Navarro's moment; PRC financial markets unsettled; Kim-Xi sweet talk; Constructing a healthy and vibrant new media content ecology

It is a swampy Wednesday here in DC. I am off to Boston this morning for the funeral of my beloved Aunt Betsy tomorrow so there will not be a newsletter Thursday. Apologies, I will make it up to you.

Comments are now live for each issue, and we had some good discussion yesterday. You dear readers are some of the world’s smartest people on China and my hope is that over time I can start using some of your comments directly in the newsletter. So please click on the button below and weigh in.

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The Essential Eight

1. Navarro's moment 

New White House Report, Authored by Trade Hawk, Blasts Chinese ‘Economic Aggression’ - WSJ:

The release of the paper comes a day after President Donald Trump touched off a new phase of market turmoil by threatening expanded tariffs on Chinese imports. The policy and the document meant to justify it reflect the mounting influence of its chief author, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has been shaping and encouraging Mr. Trump’s most hawkish trade positions since the 2016 campaign.

Titled “How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World,” the 65-page report doesn’t suggest any new policies beyond the trade and investment restrictions already announced or under consideration, nor does it break new ground on Chinese trade practices. The study, which includes 300 footnotes and a 30-page appendix, consists of a synthesis of existing public reports examining Chinese economic policies.

Here is the report How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World, in PDF .

White House Is Confident It Has an Edge Over China in Trade Dispute - WSJ:

Mr. Trump has backed away from threats before, and sided with advisers who take a less confrontational attitude toward China, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In April, Mr. Trump threatened a dramatic increase in tariffs on Chinese goods, but didn’t follow through. Instead, he approved negotiations Mr. Mnuchin led to get China to buy more U.S. goods and make changes to its tariffs and other trade barriers. That led to a temporary reprieve in the tensions as the two sides sought to negotiate a truce.

The White House has since judged those efforts a failure, especially after Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Trump were criticized by cable TV hosts and some lawmakers of being weak on China. During a June trade mission to China by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Beijing offered to buy nearly $70 billion in U.S. farm, manufacturing and energy products if the Trump administration abandoned tariff threats. Mr. Trump rejected that offer as another empty promise.

White House Says China Has More to Lose in Trade War - The New York Times:

The Trump administration remained unmoved by those concerns, with a top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, insisting that China has more to lose from a trade fight than the United States. He also declared that Mr. Trump would not allow Beijing to simply buy its way out of an economic dispute by promising to import more American goods.

“President Trump has given China every chance to change its aggressive behavior,” Mr. Navarro said in a call with reporters on Tuesday. “China does have much more to lose than we do.”..

“I think that the other side may have underestimated the strong resolve of President Donald J. Trump,” Mr. Navarro said. “If they thought that they could buy us off cheap with a few extra products and allow them to continue to steal our intellectual property and crown jewels, that was a miscalculation. We hope going forward there are no more miscalculations.”

Navarro talks to Lou Dobbs:

Beijing vows firm answer to new U.S. tariff threat - China Daily:

Ma Yu, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing, said, "If the trade war continues, it will make goods produced by both countries less competitive and cause large-scale job losses."

"Each side wishes the other side to back away first. But if nobody does, their losses will continue."

Li Daokui, an economist at Tsinghua University and former Chinese central bank monetary policy committee member, said U.S. economic problems go far beyond its trade deficit.

The Trump administration needs to be farsighted and address some of its fundamental issues over the long run, Li said.

Survey: Companies in China feel pressure to give up tech - AP:

One in five foreign companies in China feels compelled to hand over technology for market access, a business group said Wednesday, highlighting a key irritant in an escalating U.S.-Chinese trade dispute.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China’s report follows President Donald Trump’s order for tariffs on additional Chinese goods in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

Out of 532 European companies that responded to a survey, 19 percent “felt compelled to transfer technology in exchange for market access” despite Chinese assurances that it isn’t required, the chamber said.

Comment: European firms, should be common ground for the US and EU to pressure China...

2. PRC financial markets don't like prospect of US-China trade war

Central Banker Calls for Calm as Trade War Sparks Stock Sell-Off - Caixin Global:

China’s central bank Governor Yi Gang called for investors to stay “calm and rational” after the domestic stock market tumbled to a two-year low in response to escalating trade frictions with the U.S.

