New measures to stimulate consumption; Phone calls; More "People's Leader", Yang Hengjun
There is still some confusion about whether or not the US and China had a meaningful phone call or calls beyond the technical, working level over the weekend to discuss trade issues, as President Trump claimed. No one seems to have a confirmation. Maybe one or more happened, but if it did not then the signal Trump gave to Beijing again is that he is very concerned about the stock market reaction to the trade war.
Trump’s constant berating of the US Fed chair to cut interest rates likely reaffirms the view that the US economy is weaker than he says it is and that the President is getting worried about his re-election prospects. Such views would harden Beijing’s resolve in thinking it can wait out Trump. I am not saying they are correct, just that it is another reason to believe the prospects for any near-term resolution that rely on material Chinese concessions are faint.
Speaking of weakening economies, the State Council has announced a new set of measures to stimulate consumption, including some possible relief for the auto sector.
Yesterday’s newsletter discussed the reappearance of the title “人民的领袖 ren2min2 de ling3xiu4” for Xi Jinping. I missed a couple of recent usages, the first in July and the second in early August on the CCTV Evening News. But my point from yesterday I think still remains valid:
The “Lingxui” title was first use for Xi in early 2018, sparking all sorts of concerns and speculations. Then it disappeared for over a year. The “core” appellation” for Xi went through a similar cycle of appearing then disappearing, though for a shorter period, then re-emerging as an official formulation used today. Might we be seeing the same evolution for “Lingxiu”, and could that be another sign of Xi’s power?
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. New measures to stimulate consumption
The State Council recently issued a policy package, rolling out 20 measures to beef up consumption, in a bid to step up the healthy development of national economy...
Consumption potential will be tapped, with restrictions on car purchases to be eased, in a bid to support auto sales.
The section about the auto sector, also says certain regions with the right conditions should actively support purchases of NEVs, and encourages development of used car market
Automakers need the policy help - Chinese carmakers bolster financial resources as sales flounder - China Daily
Vehicle sales from January to July totaled 14.13 million units, down 11.4 percent year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. It estimated that sales would drop 5 percent this year from 2018 to 26.68 million vehicles.
During the first seven months of this year, carmakers and parts manufacturers in the country had issued bonds worth 56.47 billion yuan ($7.9 billion), up 83.8 percent from the same period last year, according to the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper.
Who cares about a trade war when good bargains are to be found? - Costco cuts short China debut after shoppers swamp store - AFP
US retailer Costco was forced to cut short the opening day of its inaugural mainland China outlet over safety worries Tuesday after huge crowds of bargain-hunters swamped the store in suburban Shanghai.
The massive warehouse outlet issued a notice to users of its official app in the early afternoon saying that it would no longer allow more customers through the doors, citing an "overcrowding" situation inside the store and traffic chaos in surrounding areas.
He made the remarks at the fifth meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs
China’s foreign ministry reiterated on Tuesday that it had not heard of any recent telephone call between the United States and China on trade, and said it hopes Washington can stop its wrong actions and create conditions for talks.
“China did not and will not surrender,” Xinhua said in a commentary on Tuesday. “Playing the old tricks of bullying and maximum pressure, the U.S. administration has escalated the trade tensions repeatedly and tried to coerce China into accepting its irrational demands.”
In off-the-cuff remarks to reporters at the Group of Seven summit in France on Monday, Trump claimed that Chinese officials called “our top trade people” and said “let’s get back to the table.” In subsequent appearances he portrayed the outreach as evidence China was desperate to make a deal: “They’ve been hurt very badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do.”
It all made for splashy headlines and momentarily boosted stocks, but nobody in Beijing officialdom appeared to know what he was talking about. Even worse, his efforts to depict China as caving in negotiations actually confirmed some of their worst fears about Trump: that he can’t be trusted to cut a deal.
