NPC ends; Hong Kong; US-China; TikTok and Zynn, UK China policy

Apologies for the late delivery today, we had some technical difficulties.

The shortened National People’s Congress (NPC) has concluded and the Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security passed as expected. The next steps I believe will be the passage by the NPC Standing Committee in the next few weeks, then promulgation.

President Trump will hold a press conference Friday to discuss China. The speculation is that he will outline US actions in response to the Hong Kong law that will include changes to how the US treats Hong Kong in trade and immigration as well as “penalties” on the PRC and possibly PRC-linked entities and individuals. If President Trump still thinks the phase one trade deal is useful then expect the measures to be fairly weak. Whatever he announces, I highly doubt the actions will change the CCP’s course on Hong Kong.

The US runs the risk of having made a big deal about this law and then issuing a weak response that imposes relatively little cost on Beijing. I believe that is what Xi is betting on, and certainly the utterances from other governments have been fairly milquetoast, or non-existent as in the case of most of the PRC’s neighbors.

For Xi and the CCP, Hong Kong political security and the territory’s place in the Motherland trump whatever increase in US-China friction may come, and in the logic the two countries are now stuck in a harsh US response will only confirm to Xi and many in China that the US is hellbent on keeping China down, while a weak response from DC will add to the view already held by more than a few in Beijing that Trump and the US are paper tigers, as Mao liked to say, and Beijing can increasingly act with impunity. It is a toxic dynamic.

Premier Li Keqiang at his annual NPC press conference earlier today made clear that the government will do what it takes to boost the economy- Chinese premier confident of achieving development goals - Xinhua:

"We will do our utmost to keep China's economic growth stable and at the same time we must ensure that all measures taken are well calibrated," Li said during a press conference after the conclusion of the annual national legislative session.

The country reserves policy space on the fiscal, financial, social security and other fronts and is in a strong position to quickly introduce new measures should the situation calls for it without any hesitation, Li said, adding that it is essential to keep China's economic development on a steady course.

And as the South China Morning Post noted in China pledges largest-ever economic rescue package to save jobs and livelihoods amid coronavirus:

China has pledged a package of 4 trillion yuan (US$559 billion) worth of cost cuts for the country’s struggling factories and merchants in 2020, the largest economic rescue plan in its history, in an enhanced effort to save jobs that were put at risk by the coronavirus outbreak, Premier Li Keqiang confirmed on Thursday...

“We have been saying that we won’t flood the market [with excessive liquidity]. It is still the policy,” Li said. “But extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts. We are now providing water so that the fish can survive – fish will die without enough water, but there will be bubbles if we provide too much water.”..

According to Li, China still has 600 million people with monthly income of 1,000 yuan (US$140) or less, even though the national average per capita income last year was 30,733 yuan (US$4,300).

Meanwhile, on the occasion of the US officially crossing 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 Trump tweeted:

The items in today’s Essential Eight are:

  1. Hong Kong

  2. US-China

  3. US moves on PRC students

  4. The Two Sessions

  5. China-India

  6. Huawei

  7. UK view towards China hardening?

  8. TikTok, Zynn and News Break

I will hold another open thread tomorrow, Friday, but I am going to start it after Trump’s press conference.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Hong Kong

China adopts decision to make Hong Kong national security laws - Xinhua

The decision will also allow the central government's national security organs to set up agencies in Hong Kong when needed...

The NPC Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security consists of an introduction and seven articles...

The NPC, according to the decision, entrusts its standing committee to make national security laws to be promulgated and enforced in Hong Kong

China prepared for international backlash over Hong Kong national security law | South China Morning Post

“These threats [by the US] are what we expected. But they are futile in preventing the passing of the law. We have prepared for the worst case scenario,” said Ruan Zongze, senior research fellow at China Institute of International Studies, a think tank under China’s foreign ministry...

Ruan and his fellow academic Shi Yinhong, director of the Centre of American Studies at Renmin University of China, agreed that a revocation of Hong Kong’s special trading status was unlikely.

“I think the US government is quite hesitant about how strongly they should react to [China’s bill]. It’s unlikely that they will revoke Hong Kong’s special economic status because that would also hurt America’s interest in Hong Kong,” Shi said.

Beijing’s foreign affairs ministry office in Hong Kong blasts ‘gangster logic’ of US sanctions threat, saying it proves need for security law | South China Morning Post

Beijing’s foreign affairs office in Hong Kong has hit back at the “gangster logic” of the United States, calling the threat of potential sanctions an “utterly imperious”, “unreasonable and shameless” attempt to obstruct China’s planned national security law for the city

Unofficial translation - Decision of the National People's Congress on Establishing and Completing the Hong Kong's Special Administrative Region's Legal System and Implementation Mechanisms for the Preservation of National Security - ChinaLaw Translate

The session has found that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's national security risks have become apparent in recent years, and various types of illegal activities such as "Hong Kong Independence", separatism, and violent terrorist activities have seriously endangered the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country; and that some foreign and overseas forces have brazenly interfered in Hong Kong's affairs and used Hong Kong to engage in activities endangering China's national security. ...

VI. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is authorized to draft laws related to the establishment and completion of the of the Hong Kong's Special Administrative Region's legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the preservation of national security, to effectively prevent, stop, and punish any conduct or activities that seriously endanger national security, such as separatism, subversion of state power, or organizing or carrying out terrorist activities, as well as activities by foreign and overseas forces that interfere in the affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is to list the above-mentioned relevant laws in Annex III of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, which will be promulgated and implemented locally by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

VII. This decision shall take effect from the date of its promulgation

Full text of the Decision - (两会受权发布)全国人民代表大会关于建立健全香港特别行政区维护国家安全的法律制度和执行机制的决定-新华

观察者:“港版国安法”决定文字有微调,一图看懂

Guancha said the final version of the “decision” changed some languages in the original draft. That includes changing the “actions endangering national security” into “actions and activities endangering national security”. Also it changed the part about “The Chief Executive should … conduct national security promotion education” into “The Chief Executive should conduct national security education”. It seems this only broadened the scope of law and give the authorities more power.

Pompeo makes arrogant, hysterical statements about HK autonomy - Global Times - Hu Xijin

The US only has one card, which is Hong Kong's separate customs territory status. However, this has been thoroughly studied by the Chinese side. If Washington wants to play this card, then let it do so. Hong Kong is the largest source of the US trade surplus, and there are about 85,000 US citizens in the Chinese city. Let's just wait and see how the US will suffer from its own move of canceling Hong Kong's separate customs territory status...

