Politburo study session on archaeology; Korean War anniversary; Reaper drones; India-China
|Bill Bishop||Sep 29, 2020|| 22|
October marks the 70th anniversary of the PRC’s entry into the Korean War, known in China as the “War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea 抗美援朝”. The PLA troops, the Chinese People’s Volunteers, crossed the Yalu River on 19 October 1950.
Do not be surprised by an increase of anti-American nationalism over the next several weeks, tempered a bit perhaps by the relative restraint Beijing has shown over the last few months in the face of various US policies seen in China as part of the US efforts to “keep China down”.
How exactly Xi and the leadership will commemorate the anniversary is unclear, but we know there will an issuance of commemorative medals, and I will bet there will be a ceremony for that. From the July 6 newsletter-China to honor Korean War veterans with 70th anniversary medals - Global Times
China on Thursday announced that it will issue commemorative medals on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army's participation in the Korean War (1950-53) against the US.
The announcement came amid the increasing US containment measures against China in fields including trade, high-tech, national security and military. Analysts said the move shows China's confidence and determination in facing US' aggressions.
The special medals will be jointly issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, State Council and Central Military Commission, and will be awarded to living Volunteer Army veterans who had fought in the war, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.
And a People’s Daily WeChat account at the time of the announcement - 侠客岛：当前国际局势下，必须重温这场战争的意义 " Under the current international situation, we must revisit the significance of this war"
Xiakedao, the WeChat account of People’s Daily overseas edition, wrote that it is necessary for the Chinese public to re-study the Korean War and China’s decision to fight the Americans. The article said the war reminds us that, “We have peace if we seek peace through fighting, and the peace dies if we seek peace with compromise.”
The post concludes:
Some people say that China and the United States will eventually be friends in the future. But to be friends with the US, he must first be an opponent he cannot beat
The PLA entered the war barely a year after the founding of the PRC, when the country was desperately poor and technologically backward. And yet they fought the US to a standstill. Here is a taste of that message:
Today’s Essential Eight:
Politburo study session on archaeology
Regulations on the Work of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Coal, winter and net zero carbon
Te-Ping Chen’s book of short stories
China is gearing up for the long holiday for National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival that starts October 1 and officially runs until October 8. Given the expected absence of news for that week, Sinocism will be off from Thursday 10.1 until mid-next week, barring something big happening. For readers in China, I hope you can enjoy the holiday, it must be nice to consider going about life almost as normal.
On October I will be participating in a virtual roundtable with Lingling Wei, David Firestein, and Chris Fenton about the US-China relationship. You can sign up here.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Politburo study session on archaeology
Xi made the remarks Monday while presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the latest archaeological discoveries in China and their significance.
China is undergoing an extensive and profound social transformation and seeing great practices and innovations in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, he said.
Xi called for attaching greater importance to archaeological research to deepen people's understanding of Chinese civilization that features a long history and profoundness, thus providing strong support for promoting fine traditional culture and strengthening people's confidence in Chinese culture.
Archeological work is not only an important cultural undertaking but also has great social and political significance, he said, adding that historical and cultural heritages tell vivid stories of the past and profoundly influence the present and future...
Xi urged solid work in excavating, sorting out and interpreting archaeological findings. The archaeological circle should work with researchers in the fields of economy, law, politics, culture, society, ecology, science and technology, and medicine, to ensure sound research and interpretation of unearthed cultural relics and sites so as to present the origin and development of the Chinese civilization and its major contributions to humanity more clearly and comprehensively, he said...
Xi also called for strengthened dissemination of archaeological and historical research findings through an in-depth study of history. He urged further efforts to guide the people, especially young people, to better understand the origin and development history of Chinese civilization, and conduct international exchanges to let the rest of the world know more about Chinese civilization, history and national spirit.
Xi asked Party committees and governments at all levels to pay attention to archaeologists and actively provide personnel, material and financial support to create favorable conditions for archaeological undertakings, cultural relics protection and historical research.
Tuesday CCTV Evening News on the Politburo Study Session -习近平在中央政治局第二十三次集体学习时强调 建设中国特色中国风格中国气派的考古学 更好认识源远流长博大精深的中华文明_CCTV
Chen Xingcan, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, expert of the Chinese Civilization Exploration Project and the "Archaeological China" major project. 中国社会科学院考古研究所所长、中华文明探源工程和“考古中国”重大项目专家陈星灿 was the discussant.
Xi Jinping stressed that in the long history of the Chinese nation, the Chinese people have formed a great national spirit and excellent traditional culture, which is the cultural gene for the birth and longevity of the Chinese nation, as well as the spiritual force to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and should be carried forward in the light of the new reality. Through in-depth study of history and strengthening the dissemination of archaeological and historical research results, we should educate and guide the masses of cadres and masses, especially young people, to understand the historical lineage of the origin and development of Chinese civilization, the splendid achievements of Chinese civilization, and the significant contributions of Chinese civilization to human civilization, so as to continuously enhance national cohesion and national pride. We should make use of the results of China's archaeological and historical research to demonstrate to the international community, through exchanges and seminars, the profound and extensive Chinese civilization, and explain the splendid achievements of Chinese civilization and its significant contributions to human civilization, so that the world will know more about Chinese history and the spirit of the Chinese nation, thus deepening its knowledge and understanding of present-day China and creating a good atmosphere of international public opinion. Party committees and governments at all levels should firmly establish the concept of the great responsibility for the protection of historical and cultural heritage, care for archaeologists, actively provide support in terms of human, material and financial resources, and create favourable conditions for archaeology, the protection of cultural relics and historical research.