Yi, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said Tuesday that China’s economy has growing resilience and capability to cope with external shocks and the central bank is prepared with policy tools. As Chinese stocks dropped Tuesday, the central bank injected liquidity into the market.

“China is in good position to cope with all kinds of trade frictions,” given its huge domestic market and strong growth momentum, Yi said in an interview with the Shanghai Securities News published on the central bank’s website.。。

Yi said the central bank is prepared with policy tools and will use a combination of monetary tools to maintain liquidity at an appropriate level and keep the deleveraging process at proper scale and pace. Policy makers intend to promote stable economic growth while preventing systemic financial risks, he said.

China media projects confidence in face of stock market slump | Reuters:

Shanghai stocks tumbled 3.8 percent on Tuesday to a two-year low as Washington’s new tariff threats against China raised the spectre of a full-blown trade war...

In a front-page article, the Shanghai Securities News said “favourable” factors that should support stocks had not changed, namely a steadily improving macroeconomic situation, reasonable and stable liquidity conditions, and a sound basic mechanism of market operations.

“A heavy decline reflects the market’s pessimism in the short term, but after an emotional release, investors should rationally view the market’s ups and downs and objectively understand the short-term and long-term factors that affect the market’s operation,” it said.

The China Securities Journal, also on its front page, highlighted China’s fundamentals, saying the economy was “fully resilient”.

人民银行行长易纲接受上海证券报独家采访:中国经济基本面良好 人民银行将保持流动性合理稳定 

Investing in Chinese Stocks: Four Big Headlines: China Financial Media Defends Market

Trade Fight With U.S. Complicates China’s Campaign to Contain Debt - WSJ $$:

How China adjusts its economic policy, officials and economists said, will depend on how much worse the trade fight with the U.S. becomes. Strong exports buoyed the Chinese economy last year, keeping expansion at 6.9% above the leadership’s growth target of 6.5%.

Recent snapshots of economic activity show that investments in Chinese factories and other fixed assets have slowed to the lowest level in 18 years and China’s household consumption, which has been steady in recent years, is starting to decelerate sharply.

With exports likely to take a hit too, policy makers have put in place tax cuts and other measures aimed at boosting consumption. If the conflict escalates to include $200 billion of Chinese exports, Deutsche Bank AG estimates that would shave between 0.2 and 0.3 percentage point from China’s annual GDP growth.

There is no question Xi would rather not have a trade war with the US, but if things really get dicey then expect Beijing to do what needs to be done to keep the economy going, while resorting to nationalism to blame the evil Americans for yet another attempt to keep China down and prevent its great rejuvenation...

China Moves to Slow Currency Drop After Fastest Loss Since 2015 - Bloomberg:

The People’s Bank of China’s reference rate was 6.4586 per dollar on Wednesday, stronger than the most optimistic estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 23 analysts and traders. The onshore currency gained 0.14 percent as of 5:02 p.m., after a two-day slump that was the steepest since the 2015 devaluation.

Investors are keeping a close eye on the daily fixing for clues on whether officials will use China’s currency as a weapon to combat U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff threats. The outcome Wednesday suggests that, at least for now, repairing market sentiment is a higher priority.

Greg IP, Chief economics commentator for The Wall Street Journal, suggested on Twitter that:

Greg Ip@greg_ip

Economic theory says effects of tariffs on trade balances are eventually fully offset by currencies. Most countries won't see that in short run because so many forces drive the currency. However, China can virtually dictate the depreciation needed to neutralize Trump's tariffs.

June 19, 2018
Risk of Chinese Currency Devaluation Rises With Latest Tariffs Threat - WSJ $$:

“If the U.S. goes ahead with tariffs, China would need to consider some of the more aggressive options,” said Brad Setser, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Letting the yuan weaken becomes something that logically the Chinese would consider.”...

A key concern is that a devaluation would revive a cycle of capital outflows that the Chinese central bank spent more than $1 trillion in reserves attempting to halt.

Margin Calls Pile On Stock Woes - Caixin Global:

Pledged equity is the biggest source of pressure on stock markets at present, according to a research report by China Merchants Securities Co. Ltd. About 4.68 trillion yuan ($722.8 billion) in A-shares has been pledged as collateral, according to the report. This is about 9.2% of the total market value of A-shares traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

3. Kim-Xi Talks

Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un hold talks in Beijing - Xinhua:

They agreed to safeguard, consolidate and develop China-DPRK relations, and jointly push forward the sound momentum of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula to make a positive contribution to safeguarding world and regional peace, stability, prosperity and development.

