New Era of US-China Relations; Xi's Jilin inspection; Xi Thought; Ren Zhiqiang

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Friday open thread. We had a great conversation and I am thankful we have such a smart community of China watchers who can discuss difficult issues in reasoned and civilized ways. The Friday discussions are a regular feature for Sinocism subscribers and I hope more of you can participate, anonymously if want, in the future. Thanks especially to “Policy Wonk” for their many excellent comments; I do not actually know who that person is other than that they are a paying subscriber.

It has been an especially sad few days in US-China relations, as the sharper new reality continues to harden in place. I do not like saying we are in a “new Cold War”. I much prefer the term this newsletter has used for many months- A New Era of US-China Relations-as much of the shift has been driven by Xi Jinping and his New Era, rather than solely by the US and President Trump, as PRC officials and various propaganda channels and proxies would like the world to believe.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi doubled down on blaming the US for everything—The Current Difficulties in China-US Relations Are Completely Created by the US Side:

On 24 July, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a video conference with German Foreign Minister Maas and briefed on the current China-US relations at the other's request.

Wang Yi pointed out, the current difficulties are completely created by the US side. Its purpose is to disrupt China's development; it unscrupulously resorts to all means to this end. Some anti-China forces in the US lately have been deliberately creating ideological opposition, blatantly coercing other countries to pick sides and confronting China for US' self-interests. But any country with conscience and independent spirit will not play a part in such actions.

Wang Yi noted, China still hopes to achieve no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation with the US. But we will firmly uphold national sovereignty and national dignity, resolutely safeguard our legitimate rights to development and unswervingly uphold basic norms governing international relations. China will neither dance to the US' tune, nor let the US have its way.

The official Chinese version - 王毅:中美关系目前面临的困难完全是美方一手造成的 — 中华人民共和国外交部

王毅表示,中美关系目前面临的困难完全是美方一手造成的,其目的就是企图彻底打断中国的发展进程,为此可以不择手段,甚至毫无底线。最近美方一些反华势力还蓄意制造意识形态对立,公开胁迫别国选边站队,为了美方的私利与中国对抗,但任何有良知和独立精神的国家都不会与之为伍。

王毅表示,中国仍希与美国实现不冲突、不对抗、相互尊重、合作共赢,但我们必将坚定维护国家主权和民族尊严,坚定维护自身正当发展权利,坚定维护国际关系基本准则。中国不会随美方起舞,但也绝不容美方胡来。

Over the weekend the New York Times reported that certain US officials are trying to make irreversible changes to the relationship, as I have written more than once over the last couple of weeks - Officials Push U.S.-China Relations Toward Point of No Return - The New York Times

With President Trump trailing badly in the polls as the election nears, his national security officials have intensified their attack on China in recent weeks, targeting its officials, diplomats and executives. While the strategy has reinforced a key campaign message, some American officials, worried Mr. Trump will lose, are also trying to engineer irreversible changes, according to people familiar with the thinking...

A state of broad and intense competition is the end goal of the president’s hawkish advisers. In their view, confrontation and coercion, aggression and antagonism should be the status quo with the Chinese Communist Party, no matter who is leading the United States next year. They call it “reciprocity.”..

Doesn't it seem strange that "reciprocity" would lead to "confrontation and coercion, aggression and antagonism"?

Back to the article:

“It’s not just electoral considerations,” said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing. “It is also a natural escalation and a result of the inherent contradictions between China and the United States.”

Until those “inherent contradictions” are resolved, it is difficult to see how there can be material improvements in the relationship, no matter if it is President Trump or a President Biden, and quite possibly the next US President after that.

Today’s Essential Eight:

  1. Xi’s Jilin inspection tour

  2. US-China

  3. Australia-China

  4. Another outbreak

  5. The march towards “Xi Thought”

  6. Xinjiang

  7. Ren Zhiqing expelled from Party, faces prosecution

  8. Barbara Demick’s new book on Tibet

Vacation notice: I am joining Xi on his upcoming August vacation to Beidaihe, in spirit if not in person. Assuming precedent holds Xi will disappear from public view by the end of this week, to reappear sometime in the third week of August. The newsletter will be taking next week off and then the following week may be on a reduced schedule, barring any big developments. Sadly we will not be going anywhere, but I need a mental break from the daily grind, and this year I have taken no vacation other an occasional day off here or there, and I am feeling increasingly stuck in a mental rut.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Xi’s Jilin inspection tour

Xi Focus: Xi stresses further revitalizing northeast China - Xinhua

Xi underscored the great importance of China's 14th five-year plan, which will start next year, as it is the first five-year period after the country embarks on a new journey to fully build itself into a modern socialist country.

Xi noted that the internal conditions and external environment for the country's development are undergoing profound and complex changes...

"I care very much about grain production and food security," Xi said, demanding that Jilin should make efforts to ensure food security, accelerate the transformation of agricultural development, and provide more experience in developing modern agriculture...

During a visit to the memorial hall for the Siping battle of the Chinese People's War of Liberation, Xi demanded efforts to earnestly study the history of the CPC and that of New China, uphold the great socialist cause founded by the Party and the people under the Party's leadership, and carry the cause forward from generation to generation.

On Thursday afternoon, Xi inspected a residential community in the provincial capital Changchun to learn about primary-level governance and community services.

He spoke of the importance of improving community governance in promoting the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance.

习近平参观四平战役纪念馆:守住中国共产党创立的社会主义伟大事业,世世代代传承下去-新华网

During his visit last week to a museum in Jilin that is dedicated to the Siping battle between the CCP and the KMT during the civil war, Xi Jinping said their forefathers sacrificed their lives in the fighting with the Japanese in the war of resistance, the KMT in the war of liberation, and the Americans in the war to resist America and aid Korea, and “we must defend this great cause of socialism founded by the CCP, and pass it on generations after generations.”

习近平凝神观看、细致询问,他感慨地说,四战四平只是我们党领导人民进行武装斗争过程中的一次重大战役。我们从八一南昌起义到井冈山斗争,从艰苦卓绝的长征、抗日战争,再到解放战争、抗美援朝,是革命烈士的鲜血铸就了革命成功,我们一定要牢记新中国来之不易。要让14亿人民、9000多万党员特别是各级领导干部很好学习中国共产党党史、新中国史。创业难,守业更难,我们一定要守住中国共产党创立的社会主义伟大事业,世世代代传承下去。

[视频]习近平在吉林考察时强调 坚持新发展理念深入实施东北振兴战略 加快推动新时代吉林全面振兴全方位振兴_CCTV

The full CCTV Evening News package on Xi's Jilin inspection

Xi inspects PLA aviation university ahead of Army Day - Xinhua

At the university's laboratory for drone technology, Xi inspected teaching facilities for drone operating systems and learned about the training of drone operators.

He said with the emergence of a large number of drones of different kinds, unmanned combat has brought about profound changes in warfare.

Xi stressed strengthening research into unmanned combat, enhancing drone education as a discipline, stepping up training in real combat conditions, and cultivating professionals who can use drones and take command in such warfare.