Xingcan Chen’s main interests include the rise of agriculture, formation of state, interregional cultural relations, history of archaeology, and theory and method of archaeology and ethnoarchaeology. He has published numerous books and articles, among which the most important are The History of Chinese Prehistoric Archaeology (1895-1949) (in Chinese, Beijing 1997, 2007; in Korean, Seoul, 2011), State Formation in Early China (in English, co-authored with Li Liu, London 2003; in Korean, Seoul, 2006), The Archaeology of China: From Late Palaeolithic to Early Bronze Age (in English, co-authored with Li Liu; Cambridge, 2012), China Before China (in English, co-authored with Magnus Fiskesjö, Stockholm, 2004), Essays on Archaeology (in Chinese, Beijing, 2002), Papers on the History of Chinese Archaeology (in Chinese, Beijing, 2009), and Essays on Archaeology II (in Chinese, Beijing, 2010).
2. Regulations on the Work of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The readout from the Monday Politburo meeting said that the “enactment of the regulations on the work of the CPC Central Committee 《中国共产党中央委员会工作条例》 is essential to upholding the authority of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, and its centralized and unified leadership, according to the meeting.” The actual regulations are not yet public, but odds are high they further cement Xi’s role.
China’s Politburo met on Monday and approved an amendment to a set of standing guidelines for party leaders that names Xi as a “core leader” of the party, Bao Tong, former aide to late disgraced premier Zhao Ziyang, told RFA.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the move was “an inevitable requirement for strongly safeguarding the authority and centralized leadership of the Central Committee.”..
“This is official affirmation in the form of a party document — the ‘Regulations on the Work of the Central Committee’ — that Xi Jinping must be maintained as the core leader,” Bao said.
“This won't expire, unless the document itself is dropped,” he said. “He will be a core leader for as long as it exists.”
Bao said that while no definition of “core leader” exists, the description has only been extended to a handful of leaders since the Communist Party took power in 1949, including late supreme leader Mao Zedong.
“What [Xi] is saying is that Mao was a core leader and he dictated everything, and now I’m core leader, and I'm going to dictate everything,” Bao said.
“The concept of core leader is closely bound up with the concept of dictating everything; there is no other way to explain it,” he said.
Perhaps this is unrelated, but this piece from Guangming Daily might be a sign of what is to come at the 5th Plenum for Xi?
Governance in a state of emergency: The People's Leader's moment in the battle against the epidemic - 危急状态的治国理政：人民领袖的战疫时刻
General Secretary Xi Jinping has always adhered to the Marxist view of mass history that the people are the main body of history and the creators and promoters of history, and insisted on relying closely on the people to win the battle to prevent and control the epidemic. He praised the people as the real heroes, and stressed the need to rely closely on the people, fully mobilize them and improve their ability to serve and protect themselves…General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, "It is the Chinese people who have given us strength and confidence to overcome this epidemic." Relying closely on the people, we have fully inspired the people's stubborn will and perseverance to construct the most rigorous prevention and control system. People of all ethnic groups across the country have closely united around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, actively participated and devoted themselves to the fight against the epidemic prevention and control in different ways, and built up an unbreakable and powerful force. "Whoever wants the same thing from top to bottom wins." It is precisely because the People's Leader always has the people in mind, all for the sake of the people and relying closely on the people, and because the broad masses of people wholeheartedly embrace and firmly support the People's Leader, that the basic strength of epidemic prevention and control has been consolidated throughout society, thus building a solid line of defence for epidemic prevention and control and laying a solid mass base for winning the battle against the epidemic.
（作者：简繁，系武汉大学马克思主义理论与中国实践协同创新中心、湖北省中国特色社会主义理论体系研究中心武汉大学分中心研究员） (Author: Jian Fan, Researcher, Collaborative Innovation Center for Marxist Theory and Chinese Practice, Wuhan University, and Wuhan University Branch of the Hubei Provincial Research Center for Socialism Theory with Chinese Characteristics)
China has said it abides by the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as proposed by Premier Zhou Enlai to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a letter dated November 7, 1959 — the first time in decades that it has clearly spelled out its stand on the notional Sino-India boundary by reiterating a position that New Delhi has consistently rejected since it was first made 61 years ago.
Beijing’s position, in an exclusive statement to HT amid the ongoing border friction in eastern Ladakh, is a reiteration of the long-existing differences on the boundary question and a sign that the ongoing military standoff is unlikely to be resolved soon.
In the statement in Mandarin, the Chinese foreign ministry, while blaming the Indian Army for the ongoing tension since May and for the June 15 clash in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley, said the clash was an “unfortunate” event.
“Firstly, China-India border LAC is very clear, that is the LAC on November 7, 1959. China announced it in the 1950s, and the international community including India are also clear about it,” the ministry said on Friday.
The construction site near the hamlet of Chilling in the Ladakh region is around 250 km (150 miles) west of the area where Indian and Chinese troops are locked in the most serious confrontation in decades.
But when ready, the road will provide the only year-round access to large parts of Ladakh, in India’s north, including the border zone. That will go some way to bringing India on par with China, which has a network of roads and helipads on its side of the border...
The frenetic construction itself has become a thorny issue this summer with the Chinese complaining that the Indian activity in the mountains was destabilising, Indian officials said. But China built its infrastructure in the area years ago, and it needs to be matched, they said.
“China does not recognise the so-called ‘Ladakh Union Territory’ illegally set up by India and is opposed to infrastructure building at the border area for the purpose of military control,” the office of China’s foreign ministry spokesperson said.
China does not recognize the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday in response to India building roads along the border.
According to the recent consensus reached between China and #India, neither side should take any actions in border areas that would complicate the situation, so as not to affect the efforts of both sides to ease the situation, Wang said.
Terry Branstad, the longtime Iowa governor chosen by President Donald Trump to be envoy to China, agreed however that China has generally reacted to pressure by responding in kind, from closing consulates to imposing import tariffs.
