One Congress Ends, Another Begins; Zhou Xiaochuan Speaks Again; Telling The China Story Well Sinocism-10.16.17

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The 19th Party Congress starts in less than 48 hours. The opening ceremony is at 9AM Beijing time on Wednesday and CCTV will carry it live.

Day one should be interesting because we will hear Xi's work report. That report, a product of a nearly year-long drafting process, will detail the achievements of the 18th Party Congress and provide a high-level roadmap for policy direction.

The most exciting aspect of the report may be the signals we should get about how the Party Constitution may be amended to reflect a theoretical contribution from Xi Jinping. So far we have lots of guesses but nothing concrete about what the revisions may be.

I gave you my guess in the October 7 newsletter after watching episode one of an authoritative propaganda documentary produced by the Ministry of Propaganda, The Central Party Literature Research Office, The Central Party History Research Office, The National Development and Reform Commission, The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, The Central Military Commission Political Work Department and CCTV:

The first episode may give us another sign that Xi will get an eponymous theoretical contribution written into the Party Constitution at the 19th Party Congress. Episode One states that the biggest theoretical achievement since the 18th Party Congress is “the spirit of the series of Comrade Xi Jinping’s important speeches and new concepts, new thinking, and new strategies for governing the country and administering state affairs” 十八大以来最重大的理论成果就是习近平总书记系列重要讲话精神和治国理政新理念新思想新战略. That does not roll off the tongue, in Chinese or in English.

Calling that phrase the "biggest theoretical achievement" makes it seem hard to envision Xi’s theoretical contribution, assuming there is one, would be something else, though perhaps it will be streamlined into a catchier term. We will not know with certainty what was amended until the final day of the Congress, likely October 24, when the revised Constitution becomes public.

The last day of the Party Congress will also be interesting because we will learn the composition of the Central Committee for the 19th Party Congress. If Wang Qishan is a member then he should be on the Standing Committee for the next five years.

October 25 is likely the day we learn about the composition of the 19th Party Congress Politburo and Standing Committee.

The communique from the recently concluded 7th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress was interesting primarily because of the 11 alternate Central Committee members who were made full members to replace officials kicked off for discipline issues. There is a clear process according to Party rules for the order of alternate members to replace full members. In this case four officials who should have moved up were passed over, leading to speculation of more unannounced investigations. Perhaps the most interesting missing official is Zheng Qunliang, vice commander of the PLA Air Force.

And perhaps the most interesting new full member of the Central Committee is Li Qiang, Party Secretary of Jiangsu Province and a close ally of Xi Jinping, having worked under him in Zhejiang Province. There have been rumors for a while that a much bigger job awaits Li, including possibly a promotion to Shanghai Party Secretary. We will find out soon enough..

In the meantime, enjoy the positive energy in the Chinese media and the rumors and guesses elsewhere.

The Essential Eight

1. Party Congress Prep And Propaganda

The Path to Power in China-Bloomberg:

A Bloomberg News analysis of the careers of more than five dozen senior Chinese leaders over the past quarter century revealed trends both expected and surprising: People who run big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai are practically guaranteed spots in the upper echelons, while some rich industrial provinces like Guangdong have had less political clout relative to their economic strength.

Beijing targets gyms and kindergartens ahead of party congress - FT $$:

“This event is too important to take any risks,” one Chinese government official told the Financial Times. “We will not allow anything to disrupt it.”

Comment: And he may have been thinking "if anything disrupts it the next job for me and many Beijing security officials will be somewhere in the Xinjiang hinterlands"…

Will the Communist Party give China’s top diplomat more say? | South China Morning Post:

Qian Qichen, China’s foreign minister between 1988 and 1998 and vice-premier between 1993 and 2003, was the last diplomat to hold a seat on the Politburo, usually consisting of 20-plus members since 1970s.

Comment: Song Tao of the International Liaison Department seems a bit of a dark horse for this over Yang Jiechi, but could Li Zhanshu end up as the point man given his role on the National Security Commission?

