PRC says clash all India's fault as gruesome details emerge; Beijing outbreak; Xi announces some African debt relief; Fu Ying on US-China
|Jun 17, 2020||29||2|
The PRC is blaming the Indians for the deadly border conflict while still not confirming or releasing any details on PLA casualties - Chinese FM urges closer China-India communication to maintain border peace - Xinhua
In a telephone conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Wang said that Indian frontline border defense troops on Monday night blatantly broke the consensus reached at the commander-level talks between the militaries of the two sides. Under the circumstance that the current situation in the Galwan Valley has eased, the Indian troops once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation, and even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went to the terrain for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties.
The hazardous move of the Indian army severely violated the agreement reached between the two countries on the border issue and the basic norms of international relations, he said, while voicing China's strong opposition to the move of the Indian side.
China demands that India carry out a thorough investigation into the incident, severely punish those who should be held accountable, strictly discipline Indian frontline troops, and immediately stop all provocative actions so as to ensure that such incidents do not happen again, Wang said, adding that India must not misjudge the current situation, or underestimate China's firm will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty.
The official media coverage has been restrained so far, though there is robust discussion of the incident on Weibo. The hashtag #中印边境# “Sino-Indian border clash” has over 1.2 Billion views.
In a statement on the tragedy Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the dead Indian soldiers as martyrs and said there would be a “befitting reply” - India's integrity and sovereignty is supreme for us, and no one can stop us from defending it: Narendra Modi
The brave sons of Mother India made the supreme sacrifice while protecting our motherland in the Galwan Valley...
This supreme sacrifice of our Martyrs will not go in vain.
Whatever may be the situation and circumstances, India will firmly protect every inch of the country’s land and its self-respect...
India wants peace. But on provocation, India will give a befitting reply.
The country will be proud of the fact that our soldiers have been martyred while they were fighting. I urge all of you to pay homage to these sons by observing two minutes of silence.
The Chinese side not hyping casualties, and not making any dead PLA soldiers, if there were any, into martyrs, at least so far, looks to be a sign that they want to prevent an escalation. But can India not respond, especially if the PLA remains in the area over which the two sides fought?
As to what this means for the overall India-China relationship, I thought Shashank Joshi of The Economist offered some interesting thoughts in Death valley - India and China have their first deadly clashes in 45 years:
India is anxious over China’s growing economic and political clout on India’s periphery—in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka—and over the influx of Chinese warships into the Indian Ocean.
In response, successive Indian governments have tilted closer to America, with which India signed a $3.5bn arms deal in February, and China’s rivals in Asia, such as Vietnam. A quartet of China-sceptic countries known as the “Quad”, comprising America, Australia, India and Japan, now meet regularly. Though India is at pains to stress that the Quad is not an alliance, Australia may soon join naval exercises involving the other three countries, lending a naval dimension to the group.
The violent turn in the border dispute is likely to accelerate these trends. “We are at a worrisome and extremely serious turning-point in our relations with China,” says Nirupama Rao, a former head of India’s diplomatic service and ambassador to China. She notes a "clear asymmetry of power" between the two countries. India is likely to deepen its relationship with America and increase its defence budget, says Mr Mukherjee. As both sides shift resources to the border, “there will be a period of adjustment in which things may be especially heated,” he says.
Xi Jinping, as the “single authority 定于一尊”, is overseeing quite an effort by the PRC to show the world that it should be worried about China in the Xi Era. Is he doing it intentionally? And for all the talk about the “wolf warrior” diplomats, we should be much more concerned about “wolf warrior” PLA officers.
Today’s Essential Eight:
The Beijing outbreak
World Peace Forum and US-China relations
Thanks for reading.
1. India-China conflict
EAM conveyed the protest of the Government of India in the strongest terms on the violent face-off in Galwan Valley on 15 June 2020. He recalled that at the meeting of senior Military Commanders held on 6th June, an agreement was reached on de-escalation and disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Ground commanders were meeting regularly to implement this consensus throughout the last week. While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo.
EAM underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June. Troops of both sides should also abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols. They should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it...
At the conclusion of the discussion, it was agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of 6 June sincerely. Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols.
According to one version, the Commanding Officer had gone to the standoff point with a party of 50 men to check if the Chinese had retreated as promised. As the Indian side proceeded to demolish and burn illegal Chinese structures on its side of the LAC, including an observation post constructed on the South bank of the river, a fresh stand off took place as a large force of Chinese troops returned back.
Sources said that a Chinese force in excess of 250 quickly assembled near Patrol Point 14 and were physically stopped by Indian soldiers from entering Indian territory. Soldiers from both sides did not use firearms but the Chinese soldiers carried spiked sticks to attack.
Sources in the government are claiming that as per U.S. intelligence reports, the Chinese Army suffered 35 casualties during the violent clash with the Indian military in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
The figure could be a combination of total number of soldiers killed and seriously wounded, they added.
The Indian troops assaulted the Chinese post with brutal strength and seriously injured nearly 55-56 Chinese solider. Many casualties were inflicted at this point. Sources said there were many fatalities on the Chinese side but there was no confirmation on the exact number.
All this was happening near a ridge and many of the soldiers were pushed down a cliff into the narrow, fast-moving Galwan river. The Indian party was vastly outnumbered by the Chinese, as per sources.