习近平八一前夕视察空军航空大学时强调 深化改革创新 不断提高办学育人水平 向全体人民解放军指战员武警部队官兵民兵预备役人员致以节日祝贺_CCTV

CCTV Evening News on Xi's visit to the Aviation University

读懂习近平吉林之行,有这四个“切入口” People's Daily - To understand Xi Jinping’s trip to Jilin, here are four "entry points"

看农业——“让农民用最好的技术种出最好的粮食” -Looking at agriculture - "Let farmers use the best technology to grow the best food.";

观命脉——“把提升全产业链水平作为主攻方向” - On the lifeblood - "Take improving the level of the whole industrial chain as the main direction.";

访社区——“社区治理只能加强、不能削弱” - Visiting Communities - "Community governance can only be strengthened, not weakened";

谋未来——“聚焦面临的老难题和新挑战” - Shaping the future - "Focusing on old problems and new challenges"

紧抓核心技术 打造国际品牌 民族车企勇担产业壮大重任---人民网

Monday People's Daily on Xi's comments about grasping core tech and building global automotive brands.

Xi Jinping vows jobs for new graduates despite COVID-19 - CGTN

Xi said job opportunities for recent college graduates have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, but the issue is a priority for the CPC Central Committee and the central government.

"We are trying to get all of these recent graduates employed," he said.

Xi added that he was pleased the state-owned FAW Group has created 1,115 jobs so far this year.

He visited the company's research and development institute on Thursday.

Xi cares about employment of college graduates - Xinhua

Xi noted that due to the COVID-19 epidemic, groups such as college graduates and migrant workers are having difficulties in finding jobs this year, but the Party and governments at all levels are making efforts to create more jobs for them.

The vast number of college graduates were also encouraged to adjust their employment expectations to carve out a space for themselves and dedicate themselves to their work to realize their dreams.


2. US-China

US-China trade: negotiators set to hold talks on progress of phase one deal | South China Morning Post

The head of China’s trade negotiating team, Vice-Premier Liu He, and joint leader of the US side, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are expected to hold talks in August, according to a person familiar with the issue, who asked not to be named.

Comment: The irony of course is that in spite of the trade war, trade now is the most functioning aspect of the US-China relationship now, and the relationship between USTR head Lighthizer and Vice Premier Liu He may be the most functioning communication channel between the two governments. Will that channel be used to convey messages beyond trade, as the downward slope of the relationship seems to steepen by the day?

Pompeo's speech - Communist China and the Free World’s Future - United States Department of State

My remarks today are the fourth set of remarks in a series of China speeches that I asked National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Chris Wray, and the Attorney General Barr to deliver alongside me.

We had a very clear purpose, a real mission. It was to explain the different facets of America’s relationship with China, the massive imbalances in that relationship that have built up over decades, and the Chinese Communist Party’s designs for hegemony.

Our goal was to make clear that the threats to Americans that President Trump’s China policy aims to address are clear and our strategy for securing those freedoms established.

Ambassador O’Brien spoke about ideology. FBI Director Wray talked about espionage. Attorney General Barr spoke about economics. And now my goal today is to put it all together for the American people and detail what the China threat means for our economy, for our liberty, and indeed for the future of free democracies around the world.

Comment: As rhetorically tough as this series of speeches has been, the fact that President Trump himself has not given such a speech is noteworthy.

Briefing With Senior U.S. Government Officials On the Closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas - United States Department of State

The sum total of the Houston consulate’s activities went well over the line of what we are willing to accept, and unless we disrupted it, it threatened to become even more aggressive in Houston and at other Chinese consulates nationwide. Our focus is on disrupting this activity out of Houston as well as deterring similar activity by Chinese officials at other consulates. Closing the Houston consulate and preventing relocation of those officials accomplishes both of those goals.

The activity we are concerned with, while illegal, is not necessarily amenable to criminal charges, among other reasons, because of the diplomatic immunity that consulate officials enjoy. So you’re not necessarily going to see many prosecutions tied specifically to the Houston consulate as a means of disrupting that activity. That tool just isn’t as available to us in this context as it would be elsewhere. And the public examples and what I’m discussing here today are merely the tip of the iceberg at Houston.

Ahead of U.S. election, China braces for rocky ride, potential change - Reuters

“There are no illusions about restoring relations back to the good old days, but a new president at least provides a chance to reset relations,” said one Chinese official, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.”After all, you can’t get a worse relationship than the current one,” he said.

倒行逆施 不得人心(钟声)

Zhongsheng of People’s Daily lashed out at Pompeo for his speech on CCP last week. The article said the speech is trying to “spread twisted history and the political virus of confrontation”. It said the speech is a provocation against China, and “as the chief diplomat of the US, Pompeo is good at putting up this ugly farce that undermines the US international credibility and image” It added that the speech won’t sway the Chinese people’s support for the CCP, and Washington should abandon this “cold war thinking and ideological prejudice” against China.

如何看待 27 日 早晨,美国驻成都总领事馆降下美国国旗 ?这意味着什么? - 知乎

This is the most liked reply on Zhihu about the closure of US consulate general. It compared now and 199 when US bombed Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia and China did nothing. This time China responded in kind and the Chinese people are celebrating about the closure of US consulate.

Wife of US consul general in Chengdu in controversy over ‘Nazi’ comparison post - Global Times

The wife of the US consul general in Chengdu has been caught up in controversy on social media for comparing her family's departure from the Southwest Chinese city in February, when the virus was rife, to Jews fleeing Nazis during World War II.

When the US consulate in southwest Chengdu came under the spotlight after it was ordered to close on Friday by China as a reciprocal measure against the US demanding the closure of China's Consulate General in Houston, Chuang Tzu-i, the wife of Jim Mullinax, whose official title is still Chengdu consul general according to the official website of US Embassy and Consulates in China, was soon drawn into controversy for previous "inappropriate" Nazi comparisons.

U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu ordered to close - Xinhua

He pointed out the above-mentioned abominable acts have increasingly met with criticism from rational people with a sense of justice, citing a joint statement recently issued at a conference attended by experts and scholars from 48 countries. The statement reminded people of the threat to world peace posed by the U.S. government's increasingly ferocious remarks and acts against China, and expressed support for the two countries to build ties based on dialogue and commit themselves to global unity.

"The current situation in China-U.S. relations is not what China desires to see, and the U.S. side is responsible for all of this," said the spokesperson, once again urging the U.S. side to immediately retract its wrong decisions and create the necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.

China’s catastrophic success: US strategic blunders fuel rivalry | The Interpreter - John Culver

From Beijing’s perspective, China and the United States have been moving toward a strategic “systems rivalry” for the past decade. The CCP apparently reached this strategic conclusion after the 2008–2009 Global Financial Crisis and framed some of the more dire implications for its rule in the 2012 CCP “Document No. 9”.  

Beijing assumes that this rivalry will last decades. It could involve periods of “cold war” and military conflict – especially in East Asia, where US alliance responsibilities and Chinese sovereignty claims and “red lines” converge. From the CCP’s Marxist-Leninist perspective, the side that best marshals superior domestic stability, economic performance and relevance to international conditions will prevail...

