Politburo study session on corruption; New book on Xi Jinping Economic Thought; TikTok and US data
Today’s Essential Eight:
Outbreaks - Shanghai and Beijing appear basically under control, Jilin found one asymptomatic cases and closed schools and suspended passenger transports and will test everyone, and Macao has its biggest outbreak yet.
Politburo study session on corruption, new regulations for cadres and family members - Following on the Friday Politburo meeting to discuss the report on "Phased progress in our rectification work" of financial institutions, the Politburo then held a study session on “making coordinated efforts to ensure officials do not dare, are not able, and have no desire to commit corruption”. From the official readout it sounds like things may intensify…Then the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee issued a regulation on the business activities of relatives of officials. The timing of this study session and this regulation is interesting given we are in the final period of personnel shifts around the 20th Party Congress.
US-China - As reports circulate that Biden is considering dropping some of the tariffs on PRC goods and may soon have another virtual meeting with Xi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs put together a nearly 25,000 word piece to rebut Secretary of State Blinken's recent speech. The rebuttal includes 21 "Falsehoods".
US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) goes into effect - If enforced to the letter it will make it nearly impossible to import into the US any goods that might possibly have a connection to inputs from or production in Xinjiang. There is absolutely no way to audit Xinjiang supply chains with any credibility now.
New study outline on Xi Jinping Economic Thought - The Central Propaganda Department and the NDRC have jointly issued a study outline on Xi Jinping Economic Thought, and it is going to be a bestseller and the subject of a lot of study sessions. It is also worth noting that this is the 7th "Xi book" to be issued since June. The others were four new books on his time working in Zhending, Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai, which among other things are “conducive to a deeper understanding of Comrade Xi Jinping's struggle from a grassroots leader to the Party's General Secretary and People's Leader 有利于广大干部群众深入了解习近平同志从基层领导干部一步步成长为党的总书记和人民领袖的奋斗历程”, a new book of his discourses on rural work, and the third volume on Xi’s thoughts on strengthening the military. That is a lot of new books for someone supposedly under pressure...
New Hong Kong government announced - The top officials under John Lee have been announced, now we wait to see if Xi makes a visit the city for the July 1 25th anniversary of the handover.
Tesla cars banned from Beidaihe? - Reuters reports that Tesla vehicles are not allowed in Beidaihe for two months starting July 1, due to the expected presence of Xi and other senior officials in the area in August. If this report is correct then the rumors about Tesla bans near Xi during his recent Sichuan appear to have been true. It says lot about how PRC security services think about connected cars and their potential for surveillance/transmission of data. And it is not a good look for the PRC connected car companies who want to export their vehicles globally.
TikTok appears to have been caught red-handed lying about its handling of US user data - Buzzfeed obtained audio from 80 internal TikTok meetings that make it sound quite clear that employees in the PRC had access to American user data, even after company representatives testified under oath they did not, and repeatedly said publicly they did not. Almost simultaneous with the publication of the Buzzfeed story, TikTok released a blog post stating that “Today, 100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure”, which sure looks like an admission that the Buzzfeed story was correct. It does not really matter what data were involved if TikTok was lying about how it handled them.
Thanks for reading.