The US is a superpower, but its national strength has weakened in recent years because of this trade war and nonsense they push. Now, it is seriously ill. Pompeo better wear his face masks before he talks wildly

No one is allowed to challenge international justice with double standards - People's Daily Zhong Sheng

By arbitrarily blaming China’s efforts to better guarantee long-term stability and peace in Hong Kong, certain politicians of Western countries, including the U.S., have completely exposed their true colors and the fact that they don’t want to be responsible for people in Hong Kong at all.

It’s beyond all question that playing double standards runs counter to justice and is despised by the world all along.

Any attempt to interfere in China’s internal affairs by meddling in Hong Kong affairs will be proven wishful thinking that is bound to fail.

利剑出鞘斩断“港独”“台独”合流(望海楼)--观点--人民网

People's Daily Overseas "haiwang lou column" "A sharp sword was drawn to cut off the confluence of "Hong Kong independence" and "Taiwan independence"

Joint Statement on Hong Kong - United States Department of State

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom...

China’s decision to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally-binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. The proposed law would undermine the One Country, Two Systems framework. It also raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people – including those set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights....

The world’s focus on a global pandemic requires enhanced trust in governments and international cooperation. Beijing’s unprecedented move risks having the opposite effect.

As Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity are jeopardized by the new imposition, we call on the Government of China to work with the Hong Kong SAR Government and the people of Hong Kong to find a mutually acceptable accommodation that will honor China’s international obligations under the UN-filed Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Question: Where is New Zealand, the fifth member of five eyes and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations? And were are any Asian countries? This kind of milquetoast statement is not going to worry Beijing much

Japan 'seriously concerned' over Chinese security laws for Hong Kong - Reuters

“Japan is seriously concerned about the (Chinese parliament’s) decision...,” the ministry statement said.

“It is the long-standing policy of Japan to attach great importance to upholding a free and open system which Hong Kong has been enjoying and the democratic and stable development of Hong Kong under the ‘One Country Two System’ framework.”

Hong Kong Latest News: EU Criticizes China Security Rules Plan - Bloomberg

China’s increasing control over the city “affects not only our direct interests in Hong Kong but also the maintenance of the rules-based international order where legal and political commitments are to be respected,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a letter to the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers. The EU must continue “to ensure unified and robust messaging,” Borrell said in the letter dated May 26 and seen by Bloomberg

UK says it will extend Hongkongers' visa rights if China pursues security laws | The Guardian

The UK will extend visa rights for as many as 300,000 Hong Kong British National Overseas passport holders if China continues down the path of imposing repressive security laws on the former British colony, the foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said

Call for UN Security Council Meeting on Hong Kong | United States Mission to the United Nations

As a result, the United States called today for a virtual meeting of the Security Council to discuss these acts and the PRC’s proposed national security law that would threaten Hong Kong’s democratic institutions and civil liberties. Such actions confirm the PRC’s contempt and complete disregard for its international obligations.

Unsurprisingly, the PRC has refused to allow this virtual meeting to proceed in the Security Council. This is another example of the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of transparency and international accountability for its actions, and belief that it can exploit the current global health pandemic to distract the world from its intended assault on Hong Kong and abrogation of its own commitments to the Hong Kong people.

This action, coupled with the PRC’s gross cover-up and mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis, its constant violations of its international human rights commitments, and its unlawful behavior in the South China Sea, should make obvious to all that Beijing is not behaving as a responsible UN member state.

PRC's UN Representative responds - 中国常驻联合国代表团驳斥美方:香港国家安全立法纯属内政 

中国政府维护国家主权、安全、发展利益的决心坚定不移,贯彻“一国两制”方针的决心坚定不移,反对任何外部势力干涉香港事务的决心坚定不移。任何借香港问题干涉中国内政的图谋都必然失败。中方强烈敦促美方立即停止干预香港内部事务,立即停止霸权主义和强权政治的做法,管好自己的事,解决好自己的问题,而不是到处挑起争端、制造麻烦。

The Chinese government's determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests is unswerving, its determination to implement the policy of "one country, two systems," and its determination to oppose any external forces' interference in Hong Kong affairs is unswerving. Any attempt to use the Hong Kong issue to interfere in China's internal affairs will inevitably fail. China strongly urges the US to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong ’s internal affairs, immediately stop hegemonism and power politics, manage its own affairs, and solve its own problems, rather than provoking disputes and creating trouble everywhere

Briefing With Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell On PRC National People’s Congress Proposal on Hong Kong National Security Legislation - United States Department of State

the point is that that special status that Hong Kong enjoyed – that wall, maybe, if you want to put it that way – is being penetrated and Beijing is no longer acknowledging its special status.  And so it’s not just the presidential determination, the actions he chooses to take, but I think businesses and others would notice these facts as well and make prudent choices as far as whether they – whether the environment in a year from now is going to be conducive to fair business, transparent operations, and all the rest that they’ve enjoyed to date.  And so the administration will take action.  I would expect others also seeing Chinese actions would respond to those. 

China's rich skirting Hong Kong to seek asset safety elsewhere - Reuters

One Chinese client who had been scouting investments in Hong Kong instead bought five apartments this week in Singapore via a newly set up family office, said the person’s adviser with a European wealth manager...

“Chinese HNIs like the law from the perspective of their love for the Chinese flag, but not from their asset protection perspective.”

Hong Kong is the battleground in a US-China cold war | Financial Times - Jamil Anderlini $$

Many in the western business community are still hoping they can keep their heads down and continue to benefit from Hong Kong’s unique position in the world.

They are wrong — from a moral as well as a practical perspective.

Hong Kong is now the main battleground in an escalating cold war between China and what is left of the US-led liberal world order. Beijing’s decision to ignore the damage to its global reputation and defy its international treaty obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong shows the Chinese Communist party already believes this...

Anyone who has paid attention to the rhetoric emanating from the Communist party will understand that the common law system and the separation of powers that exist in Hong Kong are precisely the problem in the eyes of Beijing. President Xi Jinping has said so himself.

Chinese National Anthem Bill clears 2nd reading in HKSAR LegCo - CGTN

The LegCo resumed the second reading debate on the bill on Wednesday. Martin Liao Cheung-kong, chairman of the LegCo committee responsible for the bill, said the national anthem is the national symbol and sign according to the Constitution of China and that Hong Kong bears the constitutional responsibility for the legislation, which implies the importance of respecting the national anthem


2. US-China

China, U.S. must use wisdom to expand common interests, manage differences: premier - Xinhua

There are differences in the social systems, cultural traditions, and historical backgrounds between the two countries, Li said, so some differences and disagreements may be unavoidable. "What's important is how we manage them," he said...

