidency of the multilateral lender.

Mauricio Claver-Carone said the Washington-based bank could supplant Beijing as a go-to lender across the region at a time when Xi Jinping’s administration is pulling back.

China Makes Concessions in Call for Talks on U.S. Audit Standoff - Bloomberg

In an interview in Beijing on Wednesday, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said China is “sincere” in wanting to solve the standoff over the accounting issues...

Fang said on Wednesday that earlier this month, the CSRC sent the U.S.’s Public Company Accounting Oversight Board a fresh proposal, which would allow the U.S. to pick any of its state-owned enterprises for another trial run. China though would still insist on redacting some information because of national security concerns, a condition Fang described as an international norm...

Fang said he reached out to the U.S. to hold a video or phone meeting, but has yet to get a response. As to why another pilot auditing project hasn’t taken place since 2017, Fang said it could be due to the “general atmosphere.”

On China’s Continued Coercion of the United Kingdom - United States Department of State

The United States is dismayed to learn that the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics against our friends in the United Kingdom continues. In the latest example, British bank HSBC has reportedly prevented Hong Kong-based executives at Next Media, a well-known publisher of pro-democracy publications, from accessing their credit cards and personal bank accounts. The bank is thus maintaining accounts for individuals who have been sanctioned for denying freedom for Hong Kongers, while shutting accounts for those seeking freedom.

Only a few months ago, HSBC’s Asia-Pacific CEO signed a petition supporting Beijing’s decision to crush Hong’s Kong’s autonomy and its people’s freedoms. Free nations must ensure that corporate interests are not suborned by the CCP to aid its political repression. We stand ready to help the British government and its companies resist CCP bullying and stand for freedom.


People’s Daily Zhong Sheng criticized Pompeo’s Clean Network program as a “dirty attempt” to hurt Chinese technology companies so to protect US’ monopoly on high tech. It said this revival of “fascism” and “McCarthyism” will only hurt the US reputation and its economy. It accuses some politicians in the US of wanting build a "Science and Technology Iron Curtain 科技铁幕"

6. Wang Yi in Europe

Chinese FM says visit to Europe carries four signals |

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday that his Europe trip has four main purposes, namely to continue the fight against COVID-19 with Europe, support Europe's unity and development, promote China-Europe relations and boost world peace and development.

China’s Top Diplomat Begins Europe Tour Aiming to Rekindle Cooling Ties - WSJ $$

The EU last year labeled China a “systemic rival” and has since increased screening of Chinese investments, including by enacting an EU regulation that takes effect in October establishing standards for foreign-investment screening across the bloc. Negotiations on a new investment treaty, under way between Brussels and Beijing for several years, have stalled over EU frustration with what Europeans see as obstacles to their business operations in China...

“Wang will be testing the waters to see if China can still rely on Italy for unquestioned support,” said Lucrezia Poggetti, an analyst with the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Germany. “He might wind up quite disappointed.”..

After a stop in France, which has restricted Huawei’s role in its 5G build out, Mr. Wang will conclude in Germany, the last major holdout in Europe’s gradual anti-China shift.

Ms. Merkel and Peter Altmaier, her economics minister and close political ally, have resisted repeated U.S. entreaties to ban Huawei from the country’s telecommunication networks, making Germany the last large Western market where the Chinese giant can still operate unfettered.

Human rights cast shadow over China Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Netherlands visit | South China Morning Post

Wang is likely to lobby the Dutch government to renew an export licence for the sale of critical chip making technology to China, amid US pressure against the move on the grounds of national security.

A US$150 million order placed with ASML – global leader in its field – has been on hold after lobbying by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the sharing by White House officials of a classified intelligence report with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte...

a group of Dutch lawmakers were on Tuesday planning to invoke a rarely used rule to “invite” Wang as a visiting foreign official to a meeting with the legislature’s foreign affairs committee to discuss human rights issues, including on Hong Kong, and Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang.

