National Day; Pew research on views toward China and Xi; Wang Qishan; Taiwan
I hope those of you in China were able to have a nice vacation. Today’s newsletter is long, good for weekend catchup reading. It will be back to the normal schedule Monday.
The data so far from the holiday week are off from last year but most reports seem to consider them relatively positive evidence of China’s continued recovery from the pandemic slowdown. It is impressive that China can have hundreds of millions pf people traveling with no signs of renewed outbreaks of COVID-19, then again they may need to wait a few more days before being confident there are no new outbreaks.
Earlier this week Pew Research released a new report that indicates views of China and Xi have become much more negative in 14 advanced economies. The report Unfavorable Views of China Reach Historic Highs in Many Countries begins with:
Views of China have grown more negative in recent years across many advanced economies, and unfavorable opinion has soared over the past year, a new 14-country Pew Research Center survey shows. Today, a majority in each of the surveyed countries has an unfavorable opinion of China. And in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, South Korea, Spain and Canada, negative views have reached their highest points since the Center began polling on this topic more than a decade ago.
Pew used “data from nationally representative surveys of 14,276 adults from June 10 to Aug. 3, 2020, in 14 advanced economies”. Given that the next wave of the pandemic is hitting many of these countries, and much more economic devastation is likely, I would expect the views to be even more negative by the start of 2021.
Xi personally is viewed increasingly negatively:
Across the 14 countries surveyed, a median of 78% say they have no confidence in Chinese President Xi to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs, with at least seven-in-ten in every country saying they lack confidence in Xi. Only a median of 19% express any trust.
Yes, Xi polls better than President Trump, but there is a decent chance the US will have a new leader soon.
In China on the other hand the odds are still overwhelming that Xi is going to be in charge for many more years. The Pew results are more evidence for those who want to make the case that Xi is taking the PRC in the wrong direction, but I would not expect anyone who might still be brave enough to consider challenging Xi to be able use them to any effect. In fact, will anyone even dare to show these results to Xi? Lingling Wei of the Wall Street Journal made that point on a panel we were on Thursday, that in all seriousness Xi may not even be briefed on these Pew surveys.
I expect he will learn about the results because there will be a propaganda attack on them, likely arguing the results are part of the broader US effort to discredit the CCP and keep China down.
Last Friday’s open discussion touched on the news of the investigation of Dong Hong, Wang Qishan’s long-time secretary and protege. We still do not know what is going on, but I would caution against seeing his detention as a sign of any sort of pushback against Xi. If anything, Xi, as Mao did more than once, may find political value in neutralizing if not actually destroying someone who was once a close ally. And given Wang’s role in the corruption crackdown very few people inside the CCP system would shed any tears for Wang.
Regardless of what is going on with Dong, Wang Qishan has clearly had a tough year. He has been absent from public view but for a handful of ceremonial appearances, though no doubt in part because there have been so few few foreign visitors due to the pandemic. Several people and at least one firm linked to him have gotten into trouble, including Dong, Jiang Chaoliang, the Hubei Party Secretary when the virus outbreak began, Ren Zhiqiang, and HNA.
Today’s Essential Eight:
National Day holiday data
Pew research survey
Another domestic violence tragedy
China and the UN Human Rights Council
Setting tech standards
Reconsidering the historical narrative of China
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. National Day holiday data
Tourism-related consumption bounced back over the holiday, as people who spent much of the year cooped up at home took advantage of the opportunity to travel. Domestic tourism-related businesses brought in 466.56 billion yuan over the holiday, down about 30% from the previous year, but a major improvement from the 60% drop over the Labor Day holiday in May...
With people of certain occupations still limited by interprovincial travel restrictions — including students, teachers and public servants — only 29.1% of tourists surveyed by the CTA chose to travel across provincial borders.
There were 637m trips in China over the eight-day holiday this year, which drew to an end on Thursday, generating revenue of Rmb466.6bn ($69.5bn), data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed...
While the figures reflected notably high volumes of internal travel at a time when other countries are struggling to tackle coronavirus, they remain well below last year’s total of 782m trips over a seven-day period.
The Chinese box office raked in CNY3.9 billion (USD581 million) over the eight-day public holiday that ended yesterday, the second highest amount ever for the golden week after last year's takings of CNY4.5 billion...
Patriotic blockbuster My People, My Homeland, the sequel to last year's My People, My Country, hit the screens on Oct. 1. It came top with takings of CNY1.9 billion (USD283 million).
Trailer for My People, My Homeland 我和我的家乡
RV orders doubled in June from the same period last year on the RV2Go platform, which, thanks to its affiliation to China’s biggest carmaker SAIC, has rental sites in over 30 cities nationwide and holds more than 60 percent market share.
The growth in popularity has much to do with the Chinese consumer's increased spending power. The average price of motorhome travel is CNY4,000 (USD595.9) per customer. The average family will spend over CNY10,000 (USD1,500) per trip.
up 10.78 percent from the same period last year on a comparable basis, according to local authorities.
The tourism revenue during the holiday from Oct. 1 to 8 reached 8.41 billion yuan (about 1.24 billion U.S. dollars), the local culture and tourism department said.
2. Pew research survey
Negative views of China increased most in Australia, where 81% now say they see the country unfavorably, up 24 percentage points since last year. In the UK, around three-quarters now see the country in a negative light – up 19 points. And, in the U.S., negative views of China have increased nearly 20 percentage points since President Donald Trump took office, rising 13 points since just last year...
The rise in unfavorable views comes amid widespread criticism over how China has handled the coronavirus pandemic. Across the 14 nations surveyed, a median of 61% say China has done a bad job dealing with the outbreak. This is many more than say the same of the way the COVID-19 pandemic was handled by their own country or by international organizations like the World Health Organization or the European Union. Only the U.S. receives more negative evaluations from the surveyed publics, with a median of 84% saying the U.S. has handled the coronavirus outbreak poorly...
As has traditionally been the case in Pew Research Center polling, older people tend to have more unfavorable views of China than younger people. For example, in Australia, 68% of those under 30 have an unfavorable view of China, compared with 86% of those ages 50 and older. This also marks the first year in which a majority of younger Australians have an unfavorable view of China; in 2019, 45% of those under 30 reported the same.
In the U.S., too, 2020 is the first year in which more than half of young Americans expressed negative views toward China. The only country surveyed in which younger people hold more unfavorable views of China than their elders is South Korea.
AFP: According to the latest Pew Research survey, record numbers in major developed countries including the US, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands see China unfavorably. What's China's response?
Hua Chunying: As you mentioned just now, the survey only sampled 14 developed countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, and some other western countries. They only represent the western countries' perception of China, not the general view of the international community.
We have seen for a while some American politicians trying to shift the blame by stigmatizing and demonizing China with the pandemic and other issues and spreading lies and false information about China. This will, of course, seriously mislead people in the US and the countries you mentioned with regard to the true Chinese epidemic response and poison the atmosphere for China to develop relations with other countries. It is precisely because they spread false information and stigmatize China that there have been discrimination targeting Chinese or Asians in the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries. Just this morning I saw a report that a Japanese musician was mistaken as Chinese and beat up in New York. That's just so tragic and sad.
Even against such a backdrop, I note that the latest Pew Research survey shows that even in these 14 western countries, the majority of people approves of China's response more than that of the US, and trusts the Chinese government more than the US government.
Particularly after the outbreak of COVID-19, the US has roped in its Western allies to politicize the pandemic and stigmatize China, in an attempt to whitewash their inability to handle the deadly virus. Many Western political elites and media outlets have attacked China with excuses and deceived the people who do not have a clear knowledge of China with anti-intellectual absurdities. They have repeatedly denigrated the image of China and instigated public sentiment in order to achieve their anti-China political goals.
“Many Chinese people seem to have forgotten the first few scary weeks that we experienced, but other countries have not forgotten,” Shen Dingli, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai, said by telephone. “It would be better if China had been more low-key and humble.”
