North Korea Winning?; Jack Ma Praises Xi's Corruption Crackdown; CASS Head On The Great Struggle To Achieve The Great Rejuvenation--Sinocism 11.30.17
Happy Thursday...no word yet on new sanctions against North Korea. This is a real test of the Trump-Xi relationship and whatever promises Trump believes he got during his recent Beijing trip. So far it looks like North Korea is doing the winning...
The Essential Eight
1. So Far Just Rhetorical Responses To Latest North Korea Missile Test
Comment: Will the US sanction a major Chinese bank if Trump does not believe China is reacting forcefully enough?
In Washington, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said a range of additional U.S. sanctions were being considered.
“We have a long list of additional, potential sanctions, some of which involve . . . financial institutions,” he said when asked about possible measures as he posed for photos with the visiting Bahraini crown prince. “And the Treasury Department will be announcing those when they’re ready to roll out.”
Haley said it is possible to “further isolate, diminish, and, God willing, reverse the dangerous course of the North Korean regime,” and called on all nations to “cut off all ties with North Korea.”
“In addition to fully implementing all U.N. sanctions, all countries should sever diplomatic relations with North Korea and limit military, scientific, technical, or commercial cooperation,” she said. “They must also cut off trade with the regime by stopping all imports and exports, and expel all North Korean workers.”
She also singled out China, saying it was time for Beijing to cut off the oil supply to North Korea.
"We now turn to President Xi to also take that stand. We believe he has an opportunity to do the right thing for the benefit of all countries. China must show leadership and follow through. China can do this on its own, or we can take the oil situation into our own hands," she said.
The North Koreans have always been determined to reach the Holy Grail of their nuclear and missile program: the ability to deliver atomic annihilation to any American city, at any time...
But Pyongyang decision-makers see the ability to hit the United States as their best, and perhaps only, guarantee of long-term political survival. They are not going to stop testing until they reach that goal.
China's ongoing military drills are not aimed at any country, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said on Thursday in response to assumptions that the drills are meant to pressure North Korea.
Forces from the Northern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) are conducting military drills in Horqin Grassland in Northeast China to enhance the army's combat readiness in cold weather, PLA Daily reported.
2. US Supports EU View That China Does Not Deserve Market Economy Status
Comment: As the US ratchets up its response to the ongoing trade war with China is it reasonable to expect Beijing to do American bidding over North Korea?
Senior United States officials said on Wednesday that they had filed a brief to the W.T.O. as a third party in a case that China has brought against the European Union. The brief, which will be made public on Thursday, will laid out their legal arguments for why China does not deserve the designation of a “market economy,” a distinction that would entitle it to preferential economic treatment under the W.T.O.
The move is likely to ratchet up trade tensions with China, which the White House has called one of the world’s biggest trade offenders. And if China is awarded the designation against the wishes of the United States, it could test the Trump administration’s willingness to remain in the W.T.O., an international body for establishing trade rules and settling disputes that President Trump previously called a “disaster.”
....case could also get caught up in what critics fear is a Trump administration attempt to dismantle the WTO’s dispute resolution system altogether.
By September next year, if the current US-led impasse over appointments continues, the appellate body, which relies on three-judge panels to hear cases, will have just three members — from China, India and the US. By the end of 2019 it will go down to just one member, the one from China.
3. More Calls For US And Europe To Work Together To Counter China's Rise
“China’s influence in Asia has been rising for years, but without a coherent US or European strategy to work with China where possible and push back against China when necessary, the Trump administration and the European Union are allowing regional challenges to fester,” Helena Legarda at the Mercator Institute and Michael Fuchs at the Centre for American Progress wrote.
The question is what kind of role China will play. China can certainly play constructive roles on a variety of issues. But China has increasingly proven capable of using —and willing to use—its growing influence around the world in ways that can undermine U.S. and European interests.