While Wang could decline the invitation, the politically embarrassing move by the lawmakers offers a glimpse into what may lie ahead at a more critical time in his tour – in Norway, France and Germany, where human rights are most likely to be raised in discussions.

China, Italy must push for new progress in ties: Chinese FM - Xinhua

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Italy, Wang said, adding that the two countries should take advantage of the momentum and push for new progress in bilateral relations.

The two sides, Wang said, should resume exchanges at all levels in an orderly manner, strengthen the intergovernmental cooperation mechanism, restart the landmark cooperation projects at an early date, formulate a new three-year action plan to strengthen practical cooperation and promote the comprehensive development of bilateral relations.

China and Italy should also focus on Belt and Road cooperation, he said, urging the two countries to make good use of the fast track for personnel exchanges, accelerate work and production resumption, hold the China-Italy Belt and Road entrepreneurs conference next year, and promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road to achieve more visible results.

The two countries, he added, should jointly uphold multilateralism and trade liberalization, safeguard the security of global industrial and supply chains, and help promote global anti-pandemic cooperation and economic recovery.

Foreign Minister Champagne optimistic consular services for Kovrig and Spavor can be restored - The Globe and Mail

Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne expressed cautious optimism after a lengthy and unexpected meeting with his Chinese counterpart that consular services could be restored for the two Canadians charged with espionage and imprisoned in China.

Mr. Champagne met Wang Yi on Tuesday night in his Rome hotel for 90 minutes – their longest face-to-face meeting and their first direct talks since they saw each other in Japan last November, though they met informally in mid-February in Germany. The Rome meeting had not been scheduled before the two foreign ministers arrived in Italy and was arranged at the last minute by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

7. Australia-China

Thousand Talents ‘spreads sunshine’ on China ties, Deputy ambassador Wang Xining claims - The Australian Page 1

The worsening relationship between China and Australia is like a bad marriage where one partner is almost entirely to blame, according to Beijing’s deputy ambassador in Canberra, who delivered an astonishing speech on Wednesday in which he labelled Australia as treacherous and disrespectful.

Wang Xining said Australia had betrayed China by calling for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus — even comparing the disloyalty to a Shakespearean tragedy — before he delivered a bizarre defence of Beijing’s growing political and cultural presence in Australia, and dismissed questions about his country’s controversial Thousand Talents Plan.

In a provocative speech to the National Press Club, Mr Wang said Australia had deeply offended China in relation to COVID-19...

Mr Wang said Australia was responsible for the worsening relationship between the countries, declaring China respected Australia and “naturally, China expects reciprocity”.

“China does not interfere in Australia’s internal affairs, nor do we have any intention to change Australia’s political and social culture,” he said.

“We are not trying to replace your prime minister with a presidential system. We are not asking Hungry Jack’s to sell Chinese dumplings.”

China warns of 'shadow' over ties with Australia, tells it to stop whining - Reuters

Wang Xining, China’s deputy head of mission in Canberra, dismissed concerns about China’s attempts to influence Australian politics, saying its views were candidly presented and did not affect people’s choice of a political system.

“I don’t see any reason for whining about your constitutional fragility and intellectual vulnerability,” Wang told the National Press Club in the Australian capital.

He added, “We should not let a cold heart and a dark mind cast a shadow over our partnership.”

Chinese envoy calls for respect, goodwill, fairness, vision to promote China-Australia relationship - Xinhua

Wang Xining, minister of the Chinese Embassy to Australia, on Wednesday called for respect, goodwill, fairness and vision to promote China-Australia relationship in his speech at the National Press Club of Australia.

"We should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and refrain from interfering in other's internal affairs," he said.

"We should respect each other's choice of social and political system and mode of development, and refrain from imposing one's own idea onto the other. We should respect each other's legal system and rule of law and refrain from interrupting the other's legal proceedings and undertakings."

He noted that as China's sovereignty was "constantly in jeopardy or disarray in modern history under intimidation and threat from external powers", the least thing China wanted to do was to inflict on others what China suffered.