If Beijing comes to see US antagonism to CCP rule as structural and bipartisan – especially in the aftermath of the 2020 US elections – China’s self-imposed restraint to prioritise stable US relations and drive economic reform and growth would be greatly weakened.

John Culver retired in April as a Senior Intelligence Officer with 35-years’ experience as a leading CIA analyst of East Asian affairs, including security, economic, and foreign policy dimensions. As National Intelligence Officer for East Asia from 2015-2018, he drove the Intelligence Community's support to top policymakers on East Asian issues and managed extensive relationships inside and outside government. This is his first publication since his retirement

Mike Pompeo Challenges China’s Governing Regime | The National Interest

The Secretary of State’s approach to Beijing risks confirming its suspicions about U.S. subversion while simultaneously alienating the very Chinese people that he aspires to “engage and empower.” by Paul Heer

Chinese expert warns of Sino-U.S. conflict in South China Sea - CGTN

The director of South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, Hu Bo says while China and the U.S. are nuclear powers, they are still closely linked, so the chances of a full-blown conflict in the area are minimal. But the threat of a medium or small-scale conflict cannot be discounted.

"Although the US has been trying to decouple with China in other areas, they are still closely connected. So the chance of a large-scale conflict happening is small. But a medium or small-scale conflict is possible, such as two warships hitting each other or occasional cross-fire, since the two countries' warships and aircraft encounter each other every day."


3. Australia-China

Australia-US looking to ramp up joint military exercises in South China Sea - Sydney Morning Herald

Australia and the United States are set to conduct more joint military exercises in the South China Sea following Canberra's decision to brand China's territorial claims unlawful at the United Nations.

Australia will continue to resist any US offers to conduct freedom of navigation exercises in the disputed waterway, diplomatic sources say, but will look to increase the number of operations it conducts with the US navy...

The prospect of increasing joint naval exercises in the South China Sea will be a topic of discussion when Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds meet with their US counterparts in Washington over the coming days as part of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations.

Marise Payne and Linda Reynolds land in US for AUSMIN talks - The Australian

US government officials have flagged a series of “ambitious” and “co-ordinated” defence initiatives will be up for discussion, with agreement possible on four to five separate defence co-operation issues.

Australia Abandons Its Neutrality on the South China Sea Maritime Disputes – The Diplomat - Carl Thayer

Australia, a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), has long maintained that it was neutral with respect to maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Australia’s submission of a Note Verbale [PDF] to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLSC) on July 23 changed previous policy and came in the wake of a major change in U.S. policy made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 10 days earlier.

Australia jumped from its perch of neutrality to align itself with the United States in supporting UNCLOS and the 2016 Award by the Arbitral Tribunal that heard the case brought by the Philippines against China. However, Australia went further and was more precise in its rejection of the legal basis of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea...

So what explains Australia’s change of declaratory policy? It is likely Australia quickly became aware that Pompeo’s press statement was the first salvo in an anti-China offensive by senior Trump administration officials

China reiterates its sovereignty and rights in South China Sea - CGTN

China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea were established throughout a long course of history and have been upheld by successive Chinese governments, Wang [Wenbin] said

"They are consistent with international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and cannot be altered by the unwarranted allegations of any country," he noted.

China firmly opposes Australian side's remarks, which ignore facts and violate international law and basic norms of international relations, Wang added.

Australian agricultural sector likely to lose Chinese market - Global Times

Some Chinese consumers' boycott against Australian agricultural products is poised to benefit New Zealand, whose geographic and weather conditions are similar to that of Australia and therefore have a certain level of overlaps with its neighbor in terms of main export products, Wang Jiazheng, chief representative of the Guangdong Economic and Trade Representative Office in New Zealand (GETRONZ), told the Global Times on Monday.

China fires back over Australia’s ‘illegal’ South China Sea declaration -The Australian

Chinese government mouthpiece The Global Times says Australia’s declaration that China’s territorial claims in the South China Seas are illegal is a reckless “provocation” that could be punished with trade sanctions against Australian beef and wine.

It says Australia’s statement to the United Nations is aimed at winning the support of the United States, but warns “Australia hasn‘t clearly thought about the consequences”.

Great expectations: The unraveling of the Australia-China relationship - Natasha Kassam

China has long sought to divide and isolate U.S. allies — and Australia’s identity in Beijing’s eyes has always been defined by its relationship with the United States. What has changed of late is twofold: China is increasingly assertive in achieving its goals; and contrary to Beijing’s intent, Australia has become increasingly assertive in pushing back. The clash of China’s expanding interests and Australia’s unwillingness to be deterred illustrate the structural challenge for Australia that will characterize future relations with the People’s Republic of China.


4. Another outbreak

Chinese mainland reports 46 new confirmed COVID-19 cases - Xinhua

Of the domestically transmitted cases, 22 were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and 13 were in Liaoning Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

Dalian goes all out to halt coronavirus - China Daily

Tieling, another city in Liaoning, reported one new confirmed case on Saturday: a 55-year-old woman who works at Dalian Kaiyang World Seafood Co, where the first confirmed case of this outbreak was reported on Wednesday. She left Dalian and arrived in Tieling on Tuesday, the Tieling health authority said on Sunday morning.

At least eight other cities and counties in northeast China-such as Changchun, Jilin province, and Hegang, Heilongjiang province-had reported asymptomatic infections transmitted from Dalian as of Sunday afternoon, according to provincial health authorities.

Chinese authorities to test six million residents in Dalian after new cluster emerges | South China Morning Post

Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, led a team to Dalian on Friday night to guide the containment measures. As of Saturday, the contagion link from the city’s cluster had extended to seven other cities in four provinces, mostly asymptomatic case.

Ma said the city should aim to complete nucleic acid testing, all costs to be covered by the government, within four days, according to a statement released by the National Health Commission on Sunday.

NE China city tests 1.25 mln in a day after new COVID-19 cases reported - Xinhua

According to Zhao Lian, deputy director of the municipal health commission, 6,145 medics have been mobilized to conduct nucleic acid tests at 1,928 test sites across the city, after new domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases began to emerge in the city on July 22.

The city has suspended 99 bus lines and now requires passengers taking long-distance buses to show negative results from nucleic acid tests conducted within seven days...

Dalian reported 14 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing its total new domestically-transmitted cases to 38 since July 22.

The city had asked residents to refrain from leaving the city. Those who have to leave have been advised to carry proof of negative nucleic acid test results, conducted within seven days.

Dalian Kicks Off Mass Testing Amid China’s Latest Regional Covid-19 Flare-Up - Caixin

Fears are mounting over global cold chain transportation as the outbreak in Dalian is the latest to be apparently linked to imported frozen seafood. Previously, samples taken from the packaging of Ecuadorian shrimp products in Dalian and the Fujian city of Xiamen tested positive for Covid-19 on July 3, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.

During the Covid-19 resurgence in Beijing last month, traces of the virus were also found on chopping boards used to cut imported salmon. China has halted meat imports from a total of 23 food producers including Tyson Foods in the U.S. since July 10.