“The unfortunate thing is we’re trying to rebalance the relationship so we have fairness and reciprocity, but every time we do something, they keep it unbalanced,” he said in an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing...
Branstad blamed the coronavirus for souring the relationship, saying Xi had assured Trump the outbreak was under control when in fact it wasn’t. China has been criticized for covering up the crisis in the initial days, though praised for its strict measures to stem the spread later.
It is not surprising that the military has imaginary enemies in its daily training. But the force involving MQ-9 put map of China on patches, and Air Force magazine published related picture. This is an extremely arrogant provocation. According to reports, the last time the US Air Force put a country on the patch was during the Vietnam War. Putting map of China on patches, already a radical move, and publishing the picture, obviously the US military wants to send a strong signal.
Washington is stepping up its war preparations against China, and drones, which have been involved in assassination and other attacks around the world, will also play a role. This is the strategic signal sent by the US Air Force Magazine's report on the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
The Air Force approved the new coursework shortly before the start of Exercise Agile Reaper, the first training event focused on those tactics in the Pacific. In keeping with the pivot away from the Middle East, patches on Airmen’s uniforms made for the event feature an MQ-9 superimposed over a red silhouette of China.
In August, retired Chinese naval officer Wang Yunfei suggested that the US might launch an attack on disputed Chinese-controlled reefs in the South China Sea to boost Trump’s re-election prospects.
Wang said the most likely target of a sudden US attack would be Scarborough Shoal, known in China as Huangyan Island.
Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator, said although the US Air Force had the ability to mount a drone attack against Chinese entities in the South China Sea, it was unlikely because China would retaliate and the consequences would be huge.
The letters, which began landing in dozens of companies’ email inboxes in the spring, reflect the broadly held view among U.S. officials and lawmakers that the United States failed in recent years to adequately screen investment pouring in from China and other countries — particularly low-profile venture-capital investments that didn’t make the headlines. The 2018 Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, or FIRRMA, aimed to address that by boosting CFIUS’s funding and powers...
CFIUS is particularly focused on companies and apps that collect sensitive personal information on users, such as location or financial data, and on companies involved in technology seen as critical for national security, such as certain types of battery technology and biotechnology, lawyers said, requesting anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. The committee is mostly inquiring about Chinese investment, but on a few occasions has asked about Russian investors.
The survey on the Chinese public’s perception on the U.S., conducted by the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University from June to July 2019 and released Friday, found that 5% of expert respondents ― consisting of Beijing-based experts in Communist Party and governmental agencies, academies and enterprises ― held a favorable view of Trump.
In contrast, 17% of more than 3,000 respondents from 40 cities across China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, approved of the American president...
Both the Beijing-based experts and the general public’s favorable view toward the U.S. top leadership both declined from 2015, though the survey did not elaborate.
Meanwhile, 21% of the general public and 32% of the Beijing-based experts held favorable view of the U.S. as a country.
The survey, for which Wang Jisi was adviser【中美研究】王缉思：中美两国公众相互认知调查报告综述
Advocates of engagement are now downplaying the missionary impulse. That’s not what U.S. presidents said at the time.
Through August 2020, China’s year-to-date total imports of covered products from the United States were $56.1 billion, compared with a prorated year-to-date target of $115.1 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were $47.6 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $95.1 billion. Through the first eight months of 2020, China’s purchases of all covered products were thus only at 50 percent (US exports) or 49 percent (Chinese imports) of their year-to-date targets.
For covered agricultural products, China committed to an additional $12.5 billion of purchases in 2020 above 2017 levels, implying an annual target of $36.6 billion (Chinese imports, panel b) and $33.4 billion (US exports, panel c). Through August 2020, China’s imports of covered agricultural products were $11.0 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $24.4 billion. Over the same period, US exports of covered agricultural products were $9.6 billion, compared with a year-to date target of $22.3 billion. Through the first eight months of 2020, China’s purchases were thus only at 43 percent (US exports) or 45 percent (Chinese imports) of their year-to-date targets.
The administration’s newest restrictions do more than shut off technology exports to China. The policy limits some American sales to third countries, even when they are US military allies. American semiconductor toolmakers cannot sell their equipment to major semiconductor manufacturers in South Korea or Taiwan, for example, if companies there want to use American tools to make anything to sell to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company targeted by the administration as a national security threat.
In the last post, I covered the rise of the EDA tool industry and how an American oligopoly has dominated the industry from early on. In this post, I want to examine what the effects of the Entity List controls placed on Huawei will have on both Huawei and American EDA tool firms. I argue that the dominance of the Big Three EDA tool vendors (Synopsys, Cadence and Mentor Graphics–yes, I know Mentor Graphics is now owned by German Siemens but the bulk of the chip EDA tools’ tech and activity resides in the US) has never really been tested and may prove fragile when other players in the chip industry, principally foundries, are incentivized to work closely with other EDA tools beyond the Big Three. Before going into the details of that argument, I first want to put the damper on any notions that Chinese EDA tool vendors will be the ones to break up the current cozy oligopoly.
This study by Rhodium Group for the Bertelsmann Stiftung aims to strip the geopolitical emotion out of this debate and provide a fact-based, transparent framework for assessing which areas of the EU’s trade, investment and broader economic relationship with China are benign. We call this the “green list.”
The study also shows how the EU can broaden the scope of this green list, preserving substantial portions of the economic relationship with China, through a range of targeted mitigation measures.
Among our conclusions is that, based on 2019 data, much of the EU-China trade relationship can be preserved without the need for mitigation. Some 56% of EU exports to China are completely benign, while 83% of China’s exports to the EU qualify as “green.” On this list are sectors that are at the heart of EU trade relations with China, such as motor vehicle parts, food and drinks, luxury goods and a healthy portion of machinery and industrial goods.