Tomorrow is Taiwan’s National Day.
According to an outline of her national day speech on Saturday, as described to Reuters by a source briefed on its contents, Tsai will say that only solid determination and strength can guarantee security and maintain regional peace.
Tsai, re-elected by a landslide in January on a promise to stand up to China, will emphasise military modernisation and the speeding up of “asymmetric warfare” capabilities, which refers to making any attack Chinese attack difficult and costly, for example with smart mines and portable missiles.
aimed at fracturing the ruling DPP’s careful approach toward relations with the U.S.
Robert O’Brien told an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas that China was engaged in a massive naval buildup probably not seen since Germany’s attempt to compete with Britain’s Royal Navy prior to World War One.
“Part of that is to give them the ability to push us back out of the Western Pacific, and allow them to engage in an amphibious landing in Taiwan,” he said.
“The problem with that is that amphibious landings are notoriously difficult,” O’Brien added, pointing to the 100-mile (160-km) distance between China and Taiwan and the paucity of landing beaches on the island.
“It’s not an easy task, and there’s also a lot of ambiguity about what the United States would do in response to an attack by China on Taiwan,” he added, when asked what U.S. options would be if China moved to try to absorb Taiwan.
He highlighted the huge gap between military capacities between the two sides and suggested that Taiwan should "turn themselves into a porcupine" as "lions generally don't like to eat porcupines."
It is an interesting theory as porcupines protect themselves against lions by their own thorns, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
"So a clear signal sent by O'Brien is that the US - another lion - would not take action to battle with the mainland lion if military conflicts break out across the Taiwan Straits, and Taiwan should rely on itself," Li said.
Washington would not sacrifice its own interests to militarily clash with Beijing, and its real intention is to sell more outdated weapons to Taiwan at a high price, said Li Jie, a Beijing-based military expert.
David Helvey, the acting U.S. assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, told an online defense industry conference hosted by the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council that actions of China’s People’s Liberation Army were a test for Taiwan’s “ability and preparedness to respond to coercion.”
Last year, Taiwan’s Chief of the General Staff, Adm. Lee Hsi-ming quietly proposed a revolutionary new approach to Taiwan’s defense, called the Overall Defense Concept. This new concept, if effectively implemented, could turn the tables and give Taiwan a fighting chance of preventing China from being able to take it by force.
Airstrikes would quickly aim to kill Taiwan’s top political and military leaders, while also immobilizing local defenses. The Chinese military has described some drills as “decapitation” exercises, and satellite imagery shows its training grounds include full-scale replicas of targets such as the Presidential Office Building.
“Only a fraction of the pla could be deployed,” says Dennis Blasko, a former American army attaché in Beijing, “because its overwhelming numbers can’t all fit into the Taiwan front or in the airspace surrounding Taiwan at one time”. Satellite reconnaissance would give Taiwan weeks of warning to harden defences and mobilise reserves. Mr Blasko thinks a nimbler air assault, using helicopters and special forces, is more likely than an amphibious attack. Even then, he says, the island is “very defensible, if it is properly prepared and the people have the will to defend it”...
Even if America is willing to come to Taiwan’s aid, that is no use if it is not capable of doing so, Su Chi, a former secretary-general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, has argued. But the logical response, transforming Taiwan’s own defences, is hard when only a fifth of people think war will come.
the U.S. should be coordinating more broadly with European allies and other nations outside the region — restoring friendships that, again, Trump has sundered so recklessly. Guided by the U.S., the world needs to make it plain to Beijing that an unprovoked attack on Taiwan would have lasting and profound economic consequences. China has gained enormously from peaceful interaction with other countries — more so, perhaps, than any other country in history. Chinese leaders say they’ll pay any price to reunify their nation. Gently but firmly, the world should make clear just how high that price could be.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, your point’s well taken about the Chinese Communist Party refusing to live up to its commitments, the basic commitment it made to the people of Hong Kong that for 50 years they would be permitted to have one country but two systems, to live with some modicum of freedom. The Chinese Communist Party has ripped that asunder. And so we watch what’s taking place in Taiwan. It’s not about the United States versus China. This is about freedom or tyranny. This is about will the world be ruled by those who use coercive power, they use their military to bully, or will we operate in a system that is rule-based and understands that there’s room for democracies and freedom? That’s the challenge. This is not a rivalry between the United States and China. This is for the soul of the world. This is about whether this will be a world that operates in this sense that we’re – on a rules-based international order system or one that’s dominated by a coercive totalitarian regime like the one in China.
The number of US-listed Chinese companies rose 26 per cent to 217 on the three largest US exchanges – the Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange and the NYSE American – as of October 2, according to a congressional report by the US China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Total market has capitalisation nearly doubled to US$2.2 trillion since September 2019, the data shows
Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao on Friday quoted Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for the South China Sea Studies, as saying that bilateral crisis management and control mechanisms between China and the US were nearly suspended amid all-out confrontation between the two sides, which could lead to misfires if soldiers on both sides clash at sea.
However, the Global Times learned from related source that the Chinese and US militaries maintain phone calls between high-level officials, and communication channels between defense attaches are also open.
CCTV-5 sports channel announced the rebroadcast on Friday, saying that it would air the fifth game of the NBA finals at 9 am Saturday.
In response to the move, a CCTV spokesperson told media that it is a normal arrangement considering the popularity of basketball in China, and the fans want to watch the games.
Comment: This could be construed as a positive gesture to the US, as Beijing maintains relative restraint in the hopes that the US presidential election might allow for some lowering of the tensions. That could could also be over-interpreting things, and perhaps CCTV 5 just needs the money.
A Chinese military spokesperson said on Friday that the U.S. destroyer John McCain had entered waters around the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea claimed by China without China’s permission.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants to formalize and potentially broaden the quadrilateral security dialogue, or Quad, with Japan, India and Australia, he told Nikkei Asia in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
"Once we've institutionalized what we're doing -- the four of us together -- we can begin to build out a true security framework," Pompeo said while visiting Tokyo for the informal grouping's foreign ministers meeting later the same day. He called this network a "fabric" that could "counter the challenge that the Chinese Communist Party presents to all of us."
Other countries, he suggested, could become part of that fabric at "the appropriate time."
we also have to frame the problem correctly. This isn’t about a U.S.-China dispute. This is about the free world versus Chinese authoritarianism. And the Secretary speaks frequently about that, and that’s the way he framed his discussions, and there was a lot of agreement around that table.
While most of the countries did not explicitly mention China, there were various implicit references to it. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the exception, mentioning the Chinese Communist Party in particular. The lack of consensus on whether or not — and how — to mention China might be one reason why the countries did not release a joint statement. Nonetheless, in a subsequent press availability, American officials made clear that China was discussed. They also indicated that Beijing’s behavior vis-à-vis Australia, India, and Japan over the last few months — rather than the Trump administration’s urging — increased their enthusiasm for the Quad.
Spokesperson Hua Chunying's remarks came after certain U.S. politicians made accusations against China over the pandemic during a meeting in Tokyo with the foreign ministers of Japan, India and Australia.
It was a hot summer morning in Taipei when several officials from the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy, visited the top management of a major tech company, a key supplier to Apple.
It was immediately apparent that this was unlike previous courtesy visits, where U.S. officials stop in from time to time to hear what's happening in the industry. This time, they cut the chitchat and threw out a blunt question soon after they sat down: "Why aren't you moving more of your production capacity outside of China?" they asked. "Why aren't you moving faster?"
Oriana Skylar Mastro, a China expert at Stanford University, says it was not clear how receptive Mr Xi would be if the next administration were to try and change the relationship.
“Some say China will facilitate a reset and be nice while others say it will try to test the new president like it did with Obama,” says Ms Mastro. “If Biden pursues a moderate strategy and China’s response is provocative and aggressive, it’s going to undermine those efforts. That’s how the China doves became China hawks.”
Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California San Diego, says the key is Mr Xi himself. While she is critical of the Trump administration, she also levels blame at the Chinese president.
America’s rivalry with China is beginning to resemble its struggle with the Soviet Union. In a series of articles, the FT explores how the technology world is splitting into two blocs, military tensions are rising and countries are being asked to choose sides
China should stop fighting ideological battles with the United States and trying to prove the superiority of its political system, according to a Chinese intellectual.
“There are more than 200 political entities in the world and only an extremely small number have the same ideology and political system as China,” Yan Xuetong, dean of Tsinghua University’s Institute of Modern International Relations in Beijing, said in an article published in the latest issue of its Quarterly Journal of International Politics.
“Thus, avoiding ideological fights with any country will bring more benefits than costs.”
If progressives have a say there will likely not be much reduction in US-China trade tensions in a Biden Administration - Where Does Joe Biden Really Stand on Trade? - The American Prospect
WHAT MIGHT A PROGRESSIVE trade policy look like under a Biden administration? On the China front, the U.S. would use tariffs or their equivalent to offset China’s extensive state subsidies. American policy would prohibit U.S.-based companies from acceding to coercive terms of technology sharing. The government would bar Chinese state-owned companies from acquiring American ones. It would take a much tougher line against China’s habit of mixing promotion of Chinese tech companies with data mining and espionage. The goal of these polices would not be to make China into an international pariah but to arrive at a modus vivendi with Beijing on more symmetrical terms. China could still have its own unique approach to economic development, but not at the expense of the West.
Robert E. Lighthizer, President Trump’s trade negotiator, has cautioned against actions that could anger Beijing in an attempt to preserve the U.S.-China trade deal.
Last week President Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency and authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act to speed the development of mines. The law was used earlier this year to speed production of medical supplies amid the pandemic.
On Monday, Ireland-based TechMet Ltd. said the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, a state-funded lender and investor, had made a $25 million investment in its projects that produce and recycle resources like battery metals nickel and cobalt.
In a sign Washington is dusting off its Cold War-era legislation, the agency said: “In general, unless otherwise exempt, any intending immigrant who is a member or affiliate of the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party … domestic or foreign, is inadmissible to the United States.”
The law effectively blocks members of the Chinese Communist Party from ever obtaining permanent residency or citizenship of the US, and reinforces the widening ideology gap between the world’s two largest economies that has already damaged people-to-people exchanges.
A military source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said that since late September many orders had come from the “top” telling military propagandists to “strictly avoid US election topics”.
“It is a strict order for everyone to follow. Not only serving members of the armed forces, but also retired personnel, military experts and think tanks were told to strictly observe the new directive,” the source said.
5. Another domestic violence tragedy
This CGTN piece is interesting in that it leaves open the hope that maybe things will start to change.
A farmer living on picking herbs in remote mountains in northwestern Sichuan Province, Lamu enjoyed sharing everyday life with her nearly 900,000 fans on the popular short video app Douyin. She regularly posted videos of working in the field, cooking for her family and dancing to Tibetan melodies. On camera, she was a happy-go-lucky woman fighting for a better life for her father and two children.
But all of that abruptly ended when her former husband, surnamed Tang, broke into her home during one of her livestreaming sessions. Tang doused her in gasoline and then set her alight, burning 90 percent of her body, in addition to stabbing her multiple times. She died on September 30 after 16 days of medical treatment...
What went wrong? It seems that people unconsciously understand that such horrendous cases will inevitably happen again and again, and grow accustomed to these whopping numbers: More than 90 million married women in China regularly face domestic violence. Some 157,000 Chinese women commit suicide every year on average, making it one of the few countries where the female suicide rate is higher than it is for males, and among them 60 percent kill themselves because of domestic violence. On average the victims don't call the police until they've been abused at least 35 times.
"Violence will become the solution where law, morality and negotiation are all out of control," said Wang Fengli, a Beijing-based sociologist who studies domestic violence, during an interview with CGTN.
The popular Tibetan vlogger Lamu recently died after her husband attacked her and set her on fire inside her own home. Chinese netizens now raise their voices against domestic violence and call on authorities to do more to protect and legally empower victims of domestic abuse...
6. China and the UN Human Rights Council
On October 13, 2020, the UN General Assembly will hold elections for 15 seats on the 47-nation Human Rights Council for three-year terms beginning on January 1, 2021...
Alongside Saudi Arabia and China, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan are also vying for the four seats available to the Asia and Pacific group.
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) added its voice to the campaign, under the #VoteNoChina hashtag on social media, saying Beijing is "currently committing genocide against Uyghurs," in the XUAR.
"It’s difficult to comprehend the perverse logic behind the possibility of electing China—the government currently committing genocide against Uyghurs—to the UN body responsible for overseeing human rights protections around the world," the group's executive director Omer Kanat said in a statement.
In terms of human rights protection, there is no single best way, only the better one. All countries should put their own house in order first. Some western countries have bad human rights record, such as the protracted refugee issue, repeated humanitarian crises, the rise of racism, extremism and the ethnic minority issue, and the frequent occurrence of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-black remarks and incidents. They have also wantonly imposed unilateral coercive measures on other countries, including economic blockade and financial sanctions, which seriously infringe upon other countries' basic human rights. How are these countries in any position to blame China? China will not accept "an instructor" on human rights and oppose double standards. We are ready to work with all parties to carry out constructive dialogue and cooperation based on the principle of equality and mutual respect and jointly contribute to the healthy development of the international human rights cause.
Ambassador Zhang [Jun] said that the act of interfering in China’s internal affairs with the excuse of human rights is unpopular. The joint statement on Xinjiang made by Cuba on behalf of 45 countries and the joint statement on Hong Kong made by Pakistan on behalf of 55 countries gave firm support to China’s efforts to safeguard sovereignty, security and unity and spoke highly of China’s progress on human rights. Kuwait made a joint statement on behalf of three Gulf states, opposing politicization of human rights issues and interference in others’ internal affairs with the pretext of human rights. And many other countries showed support for China in their national statements, calling for solidarity and cooperation in rejection of confrontation and division. People can tell right and wrong. It has been proven that the despicable acts of accusing and pressuring other countries and interfering in others’ internal affairs by the US and a few other countries have made themselves unpopular. They are working against the will of the people and standing on the opposing side of the international community.
Ambassador Zhang emphasized that those countries’ clichés are completely untrue. China's achievements in human rights development are widely recognized, and not to be denied by their lies or deception. Their accusations are totally misplaced. On a land of 9.6 million square kilometers, there is no fear of war or displacement. 1.4 billion Chinese are living in peace, freedom and happiness. This is human rights protection in the best sense, and the best practice of human rights protection. With a people-centered approach, China has lifted 850 million people out of poverty. Giving top priority to life, China has adopted the most stringent and thorough epidemic prevention and control measures and achieved major victories in the fight against COVID-19. With a holistic approach, China has issued three National Human Rights Action Plans and formed a sound legal system for human rights protection. Upholding international fairness and justice, China opposes interference in internal affairs and speaks out for developing countries in defense of justice. China's adoption of effective measures to combat terrorism, safeguard national security and promote economic and social development is firmly supported by all Chinese and can stand the test of time and history.
In the declaration drafted by Germany and presented at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, 39 predominantly Western countries denounced China for gross human rights violations in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang and the autonomous region of Tibet, and for limiting political and personal freedoms in Hong Kong...
China's ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, responded with an irate statement, saying the accusations were "groundless" and that his country "opposes interference in internal affairs."..
In the end, 39 countries signed on to the declaration, 16 more than last year, with Bosnia and Herzegovina joining literally at the last minute. This was the result of weeks of lobbying by diplomats from Germany, the UK and the US, who clandestinely spoke to other UN states asking for their support. The list remained classified until minutes before Germany's UN ambassador Heusgen read the statement in New York, for fear signatories might be poached by China at the last moment.