Xi said that China was pleased to see the important summit between Comrade Chairman and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore achieve principled consensus and positive results in realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishing a lasting peace mechanism on the Peninsula.

"China speaks highly of the summit," Xi said...

"We are happy to see that the DPRK made a major decision to shift the focus to economic construction, and the development of the DPRK's socialist cause has entered a new stage in history," Xi said, adding that China supports the DPRK's economic development, the improvement of people's livelihood, and its development path that accords with its national conditions.

Kim said he was very happy to meet with General Secretary Xi Jinping again in a short period of time. He stressed China is DPRK's great friendly neighbor, and Comrade General Secretary Xi Jinping is a great leader who is greatly respected and trusted by the DPRK people.

The Wednesday CCTV Evening News report on Kim's visit shows Kim, Xi and their spouses looking very friendly, Kim looking happy and relaxed. Kim also visited a Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences Innovation Site and the Beijing Metro Command Center with Cai Qi and Song Tao. - ]习近平会见朝鲜劳动党委员长金正恩_CCTV 

Kim Jong Un visits China to meet Xi Jinping, complicating things for Trump - The Washington Post:

On Wednesday, North Korean state media said Kim and Xi reached an understanding on denuclearization and other issues following the Singapore summit. The report by the Korean Central News Agency did not give details on the views shared by the two leaders. But in the past, North Korea defined denuclearization as including an end to the U.S.-South Korean military alliance and a shift in U.S. defense policies to end nuclear protection for South Korea and Japan.

Kim Urges `Step-by-Step' Nuclear Talks in Meeting With Xi - Bloomberg:

In talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, the North Korean leader reiterated his call for a gradual process to carry out the results of last week’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Chinese state media cited Kim as saying that denuclearization would open up new prospects for both sides, if they could “implement the consensus of the summit step by step solidly.”

Kim’s remarks were another sign of lingering disagreements between Washington and Pyongyang over the pace and sequence of North Korea’s disarmament and sanctions relief. Trump has said Kim could only see penalties relaxed after he “completely denuclearized,” while North Korean state media has previously said the U.S. president had agreed to a “step-by-step” process.

Kim Jong-un says Beijing and Pyongyang ‘like family’ | South China Morning Post:

During his latest visit, Kim was accompanied by his top economic official, Premier Pak Pong-ju, on a visit to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It was a clear sign of the restive state’s ambitions to boost its economic engagement with Beijing, analysts said.

Pak, 79, who is also a member of the supreme Presidium of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), was making his first visit to China, KCNA reported.

Wi Sung-rak, a former Korean Ambassador to Russia, said Pak’s visit was evidence North Korea was building up its momentum for economic development.

“It seems like the economy is one of its major areas of interest,” he said, adding that Pyongyang appeared to be focusing its efforts on cooperating with China in a bid to bring about an end to the UN sanctions.

4. Declining Chinese FDI into the US

Arrested Development: Chinese FDI in the US in 1H 2018 | Rhodium Group:

After a record $46 billion of completed Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US in 2016, Chinese investment dropped sharply to just $29 billion in 2017 due to greater scrutiny in Beijing over outbound flows as well as tougher US regulatory reviews of inbound acquisitions. One of the big questions for businesses, intermediaries and local US governments is whether the 2017 drop reflected a short-term correction or the beginning of a protracted period of lower Chinese capital deployment in the US. We have previously argued we are experiencing a more profound shift, and the latest data confirm this view: from January to May 2018, Chinese companies only invested $1.8 billion in greenfield projects and acquisitions in the United States, a drop of 92% from the same period in 2017 and the lowest half-year figure in seven years (Figure 1). The number of transactions has also markedly declined, dropping from a bi-annual average of 84 since 2014 to 69 in 2H 2017 and just 39 in 1H 2018, the lowest level in six years.

As discussed in our 2017 Update, the rapid decline in Chinese FDI was driven by a “double policy punch” – Beijing cracking down on rapid outbound investment (especially by a few highly leveraged private investors) and the US government increasing scrutiny on Chinese acquisitions through CFIUS as well as taking a more confrontational stance toward economic engagement with China in general.

