No March trade deal?; Human rights; Economic data; Indian anger; Boeing

Bloomberg reported this morning that there will be no Xi-Trump meeting this month to close the trade deal, citing three people.

As this newsletter has written, March 29 was mooted as the possible date for a Mar-a-Lago meeting. I am still hearing today that there remains a small chance a meeting could happen then, but clearly the timing is getting very tight. If USTR head Lighthizer travels to Beijing next week there may still be a chance for something to close this month, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

If the two leaders do not meet in March they may not be able to find the time to meet again until May, so unless a deal can be struck without them in the same room we may be in trade deal purgatory for a bit longer.

Housekeeping note: I will be in Hawaii for the last two weeks of March, the newsletter will be on a normal schedule for most of that period though the daily timing may be a bit off.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues you think would find it interesting. You my dear readers are always my best source of new subscriptions.


The Essential Eight

1. US-China

China, U.S. Said to Push Back Trump-Xi Meeting to at Least April - Bloomberg:

A meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping to sign an agreement to end their trade war won’t occur this month and is more likely to happen in April at the earliest, three people familiar with the matter said.

Despite claims of progress in talks by both sides, a hoped-for summit at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort will now take place at the end of April if it happens at all, according to one of the people. China is pressing for a formal state visit rather than a lower-key appearance just to sign a trade deal, the person said.

Xi’s staff have scrapped planning for a potential flight to the U.S. following a trip to Europe later this month, a separate person said.

Trump in ‘No Rush’ to Make Trade Deal With China - WSJ $$:

Following a White House meeting with his advisers, Mr. Trump on Wednesday told reporters that he was “in no rush” to make a trade deal, which he contrasted with what he said was Beijing’s impatience.

“China very much wants to make a deal,” he said. Mr. Trump added that Chinese President Xi Jinping understands that he would walk away from a weak offer, as he had done last month in the Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

China Aims to Placate U.S. With Law Banning Theft of Foreign Trade Secrets - WSJ $$:

The new language takes aim at the regulatory review panels, known as “conformity assessments,” that foreign companies must pass before manufacturing new cars and other products or setting up plants. The Trump administration says the process is used to leach proprietary information and force technology transfers. Though Beijing denies it forces companies to divulge secrets, the issue is being haggled over by trade negotiators...

By making those changes just before the proposed law goes to vote, Beijing is hurriedly readying a concession aimed at a key U.S. complaint, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The added clauses, the people said, reflect the proposed text of a trade agreement being put together by both sides. Specifically, China agrees to “eliminate conflicts of interest” in such regulatory review processes, under the current version of the draft trade deal, one of the people said.

Gary Cohn says Trump is ‘desperate’ for trade deal with China - The Washington Post:

“The president needs a win,” Cohn said in an interview with Freakonomics, a public radio show and podcast.

Trump expects a China deal to boost the stock market, which has treaded water for the past year, the former aide said. Cohn cast doubt on the president’s ability to obtain fundamental changes in China’s state-led economic system, one of his core negotiating objectives.

“I think market access, the Chinese will give because they’ve been close to giving it for a while. But how are we going to stop the Chinese from stealing intellectual property or not paying for it?” he said. “How are we going to stop them from copyright infringement? What is the enforcement mechanism, and what are the punitive damages if they don’t stop?”

In testimony, Shanahan underlines it’s ‘China, China, China’ - Defense News: 

Amidst political fights about defense funding for the southern border, restrictions on transgender individuals in the military and a bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s support for conflict in Yemen, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will attempt to keep the focus on the growing threat from China during a budget hearing Thursday. 

In remarks submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Shanahan argues for what he calls “my vision of the future,” one defined by investments in high-end capabilities that can ensure overmatch over everyone in the world, but particularly Beijing, which he describes as a whole-of-government threat to the U.S.

2. Weak economic data

China Blames Lunar New Year for Underwhelming Economic Data - Bloomberg

The Lunar New Year -- around which many factories and companies shut down -- usually hurts industrial output in the four days ahead of it and 15 to 20 days after it, according to Mao Shengyong, spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics. The festival was on Feb. 5 this year and thus the effect was concentrated in February, he said.