7. Setting tech standards
Zhao Houlin is head of the UN’s telecoms agency, an independent international arbiter that sets some of the rules shaping the modern technology industry. But that does not stop him from letting his patriotism burst into the open.
A former government official in China, Mr Zhao has repeatedly lionised the Belt and Road Initiative, the pet project of Chinese president Xi Jinping to invest in overseas infrastructure. He has also defended Huawei, the controversial Chinese telecoms champion, against US accusations that its equipment can be used for espionage.
“Those preoccupations with Huawei equipment, up to now there is no proof so far,” Mr Zhao, who is secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, told reporters in Geneva last year. “I would encourage Huawei to be given equal opportunities to bid for business.”
But it is in his unabashed support for Chinese technology standards that Mr Zhao’s loyalty to Beijing is most striking. Although he was sworn into his ITU role with a pledge to act “with the interest of the union only in view” while avoiding influence from any one country, he regularly celebrates China’s growing presence in the telecoms and internet industries.
As usual, China told us this is what they were going to do, including here in the the 13th 5-year plan -中华人民共和国国民经济和社会发展第十三个五年规划纲要_滚动新闻_中国政府网
Section I. Laying the foundations for Internet applications
Actively promoting the development of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. Backbone Internet enterprises are encouraged to open up their platform resources, strengthen the construction of industry cloud service platforms, and support the migration of industry information systems to cloud platforms. Promote the planning and layout of sensing facilities for the Internet of Things, and develop open-loop applications for the Internet of Things. Promote the research, development and application of key technologies for information physical systems. It will establish an Internet+ standard system, accelerate the development and promotion of basic common standards and key technical standards for the Internet and its converged applications, and enhance its voice in the formulation of international standards.
8. Reconsidering the historical narrative of China
Dr. James Millward, a professor at Georgetown University (bio), has thrown his hat in the ring to be the #1 historical nihilist of 2020 with this provocative book review.
No country or international body in the world today challenges PRC claims to sovereignty over any of its contiguous territory, and the international community subscribes to various “one China” work-around phrasings to avoid precisely defining the relationship between Taiwan and the PRC. I don’t suggest politicians should revise these practical political positions. They are not based on ancient historical sovereignty, however. So historians should write it as we see it.
Such a new paradigm might seem too political. It might well make authors and publishers nervous. It certainly fits the definition of “historical nihilism” by which the CCP’s infamous “Document Number Nine” anathematizes non-Party-approved historiography.
But it is just as political to ignore the political and cultural diversity of today’s China. By parroting for generations the euphemistic terminology, historiographic exceptionalism, and cartographic legerdemain that obscures its colonial past, we tacitly accept the PRC’s assimilationism and expansive claims. Rather than talking about “making modern China” as fait accompli, we might recognize that it has been and is still being militarily and ideologically constructed, and that construction in the hands of the CCP party-state entails cultural and physical violence to millions of non-Chinese as well as Chinese people.
Business, Economy and Trade
China Services Activity Grows at Fastest Pace in Three Months - Caixin The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the services sector, rose to 54.8 last month from 54 in August. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a figure below that points to a contraction. The index has now been in expansionary territory for five months in a row.
China to stabilize employment, boost NEV industry - Xinhua The State Council, China's cabinet, on Friday stressed measures to stabilize employment to ensure the completion of its annual target. It also passed a development plan for the country's new energy vehicle (NEV) industry to foster new growth areas of green development, according to a statement issued after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Stressing the importance of employment in stabilizing economic fundamentals, the meeting said that despite achievements made in the job market in the first eight months of the year, the country still faces pressure in stabilizing employment.
China details measures to improve quality of listed companies - Xinhua China will strengthen institutional construction of the capital market, step up market oversight, optimize the structure and development environment of the listed companies, and improve the quality of information disclosure, according to a guideline released by the State Council. The guideline said channels for institutional investors to participate in corporate governance should be improved and the implementation of the standard internal control system should be accelerated in order to improve the governance of listed companies. Measures to implement a registration-based system and allow more qualified foreign investors to make strategic investments in listed companies on the Chinese mainland should be put into effect to encourage listed companies to become better and stronger, the guideline said.
Chinese Yuan Soars as Policy Makers Usher on ‘Blue Wave’ Rally - Bloomberg “Chinese assets are positively correlated with rising polls favoring a Democratic presidential victory,” Goldman Sachs cross-asset strategist Caesar P Maasry told Bloomberg. “The increasing market focus on a potential ‘blue wave’ has put emerging markets in the spotlight this week on the potential of fiscal easing and trade tensions thawing.” // Comment: I am not betting on trade tensions with China thawing quickly under a possible Biden Administration
Exclusive: China Takes Another Step Toward Fixing Its Corruption-Plagued Rural Credit Unions - Caixin More than 10 provinces have submitted their reform plans, which require the approval of banking regulators, Caixin has learned from sources with knowledge of the matter. The provinces of Henan, Jiangsu, Guizhou, Zhejiang and Guangdong might be among the first to test out reforms.
房企融资新规“三道红线”延期实施？有人误读了！-新闻-上海证券报·中国证券网Shanghai Securities News says speculation now going around that the "three red lines" policy will be delayed to 2023 is wrong, that the policy will still be implemented in 2021 // 近日，坊间传言，三道红线的严格执行将被推迟到2023年。记者通过多方采访了解到，该消息有误读之嫌，“三道红线”政策并未延期，仍将于2021年起在全行业全面实施，并力争让房企在三年内完成降负债的目标。
What China’s Three Red Lines Mean for Property Firms: QuickTake - Bloomberg The People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Housing announced in August that they’d drafted new financing rules for real estate companies, but have said little more. But the media reports and people familiar with the upcoming guidelines have said developers wanting to refinance will be assessed against three red lines, or thresholds: There will be a 70% ceiling on liabilities to assets, excluding advance proceeds from projects sold on contract; a 100% cap on net debt to equity; and they must have a cash to short-term borrowing ratio of at least one.
Evergrande’s $21 Billion Sales Blitz Fails to Impress - Bloomberg Under pressure to curb leverage, the junk-rated developer seized the eight-day stretch popular with home buyers to press its entire workforce into the sales effort. Evergrande said Friday that it achieved contracted property sales of 142 billion yuan ($21 billion) from Sept. 1 to Oct. 8, about 71% of its two-month target, though average prices dropped to a four-year low.
Seeking Relief: China's Overseas Debt After COVID-19 | Rhodium Group As many as 1 in 4 dollars extended by China through overseas lending to date has come under renegotiation, amounting to USD 94 billion: Faced with the reality of unsustainable past lending, Beijing is recalibrating to limit and rationalize future flows, at least in the medium term. This will only be amplified by COVID-19.
Chinese Debt Renegotiations Could be Long and Unpredictable - Bloomberg Chinese lenders at times lack coordination and don’t follow standard relief terms to renegotiate debt, adding uncertainty to the outcome of talks to overhaul $28 billion in loans in a number of countries, according to research by Rhodium Group, a New York-based economic and policy consultancy.
Yicai - Beijing Yanjing Brewery’s Stock Tanks as Chairman Is Detained Shares in Beijing Yanjing Brewery, maker of one of China's most popular beers, fell by almost 5 percent during trading today on the news that its chairman has been detained by prosecutors and is under investigation for a number of suspected infractions.
Coronavirus Pandemic: China Is Experiencing a K-Shaped Economic Recovery - Bloomberg Most households in the bottom 60%, or those earning less than 100,000 yuan ($14,650) a year, said their wealth declined in the first half of 2020, the China Household Finance Survey finds. Those earning more than 300,000 yuan a year reported net gains.