Chairman Xi crushes dissent but poor believe he’s making China great | The Guardian:

Yet there seems to be heartfelt affection, too. Over and over Tanmen residents used the same adjectives to describe their most famous guest: ci xiang (kindly) and he ai ke qin (affable). “He treats people well … He seems like a good guy to us,” said Shi Jiquan, a 54-year-old fisherman. “He seems like a very easy-going and warm person,” said Zhong. “In our hearts and in our minds he is better than previous leaders,” agreed Huang.

China’s next five years: ‘Only Xi is indispensable’ - FT $$:

“Xi knows, like Machiavelli said, that it is better to be feared than loved,” says one person who advises Chinese policymakers but is wary of the authoritarian turn the country has taken. “Yet as a strategist Xi is much smaller than Mao and Deng in every respect. Deng rarely — and Mao never — took charge of everything. They only took charge of the big things. Xi Jinping takes everything, big and small, in his own hands...

"Writing the epic scroll of Great Rejuvenation-a record of the Party Center with Xi Jinping as the core leading China" is the long, triumphant propaganda piece leading all major media the day before the 19th Party Congress-书写伟大复兴的时代画卷——以习近平同志为核心的党中央领航中国纪实--十九大专题报道-人民网

Comment: The latest issue of Qiushi Journal has a commentary by “Autumn Stone” on the Party, with Xi as the core, "Leading the great ship to victoriously steer towards the glorious other shore"...So does the PRC need another Great Helmsman, ala 大海航行靠舵手, 干革命靠的是毛泽东思想? So far it is Party Center with Xi as the core and not Xi alone, or Chairman Xi. The piece includes another reminder of the view that lack of Party discipline and an absence of ideological faith led the USSR to collapse--引领伟大航船胜利驶向光辉彼岸:



For Propaganda Junkies: The People's Daily Online has launched micro-site for the 19th Party Congress. The fluttering red flag sidebar menu is a distracting touch-十九大专题报道--人民网

2. The 18th Party Congress Has Ended

Comment: The Plenum communique was laudatory as expected, and included a long section on the discipline and anti-corruption efforts, as well as the list of the 11 newly promoted Central Committee members.



China's anti-graft fight has consolidated "crushing momentum": communique - Xinhua:

Moreover, the commissions have built groups of cadres in discipline inspection and supervision that both the Party and the people can trust, while consistently improving the accountability system, uncompromisingly containing the spreading of corruption and purifying the political ecology within the CPC, the communique said.

12 Senior Officials Expelled From Communist Party - Caixin Global:

Caixin has found that four officials who were on top of the list of the 18th Central Committee alternate members were not among the 11 promoted to full membership...

The four officials are Liu Xuepu, deputy director of Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress standing committee; Zhu Yanfeng, president of automaker Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd.; Zheng Qunliang, vice commander of the PLA Air Force, and Zhao Jin, head of the publicity department of Yunnan’s provincial party committee.

China’s Communist Party expels former veteran justice minister over graft claims | South China Morning Post:

Wu Aiying, 65, disappeared from public view in February when she was dismissed by the country’s legislature after 12 years at the head of the Ministry of Justice...

Beijing has not said whether Wu will face further punishment but political observers and state-backed media said Wu should be held responsible for the decline of the country’s legal system over the last decade and the promotion of Lu Enguang, a corrupt official who reportedly lied about his qualifications to become a political department head at the ministry on Wu’s watch.

3. Zhou Xiaochuan Speaks Again

Comment: Last week we saw the Central bank governor's interview with Caijing magazine. This weekend Zhou was in DC for meetings. Is Zhou speaking his mind on the eve of retirement?

Central Bank Chief: Special Committee Sharpening Financial Oversight - Caixin Global:

A special People’s Bank of China (PBOC) committee has set its sights on shadow banking, asset management firms, internet financing and opaque financial services, central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan announced at a Washington conference.

Zhou said the Financial Stability and Development Committee is busy consolidating asset management industry regulation, strengthening licensing requirements for internet finance companies, and closely supervising arbitrage involving financial services firms...

Zhou also touched on China’s debt issues, arguing that nonperforming-loan levels are relatively low and risks tied to the shadow banking sector have eased somewhat.

Comment: Expect the Financial Stability and Development Committee to gain influence once the 19th Party Congress has concluded and personnel arrangements are settled. And expect it to have real teeth.