”I believe that the two countries should respect each other and develop a relationship on the basis of equality, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and embrace cooperation that will be conducive to both countries and to the world," Li said

Bank sanctions, delistings: U.S. poised to take financial fight to China - The Washington Post

“It’s really unfortunate to see the U.S. start warring again not only on technology, but on investment,” said Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization think tank in Beijing and an adviser to the Chinese cabinet. “Okay, the U.S. has advantages with its financial system. But that’s not going to last forever. It could be short-term. It’ll only force China to accelerate developing its own system.”..

Wang Wen, director of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies in Beijing and adviser to several ministries, said he believes the Trump administration won’t carry out progressively more extreme measures, such as outright banning pension investments in Chinese stocks, because of the “deep power” of an abiding force in America: Wall Street’s thirst for returns...

“The profit-seeking nature of capital determines that China is still one of the most sought-after markets,” he said. “Whoever loses the Chinese market will lose the future.”.. [Question: Does Wang Wen sound capitalist or Marxist?]

“If the United States initiates a financial war . . . we have to clearly recognize we don’t have the advantage and take all precautions,” wrote Ren Zeping, an influential economist at the Evergrande property conglomerate. “It’s now necessary to elevate the financial war to the strategic heights of national security.”

As the U.S. Lashes Out at China, Beijing Hardens Its Resolve - The New York Times

“Anything the U.S. says or does or will do, China will refuse,” Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said in a telephone interview.

What the American moves have not done is chasten Mr. Xi’s government, which appears to feel simultaneously embattled and defiant.

Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid controlled by the Communist Party, all but dared the Trump administration to carry out its threat to end Hong Kong’s favored trade status. He noted that there were 85,000 Americans there and scores of companies that would reap “the bitter fruits” of the American decision

Wu Xinbo, Executive Dean, Institute of International Studies, Fudan University - 吴心伯:未来六个月是中美关系至暗时刻,中方要有反制力

In the next six months of the US general election, the topic of China will become one of the core of the two-party competition, and the two sides will compete for voters with toughness against China. Therefore, Sino-US relations will enter the most severe moment since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States...In the online lecture celebrating the 115th anniversary of Fudan University, Wu Xinbo, Dean of the Institute of International Studies of Fudan University, analyzed the latest challenges facing Sino-US relations in 25 minutes. He emphasized that in the face of Trump The madness and irrationality of the government here, China must dare to fight and be good at fighting, "it must show China's resistance. "

未来6个月的美国大选中,中国话题会成为两党竞争的核心之一,双方会以对中国的强硬来争夺选民。因此,中美关系将进入中美建交以来最严峻时刻。”今天下午四点四十分,在复旦校庆115年的线上讲座中,复旦大学国际问题研究院院长吴心伯用25分钟分析了中美关系面临的最新挑战,他强调,面对特朗普政府此间的疯狂和非理性,中国要敢于斗争、善于斗争,“要显示出中国的反制力。”

Comment: Quoting one of my very knowledgeable research assistants:

"Well if people like Wu said China needs to get tougher, probably everyone in the establishment has agreed China needs to get tougher"

Hu Xijin seems to be calling for elites to line-up behind the correct, much more contentious, line towards the US - 胡锡进:别留恋过去,从六个事实看清中国当下的战略处境

中美战略博弈会是个漫长过程,它将考验中国的内部团结。而要提高中国社会的凝聚力,包括知识精英在内的各路精英都需要真正参与进来,尽自己的一份贡献。精英们这个时候不能恋美国、怕美国,而要敢于站到与美国开展复杂博弈的一线,把国家利益和民族大义放在首位。国家兴亡,匹夫有责,现在是很多中国人需要重温这句话的时候了

The China-US Strategic Game will be a long process, and it will test China's internal unity. To improve the cohesion of Chinese society, all elites including intellectual elites need to truly participate and do their part. The elites cannot love the United States or fear the United States at this time, but dare to stand on the front line of developing complex games with the United States and put national interests and national justice first. The rise and fall of the country is the responsibility of everyone. Now is the time for many Chinese to revisit this saying

牛新春:从新冠疫情管窥国际政治新旧时代转换

Niu Xinchun, a senior research fellow with CICIR, wrote about how the coronavirus will affect US-China and the world. Niu said with the US-led unipolar world order has collapsed, the new order is yet to emerge. Niu said the relations of the two is worsening and the window to reverse the trend is narrowing. Niu predicts more chaos and conflicts in this transitioning to multipolar world, and that the current “fight but not break up 斗而不破” situation between China and US is difficult to maintain, which means things are almost certain will escalate. Niu was long time deputy head of American studies in CICIR

金灿荣:推出“港区国安法”,说明中国对美已走向“以斗争求合作”的道路

In an interview with Guancha, Prof. Jin Canrong says that the HK National Security Law shows that China has now taken a "use struggle to seek cooperation" approach to US-China relations

Sino-US rivalry must not become a self-fulfilling prophecy - China Daily - Shen Dingli OpEd

While the US administration has many concerns vis-à-vis China's "unfair" approach toward it, China has no fewer complaints against the US. Therefore, the two sides would do good to try and find ways to overcome their differences. In this regard, the Pentagon report's appeal for result-orientated interaction between the two sides to prevent the mutual perception as rivals from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy deserves greater attention.

The author is a professor at the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University.

Comment: Interesting that Shen points to mil-mil relations as a stabilizing force. As one reader pointed out yesterday that the PLA embracing their contacts with the US military is a pattern that has occurred in previous moments of US-China tensions. However, don’t be surprised if this time is different.

Taiwan Eyes Further U.S. Arms Purchases With New Anti-Ship Missile - Reuters

Taiwan plans to buy land-based Boeing-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles as part of its military modernisation efforts, its defence ministry said on Thursday, the latest purchase from the United States to deal with a rising threat from China.

US warship again challenges China's South China Sea claims - CNN

"On May 28 (local time), USS Mustin (DDG 89) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law," Lt. Anthony Junco, a spokesperson for the US Navy's 7th Fleet, said in a statement...

The Pentagon recently revealed that a Chinese vessel on April 14 conducted "unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers" near the Mustin "which was conducting normal operations in international waters" at the time of the incident, according to Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn.