The best way to prevent that negative influence is to work with China on key areas of concern, while also ensuring that the United States and Europe continue working together around the world to uphold shared interests. The United States and Europe need a serious strategic conversation about the consequences of present trends and to plan specific actions that the allies can take to ensure that China’s rise does not undermine the shared interests that the United States and Europe have in certain global rules and norms.
With China poised to create a network of infrastructural connections across Eurasia through the One Belt, One Road Initiative, the Balkan nations have a newly valuable asset to offer China: their geography. China views the Balkans as a lynchpin between the Mediterranean and Central Europe and as a geopolitical bridge between the Western world and wider Eurasia. As such, while Westerners have generally viewed the Balkan region as a nuisance — an ethnically fragmented territory on the periphery of the Euro-Atlantic world — China thinks of the Balkans as a conduit to European markets, as well as a way to project its soft power and buy friends among new E.U. members and potential membership candidates.
4. Beijing Pulling Myanmar Back Into Its Orbit
Casting aside past misgivings about China’s one-party system, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar and a Nobel Peace laureate, arrived on Thursday to attend a conference for international political parties hosted by China’s Communist Party...
Preceding her, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the architect of Myanmar’s scorched-earth military campaign to eject the Rohingya, met China’s president Xi Jinping last week. In a show of mutual admiration, Mr. Xi described Chinese-Myanmar military relations as the “best” ever.
As Washington begins to pursue sanctions against Myanmar’s Army for what American and United Nations officials call a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim minority, China is taking advantage and filling the gap.
5. HNA: Buy High, Sell Under Duress?
Comment: Isn't Anbang also selling off some of its marquee overseas purchases?
In recent weeks, Hainan-based HNA has been talking to bankers about disposing or exiting some foreign assets, according to people familiar with the matter. The goal would be twofold: to raise cash to service the group’s more than $100 billion of debt, while paring its ownership in investments that Chinese regulators could consider speculative.
A big hurdle for the company is that many of its overseas assets were purchased at relatively high valuations, which may make it difficult for HNA to recoup its money at a profit, say people familiar with the company.
6. Jack Ma Praises Xi's Corruption Crackdown
“No country in the world has such an environment: only the Communist Party of China has self-advanced and self-innovated in the past five years. The work of China’s clean and honest government has attracted the attention of the world: there’s no county in the world like this.”...
“Our country is the safest country in the world: the safety of the common people relying on political stability and social security. Plus the economy continues to grow at more than 6%— this country has the best business environment.”
JD.com and Alibaba declined to say whether they have raised the evictions with the Beijing government. Alibaba says it is coordinating with its logistics partners to help affected workers and their families with temporary housing and other support and says its logistics affiliate hasn’t experienced any “significant disruption” to its service.
7. Ren Zhiqiang Attacks The Household Registration System
Ren Zhiqiang, a 66-year-old party member known as the Big Cannon for his outspoken views, was speaking at the annual conference of financial magazine Caijing in Beijing on Wednesday.
He told the conference the registration system was “adopted only by a limited number of countries, including China and North Korea”, and that Beijing’s ongoing eviction of migrant workers was a deluded way to solve the city’s problems.
Comment: Interesting that Ren is reemerging after his 2016 troubles. Significant Hukou reform is still on the agenda, likely spearheaded by Wang Yang, but the Beijing hukou will always be treated differently and not opened up to all.
8. Drone Data Fears
The company, formally named Da Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Company, put out a statement this month contesting the allegations made in a dispatch from United States customs officials. The memo, from the Los Angeles office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, was dated in August but had begun to circulate online more recently.
It said officials had “moderate confidence” that the D.J.I.’s commercial drones and software are “providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.” It cited what it called a reliable source, who it did not identify, in the drone industry “with first and secondhand access.”
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Chinese PMI: China reports official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for Novermber - CNBC China reported on Thursday that factory activity expanded at a quicker pace in November, with the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index coming in at 51.8...China's services sector also saw activity pick up, with its PMI reading accelerating to 54.8 in November from the previous month's 54.3, official data showed.