Chinese local finance offices sharpen their teeth after Xi orders crackdown on scammers | South China Morning Post:

Local Chinese governments are upgrading their previously toothless financial offices to powerful regulatory bureaus in response to President Xi Jinping’s demand to clean up the country’s rampant Ponzi schemes and online lending businesses.

China Central Bank’s Zhou Calls for Clarity in Public Finances - WSJ:

China’s central bank chief on Sunday called for greater transparency in Chinese public finances, saying their murkiness means investors underestimate the risks of local government debt...

Earlier, Mr. Zhou said he thought Chinese government targets for cutting excess capacity in the steel and cement industries sound “optimistic.”

Governor Zhou Xiaochuan attended G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’Meeting - PBoC Statement:

Fiscal revenues continued to grow, and prices remained stable. Moreover, deleveraging efforts have yielded early results, while economic growth continues to improve in terms of structure and quality, indicating that China has made strong progress in restructuring the economy. China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy. The government will continue to implement a comprehensive set of policy measures to address weaknesses in the economy, encourage deleveraging, and prevent potential risks, including those from shadow banking activities and housing market bubbles.

Comment:: Is China really deleveraging, or just leveraging less?

China Credit Growth Exceeds Estimates Despite Debt Curb Vow - Bloomberg:

Aggregate financing stood at 1.82 trillion yuan ($276 billion) in September, the People’s Bank of China said Saturday, compared with an estimated 1.57 trillion yuan in a Bloomberg survey and 1.48 trillion yuan the prior month New yuan loans stood at 1.27 trillion yuan, versus a projected 1.2 trillion yuan The broad M2 money supply increased 9.2 percent, exceeding estimates and picking up from the prior record low

4. Telling The China Story Well With Party Work, Foreign Partners And Apps

The International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee has a piece in the latest Qiushi Journal on improving international work in the spirit of Xi's July 26 speech, including a call to continually expand the size of China's "friendship circles" overseas-.-深入学习习近平总书记党的对外工作重要思想 努力开创党的对外工作新局面 -来源: 求是 作者: 中共中央对外联络部:


China's official mouthpiece launches English-language app in hope of boosting global influence | South China Morning Post:

“To develop an English app is a strategic move to … further enhance our global influence and presence,” People’s Daily Newspaper Group president Yang Zhenwu said at a ceremony at a brand new headquarters in Beijing, in the presence of senior government officials.

“We are striving to achieve what President Xi has asked, namely to speak well of China and to spread his word well.”

People's Daily on the App Store:

People’s Daily App is a new window and platform of People’s Daily, the largest and most influential newspaper in China on the mobile Internet. The English version of People’s Daily App serves overseas Chinese and foreign users who speak English with innovative product design and ways of expression. Tap into the resources on the App, you’ll gain access to authoritative and practical news and service information. Features: 1. Tell the China Story and release authoritative and influential local news in China. 2. Update the most comprehensive, objective and latest international news to present users with breaking news all over the world. 3. Provide a wide range of convenient services for users and give tips on working, traveling and living in China.

TV series highlights Xi's key role - China Daily:

With the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China just days away, a documentary produced by the Discovery Channel about President Xi Jinping and his governance of China started airing on Saturday in more than 37 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific region.

The three-episode documentary, China: Time of Xi, focuses on what drives Xi, who must maintain the growth of the world's second-largest economy, and what China can offer the world.

Comment: The Discovery Channel is working to better tell China's story to the world. Anyone know how much money they get for this?

How people in Asia-Pacific view China | Pew Research Center:

  1. Views of China’s economic growth are mixed across the Asia-Pacific region;

  2. Most in the region worry about China’s growing military power;

  3. Although China’s power and influence is not seen as a top threat globally, many in Asia-Pacific countries see it a key concern;

  4. Few in the region express confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping

Comment: Pew surveyed people in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam. Beijing needs to work on telling the China story better..

5. Growing Wariness Down Under About Underground Party Work

Chinese Government intrusion into Western universities sparks push for collective action - Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

Having observed attacks on academic freedoms in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — discussions have begun in diplomatic and security circles about whether the Five Eyes intelligence partners should respond collectively to the threat, so there are no "weak links" which can be exploited.