While China respected Australia's sovereignty and did not interfere in Australia's internal affairs, it expected reciprocity, he said...

"We should not let narrow interest and myopic view misguide our exchange and interaction. We should not let outdated stereotype and plotted distortion mould our understanding of each other and the world. We should not let empty slogans and willful branding dictate our narratives of bilateral relationship. We should not let our younger generation be swathed in belligerency and deprivation of progressive thinking and inclusive society."

Minister Wang Xining's address - China and Australia: Where to from here? - PRC Embassy in Australia

Unscripted Beijing’s theatre of the absurd - The Australian Page 1

China’s deputy ambassador, Wang Xining, deserves thanks and even some praise for speaking to the National Press Club and taking unscripted questions from ­impertinent journalists...

his prepared speech was a mostly conciliatory, or at least not downright hostile, celebration of the Australia-China part­nership, especially the economic partnership.

This is a sharp contrast to the Wolf Warrior style of Chinese diplomats recently and is welcome as far as it goes. But when it came to question time, the communist diplomat was confronted with facts not part of the party narrative.

As a result, he had to say ridiculous things that plainly do not correspond with reality. He sounded like a Soviet diplomat from the 1950s, trying forlornly to bend the truth to the mighty will of the party.

Victorian deal with China could be scrapped by Federal Government's proposed new foreign relations powers - ABC News

Under the Foreign Relations bill, the Foreign Minister could then terminate any existing agreements, such as Victoria's Belt and Road deal, if they are considered adverse to Australia's foreign relations or are inconsistent with foreign policy.

8. TikTok

Will TikTok Win Its Lawsuit Against Trump? - Lawfare - Bobby Chesney

Does TikTok’s lawsuit against the U.S. government have a chance of success? That depends on how “success” is defined. It’s not likely to prevail on the merits, at least not ultimately. But maybe it does not need to do so...

There is a considerable difference between a prediction about the ultimate fate of each claim, accounting for appellate review, and a prediction about what might happen in the early stages of the litigation. It is certainly possible the district court will view at least some of these claims more favorably than I do, and even if not it is quite possible that the district court might still be amenable to preliminary procedural steps (such as issuing a stay, granting a preliminary injunction, denying a motion to dismiss) that will help the companies fend off the mid-September imposition of sanctions at least for a time. That prospect has real value for the companies. They are in the thick of negotiating with potential purchasers who know the companies must sell, which is a terrible place from which to bargain. And the situation for the companies gets much worse if and when the sanctions kick in, for depending on their scope they likely will cause TikTok to lose customers to competitors—rapidly so if the site cannot operate at all.

There is great value to be had, in short, simply by fending off the sanctions as far into the divestiture period as possible. Indeed, if TikTok and Bytedance can keep this plate spinning throughout the pending 90/120-day period, that’s a considerable victory—even if the claims ultimately would all fail if the litigation were to continue.

Comment: It is a good thing that TikTok can sue the US government and get its day in court. Imagine where we might be if TikTok's parent Bytedance operated under a system where it too could sue the government when it shut down one of its services, as the PRC government did to Bytedance's popular app Neihan Duanzhi 内涵段子 in 2018.

How TikTok’s Talks With Microsoft Turned Into a Soap Opera - The New York Times - Mike Isaac and Andrew Ross Sorkin

A deal price is unclear, though numbers have ranged from $20 billion to $50 billion depending on what parts of TikTok will be sold, the people said. The talks are fluid and no deal may ultimately be reached...

This account of TikTok’s deal discussions was based on interviews with more than a dozen people who were involved in or were briefed on the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

TikTok ‘absolutely not’ a U.S. security risk, says top executive | PBS NewsHour

Interview with TikTok’s chief security officer, Roland Cloutier

Nick Schifrin:

There is a 2017 law, the national intelligence law, that says any organization or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate with state intelligence work according to law.