These same factors are causing the amplified depression of Chinese investment in the first half of 2018.

Compare the Rhodium report with the recent report from Macro Polo which argued the 2017 decline in PRC FDI into the US more just a Reversion to the Mean: Why Chinese Investment in the US Did Not, In Fact, “Collapse” - MacroPolo:

The rapid decline of US-bound Chinese direct investment in 2017 has led many to conclude that the wave of Chinese money is subsiding. To be sure, the drop in Chinese direct investment from 2016 to 2017 was nothing short of dramatic, but that is because 2016 was, in fact, a significant aberration and an exceptional year, not because Chinese investments are now disappearing.

From my vantage point, 2017 simply marked a “reversion to the mean.” In other words, it is premature to declare the drying up of Chinese foreign direct investments (FDI) in the United States...

To illustrate, more than 60% of US-bound Chinese FDI in 2016, or about $34 billion, can be traced to just four companies: HNA Group (3 deals), Anbang Insurance (1), Wanda Group (1), and Oceanwide Holdings (1). These six deals were concentrated in five sectors: leisure, real estate, media, business, and financial services (see Figure 2). In fact, 2016 saw 8 out of the 10 biggest Chinese investment deals since 2008.

5. Become a virtual migrant

Macro Polo has created an interesting online hukou/migrant experience, a creative way to give more color to the experiences of tens of millions of Chinese. 

On the Road - MacroPolo:

There has been much academic research on the political, economic, and social dimensions of the hukou system and how it affects the migrant population and inequality. Policymakers in Beijing, too, understand that their hukou policy has mostly outlived its utility. Yet hukou remains largely an abstraction to most outside observers, particularly those who are not affected by the policy or barely know what it is. Indeed, even among those specialists who focus on China, many have never seen what an actual hukou booklet looks like.

On the Road aims to change that. This product uniquely combines quantitative and qualitative tools to make the hukou issue more real and accessible—and even, we hope, to humanize it. This is, in fact, a policy issue that will resonate with global (especially American) and Chinese audiences alike. Chinese migrants’ experiences parallel, in many respects, those of foreign immigrants to the United States or Europe. Fundamentally, the migrant issue in China, like the present-day immigration debate in America, is about enfranchising a marginalized “out group” into becoming full-fledged and equal citizens.

On the Road offers both a quantitative assessment of hukou reform progress across 40 Chinese cities and qualitative accounts of migrant lives based on a comprehensive Chinese government survey, including interviews with real-life migrants across three cohorts we have labeled “blue collar,” “white collar,” and “the Dreamer.” In addition, users can directly engage with On the Road by determining which city “they” belong in based on a predetermined set of criteria (below see details and explanation of our methodology).

6. Shanghai Cooperation Organization may not be an irrelevant organization

The Lessons China Taught Itself: Why the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Matters - Jamestown:

A review of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s activities reveals that China perceives the organization as a blank canvas to hone its own approaches to leading on the international stage. Chinese official newspapers and netizens have described the organization as a forum for China to explore and implement a new model of international relations. Moreover, official releases from the SCO itself acknowledge the need for the group to continue refining coordination and organization mechanisms, indicating that China’s strategy for engaging the organization is evolving as the SCO’s issue set expands in scope. Thus, the current value of the SCO is as a forum for China to define and articulate its interests, shape the focus of international institutions based on its own domestic priorities, lobby its neighbors to adopt its approach, and codify those views within an internationally legitimate multilateral process...

As China’s own domestic priorities, clout within the international community, and approach to engagement with pre-existing international organizations shifted, its approach to the SCO evolved as well. The case study of the SCO’s engagement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative demonstrates that, when stymied multilaterally, China will use bilateral mechanisms to generate support for its own priorities. Furthermore, although the expansion of the issues included in SCO communiques demonstrates diplomatic agility on the part of China’s Foreign Ministry, if the organization focuses efforts too broadly, then it runs the risk of losing its ability to prioritize high-impact issues...

What is certain is that China’s engagement in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has taught Beijing valuable lessons on how to form, shape, and engage “new models” of international organizations.

Abigail C. Grace is a Research Associate with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. She recently served as a Special Assistant on staff at the National Security Council.