China’s Human Capital Crisis Presents the Single Largest Threat to its Future Growth | by FSI Stanford | Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies | Oct, 2020 | Medium Excerpt from Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise by Scott Rozelle, the co-director of the Rural Education Action Program (REAP) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Natalie Hell, a writer and researcher at REAP (re-printed with permission from the publisher)
Premier League claims $215 million from China's PPLive over match deal | Reuters The Premier League is claiming $215 million (166 million pounds) from PPLive Sports International, alleging it broke the terms of a contract to screen live matches and highlights in China by not paying the amount it was due to, court filings show.
Japan to Welcome Chinese Business Travel From Next Month - Caixin Global China will be removed from Japan’s list of banned countries from next month. Along with the Chinese mainland, restrictions will be lifted for 11 other countries and regions include Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper
Bilibili eyes secondary listing in Hong Kong in 2021 - CNBC Chinese video platform Bilibili is gearing up for a secondary listing in Hong Kong which could raise up to $1.5 billion, CNBC has confirmed.
Vanguard Returns $21 Billion in Assets to China’s State Funds - Bloomberg Vanguard Group Inc. returned about $21 billion in managed assets to government clients in China as part of a global shift to focus on low-cost funds for individual investors, according to people familiar with the matter. BlackRock Inc. and Amundi SA are being considered to manage a portion of the funds returned by Vanguard.
Las Vegas man pleads guilty in currency exchange case - AP “His customers were typically individuals with bank accounts in China who could not readily access cash in the United States due to capital controls that cap the amount of Chinese yuan that an individual can convert to foreign currency,” prosecutors Daniel Silva and Mark Pletcher said in court documents. “Often these customers needed the money to gamble at the casinos in Las Vegas.” The customers would receive U.S. dollars and then transfer an equivalent value in yuan from a Chinese bank account to a separate bank account in China designated by Zhou, authorities said.
China readies new law to ban companies on national security grounds - Nikkei Asia China is set to advance a new export control law that would ban Chinese suppliers from dealing with specific foreign companies on national security grounds, taking a page from the U.S. crackdown on Huawei Technologies and its peers. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will deliberate on the legislation, which has a stated goal of protecting national interests, in a session starting Tuesday. The new law could be enacted as early as 2021.
SMIC on the edge of 'junk' bond status after US sanctions - Nikkei Asia S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday has put Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. on the brink of a ratings downgrade, warning of rising supply chain risk for the Chinese chipmaker after U.S. sanctions.
Exclusive: Dozens Probed at China’s Largest Oilfield Over Alleged Theft - Caixin More than a score of workers at China’s largest onshore oilfield, along with several local government employees, are being investigated on suspicion of stealing oil in Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Caixin has learned. Some 30 people, including over 20 employees at an oil terminal operated by state-owned giant PetroChina Co. Ltd. in the Changqing oilfield, are being probed over the alleged theft.
Alibaba Stock Hits Record - WSJ $$ The recent rally has lifted Alibaba’s market value above $800 billion, cementing its position as one of the world’s most valuable technology companies and opening a gap between it and Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s other dominant tech group.
US Explores Restrictions on Jack Ma's Ant Group, Tencent Payment Systems - Bloomberg Debate over how and whether to restrict Ant Group’s and Tencent’s payment systems has accelerated among senior U.S. officials in recent weeks though a final decision isn’t imminent, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity about an idea that’s still taking shape.
China’s Shenzhen giving away millions in sovereign digital yuan to test technology and boost consumption | South China Morning Post Luohu will distribute a total of 50,000 digital “red packets” – gift envelopes traditionally given out during holidays and special occasions – with each containing 200 yuan (US$30). Any Chinese citizen living in Shenzhen can register for the lottery through iShenzhen, a blockchain-based public services application operated by the Shenzhen government.
China coal hub Shanxi to merge five giant state-owned miners as part of efficiency drive | South China Morning Post The provincial government of Shanxi will amalgamate the five coal companies into a single entity called Jinneng Holding Group, according to an official notice published last week by Jinneng Group, the coal power conglomerate leading the consolidation. The new holding company will also absorb assets from Datong Coal Mine Group, Shanxi Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group, a new company founded by Yangquan Coal Industry Group and Shanxi Lu’an Mining Industry Group. Three firms – Datong, Yangquan and Lu’an – are on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest enterprises ranked by sales revenues.
制造强国和网络强国建设扎实推进（人民要论·“十三五”辉煌成就·工业和信息化） （人民要论·“十三五”辉煌成就·工业和信息化） 肖亚庆 - MIIT Minister Xiao Yaqing writes in the Friday Peoples Daily on China’s progress in becoming a manufacturing superpower and an Internet superpower during the 13th 5 year plan period. We will see lots of these articles by officials summing up the achievements in their areas of responsibility during this 5 year plan
China Says Brazil’s Business Reputation Hinges on 5G Decision - Bloomberg “The question is not whether Huawei will win a bid or not,” Ambassador Yang Wanming said in written responses to questions, weeks after the U.S. warned of “consequences” if the Chinese get to build an ultra-fast fifth generation mobile network in Brazil. “What’s at stake is whether a country can set up market rules based on openness, impartiality and non-discrimination for all companies.”
Politics and Law
铿锵的时代乐章——党的十八大以来习近平总书记考察调研过的贫困村脱贫调查————头条——中央纪委国家监委网站 Long Xinhua piece today - Sonorous music of the times--Survey on poverty alleviation in poor villages that Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the 18th CPC National Congress, has visited and investigated. // Clearly setting the stage for declaring victory in the war on poverty at the upcoming 5th Plenum
Xi's discourses on coordinating epidemic control with economic, social development published - Xinhua A compilation of discourses of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on coordinating epidemic control with economic and social development has been published by the Central Party Literature Press. The book, compiled by the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, is available nationwide. The book begins with a speech Xi delivered at a meeting commending role models in China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, and contains 43 key discourses of Xi from Jan. 20, 2020 to Sept. 23, 2020, some of which were published for the first time.
New Course at Chinese Universities: “Introduction to Xi Thoughts” – Chinascope The Ministry of Education published an article in the Qiushi journal, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship magazine, and announced that, after the start of school in the fall of 2020, 37 universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Nankai University, will launch the course, “Introduction to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era.”
How the Red Sun Rose: The Origin and Development of the Yan'an Rectification Movement, 1930–1945: Gao, Hua, I have been reading this dense book over the last week, it seems quite relevant today. Xi Jinping may be the senior leader most knowledgeable about CCP history, and he certainly seems t have absorbed many of Mao's techniques for consolidating power and eliminating rivals // This work offers the most comprehensive account of the origin and consequences of the Yan’an Rectification Movement from 1942 to 1945. The author argues that this campaign emancipated the Chinese Communist Party from Soviet-influenced dogmatism and unified the Party, preparing it for the final victory against the Nationalist Party in 1949. More importantly, this monograph shows in great detail how Mao Zedong established his leadership through this party-wide political movement by means of aggressive intraparty purges, thought control, coercive cadre examinations, and total reorganizations of the Party’s upper structure. The result of this movement not only set up the foundation for Mao’s new China, but also deeply influenced the Chinese political structure today.
Cai Xia Interview: China's Xi Faces no 'Power to Constrain Him' - Dissident Party Scholar (Part I) Cai: I think they are incapable of removing Xi through the normal procedures. In my earlier discussion, I talked about whether the former Standing Committee members and the former Politburo members, current Standing Committee members, and current Politburo members could all sit down to have a meeting, in which the minority respects the decision made by the majority, and ask Xi to step down. I’d say, in fact, it is impossible to follow those rules. However, today’s China is complex and dynamic, both domestically and internationally. Maybe an emergency of some sort or an unexpected accident could trigger explosive changes. Maybe he would step down unexpectedly. Who knows?
Ethnic Han Leading Top Xinjiang University Signals End of ‘Autonomy’ in Region: Observers - RFA On Sept. 25, Chinese state media reported that Yao Qiang, an ethnic Han man who had been serving as Vice President of Xinjiang University in the regional capital Urumqi since March 2019, had been appointed as the school’s newest president three days earlier. This marks the first time since the founding of the XUAR by China in 1955 that a Han person has served as the head of the university, which is the flagship institute of higher education in the region.