U.S. Regulators Hold Up Chinese Company’s Purchase of American Insurer - Caixin Global The deadline for real estate developer China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd.’s purchase of U.S. insurer Genworth Financial Inc. has been extended again to give the two companies time to refile for approval from U.S. regulators. The deadline, which had previously been pushed back from Aug. 31 to Nov. 30, has now been extended to April 1, the companies announced Wednesday.
China State TV: OTC Bitcoin Platforms May Violate Regulation - CoinDesk At least that's according to commentators on China Central Television (CCTV), who, in a segment that aired on its Financial Channel this week, discussed the volatility of bitcoin and its recent rally above $10,000. Citing a notable growth of China's OTC trading as one possible reason behind the surge, the program went on to raise concerns about the practice. As an illustration, a screen capture of Huobi Pro's website was shown to viewers that demonstrated the peer-to-peer trading and step-by-step guidance for new users.
Freight trains linking Chengdu, Milan - Xinhua A train left Italy's second largest city Tuesday morning local time and is scheduled to arrive in Chengdu after a 10,694-kilometer journey over 14 days, the Qingbaijiang district government in Chengdu said Wednesday. The train service will import machineries, high-end furniture and ceramic tiles from Italy.
China's ceramics capital struggles to adapt amid war on smog - Reuters Zibo, home to 4.5 million people about 260 miles south of Beijing in Shandong province, is one of 28 northern Chinese cities targeted in an unprecedented six-month anti-pollution blitz as China scrambles to meet air quality targets.
Alibaba Casts Spell Over Bond Buyers - Caixin Global E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. sold $7 billion in dollar bonds on Wednesday in the world’s largest corporate bond offering of the year. Investors clamored to the sale, which drew $46 billion in demand, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the offering.
Politics, Law And Ideology
实现伟大梦想必须进行伟大斗争（认真学习宣传贯彻党的十九大精神） CASS head in 11.30 People's Daily--"We must carry out a great struggle to achieve the great rejuvenation", says "class struggle" still exists up to a point and under certain conditions could intensify but it is no longer the principal contradiction...so not appropraite to adopt the extreme leftist methods of taking "class struggle as the key link". // 实现伟大梦想需要把远大理想和共同理想紧密结合起来。伟大梦想与共产主义远大理想、中国特色社会主义共同理想是完全一致的。坚持为实现伟大梦想与远大理想、共同理想而奋斗，是我们党在理想信念上对全体党员的党性要求。始终坚持伟大梦想与远大理想、共同理想的统一，有助于巩固全党全国人民团结统一的思想基础，坚定“四个自信”，不断把中国特色社会主义伟大事业推向前进...社会是在矛盾斗争中开拓前进的。宇宙间的一切事物都是在矛盾运动中前进的，有矛盾就会有斗争，矛盾是事物发展的根本动力。人类社会是一个由许多矛盾构成的复杂矛盾体系，是在矛盾斗争中开拓前进的。充分认识和科学运用社会矛盾规律，坚持斗争、不懈斗争、在斗争中前进，是中国共产党人的本色...由于国内的因素和国际的影响，阶级斗争还在一定范围内长期存在，在某种条件下还有可能激化，但已经不是主要矛盾。这就决定了我们所进行的伟大斗争，既不同于革命战争年代那种疾风骤雨式的阶级斗争，也不能采取“以阶级斗争为纲”的极左做法。进行伟大斗争要善于区分矛盾性质，针对不同性质的矛盾展开有针对性的有效斗争。
兰州市长栾克军涉嫌严重违纪被查 - 国内 - 新京报网 Lanzhou mayor Luan Kejun under investigation
CPC pledges to promote transparency in party affairs - Xinhua A regulation to promote transparency in party affairs was reviewed and passed at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Thursday. 中共中央政治局召开会议 审议《中国共产党党务公开条例（试行）》
【图解】关于中国梦，习近平总书记这十句话直抵人心--专题报道-人民网 The 5th anniversary of Xi's "China Dream", this infographic highlights 10 phrases from Xi defining his vision of the dream
Xinjiang Man Declared Innocent After Serving 15 Years in Jail - Sixth Tone The accused, Zhou Yuan, had previously been convicted solely on the basis of his own confession, according to the court in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in China’s northwest. The new verdict concluded that Zhou’s confession was not reliable or supported by other evidence.