This is the time when many of the casualties on the Indian and Chinese side happened.
There apparently was a brigadier-level Chinese officer on the post who waved for peace asking the troops to stop fighting.
9. Hand-to-hand fighting continued late into the night. Stones and metal clubs with barbed wire were heavily used, due to which, many suffered head injuries.
Ms. Madan of Brookings said that many Indians viewed this as “salami slicing” similar to China’s establishment of military bases on contested islets in the South China Sea, moves that have frustrated neighboring countries and the United States.
“It’s not lost on folks that this is the fourth major boundary incident since 2012,” she said, referring to the year Mr. Xi rose to power. “What they seem to be trying to do is the territorial version of what they have done in the South China Sea.”
If this is the case then India, as a proud nation, should do exactly what the Chinese don’t want and undertake diplomatic countermeasures against Beijing. It could denounce the revocation of Hong Kong’s autonomy, and criticise human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet. It could rapidly raise official diplomatic engagements with Taipei. And it must work more closely with Indo-Pacific democracies trying to balance Chinese power across the region.
Additionally, we should give China a taste of its own medicine and weaponise trade by imposing sanctions against Chinese imports. Beijing can’t kill our soldiers at the LAC and expect to benefit from our huge market.
Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China has no intention to change the border situation at all, and the incident happened on the Chinese side of the LAC, so the confrontation causing the deaths of 20 Indian military personnel was entirely provoked by the Indian side...
Hu said India has engaged in border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal at the same time. As Pakistan is a reliable strategic partner of China, and Nepal also has close ties with China, and both of them are key partners under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, if India escalates border tensions, it could face military pressure from two or even three fronts, which is far beyond India's military capability and this might lead to a disastrous defeat for India.
Question: Is Hu suggesting proxy wars?
Following a fatal physical clash between Chinese and Indian border defense troops in the Galwan Valley region, some extreme anti-China groups and individuals in India have been promoting a China "boycott."
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), on Tuesday renewed their demand for "an economic boycott of China and Chinese products," Outlook India Magazine reported. The anti-China group is calling for India to launch frictions with China "in trade and investment." That irresponsible call has been echoed by a handful of Indian celebrities with large numbers of followers. Some in India are enthusiastically promoting hostility toward China for their own interests, though they likely account for just a small percentage of India's vast population. They have called for a China boycott each time an issue has arisen between the two neighbors, placing bilateral ties in a dangerous position.
The author is an associate research fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
The US regards India as a key country of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. It wants to use India to contain China. Although India's China policy has long had a tough side, New Delhi's principle of strategic autonomy is contrary to the "America First" policy...
the more the US invests in military, the more vigilant China and other regional countries will be. The Indo-Pacific Strategy will generally show its true face and expose the hegemonic nature of the US military and the US dollar.
The author is director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
The Indian people should not be intoxicated by the partiality of some forces in the US and other Western countries, whose public opinions are poisoning them. We notice that there are sober minds within India who promote developing healthy ties with China so that the two big powers can depend on rather than consume each other.
There is a “new edge” to China’s attitude, Nirupama Rao, a former Indian ambassador to China, said to my colleagues. “This assertiveness, this readiness to throw [away] internationally accepted behavior to advance their claims and interests, it’s worrisome for so many countries.”
“Best case, this incident on the disputed India-China border — the bloodiest in over half a century — shocks both governments into initiating a process to resolve the border once and for all,” tweeted Vipin Narang, an MIT professor and analyst of Asian geopolitics. “Worst case, the nationalists on both sides double down and pressure for serious escalation.”
And fake news abounds:
Bill Bishop @niubiI hate tweeting about India and china, talk about triggering bots and trolls, as much from Indian side as prc side. The info war over the India-china border conflict may get interesting
2. The Beijing outbreak
Chinese health authority said Wednesday that it received reports of 44 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Tuesday, of which 33 were domestically transmitted and 11 were imported.
Of the domestically transmitted cases, 31 cases were reported in Beijing, one in Hebei Province, and one in Zhejiang Province, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.
Since June 13, people working in the wholesale market from where initial cases emerged, residents in nearby communities, people who visited the market, and workers in farm produce markets across the city have undergone nucleic acid tests, according to Zhang Qiang, an official with the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China.
At least two dozen Chinese cities and several provinces had imposed (link in Chinese) new restrictions on travelers from Beijing as of Wednesday morning.
They included the eastern megacity of Shanghai, which required entrants from “high-risk areas” to quarantine for 14 days on arrival and take two tests for the virus, and entrants from “medium-risk areas” to register with the authorities within 12 hours. Some 28 neighborhoods and districts in Beijing were considered medium or high risk as of Tuesday night, according to a disease information app operated by the State Council, China’s cabinet.
Other major urban areas advised travelers from Beijing not to come at all, imposed shorter quarantine requirements, or permitted people to enter normally upon showing a green “health code” on their smartphones...
Amid speculation about the outbreak’s impact on the “zhongkao” and “gaokao” — China’s grueling high school and college entrance exams — a spokesman for the municipal education commission said schools should “make dual preparations for both online and offline learning” for the coming semester, state news agency Xinhua reported.