China's soft power: Julie Bishop steps up warning to university students on Communist Party rhetoric - Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has issued a blunt warning to Chinese university students affiliated with the Communist Party, urging them to respect freedom of speech in Australia.

Comment: This is going to become a much bigger issue in Western countries at least

6. SciTech Dreams At Risk From Fraud? Or Just A Bump In The Road?

Fraud Scandals Sap China’s Dream of Becoming a Science Superpower - The New York Times:

But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. Since 2012, the country has retracted more scientific papers because of faked peer reviews than all other countries and territories put together, according to Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks and seeks to publicize retractions of research papers.

China seeks dominance of global AI industry - FT $$:

US and Chinese tech companies alike are ploughing money and talent into AI, but Beijing’s blueprint for investing in artificial intelligence — creating a $150bn industry by 2030 — underlines its desire to beat the US...

“2030 is too pessimistic,” says Kai-Fu Lee, a veteran of Microsoft Research and Google who now runs his own venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures in Beijing. He reels off China’s advantages: the sheer number of people; data; talent; even the superior number of lines of code being written.

Fake paperwork, poor parts challenge China's aerospace boom - Reuters:

In a 9-page report dated Nov. 4, 2016 obtained by Reuters through a freedom of information request, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said 273 affected parts were installed in an unspecified number of Boeing 777 wing spoilers, which help slow a plane when coming in to land. It did not identify the parts or say when they were installed. The FAA, Boeing and Moog said in the report and in emails to Reuters they posed no safety risk.

7. Chinese Solar Policy Good For Environment, Bad For Industry

Comment: As a consumer who just purchased some solar panels I am very happy that Chinese industrial policies, coupled with US federal and local subsidies, has made solar relatively affordable.

America's Chinese solar dilemma - Axios:

That conflicting dynamic reflects America's open-trade policies that President Trump has said he wants to reverse. It's also at the heart of an effort by two solar manufacturers urging Trump to issue tariffs or other remedies against a flood of cheap imports, a move he's likely to take. The protectionist measures by themselves are unlikely to alter what are decades-long policies pushed by politicians from both parties that have driven manufacturing of all kinds out of the United States.

"You could argue the whole world has benefited from China's over-exuberance in building out manufacturing capacity for photovoltaic solar," said Ethan Zindler, head of Americas for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "On the flip side, the actual manufacturing capacity and the jobs that come with it have accrued disproportionately in China.

8. Patriotic Education Works Best when You Start Young

To Inspire Young Communists, China Turns to ‘Red Army’ Schools - The New York Times:

The party sees the schools, which serve tens of thousands of students in its former revolutionary bases in 28 provinces, as charity projects that help the most disadvantaged children.

While the patriotic appeals have found fertile ground among working-class Chinese hungry for a sense of pride, some experts warn that placing too much emphasis on nationalistic education has its own risks.

Jiang Xueqin, an education consultant in Beijing, said fanning national pride could quickly “mutate into a fierce and militant nationalism” that is difficult to control.

Comment: That kind of nationalism is a tiger that is hard to get off, and it was near the top of my list of reasons to return to the US in 2015.

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Court Condemns Ex-Securities Regulatory Official to Life in Prison - Caixin Global Li Zhiling was fired from her role as the head of a high-profile division that reviews corporate refinancing plans in June 2015, after an investigation launched in 2014 by the Communist Party's graft-busting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI)...Li was given such a harsh verdict partly because she was “ill-mannered and refused to answer questions” during the investigation, people familiar with the situation said. The amount of money involved and the social impact of bribery were also critical factors in the sentence, a lawyer said. // Comment: "ill-mannered"?

China's Factory Inflation Rebounds Amid Capacity Cuts - Bloomberg The producer price index rose 6.9 percent in September from a year earlier, versus an estimated 6.4 percent in a Bloomberg survey and a 6.3 percent August reading The manufacturing PPI sub-index climbed 7.3 percent, the most in nine years The consumer price index climbed 1.6 percent, versus a prior reading of 1.8 percent, the statistics bureau said Monday

Xi Jinping’s debt-relief recipe: how China’s biggest bond defaulter unloaded its liabilities | South China Morning Post Dongbei Special Steel has failed to repay 10 batches of corporate bonds worth 7.1 billion yuan (US$1 billion) since March last year, leading to a year-long legal battle between the company and its 1,911 creditors, which include state banks, local lenders and small investors.