China issues results of government website inspection in Q3 - Gov.cn The State Council’s general office conducted a random inspection of 500 websites of provincial governments and ministerial departments, of which 97 percent were qualified, 3 percentage points higher than the second quarter. It’s worth noting that the websites of Beijing, Tianjin, Hainan, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps remained at 100 percent qualified over three quarters in a row.
Foreign and Military Affairs
Chairs Urge Robust Use of Global Magnitsky Tools to Punish Human Rights Violators in China | Congressional-Executive Commission on China In September, a group of respected human rights organizations submitted a list of foreign officials from 15 countries that they recommended be sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act. As this list relates to the work of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), which we chair, we fully support the inclusion of the two Chinese government officials that these civil society organizations singled out: Fu Zhenghua, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Public Security Tao Jing, Deputy Head of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau The groups note that these two men bear “command responsibility” for the forces under their control in the torture and ultimately death in 2014 of Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli.
America Just Quietly Backed Down Against China Again – Foreign Policy So there was plenty of reason to support a House version of the 2018 NDAA that would have simply required the secretary of defense to submit a report by fall 2018 on the feasibility of such Taiwan port calls. Such a provision is perfectly constitutional and would send a useful signal to China that the United States takes Taiwan port calls seriously. But China’s opposition may have led to Congress further dilute the already watered-down House version of the “port calls” language. The Senate recently passed a final version of the 2018 NDAA that no longer requires a report but merely expresses the “sense of Congress” that the U.S. should “consider the advisability and feasibility of reestablishing port of call exchanges between the United States navy and the Taiwan navy.” // Comment: The PRC embassy is surprisingly effective at lobbying Congress
US, China Hold Quiet Military Talks Amid North Korea Tensions - VOA The U.S. and China agreed on the talks when Dunford met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing in August. While in China, Dunford observed a Chinese military drill at Shenyang, about 120 miles from the North Korean border — an unusual stop for an official visit. Wednesday’s talks were being led by Lt. Gen. Richard Clarke, the Joint Chiefs’ planning director, and Maj. Gen. Shao Yuanming, a senior Chinese military official. They’re especially noteworthy given the deep strategic mistrust between the U.S. and China, and Beijing’s increasing challenge to America’s post-World War II dominance in the Asia-Pacific.
Chinese premier pledges joint efforts with Russia to promote regional cooperation - Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday, pledging to work with Moscow to promote regional cooperation for steady progress
Expanded SCO set to meet - Global Times Chinese Premier Li Keqiang concluded his visit to Hungary and left for the Russian coastal city of Sochi on Wednesday for the 16th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (prime ministers) of the SCO from Thursday to Friday, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday. This is the first meeting between member states' heads of government after India and Pakistan became SCO full members at the Astana Summit in June, and also the first major diplomatic event of the Euro-Asia continent after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Brawl Over Beijing Policy Strengthens Pushback at China’s Reach Down Under - WSJ The scandal, which has dragged over a year, has triggered intense soul-searching in Australia’s Parliament about foreign interference in the country’s domestic affairs, particularly by China’s government. Almost every nation has grappled with how to square the economic opportunity presented by China’s rise against a more assertive Beijing. But Australia is more wedged than most between China’s growing muscle and a more uncertain U.S. alliance under President Donald Trump.