Question: Why doesn't the Pentagon release video of that incident? They seem quick to do it whenever there is an unsafe encounter with Russia but very reticent when it comes to China

China slams US warship's illegal intrusion into China's territorial waters off Xisha Islands - China Military

The spokesperson pointed out that while the world is still faced with the rigorous challenge of COVID-19, instead of focusing on disease prevention and control and making contributions to the international fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the US disregarded the health and lives of American people and repeatedly sent warships to the South China Sea to show off power and provoke troubles. Such acts fully expose the US hypocrisy and its trouble-maker nature in the South China Sea.

House sends Uyghur human rights bill to Trump's desk - CNN

The legislation, titled the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, condemns the Chinese Communist Party for the detention centers and recommends a tougher response to the human rights abuses suffered by Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in the region.

It passed with a vote of 413-1. Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie was the sole opponent.,,

The Senate approved the bill two weeks ago. Now, it will go to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature....

Wall Street Has Billions to Lose in China From Mounting Tension - Bloomberg

While their assets in the country are comparatively small, they have big expansion plans there that may come undone if financial services firms are dragged into the tit-for-tat between the two countries. Not only would that cloud their growth plans, it would also threaten the income they have generated over the years from advising Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd

US joins G7 AI alliance to counter China’s influence - The Next Web

“The pandemic has made clear why AI development aligned with privacy, freedom, and civil liberties is such an imperative,” said Michael Kratsios, the White House’s Chief Technology Officer, tweeted today. “It is critical that America stand alongside those who share and promote our values.”

New podcast: Launching ‘The US-China Conversation’ | HD Centre

In the pilot episode HD’s Asia Director, Michael Vatikiotis speaks about the state of the US-China bilateral relationship and what could be done to put relations on a better footing to former Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton, and Professor Da Wei of the University of International Relations in Beijing.

House panel probes Trump rejecting China stocks on retirement funds - POLITICO

A top House Democrat will investigate whether President Donald Trump and his administration broke the law by pressuring a federal retirement board to reverse plans to begin investing in a new index that includes Chinese companies, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO


3. US moves on PRC students

U.S. to Expel Chinese Graduate Students With Ties to China’s Military Schools - The New York Times

The Trump administration plans to cancel the visas of thousands of Chinese graduate students and researchers in the United States who have direct ties to universities affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army, according to American officials with knowledge of the discussions...

The visa cancellation could affect at least 3,000 students, according to some official estimates. That is a tiny percentage of the approximately 360,000 Chinese students in the United States...

The vigorous interagency debate over the move to cancel visas has lasted about six months, with science and technology officials generally opposing the action and national security officials supporting it.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a think tank, has researched the Chinese military-affiliated universities, and that has influenced thinking in the American government. A 2018 report called “Picking Flowers, Making Honey” said China was sending students from those universities to Western universities to try to build up its own military technology.

Comment: This move was not prompted by the developments in Hong Kong, though it is in the same news cycle. This targets the {RC's civil-military fusion program, which like many things under Xi has intensified

Cotton, Blackburn, Kustoff Unveil Bill to Restrict Chinese STEM Graduate Student Visas & Thousand Talents Participants | Tom Cotton | U.S. Senator for Arkansas

The SECURE CAMPUS Act:

Bars PRC nationals from receiving student or research visas to the United States for graduate or post-graduate studies in STEM fields;

The legislation provides a waiver for members of religious or ethnic groups systematically oppressed by the CCP;

The legislation also provides the President with a national security waiver on a case-by-case basis;

This prohibition does not apply to visa applicants from Taiwan or Hong Kong;

Prohibits PRC nationals and participants in China's foreign talent recruitment programs from receiving or working on federal R&D grants in STEM fields;

Requires universities, laboratories, and research institutes receiving federal funding to attest that they will not knowingly employ participants in China's foreign talent recruitment programs;

Mandates that participants in China's foreign talent recruitment programs register under FARA;

Expands the definition of "economic espionage" under U.S. Code to more accurately reflect the range of institutions that the CCP uses to steal technology from the United States;

Mandates that the Secretary of State develop and publish a list of China's foreign talent recruitment programs.


4. The Two Sessions

China's top legislature holds closing meeting of annual session - Xinhua

Lawmakers adopted the Civil Code and a decision to make national security laws for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

They approved resolutions on the government work report, and the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate at the meeting.

They also passed resolutions on the national economic and social development plans, as well as on the central and local budgets

Xi Focus: Xi's "two sessions" messages reassuring at difficult times - Xinhua

Eradicating absolute poverty, upholding people-centered philosophy and seeking new opportunities from challenges, Chinese President Xi Jinping brought reassuring messages at times of uncertainty and difficulty

China's civil code will promote the rule of law - CGTN

The civil code is a landmark achievement of China's efforts to widely promote the rule of law. And it comes at a time when Chinese society is experiencing a major transformation in its development. Updating the legislation that the rule of law relies on is an important step in the modernization of the national governance system and improving its capacity to respond to the country's needs. As one of the most important laws on the protection of individual rights and interests, the civil code will give a major boost to the level of social fairness and justice in China

Xinhua: China's Civil Code adopted at national legislature

Chinese lawmakers Thursday voted to adopt the country's long-expected Civil Code at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress, the top legislature. The Civil Code will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. In addition to general provisions and supplementary provisions, the Civil Code, the world's latest modern-day civil law, has six parts on real rights, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, succession, and tort liabilities.

China Has a Civil Code Now. What Does That Mean? - SixthTone

Laws related to family and marriage make up a significant portion of the civil code. One standout stipulation: If a person conceals a “serious disease” before marriage, their spouse is within their rights to seek an annulment.

Also under the new civil code, married couples will only share debt if they sign for a loan together, or if they later agree that a debt will be shared. In addition, personal expenses beyond basic household living costs count toward a person’s own debt unless they can prove the purchases benefitted their partner as well.

The civil code institutes controversial 30-day “cool-off periods” aimed at deterring impulsive divorces

Long Xinhua piece on the process to get to the new Civil Code-新时代的人民法典——《中华人民共和国民法典》诞生记

The key messages Li sent in his press conference - Highlights from Premier Li's news conference - People's Daily Online

CNBC - China plays up business opportunities amid increasing US protectionism

“We believe that all members of the global community should pull together in a sense of partnership to prevail over the current difficulty,” Li said after China’s annual parliamentary meeting concluded, according to an official English translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.

He reiterated would China would open its markets further to foreign businesses, and how Beijing and Washington should continue to find ways to work together, despite differences that have arisen.

“We have all along rejected the ‘cold war’ mentality and decoupling among two major economies will do neither side no good and it is also harmful for the whole world,” Li said.