China’s foreign ministry again said it is not aware of any trade negotiation-related phone calls with the US over the weekend - 2019年8月27日外交部发言人耿爽主持例行记者会
The Tuesday People’s Daily Zhong Sheng commentary "Don't Misjudge China's Determination and Ability to Take Countermeasures" also cites Jeffrey Sachs, who says the US escalation of the trade war is hurting the world economy - 不要误判中国坚决反制的意志能力（钟声）
Tuesday CCTV Evening News broadcast People’s Daily’s wednesday Zhong Sheng commentary that says US bullying could drag the whole world into recession. -人民日报钟声文章：贸易霸凌将世界经济拖入险境
Tuesday CCTV Evening News “International Sharp Commentary also says the US tariffs are threatening the global economy -【国际锐评】关税大棒是世界经济增长的重大威胁
Liang Ming, head of the research institute with China’s Ministry of Commerce, said the trade war “has entered a stage most comfortable for China”. He said the latest round of US tariffs and Chinese retaliations hurt the US more than they hurt China, and Beijing will eventually win this trade war. 中美贸易战再度升级，专家：到了中国最舒服的阶段
Jeffery Sachs’ interview on the page 3 of Monday's People’s Daily saying the US is making a huge mistake to contain China’s development
Remember when President Xi Jinping of China was the “enemy”? That was so Friday. As of Monday, according to President Trump, Mr. Xi was “a great leader” and a “brilliant man.”
What about that edict by Mr. Trump, who “hereby ordered” American companies to leave China? Three days later, he was positive he would get a trade deal and, if so, then firms should “stay there and do a great job.”
“We’re not starting to do great again,” Brian Thalmann, the president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, told Mr. Perdue at the event. “Things are going downhill and downhill quickly.”
On Monday, after a 72-hour period during which Mr. Trump twice escalated his trade war with China, Mr. Thalmann said he could no longer support the president as he did in 2016.
The FBI is "intimidating or harassing" some Chinese citizens who work and teach at the University of Cincinnati. That's the claim by the executive director of the local American Association of University Professors chapter. Eric Palmer says at least three UC faculty members have been contacted by the FBI in the last year.
A cornerstone of recent efforts is an amendment to the National Intelligence Authorisation Act calling for greater accountability over the security establishment. Language contained in the act, which passed the House and awaits action in the Senate, would require the director of national intelligence to report how “the privacy and civil liberties of Americans of Chinese descent” are affected by counter-espionage efforts. It also calls for measures to prevent “unacceptable stereotyping, targeting and racial profiling”.
What follows is a near-complete translation of a speech recently delivered by Yao Yang, dean of the National School of Development at Peking University. Dr. Yao, who got his PhD in the US, makes a bold case for US-China cooperation.
"Run by a radical cadre of the Chinese Communist Party, China's Communism today is the greatest existential threat the West has ever faced," Bannon, the executive producer for the film, said in a press release. "Huawei, the technology and telecommunications arm of the CCP and the People's Liberation Army, is the greatest national security threat we have ever faced, as it is already in the process of a global tech domination via 5G and 6G."
Comment: The rhetoric about china is going to get much uglier between now and the 2020 US election
President Xi Jinping has described a formidable objective for Chinese tech: “catch up and surpass.” But that ambition, abbreviated as ganchao in Chinese, has long been one of the Chinese Communist Party’s defining goals; it remains the essential framework for understanding China’s ambition to become a technological superpower today, bringing together the legacies of Marxism, Maoism, and the tortuous pursuit of modernization by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In the minds of China’s leaders, from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, technological progress is not only a means to economic and military prowess but also an ideological end in itself—offering final proof of China’s restoration as a great power after decades of struggle.
Dennis Wilder, who retired as the CIA’s deputy assistant director for East Asia and the Pacific in 2016, told me that the Chinese approach to espionage is defined by the fact that its leaders have long seen America as an existential threat. “This is a constant theme in Chinese intelligence—that we’re not just out to steal secrets, we’re not just out to protect ourselves, that the real American goal is the end of Chinese Communism, just as that was the goal with the Soviet Union,” he said.
3. Hong Kong
Speaking before meeting her advisers in the Executive Council on Tuesday morning, Lam was asked whether the government was considering invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, as some reports had suggested.
Lam did not give a straight answer.
The ordinance, if invoked, would give the chief executive, in council, the power to “make any regulations whatsoever which he [or she] may consider desirable in the public interest” in times of emergency or public danger..