HK infections risk spread to Shenzhen - Global Times

A truck driver traveling between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland was confirmed with COVID-19 infection, prompting the neighboring mainland city of Shenzhen to test thousands of residents and step up measures to prevent the port from becoming a loophole in mainland's epidemic control work

科学处理好常态化疫情防控和发展的关系(人民要论)

The state council special task group on controlling the COV19 wrote on page nine of the People’s Daily on Monday, urging local governments to follow Xi Jinping’s instructions, and do well in balancing between economic growth and containing the virus. It told officials not to lower their guard on COV19 while at the same time ensuring sure those anti-epidemic measures that could constrain economy activity are precise.

[新华网] 孙春兰在新疆调研时强调,以科学精准措施遏制疫情扩散,维护各族群众生命安全和身体健康

Vice Premier Sun Chunlan visited Xinjiang for three days last week to inspect the government’s efforts to contain the COV19 spread. So far more than two million people in Urumqi have been tested, and there is a relatively higher percentage of asymptomatic patients than other provinces, the Xinhua article said.

乌鲁木齐市人民政府:市委常委会召开(扩大)会议

The Urumqi government said some of its officials have been punished for not acting fast enough in stopping the spread of COV19. 

会议通报了对在疫情防控工作中发现的不敢担当、作风漂浮、玩忽职守、失职渎职和不作为、慢作为等问题责任人给予追责问责的情况。


5. The march towards “Xi Thought”

Diplomatic Moves Toward “Xi Thought” | China Media Project

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy

Is this some sort of word game? No. In fact, this is an example, playing out right before our eyes, of an important process of rhetorical evolution within the Chinese political discourse: the act of abbreviation (缩略), or the condensing of long and involved phrases and concepts into concise phrases with greater political potency.

As I’ve said again and again, words play a crucial role in signaling power and standing within the Chinese Communist Party. Since the 19th National Congress of the CCP was held in November 2017, during which the general secretary’s “banner term,” (旗帜语), “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era,” was written into the Party’s charter, I have pointed out that Xi’s next rhetorical coup in terms of solidifying his power and legacy would be to successfully shorten this lengthy 16-character phrase into the concise five-character “Xi Jinping Thought.” This abbreviated banner term would put Xi on even rhetorical footing with his most powerful predecessors, Mao Zedong (“Mao Zedong Thought”) and “Deng Xiaoping” (“Deng Xiaoping Theory”).

Despite the fact that “Xi Jinping Thought” has been reported as a fait accompli in the international press (as here and here), purely to avoid the unpalatable length of Xi’s power-phrase, the transformation is not yet complete. During the first half of 2020, we have not yet seen the abbreviated form of Xi Jinping’s banner term in use, and getting there is a delicate matter, about constantly testing the political waters internally.


6. Xinjiang

China & Uighurs: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube

John Oliver discusses the human rights abuses the Uighur people are facing at the hands of the Chinese government, and why those atrocities are worth our undivided attention.

Hosting the hostage: Looking beneath China’s policy to infiltrate Uyghur homes - Timothy A. Grose

While programs such as “Visit the People, Benefit the People, and Bring Together the Hearts of the People” 访惠聚 and “United as One Family” 结对认亲 have conscripted over 1 million Han civilians and sent them to live with Uyghurs in arranged homestays, the Chinese Communist Party’s contrived attempt to require Han people to share intimate moments and spaces with Uyghurs is fraught with paternalism, deception, and ethnocentrism; as such, it will be unlikely to alleviate Uyghur distrust of the Party and Han people.

China's Uighur women reveal how the Communist regime turned hospitals in centres of mass murder | Daily Mail Online

Opinion | China Is Harvesting the DNA of Its People. Is This the Future of Policing? - The New York Times

In a report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute last month, we exposed the extent of the Chinese government’s program of genetic surveillance: It no longer is limited to Xinjiang, Tibet and other areas mostly populated by ethnic minorities the government represses; DNA collection — serving no apparent immediate need — has spread across the entire country. We estimate that the authorities’ goal is to gather the DNA samples of 35 million to 70 million Chinese males. Matched against official family records, surveillance footage or witness statements in police reports, these samples will become a powerful tool for the Chinese authorities to track down a man or boy — or, failing that, a relative of his — for whatever reason they deem fit.


7. Ren Zhiqiang expelled from Party, faces prosecution

Tycoon Ren Zhiqiang who criticised Chinese leadership facing prosecution | South China Morning Post

Zhongsheng of People’s Daily lashed out at Pompeo for his speech on CCP last week. The article said the speech is trying to “spread twisted history and the political virus of confrontation”. It said the speech is a provocation against China, and “as the chief diplomat of the US, Pompeo is good at putting up this ugly farce that undermines the US international credibility and image” It added that the speech won’t sway the Chinese people’s support for the CCP, and Washington should abandon this “cold war thinking and ideological prejudice” against China...

Friends close to the tycoon’s family said that Dong Guoqiang, a close associate of Ren’s and founder of a leading auction house was also under investigation – a sign other business people with ties to Ren could be targeted by the authorities.

Wu Qiang, a Beijing-based independent political analyst, said: “The statement made it very clear that [his crimes] were basically about making unfounded criticism of the party, malicious attacks against the leadership,” Wu said.

“This [statement] is essentially denying the rights of party members to criticise [party leaders]. This is the most important point.”

The official statement - 北京市华远集团原党委副书记、董事长任志强严重违纪违法被开除党籍

经查,任志强丧失理想信念,背弃初心使命,在重大原则问题上不同党中央保持一致,公开发表反对四项基本原则的文章,丑化党和国家形象,歪曲党史、军史,对党不忠诚、不老实,对抗组织审查;违反中央八项规定精神,违规公款吃喝,违规持有、使用公款购买的高尔夫球卡;在组织谈话时,不如实说明问题;将公权力作为谋取私利的工具,违规使用公款报销应由个人支付的费用,长期无偿使用社会商人提供办公场所及住房,通过关联企业违规从事营利活动获取巨额利益;不正确履行职责给国有资产造成重大损失;家风败坏,家教不严,伙同子女大肆敛财。

任志强严重违反党的政治纪律、组织纪律、廉洁纪律、工作纪律和生活纪律,构成严重职务违法并涉嫌贪污、受贿、挪用公款、国有公司人员滥用职权犯罪。依据《中国共产党纪律处分条例》《中华人民共和国监察法》等有关规定,经西城区纪委常委会会议研究,决定给予任志强开除党籍处分;按规定取消其享受的待遇;收缴其违纪违法所得;将其涉嫌犯罪问题移送检察机关依法审查起诉,所涉财物随案移送。

Comment: Ren’s key business partners from his Huayuan Real Estate days should be worried. And this prosecution of someone who was once part of rarified, elite Beijing politico-business circles, is chilling for everyone, and that I assume is the point.