关于人民法院服务保障进一步扩大对外开放的指导意见 - Guiding Opinions on Further Expanding People's Court Service Safeguards for Expanding the Opening Up to the World - China Law Translate The following Guiding Opinions have been formulated in light of the actual work of the people's courts in order to thoroughly implement the major strategic plans of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core for further expanding the opening to the outside world and promoting the formation of a new landscape for comprehensive opening, giving full play to the people's courts' adjudication functions and providing powerful judicial services and safeguards for the construction of a new and better open economic system.
What is China’s plan to meet Xi Jinping’s economic vision for ‘socialist modernisation’ by 2035? | South China Morning Post “Some people, including some comrades throughout our party, didn’t see the trick and argue that ‘western universal values’ have gone through centuries and why can‘t we accept them? These people have unconsciously become propagandists for Western capitalism ideology,” Xi said in comments republished last month in a new book containing a collection of excerpts from speeches focusing on the risks and challenges that China faces.
Exclusive: New evidence of China′s arbitrary oppression of the Uighurs | DW The list, leaked to reporters from German media outlets DW, NDR, WDR and "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ), shows in unprecedented detail the kind of alleged offences people are interned for, sometimes for years. The most common is a violation of birth control laws. Other offences are wearing headscarves or beards, going on pilgrimages or traveling abroad. The possession of religious books is also listed as a reason for imprisonment. One man was detained because he closed his restaurant during the holy month of Ramadan, and therefore was at "risk for having extremist thoughts." Even after detainees are released, they are kept under constant surveillance. In dozens of cases, DW and its partners have found reference to a system of forced labor in factories.
Police in Inner Mongolia Arrest Prominent Rights Lawyer on Spying Charges - RFA Chinese authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia have arrested a human rights lawyer after he refused to send his child to school amid regionwide protests against plans to end Mongolian-medium education. Police in Inner Mongolia's Tongliao city are have formally arrested Hu Baolong on charges of "leaking state secrets overseas," ethnic Mongolian scholar Khubis, who currently lives in Japan, told RFA on Wednesday.
Thousands of Articles Restored From Downed Website of Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti - RFA In a statement posted to Facebook on Monday, the Germany-based Ilham Tohti Institute (ITI) said that after a year and a half of work by a group of young volunteers, it had successfully completed restoration work on a total of 3,553 articles from the old website published between 2006 and 2013, using the Wayback Machine Internet Archive, as well as the archive of Uyghur Online itself. “His website was a beacon of truth for Uyghur people under Chinese strict Internet censorship,” the institute said.
Reformist calls for China to reassure the private sector ahead of key Communist Party meeting | South China Morning Post China can overcome the external challenges it is facing if the Communist Party leadership gives private companies more confidence that their investments and business will be protected, according to former Shenzhen chief Li Youwei. Li, who helped spearhead the city’s fast-paced development in the 1990s, made the remarks in an article published in Wen Wei Po, a Beijing-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, late last month...“Some people say the US is applying maximum pressure on China and is just waiting for China to collapse,” Li wrote. “What will be the last straw? If China takes the wrong steps under such strong pressure.”
市委书记主动投案1个月后，市委原副秘书长、办公厅原主任被查 - 综合 - 新京报网 10月9日，据河北省纪委监委消息，邯郸市人大常委会副主任陈希斌涉嫌严重违纪违法，目前正接受省纪委监委纪律审查和监察调查。On October 9, according to the Hebei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection, Chen Xibin, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Handan Municipal People's Congress, is suspected of serious disciplinary violations, and is currently under disciplinary review and supervision of the provincial commission for discipline inspection and investigation.。
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi says ready to bring China-Bangladesh ties to new heights | english.scio.gov.cn Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that he stands ready to work with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Md. Abdul Hamid, to better align the two countries' strategies and jointly promote the construction of the Belt and Road, so as to take the China-Bangladesh strategic partnership of cooperation to new heights. Xi made the remarks in an exchange of congratulatory messages with Hamid to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
China's Yang Jiechi visits Sri Lanka, seeking to deepen cooperation - CGTN Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), arrived in the island nation on Thursday for an official visit. It's the first leg of his five-day visit. He will also travel to United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Serbia.
China-ASEAN senior diplomat visits to strengthen ties amid US discord - Global Times China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos and Thailand from October 11 to 15 with a stop in Singapore, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Friday. Wang’s trip came after the overseas visit of senior diplomat Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to four countries from Thursday to next Monday with his first stop in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka port deal not a ‘debt trap’ set up by China, President Rajapaksa says | South China Morning Post China and Sri Lanka plan to restart discussions on a free-trade agreement, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Friday, following a high-level meeting between the two countries...“Many geopolitical analysis interprets this project as a ‘debt trap’ set up by China to gain control over Sri Lankan affairs,” Rajapaksa told the Chinese delegation, led by Yang Jiechi, one of Beijing’s top diplomats.
China starts diplomatic drive to win over Southeast Asian countries | South China Morning Post Next week Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos and Thailand on a tour that will also see him passing through Singapore. The trip also follows this week’s visit to Beijing by Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, the Indonesian president’s special envoy, and Philippine foreign minister Teodoro Locsin.
Coronavirus: WHO waits for China to approve pandemic origins investigators | South China Morning Post WHO health emergencies programme executive director Mike Ryan told a special meeting of the organisation’s executive board on Monday that the WHO had selected expert candidates from around the world for the mission and it was now up to Beijing to say who would be on the international team and when they would enter China.
Iranian FM to visit China - Xinhua Indonesian President's special envoy Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who is also the country's Coordinator for Cooperation with China, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin will pay official visits to China from Friday to Saturday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced Thursday.
See the difference? CGTN in the dock - The Little Red Podcast - Omny.fm Last year China's international state-run broadcaster, CGTN, spent millions opening a state-of-the-art London headquarters. Just one year on, it may already be scrambling for an exit strategy. CGTN may even lose its licence in the United Kingdom after the British regulator found it breached the broadcasting code. This episode we interview two people who have brought complaints against CGTN after it broadcast their forced confessions: Peter Dahlin from Safeguard Defenders and private investigator Peter Humphrey. Along with Sarah Cook of Freedom House, they join Louisa and Graeme to discuss whether China's global media ambitions are being stopped in their tracks
Pressure campaign targets Chinese pastor in Texas | WORLD News Group A Chinese billionaire under U.S. investigation has launched a campaign aimed at discrediting exiled Chinese dissidents living in the United States, including pastor and activist Bob Fu. Guo Wengui, who has lived in the United States since 2015, in recent weeks has deployed his personal fortune and online platform to incite protests and violence against Christian human rights activist Fu, along with other Chinese dissidents who survived the 1989 massacre at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
The Scramble for Power in Kyrgyzstan - Carnegie Moscow Center - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Just as telling is the caution being shown by China, which many observers have prematurely chalked up as the main external power in Central Asia. Despite its growing economic presence in the region, and particularly in Kyrgyzstan (which owes 43 percent of its $4.7 billion foreign debt to Chinese financial institutions), Beijing doesn’t yet know how to convert it into political leverage. China has said very little on the recent developments. The defeat of the Matraimov family, which China has courted for some years now, would be a tactical setback for the Chinese network among the Kyrgyz elite, but Beijing is likely to adapt and work with the winner—just like Moscow.
‘We need to up our game’ against China in Western Balkans, says EU official | South China Morning Post The bloc earmarked a €9 billion (US$10.5 billion) fund for the region increasingly seen as a battleground in the EU’s systemic rivalry with Beijing ‘Lately, China has come to dominate the narrative and perception on infrastructure investments,’ says EU official
Longtime GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged with acting as a foreign agent, is likely to plead guilty - The Washington Post Prosecutors unsealed the 31-page information against Broidy on Thursday, outlining how they believe he took millions in undisclosed money to end a U.S. investigation into a billion-dollar embezzlement of a Malaysian state investment fund and, separately, to return outspoken Chinese exile Guo Wengui to his home country. A criminal information is a type of charging document typically reserved for those who have agreed to plead guilty in a case. A lawyer for Broidy declined to comment.