Of course, there's no independent judiciary in China for ByteDance, your parent company, to appeal to. Doesn't that mean that you would have to share the data if the Chinese government asked for it?

Roland Cloutier:

The Chinese government would have to actually ask the U.S. government for U.S. data. That's simply the way it works.

And, in fact, they would have to go through the U.S. Department of Justice, get subpoenas and warrants through the FBI, to request it from us before we could do that. And, ultimately, I would have to grant access to that information. So the answer is, no, they couldn't simply ask for it, have someone go and take it.

SoftBank Eyes Joining Deal for TikTok — The Information $$

President Trump has made it clear he wants TikTok’s U.S. business in U.S. hands, so it is unlikely that SoftBank, a Japanese company, could lead an acquisition. But the people involved in the talks said SoftBank, which is a small investor in ByteDance, has been discussing getting involved. It couldn’t be learned whether SoftBank was exploring teaming up with another entity on an existing bid or creating a new effort.

TikTok Faces Government Restrictions on U.K. Expansion Drive - Bloomberg

A review led by the prime minister’s chief of staff Eddie Lister is likely to find the app doesn’t pose as big a security threat as Huawei Technologies Co., but may still recommend the government stops the company from moving users’ data out of the country, said a person with knowledge of the discussions who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Business, Economy and Trade

China Will Maintain ‘Normal’ Monetary Policy, PBOC Official Says - Caixin China’s central bank said it will maintain a “normal,” “steady” and “flexible” monetary policy in response to increasing economic uncertainties amid the Covid-19 pandemic. “To cope with all sorts of uncertainties, monetary policy requires greater certainty,” Sun Guofeng, head of the monetary policy department at the People’s Bank of China, said Tuesday at a press conference. At the same time, the central banker projected lower interest rates for businesses. China has not adopted zero or negative interest rates or other unusual policies such as quantitative easing, so there will be no so-called exiting problem, Sun said.

China issues directive on improving social assistance system - XinhuaThe general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council have recently released a directive on reforming and improving the country's social assistance system. The document aims to build a tiered and classified social assistance system with Chinese characteristics for both urban and rural areas in about two years. It stresses promoting basic living assistance, calling for improving the subsistence allowances system as well as the mechanisms for adjusting basic living assistance standards. Social assistance for special purposes, such as healthcare, education, housing, and employment, are underscored in the document. // 中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《关于改革完善社会救助制度的意见》_中央有关文件_中国政府网

Banks Let Loose With Loans to Manufacturers Amid China’s Self-Sufficiency - Caixin Drive Over the first seven months of this year, the financial institutions issued 1.6 trillion yuan ($232 billion) in new manufacturing loans, Xiao Yuanqi, chief risk officer of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), said at a Tuesday briefing. The figure dwarves the 780 billion yuan they lent out in all of 2019. The surge in lending shows how far policymakers have been willing to go to make credit cheaper and easier to obtain for manufacturers whose businesses were ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is two-fold: to prevent widespread bankruptcies and worker layoffs while bolstering the manufacturing industry to make China less dependent on foreign suppliers of high-tech gear, multiple analysts said.

China will release funds to local governments more quickly to boost economy - Reuters China will speed up the release of special funds to local governments to support the economy, vice finance minister Xu Hongcai told reporters on Wednesday. The government has said it would set up special transfer payments of 2 trillion yuan ($289.72 billion) from special treasury bonds and an increased budget deficit to local governments.

Chinese premier stresses flood control, post-disaster recovery - Xinhua Li made the remarks while presiding over an executive meeting of the State Council. A total of 100 billion yuan (about 14.48 billion U.S. dollars) will be allocated from central and local budgets for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, while a mechanism will be established to ensure the funds go straight to the disaster-stricken areas, according to the meeting

China says no need for panic buying of food and oil - Reuters China’s food supplies remain stable and consumers should not be “overly anxious” or even resort to “panic buying”, a senior agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday, following recent uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Still, farmers and traders should prevent food waste caused by improper storage, while farmers who stockpile in the hope of later gains should be wary that prices could turn against them, ministry official Tang Ke told a briefing.