That compares with the later holiday in 2018, which caused the effect to spill over into March, he argued. Mao mentioned the LNY nearly 30 times during the hour-long briefing on Thursday after the release of economic data for January and February.

Growth in China’s Investment Picks Up Thanks to Infrastructure, Property Spending - Caixin:

Investment in real estate development rose 11.6% year-on-year in the first two months of the year, up from a 9.5% increase for 2018, NBS data show (link in Chinese). The reading was the strongest since the first 11 months of 2014.

“The data on property investment are often distorted by land acquisition costs,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, an analyst with research firm Capital Economics, said in note. “The more reliable data on real estate activity were more downbeat.”

Chinese economy: Fight against smog may be obscuring this year's data - CNBC:

China's economic activity data in January and February this year may have been inflated due to a low 2018 comparison caused by anti-pollution campaigns, Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, and his team say in a Thursday note.

Data released Thursday showed China's industrial output fell from 5.7 percent in December to 5.3 percent in January and February. Reuters reported that was the slowest pace in 17 year.

China's Unemployment Rate Rises in February - Caixin:

The surveyed urban unemployment rate in February was 5.3%, lower than the target set for this year of "around 5.5%", but higher than December's 4.9%. No data was released for January. This was also the highest rate since February 2017, according to available data, although surveyed urban unemployment only started being released regularly in January 2018.

3. Huawei

Huawei Isn't Trustworthy 5G Partner, German Spy Agency Says - Bloomberg:

Huawei Technologies Co. isn’t a trustworthy partner to build Germany’s fifth-generation mobile networks, a representative of the country’s BND intelligence service told a committee of lawmakers.

Past “security-relevant incidents” involving the company are part of the reason, the representative told the committee in Berlin on Wednesday. An official from the Foreign Ministry, speaking at the same meeting, said it would be hard to work with a company that cooperates with its national secret service. The parliamentary press service reported the comments in a statement but didn’t name the officials.

Huawei confirms it has built its own operating system just in case US tensions disrupt use of Google’s Android | South China Morning Post:

The Chinese company has developed a proprietary OS as tensions between the company and the US government could impact the availability of US-made operating systems used on Huawei devices, Huawei’s mobile chief Richard Yu Chengdong, said in an interview with German publication Die Welt.

4. US and China issuing dueling human rights reports

China Focus: China issues report on U.S. human rights situation - Xinhua:

The report, titled "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018" [Full text] was released by the Information Office of the State Council in response to the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices issued by the U.S. State Department on March 13, local time.

China's report said the U.S. government, a self-styled "human rights defender," has a human rights record which is flawed and lackluster, and the double standards of human rights it pursues are obvious.

With a foreword and eight chapters, the 12,000-character report exposes the human rights violations in the United States of different areas: the severe infringement on citizens' civil rights, the prevalence of money politics, the rising income inequality, worsening racial discrimination, and growing threats against children, women and immigrants, as well as the human rights violations caused by the unilateral America First policies.

A 10,000-character Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2018 [Full Text] was also released by the office Thursday.

Chinese delegates introduce human rights progress in Xinjiang at UN side-event - Xinhua

As part of the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the side-event was sponsored by China's Permanent Mission to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) and the China Society of Human Rights Studies.

Yu Jianhua, head of the China's Mission to the UNOG, said at the side-event that today's Xinjiang enjoys faster development and greater stability than ever before, and all ethnic groups in the region have full protection for their economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental rights.

Yet for political purposes, some have spread rumors and told lies about what happens in Xinjiang in the hope of defaming China and the Chinese government. They are doomed to failure in the face of hard facts about Xinjiang's prosperity, development, stability, and unity, Yu said.

China hits back at ‘prejudiced’ US over rights criticism – and says White House is curbing press freedom | South China Morning Post:

“Press freedom has come under unprecedented attack,” it said, pointing to cases of reporters in the United States being arrested and prevented from doing their jobs.

“The US government continues to publicly and fiercely accuse the media and journalists of creating ‘fake news’ and creating an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility,” the report said.