We find that FDI vulnerabilities are more acute. In the absence of mitigation measures, some 46% of China’s FDI in the EU and 32% of the EU’s FDI in China in 2019 do not make it onto the green list.
Röttgen is one of three candidates in the running to take over the leadership of the governing center-right Christian Democrats (CDU)...
POLITICO: Don’t you think we in the West were a bit naive about China? European industry has been warning about intellectual property theft and complaining about business conditions in China for the better part of 20 years.
RÖTTGEN: That’s true, but in the last one or two years, a new realism has emerged. This is a course we have to continue to pursue. It’s still not too late...
POLITICO: What does that mean for the current debate over 5G and Huawei?
RÖTTGEN: In the 5G debate, we need to come to a decision soon. My position is clear: It is in our interest to have a European technology that we can also use for industry and that will at the same time guarantee our digital sovereignty and national security. We must not allow ourselves to become dependent and then susceptible to blackmail. In my view, the 5G decision is of critical strategic importance and perfectly suited as an entry point toward a common European China policy.
POLITICO: What do you think of the German government’s approach?
RÖTTGEN: Over the past year, we’ve engaged in an intensive debate in Germany, the result of which has been that we haven’t taken any wrong decisions. It would now be desirable to make a right decision as soon as possible, one that is driven by the goal of expanding German and European digital sovereignty. I am optimistic.
According to sources cited by WirtschaftsWoche, the German government “wants to help Telekom gain access to the mobile communications market in China.” This would not be an unprecedented move for Merkel, who previously provided a similar level of support for Nokia and Ericsson in the Chinese market...
There are concerns from Brussels however that support for Deutsche Telekom’s entry into China would come with an understanding of reciprocity that would keep the German market open for Huawei to supply 5G equipment.
7. Coal, winter and net zero carbon
With shrinking domestic coal production capacity following supply-side reform, China’s northeast is likely to experience the most severe shortfall in coal supply for the looming winter heating season since 2016.
Zhang Feilong, a coal analyst with YiMei Net, told Caixin that the region — comprising the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning — could face a 30 million ton shortage of the combustible black rock through next year’s spring...
Other experts familiar with Jilin’s coal industry expect the province alone to have a 12 million ton supply shortfall.
One of China’s foremost energy experts has urged the country to place market forces at the center of its transition to clean power, as part of its efforts to slash carbon emissions to net zero by 2060.
To meet that target, the world’s largest coal consumer must wean its renewables sector off government support over the next five years, said Yuan Jiahai, a professor at North China Power University.
8. Te-Ping Chen’s book of short stories
The book is out early next year and I hope it becomes a bestseller. She is such a good writer, and was in Beijing for the Wall Street Journal for several years. Oprah Magazine just excerpted one of the stories - The Oprah Magazine -Te-Ping Chen's Original Short Story "Hotline Girl"
Set in an alternative, modern China, Te-Ping Chen’s riveting and idiosyncratic story, "Hotline Girl," centers on a young woman working at the government’s "Satisfaction Office" fielding calls from distressed customers.
It's a job that's somehow both mundane and stressfully fast-paced, much like the well-crafted story itself. It's also surrounded by sadness: "There were all the lonely people who dialed the government day after day, wanting to talk, the elderly or mentally infirm, many with complaints that would never be resolved."
And so her life goes, a blur of dull and unremarkable days. Then, one day, the protagonist's abusive ex-boyfriend calls the hotline in hopes of reconnecting—and he's persistent.
Gripping and compassionate, Land of Big Numbers depicts the diverse and legion Chinese people, their history, their government, and how all of that has tumbled—messily, violently, but still beautifully—into the present.
Cutting between clear-eyed realism and tongue-in-cheek magical realism, Chen’s stories coalesce into a portrait of a people striving for openings where mobility is limited. Twins take radically different paths: one becomes a professional gamer, the other a political activist. A woman moves to the city to work at a government call center and is followed by her violent ex-boyfriend. A man is swept into the high-risk, high-reward temptations of China’s volatile stock exchange. And a group of people sit, trapped for no reason, on a subway platform for months, waiting for official permission to leave.
Business, Economy and Trade
China Evergrande reaches debt deal to relieve deadline pressure - Nikkei Asia Under a 130 billion yuan ($20.39 billion) deal reached in 2017, Evergrande had issued convertible bonds with a pledge to either list its Hengda Real Estate unit on a mainland Chinese stock market or redeem the debt. It has not been able to move forward with the listing plan. Evergrande said Tuesday that investors had agreed to roll over 86.3 billion yuan of the convertible debt and was close to finalizing arrangements with holders of a further 15.5 billion yuan of the bonds. It said negotiations were ongoing with holders of the remaining 28.2 billion yuan of the bonds.
China Weighs Ways to Contain Evergrande Financial Risks - Bloomberg The Chinese cabinet and its financial stability committee, chaired by Vice Premier Liu He, have discussed Evergrande without making any decisions on whether to intervene, the people said. Some regulators are considering options to support the developer, such as directing state-owned companies to take stakes in Evergrande or giving the company a green light for its proposed listing of an electric-vehicle unit in China, one of the people said.
China launches campaign to improve quality of vocational education - Xinhua According to the campaign guideline, graduates of vocational schools shall enjoy the same treatment as graduates of regular colleges and universities in terms of employment, recruitment in public services and job promotion, among others.
China needs a raft of reforms to make new economic strategy work: government advisers | Reuters “To rely mainly on domestic circulation, we indeed face a very arduous task,” Yao Jingyuan, the former chief economist for the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, told a briefing. “Fundamentally we must rely on reforms, and we need to deepen reforms.”