Fueled by Big Non-Alipay Growth, Ant Files for Landmark Dual IPO- PingWest In the 12 months that ended in June, Ant Group handled 118 trillion yuan ($17 trillion) worth of transactions in mainland China, and international transactions totaling 622 billion yuan ($89.97 billion).

Ant Group IPO filings: five key takeaways · TechNode The prospectus warns of tightening regulations in key business segments for Ant Group, both globally and in China: payments, investment, insurance, and credit, among others.  It makes special reference to China’s tightening anti-monopoly laws: Authorities have in recent years “strengthened enforcement,” it said.

Exclusive: Alibaba puts India investment plan on hold amid China tensions, sources say - Reuters China’s Alibaba Group has put on hold plans to invest in Indian companies, two sources aware of the plans told Reuters, amid souring business relations and rising political tension between the two nations after a clash on their Himalayan border.

Administrator for China's PUFG rejects keepwell deed for $300 mln bond -Redd| Reuters Troubled Peking University Founder Group Corp's (PUFG) administrator is not recognising the keepwell deed the Chinese conglomerate provided for a $300 million dollar bond issued by Nuoxi Capital, financial intelligence provider Redd reported. Keepwell deeds are used by some Chinese companies to facilitate offshore bond sales by their subsidiaries. The deeds are similar, according to lawyers, to "letters of support" where the issuer would be backed by an onshore company, but they stopped short of guaranteeing the debt. Some $96 billion of Chinese bonds still carry keepwell provisions, estimates ratings agency Fitch.

Oil Refiner Charged With Hoodwinking Other Companies out of Billions - Caixin The alleged fraud sheds light on risks accumulating in an obscure and under-regulated corner of China’s financial sector — the finance units of state-owned and private enterprises...Baota Petrochemical Group Co. Ltd. and its finance subsidiary, however, fabricated nonexistent trade deals to obtain acceptance bills from banks, according to a statement (link in Chinese) released Monday by the Yinchuan Intermediate People’s Court in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Between April 2016 and October 2018, the finance subsidiary signed bills worth 28.5 billion yuan ($4.1 billion) based on nonexistent deals, the court said.

China’s Rare Earth Exports Fall to Over Five-Year Low as Pandemic Devastates Demand - Caixin In the first seven months of this year, China’s rare earth exports were down 20.2% year-on-year, compared to a much milder 7.6% decline in the same period last year, customs data showed.

Yicai - SF Holdings’ Shares Hit Record High After First-Half Profit Beat Expectations The growth in the number of business parcels has also rebounded as various sectors resume work, while demand for face masks and other pandemic gear still exists. Also, a high-end consumer online trend began to appear as the pandemic accelerated the penetration of e-commerce, and SF’s business volume from high-end e-commerce customers requiring instant delivery increased significantly.

跨境赌博旅游目的地黑名单制度建立-新华网 China’s ministry of culture and tourism said it will set up a blacklist of foreign cities that set up casinos to attract Chinese tourists, and it will impose limits on Chinese tourists traveling to these cities.

China’s Biggest Banks Face $940 Billion Capital Shortage by 2024 - Bloomberg Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp. and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., all considered globally-systematically important banks, last year had a total shortage of 2.25 trillion yuan ($323 billion) to comply with the total-loss absorbing capacity, S&P said in a report on Wednesday. The may grow to as much as 6.51 trillion yuan by 2024 as the pandemic erodes their earnings capacity, the ratings firm said.