In China, Trading Begins on WeChat - Bloomberg Regulators elsewhere may be clamping down on the financial industry’s use of private messaging apps, but in the world’s second-largest economy the practice is flourishing. Players in China’s $11 trillion bond market use personal accounts on WeChat and QQ -- apps owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. -- for everything from distributing research to soliciting orders.

Wanda golf courses closed in China austerity push - FT $$ Wanda's two courses at its Changbaishan International Resort in Fusong appeared to have escaped the inspection campaign relatively unscathed. They were cited for only minor violations in the January report, indicating they would be able to correct problems and continue operating. But in May, 11 agencies issued a joint notice calling for follow-up inspections to ensure that banned courses and other violations had not been resurrected. That notice used the ominous phrase “Turn backwards to look”, frequently used by the ruling party’s powerful anti-corruption agency to imply digging back into past affairs

China's Pollution Crackdown Is Gaining Momentum - Bloomberg While it may be little consolation to Liu, the impact from efforts to cut capacity is proving double edged -- factory profits have surged and reflation has taken root across industry, giving a much needed boost to indebted companies. Third-quarter gross domestic product numbers due Thursday are likely to show the world’s second-biggest economy remains in a sweet-spot, with a 6.8 percent pace of growth expected, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

P2P Lender Ppdai Leads List of New Filers in Rising IPO Wave - Caixin Global Ppdai Group Inc.’s newly announced plan to raise up to $350 million through a New York initial public offering (IPO) comes after the hugely successful listing of online-only insurer ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Ltd., whose shares have risen nearly 50% since it raised $1.5 billion last month. The plan also comes as online microlender Qudian Inc. gets set to raise up to $825 million in a New York IPO set to price and debut later this week.

Delivery Firms Venture Into Logistics Chain Insurance - Caixin Global The new logistics insurer will be the first in China to be set up by delivery companies themselves. However, the plan comes as the country’s insurance regulator is tightening its supervision of the industry and becoming more stringent when giving new licenses to non-insurers.

Multinationals embrace Party building - China Daily "'Go Give', which is the core value of Mary Kay, accords with the Party's values-to give without requesting anything in return. That was how I convinced my boss to set up a Party branch in Mary Kay," said An Congzhen, secretary of the company's Party group.

China offers to buy 5 percent of Saudi Aramco directly: sources - Reuters China is offering to buy up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco directly, sources said, a move that could give Saudi Arabia the flexibility to consider various options for its plan to float the world’s biggest oil producer on the stock market.

Politics, Law And Ideology

Guo Wengui, the maverick Chinese billionaire who threatens to crash Xi's party | The Guardian There is concern, too, among US dissidents who believe Guo has hijacked their cause in a bid to save his own skin. Wen Yunchao, a New York based campaigner, said Guo’s attempts to pose as an activist – which many suspect is a ploy to help him secure asylum – were an outrage: “As a businessman Guo colluded with the government. Every penny he has earned is dripping with blood.” “Guo is no human rights champion ... he is doing what he is doing simply for his own sake and for the sake of his family, his friends and his property. That’s all,” Wen added.

The right to an attorney [and your attorney’s rights] - China Law Translate The more direct way of understanding how China can be bolstering the defense bar at the same time as it thins their ranks is to read the recent reforms as envisioning a fundamentally different notion of the role of defense lawyers. The lawyers that the Party wants are not independent advocates, but ‘socialist legal workers’.[ii] Lawyers are meant to be functionaries guiding clients through the legal process along established paths, not criticizing existing policies, rules, or their implementation. [iii] Those who attempt to use the law, or their professional stature, as a platform for accelerating social change or furthering legal reforms may be viewed as overstepping their role and held accountable.