CCTV Evening News report on Li's press conference. He was not in the room, all the journalists were looking at him on screen-李克强会见中外记者并回答提问_CCTV

Transcript of Li's press conference - 国务院总理李克强回答中外记者提问(实录全文)-新华

Hubei Lawmaker Proposes Better Protection for Medical Whistleblowers - Caixin

A senior lawmaker from Hubei, the Chinese province hit worst by the deadly Covid-19 outbreak, has urged the government to rapidly reform its disease warning system and grant greater protections to medical whistleblowers in a bid to plug the gaps exposed at the start of the epidemic.

MERICS Interview with Jörg Wuttke, President of the EU Chamber in China | Mercator Institute for China Studies

In his working report last Friday Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang did not formulate a growth target for 2020. How do you interpret this signal? How do you expect China's economy to develop this year?

Since the economy contracted by 6.8% in the first quarter, it was difficult this time for the Chinese government to set a target for GDP. Growth is unlikely to be the regime's top priority this year anyway, as other factors – such as problems in the labor market and in supply chains – could pose a greater threat to political stability. In order to support social welfare, you do not need an official growth target. It is therefore not a problem if President Xi Jinping dispenses with a target once, especially as he has been playing down the importance of the GDP target for years. Xi is a great advocate of “high-quality economic development”.

In the manufacturing sector, the comeback has been stronger than expected. The German automotive industry and chemical producers are recording higher sales figures in some cases than in May 2019. The service sector, on the other hand, is suffering enormously – hotels, airports and tourist destinations are largely empty. It will be a long time before normality returns there. What worries me most is the dip in demand. Around 100 million Chinese have lost their jobs in the wake of the corona crisis


5. China-India

Chinese aggression in Ladakh also a message for domestic and external audience: Experts - The Print

Taylor Fravel, an expert on China’s military strategy who is also the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the MIT’s Security Studies Program, told ThePrint that he certainly agrees that China is trying to signal that it has not been weakened by the coronavirus and its economic aftershocks.

“While I don’t think this alone would lead China to create an incident with India, I do think it helps to explain the scope, scale, and posture of China’s response,” he said. “In many issues this spring, China has sought to signal its resolve, especially when sovereignty is involved — Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea.”

Professor Rory Medcalf, Head, National Security College, Australian National University told ThePrint that the timing of the Chinese military push in contested territory is very troubling.

“It coincides with a critical phase in India’s internal difficulties with the Covid-19 pandemic. So perhaps it is calculated to catch the Indian leadership distracted and off-guard,” he said

India sidesteps Trump offer to mediate on China, says in talks with Beijing - Reuters

“We are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue,” Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava told reporters, responding to Trump’s offer. China has not yet made an official comment

China believes India wants Aksai Chin back. PLA has likely secured 40-60 sq km in Ladakh-The Print

The likely military aim of China is to stop the development of our border infrastructure in Ladakh that threatens Aksai Chin and National Highway (NH) 219, particularly in Galwan , Hot Springs and Pangong Tso sectors, and depending on our reaction, to be prepared for a limited border skirmish...

Ladakh is the only area where physical military collusion can take place between Pakistan and China. Sub Sector North (SSN) lies just to the East of Siachen glacier and is our vulnerability due to the tenuous lines of communications, notwithstanding the recommissioned Daulat Beg Oldi airfield. It is also the only area that provides direct access to Aksai Chin from India. China does not want any threatening build-up in SSN. Fifteen years ago, a Chinese military war game was conducted that visualised a division size force along with a mechanised force launching an offensive from SSN into Aksai Chin...

Be that as it may, we have the capability and the will to stare China down and force it to blink. Neither country wants war, hence diplomacy has to be given the first priority to restore status quo ante 1 April 2020. However, if diplomacy does not work, then India should be prepared for border skirmishes and even a limited war.

Lt Gen H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) served in the Indian Army for 40 years. He was GOC in C Northern Command and Central Command

Citing swine fever, China bans pork imports from India - The Hindu

A joint notice issued by the General Administration of Customs of China and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs on Wednesday said China “is set to ban imports of pigs, wild boar and related products from India in an effort to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and ensure the safety of China’s animal husbandry”.

While the official notice from the government made no mention of the ongoing border dispute, the Global Times, a Communist Party-run newspaper, reported that “the ban comes after tensions between the two countries flared up in Galwan Valley region”, which it blamed on “India's recent, illegal construction of defense facilities on the border to Chinese territory”

This move may be legit by Global Times can’t help itself - China bans hog imports from India to prevent African swine fever - Global Times

India reported its first case of ASF in both domestic pigs and wild boar in Assam earlier in this month. The disease has killed more than 14,000 pigs in the border state of Assam, according to media reports.

ASF prevention and control in China has achieved initial results. Since the beginning of this year, the numbers of reported infections, pigs requiring treatment and dead pigs have also shown downward trends, according to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.

China ignores India over dam project in Pakistani Kashmir - Nikkei Asian Review

In a move that has seriously displeased India and tightened economic relations with China, Pakistan has awarded a contract to a Chinese-Pakistani joint venture to build a dam in the long-disputed Kashmir region.

The initial phase of the Diamer Bhasha dam project, worth 442 billion Pakistan rupees ($2.75 billion), has been awarded to a joint venture between Power Construction Corporation of China and the Pakistan Army's Frontier Works Organization on a 70:30 basis.


6. Huawei

Huawei builds up 2-year reserve of 'most important' US chips - Nikkei Asian Review

Huawei Technologies has stockpiled up to two years' worth of crucial American chips to shield its operations from Washington's crackdowns, sources told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Huawei's stockpiling efforts focus on central processors made by Intel for use in servers and programmable chips from its peer Xilinx, the sources said. These are the "most essential components" for the company's base station business and emerging cloud business, and it has enough inventory to last between one and a half and two years, they added...

The company started buying up chips at the end of 2018, soon after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou -- who is also founder Ren Zhengfei's daughter -- was arrested on the Canadian border, the sources said.

Abuse of their extradition treaty by US and Canada is deplorable: China Daily editorial

As the Chinese embassy in Ottawa said in a statement expressing China's "strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the decision", Canada is "acting as an accomplice of the US" in its attempts "to bring down Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies".

Ottawa is trying to portray itself as innocent of any wrongdoing, claiming it is a legal matter that should be left to the courts. Yet its move to arrest Meng was quite clearly politically motivated - or perhaps it would be more accurate to say economically motivated, since it came when it is was engaged in trade talks with Washington. It should have acted with caution to avoid being dragged into Washington's shenanigans.