Elon Musk's SpaceX NASA contracts threatened over Tesla China ties Congressional negotiators are considering whether NASA contracts awarded to Elon Musk's SpaceX represent a potential national security risk due to Chinese financial support for the billionaire owner's electric car company, Tesla. “What is there to stop them from going to Musk directly and saying, 'We'll call your line of credit early, unless you give us X, Y, or Z?'” said a congressional Republican aide involved in negotiations over the comprehensive legislation governing the space agency. “And, there's no real clarity that there's any kind of mechanism that would stop that other than good behavior by an individual.”

Source Code: A peek inside Palantir it makes a bold statement on China: "Our leadership believes that working with the Chinese communist party is inconsistent with our culture and mission," the company said, knowing that could hurt its growth potential.

Politics and Law

Senior CPC official calls for promoting voluntary service - Xinhua Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks while attending a teleconference on voluntary service. Huang said a vast number of volunteers and voluntary organizations have responded promptly to the Party's call and made important contributions to epidemic prevention and control. Huang encouraged voluntary service in publicizing the Party's new theories and policies to the public. He also underscored improvements to voluntary service in emergencies with enhanced expertise and capabilities to advance social governance modernization

政协十三届常委会第十三次会议开幕--时政--人民网 The 13th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference opened in Beijing on the morning of the 25th, and discussed the "Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development". Wang Yang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, attended the opening meeting.

哈佛物理学博士后担任深圳某街道办副主任 A report that Chinese young people are eager to join the government. A deputy head of a neighborhood office in Shenzhen turns out to have a doctoral degree in Physics from Harvard. This comes after report that neighborhood grid offices in Hangzhou are hiring many MA and Phds from Tsinghua and Peking University.

蔡霞:中国的政治未来,美国因素不可小觑 - 纽约时报中文网 Full-text of Chris Buckley’s interview with Cai Xia, the former central party school professor who was sacked for criticizing Xi Jinping.

Yicai - Chinese Police Catch Hackers Selling Huge Amounts of Personal Data Police in China’s northern Shanxi province have tracked down a group of criminals that were harvesting personal information from e-commerce sites and selling it in China and abroad through the ‘dark web,’ Xinhua News Agency reported today. The Lvliang cyber police department was performing an online patrol in May when they discovered that some of the city's residents were selling a huge amount of personal information gathered from e-commerce purchase orders

Thomas Heberer - Disciplining of a Society: Social Disciplining and Civilizing Processes in Contemporary China | Ash Center We argue that the function of the current Chinese state as a disciplining and civilizing entity is the connecting link tying policies such as the state’s morality policies, its anti-corruption drive or the so-called “social credit system” together under a specific governance logic: to discipline and civilize society in order to prepare the people to become modernized. In fact, modernization and modernity encompass not only a process of economic and political-administrative modernizing but concurrently one related to the organization of society in general and the disciplining of this society and its individuals to create people with “modernized” minds in particular.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Xi Focus: Xi, Putin exchange congratulations at start of China-Russia sci-tech innovation year - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged congratulatory letters on Wednesday marking the start of the Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation between the two countries. "As each country is the other's largest neighbor, China and Russia have been working together and helping one another as the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the globe," Xi said in his letter, stressing that launching the Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation between the two countries as scheduled has "fully reflected the high level and exceptionality of their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era."

Locsin rejects proposal to post Coast Guard attaché in Beijing - Manila Bulletin Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has strongly rejected the proposal to post a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) attaché in Beijing, citing its implication to the country’s exclusive sovereignty over its coastal waters off the West Philippines Sea.

South China Sea: ‘If China attacks our navy, we’ll call the US’, Philippines says | South China Morning Post In a first under the Duterte administration, Manila says it is prepared to invoke its Mutual Defence Treaty with the US in face of Chinese aggression Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr also vows to continue air patrols over the South China Sea that Beijing has denounced as ‘illegal provocations’

Vietnam Asks China to Cancel Paracel Islands’ Military Drills - Bloomberg Vietnam asked China to cancel its Paracel Islands’ military drills because they violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, according to a statement on the government’s website, citing Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

东海将进行实际使用武器训练 这些区域禁止驶入_凤凰网 The Zhejiang Maritime Administration said the PLA will conduct a four-day live-fire drill in East China Sea beginning tomorrow.