UK could boycott Winter Olympics over 'egregious human rights violations' in China, Raab suggests | Politics News | Sky News Dominic Raab has left open the possibility of Britain boycotting the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing. The foreign secretary said he would "consider" action against China for its "serious and egregious human rights violations" against Uighur Muslims.
Uighurs tell Australian inquiry of 'intimidation and harassment' from Chinese government | The Guardian Representatives of the Uighur community in Australia have told a parliamentary inquiry of the “intimidation and harassment” they face to prevent them from speaking out against the Chinese government, including fears their relatives will be harmed. The inquiry also heard calls from other groups for the Australian government to introduce Magnitsky-style laws to impose targeted sanctions against human rights abusers.
China says it is highly concerned about safety of its UK investments | The Guardian A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said in response to the report that some in the UK should think before they speak and that the legitimate interests of Chinese companies were being damaged. “The openness and fairness of the UK market, as well as the security of foreign investments there, is highly concerning,” she said, speaking at a daily news conference in Beijing on Friday.
UK parliament committee says Huawei colludes with the Chinese state | Reuters The British parliament’s defence committee said on Thursday that it had found clear evidence that telecoms giant Huawei had colluded with the Chinese state and said Britain may need to remove all Huawei equipment earlier than planned.
China may pose threat to UK as northern sea route clears, says navy chief | The Guardian China represents a strategic threat to Britain as its navy could reach the North Atlantic via the Arctic by a route opened up by global heating, the head of the Royal Navy has said. Adm Tony Radakin, the first sea lord, said an “increasingly assertive” China had the capability to reach waters north of the UK by using the emerging Northern Sea Route.
Modern PLA barracks, heavy artillery at LAC: China media - Hindustan Times China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has, for the first time, commissioned new, modern barracks for soldiers and to station heavy artillery close to the disputed Sino-India border in the Ngari region of Tibet as part of its “preparations for war” and “concealment,” a state media report has said.
Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis sparks hostile Twitter reaction against Asians - The Washington Post In an analysis of 2.7 million tweets in the three days after Trump announced his and first lady Melania Trump’s diagnosis on Twitter, the ADL found an 85 percent spike in language associated with hostility against Asians, compared with the previous day. The announcement sparked thousands of online conversations blaming China for trying to purposefully infect the president, the researchers found.
Overseas Chinese Students and Scholars in China’s Drive for Innovation | U.S.- CHINA | ECONOMIC and SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION The report examines Beijing's ecosystem of programs and incentives designed to exploit the expertise of Chinese students and scholars studying in STEM fields at universities in the United States and other advanced countries. This ecosystem leverages the scientific and technical knowledge Chinese researchers acquire while abroad to benefit China’s commercial and defense sectors.
Beijing’s largesse in the Pacific drying up, Lowy confirms - The Australian Beijing cut its foreign aid from a high of $338m in 2018 to $169m last year, while incomplete data for 2020 records just $5.62m in new commitments this year. “Our data shows that after a rapid rise between 2010 and 2017, aid from China plateaued in 2018, coinciding with Xi Jinping’s visit to Port Moresby for the APEC leaders summit,” Lowy Institute Pacific program director Jonathan Pryke said.
Yicai - Chinese Company to Build Fast Road in Serbia The agreement on the construction of the so-called "Fruska Gora Corridor" was signed by the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic and Zhang Xiaoyuan, director of CRBC Serbia in presence of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo. The project, worth 606 million euros (714.94 million U.S. dollars), envisages the construction of a 47.7-km multi-lane road between the city of Novi Sad (capital of Serbia's northern autonomous province of Vojvodina, and the country's second-biggest city) and the municipality of Ruma.
China must become self-reliant in key technology to be secure, says military newspaper | South China Morning Post The article, headlined “Gain superiority with innovation” and published by the PLA‘s China National Defence News, said China should speed up the development of strategic, forward-looking and transformative technologies. The article named 5G, big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence and quantum computing as examples of key technologies to master and said “no matter how difficult it is, we must face the hurdles, try to surpass other nations, and level up the contribution of technological innovation to the military and combat capabilities build-up”.
HOW CHINA SEES THE WORLD: Insights from China’s International Relations Scholars | By Huiyun Feng, Kai He, and Xiaojun Li | Pacific Affairs This reviewer and other university instructors teaching courses involving contemporary Chinese foreign policy, US-China relations, and related topics have in recent years struggled to find books in English that could provide a systematic assessment of the perceptions of Chinese specialists on the above topics. The courses rely on the large and sophisticated literature coming from specialists in various parts of the world—commentary that tends to be critical of the policy and practice of the Chinese government but doesn’t provide adequate treatment of the Chinese specialists’ perspectives. Apart from universities, others endeavouring to keep informed of the problems and prospects of rising China and its international implications face similar frustrations, risking a one-sided understanding. This short, well-crafted volume takes a significant step forward in providing a systematic review of how Chinese international affairs specialists assess contemporary issues in Chinese foreign relations and particularly Chinese relations with the United States.
A View from the White House on China: Matt Pottinger Discussion | The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute Deputy National Security Advisor and Assistant to the President Matt Pottinger joins Reaganism to discuss President Reagan’s influence on the Trump administration, why Tik Tok is a threat to Americans, and the increasingly tense US-China relationship.
The Nevernight Connection - YouTube This FBI and National Counterintelligence and Security Center film—inspired by the case of former CIA officer Kevin Mallory—details the fictional account of a former U.S. Intelligence Community official who was targeted by China via a fake profile on a professional networking site and recruited to turn over classified information before being arrested.
Singaporean Dickson Yeo gets 14-month prison term in US on China spying charge | South China Morning PostThe Singaporean academic caught for spying for China was sentenced to 14 months in jail in a US federal court on Friday, three months after he pleaded guilty to operating illegally as a foreign agent for the Chinese government and soliciting non-public information in the United States. Jun Wei Yeo, 39, also known as Dickson Yeo, was given a relatively light sentence and credited for 11 months already spent in prison because of his cooperation with US authorities and also the threat of contracting Covid-19 in jail, said Washington federal judge Tanya Chutkan.
Comment: This new one may hit close to home for any influential foreigners who have taken receipt-free cash for showing up a conference in China, giving a talk or writing a "research" paper
Hong Kong and Macao
Hong Kong government accused of colluding with China to surveil and catch fugitives fleeing for Taiwan - CNN according to open-source flight data, first reported by Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, a Government Flying Services (GFS) aircraft was deployed to eastern Hong Kong, above Po Toi O, at about 4 a.m. on August 23, and stayed in the area for more than four hours. The movement of the plane -- as recorded by FlightAware, an aircraft tracking service -- closely matches a timeline of the fugitives' journey released by the Hong Kong government.
Hong Kong security law casts a shadow over city's churches - Inkstone Reverend Jayson Tam was upset when a remark he made about mainland China in an online sermon in early June drew a four-page letter of complaint. The Hong Kong pastor had mentioned a policy that banned children under 18 from going to church, but the complainant said it was not fair to single out the mainland when the United States also had rules regarding religious activities in public schools. Tam took to Facebook to express astonishment at the complaint, saying he feared that worship gatherings were being monitored by the authorities.