 7. More United Front reading

My name is Wu, James Wu: The United Front in the Czech Republic | jichang lulu:

The Czech president’s bromance with CEFC has most saliently illustrated the intensity of CCP influence in the country’s high politics, teeming with links to the Party’s International Liaison Department (ILD). However, in the shadow of this high drama, the United Front (UF) system, famous for its Antipodean prowess, is also active in the Czech Republic, cultivating lower-level decision makers below the media radar. There are many foot soldiers in this more pedestrian side show, but one in particular stands out. His name is Wu. James Wu.

Understanding the Role of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Associations in United Front Work - Jamestown:

Given the UFWD’s close oversight of all industry associations, their part in the wider United Front system including the CPPCCs, and the desirability of becoming a leader in one, it would be impossible for any successful Chinese business person not to know what they are or who they are dealing with. On the contrary, the more ambitious and influential one is, the more benefits to be gained and the more valuable one is to united front work. As for Mr. Chau and his association with the United Front, despite his denial of any involvement with the CCP, he appears to have received the ultimate reward: an invitation to Beijing in late November 2017 to meet Xi Jinping himself

8. Constructing a healthy and vibrant new media content ecology

People's Daily is running a series of commentaries on "constructing a healthy and vibrant new media content ecology (今天起,本版刊发“构建健康活跃的新媒体内容生态”系列评论.)

Today's is on using "mainstream values to alleviate 'algorithmic worries'"...guess we should expect more pain for AI-driven content platforms and their news and short video sites...Bytedance may have more trouble ahead



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Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Growth in China’s Trust Assets Cools for First Time in Two Years | Yicai Global The speed of growth of China’s trust assets has contracted for the first time in two years, with an industry insider disclosing that the trend is expected to continue. Total assets managed by China’s 68 trust companies fell 2.4 percent to CNY 25.61 trillion (USD 4.0 trillion) in the first quarter this year compared with the quarter before, data from China Trustee Association shows, indicating that the expansion rate is falling. Growth in the last quarter of 2017 slowed further slowed to 16.6% from 29.8% in the year-ago period.

In a Historic Decision, the U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China | Department of Commerce Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the first antidumping duty (AD) trade case the Federal government has initiated since 1985. This historic self-initiated AD investigation concerns imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China. This investigation, and the companion countervailing duty investigation, was initiated by the Enforcement and Compliance division of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration under the authority granted to the Secretary in the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.  The CVD investigation reached a preliminary determination in February 2018 and is still being adjudicated.

Greece intends to increase cooperation with China | (Xinhua copy) Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis met on Tuesday in Beijing with China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu and Vice President Wang Qishan at the start of an official visit to the country..Voutsis said Greece respects China’s core interests and is willing to promote joint efforts between China and the EU to play a more important role in global and regional security and stability, as well as economic globalization

Area FGI Owner Is A Most Wanted Person In China - Myrtle Beach SC Sources inside the Chinese Organized Crime And Corruption Reporting Project have confirmed that local Founders Group International owner, Dan Liu, is on their list of 896 top people sought by the Chinese government. As China is a nation of 1.379 billion people, a list of 896 fugitives is a short list. FGI purchased 22 area Myrtle Beach Golf courses in 2014 and 2015 in what the Sun News later called a Chinese Ponzi scheme.  The funds were raised by a firm called Yiqian Funding.   As Alan Blondin of the Sun News reported this week, Liu’s partner in the Chinese company Yiqian Funding, a peer-to-peer lending business that seeks investors, testified May 3rd in her fraud trial in Nanjing that Liu was in control of the company when it became unable to pay many investors what prosecutors estimate to be $1.17 billion — or 7.4 billion yuan.

Goldman Sachs hires first China partner from outside bank | Financial Times $$ Goldman Sachs will appoint Wei Cai as its co-head of investment banking in China, marking the first time the US bank has hired a China partner from outside the firm. Mr Cai joins Goldman after three years at FountainVest, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm. He was formerly UBS' Asia vice chairman of investment banking and before that served as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley.

Investing in Chinese Stocks: ¥80 Billion, 3-Year Old Online Lending Platform With 10M Users Implodes, May Be Ponzi An online lending platform Tang Xiaoseng was shut down by authorities over the weekend. Media warned about the company in 2016 and some have questioned whether it is a legitimate business because it offered extremely high returns to entice investors. According to a 2016 report, the incentives could generate 75 percent annual returns.