Comment: The CCP can not imagine a scenario in which a judiciary is independent. The attacks on the Canadian judiciary should be be read next to assurances that Hong Kong's judiciary will remain independent...

Statement on the Supreme Court of British Columbia decision on double criminality in extradition process for Meng Wanzhou - Canada.ca

“The Canadian judiciary operates independently, and today’s decision on double criminality in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition process was an independent decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

“This decision is but one component in a multi-step legal process. The Government of Canada will continue to be transparent about the extradition process for Ms. Meng.

“We will continue to pursue principled engagement with China to address our bilateral differences and to cooperate in areas of mutual interest.

“The Government of Canada’s top priority is and remains securing the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been arbitrarily detained for over 500 days. We will continue to advocate for their immediate release and seek clemency for Canadians facing the death penalty in China, including Robert Schellenberg.”

Growing uncertainties in Canada raise alarm for Chinese companies - Global Times

Canada now claims the latest decision in Meng's case was not made based on political bias. If that's the case, and if Canada still values investment and employment opportunities from China, it is time for the Trudeau government to release more signals of good will to calm the nerves of the Chinese business community and to prevent China-Canada relations from plunging into a new freeze. Failure to do so or continuing down the wrong path will only give the impression that Canada is unfriendly toward China, which may incur a response in kind from China

Our dismal relationship with China just got a whole lot worse | CBC News

Relations between Canada and China are arguably at their lowest point since the prime minister's father was prime minister and established diplomatic ties back in the early 1970s. The ruling already has led to warnings about blowback from Beijing — especially for detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor...

Former Canadian ambassador to Beijing David Mulroney said he expects their plight to get even worse.

"My takeaway is that this (decision) is not good news for the two Michaels," he said Wednesday. "That's human and personal. It affects two Canadians who are victims in this, who are being held hostage, and we can never forget that.

Huawei Ruling Crushes Hope China May End Canola Feud With Canada - Bloomberg

Last year China suspended the licenses of two major Canadian shippers, Glencore Plc’s Canadian grain unit Viterra and Richardson International, citing pest and quarantine concerns, although the move was widely seen as retaliation over Meng’s arrest. Canada is the top grower and exporter of canola, an oilseed used in everything for deep-frying to salad dressings


7. UK view towards China hardening?

Escaping the dragon: the government’s new approach to China | The Spectator cover story - James Forsyth

How will the world be different after coronavirus? Will everything return to the way it was or will there be lasting change? For this country, there is one thing that will clearly be different: the government’s approach to China. I understand that while Boris Johnson’s grand, integrated foreign policy review has been put on hold because of the pandemic, the work on Anglo-Sino relations has been brought forward as a matter of urgency. One of those heavily involved in the development of this new policy tells me that the aim is to get this country ‘off the trajectory of ever-increasing dependence’ on China...

There is now a conscious choice in government to diminish reliance on China wherever possible, even if it means paying more. One source at the heart of government tells me that a keystone of this new approach is that we are ‘prepared to take economic pain to reduce dependence on China’. This has the added advantage of fitting with what No. 10 believes is the public mood. One pollster, whose analysis is valued greatly by senior figures in government, tells me that for the first time there is an anti--Beijing mood out in the country. There is also a new political consensus emerging that the UK can’t be as passive as before in the face of China’s rise.

As for Huawei:

One of Johnson’s closest political allies tells me: ‘The original plan is dead. It is only a matter of how they configure the shift.’ I am told that the choice now is between time limit for the use of Huawei kit in 5G infrastructure, or no role at all for the Chinese company — with ‘sentiment shifting to the harder position’...

A new alliance is envisaged by the UK: the D10 group. This would be made up of the G7 democracies plus Australia, South Korea and India. One Johnson confidant argues that ‘done right it creates a plausible alternative for developing nations’ to relying on Chinese tech know-how.

How Xi is using fear of Covid to crush Hong Kong's autonomy | The Spectator

The message for liberal democracies is clear — it was before, but few seem to have read what Xi said in his first speech to the Politburo about ensuring the ‘dominant position’ of Chinese socialism over western capitalism. We need a new China policy, one which recognises the CCP regime for what it is rather than what we wish it to be. If it is not too late, it might even be one which helps Hong Kong. - Charles Parton is an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute


8. TikTok, Zynn and News Break

TikTok owner ByteDance moves to shift power out of China - sources - Reuters

TikTok’s poaching of Disney’s Kevin Mayer to be its CEO was just the most visible part of a broader strategy by its Chinese owner to shift its centre of power away from China at a time of rising global tensions, several people familiar with the plans said.

The short video app’s parent company ByteDance has quietly made a series of moves in recent months to transfer global decision-making and research capabilities out of its home country, the sources told Reuters.

The strategy is aimed not only at TikTok, which is not available in China, but all of ByteDance’s non-China focused businesses, the sources said. Such businesses also include units in India like social networking app Helo.

Kuaishou's Zynn Dethrones Tiktok on App Store With Cash Handouts- PingWest

The short video app shows features and a user interface that's nearly identical to TikTok, with a constantly replaying stream of viral videos that often seem to have been scraped off the internet with no credit given to their original creators. Some of the Zynn's content creators looks weird, too, sharing similar ID naming schemes that often include country names like "United States", or "Ukraine".

But the content sketchiness don't seem to be a problem for Zynn's users, who are most likely here for the sign-on bonuses and free cash from referrals

Chinese Rival Launches U.S. App to Challenge TikTok — The Information $$

Started in early May, Zynn is an app that allows users to upload, edit and share short videos. In a twist, it’s paying users to watch content and recruit other users, a model that’s proving popular amid Covid-19 lockdowns and rising unemployement in America. Within a month of its start, the app has become the topmost downloaded iOS app in the U.S., according to Sensor Tower...

Zynn’s developer is Owlii, which was acquired by Kuaishou, according to people with direct knowledge of the project. “Zynn is a product we tailor made for the North American market,” a company spokesperson said. Kuaishou has already accumulated 20 billion user-generated videos, the company said. “We believe short video is far from over.”

Kuaishou, also known as Kwai, has more than 300 million daily active users in China, making it the second biggest short video app after Douyin, TikTok’s sister app in China that has 440 million daily active users.

ByteDance SVP Liu Zhen Leaves Company- PingWest

Liu Zhen, Senior Vice President of ByteDance in charge of the company's global expansion, today announced internally that she will leave the company, PingWest has learned.