A new cluster of the Covid-19 virus was found on salmon cutting boards at Beijing’s largest wholesale food market over the weekend, leading to widespread panic. However, there was no trace of the virus on the salmon before it reached the market, Shi Guoqing, deputy director of the CDC’s emergency response center, said at the press conference.
"At present, all the evidence points to Xinfadi, rather than to salmon,” said Zhong Kai, director of the China Food Information Center.
Chinese and Norwegian authorities have concluded salmon from Norway was not the source of the coronavirus found on cutting boards at a Beijing wholesale food market, Norway’s fisheries and seafood minister said on Wednesday.
Chile, the top salmon shipper after Norway, is battling to persuade China to resume purchases after authorities in the Asian nation traced a Covid-19 outbreak to a chopping board used by a seller of imported fish.
The risk of people in Beijing traveling in and out of the city and spreading infections countrywide is “severe,” acknowledged Chen Bei, Beijing’s deputy party chief. “We need to take decisive action . . . resolutely control this gathering epidemic and resolutely curb its spread inside and outside the city,” Chen said.
Hundreds of flights and buses have been canceled since the 21 million-strong city reported its first new Covid-19 cases in nearly two months last Thursday. More than two dozen Chinese cities and provinces have also announced restrictions on travelers coming from Beijing since the capital’s government raised its emergency response level from three to two, the second-highest ranking, on Tuesday.
东城区和平里街道、北新桥街道，丰台区长辛店街道，大兴区青云店镇，西城区白纸坊街道 5 more Beijing neighborhoods raise their risk level
“According to the rules [for stopping coronavirus], all Sanlitun bars will be suspended from now on, with the reopening times to be announced,” posted one bar. “We’ve decided to suspend business immediately,” wrote another.
Chinese experts differ on when the new outbreak in Beijing began and where exactly the virus originated. In the latest speculation, Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese CDC), said the outbreak probably did not occur in early June or late May, but probably a month earlier.
"A lot of asymptomatic or mild cases were detected in this outbreak and that is why the environment has such amount of virus," said Gao at a seminar in Shanghai on Tuesday, media reported.
The provincial department of agriculture and rural affairs has drafted 13 vegetable bases in 10 counties to guarantee the supply of vegetables to Beijing.
Neighboring Beijing, Hebei has 290,000 hectares of vegetable fields, supplying cucumber, tomato, eggplant, peppers and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, celery and lettuce, which are currently in the middle and late stages of harvest.
3. Hong Kong
China’s decision is not in conformity with the Hong Kong Basic Law and its international commitments under the principles of the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. The proposed national security law would risk seriously undermining the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the territory’s high degree of autonomy. It would jeopardize the system which has allowed Hong Kong to flourish and made it a success over many years.
Open debate, consultation with stakeholders, and respect for protected rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are essential.
We are also extremely concerned that this action would curtail and threaten the fundamental rights and freedoms of all the population protected by the rule of law and the existence of an independent justice system.
We strongly urge the Government of China to re-consider this decision.
Tam was asked on a radio programme whether this means Hong Kong people suspected of violating the security law could be sent across the border to be put on trial.
"If the central government thinks it is necessary [for such people to be extradited to the mainland] ... that is an option. But it depends on how the central government will exercise its jurisdiction," he replied.
Tam also said that mainland agents may "guide" the SAR's police when it comes to enforcing the new law.
Team Telecom, which is formally known as the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (or the Committee), further recommended that the FCC grant the portions of PLCN’s application seeking to connect the United States, Taiwan, and the Philippines, which do not have any People’s Republic of China (PRC) based ownership and are separately owned and controlled by subsidiaries of Google LLC and Facebook, Inc., on the condition that the companies’ subsidiaries enter into mitigation agreements for those respective connections.
Ming Pao reports. reports that mainland security agents based in HK, under NSL, could be allowed to be equipped with firearms
What this might mean has until now been left to disturbing speculation, largely by Hong Kong government officials and other pro-Beijing advocates. On the one hand, they claim not to have seen any draft law. On the other, they appear to have inside information. Informed national officials confidently liken the forthcoming law to “an anti-virus software” that will guarantee a new era for the SAR, a “second return” to the motherland. They forecast minimal impact on civil liberties. Yet their every statement creates greater doubt. What follows is an analysis of the legislative, judicial, and law enforcement implications of this unfolding situation.
This week’s ChinaTalk featured Antony Dapiran going deep with me on the origin, meaning, and legacy of the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
Mike Pompeo and Yang Jiechi are reportedly meeting as I am writing this. The agenda has been a close hold, best I could get out of someone knowledgeable was that we should not expect much in the way of deliverables, that the meeting is really about keeping the channels of communication open.
As if to underscore the gulf between them, U.S. and Chinese officials have both told foreign diplomats that the other side requested the meeting in Hawaii.
During a one-on-one meeting at the June 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan, Xi complained to Trump about China critics in the United States. But Bolton writes in a book scheduled to be released next week that “Trump immediately assumed Xi meant the Democrats. Trump said approvingly that there was great hostility among the Democrats.
“He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton writes. “He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise.”
An anti-China gang composed of Tsai Ing-wen, Michael Pompeo and Joshua Wong will meet by video conference during the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Thursday and Friday. Chinese experts said the forum is a naked provocation against the "one-China policy," which will intensify the confrontation between China and the US...
Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies under the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday that despite stressing the unofficial tone and setting of the summit, it was essentially another self-entertaining gathering of a Western anti-China gang under the banner of democracy.
According to Cui, the summit has had limited impact since being organized in 2018. Due to the pandemic, the use of video conferencing has made it possible to invite more anti-China participants.
Openness and transparency are what China has underlined in its COVID-19 response, as well as objective evaluation of the international society on China’s anti-pandemic experience.
However, some U.S. politicians are always lying through their teeth, saying China underreported the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths and covered up relevant information while knowing the severity of the disease. This time, they cooked up a new story, slandering that China was stealing the COVID-19 vaccine research from the U.S.
The original, from June15 人民日报人民论坛：事实是最好的辟谣者 - 任平
5. World Peace Forum and US-China relations
Fu Ying moderated a virtual panel with Zhu Min, Susan Shirk, Wang Jisi, Kevin Rudd
China Newsweek magazine published a nearly 13,000 character essay by Fu Ying on the US-China relationship. 傳莹万字长文：疫情后的中美关系 能否实现良性竞争-中新网. Fu is an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University, director of the Strategy and Security Research Center, and former deputy minister of foreign affairs.
Here is an English version in Google Docs via Google translate, with some light edits - Sino-US relations after the new coronavirus epidemic
Some excerpts from “Sino-US relations after the new coronavirus epidemic”:
Over the past three years, the United States has provoked trade wars, technological wars, and public opinion wars, deepened its military deployment against China, and openly attacked the Chinese Communist Party and questioned China’s political system. The continued provocation of the US side has forced China to respond and react, and Sino-US relations have experienced a rapid decline...
China's rise is not only a challenge to the real interests and international status of the United States, but also a threat to the stability and value output of the United States. This is a challenge of greater significance. From the Chinese perspective, the United States has never given up its attempts to subvert the socialist system under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Recently, the Chinese-language discourses of the US government authorities have attempted to separate and oppose the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people and provoke the Communist Party of China and the political system...
The "strategic approach" points the finger at Chinese governance and the ruling party, and lists the "value challenge" as one of China's three major challenges to the United States. It highlights the ideological roots of domestic and foreign policies. It seems that it is deliberately packaging China into the Soviet Union. The intention is nothing more than to push political and security factors to the priority of US-China relations, and to provide a basis for coercing businesses and the economic community to accept "decoupling". Going down this path, the two countries will inevitably fall into a zero-sum confrontational ideological battle.
We need to use Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought as a guide to clarify China’s position as the maintainer, reformer, and perfector of the international order and system, uphold the banner of global governance and multilateralism, and use China’s “advance” to respond to American “retreat.” In order to maintain the momentum of economic globalization, we will use the actions of maintaining peace and promoting growth to hedge against the destructive actions of the US. Facing the situation of increasing world development problems and contradictions during the post-epidemic period, conduct as many consultations as possible to assist countries in solving problems, that is, do more "addition" and more "empowerment" in international relations, and assume the responsibility of large cooperative countries . To do third-party work, we must earnestly develop mutually beneficial cooperation and promote the peaceful development of the world as a general direction, without the need to form a zero-sum situation in which China and the United States compete for third parties.
On global issues, as the Trump administration reduces investment in some areas, many countries around the world are expecting China to exert leadership. We need to mobilize the enthusiasm and initiative in various fields, and play a role in solving world problems. At present, in the field of climate change and other fields, China has established an effective cooperation mechanism and policy reserve means between the government and think tanks, whether at the official level or at the social level, they maintain a relatively good interaction with the international community, reflecting the power of cooperation . This can be used as a blueprint for the cultivation of effective cooperation between officials and think tanks on major issues of global concern, including counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, anti-drug, transnational infectious disease prevention and even artificial intelligence governance, and combating transnational crime, encouraging the expansion of international dialogue channels and continuous improvement The ability to provide effective resources to the world and solve practical problems.
I think I figured out how to allow comments/suggestions so feel free to suggest better translations in the above document.
Yan Xuetong is a professor and dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing. This piece is an edited version of a speech Yan delivered at an online event held by the World Peace Forum on Tuesday.
In terms of international norms, double-standard hegemonic norms dominated the Cold War period when the U.S. and the Soviet Union adopted different norms for allies and non-allies. After the Cold War, American liberal norms such as democratization, marketization and globalization dominated international affairs. In the post-pandemic period, new sovereignty norms will gain momentum, such as sovereignty in cyber space, digital sovereignty, sovereign digital currencies, national control of dual-use products and constraints on international travel.
The role of international organizations increased gradually during the Cold War and their influence expanded widely after the Cold War. In the coming post-pandemic period, their role is likely to decrease...
According to the above differences in the 10 characteristics, I would like to name the coming world order as “an order of bad faith,” mainly because of the lack of global leadership.
And for those who like reading Fu Ying, don’t forget her essay on telling China's story in the April 2 People's Daily, via the April 2 newsletter
6. China-Africa summit
Xi offers some debt relief, though the actual amount is unclear.