Beijing sees remarkable drop in home transactions in 2017 - Xinhua Last year, 43,000 new commercial homes were sold in the national capital, down 26.5 percent year-on-year, and 134,000 second-hand homes were sold, a drop of 49.8 percent year-on-year, according to the report by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. In December, the average transaction price of new homes in Beijing was 37,800 yuan (5,885 U.S. dollars) per square meter, down 0.9 percent compared with the same period in 2016, marking the 15th consecutive month without growth, the report said.


Politics, Law And Ideology

Top legislature reviews draft decision on duties of NPC constitution and law committee - Xinhua According to the draft, the NPC Constitution and Law Committee will perform new duties such as promoting the implementation and interpretation of the Constitution, carrying out constitutional examination, strengthening supervision of its enforcement, and coordinating with Constitution publicity.

China mulls law revisions to curb intervention in judicial affairs - Xinhua Judges and prosecutors should reject and make a faithful record of intervention in judicial affairs by officials and their meddling in specific cases, said the draft revisions, adding that violators would be punished based on the seriousness of their behavior. The draft revision to the Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates also legislates for procuratorates to urge administrative agencies to rectify their illegal exercise of functions and powers or inaction.

China Detains, Questions 'Hundreds' Over Support For Exiled Billionaire - RFA Authorities in China have detained or questioned at least 500 people in the past year over online comments in support of exiled billionaire Guo Wengui, who is on Beijing's most-wanted list for a number of criminal charges, RFA has learned.

陕西前首富高乃则被带走调查 曾名列胡润慈善榜第七_新闻_腾讯网 Gao Naize, once the richest man in Sha'anxi, has been taken away for investigation, just two days after the HU Zhiqiang, former Yulin Party Secretary, was put under investigation

中央纪委国家监委统一设立派驻机构—中央纪委国家监委网站 经党中央批准,根据党章党规和宪法、监察法有关规定,中央纪委国家监委统一设立派驻机构,名称为中央纪律检查委员会国家监察委员会派驻纪检监察组。对驻在部门新设或更名的,派驻机构名称作相应变更。派驻纪检监察组对中央纪委国家监委负责,履行党的纪律检查和国家监察两项职责


Foreign and Military Affairs

China-based campaign breached satellite, defense companies: Symantec | Reuters Symantec said the effort appeared to be driven by national espionage goals, such as the interception of military and civilian communications. Such interception capabilities are rare but not unheard of, and the researchers could not say what communications, if any, were taken. More disturbingly in this case, the hackers infected computers that controlled the satellites, so that they could have changed the positions of the orbiting devices and disrupted data traffic, Symantec said.

China committed to cooperation for better space governance: China's envoy to UN - Xinhua China is committed to cooperation for a common development in outer space, which is a new domain for promoting the well-being of all mankind, said Shi Zhongjun, China's envoy to UN in Vienna, on Tuesday. After more than 60 years of hard work, China has established a comprehensive, systematic, and advanced aerospace scientific, technological and industrial system, and has become an important emerging force in the exploration and use of outer space, said the Chinese envoy. Shi said China is committed to cooperation for better space governance, noting China dedicates to cooperation with nations in promoting development in outer space, and would like to share with the others.

China regrets U.S. exit from United Nations Human Rights Council - CGTN "China regrets U.S. withdrawal from the UNHRC," said spokesperson Geng Shuang. "The council is established with the demand of the UN General Assembly as an important platform for various parties to conduct dialogue, cooperation and mutual exchange and to promote the development of the human rights course," explained Geng.  //  Comment: Does China really regret it? It seems like this move may assist China's ongoing efforts to redefine human rights

China's Giant Ionosphere-Zapping Radar Is Weaponry Masquerading as Science As long as U.S. submarines operate in this part of the world, China has no chance of dominating it. But a system which could blank out ELF communications and selectively interfere with other satellite communications would severely affect any submarine operations in the South China Sea. China could even use the new array as a transmitter for ELF radar to detect submarines at long range. The U.S. Navy discounted this approach in the ‘80s but the technology may be ripe for reappraisal. At least a dozen of recent scientific papers have looked at ELF radar for investigating underground features, finding natural resources, and locating pipelines. Interestingly, almost all these research papers have been from China. One paper suggests the same technique might be applied to ‘underwater target detection,’ another looks at ELFs for detection of underwater objects. Finding submarines is definitely on the agenda.