Lam admitted the stalemate lay with the government’s refusal to accept the demands.
“It is not a question of not responding, it is a question of not accepting those demands,” Lam said.
Government sticks to plan to meet first with moderate protesters before reaching out to more radical activists, source says
Organisers of landmark dialogue meeting urge government to meet demands to jump-start dialogue process
The party’s answer has been to operate out of the Central Liaison Office. Its director, Wang Zhimin, and his deputy are both former party officials in Fujian.
The office’s most important, and least known, duties include supervising a covert network of Communist Party members and coordinating the activities of groups involved in what the party calls the United Front.
Comment: Nice to see Andrew Higgins back reporting on China, even though I believe he is still banned from the mainland
China’s minister of public security visited the Guangdong province bordering Hong Kong, urging the police there to work harder in combating and preventing all kinds of violence, terrorism, subversion, and infiltration, so as to maintain the stability for the upcoming Oct 1st National Day. - 赵克志在广东调研时强调，全力做好新中国成立70周年安保维稳工作
It is worth remembering that last week pro-Beijing lawmaker Michael Tien said China has an early September deadline to quell the protests.
People’s Daily overseas edition WeChat account “Xiake Dao” explains China’s “bottom line” on Hong Kong, saying whether Beijing will use force depends on whether it thinks its sovereignty could be violated -【岛读】香港问题，北京的底线在哪？
Wang Xiangwei, the well-connected former editor-in-chief of South China Morning Post, said China will not deploy troops in Hong Kong to suppress the protests just to avoid embarrassment before the Oct 1st National Day, despite speculations suggesting China might do so - 王向偉：香港亂局：何日才是盡頭？
People’s Daily overseas edition WeChat account “Xiake Dao” says Hong Kong and Western media has been extremely biased against the police in their reporting and refused to write about the “rioters”, and that their reporting are fueling the protests and chaos in the city - 【解局】在香港，这些“记者”为何只把镜头对准警察、而非暴徒？
People’s Daily continued to attack Pelosi and other US politicians for voicing support for the Hong Kong protests while saying nothing about protesters in Portland who were arrested - 毫无底线的“双重标准”
China’s foreign ministry said it “resolutely opposes” the G7 statement mentioning Hong Kong, and told the group to mind their own business and stop interfering with China’s internal affairs. - 外交部：七国集团成员不要再居心叵测、多管闲事
In response, Beijing and the Hong Kong government have tried to exhort the population to “Love Hong Kong” by deploying crude propaganda and economic bribes, such as financial secretary Paul Chan’s “mini-budget” of recent weeks which purported to relieve the economic stress of the protests by offering residents the equivalent of a few hundred pounds’ worth of subsidies.
The government seems to fail to understand that this is not a battle that will be won in dollars and cents or through crude force. It needs to enchant the people if it wants to compete.
Now, with ungrateful Hong Kong youth slandering China and critics all over the world condemning the mother country for its treatment of the protesters, fangirls are pulling out all the stops to defend A-zhong. In exactly the same way they form “support teams” (houyuantuan) on the QQ messaging app to organize fan-hei activities, fans are now joining A-zhong support teams, of which there are now at least 17, each consisting of 3,000 members, according to a recent approving report in the state-run ND Daily. A-zhong fans are encouraged to refrain from engagement with pro-Hong Kong commenters, who may try to “brainwash” them; instead, team leaders suggest, it’s better to immediately report those Instagram users who appear to be spreading propaganda.
Huanqiu.com, a Chinese website owned by the state-backed Global Times, criticised the Redmi advert as “brainless” and “hopeless”.
Police sources said it was the first time supplies for the force had been sourced from the mainland. Previously, Hong Kong police procured equipment, including protective gear, from Britain or France.
4. Yang Hengjun charged with espionage
Yang Hengjun was not a spy for Australia, foreign minister Marise Payne has insisted, after the Australian writer was formally charged with espionage in Beijing, potentially facing the death penalty.
“There is no basis for any allegation Dr Yang was spying for the Australian government,” Payne told the Guardian after the 54-year-old Australian was formally charged, seven months after first being detained in Guangzhou.
Yang has been charged with one act of espionage, but he faces an indefinite wait before even knowing the nature of the allegation against him.