Tencent to take China's Sogou private in $3.5bn deal - Nikkei Asia The move comes a day after Chinese social media platform Weibo's owner Sina Corp said it would be taken private in a $2.6 billion deal. Many Chinese companies are exiting U.S. stock exchanges by considering go-private deals or returning to equity markets closer to home
Japan and Australia wary of China as RCEP talks enter last stretch - Nikkei Asia With India, Australia and Japan intent on pursuing their arrangement in parallel, the road looks relatively clear for an RCEP accord in November. Even if there are still a few points of contention, the 15 countries may sign an "agreement in principle," predicted a Southeast Asian official close to the talks. Another extension "is not an option," the official said, "as there is a sense that if we don't agree and sign the deal this time around, we may never get an agreement."
China's economy to grow by 2.0 pct in 2020, says World Bank - Xinhua China's economy is expected to grow by 2.0 percent in 2020, up from the 1-percent growth projection released in June, the World Bank said on Monday. The growth will be boosted by government spending, strong exports, and a low rate of new COVID-19 infections since March, but checked by slow domestic consumption, the World Bank said in the October 2020 Economic Update for East Asia and the Pacific (EAP).
Chinese banks cut saving rates on foreign currencies to record lows amid global coronavirus fallout | South China Morning Post The saving rate on the US dollar is now 0.01 per cent, while all the aforementioned banks are offering 0.35 per cent on a one-year fixed term deposit, currently the highest available saving rate on the dollar.
China Looks to Normalize Monetary Policy as Economy Stabilizes The People’s Bank of China will make monetary policy more precise and targeted, it said Monday in a statement after the quarterly policy meeting. The PBOC called on banks to make full use of structured monetary tools to increase the “directness” of its policies and vowed to achieve a long-term balance between stabilizing growth and preventing risks...the central bank will continue to strengthen financing support to manufacturing and small firms, according to a report by China Construction Bank, but will try to prevent the money from being used in the real estate and financial markets.
iPhone 12 production at China factory ramps up to 24 hours a day ahead of new model launch | South China Morning Post Another employee surnamed Ma said the company had started night shifts, with production lines running 24 hours a day. “We have been kept so busy for the past weeks because of the iPhone 12,” Ma said, referring to the new model that is expected to be unveiled next month.
Ctrip Obtains Payments License via Acquisition of State-owned Propaganda Firm in Shanghai | China Banking News Dongfang Huirong was founded in 2011 as a state-owned enterprise under the auspices of the propaganda department of the Shanghai municipal government. In 2012 it obtained a “Payments Operations License” from the Chinese central bank, permitting it to engage in payments operations as a non-financial institution. The move comes just after TikTok-owner ByteDance secured a payments license for its Toutiao news-sharing platform via the acquisition of a Wuhan-based fintech company in early September.
Vast Chinese debt market requires big reforms | Financial Times $$ China’s rapidly expanding $15tn mainland bond market offers some tantalising prospects for pension funds and other institutional investors that have seen sources of income decline and disappear from their traditional hunting grounds in the US and Europe. But a thicket of legal, regulatory, and trading risks lies ahead for international investors, according to the IMF, which has warned that the world’s second-largest fixed income pool requires sweeping reforms to raise standards.
Exclusive: Top Baidu Sales Executive Detained in Illegal Ad Probe - Caixin A veteran executive of China’s search engine giant Baidu Inc. was detained by police on allegations of illegal online advertising operations, including promotions related to gambling, separate sources told Caixin. The detention of Shi Youcai, head of Baidu’s Mobile Ecology Group, who oversees the company’s sales system, followed investigations of several other Baidu staffers starting weeks ago, including Vice President Li Zhongjun. “Baidu insists on zero tolerance against all violations of laws and regulations,” the company said in a statement to Caixin.
Politics and Law
Chinese kindergarten teacher sentenced to death for poisoning 25 students with nitrite-laced porridge - CNN A kindergarten teacher who poisoned 25 children, killing one of them, after an argument with a rival staff member has been sentenced to death by a court in central China. In its official ruling Monday, the Jiaozuo Intermediate People's Court in Henan province described killer Wang Yun's motives as "despicable" and "vicious." "She should be punished severely in accordance with the law," the ruling said.
[视频]纪念王芳同志诞辰100周年座谈会在京举行_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1_央视网(cctv.com) Han Zheng attends meeting to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wang Fang, who held many posts including Zhejiang Party Secretary, member of the 12th Central Committee, member of the Central Advisory Commission, and Minister of Public Security during the 1989 crackdown. What exactly is the protocol for these 100th birthday commemorations? Does every former minister in good standing get one? Guo Shengkun also attended, praised Wang: 中共中央政治局委员、中央政法委书记郭声琨在座谈会上缅怀了王芳同志的光辉一生和卓越贡献，强调要继承和发扬革命先辈的崇高精神和优良作风，坚定理想信念，对党绝对忠诚，坚持不懈用习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想武装头脑，认真履行党和人民赋予的职责使命，为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而努力奋斗。 Guo Shengkun, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee, paid tribute to Comrade Wang Fang's glorious life and outstanding contributions at the forum, stressing the need to inherit and carry forward the noble spirit and fine style of our revolutionary ancestors, be firm in our ideals and beliefs, be absolutely loyal to the Party, persevere in arming our minds with Xi Jinping's Socialist Thought with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, earnestly perform the duties and missions entrusted to us by the Party and the people, and strive for the realization of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
China to advance inter-provincial govt services - State Council The inter-provincial government services should be geared to the needs of enterprises and people, and pursue innovation and efficiency, along with oversight across all links, the circular said. The goal is to cover the 58 designated items on the list of inter-provincial services by the end of 2020, before basically incorporating all high-demand service items into it by the end of 2021, the circular said. The circular counted inter-provincial services highly relevant to people’s livelihoods as a priority, involving education, employment, social insurance, healthcare, housing and travel, among other areas. // 国务院办公厅印发《关于加快推进政务服务“跨省通办”的指导意见》_滚动新闻_中国政府网
Top political advisory body to meet in November - Xinhua The Standing Committee of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, will convene its 14th meeting in early November in Beijing...Wang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, highlighted the need to improve the institutional building of the CPPCC National Committee and called for furthering the role of a mobile platform for political advisors to perform their duties.