8. Barbara Demick’s new book on Tibet

Excerpt in the New Yorker - A Monk’s Life in Turmoil in Tibet

Many of the self-immolators were, like Phuntsog, children and grandchildren of former resistance fighters; a disproportionate number were from Meruma, which had been home to many officers of a regional military before Communist times. Dongtuk often seemed ambivalent about the self-immolations. In Dharamsala, there was a cult of martyrdom surrounding the people who’d died. Tibetans collected their pictures on their iPhones like baseball cards. The official exile museum in Dharamsala, next to the Dalai Lama’s headquarters, had a special exhibit of their portraits. Just down the hill from the monastery dormitory, where Dongtuk was living, was a large banner that read “Sacrifice of Life for Tibet” and featured their grainy photos…

“The government is actively manipulating the coronavirus epidemic to pursue its political interests,” Golog Jigme, an exiled Tibetan filmmaker from Sichuan Province, told me. He believes that the lockdown gave Party cadres an opportunity to set up more systematic monitoring of the population, allowing them to determine which Tibetans had contacts abroad with exile groups and to enhance what the Chinese government calls “social stability.”

It might be coincidental, but one of the first measures announced when the lockdown ended was a major change in the language policies of the Ngaba schools. At a meeting in early April, parents and educators were told that the last of the government elementary schools teaching primarily in Tibetan would switch to Chinese as early as the resumption of the school year, in September. Protests are anticipated.

The book on Amazon - Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick


Business, Economy and Trade

China expands state jobs for graduates as coronavirus hits private sector - Reuters Oil giant Sinopec Corp is more than doubling its 2020 recruitment numbers, with an additional 3,500 positions for new graduates. In Henan province, provincial SOEs have been told to expand hiring and reserve at least half the new positions for graduates. “Clearly, initiatives such as this run counter to the idea that China’s SOEs are run on a purely commercial basis,” said Louis Kuijs, of Oxford Economics. SOEs, which enjoy privileged access to certain sectors, have a “special responsibility” at times, he said.

HSBC 'accomplice' of US political scheme against Meng Wanzhou, latest disclosures show - People's Daily Online HSBC received huge benefits by helping the US government take on Huawei. The bank acted as though it was a victim of Meng's "fraud", and thus produced "evidence" against her. This was done so that the US DOJ, which had previously filed criminal charges against HSBC for money laundering, would show the bank leniency

谁在说谎?刘欣独家揭秘孟晚舟与汇丰高管会面细节_澎湃国际_澎湃新闻-The Paper CGTN host Liu Xin interviews an informant on the details of HSBC and Huawei meeting, where the person said HSBC made the invitation to Meng Wanzhou, contrary to former released information that Huawei initiated it. All aspects of the Party-State are being mobilized against HSBC, and to help Huawei. What is the desired result, that HSBC come out and publicly declare that it worked with the US government to entrap Meng, so Canada will throw out the extradition request and let her go back to China?

HSBC braced for grilling over Beijing links by key investors Europe’s biggest bank is set for a grilling when it reports first-half results on Aug 3. At the weekend, the lender issued a statement via Chinese social media app WeChat denying claims it had tried to frame telecoms firm Huawei for breaking US sanctions following criticism in the communist regime’s propaganda outlets.

China’s Economy Needs Institutional Reform Rather Than Additional Capital Deepening - Michael Pettis - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace It is a mistake to assume that there is a global capital and technology frontier toward which every country must strive to acquire development. Economic development requires, above all, the right set of formal and informal institutions.

China to auction 10,000 tonnes of frozen pork from state reserves on July 30 - Reuters China will sell 10,000 tonnes of frozen pork from state reserves on July 30, the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center said on its website on Monday.

Top EU official slams Volkswagen as ‘complicit’ in Chinese oppression - POLITICO The chair of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with China, Reinhard Bütikofer, has slammed Volkswagen for not confronting China over its treatment of the Uighur minority in a region where the German carmaker has a factory..."Volkswagen ... is a company without a conscience," the Green lawmaker told POLITICO, adding that "companies like that are complicit in upholding a totalitarian hell in Xinjiang."

In Depth: Will China’s Bull Market Be Short-Lived? - Caixin No matter whether bullish or bearish, analysts agree that the recent performance of China’s stock market can’t be explained by fundamentals and that the rally is more of a recovery for long-undervalued sectors boosted by unprecedented liquidity injected into the stock market.

Cover Story: The Losing Game for Chinese Retail Investors - Caixin China’s A-share market allows investors to settle stock transactions on the same day, meaning they can use the funds from stock sales to make new purchases the same day. But investors can exit a position only the day after the purchase. Traders are able to skirt those restrictions now because the recent rise of margin financing allows them to borrow stocks from others and conduct same-day trading, selling and buying the same stock multiple times in one day to gain from price changes instead of buying and holding. Such a trading strategy is well suited to markets with high turnover volume and liquidity like China’s, the private equity trader said.

Joint conference system for trade approved - Gov.cn Led by the Ministry of Commerce, the joint conference also contains 29 other departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the People’s Bank of China, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. With Hu Chunhua, vice-premier of the State Council, serving as the convener, the joint conference counts officials with those departments as its members. // 国务院办公厅关于同意建立国务院推进贸易高质量发展部际联席会议制度的函(国办函〔2020〕58号)_政府信息公开专栏

COVID-19 outbreak prompts young Chinese to start ‘slash’ careers - People's Daily Online As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic causing a reduction in incomes for many people, a large number of young Chinese have started looking for second careers to guarantee their quality of life

Xi to address AIIB annual meeting of board of governors: spokesperson - Xinhua

China's industrial profits up 11.5 pct in June - Xinhua Profits of China's major industrial firms in June totaled 666.55 billion yuan (about 95.18 billion U.S. dollars), increasing by 11.5 percent year on year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday. The growth widened 5.5 percentage points from that in May, said NBS senior statistician Zhu Hong. The quickened growth in industrial production and sales and the moderate drop in the factory-gate prices of industrial products led to the expansion of profits in June, according to Zhu.

Chinese vice premier to chair 8th China-EU High-level Economic, Trade Dialogue - Xinhua Themed "Post-COVID-19 China-EU Cooperation, Promote Steady Recovery and Growth for Global Economy," the dialogue will be held via video link. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU diplomatic relations. Started in 2007, the dialogue is a mechanism under which the two sides communicate and coordinate economic and trade policies

Office Vacancies in China’s Cities Soar Even as Economy Reopens - Bloomberg Vacancy rates for prime office buildings in Shanghai climbed to 20% in the second quarter and 21% in the tech hub of Shenzhen, both the highest since at least the financial crisis in 2008, CBRE Group Inc. data show. Beijing’s 15.5% rate was the most since 2009.

Hollywood 'kowtowing' to China takes heat. But why now? - Los Angeles Times Some film industry executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Washington’s concern over censorship is overblown, noting that studios trim movies for many countries, including conservative Middle Eastern nations, to avoid offending local sensibilities. Altering movies to appeal to audiences in the world’s most populous nation makes business sense. “We’re not compromising values,” said one film business insider, who was not authorized to comment.

China's June crude imports from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil hit fresh highs | S&P Global Platts boosting the country's total crude imports to a record high -- and almost touching 13 million b/d in a month for the first time, General Administration of Customs data released July 26 showed.