His lawyer in Beijing, Shang Baojun, said he had not been given any detail of Yang’s alleged offence, and that it was unclear when he might be put on trial. Because the case involved state security, his lawyers have not been allowed to visit him, nor given access to any legal documents.
5. Nationwide DNA collection program?
While the majority of contracts were awarded to Chinese companies, most of the DNA instrument analyzing technology is being supplied by U.S. biotech firm Thermo Fisher.
The uses cited for the purchased equipment in the procurement databases included "setting up a DNA database" and "upgrading police DNA laboratories."
Some local governments indicated that the authorities are focusing in particular on identifying male relatives and on building family trees within their database.
A tender notice posted by the Feidong county police in the eastern province of Anhui said that China has designated male-line DNA databases as a key project in law enforcement, following plans drawn up at national and provincial levels in 2018 and 2019.
Several tender announcements said the DNA collection program was being planned by the ruling Communist Party leadership nationwide.
6. The World Bank’s Xinjiang problem
In July, a World Bank employee wrote a lengthy email to an executive director on the bank’s board detailing concerns about the Xinjiang program. In a copy of the email reviewed by Foreign Policy, the employee, who requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press, listed numerous issues perceived as red flags and suggested that the program should be referred to an internal inspection committee for investigation to ensure that World Bank rules were being followed. These concerns went unheeded...
Yarkand Technical School, which is managed by another school as part of the World Bank program, spent about $30,000 purchasing 30 tear gas launchers, 100 anti-riot batons, 400 sets of camouflage clothing, 100 sets of “stab-resistant clothing,” 60 pairs of “stab-resistant gloves,” 45 helmets, 12 metal detectors, 10 police batons, and barbed wire, according to a tender dated November 2018.
7. New report on exporting “Digital Authoritarianism”
Digital authoritarianism — the use of digital information technology by authoritarian regimes to surveil, repress, and manipulate domestic and foreign populations — is reshaping the power balance between democracies and autocracies. At the forefront of this phenomenon, China and Russia have developed and exported distinct technology-driven playbooks for authoritarian rule...
China’s export of information technology has changed recently in two ways. The first is that the products and services it sells are no longer lowcost knockoffs of high-tech products. Instead, Huawei, HikVision, Yitu, and others are now selling high-quality products that are not only produced in China but designed there too. Although some Chinese surveillance products are still reliant on Western semiconductors and sensors, many reflect genuine innovation and are as competitive on quality as they are on cost. Second, Beijing no longer views information technology solely in terms of economic development, but also its value to Chinese foreign policy and strategy. The Xi regime has aggressively pushed Chinese information technology as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the strategic investment vehicle China uses to finance major infrastructure projects abroad.49 For Beijing, exporting its information technology is not only about securing important new sources of revenue and data, but also generating greater strategic leverage vis-à-vis the West.
8. Unirule Institute closing down
Municipal authorities in Beijing have accused the Unirule Institute of Economics of regulatory violations and issued orders to force its closure, the think tank said in a statement Monday. While Unirule intends to file legal challenges against the orders, it will cease activities under its name and start liquidating its parent company, the statement said.
The Beijing-based Unirule was founded in 1993 to promote economic liberalization and democracy in China, riding on former leader Deng Xiaoping ’s push for market-style reforms after the deadly crackdown on the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests in 1989. Its work has frequently collided with Communist Party orthodoxy—clashes that have become more acute since Mr. Xi assumed leadership and pursued an increasingly authoritarian agenda.
Unirule's statement on the closure 关于天则所被取缔和中评网公司被吊销的声明
Business, Economy and Trade
Banks Urged Not to Drag Their Feet on Lending Rate Reform - Caixin The People’s Bank of China has issued a series of milestones it expects major banks to hit in the coming months concerning the use of its redesigned reference rates for pricing loans * Despite the urging of policymakers, many banks remain unprepared to price loans based on the new reference rates. An insider at a large bank said its lending department’s operations system and contracts haven’t yet been updated
Yuan Poised for Worst Month on Record After 7 Barrier Broken - Bloomberg The currency has plummeted 3.9% this month against the dollar, the biggest loss since January 1994, when the modern exchange-rate regime was adopted
China's July industrial profits swing to growth but outlook clouded - Reuters Industrial profits rose 2.6% in July year-on-year to 512.7 billion yuan ($72.28 billion), according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday, swinging from a 3.1% decline in June.