Culture code in China's fight against COVID-19 - Xinhua As an expert on philosophy, Bartosch said China's immediate success in bringing the epidemic under control stems from the fine traditional Chinese culture. He believes that China's governance, in which policymakers are trained and evaluated thoroughly and strictly under variable circumstances in order to make them acquire both political integrity and professional competence, originates from the country's Confucianism traditions and has a notable influence. Bartosch's ideas coincided with those of other experts at the meeting. Daniel Bell, dean and professor of the School of Political Science and Public Administration, Shandong University, who was a keynote speaker at the sixth Nishan Forum, believes Confucianism has a lot to contribute to a well-run political system that considers the selection and promotion of officials based on ability and virtue.
Senior State Council officials pledge allegiance to Constitution - Xinhua A total of 31 senior officials of the State Council took an oath of allegiance to the Constitution at a ceremony on Tuesday. The ceremony was held in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in downtown Beijing and overseen by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The officials were appointed to 28 State Council departments between December 2019 and September this year.
NPCSC Session Watch: Patent, Export Control, Personal Information Protection, Wildlife Protection & National Defense – NPC Observer On Tuesday, September 29, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the 22nd session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from October 13 to 17. The NPCSC’s regular sessions ordinarily take place during the last ten days of a month. This upcoming session is likely moved forward to make way for the Communist Party’s Fifth Plenum, scheduled from October 26 to 29. The NPCSC will review at least fifteen bills at its five-day session next month.
China under Xi Jinping feels increasingly like North Korea - The Washington Post - Anna Fifield's last dispatch from China This trip to Kashgar was the final reporting expedition I would make after 10 years in Asia. But it had me recalling not China, but a previous assignment: North Korea...Not just in Xinjiang but across China, it has become extremely difficult to have conversations with ordinary folk. People are afraid to speak at all, critically or otherwise. Students and professors, supermarket workers and taxi drivers, parents and motorists have all waved me away this year...Before I left, an old acquaintance told me about a joke going around China these days: "We used to think North Korea was our past — now we realize it's our future."
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi says China ready to work with Argentina to build global community of health for all - Xinhua Xi made the remarks during a telephone conversation with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez
Xi says robust cooperation amid pandemic shows resilience, potential of China-Vietnam ties - Xinhua In a telephone conversation with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong, also general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, Xi noted that this year marks the 70th anniversary of China-Vietnam diplomatic ties, and that the relationships between the two parties as well as between the two countries have both reached a new historical starting point.
How China Is Taking Over International Organizations, One Vote at a Time - WSJ $$ Washington has recently attempted to counter this effort at the U.N., cajoling and wooing countries around the world. Those efforts, hamstrung by damaged relationships with partners and allies, have had a limited impact so far. China’s success raises a conundrum for the U.S. and its allies. After the Soviet Union fell, these nations expected the U.N. to become a mechanism to promote democracy and human rights. Now, in a dynamic increasingly reminiscent of the Cold War, Beijing’s clout at the U.N. instead helps the Chinese Communist Party legitimize its claim to be a superior alternative to Western democracies.
COVIDcast: Wolf warriors in the age of Covid, with Bilahari Kausikan and Richard McGregor | Lowy Institute In this episode of COVIDcast, Richard McGregor, Lowy Institute Senior Fellow, sat down with Bilahari Kausikan to discuss Chinese foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on Southeast Asia.
Vatican defends China bishop negotiations on eve of US visit - AP The Rev. Bernardo Cervellera, a China-watcher and editor of the Catholic news agency AsiaNews, said the accord hadn’t borne much fruit in the past two years other than preventing a possible schism if China continued nominating bishops without the pope’s consent. “However, the fact remains that during all this time, there has been an increase in the persecution and control of diverse (religious) communities, both underground and official,” he said in an interview.
Uighurs could be allowed to seek genocide ruling against China in UK | The Guardian Uighurs and other Muslim minorities would be given the right to petition a UK high court judge to declare that genocide is taking place in China, requiring the UK government to curtail trade ties with Beijing, under proposals brought by MPs and peers. The cross-party parliamentary revolt is causing deep concern in government, where there are fears that judges and human rights campaigners could be empowered to throw UK-China trade relations into turmoil.
Ontario legislature criticized for plans to fly China’s flag on Wednesday - The Globe and Mail The Ontario legislature will fly the flag of the People’s Republic of China on Wednesday to commemorate China’s National Day, a gesture drawing criticism given the two Canadians who remain locked up by Beijing on what Ottawa calls unlawful grounds. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been incarcerated for nearly 660 days by the Chinese government in apparent retaliation for Ottawa’s arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on an extradition request from the United States.
China-Laos railway holes all 75 tunnels - Xinhua So far, all the 75 tunnels across the China-Laos Railway have been holed. The successful completion of the tunnels indicates that the controlling factors affecting the China-Laos railway project have basically been removed...The 422-km railway, with 198-km-long 75 tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
宋涛同伊朗确定国家利益委员会秘书长雷扎伊举行视频会晤-中新网 ILD head Song Tao held a video conference with Iran's iran expediency discernment council secretary general Sadeq Larijani, to "exchange of views on strengthening the exchange of experience in governing the country and maintaining international and regional peace."
South Africa, China to Revamp 10-Year Strategic Cooperation Plan - Bloomberg The new plan will focus on collaboration in areas including higher education, skills transfer, health, the digital economy, science and technology, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said at an online briefing hosted by the Chinese Embassy on Monday.