全面深化司法体制改革 努力创造更高水平的社会主义司法文明 Comment: Meng Jianzhu in 10.15 Seeking Truth on deepening reform of the judicial system

China up close: Xi Jinping's path to 2022: It's the corruption, stupid- Nikkei Asian Review One key figure in these drastic reform plans is Li Shulei, the 53-year-old longtime speech writer of Xi, who is currently deputy secretary of the CCDI. He heads the CCDI's "fox hunt" for corrupt fugitives who have fled abroad.

China should beware of ‘returning radicals’ whether they come home or not | South China Morning Post - Raffaello Pantucci For most Uygur fighters, they are going away to train and prepare to ultimately return and punish China for years of perceived oppression. Given the numbers and training they will have received, this is something which is going to trouble Chinese security officials for some time to come. On the one hand, there is a clear need to find a way to address the causes of grievance that can be found in Xinjiang. The current hard line approach needs some moderating to try to assuage people’s concerns rather than exacerbate anger. But at the same time, Beijing needs to think about the growing impact of this group of radicalised and battle-hardened individuals around the world.

Xi calls for increased cooperation between CPC, non-Communist parties - Xinhua Xi made the remarks at a [ August 30]meeting held by the CPC Central Committee to solicit opinions from members of non-Communist political parties on a draft report for the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress, according to a statement made public on Sunday. 中共中央召开党外人士座谈会 习近平主持并发表重要讲话

In China women 'hold up half the sky' but can't touch the political glass ceiling | World news | The Guardian Cheng Li, an expert in Chinese politics from the Brookings Institution, said it was not inconceivable that a woman could clinch one of the seven spots on the standing committee during this month’s transition. He gave Sun Chunlan, the 67-year-old head of the United Front Work Department, a secretive group charged with fortifying the party’s influence at home and abroad, a 5-10% chance of breaking that glass ceiling.

Foreign and Military Affairs

Treasury Designates the IRGC under Terrorism Authority and Targets IRGC and Military Supporters under Counter-Proliferation Authority Additionally, OFAC designated China-based Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co. LTD (Wuhan Sanjiang) pursuant to E.O. 13382 for proliferation activities related to a key supporter of Iran’s military.  Wuhan Sanjiang has provided financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Iran’s Shiraz Electronics Industries (SEI).

The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More. - New YorkTimes: North Korea began identifying promising students at an early age for special training, sending many to China’s top computer science programs. In the late 1990s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division noticed that North Koreans assigned to work at the United Nations were also quietly enrolling in university computer programming courses in New York .//  Comment: Would China severing North Korea's telecom links to the world be almost as damaging as shutting off oil exports?

Ahead of important political event, Beijing imposes gag on domestic media coverage of North Korea | The Japan Times  China’s propaganda authorities have issued an order barring domestic media outlets from doing original reporting on North Korean nuclear and missile issues, sources with knowledge of the situation said Sunday.

China delays Indian Railways' ambitious high-speed train project - The Economic Times An ambitious high speed train project in south India has been delayed after Chinese railways, that completed a feasibility study a year ago, did not respond, railway officials have said, suggesting that the "lack of response" may be due to the Dokalam standoff.

As anti-US feeling grows in Cambodia, China cashes in |  South China Morning Post In recent weeks, the prime minister has unleashed a flood of conspiracy theories centred around the US – often perpetuated by state mouthpiece Fresh News – that claim Washington is promoting insurrection and wants to topple the government led by Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Slowly but surely, China is carving a foothold through the Arctic | South China Morning Post In a journey spanning more than 20,000 nautical miles and 83 days, the Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, made its way through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago before returning to Shanghai on Tuesday. The polar research vessel is now the first from China to have navigated all three major shipping routes through the Arctic

‘China Is Laughing About This Situation’ - POLITICO Magazine Authoritarian leaders in China and elsewhere are the beneficiaries of Trump and the crisis of American democracy, said Weiwei, who spent four years under house arrest and forbidden to leave China before being allowed to leave the country two years ago. “China is laughing about this situation,” he said. “China, Russia, they all laugh about it.”

German ambassador warns that internet controls could harm companies, isolate China - Reuters “Unrestricted internet access via VPN is vital if China wants to take maximum advantage of international cooperation in research and development as well as academic and cultural exchange,” German Ambassador Michael Clauss said in a statement. The higher the digital wall grows, the less attractive living and working in China will be for professionals, researchers or artists, Clauss said, adding that repeated requests to discuss the issue with Chinese authorities “have not led to meaningful dialogue so far”.