China will continue to do whatever it can to support Africa's response to COVID-19. China will lose no time in following through on the measures I announced at the opening of the World Health Assembly, and continue to help African countries by providing supplies, sending expert teams, and facilitating Africa's procurement of medical supplies in China. China will start ahead of schedule the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters this year. China will work with Africa to fully deliver the health care initiative adopted at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, and speed up the construction of China-Africa Friendship Hospitals and the cooperation between paired-up Chinese and African hospitals. Together, we will build a China-Africa community of health for all. We pledge that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit.
Second, we must stay committed to enhancing China-Africa cooperation. To cushion the impact of COVID-19, it is important to strengthen Belt and Road cooperation and accelerate the follow-ups to the FOCAC Beijing Summit. Greater priority needs to be given to cooperation on public health, economic reopening, and people's livelihood.
Within the FOCAC framework, China will cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020. For those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress, China will work with the global community to give them greater support, by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension, to help them tide over the current difficulty. We encourage Chinese financial institutions to respond to the G20's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and to hold friendly consultations with African countries according to market principles to work out arrangements for commercial loans with sovereign guarantees. China will work with other members of the G20 to implement the DSSI and, on that basis, urge the G20 to extend debt service suspension still further for countries concerned, including those in Africa.
The participants seem to have signed on to all of China’s Covid-19 agenda and views. - Joint Statement of the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19
In accordance with the FOCAC spirit and long-term values cherished by both sides, we remain committed to extending mutual support on issues regarding each other's core interests and major concerns. China supports African countries in exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and opposes interference in Africa's internal affairs by external forces. The African side supports China's position on Taiwan and Hong Kong, and supports China's efforts to safeguard national security in Hong Kong in accordance with law...
We highly commend and actively support WHO's role, under the stewardship of Director-General Dr. Tedros, in leading and coordinating the global response to COVID-19, and call on the international community to scale up political and financial support for the WHO.
We welcome the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution on COVID-19 response, which expresses deep concerns about the negative impacts and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizes the importance of global collaboration, and calls for intensified international cooperation, unity, solidarity and joint efforts to contain and mitigate the pandemic, and to pay particular attention to the needs of people in vulnerable situations. We reiterate opposition to the politicization and stigmatization of the virus, and call on the international community to jointly prevent discrimination and stigma, reject misinformation and disinformation, and strengthen cooperation on the research and development of diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines and the identification of the zoonotic source of the virus.
We support the initiation, at the earliest appropriate moment and in consultation with WHO Member States, of a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms as appropriate, to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19 after the virus is brought under control worldwide, in an objective, impartial science-based and professional manner.
Africa commends the decisive measures taken by the Chinese government to contain the spread of the virus and its timely sharing of information with WHO and relevant countries in an open, transparent and responsible manner, which bought precious time for the rest of the world...
China takes seriously the debt concerns of African countries and will earnestly act on the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, through friendly consultation as equals, and expedite support for the African countries worst hit by COVID-19.
The African side expresses appreciation for China's actions, and calls on the international community, especially developed countries and international financial institutions, to take concrete measures to ease the debt burden of African countries.
zero-interest loans make up only a small portion of Africa’s debt owed to China. From 2000 to 2017, China provided $143 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises—the majority of which are concessional loans, credit lines, and development financing. Among the $60 billion China pledged to Africa at the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), concessional loans, credit lines, and African small- and mid-sized enterprise loans jointly constitute 70 percent of the total—with only 9 percent of the announced funding in zero-interest loans. At the 2018 FOCAC, where China again pledged $60 billion to Africa, half of the money was credit lines and development finance, with grants and interest-free loans jointly accounting for less than 25 percent of the total.
If China is to follow this pattern, the most likely loans to be forgiven will be those zero-interest ones. The same cannot be said for the concessional and other loans because of their magnitude (and, consequently, the massive financial losses) as well as the precedent the move would set for other regions and the implications for responsible borrowing by African states.
7. DNA collection
The Chinese Government is building the world’s largest police-run DNA database in close cooperation with key industry partners across the globe. Yet, unlike the managers of other forensic databases, Chinese authorities are deliberately enrolling tens of millions of people who have no history of serious criminal activity. Those individuals (including preschool-age children) have no control over how their samples are collected, stored and used. Nor do they have a clear understanding of the potential implications of DNA collection for them and their extended families.
Earlier Chinese Government DNA collection campaigns focused on Tibet and Xinjiang, but, beginning in late 2017, the Ministry of Public Security expanded the dragnet across China, targeting millions of men and boys with the aim to ‘comprehensively improve public security organs’ ability to solve cases, and manage and control society’
The police in China are collecting blood samples from men and boys from across the country to build a genetic map of its roughly 700 million males, giving the authorities a powerful new tool for their emerging high-tech surveillance state.
They have swept across the country since late 2017 to collect enough samples to build a vast DNA database, according to a new study published on Wednesday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research organization, based on documents also reviewed by The New York Times. With this database, the authorities would be able to track down a man’s male relatives using only that man’s blood, saliva or other genetic material.
An American company, Thermo Fisher, is helping: The Massachusetts company has sold testing kits to the Chinese police tailored to their specifications.
中华人民共和国人类遗传资源管理条例 - P.R.C Regulation on the Management of Human Genetic ResourcesPromulgation Date: 2019-5-28
Last year, TikTok brought in about $200 million to $300 million in revenue worldwide, a figure that hasn’t previously been reported. This year, TikTok aims to generate $500 million in revenue from the U.S. alone, according to two people familiar with the matter...