Ai Weiwei: 'Too late' to curb China's global influence - BBC News "The West should really have worried about China decades ago. Now it's already a bit too late, because the West has built its strong system in China and to simply cut it off, it will hurt deeply. That's why China is very arrogant." Ai Weiwei has never minced his words about China. "It is a police state," he says.
Portugal rejects US warning of sanctions over Chinese investment as rivalry heats up | South China Morning Post US envoy said the country was part of a ‘battlefield’ between Washington and Beijing, and Lisbon would have to ‘choose between its allies and the Chinese’ President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa responded that ‘it is the representatives chosen by the Portuguese – and they alone – who decide on their destiny’
Quad Foreign Ministers to Meet in Tokyo on October 6 – The Diplomat Ending a month of speculation, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed earlier today that the second Australia-India-Japan-U.S. “quad” foreign ministers’ meeting will be held next month, on October 6, in Tokyo after it was announced by Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu at a press conference.
How Two Students Touring Florida Found Themselves Branded as Chinese Spies Cedric Leighton, a military analyst and former intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, said that there is an ongoing pattern of Chinese espionage that includes using temporary, nonprofessional actors such as students to carry out relatively unsophisticated operations, and that the Naval Air Station Key West is a likely target for Chinese espionage. But he also notes that it’s certainly possible Wang and Zhang “took a proverbial wrong turn.” “A careless kid is a careless kid, whether they’re Chinese or American,” he said. “We have a tendency, especially in the counterintelligence world, to look at everyone as a potential threat.”
People's Liberation Army Operational Concepts | RAND In this report, the authors assess China's current military theory, strategy, and guiding principles, and they also delineate notional doctrinal or operational concepts that likely underpin People's Liberation Army military planning. The assessments in this report are derived from analysis of authoritative Chinese government, military, media, and scholarly sources, supplemented by a literature review of Western scholarship. The authors analyzed these sources to understand, from the Chinese perspective, People's Republic of China policy and strategic direction regarding PLA force development over time. This report is intended as a primer for U.S. Department of Defense strategists and planners as they conduct campaign planning and formulate responses to China's evolving military strategy and doctrine.
万吨级！我国最大海上执法公务船出坞，将列编广东海事局 China launches its largest coast guard cutter “Haixun 09”. The ten thousand tone ship was built in the Huangpu Wenchong shipyard in Guangzhou, and will be used by the Guangdong maritime safety administration.
China's 5.8x42mm Rifle Cartridge - How Good Is It? Adopted over 30 years ago, China's 5.8x42mm Universal cartridge was developed to be a one cartridge solution for assault rifles, DMRs and machine guns, here is where it stands today.
When Chinese influence fails - The New Statesman How could relations between the Czech Republic and China have soured so rapidly? The answer lies, in part, in promises of lavish Chinese investment which never materialised and clumsy attempts to build influence in national politics, which ended up backfiring. The saga sheds light on the chummy relationship between the Chinese state and favoured businesses – and demonstrates the limits of outsourcing foreign policy to private companies.
Hong Kong and Macao
Most Hong Kong Democrats Plan to Keep Legislative Council Seats - Bloomberg Sixteen of 23 sitting opposition lawmakers will keep their seats on Hong Kong’s 70-member Legislative Council, pan-democrat politicians said at a news conference Tuesday. The announcement came after a week-long survey of democracy supporters revealed a split among the opposition’s supporters over whether their lawmakers should step down in protest against the delay.
Hong Kong opposition lawmakers forced to regroup after split poll - Nikkei Asia Pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong faced the prospect of having to examine their political path forward after a citywide poll on Tuesday showed that their supporters were divided over calls for a collective boycott in response to the government's move to postpone legislative elections.
For Hong Kong Protesters Caught at Sea, Trial in China Is Likely - The New York Times They are expected to be formally arrested by prosecutors in Shenzhen in the coming days on charges of crossing the boundary illegally, according to the Hong Kong government. The immigration offense carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison, or seven years if they are found to have organized such an effort. An official at China’s foreign ministry has described the detainees as separatists — making clear the political lens by which the authorities are viewing the case.
HKSAR gov't hands over military dock to PLA Garrison - China Military The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Tuesday handed over the Central Military Dock to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in the HKSAR. The dock has been delimited as a military restricted zone with effect from 7:00 a.m. local time Tuesday and will be managed and used by the garrison, the HKSAR government said, citing the Law of the People's Republic of China on Garrisoning the HKSAR.
Cardinal Zen Appeals to the Pope: Please Send a Faithful Shepherd to Hong Kong| National Catholic Register Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun traveled to the Vatican again last week, unsuccessfully seeking an audience with Pope Francis. Had he been granted an audience, the 88-year-old Chinese cardinal — who himself served as Hong Kong’s bishop from 2002 until his retirement as a bishop in 2009 —intended to personally deliver a letter urging the Holy Father to appoint a new bishop for the troubled city of Hong Kong.
UK Foreign Minister 'carefully considering' options for sanctions against Hong Kong officials | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Britain’s Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has confirmed that his government is open to the possibility of imposing sanctions against officials involved in Hong Kong’s affairs under its Global Human Rights (GHR) regime.
The new centre of dissent: Britain becomes hub for Hong Kong activists | The Guardian Longstanding cultural ties, a newly welcoming government and Covid-era travel restrictions that have in effect closed off other potential destinations, such as Canada and Australia, have boosted the number of new arrivals to Britain.
No sign China is preparing attack on Taiwan – but we will be ready if they do: defence chief | South China Morning Post “The Chinese communists have continued their acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs showing it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Defence Minister Yen Te-fa told legislators on the island. One sign of an imminent attack would be troops from inland parts of China massing along its east, but there were no indications that was happening, he added.