Canadians in Hong Kong at risk of arrest by ‘secret police', MPs told - The Globe and Mail Members of Parliament were warned on Thursday that sweeping national security legislation in Hong Kong jeopardizes 300,000 Canadians who live in the former British colony, and to prepare for the possibility that China might prevent some from leaving. A new cadre of “secret police” empowered by the June 30 law can arrest Canadians living in Hong Kong, witnesses told MPs on the House of Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations.

Canada’s China critic takes helm of opposition party as Trudeau seeks new mandate | South China Morning Post Erin O’Toole’s successful campaign promised a tough approach to Beijing, with return of detained Canadians a priority Attitudes to China are shaping political debate but there are fears of a rising anti-Asian tone

China has been and will continue to be an important development partner, says Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid’s comments come amid a reset in New Delhi-Male ties under President Solih, after years of frost during tenure of China-leaning Abdulla Yameen.

Czech Senate speaker's Taiwan visit trades ties with mainland for short-term gains: experts - Global Times However, due to the country's internal divisions, some Chinese analysts said China could retaliate against politicians who provoke China's sovereignty, and avoid harming Czech companies in China if they do nothing wrong. Also, the visit could potentially further sour the country's relations with China. Yang Lixian, a research fellow at the Beijing-based Research Center of Cross-Straits Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Czech Republic would "lose much more than they gain" if they choose the DPP authorities of Taiwan over the Chinese mainland.  "Considering the mainland's economic strength and contributions to the international community, it is clear that the Czech Republic should not turn its back on the Chinese mainland."

Homegrown Y-20 jet completes heavy aerial delivery on plateau - China's domestically developed Y-20 transport aircraft reached another milestone after successfully completing its first heavy weight aerial delivery on the plateau recently, CCTV reported. A heavy aerial delivery is a major criterion for assessing the capability to conduct airborne operations. Y-20's success means China's airborne troops have possessed strong mobility and are capable of launching a large-scale assault with heavy weapons on the plateau. // Comment: video embedded the article, believe by "plateau" they mean Tibetan Plateau

Chinese Journal Review: Does Racism in the U.S. Help Xi? - Chinese Journal Review The researchers found that when Chinese students read racist, anti-China commentary on online U.S. platforms, this increased the likelihood that those students would support autocracy back home. The results were especially pronounced among students who were initially predisposed not to support autocracy: this group had the biggest swing in favor of autocracy of all groups surveyed...Based on this research, you have to wonder how many of these students will return to China with a more negative view of the United States than before, as well as how much this benefits Xi as he attempts to consolidate power.

Hong Kong and Macao

Hong Kong protests: anger mounts as police are accused of trying to rewrite white-shirt mob attacks in Yuen Long with arrest of opposition lawmaker | South China Morning Post Anger over the infamous Yuen Long attacks of July 21 last year by a white-shirted mob reignited anew on Wednesday after Hong Kong police arrested 16 people – including opposition lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, whom the force accused of rioting and stoking the violence. After an early morning swoop across Hong Kong to pick up Lam and fellow Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung, police held a press conference to offer another version of the night’s drama that proved to be a tipping point for the protest movement as the force became the target of widespread wrath for being slow to act.

《苹果日报》之毒,更甚于新冠病毒 Article on People's Daily App attacks "Apple Daily" - There are two viruses in Hong Kong today. One is the Coronavirus, and the other is a "political virus" spread through carriers such as Apple Daily. The former harms the body, the latter poisons the mind. Hong Kong must get out of the quagmire and set off again, and must defeat both of these viruses at the same time.

教材“排毒” 香港教育拨乱反正重要一步(香江观察)--港澳--人民网 People's Daily Overseas Edition on the "detoxing" of Hong Kong textbooks

Tech and Media

China to import $300 billion of chips for third straight year: industry group - Reuters China is likely to import at least $300 billion worth of semiconductors for the third year running, an industry association official said, in a sign of continuing reliance on foreign know-how despite efforts to gain local capability.