China Box Office: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Roars to Top With $101 Million Debut – Variety Revving up against a line-up completely devoid of serious competitors, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” roared to the top of China’s box office with a $101 million debut, figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway show — more than four times the haul of the weekend’s second highest grossing title.
Seafarer Funds - How Exposed Are U.S. Investors to China? Looking beyond official statistics, U.S. investors appear to own around 535 billion USD worth of Chinese securities, of which more are listed on foreign exchanges than in China. U.S. investors own around 2% of the local Chinese stock market, a much lower portion compared to the average U.S. ownership of the local stock markets of advanced economies (18%). As an estimate, Chinese securities account for less than 1% of the total portfolio of U.S. investors.
Apple puts China’s BOE to test for cutting-edge iPhone screens | Financial Times $$ Apple is in the final stages of certifying advanced screens from Chinese display maker BOE Technology Group for iPhones next year, as the US tech giant attempts to cut costs and reduce its reliance on South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.
提前消费、借贷消费增多中国人不爱存钱了吗？ Statistics show Chinese people are saving less and spending more using credit cards. The overdue credit card debts in Q1 this year is almost 10 times of that nine years ago.
Deutsche Bank must tell a federal appeals court by Tuesday afternoon if it has Trump’s tax returns - The Washington Post In addition to the cases involving Russian entities, the SEC also outlined several cases involving China.In one case, a Deutsche employee revised the résumé of the son of a company executive it hoped to work with. The original résumé was full of typos and grammatical errors, according to the SEC settlement.In another, the bank hired the son of the chairman of a Chinese state-owned enterprise. The executive’s son was rejected for the job twice before a high-level Deutsche executive weighed in, the SEC settlement agreement said.
Comment: Mike Forsythe of the New York Times says DB hired Xi's niece:
Emily Flitter @FlitterOnFraudDeutsche Bank spent nearly a decade hiring relatives of important Chinese and Russian figures to win business. The bank last week settled an SEC action over it, @renaemerle reports https://t.co/TR7pH8zTad
Politics and Law
CCTV also goes with “People’s Leader”【央视快评】人民领袖的人民情怀_正义网 CCTV
人民领袖习近平：一碗擂茶映初心_新闻中心_中国网 China Media Group used "people's leader" on July 8
今年以来习近平国内考察纪实——初心与使命:人民领袖心中最大的牵挂_新浪新闻 and here is CCTV Evening News from August 6 on the "People's leader"...missed this one
Seminar on Xi's expositions on historical sciences held in Beijing - Xinhua Xi's expositions on historical sciences, which embody a deep understanding of history and historical sciences by contemporary Chinese Communists, are an important guideline to be followed by China's historical research in the new era, said Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, when addressing the seminar. He said Marxism should be firmly upheld to offer guidance and called for efforts to facilitate the building of discipline, and academic and discourse systems of history research with Chinese characteristics.
习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的重大意义 Jiang Jinqiang from the Beijing Xi Jinping Thought study center explains on People’s Daily the importance of the Xi Jinping thought. He argues the Xi thought is not only a major development of Marxism that will help China, it will also help the world by building the community of shared destiny.
国家安全来自党的坚强领导（大家手笔） Cheng Tongshui of Nankai University took to People’s Daily to argue that the country and the party needs Xi’s strong leadership to navigate through all kinds of national security risks
河北省副省长李谦接受中央纪委国家监委纪律审查和监察调查 deputy Governor of Hebei Li Qian is under investigation
Tibetan Man Detained For Sharing Dalai Lama Photo on WeChat - RFA Rinso, a resident of Thangkor township’s Village No. 3 in Dzoege county, a part of Tibet’s historical eastern region of Kham, was held for just over a week and then released, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service. “Police released him on July 16 after he spent 10 days in custody,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Chinese teacher suspended for ‘belittling’ great inventions in online chat | South China Morning Post An associate professor has been suspended by his university in southwestern China for causing “vicious social impact” by belittling the four great ancient Chinese inventions of papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass. Zheng Wenfeng was suspended from teaching for 24 months by the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, Sichuan province,
China Focus: China revises law to ensure drug safety - Xinhua Aimed at addressing prominent problems of the pharmaceutical industry, such as counterfeit and substandard drugs and high drug prices, the revised law stipulates the strictest standards and toughest measures in supervision over the whole process of the industry chain. The drug administration law was first promulgated in 1984. Monday's revision is the first overhaul since a 2001 revision. The newly revised law will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2019.