ByteDance recruited Liu in Oct. 2016 while the company was still known in the industry by Toutiao, the name of its first news aggregator product. Prior to the almost 4-year stint at ByteDance as SVP of Corporate Development, Liu was SVP and Head of Strategy at Uber China before it was acquired by Didi Chuxing, China's top ride-hailing app

Meet News Break, the news app trending in America founded by a Chinese media veteran | TechCrunch

TikTok isn’t the only new media app with a Chinese background that’s making waves in the U.S. News Break, a news app founded by China’s media veteran Jeff Zheng with teams in Beijing, Shanghai, Seattle and Mountain View, has ranked No. 1 among all free iPhone news apps on the U.S. App Store several times since January 2019, according to third-party data Sensor Tower provided to TechCrunch...

The fledgling news app announced this week a substantial boost as it onboards Harry Shum as its board chairman. Shum is the former president of Microsoft AI and Research Group and played a key role in establishing the Microsoft Research Asia lab,


Business, Economy and Trade

China to allow Singapore and other countries to apply for 'green channel' for flights - The Straits TimesThe countries given the green light are Singapore, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, said the media reports

第一财经:他们回来了! 武汉引外援有了“快捷通道”,中日韩抱团复工 Yicai reported that Honda and Nissan were able to use charter flights to bring their workers from Japan back to factories in Wuhan on Wednesday. Earlier this month, some South Korean company staff have returned to work in Wuhan as well. Yicai said this is due to the “express channels” established between the three countries.

China Arrests Yuan Tumble With Stronger-Than-Expected Fixing - Bloomberg The currency was little changed at 7.1755 per dollar as of 5:20 p.m. in Hong Kong. The People’s Bank of China set its daily reference rate at 7.1277 on Thursday, after the offshore yuan tumbled overnight. Escalating tensions between the U.S. and China had spurred speculation Beijing was willing to let the yuan weaken to shore up export

Tencent/Chinese dollar bonds: get ’em while they’re hot | Financial Times $$ a $6bn dollar bond sale by Tencent has shown that peace, love and understanding still prevail in the corporate bond market. The computer games giant pulled off the largest Chinese corporate debt deal this year and issued its first 40-year bonds

Chinese gaming company NetEase to launch $2.5bn Hong Kong stock sale - Nikkei Asian Review NetEase's offering is likely to be overtaken by that of Chinese online shopping service JD.com, which plans to seek up to $3 billion a week later. Both companies are already listed in New York, but secondary listings in Hong Kong will give them flexibility amid moves by U.S. politicians that could force some Chinese companies to delist amid growing tensions between the two countries

Yicai - China’s Focus Media Denies Any Involvement in Luckin Coffee Fraud Chinese advertising firm Focus Media Information Technology was yesterday forced to deny it had padded invoices in cahoots with fraud-tainted coffeehouse chain Luckin Coffee

Revenue Growth, R&D Spending Slow for China Internet Majors - Caixin Between January and April, the Chinese internet sector and related services generated combined revenue of 344.6 billion yuan ($48.1 billion), up 4.9% year-on-year, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). R&D spending rose 5.3% to 17.3 billion yuan. All firms surveyed had annual revenue of more than 5 billion yuan in the previous year. The revenue growth rate was 15.3 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, while the R&D investment growth was down by 16.1 percentage points

Alibaba extends its reach in China as coronavirus outbreak opens doors - Reuters While many companies are hurting from disruption caused by the virus, Alibaba has seen traffic at its online marketplaces shoot higher and demand grow for services like food delivery. Local authorities have even turned to its cloud business to build health-tracking apps. The company, which emerged as China’s leading e-commerce company after the 2003 SARS outbreak, is now positioning itself as a hirer and a lender too, advertising for over 100,000 jobs and offering billions of dollars in loans to small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a time when many others are retrenching

China Securing Brazilian Soy With U.S. Trade Tensions Rising - Bloomberg The world’s top soybean importer purchased more than 10 cargoes in Brazil this week, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the transactions are private. While China bid for American soy on Tuesday, state-run buyers were absent from the market Wednesday, the people said.

Yicai - Execs at Chinese Cryptomining Rig Maker Bitmain Exchange ‘Fire’ Micree Zhan, the top shareholder and 'legal representative' of Chinese cryptomining gear giant Bitmain Technologies, has announced the ouster of its executive Liu Luyao, who took part in a snatch and grab of the firm’s license and seals in the latest chapter in a strange saga that began with Zhan's own ouster // a crazy saga

搜狐财经:国家电网:我国居民电价14年未变,今年面临前所未有经营压力 The monopoly State Grid published an article this week complaining that they haven’t raise the utility price for 14 years and the company is now facing “unprecedented operating pressure”. It went on saying that China’s electricity price is one of the lowest in the world, and the company manages to lower the price to that level of the US even though Chinese power plants bear a higher cost than the Americans’. 

财新:海航集团再遭巴拿马公司申请清盘 Hainan Airlines is sued in Hong Kong by a Panamanian company CJSI for unsettled debts. CJSI is a former business partner of HNA and it is asking the court to liquidate HNA’s assets to repay its debts.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Merkel Says EU Has ‘Strategic Interest’ in Working With China - Bloomberg “We Europeans will need to recognize the decisiveness with which China will claim a leading position in the existing structures of the international architecture,” Merkel said in a video speech to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a think tank with ties to her Christian Democratic Union. Even as European governments cast a critical eye on China’s assertiveness -- above all its move to impose sweeping new security laws on Hong Kong -- Merkel said she’ll aim to maintain a “critical, constructive” dialog with Beijing. The German chancellor reiterated her aim to complete an investment accord with China, as well as finding common ground in fighting climate change and global health challenges.