Tencent Cloud Works with Taiwan’s Fubon Bank on Upgrade of Mobile Banking Services | China Banking News Fubon Bank is the first Taiwanese-invested bank to obtain a license for full operations in mainland China, and currently has assets of more than 100 billion yuan. Tencent Cloud and Fubon Bank said the release of the upgraded mobile banking app is a “milestone” event in strategic cooperation between the two companies, who have previously collaborated in the areas of private clouds, automated operations, online operations an
How Taiwan’s digital minister went from hacking to helping build a digital democracy - Rest of World The country’s digital minister has a radical vision and acknowledges the high-stakes balancing act between mass surveillance and good governance.
Tech and Media
Hit Chinese palace-intrigue TV dramas removed from streaming platforms ｜ Apple Daily Chinese internet users on Monday found that “Story of Yanxi Palace” was no longer accessible on streaming site iQIYI, and “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” was removed from Tencent’s on-demand video platform. No official reason has been given by the streaming platforms or Chinese authorities, but speculation ran rife among netizens that the removal was ordered by the National Radio and Television Administration.
China home to 940 mln internet users: report - Xinhua The number of internet users in China had reached 940 million as of June, accounting for one-fifth of the world's total, according to a report on China's internet development released Tuesday. The internet penetration rate in China reached 67 percent, about 5 percentage points higher than the global average, said the report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center.
Yalla, a Chinese App Focuses on Arabic-Speaking Market, Will Go Public in the US on Wednesday- PingWest The company was given the title "Middle East Tencent" because its main services currently consist of the voice-chat app Yalla and the card game Yalla Ludo, similar to the early chat+game business structure of China's internet giant Tencent.
Tracking AI Investment - Center for Security and Emerging Technology Little evidence suggests that America’s closest AI competitor, China, is narrowing the overall gap according to this metric, and Chinese investors don’t seem to be co-opting privately held U.S. AI companies in large numbers through the equity investment marketplace.
TikTok Wins Round One: An Overview of Judge Nichols’s Preliminary Injunction Ruling - Lawfare 1. Does this concern the IEEPA sanctions, the CFIUS divestment order, or both? This concerns only the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) sanctions, not the separate Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) order compelling ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok by mid-November. Indeed, Judge Carl Nichol’s preliminary injunction does not even extend to all of the IEEPA sanctions, most of which don’t take effect until the expiration of the CFIUS deadline in any event. It solely concerns the one IEEPA sanction that was to take effect Sunday at midnight: the aforementioned directive to providers not to continue to make TikTok’s app available or to facilitate updates of the app for existing users. This is a critical point. Whether this ruling withstands further review or not, ByteDance still by mid-November must divest itself of TikTok under the CFIUS order.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
China’s Swimming Champs Knocked Out by Unrelated Physical Tests - SixthTone In February, China’s top sports authority, the General Administration of Sport, laid out the rules for the physical tests in a bid to strengthen athletes’ physical and mental abilities. The statement said the new metrics would not only help the athletes “fight well” but also encourage them to “never give up.” Many online were angered by the recent disqualifications, with some saying the new rules aren’t fair to the athletes. A related hashtag on microblogging platform Weibo has been viewed over 450 million times, and 88% of over 11,000 respondents to one online poll said it was “unreasonable” to subject athletes to physical tests unrelated to their sport.
Salmon Diplomacy ft. Brendan O'Kane - Our Struggle | Podcast on Spotify In the second episode of Our Struggle, we welcome guest Brendan O'Kane, a renowned sinologist and literary translator
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Glacial lakes become more deadly as Himalayan ice melts |The Third Pole More than 50% of the dangerous lakes identified by ICIMOD are in Tibet. A study published in June by Chinese researchers mapped 654 glacier lakes in the Tibetan Plateau of China. It identified 246 of them as dangerous.
Greta Thunberg criticises China after climate striker Ou Hongyi held over protest | South China Morning Post China’s “first climate striker” Ou Hongyi was detained in Shanghai’s main shopping district on Friday after organising a silent protest, prompting teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg to criticise China’s treatment of activists. Hongyi, 17, said in an Instagram post on Sunday that she and three other protesters, were detained after three hours of “silent resistance” in front of the Shanghai Exhibition Centre.
Jobs and Events
Meeting Registration - Zoom The History of Anti-Blackness in China and Sino-Black Relations Time Oct 1, 2020 04:00 PM
A review of the problems with recruiting Chinese students (opinion) - Inside Higher Ed “Winter is coming,” said Frances Zhang, dean of college counseling at WLSA Shanghai Academy, commenting on potential implications of the current trend to U.S. colleges’ recruitment of Chinese students. “There will be a delayed impact to the number of Chinese students applying to U.S. colleges. The real decline will manifest in two to three years when current ninth and 10th graders enter the college process,” she added. Recent data show a 20 percent increase in the number of Zhongkao (high school entrance exam) students in Beijing compared to 2019, and a 15 percent increase in Shanghai. However, many international programs at both public and private high schools across the country have reportedly failed to meet their enrollment targets way past the traditional recruitment season.
China Improves Supervisor Reassignment for Doctoral Candidates - SixthTone China’s top education authority has made it easier for doctoral students in conflict with their assigned academic supervisors to seek replacements, state broadcaster China Central Television reported Monday. According to a new guideline from the Ministry of Education, universities should mediate disputes between supervisors and students, as well as protect the rights and interests of both parties, in a bid to “improve the mentor system.” If necessary, academic institutions can also reassign Ph.D. students to alternative supervisors.
Rural and Agricultural Issues
Vice premier stresses piloting rural homestead system reform - Xinhua Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said that the country's reform of the rural homestead system should be piloted steadily and prudently. Hu, also head of the central leading group of rural work, made the remarks while delivering a speech during a video teleconference on Tuesday.