Media has pivotal role in China-Australia ties - Global Times Dispelling misunderstandings and clearing up confusion about China will require the Australian media to learn more about China's foreign policy. At only 1,441 Chinese characters, "Following a Path of Peaceful Development and Working to Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind," Chapter XII of the report to the 19th CPC National Congress, delivered by General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping, elaborated China's foreign policy, while Australia's 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper has dozens of pages. To understand China's foreign policy is instrumental in having a more accurate knowledge of China's path of peaceful development. Australian media outlets should convey to its audience this message: China's peaceful development can only benefit the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, even in the wider world, rather than posing a threat to them.
China’s Navy Inducts 2 More Sub Killer Stealth Warships | The Diplomat The two new warships, Guangyuan (hull number 552) and Suining (hull number 551), were commissioned on November 16 and 28 respectively at a naval base in Guangzhou, Guangdong province in southern China. Both vessels will serve in the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet, the force responsible for Chinese naval operations in the South China Sea.
The ‘Indo-Pacific’ has always been about containing the rise of China | South China Morning Post Abhijit Singh says that the use of the term to describe an emerging India-Japan-US-Australia alliance as a balance against Beijing is not a distortion of the term’s original meaning; it is the fulfilment of it
China: Why China is sinking $46 billion in politically unstable, terror-wracked Pakistan - The Economic Times former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal-- China loses nothing through this sham diplomacy apparently prompted by suggestions from some China experts in India that a diplomatic way out of the BRI impasse would be to re-name the CPEC and render possible India’s participation in the BRI in the future. A cosmetic change in nomenclature will, however, make no difference on the ground as any corridor between China and Pakistan has to traverse parts of the erstwhile J&K state illegally occupied by Pakistan. This India cannot accept not only for legal reasons but also for what is a strategic move to encircle India in an area where China itself is involved in a territorial dispute with us. China is drawing Pakistan deeply into its sphere of influence not only to continue using it as a weapon against India, but also to challenge the already declining US presence and power on the Asian landmass.
国防部：不允许任何人以任何方式诋毁子弟兵_国内新闻_环球网 在此次红黄蓝事件中，网球明星李娜和央视主持人王小骞因转发一幅影射“老虎团性侵幼儿”的漫画，受到很多网民的声讨。随后两人就此发布微博，隐晦或直接做了道歉。在记者会上，吴谦表示， 孩子是祖国的花朵，是国家的未来，我们不允许任何人以任何方式伤害;军队是国家的柱石，是人民的卫士，我们不允许任何人以任何方式诋毁我们的子弟兵。 网络是较量无声的平台，没有硝烟的战场，我们都要擦亮双眼，提高警惕。// Comment: Ministry of Defense says no one is allowed to slander China's soldiers, in reaction to online comments by Li Na Wang Xiaoqian linking the RYB preschool abuse to PLA members
Hong Kong, Macao
Hong Kong Unveils Investor Identification Plan for Stock Connect - Bloomberg “The introduction of an investor identification regime for northbound trading will entail the collection and use of personal data by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and its subsidiaries, as well as its transfer to the mainland exchanges and the CSRC,” the SFC said in a statement Thursday.
Tech And Media
Disney's 'Mulan' Finds Its Star | Hollywood Reporter In Liu Yifei, Disney found the complete package. Nicknamed "Fairy Sister" by the Chinese public for her pure and innocent looks and image, she has been one of the country's most popular actresses of the current generation since breaking out with a series of hit television dramas in the mid-2000s, while she was still a teenager enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy. Liu is fluent in English, having lived in Queens, N.Y., for part of her childhood, and acted in English in both 2008's The Forbidden Kingdom
Alibaba Seeking Biggest Stake in AI Startup SenseTime - Bloomberg If the deal goes through, billionaire Jack Ma will have corralled two major facial recognition startups into a corporate empire that includes Alipay-operator Ant Financial. The online lender and payments service is already an investor in Megvii Inc.’s Face++, which this month said it raised $460 million to sustain research into a field of AI that’s rapidly getting adopted across financial services, grocery stores and even in police surveillance.