Huawei says Japan 'extremely important' after 50% rise in procurement - Nikkei Asian Review Huawei Technologies revealed Wednesday that procurement from Japanese suppliers grew by more than 50% last year while the U.S. tightened trade restrictions on the Chinese telecom equipment maker. During an online information session, Jeff Wang, chairman of the Tokyo-based subsidiary Huawei Japan, credited the gain to Japan's "extremely important role in global supply chains."

Yicai - Alibaba Takes 70% Stake in AI Software Developer Xiaoman Xiaoman's main product is the OKKI customer relationship management software for foreign trade which manages the whole trading process from front-end buying to sales. It uses AI technology to accurately match companies with potential customers.

Yicai - ByteDance Plans USD1.4 Billion Center for Emerging Businesses in Chengdu The new center will focus on emerging businesses such as smart learning and multimedia, Beijing-based ByteDance said in a press release today. It is expected to employ 10,000 people and notch up CNY10 billion (USD1.5 billion) in annual sales in five years.

BlackBerry makes China push as the OS for Xpeng smart cars | TechCrunch The once-pioneering BlackBerry is pretty much out of the smartphone manufacturing game, but the Canadian company has been busy transitioning to providing software for connected devices, including smart cars. Now it’s brought that section of its business to China. This week, BlackBerry announced that it will be powering the Level 3 driving domain controller of Xpeng, one of the most-funded electric vehicle startups in China and Tesla’s local challenger

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Urumqi starts new round of nucleic acid tests in key areas before adjusting prevention measures - Global Times Starting from Sunday, Urumqi has allowed residents in some communities where there are no COVID-19 patients to venture downstairs for fresh air. But the easing restrictions have been carried out in a very cautious way – a pass is required before a resident can go outside, volunteers were also stationed within the community in the case of crowds gathering or people not wearing masks, with daily outing durations limited to one or two hours.  This round of new tests may not lead to a total lift of lockdowns, Zhang said, explaining that scientifically speaking, Urumqi could consider to lift its lockdown after no new infections were found in two incubation periods – that is 28 days. As of Wednesday, the city reported zero cases for 10 consecutive days.

Beijing All Clear of Covid-19 After Last Cases Leave Hospital - Caixin Beijing municipal health commission said in a statement Wednesday that the city is officially clear of all confirmed Covid-19 cases after the last two patients, connected with the latest outbreak, were discharged from the hospital Tuesday...Beijing also reported zero suspected, asymptomatic or imported cases on Wednesday

CanSino blames Chinese officials for abandonment of joint vaccine program with Canada - The Globe and Mail Some divisions of the Chinese government were not clear on whether the vaccine should “go to global trials or how to handle it,” said Dr. Xuefeng Yu, the chairman and CEO of CanSino Biologics, which in May agreed to bring its Ad5-nCoV vaccine candidate to Canada for testing through a partnership with the National Research Council (NRC).

China seeks to increase supply of traditional Chinese medicine services - People's Daily Online China has been dedicated to increasing the supply of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services. By Aug. 2, 2020, the number of registered traditional TCM clinics has reached 18,785, a huge rise from 195 in 2017 and 8,376 in 2018.


CNA: Peking University Tightens Permission to Attend Overseas Online Conferences – Chinascope Primary Taiwanese news agency CNA (The Central News Agency) recently reported that China’s top university, Peking University, just announced new rules for attending online conferences held overseas. The new rules apply to all branches of the University. The leaders of all branches are required to review the applications from the faculty or from students strictly in order to tighten up attendance at conferences that organizations outside of China may host. The rules emphasized that “confidentiality requirements” must be “strictly” followed. No individual can personally decide on attending such events. Instead, each person must follow the exact same review and approval process the University had in place before for attending overseas events in person