人民锐见：零容忍“播独”教师，学校不是揽炒温床 ""People's Daily Commentary" WeChat public information, in the classroom, asked the Primary 5 students to answer the "reasons for proposing 'Hong Kong Independence'", the propaganda " The "Hong Kong Independence" political platform requires students to raise their hands to make a political stand ...... On October 5, the Education Bureau of Hong Kong announced that after an in-depth investigation and disciplinary proceedings, the registration of an unethical teacher was revoked in late September under the Education Ordinance. This is the first teacher to be deregistered for professional misconduct since the "legislative amendment controversy". At the same time, the education bureau sent a letter of reprimand to the school's principal and vice-principal for the lack of supervision. The expulsion of the teacher who "broadcast independence" from the school in accordance with the law was hailed by public opinion as "an important step to set things right in the education sector".
Don’t use Taiwan’s Double Tenth holiday to undermine the one-China principle, Beijing tells Indian media | South China Morning Post It is not clear how many Indian media organisations received the letter, but according to an email seen by the South China Morning Post, the letter was sent to 254 journalists. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu signed off in a tweet on Wednesday night: “#India is the largest democracy on Earth with a vibrant press & freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist #China is hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship. #Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST! JW”
Tech and Media
Genshin Impact players say Chinese game censors 'Taiwan' and 'Hong Kong' chat | The Guardian A popular new game, Genshin Impact, is censoring words including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Falun Gong and Putin in the in-game chat function, according to players. The role-playing quest game from Chinese developer miHoYo was released last week, in what has been called the biggest global launch of a Chinese game ever.
In TikTok Saga, ByteDance CEO Confronts His Blind Spot: Politics — The Information $$ Zhang Yiming was shocked. China’s government had just announced new rules that could kill his chances of saving TikTok, the viral video app, from being banned in the U.S. The 37-year-old founder and CEO of TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance confided to some of his executives that Beijing’s action, in late August, blindsided him. The company hadn’t been proactive in cultivating a deep relationship with Chinese regulators and consulting them about TikTok’s future, according to a ByteDance executive with knowledge of the situation.
Pakistan blocks social media app TikTok for immoral and indecent content | Reuters The ban comes in view of "complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video sharing application," said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
全国芯片项目全线迎来烂尾潮 Liaowang looks at the likely wave of abandoned massive semiconductor projects 在短短一年多时间里，分布于我国江苏、四川、湖北、贵州、陕西等5省的6个百亿级半导体大项目先后停摆，业界担忧，造芯热引发烂尾潮，造成国有资产损失，延误芯片产业发展大好机遇。 《瞭望》新闻周刊记者近日实地走访发现，各地正在努力盘活停摆项目，尽可能降低损失，但由于涉及多方合作等方方面面复杂问题，一些项目重启难度很高，处置并不顺利。
China's Semiconductor Future: What Can $1.4 Trillion Buy? - The Wire China - Kevin Xu China’s trillion-plus investment should still be taken seriously, but perhaps not so literally, if only because its literal value is less than meets the eye. And when the entire Middle Kingdom is hellbent on getting a piece of this silicon pie, it may just be mo’ money, mo’ problem.
Chinese education service provider Logicreation eyes $152m in ChiNext IPO - DeallStreet Asia Logicreation, the parent company of the popular Chinese talk show Luogic, was co-founded by Zhenyu Luo in Beijing in 2014. It devotes itself to offering new generation, life-long learning services driven by internet technology. The company utilises short- and long-format videos, live streaming activities, audio showcases, and other tools to create interactive courses and products. Since its inception, Logicreation has launched two flagship internet platforms — Dedao APP, and Luoji Siwei WeChat account.
Yicai - Chinese Tech Firm Xunlei’s Stock Sinks as Ex-CEO Is Probed for Fraud Chen Lei is accused of transferring huge sums and core technologies from Xunlei to the firm’s bandwidth supplier Xingronghe, a company that Chen controls, an informed source told Yicai Global. He allegedly recruited associates into key positions in Xunlei to help him fake transactions and fabricate contracts. He is also accused of misappropriating tens of millions of yuan in illegal currency speculation.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Henan University Professor Disciplined for Sexual Harassment - SixthTone In a statement Wednesday, the department of Chinese language and literature at Henan University said its faculty member Hou Yunhua would no longer hold teaching or student supervisory roles, and that it had requested the university revoke Hou’s teaching and graduate student tutoring qualifications.
China’s Middle-Aged Dudes Embrace ‘Son-in-Law’ Lit - SixthTone Cinderalla-esque sagas of scorned male protagonists living in female-dominated households and striving to win the respect of their wives’ parents are resonating with China’s real-life sons-in-law.
Trending in China: Netizens Love Mass Military Wedding While Increasingly Shunning Marriage Themselves - Caixin Global A naval aviation brigade of the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command held a group wedding consisting of 15 couples in the presence of their families and comrades in arms. A fighter plane’s gangway was covered by red carpet, and the new couples entered the area that the plane was parked in tractors and boarded the fighter to take their wedding photos.
700-year-old Chinese scroll sells for $41.8M in Hong Kong - AP A 700-year-old Chinese painted scroll from the Yuan Dynasty fetched 306.6 million Hong Kong dollars ($41.8 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. The 6.6-feet scroll, titled “Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback” is by Ren Renfa, a renowned Chinese artist and government official.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China joins COVAX coronavirus vaccine alliance - AP The country signed an agreement with Gavi, the co-leader of the project, on Thursday, China’s foreign ministry said. Initially, China did not agree to join the alliance, after missing an early deadline to join in September. “We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX,” ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement. She added later at a daily news briefing that many Chinese vaccine companies expressed a willingness to join the partnership and that China would buy vaccines for about 1% of its population through COVAX.
Hot green air – Probe International In September, President Xi Jinping stunned and dazzled during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly when he pledged carbon emissions in China would peak before 2030 and the country would achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. So what’s really going on here? Probe International’s Patricia Adams unpacks Beijing’s great greenwash.
Wasted Words on Climate Change | China Media Project There is no disputing that China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 28 percent of the global total, according to Earth System Science Data. The US was the largest national emitter of CO2 only until 2006, when China took the top spot. But the Xinhua article dwells instead on cumulative CO2 emissions, a measure that accounts for emissions going back to 1750 and the start of the industrial revolution. The Xinhua article suggests that “analysts have pointed out that the United States is the country emitting the most cumulative greenhouse gases in the world.”
Most Infection Victims in Factory Negligence Case to Get $1,115 or Less - Caixin Most of the more than 3,000 people infected with a potentially lifelong disease due to a state-run factory’s negligence are in line to receive modest sums of up to 7,571 yuan ($1,115) in compensation, according to documents sent to victims earlier this month. But some of those infected with brucellosis in the Northwest China city of Lanzhou said they disapproved of the proposals, which outline four different plans based on the results of recent antibody tests and evaluations from so-called expert groups. The proposals also prohibit victims who take the money from pursuing further action against the factory.
Food and Travel
Trending in China: It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey – China’s Famous Roadside Rest Stops - Caixin Global As seen in photos online, highway rest areas in the southern province of Jiangsu have been developed with the same attention to detail as shopping malls, parks and scenic spots. The elegance of white walls and dark grey roof tiles, with bridges over flowing streams project a sense of tranquility to punctuate a busy journey. Some even show holographic projections, as well as live Kun opera performances, served along with local Su-style snacks. One rest area in Changzhou city even has a dinosaur theme.
Books and Literature
Contamination: On Qiu Xiaolong’s Inspector Chen Mysteries - Los Angeles Review of Books QIU XIAOLONG’S Hold Your Breath, China is a murder mystery about contamination. Contamination of the environment, to be sure; the book is dedicated to “two victims of China’s air pollution.” But also, a “contamination of the mind” at the heart of China’s modern-day woes — corruption, a lack of morals and concern for others, a government that prizes GDP above all else. The murders at the center of the story arise out of this contamination as well, though not in exactly the way one might expect.
Jobs and Events
Black China Specialists Directory The China field continues to exclude the participation from Black China specialists. Representation matters and Black under-representation in the China field is a problem. Black perspectives in the China field are intrinsically valuable. A comprehensive understanding of China will always be inadequate and riddled with blind spots if Black people are excluded from the conversation.