Netflix to Distribute Youku Drama Series ‘Day and Night’ | Alizila.com Day and Night follows a police detective in murder investigation in which his twin brother is the top suspect. The series has drawn more than 4 billion viewers since its debut in August this year
摩拜和ofo资金紧张挪用押金？两公司回应：报道与事实不符 |寻找中国创客 - 创客 - 新京报网 MoBike and Ofo deny a media report that they had to move 6B in customer deposits to pay bills...bike-sharing business under a lot of scrutiny as more and more of the firms start to blowup
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
China Focus: National research centers to stimulate China's S&T cause - Xinhua On Monday, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced that six new national research centers would be built in Beijing, Wuhan, Shenyang and Hefei. The centers will be based on current pilot national laboratories and discipline clusters, said Ye Yujiang, head of the ministry's basic research department. The centers will target frontier S&T and major economic concerns,including basic research.
China’s dark matter space probe detects tantalizing signal | Science | AAAS Results reported today by a China-led space science mission provide a tantalizing hint—but not firm evidence—for dark matter. Perhaps more significantly, the first observational data produced by China’s first mission dedicated to astrophysics shows that the country is set to become a force in space science, says David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton University. China is now "making significant contributions to astrophysics and space science," he says.
China to roll back regulations for traditional medicine despite safety concerns : Nature From early next year, traditional Chinese medicines may no longer be required to pass safety and efficacy trials in humans in China. Draft regulations announced in October by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) mean traditional medicines can skip such costly and time-consuming trials as long as manufacturers prepare ingredients using essentially the same method as in classic Chinese formulations. The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the CFDA will compose a list of the approved methods.
原卫生部副部长黄洁夫：“换头术”荒唐可笑且违法 建议追究责任 |政解 - 国内 - 新京报网 Huang Jiefu, former deputy minister of Health, says the "head replacement surgery" is ridiculous and the surgery would be illegal
Pangolin trafficking: China seized record haul of the world's most trafficked mammal — Quartz On Wednesday (Nov. 29), customs officials said they seized 11.9 tonnes (13.1 tons) of pangolin scales—the biggest seizure ever—from a port of southern city Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, according to state media Xinhua news. Officials said that the scales could translate into up to 30,000 pangolins. That is nearly four times the last record-breaking case, in which authorities in Shanghai seized 3.1 tonnes (3.4 tons) scales (link in Chinese) from close to 7,000 pangolins
$600 Million Loan Pumps Up China Huarong Energy’s Oil Dreams in Kyrgyzstan - Caixin Global The company did not disclose who lent it the $600 million, but said it was an independent third party “whose principal business is investment holding.”
Agriculture And Rural Issues
China Focus: From lab to farmland, technology revolutionizes agriculture in China - Xinhua He imagines a future farming landscape with many automated machines shuttling back and forth on the land, while farmers drink tea in the shade of a tree, using smart phones or tablets to control the machines. "Agricultural technology must leave the labs to serve the farmers in the farmlands, pastures and orchards," he said.
China child abuse claims: kindergarten company reveals more complaints | The Guardian There have been reports of similar allegations in the northern province of Hebei, close to Beijing. Authorities there are investigating an allegation of child abuse and have “temporarily closed” an RYB kindergarten, they said in a statement on their official WeChat account late on Wednesday.
China to legislate on pre-school education - Xinhua China will push for legislation on pre-school education to a provide legal guarantee for the operation and management of such institutions, Vice Minister of Education Tian Xuejun said Thursday. Tian made the remarks at a press conference organized by the State Council Information Office, with regards to a child abuse case at RYB Education New World Kindergarten in Beijing that received widespread attention last week.
Food And Travel
Affluent travelers opting for polar trips - China Daily China's largest online travel agency Ctrip said it has received an unusually large number of inquiries for its South Pole tours this year and estimates that more than 1,000 Chinese tourists would be staying at the South Pole during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday in February.