Beijing to offer 1.5 million coupons to spur consumption - China.org.cn The coupons will be available on Sunday at e-commerce giant JD.com. They include 1 million coupons that can be used at participating restaurants and retailers in Beijing as well as 500,000 coupons for buying products equipped with smart technologies.

Chinese Supreme Court Calls for Stronger Property Rights over Digital Currencies and Virtual Assets – China Banking News The Chi­nese Supreme Court has flagged height­ened pro­tec­tions for prop­erty rights in re­la­tion to dig­i­tal cur­rency in the lead up to the re­lease of Chi­na’s cen­tral bank dig­i­tal cur­rency (CBDC), or dig­i­tal cur­rency/ elec­tronic pay­ments sys­tem (DC/​EP). // 虚拟财产,强化保护需有招(一线调查·互联网新观察⑧)- 《 人民日报 》( 2020年07月27日 第 06 版)

Politics and Law

传承红色基因培育时代新人 团结教育引领广大少先队员做共产主义事业接班人 Last Thursday the Communist Youth League held its national congress in Beijing. Xi sent a letter of congratulation, urging the League to keep up the good work of cultivating teenagers who “love the party, love the country and love the people”. It said the members of the League should “inherit the red genes” and “get ready to contribute to the China Dream of national rejuvenation.”

[视频]全国政协民宗委召开宗教界主题协商座谈会 汪洋出席并讲话_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1_央视网(cctv.com) The CPPCC Commission for Ethnic and Religious Affairs held a meeting on Monday, during which Wang Yang told the religious leaders that they try to cultivate more “patriotic religious figures” who are “politically reliable, religiously accomplished, morally convincing to the public, and can be of use at key moments.”

全面建成小康社会取得决定性进展决战决胜实现目标必须加快补短板 Ning Jizhe, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, wrote in the People’s Daily touting the progress China has made in building the “well off society in all aspects”. But he also pointed out various shortcomings, including imbalanced development of eastern and western China, inequality, pollution, shortage in health care etc, issues I assume will be featured in the 14th Five Year Plan

国务院办公厅关于同意建立公共法律服务体系建设部际联席会议制度的函(国办函〔2020〕57号)_政府信息公开专栏

China to build inter-ministerial system for public legal services - Gov.vn The joint conference consists of 12 departments, including the Ministry of Justice, the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Taxation Administration. Convened by the Justice minister, the joint conference will be held as instructed by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council or as needed, with attendance by officials with those departments. Its office will be set at the Ministry of Justice for routine operations

CPC-led China firmly on path to prosperity - People's Daily Yao Yang, dean of Peking University's National School of Development, said anyone trying to comprehend China from a Western perspective will find it difficult to understand what happened to the country. Speaking during a recent online seminar on China's political system, Yao said that for many people in the Western world, if a country's system is not categorized as a "Western-style democracy", it will be "authoritarian".However, Yao said, it's incorrect to describe China's system as "authoritarian" as the CPC is actually different from political parties as defined by "Western-style democracy". He explained that political parties in Western countries often represent a group of people, however, the CPC represents the whole Chinese people, and it boasts more than 90 million members from all walks of life throughout the country.

Residents of China's Shandong Left Homeless by Suspended Rural Resettlement Plan - RFA Authorities in the eastern province of Shandong have suspended a mass rural resettlement program after it was criticized by the ruling Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, in the face of growing public anger. While government land grabs in rural areas have sparked mass unrest and, rarely, organized resistance across China for decades, the Shandong program of "village mergers" was far more ambitious in scope, and had been packaged as a bid to improve the lives of farming communities in a total revamp of rural areas. // Much more here in Chinese

Supreme People’s Court’s new guidance on similar case search | Supreme People's Court Monitor In a blogpost in June, 2019, I flagged a provision in the 5th Five Year Judicial Reform Program that would require Chinese judges to search certain prior cases.   That provision has now been implemented in the form of a Supreme People’s Court policy document. On 27 July 2020,  the Supreme People’s Court (SPC)  issued provisional guidance entitled Guiding Opinions Concerning Strengthening Search for Similar Cases to Unify the Application of Law (关于统一法律适用加强类案检索的指导意见(试行)), to be effective on 31 July.  It is not a judicial interpretation. but is guidance intended to make judicial decisions more consistent.  The SPC’s Case Management Office appears to have been responsible for drafting it, because “a responsible person” (presumably the head) of that office issued a press release to explain these rules.

有林同志逝世 求是杂志社原总编辑有林同志,因病于2020年6月10日在北京逝世,享年91岁。// You Lin, first editor on chief of Qiushi, dead at 91

China drafts new rules to ensure foreign teachers protect national ‘honour’ - The Globe and Mail “The end game here is to make it unviable for foreign education institutions to operate in China,” said Jiang Xueqin, a Beijing-based researcher who studies Chinese schools. “This can be done either by increasing the costs of business so that it is no longer profitable to do business in China or by localizing and co-opting foreign education institutions to such a degree that they are indistinguishable from Chinese schools.”

Foreign and Defense Affairs

As the World Gets Tougher on China, Japan Tries to Thread a Needle - The New York Times China’s efforts to dominate the South China Sea, for example, are “one step toward kicking out the Western elements from their sphere of influence, which they have been dreaming of for the past century and a half,” said Kunihiko Miyake, a former Japanese diplomat who is now teaching at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. “Their nationalistic ambition will not end,” he said. “I am very concerned, and nobody can stop it, as they couldn’t stop us in Manchuria in the 1930s,” Mr. Miyake said, referring to Japan’s invasion of that region of eastern China. “At that time, the more pressure we had, the more adamant and arrogant and self-assertive we became, because we were too nationalistic and too undemocratic, and that was our destiny,” Mr. Miyake said. “China is following the same path.”

Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministry Spokespersons Held Consultations and Agreed to Cooperate in Combating Disinformation On the night of July 24, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson and Director General of the MFA Information Department Hua Chunying held consultations via videolink with Russian foreign ministry spokesperson and Director of the Information and Press Department of Russia's foreign ministry Maria Zakharova. Both sides agreed that against the backdrop of the on-going pandemic, certain countries, out of ideological bias and political needs, have been spreading disinformation, distorting history, attacking other countries' social systems and development paths, politicizing the pandemic, pinning labels on the virus, and restricted and oppressed foreign media for doing their job. Such acts have severely poisoned the atmosphere of global public opinion, obstructed international cooperation against the virus, and set obstacles to mutual understanding among people from different countries. The two sides stressed that disinformation is a common enemy of the international community.

US urged to exploit cracks in Russia-China relationship | Financial Times $$ Steve Biegun, deputy US secretary of state, told the Financial Times last month that he was confident the US could be more agile and find “the seam” in the relationship between Russia and China. He said that seam was held together solely by a “mutual determination to challenge the United States”. Elbridge Colby, a former senior Pentagon official who worked on the national defence strategy, said: “Our goal should be to ensure a lot of space between China and Russia.” He added that the US should reduce irritants in the relationship with Moscow.