Hong Kong, Macao

Nine Hong Kong democracy activists found guilty of criminal contempt - Reuters The charge relates to a court-ordered injunction to clear a protest camp in the Mong Kok district of the Chinese-ruled financial hub after nearly 79 days of street occupations pushing for full democracy.

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Dallas Mavericks ask their fans to choose a more suitable Chinese name The NBA‘s Dallas Mavericks are searching for a new Chinese name after deciding that their previous one  “xiao niu” – literally “little cows” – has nothing to do with the team. Owner Mark Cuban announced the decision on September 11th via the team’s official Weibo account and asked for fans to send in their suggestions for a new name. But the Mavs have been so overwhelmed – reportedly receiving “tens of thousands” of new names – that they said on September 25 they would need more time to evaluate the suggestions and will announce the three finalists at a later date.

Netizens Split on Chinese-American Gym Champ - Sixth Tone The achievements of a teenage American gymnast at the recently concluded world championships in Montreal have many in China pondering that time-worn topic: nature or nurture? Petite in thick-rimmed glasses and flashing a wide smile, 16-year-old Morgan Hurd is attracting considerable attention from people in China, where she was born.

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China’s Fight Against Desertification Should Not Be Done At The Cost Of Water Security | HuffPost China has successfully implemented various afforestation programmes over the year to make drylands viable for its economy, and will continue until 2050. But, while planting more trees will further reduce discharge, it will also make China’s water crisis worse, as more trees need more water to grow.

Environmental Ministry Favors Rail Over Road in Air Pollution Fight - Caixin Global China’s environmental protection watchdog has proposed that the country’s rail monopoly lower freight fees to encourage the use of rail over trucking services in order to reduce the worsening air pollution in northern China.

Agriculture And Rural Issues

China's hybrid rice yield hits record high - China Daily The pilot rice fields in Handan, Hebei province, were harvested on Sunday. The three plots yielded 17.2 tons per hectare on average, according to a group of agricultural experts who measured the harvest. Of the three plots, the one with the highest yield reached 17.7 tons per hectare, which is a new world record.

微视频:袁隆平宣布水稻单产新纪录向党的十九大献礼-中青在线 Yuan Longping says the new rice strain is a gift for the 19th Party Congress..

Chinese scientists put rice grown in seawater on the nation’s tables | South China Morning Post China has one million square kilometres of waste land, an area the size of Ethiopia, where plants struggle to grow because of high salinity or alkalinity levels in the soil. Agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, known as China’s “father of hybrid rice”, told mainland media that if a tenth of such areas were planted with rice species resistant to salt, they could boost China’s rice production by nearly 20 per cent.

Third national land survey to be launched - The purpose of the national survey is to thoroughly check on the status quo of land use, collect accurate land data, and improve the mechanism of land survey and statistics. The survey will cover all the land in China. Survey items include cataloging the use of land resources, ownership, and natural and economic conditions. Permanent, basic farmland will be a focus in the survey.


Why Chinese students are being drawn to America’s faith-based universities – US provost tells all | South China Morning Post Thomas Burish is responsible for academic administration at the University of Notre Dame. He discusses the rising tide of Chinese students choosing the US for their university education, why religion can aid learning, and differences in classroom approach across the seas

Food And Travel

Cooking Culture Gives Standardizers Food for Thought - Sixth Tone  In the last few years, people across the country have been searching for a “road to standardization,” seeking a way to ensure standardization processes remain suited to traditional Chinese cooking techniques, while also bringing them closer to the requirements of the international food industry as a whole.


Extra Security Causes Massive Queues on Beijing Metro as Plenum Approaches | the Beijinger

Jobs And Events

careers - China Policy - Several Open Positions China Policy analysts track policy movements, debates, trends, and key actors and agencies across key policy portfolios: including finance; trade; industry; science and innovation; governance and law; social policy; geopolitics; agriculture and fisheries. Our team approach affords all staff a unique macro picture of China’s current geopolitical, economic and social trajectory