“Reporters’ legal right to report has been violated,” it added, pointing to cases of the White House stripping some reporters of press credentials.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018 - China - US State Department:

Human rights issues included arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; arbitrary detention by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; political prisoners; arbitrary interference with privacy; physical attacks on and criminal prosecution of journalists, lawyers, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others as well as their family members; censorship and site blocking; interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws that apply to foreign and domestic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); severe restrictions of religious freedom; significant restrictions on freedom of movement (for travel within the country and overseas); refoulement of asylum seekers to North Korea, where they have a well-founded fear of persecution; the inability of citizens to choose their government; corruption; a coercive birth-limitation policy that in some cases included sterilization or abortions; trafficking in persons; and severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing. Official repression of the freedoms of speech, religion, movement, association, and assembly of Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas and of Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang worsened and was more severe than in other areas of the country.

Authorities prosecuted a number of abuses of power through the court system, particularly with regard to corruption, but in most cases the CCP first investigated and punished officials using opaque internal party disciplinary procedures. The CCP continued to dominate the judiciary and controlled the appointment of all judges and in certain cases directly dictated the court’s ruling. Authorities harassed, detained, and arrested citizens who promoted independent efforts to combat abuses of power.

5. Xinjiang

1.5 million Muslims could be detained in China's Xinjiang: academic | Reuters:

Adrian Zenz, an independent German researcher, said that his new estimate was based on satellite images, public spending on detention facilities and witness accounts of overcrowded facilities and missing family members.

“Although it is speculative it seems appropriate to estimate that up to 1.5 million ethnic minorities - equivalent to just under 1 in 6 adult members of a predominantly Muslim minority group in Xinjiang - are or have been interned in any of these detention, internment and re-education facilities, excluding formal prisons,” Zenz said at an event organized by the U.S. mission in Geneva, home of United Nations human rights bodies.

U.S. Steps Up Criticism of China for Detentions in Xinjiang - The New York Times:

As China prepared to defend its record before the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United States on Wednesday led Western governments, academic experts and human rights supporters in challenging Beijing over its mass detention of Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

China’s oppression of religious and ethnic minorities is well known. “What’s new is the breadth of the repression and how the Chinese government is using breakthroughs in technology to increase its effectiveness,” Kelley Currie, a senior United States diplomat, told a meeting on the sidelines of the council in Geneva.

Comment: But good luck getting President Trump or Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to support Magnitsky Act sanctions on PRC officials over Xinjiang

6. China sides with Pakistan over UN terrorist designation just before Indian election

China Once Again Blocks India’s Bid to List JeM Founder as Global Terrorist | The Diplomat:

Once again, China has blocked the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” by the United Nations Security Council. India had pushed for Azhar to be included on the list of sanctioned individuals under Security Council resolution 1267, a motion backed by UNSC permanent members the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. JeM claimed responsibility for the deadly terrorist attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama, Indian-administered Kashmir, on February 14.

India has tried to have Azhar listed before, most notably in 2016. Then, as now, the proposal was motivated by a terrorist attack – at that time, in response to the attack on an Indian Air Force base at Pathankot. China placed a technical hold on the request in 2016, and has now done so again, despite a heavy emphasis on having Azhar given the global terrorist designation by New Delhi. In all, this marked the fourth time China has used its permanent member status on the UNSC to place a hold on sanctioning Masood Azhar.

1267 Sanctions Committee not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi under the UN Sanctions regime - Indian Ministry of External Affairs:

We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019.

We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors.

Rahul Gandhi: Weak PM Modi is scared of Xi Jinping: Rahul Gandhi on Masood Azhar issue - Economic Times:

As China again blocked a UN resolution to designate JeM chief a global terrorist, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday hit out at Prime Minster Narendra Modi, saying he was weak and scared of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Congress chief attacked the prime minister and said he had not spoken on China blocking the resolution in the UN Security Council.

"Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India. NaMo's China diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat. 2. Hug Xi in Delhi. 3. Bow to Xi in China," Gandhi said on Twitter.

Comment: Being weak on China now a campaign issue in the upcoming India elections.