Detained Chinese internet celebrity ‘suspected of abducting minors and forcing them into prostitution’ | South China Morning Post Gao has more than 4 million followers on video-sharing websites and continued to live-stream while he was wanted by police. Officers had been searching for him since March. The investigation began in June last year, after a suspect in an assault case in Zhuji told police he had become involved in abducting girls for prostitution through Gao, the report said.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Dong Chunling, a research fellow with the CICIR, wrote about the “generational gap” among the China hands in DC, saying the younger generation of US scholars and think tankers are more hawkish toward China because they receive less academic training, and that they want more attention from the Trump administration. To address this problem, Dong said China should invite more of these young China hands to visit China, and allow more cooperation and communication between Chinese and US scholars - 董春岭：美对华认知断层值得关注
This recent article in the Washington Post I think overstates a clean generational split in views towards China. My personal experience leads to me think the more people have experience living in China the more likely they are to have become hawkish over the last several years, with exceptions of course. Generational clash emerges among U.S. experts in China policy debate - The Washington Post
Chinese Military Chief vows to further strengthen defence ties with Pakistan - China Military Vice Chairman of China 's Central Military Commission General Xu Qiliang along with a high-level delegation called on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ in Rawalpindi on Monday. General Xu Qiliang also held a one-on-one meeting with Army Chief followed by delegation level talks
Vietnam Mobile Carriers Viettel, MobiFone Want Huawei-Free 5G - Bloomberg Viettel Group, Vietnam’s largest mobile carrier owned by the Defense Ministry, will deploy Ericsson AB’s equipment in Hanoi and Nokia Oyj’s technology in Ho Chi Minh City, said Viettel Chief Executive Officer Le Dang Dung. It will use 5G chipsets from Qualcomm Inc. and another U.S. company. The carrier, which uses Ericsson and Nokia for its 4G network, is also developing its own equipment, he added.
5G trials: China aggression will work against Huawei, say India officials | Business News, The Indian Express “Now that there are warnings from China (about reverse sanctions), the Indian government is also expected to adopt a different posture. If this was done through backdoor channels in the normal (diplomatic) course, it would have been better for Huawei. If the government concedes, it will be seen as pandering to Chinese (threats),” the official said, adding that ensuring digital security was a key objective of the government and was not a matter of open trade policy.
China ratifies extradition treaty with Sri Lanka - Xinhua Authorized by the State Council, the Chinese negotiation team was made up of officials from various departments and started talks with the Sri Lankan side in September 2014. The two sides signed the treaty on April 7, 2016 in Beijing.
ICAC hears NSW Labor boss Kaila Murnain saw bag full of cash - Sydney Morning Herald The Aldi plastic bag was full of $100,000 cash, bound by elastic bands, and had allegedly been dropped off at Labor's Sussex Street headquarters by Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo, according to a key witness. The witness, NSW Labor's community relations director Kenrick Cheah, said Ms Murnain had told him to be careful with the bag when learning what it contained after then-NSW Labor general secretary Jamie Clements handed it to him.
Young gun takes on innovation mission in top Chinese fighter jet job | South China Morning Post Qian Xuesong, 40, was named chairman of SAC last week, succeeding Guo Dianman, the oldest member of the management team, which is dominated by engineers in their 50s. A military insider, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the central government hoped that a younger leadership would help the company innovate.
王逸舟：从“经济大国”到“仁智大国” A recent article by professor Wang Yizhou of Peking University vaguely criticizes China’s assertive foreign policy and the propaganda feeding this nationalist arrogance. Wang insists China still has a long way to go to become a world leader and it must not misjudge its role in the world or overestimate the impact of Belt and Road.