Chaguan - China’s “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy gamble | Chaguan | The Economist China is not the only large country consumed with its own grievances. America First is a narcissistic slogan, too. But there is at least a bleak candour to President Donald Trump’s pitch to the world. Unblushing self-interest is his brand. In contrast Chinese envoys talk of being a responsible, globally minded major power. Then they turn round and stoke nationalism at home, and play the obnoxious bully abroad. Fighting as a lone wolf is dangerous in an action film. It is even riskier as a foreign policy

Andrews given nod by DFAT on China - The Australian Australia’s current ambassador to China gave the green light to Victoria to sign on to President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, which has been criticised by Scott Morrison. The Australian can reveal that Graham Fletcher, then a senior Foreign Affairs official, told the Victorian government in May 2018 that its plan to sign on to the BRI had merit

Australian government asks China for same reduction in trade barriers as US | The Guardian The Morrison government has asked China to grant Australia the same reduction in bureaucratic trade barriers that Beijing has promised the United States. The request emerged as experts warned that US allies such as Australia could suffer “collateral damage” from a deal between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump to massively increase China’s imports of American agricultural goods and energy products

Russia pulls China closer with ties in space exploration and energy - Nikkei Asian Review The two space technology powerhouses are discussing plans to pool resources for collaborative lunar operations, according to an article by RIA Novosti that quoted a source in the Russian space and rocket sector. A bilateral group is working on lunar cooperation plans, including drawing up blueprints for a shared base and separate bases, according to RIA

美军轰炸机飞入南海巡航 专家:把它当陪练_军事频道_央视网(cctv.com) 专家认为,B-1B进驻关岛后,肯定会频繁展开训练。当然,在此敏感时刻,B-1B飞抵台湾附近并进入南海,以及靠近俄罗斯海域飞行,也有炫耀武力、刷存在感的味道。对于这种武力秀,中国军方除了密切监控以外,也可以此为契机,把B-1B当陪练,进行针对性的反制训练。 Experts believe the B-1B will certainly undergo frequent training once it enters Guam. Of course, at this sensitive moment, B-1Bs flew near Taiwan and into the south China sea, as well as close to Russia's waters, also has the smell of show of force...In addition to closely monitoring such a show of force, the Chinese military could also use the b-1b as a training partner for targeted counter-training.

North Koreans Accused of Laundering $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Program - The New York Times The department charged 28 North Koreans and five Chinese nationals of using a web of more than 200 shell companies to launder over $2.5 billion in assets through the international banking system.

Twitter fact-checks China spokesman over COVID-19 claims - Business Insider Twitter has labeled two tweets from Chinese government spokesman Lijan Zhao with a fact-check icon

China's 2nd aircraft carrier Shandong conducts testing, training mission in wake of COVID-19 - Global Times The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warship Shandong is conducting testing and training missions in an undisclosed location while its troops studied Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech on Tuesday when he was attending a plenary meeting of the delegation of the PLA and People's Armed Police Force, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Wednesday

China's Largest Base Has Replicas Of Taiwan's Presidential Building, Eiffel Tower - The Drive The People's Liberation Army has fully embraced the idea of utilizing highly realistic facilities to prepare its forces for the sorts of environments they'd be likely to fight in during future conflicts, drawing significant lessons from the experiences of the U.S. military and those of its allies. The Zhurihe Training Base in remote Inner Mongolia is the largest of these sites and notably features a huge full-size mockup a portion of downtown Taipei, the capital of the island of Taiwan, including highly elaborate recreations of its Presidential Office Building and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There's also a cloverleaf highway interchange, a mock airfield and, bizarrely, a replica of France's Eiffel Tower

China Building Its Biggest Search and Rescue Ship Yet For South China Sea - RFA China says it is nearing completion of a 450-foot-long search and rescue ship, the largest such vessel in its fleet, that will enter service with the Ministry of Transport’s South China Sea Rescue Bureau

Hong Kong and Macao

Stanley Ho, patriarch of Asia’s largest casino empire and the ‘King of Gambling’ for more than half a century, dies at 98 | South China Morning Post What a life // Ho was a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the advisory body to the legislature. In announcing his death during the ongoing CPPCC meetings in Beijing, the Chinese state broadcaster described the casino magnate as a “patriotic entrepreneur.”..Of Ho’s 17 children, only three – Pansy, Daisy and Lawrence – have managed to become business leaders in their own right. Daisy, the second daughter of Ho’s second wife, is active in politics, having been appointed to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) representing Tianjin since 2008. Youngest daughter Josie Ho from the second family is a Hong Kong actress and singer.

Tech and Media

TSMC Makes a Key Washington Hire To Help Navigate China Tensions - BloombergFormer U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive Nicholas Montella joined the Taiwanese company in May as its director of government relations, just months after Intel Corp.’s former top lobbyist Peter Cleveland became TSMC’s vice president for global policy

What do Chinese Zhihu users think about the introduction of a censored Chinese version of Steam? — Zhihu Digest The top-rated answer with 800 likes is pessimistic. That usersstates: From this news we can see that all games on the Chinese platform will have to pass censorship/authorization. That basically eliminates 99% of all games. It also means users won’t be able to play the big new releases when they come out

Bilibili Inc. Announces Proposed Offering of US$650 Million Convertible Senior Notes Nasdaq:BILI

Aliexpress is recruiting Tiktok and Instagram KOLs · TechNode Aliexpress, Alibaba’s e-commerce platform that sells goods made in China to international customers, is on the hunt for over 100,000 content creators and influencers globally as the e-commerce titan tries to build up its influencer network worldwide

Snap Plans Expanded Developer Platform That Echoes WeChat — The Information $$ Snap is planning to let other companies build pared-down versions of their mobile apps within Snapchat, according to two people familiar with the plans, mimicking the approach of popular Chinese social app WeChat.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

特稿|广州医院涉嫌违规向新生儿推荐品牌固体饮料Caixin reported that doctors in a hospital in Guangzhou are accused of paid endorsement for counterfeit infant formula that led to health problems of some children. Another similar scandal in Hunan has caused uproar among Chinese public earlier this month.

梁建章:六一来了,怎么看加速中的少子化Liang Jianzhang, a Stanford-trained economists and Chairman of C-trip, again wrote on his Caixin column urging the government to do more to encourage people for having more babies. Liang cited data in saying that the children between 0-14 now takes only 16% of China’s population, and it is decreasing fast. 

财新:出生人口“三连降”,代表建议取消生育三孩以上处罚An NPC delegate from Guangdong asked the government not to punish parents who have three children and more, as birth rate in China continues to drop. Earlier a staff at the legal affairs commission has told reporters that those draconian rules by local government to punish people having more babies are no longer fit with the central government guideline and should be changed.

Beijing Gallery Weekend — a major opening in the post-Covid city | Financial Times $$ This year, Beijing Gallery Weekend is likely to reach a wider audience than before, because the epidemic forced Wang to come up with a plan B — online exhibitions with a full schedule of video talks. In the end, she says, they went for a mixture of plan A and B, combining the online and offline for greater reach. Talks by artists and curators are broadcast via Weibo, China’s microblogging platform, as well as Kuaishou, a live-streaming app with over 300m daily users.

GWBJ x ZAW | Challenges and Possibilities in a Time of Global Crisis - YouTube talk is organized by Gallery Weekend Beijing in partnership with Zurich Art Weekend