Indian groups urge boycott of Chinese goods over stance on Pakistani militant | Reuters:

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 70 million traders, said it would burn Chinese goods on March 19 to “teach a lesson” to China.

“The time has come when China should suffer due to its proximity with Pakistan,” CAIT said in a statement. “The CAIT has launched a national campaign to boycott Chinese goods among the trading community of the country, calling the traders not to sell or buy Chinese goods.”

7. Boeing crisis benefits China?

China Asserts Its Air Safety Bona Fides After Boeing Crash - The New York Times:

That is a big shift from a generation ago, when Chinese regulators largely followed the Federal Aviation Administration’s lead. Today, Chinese airlines are among the safest in the world, according to industry statistics.

“In the past, we mainly acted according to F.A.A.’s decision,” said Lin Zhijie, an aviation consultant in the southeastern city of Xiamen. “If F.A.A. said ‘ground,’ we’d ground, and vice versa.”

Beijing regulators’ willingness to act on their own now, Mr. Lin said, “is a landmark event, and worth watching.”

Why America cannot fly alone | Financial Times - FT $$:

perhaps the most teachable aspect of the Boeing 737 controversy is the reality of the global economy. When China and the EU agree to the same regulatory standard, the US has little choice but to fall in line. Together they make up almost 40 per cent of the world’s economy. America accounts for little over a fifth. It was meant to be the other way round. Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which previous US administrations negotiated, the US and its allies aimed to set the global standards for China. The now-abandoned transatlantic deal was launched with similar ambitions.

Behind Boeing's woes - CGTN:

Aside from Boeing's symbolic stature in American power, the federal government might be reluctant to do more to damage the company because their interests are closely aligned. Like any major American corporation, Boeing holds significant influence in the country's political eco-system.

Statistics from the Center for Responsive Politics show that Boeing spent more than 270 million U.S. dollars in lobbying on Capitol Hill between 1998 and 2018. In 2018 alone, it spent 15.1 million, ranking No. 10 in such activity, according to a CNN report. The revolving door between private industry and government has given Boeing unparalleled access to Washington, as one of its former lobbyists John Keast now serves as a staff director for Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The report also notes that Boeing donates money to candidates running for Congress and the presidency, giving 4.5 million U.S. dollars for the 2018 midterm elections after handing over 1 million dollars for Trump's inauguration in 2016.

The editor-in-chief at Aerospace Knowledge magazine of the Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics weighs in - China’s steady development of domestic aircraft industry proves to be right path - Global Times:

China's development of large passenger aircraft, symbolized by the C919, is just a beginning. There is a long way to go before its domestic civilian aviation sector can catch up to big name aviation companies like Boeing and Airbus.

More setbacks and frustrations are expected down the road of research and development for domestic aircraft due to the lack of experience. It will likely to encounter difficulties in commercial operations in the future as well.

But China's commercial aircraft development has proceeded cautiously with safety outweighing economic returns. Making safety a priority is an important feature in the development and operation of China's commercial aircraft.

China has its own path. Although we can borrow design experiences from other countries, China still sticks to the safe and sound way and carefully review them.

So, it may seem that Chinese commercial aircraft development is not progressing as rapidly as that in developed countries, but every step of the way has included judgment calls.

If you want to go much deeper about Boeing's relationship with China this report by Macro Polo is excellent - For Company and For Country: Boeing and US-China Relations

8. Grassroots look at resettlement campaigns

China, Relocated - Sixth Tone:

The Chinese government has embarked on an ambitious project to eradicate poverty by 2020. To achieve this goal, officials target to invest nearly 1 trillion yuan ($149 billion) and relocate 30 million citizens. As of the end of 2015, more than 12 million citizens had already been resettled.

The state claims that resettlement campaigns raise living standards, help impoverished communities engage with the market economy, provide relief after natural disasters, and protect the local environment. In many cases, these arguments seem convincing enough.

But in other cases, it’s more nuanced. Some citizens complain that local officials have forced them to resettle, that government relocation subsidies have been lower than promised, that new housing is lower-quality, or that they lack the necessary skills to participate in local industries. Others feel cut off from places they once called home, eking out more lucrative, but less fulfilling existences.