Expert predicts China may shortly have a third aircraft carrier - People's Daily Online China might soon have its third aircraft carrier, said military expert Song Zhongping, after a picture showing three aircraft carriers was made public in a news piece by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) on Wednesday. Song told Global Times that the three aircraft carriers shown could be China’s original aircraft carrier Liaoning, with the first domestically-developed aircraft carrier alongside a new one with electromagnetic aircraft launch systems.

New motor to be used for classified weaponry - Global Times China has produced a new type of electric motor that would meet the heavy demand from China's latest electromagnetic weapon system, which may involve electromagnetic railgun and ballistic missile technologies, said an expert. Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has recently delivered a batch of newly developed brushed DC electric motors to an unnamed unit. The motors will be used in China's latest electromagnetic weapon system and are under heavy demand, reads an article published by the academy on WeChat on June 10.

Chinese President Xi Jinping commits all kinds of support to Nepal | Setopati - Nepal's Digital Newspaper Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli Wednesday handed over to the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping the invitation letter sent by President Bidya Devi Bhandari. PM Oli, who is on a six-day official visit to China, handed over the invitation letter during a courtesy meeting with the Chinese President at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Receiving the invitation letter sent by President Bhandari, President Xi expressed his commitment to visit Nepal at an appropriate time. President Xi and Prime Minister held one-on-one talks for half an hour. Similarly, the delegation level talks lasted for 45 minutes

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill visits Beijing to sign One Belt, One Road trade deal - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is arriving in China today for a week-long visit to strengthen ties with Beijing and to sign the controversial One Belt, One Road initiative. Key points: Peter O'Neill says he won't be seeking any new loans while in China PNG is also planning to renegotiate the funding of the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone China is PNG's largest bilateral creditor, with PNG owing it nearly $2bn in concessional loans PNG will join East Timor as the second Pacific island nation to sign up to the initiative, which aims to expand Chinese economic influence by enhancing trade routes across the world.



Mainland winning hearts and minds in Taiwan - China Daily Really?  //  A recent survey found that nearly 49 percent of people in Taiwan have a favorable opinion toward the mainland, while about 44 percent have a negative opinion. This is the first time favorable opinions have surpassed negative ones, according to a poll released by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation on Sunday.


Tech And Media

AI-Chip Unicorn Wins $2.5 Billion Valuation - Caixin Global Chinese artificial-intelligence (AI) chipmaker Cambricon Technologies Corp. Ltd, which is now collaborating with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on chips for its smartphones, has completed a new round of fundraising that valued it at $2.5 billion. The Beijing-based startup raised “hundreds of millions of dollars” in the latest round, it said in a Wednesday statement (link in Chinese) published on its official WeChat account. The leading investors are state-backed venture capital funds that include China state-owned Capital Venture Investment Fund, SDIC Venture Capital and China Reform Fund. Lenovo Capital, Incubator Group and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. also increased their respective investments in Cambricon.

"Rap of China" Primer: All You Need to Know As the Hit Hip-Hop Show Returns | RADII China the Chinese name for the show has changed to 中国新说唱 “China’s New Rap” from last year’s 中国有嘻哈 “China Has Hip-Hop”. The English name however, has remained the same..As for the rappers who have “bad histories,” Chen said: “The diversity of a culture can be seen in different channels. We have a lot of viewers who are under 14 years-old, so we have to be socially responsible. Mass media has its features and values. If you want to see a more intensive rap battle, you can watch the underground battles. Being positive will not negatively affect young people’s nature nor their creativity.”

China censors John Oliver after he mocks its president - Inkstone The British comedian’s name has been censored on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, a few days after his popular show “Last Week Tonight” satirized President Xi Jinping – and exactly this  kind of internet preventing online mentions of Oliver and his show, the Chinese authorities have drawn attention to the very “micromanagement” of Chinese life that the host had accused them of. In his most recently aired episode on Sunday, Oliver spent a whole 20-minute segment highlighting criticisms of the Chinese government under Xi.

Xiaomi Set Terms for Up to $6.1 Billion Hong Kong IPO - Bloomberg Xiaomi Corp. has set tentative terms for the world’s biggest initial public offering in nearly two years, aiming to raise as much as $6.1 billion in Hong Kong, people with knowledge of the matter said. The Chinese smartphone maker and some existing investors plan to offer 2.18 billion shares at HK$17 to HK$22 apiece, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. China Mobile Ltd., the nation’s biggest wireless carrier, and U.S. wireless-chip giant Qualcomm Inc. are among companies in talks to buy stock as cornerstone investors in the deal, the people said.