TikTok had 50 million daily active users in the U.S. as of a couple of months ago, almost five times the number from last year, according to a person familiar with the situation. That compares with 88 million for Snapchat, 33 million for Twitter and 195 million for Facebook at March 31
Hundreds of videos “praising” China and its president Xi Jinping have been posted on the app by users mainly in the US and Europe, set to the tune of the Chinese national anthem. With the Chinese national flag and an image of Xi in the background, the teens pretend to interact with the Chinese leader, giving him a kiss on the cheek or raising a toast together...
“My views were going down so I wanted to see if a video that praises China would do well in the algorithm and oddly enough it did,” Matt Norris, a 19-year-old TikTok user in the US, told Quartz. Norris, who has about 9,000 followers on the app, saw his China video—in which he says things like, “I love China… Xi Jinping is my bff” in fluent Mandarin—become one of his most popular clips.
There is no conclusive evidence that pro-China videos do better than others. Users themselves are divided over the matter, with some reporting little to no impact after posting pro-China material. It couldn’t be determined why Mr. Asaday’s follower count jumped. Many things can affect popularity of content online, including the possibility that some users simply find the videos amusing.
Still, the circulation of tongue-in-cheek pro-China material on TikTok undermines its goals of seeming more American and distancing itself from its China roots.
Business, Economy and Trade
In Depth: The Billion-Dollar Plan to Replenish Smaller Chinese Banks’ Capital - Caixin Policymakers are planning to allow local governments to replenish the capital of certain small and midsize banks to the tune of about 200 billion yuan ($28.2 billion) in an effort to defuse bad-debt risks, sources familiar with the matter told Caixin...The 200 billion yuan of funds will be used by local governments to purchase “qualified capital replenishment tools” issued by small and midsize banks, a source close to the Ministry of Finance told Caixin. Such instruments include banks’ common and preferred stock, and convertible and perpetual bonds.
China strengthens financial support to enterprises, speeds up tax, fee cuts - Xinhua China will further direct the financial institutions to support enterprises to help stabilize the economy, and expedite tax and fee cuts to ease burdens on market entities, according to a State Council executive meeting on Wednesday.
China to accelerate non-performing loans settlement - Xinhua Chinese authorities have said they will accelerate the settlement of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the second half of the year, while analysts are calling for attention to small and medium-sized housing companies and companies dependent on foreign demand. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said it would urge banks to make a bona fide classification of their assets, truthfully exposing their NPLs. Any actions aimed at glossing over bad loans and manipulating their balance sheets will be resolutely dealt with, it added.
China Wants Banks to Cap Their Profit Gains to Single Digits - Bloomberg Regulators will urge banks to sacrifice profits by extending more loans at lower rates, boost their loan-loss provisions and more proactively recognize non-performing debt, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Some local branches of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission have started communicating with banks in their jurisdictions, two of the people said.
Coronavirus prompts top-level call for China’s markets to modernise | South China Morning Post An article published on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said the latest cluster – all linked to Beijing’s sprawling Xinfadi market – had raised the question: “how do we run a clean, sanitary, modernised wholesale market that is in line with a metropolis?”
Ant Financial Takes Step Toward Getting Into Credit Ratings - Caixin The People’s Bank of China’s Hangzhou branch announced on Monday that Ant Credit Rating Co. Ltd., an Ant Financial subsidiary set up in March, had completed registration under new regulations that took effect in December.
Illumina Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against BGI | GenomeWeb The injunction relates to two lawsuits in which Illumina has alleged that BGI sequencers, including the MGISEQ-T7, DNBSEQ-G400 (previously MGISEQ-2000), DNBSEQ-G50, BGISEQ-500, and BGISEQ-50 infringe Illumina's sequencing-by-synthesis patents, specifically US Patent Nos. 7,541,444; 7,566,537; 7,771,973; 9,410,200; and 10,480,025. Illumina has also alleged that certain BGI sample preparation reagents infringe those patents.
China asks Canada to investigate cause of pest-contaminated logs - ECNS Customs at relevant Chinese ports have detected live quarantine pests like long-horned and bark beetles inside imported Canadian logs, said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
EY finds China copper smelter Fangyuan has misstated accounts - sources - Reuters A report by auditor EY found that Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group, China’s biggest privately held copper smelter, has been overstating its profit and production levels while understating its debt, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
Politics and Law
Xi's jumbo birthday present surprises Marx and pundits alike - Nikkei Asian Review In an announcement on June 14, China's anti-corruption authorities said Deng Huilin, deputy mayor of Chongqing and head of the municipality's public security bureau, is under investigation on suspicion of "serious violations" of party discipline and law.Deng's investigation may be connected to Meng Jianzhu, a former Politburo member and the top law enforcement official who has since retired. Deng served as Meng's secretary in the past. In April, another of Meng's former secretaries was also placed under investigation. Sun Lijun was vice public security minister, and at 51, considered a promising next-generation leader in the public security and police forces.
