PRC Commerce Minister in DC; Xinhua not buying "de-risking"; Live-streaming crackdown may be imminent; Births decline
Housekeeping Note: Monday May 29 is the Memorial Day Holiday in the US and so there will no newsletter that day unless something really big is going on.
Summary of today’s top items:
US-China - Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao is in the US, dining with Secretary of Commerce Raimondo tonight. wang will also meet with USTR head Tai on this trip. The Wall Street Journal has a story today on the pressures in DC to respond to the ban on Micron products. Micron has a lot of friends on Capitol Hill, and as I noted in the Wednesday newsletter closing the loopholes for Inspur is one of the possible responses under consideration.
Xinhua not buying “de-risking” - If there is a desire for some sort of thaw Xinhua may have not gotten the memo. It has launched a new commentary series - "Exposing the U.S.' Smearing Tactics Against China 起底美国抹黑中国话术系列评论". The first one is “Fabricating "De-risking" Against China is a Repackaging [old wine in new bottle] of the "Decoupling" Theory. In addition, the malware report and the G-7 meeting have ruffled some feathers.
Live-streaming crackdown imminent? - CCTV has run a story on the dangers of live-stream tipping. These kinds of reports often signal a crackdown is coming, as the report makes clear that earlier efforts to better regulate this sector have not been that effective. The report concludes with “the question of how to better regulate such a vast employment market and ensure its healthy development is both a complex and urgent problem to solve. There is no place outside the law online, and it is hoped that through effective governance, we can soon bring an atmosphere of cleanliness and uprightness to live-streaming rooms”. Perhaps concerns about causing more youth unemployment with another crackdown may soften the blow?
More on local debt messes - Despite the official denials it sounds like some Kunming financing vehicles are in financial trouble.
Births declining again - Over the last few days there have been discussions online about a drop in new births so far in 2023, with some commentators suggesting 2023 may barely see 8 million newborns. State media is now trying to talk down the worst case numbers, but even in the best case range the number will be still be down from 2022.
"China Unfiltered: The Chinese People's View on National Security -Tsinghua's Center for International Strategy and Security has released a new survey on people’s views on national security. The English version is here, in PDF The Chinese report 清华研究报告｜“无滤镜的中国”：中国人的国际安全观调查 . 80.1% of respondents think the US and Western countries are most accountable for the “Ukrainian crisis”, 11.7% think Ukraine is to blame, and only 8.2% think the onus is on Russia.
Thanks for reading.