Sixth Tone and its sister publication, The Paper, visited settlements in remote parts of central and northwestern China to speak to locals affected by relocation. Each area implemented central policy in a unique way, with varying degrees of success

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China's Tax Reductions: Look This Gift Horse Very Carefully in the Mouth | China Law Blog: China is reducing various VAT rates and mandatory employer pension contributions but it also is moving ever apace in tightening up its tax enforcement capabilities and these enforcement changes will and already has impacted foreign businesses more than the tax reductions... Official Chinese publications on its tax decreases talk of how tax collections will actually rise, due in part to changes in law to force individuals and businesses onto China’s tax “grid” and due to stepped up tax enforcement // Sinocism has been saying this for a while, the headline tax numbers may be offset in part by stepped up enforcement, spurred in part by local governments' financial desperation 

Looking at China's Credit Cycles Is More Instructive Than Data - Bloomberg: Beijing’s recent stimulus plans have taken various shapes. This could imply that China is nearing the fourth round of a credit surge. When January data showed aggregate financing rose sharply, after two slightly slower months, analysts started whispering that the taps were opening up again. All told, it’s looking a lot more like the later stages of a typical credit cycle than the beginning of one. 

China’s Slowdown Already Hit Its Factories. Now Its Offices Are Hurting, Too. - The New York Times The white-collar job distress suggests the slowdown in China’s economy, the world’s second largest, is broader than official numbers indicate. China increasingly relies on middle-class spenders who are helping to broaden the economy beyond its industrial base. But these consumers are not spending like they used to, and that lethargy is ricocheting through every part of the economy, from the real estate market to China’s once-thriving tech sector.

China's property tax will be implemented according to the city - lawmaker | Reuters Allowing local governments to decide their own property tax rates will also minimise their potential impact on housing prices, said Yin Zhongqing, deputy director of the financial and economic affairs committee at the National People’s Congress. China has considered a property tax for more than a decade, with market speculation of its implementation rearing its head every few years. But the idea of a tax has run into resistance, with stakeholders fearing it would erode property values, trigger a sell-off in the market, or cause a correction resulting in systemic risks.

China Traders Get Deja Vu as Stocks Sink Fastest in Nine Months - Bloomberg The ChiNext gauge of mostly technology companies slumped 2.6 percent in Shenzhen, taking its two-day loss to 7 percent, the steepest since June. The index had surged 44 percent in just four weeks, fueling demand for leverage and drawing parallels with the mania in 2015 that ended in a $5 trillion rout. The securities regulator has instructed brokerages to minimize risks from margin lending and warned analysts to avoid inflammatory language, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Thursday.

China Insiders Are Selling Stakes After Mammoth Equity Rally - Bloomberg Insiders were already concluding it was a good time to exit, with plans to sell a total 16 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) last week alone, the most since August, according to China Merchants Securities Co.

Regulatory Official Warns Brokerages on Loan Type That Once Sunk the Stock Market - Caixin China’s self-regulatory body for the securities industry recently gathered brokerage firms to address tighter oversight for a form of risky informal lending that contributed to the stock market’s bubble and crash in 2015, Caixin has learned. The type of lending, over-the-counter leveraged loans, allows an investor to borrow money to amplify the size of a stock investment. Such loans can be multiple times the size of the amount the investor initially has to invest.

New China Billionaire Drops $2.8 Billion as PDD Shares Tumble - Bloomberg The Shanghai-based company reported revenue leapt more than four fold during the quarter ended in December, but lost 2.4 billion yuan ($358 million) compared with a small profit a year earlier. PDD shares dropped 17 percent, the most since it went public last year. That cut the net worth of Huang to $13 billion from $15.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

How China’s online opinion leaders – or KOLs – convert fans to sales, creating a nearly US$9 billion industry | South China Morning Post Becky Li, with more than 7.5 million combined followers on WeChat and Weibo, is one of China’s top fashion bloggers in China, able to convert followers to sales through posts on her WeChat public account...Li’s influence in the consumer world did not happen overnight. In the early days, she was working alone and writing from her own home. Now she has a company with around 70 staff, has incubated three other lifestyle-related WeChat public accounts.