Chinese human rights lawyer sentenced to four years after being detained for more than 900 days After being detained at an unknown location for more than 900 days by the Chinese government, Chinese human rights lawyer Yu Wen-Sheng was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting subversion of state power. The court has also decided to deprive him of civil rights for three years once he serves out his jail time
Former real estate exec sentenced for child molestation - SHINE News Wang Zhenhua, former chairman of local property developer Seazen Holdings, was sentenced to five years in jail by the Putuo District People’s Court for child molestation, the court announced on Wednesday. The trial lasted 16 hours. His accomplice, a woman named Zhou Yanfen who procured girls for him, was given four years’ jail on the same charge. The 58-year-old property tycoon was arrested by police in July last year on allegations of molesting a 9-year-old girl. // Comment: A bit of an online uproar over what looks to be a light sentence
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Brussels forges new weapons to shield EU market from China – POLITICO These measures could apply to countries such as China, the U.S. and Russia when they subsidize their champions operating in the EU. They would give the EU new powers to impose fines, block acquisitions, or ban companies from participating to public tenders, if it finds the companies gaining an unfair advantage from subsidies provided by non-EU governments.
Chinese ships set 65-day record for closing in on Senkaku waters : The Asahi Shimbun A Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel observed four China Coast Guard ships in the contiguous zone just outside Japanese territorial waters off the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on the morning of June 17. Chinese government ships have been operating in the contiguous zone daily since April 14 for a total of 65 consecutive days, marking the longest recorded period.
Australia keeps door ajar for China’s BRI - The Australian The Morrison government has left the door open to working with China on Belt and Road Initiative projects in the Indo-Pacific, despite condemning Victoria’s decision to sign up to Xi Jinping’s global infrastructure compact. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told the National Press Club that Australia would not compromise its sovereignty or values in its dealings with China, but was prepared to deliver projects with China in the region if it respected the sovereignty of recipient countries.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on June 17, 2020 I want to point out that as revealed by a recent Australia Institute report, the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus is a biological weapon artificially made by the Chinese government was spread through the "coordinated" efforts of clusters of US controlled bots. This is the very definition of disinformation. Why is the Australian foreign minister turning a blind eye to it? As facts have shown, disinformation is Australia's expertise, not China's. I would like to reiterate that disinformation, like the coronavirus, is also a common enemy to all mankind. The UN and WHO have called on countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to counter all sorts of disinformation. We hope the Australian official will act responsibly in a just and objective manner, stop political manipulation of the pandemic and contribute to the global combat against the pandemic.
Director-General of the Policy Planning Department of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong Holds Video Consultation with Principal Official of the Policy Planning Department of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs On June 15, 2020, Director-General of the Policy Planning Department of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong held video consultation on foreign policies of China and Egypt with Yusuf, assistant minister of the department of information, policy planning and crisis management at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on the impact of the pandemic, respective foreign policies, international cooperation on COVID-19 response, and the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative.
A Signed Article Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Barbados Published in Local Media On the White Paper "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action" This white paper, titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action", is recently published by China's State Council Information Office, and it records the difficult journey of China's fighting COVID-19 during the past months, provides China's effective manners and experience in epidemic prevention, control and treatment, and underscores the significance of cooperation and solidarity to win the battle against COVID-19 globally. After reading this white paper, I would like to share my four observations with you:
Brazil 5G tender cannot be swayed by debates over China, says house speaker - Reuters Speaker Rodrigo Maia said Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel should run the auction and that the supposedly economically liberal government of President Jair Bolsonaro should focus on free and fair competition. He added that ideological debates could interfere in Brazil’s other sectors, such as agribusiness.
Chinese Survey Vessel Venturing Near Vietnam’s EEZ - RFA A Chinese government-owned survey vessel appears to have been sent into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, vessel-tracking data shows, in a move that could stir more tensions in the South China Sea. Two separate vessel-tracking tools showed the Hai Yang Di Zhi 4 traveling towards Vietnamese waters on Sunday, passing by the Chinese military base at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.
Debunking Fake China-Africa News - The China Africa Project AFP Fact Check journalist Mayowa Tijani joins Eric & Cobus from Lagos to discuss his reporting that debunks fake news, particularly videos and other stories related to China-Africa. Misleading and downright false information have long been a hallmark of the China-Africa story but it’s become more prevalent in recent months in response to events like the maltreatment of Africans in Guangzhou.
Officer of China’s People’s Liberation Army Arrested At Los Angeles International Airport | USAO-NDCA | Department of Justice Xin Wang, a scientific researcher and officer with the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) People’s Liberation Army (PLA), was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) while attempting to depart the United States for Tianjin, China,
Chinese expert team concludes COVID-19 mission to Palestine after exchanges of experience - Xinhua As of Tuesday, Gaza's caseload was 72, including 45 recoveries and one death. In Palestine, there had been 700 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported, with 570 recoveries and five deaths. Also on Tuesday, head of the government-run Palestine Medical Complex (PMC), Ahmed Bitawi, and the head of the Chinese team, Hu Peng, signed a framework agreement on telemedicine cooperation between the PMC in Ramallah and the Second Affiliated Hospital of China's Chongqing Medical University.
China launches new Earth observation satellite - Xinhua The satellite Gaofen-9 03, sent into orbit by a Long March-2D carrier rocket, is an optical remote-sensing satellite with a resolution up to the sub-meter level. The satellite will be mainly used for land survey, city planning, land right confirmation, road network design, crop yield estimation and disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as providing information for the construction of the Belt and Road.