China to build national AI-assisted translation platform - SHINE Chinese AI giant iFlytek on Wednesday announced a plan to work with China International Publishing Group to build a national translation platform based on its AI technologies. Specializing in machine translation, iFlytek has been providing real-time Chinese-to-English translation and interpretation services for government organizations and companies both in China and abroad. "The latest machine can translate Chinese to 33 languages. Our technologies in voice recognition, machine translation, and voice synthesis are leading in the world," said Liu Qingfeng, president of iFlytek.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Can China kick its animal antibiotic habit? | The Guardian Right now, China is the world’s largest consumer of agricultural antibiotics, out-dosing even the US by eight tonnes to every one. A 2013 study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that 162,000 tons of antibiotics are consumed in China each year, with 52% going to animal husbandry. In the US, 70% of antibiotics amounting to 10,000 tons are consumed by livestock each year.

Yangtze audit finds 'complex' problems - China Daily In an effort to promote the protection of the river's ecosystem, the National Audit Office has audited the implementation of environmental protection policies of the 11 provinces and municipalities - including Hubei and Zhejiang provinces, and the municipalities of Chongqing and Shanghai - in the past two years. The report said the amount of urban sewage treated in the area has increased by 8 percent, and treated rubbish has climbed 11 percent over the past two years. Some 97,800 cases involving dumping and discharging pollution, or deforestation, have been dealt with, it said. However, problems are still severe. By 2017, there were 24,100 small-scale hydropower stations in the area, and the shortest distance between two stations was just 100 meters, the report said.

China to end small-scale coal burning in 2 northern provinces by 2020 | Reuters China will shut down small-scale “scattered” coal burning in the heavily coal-dependent provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi by 2020 in the next stage of its war on pollution, a senior environmental official said at a briefing on Wednesday

习近平提出这“六大原则”,缘于深邃的思考和生动的实践-新华网 1.坚持人与自然和谐共生,坚持节约优先、保护优先、自然恢复为主的方针,像保护眼睛一样保护生态环境,像对待生命一样对待生态环境,让自然生态美景永驻人间,还自然以宁静、和谐、美丽; 2.绿水青山就是金山银山,贯彻创新、协调、绿色、开放、共享的发展理念,加快形成节约资源和保护环境的空间格局、产业结构、生产方式、生活方式,给自然生态留下休养生息的时间和空间; 3.良好生态环境是最普惠的民生福祉,坚持生态惠民、生态利民、生态为民,重点解决损害群众健康的突出环境问题,不断满足人民日益增长的优美生态环境需要; 4.山水林田湖草是生命共同体,要统筹兼顾、整体施策、多措并举,全方位、全地域、全过程开展生态文明建; 5.用最严格制度最严密法治保护生态环境,加快制度创新,强化制度执行,让制度成为刚性的约束和不可触碰的高压线; 共谋全球生态文明建设,深度参与全球环境治理,形成世界环境保护和可持续发展的解决方案,引导应对气候变化国际合作 // Official media heavily promoting Xi's 6 principles for environmental protection work

Five Sentenced Over Mercury Poisoning of 167 Children - Sixth Tone Five individuals were sentenced to up to four and a half years in prison after residual mercury at an unlicensed factory poisoned over 160 children in 2016, according to a court verdict made public Tuesday in a Legal Evening News report. The decision marks the first sign of justice for the victims’ families in over two years. The factory in central Hunan province’s Malichang Town began extracting mercury from industrial waste in November 2015 without authorization from the local government.


Food And Travel

Introducing Goldthread: Your Guide to Chinese Food, Culture, and Travel - YouTube We are Goldthread—a new publication exploring Chinese food, culture, travel, and identity. Our team is a group of reporters and artists from all over: the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China.

An illustrated compendium of Chinese baos - Goldthread When it comes to Chinese food, few dishes are as beloved and portable as the bao. The etymology of the Chinese character bao 【包】 is “to wrap up,” which is a rather apt description for it. In the West, the term bao is often used interchangeably with dumpling. That’s not entirely accurate—not all baos are dumplings, and not all dumplings are baos.