Why China is struggling to realise its dream of a Hainan hi-tech paradise | South China Morning Post Mao Chaofeng, deputy governor of Hainan province and one of the top 13 provincial committee members running the island, told the South China Morning Post that a top challenge was to overcome the province’s accumulated past shortcomings in time for the FTZ to be in place next year. “To be honest, Hainan is still lagging behind in development if we look at it from a national level. Our GDP, GDP per capita … especially our hardware, still have some way to go in becoming the FTZ,” Mao said on the sidelines of the political meetings in Beijing.

China customs lifts suspension on Tesla Model 3 imports | Reuters “We can confirm that the warning notice on Tesla has been canceled,” said the official, who only gave his surname as Tao.

Politics, Law And Ideology

China’s selective version of Marxist theory is a puzzle | Financial Times $$ Beijing pushes a selective version of Marxism. It likes the theory of historical change that helps portray Communist party rule as inevitable, argues Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian of modern China. But it “plays down and sometimes leaves out completely talk of the mechanism the German theorist saw as driving the process: class struggle”.

College students in China spread Marxism - Global Times More college students are more engaged in spreading and learning Marxism-related topics, according to a research report, which shows that young people in China are playing an important role in promoting Marxism. About 34.1 percent of members of youth associations talked to their family members or friends about Marxism, and 36.1 percent participated in Marxist academic societies or reading clubs, said members of the Communist Youth League (CYL) of China and All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) at the ongoing two sessions, China Youth Daily reported on Thursday. Eighty-three percent affirmed the Young Marxists project to improve the ideological and political quality of youth groups through training and practical exercises.

Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong: The Medium is the Message | 高大伟 David Cowhig's Translation Blog I intruded the notes on just what the four thises and the five thats are into my translation so that their didactic glory will not be blunted by relegation to an endnote. From the Chinese Communist Party News Network website at  Firmly Establish the “Four Awarenesses” to Become Politically Qualified — on the “Two Studies and one Action” in the series What Needs to Become Customary and Institutionalized

CCTV system, 24-hour patrols make Tibet much safer - Global Times Through the surveillance system, 24-hour patrols, security checks and cooperation with traffic departments, police in the service station can prevent criminal crimes, Wang said. The police service stations are set up in seven cities and prefectures in Tibet. Its functions include patrols, dealing with police calls, offering help to citizens and fire safety management, the Public Security Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region said.  Police patrols on cars, motorcycles and on foot allow police to immediately detect, control and crack down on street crimes, which have effectively maintained security order in key areas, including schools, major public places and government buildings, the public security department said.

Foreign and Military Affairs

How Hawkish Is the Chinese Public? Another Look at “Rising Nationalism” and Chinese Foreign Policy: Journal of Contemporary China: Jessica Chen Weiss Chinese leaders often invoke the feelings of the Chinese people in international disputes. However, most survey research on Chinese public opinion on international affairs has looked at measures of nationalist identity rather than beliefs about foreign policy and evaluations of the government’s performance. Five surveys of Chinese citizens, netizens, and elites help illuminate the attitudes that the Chinese government grapples with in managing international security policy. The results suggest that Chinese attitudes are more hawkish than dovish and that younger Chinese, while perhaps not more nationalist in identity, may be more hawkish in their foreign policy beliefs than older generations. Netizens and elites are even more inclined to call on the Chinese government to invest in and rely more on military strength.

Taking the Anti-Corruption Campaign Abroad: China's Quest for Extradition Treaties | Center for Advanced China Research As China’s quest for extradition treaties moves along slowly, it is actively working to build the shared values and mutual understanding that must precede such negotiations, attempting to leverage the prestige and appeal of the anti-corruption campaign. Chinese officials are now calling for a “new international anti-corruption order (国际反腐败新秩序)” which Lang says is an attempt by Party officials to “not only participate in the international order but also [bring its] own ideas” which link corruption to “Chinese concepts of foreign policy, which includ[es] win-win cooperation between states .”