China, Europe, and covid-19 headwinds | European Council on Foreign Relations The European Council on Foreign Relations has collected vast amounts of data from public opinion polls, expert surveys, and mapping exercises in the last few weeks. Zooming out and looking at the various data sets together leads to one clear assessment: China-EU relations are entering a new stage – across Europe....Perceptions of China have worsened to a significant degree during the crisis in eight of the nine countries covered by ECFR’s recent Unlock survey. In France and Denmark, for example, 62 per cent of respondents now have a more negative view of Beijing. And even in Italy – which received a lot of attention and widely publicised support from Beijing during the height of the health emergency – almost 80 per cent of people do not view China in a more positive way

Wang Yi: We need to act in the spirit of multilateralism - CGTN Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for more efforts to jointly promote multilateralism, oppose acts of unilateralism, in a bid to provide more stability and inject positive energy into the world. Wang made the remarks on Friday while holding a video conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas over the plan for the development of the China-Germany, China-EU relations in the next phrase.

Duterte seeks Chinese coronavirus vaccine, rules out US bases in Philippines | South China Morning Post ‘I made a plea to Xi Jinping. Can we be one of the first to have it … or can we buy it?’, says Duterte in State of the Nation Address He rules out confronting Beijing in the South China Sea as ‘China is in possession of the property’

South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) 南海战略态势感知计划 | 促进南海的透明、和平与合作 put out by China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCSS)

Vietnam Threatens China with Litigation over the South China Sea - Lawfare - Peter Dutton Vietnam and China have sparred over competing claims in the South China Sea for nearly 50 years. But for the first time, in November 2019, Vietnamese officials publicly issued threats to initiate international legal proceedings against China—similar to the Philippine case that ended in 2016. Since November, there have been further indications that the Vietnamese government is quite serious, despite the limited success enjoyed by the Philippines when it invoked the law. In this post, I will address two questions on this issue: What motivates the Vietnamese government to consider this step at this time? And what can Vietnam gain?

Maiden flight of China-developed AG600 amphibious aircraft - Xinhua The aircraft took off from the sea off Qingdao at 10:18 a.m. and completed the test flight after flying for about 31 minutues, said state-owned plane-maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). // Strange video of the test flight, a helicopter mysteriously appears about halfway through:

Chinese shipbuilder planning advanced amphibious assault ship | South China Morning Post A Chinese shipbuilder is planning to build a more powerful amphibious assault ship that would be able to carry more helicopters and drones and help the country’s marine corps to fight more effectively on the high seas. The ship would have a similar design to the Type 075 landing helicopter deck, but it would be equipped with an electromagnetic catapult launch system of the type that is currently only found on the most advanced aircraft carriers.

Chinese FM to host video meeting of four FMs - Xinhua Foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal will exchange views on issues such as strengthening anti-epidemic cooperation between neighboring countries in regular epidemic prevention and control, and promoting economic recovery and development, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said

The love and longing of the Chinese-Indians - LiveMint As relations between India and China turn tense after the Galwan Valley stand-off, and the coronavirus pandemic fuels an anti-China sentiment, the Chinese-Indian community is caught in the cross fire

Singaporean National Pleads Guilty to Acting in the United States as an Illegal Agent of Chinese Intelligence | OPA | Department of Justice“At the direction of Chinese intelligence operatives, the defendant targeted U.S. government employees and an Army officer to obtain information for the government of China.  Mr. Yeo admits he set up a fake consulting company to further his scheme, looked for susceptible individuals who were vulnerable to recruitment, and tried to avoid detection by U.S. authorities,” said Alan E. Kohler Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.  “But this isn't just about this particular defendant.  This case is yet another reminder that China is relentless in its pursuit of U.S. technology and policy information in order to advance its own interests.  The FBI and our partners will be just as aggressive in uncovering these hidden efforts and charging individuals who break our laws.”

‘Nonsense’: Chinese-American academic Huang Jing denies recruiting Singaporean Jun Wei Yeo as a spy | South China Morning Post A Chinese-American academic has denied recruiting Singaporean Dickson Yeo to spy for Beijing. Professor Huang Jing poured water over accusations made by a retired Singaporean diplomat that he had recruited Yeo while supervising his work at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Who’s the brain behind Mike Pompeo’s anti-China stance? | South China Morning Post His principal policy and planning adviser on China, Miles Maochun Yu, harbours some pretty dark thoughts about China and Asia-Pacific // Question: Just a coincidence that Alex Lo attacks Miles Yu just days after Hu Xijin does?

Beijing’s consul-general Xu Jie seeks diplomatic immunity - The Australian China’s consul-general to Brisbane is claiming diplomatic immunity and denying allegations he incited threats of violence against student activist Drew Pavlou. Xu Jie has been taken to court by Mr Pavlou under the Peace and Good Behaviour Act after the consul-general issued a statement denouncing anti-Beijing protests last year at the University of Queensland.

China’s allies at loggerheads over Ethiopia dam – will Beijing intervene? | South China Morning Post Ethiopia has begun filling its Blue Nile reservoir against the wishes of Sudan and Egypt, which feared doing so could cause droughts

Chinese separatists backed by Steve Bannon push new coalition in Australia Chinese separatists backed by former US presidential adviser Steve Bannon, a fugitive Chinese billionaire and one of China's most famous football players will gather for the first time in Australia on Monday to capitalise on deepening tensions between Australia and the Chinese Communist Party.

China's Deep State: The Communist Party and the Coronavirus - Richard McGregor China's political system was instrumental both in plunging the country into the COVID-19 crisis and aiding its recovery, but its pandemic management has not endeared it abroad. 

China’s Move to Buy Arctic Gold Mine Draws Fire in Canada - WSJ $$ The purchase of a gold mine in the Canadian Arctic by a state-run Chinese company is triggering alarms in Canada over China’s expanding presence in a region that is growing in strategic importance for its shipping lanes and resources. Opposition parties and former government officials have called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to block Shandong Gold Mining Co., one of China’s largest gold miners, from buying Toronto-based TMAC Resources Inc., whose operation is almost 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Who’s afraid of China’s big bad wolf warriors? - The Australian Understanding that Xi is a devoted practitioner of hard power should inform our policy approach and dispel any lingering notion that unilateral concessions will be reciprocated or change Xi’s behaviour. We can still trade and do business with China, as we did during the first Cold War. But the promise of a deeper, richer relationship is unlikely to be realised unless China calls off its wolf-warrior diplomats, dials back the aggression and learns to respect our interests. For the moment, this seems an unlikely prospect, so while hoping for the best we should prepare for the worst. Alan Dupont is chief executive of geopolitical consultancy The Cognoscenti Group and a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute.

Hong Kong and Macao

Hong Kong Again Reports Over 100 New Coronavirus Cases - Caixin Hong Kong posted more than 100 new coronavirus cases for the sixth consecutive day on Monday as officials announced dramatic new social distancing measures aimed at checking a surge in new infections. Starting Wednesday, people in the semiautonomous territory will be banned from congregating in groups of more than two and forbidden from eating in restaurants for a period of one week, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Cheung Kin-chung said at a press conference.