Taiwan warns off intruding Chinese aircraft for fourth time in nine days - Reuters The Chinese J-10, a fighter plane, and Y-8, a propeller aircraft often used for surveillance missions, entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone around midday (0400GMT) to the southwest of the island, Taiwan’s air force said.
Public Strongly Approves Cross-Strait Policy Stance in President's Inaugural Address and Opposes the CCP's Coercive Positions and Negative Intimidation The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) today (June 4, 2020) announced the results of a public opinion survey. The survey results indicated that mainstream public opinion in Taiwan identifies with President Tsai Ing-wen's policy position on the development of cross-Strait relations. Nearly 90% (88.2%) of the public support the President's reiteration of the principles of "peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue". More than 80% (81.6%) support the President's stance that both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and that the leader on the other side of the Strait should take on the same responsibility and work with Taiwan to jointly stabilize the development of cross-Strait relations. Nearly 80% (79.1%) of the public approve the President's position that Taiwan will not accept the Beijing authorities' use of "one country, two systems" to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-Strait status quo. About 70% (70.1%) support the President's emphasis on continuing to handle cross-Strait affairs according to the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.
Imagining a New US Military Presence in Taiwan By: Michael Mazza – Global Taiwan Institute In the absence of a mutual defense treaty between the United States and Taiwan, it remains difficult to imagine much less implement significant, public US force deployments to Taiwan in the coming years. Yet as the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated, the world can change in a hurry. Indeed, COVID-19 might prove to be an inflection point in Washington’s approach to Taiwan, accelerating its extant pursuit of a far more normal defense relationship with Taipei. Thinking through what a theoretical US force laydown in Taiwan would look like is a useful exercise. It prepares the United States to move quickly should deployments become possible. Perhaps more importantly for the near-term, the thought exercise highlights potential shortcomings of current US force posture in Asia, which should prod defense leaders to mitigate them.
Responsible Statecraft - Taiwan funding of think tanks: Omnipresent and rarely disclosed five of the capital’s most prominent think tanks have been producing policy papers urging closer U.S. ties with Taiwan — a territory locked in an uncertain legal status that threatens to be a flashpoint between Beijing and Washington. These seemingly impartial research institutions are pushing for expanded arms sales and trade agreements with Taiwan without widely disclosing their high-level funding from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Taiwan’s equivalent to an embassy. // Comment: I am for transparency in all funding sources. This piece though is a bit sloppy in linking funding to a think tank overall to specific reports or analysts without offering a lot more evidence that views were influenced.
Why Taiwan Continues to Fear a Chinese Invasion | The National Interest Taiwan’s citizens are acutely aware that moving toward independence swiftly might invite a Chinese military invasion. As a result, even when support for the independence movement is highest in history, they veer towards maintaining the status quo forever.
Tech and Media
Hainan's Anti-Drug Police Team Covers Jay Chou's "Mojito" | What's on Weibo Jay Chou’s new single “Mojito”, filmed in Havana, Cuba, has taken China by storm. It has sold more than 4 million copies on QQ Music alone and has even been endorsed by the Embassy of Cuba.
Yicai - China's Sanan to Pour USD2.3 Billion Into Third-Gen Chip Project The emerging field of third-generation semiconductors, based on materials such as silicon carbide, gallium nitride, and zinc oxide, is touted as the next level of chips to support new technologies such as fifth-generation wireless networks, smart grids, and new energy vehicles.
‘Middle-Aged’ Celebs Are Vying to Become China’s Next Girl Group - SixthTone Smashing the ageist attitudes that largely dominate China’s entertainment industry, “Sisters Who Make Waves” stars a cohort of celebrities in their 30s, 40s, and 50s — demographics that typically see dwindling screen time. The group of 30 — which includes actresses, singers, and television hosts — are competing for five spots in an all-women band.
ByteDance Reportedly Poached One of Bilibili's Top Creators- PingWest Bilibili, which counts Tencent, Alibaba and Sony among its investors, has lost one of its top content creators to ByteDance. People familiar with the matter said that Necromancer Financial (巫师财经), a leading video creator on the platform for financial-focused content, was poached by ByteDance's streaming website Xigua Video with an exclusivity deal of about 100 million RMB, or more than 14 million US dollars.
China’s largest gay dating app Blued files for US IPO · TechNode Besides its core dating feature, the app also runs livestream content and surrogacy matchmaking service Bluedbaby, as well as healthcare service He Health. Livestreaming is the company’s primary revenue source, generating RMB 670 million or 88.5% of the company’s revenue in 2019. The company earns its remaining portion of its revenue from membership services, advertising, and others.
UBS Drops From Chinese LGBTQ Dating App Blued IPO - Bloomberg The bank did not agree with the timing of the public filing after gauging initial investor interest, one of the people said.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Giving world's COVID-19 fight the invaluable benefit of TCM - China Daily Yiling Pharma announced in May its Lianhuaqingwen capsules had been officially listed as Chinese proprietary medicine to treat influenza by the Healthy Sciences Authority of Singapore, which meant the Chinese medicine has been granted local market access. By now, Lianhuaqingwen has been approved for sale in eight countries outside China. They are Canada, Indonesia, Mozambique, Brazil, Romania, Thailand, Ecuador, and Singapore. It was also granted market access in Hong Kong and Macao.