US flies bombers near South China Sea for the second time this month - CNNPolitics "Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and conducted routine training in the vicinity of the South China Sea March 13, 2019 (HST), before returning to base," a spokesperson for Pacific Air Forces said in a statement provided to CNN. "US aircraft regularly operate in the South China Sea in support of allies, partners, and a free and open Indo-Pacific," the statement added.

Flagship Blue Ridge pokes China, arrives in Manila Bay - Navy Times A U.S. Navy flagship has sailed through the South China Sea with its commander renewing an American vow to “sail, fly and operate wherever the law allows us to” amid China’s objection to U.S. military presence in the disputed sea. Capt. Eric Anduze told reporters on board the U.S. 7th Fleet’s command and control ship Blue Ridge, which anchored at Manila Bay Wednesday, that the visit was the latest affirmation of the strong U.S.-Philippine alliance.

Philippine foreign secretary to visit China - Xinhua Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin will visit China from March 18 to 21

State Councilor Wang Yi to attend China-EU high-level strategic dialogue - Xinhua Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the ninth round of the China-EU high-level strategic dialogue in Brussels, Belgium, on March 18

China, Cambodia kick off Golden Dragon-2019 joint military exercise - China Military Under the theme of joint anti-terrorism training and humanitarian rescue and aiming at promoting the two militaries’ abilities in counter-terrorism training and deepening the traditional friendship between the two militaries, the joint exercise will last until March 27.

China steps up efforts to develop military technology to challenge US dominance | South China Morning Post “The air force mainly copied other countries’ warplanes in the past, because we relied too much on foreign technology, but now we are putting more effort into research and development,” said Tang Changhong, another CPPCC member and the chief designer of the Y-20, a large military transport aircraft.

Di Maio says Italy president backs MOUs on Chinese investments | Reuters Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday that President Sergio Mattarella supported commercial accords Italy is poised to sign with China as part of its “Belt and Road” initiative.


El Salvador high court gives lifeline to Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan | Taiwan News the high court has suspended the planned termination of a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan after the country’s Sugar Industry filed in injunction in an effort to keep the FTA active.

Tech And Media

As Apple Sales Slow, Suppliers Struggle, Reliance on China Grows — The Information $$ Share prices for top companies that make parts for Apple products declined far more than Apple’s own stock did last year, dropping by an average of 23% from the year before when compared with only 5% for Apple shares, according to an analysis by The Information. The same analysis shows Apple has become increasingly reliant on Chinese companies for parts, at a time when it is delicately navigating a trade conflict between the U.S. and China.

TV Show Goes Viral Portraying Chinese Families as ‘Businesses’ - Caixin Global A TV series has triggered heated debate in China, portraying the “true” driving force behind Chinese families: to raise children as products to satisfy parents' needs, and to conduct familial relations like "business deals.” In “All is Well" very little is well. In the Su family, a dominant mother has grown up in a family that adores only male members, and so she raises her two sons as assets that serve emotional needs she failed to receive in her childhood. Meanwhile, an ordinary and vulnerable father has little voice in decision-making. // I Just started watching 都挺好 earlier this week on YouTube, got sucked in because I am a huge Yao Chen fan ever since watching 潜伏 in 2009

Here is episode 1 on Youtube:

Google's work in China indirectly benefiting Chinese military: U.S. general | Reuters “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he said. “Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Kobe's stolen high school jersey is returned -ESPN Liu had intended to return the uniform to Bryant in person when the former Lakers star visits Shenzhen, China, on Saturday to announce the draw for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. However, after connecting with a representative for Lower Merion's basketball team through its Instagram account, Liu agreed to mail the uniform back to the school.

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

80 mln cubic meters of Yellow River water diverted to Xiongan - Xinhua The annual water diversion project, which ran from Nov. 29 last year to March 10, is aimed at improving the environment of Baiyangdian Lake in Xiongan and ease water shortage in the cities along the 482-km-long diversion route, according to the Henan Yellow River Bureau...The project also supplied about 260 million cubic meters of water to the cities along the diversion route to improve the local environment and support agriculture and other industries, the bureau said.