Central gov't to provide all necessary support for HKSAR to fight COVID-19: spokesperson - Xinhua The central government pays high attention to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in HKSAR and is highly concerned about the health and safety of Hong Kong residents, said a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council

China Fortifies Hong Kong’s Role as Financial Powerhouse - WSJ $$ Last summer, as pro-democracy protests raged in the city, Beijing’s leadership under President Xi Jinping took the drafting the territory’s security law into its own hands, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Throughout the planning, the people said, senior Chinese officials discussed how to integrate Hong Kong with the rest of China, economically as well as politically, without diminishing its role as a global financial center. Their thinking was that the lure and size of the Chinese market would continue to help Hong Kong prosper and draw international investors, even with changes to the legal and political structures that underpinned Hong Kong’s economic freedom.

Banned in China, some Falun Gong fear new Hong Kong national security law - ReutersChina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new Hong Kong law will sanction any behavior that endangers national security. On Falun Gong generally, the ministry said in a statement: “Falun Gong is a cult organization banned by the Chinese government in accordance with the law, which has also been spurned by the Chinese people for a long time. Banning this cult organization is an act of justice by the Chinese government, made in response to the people’s demand and an effort to maintain social stability and to protect human rights. The alleged suppression is nonsense.”

Taiwan

The Chinese Infodemic in Taiwan | Doublethink Lab A Preliminary Study on the Dissemination Model of Disinformation, Taking COVID-19 as an Example

Tech and Media

Chinese App Ban List: After ban on 59 Chinese apps, government blocks 47 more | India Business News - Times of India The banned apps include Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite and VFY Lite. However, the list of additional apps that have been banned was not immediately available, and there is no official word on the matter yet.

Tencent’s WeChat cuts off service in India amid the country’s ban on Chinese apps | South China Morning Post Super app WeChat, the multipurpose messaging and social media platform run by internet giant Tencent Holdings, has ceased operations in India weeks after a previously announced ban, dealing a blow to the millions of Indian users who use the app for personal and business reasons.

Zuckerberg to Tell Congress Facebook’s Success Is Patriotic - Bloomberg Zuckerberg plans to portray his company as an American success story in a competitive and unpredictable market, now threatened by the rise of Chinese social media apps around the world -- and increasingly, at home, with the popularity of TikTok, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the CEO’s remarks aren’t yet public. // Comment: He has come a long way from asking Xi Jinping to give a Chinese name to his child

TikTok Tech Separation. Technically Separating from the Mothership | by Steve Mushero | Jul, 2020 | Medium Some folks seem to think changing owners will solve the current political and trust crisis, but without something resembling the above efforts, it’s hard to see how societies, governments, intelligence communities, etc. will trust this app so desired by the populace.

Tango: The Dangerous Dance of China’s Zany Cartoonist - SixthTone In one of the Chinese artist’s best-known pieces, a polar bear walks into a store owned by a panda to buy a face mask. But the fluffy proprietor simply grabs the bear’s money, takes off a slipper, and slaps it onto the customer’s face as a makeshift face covering. It’s an irreverent and strangely ambiguous work that has become a trademark for Gao Youjun, or Tango — a cartoonist who can’t help cutting cherished cultural symbols down to size.

Introducing the South China Morning Post’s new digital subscription plans | South China Morning Post In August, we will be launching a digital subscription service, rolling out to all markets over several months. Readers can continue to view several stories for free each month before joining SCMP as a subscriber

How Chinese tech billionaire Yahui Zhou is calling the shots at OPay | TechCabal Since 2018, Yahui Zhou, OPay’s chairman has been instrumental to the company’s growth plans. Described as “a darling of the Chinese tech world,” he has set ambitious growth targets and committed serious finances to achieve his vision. With a net worth of $1.1 billion, company insiders say Yahui’s grand plan is to list OPay on the stock market. He has pulled this off twice in the last six years. In 2015, he led Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, a Chinese video game company to the Shenzen Stock Exchange in China.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Yang Hongnian, founder of Beijing Philharmonic Choir, dies at 86 - CGTN Yang founded the Beijing Philharmonic Choir, formerly known as the Children and Young Women's Chorus of China National Symphony Orchestra, in 1983, and led the ensemble around the world over more than 30 years.

Belittled and Humiliated: How a Social Media Post Sparked a Broader Discussion on Workplace Harassment in China - Pandaily “She is ugly and unfashionable. She has no values, and her singing is poor. She was merely a backup dancer before.” These comments sounds like an Internet troll spreading hate on social media, but they were actually the comments that Chinese singer Yamy received from her agency’s manager.

Insiders reveal the opaque world of Falun Gong - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) It’s estimated Falun Gong has tens of millions of followers worldwide who praise the healing properties of its meditation exercises and the wisdom of Master Li’s teachings. A joint investigation by the ABC’s Background Briefing and Foreign Correspondent has also found families damaged by their involvement with the movement and claims its teachings on modern medicine could have contributed to premature deaths, which Falun Gong denies. It comes at a time when media outlets linked to the movement are becoming serious players on the conservative side of America’s media, throwing their weight behind Donald Trump and his tough stance on China.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

GALAPAGOS Chinese fishing threat BBC - YouTube As 265 Chinese fishing and factory processing vessels converge on the border of the Galapagos the BBC asks experts how this could affect the islands, marine ecosystem and sharks

Yicai - Chongqing Braces for More Misery as Third Flood Peak Forms in Yangtze River China is experiencing its worst floods in decades as extreme rainfall batters much of the country. The massive Three Gorges Dam, that spans the Yangtze River, is coming under strain as it plays a major role in intercepting the flood waters, and saving the lower regions from disaster. As of 8 a.m. this morning, water was flowing into one of the world’s largest reservoirs at a rate of 57,000 cubic meters per second, according to real-time data on the Bureau of Hydrology’s Changjiang Water Resources Commission website. Outflow was at 37,200 cbm per second and the dam’s water level had reached 160.56 meters, far above its designed capacity of 145 meters.

Chinese Provinces Move to Ban Plastic Straws by Year’s End - SixthTone Sichuan has become the latest Chinese province to call for a ban on plastic straws by the end of 2020. On Monday, authorities in the southwestern province announced that bars, restaurants, and tea and coffee shops should plan to stop handing out plastic straws with their customers’ orders, after Jiangxi and Shanxi recently announced similar policies.

China's top legislator stresses implementation of soil pollution prevention law - Xinhua This round of law enforcement inspections is aimed at urging different regions and departments to obligate legal liabilities and step up cooperation to ensure the central authority's decisions and plans on ecological conservation are effectively implemented, Li said. Li stressed efforts to step up the treatment and remediation of polluted soil and remove dangers posed by soil pollution to the safety of agricultural products and human living environments.

Education

Alibaba Cloud helps Chinese students, foreign schools scale Great Firewall - Reuters Skirting the Great Firewall through connection services such as virtual private networks (VPNs) is illegal in China without a licence, and only a handful of VPN providers are permitted to operate. Alibaba Cloud offers universities the VPN option through its Cloud Enterprise Network of which U.S.-based Fortinet is a software supplier.