东海今日起进行实际使用武器训练 China’s maritime safety administration sent out navigational warnings that the PLA will conduct a live-fire exercise off the coast of Zhejiang in East China Sea
First solo travellers, now Beijing cuts group tours to step up pressure on Taiwan | South China Morning Post Taiwanese travel agencies and tour operators said their mainland counterparts had notified them that the cut would apply to tour groups from at least eight provinces and major cities: Guangdong, Zhejiang, Ningxia, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Sichuan, Beijing and Fujian.
Chinese in Chile urinate, harass Taiwan restaurant for backing Hong Kong | Taiwan News The Liberty Times reported that a Taiwanese citizen surnamed Chang who runs a Taiwanese-style eatery called Pollo Chang in the South American country has seen his restaurant harassed by a number of Chinese residents over the past week.
Tech and Media
Charts of the Day: China’s 100,000 Professional Gamers - Caixin Global Around 30% of these esports competitors have at least a bachelor’s degree, 90% are under 31 and one-third of them make more than the local average wage in the region where they live.
Alibaba’s Acquisition of Netease E-commerce Site Failed- PingWest The rumored deal between Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Kaola, Netease’ cross-border shopping site, fell through after the two parties failed to reach an agreement on price, according to multiple Chinese media.
Tencent Taps Teen Market With Anime Investment | China Film Insider Tencent has invested in $125 million in online anime platform Kuaikan, as part of the internet behemoth’s long-term push to monetize platforms popular with younger users.
Tencent launches WeChat for drivers - Reuters While the mobile app offers services such as payment and entertainment, the car version will have limited functions based on voice control and a button on the wheel, allowing the driver to send or receive messages and make calls while driving, and integrate Tencent Map’s navigation service, Tencent said.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Lin inks pact to play in China with Beijing Ducks - ESPN Veteran guard Jeremy Lin has signed with the Beijing Shougang Ducks to play in the Chinese Basketball Association next season, the team announced Tuesday.
Letter from Beijing - Artforum International Jia Li on art and expulsion in China’s capital
In “One Child Nation,” Nanfu Wang Confronts China’s History, and Her Own | The New Yorker “One Child Nation,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, is part investigative report, part family history. Co-directed with Jialing Zhang, the film follows a Chinese family that is jailed for human trafficking after they moved thousands of abandoned Chinese babies—almost all of them girls—into state-run orphanages, and an American couple who started a foundation to help track down the girls’ biological families.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China adopts resource tax law - Xinhua The new law was based on the provisional regulations on resource tax, and incorporated changes to three major aspects. It introduces unified tax items, clarifies authorization on determining tax rates and standardizes tax reduction and exemption policies. It also stipulates that China will start collecting water resources taxes on a trial basis.
Most Chinese students spend 10,000 yuan a year on extracurricular classes according to a 2019 children's development report released by China National Children's Center and Social Science Academy Press of China on August 20.
Rural children spend more time with electronic devices than urban peers - ECNS Children in China’s rural areas use electronic devices for 108.18 minutes a day over the weekends, more than their peers in cities, who use them for 88.40 minutes, according to a report by China National Children's Center and Social Sciences Academic Press.
AI+小学：通过AI捕捉孩子姿态 评估学习兴趣与效果 ThePaper reported that a primary school in Shanghai has installed an AI system to monitor and analyze every move by the students, including how many times they raise their hands, yawn, and not sitting properly in class, so to analyze whether the students are “happy” or “confused”. The system can also send out alerts when it detects students are running too fast in the campus or having a fight. The original article has been deleted.
Rural and Agricultural Issues
Xinhua: China Focus: China revises law to clarify land property rights, streamline administration China revises law to make it more difficult for government to grab land from the farmers. The new law clarifies the rules on compensation and under what situation can the government seize land, leaving less gray area for the government to force farmers out of their land.
Study identifies gene responsible for early-maturing, high-yielding rice - Xinhua Chinese researchers have identified a gene that enables hybrid rice varieties to have a higher yield and shortens maturity duration by seven to 20 days.